Archive for March, 2007

PogueIf you, like me, have been a Mac user for a few years, you might remember the days when David Pogue appeared in intro movies on the MacWorld magazine cover disks. Nowadays, as you all know, he’s a tech columnist for the New York Times. While most of you will no doubt associate the NYT with a paper, Pogue also has a little video podcast up and running, where he gives, I assume, quick summaries of his more thorough reviews. Each episode is short (2-3 minutes), but filled with his signature humor. I love it, but then I’m also a geek. Could we call Pogue the east coast brother of Leo Laporte? What are you waiting for, subscribe (iTunes link)!

 

Kritter-Vs-Tripod

I was stupid enough to sell my iSight back right after they were discontinued, thinking I would for sure get one built-in on my next Mac, being it a MacBook, or an iMac. Now however, I’m leaning more and more towards a Mac Pro (just waiting for a refresh). So then what? I could get an Xbox Live Vision camera… but first I wanted to try out an old iRez Kritter USB I had laying around. Not only is it old (the color is all the proof you need), I never remember it as being very good either. Not to mention it looks way too much like the tripod from War Of The Worlds! Still, if it means I can avoid a new investment, that would be nice. So let’s see how it looks in my WELL LIT LIVING ROOM….

Crappy-Webcam

Right. I think I’ll be getting the Xbox Live Vision.

 

My dentist just told me to drink beer and eat milk chocolate. Obviously my teeth weren’t doing too well…

 

Sennheiserargon2
So you’re walking around with your fancy white earbuds, letting everyone know just how much you love your iPod. But have you ever stopped and thought for a second: is this the reason I paid a premium for an Apple-branded product? Because it isn’t. The included earbuds are crap. And I mean crap. When you pay hundreds of dollars for a music player, wouldn’t it be stupid to ruin the experience with crappy earbuds, when you can take it to the next level for as little as $15?

Hallvard with his shiny old nano (yours truly only touting a shiny ancient mini), let me know the “new and improved” earbuds from Apple, are in fact “new and improved”. No, not the ones bundled with the “new and multi colored shuffles”, the old new ones. That probably made no sense at all, but Apple made some changes along the way. While I can’t speak for Apple on matters else than the buds that came with my mini, I know for a fact they sucked.

So a year ago or so, I picked up a cheap set from Scandinavian chain Hi-Fi Klubben. They have their own brand named Argon, which is basically a re-branding of cheap, but still good, OEM products. And let’s face it: what ISN’T OEM these days? The Argon EP4001 earbuds retail for 98 NOK (≈$16) at their stores, which I would consider the lower end of the scale. They don’t give much information about their origins, obviously, but let slip that another “big” player in the earbuds market sells the same buds for three times the price. It didn’t take much digging to find that these pieces look EXACTLY like the Sennheiser MX500‘s, and indeed I found those for as much as 295 NOK online, even though I also found them as low as 149 NOK. Still, a pretty good deal I think.

Last week, I came across a great deal on the Koss SPARKPLUG (129 NOK). “Might as well give them a try”, I thought. I’ve been running some strictly non-scientific tests on them today, comparing them to the Sennheisers, errr, Argons. The SPARKPLUG seems more crisp, and also seems to be able to keep a higher volume level without distortion. The Argons on the other hand, seem to have more punch to the bass. I’ve been switching back and forth here, and it really is hard to compare the two. All I know is they both put Apples buds to shame. If I had to pick one however, I think I would go with the SPARKPLUG. The sound is clearer and more realistic. They also fit better in the ear, don’t fall out as easily, and are more comfortable to wear over a prolonged period of time.

While I can certainly recommend the SPARKPLUG, the objective of this post is not really to make you get one specific set of new earbuds, but rather to tell you to throw your freebies in the trash. While you can argue that Apples earbuds are part of the price you pay for the iPod itself, and that they actually cost quite a lil slump of money if you want a new set (249 NOK / $29), I can promise you they are thrown in for free! The SPARKPLUG can be had for a lousy $15 from Koss.com, and is an upgrade worthwhile.

Goodbye luxury brand, hello Koss. Why do I always seem to be coming back for ya?

 

Bad movies

25Mar07

Continuing with movies…

Last Saturday I went to see Epic Movie. I was expecting it to be “ok”. The trailer was funny, and I also enjoyed all the Scary Movies. It actually turned out better than what I was expecting! Yep, I’m probably the only person on earth to say this, but I liked it. Was it “awesome”? Probably not, but definitely better than the 1s and 2s the big newspapers were giving it on the dice. Shame on you!

Another bad movie I saw recently, was Battle Royale II. This one however, was physically bad. As in the disk was broken. I had been waiting for the movie for 3 months (it was out of stock when I ordered), and I was looking forward to see it one evening. I started watching it, but suddenly my DVD player froze. I tried a couple more times, but it kept freezing at the exact same spot, and the drive was making some weird noises. Tried it in a different player, same thing. Solution was to skip to the next chapter right before the “trouble spot”. Missed about 5 minutes of action.

So I thought about returning it, after all you can’t have a broken disk on your shelf now can you? Only problem was it was sent from the UK (courtesy of Play.com), plus it was quite cheap too. So, I ended up just ordering a new copy, and even outdid myself and got the 3 disk collectors edition! Movies are quite simply too cheap…

 

Bee movie

23Mar07

So Dreamworks has a new animated movie coming out, featuring the voice of none other than Jerry Seinfeld. It’s called Bee Movie, and the trailer takes quite a different approach then what I’m used to… I love it.

Also, trailers for Shrek 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean 3 are up. Why are we only getting sequels nowadays?

 

Hallvard links to Bum Rush the Charts, and wonders what impact it will have.

Basically, this is a campaign (don’t forget the Shutdown Day campaign either!) designed to “strike fear into the hearts of the music industry and make an independent music artist #1 on iTunes”. Right. But how you ask?

All they ask if that you on March 22nd log onto the iTunes Store and purchase “Mine Again” by the band Black Lab. Taking this independent band to the top of the sales chart (for one day) is somehow supposed to make the big companies shiver in fear?

But hold your hat, there is more. They even promise to give away 50% of the earnings to college scholarships. How noble.

They also ask that you help out by digging their story, giving EVERY BLOG ENTRY a thumbs up at stumbleupon, as well as watching 3 different YouTube videos and rating them with 5 stars.

So what impact WILL IT HAVE, Hallvard? Lots and lots of money in the pockets of an indie artist, if all goes according to plan. Besides that… not much I guess. And no, I’m not paid by the RIAA to write this.

 

Blogger-WheelchairSo have you ever encountered this screen when posting a comment on Blogger? I have, and I’ve always wondered why I would like to place an order for a wheelchair while I’m there! Ok, so let’s say the button is NOT for ordering a wheelchair, what else could it be? Well, I sat back and got to thinking. Where had I seen this symbol before? Right, on toilets that are wheelchair accessible! So was Blogger a toilet full of crappy comments? Or was it wheelchair accessible? Neither!

After a nights sleep, it dawned on me it might not symbolize anything related to wheelchairs at all. Maybe it was simply a symbol for “disabled” people? You know, like hearing impaired, or blind people. Yep, I study design so I know how it’s important to make websites accessible for people who for instance rely on speech/sound to “read” a website (remember to tag all navigation elements with alt-text people!). Knowing it doesn’t mean I follow through with it though 😉

So, while I know how important it is to make things accessible for a small group of people, I don’t really understand how it works. If you can’t hear, how will pushing the wheelchair help you? And if you can’t see, how will you know to push the wheelchair? Best of all, pushing it does NOTHING! No sound, no graphics, no nothing!

Good work Google! I’ll be ordering my wheelchair now…

 

3 4 Front 800X600
Ooh a sports car! Well yes, but this one runs on clean and pure electricity! 100%!
I’m all for electric cars. That’s something you expect to hear from ordinary people, but not from people who truly care about cars. Well I do, and I still would love to have an electric car. Some time…
I mean the Prius looks terrible, and is definitely no car for a real man. And having to charge the car every now and then, with nowhere to find an outlet. It’s not ready for prime time. Except for if you have the Tesla Roadster. It looks stunning! And it does 0 to 60 mph (or 0 to 100 km/h) in 4 seconds! It also does 250 miles, or roughly 400 kilometers, per charge. Not shabby. Best part: it’s not a concept! You can buy one right away (if you can afford the base price of $92,000)!
I can agree with most people that now is not the time to get an electric car. But: if I could get a car that looks the same as the one I have, with the same performance, the same price and easy access to charging – of course I would rather pick one that runs on electricity than gas or diesel. Imagine pushing the pedal down and feeling the boost without the noise. A completely silent car. Just the sound of tires on road. I think it would be really weird in the beginning, but oh man what a joy it would be.
Future looks bright 🙂

 

Shaye-CloneI was browsing everymac.com the other day, when I stumbled upon the section of Mac clones. Shaye was a Motorola-sublicensee, selling Mac clones in the UK back in 1997. Something about their model names was just a bit too familiar however…

Which of these computers would you have picked?

Cheetah 200 (OS X 10.0 code name)
Puma 200 (OS X 10.1 code name)
Jaguar 200 (OS X 10.2 code name)
Panther 200 (OS X 10.3 code name)
Tiger 200 (OS X 10.4 code name)
Leopard 200 (OS X 10.5 code name)

The only model names not yet made into a version of OS X are Lion and Lynx. Which one do you think will be OS X 10.6?

 

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