End of Week Link Dump

  • It’ll never happen, but it’s a wild idea that I really like, as a consumer: Give away your OS.  When you buy your next Mac, you get all the upgrades to the OS for free, for life.  (This assumes, of course, that the next iteration of the OS would operate on your machine’s specs.)  It would save that every-other-year $129 tax fom Apple.  I skipped Leopard.  I’ll probably upgrade on Snow Leopard.
  • You have 30 days before you go deaf.  What do you do?  The story came to light through Matt Nathanson’s website.  He’s opened for O.A.R. in the past and made a good record or two.
  • Coming to the Wii: Pirates v Ninjas Dodgeball. I can picture the heads exploding across the internet at the thought of this game.  Cute screen shots at the link.

Mid Week Link Dumpage

  • First, Steven Page gets a drug bust.  Now, Ed Robertson crashes his plane.  (Ed was piloting; he and his passengers walked away.)  It’s been a bad month for The Barenaked Ladies.
  • The greatest Firefox plug-in ever: It removes the crap comments from under any YouTube video. The Before/After pic is not just funny, but about the most damning thing on Internet discourse ever.

New DVD Releases for 26 August 2008

Some very cool releases this week:

  • Nightmare Before Christmas

It’s bigger and better than ever! Tim Burton and Danny Elfman’s masterpiece is now two discs, including a digital edition you can transfer to your computer.

  • The Shield: Complete Sixth Season

The best show on television today.  Come celebrate as we begin the series’ final season starting next week with this set, honoring the previous one.  This is, quite clearly, the pick of the week.

  • Redbelt

It’s a close runner-up for pick of the week. This is the latest David Mamet movie, both script and direction.

  • The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s BeginningThe Little Mermaid - Ariel's Beginning

On the bright side, they got Jody Benson back to do Ariel’s voice.  On the other hand, it’s another Disney direct-to-DVD movie.  Bleh.  Your six year old daughter will eat it up, though.

Three out of four ain’t bad for the week.

Posted in DVD

Time to Fix the Olympics

This is the funniest thing I’ve read about the Olympics so far.  Click through for the entire hilarious rant. Raising the Stakes at the Olympics – TIME

So I’ve been working on a new scoring system to improve the Games. The first step is to eliminate all but one medal event per sport. You know why Michael Phelps won eight golds? Because they were all for the same thing. Turns out, he can swim fast when he does two laps and four laps — and when he’s alone and when three other Americans go right after him! You want multiple medals? Do multiple sports. Phelps gets two medals only if he’s the best swimmer in the world and the best Taekwondoist. For soccer, the most popular sport in the world, the Olympics give out one gold for men and one for women. That’s fewer than go to race-walkers. Shooters get 15. Canoeists get 16, and that’s assuming that the 14 rowing events are somehow different. To be fair, under the current system, the basketball team should be having competitions in three-point shooting, dunking, rebounding, passing, that halftime trampoline thing, T-shirt cannon-blasting and restraining Ron Artest.

Whatever happened to — Dido?

I liked the first album.  The second album was a little shaky.  Now, five years later (!) we’re going to see if the third time’s the charm.

The Return of Dido – Yahoo! News

The British balladeer will finally release her third album, Safe Trip Home, on Nov. 4, it was announced today [Friday].

Even better, starting today she’s giving away one of the album’s tracks, “Look No Further,” for free at www.didomusic.com.

And, yes, I do own the concert video pictured to the right.  Haven’t watched it in years, though.

Update: Sadly, the song’s not very substantial, or very good.

Nigeria Creating More Criminals

I have a tough time disagreeing with this one:

Nigerian official: greedy marks as guilty as 419 scammers

People who fall for so-called “Nigerian scams” aren’t victims at all—in fact, they’re greedy and should be jailed, according to Nigerian high commissioner Sunday Olu Agbi. He said today that Nigeria has gained a bad reputation because of the scams perpetrated by a minuscule number of people, and that those who find themselves involved with the scams are equally as guilty as those running them.

I’d say, though, that people who fall for 419 Scammers should be sent to jail for being criminally dumb, not greedy.  Minor difference.

Suggestions for Video Cameras

So, as I’ve made abundantly clear over the last few months, there’s a new addition coming to Various and Sundry World Headquarters in the next five to six weeks now.

And we need the appropriate video camera to capture all of her precious little moments.

Any suggestions from the peanut gallery?  I’ve looked at the Canon HF100 and HV20 — they’re both beautiful looking cameras, but I’m not sure the $600 – $700 price tag is going to work in our budget.  I’d love to have HD quality video, but that might not be doable without going to one of those el cheapo sub-$200 Flip-like cameras.

What are you all using?

The Uselessness of (Apple) Tech Pundits

We’re having another round of rumors of iTunes offering a subscription service.  This round of rumors is based on one e-mail’s hypothetical postulation of how it might work and how it might be a cool option for them.  There’s no word of mouth from inside Apple happening here.  There’s no leaked memo.  There’s no overseas production receipts.  (Not that there would be.)  There’s no hidden variable inside an SDK or an API.


But people are speculating on it, whipping themselves up into a furor that can only end when said product is not revealed in September, and they blast Apple for not following through on a product Apple never promised in the first place.

It’s a vicious cycle.  Sometimes, some Apple fanboys make me nuts.

You know who else make me nuts?  Technology pundits who talk about how great a gadget or a piece of software will be for when you’re flying.  How often does the average person fly, you think? Technology pundits must be doing it all the time, whether they’re giving a speech, or attending a conference, or a product unveiling, or meeting with an advertiser.  That lifestyle directly impacts their recommendations.  Sadly, it’s a lifestyle most of us don’t lead.  So many tech pundits are full of hot air to the average consumer.  Sadly, many consumers don’t take this to heart.

Let’s hear about products that are good for people who work 40 – 50 hours a week, have precious little free time at home, and can’t afford to spend $500 on the gadget of the week.  Let’s talk about gadgets that WILL change our lives, not incremental upgrades of products we’ve already decided we don’t need.

Let’s hear about a product that’s good for those of us who can’t spend all day on a Mac — those of us who are stuck on a locked-down PC all day, with extremely limited web options.  I don’t  need to hear about how you synch your half dozen Macs with your iPhone and your iPod Touch, all without leaving the comfort of your house and open wi-fi connection.  Cloud computing is meaningless when the cloud is as inaccessible to you as your home computer.

Let’s get back to that music subscription model that the pundits all seem to think is The Future.  I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: I’m sick and tired of paying monthly fees for everything.  I’ve got enough of those bills coming in every month, thanks.  I’ll pay as I go for my music.  I agree — $100 doesn’t seem like much for a year’s worth of music.  But right now, I don’t pay anything to listen to music.  I already paid for it months or years ago.  I buy the few albums a year I might want, but I don’t honestly think I’ve spent $100 on music downloads and CDs in the last year, or 18 months.  Sure, I’d like to sample some new music, but I don’t need to.  I don’t have the time.  And I’m not paying for the pleasure.  I’ll follow the couple dozen bands and musicians I like as they release new stuff.  I’ll be happy with my six albums a year, tops, and that’ll leave me with plenty of time to listen to podcasts for free.

Those podcasts, in many cases, feature technology pundits who fly around the world and own seven Macs and listen to ten audible books a month.

I kid you not: I went back to listening to the latest Mac Break Weekly after writing this (admitted) rant, only to have Andy Ihnatko recommending a piece of software because it’s a great way to store your Travelocity information when you hop a plane to go somewhere.  I should start a website like IDoNotFlyThatMuchThanks.com to track the constant need of tech pundits to recommend or not recommend things mostly based on how well they fare on airplane trips.