May 30, 2007
Went to see Pirates 3, after the cliffhanger Pirates 2, one had to.
Going to see Pirates 3 is just reinforcing my hatred of going to the movies. They're overpriced, and the clientel is ridiculously rude. Oh, they'll turn off their ringers, but they'll light the theater up with their text messaging. To say nothing of the morons throwing food and shining laser pointers. I'm tempted to blame theater owners, but can they really be blamed for their clients' lack of manners? Just another reason to save up for that HD flat panel and surround sound system. Not to mention finding an upscaling HD-DVD Blu Ray combo DVD player, 'cause I'm not tossing my entire DVD library when I get my new screen.
If you keep reading, you'll get spoilersmore...
May 16, 2007
Spiderman 3 finally arrived, and I was hoping for a really cool movie. How could a movie have Venom in it and not be cool? Spiderman 3 is how.
This is going to be filled with spoilers so don't read if you haven't seen the movie.more...
May 02, 2007
I'm really tired of the enviromental "movement". These morons think humanity is a blight on the planet, and want to limit humanity's impact by controlling every aspect of your life. Meanwhile they get to fly in private jets, have heated driveways, and tool around in SUVs.
They blame everything from global warming, to sky high gas prices on over consumtion, and our "unsustainable" lifestyle. Yet its been these nut jobs that have opposed the very things that could reduce the cost of energy for all of us, and make the environment cleaner. Namely the building of more oil refineries and the construction of nuclear power plants.
You see the reason gas prices are so high is because there are so few refineries making it. Like nuke plants, they haven't built new ones in decades. And alot of their capacity is either down for repairs/service or being used to make "boutique" gas blends for different states. Add to the fact that corn prices are going up because of the ethanol craze, and the cost of ethanol is going up. In NY ethanol can make up to 10% of the gas blend. Its price goes up and it affects the price of gas at the pump.
Meanwhile the genius politicians are looking to gear up another round of "investigations" into the price of gas. Instead of looking at Exxon-Mobil why don't they look at ADM?
Ethanol just isn't the answer to our energy needs. It's way too expensive for the energy is produces. And it has much less energy per gallon than gas. It has to be heavily subsidized to even be viable. And with so many people starving around the world, crops that can be used for food should be grown for food. On top of that, ethanol production drives the cost of food up as well. If corn prices go up, the prices of everything made with corn products, from soda to animal feed go up too. So not only do you get hosed at the pump, you get hosed in the grocery store.
Biodiesel would be a better alternative/investment. As its made from waste products, and not primary consumables. Plants like Jatropha from Africa have the highest oil/energy content after palm. It can be harvested 3 times a year, and can grow in harsh arid environments. Plus its not edible (although it can be used for soaps and medicines) so it wouldn't affect food prices, except if its planted instead of food.
If Jatropha can be grown in harsh conditions, maybe farmers growing destructive crops like Afghanistan's poppy growers or hipppie pot growers could be induced to plant it. Solve two problems with one plant.
In the meantime, I'm noticing more gas stations near me are selling diesel. Maybe its time to find a cheap TDI. Until Phoenix or Tesla or somebody makes an efficent affordable eletric car. Nuke electric is the long-term solution for our energy needs.more...
April 30, 2007
As you may have noticed, posting has been even lighter than usual lately. That's because I've moved to the sticks, and not everything is unpacked yet. And Verizon won't have DSL for my line until next week.
I could live without DSL, as long as I had satelite TV, but guess what? That's right when the DirecTv dish mover guys came out to the new homestead, they said the trees were blocking the signal. Mother Nature's always out to screw us, the bitch. So this is a major crisis no DSL and no TV. I'm a DirecTivo junkie. I'm one of the lucky ones who got a Tivo from DirecTv instead of a POS DirecTv DVR and I want to keep using it. So what to do? That's right, the day after we moved in, I broke out the chainsaw and started knocking those satelite signal impeding bastards down. It aso helped that some of the trees were threatening to fall on the house, so the missus was like "WTF are you waiting for, get rid of them?" So it's win-win. Now we wait for Thursday to see if the DirecTv boys can get a signal.
So what if the unthinkable comes to pass? Then I'm stuck with alot of fire wood. Well then I'm hoping Verizon has FIOSTV in my neck of the woods, cause I'm never going back to Cablevision. FIOSTV would be cool, as they have a media center DVR that can stream out recorded shows to other recievers in the household.
I'm really disappointed that more TV providers aren't taking advantage of Tivo's technology. Oh anyone can build a DVR/PVR. You get a Hauppauge card and a PC, and you can start recording right away (I'm considering one to compliment my DirecTivo). But if you want to record shows from a satelite or cable provider, you need a decoder card and then things get complex. How does the PVR control the reciever box? How does it get a programming schedule? There are ways, but is it worth the time and effort? Tivo does that all for you, plus it has an excellent interface and technology that makes skipping around a recording much easier than what provider DVRs can do. The Tivo remote is much easier to use than the DirecTv remote, its more intuitive and the function buttons are more logically oriented. Plus if you have multiple Tivos you can network them together to transfer shows from one Tivo to another, which is similar to the functionality Verizon is offering with FIOS. I know Rupert Murdock made DirecTv ditch Tivo in favor of a company he had stock in, but what about the other providers?
April 22, 2007
I love concept cars. Popular Science's latest issue has a bunch, and you can see some here.
Whether it was the Discovery Channel's Future Car mini-series, or the concept cars at the auto show, few things inspire hope for a positive future as much as the concept car. They're like advertisements for how good tomorrow's going to be. It seems like sooner or later someone will finally invent that flying car. It reminds me of Disney's EPCOT when it first opened in the 80's.
If you went to Disney World's EPCOT when it first opened in the 80's you saw such a positive vision for the future. They would show awesome technology, they had videophones throughout EPCOT, where Fastrack is today, GM had its concept cars after the World of Motion ride. But the best ride was Horizons. It showed what they thought life would be like sometime in this century. Underwater and Space Cities, hydroponic farms it was really cool. It was a utopian vision of course, but the idea of high-speed monorails quietly whisking you between brightly lit stations is a straphangers dream come true.
The sad thing is that now EPCOT seems a bit directionless. Mission Space, Soarin', and Test Track are excellent rides, but the future looking EPCOT has been scaled drastically back. Oh, you can take a test ride on a Segway, but there's really Little of that Epxerimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow left. Even the mildly educational aspects of EPCOT are fading away. Steve Jobs is on the board at Disney, EPCOT would be an awesome platform for his company to showcase their products. Now that Eisner is gone, maybe the big cheeses at Disney will take another look at EPCOT.
For all the gloom and doom we here about the future, it seems we're forgetting the bright promise it holds. Clean energy is coming. New ideas and technologies are showing up daily. And damn awesome concept cars!
April 16, 2007
Samsung has announced its Duo HD Player a machine that can play both HD and Blu-Ray HD DVDs. The BD-UP5000 joins the LG BH1100. No news on release date or pricing. Figure in the +$500-1000 range at first. There are millions of HD flat panels screaming for HD content (Sadly not in my living room ) and no one is buying HD-DVD players because no one wants the 21st century version of betamax.
Well it looks like saner heads are starting to prevail in the format wars. Although if you really want to know which side will win, just see which format the porn industry adopts. Hopefully it'll become moot as dual format players and recorders hit the market.
So why has it taken so long to get dual format capable players, in one word lawyers. Big surprise
And its going to be a few years before HD-DVD writers come along. All I hope, is that when the drives come out, they have some way of writing in whatever passes for RAW mode in the HD & Blu ray worlds.
April 12, 2007
Watching this Duke Case and the Imus dust-up is really making me question whether there is any true justice out there.
With the Duke case you got an entire University turning on its own students at the word of a drug addled stripper. It takes them a year, and $3,000,000 to get cleared. And while the students are declared innocent, Duke Professors are still decrying them, and still argue that a crime was committed. So now that we know this is a farce, when are we going to see justice for these 3? When will the Duke faculty be held to account? When will the stripper and Mike Nifong see justice? Where's the media drumbeats about rushing to judgements now?
Imus is a fossilized ass. To grovel before Al "Tawana Brawley" Sharpton's microphone is a travesty. That's why I'd fire Imus. Sharpton to this day has refused to apologize to the men he and Tawana Brawley defamed. And Sharpton is held up as a hero for Blacks. If he's a hero, then blacks have some serious problems to sort out, before we even get to the man.
Moving right along, what's starting to bug me is Andrew McCarthy over at NRO. He's actually arguing that its counter-productive to hold Nancy Pelosi accountable for violating the Logan Act. He admits that she broke the law, but Bush would be better off using it as a "teachng moment" and get a dialogue started. FUCK THAT. She broke the damn law. If Joe Schmoe did that he'd be getting ass-raped by Manuel in the clink five minutes after he got back to the states. All not investigating does is prove that liberal affiliation and political power put you above the law. Whether its a Kennedy crashing his mustang into the Capitol or DiFi steering contracts to hubby or Dingy Harry and his shady land deals there are no consequences if you're a lib.
I really think that the conservative base didn't support Republicans last year because they fell down on the most fundamental function of government, enforcing the law. Whether it was the revolving door immigration enforcement or letting reporters reveal national security secrets in time of war it was disheartening to watch Republicans in governement twiddle their thumbs and do nothing. They let Tom Delay get taken down with nary a peep. No one is going to vote for a party that doesn't fight back, cause no one wants to back a loser.
Heh, how's that for stream of conscienciousness.
April 11, 2007
So it appears that the crybaby Limey Sailor who got captured by the Iranians is now crying because he didn't make enough money on his story to buy a car!
Look dude, you've MADE MONEY for LOSING. Count yourself lucky and shut the fuck up. Most losers end up dead.
The real sick part is that there seems to be more outrage in Britain about the MoD's decision to let the captives sell and then not sell their stories than the policies and decisions that lead to their capture in the first place. Priorities people! You think they were French or something.
Look its real simple, you kill the badguys, THEN you get the hot chicks and shaving cream ads.
April 10, 2007
Uh-Oh. This could be interesting. They suck you in with a free tool, and then just when you need it, you may have to buy it? I hope Apple keeps Bootcamp free. It really increases the value of an Intel Apple. It almost justifies Apple's price premium over PCs. Being able to run multiple OSes natively is really cool. Using emulators like Parallels is nice, but you're gonna get performance hits. Running native you can get full power out of the system.
I've got my Macbook Pro with Vista on it. With the new fan drivers that Apple released last month, Vista actually seems to run faster than OSX 10.4.9. Go figure. Oh, and the Apple Remote will also work under Vista. It won't launch Front Row, but it did control WinDVD 8.
The combination of Boot Camp and MacDrive (by Mediafour) allow PC centric users to take full advantage of an Intel Mac.
Well it looks like Larry Birkhead is the father of Ana Nicole Smith's daughter. whoop-de-do. So tell me why we care again?
Its looks like she may not even get any of the money. So not only does this kid grow up with the stigma of having a village bicycle for a mom, she could be in debt up to her eyeballs. Nice.
If you guys are using WinDVD8 for your DVD, HD, Bluray playback, watch out. Corel (owners of Intervideo) have decided to disable the licenses of the players, in order to force users to update. Why? Well apparently hackers have figured out how to use WinDVD8 to hack the copy protection schemes of HD-DVD and Blu Ray. More here
Look, I know the record companies and movie studios want to protect their intellectual content. I've no problems with that. I do have problems with them crippling my systems in order to protect their content. Fair use and intellectual property rights rules should really be clarified. It would also help if the Recording Industry and Movie Studios realized that people aren't going to pay $15-35 for stuff they "know" costs alot less to make. And don't even get me started on all the different versions of a film they release, un-rated-director's-super-special-exclusive-remastered-alternate-ending bull.
I'd like it if when I purchased a recording I'd have the rights to take it and use it on any system I own, whether PC, Ipod, Tivo, or regular DVD player as long as I'm not selling it to someone else. The technology exists, we should be able to exploit it without having to worry about RIAA lawsuits.
Let's see if this works
OK let's try this
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