Archive for November, 2006

Official iPhone Speculation Thread

November 30th, 2006, 10:33pm by Mike

I think we’re gonna need one of these to handle the rumors, news, and stray thoughts surrounding Apple’s likely foray into the mobile phone world. What’s it gonna be like? When will it ship? How much will it cost? Will it play back downloaded DRM’ed iTunes video content? Will it be GSM only (at first), as has been reported? Will any of us buy one? Will it be out for more than a week before one of us buys one?
So far, taking into account what I’ve read, we’re looking at a candy-bar, iTunes-capable “phone” (i.e., not “smartphone”, no QWERTY or touchscreen) that will probably have some slick, white casing to look much like an iPod. I imagine it will play well with all of Apple’s apps (iSync for iCal and Address Book, as well as integration with Mail and iPhoto). Other than that, there’s a lot of things that are in the air. There are definitely those out there who are naysayers (like Ed Colligan of Palm), and fearless defenders like John Gruber and Ryan Block who put Ed back in his place.
To get the ball rolling, there’s an article on one of the O’Reilly sites that’s interesting. If you can get through the writing style, what the guy is saying is that we need a “Mobile MacOS,” and he makes the case that with Palm moving in uncertain directions and Windows Mobile generally being difficult to use on a phone, there’s an opportunity for somebody to make a new mobile OS that “just works.”
I’m sure we’ll get to filling this up toward January…

Kinoma Player & Media Guide

November 30th, 2006, 4:49pm by Jake

We touched on this yesterday and earlier, but this deserves its own post. Kinoma is a long-time Palm app that Kelvin has been promoting for years, and the YouTube thing was enough to get me to buy it– $25 one time is a much better deal than Verizon’s $15/month! TinyTube looks good, but the on-the-fly transcoding has been busy every time I’ve tried.
So I discovered some more really cool features. The Kinoma Media Guide provides an excellent interface to many spoken word, music & video sites such as NPR, YouTube, ESPN Radio & more. I also saw an option to view photocasts, so I tried an experiment. I bookmarked the URL for the RSS feed of my Flickr photos, and Kinoma views them no problem. That’s a nice feature for me. I’m now convinced there’s even more good stuff under the hood just waiting to be discovered. I’ll try to post some screenshots later.

It’s About Time!

November 30th, 2006, 1:07am by Jake

Finally, someone is standing up to the fake guacamole industry. From the LA Times article,

On Wednesday, a Los Angeles woman sued the Northfield, Ill., food company, alleging that it committed fraud by calling its dip guacamole. Her lawyer says suits against other purveyors of “fake guacamole” will be filed soon. The suit highlights the liberty some food companies take in labeling their products. If consumers read the fine print, they would discover that Kraft Dips Guacamole contains less than 2 percent avocado. But few do. California avocado growers, who account for 95 percent of the U.S. avocado crop, said they didn’t know that store-bought guacamole contains little of their produce.

UCSD on the Small Screen

November 29th, 2006, 12:43am by Kelvin

Check out the opening sequence to tonight’s Veronica Mars (warning, 30MB mpg file). Apparently, her (soon-to-be) ex-boyfriend Logan is a bioengineer. If we look closely, we might catch a glimpse of our Legacy Brick (j/k).
Click here for a YouTube link (especially for you, Jake).

Busted TV, New TV

November 26th, 2006, 6:55pm by Jake

TV all packed up
So as I got up this morning to watch NFL pre-game this morning, and after about 5 minutes the TV shut off, broken. The power supply must have crapped out or something. Since I had bought it at Costco, I returned it for a full refund, and expected to replace it with the current model or maybe the 42″ version. However, it was offered online only. So with my $1973 in Costco credit, I went home to buy it online. A quick check of showed that a similar TV, from Westinghouse, could be had for only $1000 shipped from Crutchfield, $300 less than the total Costco price. I decided that this deal might not last, so I just ordered it. I would have liked to buy from Costco again, but this price was too good. A little disappointed that I couldn’t watch the Pats-Bears showdown in HD this week, but it’s working out OK. I pocketed almost $1000, plus there were several annoying quirks on the Sceptre. I’ll have to check out this 150 page thread on AVS Forums to see if there’s any reason I should cancel the order.

Inventor of the Year

November 25th, 2006, 3:55am by Jake

So a Torrance student won the 2006 Collegiate Inventors Competition. He’s a bioengineering grad student at UC Berkeley who created a vascular graft using adult stem cells and a polymer mesh. The article won’t last long at The Daily Breeze, so I’ve copied the whole thing below. Derrick should be proud to know that he wants to become a marketer upon graduation.



November 21st, 2006, 8:10am by Mike

Have any of you tried out eMusic? It’s a subscription service that appears to offer non-DRM’ed MP3 files (192k), with terms that allow unlimited burning and sharing. Subscriptions start at $10 for 40 downloads, so it’s not too expensive (compared to other legal alternatives). While their selection is no iTMS, it’s not too bad. I’ve just started to look into it — any thoughts?

Black Friday

November 21st, 2006, 1:22am by Jake

So it’s almost the official start of the holiday shopping season, kicking off the day after Thanksgiving on Black Friday. I’ve seen deals floating around for 37″ LCD TVs well under $1000, the limited XBox 360 for $100 deal on Amazon and many others. Anyone seen any killer deals out there we gotta know about? Who’s looking for what?

Tough loss

November 20th, 2006, 12:32am by Derrick


Brandon did his part today as a faithful member of the ‘nation’ by cheering on the team. Evidently, the competition had their own faithful fan in their corner and that was enough to hand yet another defeat to the Silver and Black.

Coincidently, Brandon’s other favorite team has a similar record to the Raiders. Funny how that is…

Guitar Hero II

November 18th, 2006, 10:41pm by Jake

Matt & Brett face off
Guitar Heroes

So last night some friends from work came over to my place & we had a Guitar Hero party. Guitar Hero II is a PS2 (and soon XBox 360) game that lets you be the rock star. It’s hard to describe, but you can see some examples over on YouTube, or read the Wikipedia entry. The night got off to a good start, but we ran into some obstacle when we realized the wireless guitar we bought (for 2-player gaming) was incompatible with Guitar Hero II. We soldiered on, and made a quick run to the new BestBuy that just opened up across the street from Fry’s in the new Plaza El Segundo, soon to be home to the largest Whole Foods west of the Mississippi.
There, we picked up the React Rocker wireless guitar, which we is compatible with Guitar Hero II. Unfortunately, the thing wouldn’t power on! Here’s a picture of Brett trying to diagnose the problem. One more trip to BestBuy, where our couriers bought another React Rocker & an extra copy of Guitar Hero II just in case. So in all, we bought 5 guitars! This time, the wireless guitar worked, and the rest was history. The game was lots of fun & everyone enjoyed it, even those who just chose to watch. Loads of fun, and highly recommended. More pictures here.

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