Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Shit shit shit

My computer speakers died. You know the ones (actually probably not), the Logitech Z4s.


They were not super, but they got the job done. It's sort of a good thing because now I can't buy anything until I have those Klipsch Promedia 2.1s, so I can no longer procrastinate getting them. Unfortunately, that means I'm using the Harmon/Kardon Champagnes or whatever they're called. They're...decent. Each speaker has two 1" drivers so they are pretty much tweeters. So the highs are pretty nice and the definition is OK. But, vocals tend to be hardly audible among all the other sounds on them, and I can't turn them up because the resonance is terrible. Oh well, they're not unbearable, and looking on the bright side, I'll have the Klipschs soon.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Books: The Vinyl of the Future

So people are wondering if digital books and book readers (such as the Kindle) are going to kill books one day. Well, it saves trees and is more convenient, but books will never go away forever. I smell the future of the Vinyl vs. CD debate though, next it'll be Book vs. Digital Book. Digital books can be stored by the thousands in something that weighs less than five books, but real books have clearer, more defined words. 
I can imagine being an old guy right now, telling my grandkids about how when I was their age, one book could weigh four pounds. Won't that be fun

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Chrysler Cruiser is the ugliest car ever.

Just look at it. What the hell is that supposed to be? It looks like Chrysler tried to take a VW Beetle and turn it into an SUV. It's got the ugliest design I've ever seen. Just look at that grill. It's so stupid looking. Just like the rest of the car. I have no idea why anyone would ever think about getting one of these. It's like they wanted to make a timeless car like the Mini Cooper (which is coincidentally the greatest car ever) or the Beetle and failed horribly.

By the way, dried hot sauce is awesome. It's like hot sauce candy.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The new iPod Nano, my first impression

Today I got to stop by the Apple store and use the new Nanos (also iPod Touches). I had a pretty good time. The employees were very kind as usual. As you'd expect, this post is about the new Nano. So instead of filling your face with random useless info (I walked to Cold Stone Creamery and got some ice cream and it was good), I'm gonna get right to it.
It feels VERY good in the hand. It's very light (but still not too light) and thin. The curved edges definitely help to make it feel smaller. I probably spent a total of four minutes just fondling them and getting high off the colors. Speaking of the colors, my favorites on the Nanos would be silver (the black click wheel made it look a lot less basic and a lot more hell-yes), blue, and green. The build quality was probably the best of any iPod I've used yet. To put an end to this paragraph, it looks and feels very good in the hand (the curved click wheel wasn't annoying at all, despite my expectations).
So how's the interface on that awkward long screen? Really good. The spacious menus made navigating much easier. They also smoothed over all the animations, such as that sliding animation between screens. I definitely prefer it to the interface of previous iPods.
Cover flow was very good on the new Nano. It's definitely something I would use. From anywhere under "Music" you can turn the iPod on it's side and get to it. If you do it on the Now Playing screen, there's also an animation that rotates the album art 180ยบ and shrinks it into cover flow. Then you scroll.
I like that because it's a nice way to get right from Now Playing to scrolling by album. The accelerometer is responsive and quick, so there is hardly any turn-and-wait. You do have to turn it a pretty good amount though, but that's actually a good thing because it prevents accidental-cover flow. And cover flow has really been improved over what was in the previous iPods. Album art loads much faster and there is a lot less lag. The animations are smoother and scrolling is much easier. You can also scroll by letter by scrolling very fast, which I found to be very useful. And I know it wasn't like that just from the store having a small library, because on the new Classics it is still just as laggy and slow as ever, and all the iPods in the store have the same content on them. So essentially they took something that was totally useless before and made it pretty great. Something you might not know though is that when it's rotated, the buttons on the click wheel don't rotate their functions. So Menu is on the left, fast forward is on the top, rewind is on the bottom, and play/pause is on the right. It's not nearly as awkward as you'd think, though.
By the way, the new Now Playing screen is very pretty. I like the big album art covering the top, it looks very good (though I bet it looks kinda ugly when you play songs that don't have the art) and how they fit everything else on bottom without making it look cramped. Text is small, but readable. Animations (such as when you press the center button to change functions) are smooth here as well. I also like how they worked in Genius. For those who don't know, holding down the center button while on Now Playing brings up a menu on the top where you can choose to add that song to the On-the-Go Playlist or make a Genius playlist out of it) The Nano gets an A+.

And while I'm here, I'll say a few words about the other new iPods. The Classic is pretty pointless, as I've said before. Plus, it's an insult to everyone who owns the old Classic (me). Despite the nice improvements in the iPod Nano, you don't get any interface changes (no smooth animations), cover flow is still useless (I know it doesn't have an accelerometer, but they could have smoothed the animations and given it letter-scrolling), Genius seems out of place (if you hold the button on Now-Playing you don't get a pretty menu on top, it takes you to a whole new menu where you can't see the now-playing screen where you then choose what you want to do with that song), and it has support for the remote feature on the new iPod in-ear headphones. Why's the last one bad? Those of us with the old Classic (which is essentially exactly the same) are taunted with more (for us 80gbers) space and the headphone support and the lazy addition of Genius for the same money we paid for our 80gb iPods, and those with 160gb now have a less valuable iPod because the 120 is closer to 160 for the same cash the 80 once was. That sounds stupid, but when you pay $350 for an MP3 player, you want it to retain value for a while. Plus, the 160gbers, even if they're OK with paying another $250 for the unexciting new Classic, lose 40gb of space. I think we would've been better off if the Classic was left alone and if the new headphones used an adapter or something to connect through the dock connector (that way everyone with a recent iPod could use the remote).

The touch is cool. It's not super different from the old one. The thinness is very noticeable though. It's extremely thin. The back looks neat with the curved edges. It's pretty much the same as the old one, except for the built in Nike+iPod and the speaker. Oh yeah, and the speaker hardly makes it worth getting to replace a current touch. I guess it would be convenient if you forgot your headphones and wanted to put it right in your ear, but otherwise it has little purpose.

I hate other people's parents

You know what is terrible? When you're walking somewhere in public and out of nowhere your vision is filled with the chunky lumps of some fat little kid. It follows it's parent (who is not even always fat like the kid) around, picking up bags of candy from store shelves and toys and putting them in the cart without a word from the parent. What the fuck is wrong with these people? How can they live, feeding their kids horrible food (usually from McDonald's) and watching them expand like that? The worst of the two is fat little girls though. They're always wearing Hannah Montana shirts, and those are tight. No one wants to see that much detail in a fat woman, so when it's a little girl, it's just awful. And no one wants to see Hannah Montana anything, but that's beside the point.
I don't know what drives the parents to buy these or even let their kids see anything Disney has made in recent years. But it's just disgusting. 
Then there's the slightly older ones who wear ludicrous amounts of makeup. Again, I blame the parents for letting them. If I ever have a daughter, she won't wear ludicrous amounts of makeup. She won't wear any makeup at all for a while. And she won't be fat. If I ever have kids, none of them will be fat. I'll fill their heads with disgusting facts about McDonalds at a young age to scare them off it for life.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Dear old men who do yard work, put on a fucking shirt

You're fat and hairy and old and wrinkly. No one wants to see that much of you. Not even your wife or the people driving by. At least wear a bra.

Friday, September 12, 2008

To continue the post on iTunes 8...

Genius seems to put "Never gonna give you up" in more playlists than it should. Well played, Apple.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dear "artists" signed with Disney, fuck you.

Artists signed with Disney need to be shipped to China so they can manufacture all their merchandise and get paid almost nothing for it. Then we should forget to pick them up. Seriously, they are the most personality-free, generic "teen idols" I have ever seen. They all play boring music that supports something important (like friendship or trying to explain to be yourself) and try to convert their audiences to Christianity or something. I mean come on now. At the end of Miley Cyrus's concert at the Kids Choice Awards (I watched it only because Jack Black was hosting it) she thanked her "lord and savior, Jesus Christ." In front of a bunch of impressionable kids. Was that really necessary? They do not need religion to be yet another thing being pumped into their easily influenced minds. "Mommy, we're going to hell because we don't worship God."
Then there's the Jonas brothers and their purity rings. Do you need a ring to tell people you won't have pre-marital sex? No, you could just say it. Besides, it's only a matter of time before nudes of them show up online, probably with other people involved (or each other). It happens with all famous women. Shit, they aren't women. Well they're close enough.

iTunes 8, pretty neat.

So I have of course upgraded to iTunes 8. So far I like it. That new visualizer looks pretty good, though I'm not really feeling that new album art song scrolling thing. It's neat, but I know I'll never use it.
I like Genius though. If you don't know what it is, it makes playlists for songs out of songs that go good with that song. It's neat. It also works on the iTunes store. If you open the Genius Sidebar, it recommends songs that you might like that go with whatever song you have highlighted in the song list. You can preview and buy them right there, and so far, I like Genius. Apparently instead of working by analyzing BPM and other such things regarding the song, it works via the internet. Genius keeps a database of all the music listened to by everyone who uses it. It keeps track of songs, ratings, plays, things like that. Then it somehow turns all that data into knowledge of which songs go with which other songs. It sounds like it wouldn't work at all, but I'm liking it so far. If I have it make me a playlist for a song I like and have it do 25 songs, 20 or more of them will probably be songs I won't skip, especially if I'm in a mood for songs that go with a song. For example, right now I'm listening to a playlist made from Rose Royce's Car Wash. It has a lot of Earth Wind & Fire songs as well as various others that I will listen to. I've also wanted various iTunes store recommendations that it's given me for various songs.
It's also got that visualizer, which I'm liking. It seems to change it's patterns, colors, and other things depending on the mood of the song playing. And that works pretty well.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

videoCWK's Rules for going in public

Hey everyone, due to various idiots I have compiled a list of rules for when you go in public. If you don't follow them, you are an asshole and you should stay at your house all the time. Get one of those "at home" jobs and order everything through mail, the public doesn't want you around.

1. Turn down your fucking cell phone. No one wants to hear your ringtone that dictates your shitty music taste blaring and distorting from your cell phone. It's annoying and not everyone likes top-40 R&B/hip hop songs.

2. I don't care if you're with your friends, stop trying to look cool and shut up. This one especially applies to preps who travel in packs. You know they wouldn't do the annoying-as-fuck disruptive things they do in public if they didn't have their pack of cheering friends with them. You people are not cool, your Abercrombie clothes suck, and shut up. I'm not against having fun with friends, I do it constantly, but I don't think everyone around you needs to hear you being stupid.

3. Stop talking loud on your phone. This applies heavily to single women in their 30s, but don't think it doesn't include you. Talking loud on the phone seems to make people feel cool and important. Instead, it makes you annoying and burnable. If you're sitting a few tables away from me in a cafe and I can hear your phone conversation with your girlfriend louder than the two people studying out loud next to me (yes, that happened once), something is wrong. If you can't place yourself outside or away from everyone else to make a phone call, at least try to do it quietly. Believe me, your phone will pick your voice up just fine if you don't talk loud enough for the person on the other line to hear you from where they are.

4. This one's for men, stop fucking up the public bathrooms. I'm sure it makes you feel manly to write your name in squiggles on the wall, or piss all over the seat, or piss somewhere discreet so the bathroom smells like piss forever, but seriously, go get shot in the face with a porcupine. Please. If you've ever been in a women's bathroom due to an out of order men's room or for some other reason, you've probably noticed that theirs was much much nicer. For example, at a local golf corse, the men's room is a small shitty hot room, that smells like piss, that looks like piss, and is always dirty. The women's room (I used it once because I had to crap and the toilet in the men's room was covered in a rainbow of body fluids) looks like your grandma's house. It had drapes on the windows, real towels, it was clean, there was a carpet, the toilet was in it's own separate room from the bathroom, it even had fake flowers in a vase. This is because women have enough respect for their own gender to not fuck up the bathroom for everyone else. So, fellow men, before you continue trying to satisfy feminists (but you don't really have to try, they're always going to be finding something to bitch about), learn to respect your own gender.

5. You're in a movie theater. Get off the phone, stop texting, stop talking to the guy next to you, or just fucking die. If it's an important call, get out of the theater. They put reminders EVERYWHERE for a reason, it's because fucking assholes like you keep bothering everyone with your damn phone calls. I don't care how quiet you're trying to be, we can still hear you. And don't forget to put it on vibrate. Everyone hates your ringtone, especially during a movie. Also, discuss the movie with your friend AFTER it has ended rather than during it. 

6. The people playing DDR do not need you to bother them. Why do you need to bother the people playing DDR? Are they bothering you? No one wants you to step on arrows while they play or get on the other pad and pretend you're autistic, you aren't funny, your mom regrets having you.

7. Don't jam arcade machine coin slots with too many coins. This makes it unplayable to anyone else. Excited about the game? Good, now put them in one at a time. By stuffing the machine full of tokens, you are being an asshole to everyone. Once some idiot threw a basketball behind a basketball machine at an arcade and it happened to unplug the ITG machine I was using. So I wanted a refund. The arcade operator was happy to supply one, but it had to wait because some moron thought it would be smart to cram an extreme amount of coins into some other machine. Since he complained to the operator (all the while acting like it wasn't entirely his fault) and the operator had to check it out, it took quite a while to get my refund. I still got it though. They may have had to replace a part in the machine's coin slot because the  coins were hopelessly jammed in.

8. If you're at a coffee shop, fast food place (hopefully not McDonalds), or other place with service like either of those places, let people cut you if you don't know what you want. If I can't decide on something when I'm at a place like this, I let everyone in front of me until I know what I want. Do not stand at the front of the line and hold everyone up forever if you don't know what you want. It's rude and there's no point in doing it. Why not use the time you're gonna spend in line to find out what you want? People who wait until they're at the counter to start thinking of what they want to get are idiots.

9. Leave your kids at home. Unless you know they aren't going to scream, yell, make sound, misbehave, cry, or whine, leave them at home. No one needs to know they exist and you'd be making the world a better place to leave them at home, or better yet, not have kids at all.

10. Is your kid a bratty asshole? Don't have any more. Ever see those parents with four asshole little kids, all out of control, and the parent is having an awful time? Well, they should  stop having kids. Everyone hates them, one was already too many. Stick a lobster in your penis/vagina so we won't have to worry about it happening again.

11. Have a damn good reason to be an ass to people who work somewhere. I don't even work in retail, I don't sell things to people, but regardless, stop being an asshole to the person at the counter/the friendly salesman who's just trying to help. They don't care if the prices are different somewhere else. They can't change them, they can't give you a special discount, and you're just being a huge asshole. If the store person is an ass to you first, then it's OK. You can have an attitude and seem annoyed because then you have a reason to. If you're pissy because that TV cost less at Wal Mart, don't take it out on the employee. They can't do anything but be annoyed because you're ignorant. Do you know how many of these people loathe you? If you don't like the prices somewhere or they don't have what you want, a simple "OK thank you, but I think I will look at some other stores. I appreciate your help." will do nicely. Do you know how many people's days you can improve by being polite? I do it whenever I can, because it's damn hard to be polite to the customers if you've been dealing with assholes all day, and one friendly person can completely turn the day around.

12. Turn down your damn car stereo (or at least close all the windows that are wide open, you asshole). Do you think the family in the car next to you wants to hear your horrible music? They don't. Playing loud music in your car is fine. People like loud music. But at least close your fucking windows. When you play loud music with the windows open, you go from being a guy enjoying some bad music to an asshole annoying everyone with his bad music.
And turn down that subwoofer. There's nothing wrong with using one, but if you drive by a bowling ally and I can hear the random BOOMs of your terrible rap music, you should be pulled over and have your sub broken over your skull. Plus, the reason the bass isn't loud enough for you in the original recording is because you have destroyed your eardrums with too much of it already. Instead of destroying what was already awful by saturating it with an absurd amount of bass, just don't do that, or better yet listen to a good band like Franz Ferdinand.

13. Stop being an idiot on the road. So many people would be happier if there weren't idiots on the road. Unfortunately, these people feel the urge to drive. You know. The people who drive behind you while you back out of a parking space (and after you look first) and then get angry when you almost dent their car. The people with the mentality of a 1st grader who always have to be in front of everyone else. The parent on a cellphone who just bought a huge SUV for itself and it's single child. People who don't know that pedestrians have the right of way. Retarded drivers should have their licenses revoked for being so stupid. 'Nuff said.

14. Stop using iPod headphones. Not only do they sound awful to the user, but they sound awful to anyone within 8 feet of the headphones. No matter how low they are, everyone can hear the music coming from them, and even if it's a good song, it's annoying.

15. Your bluetooth is for when you're driving. Not for any public place. Have you ever been at the market and all of a sudden, the guy standing next to you while you look for milk starts talking to you? There's a nine out of ten chance he is talking on his bluetooth. It's annoying when you're in public and someone starts talking on their bluetooth because first you think some random person is trying to make small talk, then you try to ignore them as their voice elevates (whether or not people notice it, when they are on bluetooths their voice gets a little louder every few seconds). Your bluetooth is there so you won't be distracted while you talk on the phone and drive. It is not there so you can make random people feel awkward.

16. This one's for the men in the audience. Don't pee next to me. Especially if it's a big bathroom where there are tons of urinal options for you. When there are a lot of them, that is a sign that you should pick the one farthest away from any other people using them. You do not get right next to someone. It's very uncomfortable. If there's only two urinals, then wait or use a stall. Something all men should do is make sure that there is always a distance of at least one urinal between himself and anyone else while using one. The only time it's acceptable to break this rule is if there are dividers between them.

17. This is also for men. Gonna use a stall? Shut the fucking door. Do you think other people like opening a stall door to see that it's already occupied? Well lock the door. There is a reason it can lock. I don't care if you just have to pee, you shut that door or eat some lead.

I went to Denny's today

It's not as bad as everyone says it is.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Dear G4, what the fuck

If you've watched G4 in the last year, you've probably noticed that it's starting to have nothing to do with video games at all. At first it was just one show (I don't even remember which), but now they're running Cops, Heroes, tons of foreign crap, and other things that have nothing to do with video games. AND, they've gotten rid of all their video game related shows. First it was Icons, which bothered me because I loved that one (I love learning video game history, and that show was the best way to do it), then they merged all the others into X Play. Not only did that ruin X Play (they hardly have time for reviews), it also made room for their tons of non-video game related shows. That also meant that other shows I didn't want to see during X Play, such as Cheat (which didn't interest me because they were either doing a game I didn't care about so it was boring or a game I did care about and I didn't want to cheat in).
They did bring back Icons for a little while, only to quickly remove it. And that's a good thing, because instead of being about video games it was instead about tons of random non-game related stuff. I don't even remember what, I watched it once for two minutes, turned off the TV, and never went back to that show. I gave it chances though, I looked in the TV guide to find out what it was, and it was never game-related.
They've still got Attack of the Show, which I think is actually not bad. I watch it from time to time. It's funny, it's sometimes about games, and I just like a show that tells you about recent technology news.
But seriously, G4 is going the way of MTV in the sense that MTV now has nothing to do with music (not like I've watched it more than once, but I only had to watch it once to find that out). I don't think "TV For Gamers" consists of one show about video games and one show about technology. Plus, Cops, Heroes, and their collection of foreign stuff doesn't have to do with them. They really don't belong.
Oh, and Code Monkeys. It's a pretty good show and is tied in with video games which is good, but I'm seeing it on less often. Maybe I never happen to notice when it's on or the people running the network just got bored of video games.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Let's sue AT&T over bad 3G coverage

So anyone heard about people suing AT&T because their iPhone 3Gs aren't getting any 3G coverage? I think it's a little crazy. I mean sure, you buy a $200/3oo phone, you're gonna want to be able to use it. But suing instead of calling customer support makes about as much sense as suing a restaurant because you ran out of ketchup rather than asking for a new bottle. It just doesn't make sense. If they want better coverage, I don't think suing is going to get it. In fact, it'll probably decrease chances. If AT&T starts giving money to everyone suing them because of the 3G coverage, then they'll have less money to use to spend on more towers. That means that more people will have to wait longer to get good 3G coverage in their areas, and that accumulated time can add up to many years when you take into account the hundreds of people who will be suffering. That's hundreds of years of peoples lives wasted not having fast cellular internet, so every time someone sues AT&T, they are also wasting human life. What is wrong with these people? I think if the hundreds of people getting less than decent reception would all just call customer support and have a tower or two put up, that'd work better than suing. In the meantime, they could connect through EDGE. If they don't like it, at least they're getting reception. Think of the starving children in Africa who can't get any GPRS reception. Ungrateful bastards. 

Monday, September 1, 2008

Things I think would make the iPod better

So I've owned an iPod (80gb Classic) for maybe six months now and it's been great. It's convenient, easy to use, and so far I haven't had any problems (other than the infamous problem with the Classics and the click wheel not being very responsive) with it. Great as it is, I think it could be a bit better.
One thing I'd really like to see would be an "Advanced" mode. The iPod as it is, is very user friendly and doesn't present any complicatedness that would cause confusion in someone illiterate. However, I would like a little of that complicatedness. Most specifically I'd like to be able to view statistics of files saved on the iPod. Things like format, bit rate, maybe where you got it from (downloaded on iTunes, from a CD, etc), resolution (in the case of videos and photos) and things of that nature.
I'd also like them to bring back fullscreen album art. Well it wasn't really full screen, but anyone who's used an iPod Video will probably know that among the various functions you can perform when you click the middle button on Now Playing, one of them simply enlarged the album art and made it mostly fit the screen. I thought that was neat, and now they've gotten rid of it.
Another improvement that could be made would be to be able to turn Repeat on or off without going into Settings. It's nice that you can toggle Shuffle from the now playing screen, but I don't know why they left Repeat out of it.
Oh, and DRM kinda sucks. It only happens on iTunes downloads of course, but it's annoying when you want to do something with your downloaded songs. However, Apple has started to do something about it, it's called "iTunes Plus." Basically an iTunes Plus song has double the bit rate of a regular song (256 instead of 128) and no DRM, so you're free to burn it, distribute it, or use it however you want. They also cost the same as a non-Plus song, so everything about it is great. The only thing is, not all their songs are iTunes Plus.
Firewire would be nice too. They slowly started taking away Firewire support a while ago (now you can't even charge with it) and I think that sucks. Firewire is fast. Even though USB has a higher mbps, it can't stay at that mbps most of the time so instead of 480mbps, USB gives you maybe 300 or 200. Firewire stays at a constant 400 (or 800) so it's nice and fast. It's no big deal if you're only syncing over an album or a song, but for big syncs like video and such, Firewire would be nice. And I'm sure that iPhone users and their 2+ hour syncs would also appreciate it.
Anyone who knows iPod history will understand this, we really need more stuff in the box. There was once a time when you got a dock, a remote (it clipped to your shirt and you could control your iPod with it), a case, their awful shitty headphones, and I think an external charger. That was what came with your iPod. And in the day of Firewire you also got both a USB and a Firewire cable. Now you get their awful shitty headphones, a dock insert for your iPod radio, and a USB cord. If the iPod wasn't such a nice player I wouldn't have gotten one for the total lack of stuff in the box.
Bring back the bigger engraved text. On the older iPods (video and before) when you got text engraved it was nice and big. On the Classic it's pretty tiny, and you still have the same size limitations as when it was bigger.
Make the click wheel more responsive. It used to be that you could touch it anywhere and you'd get a response, but on every Classic I've used it's been totally dead in the center and would randomly have other dead spots on and off. Annoying.
Fill the interface with PG-13 content so parents will stop buying them for their spoiled asshole children. I'm being serious.
Give it a radio to shut up the "it doesn't have radio" people. It's not like they'd even listen to it though, since listening to radio somewhat defeats the purpose of the iPod. Then again, those people usually have something against the iPod anyway, so they'd just find something else to not like about it. Maybe we don't need a radio after all.

Those would make the iPod better. Get crackin', Apple.