Archive for June 2008

 
 

Tuesday Link Dump

  • Jonathan Coulton sings a presidents song.  This one is different: It gives you the order of the presidents, with nicknames whose number of syllables correlate to the number of terms served.  Crazy.  It’s called “Washy Ad Jeffy,” to give you an idea of how it works.
  • Wow, you know what job stinks. Microstock Photography Reviewer.  Take a gander at what they look at.  Day after day after day. Sounds horrible.
  • Jack Sparrow, drawn in Photoshop.  It’s a four hour time lapse video that’s amazing. He actually does the drawing starting at the skull level and then layer in the eyes, skin, etc.
  • What might the Exxon logo have looked like? Interesting artifact of typology and design.
  • Am swamped in paying work at the moment.  Will return with the week’s DVDs tomorrow.  Sorry for the delay!

Twitter Some More

As always, updates to the Tweets of the last week are in italics at the end. If you want to follow me on Twitter, my account there is “AugieDB.”

  • Let’s see, the Stevenote tomorrow comes smack in the middle of my lunch hour. So — take lunch later? Or earlier? Or not at all? heh heh (I wound up taking lunch in the middle, once the demos started.   I got back an hour later and Steve was still on the stage.  Crazy.)
  • Uh oh. The Wacom tablet is acting up tonight. Might be time for a new stylus. Drat and bother!   (The stylus is now useless.  Visited the Apple Store closest to me at work.  They’re not selling them anymore.  Argh.)
  • I prefer Townhouse Crackers to Ritz. How about you? 
  • The art to a good marriage is learning how to roll your eyes while you blink so she doesn’t notice. ;-)
  • Still haven’t upgraded to Leopard on my two computers. Someday. . . (I don’t think I ever will on my Power PC PowerMac.  But the MacBook is Intel-based and will be converted.)
  • It’s weird when someone you haven’t seen or talked to since eighth grade friends you on Facebook. Then you get lost spanning their friends.
  • Speaking of blessed events: I felt my baby kick for the first time tonight. Awwwww…. (That was June 9th.  She hasn’t stopped yet. My poor wife.)
  • Valiantly proudly trumpets a new ARCHER AND ARMSTRONG collection and NEVER mentions Barry Windsor-Smith. Now THAT is silly.
  • Just accidentally typed “Zune” instead of “Zuda.” Freudian typo?
  • @mattfraction – Giambi with moustache reminds me of Michael George. Wish I could find good comparison pictures to prove it, though.
  • Starman Omnibus arrived today. So pretty. (That was June 11th.  It’s still pretty, and I’ve begun reading it.)
  • Just once, I’d like to do something just for fun and without a deadline or time constraints pressuring me. Is that so much to ask?

Shyamalan’s Hollywood Horror Story

Shyamalan’s Hollywood Horror Story – NYTimes.com

In 2000, he was on a conference call with executives from Walt Disney Studios discussing “Unbreakable,? the follow-up to his phenomenally successful movie “The Sixth Sense.? He wanted to market “Unbreakable? as a comic-book movie — the tale of an unlikely superhero — but Disney executives insisted on portraying it as a spooky thriller, like “The Sixth Sense.? “I remember the moment that it happened, exactly where I was sitting at the table, the speakerphone,? he recalled in an interview from his office in a converted farmhouse near Philadelphia. “That moment may have been the biggest mistake that I have to undo over 10 years so the little old lady doesn’t go, ‘Oh, he’s the guy who makes the scary movies with a twist.’ ?

I take back every bad thing I might have written about Shyamalan this week now.

Friday Link Dump

  • We’ve long had bad DVD packaging designs. You need only look at the old snapper cases to see that they’ve been around for as long as the format.  Heck, they even tried the jewel case format.  Now, they’ve gone one better: The spindle box. You have to see it to believe it.
  • Is “SwiftFuel” the future?  I like the high concept, though the devil’s always in the details.
  • Stabilized Collages are a new way of shooting multiple videos and editing them side-by-side into one shot.. Think panoramic photography gone video. Weird, but cool.

My Face, An Update

It was a mere 12 days ago that I smacked head first into a brick wall at top speed. The body is a remarkable thing. I’m just about fully healed up.  There’s a slight pinkness next to my eye where the new skin had to form, but I’m otherwise spotless again. Even the scrape on my knee is just finishing its healing process.  The bump on my head and all the abrasions on my face are gone.

I want to thank the makers of Neosporin, too. I’m sorry to say, I never took a pic when it was at its worst last Monday, complete with swelling and the black eye. You didn’t miss too much. I wore a band-aid on my face to work for a week while it healed, but now it’s like nothing ever happened.

And from now on, my niece and I play only indoors while sitting still.

The Thursday Link Dump

  • Fascinating videos of people getting punched in the face at insane frame rates. I think it’s 1000 frames per second. I love the one with water coming off the face in the shape of the woman’s head before her head moves.  Very cool stuff.
  • Coolest home safety product ever: it’s a light that simulates the lights a TV gives off.  Shine it out your window and thieves will think there’s someone awake in the house.
  • This is depressing.  People think Blu Ray movies only look good if the intentional grain is removed from it.  First, we had to deal with the people who thought they lost image when a movie appeared widescreen.  Now, people expect everything to look shiny.  UGH UGH UGH

This link dump was created a week or two ago and never published.  Whoops.  I think it’s only the last story that suffers slightly for it.

Greatest Easter Egg Ever

ContraI tried this and it worked for me.  You can’t have played “Contra” for the original Nintendo system without having tapped this code in dozens of times. Now, you can do it in Google Reader, too!  Crazy. ‘Konami Code’ Appears in Google Reader | Game | Life from Wired.com

By typing the code, sans the NES’ occasional “Start” and “Select” additions, (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A) at the initial Google Reader screen a shrugging ninja pops up in the left-hand sidebar, as if to say … something. Honestly it’s a bit of a baffling easter egg.

Wednesday Link Dump

  • What do you get when two Broadway musicals combine forces?  Mark Evanier linked to a video for “Avenue Jew” that made me laugh out loud.  Beware: It’s not for the kiddies, as you might imagine. You have seen “Avenue Q,” right?  Brilliant.
  • The details for the next Mac OS X version are scarce, but exciting.  It might not have new features, but a leaner kernel with better handling of processes for dual-core processor chips and an easy way for developers to send processes to the GPU for handling?  Brilliant!

Jon and Kate, Meet Shark

This week, Jon traveled to California to get a hair transplant.  Jon and Kate Plus Eight has officially Jumped the Shark.  It’s not about the cute family in Pennsylvania trying to live life with the pressure of eight kids.  It’s now about the celebrity.  I guess it’s inevitable with any reality show, should it last long enough.

Tuesday Link Dump

  • Delicious seems to be hurting a bit. Their sale to Yahoo has resulted in not much. They’re still reworking the architecture. Sounds a little like Twitter, but without the downtime. I’ve used Delicious in the past, but not much. I don’t have all that much use for it. Eh.
  • New Looney Tunes Volume 6 news? “Russian Rhapsody” and “Much Ado About Nutting” make this a very exciting boxed set already. Looks like we’ll get more shorts than usual, too.
  • Funniest Firefox Plug-In Ever: AmIOnMySpace? It warns you that you’ve landed on a MySpace page and should go running for you life. “You appear to have navigated to a page on Internet cesspit MySpace.com. . .”
  • Apple TV Junkie looks to be a very important site for those of us with Apple TVs who are looking to keep track of the weekly rental releases, 99 cent specials, etc.

New DVD Releases for 10 June 2008

Let’s see what we’ve got here:

  • John Adams

The latest hit HBO series is a mini-series.  It’s historical drama! It’s got that guy from that flop M. Night Shyamalan film! (Notice his name isn’t above the title of his new film now? Ouch.)

Updated: I stand corrected by the NY Times: “Mr. Shyamalan, who will get his name above the title for “The Happening,? …”

  • TekWar

See, kids, there was a day when syndicated programming filled up the schedules of local stations.  They weren’t all WB or UPN or CW affiliates.  And sometimes, those syndicated shows would form mini-networks of their own and give us shows like “Time Traxx” (still not available on DVD in Region 1) and “Babylon 5″.  (Remember the Prime Time Entertainment Network?  Five of us do.)  “Viper” went from NBC to syndication many years later.  “Two” only lasted one season. On and on and on.

Then, there was “TekWar,” starring Greg Evigan and William Shatner. The latter was the “writer” of the book series upon which the television series was based.  There might even have been a comic book mini-series at the time.  I can’t recall.  (Howard Chaykin did a “Viper” mini-series, I remember, based on the NBC series, not the syndicated one.)

I remember liking it in a way at the time.  Cheesy, perhaps, but not awful.  I might think differently today.  I don’t know.

18 episodes are included in this set.  That’s the entire series.  I’m pretty sure there was a series of made-for-TV movies made before the TV show began.  Whether they count those now as double-length episodes or are just not included in this package, I do not know.

That’s likely more than you wanted to know about lowly little “TekWar,” isn’t it?

  • Jumper

My, but they REALLY promoted the heck out of this.  It even got a coveted “American Idol” bump. Made $80,000,000, so I suppose they weren’t too disappointed by it.

Next week – more DVDs.  Aren’t there always more of them?  Too bad this whole Blu-Ray thing isn’t taking off.  Someday, they’ll realize people don’t want to pay $500 for a DVD player. . .

THE SHIELD in September

THE SHIELD’s website makes it official: The final season of television’s finest hour begins September 2nd. Someone ought to develop an iPhone widget to count this date down.

Hey, Steve, You Forgot Something

“Snow Leopard.”

Near the beginning of today’s Stevenote, Jobs said he was going to talk about the iPhone and then bring someone on to talk about “Snow Leopard,” the next OS X version.  After all the excitement of the iPhone, he said good-bye and walked off stage.  If I had to guess, I’d say the demos all ran so extravagantly long that Jobs cut the Stevenote off before everyone at Moscone’s bladders burst.

The funny thing is, I didn’t see anyone in the blogosphere pick up on the lost plot thread for the next few hours.  For those of us who’ll likely never have an iPhone, the news of a new OS X is very much more exciting.  Instead, all we got was a parade of app demos that ranged from “not for me” to “nice proof of technology.”

I hope that by now, someone’s pointed it out somewhere on the blogosphere.  ::sigh::

I’m guessing there’ll be a presentation on it at some point in this week’s conferences.

Update: John Gruber answers the question. And it means answers should be available by now.  I must go looking for them!

iPhone 2.0

Pics of the new iPhone 3G

Video chat is coming.  Possibly iChat for Windows, too?  Interesting.  Can’t wait for the Stevenote!

Or, it could be another fake.

Last Twitters for the Week

Only a day late with these.  Sorry!

Follow me all the time at Twitter.com/augiedb

  • Credit card company charged me a $13 fee for being short $8 on my last credit card payment. I just abused the ALL-CAPS button in my response
  • Credit Card company websites are made to be confusing on purpose right? I never have any idea which number I’m supposed to pay.
  • Good news — the credit card company refunded the silly $13 fee. Sometimes, acting like a self-righteous douchebag can save you a few bucks.
  • UGH, Amazon is saying my STARMAN OMNIBUS won’t ship for two more weeks. That’s the problem with pre-ordering comics through them. . .
  • Downloading new Weezer album now through Amazon. I love 2008.
  • Secret Invasion is like a Mamet movie – lotsa stuff happens, but I know better than to believe ANY of it. Besides, it’s comics. Nobody dies!
  • Another day, another four reviews posted to the CBR Reviews section.
  • Attempting to parse the language of the Homeowners Association By-Laws for where I might be moving in about six weeks. My mind will explode
  • I want to learn Ruby Cocoa and program iPhone apps in it. I have no idea if that’s possible or when I would learn it or what I would program