February 2005 Archives

February 1, 2005

Happy Birthday Breaking Windows! (2005)

By Ken Edwards

Can you believe it? I have been blogging for 2 years now. I must say that the blogging community is a great place to be part of, I have met really great people just through blogging.

So much for this site being about "A Mac User in a Windows World!" From here on we are "Rants & Raves by Ken Edwards & Matt Paprocki." Since rantsandravesbykenandmatt.com is a rather long URL, we will keep this domain, its catchy, and its been here for 2 yrs!

Continue reading "Happy Birthday Breaking Windows! (2005)" »

A Delicious Request

The other night I was adding new games to my Delicious Library (Library) when I found a game that was indeed in the Amazon.com library, but was not showing up within Library (which uses Amazon.com). I thought it would be great if I could do a lookup in the Title field of Library of the ASIN number. This would undoubtedly pull in the correct info.

I sent out an email to the Delicious Monster folks at 8 PM. By 11 PM I got this reply:

Voila, it is so. You can type in an ISBN or UPC or ASIN into the field under Title and Creator.
It must have been a server side change because I did not have to download a new version of Library. Indeed, when I did a lookup of the game's ASIN, it pulled the data right in.

That was quick service, if you ask me. And one more reason I just love this app.

February 2, 2005

Militants' 'hostage' GI is 12-inch action figure

(CNN) -- A photograph posted on an Islamist Web site appears to be that of an action figure and not a U.S. soldier being held hostage.
Source: CNN

A Real American Hero!

I really feel sad for the AP here. No, no I don't.

Super Bowl to feature tiny 'Turf Cam'

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) -- Some of the most interesting shots of next Sunday's big Super Bowl game could come from a small camera.

A very small camera.

Fox Sports has planted so-called Turf Cams around Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida -- including four on the field where the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles will play Super Bowl XXXIX. Eight more of the Turf Cams aren't in the turf at all -- they'll be mounted at the end zones.

Source: CNN

No breast shots please.

Is it just me or has the real game on TV started to look more like a video game then the video games themselves? Why is it that the TV broadcasts have to mimic what the video games like the Sega/Visual Concepts 2K series. I liked my football games without all the wild 3D motion graphics and without the SkyCam (I just love it when you see that SkyCam zipping accross the fields right above the players, the camera man cannot get the damn thing out of the picture). Give me a few camera angles of the field, the blimp shot, nice looking stat overlays on the screen, a camera on the end zone so I can see Randy Moss moon the crowd, and we'll call it a football game.

No one understands 'simple' anymore.

But really folks: let video games be video games and let TV broadcasts be TV broadcasts.

Remember that "Diamond Cam" or whatever the heck they called it during the World Series. It was right in front Home Plate in the dirt. Those shots sure looked great, and added so much more to the telecast, let me tell ya'.

February 3, 2005

Memtest CLI for OS X

I want to thank Rob for pointing this out. You do not even have to compile it. Which is great. Memtest does a exhaustive test of your RAM. The readme says you should run it multiple times. And as it tests available RAM, I would restart first, and don't load anything. That or run it in Single User Mode, that is really the best way to run it.

Apple's Tipping Point: Macs For The Masses

Now this is what you call an info-graphic! See the larger version, as well as some concept sketches.

The Sweet Spot. Until January 2005, Apple had no iPod or PC products that served the mass market. With the launch of iPod Shuffle and Mac mini they have finally converged two product paths with the mass market in mind....
Source: NiXLOG Via: Cult of Mac

There is some great information here, and man is this a good looking info-graphic!

February 5, 2005

Rumsfeld twice offered to resign during Abu Ghraib scandal

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld says he twice offered President Bush his resignation during the height of the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, but the president refused to accept it.
Source: CNN


Study: Spam costing companies $22 billion a year

A telephone-based survey of adults who use the Internet found that more than three-quarters receive spam daily. The average spam messages per day is 18.5 and the average time spent per day deleting them is 2.8 minutes.

The loss in productivity is equivalent to $21.6 billion per year at average U.S. wages, according to the National Technology Readiness Survey produced by Rockbridge Associates, Inc., and the Center for Excellence in Service at Maryland's business school.

Source: CNN

I don't know about you, but I get exponentially more then 18.5 SPAM emails a day. Because of my SPAM filter I do however keep the time it takes to take care of that SPAM to under 5 minutes though, thank god!

What I would really like to see in one of these studies is more then 1000 people surveyed. Another wonderful fact they pulled out of this: 4 percent of the recipients have bought something advertised through spam within the past year.

Thanks people! You are the reason this "business model" works.

Hide Your iPod, Here Comes Bill

"About 80 percent of Microsoft employees who have a portable music player have an iPod," said one source, a high-level manager who asked to remain anonymous. "It's pretty staggering."

The source estimated 80 percent of Microsoft employees have a music player -- that translates to 16,000 iPod users among the 25,000 who work at or near Microsoft's corporate campus. "This irks the management team no end," said the source.

So popular is the iPod, executives are increasingly sending out memos frowning on its use.

Source: WIRED News

Now this is just funny. Microsoft's offices have more iPod users then Apple has employees. I bet that really does irk the brass at Microsoft. Sweet revenge?

Why Does Windows Still Suck?

Here is your brand new car, sir. Drive it off the lot. Yay yay new car. Suddenly, new car shuts off. New car barely starts again and then only goes about 6 miles per hour and it belches smoke and every warning light on the dashboard is blinking on and off and the tires are screaming and the heater is blasting your feet and something smells like burned hair. You hobble back to the dealer, who only says, gosh, sorry, we thought you knew -- that's they way they all run. Enjoy!

Would you not be, like, that is the goddamn last time I buy a Ford?

Source: SF Gate

He has a point, but a lot of people in the PC (and I mean personal computer) world are a glutton for punishment. But that is their fault, not mine. I'll use my Mac, and you can go deal with adware and malware and viruses and Windows Update and...

Amazon unveils flat-fee shipping

Amazon.com on Wednesday launched a flat-fee shipping program, in a move to offer an alternative to its minimum purchase requirement for low-cost delivery.
Source: ZDNet

You can read the introductory letter from Jeff Bezos himself.

So what is this Amazon Prime? Free 2 day shipping and $4 overnight shipping. You can share this benefit with up to 4 family members. I will admit that I order a lot from Amazon, but I am not in such a hurry that I cannot wait for the free shipping I already elect to use.

I wonder if this program will work. It will be interesting to see how many people buy into it.

The iPod Scuffle

Ahhh, what would we do without The Joy of Tech?

Pepsi-iTunes Super Bowl commercials

I don't know which I like better - the Gwen Stefani 2005 iTunes Ad or the 2005 Pepsi/iTunes Ad. Incidently, if you did not know, Different District has most all the Apple movies online in QuickTime format. They even have a DVD you can buy.

Sci-Fi Channel Original Review: Chupacarbra: Dark Seas

"Chupacabra: Dark Seas" is the type or movie reviewers hate to review. No, it's not that the title is a pain to spell out. It's that no thesaurus has enough adjectives for the word "awful" in it to cover an entire review. This is more pitiful dredge from the Sci-Fi Channel, plain and simple, and there's hardly an explanation for its existence.

Continue reading "Sci-Fi Channel Original Review: Chupacarbra: Dark Seas" »

Madden Really Does Have Some Competition This Year

Since Electronic Arts decided to be cowards and rob football fans of another year (five, actually) of video game football competition, gamers need to start exploring other options. Enter Tecmo Bowl. No, not just the classic version on cartridge. We're talking the hacked ones available on the internet with fully updated stats, rosters, schedules, and logos. Life is good.

Continue reading "Madden Really Does Have Some Competition This Year" »

Tiger Woods 2004 Game Boy Advance Review

Hardly any other company catches more flack for their sequels than EA. Their sports line is constantly under fire for not providing enough new content with each release. For once, that doesn't apply. "Tiger Woods 2004" is a remarkable improvement in every area from the huge disappointment that was the first installment on the GBA. There's still work to be done with plenty of room for improvement.

Continue reading "Tiger Woods 2004 Game Boy Advance Review" »

Since When is a 10-Hour Video Game "Short?"

Ask anyone back in the mid-80's about the length of their video games and you would probably get a strange look. It was never an issue, one that was hardly even thought of. Now, people complain if they don't get 10 hours of gameplay. What happened?

Continue reading "Since When is a 10-Hour Video Game "Short?"" »

Xbox Millennium Falcon

Xbox Millennium Falcon PAL XBox mod. Pretty impressive mod! Not only is it a nice mod, its modded with EvolutionX too.

Worst Weather Report Ever

This is really bad. We could all do better on the fly

IQue Server 4 offers new editorial capabilities

Harris & Baseview on Friday released IQue Server 4.0, an editorial solution that includes a MySQL database, a JBoss application server and a cross-platform NewsEditPro IQue client.
Source: MacCentral

We do not use IQue at The BG News, it simply costs to much. We use the non-IQue version of their NewsEdit Pro editorial software. It is great that they finally ported IQue over to MySQL and JBoss though. The previous version uses FoxPro and I have, unfortunately, had *fun* experiences with that. It should also be a lot more stable under MySQL and JBoss, though if you know how stable NEP and iQue are, you are not holding your breath. We can all hope, right?

The more important change here is that you can run MySQL and Java under Mac OS X very well. This will allow a lot of small and medium sized newspapers that use Harris/Baseview's workflow to upgrade to OS X. I know if I was running IQue Server, I would not want to be running them under Mac OS 9.

February 7, 2005

Super XXXIX Bowl in Hi-Def

Chances are if you work anywhere that sells TV's, you've been busy for the past few weeks with the Super Bowl being such a huge selling point. Fox did a fine job presenting the game in Hi-Def to all those who bought new sets and to those who have one for a while. Toss in Dolby 5.1 support and it seems like Fox lives up to their claims of being the worlds best standard, but misfires were noticeable.

Continue reading "Super XXXIX Bowl in Hi-Def" »

Reviewing the Reviewers: Video Game Magazines

The internet isn't the only place to get gaming info. Plenty of magazines line the racks in the grocery stores. Which ones are worthy of your cash, or better yet, a subscription? In no particular order, here you go:

Continue reading "Reviewing the Reviewers: Video Game Magazines" »

IBM, Sony, Toshiba unveil nine-core Cell processor

Researchers from IBM Corp., Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and Toshiba Corp. unveiled the long-awaited Cell microprocessor Monday, revealing a multicore, multithreaded gaming engine described as "a supercomputer on a chip..."

The prototype chip discussed Monday is comprised of one 64-bit PowerPC processor core and eight separate processing cores that the companies call "synergistic processing elements," or SPEs. The cores can support multiple operating systems and programming models through the use of virtualization technologies, said Jim Kahle, director of technology at the Design Center for Cell Technology, and an IBM fellow.

Source: MacCentral

Not only is this great Playstation 3 news, this is great news for IBM. The next X Box, Playstation, and probably Nintendo console will all be using IBM CPU's and ATI GPU's. Thats really great news for IBM and ATI.

It is great for IBM because it means there are more uses for the PowerPC processor then just Macs. Who would have thought the next X Box, from Microsoft, was based on the Apple G5 processor. Its not exactly a G5, of course, but all these next generation gaming consoles are using PowerPC derived chips.

Keynote 2 Web View Problem Fixed

Its fixed, its fixed! Thanks to Arno Bosse on the Apple Discussions forums and ultimately the MacFixIt posting for the solution to this problem.

To recap: a number of people could not use the new Web View feature of Keynote 2. The simple solution is to delete com.apple.internetconfig.plist from ~/Library/Preferences. Deleting this file does not seem to have any other ill effects. Someone earlier suggested deleting a different plist file, but that did not work. This did!

I can now use the Web View feature on my G5 without switching to a "clean" user account. Thanks a bunch!

Shmoo Group exploit: 0wn any domain, no defense exists

Pablos sez, "Shmoocon ended today. And just to prove The Shmoo Group wasn't sitting on their asses for the entire time while planning the con - A new exploit was demo'd by EricJ that left all jaws our on the floor. Want to own ANY domain? Want a trusted SSL cert for it? Check it out here. We 0wnz0rd PayPal, but left the rest for you. We have no idea how to fix this and neither do the browser developers. Official advisory here. Phishing attacks of doom coming soon."
Source: BoingBoing

Oh lord, this is just another fold in the phishing debacle. I found this interesting from the advisory:

VI. Vendor Responses

Verisign: No response yet.
Apple: No response yet.
Opera: They believe they have correctly implemented IDN, and will not be making any changes.
Mozilla: Working on finding a good long-term solution; provided clear workaround for disabling IDN.

You can read the full advisory for how to turn IDN off in Mozilla based browsers, as well as how exactly they have spoofed PayPal.com. And by all means, try out the proof of concept.

Thanks to Rob Griffiths for the link.

February 8, 2005

Bush Budget Will Propose a Recall of Federal Funds From Perkins Loan Program

The Bush administration's budget for 2006, due out on Monday, could mean the end of the Perkins loan program.

In that budget, the president will ask Congress to recall the federal share of institutions' revolving loan funds, according to a top Education Department official. The funds, which are made up of federal "capital contributions," institutional matches, and repaid Perkins loans, are used to make new loans to students from low-income and middle-income families.

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education

No child left behind!

Geek Love Poem T-shirt

Here is something for your valentine this year.

Roses Are #FF0000
Violets Are #0000FF
All My Base
Are Belong To You

Thanks to Ian for the link.

All album artwork is missing after upgrading to iTunes 4.7.1

Why is it that all recent updates to iTunes (on the Mac at least) have to come with an asterisk. Every time something goes wrong. It is starting to really annoy me. This time after the 4.7.1 update, part of iLife '05, killed all the album artwork on my iPod photo. And look, there is a tech note for it. Here is the abridged version.

5. Deselect the "Display album artwork on your iPod" checkbox.
9. Select the "Display album artwork on your iPod" checkbox.

February 9, 2005

50 Questions Meme

I have not done one of these in a while. This one found by way of Neil, he found it from Dave who got it from Chris. Hopefully more people will fill this out. Its always nice to get legit trackbacks.

Continue reading "50 Questions Meme" »

1 GB iPod Shuffle Review

I had to, I just had to. Sure I have a 60 GB iPod photo, but I had to get a Shuffle. This iPod shuffle is a 2-in-1. I can now get rid of my aging USB thumb drive, and have a super small iPod with me at all times.

This thing is tiny. You can fit it inside the coin pocket of a pair of jeans.

Continue reading "1 GB iPod Shuffle Review" »

February 10, 2005

Hotmail Screw Job

Guest submission by Max Hostetler

You used to be able to check your Hotmail account via Entourage or Outlook. Well now to do the same thing, Microsoft is requiring you to have the Hotmail subscription which is $20 a year. It gives you increased e-mail storage and some other features along with remote checking, but I don’t want to pay that. Now I can’t even type e-mails and send them via Outlook, they’ve totally screwed me. WHAT THE CRAP? Now I have a hotmail account I’ll probably never use, who the hell uses webmail anyway?

Ken interjects:

I use webmail a lot. I use GMail and my own Meancode webmail when I am not sitting at my own computer. I know some people who live on webmail only, I could never do that myself.

I once had a Hotmail account too, a while ago. I didn't login to the account regularly enough, so they deleted it. Yahoo did the exact same thing. GMail has done the right thing in allowing you have access to their POP server for FREE. That 1 GB of storage doesn't hurt either.

I constantly hear about problems from people who use Hotmail. It usually goes like this "I can never receive emails from the (fill in blank) mailing list."

But I was not aware of not being able to check your email in Entourage or Outlook. I am sort of surprised too, since Microsoft is competing with so many businesses, not just Google.

By the way, if you need any more reasons, you should check out the Hotmail Sucks Web site.

Trojan attacks Microsoft's AntiSpyware

Virus writers have created a malicious program that can disable Microsoft's new anti-spyware application, security experts warned on Wednesday.
Source: ZDNet

I guess it really is a good idea to stick with Spybot Search & Destroy!

Would this compromise happened if AntiSpyware was still by GIANT and not Microsoft?

Microsoft Will Buy Anti-Virus Program Maker Sybari

The purchase, Microsoft's second in three months, underscores the company's urgency to release its own anti-virus products to protect its Windows and Internet programs. Virus attacks rose more than sixfold from 2000 to 2003, and some Microsoft customers are considering competing software such as Linux. The company wants its own security products to challenge Symantec Corp. and McAfee Inc.
Source Bloomber.com

If people have already figured out how to disable AntiSpyware...

So when will we see Microsoft AntiVirus, and will it be free? Will it protect Outlook? Will its technology be built in to Outlook?

Google Maps, technically speaking

Joel Webber analyzed the DHTML behind the new Google Maps. It's nice to see a clean XHTML + CSS approach with absolute positioning and "console game" style, tile-based scrolling. Instead of using XMLHttp requests like in Google Suggest, there's a hidden Iframe which fires the parent's "load" function.
Source: Google Blogoscoped

Joel's overview is a bit technical, but it and the over 100 comments to his post have some great info in them. Its pretty cool to understand how Google Maps works, or at least begin to understand. The coding behind it all seems pretty involved, I wonder if it will ever support KHTML/WebKit?

Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster DVD Review

This offbeat entry in the Godzilla series falls almost squarely in the middle of the original series. Gone is famed director Ishiro Honda, now replaced with Jun Fukuda who would "treat" fans to some of the worst entries in the series. Whether or not it was his directorial skills or the limited budgets he faced, Fukuda started off with a very hit or miss entry, "Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster."

Continue reading "Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster DVD Review" »

Eternal Champions revisited

For those not in the know, Eternal Champions was Sega's answer to the Street Fighter phenomenon. It came out on the Sega Genesis and got a semi-sequel on the Sega CD. That sequel was the only game for the system to use the extended color mode for 256-colors on screen at once. That means all of the fatalities, easily the best in the history of video games, came through with a gorgeous color palette. Now you can view them all in .gif form thanks to a dedicated gamer. Be warned that some of these are really brutal and parental discretion is advised.

February 11, 2005

EA Securing NCAA Exclusivity?

First it was the NFL. Then came ESPN. And now, it appears Electronic Arts is very close to securing another license: NCAA Football. Sources tell us that the publishing powerhouse will soon announce an exclusivity deal with the NCAA, enabling only EA to make football games using university squads (thus shutting another football door in the face of rival 2K Games).
Source: 1UP.com

This is bad.... very bad.

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II DVD Review

Toho's idea to not only resurrect Godzilla but his foes as well was working. The previous two entries in the Hesei series were huge hits. Not one to miss a gold mine, Mechagodzilla was then brought back for his third attempt at demolishing Toho's icon. Many fans consider this to be the best of the second round of Godzilla films, though that's up for some serious debate.

Continue reading "Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II DVD Review" »

Why Laserdiscs Rock

Even with about 400 DVD's on my shelf, there's something about laserdiscs that makes them such a huge collectable. In a recent issue of Video Store Magazine, E-bay reported a significant increase in sales in their laserdisc category. That's not that surprising for a variety of reasons, notably "Star Wars." That's getting a bit ahead of the game though. There's a reason for this resurgence that goes a bit beyond one movie. Actually, there's quite a few:

Continue reading "Why Laserdiscs Rock" »

February 12, 2005

SwapTop 2.0 Reinvents itself as Webshots wannabe

British developer Zonic on Friday released SwapTop 2.0, a revival of the product that the company introduced in 2001 to fill the gap left by the demise of Webshots, which provided desktop images and screensavers from its servers on a rotating basis. Webshots was a casualty of the problems at Excite@Home, which laid off many employees in mid-2001 and simply killed the service. Zonic introduced the first version of SwapTop at that time, but at the end of 2002, Webshots returned as a CNET Networks product, which prompted Zonic to convert its software into a free download and cease development.

Source: MacCentral

I really do not understand this. The last version of SwapTop before this 2.0 release was an application that connected to Webshots and allowed you use their photo galleries. I have SwapTop 1.9.2 on both my PowerBook and my G5 to handle my Webshots photos. This is because the official Webshots OS X client a) is really bad, and b) doesn't work in the latest release of 10.3.

Webshots costs me $23.88 a year. I just renewed it on the 8th. SwapTop's rival service costs $24.95. With Webshots there is a web site with a huge library of photos, not to mention member libraries, such as my Dad's photos. With SwapTop you get no web site to search through, and a very limited amount of photos. You get no preview of the images. Unless the demo of SwapTop's service is nothing like the paid membership, I do not see how this is going to fly.

SwapTop 1.9.2 is free. It trys to be shareware with a Register listing in the SwapTop menu, but it never nags you, and does not prevent you from using the thousands of Webshots photos.

I just don't get it. If you are going to compete, I would think you would have to undercut Webshots, since they clearly have many more photos, and features over SwapTop 2.0. Am I missing something here?

I see that you can no longer get the old version of SwapTop from their site, but you can get it at VersionTracker. SwapTop 1.9.2 will also be available for years from anonymous FTP pubs.

But maybe I am missing the point with Zonic's reinvention of SwapTop.

*It is necessary to maintain a subscription in order to continue access to songs downloaded from Napster To Go

Its funny you never saw that asterisk during the Super Bowl commercial. Would you rather own your 10,000 songs are rent them. Once you miss a month's $15 payment for whatever reason you entire music library goes 'poof.'

Lets do some match, based on $1 a song and $10 a CD. One full year of Napster To Go will cost you $180 a year. That is 18 CDs for one year, after that year those CDs are yours to do with whatever you want. At the end of the day (year) I would rather have 18 CDs then have to continue forking over $15 every month to continue listening to music.

Sure I have a biased opinion towards the iTunes Music Store and Apple, but forget the brand names and brand loyalty for a moment.

I do not see how people can equate digital music to satellite radio. It is the closest form of entertainment that I can compare Napster To Go with. The model works for satellite radio, it does not work for online music stores.

This will of course not prevent hordes of people to Napsters new “To Go” service. There will always be people who buy before they think.

15 is less then 10,000 after all.

Out of Time DVD Review

Sometimes you have to wonder if certain actors ever sleep. Denzel Washington is one of those, seemingly in a new movie every week. That's certainly not a bad thing as he's one of the best currently in the industry. You just have to wish the guy wouldn't get burned out before his career is over. After his award-winning performance in "Training Day," he took on another great thriller with "Out of Time."

Continue reading "Out of Time DVD Review" »

Is SCO Down for the Count This Time?

At first glance, it appears that The SCO Group's case against IBM for Linux/Unix intellectual property right violations is all but over, after the judge said Tuesday that the court hasn't seen any hard evidence to support SCO's claims.
Source: eWeek

"It is astonishing that SCO has not offered any competent evidence to create a disputed fact regarding whether IBM has infringed SCO's alleged copyrights through IBM's Linux activities."

Those are pretty strong words from the judge.

A Look At Windows XP Reduced Media Edition

What do you get when you strip Windows Media Player from Windows XP? Windows XP Reduced Media Edition. After EU courts ordered Microsoft to remove Windows Media Player from their Windows Operating System, Microsoft fired back by branding the “new” OS with what they believe it now is: a Reduced version of Windows XP.
Source: Flexbeta

Windows without WMP? What is next, Windows without IE?

February 13, 2005

NameVoyager name finder

Explore the sea of names, letter by letter...watch trends rise and fall, and dive in deeper to see your favorite name's place in the historical tides.
Baby Name Wizard's NameVoyager is an "interactive portrait of America's name choices. Start with a "sea" of nearly 5000 names. Type a letter, and you'll zoom in to focus on how that initial has been used over the past century."

Thanks to Rob for the link. Its a pretty cool Java app.

Delicious Library performance tip

Delicious Library has become my new favorite app, I am sure there are many others out there that feel the same way. I can't wait to see what those 'Monsters' have up their sleeves for version 2. If there is one thing that annoys me with Library 1.1, it is how slow it gets if "Sync with My iPod" is checked in Preferences. I like having my lists on my iPod, but not when I was seeing spinning beach balls of deaths every couple minutes. Just turn this option off when you are filling your Library. Turn it back on when you want to update your iPod.

Problem fixed.

Toys R Us 90% off sale

If you have a location near you, get there ASAP. Anything with a green clearance tag is 90% off the marked price. Items vary in each store. I got back from two stores today. I spent $30 total and the receipts added up my savings to be near $300. I came home with about 50 items including strategy guides, PS One games, N64 games, and a ton of magazines. The sale has been going for about a week, so you'll need to get there quick to really take advantage of it. Still not convinced? While working there last night, a guy bought 4 CD Boomboxes marked at $79.99 for less than $8 a piece. Yeah, it's nuts. To see what other people have nabbed, check out this thread at Digital Press.

February 15, 2005

Anti-Widescreen... Cult?

Back in college, I was assigned a research paper to write. This was just a few years ago and the catch was that none of the research could be done on the internet. I knew exactly what I wanted to do but still had to cite sources. Since my topic has very little written in book form, it was a little irritating. I didn't understand why exactly the internet was so bashed by professors. Now I can firmly say I do.

Continue reading "Anti-Widescreen... Cult?" »

States Probe Blockbuster No Late Fees Policy

Attorneys general in at least 35 states are looking into Blockbuster Inc.’s new no-late fees-policy, focusing on potentially deceptive practices because of the “restocking” fees and disparities between national advertising and franchisee practices...

The inquiries are focused on two potentially deceptive practices...

Source: Home Media Retailing

False advertising has been under fire a lot lately. Ask Listerine how they feel about it.

Have a blog, lose your job?

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Mark Jen landed a dream job with Google Inc. in January. He was fired less than a month later.

His infraction? He ran a Web log, where he freely gabbed about his impressions of life at the Mountain View, Calif.-based Internet search giant.

Source: CNN Money

As far as I have read, this guy from Google lost his job for more reasons then just having a blog. It is his fault for what he blogged about, and what he did. Same thing for the Microsoft contractor who posted photos of new G5's arriving at Microsoft's campus. It was his fault for being stupid.

There are plenty more people in "corporate America" that have blogs and keep their jobs. There are a lot of businesses in "corporate America" that have their employees keep blogs, Google included.

Will articles like this scare people away from keeping a blog? Probably. Are the majority of the employed bloggers that stupid? No.

King of the world

Eric Cassano sees the future is so bright, Bill Belichick has to wear shades to protect him from the reflection of his Nobel Prize.

Continue reading "King of the world"

Boinx Mouseposé Review

I can't believe Boinx is giving this away for free. It is really nice to see too. Most Mac developers think their little one trick pony should cost at least $10 - this happens all to often.

Mouseposé is a free tool that, when activated, dims the screen into a silhouette allowing the user or audience to focus on the cursor easier. You can change the opacity, diameter and color of the silhouette.

Currently you can only select F-Keys as the keyboard shortcut to use. Some might say this is a limitation. Fine. Add more options to make a hot key. For me? I like the simplicity of using a F-Key to trigger Mouseposé. You can also use Speakable Items to trigger it, or use Salling Clicker. That is a lot of choices. AppleScript and Speakable Items support are nice touches.

Continue reading "Boinx Mouseposé Review" »

Math Is Done: Napster To Go Doesn't Add Up

Whether you like Napster To Go, the online store's new music subscription service, depends on whether you think of it as all-you-can-eat or all-you-can-pay.

Both descriptions are accurate. For $15 a month, Napster To Go offers unlimited song downloads -- in a copy-restricted format that can be played only on Windows XP computers and some digital music players -- but these songs expire if you don't keep paying that fee each month.

Source: Washington Post

Here is BugMeNot.com for convenience. I would be interested to know how many "some digital music players" really is. Here is your answer:

Because this underlying software is so new, Napster To Go is the least compatible music store in existence. You can use it only on a Windows XP computer running Windows Media Player 10, and you can transfer your downloads only to a Windows Media-compatible player that includes special software and circuitry to enforce the pay-to-play deal.

Nine devices are compatible, seven needing software update to work with Napster To Go. Odd licensing limits the actual library available to To Go users. I see that I am not the only one who didn't think this sounded good. It was good to read Rob Pegoraro's first hand account in this Washington Post article.

Consider this example: I have been purchasing CDs for about 20 years now, in which time I've accumulated about 300 of the things. At an average of $15 each, I've spent $4,500. Now suppose that, instead of buying those CDs, I could have opened up a Napster To Go account back in 1985. My total bill would be $3,600 and counting -- and although I might have accumulated a larger, more diverse collection, I wouldn't own any of it.
That is a much better example then I came up with.

Super Mario 64 DS Review

Hardly any games have sold 1-to-1 with a newly launched game console unless they're included as a pack-in. "Mario 64" managed that feat, and even figuring in the lack of any real competition at that point, it's an impressive stat. Faced with nearly the same situation at the DS launch, "Mario 64 DS" didn't do quite as well. That doesn't mean this classic is any worse for the wear.

Continue reading "Super Mario 64 DS Review" »

Kong is King

Lots of big remakes coming in the next year from Hollywood including "War of the Worlds" and "Willy Wonka," but Peter Jackson fans have to know that "King Kong" is shaping up to be something truly special. After the disaster that was the 1976 remake, Jackson looks to be on track to really pull it off. Fans have the opportunity to see just about every detail that has gone into the production at Kong is King. The production diaries are must views, just make sure to do it in order to see the film really come alive piece by piece. It's better than a stack of DVD extras. The original is really a special piece to me so it's easily one of my most anticipated movies ever.

February 16, 2005

iPod Troubleshooting & Service

EDITORS NOTE: This was originally posted on November 24, 2003. It was updated with much more information and links on February 16, 2005. I want to welcome everyone who has been coming here from the search engines, and mainly Google (I have just been too busy to update this post). I cannot imagine any other reason for so many comments, so it must be because of the search engines.

UPDATE: 02/16/05: I have added one tip specific to Windows and USB/FireWire devices, as well as how to perform a hard reset of the iPod.

UPDATE: 02/22/05, Neil confirmed a few things, please see end of post.

What a great page, that is hard to find! There is also a iPod Service & Support page I just found. If you go to either of these pages and search for things, most, if not all, of your questions will be found.

I would also highly suggest the iPodLounge.com Forums or forums at Macworld, Mac OS X Hints, or Apple Discussions.The aboe Apple links and iPodLounge.com have great tutorials if you are unfamiliar with anything.

Continue reading "iPod Troubleshooting & Service" »

Violent Video Games Targeted Again

These new bills are always entertaining. California already had one violent video game bill fail to pass based on free speech. Now Leland Yee has resubmitted it with unspecified changes in an attempt to garner support. Anyway it's changed, it's hypocritical and a joke.

Continue reading "Violent Video Games Targeted Again" »

Etiquette for forwarding emails (funny or not)

I originally posted this on May 20, 2003, so I am not going to post it again.

A friend of mine forwarded this to me the other day. The really funny part is that it was flagged as spam, POPFILE was 99% sure of it. I am not going to correct it either. The email had an attachment, that just had a transcript of who had forwarded the email to who (I know who you are).

Of the classified words recognized by POPFILE, there are an overwhelming number of "red" words compared to "green" words.

Continue reading "Etiquette for forwarding emails (funny or not)" »

February 17, 2005

Bugs Bunny and pals get a facelift

Talk about extreme makeovers. Take a look at what's happening to Daffy and Bugs.

Hoping to breathe new life into its animated Looney Tunes franchise and prop up the WB television network's slumping Kids' WB line-up, Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. is planning to launch a new cartoon series this fall based on "re-imagined" versions of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tasmanian Devil, Lola Bunny, Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote.

Warner Bros. has created angular, slightly menacing-looking versions of the classic Looney Tunes characters for its new series, dubbed "Loonatics" and set in the year 2772.

Source: Denver Post

I was a fan of Looney Toons when I was a kid, and I still enjoy turning on Cartoon Network to see them now. I think that Warner is just trying to cash in on the Anime craze.

I will wait to pass judgement to see official images of these new "angular, slightly menacing-looking" Loonatics. I hope it goes well for the kid market. I think us "old" folks will stick to the good old Looney Toons.

Continue reading "Bugs Bunny and pals get a facelift" »

Panic's Transmit 3 adds slew of new features

Panic today announced the release of Transmit 3, a major update to its award-winning Mac OS X FTP client. Transmit 3 adds a great deal of new features--many of which MacMinute covered last month--including: column view; tabs for multiple connections; a Finder-like sidebar (including per-server folders); redesigned Favorites; search; a new preview drawer with support for more image types and thumbnail zooming; dock status; spring-loaded folders and tabs; server to server transfers; linked folder navigation; improved synchronization; and full iDisk/WebDAV support.
Source: MacMinute

They had me at tabs.

I emailed Panic about Transmit 3 not importing Fetch bookmarks, as well as a duplicate favorites feature (I have many bookmarks to the same server, but pointed to different directories) and got an email back from Cabel Sasser saying they would consider the duplicate favorite feature.

Its a shame my Fetch bookmarks were not imported. I have a ton of them.

Read the rest of that MacMinute artice for more info on the new version of Transmit. Its got an impressive list of additions. Panic is really a first rate developer. I use Unison, and used to use Audiion back when it was competing with SoundJam.

Transmit is a really great looking app. I am about to switch from Fetch. If I can get my bookmarks into Transmit I will switch. Re-entering them all would be a pain.

I have only had 10 minutes to play with Transmit 3 but wow it is nice. Its a lot nicer then Fetch 4. It also costs more. But it has a much nicer feature set, not to mention a very nice UI.

Gmail Steals Users From Hotmail

Most of the gains in users by Google's free Gmail Web-based e-mail service have come at the expense of Microsoft's Hotmail, an e-mail switching service said Wednesday.
Source: TechWeb

Back when I did not have a constant supply of 50 invites, I was doling out a very large percentage of invites to people who wanted to rid themselves from Hotmail. What does this say for your product, Microsoft?

Napster goes retro with (unintentionally) free music

When Napster launched its new subscription Napster-To-Go service two weeks ago, they touted it as a low-cost way to access thousands of songs without having to buy them. For $14.95, customers can copy all the tracks they want from Napster's catalog to digital music players. There's even a 14-day free trial. Of course, when the subscription expires so does the music.

However, in a flashback to the heyday of the original Napster in the late 1990s, a rediscovery by a few users of an old Winamp trick has resulted in subscribers being able to download any number of tracks, which are then no longer tied to the subscriber's PC and digital music players.

Source: ArsTechnica

I know this is old news, and I have written about it already, but the headline is just golden, and it is Ars after all. I can't believe that it took less then a day for a "crack" to surface. Of course the method is very time consuming, but that has never stopped people before.

For those who REALLY love the Xbox

Definitely one of the most unique auctions I've come across in a long time. Yes, you really sit inside of it, but wouldn't you be awfully close to the screen?

February 18, 2005

VersionTracker takes SwapTop 1.9.2 offline

You may recall my February 12th opinions on SwapTop 2.0. It is now February 18th and VersionTracker no longer allows you to download version 1.9.2. If you go to the 1.9.2 page and click "Download Now" you are pushed to the Zonic site.

This is total bull crap if you ask me. Older versions of software should stay available. Especially if you drastically change the use and features of said application.

There still are a number of places to grab SwapTop 1.9.2, Softpedia being one of them. I am willing to bet that Zonic had VersionTracker take version 1.9.2 down. How long until they tell all the other software directory sites to do the same?

Zonic is trying to force people to pay $25 for SwapTop 2.0 which is not the same application that SwapTop 1.9.2 was. Zonic must like to tick people off. I don't know about you, but I don't like to be forced to use any software. I don't care who the developer is. Bad move Zonic. I urge you to email Zonic and tell them how you feel about this. I have already done so.

Thanks to my Dad for stumbling on this problem as he was trying to download SwapTop 1.9.2 to archive (something I suggest you do if you use SwapTop 1.9.2).

February 20, 2005

KnightCite formats citations for students free of charge

If you've struggled with lengthy research papers, chances are you've faced your fair share of late-night frustration trying to follow strict citation formats.

Guidelines set out by the Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA) or Chicago Manual of Style, can be difficult to follow. Title underlined? Author italicized? It's hard to keep straight.

Source: The BG News

We picked this story from KRT Campus and ran it in the paper last week. You need to check out KnightCite. It is amazing. You just plug in the data, for any kind of source, and it churns out the correctly formatted listing.

When writing research papers I hate making the bibliography page. This Web site makes that job a breeze.

Why didn't I think of this?

Mac Developer Directory

Easily find contract developers with Mac or Mac related skills in the Mac Developer Directory.

Why You Shouldn't Trust All Reviews

I will never make the claim that I'm a great movie/video game reviewer. What I do I do for fun and enjoyment, most of the time because I'm completely bored out of my mind. I'm not paid, though I certainly wouldn't argue if I were. What's baffling to me are those people out there who really get paid to do this. Reading through some so-called "professional" gaming magazines can be downright disgusting at times.

Continue reading "Why You Shouldn't Trust All Reviews" »

February 21, 2005

How to respond to eBay feedback

In case you weren't aware, eBay implemented a system a while back that allows people to respond to feedback they've received. Some people use it to plead their case, others use it to make entertainment for all of us.

Why Some Days Are Better Spent in Bed

One of my all time worst days was yesterday and I've got to vent somewhere. Why not BW? Warning: This is a long, overly dramatic and potentially boring rant. If you don't like this stuff, don't read it.

Continue reading "Why Some Days Are Better Spent in Bed" »

MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf XBox Review

It's understandable that the true die-hard "Mech Warrior" fans have shunned the series' major change on the XBox. The game has pretty much been stripped clean to work in a console environment and optimized for fast paced online play. For the rest of us, it works. This is a blazing hot blast-a-thon all the way through, but it's a shame that it's so geared for online play. Single player has suffered in the process.

Continue reading "MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf XBox Review" »

iTunes Hot Tips

Apple has a hot tips page for both Mac and Windows. They are basically the same, with just different screen shots, etc.

15 GB Dragon green 3G iPod for sale

UPDATE: It has been sold!

I am selling my 15GB 3G iPod. I have no need for it. It is in pretty fair condition. The screen is scuffed, the metal back is scuffed, this thing has seen little use. The battery life is still great. It has no engraving on the back. It is also painted "Dragon" green by ColorWare.

I know this did not come with a Dock, so that is not included. I would give you mine but mine is for an iPod photo. It does come in its original box, and with all of its original accessories. You get all this:

15 GB 3rd Generation Super Cool Dragon Green iPod
FireWire iPod Connector Cable
AC adapter (not pictured)
Original (unopened) Earbud Headphones & Remote
Apple Belt Clip
Carrying Case
4-pin-to-6-pin FireWire adapter (not pictured)
Original Paperwork
NEW iTunes CD (iPod photo version)
Original Packaging (minus one piece of Styrofoam that got lost along the way)

All of this can be yours for $125.00. Post a message or send me an email, kenneth.edwards at gmail dot com.

February 22, 2005

Gmail Update and Invitation

Google finally emailed me to invite me to GMail. I obviously do not need one any more! But as I signed up for this in April, this is an automated email. This invite goes to the first person to click and sing up. Just please change the emergency email address ;)

The Thin Red Line DVD Review

There have been so many different takes on war films over the years, it's hard to believe there's a story left to tell. Filled with an impressive cast, "The Thin Red Line" takes a different approach, showcasing just what goes through a soldiers mind on a field of war. It tries to become too big of an epic and it shows, just don't let that stop you from appreciating what's here.

Continue reading "The Thin Red Line DVD Review" »

Suday Madness Update

Well, after this escapade on Sunday, things have slowly worked themselves out. The lizards are fine. Angilas (if you know where that name is from, pat yourself on the back for being genuinely cool), the one that took a pretty heavy beating, is fine. Dropped in some crickets this afternoon and though he was a little hesitant, he came around and ate his share. He's not a fan of taking antibiotics by mouth (and we're not a fan of giving them), but I think we can pass on the vet visit as he seems fine and save $60+ in the process. Considering he only cost $20 to begin with, I think we've done our part.

Insurance is still an issue, just not as bad. I found a plan through Anthem that offers me decent coverage for $109 a month. Prescriptions and doctor visits are the same co-pay I had previously. I'll still need to pay 20% of anything major (emergency room, surgery, etc.), but since I really don't/can't do anything because of my back, it's kind of hard to really screw anything up that badly. Actually, it's all George Bush's fault. Maybe I'll just move to Canada.

New York hotel hell

Guest submission by Rob Griffiths (Webmaster of Mac OS X Hints, and author of Mac OS X Power Hound). Feel free to copy, as long as author attribution and site link remain intact. Posted with permission by the author.

Travel day to NYC. Flights were fine — somewhat bumpy, but not too bad. First plane was absolutely packed, though. Chicago weather was very low ceilings, under 600′ they said. After I got off the plane, I walked a ways to find a flight board for my connection, scanned it, and found that my departure gate was … my arrival gate. Yep, back on the same plane — only one row in front of my prior seat! Thankfully, this plane was only about half full, so I had the row to myself. Landing at LaGuardia, we were racing a snowstorm in. Apparently, we barely beat the snow — runways were dry and no precipitation while de-planing, but it was snowing when I caught the cab.

Continue reading "New York hotel hell" »

Blond Joke of the Day: Rooster Puzzle

(Guest submission from my Dad, thanks for the funny.)

A blonde calls her boyfriend and says, "Please come over here and help me. I have a killer jigsaw puzzle, and I can't figure out how to get it started." Her boyfriend asks, "What is it supposed to be when it's finished?."

The blonde says, "According to the picture on the box, it's a rooster." Her boyfriend decides to go over and help with the puzzle. She lets him in and shows him where she has the puzzle spread all over the table.

He studies the pieces for a moment, then looks at the box, then turns to her and says, "First of all, no matter what we do, we're not going to be able to assemble these pieces into anything resembling a rooster." He takes her hand and says, "Second, I want you to relax. Let's have a nice cup of tea, and then....." he sighed, "...let's put all these Corn Flakes back in the box."

February 23, 2005

Saw DVD Review

There are plot holes in every movie. Something is usually lingering in the back of your mind when it's all over. The key for a movie is to draw the audience in early so they can be overlooked and forgotten by the time the credits roll. That's something "Saw" does extremely well. It doesn't excuse the gaping holes that should be obvious to anyone paying attention, but it's gripping enough to reel you in and not let go.

Continue reading "Saw DVD Review" »

February 24, 2005

Why You Shouldn't Trust All Reviews 2

(Guest column by Michael Siebenaler, who will hopefully be contributing more here in the near future.)

Game reviewing, and any type of media review, has to be fully experienced for accurate evaluation. Overall, reviewers make up bigger entities like the journalistic media which usually reflects society’s resulting reviews on media. Sales are also an obvious measurement as well, but don’t really touch the personal experience of the media. For now I’ll just stick with the personal journey of a media reviewer.

Continue reading "Why You Shouldn't Trust All Reviews 2" »

Dell hit with class-action lawsuit in S.F.

Two San Francisco residents have filed a class-action lawsuit against computer manufacturer Dell, alleging the company regularly uses bait-and-switch techniques, and promises favorable financing terms that it doesn't deliver.
Source: SiliconValley.com

$1,300 for a laptop and a printer? That sounds like Apple not Dell. $599 for a laptop and $89 for a printer (just a word of warning people, never buy Dell printers) should not equal $1,300, even if you finance it. Thats even worse then Apple's finance options (another word of advice, if you use Apple financing, never only pay the minimum. I have had friends that do that, they payed out the nose.)

Another person bought two computers but received "lesser-quality computer systems at the price at which Dell agreed to sell the higher-quality systems."

I feel sorry for these people. There is nothing worse then problems before you get the computer. I thought Dell was a reputable dealer.

MP3s for pennies? Russian cops say no

A Russian digital-music site offering high-quality song downloads for just pennies apiece is the target of a criminal copyright investigation by the local police, recording industry groups said Tuesday.

AllofMP3.com has been operating for several years, asking consumers to pay just 2 cents per megabyte of downloads--usually between 4 cents and 10 cents per song. Alongside the catalogue available at traditional stores like Apple Computer's iTunes, the site offered access to songs from the Beatles and other groups that haven't yet authorized digital distribution.

Source: C|Net News.com

Damit! It looks like the party is over.

TiVo shares rise on takeover speculation

NEW YORK, Feb 23 (Reuters) - TiVo Inc. shares jumped more than 17 percent on Wednesday, fueled by speculation that Apple Computer Inc. might make a try to buy the digital video recorder maker, analysts said.

"What we hear on the street is that Apple is interested in their business and that they are a takeout target," said analyst Steven Kroll Jr. of Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co.

Source: Reuters

It fits the "Digital Hub" idea doesn't it? TiVo has been a money-losing company recently. I really have no idea why Apple would want to buy them. But who knows, Apple is great at keeping secrets. I didn't know this, but Time Warner, Liberty Media, Comcast, and even Sony (which used to make TiVo boxes) are all said to be taking a look at TiVo, too (Engadget).

PalmSource switching from HotSync to SyncML

This is gonna be really good news for anyone who has a Palm but not a PC—PalmSource is abandoning HotSync, the synchronization software they’ve been using for years and years, and replacing it with SyncML, a more open sync standard that should make it easier to build software for syncing Palms with computers running on other operating systems besides Windows. PalmSource pissed off a lot of Apple types when they announced last year that they were dropping support for Macs in Cobalt, the next version of the Palm operating system, and this seems more or less like their way of offering a compromise.
Source: Engadget

HotSync is a piece of crap on the Mac, in my opinion. BackupBuddy is a prime example of this. This is great news for the guture of PalmSource and PalmOne. I am not planning on moving away from my Tungsten T3 any time in the near future (my favorite PDA to date) but its still great to hear they are looking to new technologies for syncing.

Xbox 2 set to feature removable hard drive?

Microsoft's next-generation Xbox console is set to feature a removable hard drive bay, according to online reports today, which will allow users to upgrade their entry-level systems to include mass storage capabilities.

Citing a "reliable source", technology news site Engadget revealed details of the removable hard drive, claiming that the unit attaches to the top of the console "in a really slick way, almost like the hood scoop on a muscle car."

Source: gamesindustry.biz

Well if his is true, it will be easier to make the Xbox 360 into the ultimate multimedia server. Even more games, music, and movies! I am more interesting the wireless controllers. While the controller cord on the Xbox is nice and long compared with the PS2 and GC, I still love wireless. Nintendo's WaveBird is wonderful. While I am on the subject, why in the word can't someone (Sony?) make a good wireless controller for the PS2? I cannot find a good review to save my life.

Fooling XP SP2

Microsoft says its Service Pack 2 update adds an additional layer of security to Windows XP based PCs. However, recent PC World tests seem to show that at least two major security suites are crippling SP2's ability to offer users accurate security information.
Source: Yahoo! News

Now this is just want people want to hear.

X vs XP Compares OS X and Windows XP

X vs. XP puts Mac OS X and Windows XP Pro/Home side by side in a huge multitude of categories ranging from usability to appearance to video playback. As you read the comparisons, you get a nice understanding for what goes into operating system design.
Source: osViews

I have been meaning to post about this site for some time. It has a mostly unbiased look at all aspects of both operating systems. They keep adding more all the time. They also have a pretty good forum.

Lawsuit Says HP Printer Cartridges Die Before Use

HP ink cartridges use a chip technology to sense when they are low on ink and advise the user to make a change. But the suit claims those chips also shut down the cartridges at a predetermined date regardless of whether they are empty.
Source: Yahoo! News

So HP ink has a shelf life? It would be interesting to contact a number of retail locations and see what they say. I only buy HP printers, and I have never had a case like this.

Court Won't Block Low-Cost Ink

Lexmark International has suffered a setback in its bid to use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to prevent other companies from making low-cost, refurbished toner cartridges for its printers.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has ruled against Lexmark's request that it reconsider an earlier decision that favored Lexmark's opponent in the case, Static Control Components (SCC), a maker of components used by third parties to make refurbished cartridges.

Source: PC World

I like this story more for the fact that the DCMA got shot down in another court case. That law needs radical amendments (more information).

My brother told me a while ago about Dell printers (which are really Lexmark) not being able to use any cartridge because they modify the printer itself so it will not take 3rd party (cheaper) cartridges. I wonder if this is related.

If you want my opinion, and I know you do, I can not recommend any bubble jet from Lexmark. I have heard nothing but bad news about them. We got a "free" one with a Mac at work, and I threw it in the trash within a day. HP's $50 printer put this thing to shame. One problems is driver support, which is a rather major issue.

Anti-DMCA Website

The DMCA is being used to silence researchers, computer scientists and critics. Corporations are using it against the public. Public/College radio stations can no longer afford to webcast. - Anti-DMCA Website

Diet Coke with Lime

I am a Pepsi person in the Coke v. Pepsi debate. I do not like Coke at all. In truth I am a Dr. Pepper person. Since I have decided to cut back to only diet pop, something I have upheld very well, I have been sampling the various diet flavors to find the ones that don't taste the worst.

Diet Dr. Pepper is great, since it really does taste like regular Dr. Pepper (no, I do not work for them). But I need variety. I was working at the Toledo City Paper one day and needed some caffeine and the only thing diet they had was Diet Coke with Lime. I tried it. I had never heard of it.

Diet Coke with Lime is entirely different then Coke. I imagine Diet Coke tastes good too, but Diet Coke with Lime is great.

Funny thing is that even though I like the taste of Pepsi over Coke, I don't really care for Diet Pepsi.

It has been 3 months on diet pops and it has forced me to do one thing, which is good. I am drinking more iced teas and fruit drinks.

Review: Apple Wireless Keyboard

I have had my Apple Wireless Keyboard for 6 full months now. The batteries actually lasted 6 months! This is another great keyboard design from Apple. Although, I really miss having a power button on the keyboard, but it is great not having any wires.

Continue reading "Review: Apple Wireless Keyboard" »

February 25, 2005

MT-Moderate plugs a hole in Movable Type 3

One of the benefits of being a member of the Six Apart ProNet is the ProNet mailing list. MT-Moderate 1.0.0's announcement showed up in my mailbox yesterday. Neil has already wrote some on it, but I have some more to add. MT-Moderate plugs one of the biggest holes that Movable Type 3 - there is no way to moderate trackbacks.

Continue reading "MT-Moderate plugs a hole in Movable Type 3" »

Cheaper by the Dozen DVD Review

Every once in a while, you just need a movie to sit down with and enjoy. You don't need deep philosophical drama, well thought out characters, or hidden meanings. Just a very simple, surface level harmless comedy is something everyone needs and these movies are getting quite rare. "Cheaper by the Dozen" is a completely different movie than the original from 1950, but it's still a wild little predictable comedy that fits the mold described above.

Continue reading "Cheaper by the Dozen DVD Review" »

Garden State DVD Review

"Garden State" is on the IMDB's top all time list at #186. Not that it means very much to most people, it's still pretty impressive for a small independent movie like this. It could actually be said that it deserves to be higher (much higher) as this is a fantastic film that just seems to cop out at the end.

Continue reading "Garden State DVD Review" »

February 26, 2005

The Missing Sync 4.0 first look

My T3 is dead.

Yesterday was not a good day for my Tungsten T3. I went to add an appointment at about 5 PM and it was dead. It had a fairly full battery that morning. I really did not think much of this as the battery has drained before and all I had to do was charge it to continue using it.

Continue reading "The Missing Sync 4.0 first look" »

The Butterfly Effect DVD Review

Everyone has those moments in their lives they want to go back and fix. For instance, once while sitting front row at a wrestling event, I sat down and my cheap wooden chair shattered, sending me clear to the floor in front of a few thousand people. Yeah, I want that back. Evan Treborn has a few bigger issues than that he has to deal with in the "Butterfly Effect," a unique thriller based off some real scientific theories.

Continue reading "The Butterfly Effect DVD Review" »

Sci-Fi Channel Original: Alien Siege Review

Some directors have a great idea in their heads; they just can't find someone to finance them. In the case of Robert Stadd, a special effects producer for some great films, he has "Alien Siege." This is a film that wants to be large in scale and scope. In some areas he was able to realize what he wanted, but it's obvious the budget just doesn't allow it.

Continue reading "Sci-Fi Channel Original: Alien Siege Review" »

February 27, 2005

Hideously Addictive Flash Game

They don't come much more entertaining then this. My record right now is 1419.56. The key are the power-ups, not necessarily the first hit.

February 28, 2005

Award show speeches need a redux

I don't want to get off on a rant here (sorry, I don't have the time) but the speeches from tonight's 77th Annual Academy Awards were pathetic. I don't want to hear a speech about speeches. Hearing about how you were thinking about this speech since you were 5 is not exciting. One guy (I cannot remember who) started a small rant himself on how short his speech time was, thus wasting a good portion of his time in the spotlight. He gets the award for the moron of the night.

There were a few group awards and only one person got the the mic. It looked like others would have liked to speak. Share people. Then get off the stage.

Yelling over the orchestra is also just not very classy. Hilary Swank, you may have a million dollar body in that blue dress, but take your lumps like everyone else. This awards show has gone 4 hours before, it was about 3 hours and 45 minutes tonight. There is a reason they play a chime, have a counter, and push that applause button.

Morgan Freeman and Clint Eastwood were two examples of classy people when they delivered their speeches. Short, sweet, and to the point. I really enjoyed hearing about Clint's mother.

On a related note: I am really sad to see that Martin Scorsese did not get his nod this year. I think he had a chance with Gangs of New York, and when The Aviator started sweeping tonight, I thought it would include the Best Director award as well. I know I was not the only one hoping for Martin Scorsese either. Maybe next time?

I also would have liked to have seen Bill Plympton win. He is one of my personal favorites.

Oh, and Chris Rock hit it out of the ball park. The joke on Catwoman 2 was great.

Dawn of the Dead (2004) DVD Review

The MPAA must love movies like this. First time director Zack Snyder has said he filmed some truly gruesome shots for this "Dawn of the Dead" remake, only to let the MPAA deal with it all later. It doesn't really make much sense when you think about it (does it really matter how many times you see a zombie get blown up?), but it takes more than gore to make a quality movie.

Continue reading "Dawn of the Dead (2004) DVD Review" »

Jef Raskin, lead designer of the Macintosh, dies

Jef Raskin, the lead designer of the first Macintosh computer and a pioneer in the development of user interfaces, died Saturday at age 61. He had been diagnosed recently with pancreatic cancer, his family said in a statement.
Source: MacCentral

Related Links

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