Why on God’s green Earth would MS change the location of display settings when it created Vista?!?! “hmmm, you know – display settings just seemed too logical. Let’s rename it Personalization just to confuse the hell out of everyone.”
i listen to my music w/ shure headphones – essentially ear buds w/ built-in ear plugs. that means that it blocks out pretty much all noise that isn’t coming from my ipod. that also means that i end up turning the volume down much lower than where people would normally keep their volume levels set at. waaaaay lower. like the absolute lowest possible volume setting before the ipod goes to mute. and that’s not low enough. while it’s great that apple has incorporated a volume limit so that people can stop themselves from blasting out their ear drums, it would be a nice feature if you could lower the ‘low’ volume threshold on the ipod/iphone (or any device for that matter) so that you can listen to your music as low as you want to go..
been back from a multi-week vacation: moving my sister from boston to ny, graduation, camping in utah. all that remains for another post. in the meantime, the iphone hype continues to build. here are some great vids:
iChat works w/ .mac, AIM, and jabber. Gmail chat works though the jabber network. no other networks are supported. i really like the iChat interface, but the ability to video conference still does not work across networks. that means if i want to video conference w/ AIM, i need an AIM client; same for Yahoo and MSN. Skype is also obviously standalone. it would be so nice if i could do video chats w/ a Yahoo buddy while using AIM through iChat. in fact, it would first just be nice to be able to chat w/ a Yahoo buddy through iChat. there are other clients that provide multi-network accessibility, such as the wonderful Adium. there are also websites that provide the same service right w/in the browser, such as Meebo. but none of them allow of video yet. so as it stands, video remains a cool feature but rarely used.
to fix that, it would be great if Apple would configure iChat such that people could write plugins to allow connection to other networks and additional features. maybe it is configured in such a way and nobody’s stepped up for all i know (knowing the Mac community, i doubt that’s the case). Google Talk is open network – anybody can connect to their network assuming they use the same protocol. so add a Google Talk module to iChat – in fact, considering the strengthening Apple/Google alliance, i’d be surprised if such connectivity did not appear pretty soon. anyway, the ultimate point of this rant is to open iChat to all the chatting networks and to develop inter-network video connectivity.
i promised myself that i’d reward myself w/ a wii when i got a job, and this past week i accepted a position that i’m pretty psyched about. but i won’t talk about work b/c i already posted about it earlier, and the important item in this post is the nintendo wii. i started getting concerned earlier this week about the availability of wii, knowing they’ve been selling like hotcakes. so i started calling around – best buy has a 3 month wait before they’re restocking. that’s what i was told, at least, when i called – i can’t believe that for a second. nonetheless, it showed that wii’s are currently hard to come by. so i called gamestop, usually a sure bet for the pulse of the gaming industry, and sure enough they had wii’s in stock. and so i put off buying one until the weekend. bad move. every single gamestop in austin is sold out of wii’s (except for the last one i called, which is selling refurbished wii’s w/o wii sports – deal breaker right there). now i’m on a calling mission to every store that might have a wii in stock. gamestop. target. fry’s. game crazy. toys ‘r’ us. even walmart. the operators keep telling me to call back in 2-3 weeks, but they obviously have no idea what waiting for a wii does to one’s psyche. only gamestop gets a weekly restock, but they don’t know which day. that makes every day a harrowing crapshoot. a certain target says that their weekly ads are advertising for wii’s this sunday, so that’s the most promising lead i have right now.
in my search for nintendo wii, i used google maps’ click to call feature. i’ve used it before, think it’s great, can’t wait for it to be integrated w/ gmail, and let me tell you – when you’re calling 35 places w/in 10 min, an auto-pilot calling feature rocks.
let me preface this post by saying that the studios’ pushing of a new dvd standard once regular dvd had finally gotten hold of the market is ridiculous. nobody asked for it, nobody really wanted it, and it is the wrong format entirely (apple tv, anyone?). i’m pretty sure that toshiba and sony got together w/ the tv manufacturers (sony and toshiba) and said – “hey let’s stick a new video format on the world. it doesn’t matter that dvd is still gaining a foothold – let’s push a new round of hardware and make them all repurchase their videos – again!” so that’s how that happened. but then along the way, sony and toshiba decided to create 2 different standards. of course there’s no compromise that would make it easy on the consumer, even tho there was a brief time about a year ago where that almost happened. the last time sony attempted this, they got rocked in the vhs v. beta-max war. the difference in their winning this time around (which they will) is 2 fold.
- sony has (or soon will have) a huge base of ps3’s in living rooms across the world. xbox 360 is supporting hd-dvd, but that’s a separate dvd player that you need to purchase and hook up. i believe that ps3 plays blu-ray natively. either way, both ps3 and xbox 360 suck next to nintendo wii, which is whooping both of them (although oddly enough ps2 is still outselling all of the next gen consoles – who knew?)
- the name blu-ray is more appealing than hd-dvd. this is why i wrote this post in the first place, and it’s something i’ve mentioned to friends several times over the last 2 years. it’s as simple as the name – blu-ray is a good name, and hd-dvd is not. blu-ray is an object, hd-dvd is a video standard. blu-ray is sexy, hd-dvd is a wart. blu-ray is new, hd-dvd sounds like an update to dvd. blu-ray is exciting, hd-dvd is dull. if you had to give personalities to these ridiculous naming schemes, blu-ray would be apple and hd-dvd would be microsoft. hd-dvd – how much more unimaginative can you get?
i couldn’t log onto my MSN IM account through Meebo today – it said my password was incorrect. that’s pretty odd since i haven’t changed it. so i decided to try to log in to any MSN page that uses Passport, the username and password system for most Microsoft services. i immediately found that MSN provides a web based messenger, but lo and behold! what a shock! i could not log on b/c i WASN’T RUNNING WINDOWS. microsoft continues to baffle me for the way they alienate users. instant messaging is an internet platform. it is not, ideally, platform specific. there are loads of different clients out there already that allow you to log into nearly every IM service, and microsoft does, in fact, put out an MSN Messenger client for Mac – though why anyone would use it when there are lighter and cleaner options like adium (which connects you to nearly every IM service in existence) is beyond me. so why stop there? why put the restraint on web users that you be using windows in order to access the web messenger?! the whole point of web based apps is that they are accessible anywhere, from any platform!
here’s the message from the MSN web messenger site:
You must have the following to use MSN Web Messenger:
- A web browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 or later, Netscape 7.1 or later, or Mozilla 1.6 or later, running in Microsoft Windows.
- An Internet connection (56 Kbps or faster recommended)
- A Microsoft® .NET Passport. If you have a hotmail.com or msn.com account, you already have a Passport.
- Popups enabled for this web site if you are using popup blocker software like the MSN Toolbar