Monday, October 31, 2005

And Jobs said, "Let there be video"

and it was good, apparently.

Today, Apple CEO Steve Jobs -- known to many as "God" -- announced that Apple has sold one million videos ranging from music videos to episodes of ABC's Lost in less than Twenty days since the launch of their video service and fifth generation, video saavy iPod. Says Jobs,

Selling 1 million videos in less than 20 days strongly suggests there is a market for legal video downloads. Our next challenge is to broaden our content offerings, so that customers can enjoy watching more videos on their computers and new iPods."

Yea Stevie, bring on the content!

read more | digg story

Developer's Top 10 replies when code doesn't work...

I'm pretty sure I've said all of these in the past week.

read more | digg story

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Designer Water Faucet

I saw this designer water faucet and thought it looked really cool for two reasons. The first reason is that it looks truly contemporary, sleak and cool. I would want it in my home (when I have my own home). But ... why is it colored?

That is the second reason it is cool. The water color changes based upon the water temperature.

There are different color LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) that run along the water channel that, turning running water into a light pipe. Overall, just very cool -- or warm. Depends on the color I suppose.

[Via Dvorak Uncensored]

Saturday, October 29, 2005

CBS Poll: Half of you reading this are stupid

A recent CBS News poll shows that over half (half!) of Americans still reject the Theory of Evolution in favor of believing God created humans in their present form.

An additional 30% have tried to rationalize both Faith and Reason, agreeing that humans have evolved from whatever God initially created -- if I'm not mistaken, this is the not-so-intelligent Intelligent Design Theory.

And with the 5% margin of error, that leaves about 15% of Americans who don't subscribe to canon passed down through a poly-millennia old game of telephone.

Don't read the damn Bible for a moral or eithical code. Read the damn Bible because we need more Atheists"
- Penn Jilette

Listal: A web based DVD, music, game and book collection manager

Listal is a web-based (what isn't these days) collection / wantlist manager application that supports DVDs, books, games and music. The site is still in its early phases so there are a few restrictions, but I'm trying it out in the meantime. My stuff is here.

read more | digg story

PS3 to Run at 120 FPS?

So, apparently, Krazy Ken Kutaragi, President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, as well as Supreme Overlord of the Cuckoos Nest, is claiming that Sony's new videogame console Super - Omega - Central - Home - Computing - Uber - Digital - Lifestyle - Hub - Thing, insipidly named -- and slightly misleading when juxtaposed with other recent Kutaragi statements -- Playstation 3, will be capable of showing 120 frames per second in a game. Oh Thank the Lord, our day in the sun has finally arrived.


How much higher does it really need to go? Really now, Ken, given that the human eye has trouble distinguishing differences in frame rates above -- lets be generous -- 75 frames per second, how much higher does it really need to go?

You know, I would just be happy if every game could hit the 60 frames per second that this current generation has strived for. That would be great. Then again, I wouldn't play a Playstation product if I was paid to do it, so it doesn't really matter.

read more | digg story

Do cytokines take the fun out of work?

According to this article about a study at Temple University (entitled Increase in inflammatory cytokines in median nerves in a rat model of repetitive motion injury. Phew. Try saying that...uh...twice), you can blame your lack of productivity at work on the natural "onslaught of cytokines." The article explains that cytokines help get the inflammation process going, resulting in such wonderful degenerative problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome (I'm enjoying this first hand. Sorry, I went there), tendonitis, and tennis elbow.

But the story does not end there.

Apparently, cytokines do not only cause problems in their physical manifestations, but can also effect the brain. That's right. The natural response of your body to your job's repetitive tasks not only causes you degenerative, corporeal problems -- it also causes you degenerative, psychosocial problems.

How many of us can relate to doing, or wanting to do the following:

By five weeks to eight weeks, when cytokine production reached "peak" levels, some rats curled up in a ball and slept in between tasks."

Now I try not to make a habit of sleeping at work, but sometimes it can not be helped (Just kidding, Dad. I don't ever sleep at work. That's why they make coffee).

Then how about this little nugget:

Employees may call out sick because of undefined symptoms, or slow down their work production. A low-grade depression may set in."

So, in conclusion, your job can make you verifiably depressed. Officially. Now, of course, that it is in writing.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Exxon to Consumer: "Please bend over"

$10 billion in profits and $100 billion in revenue: Exxon sets profit/revenue records last quarter.

More than a billion dollars a day, $45 million an hour, almost $340 for every living American -- that's what Exxon Mobil reported in third-quarter revenue Thursday.

The financial results drew outrage from politicians and consumer advocates"

read more | digg story

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Artsy Bathroom Mocks Male Members

Here’s an hilarious take on trendy men’s washroom decor. I’d recently discussed how it would be funny to be confronted by advertising in the urinal. This is a lot funnier. If any reader can identify the exact location of this “art” I’d like to know. Someone needs to get credit."

[Via Dvorak Uncensored]

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AT-AT Halloween costume

Had to post this for my brother.

This cardboard Star Wars AT-AT costume is magnificent, and well-documented on a Flickr build-log set.

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Dear J.J. Abrams, Thank You

If you are not interested in Alias spoilers, then don't read this. I just hope this happens sooner rather than later because, quite frankly, this show has really fallen from grace. I used to have to watch 2-3 episodes at a time. Now I forget when its on and only watch it when it shows up on my Tivo. And even that only happens when I'm out of Smallville episodes.

Color Perception Is Not In The Eye Of The Beholder

I have long been puzzled over this. A friend of mine is color-blind, and I suppose it is one of those things where you know what it means but never really think about what it actually means. This particular friend "can't see red" -- he says it looks similar to black, but somehow distinguishes it -- because his brain has only known red to look the way it does to him.

I've wondered, who is to say that red looks the same to everyone? Sure, we both look at something red -- and we both know that it is red -- but what if your red is blue to me, but I've been told my whole life that it is red so it must be red. It's a rough philosophical concept that is hard to wrap your head around, but I digress...

First-ever images of living human retinas have yielded a surprise about how we perceive our world. Researchers at the University of Rochester have found that the number of color-sensitive cones in the human retina differs dramatically among people -- by up to 40 times -- yet people appear to perceive colors the same way."

read more | digg story

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

TriStellar planet discovered, or Tatooine Lives!

Here are a few articles on this new planet that was discovered over the summer.
A newly discovered planet has bountiful sunshine, with not one, not two, but three suns glowing in its sky.

It is the first extrasolar planet found in a system with three stars. How a planet was born amidst these competing gravitational forces will be a challenge for planet formation theories."


But this is the best part here:
Caltech astronomer Dr. Maciej Konacki, who wrote the research article, refers to the new type of planets as Tatooine planets, because of the similarity to Luke Skywalker's view of his home planet by the same name, with its multiple suns, in the original Star Wars film."


There is also a fat daddy artist rendering animation of a hypothetical view from one of this planet's moons here.

Catholic School Principal: Thou Shalt Not Blog

Students can be suspended for a lot of odd reasons these days- but a principal at a Catholic high school in New Jersey, has added another offense to the list:

having a blog.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005


I think its quite evident that I have some geek tendencies. That's why Justin Mullin's work, Mathematical Photography really struck a chord with me; it's really genius in its simplicity. The concept is founded in idea that there is beauty in mathematics and its formulas that govern our universe. As Mullin clearly shows, it does so in more ways than one. This piece for instance, entitled Romance (Entanglement), is described as follows,

The connections between ordinary objects are fleeting and superficial. Two atoms may collide and separate, never to meet again. Others can stick together by virtue of the chemical bonds they form, until the day that bond is broken.

But there is another type of connection that is far more powerful and romantic. Certain objects can become linked by a mysterious process called entanglement. Particles that become entangled are deeply connected regardless of the distance between them. If they become separated by the width of the Universe, the bond between them remains intact. These particles are so deeply linked that it’s as if they somehow share the same existence.

Physicists do not yet fully understand the nature of entanglement but there is growing evidence that it is a fundamental property of the universe. Unfettered by the restrictions of space, entanglement may be the ghostly bedrock upon which reality is built."

Call me inspired. I went ahead and took a page out of Mullin's book, and I have gone ahead and created some art based upon what I know best.

Behold the birth of CodeArt.

CodeArt tries to find beauty in simplicity, in something that is so central to so many of our lives, and, yet, a mystery to most us all.

It is my goal to hit as many computer languages as I can, but, obviously, the focus will be on the ones I know and use the most. Here is my first piece, entitled Nascen C. I've described it as follows:

It is somewhat fitting that the birth of CodeArt is birth-centric. There is a dual meaning at work here. Not only is this the first thing that most coders will ever put to screen, a coder-birth, if you will, but it is also a philosophical exclamation of nativity. What else would a postnatal program say upon its introduction to the world but "Hello World"?

Additionally, there is a play on the word Nascency -- defined as coming into existence -- to include the language chosen, C."

If you find my idea delightfully creative, or, for that matter, exceedingly stupid, I have more posted here.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Old School Storage

For only $2495 you, too, can save 3 to 4 mp3s (as long as you boot an OS off a floppy).

read more | digg story

MLB Promises Next Season Will Be Even More Predictable | The Onion

There are two really hilarious articles up over at The Onion, both about America's aging, bromidic pasttime. The first one is an open apology from Major League Baseball commisioner Bud Selig to fans due to the MLB's inability to provide a baseball season that adheres, much like feces to Velcro, to "the standard old formula that has kept fans complacent with the national pastime for the past several years." It is true satirical rhetoric that any alienated baseball fan will take to heart. Here's a great clip:

Selig promised another 90-loss season for the Detroit Tigers, an ALCS that pits the universally known Yankees versus the universally known Red Sox, and the 15th consecutive NL East division crown for the Atlanta Braves.

'Angels first place, A's second place, Rangers third place, Mariners last place,' Selig said. 'Sound familiar yet? If not, get used to it, as that will be your AL West for the next 20 or so years.'"

The second article is a short quip about Fox cancelling its new three-hour drama/comedy ALCS. The article hilariously closes out:
Fox remains optimistic about its other fledgling program, NLCS, but critics say the series has "very little chance" of making it past seven episodes."

How to wake up and feel better

Here's a cool write-up on a better, more effective and more healthy way to wake up in the morning. Folder's not included.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Teen's proposal of a "Killer Day" viewed as threat. Arrested.

So, this 14-year old high school freshman is either crazy or an amazing satirist. I am of the opinion that she is just following in Swift's footsteps and proposing her own Modest Proposal. Regardless, I have to say that arresting a high school freshman on terrorist charges is slightly ludicrious.
BOAZ, Ala. - A Boaz High School freshman who wrote an essay proposing a 'Killer Day' when everyone would be allowed to kill two people to relieve stress has been charged with making a Terrorist threat.

The 14-year-old girl, who also wrote that she wanted to kill President Bush, was arrested last week and is scheduled for a Nov. 1 hearing. Court officials declined to release her name or provide other information Wednesday, citing the confidentiality rules of Alabama's youthful offender law.

Boaz Police Chief Terry Davis said students were to write an essay in an English class last week on a new federal holiday they would like to see Congress pass.

Davis said the teacher who read the 14-year-old's essay gave it to Principal Lowell Smith and Assistant Principal Judy Bollinger after reading it. The police chief said a decision was made to press charges after the matter was referred to city schools Superintendent Leland Dishman and other system officials.

'I don't know if it was a joke,' Davis told The Huntsville Times. 'But if it was, it was done in bad taste.'"

[Via Dvorak Uncensored]

Friday, October 21, 2005

PvPonline: Jack enlists a new breed of Justice.

This was just too funny to ignore. I'm sure you've seen that Jack Thompson sent faxes to the Seattle PD (I wrote about it earlier). He took it one step further and contacted the FBI, claiming some sort of illegal cock fighting match -- which I believe he is losing. At any rate, the popular gaming web comic -- the one not named Penny-Arcade -- PvPonline has broken an exclusive story on Jack's latest, futile attempts at saving our world from evil. He has enlisted the help of, get this:

The Justice League of America

Says the fax from Jack to the JLA that PvP intercepted:
I need the help of the Justice Leauge to stop the evil forces of Penny Arcade. I will warn you that it is possible that they are in possession of kryptonite. I cannot confirm that, but these vile fiends are not above such diabolical means."

For the rest of the hilarious fax, check out the link below.

read more | digg story

Thursday, October 20, 2005

EB Games Exposed.

Based on personal experience, this is a one-hundred percent accurate account of what it is like to work at EB Games. If I had set out to do the same sort of article, it would have had much of the same plot, and, perhaps, better grammar.

Also, I have a friend who works at Gamestop (who used to work with me at EB) who says that the two companies, though seemingly similar on the outside, have completely different inner workings. From treatment of employees to trade-in values, Gamestop appears to be heads above EB. That is why Gamestop is more successful.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

<sarcasm> Can I please get some commercials on my iPod? </sarcasm>

Technology News Article |
Apple's latest iPod, a video-enabled music player that serves up some of the season's hottest television shows without commercials, will likely prod advertisers to get serious about finding a foothold in portable media players, media buyers said."

It seems that advertisers are excited that Apple's latest little bombshell is video-capable, and looking forward to hijacking my personal music/video player. I look forward to the day when my future wifi enabled iPod has to dial out to some advertisement server, download and show a commercial before allowing me to play a video I have purchased. (Sort of like trying to watch anything on Is there no sanctuary from these clowns?

I hate that I have to watch tampon commercials during primetime television. I'm certainly not in the market for tampons.

I hate that I have to spend $9 on a movie ticket and sit through the same 15 commercials I see every week.

I hate that these companies have research teams writing sophisticated spyware to destroy my computer and our internet.

Personally, I'm ready for commercial free television. I'm ready to return to the days of yesteryear when they showed only movie previews before the feature. I'm ready for a malware-free internet. You?

That's not to say I'm down on advertising -- sometimes its useful. I'm all for targeted unobtrusive advertising a la Google's ad-sense. You barely even know it is there until something jumps out at you because it has to do with what you are doing. That is fine. I don't mind when there is product placement in shows, as long as it is not distracting. So they like to drink Pepsi on Two and a Half Men? I can see that. I can see that they drink Pepsi. They don't have to turn to the screen mid-scene and tell me, as if I am part of their splendid little show, to have a Pepsi with them (are you listening i, Robot???). Its getting to the point where certain commercials make me want to boycott whatever they are peddling just for wasting 30 seconds of my life.

This is a moot point anyhow, thanks to the wonders of PVR.

[Via Dvorak Uncensored]

Time Magazine: Nintendo Revolution controller will blow your mind

Time Magazine has released its list of the top five tech innovations of 2006 that will "Blow Your Mind." The Revolution controller comes in strong at number 2. Says the article about the Revolution:
When it comes to video-game controllers, Nintendo has always been an innovator. Back when Atari and its one-button joystick ruled, Nintendo devised a two-button controller with a directional thumb pad. Then came action-sensitive vibration, wireless connectivity and an analog stick for 360˚ steering. Now the company hopes to shake things up with a wireless controller for next year's Revolution console that will allow players to apply real-world physical experience to games. The one-handed grip has motion and position sensors, so if you're playing a Ping-Pong game, you just flick the controller like a paddle. Or, to shoot, take aim and tap a button. For more elaborate games, a second piece with analog stick and two triggers (for that extra itchy finger) can be connected."

To see the other innovations of 2006, check out the article below.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Family Guy, unaired sex scene?

Paul (since he was kind enough to leave me a comment with his name) over at One Digitial Life, a positively superb blog which is a big inspiration for my own, has unearthed a possibly unaired -- or an otherwise genius hoax -- Family Guy sex scene. Check it out.

Family Guy followers will recognize the scene from the critically acclaimed episode, Road to Rhode Island.

Jack Thompson calls cops on Penny-Arcade. In other news, Satan calls Jesus a "Daddy's Boy"

Jack, really now. Your idiosyncrasies are getting a tad out of control.

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Monday, October 17, 2005

Videogames: A Scapegoat in Pop Culture

[Editor's Note: the following is an edited version of a term paper I had to write in college 3 years ago. It is fully researched, but some of the references are no longer on the web (FTC documents in particular have been moved), and the statistics are, naturally, a bit out of date but are valid nonetheless. I've added some parenthetical notes along the way; hopefully they'll seem obvious as I would not actually have turned them in to a college professor. duh. Oh, I got an A on it, in case you were wondering. ]

[Video games are] turning too many kids into killers. I hope [the video game industry] will take it as a stern warning that we will not tolerate the marketing of murder and mayhem to our children."
– Senator Joseph Lieberman

Attacks on the entertainment industry by Congress and extremist parent organizations litter American history; it is a history of bandwagons, scare tactics and misinformation. In the sixties, the sexual themes of James Bond films and blossoming “rock and roll” music created parental uproars. In the seventies, communities banned the music of Black Sabbath and Deep Purple due to rumored demonic and suicidal subliminal messages. The subjects of the debates may change with time, but the fundamental question -- and problem -- remains the same:

What influence is this having on children? This question’s problem lies in its collective nature -- the absense of a possesive modifier (e.g. my children); each family is different, and each child is an individual. A universal answer is simply impossible.

In the early nineties and even moreso in the current generation, a new subject -- a new scapegoat -- presented itself: Video games were now the corruptors of youth. Now, after a decade of debate -- a decade of threats of banishment and censorship -- the inquisition continues devoid of merit: The wrong questions are still being asked. Yes, perhaps video games have gotten more realistic. Yes, perhaps video games have gotten more violent. But are video games corrupting the collective youth of America -- turning our “kids into killers”? Much like the movies and the music of the past, in a word: No.

There is a common misconception that video games are mostly played by introverted teenage males and little children. What is not understood by Congress and concerned parent organizations is that, although this myth was once fact, in 2002 the scope of video games has changed. Doug Lowenstein, President of the Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA, now The Entertainment Software Association), in his testimony before the Senate Committee on Entertainment Rating Systems, explicitly explained that the “average age [of video game players in 2001 was] 28 years old [and] 61 percent [were] over 18.” (If I am not mistaken, this is a trend that is growing.) Clearly, teenagers and children do not even represent a majority of gamers. Additionally, Mr. Lowenstein conservatively estimated that “parents and adults, not kids, actually purchase at least eight out of ten games." Other documents go as far to willingly raise the ratio to nine out of ten games. In either case, the statistics show the minimal involvement of children in the purchasing of video games. Since at lease 80 percent of games are purchased by adults -- by parents -- violent content in games should really not be a problem that would invoke governmental censorship. One could argue that many parents do not understand video games and end up buying violent games for their children, but parents have the potential to be very much aware of what their children are playing. Ignorance is not an excuse.

In an effort to help parents (and consumers in general) choose their games and their children’s games wisely, the video game industry created the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). The ESRB is the first and last viable product of the violent-video-game debate. Much like the popular movie rating system, the ESRB uses distinguishing symbols to represent recommended age groups for games. As the video game industry is a self-regulatory industry, ESRB ratings are not required by law, but they have become standard and appear on every game available at retail.

Although the ESRB rating system has been described by Senator Lieberman as the “most comprehensive . . . of any entertainment medium in this country," it does present a certain amount of confusion due to its infancy. The problem inherent in the ESRB rating system is the false parallels that parents and other consumers draw to the popular movie rating system. In the minds of consumers, journalists, Congressmen, parental organizations, etc., a “Mature” rating signifies that the game is only suitable for ages 17 and older. This, however, is not the case. The ESRB defines a “Mature” rating as having “content suitable for persons 17 and older,” but not restricting the audience to such. This is not a mere technicality of words; the open-endedness of the phrase is completely intentional. Note that the only rating that restricts the sales of a game is “Adults Only” (which most retail outlets will not even stock, coincidentally). The ESRB means to objectively present the game content and let the consumer ultimately decide its appropriateness in his/her home.

Furthermore, a very small percentage of video games contain “murder and mayhem” as described by Senator Lieberman. As Mr. Lowenstein confirms, only eight to nine percent of video games in 2001 were given a mature rating. Should such a small percentage of games garner such uproar, especially considering the fact that parents and adults are the primary video game consumers -- by far? It is understandable that one may question the validity of such statistics due to the lack of parental awareness of the ratings and what they mean, but the IDSA has acknowledged this problem and has undertaken several public educational campaigns in recent years to increase such awareness (I know this -- first hand -- having worked for a video game store, and having had to see the same 2 minute infomercial staring baseball's most homosexual superstar). The Federal Trade Administration also, in its Report on the Marketing of Violent Entertainment to Children, found that the “electronic game industr[y has] made . . . [significant] progress . . . in providing rating information in advertising."

During the last decade, the video game industry has unequivocally become the most popular entertainment medium, having surpassed the movie industry by more than a billion dollars in 2001. (I believe the two industries are still battling it out in recent years). Historically, new entertainment mediums have been met by the assuming, critical eyes of concerned parents and their representatives (not to mention bible-whipped attention whores). In the case of video games, the assumptions are that they are violent and that the violence is corrupting and numbing our youth -- turning our “kids into killers.” Nonetheless, statistics show that the likelihood of a child playing a violent game without parental consent is very small. Rather than censoring or banning violent games, perhaps Congress and parent organizations should focus on what the video game industry has accomplished in the last decade: the video game industry has nearly tripled; its technology has progressed exponentially (of late, even going as far as to inspire technical, consumer, innovation surpassing that of personal computers); and it has not only created the best rating system of any entertainment industry (so says its greatest opponent Senator Lieberman), but it has responsibly undertaken public awareness campaigns as well. The video game industry allows parents to ask the question “What influence will this have on my children?” Video games do not create killers, but negligent and ignorant parenting can.

Penny Arcade Donates the $10,000 that Jack Thompson promised.

It was only a matter of time until a mod team took Jack Thompson's disgusting revenge fantasy and made it flesh - and, just as I suggested, it was deemed insufficient. We're going to be the men you're not. We've just made the donation you never would, and never meant to. Ten thousand dollars' worth. And we made it in your name."

This, Mr. Thompson, is what the videogame world, nay human existence, is truly about.

read more | digg story

1up: The Revolution Begins Now!

Great story from detailing everything known about the Nintendo Revolution and what it will mean for the next generation of gaming.

read more | digg story

190 Million Year Old Dinosaur Embryos Found

Finding dinosaur bones is one thing, but finding fossilized embryos is very rare. These are the oldest dinosaur embryos every discovered, says Dr. Robert Reisz, a professor at the University of Toronto.

read more | digg story

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Boycott AIM

Boycott AIM is a project to descibe the harms of AOL Instant Messenger -- and its new bastard child AIM Triton -- and promote other free, better alternatives. I prefer this one.

Recently, a friend of mine actually performed an experiement where he didn't log into AIM for a week, using Google Talk as his only Instant Messaging software. His findings can be found here.

Not surprisingly, it turns out that turning off AIM does not result in, get this, a complete and utter breakdown in communication. A Communication Breakdown if you will. Pun totally intended. If you get it, you can have a cookie.

Actually, there really is no cookie. But AIM really does suck.

read more | digg story

Dear Jack Thompson, Shut Up.

If you don't know whom Jack Thompson is, please see his entry in Wikipedia. According to Tim Buckley, you may find him in the encyclopedia under "Bible-whipped attention whore" or the lesser known section on giraffe sodomy. Penny-Arcade also had some lovely things to say about him. In a nutshell, he blames all of the world's troubles on videogames. You can guess how I feel about that -- pretty much the way most sane people feel. Sure, I can agree with not selling violent games to minors. But dearest Jack, it seems, would prefer death and dismemberment for the entire videogame industry. I think "Tycho" at Penny Arcade said it best:

He is batshit fucking loco insane."

Even people who are in agreement with his "platform" are distancing themselves from him. Anyhow, the point of this post was to give a reason to link to the hilarious-but-true comics at Ctr-Alt-Delete and Penny Arcade.

Craig, Daniel Craig: There's a new James Bond on the block

[Editor's Note: I just wanted to get this one out there ASAP because I'm a bit late on it, and I've neglected the blog over the last week because life got pretty intense. It is not even really proof read yet. I'll update with formatting, links, researched articles as soon as I can.]

There hasn't been a day like last Friday in twelve years. Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli -- producers (read: resident money-hungry Nazis) of the aging James Bond film franchise as well as senile and cowardly nincompoops who I believe fear the prospects of making a good movie -- along with Metro Goldwyn Mayer and Sony Pictures Entertainment (who just bought MGM) announced on an old WWI ship stationed under London Bridge, that James Bond was going back to his roots, and he had dyed his hair.

They should have introduced him as: Craig, Daniel Craig. Blonde hair, blue-eyed Daniel Craig. It seems that the world is taken aback that James Bond is now blonde -- even going as far to use the single worst headline in the history of journalism:

Blonde, James Blonde.

Give me a break people, you are supposed to be professional. Pun or no pun. Rhyme or no Rhyme. That is offensively annoying.

Now, the natural question that you are asking (and if you aren't, you really should be): How do I, a seasoned James Bond fan who lives comfortably and dichotically in the world of film tastes (preferring the classic, smarter Bond films, but still able to appreciate the modernity of Hollywood films that bend the laws of physical reality. Transporter 2, I'm talking to you), feel about this new guy? This blonde, new guy?

I really don't care that he is blonde. As far as I'm concerned, Roger Moore -- that pompous jackass who disgraced the 70s Bond films, many of which were great, with his ugly mug -- was also blonde. For me, this blonde-thing is not a first.

I do question the choice of Craig, who has starred of such films as Layer Cake, Road to Perdition and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. (Tomb Raider? Danny-boy, come on! Where was your sense of respect on that one. Angie is hot, but really man - Tomb Raider!?). When Wilson and Broccoli (did I mention that they are Nazis) kicked Pierce to the curb, they said it was because he was too expensive (requesting a rumored $30-40m. Pierce later denied that, saying he had asked for a salary "that was not out of the ballpark, that other men and women have received for the same [type of film]”). Afterwards, when they decided to go with Ian Fleming's first James Bond novel, Casino Royale, as the story for the next movie, they cited a need for a younger Bond, about half Pierce's age.

Ok, so you need a 28 year-old Bond. Fine. Then explain to me why you signed a 37 year-old guy who looks like he's 47.

I don't get it. I don't really have a feeling one way or the other about Craig. I watched Layer Cake over the weekend. By all accounts, it was a good movie, from what I could make of it. Craig has a thicker British accent than I would like Bond to have. He wobbles a bit when he walks. And, after all the crackpot talk about Ewan McGregor being too short for Bond, Craig looks too short to me. Besides all that inconsequential stuff, his acting was good and by the end of the movie I had a small sense of what his Bond would be like. I think he'll be a fine 007 (definitely better than Dalton. Sorry Tim, you know its true).

Really, at this point I'm mostly concerned about the movie-ization of Casino Royale. I am pretty livid that they have replaced the central card game in the story, baccarat, with no-Limit Texas Hold 'em, just because poker is all the rage now. I'm also pretty confused when Martin Campbell, Casino Royale's director, says the film is going to be darker and smarter and not have all the gadgets and action of the latest Bond movies, and then Wilson and Broccoli turn around and reassure fans that they really aren't changing the formula at all. I hope Campbell wins on this one, but I don't see it happening. I would certainly prefer From Russia With Love to another disgrace like The World is Not Enough.

I guess next November, we'll know.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Ruh Roh, Toyota Recalls 75,000 Prius Vehicles!

An electrical problem involved in the Prius vehicles may stall the engine, resulting in a recall of 75,000 of them."

Looks like I should keep a lookout for a notice of recall. The article says 'early 2005' Priuses, and that's what I have. I've seen no indication of a problem though, but that doesn't really mean anything.

Also, if you read the article, it says the problem isn't related to the Hybrid Synergy Drive and could happen to any normal vehicle.

read more | digg story

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Apple Sells Millions of iPods, Shareholders Angry

If you're thinking of starting a public company, stay far, far away from Apple's surly shareholders.

Reuters reports that Apple Computers quadrupled their profits in their fourth quarter and sold 6.5 million iPods -- triple the amount they sold this time last year -- but shareholders are still pissed."

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Serenity Evangelism: Firefly in 30 Minutes

I'm sure most who have seen both Serenity and Firefly will agree the movie has more impact in the context of the series -- unfortunately a lot of people interested (or potentially interested) in Serenity will never see it. For the sake of promoting the movie, I've compiled some key moments from the series into a video."

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GameStop raises $950 Million to buy EB

I could have told you this was coming 3 years ago. My thoughts to come...

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Monday, October 10, 2005

The Closer

Perhaps if this bottle of Yueng Ling had pitched for the Orioles this year, they may not have sucked so hard.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Game Boy micro Commercial

This might be the most hilarious commercial Nintendo has ever made. I want a Gameboy micro just because of it.

George to big screen, curious

It is true. Curious George, that curious little monkey, is making his way to the big screen with his friend, the man-in-the-yellow-hat, to be voiced by none other than Frank-the-Tank, Will Ferrell. Anyone who has ever seen my room knows that I have a soft spot for George and all the trouble in which he always finds himself. Naturally, I'm a bit excited to see him get a movie after all these years, but, more importantly, it appears it is being done correctly. Why? Thought you'd never ask.

  • In an animation world that has recently become dominated by 3D Computer Renderings, not unlike Mike Myers' alter ego, Curious George is being done the old fashioned way; its a straight-up, hand drawn, cartoon, that maintains the artistic quality found in his series of books.
  • They didn't give him a tail, to make this "little monkey" an actual, anatomically-correct, monkey. Monkeys have tails, Chimps do not. I don't care who has a tail, as long as George does not.
  • Bewitchings aside, Will Ferrell is a funny man, and does pretty good work.
  • The soundtrack is in the hands of Jack Johnson, a very capable singer-songwriter. He could very well do for this movie what Randy Newman did for Toy Story. Let's hope there aren't too many short people in the movie.
  • The animation looks great!
  • and likely most importantly, Disney is not involved at all!

Dolphins sing 'Batman' Theme

News in Science - Dolphins sing 'Batman' theme:
Scientists have taught dolphins to combine both rhythm and vocalisations to produce music, resulting in an extremely high-pitched, short version of the Batman theme song."

Maybe Nolan should get them a cameo in Batman Begins: 2?

Girl Murdered by Man She Met on MySpace

Taylor Behl, a student from Virginia, has been found murdered. The prime suspect, Ben Fawley claims to be an amateur photographer and is being held by authorities."

Her myspace page is still up along with all the comments her friends have been leaving her from the day she disappeared up until she was found.

This is very scary and sad. Everyone I know on Myspace: please be smart and safe. This girl really looked like she had a bright future ahead of her.

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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Defending Freedom in the Digital World

Technology is progressing at a rate faster than the collective IQs of our congressional representatives - our lawmakers - and those who fund them. Of course, I'm not talking about you and I, the tax payers who pay their salaries, I'm talking about the crooked lobbyists sent from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and other such organizations. Allegations aside, these lobbyists hold very strong influence over the laws that get passed that greatly effect both you and me and our attempt to enjoy the freedoms endowed to us by both the forefathers of this nation and the technological innovators around the world.

They are the reason we can't make copies of our DVDs and CDs (Copying a DVD breaks laws written into the Digital Millenium Copyright Act [DMCA], and CDs are being laced with Digital Rights Management [DRM] to keep them from being copied). They are the reason we can't burn files bought off of iTunes more than 5 times. They are the reason Napster as we knew it is gone. They seek to have the right to invade and delete content from our Personal Computers, TiVOs and MP3 players. Sure, they have valid points and seek to protect their property, be it material or intellectual, but, in many cases (read: all), they do not see the forest for the trees and force rights-infringing laws through congress unbeknownst to us.

The Reverend Jesse Jackson once said, "In politics, an organized minority is a political majority." The RIAA and MPAA are more powerful than us, the majority, simply because they are organized.

Enter the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The EFF a non-profit organization that gathers together lawyers, policy analysts, activists and technologists with the goal of protecting consumer rights. Says the EFF website:
From the Internet to the iPod, technologies of freedom are transforming our society and empowering us as speakers, citizens, creators, and consumers. These technologies are increasingly under attack, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the first line of defense, protecting our civil liberties in the networked world. EFF broke new ground when it was founded in 1990—well before the Internet was on most people's radar—and continues to confront cutting-edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights today. From the beginning, EFF has championed the public interest inevery critical battle affecting digital rights."

I have often wanted to get involved, but I was never exactly sure what problems there were out there, or how to get involved in the first place. EFF makes that easy. If you go to their action website, they have a list of the current technological issues going through congress right now. From here you can get as much information on the bils and initiatives as you wish, and take action very easily. The EFF provides a form and a template letter for you. You simply fill in your information and click send, and it'll send the letter to your representatives and senators by email and fax, and provide you with the document in the event that you want to print it and snail mail it. It is truly simple, and a very worthwhile effort to protect the future of our freedom in this digital world.

In my opinion, some of the most important issues that they list are:So, Please do stop by and help carve out our future. It really bothers me when I have to jump through hoops just to copy a legally purchased CD onto my iPod. And the thought of CBS or NBC deleting content off of my PVR is absolutely ludicrious.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Posts on the way

Life has come at me quick this week, and my wrists are bothering me. But fret not, I have been storing up great topics on which to post this weekend including, but not limited to:Please do tune in and see if and when I hit all these subjects! By the way, do you like my new logo?

Citing Slow Summer Box Office, Hollywood Calls It Quits | The Onion

For those of you who are not au courant in all things internet, The Onion is a satirical webzine. When they take to the keyboard, hilarity ensues. This is a clip from an article on Hollywood. It is quite hilarious.
Universal Studios joined DreamWorks SKG, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Paramount, and Fox Monday, when CEO Ron Meyer announced that the company is shutting down operations and ceasing all film production, effective immediately."

To better protect their stockholders' interests, Hollywood will be shifting its focus to safer, more reliable profit models, including real estate, life insurance, and the sale of hygiene products."

Read More. Pictures include the dismantling of the Hollywood Sign and Mel Gibson as a homeless man.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Rejected iPod Engravings

Sometimes people want things engraved on their iPod, and Apple says no. However, usually the things they wanted were hilarious, and have been compiled by methodshop.

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Quality Photograph of Saturn's moon, Hyperion

Cassini made its first flyby of Saturn's moon Hyperion last week, and took this amazing photograph. The spacecraft got within 500 km (310 miles), and you can clearly see how unusual this spongy-looking moon is. Scientists think that Hyperion is little more than a pile of rubble, loosely held together by its own gravity because much of its mass is just empty space. Hyperion is only 266 kilometers (165 miles) across, has an irregular shape, and spins in a chaotic rotation."

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PSP Blue Screen of Death!

I wonder if anyone has ever seen one of these on a Gameboy.

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Saturday, October 01, 2005

Serenity: Not Just Another Movie

I just returned from seeing Serenity, and wanted to post some quick thoughts:

Go see this movie. Now.

Run if you must.

This movie proves that great movies still get made, in spite of Hillary Duff's and Lindsey Lohan's best efforts. Rest assured, a more verbose review is forthcoming. I am just tired after a long day.

Doh! Homer's lost island found?

Lost island home of Odysseus found after 3,000 years: "FOR almost 3,000 years, its location has been a mystery, but classical scholars around the world are now convinced that a British businessman and amateur archaeologist with a passion for Homer has found the island of Ithaca, home of the Greek hero Odysseus and the site of his palace.

Many thought that the island existed only in the imagination of the Greek poet Homer and in his epic, the Odyssey. Certainly his description of it did not match the Ionian island now called Ithaca, but, after following a detective trail of literary, geological and archaeological clues, scholars led by Robert Bittlestone, a management consultant, have identified Paliki, an area of Cephalonia, as the site"