The Next Generation of Sony’s Gran Turismo is apparently Xbox 360’s Project Gotham Racing 3

January 29, 2007

Dear Sony,

The next time you decide to do a marketing promotion for your products, try to avoid using your competitor’s products in your online advertising bugs.  Thanks.

Microsoft’s fans

Apparently Sony’s marketing department did an advertisement for their upcoming PSP’s GranTurismo 4 and decided, "Feh.  All racing games are the same.  Let’s just steal the artwork from Project Gotham Racing 3.  No one will know the difference."

Oh yeah?  Apparently, IGN, Major Nelson, and Team Xbox noticed.  

Here’s the imagery they stole from Bizarre Creations (the developer we contracted out for the programming work on the PGR series) courtesy of IGN.

Winners of the Sake Club tasting competition

January 28, 2007

For those of you who’ve been to one of our 5 sake tastings, have you ever wondered where I got the idea for the "competitive sake tasting" idea from? 

It was from this photo below:  Of the 25-30 people on the tour, we were challenged to taste 3 mystery sake and match them to 6 known sake.  The winners were the 6 you see toward the center of the photo, I being the one on the far right. 

Yes, we were all a little liquored up but we were having a lot of fun.  We had an Indian property mogul, a Finance lawyer, the wife of a cosmetics company owner, a Japanese TV star, and her boyfriend, a New York orthodontist.  And then there’s me – the Microsoft geek.

Mattel’s Barbie in Japan

January 28, 2007

Those of you from Mattel who’ve never seen Barbie advertised to adults might want to check out this photo I took of the Barbie display in Tokyo, Japan. 

The Japanese love this stuff.  Women dress… well… often like Barbie dolls.  And it’s kinda hot in a nasty school girl kinda way I suppose.  I mean, seriously:  Check out some of the styles featured in the photo below.  And there was a lot more where that came from – much of which I saw on the streets below.  (This by the way was in a major department store called Isetan, on the 7th floor of a 12-15 story building with a basement.

And yes, that’s me holding on to the bag of fashions my wife bought.  I was dying for a chair to sit in.

NEWS: Windows Live Spaces finally allows embedded videos

January 27, 2007

Well, well, well.  I can finally include videos into blog posts on my Live Space.  (See!8AA773FE0A12B9E3!31132.entry

So here’s a look at one of the videos I have posted to my Soapbox account:  (Originally, I posted a link that allowed folks to peruse every video I had but then I thought twice about it and frankly, there’s probably a few videos in there that might be NSFW so…)
Video: Spiders on Drugs 

On a completely tangential note: Here’s a recent quote from one of the Vegas web sites I frequent.  Hilarious. 

"If you hit on 15 with the dealer showing a 6, it’s actually legal for the table to kill you."

INFO: One MAJOR reason not to buy a Vizio i.e. “go cheap” when buying a 1080p LCD display

January 22, 2007

Several of my coworkers have discovered the hard way that not all LCD TV’s/Displays are created equally.  In fact, the cheap ones are often quite limiting.

Take for instance the Vizio 47" LCD, VGA-compatible, "1080p" input-capable display.  This is a monitor most commonly found sold at Costco for… well… 25%-50% less than the price of any other brand.

In order to use an Xbox 360 at 1080p using a VGA connector, you have to set the resolution to 1920×1080… a feat Vizio owners will find impossible.  This is because, despite the supposed "support for 1080p", when using a VGA connection, the maximum resolution is really 1360×768 on the 47" model.

Huh?  So wait:  How does one get the advertised 1080p a.k.a. 1920×1080?  Well, it’s actually deceptive wording:  The display will not actually take 1080p input over VGA or HDMI/DVI.  When you use a Component connector instead of a VGA connector, you’ll discover that you’ll get "1080p"… but as anyone will tell you, Component video doesn’t provide 1080p… only 1080i.  What’s happening in the background is that the display is taking the 1080i signal and upconverting it to 1080p to provide a simulated 1080p, flicker-minimized experience.

So why do you care?  Well, there’s a lot of reasons.

  1. What about VGA?  If you intended on connecting your computer to your display for a truly digital signal with 1080p/1920×1080, to your new Windows Vista Media Center, you’re gonna be sorely mistaken.
  2. What about sync?  Whenever there is upconversion, there’s delay, and whenever there’s delay, there’s annoyance in the viewing experience:  Particularly if you’re playing Gears of War and reaction time is important.  This is why it’s so important to have minimal lag between the Xbox & the display.

The bottom line is that if you’re going to buy a display of this caliber, avoid being cheap.  You’ll regret it in the long term and end up with more disappointment than elation.

INFO: 13 Easy Ways to Safeguard Your Privacy in 2007

January 19, 2007

Here are thirteen quick, painless and easy (yet powerful) things you can do to protect your privacy and help defeat invasive data mining done by corporations and governments alike.

For example:

  • Avoid Filing Change of Address Orders with USPS.
  • Call the OneCall OptOut Number.
  • OptOut of the Databases of Many Online Data Vendors.
  • Use Private Phone to Protect Privacy in Online Auctions.
  • Don’t Use Your Middle Initial.
  • etc.

The Game Console wars: Watching from afar…

January 17, 2007

XBox 360 vs Playstation 3 vs Wii:  I love a good marketing chart!