Thursday, July 31, 2008

Boldly Game Where No One Has Gamed Before

For all you Trekkies (or Trekkers) out there, sci-fi website has first-look screenshots of Cryptic Studios upcoming MMO Star Trek Online. Gameplay footage will be released on August 10th; till then I hope this satisfies...more pics after the jump. Engage!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Offshore Drilling Hoax

I read so much about...well everything, and I get frustrated when I can't recall specific facts about something I'm passionately trying to inform someone else about. So upon the latest occasion of this (in regards to Offshore Drilling somehow lowering the price of gas at the pumps), I of course started doing some research to compile a post. Instead I stumbled upon someone else who had done all the fact finding for me (from the US Energy Information Administration) and consolidated in one place. Please take some time to read the article recently posted at Climate Progress.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

200+ Free Albums, Tracks And Links Of Mashup Music

At Audiotuts a poster by the name of Skellie has assembled a huge list of 200+ free music tracks available for download. Mixed by various DJ's, all of the songs are artist mash-up tracks (two or more different songs mixed and mashed-up together into one song). Here are a few examples of track titles:

Somebody Rock Me (The Killers & The Clash)
Big Shot Pimpin' (Billy Joel & Jay-Z)
It Takes Two To Kiss (Rob Base & Prince)
Smells Like Compton (NWA & Nirvana)
Black Sabotage (Beastie Boys & Led Zeppelin)

Free is fun.

FYI all you gear heads & audio geeks (like me), AUDIOTUTS is a fantastic new blog/tutorial site for musicians, producers and audio junkies!
Check it out!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Friday, February 13th, 2009

Once again, from San Diego Comic-Con 2008, comes the leaked trailer of a new Friday the 13th movie. As I understand it, this will be a remake/re-imagining not a sequel. Sorta like the latest Halloween and Texas Chainsaw movies. It is being produced by Michael Bay...hopefully the fact that it is actually being directed by someone else will mean it wont be cursed by the Bay touch of suck.

Video grabbed from LiveLeak

NYC Police Assault Bicyclist (video)

So even if this cyclist did commit some kind of crime, there was no order by the officer to stop or halt that the cyclist disobeyed to warrant this kind of brutality. I hope the NYPD handles this officers actions appropriately. This country doesn't need any more excuses to hate cops. For the record I personally don't hate cops...I just think we need to be actively removing from service the officers out there with obvious psychological problems who harass citizens because they are on some kind of mad power/authority trip. This video took place July 25th, 2008. Learn more about Critical Mass here and here.

UPDATE: The new officer was only on the job 3 weeks since graduating, is a third generation cop and has been "desked" while the situation is investigated by internal affairs. NYPost has the full story.

Critical Mass Bicyclist Assaulted by NYPD - posted by downsouthvids.

X-men Origins: Wolverine - Trailer leaked from San Diego Comic-Con

Trailer is posted in two parts below. Check out the line-up of superheroes/villains in this prequel: Deadpool, Gambit, Sabretooth, Silver Fox, William Stryker...
I don't follow comics, but I grew up on the X-Men Saturday morning cartoons, so I'm excited to see it.

Credit where credit is due: video from

Tetherless Space-Walk (photo)

Click to enlarge; what more is there to say...

Credit where credit is due: Story picked up from Digg.

Flashback To '74 - Possible Return Of The 55 MPH National Speed Limit

In 1974, due to the OPEC embargo (triggered by events of the long running Arab-Israeli conflict), the Emergency Energy Highway Conservation Act was signed into law in the hopes that it would immediately drive down gas prices at the pump. Questionable numbers "proving" that the law had reduced the number of barrels per day used by the American public and that highway deaths had also dropped, led to the temporary law becoming permanent until its repeal in 1995. Several senators and congressmen are now seeking to reinstate the law (or at least a new version of it). A bill has already been introduced and is awaiting hearings before the House Committee on Transportation. Better write your congressman...

Read the full story at Yahoo News.

Photo by Kurt Rogers leeched from SFGate.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Evil Dead 4 in the works!

Sam Raimi, director of such classics as the Evil Dead trilogy and the not-so-classic Spiderman movies, spoke at a San Diego Comic-Con panel for his upcoming horror film Drag Me To Hell and revealed his intent to sit down with brother and co-writer Ivan Raimi as soon as next week to begin drafting a scricpt for Evil Dead 4. Bruce Campbell is not officially attached yet, but Raimi expressed his disire to bring Bruce back for the next installment...and if you have ever read Campbell's (kinda) auto-biography If Chin Could Kill - Confessions of a B Movie Actor, you'd know that he will likely join in the fun of a fourth installment.

Please check out the full article at Geeks of Doom.

Sam Raimi at San Diego Comic-Con 2008 - posted to Flickr by merhawk

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tron Sequel Proof-Of-Concept footage leaked from San Diego Comic-Con! (aka TR2N)

Although its a poor cam bootleg, you can clearly make out the amount of detail and the new life-like motion of the light-cycles. The picture does get batter near the middle, so stick it out. It's also fantastic to see that Jeff Bridges is back for part two! I don't know about you but I grew up watching Tron over and over again until I wore the VHS tape out. Can't wait to see an official high quality trailer, but this will get you salivating for more! I know I am.
...End of line.

UPDATE: The footage seen at Comic-Con was actually a proof of concept, not an actual trailer of the movie. The movie has not been officially green-lit yet, but sources say it's just a matter of time (check out the many updates to this story at tronfaq). Disney seems to be hunting down the bootleg video across the net and requesting it be taken down. Hopefully this version I embedded from a Russian YouTube knockoff will stick around.

Credit where credit is due: picked up this story through Gizmodo and the video from RuTube

Friday, July 25, 2008

McCain caught re-writing history. Obama single-handedly rebuilding world confidence in America.

Keith Olbermann and columnist & associate editor of the Washington Post, Eugene Robinson, address McCain's redefinition of The Surge in Iraq, the credit for its success and the time line of events and facts leading up to it.

Meanwhile, on his would tour, Obama gives a speech so powerful to crowd of 200,000 in Berlin (and the world), it's like he's channeling JFK. We have waited a long time to have an American leader who can instill confidence and display wisdom to the masses like Obama has proven he can. It's becoming obvious that the rest of the world knows who should be the next American if only we can educate the confused hold-outs of the American public still planning to vote for John McCain. The first video is some clips of the speech and discussion by Countdown'ers Keith Olbermann and Richard Wolffe. Following that are the videos of the complete speech.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Watch TV shows online the way it should be. FTW! You may have heard of it, you might haven't. Hulu makes watching TV shows online easy, fun, free and uncluttered. There are tons of shows here, some that are already offered elsewhere on the web. The difference is Hulu does it better and does it legal. It also doesn't hurt that the newest episodes are usually up the day after they air!

Now first off, to answer a burning question up front: Are there commercials? The answer is yes and no. Are there blocks commercials like you and I usually imagine? No. What you will find is when you click on an episode to watch there will be a simple text & voice disclaimer. Something like: This program is brought to you with limited commercial interruptions by "enter name of company or product here". It lasts about 5-7 seconds, then the show starts. When the show gets to one of its usual commercial break points (which you can see visibly on the bar below the video box) it will play a short commercial break. And I mean short. And only one. The longest commercial I have seen is 30 seconds, often they are only 15-17 seconds in length. At any rate it is completely tolerable.

The way the play/scrub bar works is innovative too. If you want to skip right to watching the second half of Colbert Report because you know you only saw the first half last night, it will let you do that. Including skipping the commercials. It only makes you watch a commercial if you have watched part of the video leading up to the commercial. It's very intuitive. If I am clicking around the bar trying to find the place where I left off, no problem. But if I try to be tricky and skip watching the commercials, it catches me every time and jumps back to making me watch the ad. The ads are so short you barely have time to grab a drink from the fridge, I often end up pausing the commercials just to make sure I don't miss the show.

Some other great things that Hulu allows for are creating playlists, watching just clips of shows (like a clip of Colbert's "The Word") and searching by air date, popularity ratings and networks. Hulu also allows you to subscribe to shows (which is what I do when I sit down to watch Colbert and the Daily Show each week), this makes all the newest shows you haven't seen yet, ready to be played in order with only about two mouse clicks.

Something to note is the quality of the shows. The video looks great and they have even started incorporating HDTV (check out their examples). I've never had any problems with stuttering or buffering like I've seen on other sites.
Tool bars come up only when you mouse-over the video. From the left side of the video player you can choose to share the video on popular social-networking sites, email the video to a friend, embed the video on your own page or get more details about the video (episode description, title, episode number, air date, etc...). On the right of the player you can choose to full screen the video (which also looks great by the way), pop-out the video so its in its own little box while you work on other stuff, dim the white or lighter areas of the page to make viewing easier on the eyes and with a simple click, you can switch to viewing the content in DVD quality (480p, up from 360p standard resolution).

Finally I will mention Hulu also offers full length feature films (soon also in HD), but personally I don't care for this feature as much. Breaking up a TV show with commercial interruptions is one thing, they are made that way. Movies are not produced to be interrupted several times (Hulu movies have about 6 of the 10-20 second commercials I mentioned above), it disturbs the flow of the film. But they are there if you are interested, they too look fantastic and offer all the same features as the TV episodes.

So thats it, I hope you all check out and enjoy it as much as I do. Now I have to get back to my pilot episode of Burn Notice. Seems like a good show so far...

Credit where credit is due: photo source

Read full magzines online for free.

Years ago I used to subscribe to dozens of magazines. Everything from work magazines to entertainment and world news. Not only does it end up costing a lot, even if you do have time to read them all, they start to stack up and clutter the place. I truly would never make enough time to read them all and eventually canceled all but one subscription. However, there are times when I still wish I had a few around to peruse.

Enter! This site is great and its free! All the major magazines out there; all available at your fingertips online. A unique page flipping system that looks like you are really turning the pages completes the experince and makes it a little more visceral. You drag your mouse from the bottom corner of each page, and as you do so, you can actually see the reverse side of the page appear as you would expect in the physical world. Of course you can just click "next page" as well, but where's the fun in that? Zoom in, place bookmarks, share stories with direct links to articles and even tagging.

The assortment of magazine choices seems very diverse; Time, Newsweek, PCworld, People, Spin, Home Cooking, Cosmo, etc...hell even Playboy is there (you can filter out adult content). This is a fantastic service. I'm not sure how they are able to operate this free, but for now, I'm not gonna look the gift horse in the mouth.

If that wasn't enough to hook you, you can also upload your own content. This service is a triumph. Have a comic book you've made on your own? Upload it. How about your school newspaper? Upload it for others to discover. Now that I think about it, I bet American servicemen overseas who miss there favorite periodicals would make good use of this site? And talk about a way to have a simple online portfolio of your artwork.

I hope you all check out and discover it for yourself, it's definitely worth it.

Credit where credit is due: story idea & photo source

Sunday, July 20, 2008

"Fifty-thousand people used to live it's a ghost town."

I was checking out some photo blogs of "The Dead Zone" today, aka "Pluto's Realm, aka The Exclusion Zone, aka Chernobyl, Ukraine. There is something very creepy, yet alluring about photos of abandoned cities; they have a very post-apocalyptic feel. Then I realized I had seen a few of these places Call of Duty 4! If you have ever played the game, I'm sure you will find several of the photos familiar. Infinity Ward did such a great job with that game, it's no wonder it got 10 out of 10 scores across the board.

This is the second time I have related what I saw in a game world to locations in the real world. The first was on my trip to Greece, which reminded me vividly of Elderscrolls: Oblivion (which reminds me...I still haven't posted the pics from Greece yet). So it begs the question: Is art imitating life or vice versā?

Here are a couple of pics from the two pages I visited, the links to the sites are:

The last photo is an in-game screenshot of the Farris wheel with the bumper car building in the lower left, from the level "One Shot, One Kill", from Call of Duty 4.

EDIT: After writing all this up and finding the pics...I then ran across this other blog with the same story. Its got a couple extra & different pics and more story than mine, so I thought I'd link it too.