Monday, January 29, 2007

Star Wars Rocks

Did you know that Fall Out Boy guitarist Joe Trohman is obsessed with Star Tours? Or that Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante identifies most with Nien Nunb? Discover which bands, actors, athletes and other celebrities love Star Wars here.
I've been reading these fun features on since they started in June 2005 and there's probably a few folks in here that some of you care about including: Death Cab for Cutie, the MythBusters, Snow Patrol, Seth Green, Lost's J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof, Richard Cheese, Dane Cook, Weird Al and Heroes' Masi Oka.

This is my article 'of length' this month for The Apple Blog. The comments so far have been better than what I expected.

Windows features OS X should 'adopt'

Classic MacOS isn’t the only operating system OS X could stand to swipe a few features from. Some of us Mac users also use Windows, either occasionally or full-time at work, and there are a handful of features from that operating system I think Apple should implement in Mac OS X.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

When Being a Verb is Not Enough
I, Cringely

It made no sense until I scratched my head and thought a bit further, at which point it became obvious that Google wants to -- in its own way -- control the Internet. In fact, they probably control it already and we just haven't noticed.
I told you I'd probably link to every column by Robert Cringley and he hasn't disappointed with his latest.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Oni Brings Colbert Humor to Comics with Tek Jansen

From The Eagle’s Nest comes this stunning continuation of Colbert’s critically acclaimed, yet unpublished prose novel, Stephen Colbert’s Alpha Squad 7: Lady Nocturne: A Tek Jansen Adventure. Inside the debut issue, everyone’s favorite science fiction hero stands against the enemies of freedom, no matter what dark planet they call home!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Recognize this guy?

This ad appeared recently in the print edition of The Record:

And Victory Park is where The Haggin Museum is located.

The Lame Show: Episode 10

Macworld Expo Recovery

Noah returns to discuss the results of Macworld Expo 2007 with Eddie (one of them was there and one wasn't). Obviously, the iPhone and  TV have some interest, but what about the mythical Leopard?

Lame list nominations include one item out of turn and the first item to make the list twice (for different reasons). Picks of the week include a not-funny YouTube video and a partly-funny CD.

The truly burning questions are asked: Did the guy in charge of Steve's clickers get fired? What's with the dirty computer language? Are you sick of cats? Can you read my mind?
Episode 10: Macworld Expo Recovery (52:32)

The Lame Show on iTunes

New Year Message from Roger Ebert

It's been some time since I checked in to let you know how I'm doing. I had hoped to be back in my seat in the balcony alongside my partner Richard Roeper, but the surgeons tell me they will have to take a staged, multi-phased approach to getting me back in shape. To borrow from the Chicago Bears, we tried for the long pass, but now we're going for a series of shorter passes until we score a touchdown.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Crummy Macworld Expo photos

So Apple has posted a small gallery of quality photos from Macworld Expo, but who needs those when you can look at the crummy photos from my cell phone in unnecessarily chronological order! Oh, sure, it couldn't send or receive phone calls, but the camera 'abilities' worked fine.

This is the first photo I took, after I took a seat for the keynote. 'But Eddie,' you say, 'look at all those empty seats up there!' Yeah, if you sit up there, you're closer to somebody's head being in your way. Just outside of this shot is the giant video screen where I could watch the action up close while at the same time seeing Jobs in the distance.

Maxtor (a company that makes computer hard drives, in case you didn't know that) set up a number of displays throughout the Expo illustrating the amount of loss you'll experience when your computer's hard drive fails or your laptop is stolen. Fun AND scary!

Hey, I wonder what's in there? Oh, right, the iPhone. That's as close as you could get to one. It turns slowly and mocks all who desire it. In case you can't tell, I'm using a phone to take a picture of people taking pictures of a phone with their phones.

The honest-to-goodness tablet Macintosh. Made by Axiotron and OWC, it won a Best in Show award from Macworld magazine. Only $2,280.

I have never seen an ad like this before. Must've taken quite a while to apply to the vertical side of every step.

4X digital zoom should never be considered a "feature" of a camera. This is at the recording of the diggnation podcast episode 80. Kevin is on the right and Alex is on the left. Apparently some people were shocked that they actually drank beer and cursed during the show. Um, yeah, that's like asking Michael Jackson to perform and being shocked that he grabbed his crotch.

The zombie army awaits orders and spiritual guidance from the iPhone. "Pay no attention to the man at the corner of the stage!"

Even by Thursday, crowds around the display iPhones show no signs of abating. The woman in black is an Apple employee. Both Apple and Adobe's employees all dress like ninjas.

Remember how Maxtor had a clever way to remind you to keep your important files backed up? Well, this company just wants to be more direct: "Did you lose all your porn?! We can help you recover it!"

This was the first time Google had a booth at Macworld Expo. The images at the top of the booth are not banners, they are video screens. Of course, when you're worth that many billions of dollars, you can do that kind of thing.

Canon had this cool display of their underwater camera housings in action.

A closer look. Hey, I thought it was cool! A kid walked by and remarked to his dad, "There's no fishies."

I've currently got five six seven posts on the home page of The Apple Blog, some of which are based on my time spent at Macworld Expo. Unlike me, they're short and sweet.

I haven't fully gathered all my Macworld experiences together just yet, but I thought some of you might appreciate this list of things learned by a woman who's marrying a Mac geek and came to Macworld Expo with him:

  1. Geeks need wives. Preferably, wives that are solidly grounded in reality so they can wander off into geek world and still have a tether back to normal.
  2. When you put more than two geeks in the same room together, they react like feedback loop: one goes geek, the other goes geekier, the third gets geekier still, until it’s just one major screeching blast of geekdom that sends anyone not tuned to their frequency scurrying for earplugs.
And I think The Lame Show may be broadcasting near that frequency.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Why Hollywood Snubbed Jobs at Macworld

What does Hollywood want from Steve Jobs? For starters, more protection for their films. 'His user rules just scare the heck out of us,' one studio executive told me.
Wow, and currently I'm NOT buying films because the rules are TOO restrictive.
Indeed, under Apple's video iPod digital-rights-management scheme, folks can share their flicks with as many as three other iPod users.
Oh my gosh, if I actually knew three other people who had video iPods, I guess I could share the file with them ... if they physically came over to my home and plugged their iPod into my computer. Meanwhile I can loan out a DVD I purchased to pretty much anyone I know (and I DO know more than three people).

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Macworld SF 2007 scorecard

Here's how I scored this year with my educated guesses:

100% right:

  • No DVR or TV-recording capability
    Some people still think the Apple TV might gain that capability. Um, it has zero A/V inputs, so that would be impossible (unless they partnered with Elgato or Miglia and used the Apple TV's single USB port)
  • Movies from additional studios added to the iTunes Store
    But is anyone really going to buy Star Trek V? Seriously?
  • Apple TV shown in use but not immediately available
    Watch for those orders to start shipping on Feb. 26.
  • Apple Mobile product, which will be much more than a cell phone and more expensive than most people consider
    I was pretty much right on all counts with this prediction, but played it safe by not predicting what exactly it would do.
50% right
  • No new iPods
    The iPhone isn't on the iPod area of Apple's web site, but it was called a widescreen video iPod
  • Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard will be previewed, but no shipping date will be announced
    No shipping date was announced (it's still just Spring 2007) but the previews being shown in Apple's booth show no new features than what was already shown in August 2006
0% right
  • iLife '07, which will update all of the apps except iTunes
    And I thought this was the safest prediction I made, considering how much work iWeb and GarageBand need
  • iWork '07, which will see the addition of a spreadsheet application but remain at the same price
    I figured I'd at least be 50% right about this one
Some people make a ton of predictions, but if you look at past keynotes, there's usually only about four software/hardware announcements maximum. I tried to keep mine within the 2 hour keynote length possibility (which was actually only 1 hour, 45 minutes long).

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Macworld 2007 Best of Show LIVE POSTING!

I'm currently viewing the Best of Show presentation at Macworld 2007 and I have semi-regular Internet access, so just for the fun of it I'm blogging it.

And the winners are:

  • Multisync LCD from NEC
  • Parallels Desktop
  • Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Adobe Photoshop CS3
  • George from Chestnut Hill Sound
  • Toast 8 Titanium
  • Prey
  • IntelliScanner mini
  • ModBook (Tablet Mac by OWC)

Macworld Expo 2007 quick recap

So many problems...

The good news is that I got into Macworld Expo and I got into the keynote and watched it live, in-person. The bad news is that I could not get a signal on my cell phone. So I was unable to live-blog the keynote for The Apple Blog. It also meant I couldn't call anyone all day. Today I also had no signal, so I turned my phone off since it was basically a rock (with a camera) in my pocket. When I turned it on again, just for kicks, guess what? Signal! Five bars! Gee, thanks, T-Mobile.

And why didn't I blog anything yesterday when there is free wireless Internet in the Media Center? Oh, was down for maintenance. Great timing, Blogger!

This year I'm here for three days instead of one and I had planned on attending a number of conference sessions. So I got some more bad news today: they aren't allowing media into any of the conferences this year. Hey, IDG, thanks for telling me after I got turned away at the door I waited in line at for 30 minutes! Basically, nearly all the information that IDG e-mailed me in advance about Macworld Expo was WRONG. I'm making the best of it, though, and there's still plenty of awesomeness to not complain about.

I'll post a detailed review of this week sometime after I get back, so expect it by February :)

Here's my brief notes:

  • TV: Call me in x years when I have a flat-panel, widescreen TV that accepts multiple HDMI inputs
  • iPhone: Absolutely, freakin' awesome. Like the original iPod, I won't be able to afford one for at least a year or two after its launch.
  • Apple booth: incredibly boring. They're showing iLife '06 and the Sept. '06 iPod lineup.
  • Adobe: Applause-worthy, generous
  • Elgato after-party: Nice people, delicious food (especially for meat-eaters)
  • Roxio: Mmm, show specials
Celebrity sightings include John Gruber, Aaron Adams, Leo Laporte, Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht

In the category of things-that-probably-shouldn't-have-worked-but-miraculously-did, I chatted with Gene Steinberg via Skype on Tuesday evening and an edited version of our discussion will be included in this Thursday's episode of The Tech Night Owl LIVE.

And now to redeem my $20 Media Lunch Voucher. You might think that's a lot for lunch, but remember, this is in a convention center, where apples cost $1.50 and a sandwich costs $8.50.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Simpsonzu by *spacecoyote on deviantART

Futurama: Super Happy Fun Show by *spacecoyote on deviantART

Anyone looking for an impersonation of The Edge? (visual only): best haircut ever?

Who's Killing MP3 and iTunes?
Eliot Van Buskirk - Wired News

But wait -- was that a pig flying past my window just now? Evidence is mounting that major labels may start to prefer the MP3 format, as impossible as that used to seem.
The headline makes no sense. This sentence from the article should really have fueled the headline: "Here are seven reasons why MP3 is the future of the music industry"

TiVoToGo Comes to Mac

It took two years and the software costs $100, but Mac-owning TiVo users can finally move recorded shows onto their Mac or iPod.
I'll definitely be looking into this at Macworld Expo.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Macworld SF 2007 predictions

Ray and I discussed what we want (and don't want) to see announced at Macworld Expo in Episode 9 of The Lame Show, but here are my official predictions lists (based on zero inside information). First, what I think will be introduced by Apple:

  • iLife '07, which will update all of the apps except iTunes
  • iWork '07, which will see the addition of a spreadsheet application but remain at the same price
  • Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard will be previewed, but no shipping date will be announced
  • Movies from additional studios will be available from the iTunes Store
  • The product code-named iTV (Apple Media Center?) will be shown in use, but will not be immediately available
  • Apple Mobile product, which will be much more than a cell phone and more expensive than most people consider
And here's what I think will NOT be introduced by Apple:
  • DVR
    Regardless of the iTV, no Apple product will record television and there will be no working with TiVo
  • New iPods
    The slow rate of adoption of video means there is no demand for a "true" video iPod and Apple has typically never updated the standard iPod line at January's Macworld

The Lame Show: Episode 9

At the end of Episode 8, Noah and I promised a pre-Macworld Expo podcast and Episode 9 is now available. Unfortunately, Noah could not participate because his computer was stolen (not in Mexico). Ray stepped in on short notice to help make this episode a reality.

Episode 9: Macworld Expo Preview

Eddie and Ray discuss what they hope will (and won't) be revealed at Tuesday's Macworld Expo keynote before revealing their Lame List nominations (Fergie, Matt Cassamina and and their post-Christmas vacation Picks of the Week (one visual, one not).

The truly burning questions are asked: Does the iPod really get updated that often? Why do people believe every rumor posted on the Internet? Can new features possibly be discovered for iMovie? What food products are acceptable to smear on the human body?.
This may be the last episode of The Lame Show. But if anyone is interested in hearing it contine, e-mail me.

Episode 9: Macworld Expo Preview (47:18)

The Lame Show on iTunes

Friday, January 05, 2007

'Gromit' filmmaker gets animated about IT

Aardman Animations is moving its IT and communications up a gear as it looks to make feature films fully in-house and to add to its impressive portfolio.
This article also confirms that a new Creature Comforts series will air on CBS in February.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The 50 Greatest Commercials of the '80s

We were planning to throw together a quick compilation of our five favorite commercials from way back in the 1980s, but then we found more…and more…and more. Eventually we just had to stop so we could get this monstrous thing posted before the weekend.
I don't agree with all of their choices (and some of them aren't even commercials, really) but this list ought to bring a smile to your face if you watched a lot of commercials in the '80s (which I did). I wasn't alone in my disagreement with their choices, as they responded to the many complaints with:

By Popular Demand: 50 More ’80s Commercials
We try to do something nice for you guys by bringing the American workplace to a complete halt with a list of the 50 top commercials of the 1980s, and all you guys do is complain, “Where’s this ad? You forgot that one.” Whine whine whine.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I needed to visit an Apple Retail Store recently to replace my laptop's battery, which emptied unexpectedly after only about four months. To my surprise, there's now a location in Pleasanton's Stoneridge Mall. But it seems even Stoneridge doesn't know much about the store, based on their description:

The Mills Properties

Talk to a Macintock genius at our Genius Bar or watch a demonstration of Mac OX X; the revolutionary new operating system, on a giant 10 foot diagonal screen.