To those who weren't able to watch the video in Gizmodo (the video was taken down) and are stuck with Brian Lam's Rebagging (with the apology) video. You can also view the video in Gizmodo's Australian site here. For you YouTube lovers here's the link.
I personally don't mind that Brian throws the stuff around. Most of them where in their packaging and wouldn't suffer any damage anyway. And c'mon... It's not like its our swag bag to touch and cherish right??? Give the man a break!
Monday, September 24, 2007
Back in 2005, I wrote a column depicting a day in a fictitious world without. Now I want to turn the tables and imagine a world without Apple.
I arrive at the office, courier bag slung over one shoulder, Peet's coffee in one hand. It feels earlier than it is, probably because I'd been working on deadline until late in the evening.
The problem with writing about home computers is keeping track of all of them. There are times I wish a single home computer standard existed, but that's a pipe dream. Still, HC's have come a long way since the early days of the Altair and Compupro boxes.
When I arrive at the office, several large boxes are awaiting me. The new Harmon Kardon home entertainment computer is in one of the boxes. Harmon is trying to establish a new category, the "HEC". I say, towith it. Who wants to get locked into one type of media, when the CD is perfectly adequate? The Harmon PR rep had spoken eloquently about how transferring the music from a CD to the built into the Harmon HEC meant you could have as many as thirty CDs on tap at any one time. But once in the HEC, you couldn't get the music out, locking you into Harmon gear forever.
I plopped myself down at my desk and pulled out the Tandy NB5000 portable computer. It's a neat device, not much bigger than a large paper notebook, with an 80-column LCD screen. It had been a long, arduous process getting the Ziff-Davis IT department to approve the Radio Shack NBCs. Apparently, buying the utility software to convert the text format to something the DEC minicomputers could recognize was expensive.
I found myself wishing that one of the big computer companies had dived into the market for HCs, but alas, they had ceded the territory to the big consumer electronics companies., , NEC and others had gobbled up companies like Amiga, Atari, and the various CP/M hardware companies in the late 1980's, and proceeded to deliver dozens of different HCs. It was really a hobbyists dream and nightmare both. All the different devices were pretty cool—except that getting your data from one to another was a real mess.
This was all exacerbated by the dozen or so companies building microprocessors for HCs, all of which had different instruction sets, different word lengths and different bit order. But it was job security for writers like me, who could make sense of it all to end users. No one company had gained enough traction to set a single standard.
I read over my roundup on the latest 200MB magneto-optical drives, then transferred it to the 5MB floppy built into the side of the NBC. The NEC unit was clearly best, but Sony's was a close second, due to its support for both the standard 200MB format and a Sony proprietary format that was also 200MB. However, the proprietary format could store up to twenty minutes of video, making it a sort of poor man's Laserdisc. I popped out the floppy drive and walked over to our production team.
The roundup needed to be edited, then formatted for the various electronic mail blasts as well as the print version. We had four people dedicated to reformatting the text into formats that the various mail readers on the several dozen HCs could understand.
I returned to my office just as the phone rang. It was Steve, a PR rep from a new company starting up Santa Clara. "Hey, we have a pretty neat gadget. It's about the size of a cassette Walkman, but uses a tiny MO drive to hold three hours of music. It only weighs about eight ounces. Want to check it out?"
"Sure," I said. "Might be a cool gadget for our holiday gift guide."
"One other thing. I've picked up a new account. They're building these HCs using off-the-shelf components and the same magnetic disk technology used in minicomputers and mainframes. It even runs a kind of UNIX."
I sighed. "How much does it cost."
"That's the great part. It's under $10,000."
"Steve, that's too much for most families."
"Hey, it's really cool. You know, Loyd, you've got to learn to think different."
You might wonder how this rather bleak scenario might exist if Apple had never come to pass. Despite not being a Mac user, it's my belief that Apple acted as a catalyst for the industry. Prior to Apple, there were a host of home computers and business-oriented PCs, either running proprietaryor some variant of CP/M. But even CP/M machines often couldn't talk to each other.
Had there never been an Apple, the IBM PC may never have emerged, which then set off the tidal wave of innovation + standardization that allows us to have cheap PC technology today. Apple has had a tremendous impact, both directly through its suberb industrial design and efforts to simplify technology, and indirectly, by stimulating competition that eventually resulted in the PC ecosystem we have today. What do you think?
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
We're not sure what's wrong with the old drugs-up-the-anus technique, but a Malaysian businessman tried to smuggle 2 kg worth of heroin inside two laptops. Where he went wrong was using two incredibly old laptops instead of something current, and well, looking suspicious while he did his smuggling thing. The airport officials took his stuff, X-rayed it, and found five plastic packs with said heroin inside. Why this cheap bastard couldn't spring for some gigantic Alienware laptops that are already heavy is anyone's guess. [Zjol via Spluch]
(Gizmodo Article By Jason Chen)
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Computer users were promised better and cheaper products yesterday after Microsoft lost a three-year European legal battle.
In a ruling described as a major victory by consumer groups, a Brussels court confirmed that the software giant must make it easier for rival systems to work with its Windows operating system.
It means that Microsoft must disclose its secret computer codes to enable rival companies' gadgets such as media players to work seamlessly with Windows personal computers when downloading songs and videos.
Jim Murray of BEUC, a consumer organisation, said:
The decision should bring more competition in the market and more incentive for other companies - and for Microsoft - to offer improved products and services at a competitive price.
(Taken from Daily Mail's Article)
Another death from gaming too much... A 30-year old Chinese man from the Chinese city of Guangzhou died last Saturday in an internet cafe due to exhaustion. Chinese officials claim that the man's death was brought about by 3 day of continuous Internet gaming, prompting the other clients to flee the Internet cafe after witnessing the man's death.
Shame really... People have to learn that everything must be done in moderation, and that was ancient Greek philosophy, yet we still fail to apply it to our lives.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Yowza Vlog is one video blog (Vlog) you shouldn't miss! Designed and developed by the very talented Nico Cardenas, a member of the locally renowned PhilWeavers (group of proven and talented Filipino Flash Developers), the Yowza Vlog features a sleek looking interface, accessible components that are easy on the eyes and to my knowledge, is part Nico's latest site iteration soon to be released summer 2008. You can check out the portal here.
The jewel of the Vlog is the cute looking panda/teddy bearish looking TV. The TV allows you to watch (duh) select on-site movies, all with a fully functioning player. Yowza also allows you to download the movies, I don't know if they're freely distributable elsewhere, buy hey! =P
The Vlog features a fully working comment box situated in the upper right corner, along with links to select blogs. If you happen to pass by, be sure to leave your comments! One thing that caught my eye, was the login textboxes on top, but there doesn't seem to be a registration link anywhere! Pending work I suppose!
Scrolling down (which is a bit of a chore because the mouse wheel scroll event listeners don't seem to be implemented yet) you get the other half of the Vlog, the blog per se! There are some posts on a wide variety of articles like Transformers, gaming and gaming lifestyle articles, technology, and a whole lot more to keep prospective readers busy for a while. Beside the blog posts, are the video archives of Yowza. Here you could browse through the archived videos, aptly categorized as technology, animation, and gaming.
To be fair, I'm going to release the inner critic in me. Maybe the vlog would look better if the video content and the blog could be displayed side by side, so users won't have to scroll down to much. And maybe the comment box could be placed in it's own column, along with ads and other quick browse stuff. Lastly, the video information would look better if it were coupled with the now playing area. That way, it would save some space and still keep it's aesthetic look.
Phew! That's it! Keep it up Nico! =)
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
The Japanese have done it again! Another wacky invention to add to their already wacky portfolio is the NoPoPo (No-Pollution Power) Battery! Powered by fluids containing ions (your urine, blood, sweat, etc.) the battery can last up to ten years with a capacity of 500mAh. If it runs out of energy, what do you do? Pee on it! =)
(Aqua Power Systems)
Sunday, September 9, 2007
With the relative success of the iPhone, Apple is now set to release it's latest iPod iteration, featuring the iPhone's touchscreen technology! At 3.5 inches, the widescreen display lets you feast on movies and browse through your pictures and album pictures without sacrificing too much quality! Not bad for something so small! The iPod touch also features a fully working Safari browser, and note that Apple has sign a deal with Starbucks to allow the iPod touch unlimited access to their Wi-Fi network!
With the release of the iPod Touch, Apple felt it was time to revamp the iPod line. Consolidating the iPod Video and the other iPods to one name and a quick design change here and there, Apple renames it to the iPod Classic. Although the Nano retains it name, it design changes a bit. Check out the image below for the changes.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
A cool flight simulator has recently been discovered in Google Earth. Oh C'mon you say? You can check it out yourself by pressing the following key combination: CTRL+ALT+A. The flight simulator features two planes to try, a F-16 jet and a SR22 prop plane. Although the simulator may not be as good in terms of flight physics or the other features you normal see in flight sims, Google's flight sim is good enough for me because it already features a primitive (and functional) HUD and you get to experience Google Earth better by skimming through the great looking scenery and landmarks.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
This is one hot looking transformer, and yet not your run of the mill transformer! This is the uber bad ass of the Star Wars myth brought to you be Hasbro! Darth Vader himself transforming to the equally infamous Death Star! This beats Unicron any day hands down! God I'm such a nerd! =D
The toy is currently on a pre-order basis in Amazon, order your very own here for $49.99! Or you can check out Hasbro's Transformer line here.