Archive for February, 2009

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Extra blog: Year’s Delight

February 23, 2009

So, I’m starting up another extra blog project. Yes, I have tons of blogs on tons of services, just bear with me here. You can find this one @:

Year’s Delight
http://yearsdelight.wordpress.com

I got the idea from a video, which you can read in the “About” section of the page. Basically, I’ll try to take pictures of what I eat and post them up on the blog. Yes, kinda boring, but it’ll be interesting to see what I consume. Hopefully, I can keep it up for a year, hence the title. I’ve also changed the name of my main blog to Entropic Enrapture, just because I like it better and it fits with Year’s Delight, too.

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SoN: Please Read from Your Own Kindle

February 11, 2009

Alright, I’m back with another SoN (Stories of Note) post. Some interesting news lately:

  • Toshiba TG01 announced!
  • First operational stealth ship
  • Getting Top Gear USA, or not?
  • BMW loses Design Chief Chris Bangle
  • Parking violations lead to viruses
  • Vacant Circuit City buildings turn into schools?
  • Small iPhone carrier update
  • Amazon’s Kindle 2 Announced!
  • College Humor’s “Cell Phone Reunion”
  • TED Talks plants for breathing
  • Denny’s crowded after Super Bowl Ad
  • Lost thing in Flight 1549

Toshiba announced their TG01, a Windows Mobile handset that looks like it’s supposed to compete directly with the iPhone. It’s got a 4.1 ince screen and is 9.9 mm thick, making it larger and thinner than the existing iPhone 3G. Like the recent HTC handsets, the Toshiba TG01 runs a skin over it’s Windos Mobile system. Instead of TouchFLO 3D, it’s using it’s own style with three vertical columns that rotate around when options are selected. I think it’s a great direction for Toshiba to be heading, if only they sold these within the United States. The issue is how usable will that skin be? And, while is competing with the iPhone, Windows Mobile has been having a bad rep lately, what with all the smartphone OS’s available nowadays. iPhone OS, Blackberry OS, Google Android, Symbian S60, and Windows Mobile. Oh well, they’re making the handset in white which makes them OK in my book, 🙂

Stealth has always been an interesting subject. Current stealth tech hides most from radar using angled surfaces to deflect the signals. we see this in fighter planes, most notably the F-117 Nighthawk. Well, it’s now been applied to ships. The Swedish have designed a Visby-class Corvette that is “eletronically undetectable at more than 8 miles in rough seas and at more than 13.5 miles in clam seas”. That’s pretty awesome. Using silent waterjets and non-magnetic compostie materials made this possible. The waterjets were made by Kamewa, a subsidiary of Rolls-Royce, and can move the corvettes at more than 35 knots.Stealth Visby-Class Corvette

If you’re any sort of car enthusiast, you’ve heard of Top Gear. The UK Car show has long been a favorite of mine because of the cars they get to drive and the funny hosts. Well, NBC had thought of bringing a version of the show to the USA. Awesome. Then, they decided not to do it. DAMN. Jeremy Clarkson, one of the shows hosts, said that USA viewers “…just don’t understand a sinlge word we’re on about. They just don’t get it really.” No Jeremy, I do get the show. In fact, there are thousands of Top Gear fans in the USA. We get it. Apparently, the only ones who didn’t get it were NBC execs. If you ever have serious plans to bring the show over to the USA, look to another big TV company. Besides NBC. We, the loyal fans, await.

Chris Bangle is man you should know. Well, you should if you like the last couple designs from BMW. You see, Chris Bangle was the Design Chief at BMW. He was basically responsible for all of it. Now, he’s announced that he’s quitting BMW and LEAVING the auto world completely. Apparently, there were some disagreements on a project and so, he outta there. Whether you like the recent stylings of BMW or not, Chris Bangle made a huge impact within BMW and the auto world.

Being a computer user, we are at risk of getting a virus. Yes, Macs have a lower chance of getting viruses, but they’re still out there. Over the years, most people have learned to be safe. Therefore, the bad guys have new tactics to get the evil onto our precious systems. They’ve resorted to real life trickery. Pretend getting a parking violation on your car windshield. On it, it tells you to go to a website. The website has cars actually in that area and it asks you download a tool to see your vehicle and it’ll tell you why you got the ticket. Download and BAM, infected with a trojan virus. Freaking bastards need to go get a life.

Ok, this one is weird, even to me. DJM Realty is in charge of handling the real estate associated with the bankrupt Circuit City. One of the things they mention is selling them to schools. WTF? According to them, there’s an “interest among national and regional retailers and supermarkets. There are great opportunities for schools and other non-retail uses.” Are you freaking serious? I can’t imagine what’d a school would use it for? Storage? Tutor location? But, it’ll be in strip mall areas where most Circuit City’s were located. Just a strange story.

The iPhone had a carrier update a few days ago. Basically, all it did was add a few images that are basically logos. They’re there for when AT&T releases their new Femtocell “MicroCell” service. Basically, it allows you to put a femtocell in your house, giving you like, your own cell tower. The update were just logos to show when you’re connected to it. A nice gesture, but nothing really groundbreaking.

Amazon’s Kindle blew up huge when it was endorsed by Oprah. Well, now the Kindle 2 has come out! With a update to the screen, bigger storage (2GBs vs. 256MB), and a new button style, the new Kindle looks to be a huge hit. To make the launch even better, they’re going to include Stephen King’s new novel “UR”. They said the new Kindle can store up to 1,500 novels. Yeah, that’s a little big bigger than my own personal library. Just kidding.

Just for fun, check out this video from College Humor of Cell Phone Reunion. It’s funny. And I do own an iPhone 3G, but I try not to act like a snob. I try.

In his TED Talk, Kamal Meattle shows that using three plants–Areca Palm, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, and a “Money Plant” – he is able to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, remove organic compounds, and generally filter and freshen the ambient air. A single person needs around a minimum of 11 total plants. I think that’s an awesome idea, although you’d be hard bent on finding place to put 11 plants inside your room. I know I don’t have enough room for even 2 plants.

You may remember Denny’s running a certain ad during the Super Bowl that promised free breakfast. Well, that day has come and gone, but Denny’s is still being bombarded with business. Ever since, Denny’s has been crowded and it looks like it won’t let up any time soon. Looks like the commercial did it’s job, pull the crowds in.

With almost all of us being computer users, there’s one thing we should all do. That’s backup your data. Although, it’s kind of tedious and a hassle, it’s a good habit to have. The problem comes with the backup goes bad. Or gets lost. Which is what happened to an Engineer at Software Associates, William Wiley. You see, William was a passenger on-board US Airways Flight 1549, the one that went down into the Hudson River. William backs up his data from laptop to a spare laptop. The problem was, he had both laptops on the plane. When the plane went down, everyone bailed for their lives, including William. Now his laptop and his backup laptop are awaiting drying and clearance before they can be returned. He estimates the value of the data at $30,000. The airline has given compensation of $5000. OUCH. Hopefully data recovery comes through for him.

That’s it for this SoN. Until next time, remember to be noteworthy.

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Bowling with the Mervyn’s Peeps

February 9, 2009

So, as some of you may know, I worked for Mervyn’s for three years until their recent bankruptcy and closure. And thus, I’ve made a ton of friends there. Get it right, they may be former co-workers, but they’ve all become my good friends now. So, imagine how I’d felt when I get an invite to go bowling. Freaking Awesome. That’s right.

We met up at 8:30PM earlier tonight, Sunday, February 09 at Cloverleaf in Fremont. I haven’t been here in a while, but it was still in the same location, same building, same hard to see sign in the dark. I walked in and I didn’t see anyone! Crap, am I early or am I late? Better call one of the others to see if they came yet. I gave Maryann a call and she said everyone was inside. Oh, guess I didn’t look far enough. So, in I go and the greeting, handshaking and hugging begin. This a takes a few minutes. We start chattering aimlessly while we wait for everyone to show up. Questions like, “Where are you working now?” and “So, what’s new?” are flying around insanely. Once everyone is there, we collected money and got the lanes. Let the bowling begin.

It was so much fun. We all knew we sucked, but that’s the best part. You’re not trying to out-bowl anyone. It was a chance to hang out, without the loom of work hovering over our heads. Some highlights of the night that I noticed:

  • On the first game, I got a score of 81. BLEH. But then, a miracle in the second game! I got 5 strikes in a row! Insane! I’ve never gotten more than 2 stikes in a row. Final score was 177. Not to shabby for a really bad bowler such as myself, who’s everyday goal would be to break 100, LOL.
  • Kenneth let Emily pick any random ball for him to use to try to finish up his frame. Amazingly, with a psycho 16 pound ball he’s never used before, he spare’d it. Very nice, Kenneth.
  • The group picture we took with everyone in it and the poor random girl in the next lane who had to take the pics for us. I swear, she went through probably 5 cameras. And it was her turn to bowl.
  • Half the people’s faces were red from drinking. That’s was funny.
  • One of our lanes froze up. We were just sitting there a good 10 minutes. BTW, we had 3 lanes.
  • A bunch of the girls got Chocolate Cake shots. Those are quite tasty, I’ve had one before(thanks for the rec, Martin). I never knew Cloverleaf had shots!
  • When we were leaving, everyone went around hugging everyone. Then, we stopped and started talking again, LOL. Round two of hugs before we finally left.

All in all, it was great getting to hang out with all my friends from Mervyn’s. Even so, a bunch of people couldn’t come. I hope the next time they’re able to make it because it was awesome and they’re missing out.

PS: The next SoN (Stories of Note) post will be up later.

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SoN: Super Bowl Craziness!

February 3, 2009

Alright, so I’ve been writing a bunch of “Stories of Note” posts so I’m officially gonna call them “SoN” posts to make it easier to recognize.

  • Honda discontinues S2000 after 2009
  • Apple and Palm Multi-Touch animosity
  • Phantasy Star for the PSP
  • Google Maps creating documented roadkill
  • Taco Bell underhandedly charging for water
  • Job position gets 3520 emails
  • Jason Chen drinks a Mana Potion
  • The Forensics of the Sega Dreamcast death.
  • Super Bowl XLIII

In case you wondering how SoN comes about, I am an avid user of Google Reader. Reader is a RSS feed subscription/syndication service. Everyday, I check up on a whole bunch of websites/blogs/news channels through it. On any given day(or any given Sunday, get it?), I have on average of 150 new items in my Reader. When there’s some crazy business going down, like say a giant consumer trade show, I can have up to 500 stories every few hours! Anyway, I sift through them and mark ones that I find interesting. And then, I write a little tidbit about them here. So, let’s get down to it, these are the stories of note to me:

The first story I want to write about is the Honda S2000 and it’s impending demise. Long been a favorite for car enthusiasts, the S2000 was a car with great handling and a fun drive for a fairly cheap price. With it’s 9,000 rpm redline and minimal low-end torque, it was a high-revvers toy. It had a large following in the aftermarket parts industry with a ton of accessories and plenty of engine tweaks to go around. Sadly, the sales of the S2000 hasn’t always been superb. With the Honda Civic Si pulling in the high-rev crowd with a more affordable price, the S2000 has been dipping in sales. After 10 years of being in production, Honda has announced they will be ending the S2000 this year. December sales amounted to only 72 units in the US. That’s really low!!! It’s sad to see one of my old favorites about to disappear from the auto industry, but then again, it’s about time. They haven’t really given it a major re-design, thus interest in it has dropped. Add in competition from it’s own company and it was bound to happen. Hopefully, we’ll see a new comer to the seen, or the Civic Si will have to take it’s mantle in stride.

If you follow any phone news at all, you’ll have heard about the recently announced Palm webOS and it’s handset, the Palm Pre. It basically stole the show at CES (Consumer Electronic Show) and went on to populate my RSS feeds for a long time. In fact, it still does. One of it’s major points was that it offered multi-touch functionality, which no one has implemented successfully besides Apple. Many people speculated that Apple and Palm would have beef with each other over the touch screen technology. In an interview with Apple, stand-in CEO Tim Cook said that Apple would legally pursue those who used their tech. He said they would “suit up and go against anyone” for “…having our IP ripped off.” Surprisingly, right after the interview, the U.S. Patent Office awarded Apple it’s multi-touch license!!! How crazy. So, can we assume Apple will be suing the pants off Palm? Well, Palm said that they’re ready to fight off others with their arsenal of weapons, including an extensive portfolio of patents. The other argument is how long can the fight go? Apple is a huge company now with billions and Palm is kinda dying. Let the battles, begin!

It’s kinda funny cause Arthur just mentioned that a few people are playing Phantasy Star Online. It was a game I never really got to enjoy back in the day, what with my computer being janky at the time and couldn’t handle it. Now with a capable computer at hand, I hear of Phantasy Star Portable coming to the PSP. As you know, I adore my PSP but don’t use it as often as I should, especially considering the extra money I paid to get a limited edition imported over from Japan a couple years ago (totally bragging right here.) I can’t wait till it comes out, I want to play!!! Sadly, no infrastructure support, only wi-fi. So gather your friends over to play!

This next one is kinda sad/funny. I think it’s also sad/funny that it’s noteworthy to me. If you go to this location on Google Maps, it’ll make sense. It seems the Google Van, the one that takes all those street view pics, created a little roadkill. In on direction, you’ll see a deer across the street. In the next view, you’ll see the van has pulled over to the side of the road and you’ll see said deer, post mortem. I never thought I’d see an accident happen to the Google Van, let alone see it published online. The location is getting tons of hits, so you might not be able to see anything, sadly.

With the economy down, we need to keep our morals up! It doesn’t seem to be the case at a Taco Bell in the Town Centre of Marietta, GA. A customer was buying food and noticed a sign telling him that their drink machine didn’t have water, but they were able to sell water bottles. Ok, a substitute in a dire situation, no prob. Here’s the gimmick. Upon a closer look at the soda machine, there was water. The tiny water button had been colored in with a black marker to “disappear” into the rest of the machine. Once depressed, clear goodness flowed forth. Hmm, makes you wonder, did they do this to increase sales of water bottles, or was there something wrong with the water. What’s worse is that if there was something wrong with the water, you’d think they state it expressly. I wonder if there’s a law against doing this.

While we’re on the talk about the economy, here’s another one that shows how down we really are. A property manager in Virginia posted a job for a part-time evening intern. The job would entail only 12 hours a week. In under 24 hours, she received 3520 emails with regards to the job offer. None of it was reportedly spam, insane!!!

If you follow Gizmodo, you’ll have seen Jason Chen ask the readers whether or not he should drink a red fluid that came in a little bottle. That drink comes from Mana Energy Potions, specifically it’s new Health energy potion. Arthur, Raj, and I have tried it’s original blue variant, the Mana Potion. In a word, it’s bleh, tastes like cough syrup, and burns going down. Chen recounts (hilariously) his exposure to it, here. In case you wanted to know, I voted for him not to drink it. It’s totally not a great experience.

I, along with a lot of my Eternity-mates, are avid supporters of the long dead Sega Dreamcast System. You died too young! Dan Whitehead over at Eurogamer has put together a crazy Forensics look at the demise of our beloved. It’s very in-depth, so if you want to read it, head over there. Let the mourning continue.

A little on the brighter side, yesterday a little sports game took place known as the Super Bowl! Pitting the Arizona Cardinals against the Pittsburgh Steelers, it was pretty awesome. I don’t want to go into detail cause football is it’s own thing, but seriously, Holmes with the toe tap for the game winning touchdown at 0:35 seconds in the final quarter. Insane.

So, that’s it for this SoN. Until next time, be noteworthy.

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