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CNBC Power Lunch and Breakfast

As promised, my segment from yesterday's CNBC Power Lunch is here. This piece is about Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG). I'll admit, I don't play MMOs but CNBC asked me to come on to explain this for the non-gamer. I hope I did this genre of gamers justice despite the fact that I stumbled over the acronym a little in the beginning and got the name of Curt Schilling's gaming company wrong. I confused it with my friend's party promotion company in San Francisco. D'oh! Anyway, I hope you enjoy a little Power Lunch. I'm going to go find myself some power breakfast now.

The Filter and CNBC

My beta account to The Filter was just activated this morning. I was really excited to try this out because I am always looking for a better music and entertainment recommendation engine and I am a fan of Peter Gabriel, who is one of the masterminds behind this project. I covered it on this episode of Loaded in March.

Having spent less than five minutes on the site, I am not able to get a real grasp of it yet. My first impression is that it seems a little labor intensive. It wants me to rate too many artists and genres in order for it to get a sense of what I might like. I’ll play with it more this weekend and give you a more thought-out opinion.

Meanwhile, I am heading to 30 Rock today to go on CNBC’s Power Lunch this afternoon at 1:15 p.m. Eastern. I’ll post a link later this afternoon or this weekend. I may not have time this afternoon actually because my very favorite shopping buddy is visiting from San Francisco! Besides, this lovely Spring New York weather screams out to me: “Don’t work on a Friday afternoon, Natali. Have a late girls lunch and go shopping.” I guess I will have to oblige!

Musical Inspiration

When I was in journalism school, it was considered very bad form to miss 60 Minutes. Because of this, I have long-since considered the program to be the standard that all reporting should strive to emulate. With very few exceptions, I have not missed an episode of 60 Minutes in nearly ten years.

I always learn something about the world when I watch 60 Minutes. Often times I find myself feeling angry, helpless, desperate, or fascinated by a 60 Minutes piece. Tonight, one segment in particular left me feeling inspired. The piece I am referring to is about a youth outreach program in Venezuela called El Sistema. It teaches poor children how to play classical music. WordPress won't let me embed the CBS video player but you can watch the piece here.

This segment was aired last weekend but my DVR recorded the final hour of the Masters tournament instead. I had to seek this out on the 60 Minutes Web site and I'm really glad I did. I had heard of El Sistema from a previous 60 Minutes segment about the conductor, Gustavo Dudamel. I am thankful that the show's producers decided to profile the youth program separately because it is really touching. I hope you find 12 minutes in your night/day to watch this. It is not often that we get a chance to see tangible ways to make the world a better place. Tocar y luchar.

The Today Show Today

In case you missed it, click here to watch my segment on today's episode of The Today Show.

I had prepared to talk about ten Web sites that can save you time but the segment only allowed for three. A few of my other choices that didn't make the cut: Mint, FlightStats, NEXTbus, Read Later, and FriendFeed.

Going on The Today Show was a great way to kick off my weekend. Well, that and the egg and cheese breakfast wrap that I took from the green room to eat at my desk with my vanilla chai! I'm going to guest host The 404 podcast now. Tune in or watch live if you can!

Have a great weekend blogosphere!

Microsoft Surface and The Today Show. Yes, Again.

The Microsoft Surface launched today in New York. I filmed a short video about it for CNET TV, which you can find here. I have to say, the Surface is useful in that it can be customized to any commercial situation but it has to start working a little better. The multitouch does not respond as well as I had hoped. You have to be really purposeful in your movements, unlike the iPhone's multitouch which seems more prepared to work with your hands. I had to repeat a few functions a couple of times before it did what I wanted it to do. Also, I'm looking forward to seeing this used in more ways than just telling me how little coverage AT&T has here in New York.

Today is an especially busy day in the middle of an especially busy week. I filmed the Surface video after today's episode of Loaded and before the Spanish episode of Loaded, which isn't uploaded yet. I still have a ton to do, including preparing for my second appearance on The Today Show, which will be tomorrow. If you are home in the morning, be sure to tune into NBC to watch me talk about ways to save time online. My segment is between 8 and 8:15 a.m. One of my tips to save time online should be to just turn off your instant message client but it isn't. I should do that right now as a matter of fact.

Thanks for your comments on Monday's episode of the Today Shot. I concur that I did not get to speak enough. Our segment was cut short because of the unfortunate guy who flew a plane into a house. I also thought my hair looked a little like a helmet. In case you missed it, you can watch it here. Tomorrow I will ask the stylist to go easier on the eyeliner and hair teasing.
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