Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Super Small Snookie!

Snookie has posted some pictures of herself on Twitter showing off her hot slim figure. Good for you Snooks. You deserve to be skinny since your only about 4 feet tall. Here are her pictures below.

Look at the new me! Jersey's Shore's Snooki has tweeted a series of pictures showing off her smaller figure
We've found love: Nicole Polizzi spent Christmas with her on/off boyfriend Jionni LaValle and his family
Having a very merry Christmas indeed: The 24-year-old couldn't stop flaunting her new and improved body
Strike a pose: The brunette was also eager to promote her own brand of leopard print slippers

Can't wait for the new season of Jersey Shore. Seems like it is going to be a good one :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Following the Bachelor with Ben

Reality Steve releases another contestant for Ben's season! See below..shes SUPER pretty!
A few quick updates to give you on what’s happening in filming. If you missed my tweet and Facebook post last Friday afternoon, then you didn’t see filming moved from San Francisco to Park City, Utah. They arrived in Park City on Saturday, and I’m guessing are there until Wednesday or Thursday of this week, before they start their major traveling this season. Do I know where they are headed? Yes, I do. I will tell you as they they move from place to place though. Thursday I will tell you where they are headed from Utah. I can tell you this though, in the 22 seasons this show has been on, I can’t remember a final rose ceremony location quite like this. Going to be interesting. More on that in the coming weeks.

Anyway, the Canyons Resort in Park City is where tonight’s date will take place. I’m assuming it’s a 1-on-1 date since there’s a concert being put on by Clay Walker, and usually dates that have concerts are 1-on-1′s. In fact, you can even attend this date.

8. Samantha Levey: 26, from Pittsburgh, lives in LA, went to the University of Arizona (like Ben), current Miss Pacific Palisades, CA 2012, will be competing for Miss California 2012.

Dancing with the Stars Week 3 Recap

Hey Readers! Sorry I have been MIA, work has picked up a lot and blogging during the day isn't something I am able to do much anymore. Let's have a live chat tonight though during the elimination of DWTS! I will sign the chat on at 8, but I will not be on till 9 when the actual elimination begins. (have to work late, go figure!) But please invite your friends and come hang out tonight at 8 to watch the elimination. There is a way to set a reminder also so that you can get an email when the chat has begun. Talk to you then!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Following the Bachelor with Ben

New Girls Announced (thanks to @realitysteve)

6. Blakeley Shea: 34, esthetician, studied at the Aveda Institute in Charlotte, former Hooters girl, former Maxim Top 100 in 2006, and pretty much has guaranteed that no one will take her seriously on this show. Google her. Out of the hundreds of pictures that pop up of her on the internet, I can’t really find one where she has on any clothes. Hide your eyes if you’re not into this sort of thing:

7. Jaclyn Swartz: 27, grew up in Massachusetts, lives in NY, Account Manager at CBS Interactive (, graduate of the University of Wisconsin. I don’t have any updated pics of her, however, she is the 2nd girl from the left in the top row of the group picture:

Ben had Group Date #2 yesterday in San Francisco where it looks like 11 ladies got to “ski” down a street in SF that was made into a ski slope. And oh yeah, they were in the their bikinis frolicking around having snowball fights. Of course they were. And yes, this was done in a residential neighborhood so everyone and their mothers were taking pictures. I wonder if the ABC producers were all freaking out yesterday too and shouting people down to put their cameras away. Kind of hilarious to see them in bathing suits, but in winter wear. Whatever the case, here you go

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Amazon Announces the New Kindle Fire

Jeff Bezos is channeling Steve Jobs. It’s mid-September and the wiry billionaire founder of Inc. (AMZN) is at his brand new corporate headquarters in Seattle, in a building named “Day One South” after his conviction that 17-year-old Amazon is still in its infancy.

Almost giddy with excitement, Bezos retrieves one by one the new crop of dirt-cheap Kindle e-readers --- they start at $79 --- from a hidden perch on a chair tucked into a conference room table. When he’s done showing them off, he stands up, and, for an audience of a single journalist, announces, “Now, I’ve got one more thing to show you.” He waits a half-beat to make sure the reference to Jobs’ famous line from Apple Inc. (AAPL) presentations hasn’t been missed, then gives his notorious barking laugh.
With that, Bezos pulls out the Kindle Fire, Amazon’s long- anticipated tablet computer --- and the first credible response to the Apple iPad, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its Oct. 3 edition.
Unlike a wave of other tablets that have emerged hopefully only to flop, such as the Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) TouchPad, the Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. Xoom, and the Research in Motion Ltd. (RIM) PlayBook, the Kindle Fire has a good shot at turning the newest theater of war in high-tech into a two-tablet battle.

$199 Fire

With a 7-inch display, the Fire is about half the size of the iPad. At $199, it’s also less than half the price of the cheapest Apple model. Amazon has painted over the rough surfaces of Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Android operating system with a fresh and easy- to-use interface and tied the device closely to its own large and growing content library. Kindle Fire owners can watch the film “Rio,” scroll through magazines such as The New Yorker or Esquire, and access their music collection on Amazon’s servers.
“What we are doing is offering premium products at non- premium prices,” Bezos says. Other tablet contenders “have not been competitive on price” and “have just sold a piece of hardware. We don’t think of the Kindle Fire as a tablet. We think of it as a service.”
To demonstrate the Kindle Fire, Bezos pulls up a chair. He proudly shows off a lightning-fast Web browser that runs on Amazon’s EC2 cloud computing engine and Amazon’s version of the Android app store, with over 10,000 games, e-mail programs, shopping guides, and the like.
Bezos pauses briefly to exhibit his dexterity at a game called “Fruit Ninja,” zapping watermelons and kiwis that fly across the screen, and appears to momentarily lose himself in the effort. “I do find it strangely therapeutic, uncomfortably therapeutic,” he says.

No Camera

There are some limitations to the Kindle Fire. Unlike the iPad 2, it doesn’t have embedded cameras or a microphone, and there’s no 3G cellular connection, only Wi-Fi.
Its diminutive size, which makes it so handy for stashing in a coat pocket, also makes it unlikely to satisfy more than one antsy kid on a long car ride.
The versatile iPad 2, with its video chatting capabilities and exquisite screen resolution, is a lifestyle-defining objet d’art.
The stripped-down Fire is more of a sit-back-on-the-sofa- and-shop device. It crystallizes the difference between Apple, which tends to keep prices -- and profit margins -- high, and Amazon, which likes to start low and drive lower in an effort to knee-cap the competition. The tablet is symbolic of Amazon’s ability to adapt and reluctance to cede the future to anyone. If the Fire and its inevitable sequels are successful, they will add even more might to one of the fastest-growing retail operations the world has ever seen.

Largest Bookstore

Amazon’s 1990s slogan -- “Earth’s largest bookstore” -- stood for an ambition that now seems cute. Amazon boasted of its unlimited selection of books, even though in most cases it was simply having them shipped directly from distributors.
Today, Amazon sells millions of goods and services, from toys and high-definition televisions to server space for other Internet companies and digital reading devices for book lovers. Borders Group Inc. found it impossible to match Amazon’s selection and went out of business earlier this year.
Best Buy Co. has watched Amazon undercut it and commoditize whole product categories, and is now trying to shrink the square footage of its superstores. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) has struggled to match the ease and reliability of Amazon’s shipping network, and posted nine straight quarters of declining same-store sales. Websites that have matched Amazon in selection, price, and customer service -- Zappos, -- Bezos has quickly acquired.

`Hyper Competitor'

“Amazon is not a fight-on-their-knees kind of company,” says Rob Glaser, the Seattle-based entrepreneur behind RealNetworks and now also a venture -capitalist at Accel Partners. “Jeff’s a hyper competitor.”
As its rivals steadily asphyxiate, Amazon is ringing up 50 percent growth in quarterly revenues, and may reach $50 billion in sales this year.
Wal-Mart needed almost twice the time --- 33 years --- to cross that threshold.
“Amazon is such a smart learning organization,” says Nancy F. Koehn, a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. “It’s like a biological organism that through natural selection and adaptation just keeps learning and growing.”
Amazon is also facing a new kind of challenge that competitors like Wal-Mart are intimately familiar with --- cultural backlash, or at least the early signs of it. The company has been criticized for waging an expensive state-by- state battle to avoid collecting sales taxes, and more recently for skimping on air conditioning in its East Coast distribution centers during a brutally hot summer.

Growing Dominance

If the Kindle Fire is half as good as it looked in Bezos’ conference room, it will fan the fears about Amazon’s growing dominance. The tablet funnels users into Amazon’s meticulously constructed world of content, commerce, and cloud computing. Just like owners of Kindle e-reading devices tend to start buying all their books from Amazon, Kindle Fire owners are likely to hand over an increasing chunk of their entertainment budget to Jeff Bezos.
Tablets represent an opportunity for Bezos not only to sell a new kind of device but also to entice people to buy more stuff.
Even with only 28.7 million iPads sold, e-commerce sites say they see an increasing amount of traffic coming from tablets. Forrester Research reported that online purchases made on tablets now account for 20 percent of all mobile e-commerce sales, and that almost 60 percent of tablet owners have used them to shop.

`Huge Tailwind'

Bezos says tablets “are a huge tailwind for our business.”
Amazon once saw spikes in traffic during the workday lunch hours. Now traffic is more evenly distributed as people pick up their tablets anytime of the week, buying the books and albums they see on television and making impulsive decisions about replacing their dishwashers.
The Kindle Fire (internal code name: Otter) is designed to ensure that even more of those purchases go to Amazon. The company has built a tablet-optimized shopping application, with simplified and streamlined pages with none of the clutter of the main website. The app is pre-installed and sits at the bottom of the Fire’s main screen (users can get rid of it if they want).
The device also comes with the enticement of a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime, the company’s $79-a-year two-day delivery program that tends to convert members into Amazon addicts who triple or even quadruple the amount they spend on the site. Since March, Amazon has also administered its own app store for Android devices, culling Google’s more comprehensive selection and removing everything that’s offensive and unreliable.

Twitter, Facebook

Kindle Fire owners will have access to apps from Pandora Media Inc., Twitter, Facebook, and Netflix Inc. (NFLX) Although other competitors like Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS) can submit their apps, it will be much easier for Kindle Fire owners to find Amazon’s own content. That’s one reason Amazon is in the best position to turn the tablet battle into a two combatant war.
The other is price. Analysts speculating on the new device pegged the Kindle Fire at $250 to $300. (Companies like Samsung and RIM have entered the tablet race with similar devices at those prices and above.)
Bezos is able to go lower because he can make his profits on media content and with additional subscriptions to Amazon Prime, which then will drive additional purchases of toys, toasters, diapers, etc. He’s also exploiting his company’s popular cloud computing initiative, called Amazon Web Services.

`Extremely Low Margins'

Amazon saves money on the Kindle Fire by packing it with only eight gigabytes of memory (the costliest version of the iPad has 64 gigs), but owners of the device get to store as many books, songs, movies, and personal documents on Amazon’s cloud servers as they like for free.
Bezos won’t say whether he thinks he’ll lose money on the device itself, only that he’s at ease flirting with red ink.
“Certainly this is a for-profit business,” he says. “Let’s put it this way. We are and always have been very comfortable at operating at extremely low margins.”
Though the decision to design and build its own hardware is a high-stakes bet, it’s equally true that Bezos had no choice but to enter the tablet business.
About 40 percent of Amazon’s revenue comes from media --- books, music, and movies --- and those formats are rapidly going digital.
Amazon was late to understand the speed of that transition; Apple, which introduced the iPod in 2001 and iTunes two years later, wasn’t. The iPad has only strengthened Apple’s hold over digital media.

Kindle App

Although there’s a Kindle app for the iPad, Apple takes a 30 percent slice of all e-books Amazon sells on it and has restricted Amazon and other app makers from directing iPad users to their websites in order to avoid giving Apple its cut. Doing business on the iPad threatens Amazon’s already thin profit margins.
Bezos says he doesn’t think defensively.
“Everything we do is driven by seeing opportunity rather than being worried about defending,” he says. Given Apple’s inroads into the media business, that’s hard to believe. Bezos is magnanimous toward Jobs.
“On a personal level we have a tremendous amount of respect for Apple and Steve. I think that’s returned,” he says. “Our cultures start in the same place. Both companies like to invent, both companies like to pioneer, both companies start with the customer and work backwards. There’s a like-mindedness.” Pause. “Are two companies like Amazon and Apple occasionally going to step on each other’s toes? Yes.”

E-Book Store

Amazon has recovered more quickly than other tech companies in the race to catch up with Apple in digital media. Amazon introduced an online TV and movie store in 2006, the Kindle e- book store in 2007, and the MP3 digital music store in 2008.
Earlier this year, Amazon also aimed its sights on Netflix with an Instant Video streaming service that’s free for members of Amazon Prime, and it’s now spending hundreds of millions to increase its catalog with TV shows and movies from studios like News Corp. (NWSA)’s Fox and NBC Universal.
The music and video stores haven’t been huge hits. That may change on the Kindle Fire. On a tablet those apps will give users the impression that most songs, TV shows, and movies are just a click away.
“We are leaning into this,” Bezos says. “It’s not a small initiative for us.”
Amazon is also among the companies in the final round of bidding for the online video site Hulu, according to people with knowledge of that process who were not allowed to speak on the record.

IPod Lessons

Apple’s success with the iPod taught the entire tech industry another valuable lesson. There were other digital music players on the market back in the 1990s, but Apple’s device, which seamlessly blended hardware, software, and eventually an online service in iTunes, made the experience simple and unintimidating for non-techies.
There is a sense, as one easily holds the Kindle Fire in one hand (try doing that with an iPad), that Bezos is working from the same set of principles as Jobs: Content matters. Simplicity is key. How do companies allow users to easily buy songs, movies, and other digital goodies? They persuade customers to entrust them with their credit cards--as both Amazon and Apple have done. How do they ensure that the device is easy to use? They design and build it themselves.

Making Own Hardware

“What should Amazon be doing in 20 years?”
That was the first question Bezos asked Jateen Parekh, a Silicon Valley systems engineer who had worked for the digital video recorder pioneer Replay-TV, an early TiVo rival, and Philips Research, a division of the Dutch consumer electronics maker.
It was August 2004, and Bezos and his new senior vice- president in charge of worldwide digital media, Steven Kessel, were exploring what seemed like a radical idea for an online retailer: making their own hardware.
“The question impressed me,” recalls Parekh, who is now the founder and chief technology officer of digital radio startup Jelli. “The fact that the CEO was thinking that far out was huge.”
Parekh joined Amazon that September, becoming the first employee of Lab126, a secret Silicon Valley skunkworks. At first, Parekh didn’t have an office to report to: He and the few industrial designers and engineers hired soon after, including Gregg Zehr, a former vice-president of hardware engineering at Palm Computing, set up shop in an empty room in the offices of A9, Amazon’s Palo Alto, California-based search subsidiary.

Build an E-Reader

Parekh recalls spending his first few weeks investigating the possibility of building Internet-connected set-top boxes and even an MP3 player.
Bezos loved reading far more than listening to music, and Amazon had deep expertise in the book market, so the next decision was a natural one. Amazon’s new hardware geeks would build an e-reader. Parekh and Zehr, who became president of the new division, researched existing e-readers of the time, such as the Sony Librie, which required AAA batteries, sold poorly, and never made it out of Japan. They concluded the market was wide open.
“It was the one thing that wasn’t being done well by anyone else out there,” Parekh says.
First though, Amazon’s engineers needed a better name for the original “A2Z Development Corp.” Parekh and his colleagues hated it, and thought it ill-suited to luring the best and brightest engineers from places like Apple and Palm.

Lab126 Project

They eventually settled on the more mysterious “Lab126.” The 1 stands for a, the 26 for z, a geeky naming convention inside Amazon where groups like the personalization team are referred to by the abbreviation P13N. (If you’re confused by that, count the letters in the word “personalization.”)
Other people who worked for Lab126 in those early years recall it as a loosely managed startup. The group piggybacked on A9’s infrastructure for most the next year. When the search division moved to the former offices of a Palo Alto law firm, Lab126 moved with them and took up residence in the old law library.
Lab126 was eventually given almost unlimited resources. It also had to contend with the unfettered imagination of Bezos. Amazon’s founder wanted his new -e-reading device to be drop-dead simple to use and argued that configuring devices to Wi-Fi networks was too complicated for non-tech-savvy users.

No PC Connection

He also didn’t want to force customers to connect the device to a PC, so the only alternative was to build cellular access right into the device, the equivalent of embedding a wireless phone in the hardware. Nothing like that had been tried before. Bezos insisted that customers should never have to know the wireless connection was there or even pay for access.
“I thought it was insane, I really did,” Parekh recalls.
The effort to develop the first Kindle ended up taking more than three years. Almost everything went wrong. The black and white displays from E Ink, an offshoot of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab that makes screens resembling the printed page and require very little power, would look good for one month and then degrade alarmingly.
Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM), which was set to provide the wireless chips, was sued by a competitor, Broadcom Corp. (BRCM), and for months was enjoined by a judge from selling its wares in the U.S.
The Lab126 team repeatedly urged Bezos to make their project easier by considering a Wi-fi-only connection for the Kindle. He rejected the idea, constantly suggesting new ones for complicated features, like the notion that customers’ annotations of books should be backed up on Amazon’s servers.

Code-Name `Fiona'

That original Kindle, code-named “Fiona” after a character in Neal Stephenson’s futuristic novel “The Diamond Age,” was finally ready to go in the fall of 2007.
Still, Amazon almost blew it. Modeling demand after the first-year sales of the original iPod, Amazon underestimated what a hit the Kindle would turn out to be. The first batch sold out in just a few hours. Amazon then discovered that one of its Taiwanese suppliers had discontinued a key part and spent months getting a replacement.
“You look at the history of the Kindle, they developed some real skills around the creation of that product. They’ve cut their teeth so to speak,” says Brian Blair, a New York-based analyst at Wedge Partners.
Making four successive versions of the Kindle e-reader also led Amazon down the path toward the Kindle Fire. For years the engineers at Lab126 tried to create a workable and reader- friendly color Kindle, according to three former employees.

New Color Displays

New color display technologies like Qualcomm’s Mirasol and another MIT IT-offshoot called Pixel Qi proved unreliable and difficult to produce in large quantities. In January 2010, the iPad demonstrated the broad appeal of a new kind of color LCD tablet with better image quality, wider viewing angles, and, near to Amazon’s heart, Apple’s own selection of e-books. People close to Lab126 say that work on tablets, including the Kindle Fire, started soon after.
Amazon’s devices division now employs around 800 hardware and software engineers in Cupertino, California, who fill up all but one floor of an entire eight-floor office building and part of a second building in the same office park, less than a mile from Apple’s corporate headquarters.
In the unit’s industrial design lab, according to a person who has visited that top-secret floor but was not authorized to speak on the record, naked e-ink displays hang from the walls with images from books imprinted on their screens.

E-Ink Screens

They’re used to demonstrate to potential new hires how an e-ink screen can hold an image indefinitely without being connected to a power supply.
There’s also another office of Kindle employees at Amazon’s new corporate campus in the South Lake Union district of Seattle, in a building nostalgically named “Fiona.” The group is cordoned off from other Amazon employees, whose company badges do not grant them access.
Bezos won’t say what kind of devices he’s cooking up next. People with knowledge of the division’s plans say that the Kindle Fire is only the first of a line of Amazon tablets, not an isolated product, and that the group has always considered the possibility of building Amazon cell phones and Internet- connected TVs.
“We are a company with a lot of ideas,” Bezos says, when asked directly about his plans. And then, of course, he laughs uproariously.

Kindle Fire Impact

For those already competing with Amazon, the Kindle Fire won’t be good news.
Kevin Ryan, the co-owner of Green Apple Books, a 44-year- old bookstore in San Francisco, says that Amazon has lowered the prices in the book business beyond his ability to match them. Amazon has also locked up several big authors to publishing contracts, and though it says it will produce their books in print as well as digital formats, that has competing retailers nervous.
“They’re bullies. They really are. I think they really want to be a monopoly,” Ryan says from the 8,000-square-foot store that features tribal masks over the bookshelves, and which has watched sales drop for much of the last decade.
Of the growing group of authors like George R.R. Martin whose books have sold over a million digital copies through Amazon, he says, “You have to assume that people joining the million book Kindle club is taking business away from you.”

ShopRunner Program

In the past year major chains like Toys “R” Us Inc., Sports Authority, and RadioShack Corp (RSH).have teamed up to combat Amazon’s might, forming a free shipping program called ShopRunner that, like Amazon Prime, also offers free two-day shipping for $79 a year. It’s not clear yet how ShopRunner is doing; the group won’t release subscriber numbers.
Fiona Dias, ShopRunner’s chief strategy -officer, says that by locking in a new wave of customers with the Kindle Fire, Amazon will make their jobs even harder.
“It’s a phenomenal concentration of power,” she says. “If we were scared of Amazon in the Web world, we should be absolutely terrified of them in the tablet world.”
It’s not just competitors that are assessing Amazon’s dominance. Over the past year, lawmakers, the media, and even some customers have begun weighing Amazon’s growing sales and size against the impact for communities, commerce, and the local job market.
Amazon has brought some of this scrutiny on itself. It touts its hiring of workers for its growing network of shipping centers, yet those jobs aren’t exactly plumb: They start at around $11 an hour (with health benefits), and conditions can be tough.

Few Perks

The recent newspaper account in the Allentown, Pennsylvania Morning Call said that temperatures over the summer in a local Amazon facility reached 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius), and that workers who were slowed by the heat felt penalized by their bosses. (Amazon has promised to put in air conditioners.)
The report is consistent with a company that gives employees few perks aside from 10 percent off $1,000 in annual purchases. Unlike Google and Apple, Amazon doesn’t subsidize meals or provide free sodas. Even the pet dogs of Amazon employees get a better deal: There’s a bucket of free milk bones at the front desk of every company building in Seattle.
The multi-state battle over state sales tax has created perhaps the most controversy around Amazon. Legislators in more than a dozen states, pressed by such politically connected competitors as Wal-Mart, have been pushing Amazon to collect the sales tax that their customers technically already owe on online purchases, to better repair widening budget deficits and pay firemen and school teachers.


Possessionista-Fashion and TV Blog Contest

Hey Readers!
A blogger friend of mine needs your votes. See the contest she has entered below through TJ Maxx and please vote for her! Mention in the comments that you voted through seeing the link on my blog and you will be entered in a 500 dollar drawing for a gift car to TJ's! Click the link below and go ahead and vote! You can vote once a day!

Possessionista Contest!
To prove it,  I (okay and 4 other bloggers) was invited by TJ Maxx to build an outfit around this fall's must-have item - the ruana. Half cape, half shawl, the cashmere wrap is the perfect transition piece from September to Winter.

Using a gifted ruana and a $200 gift card from TJ Maxx and Marshalls, I created this ensemble to illustrate the fashionable - and functional - side of TJ Maxx.

The winning look gets a $500 shopping spree at TJ Maxx, which naturally I'll pass onto one of you.

Like what you see?
1) Vote for me for your favorite Maxxinista here
2) Leave your email address here letting me know you voted (don't worry, I won't share this with anyone) to be entered to win the $500 prize. (If I win, you win.)

Dont forget to leave your email address and who referred you so we can hopefully win some extra cash to shop with!

Shirt $12.99, Hat $16.99, Jeans $19.99, Shoes, $34.99
All c/o Marshalls

Nicole Richie Gets New Boobies!

Credit: Splash News Online (2)

Nicole went from being captian of the IBTC (itty bitty tittie club) to the large and in charge club. I think they look good though to be honest. She was super small before and a girl needs a little something up top to feel better about herself. It says she just got a lift, so I guess she had them down there all along. Especially after having a baby and being best friends with Paris Hilton for a while, she needed a treat. She actually said that breast feeding did a number on her ladies, so good for her!!