Archive for December 2004

 
 

Is it really that big a deal?

I never understood the point of New Year’s partying. It’s like Valentine’s Day. One night a year, all the restaurants charge outrageous prices for dinner, and are booked early. For what reason? The calendar adds one to the year’s number. Big friggin’ whoop.

So, this single is not lonely at this time of year. He doesn’t even understand the hoopla, especially in Times Square where people pee on themselves for hours for the honor of standing in a fenced in cube in front of a dropping ball.

(Once you’re penned in, you can’t leave or your spot is open to anyone else. So those drunken revelers get there absurdly early (7 or 8 hours in advance), drink freely, and don’t take bathroom breaks. You do the math.)

FOXNews.com – Foxlife – Fox Features – The Loneliest Night of the Year

“What are you doing on New Year’s?” Co-workers, family members and even the clerk at your local store might have been asking you this question this week, as the world prepares to ring in 2005. But for those who have nowhere to go or nobody to kiss when the ball drops, the pressure to do something special can be overwhelming, and the widely celebrated night can be the loneliest of the year. “New Year’s is just so hyped up, sometimes it can make it unenjoyable for people,” said New Jersey-based family therapist Stacy Saitta. “I think a lot of singles feel a sense of loneliness, because holidays are all about love and family. If someone is alone they have a tendency to feel left out.”

I’ll answer the question now: Nothing. Going to bed at 12:01-ish. Bah. And Humbug.

Stop recording if you’re falling

That’s what Apple wants to do with the iPod.

Apple aims to patent fall-detecting iPod | CNET News.com

The company has applied for a patent on technology that would allow a portable media player to detect when it is falling and then stop reading or writing to the hard drive. Such technology would work by detecting the acceleration that accompanies a drop.

The Monster iCarPlay

I’m impulsive. I stopped by the local Radio Shack this morning while I was running around on errands, and I picked up the Monster iCarPlay wireless FM radio transmitter.

It works a treat. (I’ve been watching the six hours of Lord of the Rings documentary material lately. Pardon my occasional Kiwi-isms and BritSpeak.)

It works on just about every band I tested it on, some better than others. It’s a clearer sound than the iTrip. It’s still not as good a sound as listening to it over your earpiece, but talk shows sound just fine. And that’s what I want the car radio transmitter for. I’ll be listening mostly to talk radio on my iPod. And since that starts on an AM signal, I’m not losing too much quality here. That sounds fine. Music sounds a little compressed, but it’s not a huge deal.

Plus, it charges the iPod at the same time. Pretty cool.

Thanks for the recommendation, Jeff.

New Whose Line?!?

Mark Evanier mentions the possibility of new episodes of WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? on the ABC Family Channel in January. He explains what they may or may not be.

Update: Mark Evanier has an update about these new shows which is informative enough to warrant me bumping this entry back up to today. To sum up: Yes, we’re getting new shows. =)

Playing iPod in the car

If the iTrip is a waste of money that won’t work over your car radio, what is the best solution to playing music in your iPod over your car’s stereo system?

Here’s the catch: I don’t have a tape deck.

Is the only solution to upgrade my car’s system so I have a CD player AND tape deck?

Guinness and Poker

I found the Guinness and Poker blog this week. It’s an eye-numbing read. The one day’s post scrolls on for more than 30 screens. There is, however, a ton of interesting stuff in there for any fan of televised poker. It’s interesting to read about the rivalries and disagreements between poker pros that don’t come out on the televised shows.

It’s even MORE interesting to see what an ass “Dutch” Boyd really is. I knew something about “The Crew” at this year’s WSOP rubbed me the wrong way. And Boyd’s story is a telling one.

The world from above

Lotsa cool pictures taken from a very high angle.

The phone booth is back, too

This is a pretty smart idea. Install a phone booth. Don’t put a phone in it. Put people who want to use their cell phone in it, instead. Makes perfect sense. Why didn’t anyone think of this before?

There are times I’ve wanted to take or make a cell phone call but haven’t for two reasons: It’s rude to do that in a restaurant. And I don’t want the world listening in to my end of the conversation. Two birds. One stone. Whoo-hoo!

KenJen is baaaaaack

It’s everybody ganging up on Ken for $2 mill.

ABC News: ‘Jeopardy!’ to Hold ‘Super Tournament’

Producers of the game show announced Tuesday a “Super Tournament,” which will pit Jennings in a final match against two survivors of a competition between nearly 150 past five-time winners. [...] The matches will begin airing in February or March, and the finals will air in May, said “Jeopardy!” publicist Jeff Ritter. The third-place winner will receive $250,000 and the second-place winner, $500,000.

DVD Podcast, 28 Dec 2004

Subscribe now via iPodder: http://www.variousandsundry.com/podcast.xml

Listen directly to the MP3.

Updated weekly.

This week’s show is about 8 minutes long and 3.7MB to download.

Show notes:

Various And Sundry Writeup DVDJournal.com Amazon.com Bestbuy.com IMDB: Omega Doom IMDB: Blind Fury Zach Braff’s blog

I’m a bit concerned that the volume is a little low on this. Let me know what you think.

Send your audio e-mail comments to augiedb AT gmail DOT com.

Maniac Mansion returns

I remember playing this game on my C=64 way back when. Never got all that far in the game. I remember the fear of what might happen if you went into the basement. It was quite the breakthrough for video games at the time, though. Graphical Zork on crack.

Now, somebody has gone and remade the whole thing.

Wired News: Maniacs Make a Modern Mansion

A swimming pool cools a nuclear reactor in the basement. Dismembered tentacles mope in the attic listening to punk music. And a murderous purple meteor sucks out the brains of a bikini-clad babe for no real reason. To some longtime computer gamers, this will all seem familiar. It’s part of the fan-created computer game Maniac Mansion Deluxe, a remake of the 1987 LucasArts Maniac Mansion.

New releases, 28 Dec

This is not a week to inspire much drive to get out the door to hit Best Buy. But I’m committed to you people, anyway.

Or maybe I should just be committed…

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy Giftset (2-disc set) (unrated) (widescreen) (2004) Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (unrated) (widescreen) (2004)

It took in $85 million when nobody was looking, though didn’t make #1. It did become the #2 and #3 movie in its first couple of weeks at the beginning of July — a tough time for anything other than a pre-planned Summer blockbuster to flourish.

Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries (2003)

Apollo is female this time, right? Doesn’t that just screw with your mind?!?

Cyber Bandits (1995)

With a title like that, you know it has to suck. IMDB mostly agrees.

Did I mention that it stars Adam Ant and Robert Hays? Woe be to this film.

The Fantastic Films of Ray Harryhausen: Legendary Monsters (5-disc set)

He has his fans.

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004)

I should see the first one first, I think. but it looks spiffy. In a magnificent fit of scheduling, though, there’s a special edition of the first movie due out on DVD in two weeks. BRILLIANT! Shouldn’t they learn to have such a thing come out on the same week as the sequel? Marketing idiots.

Open Water (2004)

Shark season! I really want to see this one. Stick a couple of people alone in the ocean. Watch their fright as sharks circle for an hour. Fun fun fun.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse: Special Edition (2-disc set) (2004)

This is your special effects extravaganza movie for the week.

Tour of Duty: Season Two (4-disc set)

It seems this is a TV series set in WWII. I’ve never heard of it before. What channel is it on? Cable, I presume?

Wimbledon (widescreen) (2004)

In the middle of all this ugliness, there’s always Kirsten Dunst.

Next week: I’m still not excited.

Update: Thanks to Jason for pointing this out in the comments section: Garden State, Zach Braff’s movie co-starring Natalie Portman, is also out this week. OK, so it’s looking like a slightly better week now than it was a couple hours ago. I’m still locking myself in this afternoon to watch LORD OF THE RINGS: RETURN OF THE KING today, though.

I was wondering about him…

The Arthur C. Clarke Foundation

I am enormously relieved that my family and household have escaped the ravages of the sea that suddenly invaded most parts of coastal Sri Lanka, leaving a trail of destruction.

Not all of his staff are accounted for yet, though.

Dinner Party Etiquette

…assuming your dinner party is in the Ukraine.

Y.P.R. Wants to Be a Millionaire.

Guests should be seated beside their spouses and opposite their assassins. Use a darkly colored tablecloth, so that spilt wine or bodily fluids are less noticeable. The large spoon is for soup, the medium spoon for eye-gouging, and the smallest spoon is not to be used until coffee or tea after the meal.

Linux holds out against attackers

Linux holds out against attackers – ZDNet UK News

The data, from a dozen networks, showed that the average Linux system lasts three months before being compromised, a significant increase from the 72 hours life span of a Linux system in 2001. Unpatched Windows systems continue to be compromised more quickly, sometimes within minutes, the Honeynet Project report stated.

Honeynet deploys computers on the net in the hopes they get compromised. They’re used for research to learn how the break-ins happen and how to stop them down the road.