December 19, 2006

Dreams

Lincoln automobiles has a cool new ad campaign. It's called the Lincoln Dream sweepstakes. You go to lincolndream.com and enter to win a new Lincoln car or SUV. Pretty standard fare, right? Well, they've gone one better. Or many better, in fact. They've either partnered with or created a separate web site (I'm unsure at this point if it's all part of their promotion -- if it is, then it's pretty elaborate and very, very well done) where people can register what their dreams are. People with the same interests and dreams can then converse with one another, gather tips, swap stories and encourage each other, gaining knowledge that's relevant and important to their dream in the process. It's a pretty neat idea. Check it out here.
I'm currently reading one of "dream sections" about writing and publishing your own book. Always been a dream of mine.

December 16, 2006

Santa's got a blog

Actually, several of them. I've checked out a few of them and think they're really interesting; great fun for anyone, including kids.
I didn't see it mentioned in the story, but I also read http://www.santasjournal.com/journal.

November 21, 2006

On Michael Richards

So Michael Richards gets heckled in a comedy club over the weekend and fights back. The rest is all on video, as well as the apology on David Letterman the day after. Has anybody coined the phrase, "Mel Gibson syndrome"? If not, it's mine and you heard it here first.

NY Times on Casino Royale

Review of Casino Royale from the NY Times. I don't agree with their opinion at the end that "with this 21st edition, they have shaken (and stirred) it (the Bond franchise) a little, chipping away some of the ritualized gentility ". My opinion is that they've shaken it up quite a bit, to the point of bringing it more inline with a modern-day spy thriller such as Bourne.

November 20, 2006

Casino Royale

OK, so I didn't make it opening night (Thursday), but I did make opening weekend. Last night, to be exact. Let me start by saying Casino Royale does indeed take Bond in a new direction and strips him of all his nonsense. All the gadgets -- gone. Q? Gone. The jetpack, SMERSH, the laser beam watch, the little Nellie portable helicopter, the smirky wisecracks, the Denice Richards oh-so-hot-why-don't-you-believe-I'm-a-nuclear-scientist --- all GONE. In it's wake we have a much leaner movie, and a much tougher Bond. This, quite frankly, is the direction and movie I've been waiting for. It's back to basics. It's a real spy story, complete with intrigue and honest to goodness suspense. The main action takes place not in an invisible car or underwater villain's lair, but instead in a casino. I don't want to spoil it, but my recommendation: go see it.

To whet your appetite, here's some info on Casino Royale. Make sure you click the "Trailers" tab and see some great interviews and short clips from the movie. Then head to the theater to see it yourself.

Some other Bond links:
CNN Money article: Blond, James Blond
Merchandising in Casino Royale: Bond's new temptress

November 15, 2006

Microsoft makes a joke but no one is laughing

Microsoft thought it would be great fun to create a screensaver that mimics the dreaded blue screen of death. The screensaver even has a simulated reboot procedure, where you think your system is restarting. Apparently, the guys in Redmond thought this would be a hoot. The problem is, no one else thinks so.

More Black Friday Info

Ah yes, the Black Friday info is really coming in now. Circuit City will be offering a notebook computer for a measly $99 (!) after rebates, and here's a story about the profileration of Black Friday info being leaked ahead of time to the internet. Some retailers have even tried to have sites shut down. Bad form, bad form. Share the wealth guys. It only makes us want the deals that much more, you know.

November 13, 2006

Original Site

Here's an original web page. Seems like the personal site of someone who's just kind of writing stream of conscienceness. There's plenty of places to click, and you'll be taken to another page of the site. Pretty neat. I clicked on a link for Superman, and Superman himself started flying around. I then clicked on the flying Superman, and he, ummm.... died. Try it yourself.

WiFi Tips

Most of us either have Wi-fi at home or use it at work or elsewhere, but do you know what contributes to a good quality signal? How about what eats it up? What to look out for? It's worth a read for sure. The writer is based in London, and did the research using London's pubs as a reference point, but you can easily take the advice and pitfalls mentioned and apply it to your environment. I'm raisin' a glass to you, mate.

November 12, 2006

Vader post-Death Star

Check out this video where Darth Vader calls the Emporer after the Death Star's been blown up the first time. The way the phone rings in the Emporer's office should sound familiar to most; it's taken from the show 24.

Banging your head against the wall

Ever had one of those days where you feel like you're banging your head against the wall? This guy's had one too. But in his, he planned on breaking things. Too bad that didn't work out for him.

Take your computer with you - USB drive style

Many of us have seen them and maybe even have one and use it occasionally. It's the USB drive, the successor the floppy disk, with a capacity hundreds of times larger. As these devices proliferate (have you seen how many different types and manufacturers there are now? You can get one if pretty much any color you want) there's people saying that it represents a shift in the way we should be using computers. Namely, we should use the computers to create the material, but then store in on the portable USB drives. That way, you data is always backed up, will never crash (USB drives don't have moving parts and thus are almost impervious to failure) and can always be with you. Need to work on that file in the hotel? No problem. At the library? At a friend's house? All good, as long as you've got that small drive tucked away in your pocket. It makes a lot of sense, and is what I've been saying for quite some time now (years, in fact): we have too much of our valuable data on one specific type of machine. Our data is restricted to that machine, and to add insult to injury, it's also prone to failure. What we've needed for quite a while was a way to take all our data so we could work on business files at home, or personal files somewhere away from home. For a while we solved this with laptops, and for many they're still a good choice for performing business tasks back home or on the road. But these devices are still pretty big to bring everywhere, and their hard drives are still subject to fail at some point as they age. True device freedom comes from using a device you can always carry with you, and will work with just about any computer, regardless of operating system: the USB drive.

November 10, 2006

More kudos for Craig

Another story praising Craig's performance as Bond and how he's even winning over detrators by the strength of his performance in the film's trailer alone. If the trailer is that good, I can't wait to see the whole movie...

Apparently, there was an anti-Craig web site, http://CraigNotBond.com, which was gaining members and strength in the begginning, but has now folded, it's supporters now having gone over to Craig's camp. There's now a standard "under construction" page there.

The media machine for this film is really picking up steam. They've made us forget about Brosnan, they've made nice with the opposing forces and even converted them to their side, and the film comes out next friday. It will be very interesting to see the public's reaction to the actual movie. Not the trailer, not the photo ops, but the movie itself. I'm seeing it opening day, and I'll post my thoughts.

Bond, Zune, and Video Game Systems

More buzz about Casino Royale, apparently the reviewer was fascinated by Bond's early years. Whatever.

Microsoft's Zune is just about to be put on the streets for sale to the public, and in general it's getting good reviews. USA Today seemed to like it, as did Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal, although both reviews state that at present it's no iPod killer, so don't trade it in just yet.

If you're excited about Microsoft's new operating system, Vista, get used to new sounds when you start it up. No more ta-daaaaa. Of course you can always change it back.

Jerry Seinfeld showed up at New York's FourSquare media conference and ripped the TV industry a new one, saying "They don’t have confidence in their instincts. Maybe they don’t have instincts to be confident in?”.

Finally, there's yet one more rundown of the upcoming new game systems. Which one to buy? This story is one of the first to mention an alternative many have overlooked: simply wait to see which shake out to be the best. Now that's a smart alternative.

November 08, 2006

Casino Royale Parody

Check out the official Casino Royale Trailer, then check out this second one from a theater preview, and then come back and check out this parody. It's very well done and funny.

They love Craig as Bond

OK, as promised, more Bond news. Not the promotional/advertising kind mentioned yesterday (yes, I will get to that) but more of the straight news type. Apparently, although I'm still not real keen on him, the critics love Daniel Craig. Yep, that's right. Love him. Gotta love the Craig. They're saying things that really shouldn't be said, such as, "He's the best James Bond Ever". Yikes. With that much pressure, the film is sure to flop. Just wait. OK, I made that up. But still, to follow in the footsteps of Connery and his apparent successor Brosnan, and then to have this kind of press, it's incredible. Casino Royale will either be a huge success or a bomb. You heard it here; I'm not afraid to say it.

Apparently the movie is noteworthy for other reasons also. There's a car stunt that breaks a world record for the most number of "cannon rolls". Bring in the stunt double!

And, as the movie opening draws near, former Bonds are starting to weigh in. Roger Moore says he's a fan of Daniel Craig but that "Bond doesn't require good acting". Ouch. I'm sure Daniel Craig is sending over a nice fruit basket for that backhanded compliment.

November 07, 2006

Countdown to Casino Royale - let the merchandising begin

Actually the merchandising began long ago, and I'll post exmples of this later, but this caught my eye today: a 007 Sony USB drive. What's the difference between this and the one that I've had for over a year? It has the Casino Royale movie trailer and 4 Bond-themed wallpaper images. Both this one and the one I have are jet black. It will take me all of 10 minutes to grab the movie trailer and the wallpapers and put them on my own drive, thus giving me the same James Bond USB drive.

But it won't have the 007 logo on the front. Darn. That's worth paying for.

November 01, 2006

Post Halloween nonsense

So you or your kids (Both? How modern of you) have done mischief night. You've done Halloween night. The obtaining of the candy, the throwing of the eggs. The whole deal. Now that it's over, indulge in some post-Halloween nonsense, courtesy of the good people at PC World magazine.

Write a novel in November

I didn't know it before I read this article, but November is National Novel Writing Month. The emphasis is on quantity over quality, so I'm not sure if I agree with that, but I know why the approach works -- because it gets people to actually write. It gets them motivated, it gets them typing away, and it lets them tap into that creativity. Check it out and get motivated yourself.

Cracking your knuckles

Confusion over, problem solved. Cracking your knuckles does not do any harm to your hands and does not cause arthritis or any other hand, bone, or other ailment. So, to parents everywhere -- relax.

October 30, 2006

Halloween costumes - from scary to sexy

The recent trend for halloween costumes isn't so much the scary, it's the sexy. Check out all the links to various newspapers in this story from USA Today. Apparently, the main culprit is buycostumes, and they've struck a nerve.

More info on LCD price declines

I'm seeing more indications of price declines in LCD television sets by the end of this year. Sony's indicating 20-25% price declines during the Christmas sales season. Very nice indeed for consumers.

October 27, 2006

First Black Friday ads out

Not that I was really looking, after all it is awefully early to be thinking about such things, but I was on a digg page and there it was. A post about the 2006 Black Friday ads. How cool is that? So far only Ace Hardware and Kmart have ads available. But more will follow. More will surely follow. Make sure you also check that site's main page for the latest rumours, etc. I especially like the talk about the LCD TVs. Mmmm....

It's the most wonderful time of the year....

October 26, 2006

Happy birthday to iPod, great swag tips, and create your own flamethrower

It's the fifth birthday of the iPod. Here's some things we hate about it. OK, these aren't really my opinions, but they do make a good point. I'm totally on-board with the FM radio idea. Seems like a pretty cheap thing to include. I'm also not totally happy with the battery life. I've got one that's all but dead right now, throwing up an error message sending me to http://www.apple.com/ipod/support. Even after following the repair and recover tips on the site, it's still not working. Ugh. Must try more this weekend.

Since I recently went to the DigitalLife trade show in New York City, this story caught my eye: how to get the really good swag at trade shows. Wow, if only I'd known.

We'll round out this post with a listing of some of the worst digital cameras (I've heard so many horror stories about that Pentax Optio E10) and how to make your own flamethrower out of Legos. yes, that's right...Legos. The very same toys some of you let your children play with. Toss that parent of the year award right out the window.

PS3 in all it's unboxed glory

Sure, the story lists it as PS3 Porn, and they may be right. The way they describe taking this thing home, unburdening it of it's outer facade, and then standing back in awe as they gaze at it's naked beauty -- really guys, it's a game system!

And now, if you'll excuse me, I need some alone time.

The origin of Boba Fett

When did Boba Fett first debut in the Star Wars universe? If you say Empire Strikes Back, you'd be wrong. The Star Wars Holiday Special? Closer, but still wrong. It all happened during a parade outside of San Francisco, two months before the holiday special.

More next-gen console news

So much interesting stuff, so little time. We're really getting close now to the new consoles debuting, and you can tell by the amount of news that's coming out every day. For instance, Best Buy employees are forbidden from using their insider status for purchasing Playstation 3's. Similarly, EB employees are being told they'll be fired if they flip a PS3 or Wii on Ebay (flipping is buying something and then immediately selling it for profit). Apparently, they're not restricted from purchasing the items, but once they do, the serial numbers will be recorded and EB authorities (do such job titles even exist for EB?) will be monitoring the Ebay auctions.

There's also some information on Target issuing Wii and PS3 gift cards, with specific glow in the dark LED light facades, similar to what Circuit City did about a year or so ago with the iPod Shuffle gift cards.

Finally, if you're lucky enough to get a PS3, check out exactly what you'll be walking out the door of the mall with: one freakin' huge box.

October 24, 2006

More Techno-goodness

In the words of Mr. T in Rocky III: "I got a lot more for ya"!

After all, I did promise.

With that in mind, there's more techno-goodness today. With the holiday season fast approaching (I know, it seems a little early to be mentioning it, but the retailers are heating up already) these stories are just popping up all over the place. Here's a great story about the upcoming console wars and what might happen...I like how they're projecting what happens now and who emerges the winner will affect and almost predetermine what happens in 2011. 2011? Man, that's a pretty far-reaching scope of impact, but OK.

There's also speculation about Apple producing it's own iPhone in January, and even talk about what it will be like. This is all highly speculative, but you've gotta admit, for a company that never releases information before their big worldwide announcements, the rumors are usually pretty dead-on (all except for those rumors about a Newton resurgence -- those you can disregard). Let's just hope this phone, if it is real, is better than the Motorola ROKR.

While we're talking tech, WalMart looks to up the ante this holiday season. They want to aggressively push products, and you know for WalMart that means cutting prices. So, for all of you that like the gadgets, keep you eye on WalMart from now until Christmas, particularly Black Friday. If they make good on their promise, you might be swimming in deals.

Finally, Microsoft's upcoming OS Vista, aims to make your life easier by handling your digital photo responsibilities for you. The only problem? Some testers are saying it does too much, and not all of it the way you'd want. "That's OK, Artoo...I'd like to keep it on manual control for awhile..."

October 20, 2006

Tons of tech stuff

One small note that I haven't mentioned from the DigitalLLife show. I saw a service called ibloks, which allows user to upload videos, music, and gobs of other stuff and then create a video out of it. While the service looks pretty cool, and is probably easier than doing it manually on your PC or Mac, I have to say it was frustratingly slow. The videos it creates must be huge, since I waited and waited for not one, but a few different ones to download so I could see them in their entirety -- but not one ever finished, because either the site was slow or the videos too fat. Bah. I'd rather create it myself using Apple's movie maker or Windows Movie Maker. Probably the same results, but smaller filesize.

OK, that's the old stuff. There's a ton of new stuff that's come in. Let's start with Sony finally talking about the online capabilities of the PS3. It's nice for them to finally give us some info since the device is only a few weeks away from ending up in stores.

Google's getting into the political action, with a tie-in to Google Earth that shows you Congressional races for whatever area you choose. The service will then show you the candidate's positions and give you a quick way to compare. Nice.

Finally, there's a new Blog out from CNET called Crave. It's kindof half-blog and half CNET web site. Think Engadget and you've pretty much got it. Still, it's a nice addition, especially when you're tech-hungry and rabid for the latest news.

Yes, I know I said TONS of tech stuff...but I'm leaving more for tommorrow. Stay tuned.

October 16, 2006

DigitalLife Show

Last week was a busy one, both for work and play. Thursday I attended the DigitalLife show in New York City. Lots of interesting things were on exhibit there, but I have to say that I wasn't exactly blown away by all that many things. Hmm... anything? I did see one of the nicest HD televisons, a 72" Toshiba (I think). They were showing trailers from the last Harry Potter movie, and it wasn't anything like what they showed in the theaters, much less our homes. It was just awesome. The scene where Harry's underwater, the scenes with him fighting the dragon in the arena with all the rocks around -- just amazing.

I was totally baffled as to Palm's "announcement" and presence at the show. For starters, I went on opening day, Thursday, so that I could be there for Palm's press conference where they would announce new products. I was informed by a friend on the train that they were doing that before the show opened and it was only available to the media. Great. Strike one and it's only 8 am.

I then made it into the city, got to the trade show, and started walking around. My whole focus was on getting to Palm's booth to see whatever it was they had announced. I knew they'd have it displayed there--after all, why announce it and then not show it? I admit I was hoping for a new handheld, maybe a Palm TX2 with more memory and an integrated voice recorder, but I digress. After walking around the show many many times and seeing everything the show had to offer, there was no Palm booth. I asked people. They hadn't seen it. I went to the information booths. They did not know. They remembered Palm was supposed to be there, but they had not seen the booth. I asked other representatives, of other companies (which is usually bad form, but I was desperate) and they were stumped as well. If Palm had a booth at the show, you could have fooled me. They hid it very well. I never did see one. I only found out about the announcement of the new Treo 680 when I came back home.

Some things I did see, and I'll add more to this list later, were the following:

- A nice photo sharing and saving site called Sharpcast. It keeps your photos in sync across all your devices. Make a change to a photo on your laptop, it syncs it to the one on your PC and phone. Make a change to it on your phone, and it's synced to the laptop and PC. Nice. There's free 2GB accounts to be had if you're interested.

- An interesting site called iBloks, where you upload your photos and other media and the service makes a movie out of it for you. Looked neat, and it was heavily advertised at the show, with blue-haired booth babes and all, but when I got home and actually tried it it was disapointing. The videos it created, and I tried many of them, were pretty huge and took forever to load. Plus, the kinds of things it was doing, like adding fade in and fade outs, transitions, etc, can easily be done using either Windows Movie Maker or one of Apple's newish products. I'm sure they're both much better and produce smaller filesize output.

- A movie downloading service called Vongo. What sets this apart, at least for now, is that it allows you to watch it on your computer and take it with you on select portable devices. Nice. Hopefully the list of devices will get bigger, and hopefully other services will offer the same feature too. Portable media already is the hot thing, and this will only continue in the future.

- A game called "Mobile or No Mobile", modeled after "Deal or No Deal", complete with a Howie Mandel lookalike. I didn't get picked to play, but I saw a guy turn down a brand new Toshiba Gigabeat media player for what turned out to be a cheap wireless mouse. Ouch! You've gotta be careful when you choose the contents of a suitcase. I would have went with the Gigabeat.

- Napster had a stripper's booth at the show, with a curtained off area and everything. Not sure how that fit in with their music service, but I didn't go in.

Go here to check out all kinds of pictures from the show. I can honestly say that I saw every one of these things, which means I didn't miss much at all--just Palm.

Star Wars flash drives

Some new flash drives on the market, this time catering to the inner geek in you. Oh, who's kidding who? They're all for the inner geek. But these are a bit different, taking the highly-coveted route of Star Wars. Oh yes, you can stuff 1, 2, and 4GB versions of Darth Vader in your pocket and stick his head into your USB slot whenever you want. "And now Lord Vader, you will upload the blueprints of the Death Star." Exactly. Only Vader's available now, but others will follow.

October 07, 2006

Bionic Arm

OK, Christmas is sort of around the corner (78 days away) but just in case you want to get a head start on getting a great gift for that special person, how about a wearable robotic arm? Panasonic's created one, and it's integrated into a jacket.

Yes -- I want one too.

Bad emails and good workspaces

So we all know now from Mark Foley how dangerous it is to say and do inappropriate things online, don't we? Oh, yeah, I guess we all knew that before -- everyone except Mark Foley himself, that is. But, it seems that over time there have been others that haven't really gotten this hint or learned the lesson. Until they got caught. Here's some emails and instant messages that their authors wish they'd never sent.

So, that's the bad and now we'll serve up the good. There's got to be a balance, right? For those that work in an office environment, check out these offices. Put in your request to your boss Monday morning and see how much laughter ensues.

Star Trek lives in new devices

Been really busy this week, and although posting has been on my mind, I just couldn't get to it. Fortunately, there's been plenty of cool stuff going on web- and world-wise, so now I'll take the time to dish it up.

First off, it's pretty cool and obvious, if I must say so, how science fiction influences our daily life and how things that were thought up decades ago eventually (way too slow for my tastes) come into being. Case in point: take a look at some Star Trek paraphanelia and the real-life products that bear an uncanny resemblance to them. The cell phone is the most obvious; the captain's chair... not really a dead ringer if you ask me. Thanks for trying though.

While I'm on the subject of Star Trek itself, check out this collection of links. Seems like there's a bit of a resurgance in this franchise. Phasers on stun, people.

October 01, 2006

For fun, try Google Earth

Yeah, the net is full of fun things to do, and voyeuristic activities are certainly at the top of the list. Try Google Earth if you're bored or just trying to avoid something at work. Here's the ten best ways to use it, and the top ten things people found.

September 26, 2006

Nintendo looks ready to rumble

All signs point to "GO" for Nintendo's launch of the Wii on November 19. While Sony is cutting their forecast of available PS3's at launch, Nintendo is saying there should actually be more than they initially thought, to the tune of 1 million units for North America alone. Looks like Nintendo is getting their act together; now if only they get that software library bulked up with games that appeal to adults, we'll be all set. Early indicators have said that this is definitely happening. They've learned their mistakes from the Gamecube and are making sure it won't happen again.

Two ways to take your computer with you - BIG and small

It's funny how different designers come up with different solutions to problems. The situation at hand: how to carry your entire computer data with you in a portable device. The first approach uses a device that can be at best described as big. Gargantuan, by all other standards. I mean, who really would want to carry around that thing on their wrist? "Calling Dick Tracy...come in Tracy...I'm getting carpal tunnel and falling over just from using this darned thing...help...".

The other approach takes your standard iPod or keychain flash drive and enables it to house and run your entire OS, personal files, settings and all. Not a bad design, since most people already carry these devices with them anyway. My only gripe: I carry a keychain drive with me today, and have applications installed on it. Therefore, from any host computer, I can start my own email reader, web page editor, and other things, all with my own settings and preferences. Therefore, I'm not sure I see a real need for this guy's solution, since it's possible to already do this yourself.

September 25, 2006

It's Autumn

Before I forget, and I HAVE been thinking about it -- it's officially Autumn, or Fall as it's otherwise called. The dreaded event happened yesterday, on September 24, taking my beloved summer season with it. No more cookouts, no more summer days. Bah.

I'm resisting the urge to put up a countdown timer to next summer (or spring at the very least). But, in the absence of that, at least know that I am not going quietly into this whole thing, but rather kicking and screaming.

With that out of the way, we can all get on with things. Enough said.

Mucus robots and flying Virgin Atlantic

OK, two things you don't want flying around: Mucus robots and laptops on Virgin Atlantic airplanes. Should I continue, or give you a moment to contemplate? OK, let's begin. A researcher in the Netherlands is devising mucus-riding robots to make the diagnosis of internal conditions that much easier. While not yet ready, these robots could be in action by the end of the year, riding your mucus and reporting back on what it finds via it's on-board camera. Here's a sample, future, report from my system: "[static] There's nothing but caffeine here, sir!".

Also, in the category of things NOT being where they belong comes word that Virgin Atlantic airplanes are now not allowing laptops on board if the battery is identified as being from the affected batch as identified by Apple and Dell. Whoa. Mucus-riding robots good; Apple and Dell laptop batteries BAD.

September 19, 2006

Scary Vista and Triumphant Wii

Learn why some security firms think Microsoft's upcoming operating system, Vista, is scary and has some real security ramifications, and why some analysts think the Nintendo Wii will become the most successful video game console of all time. Wow...talk about the hype machine going into overtime. But I love the Wii. I can't wait to see how well it does in the marketpace. Come on November...

Sandisk and Real take on iPod

Sandisk and RealNetworks are teaming up to challenge the iPod (who isn't?). Sandisk's new devices are going to be pre-loaded with music from Real's Rhapsody service. You can replace the songs if you want, and subscribers to the service get all sorts of perks. One thing Sandisk and Real are hoping to do with this is provide the hardware-software solution similar to the iPod and iTunes combo. Also, this provides one thing the iPod can't: the ability to move your media library easily and seamlessly from one device to another. Just pop out your SD card (Sandisk, of course!) and put it in another device. Voila! Try doing that with an iPod and it's proprietary digital rights management.

You can be Jack Bauer

Yes, you can. Admit it. You've always thought about it -- going after the bad guys, guns blazing, fearing no authority. Heck, you are the authority! Well hotshot, now you get to put your money where your mouth is and be the real thing. The CIA wants you, and they're recruiting the next generation of Jack Bauers out there. This is an interesting recruitment technique, but the CIA should be careful what it wishes for.

Pirate day and annoying co-workers

So today is national "talk like a pirate day". Do we really need a whole day devoted to talking like Jack Sparrow? I like all the "savvy" and "salty dog...arrrgh!" lines as much as anyone, I'm just not sure we need a whole day devoted to it. Let's spread it out in small amounts instead. Throw something in an email...to your boss...and copy HR...and the CEO. See how that goes and get back to me, ye salty dog.

In case you're still employed after that, here's a way to send a message to your coworkers whom you find annoying. The site says it's anonymous (famous last words) so why not?. Hey, why not combine the two? Send them an email in pirate speak. I dare you.

September 18, 2006

Weird Photos

This dude's eyeballs make him look like he's just had an anvil dropped on his head or something from one of those old cartoons. If they ever do another Who Framed Roger Rabbit, they should definitely cast him -- no CGI needed.

And, check out this snake, who just got done eating a ewe. OK, all together now: "eeeewwwwe....".

September 13, 2006

Showtime for Apple, Sony tries a fall rally

Under the headline of "It's Showtime", Apple finally had their event yesterday, which amounted to -- what else -- product announcements. This time around, Steve Jobs, decked out in a more appropriate button-down shirt to go with his trademark blue jeans, showed the world that iTunes now offers full-length movie downloads as well as TV shows and music. This pretty much completes the picture of digital entertainment in my book. Jobs also proved that the iPod Shuffle isn't dead, just being reborn -- but smaller. Much smaller. Think the original was minimalistic? Check out the new one. It makes the Nano look gigantic, but then again, that's been updated too, and is now available in metallic skins and different colors, reminiscent of the old iPod mini.
As if all that wasn't enough, also making it's debut is iTV, which marks the missing link from the computer room to the living room. Essentially, it's hardware that connects iTunes on your computer, with your music, TV shows, and now movies, to your television. And it does it wirelessly. Neat.

While all this is great and offers people lots of fun toys to put on their Christmas list, you can understand that Sony might get a little nervous and want some of the love. "Hey! We make electronics too!" They're pinning their hopes on some of their latest wares, but in reality, they're not as sexy as anything Apple showed. That Playstation 3 can either be Sony's salvation -- or a big nail in the coffin. No pressure, big boy. You just take your time.

September 11, 2006

Plethora of new cameras

There's literally tons of new cameras coming out soon. Makers such as Sony, Nikon, Olympus, Kodak and Casio have all recently introduced new models to their lineups. It looks like it might be a snap snap snappy Christmas, after all. Now you can take great pictures of how disappointed you are with that new Playstation 3; or how disappointed you are that it didn't make it under your tree - but I digress. New cameras are good. Playstation 3? We'll see.

September 10, 2006

Free games

Open source games and plenty of 'em.

Area 51 activity increase

Popular Science is reporing an uptick in the activity at Area 51 in the Nevada desert. You remember Area 51, right? The myth of aliens being taken there, reverse-engineering their technology, and even a tie-in with the Roswell, New Mexico alien landing of 1947? Yes, that's the place. The story states there's a surge of activity out there, and even offers artists renderings of what kinds of new planes might be undergoing testing.

September 08, 2006

Sandisks's MP3 troubles

Apparently, the name and usage of the MP3 technology is a big deal. Just ask Sandisk, who was initially barred from showing it's latest players at a trade show in Germany due to a licensing snafu. Sandisk fought back and was granted permission, yet I'm sure the sting of the German authorities still rings in it's ears: "No MP3 for you!" Still, their defense is awefully hokey. They market their device as an MP3 player, yet they stated to the authorities that it is "completely different from certain audio data transmission and reception techniques that has been patented for Philips and others many years ago". Ummm, yeah. You might want to remove that big wording of "MP3" on the packaging then.

FreeDOS 1.0 released

Afer years of work, FreeDOS 1.0 has been released, to the happiness of Windows-hating fans everywhere. Now we're gonna party like it's 1989.

Palm's in trouble (again)

It seems like everyone's writing the death-knell for my buddy, Palm. When you're the originator of a certain space in the world (handhelds) people just love to take shots at you. Although their stock has been in the dumpster for years now, their products have gotten better and better. Some Treo watchers are noting that there haven't been any redesigns since it's introduction 3 years ago, and that this design is starting to look ancient compared to the newer Motoroal Q and Nokia E-series devices out there. Well, hang in there Palm...you're still the best, but if you could manage it, how about some new handhelds this fall? Please?

Am I dreaming? It's Real?

A flying car? Oh yeah! I've written about this a few times, and it's been an elusive dream. Not that I can afford the $148,000 purchase price, but just for kicks I could afford the $7400 down payment. Hey, every dream's gotta start somewhere right?

Wii chips ready!

IBM in Burlington, Vermont has shipped the processor chips for Nintendo's next gaming console, the Wii (damn, I hate that name --- I still call it the Revolution, it's much cooler code name). This can only mean that Nintendo appears on track to deliver the system for the holiday season. With a price hundreds less than it's competitors, and free online play (read: no Xbox Live fee structure to deal with...that's $60 in your pocket right there, every year) this system looks poised to be the most successful of all the new consoles. But only if Nintendo can beef up their game library and market it not only to the kids of the gaming world, but the adults as well. These are the lessons of the ill-fated, yet incredibly powerful Gamecube. It appears as if Nintendo's learned them well, but we'll see. In the meantime, chips for everyone!

September 05, 2006

Complete chart of the seasons until the year 2014

While looking at some of my past summer rants I started checking links and came across some interesting information. First off, there's a page mentioning how some meterologists count the entire months of September, October and November as Autumn. Bah..I'm sticking to my summer shade methodology.

A better page I found was a complete listing of all the equinox and solstice dates and times until the year 2014. Never be late again for that spring equinox or summer solstice party.

Summer Sun -vs- Summer Shade

I'm still in kind of a funk after the whole end of summer Labor Day thing. I had meant to do a write-up yesterday as part of the whole "It's Labor Day" theme, but time got away from me. I was busy enjoying that last day of unofficial summer, as I'm hoping you all were.

This morning I had a thought about all this "unofficial end of summer" versus the real summer schedule, as dictated by the actual seasons and the position of the earth to the sun. Here's my thoughts as to how to separate and identify the two:


  • The "unofficial" summer schedule starts on Memorial Day weekend, at the end of May. This year Memorial Day was May 29, and of course that weekend (May 26-29) was the Memorial Day Holiday weekend, the start of the summer season. The unofficial season ended yesterday, which was Labor Day.
  • The "official" summer season, according to the seasonal equinoxes and every printed calendar on Earth, started on June 21 with the summer solstice and ends this year on September 23 with the Autumnal equinox, a name so cool it almost makes me enjoy it.


So, what we can see by this is that the two schedules overlap a lot, but the the unofficial schedule starts earlier (end of May) and also ends earlier, at Labor Day. I propose that this period should be referred to as the "summer sun", to indicate it's the prime summertime season. Enjoy it, bask in it, bathe in it...love it.

The period directly after Labor Day, which we're in right now, is still officially summer, yet people tend not to think of it that way. To them, things are changing already and they tend to think of it already as Autumn. My thoughts are that we should celebrate this as still being summer, and refer to this period as the "summer shade", indicating it's still summer but it's the last waning instances.

So for now, we're still in "summer shade" (or summer's shade, if you prefer) which still qualifies as summer. We've got 17 days left until the autumnal equinox... enjoy them!

September 01, 2006

Disney Fingerprints, You're Fired, and...the Bee Gees?

Walt Disney's catching some heat lately for it's policy of taking and storing it's visitor's fingerprints at it's theme parks. Disney's trying to play semantics on the whole thing, saying what they have represents the "mathematical representation of the prints, not the prints themselves". Ummm...OK...but why do you need that at all? Tickets to your theme park are like, what, $100 a day? And then you're going to catalogue all of us and keep our records in your Mickey Mouse vault? I think not. Cease and desist now. Now I say.

Carolyn Kepcher, Donald Trump's former right-hand lady and co-star of the hit (read: washed up) TV show The Apprentice heard some familiar words the other day: You're Fired. Familiar in that she's heard them every freaking week on that TV show, but never heard issued to her. Now that's changed, and the Donald has asked Kepcher to leave, saying she's become a prima donna and too much of a celebrity. Hmmm..no one's safe anymore.

Speaking of unsafe, I thought the 70's and Disco were soooooo over. At least, that was a conceit that helped me sleep at night. But, say it ain't so because the record label responsible for bringing all of that crap to us in the first place is re-releasing the Bee Gees entire catalog, and they're starting by reissuing the first 3 albums. Polyester pants...activate!

Car stuff

Looks like Chevy finally realized, "Hey, people actually want that Camaro prototype to be built". Yeah, that's what it means when your concept design is chosen as the winner at the North American Auto Show. Great market research; now just build the thing.

Subaru's new grille design, which was to become a standard on all their cars as a branding item, hasn't quite worked out the way it wanted. Somebody lost their job over it, and now it's history.

Finally, if you're a woman and feel you've been treated unfairly or taken for a financial ride when you've gotten your car serviced, there's hope. A new website aims to inform women drivers about chick-friendly car dealers. OK, they didn't actually call them that, I did. But if it catches on, you heard it here first.

Free stuff and lots of it

Since this is now September first (read: the END OF SUMMER AS WE KNOW IT -- yeah, I'm still bitter in case you didn't read yesterday's post) and people are either off today or just about to walk out the door to enjoy a nice 3-day weekend, I thought I'd offer off some free downloads since a boatload were just tossed my way. You think I'm joking? Check out the 46 Best Ever Freeware Utilities and I want a freeware utility to... One takes the Best-Of each category list approach, the other takes the approach that you're on a mission to find a specific piece of software for a specific job and then shows you the best free software to get it done.
Beware though: each site has lots of listings and you'll find yourself poring over categories you didn't even know you needed help with. So, be sure to give yourself plenty of time. But hey, it's labor day weekend, right? You've got time.

August 31, 2006

The end of August and the unofficial end of Summer

Summer. Or, more appropriately put, the unofficial end of. I know you've all heard me wax poetic (or not) about the end of summer in years past (see posts from 2001, 2002 (scroll all the way down to August's entry)and 2005. But it's still true. We're now at the end of the cycle, which is exactly the end I don't like being at. See, I'm a guy that likes the anticipation of what will happen. I like the speculation, the planning, the dreaming of what might happen. Aahh, good times to be had ahead. Therefore, I like the very beginnings of vacations. The beginnings of holidays and holiday-related weeks like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.

I do not like the end of any of those.

It's at the end that it's (naturally) over. And then there's no more expectation. It's done. It's not potential energy anymore, it's transformed into Kinetic, and even at that it's in the past because all that kinetic energy has already been spent. You've imagined it, you've executed on it, you've done it, lived it, finished it. It's over. The time for imagining is over, because the time-based window of opportunity is done.

So, with that in mind, I do not like August 31. It's one of my least favorite days of the year, actually. For that matter, I start to get uneasy after August 15 or so, because I know time grows short. It's amazing how quickly time can go from being the end of June, and there's graduation parties all over the place and friends are having other parties too and it's the start of summer and everything's fine and beautiful and oh we've waiting all winter to get to this spot and how great it's all going to be. And then you blink and it's the fourth of July. Okay, let's go to the parade and later we'll have a barbecue and then even later we'll spread out a blanket on the grass and watch the fireworks. Nice. However, before you know it, you're transformed pretty quickly to the end of July, almost as if someone was playing tricks with the calendar and you thought it was July 10 but no, they've put July 31 up there on the wall. However, it's not a trick and 3 weeks have magically sped by.

And then the next day comes. And it's August. No problem, you say. There's still one full month left until the dreaded Labor Day. Labor Day, which is the unofficial end of summer, because it's when the kids of all ages, from kindergarten age to college, all end their vacations and go back to school. Labor Day signals the end to the summer vacation, and thus it's been transformed into signaling the end of summer itself, even though summer itself doesn't end until about 18-20 days later, on September 21-22. So, you say there's one full month left. And you try and try to make the most of it, but before you know it someone says it's August 15 or something and how "oh it will all be over soon..where did the time go?" and you realize they're right. You've got mere days, maybe a week or two at most and then August itself will be over, just a memory. One more summer gone.

And then it's August 31. Damn I hate August 31.

I say this, having had one of the best summers I can remember in quite a while. I turned 40 in June, and that kick started the whole summer off quite nicely. I really enjoyed that. Good friends, good weather, and me entering into a whole new decade of my life. Now that's a good way to start the summer. The rest of the summer followed suit after that. There was plenty of reconnecting with friends, parties, activities such as tennis and bike riding, etc. All good stuff. All good memories, but now just that--memories.

I guess I'm just bitching because the season is on it's way out and that means some of the fun is over until next summer (expect another post like this on September 21 when the season officially changes). You've got to admit that although most of us try to enjoy ourselves all year long, it's hard to have the same kind of enjoyment in the middle of winter that you have in summer. It's just different, unless maybe you're lucky enough to live in Florida or Hawaii or some other moderate climate like that. Maybe you're exempt then.

Whatever you did this summer, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did and had a good time. Leave me a comment and let me know how your summer was.

August 29, 2006

Hoverboards, Godzillatron, and good pens

Straight from Back to the Future comes this new idea: instead of a mechanic's creeper to work underneath your car, how about a hoverboard? If I can overclock that baby and put thrusters on the back, I can ditch my car and take that to work. Yeeeaaaah. If that's not enough to make you go "Wow", check out the biggest scoreboard in the world: they call it Godzillatron, and it's located in Texas, where they make things BIG.

Stymied by bad cell phone coverage? This booster may be all you need. Usually I frown upon these devices, but when someone tries it and says it actually works, that's a pretty good endorsement.

Some bad news for Sony -- they may be in for some trouble as it bets the farm on the Playstation 3, and good news for you as you discover which pens you should buy during all these back to school sales.

August 28, 2006

Discoveries and Reveals

A warning to iPod owners: don't take it into the bathroom, or apparently, to an airport. Both could have undesired results.

The secrets of the male shopper have now been revealed! Jeez guys, I wouldn't have thought it would be that hard to figure us out. And that whole metrosexual thing? Yeah, we're glad that's over. Now clothes can be just...clothes. We are glad you put such thought into documenting the whole progression of our shopping habits though, even if it is a little over the top. But really all we want is a nice pair of pants, a nice shirt, and to be able to impress our girlfriends/wives. That's hard enough.

For the geek, and cat, lover here's a nifty weekend project: convert a linux workstation into a cat feeder. A novel approach toward using the CD/DVD tray.

For some, getting those dark circles around their eyes is a project -- this page aims to help. Wonder if it would help Johnny Depp? The last movie he was in he had some major dark circles going.

Finally, Google unveils it's ammunition against Microsoft Office. However, all of these have been available already, and there's no Powerpoint replacement. Old news indeed, but at least they made the effort and repackaged it.

August 25, 2006

Star Wars & VideoGame News

It's a Friday so the news organizations must leave the best for today. First, there's talk that the new Star Wars game will tip us off to the live action Star Wars TV show coming next year; let's hope so! Also, Nintendo DS Lite finally will be shipped to the United States in the most coveted of all colors -- black. It's about time...they've only had it overseas for months now. Also, the Playstation 3 might face production problems, and may only be able to manufacture half of what it promised for the holiday season. Maybe that's why they're shipping pink PS2's instead?

August 24, 2006

Barbie's New Look

She's been a nurse, a doctor, a model, a socialite. Now Barbie's in the computer business. I've never seen anything quite like this before. Think this will be a hot commodity for the Christmas season?

August 23, 2006

iPod troubles, safeguarding digital photos -- and Bacon!

Reports, or at least conjecture, that Apple's iPod development has hit a snag. Well, I know there's lots of new stuff out there, but don't count Apple out just yet -- even though I think the new devices from Sandisk are totally smokin'.

If you're a digital photo enthusiast, check out these tips for making your digitial photos last forever.

And some fun stuff while we're here, too. If you've ever been annoyed at a plastic blister-pack packaging of an item you've bought, take heart. There's something new on the horizon.

And click here to check out a Bacon Wallet. Yes, you read that correctly.

August 21, 2006

News on Gadgets, Disney and Couric on demand

A nice mix of things today, but favored heavily in the gadget department. First, while the world waits for the new Playstation 3, Sony is giving us instead a pink Playstation 2 for the holidays. ***&&$####? Are you kidding me?

In better, and more honest to goodness REAL new products being announced (not like you Sony -- shame on you), there's a new Sandisk player in town, and it looks poised to take on the Nano and win hands-down. There's also a new handheld/PDA which promises to combine a laptop and a PDA (yeah, we've heard that before), a supplier has been chosen to create the ID chips in all the new US passports, and Google opens up it's online word processor, which among things, allows you to freely create PDFs, thereby undercutting Adobe's software by hundreds of dollars.

If you're into multimedia, check out this collection of old Disney animator's pictures, kind of a behind-the-scenes look at the animators in the company's heyday, and Katie Couric's broadcast will be simulcast live on the 'net.

August 17, 2006

Make that Honda fly

I can think of many more uses for jet power than this. Don't get me wrong, it's a great start, but strap that baby to a Honda Civic or the top of the line Accord and you're in business.

Timepieces - on the wall or in your ear

FYI -- I'm especially proud of that headline.

For the timepiece lover out there there's news today. You can further alienate loved ones and friends by prominently displaying this digital stag-themed successor to the cuckoo clock, or better yet - take a perfectly nice analog watch and stick it in your ear when an incoming call comes through your cell phone. Take your pick, or get 'em both -- you know you want them.

Wii don't like hidden costs; PSP also to cost less

Costs are dropping all over the place. Nintendo claims it's Wii console, the successor to the much-loved but never-really-took-off-wildly Gamecube, will ship in November, cost less than $250 and won't have extra charges for online play. When this ships it will officially open up the online gaming console wars, flying squarely in the face of the Xbox live system, which costs $60-100 a year for the same privileges.

Also in gaming news, the Playstation Portable (PSP) is set to shed a few pounds from it's price tag.

August 16, 2006

So Cool Solar System

USAToday has one of their trademark slick graphics presentations, this time dealing with the solar system and the issue of what constitutes a planet. You see the planets in their formation and mouse over for more information. Very cool.

A Hummer of a Happy Meal

McDonalds has started marketing a new "Hummer Happy Meal"... which packages a Hummer toy car in the box. According to McDonalds spokesperson, the goal is to "share the fun and excitement of Hummer vehicles to McDonald’s youngest guests.” Can we expect to get equal billing sometime soon with the Prius Happy Meal?

Perseids Meteor Shower

The Perseids meteor shower has come and gone. I went out and saw about a half-dozen in an hour and a half which is really low compared to what this annual shower usually yields. According to NASA's web site, next year's will be better, due to not having to contend with the full moon.

August 14, 2006

Game revolution - YouTube style

Microsoft is planning to give users the means to create their own games for playing on the Xbox360, and then upload it to the Xbox Live service so anyone can download and play it. Speculation abounds that this is Microsoft's way of trying to create a type of YouTube for video games on it's platform. If it succeeds, that would be pretty impressive, and probably fun.

August 10, 2006

Videos worthing of "owning"

One more Darth Vader video -- they just keep coming. Do a search on either Google Videos or YouTube and you'll find plenty. I'll post the best, or at least interesting ones here. For instance, watch Lord Vader scare his wife at 2 am, and then for some non-vader fun, a newscaster gets owned by a passerby. Ouch.

August 09, 2006

August 08, 2006

I want my blimp

I've written before about wanting a flying car, but check this out. It's a personal blimp, and yes -- I want one.

Sony's Mylo

I'm still in search of a good handheld to replace my trusty old Palm Tungsten E. A co-worker today was talking to me about it today and remarked, "It's really just a toy, isn't it?". Well, not really, but I couldn't convince him of that. So, in my search for a new "toy", I've been looking high and low. New today, and just announced, is a new device from Sony calld the Mylo (My Life Organized). It's got web browsing, music playing (up to 45 hours on it's batteries, which is phenomenal), instatnt messaging, and free phone calls via Skype software. Alas, it has absolutely no calendar or contacts list, making it useless for my work life. The search continues. Check it out anyway, maybe it's the device for you.

August 05, 2006

Track your wish lists and cars too

Here's a nice service that tracks wish lists from multiple online sources.

Also check out this new wiki with one subject in mind: cars. Could be a great source of open-sourced information on cars, direct from the people who own them and those that service them. Wondering which car is the best to buy? Your answer might be here.

Oh, and when you're posting in that wiki, be sure to sound confident. It matters.

Repair Windows XP

A way to repair Windows XP so it's basically like new but keeps your installed programs, documents and settings. Nice if your system is corrupted, system settings get ruined, or maybe even a virus has run amok.

August 04, 2006

What a Clown

Bad clown! Bad clown!
Check out the Clowns Galore section to really overdose on the whole thing.

August 03, 2006

Google Pizza

As a publicity stunt, software maker Cambrian House delivered 1,000 pizzas to Google's headquarters. The kicker? Google didn't know the pizzas were coming, and Google's in-house chefs (yeah, life's really rough when you have a business with built-in chefs) were a little cheesed.

August 02, 2006

More Darth Chad & Apple's Outage

There's a new Darth Chad video today, including a scene where he goes on a date. These videos are great. The production is well done, especially the voice of Chad. Nicely done.

Also check out the outrage that .Mac users have dealt with. Apple's strategy is that the .Mac "just works" but maybe not all the time.

August 01, 2006

Personal Wiki - Zulupad

If you've ever thought about writing a wiki, but wanted it for personal use only and didn't want to worry about hooking up to a server every time to update it, check out Zulupad. It's a program that runs off your computer, so you don't need to be online to use it. It has automatic hypertext linking, so if you reference something that you've already written about, it will automatically become a link. Looks like this could be a good program for a diary, or work items, or both. I've also used Evernote for the same kinds of things, and that program seems a bit more mature, but then again it doesn't have the automatic hypertext linking. Check them both out if this kind of program is what you need. They're both free.

Check out this page from Lifehacker on note taking tools and strategies to help you get the most out of this and other software.

July 31, 2006

Boy George picking up trash

What a sight this would be. Boy George picking up trash along the side of the road. Maybe he would even sing, "Do you really want to hurt me?". Beware of the answer George. Beware.

Solution for a hot car

All of us across the United States are pretty much in this together. The hot temperatures, the humidity, going out to your car to find it a very very expensive easy bake oven. Now a solution may be at hand-- a seat cooler that cools things down, reportedly very quickly. It's funny how we have seat warmers for the wintertime, now we'll have this for the summer. Is your ass never happy?

The good egg

This egg tells you when it's done.

Bikini business

That title sounds like it could almost be the name of a business. Hmm..I like it already -- [ahem]. Looks like the not so humble bikini has just taken a technological leap forward. Now the bikini will talk to you and alert you that you've been exposed to the sun for too long. That's pretty good, but how long will it be before the same bikini starts alerting you that there's losers in your general area? "Alert, Alert! Loser in the area! Vacate the premises now! Cover up, cover up! You've been exposed! Go go go!"

Cingular's surcharge

And I thought Verizon was lame for starting nights at 9 pm and not enabling all the bluetooth profiles in it's phones. Looks like Cingular takes the cake though. If you've got an old Cingular phone, you'll be forced to pay a $5 per month surcharge for the privilege of using said crappy phone. It's all part of Cingular's plan to get you onto a new phone, so their all-important network will be happy.

Vista, I scoff at thee

At an event showcasing Microsoft's new operating system Vista, they went to demo the voice recognition software -- and it crashed. Aaaahhh...that's gotta hurt. I'm so sure the world will be revolutionized by this when it comes to market.

It's Shark Week

Hmm... it's about 100 degrees across most of the United States. So, you start thinking about going swimming -- but not so fast! It's Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. Fun to watch, but it's more of a spectator sport, really. You don't want to be involved in these activities. Check out Bight University (why couldn't they have spelled it B-I-T-E?) for more info on Shark Week.

PDAs -- someone got it right

Finally, someone got it right in regards to consumer devices. More features are nice, but it must be easy to use and understand. Learning curves need not apply. Palm has had this attitude since the beginning, but lately has failed to produce.

How good is Palm without an operating system?

It sounds like an ethics question: if a handheld maker doesn't have an operating system, can it truly create products? The quick answer would be "no", but we'll have to see what palm comes up with in the near future. They haven't had any new devices in a while, but Fall is one key time they usually introduce new devices. We'll see what happens then, if anything. We may be witnessing the final stages of the death of this entity, which would really tick me off since then I'd have to go full-tilt into Windows mobile. Bah.

July 28, 2006

Fireworks Pictures

Well, it is a little late, and I myself could have used this information as I tried to take pictures of fireworks on July 4 to little avail (I think I got 3 good pictures..and by good I mean the explosion of the firework is indeed captured in the print. I do NOT mean that it's by any means a good photograph) but better late than never I supposed. Here's some advice on how to take pictures of fireworks.

Steely Dan's mad... and writing about it

The band members from Steely Dan claim the premise of the new movie You, Me, and Dupree was lifted from one of their songs. And they're not happy about it. They've gone so far as to write a letter to Luke Wilson, the brother of the main actor in the movie, Owen Wilson (better known for his parts on Wedding Crashers, Shanghai Knights, etc.. They're turning to Luke to try and "straighten Owen out". In return they're offering lots of cool Steely Dan merchandise like tshirts, coffee mugs and key chains. Hmmm..some incentive. Check out the letter here, but in my opinion they should stick to their music. This writing thing doesn't seem to suit them. It reads more like an aside during a jam session.

Heads up for the Perseids

I know I write about this every year, but I'm starting earlier this year. The Perseids meteor shower will occur August 12 and 13. I'm just gettin' you ready, that's all.

Bulid a Bootable Windows Thumb Drive

Ever wished you could just take your computer with you wherever you went? Not a laptop, mind you, or even a PDA -- but just about everything. Your own operating system and key files. Say you're at a friend's house and want access to your own data and your own OS's look and feel. No problem. Now it can be done, by putting it on a portable thumb drive.

Two up and coming items to watch for

Microsoft has finally fessed up to wanting a piece of the iPod pie. They're developing a whole strategy, code-named Zune, which will include a device and a new music store. Oh joy. Although this may be better than the "Plays for Sure" strategy, I predict an initial groundswell as people check it over and we get bathed with advertising, but then a rather dramatic, if not predictable, dive as it goes down in flames.

A safer bet to place would be Opera's upcoming release, Opera 10. Although not enjoying the success and poster-boy recognition of Firefox, it's nonetheless a great browser which has been that way since before Firefox. That's right kids, those guys in Norway have been offering you a choice for years and lots of people didn't bother to try them out. Tabbed browsing? Invented there. Check it out.

Music and Warcraft Videos

We just can't seem to get enough of YouTube. Here's a list of the top 100 music videos, all of which are available on YouTube. I know it's not as entertaining as seeing Darth Vader work in a supermarket, but it could still be interesting, particularly viewing the videos of some of those 80's bands. Duran Duran, Flock of Seagulls...hmm...it's funny already.

Also check out this Google Video (I know it's not YouTube, but let's be video-provider-agnostic here, shall we?) for what life would be like if it was like World of Warcraft. Ouch.

July 27, 2006

Bond gets the nod & Barney Fife gets the axe

So there's now a date set for the next Bond film: November 14. The screening at the Odeon Leicester Square in London represents the annual Royal Film Performance, with all funds raised going to the Cinema & Television Benevolent Fund. Apparently this is an achievement of some notoriety, as only one movie a year receives this designation.
The movie opens November 17 here in the states. And so the waiting begins.

Meanwhile, in North Carolina, a statue of Barney Fife (from the old Andy Griffith show) just can't seem to get it's act together, so it's being destroyed. Poor Don Knots. First there were all those "misunderstandings" on Three's Company, and now this.

Who wants to be a Superhero?

Hot on the heels of yesterday's discussion and poll numbers of what superpower you'd choose if given the chance, comes a new TV program: Who Wants to be a Superhero? It's on SciFi network, and the show is done by none other than Stan Lee. Would you expect anyone else? The series premieres tonight at 9 pm (check out a review from the NY Post here), so sorry for the short notice but get those Tivo boxes working. 'Nuff said.

July 25, 2006

Scotty's Ashes & a Star Trek Parody

James Doohan, the chief engineer on the old Star Trek show as well as the first five movies, died last year and his ashes were supposed to be shot into space shortly thereafter. Well, that's been pushed back a bit but it's now scheduled for October. Overhead in the meeting room where this decision was made, "Captain, we can't wait any longer!"

Now that you're thinking about Star Trek, check out this Star Trek parody Star Wreck, an amateur film. This story from the Register says the movie came out last October, but I never heard about it. Now myself and others can catch up by checking it out. If it's anywhere near as good as that amateur Star Wars movie Revelations, that would be impressive indeed.

Man Skirt and the Blow-up Man

These stories seem like they should be grouped together. First. a New Zealand lawyer is protesting the so-called "old-boys" network by wearing a skirt to the courtroom. He wants to be called "Ms. Alice" from now on.

For all those women out there who feel uncomfortable driving alone, there's a new blow-up man to help them. He rides along and makes the woman feel more secure driving at night. But does the blow-up man make bad jokes, demand to drive and crank up the music when AC/DC comes on? Well, then, you're only getting part of the experience, aren't you?

Revenge of the Brick

Those folks over at Legos sure must love Star Wars, and good for them I say. They've done a great job incorporating Star Wars into the Legos world. From the Legos building sets where you can build practically anything you've seen in the movies to the Star Wars Legos video game last year (which was great), they've done it all. Now they're doing their own spoof movies. Check it out: Star Wars Revenge of the Brick. Quicktime plug-in required.

July 24, 2006

Free video editing tools

If you're using your PC to store and edit camcorder video you've taken, check out these free tools to help edit it.

I know it's only one story, but it IS a Monday and I'm beat. To quote Jerry Seinfeld, "I'm operating on no sleep...no sleep!" I'll try to come up with more later.

July 21, 2006

Vader and Bush video clips, great video game moments

More YouTube goodness. For all the Star Wars fans out there (isn't that everybody?) check out Chad Vader, day shift manager at a supermarket. He's the lesser force-gifted brother of Darth Vader.

There's also quite a bit of hoopla concerning President Bush's impromptu back rub he gave German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The YouTube video is here, but it's only a few seconds long. We take what we can get some days. Apparently, so does Bush.

For a nostalgic look at gaming, check out 55 greatest video game moments. Sad to say, I remember lots of the older ones but not some of the newer ones. Although I was a big Star Wars: Shadow of the Empire fan, as well as Burnout Revenge. That's mixing the old with the new. I'm just annoyed they didn't list Tron.

July 20, 2006

Inexpensive MP3 players

It seems like everyone's got an MP3 player nowdays. Grownups, teenagers, kids -- heck, there's even a fisher price mp3 player for the smallest users out there. A while back I jumped on the bandwagon after having iPod envy; (check out the August 15, 2005 post) I was granted relief in the form of a black iPod Nano last Christmas morning. While I love it, and probably wouldn't trade it for anything, I have seen that other devices do more and cost less. Hmm..maybe I was hasty in my bandwagon-jumping. Check out this list of top MP3 players under $100. Each one is worth a look.

Sudoko - I Have You Now

Instructions for helping you to solve any Sudoko puzzle.

YouTube's Best, Art and Artists Galore

Some great YouTube videos, including "the extreme diet Coke and Mentos experiment". I first saw that re-created on Late Night with David Letterman (you can see Dave do it here but you'll need RealPlayer), but this YouTube clip inspired Dave to do it. There's ten videos in all, including Microsoft's Steve Ballmer doing his now infamous "Developers" chant, and a Steve Jobs clip from 1981, where he dared to dream about a computer that would be the size of a book. Hey, was he right or was he right?

Also, check out the guy who designs Google's logos. You've seen them plenty of times-- not just the regular Google logo, but all the special ones too, such as the Holiday ones (Christmas, New Years, Valentine's Day, etc.) and any other special events.

Speaking of artists, you too can be a comic book creator, 21st century style. This new software [supposedly] makes it easy. Go here for the full story.

July 18, 2006

Livin' LaVida DaVinci

OK, so who knew it was only a matter of time before this happened? A soccer mom from Los Angeles claims to be from the bloodline of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene. One more thing for DaVinci Code fans to check out.

A movie of interest

Just found out that a work acquaintance is going to be in a movie. It's about older dancers, 40-61 years old, and how they push themselves to follow their dream. Check it out: everydaydancers.com.

To Blogger or not Blogger?

With the renewal of the site I've been thinking about the way it's set up and published. One thing I don't like is the fact that the Blogger tool I'm publishing through has it's own way of maintaining the front page. I can either set it to 30 days or 30 posts. What that means though, is that old posts don't get archived and removed from the main page until new ones take it's place. Case in point: if you don't blog for a while (me, lately) then start blogging again (me, now) you'll end up with posts on your front page from a year ago. And that's what's happening right now. Ugh. There are posts there from last summer, and there's no apparent way for me to get rid of them, unless I replace them with new posts which fill up the page and force the older ones off.

So, for now, I'm continuing down the blogger path, but may switch to another method if this stays a problem. The layout would stay the same, but the ability for readers to add comments would be gone. I'm not sure that's a problem since there's not much commenting anyway.

Stay tuned.

Back in Business

Well, for a long time I didn't think I had anything to say. There were for sure some good opportunities for blogging, lots of funny stuff that happened in the news, and plenty of other topical things to write about. But I just wasn't taking the time. After taking the time off, I feel ready to go at it again. That, plus the fact that I've done some site housekeeping that makes me happy. The past articles page has now been updated, and I'm quite happy with it. When I made the move to blogger in 2004, it had it's own way of archiving the stories, which didn't mesh well with the way I was doing and organizing it. So I finally buckled down and made the two work well together, and updated the corresponding page to list everything. Check it out sometime; the past articles are pretty fun to read and it's also fun to see how this site has progressed, both editorially and most noticeably, visually. Different layouts have been tried over different years and you see the directions I've gone and the choices I've made. It's a neat site time-capsule.

You should see some more posts in the future. Enjoy!

June 15, 2006

UFOs

An interesting summary on the whole UFO issue. I give Yahoo credit for summarizing the whole phenomenon in 4 paragraphs. Not an easy feat.

March 23, 2006

Zodiacal lights

From spaceweather.com:

ZODIACAL LIGHTS: When the sun does down tonight and the glow of sunset fades away, another glow will take its place--the Zodiacal Lights. If you live in the northern hemisphere, this is the best time of year to see them. They stretch upward from the western horizon forming a pale luminous triangle visible from places with dark skies. Zodiacal Lights are faint but pretty, and worth a trip to the countryside to see.

OK, so everyone go out tonight and take a look. The closest we'll probably get to Northern lights. Hopefully it will be a good show.

March 21, 2006

Microsoft Handheld Gaming Device?

It seems plausible enough. The XBox has been a huge success, taking market share away from rival Sony's Playstation and gathering a huge following. Gamers nowdays are really left in one of two camps: Xbox or Playstation. Rarely both. With that as the history, it's no surprise Microsoft would want a piece of that other gaming pie: mobile games. While Nintendo has been the undisputed monopolistic leader in that space for years (the last decade, really), things changed last year when Sony introduced the Sony Playstation Portable (PSP). So, does it surprise anyone that Microsoft might want a piece of that action too? It shouldn't. They've got the resources, and the Xbox technology to springboard off of. Plus, the technology is so strong these days that there are small enough processors to make your handheld almost as strong as your desktop machine -- certainly as fast as a full fledged gaming device like a Playstation. And finally, Microsoft's got deep enough pockets to weather any financial shortfalls while it's machine builds a following; that's exactly what they've done with the Xbox.

All in all, I'd say it's perfectly plausible this thing might happen. We'll have to wait and see for sure.

Teenager Hacks Story Into Google's News page

Hey, it seems pretty innocent. This teenager found out how he could get a story published on Google's News page by submitting it to the online service Google
gets it's news from. So, he conjures up a story about how he got a job at Google doing some debugging, and submits the story. It gets picked up by Google News, and that's where the real problems started.

Hey, cut the kid a break. It was just a proof-of-concept thing. It worked. Early April Fool's joke, maybe.

New software coming out from Microsoft and Google

Today must be announcement day. Microsoft's releasing more information about Windows Vista and Google's launching a financial site. The Google site looks interesting; if they can retain their classic Google simplicity, it may make investing, tracking, and decision-making easier for investors.

March 20, 2006

Spring!



It's finally spring! The miraculous event ocurred just a few minutes ago, at 1:26 PM. Therefore, I am very happy to announce that Spring has arrived!

To learn more about the specifics of why Spring arrives when it does, check out
Wikipedia's page on Spring
, and this one from USA Today.

Enjoy! I know I will.

February 20, 2006

Keep Track of Olympic Medals

A neat way to keep track of the Olympic Medals: Google them.

Flying Car

Yep, I still hang on to the dream of getting the flying car I was promised in the 1960s and '70's. MIT is keeping that dream alive, although it might be akin to simply dangling a nonexistant carrot in front of me.

February 11, 2006

WiPoq

A new PDA has surfaced, and this one has the old clamshell design that I love so much. Similar to an old Sharp Wizard, this one's got a two-piece, hinged design, a keyboard on the lower panel and a color screen on the top. Nice. Like a Wizard on steroids. About time, I say. No mention yet if it has a SD card slot so wireless can be added, but depending on cost, it might be a nice replacement for my Tungsten E. Something's gotta replace it...I've had it for 2 years now, (maybe more?) and it seems to be lacking in a few areas, most notably voice recording and good battery life.
Check out this new one, made by Sanyo, called the WiPOQ.

February 09, 2006

Write Your Story. Create a Book.

There's plenty of software out there from the likes of Adobe, Yahoo, and others that let you create a hardcover book of your photos. Now there's a new entry into this market, where your digital creations can be professionally published. It's called Blurb, and it looks pretty good. I'd have to run the prices of each of the other services again, but this one looks like one of the best deals.

February 08, 2006

Secret Notes

A way to fold up a secret note.

What? Not topical enough? Have some fun. It's Wednesday.

Palm + Apple?

Speculation that Apple might want another try at buying Palm.
This comes hot on the heels of a major stockholder (hey....since when is an 8% shareholder "major"?) calling for Palm to sell the company.

Watch this space. It may be rumor, or something may be in the works. Since I haven't been too impressed by the things Palm's been doing lately, I think the Apple takeover could be a real shot in the arm. Apple definitely knows how to execute; something Palm seems to have forgotten.

February 03, 2006

Winter Weather - Fun While It Lasted

The story from Yahoo News, titled Warm Winter Weather Not Likely to Last, says that the abnormally warm temperatures the northern part of the country has been experiencing will probably go away, maybe as soon as next week, when the jet stream's pattern returns to normal. Apparently, instead of a west-east line which normally keeps the south warm and north cold, we've had a straight line, which kept temperatures warmer in the east as air moved in this area from the warm Pacific ocean. Sounds like the northern part of the country had it's own personal climate control system going on for a while -- very cool.