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Jawbone ad: Rugby Drinking Party

04.28.2008 @ 10:24 AM in Technology
Jawbone headsets are pretty amazing, they work to eliminate exterior noises, letting your voice travel clearly to the caller on the other end. To demonstrate this capability Jawbone released a series of Youtube video ads, one of which involves some very tempting material. and by material, I mean smoking hot Rugby boys making out, while the pixie haired chick at the bar talks to her girlfriend. She's completely unaware of the hot toungue brawl going on behind her, thus proving the effectiveness of Jawbones technology, right?

GRL Documentary Sneak Peak

04.24.2008 @ 11:21 AM in Technology
BoingBoing TV gave us an early peak at the upcoming documentary on the Graffiti Research Lab, a collective "dedicated to outfitting graffiti artists, pranksters, and protesters with open source technologies for urban communication." Some of you may not have heard of the GRL, but possibly if you remember the giant scare with the ATHF Mooninites in Boston, they were the first to be blamed (then it turned out to be just a dumb stunt by Adult Swim). And if you've ever seen or heard of a LED throwie, its the GRL that came up with them. The press release, as redacted by the dept of Homeland Graffiti
  • From their origins in the trash room of a non-profit in Manhattan to their emergence as the instigators of an international art movement, Graffiti Research Lab: The Complete First Season documents the adventures of an architect and an engineer who quit their day jobs to develop high-tech tools for the art underground. The film follows the GRL and their network of graffiti artist collaborators (and commercial imitators) across four continents as they write on skyscrapers with lasers, mock advertisers with homemade tools, get in trouble with The Department of Homeland Security and make activism fun again. Primarily using video footage from point-and-shoot digital cameras (“The Pocket School”) and found-content on the web, the movie’s visual style draws as much from the art of the power point presentation and viral media as conventional documentary cinema. Narrated by GRL co-founders, Roth and Powderly, The Complete First Season makes a humorous and insightful argument for free speech in public, open source in pop culture, the hacker spirit in graffiti and not asking for permission in general. The film was premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008. Available 24/7 on The Pirate Bay.

Google owns and thousands more

04.23.2008 @ 4:02 PM in Technology
Seeing as Google owns pretty much everything else, why would it suprise us that they own thousands of domains? Pingdom has done what they do best (ping of course!) and compiled a giant list of all the domains owned (or merely pointed) by Google. Some of my favorites....
Read this doc on Scribd: 0804 google domains
Pingdom via Techcrunch

AV best of buffalo party

04.14.2008 @ 2:31 PM in Culture, Technology
stopped down to the ArtVoice Best of Buffalo awards. I didn't win anything, and neither did WNYMEdia, but its the one place to bump into those people you can only stand once or twice a year. However congrats should go to my buddy DJ Lil Joe for winning Best Dj for 4 years in a row, and Jimmy "Mamma" Hill for winning Best Male Bartender again. Posted from moBlog – mobile blogging tool for Windows Mobile

The only good thing about April Fool’s on the web is…

04.01.2008 @ 10:08 AM in Technology
We all know it's April 1st. everyone is on alert, youtube links are most likely rickrolled, and digg becomes amazingly more worthless and irrelevant than normal. However, not all is lost on the web. Each April fools, ThinkGeek publishes a fake front page, featuring amazing and incredible new geek toys that, well, really are incredible. thinkgeekaprilfools.jpg Last year, the most prominent item was the 8-bit tie, which after a well planned flood of demands to the TG email boxes, was realized and put on sale later in the year. This year, it goes to the defendius, an innovative chain lock designed by art.lebedev, and intended to help keep your precious and rare date inside your lair of love. [disclaimer from TG: ThinkGeek does not condone forced captivity - no matter how desperate you are.] defendius_web.jpg Product features:
  • Chain style Doorlock forces you to solve a maze to exit
  • 100% Titanium Alloy Construction
  • 8" chain
  • 10 mounting screws included (2 extra)
  • Tested to 700lbs of force.
  • This innovative lock is designed by Art Lebedev Studio… responsible for the amazing Optimus Maximus keyboard with a tiny screen on each key. Constructed of 100% titanium alloy, nothing less than a level forty-two spell of ultimate cutting will break the Defendius lock open. Really, just look at it: no one is getting out easily. You'll have to guide the lock nib through the labyrinth before you can open to door. There is only one solution, so no cheating will help. Maybe when confronted with the Defendius Labyrinth Security Lock, your date will reconsider your offer of playing the game of love in co-op mode. And don't worry, these locks were tested by robots and confirmed to be the strongest lock commercially available. So, install a Defendius Labyrinth Security Lock today, and make sure your next date gets to the bonus level.
Here's the thing: defendius was actually designed by art.lebedev, prank or not. If you want this one for reals... bomb this email address [mailbox -at-].

Mond.. er Tuesday Tunesday: Butterfingers

03.25.2008 @ 1:05 PM in Technology
I was a little preoccupied getting back to work Monday and missed getting this video posted, but better late than never. butterfingers.jpg This is Butterfingers by 80's Electropop group Bomb the Bass. They recently came out of the woodwork with Butterfingers being the first single off of the upcoming album "Future Chaos." The video features a puppetized minimoog, produced by the Parish Factory. Check it out here. [via NotCot]

What Kind of Geek Are You?

03.20.2008 @ 9:03 AM in Technology

[click above to embiggen]

Page four-dee-too of April's Wired features a "field guide to the identification of unique species in the nerd underground." Here's the description for "gadget guy," the type I most feel associated with.. The Gadget Guy
  • Disposition: Sociable while waiting in line on launch day; ferocious in comments on Gizmodo. Seemingly unflappable in the face of early adopter's remorse (AKA Apple Newton Syndrome).
  • Beliefs: I can fix that. There's no god but Macgyver. The price will drop in a month but I need it now.
  • Turn-ons: Unboxing videos. Backup batteries. Blue LEDs. Laser pointers. People who RTFM. Things that make loud clicking sounds.
What kind of Geekster are you? Be sure to pick up April's Wired, its a good read (as always) and features an in-depth article on the battle of Gizmodo vs Engadget and why Brian Lam is such a jerk. If you don't subscribe to Wired, you really should, its the common denominator between all types of geek.

Twitter, In Plain English.

03.13.2008 @ 11:11 AM in Technology
I have two types of friends: those that twitter, and those that don't. The ones that don't are aware of my mini blog, the right hand stream of thoughts and dirty replies that runs down my sidebar. However, very few get the concept and when I try to explain it to them; it oft comes out as too technical and geeky. They can't see the worth and the value I get from knowing what my friends are doing across the web. Perhaps this could help. CommonCraft, the Plain English folk, made a video explaining what twitter is, how to use it, and why we love it. check it out.

Into the Mind of an Autistic Web Junky

03.07.2008 @ 4:00 PM in Technology
Of of the participants in my lab is a non-verbal guy who happens to be autistic. On the outside, he tends to grunt, get in your face and doesn't like people in his way. On the inside, this guy is chock full of intelligence; he loves technology, and can operate a PC better than most staff. No one really taught him either. When he comes to the computer lab, his favorite (ok, only activity) is getting online. He'll come in, grunt hello, point to a few interesting things in my lab (I leave computer parts laying on a table for him to look at, he loves it) and goes right to his station. In his hand is a small stack of papers, and on them are the contents of his interests. LabDrawing_small.jpg

[click above to view a larger version ala flickr]

The graphic above is a inverse scan of the paper he showed me today. I've been meaning to scan one in and really inspect it, the information contained is an amazing look into an otherwise forbidden mind. Obviously the first thing is an exxagerated drawing of a muscled man. My guy (can't say his name for confidentiality and stuff) LOVES body building and everything associated with it. I often see him walking down the hallways pointing to his arm muscles and if he sees a buff man he will stop him and squeeze his biceps and then point to his. He's always on muscle sites, looking at pictures and the products associated, like steroids. For fear of him glamorizing steroids, we tend to communicate a negative connotation about steroids, and he now draws them in the garbage, or sometimes, the word crossed out. From the "muesum" drawn on the upper left, I deduced that he also enjoys the greek sculpture, which also celebrate the male figure. Not everything is men and muscles, he is an avid lover of tech as well. you can see the circuitry and "wifi" in the drawing. Easter seems to be on his mind too, with a smiling easter egg posted at the top. Notice his use of a heart to depict the muscleman's face. i've yet to figure that one out. I plan on saving a few more of his drawings.. they really intrigue all of us here. Its like a puzzle.

T-Mobile Shadow: Three Weeks Later

02.29.2008 @ 4:41 PM in Technology
After going over my minutes (600/m, I use text more often, ~3k/m) for the first time by the end of January, i figured it was about time to find a new plan in the T-mobile package to suit me right. So I called up T-mobile with the ploy of finagling some more minutes and get my overage charge dropped (most of the time first time offenses can be reversed if you ask nicely). What I was offered was a new contract, 1k minutes for 39.99 and a "great deal" on the New T-Mobile Shadow, the "fun phone" that they've been pushing of late. Since I was a over year in and moving out of a spending limit account the phone discount was only a partial. The shadow runs for 349.99 and the discount was only 100 off. I decided that wasn't enough so I tried a new tactic. I kept the guy on the phone for  about 30 minutes, wasting precious support time and ho humming about commitment. The support guy finally took the bait and offered me a "previously unknown discount just starting today" and the phone now became $99 after a $50 mail in rebate. Sold.  (quick tip: the longer you wait with support without a decision and keep mentioning your interest but that you want proof of the carriers commitment and other fun ploys, you can unlock special deals just to get you off the goddamn phone). my_shadow.jpg So for $99 bucks, the Shadow is a steal, by far better than the shatty Razr i've been carrying around. and despite being windows mobile (though it is WM6), a fancy homescreen interface called "Neo" makes the Shadow one of the most bearable and aesthetically pleasing WinMo phones on the market. shadow_screens.jpg

[Pardon the OMGGAYBBQ11! homescreen, this is a fag's blog after all]

A row of icons on the left allow you to easily browse through the most used features of the phone: Notifications, Mail, Calandar, Media Player, Photos, T-Zones, and Settings. There isn't a phone I won't try to debrand and make my own, and with the help of a registry editor, I was able to replace the useless t-zones menu with quicklinks to all of my most used windows Smartphone applications. Most of the icons (png format FTW!) I found around the web, but the Shozu icon I made myself. shadow_quicklinks.jpg

[Custom sidebar icon, Opera, Google Maps, and Shozu]

The response time on the Shadow is pretty decent, far superior than a few other HTC phones, but as with all winmo phones, there is the oft occasional hiccup while typing and opening too many apps. And despite being T-mobile's Official Phone of Fun, HTC (the phone is the HTC Juno before T-mobile slapped the Shadow brand to it) couldn't give it a better battery to use all the fun tool and applications. keep a usb cable nearby and you should be fine, but even with that I'm normally tapped out by the end of my day.

Roughly the same size, yet slightly thicker than a Razr 2, this is my first slider, which brings up new worries and gripes that i've never had before,
  • Within a week the top half loosened a bit, making a once seemless edge when closed slightly offset. Is this normal or a defect?
  • The camera button is on the top half on the bottom righthand side, the weakest spot of the phone, and also the location of the offset. I feel more comfortable sliding the phone before activating the camera because I'm afraid I'll put more strain on the slidetracks.
  • The screen is a beautiful crisp 2.6 inch screen with 240x320 resolution.. that smudges instantly. I suppose I should get a screen protector to prevent against scratches, too.
  • The jogwheel/dpad is very loose and sometimes too responsive.
  • I like to take the micro sd card out from time to time and move lots of files around, its quicker that way, however getting the flap open to pop the card out is a pain in the ass and I fear losing the plastic flap. I'm sure that HTC intended me to keep a card in at all times, but I like the faster read/write speeds when the card is read separately.
Now for the praises
  • The slide out keypad is a qwerty SureType layout provided by RIM (Blackberry). Within the first week I was able to type faster than on the Razr with one finger. The shadow learns new words very quickly, however "it" always ends up as "iy."
  • the bottom of the phone is coated in a soft-touch antislip finish that frees me from worrying about scratching. Makes it easier to slide, too.
  • Its brown (officially called Camel)! I love brown and I haven't seen such a well done Gui that matches the finish evar before.
  • Not too many flashing lights, but just enough. Two small indicator lights near the ear speaker show you standby, call, bluetooth, and wifi in use. the control pad has a lighted ring that flashes when a call or text is recieved and stays lit when in use. the keypad is back lit as well with a soft white.
  • Despite the slight track worries, i feel like I have a sturdy phone that could survive a fall. I hear the screen will crack if it lands the right way, but what do you expect from a slider?
  • It really is a fun phone. Not as super powerful as most smartphones, the Shadow is the perfect blend of a  medium-grade media phone (Stereo Bluetooth, music and video player, decent  2.0MP camera, yet crappy video recording) with all the standard smartphone features (email, full internet, applications, voice recording, etc.)
  • I like that it has wifi w/Hotspot (no Hotspot@Home though) access. I have a quest of connecting everytime i smell an open SSID, mainly for validation of the feature, but it helps when I want to download a podcast while on the go.
The Shadow is a great phone if you can snag it for an acceptable price ($99-$150), and if you are looking for a grown up version of the Sidekick, you have it here. If you enjoy the debranding/modding process, you must visit and, for the latest in tips and tricks. If you just picked up the Shadow, make sure you get the update from T-mobile that fixes a few bugs and adds a few fun features (like Audio Postcards).