Saturday, December 31, 2005

Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

Here's hoping that everyone out there (all three or four of you who read this blog) has a wonderful New Year - get out and party tonight like it's 2005! I'll be taking next week off, and will be working on my New Year's resolution... get a new job (I really need one). I definitely need the time off, it'll hopefully help me start 2006 right. So here's to Auld Lang Syne and all that - Happy New Year everybody!

Friday, December 30, 2005

AOL's Top Ten list of Spam e-mail subjects

AOL published it's yearly list of the top ten spam email subject lines recently, and here it is -

1. Donald Trump Wants You - Please Respond
2. Double Standards New Product - Penis Patch
3. Body Wrap: Lose 6-20 inches in one hour
4. Get an Apple iPod Nano (or PS3 or Xbox 360) for Free
5. It's Lisa, I must have sent you to the wrong site
6. Breaking Stock News** Small Cap Issue Poised to Triple
7. Thank you for your business. Shipment notification
8. Your Mortgage Application is Ready
9. Thank you: Your $199 Rolex Special Included
and 10. Online Prescriptions Made Easy

In this article from, they talk about the list and also mention that AOL is reporting that they blocked an average of 1.5 billion spam messages each day. The total number of emails blocked in 2005 was OVER 556 billion. Damn! Are enough people actually BUYING penis patches to justify sending out that much spam? Seems like the problem is only getting worse, but the article also mentions that the average amount of spam that actually reached their user's mailboxes declined 75% over last year. Well, that's something, I guess.

Wish I'd come up with this idea...

Alex Tew, a 21-year old student from a small English town, came up with one hell of an idea to come up with money to pay for his education. He decided to start a website, appropriately named, and sold it as a billboard site - anyone who wants can buy 1 pixel on the page for $1. So a 10x10 section would cost $100, etc. He sold a few sections to some friends and family, and with the $1000 those sales raised he issued a press release. Which was picked up by the news media, spread around the Internet, and soon advertisers for everything from dating sites and casinos to real estate agents and even The Times of London were putting up real cash for his pixels, with weblinks to their own sites of course. So far he's raised $936,700 - in only four months. Damn, that's quite a lot of money!! If you want to get in on the action, you'd better hurry - there's only 63,300 pixels left.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Coming to a PC near you - an unpatched Windows flaw that exploits Windows Meta File (WMF files) - The zero-day exploit

It's time yet again to watch what emails you open, which sites you visit, and what IM's you click links on VERY carefully! A flaw in the way Windows XP and Windows 2003 Server OS handles Windows Meta File (WMF) files has been exploited, and it can affect your PC even if your copy of Windows XP is fully patches and you run up-to-date anti-virus. As of this writing, Microsoft has no patch ready to fix the flaw in Windows, and the exploit is rampant on thousands of malicious websites. Read more about it here.
There is a workaround available, thanks to Verisign's iDefense. I've copied the procedure (and the possible drawback) below.

According to iDefense, Windows users can disable the rendering of WMF files using the following hack:

1. Click on the Start button on the taskbar.
2. Click on Run...
3. Type "regsvr32 /u shimgvw.dll" to disable.
4. Click ok when the change dialog appears.

iDefense notes that this workaround may interfere with certain thumbnail images loading correctly. The company notes that once Microsoft issues a patch, the WMF feature may be enabled again by entering the command "regsvr32 shimgvw.dll" in step three above.

Hope that helps you if you are worried about this - and I think you should be!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

A well deserved honor - TIME names Battlestar Galactica the best show of 2005

And I'd have to agree - it was the best show of 2005. Here's a link to the article so you can read the rest of the list. I don't agree with everything (come on - How I Met Your Mother? Except for Neil Patrick Harris that show blows!!) but most of it is right on the money. Although I would have put My Name Is Earl up higher on the list. The new season of Battlestar Galactica starts on January 6th - and I can't wait!!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Track Santa's progress using Google Earth

Have Google Earth? You can use it to track Santa today - it started 2pm GMT. Here's a link to the post about it from the Google Blog. If you want to download Google Earth, just click the Google Earth link above!

Proof that I work for truly bad people

Cause here I am at work today, posting to let you all know about it. I had the day scheduled off, but apparently that's not good enough for the higher-ups around here! I can't get into it too much unfortunately, but suffice it to say that you can just call me Dante Hicks today, cause "I'm not even supposed to BE here today!!"

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Merry Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus/Yule/etc.

I'm going to be unavailable for the next few days most likely, so I thought I'd pop in for a quick post to wish one and all a very happy (insert holiday here). I'll be posting again as soon as I can to let you all know how my holiday went, and whether or not I ever got into the holiday spirit (which is currently still up in the air as of this writing). So here's wishing a very merry (whichever) to all, and I hope you all get what you're looking for from the holiday!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The 'must-have' toys of the last 100 years

So we can pretty safely assume that the 'must-have' item of the year is the Xbox 360, but do you know what the 'must-have' toy of the 60's was? Or the 1900's? Well, click here to find out!

Here's your funny webpage for the day - The Turnpike Prank

Found this page this morning and I had to share, cause it's hilarious!
Click the link to read all about The Turnpike Prank - it almost made me spit up coffee all over my keyboard!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Google adds music search feature

This article from the Google Blog explains it all, and it's a very neat new built in function of Google. Let's say you go to Google and search for 'The Beatles'. Well, as you'll see if you just clicked on that link you'll have a picture of The Beatles at the top of the search results, and a music search-specific link for them as well. Clicking the link will take you to an expanded music search with album covers and links to specific albums and songs - as well as links to buy them online from iTunes or Amazon or Rhapsody (and others as well). Pretty slick!!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas??

Eh, I don't know... Maybe it's just me, but I'm not in much of a Christmas mood recently. And it's not like I've got a huge amount of time to try and change that, seeing as how it's only ten days till Christmas! It's snowing outside right now, and you would think that the prospect of a white Christmas would improve my mood, but I can't get over what a pain in the ass it is to have to drive through it and shovel it. It was so much easier when we were kids - the entire kid year was centered around Christmas, and you spent so much time anticipating it that it became a magical event. And I'm not talking about just getting presents, because as great as getting tons of fun stuff for Christmas was, it was the whole experience that was more fun for me. All the traditions you would have, like in my family we used to travel to my paternal grandparents home on Christmas Eve, and spend the afternoon and evening with them that opening presents from them and having a Christmas dinner. We'd go back to our apartment that night and spend Christmas morning at home, opening presents and having brunch and playing with new toys, finally getting ready to go over to my maternal grandparents house to spend the rest of Christmas Day with them. Maybe it's all the time with family I miss, since now that we are spread out across the country it's just impossible to all get together for the holidays except in small groups. Hopefully getting to spend time with my immediate family and with my wife's family next week will improve my mood. I certainly don't want to be a Scrooge at Christmas!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Creepy!! The Miss Digital World beauty pageant

It's deeply weird, yet technically interesting idea, I suppose - here's an article from Wired about the finalists in the Miss Digital World pageant. If this catches on, the models might one day be 100 percent photo-realistic. Right now, they look sort of... off.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Sony rethinking it's anti-piracy policy

After weeks and weeks of criticism, Sony BMG head of global digital business Thomas Hesse says they are 're-evaluating' their use of anti-theft software (also known as Digital Rights Management or DRM). Good idea I think, seeing as how their XCP anti-piracy programs installed themselves onto your PC and then acted like a rootkit - a program which helps an intruder maintain access to a system without the user's knowledge. Even better, they released a removal program which actually makes the problem WORSE. More information about the whole debacle can be found here.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

'Podcast' to be added to the New Oxford Dictionary

In lighter news today, the BBC is reporting that the New Oxford Dictionary is officially adding the word 'podcast', which is defined as "a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program, made available on the internet for downloading to a personal audio player". It'll be added to the online version of the dictionary early next year. Podcast has been included in the Oxford Dictionary of English since last summer. Podcast beat other words up for consideration, like 'lifehack' and 'rootkit' for inclusion. Like Slashdot notes in their post about this development, "Guess no one needs to know what a rootkit is." Heh.

A very sad anniversary : 25 years since the death of John Lennon

It's true - on December 8th, 1980 John Lennon was shot outside his apartment building by a mentally disturbed fan named Mark David Chapman. Lennon died on route to the hospital. So today marks the 25th anniversary of that event, and this article from really helps explain the impact of the event to those born since, or are to young to remember it well.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Watch out - the next Sober worm attack is coming

Here's a rather disturbing piece of news - the next round of widespread attack of the Sober email worm are going to happen on January 5th, 2006, which is the 87th anniversary of the beginnings of what became the Nazi Party in Germany. Fun! Gotta love those virus writers and their love of history, huh?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Forbes fictional 15

Ever wonder who the richest fictional characters are? Than look no farther than this article from, where all will be (hilariously) revealed!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Will Windows Vista make the 'update Windows, reboot' cycle a thing of the past?

You know the current drill - you need to apply Windows updates, so you get them downloaded, then they install, then the PC has to reboot. But Microsoft's new version of Windows, Windows Vista, may just change all that thanks to a new component the engineers are building into it - Restart Manager. It'll be a nice feature if it works - I guess we'll just have to wait and see because Vista won't be coming out till sometime in the last half of 2006.

4000 hits!

Well, it's official - as of yesterday, the blog has received a total of 4,000 hits. I'd like to thank my readers (both of you ;)) for helping my little piece of the blogosphere reach this milestone. Sure my blog my not get as many hits as the big sites, but I think it's quality, not quantity, that counts. Right?

Anyhow, I'll keep posting things here that interest me or bother me (or both), and you guys and gals just keep reading them whenever you get the chance. I'm sure we'll get to 5,000 hits in no time at all!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Cost breakdown : Xbox 360 retails for less than it cost to make

Not a surprise to those who know about the video game industry, but the Xbox 360 console costs Microsoft more per unit to make than they are selling it for. This is actually standard practice in the industry - the console is a loss leader, the company manufacturing it makes their money through software and peripherals and licensing fees. Also, as more consoles are produced, the cost per unit will come down. Eventually. The article linked above goes into a lot of detail, giving the breakdown of what's inside the Xbox 360 and how much each of the components cost.

More info about the Xbox 360 bugs

Here's another article with more information about the bugs people are experiencing while playing games on their new Xbox 360. Seems to not be a widespread issue, at least according to Microsoft, whose spokesperson Molly O'Donnell states in the article that "The call rate is well below what you'd expect for a consumer electronics product of this complexity". Sounds like the problems people are having are really annoying though - makes me a little glad I don't have one, cause I can guarantee you that I'd be one of the 'lucky' ones having trouble!

Friday, November 25, 2005

RIP : actor Pat Morita dead at 73

Just saw this a minute ago - Pat Morita has died of natural causes, he was 73 years old. Very sad news indeed. I remember him first as Arnold on Happy Days, but he's best known as Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid movies. Pat was a very funny guy, he will be missed.

Problems reported with some Xbox 360's already

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving - I've been in Cincinnati so I wasn't able to post till now. Saw this article from Wednesday about problems being reported with some Xbox 360's already today, and I have to say this actually isn't really that surprising. Microsoft had some trouble with the original Xbox too, they'd overheat or lockup and do other weird things. Hopefully they are helping the affected buyers quickly - I know I'd be pretty pissed if I'd waited in a line for hours to buy one and then it doesn't work once I get it home!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

I've seen it, and it's good - Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire

Saw it last night, and I thought it was pretty good. There are some differences between the book and the movie, of course, but nothing of major importance was cut out. The pace of the movie was good, it didn't feel like a 2 and a half hour long movie, and I never had a moment of boredom. I didn't think Voldemort (played by Ralph Fiennes) was quite as scary as he should have been. He was REALLY creepy though, and I can't really think of a better actor to play him (here's a joke only my wife will get - Ralph Fiennes!! Yeah, he was great in The Pianist.) Great performances once again from the kids (Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and of course Daniel Radcliffe), they are really capturing their characters better and better with each film. Overall, I have to hand it to Mike Newell - he took a HUGE book that had enough stuff going on in it to make two movies, and turned it into one really good movie. It's a little darker in tone than the first two movies, and about in line with the tone of Prisoner of Azkaban, so it might not be appropriate for the younger kids - but I'd highly recommend it, even to people who aren't Potter fans!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

I'm going to go see it tonight - so I'll give you my two cents on how good or bad it was tomorrow. For now, here's a link to the Goblet of Fire site so you can watch the trailer! You can also get wallpapers and AIM Buddy Icons from the main Harry Potter site.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Want an Xbox360? You might be better off waiting...

...says a review written by CNN Money. A light (although diverse) offering of launch titles with no clear breakout game would be the strongest reason to do so. The built in support for Xbox Live and the new content available though it (including downloadable game demos) are the strongest reasons to go ahead and get one. The biggest question is - will you be able to find one?

Dear Steve Jobs : PLEASE don't change the pricing on iTunes Music Store

This worries me - believes that the flat-fee structure on the iTunes Music Store is coming to an end within the next year. Executives from EMI, Warner Music Group, and Sony BMG have apparently been pushing Steve Jobs toward adoption of a tiered pricing scheme - i.e., an older song could be downloaded for less than $0.99, but newer more popular songs would cost more - and would probably be priced at over a dollar a download. The whole appeal to the iTunes Music Store is it's easy to use and cheap - why by a whole album if you only like one song, right? So why should I have to pay more for a song that's more popular - it seems to me that is just a way for the music companies to make more money off the popular songs, cause you know that none of that extra money is going to find it's way to the musicians themselves. I guess all good things come to an end eventually, eh?

Apple to start selling iBook with Intel processor next January

Found this on ThinkSecret - they have word from reliable sources that the first Apple machine to sport an Intel processor will be the iBook, and it will have it's debut at Macworld Expo next January. The say in their article that their sources are the same sources that gave them the scoop on the Mac Mini and iPod Photo before their respective releases. It would be very cool to get a new Apple iBook running an Intel processor - as long as the price is right. If they do bring the iBook down in price to $699 or $799 it would be hard to pass up that kind of a deal! I guess we'll see what happens at the next Macworld...

It's official - Ben Heckendorn has WAY to much time on his hands

For the uninitiated, Ben Heckendorn loves to tinker with old technology, and to make it portable. He made a portable NES, and a portable SNES - and now he's made his own laptop. Using an Atari 800 XE (well, actually an Atari XE GS which was the same thing in game system version). Click the link above to check out some pics (and the other projects he's done) on his website. Man, do I ever wish I had the kind of time to putter around with old tech like he does. That would be lots of fun!

Gaming addicts = drug addicts?

This article from the New Scientist about a new study conducted in Germany found that people addicted to gaming have many similarities to people addicted to drugs. Very interesting - so does this mean that gaming addicts who want to be cured would go to rehab centers like drug addicts do? Would a recovering addict have fallen off the wagon if he was caught hanging out at an EB Games store? Will people now say things like "Oh, I'm just a casual gamer - I can take it or leave it anytime"? Too many questions...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Darwin Awards - always good for a chuckle

There is still time to vote on the prospective nominees for this year's Darwin Awards - click the link and go right to the page with the list of nominees. Of course you can also checkout the previous winners, and the honorable mentions (people who get honorable mention did not die), and other fun stuff. At the very least, reading some of these will make you feel like your life could certainly be worse!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Say it ain't so - FOX cancels Arrested Development

It figures this would happen, since it almost was cancelled once already, but apparently this time it's a done deal - FOX cancels Arrested Development. They've also cancelled Kitchen Confidential, which also suffered from low viewership. Frankly I'm kind of mad about this, because I think Arrested Development is a great show, the funniest comedy on TV is quite some time. It's a real shame, I think. Fine shows get cancelled, and crap like Trading Spouses stays on the air.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

'Body sushi' - Got $500 to spend?

If you've got the free money, here's a unique way to spend it - Body Sushi. Your all-you-can-eat sushi meal is served on a semi-nude woman. The restaurant in Chicago called is called Kizoku, and the woman your meal is served on - a belly dancer and friend of the owner Eddy Pinto from Las Vegas who goes by the name Tabitha - wears a G-string, some cellophane, a few strategically placed seashells and not much else. The sushi is placed atop bamboo leaves arranged on her thighs, stomach and chest, so none of the food touches her skin directly. Alrighty then. I can't stand fish (raw or cooked), and I don't know if the new 'presentation' would make me change my mind. It is a pretty unique idea though, I must admit!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Two great tastes that would taste really bad together - Coffee Beer

This just sounds like an odd idea to me - Nestle patents coffee beer. It's a coffee flavor fermented beverage, which tastes like strong coffee but has no alcohol content. See? Weird. I'm not sure who would want this, but I guess you never know.

Fun link of the day - George W. Bush speechwriter

This is fun! You can create a speech and hear it read in Bush's voice - George W. Bush Speechwriter. Click on the 6 blue tabs on the Bank to switch between different sound bites, then drag a bit over to the Speech side. Once you're done, click Play Speech to hear Bush say what you want him to say! You can make him say some very funny things, and you can save a speech to reload later. Loads of fun!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Mr. Sulu comes out of the closet

I can't apply anything funnier to this than the subject line of the email my brother sent me about it - "Star Trek's Mr. Sulu come out. Set phasers to 'fabulous!'". You have to applaud him for finally breaking his silence, but I've gotta admit this one surprised me a little. When it was revealed that Liberace was gay, I was like 'Duh.' Rock Hudson - 'Yep. I knew it.' Richard Chamberlin - 'I always knew it. I KNEW IT!!!' But this one I did not see coming.

[singing] Real Men of The Empire...[/singing]

Hee hee hee - if you've ever heard the Budweiser 'Real Men of Genius' ads, and you are a Star Wars fan, than this links for you! Real Men of The Empire.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I hope he doesn't force R2 to run Windows...

This post isn't quite keeping with the trend of today's posts so far, but I just had to share this. I mean geez, I've seen some crazy PC case modifications before, but this one takes the cake - pictures of an R2D2 case mod project. The guy did a pretty good job on it too, it must have taken him a very long time. I'm sure it was totally worth it - well, to him at least!

Ever wonder what was inside a Magic 8 Ball?

Continuing in the metaphysical vein of today's posts, here's a site that wanted an answer to the age-old question - What's inside a Magic 8 Ball? The whole 'experiment' was conducted with large amounts of humor apparently - and they even had some test subjects drink the fluid from inside the ball! That sounds pretty gross...

Find out who you were in a past life (interesting)

Even if you don't believe in past life experiences (like me), this is kinda fun - Past Life Analysis. It's at least good for a laugh!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Violation of free speech - or protecting the children?

Well it's a tough call on this one - a Catholic high school principal has informed his students that they must take down their blogs and other personal online sites like pages on and So that begs the question - is he violating their rights to free speech, or just doing what he thinks is right to protect his kids from predators online? It's a tough call - I can see both arguments having validity, but I bet the voices on the side of protecting the students (the principal, his staff, the kids' parents) will veto any arguments the kids can come up with against this new policy.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Gotta go back in time...

Check it out folks - someone went to all the time and trouble to craft the DeLorean from Back to the Future out of LEGO - here's the link to the pictures.

NASA worries that long space missions could be jeopardized by - wait for it... SEX!!

Oh yeah, I'm not kidding. Here's the link to the New Scientist article I just read that goes into NASA's misgivings about sex in space - in detail. So OK - people but together on a long space mission like say, to Mars (it would most likely be a 30 month trip to reach Mars), would potentially want to do it. That is a given, I think. So now NASA is going to study the issue, and they better hurry - they plan to conduct new missions to the moon by 2018! Do you think they have enough time?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

More pictures from Vegas (better late than never...)

I know I promised more pics - here they are (finally)!

This is the replica Arc De Triomphe outside of Paris Las Vegas

And here is a shot of the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas

More to come - perhaps later today, if I have a chance (fingers crossed!)

Apple announces new iPod that plays video

There had been rumors that Steve Jobs was going to make the announcement about video iPods on the 12th, then the websites spreading those rumors were told to stop. And sure enough, Jobs announced that new iPods would soon be available that play video. 150 hours of video (on the 60 GB model I'd assume) - but you have to watch it on a 2.5 inch screen. Maybe I'll wait till they make one with a bigger screen... nah, who am I kidding - I want one now!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

One day only - download Divx Create software for free!

Looks like this is legitimate - one day only (today), you can download the Divx Create software package for free. It's normally $19.99, but they are giving it away free today to celebrate their five year anniversary. Here's the link - enjoy!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Meeting of the minds - TIME interviews Joss Whedon and Neil Gaiman

And as you can read in the article, both Neil and Joss have film coming out this Friday. Neil's got Mirrormask, and Joss has Serenity (of course). It's a pretty long article (so long that I've only had time to skim it so far), but pretty interesting. And Neil has declared September 30th as 'National Geek Day', and it sure will be! I'll be in a theater watching Serenity on Friday - how about you?

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Windows Vista - the REAL reason it's taking so long to bring it out

Here's a great article from the Wall Street Journal all about the next version of Microsoft's Windows operating system, and the problems that have caused it to be delayed many times over. It goes into the change Microsoft implemented in how they code their software, and how it wasn't an easy sell with their engineers - or Bill Gates himself. Definitely worth a read.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

From the Earth to the Moon - again

Well, it's official - NASA is going to return to the Moon before the end of the next decade, probably in 2018. The spacecraft they plan to develop looks remarkable similar to the Apollo program spacecraft - but it will be updated (of course). It'll also apparently cost somewhere on the order of $100+ billion dollars to develop and build. Not sure if it's worth it, but the new vehicle is also expected to be the main way to deliver people and supplies to the International Space Station (replacing the Shuttle) and will also possibly be the vehicle (or one of the vehicles) used for human exploration of Mars. Maybe it's worth it, but I don't know - we'll see I suppose. I'm sure many people will weigh in with their opinions over the next few days and weeks.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Nintendo reveals the real reason they are calling their next console 'Revolution'

The story broke yesterday - Nintendo, which has been very tight about info on the new Nintendo Revolution console up till now, officially unveiled the new controller for it at the Tokyo Game Show. Big deal, I'll bet you're thinking. But it actually is - read this article from to find out all about it. Has Nintendo done it again - or will the Revolution suffer the same fate as the GameCube?

Release date for Final Fantasy VII - Advent Children

It's been a long time coming, but the fully CGI rendered movie 'sequel' to Final Fantasy VII will be available on DVD on November 29th. More info about the DVD available from AnimeNation. You can also find out more about Advent Children on it's website - it's a Japanese site, but not too hard to glean at least some info from it. You might also be interested in this interview with Tetsuyo Nomura (Director of Advent Children), where he talks about his idea of remaking the original FFVII, as a full CGI version for Playstation 3. Now THAT would be awesome - getting to play FFVII again, but it looks like the CGI animation used in Advent Children!!

As promised - some pictures I took in Vegas

I know I promised this a long LONG time ago, but here it is finally - I've got some pictures I took in Vegas to share with you. Like this one - a shot of the hallway leading away from our room at Rio (exciting stuff, I know).

Here's one of the cars on the Las Vegas Monorail - all Borgified. Cool, huh?

I've got more to share - but no time to put 'em up right now, unfortunately. Hopefully later today or tomorrow.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Bushes on vacation

Man, this picture is hilarious! My father-in-law emailed it to me, so thanks go out to him for brightening my day! If you want to see the image larger you can just click on it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Bill Gates speaks out about the competition facing Microsoft

Here's a link to an interview Bill Gates did with the Seattle Post Intelligencer, where he talks about Windows Vista, the next version of Office, and the competition Microsoft faces from such companies as Apple and Google - who he admits are doing some things better than Microsoft is. Of course, he believes that he'll eventually crush them, but that's nothing new. Interestingly enough, Gates also recently did an interview with CNET - here's the link to that one. If you're pressed for time the interview in the Seattle PI isn't very long, but I think the one in CNET is more in depth.

Oh, this is just too funny - check this link out!

Got the link to this website emailed to me by a friend, and I laughed my butt off once I went there and read the site - here's the link. You may not want to read this if you believe in creationism/intelligent design, unless you have a good sense of humor!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

American traveler's apology t-shirt

Here's another fun thing I found recently - Are you a American, a world traveler, and tired of having to apologize for your government? Wear this stylish and functional t-shirt, and it will do the apologizing for you! I think it's pretty cool, I might just need to get one...

Now available at the iTunes Music Store

Do you have an iPod? Do you love Harry Potter? Well now you're in luck - you can bring the two together! Just go to the iTunes Music Store and download the Complete Harry Potter Collection - you can even use the convenient link I've added to the sidebar (hint, hint) to get it. What could be cooler, right?

And with the new updated iTunes 5, it's even easier to sample and subscribe to thousands of free podcasts at the iTunes Music Store.

Here's another cool link to get some new content from iTunes - just the thing for you Madonna fans out there -


Thursday, September 08, 2005

Let the President know how you feel about his response to Hurricane Katrina

You've seen the devastation on TV (or in person), you've heard the pleas of the displaced citizens and the mayor of New Orleans, and you've seen the complete failure of the government to properly respond and help the survivors of Katrina. Want to let Bush know how you feel? Sign this petition and let your opinion be heard.
You can also catch a bit of the awesome (and hilarious) Katrina coverage that was on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Tuesday night here - check out the Bush's Timeline video.

iTunes 5 and iPod Nano

Greetings! I know, it's been a while since I've posted AGAIN. Sorry about the lack of posts recently - I'm trying to write more often, it's just been tough recently. I promise I'll explain more, but not now. Now there is very interesting news to report on the Apple iPod/iTunes front - the new version of iTunes (version 5) is now available for download (get it here). The new version is a little more streamlined, they say the search is faster (I thought it was pretty fast already), and it supports the new iTunes for Mobile Phone (which only works with Cingular). Also new is the iPod Nano, which looks just like the normal iPod but is pencil-thin (dimensions are 3.5 x 1.6 x 0.27 inches), and comes in a 2GB ($199) and 4GB ($249) version. You can get one in either white or black. So it looks like this new iPod officially signs the death warrant for the iPod Mini - it's better though so it's not a big surprise I guess. Check out the links if you want more info about the new iTunes or iPod Nano.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Been a long time - but here's a new post

Greetings - I know it's been a VERY long time since I last posted anything, but I promise there is a good reason for the delay. I'm not going to go into it right now, but I promise soon I'll write something about it. Vacation went pretty well, although I didn't want to leave Vegas. That happens pretty much every time I'm there though, so it was no surprise :) I have some pictures to share, so I'll be throwing a few of them up here sometime in the next few days. Not a whole lot else going on right now - work sucks (no surprise, I know), and we'll be going to Chicago for a few days this weekend. So that means it'll be a while till I post again. Someday soon I hope to get back to posting more regularly - keep your fingers crossed for me!

Saturday, July 30, 2005


Oh yeah - even though the countdown began weeks ago, now it's really getting down to the wire. If I can only make it through the day, then I can just relax and take it easy in Las Vegas. It's almost vacation time - and I just can't wait! It's hard to be here at work today because my mind is just not on work at all. I think it already went out to Vegas ahead of me maybe. Isn't it just the worst thing in the world to have to go into work right before vacation? You just can't concentrate. Well, wish me luck trying to make it through the rest of the day...

Thursday, July 28, 2005

This is kinda creepy

Looks like the Japanese have developed a robot that looks very realistic - too realistic, if you ask me. Read the BBC News article here, and here's a link to a National Geographic article with another couple of pictures. Very creepy - what's next Blade Runner style replicants?

Vacation just can't start fast enough...

Work is still kicking my ass, but thankfully it's almost over - it's almost vacation time!! BB and I will be going to Las Vegas this Sunday, and we'll be there for a whole week - I am really looking forward to it, especially with how bad work has been recently. I'll try to get some cool pictures, and I may just be posting a few of them here, we'll see...

Saturday, July 23, 2005

If your desk has a forehead shaped divot in it - does that mean you bang your head against it too much?

Still suffering under the yoke of my horrible job - it's been a week from hell, but thankfully it'll be over soon. Since my work week runs Wednesday through Saturday, I have the next three days off! YAY!!! And very soon (but not hardly soon enough) BB and I will be off to wonderful Las Vegas for a well deserved vacation. We'll be staying at the Rio, they have a really cool pool area - it's gonna be a great vacation!

Friday, July 22, 2005

I hate my job

I know, I know - big surprise, everyone hates their job. But I hate my job with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns, it's a hate akin to the pure hatred Ahab had for Moby Dick ("to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee." Now THAT'S some hate!) Suffice to say, my job sucks. We'll leave it at that, or I'll get all worked up about it.
Anyways, I haven't been able to post over the past couple of days - let's see, what's been happening in the last couple days...

More bombings in London, police shoot a suspect.

Bush picks a nominee to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court, John Roberts - his mother says his Roman Catholic faith his very important to him. [sarcasm]Yay.[/sarcasm]

Microsoft renames Longhorn - it's now Windows Vista. VISTA?!?!? WTF??

And on a very sad note, James Doohan died Wednesday morning. He will be cremated and his ashes launched into 'space, the final frontier'. Jimmy Doohan was a very cool guy, it's obvious from the articles all over the web how special he was and how he'll be missed.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The next step in broadband internet - 100Mbps connection in your home

It's being rolled out over in the Netherlands as a trial soon, and looks promising. How cool would it be to be downloading files from your favorite (LEGAL) music service, and getting them in a split second? You can read more about it here.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Harry Potter Mania!!!

So, the new Potter book, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince came out today. Since stores started selling the book at midnight, BB and I went out and picked up a copy last night. And it was quite an adventure! We went to a Meijer's (because they were selling the book really cheap, $14.87 or something) and arrived about quarter till midnight, and got in one heck of a long ass line. At midnight they started moving people through the line and just handing them books - you had to go out to the registers at the front of the store to purchase it. It moved pretty fast, considering that there were probably 300 or so people in front of us in the line. Quite a few people behind us too - I've no idea how many total, but A LOT I'm sure. Anyway, even though BB was all worried we wouldn't get a copy, we did - and she's happily reading it right now. So all's well that ends well, right? Oh, and the Half Blood Prince? Yeah, it's Hagrid. (Actually, I've no idea. I haven't read a word of the book yet. But wouldn't it be funny if I was right?)

Movies to see : Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Wedding Crashers

My wife (who I've decided to call BB, since constantly typing 'my wife and I' is retarded) and I went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory yesterday. Man, that was a great film - much truer to the book. We both really enjoyed it, and I would recommend it to any fan of the book. They even included the part from the book with the Indian prince who asks Wonka to build him a palace made entirely of chocolate (and it was a great scene).
BB and I (See? Much easier) also went to see Wedding Crashers recently. We saw an advance screening of it on Monday, but I didn't get an opportunity to write about it till now. Very fun movie - definitely NOT a family film. Lots of lewd conduct and naked boobies and such. But if you like Vince Vaughn, go see this movie - because he is great in it. Owen Wilson is good too, but Vince is just terrific. Plus there's a special surprise cameo from one of Vince's Old School co-stars. Very funny! Another good movie that I would highly recommend.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Latest on the delayed Space Shuttle launch

Here's the word from NASA on what's happening with the investigation into the problem with the engine cut-off sensor that was malfunctioning - 'The sensor protects an orbiter's main engines by triggering them to shut down in the event fuel runs unexpectedly low. Space Shuttle Program managers plan a series of meetings Thursday to discuss the problem and determine the steps necessary to get back into the launch countdown. As of now, the most optimistic possibility for the next launch attempt is no earlier than 2:40 p.m. EDT on Saturday, July 16.' NASA has been really good about updating their Return To Flight section of their site, so check there for further updates.
I had tried to write an update about the Shuttle launch as soon as it was announced, but Blogger had some weird glitch and wouldn't publish my post. I tried a few times and kept getting odd errors. Then I look at the blog later, and there's the post Blogger was telling me it couldn't publish. Maybe Blogger was overloaded with people posting all at the same time, I don't know. Weird stuff, but it seems to be better today.

Legal music downloads on the rise

The latest Neilsen Soundscan report tracking legal music downloads shows a threefold increase in downloads from January to June 2005 (compared to the same period in 2004). The article notes that Compact Disc sales within the same period decreased by 7 percent, and that single-song downloads account for six percent of overall music sales, up by four percent compared to last year. Of course the recording industry has no problem with this, as they have their hooks into the legal music download services like iTunes Music Store and Napster - so they get a piece of every song sold. Of course they are still after illegal downloads, and that's mentioned in the article as well.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Space Shuttle Lanch postponed

The launch scheduled to happen today at 3:51pm EDT has been postponed - looks like a faulty sensor onboard the orbiter is to blame. Additional info available through NASA's website or CNN. Too bad, but I guess they want to be absolutely certain nothing goes wrong. You really can't blame NASA for being extra careful.

The NHL lockout may be over - finally

Here's the article straight from - as long as both sides ratify the collective bargaining agreement (CBA), then the lockout is over and next season will happen. SWEET!

Return to Flight - NASA prepares for Discovery launch today

It is looking good for the anticipated 3:51pm launch of Space Shuttle Discovery, despite problems with a window cover that fell off the orbiter yesterday and a problem with a launch pad heater during fueling this morning. The orbiter is fueled up as of 9am, and the short delay won't affect the launch (NASA builds extra time into launch preparation for problems like these). Get all the latest info online from MSNBC here, and from NASA's website here.

Rockstar has a problem with some "hot coffee"

Looks like there's a mod available for the PC version of Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto : San Andreas which adds explicit sexual content to the game - and it's causing quite a stir. Rockstar states that the content is added to the game by the mod (the developer of the mod, Patrick Wildenborg, calls it 'hot coffee'), and is not existing content that is unlocked by it. Here's the word from Rockstar's official statement - "So far we have learned that the "hot coffee" modification is the work of a determined group of hackers who have gone to significant trouble to alter scenes in the official version of the game, in violation of the software user agreement, hackers created the 'hot coffee' modification by disassembling and then combining, recompiling and altering the game's source code. Since the 'hot coffee' scenes cannot be created without intentional and significant technical modifications and reverse engineering of the game's source code, we are currently investigating ways that we can increase the security protection of the source code and prevent the game from being altered by the 'hot coffee' modification." Of course, no steps taken by a software developer can completely kill such modifications - but Rockstar is smart to clearly state that the questionable content was not pre-existing within the game. Now, can they prove it?

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Windows Longhorn begins beta testing

It's official - Microsoft's long delayed new operating system, code name Longhorn, has officially begun beta testing. The invited will be able to download Longhorn Beta 1 and conduct the first official beta testing, and it's expected that Microsoft will allow the public to apply for the beta program later this summer. I remember getting a Beta version of Windows XP many years back - I wonder if Microsoft will send me one of the invites?

Friday, July 08, 2005

Is the end to the NHL lockout in sight?

God, we can only hope. I don't know if I could handle another season without hockey. Read this very informative article from the New York Daily News to get the whole story on the current status of the negotiations. Count me among the many people with their fingers crossed hoping this deal really does go through and that hockey starts again next season.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Google Toolbar coming to Firefox?

There is a strong possibility it is, according to this article from ZDNet. Firefox users have had the GoogleBar extension for a while now, but this would be a translation of the Internet Explorer version, and would come from Google itself. Interesting news, but it would have to be pretty special for me to use it. Firefox already has pop-up blocking, so the Firefox version of Google Toolbar won't need that - and there's already a Google search box built into the browser (and right on the home page if you use the Firefox Start Page). Well, it's interesting news at least - it's good to see more software developers making use of Firefox.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

I wish I was rich... Star Wars memorabilia going up for auction

Looks like film producer Gary Kurtz is putting some of his Star Wars collection up for auction - you can get more info from this site. They will also be auctioning off some other Star Wars stuff, and the mileage signpost from the M*A*S*H television series! Odds are that they'll make a decent amount of cash off of some of those pieces, like the lightsaber - that'd be the one that I'd want. Now if only I were fabulously wealthy...

Secret Wall Tattoos

This is a very interesting concept - check out Secret Wall Tattoos. Unless I miss my guess, these are all hotel/motel rooms - I wonder how many of them have been discovered by the staff? And if any of the artists got in trouble for them?

A cautionary tale for users of wireless routers

If you have your own wireless router and operate it without any security measures at all - you need to read this article. Just a friendly reminder that running a wireless network with no security is a BAD IDEA.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Google Video

Google is beta testing their new video search at - you'll need a browser plug-in to watch the videos (available here). If you'd like to patch the "feature" of the viewer that prevents you watching videos not hosted on Google's servers, than you'll need to check out this website.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Playstation 3 may be priced at $399

Looks like the Playstation 3 will cost Sony $454 to make, and they will most likely sell it for $399. Pricey. I haven't seen a price for Xbox 360 yet, but I bet it's less - most likely less by only a little, but less. Of course I want both of them - but we'll have to see if that actually happens or not. I may not be able to afford it!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Error message Generator

Ever wanted to craft a humorous Windows error message, maybe just for fun or to use on a forum or message board? Well, problem solved! Here's Atom Smasher's Error Message Generator! Fun for the whole family!

Apple upgrades iTunes to version 4.9

If you haven't upgraded iTunes yet, click here to get the new version, which includes support for podcasts. Cool!!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

A blog for the ages : PostSecret

I happened upon this site by accident and thought the idea behind it was really great - I won't ruin it by talking to much about it, but I definitely believe you should go check this site out for yourself - PostSecret. It might just change your life - no joke.

The rise of the Browncoats

For some of you this will come as no surprise - but fans of Joss Whedon's series Firefly are very persistent, and very vocal about their love of the show and it's upcoming movie incarnation, Firefly. Well, Joss is really counting on them and their support - in fact, he's directed the marketing to them specifically. Fans have been able to attend advance screenings in certain cities, screenings where they viewed a early rough cut of the film. And paid regular admission price for the priviledge. Shoot, I would have gone if I'd known they were doing these!!

Watch out, there's zombies all over the internet

Here's an interesting article written for the New York Times about zombie PC's - computers infected with a virus that makes them usable by a malicious hacker to spread spam mail or as remote computers to assist in a denial of service (DOS) attack. I think it goes without saying, but keep those anti-virus programs up to date - and don't open spam!!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Study finds people in the UK think software piracy is no big deal

Two university researchers in the United Kingdom have completed a study they've titled 'Fake Nation', about attitudes toward software piracy/downloading copyrighted material in the UK, finds that people don't see it as a crime. Not totally surprising, but interesting findings nonetheless.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Another reason to beware of pop-ups

Seems that most web browsers are vulnerable to a newly discovered exploit, described in this article from It does seem like it'd be pretty complicated to pull off, but since Internet Explorer (Windows and Mac versions), Safari, and Mozilla/Mozilla Firefox are all vulnerable it is of some concern. I'm sure Mozilla is working on a patch for it right now though, they're generally pretty good about getting patches out to prevent new browser exploits.

This sounds like fun - Monopoly Live

But I'll bet it's also tough, since it's set in London - Monopoly Live. You pick a London cab (which has a GPS device in it), and buy properties around London. Whenever cabbies take their fares to your properties, you collect rent. So the trick would be knowing which properties to buy - so people in and around London should kick ass at this game. Still could be an interesting and fun game for those of us 'across the pond'.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Want to become Batman? It'll cost you - A LOT.

Here's a fun article written for that lays out what it might cost in the real world to become Batman, just like in Batman Begins. The cost involved isn't for the faint of heart, but it could be achievable if you had the resources and the will to do it.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Someone set up us the bomb

The greatest meme ever, All Your Base Are Belong To Us is 5 years old this month. You can watch the Flash video that started it all here. Take off every 'Zig'!! For Great Justice!!

Friday, June 17, 2005

30 Days

Finally got a chance to watch Morgan Spurlock's new TV series 30 Days on FX, and it was really good. I can't wait for the next episode, a guy spends 30 days on anti-aging drugs. Should be very interesting.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Firefly coming to SciFi Channel

Firefly, Joss Whedon's "space western" which was cancelled before it's time will get a bit of new life on the SciFi Channel. SciFi announced they will air all 15 episodes, including the 3 that never aired - and the episodes will be shown in the correct order for the first time on TV - starting July 22nd. We've also got the movie version, Serenity, which opens on September 30th. So hopefully the movie will do well, and the reruns on SciFi will do well - and maybe the show will return for new episodes. That would be very cool!

How the Batsuit works

Here's a fun article from - How the Batsuit Works. It explains the new Batsuit from Batman Begins in detail, and has some production notes from Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale. Very cool!

Batman Begins - I've seen it, and it is good!

My wife and I went and saw Batman Begins last night, and I am very happy to report that it was a very good movie. Thank god, because if we'd been given another nightmare like Batman & Robin I think that the movie going public would have given up on Batman movies for good. But anyway, the smartest thing that Warner Bros. did was to put Batman in the hands of Christopher Nolan - it was a move of inspired genius on their part. Nolan has given us a complete re-imagining of the origin of Batman, showing us bits of Bruce Wayne's childhood leading up to the death of his parents and then taking us along on his journey of discovery that teaches him the things he needs to know to become the Dark Knight. The movie is darker in tone than any Batman movie since the 1989 Tim Burton version, and that is a very welcome change from the last two movies.
Christian Bale makes a perfect Bruce Wayne - haunted by his past, but determined to do what is necessary to bring his own brand of justice to the corrupt, seedy, and all too real vision of Gotham City brought to life in the film. Bale really brings amazing depth and focus to the character, which was a really great thing to see since most of the Batman movies gloss over the double life Bruce Wayne leads, and the trouble it causes him - Michael Keaton tried to bring some of that depth out in the first two movies but it generally got lost among the cool gadgets and special effects.
I could probably go on about the movie forever, but I won't - you should go and see it for yourself. If you are a Batman fan, this is the movie for you. And I for one can't wait for the next one - it's been a while since I felt that way about the Batman movies, and it's a good feeling to have again.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Emails about Britney might just be 'Toxic' (Sorry, I couldn't resist)

According to this article, Britney Spears is the #1 celebrity to be associated with virus-bearing spam email. She just edged out Bill Gates for the top spot. Here's the top ten (in descending order): Britney Spears, Bill Gates, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Osama Bin Laden, Michael Jackson, Bill Clinton, Anna Kournikova, Paris Hilton, and Pamela Anderson. So if you get email about these celebs - beware!!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Dave Chappelle met with Comedy Central execs - but still no word on when show still return

Looks like Chappelle was willing to meet with executives to discuss the return of Chappelle's Show recently, but they aren't saying anything about whether the show will return anytime soon or not. Here's a short article from USA Today about the meeting, which also mentions that the season 2 DVD collection is selling well.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

This'll come as no surprise to some of you - nerds make better lovers

Yup, it's true and you can read the proof here - Nerds make better lovers. "A nerd is an excellent provider and a guy who puts you first," says E. Jean Carroll, Elle magazine's love and sex advice columnist. "He'll turn out to be a great father and a great husband." See? Proof positive, right?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Coming to a Windows PC near you - IE 7.0

Here's an article going into Microsoft's plan to roll out the new Internet Explorer 7.0 with lower priviledges enabled by default. They hope to help stop browser-based hacking by making these changes. Other changes that should ship with IE 7 are listed, like support for RSS feeds and International Domain Names (IDN). According to an article written in February, it'll only be available to Windows XP users with Service Pack 2 - so users of older Windows OS'es are out of luck I guess. Why worry - just use Firefox instead!

Proof that National Geographic has too much time on it's hands - The Science of Star Wars

If nothing else, it makes for an interesting read - How real are the alien worlds described in Star Wars? They asked two experts and got their opinions on just how believable the Star Wars galaxy is. And they have some very interesting opinions on the planets described in the movies - it's a pretty interesting article, just seems kinda weird for National Geographic. Guess it just goes to show how pervasive pop culture is in today's society.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Watch porn on your PSP - it might just happen

Looks like a couple of companies are bringing porn to the Sony PSP in Japan, looks like they'll have eight titles ready to buy starting in July. The rumor is that the discs won't actually be encoded as Region 2 (only works on Japanese and European PSPs) but will be region free meaning they would work on American PSP's also. I guess it was only a matter of time till someone decide to bring porn movies to the PSP's UMD disc - seeing as how (What should be an obvious WARNING adult content in the following links - not safe for work) Playboy has content you can download that's formatted for PSP, and there is another site out there that let's you download adult pictures and movies for the PSP.

You better be on your toes for this one

Sorry about the lack of posts lately, I've been sick and hadn't been able to really do much of anything till yesterday. Unfortunately since I had to go back to work, and my job sucks, I wasn't able to post at all yesterday. But here I am, back to post a fun little quiz for you - Guess Which Movie? Sounds easy, but it's harder than you'd think. I did OK on it, got a decent score of 205 movies right out of 239. Let's see if you can beat me - post a comment with your score!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Is Viagra causing blindness in some users?

If you use Viagra, watch out - it might make you go blind. The FDA is investigating reports of varying degrees of blindness reported by a small number of men who use Viagra. No hard (no pun intended) evidence has been found that shows that Viagra caused the blindness. The men affected are suffering a condition known as nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION), which causes a rapid reduction of vision and can, in the most serious cases, lead to blindness.

Dr Howard Pomeranz, co-author of a report on this condition published in the Journal of Neuro-ophthalmology in April, said that Viagra had long been linked to sight problems. Viagra was known to cause temporary color changes in some men's vision, he said, but NAION was a much more serious condition. Serious indeed - imagine all those little old men on Viagra, now walking around blind with a hard-on! (OK, maybe DON'T imagine that...)

Friday, May 27, 2005

Will satellite radio be coming to the iPod?

There have been rumors about Sirius satellite radio coming to iPod, but now it seems that negotiations are going on about how to share the subscription fee. The technology part should be easy, it's all about the price negotiation at this point. Could be a cool thing to have on an iPod, I think.

Airport security screeners will soon be able to see you naked

Makes me not want to fly very often - Homeland Security Department is preparing to install and test high-tech machines at airport checkpoints that will see through clothing. The technology is know as backscatter, it uses X-ray imaging technology to allow a screener to scan a body. And yes, the body image is detailed - "Well, you'll see basically everything," said Bill Scannell, a privacy advocate and technology consultant. "It shows nipples. It shows the clear outline of genitals." Creepy. So, does that mean that a huge number of perverts are going to try to get jobs as airport security screeners now?

Thursday, May 26, 2005

If nothing else, the fanboys will be excited

Apparently George Lucas has an idea of another Star Wars movie - and it would be a prequel to Episode I. A scooper for Cinescape related to them his tale (use this link to read it and some other movie rumors), he apparently met George Lucas in Hawaii recently and asked him a few questions. Most notably, "I asked him if STAR WARS was going to end with this next installment and He said, "'Star Wars' will never end. My involvement may, but the story will go on....""

Then the scooper (credited in the article as MK) asked, "What do you think would be more interesting.... telling a story prior to PHANTOM MENACE or after RETURN OF THE JEDI?"

To which, Lucas replied, "No question about it, prior to PHANTOM MENACE." He said, that if he did ever do another storyline.... that he would do one of when the Jedi regained control of the universe from the Dark Lords (there were many of them) 800 years before PHANTOM MENACE. And a young Jedi named Yoda was instrumental in the effort.

Now I think it goes without saying that this is a rumor, it isn't fact - and there's no real way to confirm it (unless Lucas come out publicly and says it's true). Personally I think it's not true, and that George Lucas is personally done with Star Wars movies. He has talked publicly about the animated Star Wars : Clone Wars TV series, and another live action Star Wars TV series in development that he will have some involvement with. He's also working on Indiana Jones IV (he mentions that in the last article I linked). So it looks like Lucas will be keeping pretty busy - he probably wouldn't even have time to think about another Star Wars movie for a few years at least. So it sounds like just another internet-fueled rumor to me.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Which Star Wars character are you?

C'mon, haven't you always wanted to know? I've seen a couple of these online, but I think this one is the best (plus it plays the Star Wars theme music) - The Ultimate Star Wars Personality Test.

New Winamp plug-in let's you copy music from iPod to computer

A new plug-in recently released for Winamp allows you to manage your music for your iPod through Winamp instead of iTunes. It includes a feature that would let you copy songs from your iPod to your computer's hard drive - something that iTunes does not let you do. It works with all versions of the iPod, but some problems using it with iPod Shuffle have been reported. I just might have to try this, it sounds like a really good thing if it works as advertised.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Star Wars Episodes VII - IX, fact or fiction?

I read this article in the Houston Chronicle yesterday, and I really don't know what to think about it. The article is mostly about the opinions of Gary Kurtz, producer of Star Wars (AKA Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope) and The Empire Strikes Back. He says, "There's enough material for three trilogies... It wasn't that nine films were going to be made. It was to give you an idea of how much material was there." Kurtz also mentions in the article that there was "talk" of expanding the story and doing 12 chapters. Now, obviously his views differ from those of George Lucas - in fact, Kurtz ended his association with Lucas after Empire, partially because he was displeased with revisions like incorporating what would have been the climax of Episode IX, a showdown between Luke and Emperor Palpatine, into Return of the Jedi. "The idea was that the Emperor would be hinted at and maybe seen occasionally but there wouldn't be a final confrontation with him until the ninth story," says Kurtz. So there you have it. Lucas is on record now as saying that he never intended to do sequels, and only did the last 3 movies in the saga first because he never thought anything would come of Star Wars, and he wanted to be sure to get that part of the story told in case he never got to do the rest.
Anthony C. Ferrante, editor in chief of Cinescape, believes that the movies will continue, saying "I would lay money down that his heirs 20 years from now decide to continue the saga". Who knows - I guess it could happen.

Friday, May 20, 2005

The Force is strong with this one...

It's not an official tally, but the estimated take for midnight showings of Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith is $16.5 million. Just for the midnight shows. Once the full first day tally is in, it stands a good chance of beating the current single day box office record holder, Shrek 2 ($44.8 million - on it's fourth day of release, which was a Saturday). We should know the official first day take by Monday at the latest.

What a surprise - Star Wars - Episode III has been leaked to file sharing networks

Well, this ought to surprise just about no one - you can download Episode III via BitTorrent. And no, that's not a link to actually download the movie (that would be illegal), it's a link to a CNN story about it. Apparently copies were being distributed via file sharing before the movie even opened, and the copy of the movie has a time-stamp - which suggests that it may have come from inside the movie industry versus some dude with a camcorder shooting it. If for no other reason, check that article out for the "Test your Star Wars Knowledge" link near the bottom. I got 10 out of 10, it's pretty easy though.

Thoughts I had after seeing Episode III

1. FINALLY - a good prequel!
2. Damn, Anakin - killing younglings is NOT cool!!
3. It's almost 9pm, I have an hour drive home and I have to be at work at 6am tomorrow - but I want to stay here and watch it AGAIN!!!
4. No, seriously - FINALLY one of the prequels is good, and I'm happy!

That's just a few of the thoughts I had after seeing the movie, but suffice it to say that it was as good as I'd hoped it would be, and I will definitely be seeing it again. A lot goes on in this movie, and I need another viewing (or 12) to take it all in. It's certainly not perfect, for example the dialogue between Anakin and Padme is still not very well written (but is MUCH better than some of the dialogue between them in Episode II (like the I hate sand... speech)), and there are still some things that need some explaining (like, for instance, how come R2D2 never tells Luke that Vader is his dad - or shows any hint of recognition toward Yoda?). But, that said, it's a satisfying end to the prequels. Very dark and definitely not for young children (although there were quite a few at the show my wife and I saw last night), I can wholeheartedly recommend this to fans of Star Wars - it's the movie we've been waiting for, boys and girls - go see it!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Arrested Development renewed for next season

Well, here's a bit of really good news - Arrested Development will return for another season. I'm really glad, it was looking pretty grim when this season got cut down from 22 episodes to 18, and then no one was saying anything about whether or not it would be picked up. So this was very welcome news!

Episode III - I'll be seeing it in only 10 and a half hours!

And I'll admit, I'm excited to see it. Now if only I could make time move much MUCH more quickly... I'll be posting tomorrow with my thoughts on the movie. Here's hoping it's not another disappointment!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Short (unfortunately) update

Work really sucks, and it's kicking my ass - I really wish I could find a better job. Unfortunately, nothing better has presented itself - the search will go on. So anyway, that's enough whining - here's an article with updates about the new next generation consoles from Microsoft (Xbox 360), Sony (PlayStation 3), and Nintendo (Nintendo Revolution) direct from E! Online's coverage of E3 in Los Angeles - and by clicking the other links I created too.

Friday, May 13, 2005

iPod go boom!

Well, I guess this story goes to show that iPods + water + screwdriver = trouble - Australian teenager tries to repair iPod after it goes through wash. So, if you get your iPod wet - DON'T try to fix it yourself, for god's sake!!

Microsoft to offer PC maintenance service

Microsoft has announced that it will soon offer a new PC maintenance service, Microsoft OneCare. Dennis Bonsall, group product manager, says "[OneCare] really is targeted at those consumers who don't have a solution to take care of their PC today". The expected product will incorporate both security and maintenance software with the security features of the service to include anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall protection. Maintenance services would include disk cleanup, file repair and hard-drive defragmentation. The product is also expected to offer a data backup utility. OneCare will first be tested by Microsoft employees, then a larger test will be run using 25,000 consumers over the summer. So basically it's a competitor for software like Norton SystemWorks and other products like it. I suppose it's at least something that would help get people thinking about using something like this on their PC, even if they don't use Microsoft's. And that would be a good thing in my opinion.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Happy Birthday, Pac Man!

Yes it's true - Pac Man turns 25 years old this year. CNN Money's Game Over column has an article all about it, including a photo gallery of Pac Man over the years. Wow, 25 years - I'm really feeling old just thinking about it!

The force has great power over the weak minded

John Challenger, CEO of the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas is quoted in this New York Post article that he believes opening weekend absenteeism due to Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith could cost employers as much as $627 million dollars. He arrived at this estimate using attendance for the first two days of Attack of the Clones (9.4 million people in 2002) and using average earnings per day of $130.60. Which seems kinda high to me - that's $16.32 an hour if you assume an eight hour day. But anyway, I'm thinking more people will see it than they are estimating, so the numbers might still work out to close to that figure. I tell you what, if I thought I could get away with it - I'd call off work. But I'm such a hopeless Star Wars fanboy, I'm afraid that I'd never be able to get away with it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

New rival for Apple's iTunes Music Store

Yet another rival online music store was announced yesterday, joining the ranks of iTunes Music Store, Napster, WalMart Music, Sony Connect, etc. - Yahoo announced the launch of Yahoo Music Unlimited yesterday. Looks like it'll be $4.99 a month for unlimited downloads ($59.88 billed annually). It's not compatible with iPod (of course), but their music player (called Yahoo Music Engine) apparently can be used with one, although right now it would be harder than using iTunes. There is one neat thing about it - you can develop plug-ins for Yahoo Music Engine, so maybe the ability to add functions to it would be a good reason to use it. Worth watching and seeing what can be done with it at least.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Jon Stewart = funny

I'm sure that's no surprise if you've seen The Daily Show, but my wife and I saw Jon Stewart live last night at the Palace Theatre. It was a great show, super funny!! If you get a chance to go see him live, do it - you'll thanks me later.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Chappelle's Show suspended, bitch!

Looks like it's a no-go for the expected May 31 premiere of season 3, Comedy Central announced Wednesday that Chappelle's Show is suspended, and production has been halted. Here's a New York Times article (subscription required) written today and an article from E! Online written Wednesday. Sad news - I was really looking forward to the third season. Dave's publicist Matt Labov denies rumors that the reason for the delay is because Dave is in rehab, and Comedy Central has no information on when (or if) new episodes will be seen. Bummer.

Successful boot of Linux kernel on a Nintendo DS

They've done it - the folks over at have successfully booted a Nintendo DS to a Linux kernel, and been able to run a shell (SASH) and some text games. There is still a lot of work to do, but this is good progress!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Did you ever wonder how a lightsaber works?

Well, can answer that question for you! Check out How Lightsabers Work for answers (sprinkled with a lot of humor, especially in the Using Your Lightsaber Around The Home section).

Kevin Smith's review of Episode III

You can read it here, but WARNING - spoilers!!! Reading this, written by a HUGE fan of Star Wars, really gets me more excited about this film. God, I'm really hoping it's as good as Kevin says!!

Episode III a "bloodbath" which deserves it's PG-13 rating, says AP writer after screening

In this article from BBC News, Associated Press writer David Germain is quoted as describing the action in Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith as "relentless", and "It includes sequences more dark and disturbing than anything previously seen in the tragic Skywalker soap opera." Germain attended an advance screening at George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch home near San Francisco on Tuesday (lucky bastard). All I have to say about this is, what did he expect? We already know from the original trilogy that the Jedi are massacred by Anakin Skywalker, who becomes Darth Vader, and it makes sense that the movie shows us how his final fall from grace and transformation from good to evil occurs. It should be a darker movie - it has to be to be any good and be true to the over-arcing storyline. As long as there's no Ewoks and little to no Jar-Jar Binks, this could be the best out of the first three episodes. I guess we'll see on May 19th...

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Orson Scott Card's thoughts on the end of Star Trek

Sci-Fi author Orson Scott Card has weighed in on the pending end of Star Trek : Enterprise, which will result in there being no current Trek series on television. You can read the article here - I don't know if I agree 100% with his view that we don't need Star Trek anymore, but he's got a point about the storytelling being better on current shows like Smallville and Lost.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Movie review : Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

My wife and I saw Hitchhiker's Guide yesterday, and I'd love to be able to say it was a great movie and I loved every minute of it, but I'm afraid that I cannot. The movie began well enough, explaining that humanity was not, as it had long believed, the most intelligent species on Earth - but was in fact only the third most intelligent. The second most intelligent species, the dolphins, had long had it's attempts at communication misconstrued as elaborate tricks for our amusement. And it's final message to humanity, "So long, and thanks for all the fish", appeared to us to be an elaborate triple backflip executed to punch a ball. So far, so good - this is all lifted verbatim from the book. After the voice of the Guide has related this information to the audience, a long musical number involving dolphins doing tricks while a song called "So Long and Thanks For All the Fish" plays takes over - and that's the point I knew this movie was in trouble. Why ruin the beautifully crafted absurdist humor Douglas Adams crafted into the tale of the dolphins final message to humanity before leaving the soon to be demolished Earth by turning it into a ridiculous musical number? I asked many similar questions throughout the film. In fact - I don't remember laughing at a single joke or comical situation in the movie. I was really disappointed, and won't recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the book, unless you just need to satisfy some morbid curiosity about how far wrong the filmmakers could get Douglas' work. My wife even commented later that "We should have gone to see XXX 2 - State of the Union". I couldn't have agreed more.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

FDA approves diabetes drug made from...LIZARD SPIT?!?!?

It's true - The Food and Drug Administration approved the new drug Byetta on Friday. Derived from the saliva of the Gila Monster and known chemically as exenatide, it's the first drug in a new class of medications for Type 2 diabetes. Currently it would be used along with older diabetes medications, not on it's own. Byetta would be injected twice a day, and is an "incretin mimetic," meaning it mimics the action of the hormone GLP-1 (Glucagon-like peptide 1) that's secreted by the gut to begin insulin production after a meal - but only when blood sugar is high. The drug is a synthetic version of a protein found in the saliva of the Gila monster that works similarly to the human GLP-1. Adding Byetta triggered about a 1 percent drop in patients' HbA1C levels in the studies run by the manufacturer, which FDA metabolic drugs chief Dr. David Orloff stated is "consistent with blood-sugar lowering caused by other diabetes drugs."
Always good to hear of advances in the field of diabetes, since I am a diabetic - right now I've got good control of my sugar and my HbA1C results on my last test were good, but it's nice to know that another helpful drug will be available if I need it down the road. Although I certainly don't look forward to injections twice a day!

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy : Mostly Harmless

That's a comment in this review of the film version of Douglas Adams book/BBC Radio series/TV show The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The review also states "The film version of (Hitchhiker's) is faithful to author Douglas Adams' legacy. The trouble is it’s simply not especially funny." I'll let you know what I think after I see it - I'll be seeing the movie tomorrow.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Serenity movie trailer!

Almost forgot this one - if you loved Joss Whedon's TV show Firefly, then you've going to think this is just as cool as I do - the trailer for the big screen version of Firefly (the movie is called Serenity) is out (watch it here), and it looks outstanding! Another cool movie to look forward to - it'll be out in theatres September 30th.

Proof that I have the BEST wife ever

And it's true - I do have the BEST wife ever, and even though there are many reasons why it's true, I'll point out the most recent one - last night she got me a Sony PSP. I've wanted one ever since it was first just a rumor, and was pretty bummed that I couldn't get one once it was available here in the US. But now I've got it - and I can try out all the cool PSP hacks out there now! See, what did I tell you - she's the best!

New trailer for Batman Begins

Or as I like to call it, Batman Begins...Not to suck again! You can watch the new trailer here - it's really cool!! I just can't wait till June 15th, I really think director Christopher Nolan is on the right track to make a movie that satisfies fans and redeems the Batman franchise. I, for one, am really excited - I can't wait to see it!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

First picture from Superman Returns

Click here to see the picture of Brandon Routh in costume (site's kinda slow, may take a bit to load) and you can click this link to read a USA Today article about the movie. Not sure about that costume, it looks a little odd to me - like it's digitally rendered. We'll see what it looks like in the actual film (slated to open in June 2006).

Saturday, April 23, 2005

The return of The Screen Savers

They're back - the first of (hopefully) many new episodes of the new The Return of The Screen Savers is available from Leo Laporte's website. It's a podcast recorded in 56kbps MP3Pro format. Use this direct link to download the podcast to listen to it. Here's a description from the mind of Leo Laporte himself - "Join Patrick Norton, Kevin Rose, Robert Heron, and me for 34 minutes of Skyping fun as we discuss driving in the dust, cell phones, Kevin’s new webcast, systm, and the demise of TechTV. We plan to do this weekly with a rotating cast of characters." Here's hoping this continues to run for a very long time!!

Friday, April 22, 2005

Now this is some serious Buck Rogers sh*t right here...

Researchers at the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle have successfully placed mice into a state of near suspended animation, research that could lead to the kind of deep hibernation used for long space voyages in many sci-fi stories and movies. I heard the story NPR's All Things Considered did yesterday (here's a link you can use to listen to it yourself) and the lead investigator of the study, Dr. Mark Roth, also noted that the research might ultimately lead to new ways of treating cancer, and preventing injury and death from insufficient blood supply to organs and tissues. So, who knows? Sometime soon, maybe Fry will finally get to the year 3000 after all!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

New Google feature - My Search History

This is cool - Google has released a new feature called My Search History. Currently it's in beta testing so you have to have a Google account to login to it (if you have Gmail, you've got a Google account). Once you're logged in, go to the Google homepage and you'll have a My Search History link at the top. Kinda fun, isn't it?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

[EvilGeniusLaugh]Mwah HA HA!!![/EvilGeniusLaugh]

Ever have the desire to, you know, destroy the EARTH?!?!? Read here for info on how to do just that...(tongue firmly in cheek, of course)

Wireless hotspot - or car?

How about both? Tor Amundson came up with a way to create a mobile WWAN (Wireless Wide Area Network) by incorporating Verizon Broadband Access (a wireless internet service) and a Linux computer to make your own access point that you can put in your car. More info and the do-it-yourself instructions are here.

Nintendo's next-gen console to be kept under wraps

Nintendo's next generation gaming console (codenamed Revolution) may not be shown at E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) this year. Apparently Nintendo believes that rivals might try to steal some of the "revolutionary" new ideas incorporated into the console. An interesting move, seeing as both the PlayStation 3 (PS 3) and Xbox 360 will be shown at E3.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Arrested Development - Why aren't you watching?

The best comedy on television, the outstanding Arrested Development, is in danger of being cancelled, but FOX decides to pick up That 70's Show for another season? And as further proof FOX has no idea what it's doing, they recently resurrected the terrible Tru Calling. Read this article for more info, including deserved high praise for the show and it's terrific cast.

Fake blog sites infecting people's computers

Well, this is just a crappy thing to do - bogus web log (blog) sites being used as traps to infect visitor's computers. The firm Websense noted in a recent study that it has found hundreds of blogs created for this purpose, and warned that the viruses/malicious software found on some of them could get past traditional security measures such as anti-virus scanners and anti-spyware programs. The article notes that the perpetrators would creating a legitimate looking weblog, loading it with keylogging software or viral code, and then sending out the address of it through instant messenger or spam e-mail. So, as Websense's research Director Dan Hubbard is quoted as saying, "These aren't the kind of blog websites that someone would stumble upon and infect their machine accidentally - The success of these attacks relies upon a certain level of social engineering to persuade the individual to click on the link." There is some comfort in that, and in the fact that best estimate is currently 200 bogus blogs out of the estimated 8 million blog sites out there. As a blogger myself, I think it's a really horrible thing to do (of course) - but how do you stop it? Getting a blog started these days is incredibly easy, you get decent amounts of storage space to host whatever you will be putting on your blog through a good number of hosting companies, and you can remain anonymous very easily. So it would be really hard to police this the way things are currently. Could it lead to more stringent policies at the blog host - like collecting and verifying information from someone before they can start a blog on the service? Or does that start to hit up against First Amendment rights? Maybe it's just as simple as personal responsibility for now, since these sites are reached via spam email. So, in other words, if I'm savvy enough to not open unsolicited spam and click on a link in it, I'll be fine. Let's just hope the jerks behind this don't get smarter and find even craftier ways to do this.