Brad Feld

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Field Programmable Gatorade

Jan 20, 2006

As part of my running habit, I typically run on a treadmill in the winter when I travel to a cold city (it’s just a lot easier than schlepping warm clothes around and finding my way around a strange city in the dark.)  I woke up in Chicago today, headed downstairs to the “fitness room”, and spent some time on the treadmill.  Usually I’d watch a movie or MTV, but neither was happening on the TV attached to the treadmill so I ended up being stuck with CNBC.  Closed captioning was on because of the little sign on the TV that said “get headphones from the front desk” which was five floors below me and I was already a minute into my run when I figured out that a headset wasn’t going to magically appear (I guess I wasn’t the first person to be perplexed that there were no headphones easily available.)

CNBC was a comedy show this morning.  I never watch Squawk Box (or CNBC for that matter).  Joe Kernen – the anchor – could give Jon Stewart a run for his money.  When setting up his interview with the CFO of Xilinx who’s stock was trading down 5% after their earnings release yesterday, Joe said something like “Xilinx makes field programmable gatorade.  If you want green, you can have green flavored.  If you want orange, you can have orange flavored.  I have no idea what a field programmable gate array is – I just like saying it.”

Later in the show, after Becky Quick interviewed a smiling talking head about the a lawsuit filed by The Center for Science in the Public Interest against Kellogg and Viacom about junk food advertising aimed at kids, Joe once again went on a rant saying “but – I don’t want to tell my kid no when he asks for those fatty french fries – because I want a fish filet sandwich.  Where are the pop tarts – give me a pop tart.”

To top it off, I think the person transcribing the closed captioning must not have spoken very good English (or didn’t know how to type, or was stoned) – the text streaming across my screen (i.e. “Moto rollover” for our friendly neighborhood Chicago-based cell phone manufacturer) was more fun than my morning Suduko puzzle.