Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Joe Schmo's Low Blow 

Ahhh, last week I wrote my longest entry ever on this Blog, about a "reality" TV show called the Joe Schmo Show. It's a Big Brother style survival game-reality-show but all the cast members are actors following a script--All except for one guy who thinks it's all real.

Episode 4 is running this week. It's stupid, it's lame, it's crass, it's... it's... a miracle it's not on FOX. Regardless, it's damn entertaining! Here's a summary of the last goings on.


Absolute Beginner's Guide to Building Robots 

For Ray, The Absolute Beginner's Guide to Building Robots!

GPS will pinpoint Coke prize winners 

From BoingBoing, Coke is having a new contest, where Coca-Cola will use GPS to pinpoint Coke prize winners.

Monday, September 29, 2003


While doing a random Google image search, I happened to find an image of Slappy the robot. It's actually one of many robotic projects by students of the Machine Intelligence Laboratory (University of Florida).

Here are end of year project papers and photos. (From the looks of it, most of these projects are no more sophisticated than your average Lego Mindstorms creation.)




Turn Your GBA Into a Game Console 

From Slashdot, a really cool mod to turn the Gameboy Portable into a Console. Complete with a NeoGeo arcade stick!

Measuring the speed of light with chocolate and a microwave 

From Slashdot, here's a neat science experiment to measure the speed of light with chocolate and a microwave oven.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Building a Balancing Scooter 

From Slashdot, Robot hacker Trevor Blawell explains how to build your own blancing scooter. Of course, you can't call it a Segway(c) for obvious reasons... but hey, put in a safety feature that doesn't allow it to move if it's low on batteries, and you got a new patent improvement!

EA's Montreal Studio now in Court 

Gamespot has the exclusive, EA's new studio is now in court, as Ubisoft has filed an lawsuit against the defectors who are founding EA's new Montreal studio.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Pac-Man Vs. Bundles 

All the talk of E3, how is Nintendo going to sell PacMan Vs? GamerFeed has the scoop. It'll be given away with various (by the looks of it)... namco bundles.

Government Recalls Segway 

Oh no! 6000 Segways are being recalled after some riders have fallen off and injured themselves. Apparently, Mr. Kamen (Segway's inventor) hasn't taken into account two things: 1. The idiot factor: People still riding the machines even after the battery levels are too low. And 2. Fat people.


Giant Pachinko Machine 

From Slashdot.org:The game actually plays more like Pachinko.

Here's a working mirror:

Music Changes In "WKRP In Cincinnati" 

Did you ever notice how some syndicated shows have different music played in it then when you first saw them? Well, here's an explanation of the reason, using "WKRP In Cincinnati" as an example. It's corporate RIAA greed.

Hasbro releases free PDFs of Monopoly Money 

From BoingBoing, Free Hi-Res PDFs of Monopoly money! Now don't spend it all in one place, now.

Nintendo Announces GBA Wireless Adapters 

We have the announcement yesterday from Yahoo news,that Nintendo has announced a wireless adapter for the Gameboy. The wireless manufacturer is Motorola, as we see the press
, and pictures on their website. The adapter will be offered free with two pokemon games. Great... what if I don't like pokemon?

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Friendtech sells a 1.4GHz Xbox 

The Inquirer has an article about a TaiPei company that is selling a modified Xbox running a 1.4GHz Celeron versus the console's 733MHz Pentium III. The firm, Friendtech is also offering an Xbox Mod that provides S-Video, 5.1 Surround, and a hard disk upgrade in one package. Some of the specs of the FT-XBX2 can be found at the Friendtech Online site.
Of course, I also have to mention how Microsoft has responded to Nintendo's latest price cut by saying that they are intending to shadow PS2's console price.

Nintendo offers China Only Console 

Bloomberg.com has an article about Nintendo releasing a specific console for China due to its rampant piracy.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Space Age Garage 

Via Slashdot, and from the New York Times, this article shows the next space-age garage. It will park 324 cars in a 100x100 ft lot with 7 levels. Pretty efficient use of space!

RIAA sues the wrong person 

Via Slashdot, the Boston Globe has this article, where the RIAA has sued the wrong person. With RIAA's 261 subpoenas, this was bound to happen. Not to be outdone, Kazaa is suing the RIAA because they are using unauthorized versions of Kazaa to search for filesharers.

Scary Movie 3 - Trailer 

I know you can't always judge a movie by its trailer (especially comedies), but Scary Movie 3 looks promising.

Font Stuff from 80's videogames 

This website offers free downloadable fonts from classic 8 bit videogames.

GameCube drops to $99 

From Gamespot, Nintendo fires the first salvo in the upcoming holiday console wars. If you REALLY think about it, currently the Gamecube sells in a $149.99 bundle (with game), if you subtract the game cost ($50US), the Gamecube is essentially selling for $99US currently. No big deal. UPDATE: Yahoo Business's official company press release.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Geek Eye for the Average Guys 

It's Queer Eye geek style. Fortune Magazine is planning to give $15,000 and three days to bring an average family of four up to date with technology.

A Brilliant New Low for Reality Television 

Ah, Spike TV, "the first network for men" (funny considering we've had MenTV, the PlayBoy Channel, etc, etc, long before Spike ever was) launched a new reality television recently, which in my opinion hits new lows, but is at the same time, just brilliant.

It's called Joe Schmo. It's part "The Truman Show", part "Big Brother", and lots of other elements which parody just about every major reality show out there. Oh, and there's a whole lot of fakery too. See, unlike other reality based competions, this one has a "star". Matt Gould is an average joe six-pack. Everyone else is an actor each playing a reality show stereotype. You've got the bitch, the priss, the asshole, the gay guy, the old veteran, etc. It's all so satirical it makes you wonder how, or why Matt doesn't clue in. I guess I wouldn't either if I saw things from his persepctive.

I watched Survivor season 1, Big Brother only for about half the first season, and then I basically got sick of the formula. But Joe Shmo provides a unique angle on the cliched formula. I watch it as much to see how they are torturing this poor shlub, as I am to see how the actors and show's producers can keep up the charade and not slip up. (But, already, things are not playing out as scripted).

Check it out Tuesday nights on Spike TV. (Don't rely on tv listing though. I found the show by accident last night, as something called "Slam Ball" was supposed to be airing instead.)

Spike TV's own Joe Shmo website:

Good articles on the show and what's it's been like so far:


*If anyone can find info on how Matt (the guy being tricked in this show) has reacted, please submit some URLs in the comments section.

Philips 64MB USB Camera Chain 

Philips is selling a $99US USB Camera Ring 1.3 MegaPixels, and requires no drivers. It can also be used as a portable storage drive. They also have similar versions for their MP3 Players.

What Was That Game? 

Via slashdot.... Ever looked for a game that you didn't know the name of? Try www.whatwasthatgame.com. The site is still in early development, and still needs help with some unidentified games.

Monday, September 22, 2003

The higher the bill, the lower the tip percentage 

From Washington University in St. Louis, Psychologists discover that the higher the bill, the lower the percentages in tips that the clients leave. I'll bet they didn't have McDonalds in the survey.

Console Sales per Country 

GameSpy.com has the distribution of console sales broken down to each country. Gives you a good idea of how the consoles are faring. Take a look at Xbox, just breaking the million barrier in Japan, followed by a million lead in North America. Yet, here they are bashing Nintendo.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Random NYTimes.com Registration Generator 

Sick of trying to read NYTimes articles because you have to register?Here is a random NYTimes.com registration generator. Amazing the extent that people will go to to avoid spam!

Ancient River Found Flowing Beneath Toronto 

From Yahoo News, there's an ancient river found flowing beneath toronto! Okay, this should be all over the news in Ontario, but it's a big deal for me down here in the US, okay?

Friday, September 19, 2003

Night Owls 

I've always wanted to type in the dark.

Do we need to dumb down PC terminology? 

Frankly I'm surprised that in this day, where finally it seems like every home has a personal computer, there isn't more standardization and "dumbing down" of computer terminology.

I guess to an extent we have. RAM can be referred to as "memory", which is understandable to most casual PC users. But often times, they'll confuse memory with hard drive space. Not everyone understands the difference between the two storage mediums.

CPU speed also gets confusing to average users. I'll ask what speed CPU a person has and sometimes get "It's a Pentium 2". "OK but what speed is it?", I ask. "I don't know, how do check that?" Of course sometimes I'll even get an answer like "It's 8 times" when asking about CPU speed. "Eight times" being the CD-ROM drive speed.

This might seem like a silly topic, and anyone with a decent knowledge of basic computer technology may laugh this off, but what prompted this thinking is a recent lawsuit filed in Los Angeles. It's a class-action suit against all the major PC manufacturers, alleging false advertising of hard drive capacities. Right away, anyone reading this who has ever installed and/or formatted their own hard drive and other rewriteable media, will groan. You know what's going on here, and you know why. 1 kilobyte could be said to be 1000 bytes. But 1 kilobyte is also 1024 bytes. People knowledgeable about computers know the difference. To Joe Everybody though, "kilo" means 1000.

It makes me think that perhaps it's time to standardize this kind of measurement. Even Windows doesn't seem to stick to one method of file size measurement. Some apps will display correct binary form kilobytes, whereas others will display the decimal form. Looking up the properties of your C: drive in Windows XP will display both.


IBM's New Thinkpads 

From Forbes, IBM is showing off it's new generation of Thinkpads. There's another machine, where the keyboard comes off. More pictures of it can be found here.

Business card cubes 

Perfect for an afterstorm Friday morning origami! How to make business card cubes.

Top 5 Action StarWars Fan Flicks 

Here's an old top 5 list on the best ACTION Star Wars fan flicks from iFilm.com. They had an Episode 2 countdown that featured the "Best of" categories. This is the list of the top 5 Action made ones:
A Question of Faith
Art of the Saber
Emergence of the Sith
Knightquest Part1
Knightquest Part2
Knightquest Part3
I thought the best of the bunch was "Art of the Saber". I thought it was well done. I couldn't help to think that the first guy resembled King, and the second guy resembled Jason throughout the fight. Pretty good stuff by just two guys.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

The IKEA Name Game 

Ever wonder how in the hell Ikea picks those weird-ass name for all its products? Here's an Ikea name game to test your knowledge of those weird monikers and what product they are.

English to 12-Year Older IM Translation Service 

Ever watch your kid instant message? Well here's an English to AOL 12-year older translation service.

Cell Phone Camera Jamming Device 

Here's a device coming out that is intended to jam cell phone cameras. I believe this works off the same principle as the movie theater ones, where they just bombard the phones with signals.

How many CDs can a Sharpie Mark? 

How many CDs can you label with one Sharpie? Glad you asked, glad even more that one artsy person had the time to waste for that. If you don't want to read it, it's 968.

Flotation phone cuts off the world 

Here's a new device to cut off all extra-peripheral senses that may annoy you during a phone call. Too bad you have to be submerged in a pool of heated water, and wear a big bubble around your head so that you can't see anything!

Stealth Disco 

...via Boing Boing, 'Stealth Disco is the act of sneaking up behind your cow-orkers and silently rocking out while a co-conspirator films you and the hapless "victim."' Here's a screamingly funny best of video.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Karate Kid 

Ahhhhhhhhhh, brings back memories... Now you can act like Ralph Machio.... Mr. Miyagi?

Geek Tattoos 

Geek Tattoos. Nuff said.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Sony to Release 40GB Hard Drive with FFXI 

[Games] Yahoo has the article announcing the PlayStation2 40GB Hard Disk Drive to be packaged with Final Fantasy XI. The hard drive also offer other benefits including 40GB of storage, faster loading times, saving CDs to create a personal jukebox, and the ability to download content - levels, missions, characters, and much more. More info can be found here.
You know what this means? Don't buy the current Online adapter!

Sun to unveil software to replace Windows 

Sun, a big participant in the anti-trust case against Microsoft has taken the next big step to develop software to compete against MSFT's Office Products.

Video Game Trailers 

[Games] Now that I've been spoiled by DSL, here's a nice site for a bunch of Video Game Trailers. The TV ads are the ones that are more humourous, and would probably better appeal to the non gamers.

FrankFurt Autoshow 

For those of you who missed it the first time out, there's a gallery of pictures from the Frankfurt Autoshow. It's the largest of it's type in Europe. The pictures are on the Automotive Europe Website.

TheStar.com - 'Error' sends bank files to eBay 

Toronto Star has an article where a series of error has lead the Bank of Montreal customer files to be sold on eBay.

Sleeping Position Reveals Personality Traits-Study 

Yahoo News has a blurb of a study where your sleeping position reveals your personality traits.

The 18 Worst Jobs in Science 

Popular Science has an article on the worst science jobs.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Can You Raed Tihs? 

An interesting tidbit from Bisso's blog site: Scrambled words are legible as long as first and last letters are in place. Word of mouth has spread to other blogs, and articles as well.
From the languagehat site: 'Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe. ceehiro.'
Jamie Zawinski has also written a perl script to convert normal text into text where letters excluding the first and last are "scrambled".

Why a DVD cost as much as music CD 

Ever wonder why a CD costs about as much as DVD? The Denver post has an interesting article on this. It's an excellent explanation of how the music industry's business concept has eroded so badly that it has resorted to lawsuits.

Silly putty 

Okay, now you can give your kids a new homemade toy. Make your own Silly Putty! Where the heck do I get Sodium Borate? For those of you who don't know, it's Borax.... and I have found it in some odd grocery stores and hardware stores as a household cleaner. (Borax is good for killing cockroaches as well. (Offtopic))

Sunday, September 14, 2003

MATRIX 8.0: A Rather Elaborate Case Mod 

Paul Capello, the creator of the Alien case mod was on Tech TV recently showing off a really freaking radical new case mod. I wouldn't even call it a mod, cuz it seems to be completely custom built. Anyways, it's a Matrix themed case complete with an animatronic baby, vaccuum florescent display showing tumbling characters--(the matrix "code") and a finger-print scanning system for booting the computer.


The baby's limbs move around when the animatronic system is activated, and the VFD also displays headline news, MP3 file info when playing MP3s, etc.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Print Your Own Phone Covers 

Nokia's newest 3200 phone Allows you to print your own phone covers. Pictures of the new phone are at Nokia's own site .

Wired Extreme Case Mods 

Wired magazine's collection of Extreme Case Mods! Gotta love the Bubba Mini-Keg!

Model Rocketry Cam 

Here's some interesting video from a camera mounted on a model rocket.

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