Archive for 2007

Why My Mom Loves Guitar Hero

Monday, December 31st, 2007

This year for Thanksgiving, I brought home a Wii, including the never-opened, much buzzed-about Guitar Hero III.

My family, particularly my mom (who is decidedly not a gamer), took to it immediately. Mom’s unexpected enthusiasm and enjoyment of the Wii prompted my Dad to make seven trips to Target in a quest to bring back the holy grail of gaming consoles for the holidays. Lo and behold, Christmas morning, Santa had placed a Wii under the trii, and fun was had by all.

Why — when no other gaming system has come close to tempting her — does my mom like rockin’ out on the fake guitar till her fingers are sore and smashing my dad to pieces with her speed-of-light serves in Wii Sports tennis?

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Supply Your Office for Less! Circa 1992.

Friday, December 14th, 2007

Looking for some computer equipment for that ‘webmaster’ in your life? In need of some downgrades for the office, perhaps? Check out these phenomenal deals this week at your local BIZMART, your one-stop shop for all of your hardware and software needs! Don’t let these specials pass by – A MUST SEE!

NOTE: ArcStone card shown to prove authenticity of photos.
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Parting ways with ActionScript 2.0; one last experiment

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

Several months ago, I had the privilege of attending Flashbelt, a 3-Day conference on Adobe Flash capable of dropping the jaws of enthusiasts and critics alike. One of the hottest topics of the conference was the release of Flash CS3, and with it, the new and improved ActionScript 3.0. The new version boasted enhancements performance, features and overall sophistication. The catch was that there were significant changes in the class structure and approach to common tasks.

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Mighty Fairly on MTV’s Real World : Sydney

Friday, December 7th, 2007

Our friend Mischa over at James J Hill Library has been working hard inside and outside of the library. In his free time he is dedicated to touring and promoting his band, “Mighty Fairly.”

While working at home the other night my ears perked up when I heard a familiar tune coming from our TV, so I popped into the living room to investigate. My wife was watching MTV’s Real World (sorry honey, your secret is out) and sure enough Mighty Fairly’s track Wake Up was featured as part of the soundtrack. I was excited to share this discovery with Mischa who wasn’t yet aware. see it here, Episode 17, Real World Sydney. Mischa discovered that another track is featured later in the episode too.

I am proud to have designed the Mighty Fairly web site - have a look around to learn more about the band and listen to some tunes. They are a fun and talented bunch.

Stuck for Gift Ideas? Just Plain Lazy? Try Some Gift Generators

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

gift_generator.jpg

Holiday consumerism is once again in full swing. How’s your gift list looking? Even if you’re not the thoughtful type, you might be able to pull off a decent gift with a little help from the gift generators.

All I Want Christmas Gift Finder. My favorite. You select your favorite visuals in order to refine your gift selection. The gifts seem pretty random to me, but I like the odd collection. You can also use this to send your wish list to someone else.

Gifts.com Gift Finder. Another search that prompts you visually. More of quirky, off-beat gift ideas.

Overstock Gift Finder. Eh, not so impressive. The same items kept coming up when I chose different options. But they’re cheap!

Find Gift. Decent. I liked the “Make Your Own Hot Sauce” kit that came up.

Present Picker. This one has more variables than most of the other generators. Changing the variables changes the gift ideas significantly, which suggests to me that the gift database is pretty big.

I see another use for Wonderfile. Imagine searching the ultimate gift library and watching your customized results filter up as you carefully choose your tags….

A High-Tech Thanksgiving Is Better, More Dangerous, More Fattening

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Everything evolves, even Thanksgiving. This year a host of high-tech achievements are enhancing the experience of gorging on food and avoiding weird relatives.

Turducken – a chicken stuffed in a duck stuffed in a turkey. Truly the pinnacle of bird-based meat dishes.

Turkey Deep Fryer
– make your own deep fried turkey with this all-in-one system. Be careful though, heating a huge vat of flammable liquid to high temperatures can be dangerous.

Smoked Beer Can Turkey
– this stroke of genius combines turkey, beer, and several scientific principles to infuse your meal with beer flavor.

All I Want for Christmas Is Ion-Clean Teeth

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

toothbrush-guy.jpgTwo or three holiday seasons ago, everybody was buying battery-operated toothbrushes for their loved ones. I didn’t get one (I guess no one cares about my oral hygiene) and I still use a manual brush.

Now gift-givers have another opportunity to give the gift of clean teeth. The latest toothbrush technology has evolved to the point where toothpaste may no longer be necessary. The Soladey Titanium Toothbrush runs on saliva, light, and a titanium core.

Here’s a description of how it works from Soladey.com:

Soladey looks like an ordinary toothbrush, but closer examination reveals a titanium (metal) ionic conducting rod, which runs through the replaceable bristle head and into the handle. This rod is the secret to Soladey. It’s made of a patented solar conducting material that allows light, by photoelectric activity, to be converted into a natural energy source which kills the harmful bacteria in your mouth.

The downside? You have to shove a light bulb in your mouth in order to activate the cleaning process. And make sure you have plenty of spit.

If you’re into marketing, compare the Australian Soladey site with the US version. In America, nothing encourages good hygiene like a bodacious babe weilding titanium toothbrushes.

Point and Click Your Way to Astronomical Knowledge

Friday, November 16th, 2007

warbler.jpg
Whenever hawk migration season comes around, my Dad says, “I want a pair of binoculars that tells you what bird you’re looking at.” Not a bad idea. I’ve heard even the most avid birders bemoan the difficulties of identifying “little brown jobs” (LBJs), a catch-all name for any of the thousands of small brown birds which are indistinguishable to the vast majority of us.

Star identification is undoubtedly astronomically more difficult than decoding the minute variations of LBJs. There are billions upon billions of stars, and unless you have access to the Giant Magellan Telescope, they’re going to look pretty darn similar to one another.

There is no longer a need to be intimidated by the million twinkling lights in the sky. The new Meade MySKY Sky Navigator is a silvery-gray gun-like apparatus with Nintendo-esque red buttons that you can point and shoot at the sky to learn about the cosmos.

It’s not a telescope; it’s a GPS system and database. You can hook it up to Meade’s computerized telescopes to have your telescope automatically align to where you point your star gun.

I would have loved this gift when I was a young’un. If you really loved your star-loving kid, you’d buy it — just don’t look at the price tag.

Paid Search Takes On New Meaning

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

Poor Microsoft. They’re so desperate to get a better grip on the search market that they’re paying people to use their engine. It’s called the Live Search Trial Program. Yup – Microsoft’s new big bad search strategy isn’t a new algorithm or a better user interface. Instead, Microsoft is bribing you with prizes.

Nice try, Microsoft. I might have given your engine a little love just to win a prize, but I can’t even figure out how to participate in the program. Do I have to be a Hotmail user?

I’d rather try Blingo, powered by Google’s search engine (although Google’s universal search features are somewhat depreciated in Blingo’s interface). For 25 searches a day, you are automatically entered to win a prize on Blingo. When you refer your friends, any prize they win, you win as well.

BlingoFeel free to be one of my friends…. :)

The Google + 700Mhz + Sprint Love Triangle

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

Google 700Mhz

Oh what fevered dreams bid to rip the cellular industry a twain? With Google’s new mobile OS out, talks about a 700Mhz bidding war, and a possible Sprint acquisition rumor, the wireless industry is becoming very interesting.

Content providers like Google are increasingly becoming worried over being squeezed by network owners, and with the recent Comcast debacle, Google’s fears are appearing well-founded. The major network owners could destroy content providers’ revenue models if the cost to reach customers skyrockets.

Owning their own networks is the best insurance policy content providers can have, and Google knows this. My guess is, when everything shakes out, Google will own one or more major pathway to its customer. It may be cellular, land-based fiber, or a combination.