September 12, 2005

Guardian gives the new ROKR phone a big "pffft"

Lost in the huzzahs about the new iPod Nano is the essential suckitude of the ROKR phone from Motorola that runs iTunes. The Guardian has a good piece about why this wildly hyped phone is a whole lotta nothing.

Also, apparently the software's already been hacked, and you can install it on other Motorola phones. Since I have a V635, I might try to install it myself, though I'd never use the phone as anything but a potable communication device.

Comments (0) in GADGETRY

HD...who cares?

Maybe I'm jaded because I used to work in television, and I've seen enough of the eye-crack to last me a lifetime, but now that HD is finally becoming a mainstream, "guy at Future Shop is clueless but he'll see you the most expensive HD set they have" phenomenon, I couldn't care less.

It might have something to do with the fact that I barely watch anything other than news. Or maybe it's that I find it easier and more convenient to just download the few shows I do enjoy and watch them on my laptop while I'm busy with something else. In fact, just vegging out tends to get on my nerves.

The other thing that keeps me from moving to HD is the cost factor. HD sets are cheaper than they've ever been, but I just can't bring myself to spend good money on a television set. It just feels...wrong, somehow. :)

But I'm sure I'm in the minority; plenty of people like to coccoon in a media nest and get bathed by the warm rays of constant drivel, but I ain't one of them.

Comments (3) in MEDIA

September 11, 2005

9/11, four years on

The NYT Magazine knocks one out of the park with a long, long, long analysis of the "war on terror", four years after since the planes smashed through the WTC and pushed history in a new direction. This one's a brick, but it's worth reading.

Comments (2) in POLITICS

September 08, 2005

Anyone want to buy a modded Xbox?

I picked up an Xbox back in my Osoyoos days, because despite what you might think, there isn't a whole lot to do in Canada's only desert town. I promptly had it modded when I got out to Vancouver, so now it can play movies and other digital files, can be used as a digital jukebox, plays (ahem) backed up games, and is one hell of an emulation rig. I've also got the dvd remote and the wireless adapter.

So why sell it? Well, turns out I don't use it all that much. I finished Doom 3, and since then it sort of sat around. And though it has a 200 gig hard drive that's great for storing movies and tv shows on, I found I actually prefer to watch movies on a window on my laptop as I'm plugging away at the blog, or writing, or on iChat. So I'm going to ditch the beast, but I thought I'd give all of you first crack at it before it hits the wilds of eBay. Any takers?

Comments (0) in GADGETRY

Apple trots out new Ipods

After the usual barrage of reality-distorting hype, Apple introduced an iPod phone (which is really a clunky Motorola with iTunes built in, big whoop), and the iPod Nano, replacing the Mini. I just got a Mini a few months back, so I'm not going to snap up the Nano anytime soon, but I have to admit it's a pretty snazzy looking little unit. When the Intel Powerbooks come out, maybe I'll pick one up, but until then, my now-obsolete soundmaker will do.

Comments (0) in GADGETRY

September 07, 2005

3d worlds contribute to Katrina relief

Lest I make too much fun of the gamers who immerse themselves in WOW and other online RPGS, I should point out that users from several games are collecting donations for Hurricane Katrina victims, both in-game and otherwise. And to be fair, an online games is really an ideal setup to get a lot people from very disparate backgrounds and locations to help in a common cause, so good on 'em.

Comments (0) in INTERNET

September 06, 2005

World of Warcraft ropes in the normals

Apparently (and man, I'm getting top-heavy with NYT articles) World of Warcraft has managed to succeed where other games have failed and gained a substantial mainstream audience. I personally witnessed a friend devote his every waking hour to the game, which put me off ever playing it. But evidently I'm in the minority on this one, as many and various people seem to like running around being wizards and ganging up on monsters and whatnot.

Comments (4) in INTERNET

September 05, 2005

Two great editorials about Bush's failure in New Orleans

Hurricane Katrina seems to be the tipping point for Bush and his administration; all of his deception and incompetence is being exposed while poor Americans die the same way the Iraqis under America's thumb have; alone and largely ignored. David Brooks points to what he calls the bursting point, where American frustration at their own institutions reaches the breaking point, and Frank Rich toes together New Orleans with 9/11 and Iraq as just another example of Bush's incompetence as a leader.

Comments (4) in POLITICS

September 03, 2005

Steve Ballmer goes completely bats about Google

Apparently last year Microsoft's chief poobah Steve Ballmer, while doing an exit interview with an employee, lost his friggin' mind about Google. Ah, it's a beautiful display of profanity and paranoia.

Comments (0) in INTERNET

The tragic screw-up that is New Orleans

Matt Wells, a BBC correspondent in the States, cuts through the crap and says flat out that the American response to Hurricane Katrina, particularly in New Orleans, is completely pathetic. Apparently the American media has actually grown a set and is starting to criticize the Administration as well. I wonder how long it takes until Bush blames the hurricane on freedom-hating terrorists?

Comments (0) in POLITICS

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All Your Fansubs Are Belong To Us

[Published in Shift Magazine] When the anime series Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex hit the airwaves for the first time in Japan, it took mere hours before fans around the world were enjoying the first episode of the brooding cybersaga. The fact that they were downloading it free isn't that remarkable; pirated versions of Hollywood blockbusters often show up on the net days or weeks before their debut in theatres. What's remarkable is that these fans were watching them in English.

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