Thursday, April 30, 2009

Kimmel Gets Lost

Jimmy Kimmel had a couple of great sketches last night celebrating Lost's 100th episode. The second vid is truly inspired.

See these videos and a couple more from Jimmy Kimmel via SI-Lost

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Open letter to TiVo via Engadget

Thanks to Nilay Patel at Engadget for putting into thoughtful and eloquent words pretty much exactly what I was thinking TiVo should be working on. TiVo, are you listening to us?

Via Engadget
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Monday, April 27, 2009

CDC using Twitter for Swine Flu Information

Don't Panic Twitterverse! Get your news from the source. CDC using Twitter for swine flu information | Larry Magid at Large - CNET News

Vid of the Week 2009-04-27: Kill Bill in 1 Minute, One Take

The entirety of both films remade and shot in one 60-second take.

Thanks to /Film

Sorry I'm late today...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Robert Rodriguez Requisitioned for Reboot

I was wondering what Robert Rodriguez was up to, but I never would have dreamed. Predator? Awesome!
via Variety
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

2009: The Year of Streaming HDTV

Amazon now supports HD streaming (details from CNET and Electronista). CNET reports that
"Owners of TiVo HD/Series 3 DVRs, the Roku Digital Video Player, the Sony Bravia Internet Video Link, and Panasonic VieraCast TVs (and, presumably, VieraCast-enabled Blu-ray players) will be the first to enjoy Amazon's content in HD (software updates to enable HD viewing on those products should be available imminently). Likewise, Windows and Mac users will also get access to HD video content via Amazon's Web site."

With HD streaming supported by Netflix, iTunes (via engadget), and Amazon, 2009 is turning out to be the year of HD streaming, as I predicted! It is wonderful to be alive.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Smart Strip Revolution Starts Here!

I love CNET. I go to their site all of the time to keep up on tech news. They are typically top notch. This story is weird though. First of all, they are passing off as news a review of the Belkin Conserve ($50) product that has been out for quite a while (and that I discussed over a year ago). Second of all, they do not mention the far superior and less expensive ($25) competing product, the SmartStrip, that performs the same function, but eliminating the need for the owner to flip an off switch. If any power strip is going to pay for itself, wouldn't it be the cheaper and more automated SmartStrip? Even if you remember to turn off the Belkin Conserve 80% of the time, 20% of the time you are not taking advantage of the power saving functionality, and the initial cost of the Belkin is higher. I have been using the SmartStrip for over a year now and it works flawlessly. As I wrote in my review--

It shuts down all power to selected items plugged into it when the main item is turned off. For example, it shuts down my speakers, external hard drives, printer, etc when my computer is off, but leaves on my DSL modem and wireless router for my wife to use. It works for me as advertised--I shut down my PC and all of my external peripherals (monitor, hard drives) power down. It costs the same as a typical power strip ($30-$40).

Friday, April 17, 2009


Evite has lost it's way. Way back when, it was one of the first websites I was enthusiastic for. My wife and I actually considered (not very seriously) using Evite instead of traditional invitations for our wedding five years ago. Unfortunately, they have not made any significant enhancements in years. A couple of weeks ago I did not get an email invitation that I should have and only found out about a party that I had in fact been invited to via word of mouth. Basically, now Evite simply stinks, and I'm far from alone in my opinion--Time Magazine, Wired Magazine and more agree. Just in time, CNET identifies some pretty promising alternatives. So no more Evite for me. Pingg looks the most promising to me--they feature better looking styles than evite and built-in integration with Facebook and Twitter.
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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lord of the Blu Ray

Nerd-vana! Lord of the Rings on Blu Ray! Theatrical version only--special edition not for a couple of years yet, coinciding with the release of The Hobbit. I'm a nerd, but not a big enough one to buy it now and then again in a few years. I'll be waiting for the special edition, because that's the way I roll.

via Filmonic

Uncomfortable Movie Plot Summaries

Uncomfortable Plot Summaries--This takes a while to read, but I laughed out loud several times. My favorite is STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE: Religious extremist terrorists destroy government installation, killing thousands."

via postmodern barney

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Do I Quit my Job?

I just found out that my two closest colleagues have never seen this. I must be on Mars. They looked at me as if I was crazy!

These Podcasts Rock and Engross

Last year, I spent a lot of time listening to and reviewing film-themed podcasts. I also regularly listen to other podcasts, and I have two that I would like to recommend highly.

Coverville is a music podcast hosted by Brian Ibbott that is dedicated to playing songs that are recorded by artists other than the original artist (aka, cover songs). I have been listening to this podcast for 6 months now and I love it. It is one of the first podcasts that I listen to every week, and I consistently discover new artists through listening to it. Each show has a particular slant, whether it be songs covering a particular artist, requested covers, or some particular topic like summer, geographic location, etc. Coverville has also been cited by iTunes in its Best of 2007 and Best of 2008 Podcast lists, so I am clearly not alone in my adoration here. With over 550 episodes, I am not able to go back and listen to the entire Coverville back catalog, but I definitely have had a great time downloading the "cover stories" of some of my favorite artists. The Peter Gabriel and Billy Joel cover stories and his recent all A Cappella epsiode were particularly noteworthy, in my opinion.

Radio Lab is a production of WNYC and NPR. It is an educational science-themed show for non-scientists. Unlike the podcasts from Scientific American and "Science Friday", Radio Lab does not rely on a pure interview format that inevitably descends into technical minutae that goes over people's (my) heads. No, Jad Abumrad (host/producer) and Robert Krulwich (cohost) don't delve into the esoteric and alienating technical details of science. Rather, they tell incredibly compelling stories about the world with a brilliant inter meshing of entertaining music, interviews, and sound effects. The shows are incredibly fascinating to listen to for the content alone, exploring the nature of humanity, the world, and the universe. Add the incredible production value and the shows are completely engrossing and headphone-worthy. I got hooked on this podcast a few months ago and I have spent those last few months downloading and listening to their entire back catalog. I am finally caught up now. Looking for some good examples? Try their episodes on diagnosis and morality.

Definitely check these two podcasts out.

Monday, April 13, 2009

iPhone Charging Must Have Accessory

There were two things that almost prevented me from getting an iPhone, the reportedly poor battery life and the fact that I had invested a lot in Blackberry chargers/cables, etc and didn't like the idea of moving to a new standard.

I found a solution to both of these problems in an unexpected place. After purchasing my iPhone, I started researching both external power supplies and protective cases for it. The JuicePack and the Power Slider address both problems simultaneously, but I decided that they were both too bulky, especially since I only needed to use the external battery on occasion and would have ended up carrying it around everywhere. I eventually found the APC Universal Battery, 10WH which foot the bill as an external battery pack. It seemed to be the best reviewed out there, so I took the plunge.

What I did not realize was that I was also getting a iPhone adapter for my old blackberry chargers. You see, the 10WH (crappy name--those guys at APC need better marketing) is charged via a standard USB charger, the same that is on the Blackberry. Furthermore, the power output to the iPhone is via a USB port. The device supports a passthrough charge. In other words, you can plug the 10WH into the wall and charge the external battery and at the same time have the iPhone plugged into the 10WH and get it charged as well. Voila! Two devices charging on one outlet, and I found a use for my old blackberry charger! At $65, it is more expensive than buying a $21 Apple charger, but it has the external battery and the ability to charge many more devices (any usb device). To me, it was well worth it--I just got two devices in one--an external battery and a wall charger. Awesome!

Incidentally, this is the case I ended up purchasing.

Vid of Week: 2009-04-13: Where the Wild Things Are Sequel Planned?

First watch the trailer for Where the Wild Things Are, then watch this sequel trailer based on another well-loved children's book:

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Luxury Scrabble

I love Scrabble, but this is insane.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

He Inhaled, I'm Pretty Sure

Kumar is going to work for Obama. Seriously. This is not a joke.

Down on "Up"

Apparently, I am not the only one who thinks that Up could be Pixar's first bomb. The is reporting that some Wall Street "experts" and toy retailers are expecting less than stellar performance of the film. The folks at Cannes don't seem to mind.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Vid of Week 2009-04-06: Twitter in Plain English

As the resident tech guru among my family/friends/co-workers/wife's coworkers, I often get asked about the latest tech trends. Lately, that means Twitter. I find that before trying to explain, I have started referring them to this video first. I assume that most of the folks who read this blog don't need a video like this, but I figure that there are lots of you out there who the tech gurus for your respective family/friends/co-workers/wife's co-workers that I thought you might want to know about it. The folks behind this video also have similar videos for blogging, social networking, podcasting, and more. Check it out.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hope You Enjoyed it!

Whoops! Y'all got an extra video of the week this week. I messed up the math with the change into April. Videos of the week will resume on Monday!

Vid of Week 2009-04-02: Hunt For Gollum Trailer

This LOTR fan film could easily be mistaken for a hollywood film in terms of production quality. Wow! The film will be released online for free on May 3. Mark your calendars.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

OpenTable to Add Reviews

I mentioned in my review of OpenTable's iPhone application last month that one of the things that they lacked were reviews. Not anymore. Reviews are not available on the iPhone application yet, only the website, but I have to assume that reviews on the application will not be far behind once people actually start writing reviews.

UPDATE 4/2/2009--A representative from OpenTable contacted me and shared that all of there online reviews can be found here. There's actually already a fair number of reviews as far as I can tell.