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Post from phone

02.07.2008 @ 11:22 AM in Technology
Hulla! I'm just testing put how to post blog stories using SharpMT, a smartphone app that uses the xml-rpc protocol to upload and post. I hope this works

A Cub and his Maracas

01.28.2008 @ 1:50 PM in Technology
Something about a tubby yet muscley cub playing a near obsolete console in his skivvies brings some warmth to my heart, and my pants. NSFW if you can't stand a few briefs shots of a hot furry ass playing Samba de Amigo on a Sega Dreamcast. [youtube width="600" height="501"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7_U__b84v0[/youtube]

Lego: 50 Years with the Brick

01.28.2008 @ 10:01 AM in Technology
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[ Timeline of Lego courtesy of Gizmodo, click to embiggen ]

The iconic studded Lego brick turns 50 today. Originally called the "automatic binding blocks," they came into existence when a humble Danish toy company called Lego bought their first injection molding machine in 1947 and in 1948 established and produced the "stud-and-tube" brick format. For 50 years, the multi colored plastic bricks have unlocked the imaginations and creativity of billions of children (and adults, too) all over the world. Legos were the literal building blocks of my childhood. From the oversized DUPLO blocks as a tot, I grew up with them, moving up a level till I settled on the Technics line (the ones with extra holes and rots and slots and motors). I was the kid that bought a set, put it together, and three days later disassembled it all for my own re-purposing. Then the first Mindstorms set came out in 1998, and I got my first taste of robotics when I replaced the RCX's firmware was able to create more complex programs for my models. I think the most complex thing I ever made was a photometer. It would track the amount of light in my room during the day and graph it on a rotating paper drum. Legos made anything possible, and really encouraged me to keep being creative.
  • What were your fondest memories with the Lego? And I'm sorry your parents didn't love you enough that you got Tyco or Mega Bloks, they don't count.

Cloverfield: An American Kaiju

01.23.2008 @ 10:49 AM in Technology
cloverfield.jpg
  • Disclaimer: This post contains a few plot details regarding "Cloverfield," the monster, and a few conspiracies about it. Continue on at your own risk. If you have already seen the movie, hit the jump.
Cloverfield is an awesome movie, granted a bit gimmicky and filled with blatant 9/11 backlashes and iconic disaster shots (read: Statue of Liberty decapitated. Empire State building destroyed), but essentially a success in what it was trying to achieve. kaiju.jpg Cloverfield is a American Kaiju film. Kaiju is Japanese for "strange beast," and can best describe the Godzilla movies and even the baddies from the original Power Rangers series. However, Godzilla is Japanese, and plays on their culture; it feels cheesy to us. When Godzilla was remade in 2001, it was a mess. I remember going to the theater for it and thinking it was cute and easy to grasp, not what would expect to feel after such a film. The film bombed, and the sequel was canned(you see an egg hatch at the end, supposedly paving way for a Son of Zilla that thank god never happened). We learned that another giant Japanese destructo monster movie just won't cut it in the US. JJ Abrams, producer of that "Lost" series you probably never heard of, knew this and spent years planning the next attack. With the help of viral sites and ambigious trailers, Cloverfield immediately gained a mysterious appeal. What was it? A monster? Aliens? Voltron? Nobody knew, and the details were magnificently leaked to build up a anticipation that gave the movie the best January open ever in 11 years. The weekend over, some blogs are shouting conspiracy and the inappropriate use of 9/11 and "why Manhattan?" After taking Angel and Eli and his partner Mike to the show, they spent the whole car ride home picking it apart and calling it the worst movie ever, and a waste of money and a giant 9/11 scare flick. I think I need new friends, but whatever. Cloverfield, as much as unofficially was never meant to bring back the past, did mean to stir up the stir up enough feeling to set the mood. Why Manhattan? Why not? I've never been to NYC, but the area is so well known, I doubt watching a building in Chicago pummel to the ground would catch you as much as watching the Empire fall. Its the perfect mini setting for a Kaiju, In Japan its always Tokyo. Where best can a monster stir up shit than the busiest city? 9/11 Conspiracy - Absolutely. Sort of. When the firsts shakes are heard the party flocks to the roof, you hear chatter of "is it terrorists?," and "its happening all over again!" Of course! Set off an explosion in the city and listen for comments. September 11th was so tragic and impounding on so many lives that it's natural to think it again. The audience was stirred, and that was the point. When the first building fell, Angel whispered to me, "this looks just like how it happened." He was there, and the movie brought it back for him. Is that wrong? I dunno, but if you watch the movie, its not about terrorists bombing us, its about a freakishly large beast that you never get a good look at that is destroying everything around you. It is terrorism, just on a different level. Statue of Liberty, come on! - That was fucking awesome and a just accept-it gimmick part of the movie. Its never explained why or how the monster decided to knock her coppertop off, but it was symbolism for "we are in crisis." The brooklyn bridge? Same thing, when the landmarks that we hold dear are cut away from us you start to realize the fragility of your surroundings. Why in every monster movie do they have to knock everything down? - Cloverfield was never meant to be original in idea. JJ Abrams wanted to make "our Godzilla," a monster for the US. Like I said, Cloverfield is an American Kaiju. Total destruction is a must, and it gives the Special FX guys woodies. Total Blair-Witch Knockoff - The big gimmick of the whole movie is that you are watching the events that were retrieved from an SD card found in Central Park. The film was made to look like it was filmed on a handy cam operated by the character "Hud." In reality, the camera was a Sony CineAlta HD F23 camera, a top of the line 1080p camera that was creatively controlled by master cinematographer and "Lost" vet Michael Bonvillian. One flaw that only those in the nerd will know is that an SD card would never allow the flip-back to previous recorded video (a tape would), so flashbacks of Rob's date with Beth on Coney island were inconsistent with the gimmick. Of course, the battery life and clever filming outages made little sense, but do you really wanna watch the whole walk down the subway line in the dark? I don't think Hud could be that amusing to carry the movie that long. cinaltaf23.jpg Not all of Cloverfield needs to be defended for those quick to cry foul. Abrams made the right decision to employ the "killer lice." The creatures that fell from the beast were frightening and "equally terrible," however easily killable so as not to dominate the threat. Another point I liked was how we never got the best look at the monster, there was no super FX orgasm money shot. In the end, when our much loved and quite handsome "Hud" was killed you see the monster's face close up, however the shot was so tight that you never see it all, just the billowing of its airsacs/gills/noclue and its black eyes on a head that looks nothing like any monster we've ever encountered in a movie. Not everyone is going to like Cloverfield because not everyone likes Kaiju. Just remember what you are watching and how it was tailored for your dismerriment before you freak out and call it a wash.

Want: A little bit of Squid Lovin

01.18.2008 @ 11:42 AM in Technology
tentacle_01.jpg For those times when a bitch slap just simply won't do, Gaia has given us the opportunity to stick it to 'em right, literally. The Tentacle Arm is 100% polyester, looks like plush on the backside with the underarm riddled with plenty of suction cups to let everyone know you mean business. Pick it up for $15.00.

Macworld 2008: There’s Something in the Air

01.15.2008 @ 11:36 AM in Technology
macworld08.jpg Same as last year, I'm here to bring you the latest of round the web-updates and information on the shiny new goodies to be unleashed this year at Macworld 08. The show starts at noon EST, and feel free to keep refreshing the page to get the updates as I'll edit this post as soon as something new comes in. I'll be getting most of my info from Gizmodo live coverage. You can always check em out for more specs, but remember to hit me up for the commentary.
  • 11:30 - The Apple store has been down for the longest pre-keynote period, ever. This could mean a total store workaround, a lot more products, or perhaps some new functionalities are being installed. This could also mean that someone jumped the gun, but whatever, the downtime always marks the start of of the reality distortion field for the day. Productivity is grinding to a halt as when noon hits, I'm not doing squat but hitting refresh.
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[Official Lunch for Macworld 08: Taco Salad with extra cheese FTW]

  • [12:08] - Its Started!! People are being let into the 4000 seat auditorium and Coldplay, once again, can be heard over the shuffle.
  • [12:13] - Coldplay, Kanye, now Feist.. I wonder who picks the seating music?
  • [12:14] - Feist cuts out, new get a mac ad, and here comes Steve!
  • [12:15] - “Welcome to Macworld 2008. We’ve got some great stuff for you. There’s clearly some great stuff in the air today.” Jobs starts the retrospective on all the products from last year, iPhone, iPod Touch, iMac. Leopard a great success.
  • [12:20] - Four Points to Discuss. The first was Leopard. Developers are working well with it and over 20% of Mac base has upgraded. Office 2008 now shipping. New Feature of Leopard is Time Capsule, Airport extreme base stations with "server grade" internal harddrive. This allows you to back up your mac wirelessly.
  • [12:22] - 500 GB version - $299, 1 TB $499
  • [12:23] - On to iPhone.. paraphrased "We sold a whole fuckin bunch!" 20K per day average. SDK in Feb, w00t!
  • [12:26] - New apps today for iPhone, Maps with location, Webclips, Customize home screen, SMS multiple people, Lyrics.... looks like the iPhone is moving into its useful stage now.
  • [12:33] - Web clips allow you to create up to 9 home screen bookmarks, will remember where you zoomed or panned.
  • [12:38] - Free update today for iPhones, iPod Touch gets Maps, Mail, Stocks, Notes, and Weather for a $20 one time fee.
  • [12:40] - iTunes Movie Rentals: Touchstone, Miramax, MGM, Lionsgate, Newline, FOX, WB, Disney, Paramount, Universal, Sony all gonna play nice to make this work.
  • [12:42] - Over 1000 movies, those 30 days after DVD release, watch anywhere instantly over broadband. 30 days to start watching, 24 hours to finish. Library Titles: 2.99 New Releases: 3.99
  • [12:45] - In the US, rentals available today, international gets it later in the year. SUCK it UK!
  • [12:47] - Apple TV take 2. No computer required, rent movies from Apple tv in DVD and HD quality, view photos from .mac and flickr. syncs with iTunes, natch. Oh, and there are 100 HD rentals for 4.99 available today.
mrpphotos.jpg

[get photos of the Keynote via Macrumors]

  • [12:55] - Steve's Demoing the iTunes rental service. Downloads appear to be fast and quality on point with specs. Create photo screen savers with Apple T[V from .mac galleries and flickr.
  • [1:03] - Free software update for existing Apple TVs. Entry price point reduced from $299 to $229.
  • [1:05] - Software update comes in two weeks
  • [1:07] - 20th Century Fox was the first studio to sign up for movie rentals. Jim Gianopulos, Chairman and CEO of Fox is taking the stage, talks about future of Video rentals, DVD's and the availability of included digital copies, like on Family Guy: Blue Harvest DVD.
  • BOOM!!!!!!!!!
  • [1:10] - Macbook Air
  • [1:12] -"World's thinnest Laptop." Talk about competition specs and how 3lbs is a great weight, but it can compromise features and functionality. MacBook Air is 0.16" to 0.76". The thickest part of the MacBook Air is thinner than the thinnest part of the Sony. It fits inside a envelope.
  • [1:17] - Magnetic Latch with 13.3" widescreen display. Display is LED backlit, macbook style keyboard, ambient sensor. Essentially a Calista Flockhart macbook. Track pad is multi-touch FTW. rotate and resize photos and other things via pinch and finger pivots.
  • [1:20] - 1.8" Hard Drive, 80GB, option for 74GB SSD for your the cost of your firstborn child. 1.6 GHz Standard, 1.8 GHz Option, all Intel Core 2 Duo.... as Intel CEO, Paul Otellini, takes the stage.
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  • [1:24] - 45 Watt MagSafe, 1 USB 2.0 port, Micro-DVI, Audio Out, 802.11n + Bluetooth 2.1/EDR, no word of lasers. Nope, no optical drive, but a Superdrive accessory is available for $99. However, special software lets you hijack "borrow" a mac or PC's optical drive.
  • [1:27] - 5 Hours of Battery Life, 2Gb standard Memory, $1799 base. Pre-order today, ships in months weeks. Full Aluminum case (recyclable), first mercury and lead free battery, blah blah, green, blah, hippie, blah
I'm really dissapointed no mention of the standard macbook being aluminized... its the only product still in lucite and plastic
  • [1:30] - Jobs mulls over how in just two weeks of 2008, they have updated the mac Pro, the Apple tv, iPhone and iPod Touch, Rentals, MacBook Air... sounds like a one more thing is coming.
  • [1:36] - Randy Newman takes the stage (Where the fuck is John Legend?) to perform and I lose my erection.
  • [1:38] - Newman has lost his marbles as he sings a song about the USA and Stalin and the Supreme Court.... great. Will someone get the crazy man off stage so we can have the "one more thing?"
  • [1:40] - Apple.com is updated with information regarding the keynote.
  • [1:45] - And its over.
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UPDATES: Dreamhost and the “Billing Issue”

01.15.2008 @ 10:54 AM in Technology
dhstatus.jpg The Twitterverse exploded this morning with Dreamhost customers freaking out about high charges, account suspensions, and overdrawn bank accounts. Currently, the DH panel is unavailable, as well as an increased load on all hosted sited. What the hell happened?
  • "Last night, this guy ran a standard billing cycle to clean up stragglers from 2007. Unfortunately, the biller was ran for 2008 (December 31st, 2008 to be exact). This caused everyone to be billed as if today was 2008-12-31, wreaking the havoc that we are so sorry you had to be put through."
I'm on MediaTemple for my personal endeavors, but we use Dreamhost as a hosting solution for WNYMedia.net. Not only do we pay out of our ass for service, but support is simply shit. There is no way to contact them except for a shoddy threaded support panel, and the company number will answer with a message to tell you to visit dreamhost.com. I think this was the last straw for a lot of folk who are sick of dealing with Dreamhost. We'd have moved months ago if it wasn't for the sheer logistical nightmare of moving everything over, downtimes and dns issues being something we like to avoid. However, I think nows the perfect time to start more aggressively looking for a new host. If only Mediatemple had a faster mySQL system, but at least you can call them 24/7.
  • Are you currently getting rough fucked by the Dreamhost? Is your account touching a negative thanks to Josh? Let me know how you feel. Also, if Dreamhost has spared you and you guys go to the movies and shit, I wanna know what a success story sounds like.
  • P.S. - Dreamhost is "*extremely* sorry for the mishap." Golly, those asterisks make me feel so much better.

Updates

  • [11:15] - Panel still down, and now so is the Dreamhost Status blog.
  • [2:23] - Just got word that we were overcharged $1200 and it went through... waiting on the reversal. Dreamhost says we shouldn't worry because "we’re fixing it right as you read this (and maybe already have for your account)! The best move for you is to just sit back and pretend you never got those weird billing email(s) talking about owing lots of money!" HAHAAHA! Yea.. thats totally hilarious, we'll just laugh this off you fucktards! Panel is back up though.

So what happened and what did we they learn?

It seems the total looting from the faulty script was valued at about $7.5 Million. However Josh, the man who we all hate right now, takes the blame on himself, and maintains that the billing system is completely robust and secure. Rubust and secure, but not human proof, which is where today's Fubar came from. See, Josh was merely trying to catch up on old bills from 2007, and rerun the payment systems to retry for those that never went through on the last days of January due to a systems upgrade.  When he put the dates down, he put the year as 2008, instead of 2007. What happened was the secure and robust system ran exactly as he told it to, billing for December 2008 and making almost everyone's account appear 11 months behind.
  • The end to this story is that of course, I’m very very sorry, we’re very very sorry, and I’m sure you’re very very sorry this happened. A new service is running right now (in parallel on all the controllers) that fixes all those future charges, and if your credit card was automatically rebilled, refunds the payment automatically. You don’t have to contact us or your bank, and you’ll get an email when your account is finished fixing up. It’s going to take several hours to complete. There are a lot of you these days! If, because of this billing mistake, you somehow incurred some fees from your bank or credit card company, please let us know after tomorrow (today we are just replying to all 10,000+ billing messages with a generic explanation) and we’ll do our best to make it right for you. The moral of this story is that “flexibility” is rarely desired in programming! The less a program will accept/the less a program will do/the less options and preferences it has, the more usable it is/the more understandable it is/the more stable it is.

Twittertale snitches on your potty-mouthed Tweets.

01.11.2008 @ 12:31 PM in Technology
twittertale.jpg I've got a bit of a potty mouth. In fact, a quick search in my blog reveals about 11 pages of choice worded posts. Alright, so I curse like a sailor, and I'll never stop. I do tone it down a bit around the old folk, children under 2, and clergy that i haven't slept with, but pretty much I'm a foul mouthed jerk. Deal with it. My tweets are also a bit vulgar at times, and thats understandable, its my venting machine. I've noticed that a lot of my other twitter pals tend to do this as well. and there is a new site called Twittertale that rats us out, reposting the foul tweets.  It's not suprising I found myself on the naughty list a few times, like today... twitter_tale.jpg If you twitter and you tend to be a bit sassy, you might wanna search to see if you made the list. Regardless, if you enjoy the foul mouth rants of others, subscribe to the feed. Now fuck off.

Quick and satisfying fix for an HP Printer

01.07.2008 @ 12:24 PM in Technology
[youtube width="600" height="501"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5V8sKjMUF0[/youtube]
  • from video description - All I wanted to do was print one damn page that I can have copied to make labels for my Benderbrau beer http://www.asciimation.co.nz/bender on my little used HP printer and the bloody thing wouldn't work. Paper kept sticking, the ink cartridges were gummed up and eventually the thing stopped working and wouldn't switch on. I got a little annoyed that it was broken so I fixed it.
BTW, the Bender Beer Brewing Bot (B OVERLOAD!) is finally complete. The guy did a really great job on the modeling and the thing actually makes beer! bender.jpg

Nokia N95 8GB USA Edition Confirmed

01.07.2008 @ 10:36 AM in Technology
This has been the only announcement from CES to really get me excited. Perhaps it's because I've been waiting on this phone for half a year.

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  • Las Vegas, USA - With consumer demand for the most advanced wireless devices continuing to rise, Nokia (NYSE:NOK) announced today that it is optimizing the Nokia N95 8GB for networks using 850/1900 MHz HSDPA (high speed data packet access) in the Americas.  Combining speed, technology and content -  the new Nokia N95 8GB bridges the gap between traditional fixed entertainment centers and portable wireless devices with its stunning 2.8 inch QVGA screen with support for up to 16 million colors, eight gigabytes of built-in memory, A-GPS positioning for improved location access and enhanced battery life.
  • The Nokia N95 8GB comes with the advanced feature set expected from a state-of-the-art Nokia Nseries multimedia computer.  The new Nokia N95 8GB offers a class-leading five megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics and autofocus, WLAN, and a full eight gigabytes of internal memory, allowing for storage of up to 20 hours of video* or up to 6000 songs**.  Complete with captivating 3D graphics, the Nokia N95 8GB will also offer compatibility with the upcoming N-Gage games service.  It is also a full-featured GPS device with assisted GPS (A-GPS) and a large map database covering more than 100 countries, including a number of US state maps preloaded.  The Nokia N95 8GB will also support Nokia Share Online 3.0, which will be made available via Nokia Download! and will enable consumers to upload photos and videos with one click to Flickr or Vox, allowing them to quickly share content with their social communities.
The US spec'd N95 will be released this quarter at the NYC and Chicago flagship Nokia stores, as well as in other e-retailers for about $749. Time to start saving the coins. Word around CES is that a special red edition has been spotted and priced at around $599 to be released as a special edition of some sorts.