Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Spell with Flickr

One Letter / FLICOne Letter / KRr

Like the title says, just type in something(ie: your name, your web address, a small phrase) and this great little online app will take what you typed in fetch pictures from Flickr for each letter.

Give it a try! Very cool Flickr app.

read more | digg story

Google not readying Google OS

Google is preparing its own distribution of Linux for the desktop, in a possible bid to take on Microsoft in its core business - desktop software. A version of the increasingly popular Ubuntu desktop Linux distribution, based on Debian and the Gnome desktop, it is known internally as 'Goobuntu'.

read more | digg story

Friday, January 27, 2006

Playboy: The Girls of Myspace

Yes, you read correctly. Playboy is doing a MySpace pictorial. This should be interesting.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

If I were a cartoon character...

So, Paul over at one digital life has done it again. He has found some great time wasters for us all to enjoy. Both are character creation utilities that are pretty extensive in their abilities. The new Simpsons one is a bit more limited than the South Park one, but they are both fun and entertaining. What would you look like if you were a Simpsons or South Park character?

[Via ODL]

Two more years of Bullsh*t!

Showtime just picked up seasons four and five of Penn & Teller: Bullshit! The program is along the same lines as their live show, except, instead of debunking magic tricks, they debunk all sorts of things like magnet therapy, reflexology, F! eng Shui, Ouija boards, baby myths, and chiropractors (don't shoot the messenger!). Season four of the show starts April 3 on Showtime. New episodes include examining the death penalty, prostitution and virginity."

This is really the greatest TV news I've heard in a long time. For those of you who have not checked out this show, it is really entertaining and informative. Penn and Teller are some of the greatest skeptics of our time, and with the crack research team they have on BullSh*t!, they will hopefully be exposing crazy myths and ideas for many years to come.

[Via TVSquad]

Nintendo Announces DS Lite

Less than two-thirds the size of the original Nintendo DS and more than 20 percent lighter, the new DS Lite is a perfect match in style to the Nintendo Revolution."

So, in spite of all the denial to the rumors, Nintendo went ahead and announced what we all knew was coming. Give me a release date and drop the price $20-30 and you've got a sale out of me. I'm so ready for New Super Mario Brothers.

read more | digg story

Microsoft Working on Portable Game Machine?

Sources inside the company suggest that Microsoft has put together a team that's considering the business end of an initiative to unseat Apple's iPod.

If Microsoft goes ahead with such a device, it'll have to ask itself whether or not it wants to include it as part of the Xbox family."

So, I have a novel idea. Instead of saturating a thriving industry, why not go in with Nintendo on their next Gameboy in an effort to crush Sony once and for all? Gameboy X (I'm a marketing genius)? I'm just thinking out loud; that may or may not be the best idea.

Or, you know, they could just spend money fixing their Operating System. That would be good for us all.

read more | digg story

[UPDATE: I believe this turned out to be the Origami project]

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Stewie hosting Web talk show

Victory is Mine!"

IPTV is the way of the future.

read more | digg story

Here is a new link since the Yahoo link seems to be dead now.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Geek Out: Zelda Revolution Controller Mock-Up

I'm a geek. I know it. This is something I would probably own if I could.

read more | digg story

Monday, January 23, 2006

Connect Google Talk to AIM, MSN, & Yahoo

Google has announced plans to get Google Talk and AIM talking, but with a little elbow grease you can do that and more today.

Now that Google has opened up their Google Talk servers for federation with other Jabber servers, you can use Google Talk to connect to your friends on AIM, MSN, Yahoo or ICQ. Here's how, step-by-step with screenshots."


read more | digg story

[UPDATE 05/02/06: I believe this is no longer working :-( Here's hoping Google will offer a true solution soon]

Disney Buys Pixar for US$7 Billion

Pixar Animation Studios, whose films have garnered critical acclaim with both domestic and overseas audiences, is being bought today by Disney for $7 billion. Steve Jobs, as the CEO of Pixar, will become the largest shareholder in Disney."

read more | digg story

Saturday, January 21, 2006

The Broadcast Flag starring in Liquid Hot Magma

So it appears that the notorious "Broadcast Flag" has once again been resurrected. I think that -- at this exigency -- it is becoming eminently clear that Digital Content Nazis will not rest until their insatiable hunger for supreme world domination is met.

Wasn't this thing just defeated a month ago? Didn't a United States court rule that a regulation of this nature was inconstitutionally overstepping the bounds of FCC and government authority? Just throw in a few more sesquipedalians and bullshit lawyer jargon, change the title, simmer and serve. It seems to be the world in which we live.

"At first you don't succeed, try, try again. Or sue everyone."

At any rate, Boing Boing has a great article about these cryptorchidistic assholes. I am particularly enamored with this part:

There are two things to be certain of this century:

1. Everything that can be expressed as bits will be expressed as bits
2. Bits will only get easier to copy

The entertainment companies are convinced that their businesses depend on copy-proof bits. This is ridiculous: there's no such thing, there never will be.

Governments that try to protect businesses that demand copy-proof bits are like governments that try to protect businesses on the sides of volcanoes, who demand an immediate end to business-disrupting lava.

If the current entertainment companies can't or won't adapt to a world of bits, that's too bad. Let them die, and let new businesses that thrive in the new technological reality take their place. If you can't stand the heat, get off the volcano.

Dear Digital Content Nazis,

Copy-protection only hurts honest people. Pirates and theives are quite knowledgable in circumventing these needless shackles you place upon us for trying to enjoy the content you create. You are not impeding them, even slightly. But you are impeding my ability to enjoy it, and turning us all into criminals in the process.

I love music. I love television. I love movies.

I'm going to enjoy it however I effing want, whether I am allowed to pay for it or not.

Give me the freedom to enjoy your content. Let me pay your for it.

With Love,

Friday, January 20, 2006

Attn: James Bond Fans

BALTIMORE -- Calling all Bond fans! The Baltimore Boat Show, which will take place January 21 - 29 at Baltimore Convention Center, is giving attendees the chance to see five authentic super spy vessels straight out of 007 films. The Show’s first-ever Boats of Bond Exhibit, presented in association with the Ian Fleming Foundation, will showcase memorabilia and actual boats from 007 thrillers, including Thunderball, Diamonds are Forever, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only and The World is Not Enough."

Anyone want to go with me?

I Think This Guy Has Me Beat

For those of you who think I have a lot of computers and shiny objects:

Here is a picture (Flickr) of this guys home setup. He has multiple 30'' displays, a mac mini dedicated to his music, this guy is without a doubt hardcore mac."

read more | digg story

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Retro: 1990 World of Nintendo Catalog

This post by "Bill" has just been making rounds on the net. More less, Bill has scanned every page from the World of Nintendo catalog from 1990, and cleverly updated the captions and pictures a la the skit on Late Night with Conan O'Brien called "Actual Items." You can't make this stuff up.

Back in the days of the NES, Nintendo ruled. Period. You didn't play "video games", you played "Nintendo." And so when the more general retail stores began to cash in on the gaming craze, they didn't set up video game departments. They set up Nintendo departments. Entire sections devoted to a single company, stocked high with any piece of shit you can imagine with Mario or Little Mac or even just the Nintendo logo slapped on it. It's really rather frightening when you get into it; I was desperately seeking this kind of crap as a kid, and even I didn't know there was this much merchandise out there.

[Via Joystiq]

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Ghostbusters the Movie - As an Animated GIF

Here's a surprisingly comprehensive rendition of Ghostbusters, viewable as an animated gif

read more | digg story

Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Original Tetris Commercial

Commercials from the 80s. Ahh the memories.

read more | digg story

I'm A Programmer, Not A Computer Guy

Yep, this is me.
A gentle warning to young or up-and-coming IT professionals: keep your professional identity a secret! Guard your privacy like a superhero, because before you can say "what do you mean reboot?", you'll be the neighborhood troubleshooter, constantly on call to save the day."

read more | digg story

Friday, January 13, 2006

U.S. details tax breaks for hybrid cars

The credit, which was enacted by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, may be as much as $3,400 for those who purchase the most fuel-efficient vehicles."

read more | digg story

Sprint Refuses To Reveal Location Of Cell Phone In Carjacked SUV

Sprint demands $25 activation fee and application to start service before they will help rescue a kidnapped child."

read more | digg story

Security expert Steve Gibson claims WMF exploit is a deliberate back-hole

Microsoft has patched the WMF vulnerability in Windows 2000 and XP, but in his research for a fix for Windows 95/98/Me Steve has come up with a blockbuster. It is his considered opinion that the WMF vulnerability could not have been a mistake. It was an intentional backdoor inserted into Windows by Microsoft for reasons unknown.

read more | digg story

Blow Me NES T-Shirt

This is definitely the funniest Retro T-Shirt I've ever seen. Ever.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Kathy's Humor Exposed

So if you happen to know my friend Kathy, and have her on your Buddy List, you may have noticed that, ever vigilant and without fail, she has humorous little quips about Chuck Norris, Vin Diesel, and Mr. T, among others. They are really funny.

I can now report that I know from where they come. It is somewhat embarassing that I didn't figure this out sooner, but, to my credit, I have not been actively pursuing an answer to this growing question.

The Chuck Norris facts are most certainly derived from here, appropriately named ChuckNorrisFacts.com. Even the big man himself finds it amusing, but does not miss an opportunity to dish out further pain. Here is the "Top 10" (despite having 11) as it stands on the website.

1. Chuck Norris' tears cure cancer. But he is so badass, he has never cried. Ever.

2. Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.

3. Chuck Norris is currently suing NBC, claiming Law and Order are trademarked names for his left and right legs.

4. The chief export of Chuck Norris is pain.

5. If you can see Chuck Norris, he can see you. If you can't see Chuck Norris, you may be only seconds away from death.

6. Chuck Norris has counted to infinity. Twice.

7. Chuck Norris does not hunt because the word hunting infers
the probability of failure. Chuck Norris goes killing.

8. Chuck Norris doesn’t wash his clothes, he disembowels them.

9. Chuck Norris is 1/8th Cherokee. This has nothing to do with ancestry, the man ate a fucking Indian.

10. In fine print on the last page of the Guinness Book of World Records it notes that all world records are held by Chuck Norris, and those listed in the book are simply the closest anyone else has ever gotten.

11. There is no chin behind Chuck Norris' beard. There is only another fist.

I was unable to find an origin for the others, but I did find this, a Random Vin Diesel Fact website (There are also links to sites for Mr. T and Mr. Norris at the bottom). This site is no doubt pulling from a mass repository of ancestral knowledge that must be passed down from generation to generation.

Do not forget, Vin Diesel eats the toy that comes with the Happy Meal. You have been warned.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

New Intel Macs can run Windows

Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, said in an interview Tuesday that the company won't sell or support Windows itself, but also hasn't done anything to preclude people from loading Windows onto the machines themselves."

Get your new Mac as soon as possible. With this sign of the oncoming apocalypse, you won't have very long to enjoy it.

UPDATE 1: Looks like XP will not work, but Vista will.
UPDATE 2: Well, now there is boot camp, so everything works now, including XP.

read more | digg story

Monday, January 09, 2006

Google Pack is Live

http://pack.google.com/ is live.

Here is what you need to know about Google Pack. It contains, in no particular order:
The ones that are linked are products that I use and/or endorse. Some are absolutely essential, like Firefox and Ad-Aware. Google Talk is a great alternative to AIM, and if you have to use the AIM network, Trillian is also a much better choice. Picasa is a great image library program that everyone should at least check out, Google Earth is a great way to lose hours of your life, and Google Desktop will change your life if you don't mind losing some CPU cycles.

On to the other, for lack of a better word, software.

First of all, I wonder if you install RealPlayer first, will Ad-Aware then remove it? And Norton Antivirus should not be installed on Personal Computers anymore. What was once a great staple in computer security is now nothing but a lunch-money stealing, food-hording bully; there are better, free-er, alternatives.

Next question: Why give me Google Toolbar for IE if you are also giving me Firefox, the better, safer web-browser that should most certainly be used in place of IE altogether?

Question number three: Doesn't Windows come with a screensaver that can show you a slideshow of your pictures? Why, yes, it does. I use it every day. Then why do I need two (2) more programs to accomplish this? How can you possibly solve the "lets show my pictures as a screensaver" problem any better than let's say, wait for it, showing my pictures as a screensaver? Unless either of these applications include flickr support, I think I'll pass.

And finally, but not the least of all superfluous, who the hell hasn't had a copy of Acrobat Reader installed on their system for the last decade? For that matter, is there anyone out there who has purchased a pre-built computer on which this trinket of modern computing did not reside? Show of hands now: no one? That's what I thought.

Lame if you ask me. Go download what you want individually. Sure its not as neat and tidy, but it cuts out all the excess crap. Google, I'm a bit disappointed.

read more | digg story

How to use HTML tables properly

You should avoid using tables for layout, but that does not mean you should avoid using tables for their intended purpose. When marking up tabular data in HTML, tables are what should be used. This article explains how to make HTML data tables accessible."

read more | digg story

President Clinton considering joining Microsoft?

Sources near Microsoft headquarters report that over the past few months Bill Clinton has made trips to Microsoft headquarters and has been interviewing for the top slot as the company looks at ways to transform themselves for the future. Given the global implications of technology, having a leader that is an ex country president would be massive."

[Via Dvorak Uncensored]

read more | digg story

Optimus Keyboard

The Optimus Keyboard, has been announced to be released February 1st 2006. This keyboard is crazy rediculous. Every key is not only programmable, but also a little LED capable of showing whatever the key has been programmed for (ha! Get it? Its Transformer-able). What will they think of next?

read more | digg story

Friday, January 06, 2006

10 Amazing Architecture Wonders of the New China

China's current building boom is doing more than sucking up the world's supply of steel, it's creating a stage for some of today's boldest architecture and engineering. Take a tour of the 10 of the most intriguing examples."

I have got to get myself to China sometime within the next 40 years.

I have always had a private adoration for archetecture in its various forms, having, at one moment in time, desired to be an architect. I can't draw well enough.

I really can't.

read more digg story

Whacky Google Logos

These arn't "real" google logos, but they are quite funny nonetheless.

Shout outs to the Duck Hunt logo

read more | digg story

The Darwin Awards 2005

The annual Darwin Award salutes 'the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who remove themselves from it." These are the most morbidly hilarious tales of doom from 2005.

read more | digg story

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Pandora's Musical Box

My name is Timmy Meyers. I have a problem.

I am completely involved in a desperate and uncontrollable love affair with Pandora. I'm not completely sure what her feelings are for me, but given her interest in my likes & dislikes and her genuine goal of pleasing me to no end, I'd say some sort of holy bond seems likely for the future.

She even apologizes when she makes a mistake, and when I tell her that she couldn't possibly be more wrong, she promises to never make that particular mistake again. She's not perfect - by any means - but she's so much better than the other proverbial fish in the sea.

At any rate, let me explain what Pandora is. Pandora is a web service that allows you to create your own personal, streaming music stations that play music based on your particular music tastes.

And you think "Yea, we've seen this all before. Amazon and iTunes have been doing this for years."

But no. No you have not. No they have not.

Recommendation engines such as the ones on retail sites are inherently flawed due to their reliance on popularity. You will only be recommended something if there exists an interesection of tastes based on your past buying purchases and those of other patrons. There-in lies the problem; music has to sell in order to be recommended.

Pandora is different; she is based on something known as the Music Genome Project. The folks at the MGP describe themselves thusly:

Together we set out to capture the essence of music at the most fundamental level. We ended up assembling literally hundreds of musical attributes or "genes" into a very large Music Genome. Taken together these genes capture the unique and magical musical identity of a song - everything from melody, harmony and rhythm, to instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, and of course the rich world of singing and vocal harmony. It's not about what a band looks like, or what genre they supposedly belong to, or about who buys their records - it's about what each individual song sounds like."

So this is how it unfolds. You go to Pandora to enlist her unique services, and you put in a Song Title or an Artist Name. My beloved will create a streaming playlist, a "radio station" if you will, of songs with similar musical qualities to the song or artist you entered. You can enter as much or as little information as you would like for a station. If a song comes on that you don't really like, tell Pandora and she will remember it and adjust your station accordingly. The reverse is also true.

It is through this method that you may discover new and exciting music that you would otherwise never have heard of because big record labels may, in fact, be the incarnate, worldy form of the anti-Christ -- if, of course, you believe in that sort of thing. (I wonder, what exactly is the opposite of Spaghetti?)

If you register with Pandora, she'll remember info for you of up to 100 stations, and you can log in from any computer anywhere. Oh, did I mention that her Flash-y interface is OS and web-browser agnostic.

So, give her a shot. Unlike fleeting relationships where its really hot and heavy at the start, its going to take a little bit to get her where you want her. She's bound to make some mistakes, but she will learn from them. You will see the potential. With a little patience, you too can build a relationship that will last and likely produce much fruit.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Men Are From Google, Women Are From Yahoo

Men and women have different motivations for doing what they do. According to a recent report from Pew Internet and American Life, women view the Internet as a place to extend, support, and nurture relationships and communities. Men tend to see it as an office, a library, or a playground--screw the community, this is about function not family."

read more | digg story

What would you do with $80 billion?

..there were rumors this past weekend that Microsoft offered $80 billion for Yahoo. Yahoo was said to have rejected the bid as too low. On Tuesday, even though neither party would comment, talk of a potential Yahoo-Microsoft deal of some kind sent Yahoo shares up 4.4 percent. For the record, Microsoft has $40 billion in cash at hand."

read more | digg story

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

RIAA Tries New Scare Tactics

This is humorous to me.

Visitors to the site are being shown their own IP address and told that it was "LOGGED" (in all capital letters) -- as if there's something illegal about visiting the website. Rather than worry people, this is mostly just causing people to laugh at the RIAA."

Here is a little bit of a disclaimer as to why:

If you can read this, then you have therefore come to my website, http:/fifthturtle.blogspot.com, and I can know a creepy amount of information about you if I so choose. This information includes but is not limited to:

  • Your IP Address
  • Your Geographical Location (within about 10 miles at max)
  • Your ISP
  • Your browser, OS and monitor resolution
  • The page you visited before you came to my site
  • The page you visited when you left my site
  • The page you came in on, how long you stayed there, what you looked at, what other pages you went to, how long you stayed there, and what page you left on.
This is a short list of what I can know.

Disclaimer II: Every website on the this ... this amalgamate cauldron of mass information overload known as the ineffable INTERNET can, and does, know this information. It's an unofficial agreement that you, the user, enter into with the Internet by delving into its vast ... uhh ... services.

Webmasters, marketers, site executives, CEOs, whoever, use this information mostly to help target site needs, make crucial decisions among other things. They are largely just statistics. It is nothing personal. You really shouldn't be afraid. Or should you?

Well, the Recording Industy Asses of America have decided that they can scare you by cluing you into this phenominon in a cryptic, and, yet, laughable manner. See for yourself by following the electronic breadcrumbs below.

read more | digg story

Monday, January 02, 2006

PS3 will be "late and full of bugs"

Sony might be having a few problems with its forthcoming Playstation 3, which an industry deep throat claims is full of bugs and will not be ready for its March release date.

Anyone surprised? anyone care? I doubt many who read this blog do. This thing should be a 2007 machine.

read more | digg story

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Coldplay's new CD has rules: No MP3s, no DVD players, no car stereos

I'm back from a brief Holiday break from everything and am fully ready to blog about all the interesting stuff 2006 has to throw at us. And look what I'm just in time for - this is what we have to look forward to.

Coldplay's new CD comes with an insert that discloses all the rules enforced by the DRM they included on the disc. Of course, these rules are only visible after you've paid for the CD and brought it home, and as the disc's rules say, "Except for manufacturing problems, we do not accept product exchange, return or refund," so if you don't like the rules, that's tough.

What are the other rules? Here are some gems: "This CD can't be burnt onto a CD or hard disc, nor can it be converted to an MP3" and "This CD may not play in DVD players, car stereos, portable players, game players, all PCs and Macintosh PCs." Best of all, the insert explains that this is all "in order for you to enjoy a high quality music experience." Now, that's quality."

If I were Coldplay, I'd be pissed. Not only are their labels doing this - likely without their permission - but also, the less savvy consumers [RIAA, read: theives - That's what we all are aren't we?] are going to blame it all on the band.

[Via Boing Boing]

read more | digg story