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Thursday, May 31, 2007

YouTube Coming to Apple TV

Wish you could watch YouTube videos on your Apple TV? Sometime in June, all Internet connected Apple TV boxes will accept a free software patch that will enable wireless streaming of YouTube videos. YouTube is making thousands of clips available each week until thier full catalog is accessible later this fall.

You'll be able browse the YouTube content on your Apple TV in a variety of ways including: featured, top viewed, recently viewed, history, and even by search. I'm dreading the search option. If you haven't used the Apple TV yet, there's a USB port in the back of the device, but you currently can't use a keyboard for some reason. Entering text on the Apple TV is the equivalent of typing in your initials for the high score screen in an arcade game. Very painful without a keyboard.

So how chewy will these compressed YouTube videos look on your HD TV? I've already ripped a bunch of music videos off YopuTube, converted them to MPEG-4 videos and saved them in iTunes. Honestly, the Flash encoded YouTube videos look like crap on a HD TV. YouTube doesn't even look good when stretched out to its default 480 x 360, let alone 640 x 480 or HD. But YouTube does have thousands of clips and can provide endless hours of entertainment. Fuzzy, but fun.

Apple also announced a new Apple TV model with a 160 GB hard drive for $400. You'll still be able to buy the old 40 GB version for $300, but personally, I think $100 for 4x the storage is a great deal.

You can read more about the Apple TV here: Apple TV Review

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Google Adds Facial Recognition to Image Search

It looks like Google's 2006 acquisition of Neven Vision, a company specializing in facial recognition software, is finally starting to pay off. Google Blogoscoped, a blog dedicated to everything related to Google, got a tip from a Google engineer that Google had secretly added some facial recognition abilities to its image search this week.

The feature remains unofficial and unannounced, but you can add a small query string to the end of your Google Image search URL to see the facial recognition software in action.

For example, do a normal Google image search for "Starbuck Battlestar" and your image results should produce images from the American SciFi TV show Battlestar Galactica. Then try adding "&imgtype=face" to the end of the URL. Your new search results will only contain photos of people and tight shots of their faces. Cool right?

Last August, Google Picasa product manager Adrian Graham had this to say about Google's acquisition of Neven Vision in the official Google blog:
"Neven Vision comes to Google with deep technology and expertise around automatically extracting information from a photo. It could be as simple as detecting whether or not a photo contains a person, or, one day, as complex as recognizing people, places, and objects."

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Apple Launches iTunes Plus

On Wednesday, Apple released an update to iTunes (US) that added DRM-free AAC music files to the iTunes Store. Dubbed iTunes Plus, the new version of iTunes will allow you to either download DRM (Digital Rights Management) files for the standard $0.99 or spend $1.29 on DRM-free songs.

In addition to iTunes Plus, Apple added a new section to iTunes 7.2 called iTunes U, where you can download lectures from various universities around the US free of charge. In addition to lectures, many Universities are offering language lessons, lab demonstrations, sports highlights and campus tours. Participating schools currently include Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Duke University and MIT.

It's probably only a matter of time until someone claims that they graduated from "iTunes U."

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Animated Google Korea Page

Google has launched a new home page for Korea that departs from Google's "classic," minimalist home page approach. The new look features animated product buttons below the search box and will become the default home page in the country, a move Google is comfortable with given the near universal presence of broadband.

The new, animated Google Korea home page is intended to help Google better compete in the country where it seeks to gain market share.

When you roll your mouse over the colored dots, icons appear. You can see the animation on the live Google Korea page.
"It was important where our classic minimalism wasn't working that we adapt," Marissa Mayer, Vice President, Search Products & User Experience at Google, said in a briefing earlier today.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Heroes Season 1 DVD

No longer are our magnificent Monday night ‘Heroes’ going to be confined to merely mortal NBC TV (and SciFi Channel reruns). Our favorite Heroes and villains are coming to DVD this August with tons of bonus features.

The 7-disc set, available on DVD and HD DVD on August 28, 2007, will include the never-before-aired 73-minute premiere episode and over 50 deleted scenes.

The Heroes Season 1 DVD set is priced at $59.98 and is available for preorder on for $38.99 until July 24, 2007.

Here are some of the Heroes Season 1 DVD extras:
  • Unaired Pilot: The Tim Kring cut with audio commentary — A full 73 uninterrupted minutes of the original, unaired, extended pilot episode, as Heroes’ creator Tim Kring first envisioned it, with a character never seen.

  • The Making of “Heroes”: From concept to pop culture phenomenon, a behind-the-scenes look at the hottest new series on television.

  • Special Effects: The secrets behind the eye-popping visuals that give the Heroes their amazing powers.

  • The Stunts: A backstage look at the show’s hair-raising stunts.

  • Mind Reader: Matt Parkman’s mind reading abilities reveal your inner Hero with a series of simple tests.

  • Profile of Artist Tim Sale: A look at the Eisner Award-winning comic book artist (Spiderman, Batman, Daredevil) behind much of the Manga-influenced artwork used in the show.

  • The Score: Go behind the scenes with Wendy Melvin and Lisa Coleman (of Prince’s The Revolution) as they create their ASCAP Award-winning musical score.

  • Extra Scenes: 50 deleted and extended scenes.

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Lazy Segway Mom

Wow, sometimes people are lazy. Here's a picture of a woman pushing her baby with a Segway. Besides being lazy, isn't that kind of dangerous anyway? Because of the way the Segway works, I'm pretty sure she wouldn't be able to reverse quickly or move out of the way with the stroller in case of an emergency.

Click here for a bigger image

Question of the Day: Should you need a license to drive a Segway, or a licence to be a mother?

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Bionic Woman Preview

After months of hype, we finally get to see Michelle Ryan in NBC's new remake of the Bionic Woman. In this clip from, we get to see Jamie Sommers (Michelle Ryan) find out she has bionic parts and freak out. Those are some sexy bionic toes by the way.

It's tough to tell from just a few scenes, but Bionic Woman looks like it’s going to be a fun show. With the success of sci-fi shows like Heroes and Lost, Bionic Woman might just be the next big hit. Plus David Eick from Battlestar Galactica is the Executive Producer. Here's another clip of Eick talking about the strong women characters in his shows.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Porn Blog Has State Trooper in Hot Water

According to ABC, the Tennessee Highway Patrol has suspended a state trooper who allegedly received a sexual favor from a porn star and recorded the act with a camera from his cruiser in return for ignoring her possession of illegal painkillers.

The woman, who goes by the stage name Barbie Cummings, said that at a traffic stop on May 7, trooper James Randy Moss found illegal painkillers in her car, but decided not to bust the Knoxville woman in return for a sexual favor.

The incident came to the attention of officials when someone filed an internal complaint against the veteran trooper, according to Tennessee Highway Patrol spokesman Mike Browning.

Browning told ABC News that he could add few details beyond a press release issued Friday that announced Moss' indefinite suspension. But a blog maintained by the woman, which recounts sordid details of the alleged escapade, has drawn additional attention to the case, and the department is investigating whether Moss may have violated the law while on duty.


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Dwight Schrute Bucks

Did you watch the 2007 season finale of The Office (US)? Want to print out your own Schrute Bucks?! A $1,000 Schrute Bucks will you get an extra 5 minutes for lunch. I wonder how many Schrute Bucks it takes to get the Dwight bobblehead from

The Schrute Buck gfx was made by user dawgma.

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How Your Cursor Works

Ever wonder how your mouse connects to the cursor and moves it around your screen? Believe it or not, I found a website that explains this technical process clearly thanks to a giant digital magnifying glass.

Go to this website and then move your cursor around.

Who knew?

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Cingular Brand Killed Before iPhone Launch

After purchasing the remaining 40 percent of Cingular last year, AT&T has begun the process of rebranding some 1,800 Cingular stores. The telecom, which will be the sole carrier of the iPhone in the U.S., is undertaking the rebranding move just weeks before Apple's hotly anticipated smartphone hits the market.

"Our branding Email Marketing Software - Free Demo campaign is performing at and above projected levels, and customer response has been very positive," Randall Stephenson, AT&T's chief operating officer, said.

The San Antonio-based phone giant is accelerating its rebranding efforts of one of the best-known brands in the market, and will make the orange "Jack" logo and Cingular name disappear from new devices being sold.

The decision to move to this phase of the branding campaign is based on research that indicates that consumer awareness of AT&T -- one of the best-known, most durable and iconic brands in the world -- is high and ahead of expectations, the company said.


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Monday, May 21, 2007

Bionic Woman Pulls Double Duty

There was a bit of a surprise when Katee Sackhoff told reporters that her time on the new NBC series "Bionic Woman" went from "one episode" to "recurring." But all of that can be explained in one simple sentence: Sackhoff simply wowed network executives.
"She absolutely steals the screen in 'Bionic,'" Angela Bromstad, president of NBC Universal Television Studio, told TV Week's James Hibberd.
Some of the clips featuring Sackhoff, best known to genre fans as Kara "Starbuck" Thrace in SciFi Channel's "Battlestar Galactica," have been released to the Web by NBC Universal as a way to promote the series, which will make its debut this fall. In it, Sackhoff plays the original bionic woman who gets in a rooftop bionic battle with Jamie Sommers, played by series tar Michelle Ryan.

Sackhoff's character originally was slated to be offed in the pilot, but executives liked her so much that she is now going to be pulling double duty between both shows which are filmed in Vancouver and produced by NBCU.

Sackhoff apparently isn't the only BSG alum to be making the show either... two more actors familiar to "Battlestar" fans who have some type of role in the pilot.

The Bionic Woman airs Wednesdays this fall at 9/8c on NBC. See's Bionic Woman web page for more info.


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Finding Closure For Jericho

Less than a week after American broadcast network, CBS, pulled the plug on its post-Apocalyptic sci-fi series "Jericho," fans have apparently been making contact with the network in droves, demanding that if nothing else, CBS find closure for the cliffhanger left at the end of Season 1.

That campaign has included letter writing and even the delivery of peanuts to the network, highlighting one of the final words of the series when Skeet Ulrich's character of Jake Green tells the sheriff of the neighboring town of New Bern that is at war with Jericho, paying homage to a World War II story by his grandfather.

The campaign may have paid off, with CBS making an announcement on the official "Jericho" message boards that there could be plans in the works to at least wrap up the story.
"We have read your e-mails over the past few days and have been touched by the depth and passion with which you have expressed your disappointment," wrote Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment.

"Please know that canceling a television series is a very difficult decision. Hundreds of people at the network, the production company and the incredibly talented creative team worked very hard to build and serve the community for this show -- both on-air and online. It is a show we loved, too. Thank you for supporting 'Jericho' with such passion. We truly appreciate the commitment you made to the series and we are humbled by your disappointment. In the coming weeks, we hope to develop a way to provide closure in the compelling drama that was the 'Jericho' story."
While the series had a strong run of episodes early in the season, by the time it returned several weeks after its first part of the season, "Jericho" had stiff competition against "American Idol"- fueled programming on Fox among other places, but was still generating decent ratings for CBS.


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Microsoft to Acquire aQuantive

Last week, Microsoft announced the largest acquisition in its history, purchasing Seattle-based interactive ad firm aQuantive for $6 billion in what it describes is the next step in the evolution of its ad network.

aQuantive is the holding company for several online ad firms including Atlas, DRIVEpm and Avenue A/Razorfish, one of the largest interactive ad agencies. The deal is the latest in a string of large acquisitions in the internet ad space (Google/DoubleClick, WPP/24/7Real Media, Yahoo/Right Media) as online advertising increasingly becomes the lynchpin of many new web-based businesses.

Microsoft, which lost out on the bidding for DoubleClick, will pay an 85% premium over aQuantive's closing share price on Thursday, the day before the deal was announced.

aQuantive CEO Brian P. McAndrews added, "Microsoft has set a leading example in prioritizing industry partnership, transparency, measurement and quality, and we look forward to combining forces and bringing the value of our combined assets to bear for the benefit of advertisers, ad agencies and publishers."

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Watch YouTube on Your Apple TV

Here's a YouTube video showing off a new Apple TV plug-in called "A Series of Tubes." The plug-in allows you to browse YouTube videos on your Apple TV. Sure, the Flash encoded YouTube videos look like crap on a HDTV. YouTube doesn't even look good when stretched out to its default 480 x 360, let alone 640 x 480 or HD. But YouTube does have thousands of clips and can provide endless hours of entertainment.

Not ready to start tinkering around with plug-ins for your Apple TV? You can still save videos off YouTube and convert them for your iPod/iTunes. Check out this tutorial: How to Copy Videos Off YouTube.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Mario Brothers USB Mouse

Are you stuck in the past? Still listening to Debbie Gibson's Electric Youth on cassette and trying to beat your high score on Donkey Kong? These stylish Mario Brothers and Golden Star mice I found on might get you that retro mojo you need to actually do it!

Both offer a retro 8-bit appeal and feature the original mechanical mouse ball mechanism that you probably forgot existed. Push one of these beauties across your desk and imagine that you are playing Super Mario Brothers… rather than filling out those boring TPS reports.


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Google Universal Search

This past Wednesday, Google unveiled a new "universal search" function that integrates text, photos, video, news, scanned books and blogs in a single list of results. The search engine will automatically check Google Video's archive and allow users to click on a "watch video' link that will embed the video right on the search results page.

Other video sites publishing clips or full-length versions also appear. Several companies have been working to improve video search on the net, but none with Google's pedigree or market share.

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5 Outrageous Inventions

Many inventions are quite useful in everyday life, but these 5 (link) could quite possibly be the most outrageous ever...

Then again, there's always Japanese Chindogu.

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FCC Approves iPhone

The Federal Communications Commission approved Apple's iPhone, clearing the way for the combined phone and music player to hit the shelves. Apple expects to begin selling the iPhone in late June.

Some of the FCC documents confirm a few features of the phone, including it will have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and will operate in the 1900MHz and 850MHz frequency bands.

That means that despite the phone's high price, users won't be able to roam with it into Europe, where operators use different frequencies. The phone uses GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) technology and the EDGE (Enhanced Data Rate for GSM Evolution) wireless data standard. Apple has said the phone will ship initially only in the U.S. but many GSM phones today, even on the low end, are capable of operating in both Europe and the U.S.

Eager potential users who hoped for a faster data connection will be disappointed that the approval is only for EDGE. Many operators, including Apple partner AT&T, have upgraded their networks to deliver download speeds of about 500K bits per second or more, more than twice as fast as EDGE.

[Via PC World]

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Nintendo Wii Outselling Sony PS3

Yesterday, the NPD Group released video game hardware sales data for April. Nintendo's Wii and DS consoles were again the big winners, as both platforms dominated all competitors. This marks the 4th month in a row that Nintendo has nabbed the top spots with its respective systems on the hardware sales charts.

The Nintendo DS was the overall best-selling system of April with approximately 471,000 units sold -- more than twice that of the Sony PSP, which only managed to sell 182,000 units.

Despite being in limited supply, the Nintendo Wii was the best-selling console for the month. More than 360,000 new consumers purchased Nintendo's home console in April. The second best-selling home system was the Sony PlayStation 2 with 193,000 units sold. Microsoft's Xbox 360 managed 174,000 units sold and Sony convinced only 82,000 people to purchase a PlayStation 3 for the month, lower than all analyst estimates.

Nintendo was also the #1 software publisher for the month, releasing the top 4 best-selling games -- Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl for DS, and Super Paper Mario and Wii Play for Wii. The Pokemon titles sold a combined 1.7 million games in about a week.

According to VG Chartz, the Nintendo Wii has sold 2.5m consoles in Japan, 2.8m in the US and 1.79m in the rest of the world since its official launch late last year.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Office Season Finale Preview

This coming this Thursday (tonight) is the season finale of the American version of The Office. Here's a teaser trailer and 10 things we learned from last week's episode of The Office.

10. Buffoons (like Andy and Dwight) do not need to wear sumo suits to appear more buffoonish. In fact, the hilariousness of the sumo suit is inversely proportional to how funny the character is in his regular officewear. However …

9. The fact that a sumo suit enables Andy to float away on the ebbing tides of Lake Scranton is completely fascinating. How does physics explain this?

8. Michael notes that Lake Scranton is America’s eighth largest indigenous body of water. Ignoring the fact that this is patently false, we’d like to believe he was creating a metaphor for America’s unsustainable reliance on reservoirs and the corresponding danger to the ecosystem. Or a metaphor for being an idiot.

7. Contrary to Michael’s assumptions about Oscar’s beachwear, it’s actually gayer to wear designer jeans to the beach than a Speedo or leather pants.

6. If one employee at Dunder Mifflin could actually win Survivor, it’s Creed. Did you see the two-second shot of him toeing out into the lake and catching a fish with his bare hands? Jeff Probst would be proud. Poor fish. Who knows where those hands have been?

5. Jim is not as good of a boyfriend as we thought. What kind of guy tries to distract his girlfriend while she’s lobbying for a promotion? Then again, why is Karen competing for the same job as her boyfriend? Did we miss something?

4. Pam thinks that she has the most boring job at Dunder Mifflin. We'd give that honor to Stanley … if we knew what Stanley did.

3. No matter what anyone says, we still like Karen better than Pam. Karen goes out and gets what she wants (Jim, a better job, a fake tan). Pam has to walk through a field of burning coals to work up enough outrage to confess her feelings for Jim, and even then, she stops short of saying what she's really feeling (burning flesh).

2. If you’re going to walk across a field of burning coals, go fast, and remember “The mind has to wrap around the foot.”

1. Not even The Office's writers are immune to jerking us around during May Sweeps. They hadn’t gone near the Pam-Jim-Karen love triangle for weeks when suddenly, Pam dropped her bombshell (if you can call wanting to be “best friends” with Jim a bombshell). This is all leading up to next week’s season finale, when Michael, Jim, and inexplicably, Karen, head off to New York to compete for the same job. We’ll give two-to-one odds Karen gets the gig, thus putting an end to the ménage tension and taking a little piece of our heart with it.


The season finale of The Office airs on NBC at a special time 8/7c. Don't forget to double check your TiVos and DVRs.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Human Joysticks - NewsBreaker Live

Tired of the boring movie trivia slide shows that theaters play before the movie? How about an interactive game that the entire theater can play at the same time? has this live video game experience called NewsBreaker Live that has entire theaters acting like Human Joysticks.

NewsBreaker Live is modeled after the classic video games like BrickBreaker and Arkanoid. The game combines live RSS newsfeeds, the movement of the audience as a human joystick, and the big screen as a game board. Groundbreaking motion-sensor technology dubbed "CrowdGaming" tracks the entire audience’s collective movement (watch video clip). Audience members control the game by moving in sync to smash up’s colorful brick spectrum of news with a bouncing ball and paddle.

As far as I know, this is the first in-theater, audience participatory video game. And honestly, I think it's pretty cool. Way better than being forced to stare at slides of movie trivia and ads for local used car dealerships. You can play an online version of NewsBreaker Live at

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

How NOT to Ship a HDTV

The person who packed up and shipped this TV must have been a professional... idiot. They might as well have shipped this HDTV using bowling balls or, I dunno, hammers as padding.

For future reference, here's a photo tutorial on how NOT to ship a Plasma or LCD HDTV.

More Photos: How NOT to Ship a HDTV

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Beatles-iTunes Deal Imminent

According to Billboard magazine, a deal to make The Beatles' back catalogue available for sale online with iTunes is "virtually settled."

Paul McCartney told Billboard, "I don't want to pre-empt anything, but we're well on the way to something happening there, which is very exciting."

Some reports say McCartney is rumored to be making over £200 million from the deal.

Efforts to clear The Beatles' music for digital distribution have been previously held up by a long-running feud between Apple Inc and The Beatles' label, Apple Corps. Both sides finally settled the dispute in February, paving the way for distribution via iTunes and other digital retailers.

McCartney is doing a press tour for his new album, "Memory Almost Full," his first to be made available for download and streaming on PCs and mobile phones. The album is due June 5 on Starbucks' new Hear Music label. Starbucks previously announced that the McCartney album will be available on its Hear Music section of Apple's iTunes Store.

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Nintendo Wii Owners Making CelebriMiis

One of the new features of the Nintendo Wii, is the ability to create avatars (a virtual representation of a person) using the platform's "Mii Channel." The avatars can be used in various Nintendo games and even shared with other players. But creative Nintendo Wii users aren't just creating Miis of themselves. They've started making avatars that resemble famous people. Wii users have dubbed the celebrity avatars "CelebriMiis."

Many Mii creators share their CelebriMii techniques online so others can duplicate the effect and use their avatars in games and Mii parades.

The image below is Hiro Nakamura from the NBC TV series Heroes.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Paris Hilton Says She Is Too Beautiful For Jail

Terrified that her 45-day prison sentence for drunk driving will plunge her into a world of daily beatings, group showers and a total absence of anything that's even vaguely "hot," Paris Hilton is doing all she can to get out of jail before she even goes in.

So what does Paris have up her sleeve? What is she doing to stay out of the Century Regional Detention Facility?
  • Expensive legal advice from a team of the world's most expensive lawyers? Nope.
  • Displaying genuine remorse for her crime in order to show the appeals court that she's learnt her lesson? Are you kidding?
  • A half-baked MySpace petition? Bingo!

The 'Save Paris Hilton from Jail MySpace Petition', calls on California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to terminate her jail sentence because she "provides beauty and excitement" to everyone's lives. This is what the petition says:
"Paris Whitney Hilton is an American celebrity and socialite. She is an heiress to a share of the Hilton Hotel fortune, as well as to the real estate fortune of her father Richard Hilton. She provides hope for young people all over the U.S. and the world. She provides beauty and excitement to (most of) our otherwise mundane lives… We, the American public who support Paris, are shocked, dismayed and appalled by how Paris has been the person to be used as an example that Drunk Driving is wrong… This petition is to ask Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to pardon Paris Hilton for her mistake. Please allow her to her return to her career and life."
If you are interested, you can sign the 'Save Paris Hilton from Jail MySpace Petition' here.


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Gmail Users are Younger, Richer, Good in Bed

Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the latest stats show that Gmail users skew younger and richer than those on Yahoo Mail and Hotmail.

Gmail opened up to all comers in February, with Gmail’s market share of US visits climbing 17% from February 2007 to April 2007. However, Yahoo Mail and Hotmail are still much bigger by comparison, says Hitwise: Yahoo had 13x the market share, and Hotmail had 6x the marketshare of Gmail.

The good news, if you’re a Gmail user, is that you may be part of the elite: while Yahoo and Hotmail users are decidedly average, Gmail users tend to be young, have a high income, and be early adopters of technology. 54% of users are between 18 and 34, while 18% have an average annual household income between $100,000 and $149,999 (compared to 15% for Hotmail and 13% for Yahoo Mail).

Another stat, probably related to the young age of GMail users: they’re more likely to be Facebook users than those on the other services.

As for performance in the bedroom - well, we kinda lied. In fact, the stats show that solitary Gmail users are far more likely to Google themselves.


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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Ivy League Grad Gets Lowest SAT Score as Experiment

At the age of 33, Colin P. Fahey decided to throw away his dignity, mock his Ivy League education, disgrace his Master's degree, and prove that in just over three hours he could answer every question on the SAT incorrectly!

If you don't live in the US, then you may not know exactly what the SAT is. The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is a dreaded exam that all high school students in the United States have to take for college admissions. The SAT is given multiple times a year at thousands of testing centers throughout the US. Unless there are special circumstances, the test is given on a Saturday, starting at approximately 9:00 AM in each time zone. So basically if you aren't paying attention, a single SATurday morning can ruin the rest of your life!

Back in 2003 when Collin took the test, 1600 was a perfect score. Remember, Collin is a smart guy. He's an Ivy League Grad. But is he smart enough to get every question wrong? What was Collin's final SAT score? Just 400 points combined (math & verbal). In case you are curious, 400 points is the lowest SAT 'raw score' in history. Congratulations to Collin.

But there's always room for improvement. Collin accidentally got 2 questions right in the math section. I guess you can say Collin intentionally failed at failure. How humiliating! Maybe he'll do worse next time.

Sure 400 seems low . . . but it rounds up to like 540 Canadian right? You can read more about Collin's experiment here.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

ESPN Producing Gascasts for GSTV

Wish you could get sports scores while you are gassing up your car? According to LA, now you can.

ESPN, the American sports news network, announced a partnership with Gas Station TV (GSTV) to provide 45-second broadcasts for thousands of TV screens located at gas pumps across the United States.
"It's another opportunity for fans to be able to watch us," ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys said.
ESPN will slowly ramp up production of the gascasts. The network will initially just produce one segment per day for GSTV. But eventually ESPN hopes to produce multiple segments everyday.

Where can you see these gascasts? Right now only in Atlanta, Dallas and Houston. But next month GSTV hopes to install more screens at gas stations in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.

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Simpsons Movie Behind Schedule

It premiers in 10 weeks, but the writers, animators and director of "The Simpsons Movie" are still working out the basics... including the storyline. It's hard to believe, especially since they first started working on the screenplay in late 2003. The deadline is going to be pretty tight, but the writers and animators of "The Simpsons" have assured audiences that "The Simpsons Movie" will be released on July 27 (US) no matter what.

What can we expect to see in the movie? Judging from snippets of movie trailers, news releases and Internet chatter, the plot seems to involve the town of Springfield dealing with an environmental disaster that Homer accidentally starts. Further details are scarce, but look for a giant mob scene that will include every Simpsons character ever. Also, apparently Homer has a pet pig in the movie.

It will be interesting to see what they come up with before July 27th.

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Was Drunk Hasselhoff Video Just Promotion?

I thought there was something fishy about this David Hasselhoff drunk tape nonsense. It smelled like very clever publicity to me, though why anyone would want to be filmed drunk and slobbering over a Wendy's cheeseburger and potentially hurt his relations with his family is a mystery.

But guess what? The Hoff has an autobiography coming out May 15! I'm sure it's just a coincidence though. ;)

The title, by the way, is Don't HassleThe Hoff. Jeez, it's one thing for others to call you "The Hoff," but calling yourself that?

The book has a lot of (supposedly) juicy details, including Hasselhoff's revelation that he knows that Baywatch was a sexist show.

[Via tvsquad]

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Iron Man High Rez Photos

If you are a regular reader of Entertainment Weekly, then you might have seen the first photo of the upcoming Iron Man film they published last week. The picture got such a huge fan reaction in the blogosphere that Paramount decided to release a high resolution version of the photo.

Jon Favreau (Swingers) will direct Iron Man. Robert Downey Jr. (Less Than Zero) has the lead role of Tony Stark/Iron Man. Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeff Bridges have also been cast in the film. Iron Man is slated to hit theaters on May 2nd 2008.

The high rez photos are definitely worth checking out.

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Presidental Hopefuls Meet Googlers

The Google Interview could become the 21st-century equivalent of the candidate's pilgrimage to the General Motors plant. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton was first, in February, followed by McCain on Friday. The company has extended invitations to all the major candidates and expects more campaign appearances in coming weeks.

"I like to think of (seeking) the presidency as a job interview with the American people," Schmidt, who moderates the sessions, told McCain. "And you're also sort of interviewing with Google. It's hard to get a job at Google."

The company famously demands college transcripts and high grades; Schmidt's staff whooped at the indirect praise. "I know I have my work cut out for me," John McCain replied. After apologizing for his mind-bending opening inquiry, Schmidt, a regular Democratic political donor, heaped praise on his GOP interviewee. He asked a series of gentle questions about McCain's Vietnam War combat and POW experiences, a chapter virtually no one in his audience was old enough to recall.


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Monday, May 07, 2007

Earl is Baby Cooking Crazy

In the May 10th season finale of American sitcom My Name is Earl, Joy's future lays in the hands of deaf lawyer as her trial finally arrives. It's "baby cooking crazy"!

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New Spinal Tap Sequel Free Online

Director Rob Reiner has created a fifteen minute sequel to his mockumentary classic This is Spinal Tap. While the short film was featured at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, it won't be released in theaters any time soon. It is available, however, online. The sequel is part of an effort to raise money for Live Earth. Spinal Tap will also reunite for a performance at Wembley Stadium in London as part of the Live Earth Worldwide concerts on July 7.

Since their last breakup, the members of Spinal Tap have apparently been raising miniature horses, producing hip hop albums and languishing in Internet rehab.

You can find the Spinal Tap sequel on the Live Earth MSN site.

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Spider-Man 3 Makes Record Breaking $148 Million Over Wknd

Spider-Man 3 made a record breaking $148 million this past weekend. The film now holds the top spot for the most successful movie opening of all time. Sony Pictures, the studio who produced the film, was so happy with the North American box office results they announced that Spider-Man will return for at least three more movies.

Sony Pictures chief executive Michael Lynton had this to say to the BBC on Sunday night:

"Everybody has every intention of making a fourth, a fifth and a sixth and on and on." There would be "as many as we can make good stories for..."

According to, Spider-Man 3 now holds the record for the most successful opening weekend in history, making $148m (£74m).

Here are the other films that round out the top ten:
  1. Spider-Man 3 ($148m)
  2. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ($136m)
  3. Spider-Man ($115m)
  4. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith ($108)
  5. Shrek 2 ($108m)
  6. X-Men: The Last Stand ($102m)
  7. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ($102m)
  8. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban ($93m)
  9. The Matrix Reloaded ($91m)
  10. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone ($90m)

Michael Lynton went on to say: "When everybody comes up for air, we can think about how to make the next [Spider-Man film]" The box office results "way exceed our expectations."

I just hope they stay with director Sam Rami. Most superhero franchises are already ruined by the 3rd film (Batman, X-Men, Superman, etc.), but Rami seems to have found a good balance between between story and special effects to keep the franchise fresh and entertaining.

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Did MySpace Buy Photobucket

Talk about a love/hate relationship. It looks like the high-profile feud between MySpace and Photobucket might have jump-started a romance between the two companies. MySpace's move to block content from Photobucket originally got the two parties together in the same room. After that, the two companies stopped fighting with each other and started talking about a partnership... and even a possible merger. The value of the reported merger is estimated to be somewhere around $250-300 million. Photobucket had been shopping itself around for a buyer since late February.

MySpace is smart to make nice with PhotoBucket. According to web stat company Hitwise, "Photobucket Accounts for 73% of MySpace’s Photo-Related Traffic." And many savvy web users have been using Photobucket as a web marketing tool.

Rumors of the deal first surfaced last weekend on the tech gossip site Valleywag. The deal hasn't been confirmed yet by either party.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Toilet Tunes: iCarta iPod Dock Review

The bathroom. It's one of the most important (and hopefully used) rooms of your home. So much so, that people usually add radios to their bathrooms and provide a soundtrack to their personal grooming and thinking. But isn't this the iPod generation? Why just settle for a radio? The iCarta iPod dock lets you bring and enjoy your iPod into your private sanctuary.

This iPod dock is integrated into a toilet paper holder and is compatible with all dockable iPods. It features four integrated high performance moisture-free speakers and is powered by an AC adapter... so you can power up your iPod while you download.

For showering, shaving, and all other things you might use your bathroom for, enjoy your music your way. Bring in your iPod. Let it enhance each moment of your life.

Power Requirements:
  • 12V, 1.5A AC adapter Unit Dimension
  • Width 8.25 x Height 3.68 x Depth 7.12 inch, 210mm x 93mm x 181mm
  • Accepts standard toilet paper rolls

You can charge your iPod while playing music. The only problem is that it isn’t waterproof – but then again, neither is an iPod. By the way, that song stinks. Light a match.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

How Does Duck Hunt Work

If you grew up during the 1980's, then perhaps you might remember playing an 8-bit shooter called Duck Hunt. Released for the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) in 1985, Duck Hunt was one of the first games to use the "NES Zapper" or light gun.

At the time, my little brother and I didn't care how the gun worked, we just didn't want the dog to laugh at us. Sometimes we would hold the light gun against the glass of the TV and try to cheat. 20 years later I'm more interested in learning how the game worked than preventing the dog from laughing at me.

So how does the light gun work? How exactly does Duck Hunt know what you were pointing at when you pull the trigger? According to an article on The Straight Dope, the gun isn't shooting the TV, it's the other way around. When you pull the light gun trigger, the entire screen blackens briefly and a white duck flashes on the screen where the duck(s) are located. If the photo sensor in the light gun detects a quick flash from dark to light, then you have a dead duck (and a non-laughing dog). Basically the TV shoots a light pulse and the "gun detects it, not the other way around."

Finding a working NES, light gun and original Duck Hunt cartridge can be a little tricky and require some time searching around on eBay. If you're looking for a quick fix, you can play an online Shockwave version of Duck Hunt here. You'll have to settle for a mouse instead of a light gun, but you'll probably have fun anyway.

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