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February 2005 Archives

February 6, 2005

When I've got nothing to say, I shall say it here.

I'm starting a separate blog here, for the random crapola that doesn't fit in my "real" blog.

Nikki Cappelli - Godaddy Superbowl Ad

Budweiser's nipplegate ad got banned from the Superbowl but slipped theirs through, even though their spot was much tackier than Bud's. There will probably be a million fruitless Google Image Searches tonight, as men search for Godaddy's fictional wardrobe malfunction victim, Nikki Capelli. That actress should get a website up pronto.

EDIT: Silly me, of course she already has a website, and it's webmaster (I assume) just posted the URL below in the comments section.

Godaddy also has a blog for some reason, and the ad is sparking some heated debate in there.

I'm sure all will rejoice in the knowledge that there is a longer web only version of their ad online. The backstory is at Adweek.

Mac Mini is Wack

Division Two says the Mac Mini is another triumph of hype over substance for Apple. I'm still wondering how they could release this thing without an audio input on it?

Apple is a master at hype, everyone knows this. Its founder, Steve Jobs, is well-known throughout the industry for possessing a “reality distortion field” which makes people crave Apple computers and one-button mice despite their exorbitant price and in the face of all rational logic. Both the Apple hype machine and Jobs' reality distortion field have kicked into overdrive this year with the recent release of the bold, innovative and affordable G4 Cube...oops I mean the Mac mini...

...Don’t get me wrong, I am an admirer of Apple’s iPod and I applaud the company for doing things right when it does. I am glad to see that they have found a way to cut corners where they can to bring the price of their computers out of the stratosphere and somewhat closer to the price of a Windows PC. By leaving out a USB keyboard and monitor, two things you may already have if you have an old Mac, Apple can shave some money off the price of its system components and the size and weight of its packaging. By using cheap Asian child labor to assemble the units, costs have been reduced even further. I would like to see them continue this trend, possibly strike a deal with China to use inmates to assemble the Mini for even less, like Lenovo does. Think about it, a Mac mini for $299. Now that would be an easier price to swallow given the system’s limitations. $499 sounds like a decent price at first, but consumers need to be aware that once they add on the basics like a keyboard, monitor and mouse, plus shell out for some antivirus software, the Mac mini price is scraping the ceiling of $1600, hardly a “computer for the rest of us.”

So is the mini a maxi value? For me, clearly, no...

...But will Apple's famous marketing team be able to sell the the emperor an invisible computer anyway and turn the mini into a maxi hit? That’s the question that remains to be answered.

February 7, 2005

SMUs (Smug Mac Users) are Funny

99% of Mac owners are perfectly nice, reasonable people. They simply chose a product that suits their particular needs, and have no illusions about the purchase making them a better person.

But then there is that unfortunate minority, who believe their loyalty to a corporate brand renders them morally and intellectually superior, and scour earth looking for chances to rub your face in it. These are the Smug Mac Users, sources of unending condecension and hilarity. Let's call them SMUs.

I posted a little something about the Mac Mini yesterday, not because I give a crap about the Mac Mini, but because I was hoping some SMUs might pass through and entertain us with a spasm of snottiness. And sure enough they're already coming like rats to cheese, even though I only started this blog yesterday. Look at this reply that just came in:

You obviously have no imagination, and should stick to playing solitaire on your computer.

I don't know any computer that has a decent audio INPUT, without having a seperate card for the A to D conversion. There are plenty of great USB and Firewire audio interfaces if that's what you need to do with it.

For the A/V enthusiast, you could add this smartly on a aux input on your TV/stereo system. Now with a wireless card (or cabled if you prefer) and wireless keyboard/mouse, you can do a P in P on your large screen and surf the net while watching a game. You could also have your iTunes library available there, or even play a DVD.

This MAC is clearly not for you have proved.

Craig Jackson

Now, I actually know quite a bit about this stuff, and was about to refute Craig's rant point-by-point.. but then I remembered I don't give a crap.

So instead I'll just say bravo to you Craig Jackson! A splendid performance indeed.. the Simpsons Comic Book Guy would be proud.

Paul McCartney's Superbowl Halftime Performance

I'm sure we all had our knives drawn, waiting to hate on Paul's Superbowl appearance. And on principle I still think it was a lame idea, that should have been interrupted by an army of media terrorists storming the stage to flash their ninja-star laden mammaries at us.

But honestly, don't lie, his set was WAY above average for this kinda thing. After so many years of frantic pop-star blandapaloozas, seeing a simple, competent presentation of well-written songs seemed almost revolutionary.

February 8, 2005

Choice Jose Canseco Quotes

A friend passed on these comic gems from Jose Canseco's new book "Juiced":

"People like to credit Cal Ripken for helping save baseball or maybe Mac and Sammy for the great home run chase of 1998. Well, you already know about the steroids I gave Mac, without which he would have been lucky to hit 25 bombs a year, but I also helped keep Cal's streak alive. True story: We were playing the Orioles in 1994 and Cal gave me a call at my hotel. 'Jose,' he says, 'you gotta help me out. Kevin Costner is trying to make some moves on my wife and I wanna beat him up. But I don't want to break my hand or anything. Would you mind stopping by his movie set on the way to the ballpark and roughing him for up me?' Since Cal is such a great guy, I did just that. It's pretty easy to rough somebody up when you're in the middle of a 'roid rage, so I just injected myself before my little meeting with Mr. Costner. And Cal was able to keep his streak alive. And the next year when he broke the record and ran around Camden Yards, high-fiving all the fans? That was my idea."

and another:

"After I joined the Yankees late in the 2000 season and led them to their third straight World Series title, I was sure we had a dynasty on our hands. But that winter, well, this is hard for me to admit, but I stole Derek Jeter's girlfriend from him. I think I was jealous about all the attention he was getting and wanted to get some revenge. I felt bad about it -- heck, I even went to therapy to help me better understand the inner feelings of inadequacy I've always felt which lead to my self-destructive behavior. Bottom line: Jeter got mad, complained to Steinbrenner, and that's why I wasn't brought back the next year. And of course the Yankees haven't won a World Series since."

All this hubbub reminds me of thay Simpsons episode with Canseco and all those other MLB players. On the DVD commentary track, the Simpsons staff says "all the players were really nice! Except for one player... whose name rhymes with "manseco."

But as cartoonishly insufferable as Jose may be, does anyone really doubt that all those mentioned in his book really took steroids? This "how dare he??" grandstanding against his allegations seems kinda silly to me.

Corey Feldman Snitching on Michael Jackson!?

WHOA! Et tu, Teddy Duchamp?

Corey Feldman on Childhood Friendship with Michael Jackson

As Michael Jackson faces charges of sexual abuse in a California courtroom, "20/20's" Martin Bashir interviews actor Corey Feldman, who speaks about his relationship with the pop star during his youth. Watch Martin Bashir's exclusive interview with Corey Feldman on "20/20" this Friday at 10 p.m. ET

In an exclusive interview, Feldman, now 33, speaks out with surprising new claims about his relationship with Jackson. The actor, known for his roles in "Gremlins," "The Goonies" and "Stand by Me," has stood by Jackson until now.

He tells Bashir why he is now coming forward with allegations about their friendship. "I started looking at each piece of information, and with that came this sickening realization that there have been many occurrences in my life and in my relationship to Michael that have created a question of doubt."

February 10, 2005

Real ID Act New Electronic ID to be Forced on All Americans

media drop: Real ID Act: House approves electronic ID cards

The U.S. House of Representatives approved on Thursday a sweeping set of rules aimed at forcing states to issue all adults federally approved electronic ID cards, including driver's licenses.

Under the rules, federal employees would reject licenses or identity cards that don't comply, which could curb Americans' access to airplanes, trains, national parks, federal courthouses and other areas controlled by the federal government. The bill was approved by a 261-161 vote.

The measure, called the Real ID Act, says that driver's licenses and other ID cards must include a digital photograph, anticounterfeiting features and undefined "machine-readable technology, with defined minimum data elements" that could include a magnetic strip or RFID tag. The Department of Homeland Security would be charged with drafting the details of the regulation...

jay: hmmmm
media drop: kind of .... interesting
jay: yeah dunno yet what to make of that
media drop: yeah
jay: definitely smells funny though
media drop: yeah, does indeed.
jay: my first thought is, do i have to pay for these new ids?
jay: but there are much bigger issues obviously lol
media drop: LOL
media drop: that's a good one
jay: my damn passport cost me like $100, i better not have to double down on it
media drop: thats' for sure. that would suck. free, free i tell you!
jay: identification wants to be free!
media drop: hahaha

(media drop lives here)

February 14, 2005

Corey Feldman Shocks the World (By Being Allowed Back on TV)

After all the buildup, Corey Feldman didn't have much to offer when he finally "spoke out" about his experiences with Michaelk Jacksonm Friday night on ABC. CNN sums up his meager offerings, and VH1 offers an appropriately abridged version:

From Goonies to Loonies, Corey Feldman Speaks

Child star and 80's teen heartthrob Corey Feldman has been subpoenaed to testify at Michael Jackson's child-molestation trial. If he takes the stand, it will mark the first time since 1989 that people actually listen to what Corey Feldman has to say.

Feldman is one of the many ex-child stars that hung out with Jackson during the 1980's and 1990's that the prosecution may end up calling as a witness. Other potential witnesses include Macaulay Culkin and Emmanuel Lewis, a.k.a. Webster. Upon hearing about the bizarre cast of characters, VH1 wasted no time in announcing their brand new show, The Surreal Trial, premiering this spring.

Feldman, now 33, is the first ex-child actor to have received a subpoena. Meanwhile, jealous of the publicity, Corey Haim now wishes that he had hung out with Michael Jackson more when he was a kid.

February 15, 2005

Hack the New Napster

I have no idea if this actually works, but I love how quickly this napster hack came out. How long before we see Shawn Fanning turn into Lars Ulrich?

February 20, 2005

Egyptian Baby With Two Heads

Brace yourself before clicking.



Egyptian Doctors Remove Baby's Second Head

Egyptian doctors said they removed a second head from a 10-month-old girl suffering from one of the rarest birth defects in an operation Saturday. Abla el-Alfy, a consultant in paediatric intensive care, told Reuters at the hospital in Benha, near Cairo, that Manar Maged was in a serious but improving condition after the procedure to treat her for craniopagus parasiticus -- a problem related to that of conjoined twins linked at the skull...

...As in the case of a girl who died after similar surgery in the Dominican Republic a year ago, the second twin had developed no body. The head that was removed from Manar had been capable of smiling and blinking but not independent life, doctors said.

Video footage provided by the hospital, a national center in Egypt for children's medicine, showed Manar smiling and at ease in a cot with the dark-haired "parasitic" twin, attached at the upper left side of the girl's skull, occasionally blinking...

(another photo here)

The second head could blink and smile! Could it see/hear/think?? What was inside its mouth?? My brain cannot process it. Hope she comes through the surgery okay, that girl and her family must have unimaginable strength.

February 23, 2005

Helipad Tennis: Andre Agassi and Roger Federer in Dubai

Check out BBC's photos of Andre Agassi and Roger Federer playing tennis on some kind of rooftop helipad in Dubai. How do they not get freaked out, running around on this thing?

February 27, 2005

Anarchy Online Becomes Free, Dynamic Billboards/Ads Game

Anarchy Online, one of the biggest online roleplaying games, is dropping their subcription fees, and will make their money though putting dynamic ad billboards inside the actual game:

Funcom signs in-game advertising deal for Anarchy Online

Massively multiplayer game specialist Funcom has announced that the free version of its online RPG Anarchy Online is set to feature dynamic in-game advertising billboards, thanks to a new deal with Massive Incorporated.

Massive, one of the early players in the burgeoning market for in-game advertising, will supply advertising to the game from its network - with the billboards capable of changing their content dynamically over time.

"We're thrilled to add Funcom's leading titles into our advertising network and broaden our reach with their hundreds of thousands of gamers," commented Massive CEO Mitch Davis. "We're excited about changing the game development business model to provide a new source of significant revenues beyond box sales and subscriptions and delivering a powerful new medium to global advertisers."

Funcom will be using the system to provide revenue from free players of Anarchy Online, which became free to play at the end of last year. Paying subscribers won't see the ads - but the company believes that in fact, the move will be welcomed by gamers.

"Through our own research we know that most gamers want in-game advertisement to heighten the sense of realism," according to Funcom CEO Trond Aas. "Seeing that the live billboards in Anarchy Online do not interfere with gameplay I am confident our free players will welcome the permanent continuation of our complimentary subscription in the ultimate sci-fi MMORPG."

Maine Congressman Bri Duprey: "Ban Abortions of Gay Fetuses"

Who woulda thunk that formulating political policies through listening to Rush Limbaugh would make a politician look goofy?

(Augusta, Maine) State Rep. Brian Duprey has filed a bill that would forbid women from ending a pregnancy based on the projected sexual orientation of a fetus. Duprey says there is growing evidence that sexuality is genetically determined, and parents should not be allowed to tamper with it in the womb. The conservative Republican lawmaker emphasizes he is no supporter of gay rights. His bill is a reflection of his views on abortion.

Duprey says that the law is intended to take into account that someday scientists may find the gene that results in homosexuality. "I have heard from women who told me that if they found out that they were carrying a child with the gay gene, then they would abort. I think this is wrong," Duprey told the Press Herald newspaper.

He says that he got the idea while listening to The Rush Limbaugh Show. His bill is not getting much support from other lawmakers.

House Majority Leader Glenn Cummings, a Democrat, says that the bill, they say, is a way of forcing some lawmakers to choose between abortion rights and gay rights. "It will be seen as some kind of political gamesmanship," Cummings said.

Gov. John Baldacci, who is pushing an LGBT civil rights bill in the legislature this session, is also opposed to Duprey's legislation. There has been considerable speculation both within the gay community and the among scientists about the genetic background of sexuality.

The newest evidence comes from a University of Illinois at Chicago. UIC's Brian Mustanski, working with colleagues at the National Institutes of Health conducted the first-ever study combing the entire human genome for genetic determinants of male sexual orientation.

Mustanski found stretches of DNA that appeared to be linked to sexual orientation on three different chromosomes in the nucleus of cells of the human male.

Reporting last month on the research Mustanski said that "there is no one 'gay' gene." "Our best guess is that multiple genes, potentially interacting with environmental influences, explain differences in sexual orientation," said Mustanski, a psychologist in the UIC department of psychiatry.

Halle Berry Accepts Her Razzie Award

I gotta give Halle Berry a lot of respect for being down to show up:

Halle Berry Shows Up to Accept Her Razzie Award

Hoisting her Academy Award in one hand and newly won Razzie in the other, Halle Berry reveled in a career low point. "Omigosh, oh my God," Berry gasped, feigning excitement. "I never in my life thought that I would be here, winning a Razzie. It's not like I ever aspired to be here, but thank you."

Berry was named worst actress Saturday night for 2004's action bomb "Catwoman," which also took the prize for worst film at the 25th annual Razzies, an Oscar spoof that trashes Hollywood's worst...

Berry, who wore a simple black dress, explained why she showed up at the ceremony.

"When I was a kid, my mother told me that if you could not be a good loser, then there's no way you could be a good winner," she said. however, she added, "I hope to God I never see these people again!"

February 28, 2005

Hewlett-Packard Printer Cartridge Expiration Date Hack

Another blow is truck against the forces of evil, as the Constitutional Code blog figures out how to beat Hewlett Packard's bogus expiration date for their printer cartridges. You can go there to see the actual hacks, and here's the backstory:

A US woman is suing Hewlett Packard (HP), saying its printer ink cartridges are secretly programmed to expire on a certain date. The unnamed woman from Georgia says that a chip inside the cartridge tells the printer that it needs re-filling even when it does not.

The lawsuit seeks to represent anyone in the US who has purchased an HP inkjet printer since February 2001.

HP, the world's biggest printer firm, declined to comment on the lawsuit. HP ink cartridges use a chip technology to sense when they are low on ink and advise the user to make a change.

But the suit claims the chips also shut down the cartridges at a predetermined date regardless of whether they are empty. "The smart chip is dually engineered to prematurely register ink depletion and to render a cartridge unusable through the use of a built-in expiration date that is not revealed to the consumer," the suit said.

The lawsuit is asking for restitution, damages and other compensation. The cost of printer cartridges has been a contentious issue in Europe for the last 18 months...

(via boingboing)

About February 2005

This page contains all entries posted to The Inane Asylum in February 2005. They are listed from oldest to newest.

March 2005 is the next archive.

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