Saturday, 14 January 2006

I laughed out loud for some reasons when I read some of Trevin's comments from his trip to the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month, where he listed a number of not-so-hot items from the super-mega-tradeshow of the gadget industry.

One of the more amusing categories in his post is "Wierdest celebrities coupling: Snoop Dogg and Donny Osmond."

XM had Snoop Dogg appear, then about 30 mins (later) they had Donny Osmond.  They had to have met at some point -- wtf did they talk about? 
 
Snoop Dogg: "Hey Don-dogg, what's the shizzle?"
Donny: "What?"
Snoop Dogg: "Fo sho"
Donny: "What?"
Snoop Dogg: "Peace out dogg"
Donny: "What?"
Heh!
 
Check out Trevin's "Oddest and Worst of CES 2006" list here, and be sure to also read his "Best of CES 2006" list. That way you'll be sure to walk away well-balanced.


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Saturday, 14 January 2006 15:41:00 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Friday, 13 January 2006

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Friday, 13 January 2006 21:54:22 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Thursday, 12 January 2006

From CBC in Canada comes a hilarious video from Rick Mercer's show - The Mercer Report - demonstrating the latest in apparel for the Blackberry user. Should be mandated by OSHA in all high-tech office settings:

Check out the Blackberry Helmet Video at:

http://www.cbc.ca/mercerreport/videos/blackberry.wvx

(note - in non-USA style, there's some slightly-blurred-out nudity in this, so if you can't handle it, don't click - but hey, the video is funny)



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Humor | Mobile | Tech
Thursday, 12 January 2006 23:34:57 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Tuesday, 10 January 2006

Ipod_blackI broke down last week and bought an iPod. I got the 60GB model (5G iPod Video, black) and its a pretty cool device. Not without its quirks, but cool for sure. I like it, and I'll be adding some of the available (expensive) accessories as soon as I figure out which of the zillion accessory manufacturers actually makes something worth buying. Talk about a zoo...

iTunes is all hooked up (pretty cool app dontcha know), a few podcasts are subscribed (small list below for people who are interested) and a couple movies have been loaded. Great video conversion information and help can be found here, by the way. I've only bought one song on iTunes so far, and that will probably change but I think it says something that after having this thing for a week I've used it primarily to load some video for traveling and to subscribe to syndicated content (audio and video podcasts).

I really, really wish - every time I look at an apple product package - that they would at least tell me what is included and what's not. I know, I know... I could just ask any random human being on the street what came with their iPod and the zoo of accessories they own, since I am like the last person in the world to buy one of these things, but seriously - no compact wall charger? Leaving out the iPod dock is crazy enough, but I figured there would at least be an AC-outlet-to-USB thing in there.

One thing I learned early on: When it says "do not disconnect" on the screen, regardless of the fact that the message stays there for-freakin-ever, it's best not to disconnect it. If you do, and your iPod starts an endless cycle of reboot, power up, power off, flash the display, reboot, power up, power off, flash the... Yeah, anyhow the iPod updater has a "Restore" option that nukes the iPod, reformats the hard drive and installs all the software from scratch. Works wonders.

Oh and another thing - I can only sync this $400 device to one computer? Seriously? Ok, so I can hook up to a second computer and as long as I don't choose auto-sync, I can manually move files to the iPod. But this is not so good: Mac and Windows synced iPods are not compatible? Jeez, there's something worth spending some serious dev time on. Using the iPod updater to reformat the thing so I can use it on the Mac mini doesn't solve any problems, it creates them. And there's no way I'm buying Apple computers just to work with the iPod.

Oh, and copy-protection and all that RIAA crap aside, iTunes is a service, and it should flow from computer to computer with the authenticated user's settings and content, and I should be able to sync to the iPod anywhere I am logged in. In other words, some content everywhere, and associate the device with my user account, not my computer.

Anyhow, in the accessories department, it's pretty clear I need an iPod dock. I'll have to break down and ask my friends if it comes with a USB cable, or if I have to purchase that separately, too. I won't be shelling out the $20 for Apple's video cable so I can play content on my TV or projector - I think I'll just use one of the almost-exactly-the-same cables I already have lying around the house and just mix up the plugs as described at the Mac Dev Center site:

  • Plug the red RCA plug into your TV's yellow RCA jack.
  • Plug the yellow RCA plug into your TV's white RCA jack.
  • Plug the white RCA plug into your TV's red RCA jack.

Pure. Freakin. Genius. If it works.

But don't get me wrong here. I'm complaining a bit about the proprietary, non-standard and closed nature of the Apple way of business, but this is a terrific piece of hardware, as the marketplace has clearly proven. Audio quality is great. The user experience is simple, flows and just works. But you already know that.

HKCarPlayI stopped by a couple stores the other night between appointments and checked out the plethora of radio-transmitter accessories. I spend a lot of time driving (two hours of commute time daily), so having something that does a good job of transmitting relatively high quality audio to my FM car radio would be nice. On the higher end of the car-audio purchasing spectrum (about $200), the Harman Kardon Drive+Play looks really cool. Not sure if it's video iPod compatible, but I have emailed them to ask. The Monster iCruze also looks nice and it is confirmed to work with the iPod Video models, but I need to make sue my car stereo is compatible - And it's on sale in a huge way as of the time of this writing: $99 for a complete kit. A FAQ page is here.

Oh, and (sidebar comment here) you gotta check out the videos on this page at the HK Drive+Play site - especially the "Title and Registration" one. Heheh...

Below are the few podcasts to which I've subscribed so far. Now that I am coming back to podcasts (my first round with them was more geeky in nature than practical, which is my approach nowadays) the number of shows I am interested in subscribing to is relatively small. I'm pickier. You'll note these all tend to be either professionally produced shows or well-produced indi ones, and that the only common denominator is that they're relevant and matter to me. And none of them are podcasters talking about podcasting. Thank goodness we moved past that phase.

Note: The iTunes interface makes it pretty much impossible for me to figure out where the real home pages are for these podcasts, so it's hard to link you to them, sorry. If someone knows a trick, please tell me (hey Apple - seems like easy access to a phobos.apple.com subscription link plus a standardized "home site" URL in the iTunes XML and UI would be a nice thing to do for sharing subscription links?).

  • Diggnation (video and audio podcasts) - these guys sit around and discuss what's hot on Digg.com
  • Ebert & Roeper - movie reviews from the top critics, weekly audio from the broadcast television show
  • Engadget podcast - ultimate gadget geek site and podcast show (but their RSS feed is broken and iTunes is out of date, ugh)
  • Major Nelson Radio - podcast from inside the world of the XBOX and XBOX Live!
  • NASACast video - this Week at NASA video podcast - just a cool, short video update on what's happening at the space agency
  • Security Now! podcast - Consumer focused security audio show - We really need more security-focused podcasts
  • Superman Returns, Bryan Singer's Journal - The director of Superman Returns video-blogs lots of interesting stuff in the process of the creation of Superman Returns, which is set to hit theaters this year. Professionally produced video shows (I don't think Bryan is shooting any of these, but hey...)


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Tuesday, 10 January 2006 10:15:04 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Sunday, 08 January 2006

HP ScanJet 4CIf you happen to have a HP ScanJet 4C lying around, check out this page and see if you can get it to play classical music for ya. Apparently there's a not-so-well-known command that plays "Fur Elise" using the ScanJet's motor. Cool.

Video of the scanner music is here (it's been removed from the original site)

(props to Dave M for the link)



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Sunday, 08 January 2006 18:54:25 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Saturday, 07 January 2006

WTF1The beauty of this fancy new clothing line for the discerning sarcastic person is that those who understand what it says will laugh, while those who don't understand... Well - let's just say some things are perfectly self-defining.

I used to be a cop. I can't tell you the number of times the phonetic alphabet was used to contract colorful descriptions of situations, usually as a quick final status update on a radio call. Like "Tom-Ocean-Tom-David," which is short for Too Old To Drive using the non-military version of the phonetic alphabet. Probably more than you wanted to know, but you get the idea. The point is that there are some things you can't say out loud, and there are other things you can get away with. And hey, don't take any of this too seriously - there really are people who are too old to drive, after all, but it's all relative.

Anyhow...

Oh yeah, and when they say "there are no stupid questions," we all know what a huge lie that is. Hence these t-shirts.

So... For your dry humored, geeky enjoyment - the Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot shirts. Please wear appropriately. And remember the first rule of holding others accountable: Give them the ticket or give them the lecture, but never do both. Adding insult to injury is uncool. Analagize that and apply it to your own world. You'll go far. Whatever that means.

Ah, the t-shirts. Yeah. Click the images to go to the product pages:

Wtfshirt1  Wtfshirt2



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Saturday, 07 January 2006 13:46:32 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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