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Damn you Microsoft!

May 8, 2009 Leave a comment

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.”

Categories: frustration, tech

ipod request: the exact opposite of volume limit

October 27, 2008 Leave a comment

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..

Categories: music, tech

iphone videos

June 8, 2007 Leave a comment

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:

Categories: creative, haha, media, tech

iChat and chatting networks

May 14, 2007 1 comment

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.

Categories: tech, web

must find nintendo wii!

April 27, 2007 5 comments

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.

Categories: media, tech

blu-ray’s gonna win next-gen dvd war

April 23, 2007 1 comment

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.

  1. 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?)
  2. 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?

blu-ray is outselling hd-dvd w/ 70% high-def video market share.

Categories: media, tech

MSN Web Messenger: the antithesis of a web app

April 12, 2007 Leave a comment

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
Categories: tech, web, WTF?

death of DRM

April 2, 2007 Leave a comment

hot damn – EMI announced w/ Steve Jobs that the entire EMI catalog will be available  for DRM-free download at $1.29/song – a $0.30 markup over the traditional DRM-laden $0.99/song.  you can also upgrade from DRM-laden to non-DRM for an additional $0.30.  all songs will be available in DRM’ed versions as well.  this comes just months after Jobs called for the demise of DRM – which Bill Gates also did, but nobody really pays attention to his take since Microsoft’s music products are inconsequential; we know Jobs was pushing behind the scenes, Gates probably not so much.

EMI and Apple release DRM-free music [TechCrunch]

Categories: media, music, tech

touch screen Macs?

March 13, 2007 Leave a comment

i was just thinking about the iPhone, and how ridiculously packed w/ new technology it is. that touchscreen alone is a mega-leap over similar products on the market. and then i realized that it’s just a short jump to get that touchscreen from the iPhone to other Apple products, and Apple must obviously be thinking the same thing. are there other brand new products on the horizon incorporating the touchscreen? better yet, is it going to somehow be incorporated into future Mac computers? there is going to be some seriously interesting innovation coming from Apple soon, methinks…

UPDATE: maybe they read my post and got an idea to write an article of their own – AppleInsider has a post on this exact same topic. actually, their post date is earlier than mine, but i didn’t see it until just now…

Categories: creative, tech

Spanning Sync and Scrybe

March 9, 2007 1 comment

some time ago i posted about how it would be great to have a desktop client that syncs w/ google calendar. that product is now available in public beta (though i’ve been testing it out since private beta – yay me) in the form of Spanning Sync. i’ve installed numerous beta builds of the spanning sync client as it’s fixed bugs and become more robust. i absolutely love it. Spanning Sync very simply does automatic bi-directional syncs of iCal on the Mac with google calendar. no buttons to press. what you create in iCal shows up in google calendar and vice-versa. Spanning Sync is now up to its 16th beta build, and supposedly the next version will be the final version ready for mass consumption. since i started using Spanning Sync, i’ve pretty much spent most of my calendaring time in iCal, and only opened up google calendar when i wasn’t on my own computer.

i also just received my invitation the other day to join Scrybe, another new online calendaring app. it has a great hype video (on their homepage, take a watch) and has been written up in loads of places. i’ve been eager to try it out. it’s big deal is how it shows your events in context – basically you look at the month view, but you generally only see events. well, w/ Scrybe, you can click on that day’s events and it gets larger so that you can see all of the times. all of the other day boxes in the month view shrink to accomodate this. there are to-do lists, multiple color coded calendars, and a few more goodies. i’ve actually been having a hard time w/ Scrybe – i think it could use a really good designer. you need that contextual view w/in Scrybe b/c it’s near impossible to understand anything going on in the month view – all of the events seem to bleed together. google calendar and iCal have this view down much better. if you combined the month view from gCal and iCal w/ Scrybe, then perhaps you’d have something. a really cool feature of Scrybe, though, is its printing options: you can select to print up your events and to do lists on a sheet of paper, and then it tells you how to fold it up so that it fits in your pocket. that’s great if you don’t have a PDA or blackberry or your computer around.

overall, i think i’m pretty happy w/ Spanning Sync and see no reason to switch to a different platform.  it would be great, though, if iCal or gCal (or both) took a hint from some of Scrybe’s feature set.

Categories: tech, web, work