Archive for October 2008

 
 

Friday Link Dump

It’s still Friday for another hour or so. . .

  • Coming soon to your TV: Photography Network?  I’ve been watching “Behind the Camera” a lot on the Gallery HD network.  It has some nice stuff in it, and some hacky stuff that’s tough to take seriously.  For starters, don’t call yourself a serious professional photographer if you’re still using the kit lens!  UGH.  It’s also very Canadian.  That doesn’t bother me, but it does stick out every now and again.
  • MetaFilter shows the great Mark Kistler the love.  Back in my artsy fartsy days (when I was about 10 – 12 years old), he was a very important part of my TV life.  To know there are episode of Commander Mark’s show on YouTube is to know sheer joy.
  • Don’t forget: NaNoWriMo begins this weekend!  And I’m still not doing it.  It’s true; you’ll always find an excuse to not do something.  And, thus, nothing gets done.  But at least I’m caught up on “The Shield.”

Mostly linking these to remind me to look further into them over the weekend:

Beatles: The Video Game

So let me get this straight: After a year and a half of negotiations, The Beatles have inked a deal with the maker of Rock Band for a game to come out 13 months from now that’s not Rock Band, and that they won’t guarantee any compatibility with RB instruments just yet?  Ooooookay.

Well, that was certainly worth a press release.

The PBA Turns 50

Notes on the New PBA Season:

The Professional Bowler’s Association opened up their 50th annual tour this weekend with the traditional first of four majors — the PBA World Championship.  They touted the new formats and new exciting changes in the tour for the season, hot on the heels of the previous week’s NBA Player/PBA Pro team championship, which the one NBA league bowler handily won.

They teased a couple different formats. The first is an all plastic ball week.  I like that idea.  Reverting to older materials will put a premium on bowling skills over equipment technology.  I just don’t know where they plan on finding that many plastic bowls.  Are they all going to K-Mart to find new bowls to drill?  ( I know, I know.  They use plastic balls all the time for spare shooting.  Forgive me my snark.)

They’re also planning a week of house oil conditions — in other words, a strike shooting condition on easier oil patterns.  That could be fun.

The other immediate change is the new bowling uniform.  This season, NASCAR drivers are bowling!  Well, not really, but sponsor logos are now splashed across the chests and stomachs of more bowlers.  It started with scripting bowlers’ names on the backs of their shirts.  Then they added the American Flag above it after 9/11.  Now, that American flag has been replaced with a sponsor, plus three patches on one sleeve, two on the other, and a large sponsor logo splashed across the front of their shirt.  The only place left for sponsorhip now is patches on the butt or down the legs.  I fully expect we’ll see one of those next season.

Ironically, the giant “STORM” logo is allowed on Norm Duke’s chest, but the commentators aren’t allowed to mention bowling equipment manufacturers by name.  This might be a good thing, given that one of them works for a manufacturer as a rep now.

I’m not sure if this is specific to that particular location or if it’s a new PBA mandate, but they were playing music inbetween shots.  It was odd.  And slightly annoying.  I felt sorry for the bowlers, who had to listen to that crap until they put their first foot up on the approach.

The PBA telecasts are still not in high definition.  How ridiculous is that?  Aside from one or two handheld cameras, all the other shots are locked down.  Everything is inside.  Lights can be adjusted for.  Why NOT do high def?  Are they really that cheap?

Chris Barnes is always championed as The Ultimate Bowling Technician, and continues to think his way to failure.  After a successful game bowling from deep inside, he chased after Duke’s line in the finale and stunk.  When he finally switched back to his deep inside line late in the already-lost game, he started to strike.  Duh.

And Duke played the faithful straight up and in line, right up the second arrow, until his final bowl of the day, which he threw on Barnes’ line and also struck.  Ouch, Barnes.

It is impressive that Duke has now won three majors in a row.  The pressure will be on in January at the next Major.  Nobody’s ever won three in a row.  Winning four in a row would be insanity.  I’ll be rooting for it, unless he comes up against Walter Ray Williams Jr., who I always root for first.  (Duke did bowl a 300 against Williams once, though.)

Windows 7 Interface

I kind of like this idea, coming up in Windows 7 next year, though I can imagine it might get annoying, too: First look at Windows 7’s User Interface

Window management has also undergone changes. In recognition of the fact that people tend only to use one or two windows concurrently, 7 makes organizing windows quicker and easier. Dragging a window to the top of the screen maximizes it automatically; dragging it off the top of the screen restores it. Dragging a window to the left or right edge of the screen resizes the window so that it takes 50% of the screen. With this, a pair of windows can be quickly docked to each screen edge to facilitate interaction between them.

Of course, multiple Linux distributions should have it implemented by week’s end.

Mid Week Link Dump

  • MTVMusic is an on-line repository for thousands (?) of music videos.  This is all the proof you need that all forgotten art forms will eventually find new life on the web. I’m thoroughly hooked on reliving the 80s right now.

New Releases for 28 October 2008

  • Journey to the Center of the Earth

Brendon Frasier and some kids have a kid friendly sci-fi adventure.  And now you can see it at home in 3-D — cardboard glasses included, of course!  As if that’s not enough, you can also get “The Polar Express” in 3-D these days.  I just learned that in the Best Buy circular.

  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: 20th Anniversary Edition: Limited-Edition Tin Box Set

This time around, you’re getting “First Spaceship on Venus (1960), Laserblast (1978), Werewolf (1996), and Future War (1997).”  Sounds good to me!

  • Elton John: The Red Piano

This is the 2-DVD/2-CD set of Elton John’s Las Vegas spectacle show. That includes a making of documentary as well as the full concert in both audio and video.

  • Guitar Hero: World Tour

Not a DVD, granted, but check that subject header again.  I never mentioned “DVD.” ;-)  I so want to buy this (even if only the game only edition), just so I can download and play “Jessie’s Girl.”

Revision3

When Jason Calacanis said to Sarah Lane on TWiT this week that Revision3 has a few too many people for a company of its size, it seemed like an honest enough business assessment.  After she got laid off from Rev3 yesterday, it’s a little chilling.

Eep.  Bad timing.

But the thing that cracks me up the most about the relatively minor layoffs at Rev3 this week is the internet outrage and outcry against the company.  It’s a repeat of every stupid thing every dumb comic book fanboy ever says about Marvel or DC when a book they like gets cancelled.

And I supposed I shouldn’t be surprised that a company that relies on Diggnation for its top viewership would have fans who would say Rev3 did everything wrong this week, and that Rev3 should have democratized who got laid off and which shows got canned.

There comes a time, I suppose, where you reap what you sow.  Rely on social media, and have that society think that everything mirrors them.

More from Twitter

Even when I’m out of time to write stuff for this blog, I’m still on Twitter.  Follow me there, or wait for these sporadic compilations:

  • How to eat like a dad: quickly.
  • Passed by the stacks of Guitar Hero III at Best Buy today and wept a little. I wanna play! (This was Thursday; They were pre-order boxes, I guess.)
  • @JAFlanagan – Crap. “Jessie’s Girl” as a $2 download for Guitar Hero? I need to find time to play this and buy this. Thanks!
  • I miss the good ol’ crazy days of Amazon when a pre-ordered DVD would often arrive a day before its street date.
  • Just emptied the trash on my desktop and LOST hard drive space. Hunh?!?
  • Someone needs to take Cringely by the shoulders, shake vigorously, and assure him that Apple isn’t a giant conspiracy against him.
  • Cringely still thinks Apple is holding out on him, that the latest announcements still hide Some Big Surprise. http://tinyurl.com/5axqwc
  • How has Jerry Yang not been sued by Yahoo stockholders for every penny he’s worth yet? Yahoo has been an utter disaster this year.
  • Dammit, one of these lottery tickets has to come through for me eventually, right? I want OUT of the rat race.
  • From all the podcasts I listen to, I appear to be the only podcaster on the planet whose never had major Skype problems.

The Week in Photographic Tweets

I really need to get back on the ball about posting these. . .

Follow them as they happen at Twitter.com/augiedb

  • Adorama has the Canon 70-200 f4 L lens refurb at a decent price. If I sold my current 70-300, I could afford it. So tempting.
  • Today’s the second try at a photo shoot for baby’s birth announcement card. Wish me luck.  (We may have gotten something out of it. Not quite what we were going for, but workable.)
  • Took a few test shots with new Canon 430 EXII flash. What a difference! I think I’m going to enjoy learning flash photography. 
  • Then I’d need to learn off-camera flash. Then two flashes. . . Throw in some reflectors and diffusers. This won’t be cheap, will it?
  • People are really impressed with “Poladroid”? I mean, it’s a friggin’ Photoshop filter. Eh. Hardly the best thing ever.
  • Ah, now my pre-ordered copy of the Lightroom 2 Adventure book has shipped. This is going to be a very fun weekend, indeed.  (I have it now. Beautiful.  Can’t wait to read through it and pick up new tricks for the application.)

This just in – Pepsi Rebranding

As a Pepsi man, I need to think about this for a day or two:

Brand New: Pepsi, New Bottles

Initial impression: Ah, so Pepsi is aiming for the text messaging set.  “Mtn Dew”?!?  And is that “Mist” log (seen here) a little too literal, and potentially tough to read on the stands?

On the other hand, I kinda like the typography on the bottles.  The new logos will take some getting used to, but I think I might grow to like it.  What do you think?

Link Dumpage

  • eBay is banning the sale of ivory. Save the elephants!  Don’t worry, though, you’ll have till January 1st before the ban actually goes into place. eBay wouldn’t cut you off right away.  They might tick off a “Buy It Now” seller or something.

Who needs logic?

Some Sci-Fi authors want to boycott Borders because Borders isn’t stocking their books.  Two quick thoughts on this:

1. They’re saying they’re not buying something Borders isn’t selling? That’s efficient.

2. Give it two months.  Borders is in deep financial trouble as it is.  They might not need to boycott, and the chain will still fail.

What I’ve Learned in the Last Week, Part Four

  • Talking about your new baby will only cause your blog readership to plummet.  I think it’s now official that I have more people reading my Twitter account than this blog.  Rebrand or die.  Or, wait it out.  The baby talk will slowly recede.  We’ll be talking MacBooks and Wii games I don’t have time or money for soon enough.  (Update: Ironically, my RSS readership just hit a new all-time high this morning. Perhaps you’re all just switching?  That’s OK by me and my ego. . . )
  • Babies can sense when you’re leaving them to go back to work and they’ll rip your shoulder off before letting you go.  Or, at least, they’ll squeeze their hand’s might on your pinky finger that they can grasp.  The rest is in your head.
  • I’m not sure I like being a housewife.  It’s odd to run errands during the day and just not seeing men in any store I go to.  It’s all housewives and mothers with younger children. Or, it’s the fact I work in IT where 90% is male that being back in the real world is such a shocker.
  • You’re going to need a bigger hard drive. I just got my new 750GB jobber.  The 300GB that held my iTunes and pictures couldn’t take anymore.

New DVD Releases for 21 Oct 2008

It’s a pretty cool week. I can’t complain:

  • The Incredible Hulk

Ed Norton takes over the green role this time around, fighting the Abomination (from what I’ve read) and doing a better job than the noble failure that was the Ang Lee/Eric Bana version a few years back.  I enjoyed that movie, though I thought it tried a little too hard in places to be an artsy movie.  The Hulk is not high art, folks.

In any case, I hope to see this one someday. The box pictured above is for the three disc release, which contains all sorts of bonus scenes and behind-the-scenes stuff.

  • James Bond, Blu-Ray

Six of the original Bond movies are out on Blu-ray this week.  In case you haven’t tired of buying these movies from their three previous DVD releases, here’s your fourth chance!  (I’m guessing at three, but I don’t think I’m far off.)

The boxes pictured above will give you all six Blu-ray movies for $112 at Amazon.

  • Looney Tunes: Golden Collection, Volume 6

This is the last release in this format, but there are some choice shorts in here.  We’re all waiting to see what they’re planning on for next year now. . .

The Kids OS

It dawned on me the other day that children Follow the Microsoft Windows Model.  Pay close attention to how well kids’ behavior maps to Windows':

Windows 3.1 – At birth, they’re most celebrated for being new.  As such, they’re automatically cute and exciting, and a little tiring.  They’re fun to play with, but a little slow and not terribly responsive.  They’re the best we’ve ever known, but there’s a long way to go.

Windows 95 – Once they hit their first birthday and they’re walking and learning words, they become a full-fledged interactive operating system.  They’re capable of going anywhere.  They can say anything. Suddenly, they’re easier to use, seem fully functional, and enter an age of innocence that ignores their own safety. Windows ME – The Terrible Twos.  They seem the same, but they aren’t as functional anymore.  The party is over.  You wish you could go back to Windows 95, but that’s the past and this is supposed to be the future. Despite having an excellent foundation, there’s only heartache and pain.

Windows XP – Then they make it out the other side.  They’re fully-formed children, still capable of trouble, but much more secure and very functional.

Windows XP Service Pack 2 – Now they’re in school, doing homework, making new friends, getting things done.  They’ve learned enough to be dangerous, but they also know a lot about what they shouldn’t be doing.  The only question is how much they choose to do wrong, willingly.

Windows Vista – Now they’re teenagers.  You don’t want to deal with them. They’re terribly concerned with how they look and not how they run.  They shun their pasts, their parents, etc.  They think they’re big and bad, but they’re not.  They’re what you were hoping for, yet there are features that didn’t make it into their teenaged packaging that you thought you were coding for.

Windows 7 – Safe, secure, learned from their past.  Realize the errors of their way. Ready, at last, to evolve into a new model.  This is the end of their college years.

Windows Cloud – Now they leave the nest and move into the real world, out of your clutches.  They’re on their own, for better or worse.

Just for kicks: Mac OS X 10.5 – He’s the good looking, smart kid next door that does most things right out of the gate.  Every year he gets better, smarter, stronger. His friends are cooler.  All the cool kids gravitate to him. Linux – The slow kid down the street whose parents let his extended family raise him, confusing him as to the guidelines of human behavior.  No two adult role models can agree on his limits or his future course of action.  He’s capable of going in ten different directions and often does, just all at once.  Still, he started as a command line system, and eventually grew to copy that Windows Vista kid next door that has all the friends, even if none of them are very cool.