Kill The Receipt

Thankfully, more and more retailers have enabled the capability to email receipts to customers instead of having to deal with a (gasp!) paper receipt:

To the rubbish pile that the Internet is creating, alongside the road maps, newspapers and music CDs, add one more artifact of consumer life, the paper receipt.

Major retailers, including Whole Foods Market, Nordstrom, Gap Inc. (which owns Old Navy and Banana Republic), Anthropologie, Patagonia, Sears and Kmart, have begun offering electronic versions of receipts, either e-mailed or uploaded to password-protected Web sites. And more and more customers, the retailers report, are opting for paperless.

I have to say that this is one of the most wonderful advances to come to “in store” purchases in, well, forever.  Not surprisingly, whenever I make a purchase at an Apple store, having them email me the receipt is one less thing to worry about. I know its in my Inbox and with Gmail’s filters, I can set it up to “automagically” file itself under my “Apple > Receipts” tag/folder. Getting rid of clutter is such a wonderful thing.

via NYTimes.com

Move Pandora Favorites To Spotify

OK, so I’ve been using the free version of Spotify on my desktop since I got my invitation and have been impressed by the service…especially the playlist sharing and the overall social element of the service. However, I have not yet taken the plunge and forked over the $10/mo ($120/yr) for the upgraded/unlimited plan.

My logic has been that using a service like Pandora satisfies my music need to discover new albums, artists, and songs since I can listen to songs I’m familiar with and it also enables me to discover new music similar to what I’m familiar with. Plus, when I look at my music purchase history these days, I generally buy 8-10 MP3 albums a year which is roughly equivalent to the Spotify annual cost plus I already have several thousand songs already in my personal music library.  In essence, its been:

MP3’s I Purchased/Owned + Pandora = Musically Happy Steve

However, my music world has now been thrown for a tizzy as I have just discovered via Buzzfeed an insanely cool plug in for the Chrome browser that may have tipped the scales towards Spotify.  The plug in basically enables you to take all the songs you have “thumbed up” on your Pandora stations and import them into a Spotify playlist (click through to original post to see the details).

So for example, on Pandora, I have a Say Hi (To Your Mom) Pandora station (based on the awesome Seattle band of the same name) and, as with my other stations, regularly “Thumbs Up” several songs per session.  Now, this plug in takes that curated list that has been compiled over time and puts it in your own Spotify playlist.

For those of you Spotify users, here is the link to the aforementioned playlist – Say Hi Favorites

I can now pump all the songs I’ve ever “liked” via Pandora into Spotify.  I can discover new songs, albums and artists by discovering shared and public playlists.  No decisions have been made yet, but Spotify is moving to the head of the class really really quickly.

Plug-in discovery via Buzzfeed

Car Chargers Hitting England

Example of a charging station that will be installed in England

Over the next few months, electric car chargers will be installed in service areas owned by the Welcome Break chain and located along British motorways

Within 18 months all 27 service areas in the country that are owned by the Welcome Break chain will boast a spot for electric vehicle owners to top up or fully recharge using either the fast charge (32A supply), or the slower supply (13A) for an overnight charge if staying at the nearby hotel. Dale Vince, CEO of Ecotricity, argued that this is a major step toward more widespread acceptance:

Via TreeHugger

Old Spice Guy Is Back

Yes, the Old Spice Guy is back in all his buff, towel covered glory for a series of quick video clips in a similar fashion to last year. Only this time, he’s taking on Fabio in a “Mano A Mano in El Bano” steel cage video match to the death (or, until one of them gets more votes online).

A handful of the Fabio videos are kinda funny. But more striking to me is the clear awkwardness of Fabio while recording these videos. I don’t know if that is part of the act or not, but looking at the Fabio videos head to head against the Old Spice Guy (Isiah Mustafa) makes you really appreciate the Old Spice Guy’s skill and talent.

Red Sox vs The World

Earlier, I was over at Flip Flop Fly In, the awesome site by Craig Robinson that has all sorts of baseball infographics.  I was intrigued by one that compared the all time records of the White Sox and the Red Sox (a vernable battle of the, er, Soxes), and it got me thinking about how the Red Sox have done against other teams.  So as Craig does, I headed over to Baseball Reference to check out the details and channel my inner Cliff Clavin.

Since 1901, the Red Sox have won a total of 8,877 games, while losing 8,270 (across AL and NL teams, although the vast majority of the games have obviously come against AL teams), giving them an all time winning percentage of .518. For comparison, that ranks the Sox 4th all time behind the Yankees (.568), the NY/SF Giants (.538), and the Brooklyn/LA Dodgers (.524) and basically tied with the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Red Sox have had the most success against the Baltimore Orioles, winning 1,148 games against 930 losses, for a .552 winning percentage. Sadly, the Sox have had the least success against the Yankees, with 950 wins against 1,127 losses, or 177 games below .500.

What’s worse, the Yankees are one of only two AL teams who have scored more runs than the Sox in head to head competition.  The Yanks are averaging 8% (0.39 more runs per game) more runs per game when playing the Sox.

On a relative basis, the Red Sox have had the most success against the Tampa Bay Rays, winning 60% of the game against them (139-92).

Surprisingly, the other AL team that has given the Red Sox trouble is the Cleveland Indians.  The Indians are averaging 3% (0.14 RPG) more runs per game vs the Red Sox, and have beaten the Sox 1,019 times (vs. 956 wins by Boston).  The only other AL team that the Red Sox have a losing record against is, of all teams, the Kansas City Royals.  The Royals hold a 2 game advantage over the Red Sox as of today, however the Red Sox have outscored them by about 5% on a per game basis.

The Red Sox have the most absolute wins against the Orioles, the Oakland A’s (1,053), and the Detroit Tigers (1,018).  They are the only three teams who the Sox have won over 1,000 game against.  The next closest team to the 1,000 win plateau is the aforementioned Indians.

So there you go, a quick synopsis of what the Red Sox have done against the American League since 1901.  You can see the full grid of stats against all MLB teams here.  I didn’t include NL teams as there are just not enough games played against that league, leaving the data a bit unstable since there were so few games to draw from.  One item that was interesting within the set of NL teams was that the Sox have only played the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds 6 times each during the regular season.