VIDEO: “Do You Wanna Date My Avatar?” – The Guild’s Music Video

August 26, 2009

God, I can’t help but love this show.  So glad we licensed first dibs rights to Felicia & her motley crew of Guild actors.  She and the Guild have blown up since getting posted to Xbox Live. 

If you’ve got an Xbox 360 and Xbox Live Gold subscription, you can download episodes of the Guild for FREE in high definition, including “Do You Wanna Date My Avatar”.  If you’re lame and you don’t have a 360, you can catch Felicia and the crew at":

“The Guild” Web Series
http://www.watchtheguild.com

Oh yeah… and Playstation 3?  Suck it!

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Another great literary depiction of why I loathe Wikipedia

August 22, 2009

image Yet another reason why Wikipedia has become online proof of the ineffectiveness, if not idiocy, of socialism.  The appalling acclaim liberals shower Wikipedia with is akin calling a wall of graffiti “a public collaboration” and “a testament to the power of community”. 

Wikipedia fans need to re-read George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”:
“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

OMG HOW DARE YOU IT DOESN’T WORK LIKE THAT

(Taken from WOOT.COM’s write up for the Mino 60 minute Camcorder)

“Betty. Look what I’ve got! Isn’t it great! It’s going to be so helpful for my new project. Or should I say, our new project.”

“Well, good morning, Jill! You seem so excited! Wow, is that a refurbished Pure Digital Mino 60M Camcorder?”

“It is, Betty, it is! And guess what! Today I’m going to be using it to start this new project that’s going to change the whole entire world! I call it… Bettypedia!”

“Bettypedia?”

“That’s right, Betty. It’s an interactive wiki-style web space that’s going to be all about YOU! Won’t that be great? You’ll be famous!”

“Well… I suppose that’s good. I guess everybody wants to be famous, right?”

“That’s the spirit! We’re like pioneers, here on this free nu-media plain! Blazing the trail! Doing anything we want! Here, let’s make the very first video of you with this Pure Digital Mino 60M Camcorder. Go on, you pose any way you like. Try to look nice, because we’re making this the logo.”

“Actually, Jill, I’ve got some professional modeling photos back in my room I could just get you a few and-”

“Ooooo. I’m sorry, Betty, I should have told you from the start. Bettypedia has some very specific rules about things like that. BP:COPY clearly states that all images have to be public domain, and you probably don’t have the six page web form proving those professional photos are valid, so we can’t use them at all. Besides, even if we put them up, the Bettypedia bot would just find them and take them down. Now go on! Smile!”

“Jill, look, I’m glad that you want to use that Pure Digital Mino 60M Camcorder, and I want to help you, really I do, but… I’m not sure I’m comfortable with all this.”

“Yes you are.”

“No, I’m not.”

“Yes, you are. That’s BP:3RR, sorry! You see, there’s a limited number of allowable edits to any Bettypedia project. It’s just an efficient way to avoid edit wars like the one you started. It’s okay, you’ll learn. We were all ignorant noobs at one point, right? Hey, did you know that the Pure Digital Mino 60M Camcorder has a built-in USB arm that makes it really easy to move files around? There’s even a tripod mount in case you want to buy a tripod. We can also use the included composite cable to plug it right in to the TV, which will really help in case we start a Bettypedia TV show about your life as a prostitute.”

“What? I’ve never been a prostitute!”

“BP:VERIFY, Betty. Can you prove it?”

“Wha… I think I know my own life, Jill.”

“Betty, I am sorry, but BP:NOR says you can’t do original research. It’s just for the good of the community. If you’re unable to provide a source, my edit will have to stand as is.”

“Well… well, okay. What about my boyfriend? What if he tells you I’m not a hooker?”

“BP:SOCK, Betty. And please, the accepted Bettypedia term is ‘prostitute’. Let’s remember to keep BP:CIVIL as we BP:DR. I strongly suggest you familiarize yourself with the rules before you attempt to participate again.���

“Jill, please, this isn’t funny anymore. Put down that Pure Digital Mino 60M Camcorder. I don’t want this ‘Bettypedia’ to even exist.”

“Betty, it’s not just up to you. It can’t be. The Bettymedia Foundation is a citizen of the world, and that’s what makes it great! Plus, think about it. If we just went and BP:PROD on every BP:WAR we’d very quickly spiral into BP:ISNOT and that wouldn’t be fair to anyone.”

“Jill, what do these acronyms even mean? Have you gone completely insane?”

“Whoa, Betty! BP:CIV! BP:CIV! I’m sorry, but the way you’ve been acting today gives me no choice but to invoke BP:BAN. Betty, you are no longer welcome at Bettypedia.”

“Get out of my house, Jill. Get out of my house right now.”

“Sorry, Betty, but I’ve just called BP:IAR, so the rules no longer apply. The project must occasionally be above the laws if the project is to survive. Besides, isn’t using the Pure Digital Mino 60M Camcorder fun? Hey, let’s get some photos of you making an apple pie. It’ll look great on the “Desserts (pie)” Bettypedia page. Do you prefer lattice top or just a flat crust? Or is that too much like BP:TRIVIA?”

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Q&A: Why don’t I have Verizon FiOS in my area yet?!?

August 17, 2009

Today, I looked outside my home and saw a van:

0817090938aDUDE.  OMGWTFSOBKHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAANNNNNN!

I scrambled outside with Sheepa in tow for his morning walk and saw a guy in the back of the truck and struck up a conversation:

KURT:  Hey buddy… so, uh, are you prepping for FiOS around here, or do you know what the deal is with the rollout plans for this area?

VERIZON DUDE:  [sigh] No… there’s no FiOS going in to the area any time soon.  I live in the area and I’m waiting like everyone else.

KURT:  So what’s the deal with the van wrap?

VERIZON DUDE:  They just put that on last week, and people have been asking me about it ever since.  The fact is, I wouldn’t bet on seeing it for at least until the end of the year.  It’s probably a full year out or more.

KURT:  Whhhaaa… WTF?!?

VERIZON DUDE:  Yeah, I know.  I’m with you.  They had a test rollout in Santa Monica near Montana Ave so they’ve been rolled out for a while and it works great, but the rest of the city… not so much.

KURT:  That blows. 

VERIZON DUDE:  No kid.  But it’s complicated.  I get yelled at all the time about the rollout of FiOS but there’s more to it that just, “Verizon is slow.”  Remember that we want to provide it just as much as you want to consume it but there’s more in play than just that.

He then proceeded to talk about the reasons why FiOS rollout is so difficult around here.  It turns out that there are many, many more issues that are completely unrelated to the technology that make it’s availability tough in Los Angeles:

  • Economy
    This one should be obvious but the fact remains that if Verizon’s going to make an investment in the infrastructure for FiOS in a given geography, they have to make sure that they’re going to see a return on their investment.  While this may see obvious, not everyone has the cash to fork over for FiOS.  Most people already have a means of watching Digital TV.  Most people already have some form of Internet connectivity be it cable or DSL… and most of those people don’t even use a quarter of it.  Meanwhile, FiOS requires a fiber-to-the-curb infrastructure to be put into place that’s very expensive so the question comes down to:  Who’s going to pay for it?  Who’s going to guarantee that the money spent will be recoup-ed and how long will that take?  Verizon’s a business after all and they’ve got stockholders just like any other publicly traded company.
  • State Law
    Now THIS problem I can understand:  Under California state law, phone companies are mandated to lease their infrastructure to competitors.  Verizon for example is required by law to lease their entire infrastructure to Covad to create competition in the communications space.  While one might argue that this is good since it creates checks & balances in an otherwise one-vendor marketplace, it also squarely places the risk of investment on Verizon – which is $20 Billion – while it’s competitors get all the strategic benefit of the new fiber optic technology. 

    NOTE:  To put $20 Billion dollars into perspective, the ENTIRE Xbox gaming business at Microsoft cost around $9 billion dollars up until 2008.  To purchase Nintendo lock-stock-and-barrel back in 2000, I was told that it would have cost Microsoft around $25 billion.  (Now you know why we just built our own console instead of acquiring someone)

    At the end of the day, Verizon’s not interested in building out a multi-billion dollar infrastructure just to see that benefit helping their competitors so they’re waiting on Governor Schwartzenegger to sign a bill that says that if Verizon makes the investment in fiber-to-the-curb statewide, they don’t have share the fiber without passing on the infrastructure’s high cost to their competitors as well.

  • Municipal Agreements
    Each municipality requires different agreements.  Many places like West Los Angeles want overhead lines instead of underground lines or vice versa for superficial or logistical reasons and the Verizon dude said that frankly, that’s just NOT going to happen.  Cities are trying to dictate how the infrastructure gets laid down without any real consideration for what the cost of deployment, repairs and maintenance are in a given area & Verizon doesn’t want an entire municipality determining how hard it is to do maintenance on these lines knowing the cost that it will incur to deal with one or the other.  This has created a negotiating roadblock in many places where FiOS would be an otherwise no-brainer.
  • Technology
    This stuff isn’t like copper wire.  It’s fiber optic cabling that has to be laid down all the way to an individual unit.  So for condominiums, the whole building has to agree to have the fiber installed and the inconvenience that comes with it.  While this might not be a big deal for our condo per se being that we’re a group of 8 units filled with Yuppies and Mid-upper Class D.I.N.K.s, this could be a huge challenge for other condos in other areas like South Central where 15Mbps Internet access and all-digital on-demand video isn’t a priority as compared to things like FOOD and PERSONAL SECURITY.  The Verizon dude said that that issue alone is enough to cause city councils to go apesh-t:  Why should Verizon be able to discriminate as to where they lay fiber for an underprivileged community that despite not being able to afford the service, should “still have the right to it’s availability like everyone else” since it’s a regulated service.

I told the Verizon dude that I understood… and knew where he was coming from.  We have people in the European Union that want us to ship our competitors products in Windows.  We even had to remove our Media Player & Internet Browser despite the fact that every other operating system on the market has a built in Media Player & Internet Browser.

So that’s that.  I’m still a year away from my dream of 15Mbps up & down.  But at least now I have a better grasp of the situation, and a little understanding as to why:  Isn’t that all any of us want?

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Zune resources & plug-ins

August 10, 2009

Bits and Bytes here and there that I found on Zune plugins and junk:

The “Zune Lyrics Sync” Discovery
This isn’t actually a feature in Zune’s software however some guys parsing through the Zune binaries discovered a placeholder in the 32-bit client for something called “Lyrics Sync” along with a dialog box that clearly is designed to add synchronized lyrics to the music that one plays.  See for yourself:
LINK: http://zunerama.com/forum/index.php?topic=1457.0

  • First download resource Hacker.http://www.angusj.com/resourcehacker/
  • Next start up Resource hacker and open Zune.exe (zune software)
  • After that go to open again and open zuneloc.dll
  • Then go to the Dialog
  • You will see a bunch of numbers!
  • Go to 21405 (lyrics sync)

lyrichs7zunelyrics

Zune Lyrics Plug In
Not that it isn’t already psuedo possible using this plug in that someone wrote.  Basically, the plug in looks up the currently playing song then downloads the lyrics for the music from Lyricwiki.org automatically.
LINK:  http://zunelyrics.codeplex.com/

Zune Sidebar Gadget for Windows Vista
Nuff said.
LINK:  http://weblogs.asp.net/lduveau/archive/2007/06/01/zune-vista-gadget.aspx

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Just another reason I love Penn & Teller: The “Organic Food” episode

August 10, 2009

Why do people buy organic?
“…I think some families choose to be all-organic because there is a political cache to it.  I am purer then thou.  I am more into my commitment to being green and eco-friendly than you are.”  “The dietary equivalent of the Toyota Prius.”

 

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Fun with Delta’s Linux-driven Entertainment system

August 9, 2009

0317092041c

Recently, a manager of mine had to fly Delta Airlines.

…on a small side note, the darn in-flight entertainment system on this plane wouldn’t work and the flight attendants couldn’t even do the safety information ‘speech’ before we took off – not that I need to hear this for the 500th time this year – but the funny part was she said they had to “re-boot” the system & it would take 5-7 minutes. Well as we’re taxi-ing, they re-boot the system – I’m not paying attention – but then a mother behind me says to her little child – look a little PENGUIN! So I looked up at the screen & wouldn’t you know it – the entertainment system was running on Linux.

Blah..Blah…Blah, long story short, then the guy next to me complains that his system won’t work, either and the flight attendant politely tells him she apologizes & that these things are the “bane of their existence”.

I had to laugh because I too have seen this “reboot” problem on Delta’s Linux-driven In-flight Entertainment system easily a half dozen times on different flights to the east coast.  It’s one of many reasons I avoid Delta like the plague. 

Above is the photo I took of the Linux boot sequence.  The common excuse I hear on the discussion boards is that “it’s the software – not the OS.”  Seriously?  I know we don’t have that great a reputation when it comes to things like system stability but even zealots have to admit that installed software crashing Windows isn’t a common, everyday occurrence these days.  This isn’t a PC that changes on a day to day basis that we’re talking about here.  This was an Embedded System and that gives this solution even less of an excuse for crashing.  Having a system that NEVER CHANGES on-board a closed system like an airplane should give this product even less of an opportunity to go belly-up.

So after digging around, I discovered that Delta’s Linux driven in-flight entertainment system is apparently notorious for its instability & crashes.

A while back, heat dissipation from these very systems was recognized as a serious issue.  So much so that some units caused burning and smoke from the heat generated.

“The FAA doesn’t track how many planes have in-seat entertainment systems. But Delta Air Lines (DAL) has filed the most incident reports (92) since August 1998, according to available FAA data through mid-February. More than 230 of Delta’s approximately 1,000 planes have in-seat entertainment systems, says Betsy Talton, the airline’s spokeswoman.”
http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2009-03-22-electronics-fires-airlines_N.htm

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HOWTO: Use ALL cores of your multi-core processor during Startup of Windows Vista

August 5, 2009

Oops.  Accidentally posted this in the wrong place.  Please go to the link below for the full blog article.
http://kurtsh.spaces.live.com/Blog/cns!DA410C7F7E038D!5550.entry


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