Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Fall Into the Effective Ad

It seems Gap wants to change its image. To what and why? I don't know. However, they have made a very impressive new ad to announce the change. I wish I could have taken part in the making of the commercial. :-)

Advance apologies: Viewing the commercial requires using Apple QuickTime, which is no longer available as a separate package. You have to download the bloatware called iTunes to get QuickTime. Bleh!

Update: Looks like Spike Jonz doesn't host the ad anymore, but you can watch it at iFilm.


Get Noticed. Invent a Term.

Slashdot discusses how the media made up an event and a term, "Cyber Monday". I must admit that I never heard of it till this year. Maybe my nerd vocabulary is not up to snuff. Maybe the media is promoting capitalism by generating a buzz that never existed. Afterall, brick and mortar stores have Black Friday. We have to come up with something for the internet. Thank you God it's not called "iMonday", "Monday Xtreme", "Monday 360", or "Monday Shopping & Blogging."

One reader, with a very creative name even his mother could love, provided further verification using Google Groups.

Given so-called "Cyber Monday" and other made up events like Kwanzaa, I understand where Seinfeld was coming from. Grab your pole! It's Festivus for the rest of us!!


Firefox 1.5 Final Released - Woohoo!

Get it!

Monday, November 28, 2005


AMD knocks out Intel in dual core tests.

According to CNet's 7 rounds of tests, it wasn't even close. Intel dual core chips didn't win in one test resulting in AMD scoring 100 points and Intel 0 points. Ouch. I think Intel needs to go back to the labs and try again.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Engine Perfection

I like this picture, an engine perfectly laid out. I can stare at all of the little pieces and how they are perfectly lined up. No matter how small a detail, you know by just looking that the pieces fit together. Here is the original.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Yahoo Launch Algorithm

I've been a Yahoo Unlimited subscriber for a few months now. A large catalog of music on demand for $5/month is hard to beat. One feature of Yahoo Unlimited is access to the premium version of Launch radio. Both services allow you to rate the music. Launch radio will serve up music based on your ratings.

Launch radio is pretty good, but I have noticed how its seemingly random radio broadcasts work.
  1. Three and Four star songs, artists, and albums will be high in rotation UNLESS the album or song was released in the last year. In that case, it will rare they make an appearance.
  2. Do not mark something a 3 or 4 star if you think you will get tired of it. Vanilla Ice is clearly a 4, but too much Ice makes him very vanilla. ;-)
  3. All music in rotation will be at least a year old UNLESS it is a lesser known artist. Almost anytime I see the "2005" copyright come up, it's accompanied by an artist name I do not recognize. This is an "irritating feature". I have no doubt they are using Launch for market testing and selling the information.
Sure, I can load up Yahoo Unlimited and play whatever I want, but I don't want to baby-sit the player. Just play the music and mix it up.

Comcast gives subscribers a free radio subscription to Real's Rhapsody. It does not offer ratings, but you can setup a channel with artists which will influence its selections. The mix is pretty good. I do not notice the new music blocking mentioned in item 3. New or old, it's all music.


AOL Reconstruction Continues: AIM Triton Released

AOL has been a giant in instant messaging because of its large user database. With ICQ, owned by AOL, and their own sizeable network, I've always wondered why the quality of their instant messenger has fallen by the wayside. Why kill one of your greatest assets?

Now AOL gives its instant messenger a long overdue upgrade. It looks like a good upgrade. There are some features I wish Yahoo would have, like the long wished for tabbed chat window. Trillian has had it for a while, and it's nice to see a free messenger other than GAIM (yuk) implement it. Overall, AIM uses tabs effectively to keep things organized.

My judgments are based on the pictures and flash demo. I do not know if it attempts to install malware or displays ads all over the place. From the images, it looks like the ad on the main window is gone. Thank God! Ads in IM... bah!

Yahoo Messenger is almost perfect. Just give me a tabbed chat window!


Is Movielink Netflix's silent killer?

Movielink, movie download service, now has all the major movie companies in its catalog. I haven't tried their service, so I can't speak for the quality of the movie files. I assume they at least have Dolby Digital. They have been at the movie download service for a while now whereas Netflix has made little movement in this area.

The rental service starts at $0.99/download. If you watch less than 18 movies a month, you'll come out ahead over Netflix. There's no membership fees, and delivery is immediate.


Oil prices were psychological.

The second prime minister of Qatar said oil prices this past summer were psychological. It's true. It was emotion based trading on the futures market. There was not a supply problem. In fact, now there is too much oil. If there is any stress point in the market, it would be in refining capacity.


So this is what it's coming to. So sad.


Penn & Teller on PETA

I don't always like their material, but this expose' on PETA is very funny. I'm hungry for a burger.

Monday, November 21, 2005


Bravo Texas Attorney General Greg Abott!

Texas is suing Sony for its invasion of private property known as the Sony XCP rootkit. This is another case of DRM gone wrong. Sony and the supportive RIAA have overstepped their bounds. I hope they realize suing is a two-way street. Sure, they have right to sue to protect their property rights and so do consumers. Go get'em Greg!


RIAA backs rootkits

The title of this article should have been "RIAA el presidente Cary Sherman has lost his mind." First, he approves of companies installing software on a user's system without his permission. Second, he then compliments Sony for ceasing its distribution of BUGGY SPYWARE. What is this guy smoking?


Scientists show we’ve been losing face for 10,000 years

Is this evolution or not? Some might say so. I would call it adaptation.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


Viewsonic Goes from Monitors to TVs

Viewsonic will start manufacturing TVs. Why not? LCDs for computers are getting larger. The leap to TVs is not very high. It looks like the convergence of home entertainment and computers is putting more competitors into the same market. This is all good news as it will hopefully lead to lower prices.

Hi-tech displays, GPUs, and CPUs: all three markets show healthy signs of competition. Prices fall faster. We get more bang for our buck. If only the PC software market had so much competition...


Nissan Wingroad Wagon

Looks like Nissan wants to go after Mazda's 3 Wagon. I've seen a lot of Mazda 3's driving around. It's a very nice car.


Things that go BOOM!

Defense Tech: Marines Quiet About Brutal New Weapon Make sure to read Wired article about thermobaric weapons. Sweet.


Top 10 Space Movies

Space.com has chosen their top 10 space movies. Star Wars IV, V, VI made the top 10. I am so surprised I, II, III didn't. ;-) I still have not seen III. I and II got me so jaded on the latest that I didn't feel an urgency to watch III. Check out what else did make the list.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


AOL TV Bandwidth Mystery Solved

As I mentioned in a previous post, AOL is going to air their old shows on the internet. My question was how they could afford the bandwidth.
The answer it P2P as discussed in this article. They keeps AOL bandwidth requirements to a minimum. The viewers will provide the bandwidth. Clever. Maybe this AOL re-invention has something to it. I've seen positive signs since it began a couple of months ago.


Very cool illusion

This illusion is pretty neat. You stare at the dots and watch them disappear and the dot going around turns green. Freaky.

Note: This is not another "stare at this while something jumps at you" demo.

Hat tip to Donald.


Snoop Dogg Hot Dogs

At least he is the entrepreneur. He doesn't rely on just rap money and hasn't gotten shot. I guess he can get two gold stars for that.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Atari 800 XE Laptop

This Atari fan put together a pretty good Atari laptop. It's made from a collection of Atari 8-bit systems. A+ on creativity and ingenuity.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Competition is good.

This is an interesting article recounting the events that have led to the release of the monster video card known as 7800GTX. It's a story of competition between ATI and nVidia with the consumer as the major beneficiary. It's a really good read that includes nuggets of information outside the standard historical prose. Here is an example...

"Copper is outstanding at transferring heat, but is not as effective as aluminum at dissipating heat into air. The combination of a copper core and aluminum fins insures that the heat is more evenly spread throughout the cooler, and it maximizes heat dissipation in air."

So that's why those heat sinks are made that way.


AOL says 'Welcome back' to old TV shows

I look forward to being able to seeing "Growing Pains" again. I do think it's great Warner Bros is finally providing content to AOL to boost its internet presence. I am just not sure how they will make money with this. The infrastructure costs would exceed advertising revenue. I guess AOL finds itself with bandwidth to spare given the number of people who have left their service.


Democrats have an idea!!

I was excited when I first read the headline of this article discussing the democrats' idea for a roll out of broadband internet. Then I hit this line...

"The suggestion mirrors a proposal by President Bush last year but appears to be more modest."

Copycats. Well, not to be outdone by Bush's spending, they offer their own list of give aways...

"Among other goals Pelosi presented: granting scholarships aimed at producing 100,000 new scientists, mathematicians and engineers in the next four years; doubling research and development spending, and boosting tax incentives; seeking alternative-energy sources that lessen the nation's reliance on Middle East oil; and providing assistance to small businesses."

Spend, spend, spend. Is there no end?

And I found the closing paragraph an interesting read...

"Tech company executives have lamented what they have described as a declining U.S. educational system and a shortage of skilled U.S.-born workers. But the nation still retains the top spot in some areas of global competitiveness--namely the supercomputer realm."


LCD TV prices falling faster than PDP and RPTV prices

LCD TV prices falling like a rock. Just keep on going down. :-D


Testing Aluminum Foil Helmets

Will aluminum foil helmets protect you for invasive radio waves?

Thursday, November 10, 2005


BBspot - White House Releases Patch for Iraq War 2.0

I agree the Iraq War is the right thing to do, but that doesn't stop us from having some fun with the president.


RISK The Game On Google Maps

This is pretty cool. Slashdot is reporting how you can play Risk with people around the world using Google maps. I know someone will be asking me about Colonial Conquest now. It's RSN. It will be ready in two weeks. :0)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Mischievous Cats

This is a funny diary entry by a cat. Yea, cats have a hard life. Pfft.

Nice photo. I don't think he killed JFK, his masters maybe.


The Great State of Lousiana

Good thing to see they have their financial priorities straight.


Who's for free speech? Don't dare answer.

I thought these guys were for totally free speech. I see. It's free so long as you don't speak against me.

I better be careful what I say. The democrats will throw the weight of the government after me.

Monday, November 07, 2005


NERD ALERT: LED belt buckle.

Would you wear this around your waist? You know you want one. Hmm, what messages could I put on it?


Cap'n Crunch, Not the cereal.

The Homebrew Computer Club was having their 30th anniversary. CNet posted pictures of the event. It was the usual crew seen in videos like Triumph of the Nerds. Steve Wozniak was there.

One face was there that I only knew by legend, Cap'n Crunch. His real name is John Draper. He tapped in the national telephone network using nothing but a whistle from a box of Cap'n Crunch. Here is the photo of him from CNet...


Is X-Box 360 the next Dreamcast?

1up.com makes some interesting observations when comparing the X-Box 360 to Dreamcast. They give 23 ways they are alike and 10 ways they are not. Includes lots of pictures!


I am ready to ROCK!

This electric guitar game looks like fun. Too bad PS2 only.

Friday, November 04, 2005


Rich boys. Big toys.

It looks like tech giants try to outdo one another with the biggest planes or biggest fleets. Oh, the games we play to pass the time. I'm just trying to get a nice performing PC for a reasonable price.


Carter condemns abortion culture

I would like to believe Jimmy Carter has taken a pro-life friendly stance, but it's difficult.

One: Why speak of these things at this time? Why does he speak out what's on his mind at the same time he is marketing his latest book?

Two: It's hard to trust a democrat. The democrat party has had PR problems with their hardline against moral values. It is no coincidence you saw democrats quoting the Bible shortly after their major losses in the 2004 election. They continue to use the quotes even if out of context or misquoted. It's a charade to purchase political points. So there should be no doubt why when Carter comes along, I question the sincerity. Does he really mean it, or he is trying to prop up the party he so loves?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is here.

Take the volunteer authored content of Wikipedia, add mobility, and you have a modern day version of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galazy." It's here now.


Firefox 1.5 RC1 Released

Feeling a little daring? Test drive Firefox 1.5 Release Candidate 1. If you tested the betas, you will find this version to be more solid. Again, some extensions may disable themselves until an update is released.


What else could the PETA prez do?

The PETA president is auctioning herself, I mean her services. The auction ad asks what else the president could do if you were to win. The Register ran a funny article with some suggestions. Here they are...

Yes we do. A quick poll of the office included: mucking out rat cages at Huntingdon Life Sciences; acting as deckhand on a Japanese whaling ship; blowing up a terrier by attaching a firework to its tail (currently a UK favourite among alcopop-crazed teens who have not yet attracted the attention of an Asbo); actually fighting a bull at the Plaza de Toros in Madrid; throwing a blindfolded donkey from a church tower (another Spanish favourite - are there no depths to which the Dons will not sink in search of family entertainment?); fighting a fur-clad Naomi Campbell in the ethical fashion Arena of Death during London Fashion Week; and excising the word "veganize" from the dictionary so that all innocent, defenceless people are not made to suffer unnecessarily at the hands of cruel US amateur lexicographers.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


More Civilization IV News

I promise I am not looking for Civilization news. It just seems to come across my desk.

Fry's and Outpost.com are offering the collector's edition of Civilization IV for $36.99. That's a pretty good deal. The Metacritic rating is still holding at 94, which places it in the top 10 games of all Metacritic's time.


Sometimes a Headline is Enough

Headline: Greenpeace to be fined as Rainbow Warrior damages Philippines coral reef



Civilization Fans: Rejoice!

Civilization IV is receiving very positive reviews.
Its MetaCritic rating so far is 94. It is still a little early, but that is a good start out of the gate.

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