Friday, March 31, 2006

Spring Break Starry Night

Spring Break seems to be a fairly productive time for people. Usually the production comes in the form of a trip to some place. But Maria's spring break's productivity was a little more artful:



Van Gogh's Starry Night on a whole wall? She should get a cake for this.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Why is UMD dieing?

Here is what the big guys say:


Also out of the UMD business is Image Entertainment, while other studios -- including 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and Buena Vista Home Entertainment -- have drastically slashed release schedules.
"No one's watching movies on PSP," said the president of one of the six major studios' home entertainment divisions. "It's a game player, period."
Observers speculate the studios released too many movies, too fast. Within five months of the PSP's March 2005 launch, 239 movie and TV titles already were either in the market or in the pipeline -- a significantly higher tally than games, according to the DVD Release Report.


Too many movies too fast. Too many movies too fast? That is not a reason to not have sales. I don't know what is wrong with these observers, but they aren't observing the right thing. It takes someone with a brain capacity the size of a UMD to see why the media format has flopped. Why are all companies that make UMDs losing money? Pricing, pure and simple.

Let's take a look at the all-time best pirating movie, Pirates of the Caribbean. Here is a link to buy the DVD on Amazon, here is the link to buy the some movie, with less features on UMD. Notice anything? How about the fact that the UMD version, with less features, costs 50% more to buy. Who in their right mind would want to buy the UMD version of the movie? What do you get for the added cost? Portability? A portable DVD player costs less than a PSP and has a bigger screen and can use the cheaper, and feature rich, DVDs. So why would anyone want to use the PSP as a movie machine?
Because they already have one, that is why.
But currently the movies cost way too much for people to want to buy on a whim (on the way out of town on a trip). So nobody buys UMD movies.
What is the solution? Sell UMD movies for $10 a pop. I guarantee you that if UMDs were that cheap I would be talking about the UMD revolution instead of the UMD flop right now.

At least they didn't blame "file sharing". (That's a joke, take a look at the article, they do that too.)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Adult Swim 24 to da 7

If you are a fan of the Adult Swim shows here is some news for you: Adult Swim is now posting episodes weekly on their website that you can watch for free, and they are even commercial free. So if you crave that Aqua Teen Hunger Force, then you should check it out.

If you are not a fan of Adult Swim here is some news for you: You know that sandwich shop called Quizno's? They have a pepper bar!

Poom


Poom (game)

The goal of Poom is to keep the ball bouncing for as long as possible while collecting coins and points. The ball will bounce differently depending on the tile that it lands on, and most of the time your only reference to were the ball will land is based on its shadow. When I started to play this game I thought that I would get annoyed with it quickly, since initially it was pretty difficult to keep the ball bouncing. But after playing this game a couple of times through I really started to enjoy it, and the simplicity and flow of the game won me over. Poom is a great game that is very well thought out and has a good balance of fun and difficulty, definitely worth checking out.

High score so far: 3100

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

First Holographic Drives and Media to Ship in 2006

DailyTech (news)


InPhase has packed 515Gb in a square inch of holographic media and plans 300GB drives and media later this year.
The first product will most likely be a 300GB disk with a transfer rate of 20MB/sec however the second wave of holographic media will range from 800GB to 1.6TB capacities.


1.6TB in a sing disc!?! That is awesome. It is safe to say that no one will ever-ever-ever fill up a 1.6TB disc. Buy one of those and you will be set for life.

(Note to my 3-5 year future self; be sure to point at laugh, when a single file size gets above the 2TB mark. Or when I delete 1TB off my home computer to "free up some space".)

Joke:

Were does a Jew park?

It really is a hard joke to make. Try to make up an ending to it.

Background story:
On the way back from BW3s a couple of weeks ago, somebody asked "Where did you park?" which was misunderstood as "Were does a Jew park?". When this was asked back everyone paused, obviously trying to think of a witty answer, but alas no one could come up with a good answer to "Were does a Jew park?". The ride home was also silent as we were all still trying to think of an answer. Finally we all just gave up, but still it is brought up every once in a while, and still it draws silence as the not-so-obvious answer seems to hang just out of thought's reach.

Monday, March 27, 2006

St. Louis? More like St. I-am-always-there-ouis.

St. Louis stuff:
On Saturday we (Newgen, Andrea, Nicole and I) got to St. Louis early enough to go see the arch before it got too dark. You can't really tell by pictures but the Arch is really tall.

After going to see the Arch we headed over to the Savvis Center to see the Blues play the Avs. There were a fair amount of Avs fans there (I would say about 1/20 of the crowd) so when the Avs scored a goal there was alot of cheering going on. The game was close, and Joe Sakic scored the winning goal in over time. Hurray!

After the game we celebrated the win at Lone Star in the normal "eating way too much" fashion.

On Sunday we headed back to the arch so that we could take the tram up to the top.

Look at all the ants! I laugh at your feeble ant hill of a city! I shall crush it like a grape... city.

So that was the trip (sort of abridged, but you get the idea) to St. Louis. Now I guess it is time to get back to school work. Bleh.

Programmable Soda

No St. Louis update yet, but to hold you over until I get back from class here is a very cool idea about containers that can hold many varieties of product in one container.

Programmable Beverage Containers

Ipifini's Programmable Liquid Container technology employs buttons on the container's surface that release additives (flavors, colors, fragrances) into the liquid. Additive buttons allow for the consumer to choose variations of the liquid in the container at the point of consumption. For example, a programmable cola bottle with buttons for lemon, lime, vanilla, and cherry flavors as well as a caffeine button allows for thirty-two potential choices of soda. A programmable paint container with twenty pigment additive buttons allows the consumer to choose from one million colors.


This is a great idea. I like having different varieties of things, but for some reason it annoys me that there are so many types of Coke (Coke Classic, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, all the types with no caffeine, all the types with cherry, some with lime, some with other flavorings) which means that they make around 10 or so different Cokes, and I like a total of 1 of them (Coke Classic). With this system there are only three products, Classic, Diet and Zero, and then whoever buys the coke can decide what kind of Coke they want. This is the best idea ever. (Well at least the best idea that I have heard today.)
The ability to have double caffeine or no caffeine Coke out of the same bottle? Awesome.

Back (Newgan as Jefferson)

Just got back from St. Louis, and I am gonna go to bed. It was a great time and we all had fun. I'll have a full post tomorrow about it. Until then here is Newgen posing as Thomas Jefferson, I think hid quite a good job:

More tomorrow.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Planarity


Planarity (game)

Planarity is not really a new game, but since Nicole has been playing it some lately, and since I never posted about it, I'll give it a whirl now. The point of the game is to untangle the dots so that no lines connecting the dots cross each other. It is an easy concept, but it starts to get difficult soon after the first few levels. As always it is worth checking out.

Today I also finished my super game post from before, and now all the games have screen shots to go with them, so if you are bored over the next couple of days check them out. And the reason you may be bored soon is because Nicole and I will be out in St. Louis to watch an Avalanche game, with Newgen and Andrea, so updates will be sparse until I get back. So play some games while I'm gone and watch out for those flying dogs.

Milk and Honey

A couple of days ago I randomly stumbled upon a blog post about being Vegan. In the post the author was taking about how hard it was to be Vegan since they don't drink milk. Then he went on to ponder about if he could eat honey. He likened how bees grow honey to how we grow corn. I commented that honey is more like how cows grow milk, but you don't have to destroy a cow's home to get it's milk. Well this guy apparently didn't like that comment because he banned me for it.

If you want to get a link to the original blog post I can post it, but since I have been banned from it (which is my first banning on the internet, ever), I see no need to give a link over to it. Also, have you noticed that people like that seem to be the most insecure with their stances?

Anyways, my question for you is: If a Vegan chooses not to drink milk, should they also abstain from honey? Why or why not?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

LED fun

Here are two cool things that you could do with some special spray paint, some magnets, a power source, and some LEDs.

First is Electro-Graf.
ElectroGraf
It is your standard graffiti with LEDs embedded into it that can flash to a specific pattern. Here is how to make it.

Second is Fridge Lights.
FridgeLights
This is adds Lightbright like functionality to you refrigerator. If I owned my refrigerator I would be thinking about doing this to it. Here is how to do it.

If you liked this stuff you would probably love LED Throwies that I posted about before. Check them out.

Today feels like one more significant step into the future, now only if we can get some sort of laser gun, and hovering cars.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

What is Vault's logo?



Yesterday for lunch I had a sandwich provided by Nicole and Vault provided by Chris and Jenette. After eating pictured sandwich and drinking the contents on the pictured soda I placed the vault can on top of my computer monitor.



Soon afterwards I noticed something about the Vault logo, there was a seemingly misplaced dot under the V. But the one thing that I know about logos is that seemingly random things are actually there to make some sort of larger picture, and the picture that it makes usually has something to do with the name of the product. So with that in mind I stared at the Vault logo... and stared, and stared. And then it hit me; the Vault logo is a vault with a guy falling over it:



Now that is probably not the image that they were going for, but now, every time I see the Vault logo, I see the guy falling over a vault. Well, at least I can see why the dot is there now. Does anybody else know why that dot is under the V? ...Well I guess it could also be a guy doing a face plant with the V being his arms and the A is his back and legs... I still don't think that is what they were going for.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Chris' Surprise Party

When Nicole and I went to Walsmart today we didn't intend to get things for a surprise birthday party for Chris, but after a trip through the cheap isle we had more than enough awesome stuff to surprise him with.

First of we got him a flat sled, since we just had a major snow storm here (1 or so inches, we *were* suppose to get 20 inches):

That way we can go sledding tomorrow as long as the snow doesn't melt by the time Jenette gets off of work.

Next up:

That right, we got Chris some Darth Vader masks, not one or two, but six of 'em! Why six you ask? Well, I should be asking you; why not get him six Darth Vader masks? What is one good reason not too?

We also got Chris a smores making machine:


The smores maker pleased Vader-Jenette.


We also got Chris a game called Bumparena, which is a game like plinko and pinball combined, where players take turns placing bumpers so that the balls roll into their area and thus collect points. It is a pretty spiffy game, and if you put all the bumpers on at once and let multiple balls go it looks like this:

If you happen to see the game for sale for $10 or less it is worth picking up.

Finally we got Chris a Star Wars game called Attacktix. This game is really fun to play as well. Here is how to play: each side gets figures that move a certain distance and has some sort of attack, but what is real spiffy about it is that, to see if you kill a guy you actually shoot the guns, and if it knocks over the opposing figure, it is dead. And let me tell you, the guns shoot their darts pretty fast. I really can't see how this product has made it to the market; many kids are going to poke out their eyes playing this one. But, man is it really fun to play. Here is a pic of Jenette picking off one of my guys in her opening salvo of the game:


After playing the games a couple of times and after our fill of cake, coffee, and biscotti we decided to try out the sleds:

We actually used the Vader masks while sledding, but none of the videos turned out of it, so we will have to try again tomorrow.

It all just goes to show you what fun you can have with the things in the cheap isle Walsmart. Oh, and Chris was fairly surprised about the party, since well he was going to come of for dinner tonight anyways (we went to Walsmart in the first place to buy potatoes for dinner) and since his birthday isn't until next Sunday. And since we really didn't have a party, we just kinda gave him some presents. But we had fun anyways.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

A simple request.

You know what really annoys me? When I have to go to the bathroom and I am thirsty at the same time. To me that says that parts of my body are not talking to each other. It's just that I would really like it if all my body parts were on the same page. I mean, all the parts can handle doing statistics, and we can all handle hockey, so let's just get this water management stuff down. Is that too hard to ask?

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Nest of Moai


Nest of Moai (Game)

Moai is a very quick (1min 30sec) game where to roll over (with your mouse) a bunch of tiki heads to get points. The tiki heads pop up all over the place so it is actually pretty hard to get even half of them. It is a bit quirky (think Katamari) which even makes it more enjoyable to play. You really need to check it out. (My high score so far is 589.)

V for Vendetta Review

I just paid $5.50 to watch a radical political ad.

The movie itself was actually pretty entertaining, and if the political message was not so thinly veiled it would have been a somewhat enjoyable move. Unfortunately the hatred of the political system is so great in this movie that at times it is almost unbearable. So here is the low-down, and there will be spoilers said, but unless you feel the need to pay to see a hateful political ad there is no need to see the movie in the first place.

The story goes that V was "made" during a concentration camp experiment that "England" conducted. (I say "England" because although the story is set in England using English history it is clearly meant to be about America.) Anyways, he was made so that a company could make a virus, release it to the public, and then sell the antidote for a great profit. When the virus was released to the public everyone was scared and the government quasi-reformed to appoint a high chancellor, who ruled with an iron fist (mainly through the "Will of God", which is not said in the movie but is clearly stated). Soon after the government is given more power the anti-virus is "discovered" and the company that "found" it makes alot of money. This is all presented as if the attacks on September 11th were manufactured by the government (i.e. Bush) to gain more control over the government and so Cheney could make money (even the guy in the move had a name close to Cheney.)

So V decides that a revolution is needed. He goes about killing all that had been a part of the government conspiracy (and others) and plots the downfall of the government. He is labeled a "terrorist" by the government and is hunted down (rightfully so). We find out that the government is killing gays and anyone who practices any religion besides Christianity. In the end of the move V kills the president, and (symbolically) crashes a train into the parliament building, all in the name of government revolution. By now all the citizens who were before some sort of "sheep" are now marching on the city. The movie ends with them telling us that "V is me and V is you". (There are many more parts left out, but that is the core of the movie.)

Here is the problem: this movie claims that the government is controlling people's lives through fear, and that is wrong (which it is). So V plans a revolution where he blows up buildings and basically tries to change the government through... fear. Why we are to believe that his fear ruling is better than the current fear ruling is unsaid.
Secondly if a government was to control their population through fear, and persecution (of gays or people who practices other religions or otherwise), then that government *should* be toppled. That is what we did with Iraq, they *did* do this to their own people, and we stopped them. But in the movie we are portrayed as the reason the world is the way it is. And as country we did what the movie said is the "right thing" and we are being ridiculed for it. So obviously their solution to the current ("future") sate of affairs is not correct.

This movie basically says "revenge is OK", "don't trust anyone who thinks differently than what you do", and "the end's justify the means" (which actually in the movie they said it didn't, but it clearly is a theme in the movie). So we need to blow up the governments building and make a fair and loving government through ...? (Anarchy?)

Now, I am opposed to some of the things that they are getting at, most notably the Patriot Act, but blowing up the senate, and anarchy rule is not a solution! It may get your change, but from Anarchy comes dictators, not freedom loving rulers.

In short this movie is not worth going too, but if you do go, watch for the message, and laugh at it when it contradicts itself.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Tale of the Cut Cable

My favorite part of any "home improvement" job that I do is the part where I go: "Oh my, what have I just done?" Let me give you an example.

Last night the internet was going very slow, and it was really getting to me. We tend to always have a slow internet connection and although I thought I had fixed it numerous times it would return to its slow ways a couple minutes later after the "fix". Well last night I was tiring to go around on the internet and it was just taking forever to do anything. So I started to get a little flustered, and decided to fix the slow internet connection once and for all.

Now, our cable running into our apartment looks like it was gnawed on by some devil or toddler (commonly thought of as the same thing in many African countries). And I had always thought that that might contribute to our bad internet connection, but I never really wanted to deal with it. Until, that is, last night. Since the internet was going painfully slow, so I jumped up, grabbed some pliers and cut the cable below the gnaw marks on it. This is where my favorite part comes in. I had just cut the cable running into my house without really making a plan of action. My TV was working fine, and my internet was working (to some degree) and I just cut the cable that made them work. This is when I thought "Oh my, what have I just done?"

I had thoughts of having to call up Telecom and having to explain to them that I had just cut that cable into my house and I wanted them to fix it, I am sure that they would be thrilled about that. Well, after the weight of what I had done passed I got down to business. I stripped the new end of the cable and tried to yank off the connecter at the end of the old cable to no avail. So I stuck the new end of the cable directly into the cable splitter, and voila! fast internet, and I still have TV signals, and Telecom doesn't even need to find out.
But let me tell you, my apartment gets more ghetto every day:

Thursday, March 16, 2006

30 Boxes



I am not really one for calendar programs. I don't know why, but I find them very frustrating to use. I also have a very hard time of remembering dates. Combine all of this together with my lack of owning a physical calendar leads me to miss alot of things that I would have liked to do.
That is why I am happy that I have found the (relatively) new web application 30Boxes. It is a good web based calendar program that is actually easy to use. I had tried it about a month ago and felt indifferent about it, but when I remembered it yesterday and gave it a good try I found out how useful it is.
If you ever remember somebody's birthday a week late, or can't go to an event because you made other plans, this program is for you. Check it out, cause 30Boxes rocks.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Commercials


One of the blogs that I read fairly regularly is Felix Jung's. Today he posted about how he did two commercials during the 80's when he was growing up, one for a restaurant, and one for Linkit, a Lego type building block (I can vaguely remember the product, and I actually think I remember the ad.) Felix was honored with the Eskimo part (a natural chose since he is, after all, Chinese...)
He has both ads posted on his blog, so go check 'em out, especially the Linkit one. Does anyone else remember Linkits, or am I just crazy?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Roboclaw


Roboclaw (game)

Roboclaw is a game that is very frustrating. But for some reason I still like it. It probably has something to do with the uniqueness of it and the smooth game play, but dang is it nerve racking.
All you have to do is put a blue ball in a hole without having it touch any walls. It's about as hard as the "claw game" in fine establishments world round. Somehow I got to level 19. If your play the game let me know, just remember to take a short zen break in between the levels.

Just for future reference:

If a professor starts off lecture with:

"If you are real careful with notation and you realize that this method is just a complicated tool, then you shouldn't have *that* hard of a time wrapping your mind around this concept."

The class isn't going to get any better as the period goes on.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Google Mars


Google Mars

Tired of living on Earth? If so Google made it one step easier to leave; they now have a map of Mars up that can be used just like the map of Earth.
Remember if you go there and no one else who can get there, you can claim Mars as your own planet, and nobody can stop you! Just think, a whole planet to yourself!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Now is the time.

This weekend was a nice break (for a change). Since hockey is over I didn't have to make a trek to St. Louis. Instead some of my family came up to visit. It was nice seeing them, and it was also good not having to do the dishes after dinner.

We only really got one constructive thing done over the weekend. Last night Michelle and I worked on her blog and got up a new layout. I think it is really spiffy, and you should check it out.

Other than that, nothing new going on here, just bracing for a very very busy week. Ack.

OK, I'm out for the night; Michelle will leave you with some parting words:

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Super Game Post

As of 4/01/06 these are all the games that I have posted on my blog:






Poom (About)






Planarity (About)






Nest of Moai (About)






Roboclaw (About)






ARC (About)




Znax (About)




Cityscape (About)




Splashback (About)




fspMusic (About)




TriLinks (About)




Xiaoxiao (About)




Blueprint (About)




Makos (About)




Pretty Pretty Bang Bang (About)




Moleculous (About)




Yard Invaders (About)




Swoop to Nuts (About)




World of Sand (About)




Grow Ornament (About)




Panda Pang (About)




FreakOut (About)




Cubis 2 (About)




ShoOot (About)




Ringmania (About)




Mansion Impossible (About)




Memry (About)




Final AirBattle (About)




Atome (About)




Puzzle Express (About)




Bubble Fun (About)




Moby Blaster (About)




42 Games (About)




Magnetism (About)




Star Wars 20q (About)




Bumperball (About)




JFindIt (About)




Tower Blaster (About)




Guess-the-Google (About)




Kitty Cannon (About)




Monkeyslide (About)




Cube (About)




Add Em Up (About)




Rebounds (About)




Ztar2 (About)




Klingemon (About)




Squares (About)




20Q (About)




CCL Game (About)




Nanaka Crash (About)




Ninja Game (About)




Node Tower (About)




Grid Game (About)




Bust-a-Move (About)




Happy Chelsea (About)




Rocket Bob (About)




Hatch (About)




Place-a-State (About)




Levers (About)




Doom Funnel Chassers (About)




12Many (About)




Fishy (About)




Massive Attack (About)




Gravity Launch (About)


Enjoy!
(p.s. If you get a high score leave a comment in the original post about the game; i.e. the About link for the game)
(p.s.s. If a link is a broken please let me know)