Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Internet is illegal (enjoy this Google stylesheet while it lasts!)

The United States just made the Internet illegal (I think I'm a felon now, or something...) Before you get locked up, check out this Google Compact/No Ads stylesheet. See you in jail!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

My last O. J. post, I swear

... for tonight. Chris Rock can see the future. (Video, but 56k is a-okay.)

My People on Google Earth

You knew it couldn't be long before I posted about my brothers and sisters of the sand: Western Sahara on Google Earth. At least it has something to do with something that might interest someone else. Maybe. ¡Sahara Vencera!

Nerd Club = Nerd Report?

Ukraine Wins Again

This article is well done, and the extent of this problem is wider than most people think: Women-trafficking and organized crime.

The new economics

On the one hand, we have individuals giving out money, forgoing banks. On the other hand, we have the prospect of the most intrusive marketing ever. Am I as a consumer more empowered or more prone to manipulation? Who's to say - I don't have a debit/credit card.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Out-hipping the hipsters

Dr. David Thorpe is a genius, and Your Band Sucks. Lately, he's been writing a slightly less tongue-in-cheek column for a Boston paper called the Burn Unit. Most recent entry includes the following passage:
Speaking of Borat, here’s the greatest sport of the season: Pretend that you hated the Borat movie. It’s the greatest way to massively offend collegiate doofs who pride themselves on being unoffendable. I call it 'Borat-baiting.' Next time you’re pulled into a Borat-related conversation, just say 'I walked out after 15 minutes; it was all obviously staged,' and watch the sparks fly.

Color on the Interweb

For those of you who are sensitive to color issues:

The moral of the latter story: please don't make green text on red backgrounds or vice-versa.

Map of the Internet

Not necessarily useful, but pretty (big huge pictures, 56k users take a nap.) See also web sites as graphs, slightly more useful and somewhat less pretty (uses some Flash implementation as I recall...)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Firefox security hole (watch out password-savers!)

If you save your passwords using Firefox (or IE, but who uses that anymore?), be careful. The good news: they're working on it.

Review: For Your Consideration

The newest Christopher Guest movie has more of the same (ensemble cast, outrageous ad-libbing, idiosyncratic characters) and the addition of The Office's Ricky Gervais in a pair of awkward-humor scenes reminiscent of David Brent. Highlights: Gervais' take on Jewishness, the most incompetent interviews ever from Fred Willard, and an awful-looking film occasionally named Home for Purim. Lowlights: less laughs than last time, and short runtime (86 minutes.) If the movie isn't going to be very funny, you probably shouldn't have it be long, but a long, funny movie is the best of both worlds. For Your Consideration is probably the weakest of the Guest/McKean/Shearer collaborations, and there aren't enough moments for the incidental characters to shine. If the filming was done last October, why couldn't they cobble together more of a film from the footage? Were hours lost in a warehouse fire? Ultimately, I recommend the film for the genuinely laugh-out-loud moments, of which there are several, but this one is more of a dollar-theater or rent-before-you-buy movie. Here's hoping the DVD has something extra to make it worth it.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Life in motion

First, plants in fast; then, birds in slow.

America+Internet=Worst thing ever?

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. But mostly worst.

Come for the popcorn, stay for the Wii (plus, riot in NYC)

On eBay, a woman sold some Target popcorn (my favorite!), an empty cup with BIG RED STRAW, and, oh ya the free Wii system.

Meanwhile, some well-intentioned Brits started a riot in New York City.

The Legend of Zelda Retrospective

If you have ever played a video game and haven't seen this yet, you owe it to yourself to spend about an hour watching these videos by They give a 6-part look at the history of The Legend of Zelda, complete with a proposed timeline for how all the games fit together. (The sixth part was just released, and is available from the GameTrailers home page.)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Wondering what a Democratic Congress will do?

How about... reinstitute the draft? I know I didn't see that one coming...

Like the White Stripes

Only more amateurish. You've never had so much fun watching someone not really play an instrument, but playing it sort of. (Video: 56k beware.)

Maybe I'm just too old-fashioned...

But doesn't make any sense to me... (Warning: video, 56k users, make a sandwich.)

Friday, November 17, 2006

Test driving the Wii

I stopped by EB Games and played the Nintendo Wii today. The only game demo they have is Excite Truck, but it certainly showcases the new controller (the "Wiimote"). First, I created a Mii character. These characters are very customizable, and are used in games like Wii Sports (included with the Wii). This is the first game I know of where you are playing as yourself, as opposed to Mario or some other fictional character. Since Excite Truck doesn't use the Mii characters, I didn't do much with it after I created it.

On to Excite Truck. I played the first course, after arbitrarily choosing a vehicle. The controls are similar to other racing games, where you use one button as an accelerator and the other button for the brakes. The real difference is that instead of using the directional pad to steer, you turn the controller like a steering wheel. This takes a little getting used to, but once you do, it is a very natural way to play. By the second lap I wasn't overcorrecting much anymore, and I was able to finish in first place and earn a "B" rating for the course. Not bad for a first try. You can earn stars for doing various things, like landing nicely after a jump. I think the stars can be used to unlock bonuses, or they might just be used to determine your rating.

I tried a second course, one which involved lots of water. At a few points there was a choice as to which path to take, and at other times I couldn't even tell where the course was. But again by the second lap, I had things figured out well enough to finish first again (with a "D" rating though).

Overall, I really, really liked playing. Now I'll admit a certain preconceived notion that I would like it, but it was truly fun. The controller is a nice weight, and feels sturdy. It is a little smaller than I thought it would be, but it is a good size. EB Games didn't have the nunchuck attachment, so I couldn't test it, but one of the Wii Sports games and Zelda are supposed to use it so I'll find out soon enough after all.

Now the real game is clear: how early do I need to show up at Wal-Mart on Saturday night to get one at midnight?

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Someone broke democracy.

Opera v. Firefox, GDrive

Some guy with a name that I can't pronounce decided to compare features in Firefox extensions with Opera default options and widgets. Then he did it again. Then some other guy with a name I also cannot pronounce did it for the 150 most popular Firefox extnensions. Northern Europeans have nothing but time on their hands.

Also, this thing brings you closer to GDrive/Gmail as a hard drive/virtual computer/etc. Again, I don't advocate using your e-mail account as a hard drive per se (especially if GDrive comes to fruition), but it's worth bearing in mind for those who are already storing a million files with Gmail. Use with caution, don't blame me if it doesn't work like you want. See also the Gmail Space Firefox extension, and Gmail Skins for some features that are purely aesthetic but some that are also functional.