January 2005 Archives

January 7, 2005

'Crossfire' Is Crossed Out in CNN Shuffle

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Three months after comedian Jon Stewart attacked its format and sparred with co-host Tucker Carlson, "Crossfire" has become a casualty of the evolving CNN.
Source: ABC News

Sure, it wasn't Jon Stewart's fault, he just sped up the decision process a little. Too bad the "dick" of Crossfire, Tucker Carlson is also out. I always liked the bowtie.

Breaking Windows first annual best games of 2004

It's pretty much official. This has been the biggest year for video games EVER. Not surprisingly, most of the big software has hit in the past few months. Even still, we at Breaking Windows are going to make sense of the software that's hit over the entire year. No, we haven't played every console game this year (though if someone would like to send us a set, that would be nice), but out of what we've played, these are the dozen titles that stick out from the pack.

Matt and I have each come up with our top 6 titles in this, Breaking Windows first annual "Best Of" 2004.

Continue reading "Breaking Windows first annual best games of 2004" »

Creative Commies T-Shirt

While chatting with Neil yesterday, he pointed me to this Creative Commies T-Shirt web page. I just had to buy a shirt, its PayPal'able to boot. Not only are they cool, but they’re a bargain too - $5 ($6 if you need 2XL or 3XL), plus $5 for shipping anywhere in the world.

If you’ve been reading BoingBoing lately, you’ll know what it’s about, but basically Bill Gates, in an interview with CNet News.com (great Apple quotes in this interview, btw), described people who are against intellectual property and over-strict copyright legislation as ‘communists’ (Dan Gillmor has some good analysis of this). So, naturally, there are various desktop wallpapers and buttons for us ‘creative commies’, and now, t-shirts.

I don't think calling ourselves "commies" is a good thing for the open source movement, but you gotta admit that it is a good play on the Creative Commons name. I do love the copyleft logo, and now have that as my desktop wallpaper.

Thanks to Neil for sharing this bit of geekery.

Feds paid pundit to push Bush policy

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Bush administration paid a prominent commentator to promote the No Child Left Behind schools law to fellow blacks and to give the education secretary media time, records show.

A company run by Armstrong Williams, the syndicated commentator, was paid $240,000 by the Education Department. The goal was to deliver positive messages about Bush's education overhaul, using Williams' broad reach with minorities.

Source: CNN

Yea, No Child Left Behind, I have always liked that one. [/sarcasm]

w.bloggar turns 4.0

w.bloggar is my favorite XML-RPC posting app on Windows. Version 4 adds advanced Movable Type options that have been sorely missing, adds support for more blogging tools, and simply cleans up a lot of ugly things behind the scenes. Most noticeable are the following two:

ADDED....: Support to the advanced MovableType options: Extended Entry, Excerpt, Keywords, Multiple Categories, TrackBack and more;

CHANGED..: All Accounts and Settings are no longer stored on Windows Registry, now it's saved on a xml file;

There are a lot of additions and changes. This really is a nicely polished app. I am glad to see the time was taken to make changes on the back end that make for a much cleaner app. Being a Movable Type user, I also appreciate adding all the MT specific features.

The new blog account setup wizard is really nice. I had no trouble setting this up for my Breaking Windows blog. I did however run into an HTTP error 411 that I emailed the developer about. I got this error when trying to setup my Blogcritics account. If I find out more on this issue, I will be sure to post about it.

January 8, 2005

Tons of free magazine subscriptions

Clicky clicky.

Madden '06 box art revealed

PowerBooks burn dual-layer DVDs with new MCE drive

Irvine, Calif.-based MCE Technologies LLC on Wednesday announced it is shipping the 8X SuperDrive, a replacement for the optical drive in Apple Computer Inc.'s PowerBook G4 laptop. The new drive is capable of burning dual-layer DVD discs, capable of storing up to 8.5GB of information. The same drive also fits in Apple's Power Mac G4 Cube.
Source: MacCentral

If the price of Dual Layer DVD-R's come down, I might get this drive. Thanks to my Dad for the link.

The ICCR: Clueless, Ignorant, and Uninformed

I'm going to do something a little bit different with this op-ed piece. Since the ICCR is a group of completely uniformed individuals who feel it is the responsibility of major corporations to do a parents work, I'm going to play a game with them. I'm going to spot them 5 "credibility" points. Then, if I find something that they say is either ridiculous or untrue, they lose a point. If they say something that has merit, they gain a point. Simple? Good.

Continue reading "The ICCR: Clueless, Ignorant, and Uninformed" »

Electronic Art's new... console?

In a matter of time, it would hardly be surprising to see Electronic Arts next move on the game industry: A fully fledged game console. The evidence is staggering. Look at this list of companies they have bought (and attempted to buy) over the past few months:

Studio 33
Part of Ubi Soft
And then this week, an initial attempt at the NBA (and they'll likely try again)

Now, think about how scary this is. EA gets themselves some of the top developers/games. EA creates a new game console. EA keeps all of their major franchises on their own console. Instant winner in the console wars.

Don't think so? Think about a game system that plays Madden exclusively. On that title alone, the console will sell because the masses seem to have some sort of obsession with the title. Add in the fact that it's the only pro football game in town, and you have an instant success. If they can a make a competitive game console, get a profit, and have a slew of recognizable games (regardless of quality) made exclusive for it, which of the three console makers will be next to go?

On a side note, how much money can this company possibly have to throw around? The NFL deal alone would be enough to break most publishers, but now they tossed out an offer to the NBA? Never mind the Lord of the Rings and James Bond. Could this be a company soon to be bigger than Microsoft?

January 9, 2005

Gingrich doesn't rule out presidential run

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Newt Gingrich is taking steps toward a potential presidential bid in 2008 with a book criticizing President Bush's policies on Iraq and a tour of early campaign states.

The former House speaker who led Republicans to power a decade ago said he soon will visit Iowa and New Hampshire to promote his book, try to influence public policy and keep his political options alive.

Source: CNN

Happy New Year 2005

I know it is a little late, but better late then never. I have had much fun the last few weeks not using my computer much over my holiday break. I know, I know, this does not sound possible. But it is true, for three weeks, well more actually, I did not use my computer every minute of every day. I also did not give support to other people's computers. It was amazing, and a well needed break.

Continue reading "Happy New Year 2005" »

I have GMail invites to give away

Call it my New Year's gift to you. I have 10 invites to give away. If you want one email me at kenneth.edwards at gmail dot com.

January 10, 2005

Astro Boy GBA Review

If you own a Saturn, chances are you either own or plan to own "Guardian Heroes" or "Radiant Silvergun." If you own a Genesis, "Gunstar Heroes" probably tops that list. One thing brings these titles together: Treasure. "Astro Boy" is the latest title from the hardcore gamers dream developer and their solid style brings to life the popular anime character in one of the best games this system will ever see.

Continue reading "Astro Boy GBA Review" »

Metal Slug Advance GBA Review

For everything it did right, the Neo Geo Pocket never really got a proper "Metal Slug" game. While the two entries on the 8-bit portable were more than satisfying, the hardware limitations really hindered the feel the series was known for. Now, thanks to somewhat powerful GBA hardware, "Metal Slug" finally goes portable with very few sacrifices.

Continue reading "Metal Slug Advance GBA Review" »

Giga pixel image

Just see how close you can get at no loss in detail! Tons of stuff to find too!

The Punisher DVD Review

It's great to see a movie make no compromise in staying true to the comic book it's based on. "The Punisher" is unrelenting when it has a chance to be violent, something other adaptations have failed to do. That means little when you see the final product.

Frank Castle (Thomas Jane) has made his final bust and is planning his retirement. When things go awry during a party, his family is murdered and he is thrust into a battle with Howard Saint (John Travolta), a Tampa underworld king. Seeking vengeance, Castle begins to dismantle Saint's group one by one until his revenge is complete.

Continue reading "The Punisher DVD Review" »

Tiger Woods PGA Tour Nintendo DS Review

There has been a number of surprising portable golf games over the years. Tiger Woods has been EA's poster boy since they nabbed exclusive PGA Tour rights in 1999 and the on-the-go versions have been seriously hit or miss. The DS version is an obvious rush job, one that suffers from a number of nagging problems. It still manages to be highly enjoyable, but it does scream "wait until next year."

Continue reading "Tiger Woods PGA Tour Nintendo DS Review" »

Man on Fire DVD Review

Revenge is one of those movie vehicles that can take a movie down easy street with little provocation. Simply kill off someone's family member and everything is fair game. That's sort of "Man on Fire" in a nutshell, but don't write it off yet. You'll be missing out on two fantastic performances and some truly shocking violence.

Continue reading "Man on Fire DVD Review" »

We have a Googlewhack

We have a Gogglewhack. We have "The One."

It is somthing I have recently discovered. It is a game you can play using the google search engine.

If you enter any two random words into google, providing that both words appear on the dictionary.com website, (the word refference site that google uses) and google returns with only 1 result then you have a google whack! I found one on your site.

The words "jamborees dodecahedron" returned one result on Breaking Windows I then found your email on the site so thought I would let you know in case it was of any interest. (I have heard that it is rude to whack behind someones back so I thought I would tell you).
Matt sent me this, he got it from some site visitor, Colin. I have never heard of a "Googlewhack." But hey, you learn something every day.

Maybe I should put my email on every post I make too?

Joseph Arthur, All of our hands

Dan Kelly sent this to me. Thanks Dan. This is a powerful video (Flash) that has some rather high production values of the video, CG, and the song. It is very well done, but I warn it is very graphic, and sad.

To Hell With It

The following is supposedly an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term. The answer by one student was so "profound"that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)? Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell.

With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added. This gives two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, "it will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you," and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number 2 must be true, and thus I am sure Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct...leaving only Heaven thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting "Oh my God."


Now I doubt this is real, but it sure as hell is funny! Both my brother Max and friend Jake sent this to me, so it must be getting good circulation. Thanks for the forwards guys.

The real Paper Mario

The Sticky Paper Mario.

Another Exclusive Football Deal for EA

Having already secured the exclusive rights to the NFL, Electronic Arts has today partnered with the much less popular Arena Football League (AFL) to exclusively produce an AFL video game in time for the start of the 2006 AFL season.
Source: GameDAILY BIZ

This goes under both the SOB! and WTF categories simultaneously. I mean, huh? The Arena Football League is not exactly scrapping with rabid fans here. Sure NBC has signed the AFL, but who is going to watch? Sure, EA has signed the AFL, but who will buy?

How Small Problems Become Big Problems

Is this real (wmp)? If it is I feel sorry for that guys bumper. But I feel a setup. The camera zoomed in right when it happened. There are also enough guys there to push the car forward. Also, why was this being taped in the first place? It can't be real.

Thanks to Matt for the link.

Take-Two to Launch New Grand Theft Auto Game for PSP

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (Nasdaq:TTWO - news) on Monday said it plans to launch a new version of its hit "Grand Theft Auto" video game franchise for Sony Corp (news - web sites)'s (6758.T) PlayStation Portable (PSP) handheld device, which is expected to debut in the U.S. in March.
Source: Yahoo News

I am sold. I already liked the PSP lineup, Its launch lineup already blows away what the Nintendo DS linup was at its launch (and has out today). Why did they release the Nintendo DS last year again? Would someone remind me? To be out first? With no software?

Thanks to Matt for the link.

January 11, 2005

Apple launches IT Pro Web site

Apple today launched its new IT Pro Web site, which provides a wide variety of information and resources for IT professionals. Subject areas include profiles of companies using Macs, feature articles, Government resources, Education information, a High-Performance Computing section, and more.
Source: MacMinute

Free Sync Magazine subscription


January 12, 2005

Staples deals on HP CD-R and Sony DVD-/+R

If you have a Staples close, get there soon! They have a deal on a 100 pack of HP CD-R (52x) for $14.95, and a even better deal on Sony 8x 50 pack DVD-/+R for $19.95. You can get a 25 pack of Tenon 8x DVD-/+R for $14.95, but heck, get double that for a mere $5 more!

These deals are good January 9 - 15, 2005.

Thanks to Stephanie for the heads up on the deals.

January 13, 2005

Announcing the Apple iProduct

I do not know which is funnier, this or this!

Source: Gizmodo

Tech TV dropped completely

LOS ANGELES, CA, January 11, 2005 - G4, the only 24/7 television network dedicated to video games, screeches into 2005 with announcements of a new name, look and feel as well as two new series, "Formula D" and "Girls Gone Wired." Charles Hirschhorn, Founder and CEO of the network, announced the channel's official name as G4 - video game television - earlier today at the Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour. The name change and new network look and feel will take effect on February 15, 2005.
Source: G4 Tech TV (for now)

By now we know what the hell happened. A moment of silence, please, for the best geek Cable TV station that was dismantled in a matter of months.

January 14, 2005

Jaipur WristRugs for laptops

These WristRugs fit great on my PowerBook. They cost $9.95, and are PayPal-able. Dad has some red ones on his PowerBook and they really do feel great. I bought the blue ones. I got them within a week of ordering them, and they are great, they are soft.

Are they worth $10? It is better then feeling the cold, and sometimes hot metal under your palm and wrists. I highly recommend them.

The Joy of Travel in the Digital Age

Guest submission by Rob Griffiths (Webmaster of Mac OS X Hints, and author of Mac OS X Power Hound). He sent me a rough draft of this last night, and it is too funny, and too true! Feel free to copy, as long as author attribution and site link remain intact. Posted with permission by the author.

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking about Mac OS X (one of my favorite subjects) at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco (thanks to everyone who came to my sessions!). Since I live in Portland, Oregon, I had to pack for a plane trip to the 'big city.' That's when the fun began...

Traveling has become a much more complex endeavor than it used to be. A decade ago, packing for a three-day business trip would require nothing more than insuring that you had sufficient clothes in your bag, the required personal care items, and perhaps your address book and maybe even a calculator. But that was about it.

Packing today, especially if you're giving a presentation, is a whole different ballgame...

Continue reading "The Joy of Travel in the Digital Age" »

Qualuudinous iPod World Video

Do you want to know what it's like to be a gadget writer on the day of MacWorld? Watch this 5MB Quicktime and you'll have a bit of an idea.
Source: Gizmodo

Thanks to Rob for this hilarious link. I guess it is an iPod world after all!

January 15, 2005

What is wrong with the NFL?

The NFL fines Randy Moss a cool $10,000 for his "mooning" incident, but only fined Eric Barton a mere $7,500 for the forearm to the head of Drew Brees.

Tell me, which one of those acts is worse for the welfare of the NFL players? A forearm to the head could have been a very serious injury. Bodily injury should receive a fine far above an end zone dance.

$10,000 is not a lot to these players, its not a drop in the bucket, as Moss said, he will pay in "Straight cash, homey." So take a guess at what a fine of $7,500 feels like to Barton.

Do you know why all these NFL players do their crazy end zone dances? Take a guess. The guys operating the cameras (the Networks, the "Media") are shooting it. The NFL is more then a sport, it is entertainment, and these end zone dances are the entertainment. Sometimes they go too far, but sometimes they are just plain funny. Moss's mooning was just plain funny.

These people would stop doing it if the Networks would stop taping them. But that is not gonna happen anytime soon. That would not sell ratings.

Do you think CBS really cared about Janet's boob? Its all a ratings game.

Windows Longhorn to make graphics card important

MAJORITY OF USERS don't care about a graphics card because this majority uses only 2D operations, or should I say they need it just to draw and show picture on displays...

Believe it or not, your Windows performance will depend on the quality of graphics card you have. A faster card might draw something faster than a slower mainstream or entry level card, meaning that even some Office software might perform better if you have a faster 3D card.

Source: The Inquirer

Read it and weep fellas. All you Windows users who have laughed at us Mac users with our slow screen redraw in OS X, just you wait until Longhorn.

This mainly happened to OS X when Apple introduced Quartz Extreme. (Screen redraw has always been a problem in OS X, Quartz Extreme fixed that in 10.2.x) Any Mac that did not have 32 MB of GPU was left in the dark, so to speak. Quartz Extreme offloads the compositing of the GUI to the GPU, and frees up the CPU from those mundane calculations. I was miffed when my 500 Mhz PowerBook could not handle Quartz Extreme, it only has a 16 MB GPU.

This same thing is going to happen with Longhorn hits shelves in 2006, or whenever it is released. Your low end or mid-ranged GPU's are not gonna cut the mustard. And the GPU you have in your year old PC surely is not gonna be the best for this new Windows Graphic Foundation calculations.

Interestingly enough Apple is doing the same thing again with Tiger, with the introduction of Core Image.

For computers without a programmable GPU, Core Image dynamically optimizes for the CPU, automatically tuning for Velocity Engine and multiple processors as appropriate.
I wonder if anyone will pitch a fit when their GPU cannot take advantage of Core Image. I assume the cut off mark of a "programmable GPU" will not be as bad as the cut off mark for Quartz Extreme.

Thanks to Rob Griffiths for sending me the Inquirer link.

I have more GMail invites to give away

I have 4 invites to give away. If you want one email me at kenneth.edwards at gmail dot com.

ESPN's Tilt

I sure hope the National Gambling Association doesn't get their panties in a bunch about ESPN showing the seedy underbelly of cheats in the poker world. We shall see.

I would have much rather sat down to season 2 of Playmakers last night, but Tilt will have to do.

I enjoyed the premiere. As predicted it has great production values. The cameos were great, Norman Chad adds that bit of fake realism too. I will admit that this first episode was a little hard to follow. I ended up watching it twice. The second time I watched it was the time I figured everything out that was happening. But this was no doubt the pilot, and they had something to prove.

All in all I think this will be a great series, putting ESPN that much closer to becoming the MTV of the sports world.

If you want a comprehensive review, there is a good SI article. Now the really funny thing here is that I googled a Tilt review after I wrote this, Scouts Honor (our views are similar).

Teen accused of leaking Apple secrets

A Web site that disclosed Apple's top-secret plans to bring out a $499 mini computer and a new bare-bones iPod -- prompting a lawsuit from the company -- turns out to be the brainchild of a 19-year-old Harvard University student.
Source: CNN

"Nick dePlume" is out of the bag now! He should have an easy time finding legal representation at Harvard of all places.

FBI may scrap $170 million project

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A top FBI official said Thursday the bureau may have to scrap a computer program that so far has cost $170 million and was intended to be an important tool in fighting terrorism.

Bureau officials told a news briefing that they expect to find that after four years in development their much-touted Virtual Case File system does not work. But they said a suitable replacement is commercially available.

Source: CNN

You just know this 3rd party software is gonna come in costing somewhere in the range of $170 million.

January 17, 2005

Wow, my stomach hurts

Holy cow I feel like crap. I am not sick, I don't have a fever or anything, but my stomach hurts like hell. The hurtin' is coming is spasms too. I was gonna go to the Auto Show in Detroit with my friend Mike yesterday, and I really needed to drive up to Toledo to get work done for the Toledo City Paper this weekend too. So much for a nice long MLK weekend. Hopefully I will feel good enough to work Monday up at TCP.

Right now I hurt too much to sleep. I'm watching "Junction Boys" and thanks to Mike he brought me some stuff for my upset stomach. After all, what are friends for. I don't know if the meds are working, as its still coming in spasms. I swear it has taken me at least a half hr. to write this.

I feel much better now. Before I went to bed I threw up, that was joyous. Took some more Pepto and called it a night. I feel much better today. I think I got some food poisoning. It sure put me out of commission and made me feel like crap.

January 18, 2005

Electronic Arts, ESPN hook up in exclusive 15-year deal

The news is the second blow to current license-holder Sega (and its Visual Concepts development studio). It recently lost the right to publish sports games using the NFL license when EA scooped that license up. Now, it loses the right to the ESPN brand as well.
Source: GameSpot

So will Madden be out of the picture now? I found this as well:

What that will mean for EA's long-standing Madden franchise remains unknown. Madden is under contract with the game publisher through this year, but has not signed beyond that. EA said negotiations are continuing.
Source: CNN Money

I especially like the quote at the end:

"I think there's plenty of room for competition," said Probst. "At the end of the day its who can build the highest quality products. There's plenty of room for other third party companies - and console first-party companies - to do that. Just because EA Sports and ESPN are partnering I don't think people are going to run for the hills and not compete with us."
Just because EA Sports, who has an exclusive deal with the NFL, and ESPN are partnering I don't think there will be any competition. But thats just my take. That 5 yr. NFL exclusive rights is a deal stopper, no?

Thanks to Matt for the GameSpot link, and this funny picture. I do not know where to give credit for the image.

I for one hope that Madden goes by-by. I cannot stand him or his wonderful color on ABC or in the game. He just spews out the most obvious information, all the time, in his annoying-as-hell voice. "If Randy Moss had caught that ball, he would have had a first down" is something that comes out of John Madden's mouth on Monday Night Football, it is even worse in the game.

Since EA now has the ESPN namesake and the talent, I hope they put Dan Stevens and Peter o' Keefe into the next EA game.

I also hope they throw out the play calling UI from Madden 2005. I found a copy of Madden 2005 in the bargain bin and I picked it up, what the heck. Of course it still cost me $10 more then the far superior NFL 2k5. I have not played Madden since the Genesis. I am not impressed with Madden 2005 one bit.

Hopefully the ESPN brand will help with the user interface. We can only hope.

January 19, 2005

The End of Late Fees. The Start of Restocking Fees.

Blockbuster video is rolling out the ads, proudly proclaiming their lack of late fees. It's a lie, a blatant use of false advertising and marketing gimmicks to revive their struggling business. They have single handedly made this once simple, easy to understand industry confusing, ridiculous, and misleading.

Continue reading "The End of Late Fees. The Start of Restocking Fees." »

CNN 'at your command' commercials

Have you seen the new CNN commercials? If not they have a Flash site with them. Its great seeing news anchors trying to act. The bloopers are great.

Ubisoft announces Myst V: End of Ages

Ubisoft has announced that Myst V: End of Ages will be released later this year in hybrid format for both Mac OS X and Windows. Developed by Cyan Worlds Inc., creators of the Myst franchise, Myst V: End of Ages is billed as the finale to the adventure game series.
Source: MacCentral

I am glad to hear that Ubi is doing this. I assume this means that their Montreal studio is doing the development once again. They developed Myst IV which I am playing right now, and it is great (short review soon). The Myst IV interface is great.

It is sad to hear that the Myst story will be coming to an end, but it is rare for a series to make it to a 5th game. Discounting the horrible flop that was Myst: Uru, the Myst franchise has been a tremendous success. I hope Myst does not go away entirely, but it has been a great run. I am sure Myst V will be nothing short of amazing. I can't wait to see it!

January 20, 2005

2004 Year End Lists

Blogcritics has a pretty long list of 2004 lists. We even contributed.

Be sure to check out the Blogcritics 2004 Year End Lists!

The Mask of Zorro

I just cought this great movie on TNT. Tell me, what is the use of the tiger growls during every explosion scene for? What does that sound effect add?

LeBron youngest player ever with triple-double

Talking about masked men, Lebron James just became the youngest to score a triple-double (MSNBC). And people thought he would not get used to the mask. I would say he has gotten used to that piece of plastic in short order. Now would Cleveland please stop using those hideous old school uniforms?

January 23, 2005

Configuring and running X11 Applications on Mac OS X

For no good reason I was rooting through the ADC web site, and found this article "Configuring and running X11 Applications on Mac OS X." I found it most nerdy and very informative. You might as well.

January 25, 2005

Johnny Carson, late-night TV legend, dies at 79

(CNN) -- Johnny Carson, host of NBC's "The Tonight Show" for nearly 30 years, died Sunday of emphysema.
Source: CNN

IMDb has his biography and a photo album.

I can remember when in 1992 he gave up his late night post to Leno. The Leno vs. Letterman thing was huge. Would Letterman's viewer ratings be better if he had The Tonight Show's name? I think so. After all, Johnny left that post for Letterman to have.

Its amazing. I was 13 when Johnny left the air in 1992 and yet I remember so many of his skits and jokes. He had a lasting impression. He always will. It is a very sad end to an era in entertainment.

BGSU's Jordan Sigalet up for Hobey Baker award

BG's goalie, Jordan Sigalet, is up for the Hobey Baker award. This is the highest award in NCAA hockey. Jordan is playing his senior season despite being diagnosed with MS. Vote for him here, (you can vote every day). It is a quick sign up, and then you can just login every day. The initial sign up was filling out a form and regurgitating a unique number. Be sure and check the site out. Vote early, vote often!

Buy your Mac a drink: The Macintosh turns 21

In celebration of the 21st birthday of the Mac, a German Mac site has posted a video [mirror] from Apple CEO Steve Jobs' public introduction of the first Macintosh on January 24, 1984. "Mac fans will definitely want to check this one out," writes CNET News.com's Ina Fried.
Source: MacMinute

The torrent came down in good time, and I left it open all day as I went to work. Pretty cool video, be sure to check it out!

iWork '05 Reviews

I have had a few days to play around with both Keynote 2 and Pages. Keynote 2 seems pretty solid. Pages, even being a 1.0 app, is missing something major, which is going to bring reviews down a few notches. Even on that note, Pages is a really slick app. I do not see how it can really be classified a word processor though. It is much more a page layout tool.

Keynote 2 has big improvements. There is a small bug however. I am not the only one who has it. No one has figured out what causes it. Some people cannot select Insert - Web View and others cannot. I can on my PowerBook but not on my G5. If I create a clean user on my G5 I can select Insert - Web View. My guess right now is that it is a conflict with a startup item or a preference pane, or some other software I run on my main account. I have yet to have time to figure out what the problem is. Once I do, I will surely post about it.

Pages is a great hybrid word processor/page layout application. You really can't call it one or the other. What you can call it is unfinished. Rob Griffiths came up with "OnlyAddPages" as a new moniker. You cannot delete or rearrange pages... without a heck of a lot of work. There simply is no user interface to delete and rearrange pages in Pages. Since Pages is from the team that brought us Keynote, you would think they would have the exact same "Pages" and "Master" pane on the left side of the Pages window, not to mention a "New" and "Delete" button right above that. Hopefully soon.

Since I don't have the time to fully review iWork, I will point you in the right direction. I am happy with the iWork package, it is worth the small price tag for these two great apps.

Rob Griffiths has articles online now about both Keynote 2 and Pages. Be sure and check them out a for a great overview of iWork and a few really great tips.

Mac mini BTO option prices drop

Apple has sweetened the pot for build-to-order (BTO) options on its new Mac mini, reducing prices on some options or improving the options themselves. Customers ordering Mac minis through Apple's online U.S. store can now get Bluetooth and AirPort Extreme wireless networking combined for $99 -- $30 less than before. Apple has also cut the price of a 1GB RAM installation by $150, from $475 to $325. An 80GB hard drive upgrade for the 1.25GHz model, previous available for $80, is now $50. Apple has also replaced the 4x SuperDrive upgrade previously offered with an 8x unit instead, at the same price -- $100.
Source: MacCentral

Interesting move, wouldn't you say? It is a week old. So far, what I have heard is that orders in the queue have been adjusted. Apple always does that of open orders if you did not know that. It has happened to me twice. It is nice to see the $150 price drop for the RAM. It is still more then 3rd party, but have you looked at the Service Source manual for getting the Mac mini open to replace that RAM stick! That does not look like fun at all.

Good move Apple. Making the 1 GB of RAM more affordable was a good discussion, as was changing out the 4x SuperDrive for the 8x model.

January 26, 2005

Gamera: Guardian of the Unvierse DVD Review

Brought out as a straight counter to Toho Studios rabidly popular Godzilla series, Gamera appealed more to children than adults (something many people attribute to the same change in the Godzilla series). Stripped of that cheese factor, director Shusuke Kaneko takes this revived series in a new direction. Bringing back Gamera's most popular foe, changing the origins, and giving the film a darker feel makes this one of the best giant monster movies of all time.

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Friday Night Lights DVD Review

It's odd to think that football is a truly American sport. No other country has the passion or the love for this game that we do. Most don't even play it. "Friday Night Lights" is a chronicle of sorts of how far that passion can go and how scary it can become.

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Sci-Fi Channel Original "Larva" Review

Every once in a while, creature fans are rewarded for their patience. After suffering through countless duds, Sci-Fi has finally produced something tolerable, even entertaining, which is really saying something. "Larva" doesn't break any new ground and it is of course horribly formulaic. That doesn't mean this one isn't fun.

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Resident Evil 4 Review

To call "Resident Evil 4" a redesign of the concept started back in 1996 is false. This is an entirely new game, one that takes the very basic core of its predecessors and throws everything else out. In its place lies the most exhilarating, thrilling, and brutal video games of all time. It's also one of the best you'll ever play in this lifetime.

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Aliens vs. Predator DVD Review

Both the "Alien" and "Predator" franchises were run into the ground, the Predator meeting an earlier fate. It's been 8 years since we last had a run in with the Aliens and 15 since the Predator tried to tear apart Danny Glover. Both come back together in the long time coming "Aliens vs. Predator," a meeting between two of Hollywood's most vicious.

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January 27, 2005

Oreo cookies and chocolate milk

Did you know: Oreo cookies do not soften in chocolate milk. It is true, I cannot believe it!

Go ahead, try this for yourself. It takes an Oreo a really long time to get soft in chocolate milk. Now try using white milk, the Oreo gets soft right away. This test was done with 1% chocolate and white milk.

Odd. I never knew that. I wonder why.

If you get the generic Oreo cookies, in this case Meijer's "Double O," and dunk these in chocolate milk, they act just as they do in white milk. The generic brand softens right up, no matter if you use chocolate or white milk.

So what have we learned here? Oreo cookies soften quickly in white milk, and take a loooong time in chocolate milk. Generic Oreo cookies are content with either chocolate or white milk for dunking purposes. So just grab the cheaper generic brand, and enjoy your "Double Os" AND your chocolate milk all at the same time.

January 28, 2005

Bill Gates Strikes a Pose for Windows release in 1985

This makes me feel dirty. Note: Can you spot the Apple Computer in the first pic?

Snoops tells us that these photos are actually publicity photos taken of the then 30-year-old Bill Gates coincident with the initial release of Microsoft Windows in 1985. They even cite Corbis. Thanks to Nick Burns for the Snoops link.

January 29, 2005

Minolta DiMAGE Xt

I thought I wrote about this ages ago. A quick search and I find that I didn't.

My friend Jim Kimble IM'd me one day and said he was drooling over this new camera that just came out at some show, CES or something. One look at the DiMAGE Xt and I was drooling too. At the time I had a Canon Digital Elph that was only 2 Mega Pixels (MP). The DiMAGE Xt it a 3.2 MP camera, and it is half the size of the Canon I had. There is not a smaller camera that I could find at that MP. This camera is even smaller then that super small Sony Cybershot.

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Germany proposes hefty fines for spammers

BERLIN, Germany (Reuters) -- People sending junk email, or spam, in Germany will face fines of as much as 50,000 euros ($65,190) according to a draft law agreed by Germany's ruling coalition of Social Democrats and Greens.
Source: CNN

Oh boy! Another promise. I doubt this is going to mean anything.

Music's future: Smaller, faster, richer

CANNES, France (AP) -- It's a bit disorienting: slip on a set of headphones, turn up the volume and, while you move about the room, the music stays put -- as if coming out of five speakers stuck on a wall.

Software engineers in Germany who developed the widely used MP3 audio file format have taken the technology to a higher level with a next-generation format that delivers cinema-like multichannel audio.

Source: CNN

Now this just sounds cool!

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow DVD Review

Completely under appreciated, "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" generated some buzz over the unique effects style and then seemingly disappeared. It's one of those movies the critics and audiences alike just didn't seem to "get." That's a real shame. It still has some hope that people will discover on DVD and it's not a bad way to do it.

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Zoo Keeper Nintendo DS Review

Trends have shown that it's the bottom touch screen on Nintendo's DS that never gets enough use. Gameplay is usually reserved for the top screen and developers are baffled as to what to do exactly with the systems most unique feature. Enter the highly addictive "Zoo Keeper," a basic graphics swap of a popular online flash game that just seems to be made for this system.

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Gamera 2: Attack of Legion DVD Review

"Gamera: Guardian of the Universe" grabbed plenty of attention in the US, even if it went directly to video. Highly respected major film critic Roger Ebert gave it a nod (and thumbs up) on his weekly show. In Japan it played even better. Daiei studios revived monster makes his second awesome appearance (in what would become a trilogy) in "Gamera 2: Attack of Legion."

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Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris DVD Review

There's a reason that the first two films in the revived Gamera series were huge hits in their native country. Simply put, they really are fantastic action movies, some of the best ever seen in the genre. The streak would continue in the final film (at least to date) "Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris." It's just one notch away from absolute perfection.

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Opening the Xbox Book Review

With a title like "Opening the Xbox," you should likely assume it's one of many hacker type books geared towards Microsoft's game console. It's not. There's not a single line even mentioning the hobby. What author Dean Takahashi has written is an excellent history on the console and how it came to be. It's a great companion to other books like "The Ultimate History of Video Games" which don't have the space to discuss the latest systems at length.

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January 30, 2005

White House Ghosts

George W. Bush was thrilled at finally being able to spend his first night in the White House, but something very strange happened. On the very first night, he was awakened by George Washington’s ghost. Bush asked the ghost, “President Washington, what is the best thing I could do to help the country?”

“Set an honest and honorable example, just as I did,” advised Washington.

With all the excitement of the White House, Bush still couldn’t sleep well, and then, later on that night, the ghost of Thomas Jefferson moved through the dark bedroom. “Tom, what is the best thing I could do to help the country?” Bush asked.

“Cut taxes and reduce the size of the government,” Jefferson answered.

Bush still couldn’t sleep well, so much later, on the same night he saw another ghostly figure moving in the shadows.

It was Abraham Lincoln’s ghost.

“Abe, what is the best thing I could do to help the country?,” Bush asked.

Lincoln replied, “Go see a play.”

Thanks to Max for the funny.

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