10:18 AM
It's been a few months since I've seen Comedy Central playing episodes of Strangers With Candy, but there were a whole bunch on last night. I can't figure out why they ever cancelled it, because it was friggin' awesome.

If you've grown tired of watching all three seasons on DVD, I have good news! Jerri Blank is back!

Strangers With Candy has been turned into a movie!

It opened in New York this week, and it'll hit not-a-lot of other theaters in July.

-Brett #


9:27 AM
How much would you pay for Kraftwerk's original vocoder? Did you say $3800? Then you're in for a real ebay treat! This isn't just some knockoff...This is the actual prototype that was used on the Ralf & Florian and Autobahn albums from 1973 and 74.

It's no secret that vocoders are totally awesome. Stevie Wonder even spiced up a Sesame Street appearance with one.

Do the math, people.
Stevie Wonder + vocoder + gold medallion = Awesome.

-Brett #

9:01 AM
I've been playing a lot of Loco Roco over the past few days. It's one of the most unique games I've ever seen and the music is nuts!

I think I'm pretty close to finishing the game at this point, and it has been a true pleasure! The PSP needs more games like this. Badly! You can play a Flash demo of Loco Roco in your browser right here.

I'm being peer pressurized by a lot of people at work to get a Nintendo DS. I've been hesitating because I don't play my PSP all that much, but I'm starting to realize that that's because there just aren't that many fun PSP games. Loco Roco is one of the few!

-Brett #


10:04 AM
So what's with all the Windows Vista delays? Philip Su, a Microsoft programmer opens up a can of worms in a blog post that blames too many layers of management, complicated code, an aversion to setting realistic timelines within the company, and a pinch of meddling micromanagement all in the name of corporate and personal face-saving.

When it's done Vista will probably be a decent OS. But having 2000 people on the development team seems excessive!

-Brett #

7:43 AM
It's pretty hard to watch this guy named Matt dancin' round the world and not crack a smile.

-Brett #


1:25 PM
I'm pretty particular about my pooping habits at work. When it comes to number two I am in and out of there lickety split. If it takes me more than a minute to do my business, something's wrong. What can I say - it's a gift.

However. There is a limit to this power. I can't let 'em fall if someone else is in a stall. I can't do my plops if someone else is in the shop. I can't drop a deuce if I see a feller's boots.

Bottom line - I need a completely empty bathroom to let loose. Hearing someone's turds splashdown is about the grossest thing ever, so I try not to be on either end of that audio transaction.

If I need to drop my kids off at the pool and someone else is in the bathroom I'll act like I just came in to wash my hands, and then I head down to the first floor of the building to use the bathroom there.

If THAT bathroom is in use, then I enter into what I call Double Jeopardy. At this point I need to weigh my options: Do I venture up to the third and fourth floors to check those bathrooms? Is it really worth the trip? Or should I just go back to the office and hold it for a few minutes before I check again, knowing full well that this gives my officemates the impression that I have a pretty urgent case of diarrhea?

It's a daily battle.

At our last office we had the whole building to ourselves and didn't have to share bathrooms with other companies. The view from the top-floor bathroom was spectacular and really got things moving. If you were brave enough to poop with the blinds open you could just sit and watch the world go by. This is that view.

1200x1600, 1.3mb

-Brett #

9:44 AM
I love listening to stories. When people tell stories I shut up and listen. They don't even have to have a point most of the time - I think I just like to listen to people talk.

It's usually better when the stories are true, though. That's why I love stuff like This American Life and StoryCorps.

"StoryCorps. For StoryWhores." That's not their slogan, but it should be.

This American Life just moved to New York and is being turned into a series on Showtime! Fun fact: Although Ira Glass sounds like the gayest man on radio today, he is actually straight as revealed in this profile.

If you know of any story-related podcasts I'd love to hear about them. I know about Love and Radio but most of their stories make me throw up in my mouth.

I like stories!

-Brett #


10:00 AM
Episodic content.


I've opined about these things before.

Here's some more proof that the gaming industry hates gamers:
"In an interview with Game Informer, Mizuguchi said that you will be able to buy the basic form of Lumines Live through the Xbox Live Arcade, but if you want to play multiplayer you're going to have to cough up a bit more money." (more)
What? Are you kidding me? The whole point of paying Xbox Live's annual fee is that you're able to play with other people online. This cocky developer wants to force gamers to double-dip to play Lumines online. Unbelievable.

"If you purchase the versus mode - every mode will have a price - but they won't be high priced. First you have to purchase the base package of Lumines Live, and then you add versus mode to it. At least that's the way we have it planned right now, we're still trying to determine if we'll package versus in the base package." (more)

I WAS excited about Lumines. Now, not so much.

-Brett #

9:41 AM
I cancelled my Sirius subscription this week.

The programming was good, but the sound quality definitely wasn't. I think Sirius is trying to squeeze too many channels into their limited spectrum. Listening to the music channels was like listening to MP3s encoded somewhere between 96 and 112kbps. At times the talk stations sounded worse than AM radio.

When I first signed up for Sirius two years ago my daily commute had me behind the wheel for a butt-numbing three hours a day. Sirius was the only thing that helped me keep my sanity on slow-moving LA freeways.

Once we moved offices I stopped taking the freeway and now I'm only driving 50 minutes a day. I have enough podcasts and music of my own to fill that time, so I just don't need Sirius anymore.

It was fun to watch them grow and to keep up with all their programming changes and whatnot. Maybe once they figure out how to match the sound quality of HD Radio I'll sign up again.

-Brett #


9:25 AM
For just twenty dollars a day (payable annually as $7500) you can get every single channel on DirecTV - legally!

DirecTV Titanium is for high-rollers. And socialites.

-Brett #


10:22 AM
HD Loader was just updated to 0.8.

Shadow of the Colossus works now, and you can install DVD9 games directly from the PS2.

This will probably be the last patch for HDLoader we ever see, and it's pretty much perfect at this point!

-Brett #


3:45 PM
Well well well! The world's richest man has decided to stop working, giving his two YEAR notice in a press release.

What took him so long?

I think I could comfortably retire by the time I hit 10 million...I'd buy a modest four or five million dollar house near the beach and live off the interest of whatever's left over.

Then I could call myself a socialite! Socialites are rich people who just hang out all day and don't have to work.

Paris Hilton is a socialite. I would be exactly like Paris Hilton.

-Brett #

1:59 PM
There's been some trickery going on in the world of video game pricing lately and people aren't making enough noise about it!

One of the worst offenders is Bethesda Softworks. They released Oblivion and while it's a rockingly cool game with enough content to keep you busy for months, it's sixty bucks. That's not exactly a small amount of money, but I'd say it's probably a fair price for a game of its size.

Normally when a game like this comes out you could expect an expansion pack or two to hit the shelves a few months later for about $30. And that's where this story takes a horrible, horrible turn.

Bethesda has instead chosen to release bits and pieces of game expansions for a few bucks each. There's only five available right now but they promise they're working on many more.

So what's the big deal? The big deal is that the gamer's total cost of ownership is totally obscured by this pricing model. A few months ago you could be reasonably certain that you'd be spending $60 on a game and $30 on an expansion pack and you'd have access to the entire game universe.

With games that follow the Oblivion model you'll spend $60 on the game and a few bucks more on an indefinite number of game expansion packs which in the end may very well equal the cost of the original game - or more!

All this nickel-and-diming means that at some point you could find yourself paying much more money than you would for a traditional expansion pack for the same amount of content - and you won't even realize it.

That's what I believe to be the insidious plan at the heart of all this tomfoolery!

Maybe I'm just being dumb and old-school, but I find it really hard to get excited about "episodic content". Call me crazy!

-Brett #


12:53 PM
Maybe you've heard, but there's this Superman movie coming out soon.

This is a wasted opportunity.

Instead of remaking an old movie, they should have made a totally new one. And not just a sequel - a PREQUEL!

The only Superman movie I'd want to watch is one that explains what life was like on Krypton before everyting went to hell.

Seriously. All we really know is that Krypton was a planet full of crystals and people with white hair. And then one day everyone died.

I don't care about Superman. I want to know how people lived when Krypton's advanced civilization was at its peak. What forms of transportation did they use? Did they live underground or above ground? What did they use to power their cities? What attempts were made to prevent the destruction of their civilization? Why did they fail? What kind of interpersonal relationships and conflicts did the Kryptonians have?

There are so many opportunities here for good storytelling and an exploration of life on Krypton pre-Superman that I can't help but see this movie as a total waste of resources.

I sound like Comic Book Guy! Worst movie ever!

-Brett #


10:26 AM
If you drink a few cups of regular columbian coffee and then chase it with a french roast, you'll be left with subtle tastes of wasabi in your mouth.

I have no idea why this happens, but I approve.

-Brett #


10:03 AM
I'm back from Italy! It was a great two weeks, and the tour we took kept us busy every step of the way. I'll try to post some photos in the next few days, but I don't want to bore you. I know I hate it when people make me look at their vacation pictures. Unless you've been there yourself you just don't have the right frame of reference to appreciate them!

We started and ended in Rome. Here's the path we took:

The espressos were good, the limoncello was great, and the absinthe was interesting. Watching TV at 50hz was flickerific, but I managed to make myself watch an episode or two of Star Trek Voyager in Italian. I spent my birthday in Italy and Switzerland!

I will never fly on an airplane without noise-cancellation headphones again. Inside each one is an elf who works around the clock to filter out the roar of the plane and boost the clarity of whatever you're listening to. They really are amazing, those elves.

Here's a bunch of interesting news that I would have probably posted if I had been around during the last two weeks!

The Pirate Bay was raided and had all their servers siezed before promptly returning to service just three days later. Those guys are like lawsuit teflon.

The Xbox360 Spring update happened and the complete list of 125 changes is here.

Devil360 turned out to be a still-in-progress 360 modchip. Some jerks in Greece decided to steal the name to release their own unrelated product called the "Devil Mod 360" which is nothing more than a DVD drive firmware switcher.

DevHook 0.41a lets your 1.5 PSP emulate firmware 2.5, enabling you to play games that require 2.5 without having to upgrade. It'll let you play both ISOs and UMDs.

Epsilon is an in-progress third-party firmware for the PSP. Combined with the still-unreleased Undiluted Platinum modchip you'll be able to run pretty much anything you want on your PSP eventually. UP's price has been rumored to be as much as $95, so that convenience will cost you.

Site 5 looks like they're trying to copy our 'hip/edgy/irreverant' blog posting style with every new post they make.

Pixar's Cars came out and with it came the Ratatouille trailer.

Cory Doctorow is a buffoon. At least I'm not the only one who recognizes it. The script needs more self-righteous indignation, though.

Anyhoo, that's about it. My two-weeks of unread email just finished downloading, so it's time to get back in the swing of things!

-Brett #

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