Monday, June 30, 2008

ebay Woes

Today, French courts awarded damages of $61M to fashion house Louis Vuitton in their case against ebay. Claiming that over 90% of the ebay listings for their items were counterfeits the court decided that ebay were not doing enough to combat the rampant fraud on their auction site. This does not bode well for ebay, already taking a battering from users over recent rule & fee changes & facing similar lawsuits in the US from Tiffanys.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Tracing Social Change Through Rock?

My unofficial "lyrics that best represent the decade they were sung in" is as follows:

"A wop bop-a-lula, a wop bam boom, tutti frutti aw rooty" - Little Richard, 1957
"The times they are a' changing" - Bob Dylan 1964
"God save the Queen & the facist regime" - Sex Pistols 1977
"I want my MTV" - Dire Straits 1985
"You get so mad at me when I go out with my friends" - Hootie & The Blowfish 1995

See a trend here? (hint: narcissism)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Symbians Are Coming

I was a bit ho-hum about the news that Nokia is buying the rest of Symbian, the operating system used on their N-Series handsets. I'm a big fan of the OS, I find it intuitive & efficient & like the way applications interact with each other seamlessly (for example if you hit save on an SMS containing a song it automatically gets placed in your music folder). However, initially this news was just a case of meet-the-new-boss syndrome.

Now we learn that Nokia plan to release the application as Open Source partly due to pressure from both Windows Mobile, the iPhone & upstart Linux systems. None the less it's a great step in the right direction.

The Manx Is Returning!

Launched in 1974, the iconic Meyers Manx introduced the concept of the Beach Buggy to the World. Based on the chassis of a VW Beetle ("even Hitler was capable of some good" quotes Bruce Meyers in an interview) it quickly became a national phenomenon. Bruce & his company have had a long & turbulent past, something he discusses in detail here but are back in business making both the Manxter 2+2, an updated version of the original & also the DualSport, a more off road orientated version.

The big news for fans of the original Manx is that this fall Bruce will launch a new version based completely on the classic 1960s model that started it all. Price for the kit is projected to be around $4,000 with the Beetle used again as the donor vehicle. I'm hoping for a second wave of buggies to sweep the country!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Truth Doth Hurt

The tipping point for overpriced cable silliness might have been reached with Denon's new AKDL1, $500 Cat-5 cable. The Amazon product page has been hijacked with some completely hilarious reviews as contributors pour scorn on what has to be The Emperor's Clothes of audio. I kinda wish it was Monster Cable though.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Billy The Audio Guy

Just as funny even if you don't know Billy Walsh!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mac on a PC? System 7 Lives!

For those of us that affectionately remember our days on the Macintosh, Mini vMac offers a unique way to relive the experience whatever your current platform. The always excellent RetroThing has an excellent how-to & in no time you'll be experiencing the joys of MacPaint, MacWrite & MacDraw.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Daddy Why?

Over the (free) breakfast at a Marriott the other day I overheard a young lady asking "daddy, why is all news on CNN breaking news?" She has a point but actually my favorite newsroom adjective is "Action." We have Action News, Action Weather & Action Sports in fact a Google search for Action+News turned up 116M hits, Wikipedia even has a page devoted to it's history. I'm wondering where the stations can go next though? What further adjectives can be applied to horribly reported, sensationalized newscasts? How about "Alarum News" or "Hyperkinesia Weather?"

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Leopard Proves It's Mettle

I have been somewhat critical of Apple's Leopard OS. It did seem as if I'd upgraded only to get some eye candy & a slightly slower machine. However, having completely overwritten my entire Address Book (with a badly set up phone syncing program) Time Machine completely justified it's cost & existence by seamlessly replacing my corrupted data with good data from last week. Phew...

Fight The Lies

Bracing for attacks from the GOP, Limbaugh & the rest, the Obama campaign has started a Fight The Smears website where the usual odious rumors get debunked. No mention of this one there though, and what with infidelity and off-the-wall sex acts I thought Fox had the biggest scoop so far.

Fox News & British Slang - Not A Good Match

As if claiming that Obama & Clinton were "sneaking around at night" wasn't enough, Fox News' Heather Nauert refers to the pair as "buggers." Now Heather I know you think you're so cool slipping in these slang terms but here is the actual definition of the word. So, either you're a moron or this story is much bigger than anyone realized?

Back When Radio Shack Was Cool

Back in the day when the Shack had neat stuff they offered this synthesizer, the Realistic Concertmate MG-1. Basically a Moog Rogue is different packaging, it was nonetheless a cheap way to get into a real synthesizer. Vintage Synth Explorer has some sample sounds of the bloopity-bloop nature that we love so much. If you feel you have to own one, Craigslist would be a good place to start. Now, maybe it's time to start an ad-hoc thread here about the less obvious Radio Shack classic items?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Spoke Too Soon

Lewis Hamilton, obviously talking on his mobile phone, ran up the back of Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari whilst leaving the pits in Montreal, Saturday. Both drivers were out of the race with Lewis getting a 10 place grid drop for the French GP. Then again, maybe he was just distracted by one of these?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Ironic or Inspiring? either way...

Come November there is a real possibility for the 1st black President of the United States and the 1st black Formula One World Champion. How the times are a changing eh? I'm rooting for both (but only sending money to one).

More Cool Stuff 4 Your N95

Users of the World's greatest mobile phone, the Nokia N95 can now enjoy eBooks on a free .prc Symbian reader from Mobipocket. For starters you could try Zittrain's "The Future Of The Internet & How To Stop It," also for free (and also available as a PDF). Thanks to BoingBoing for the link.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Flickr Fun

Here's one I made earlier! Taken with the Nokia N95 at the PBA Summer Series in Chicago. This piece of steampunk machinery is actually the pin setting machine seen in 1,00s of bowling alleys. Photo was post-processed using Picnik, an online photo editing package with a lot of nifty tools. Basic package is free but $24.95 gets you multiple effects including a great Lomo & Holga!

Friday, June 06, 2008

In Search Of The Perfect Caipirinha - UPDATE

The horribly named Fandangles bar at the Atlanta Sheraton deserves a shout out for both the quality of their Caipiranha & the gusto with which the bartender perfected the drink over a few nightly visits. Best quote "I haven't made one in a while but if you're willing to step off into space with me..."