May 2008 Archives
The following episode guest stars alpha nerd Wil Wheaton, as a businessman trying to close a deal with Kiko:
Wii Fit is the name of the pack-in game that comes with the Wii Balance Board; like Wii Sports, Wii Fit includes a variety of games on the disc which include both more serious workout regimens as well as more game-like activities, such as tight-rope walking and slalom.
The Wii Balance board is essentially an electronic scale which measures your weight on each foot; thus the shifting of your weight is essentially what is being measured. After inputing some information to determine your BMI, the game tells you whether you are "underweight, normal, overweight or obese", and after a series of balance tests, it determines what your Wii Fit Age is.
As you can see, I scored 10 years over my actual age; this is not too bad, especially considering that Olympic athletes Heather O'Reilly and Heather Mitts on the Nintendo Channel) scored about the same on the initial run through.
I recommend Annie Leibovitz's book: A Photographer's Life: 1990-2005 instead of seeing the exhibition; the exhibition is merely a small subset of the photographs within the book.
Doctorow on why Little Brother was set in San Francisco:
Cory Doctorow on Citizen Journalism and Mass Media, and how the Internet is a collaboration tool:
Doctorow also showed off the book he was currently readingfor research as he is currently novelizing his short story Anda's Game. The book is "Socialism Is Great!": A Worker's Memoir of the New China by Lijia Zhang, which is a memoir of a woman who worked at a factory building intercontinental ballistic missiles in China.
The passage read is the same passage that has been read before, and will also be the same reading he's doing tonight at Borderland Books in San Francisco. He mentioned that one of the reasons why he reading the same passage throughout this portion of the book tour was to improve his performance of the reading.
Doctorow, after the reading also showed off his Steampunk watch made by Haruo Suekichi (one of two in the world), and demonstrated the "catapult" feature. He also explained that prior to posting the link on boingboing, he purchased one of the watches.
After answering a few more questions, he started signing books. The line went quickly, and when I got up there, I mentioned that I had been up by Mission Dolores Park earlier in the day, grabbing some ice cream, and he had mentioned that he had had lunch just a few blocks away at Cafe Gratitude, a raw food restaurant.
More videos in the extended.
For instance, while both services have a "Play Instant" feature, Greencine's selection is typically limited to classic movies, while Netflix's selection is a smaller subset of their DVD offerings; in addition, some of their instant-play selections are not yet offered on DVD. The major disadvantage of Netflix's service is simply that one must use Internet Explorer and a PC to view this content.
The one major feature that I miss about Greencine is their "Quick Return" feature. At anytime during your rental period, you can go online and mark a DVD "returned", and Greencine would send the next film on your queue. There's no similar service on Netflix, and I find that sometimes Netflix is not as fast on processing returns (due to them not sending out on weekends)
With Netflix's strength being the available on demand selection, it's no surprise that Netflix has announced a $99 set top box, which will deliver these movies on demand to the television. This market is obviously the battlefield in which Netflix will compete with TiVos, DVRs and AppleTV. The Netflix box has no hard drive, unlike the other options; the movie is streamed over the network.
With blu-Ray and HD-DVD essentially being rather unpopular formats, it may just be that consumers skip the format altogether and just move onto download streams.
Press Conference about the announcement, with some words by Gavin Newsom, Mayor of San Francisco (who also handed out marriage licenses in San Francisco a few years ago to gay couples):
In addition, Subterranean Press also has a special limited edition (numbered $250, lettered $900) of The Graveyard Book featuring illustrations from Dave McKean.
The mass market hardcover of The Graveyard Book features different illustrations (also by Dave McKean), and is much cheaper.
The edition of the book I am most interested in is actually the Bloomsbury children's edition illustrated by Chris Riddell. The Graveyard Book has a special place in my heart, as Gaiman first read a portion of the book at a reading in San Jose in 2006.
- 2 High Intensity Infrared LEDs (@$2.39 each)
- 1 4 AAA Battery Pack with on/off switch ($2.99)
- 1 47-ohm resistor (a pack of 5 for $0.99)
- a couple feet of insulated wire (a spool of 50 feet for $5)
The Wii sensor bar is simply two groupings of powered infrared LEDs which the Wii remote uses to triangulate its position relative to the screen; as such, a homemade sensor bar will also have two groupings of LEDs. I went ultra cheap and only used 2 LEDs, but it is possible to have more, the Nintendo Wii sensor bar uses 5 on each side, for a total of 10. The reason for this design is to create a bigger LED source for the Wii remote to detect. From my experimentation, the Wii remote seems to use ANY two LED sources to use to triangulate, meaning that if you space the LEDs too far apart, the control feedback of the Wii will not be smooth, because it will attempt to triangulate using the two LED points.
The sensor bar I built is a little bigger than the Nintendo supplied one, and actually looks quite slapped together (it's mounted on a cardboard box lid at the moment). I'll make a more polished sensor bar later, but for now, this works fine.
How to build the bar is actually pretty simple; from the power source, attach the resistor, and then run the LEDs in a series, and then complete the circuit by attaching the ground.
The racing in the movie feels like a Super Mario Cart track -- the one known as Rainbow Road, in which there are physics-defying elements to the course. I found myself entertained by the film, and bedazzled by the art direction; but this film is not for everyone. Speed Racer is solidly a children's film and will likely not appeal to those past the age of 12. The major problem of Speed Racer, and probably the major criticism of most film critics is simply that it is too juvenile.
Speed Racer definitely lacks the more sophisticated humor that makes children's films entertaining for adults. Speed Racer is definitely a film that is not to be taken seriously at all, but to be enjoyed just for the pure eye candy.
When the Cougar Ace nearly capsized two years ago, 4703 Mazdas were aboard, and rather than risk them finding their way onto market, Mazda devised a way to massively disassemble the damaged cars.
50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time... too much current and modern stuff in the list.
Maker Faire is this weekend
One of the small victories that Apple has won by doing this, of course, is making it easier for consumers to get the latest releases. Apple's rentals business is certainly interesting; most consumers want to pay to own their media, not rent it, and it is especially true for movies, but until Apple can get the AppleTV capturing the living room market, the way the iPod has captured consumers on the go, I just don't see downloadable video replacing DVD sales anytime soon; it may be for this reason that movie studios have gone ahead with this agreement; previously, DVD sales had a 30-45 day head start on iTunes, in order to preserve the revenue stream of DVD sales. I never saw this as much of a problem, as those who download and those who purchase DVDs are two entirely different audiences; the customers who purchase a DVD are different from those customers seeking to download a movie to watch on their computer. Until Apple can get iTunes onto the living room television, iTunes isn't really competition for DVD sales.