The toy Gods, they love me!

(Via @taswell on Twitter)

No words need to be spoken on how awesome this is! A USB flash drive that transforms into the Decepticon, Ravage. If you know what that last sentence means, you are already trying to click a buy button somewhere. Well sadly, there isn’t one because it comes out in September, but there is a preorder button here:

 Transforming USB Flash Memory (2 GB) – Ravage – Transformers Device Label Device Label at BigBadToyStore

Now, do I care that this thing only has 2GB of memory & that it’s $42.99? Hell Frakking no! As a matter of fact, check out these other transforming USB devices while you’re there. That Blaster transforming USB hub might also be on my list. Go, go now!

(You know, I now wish I hadn’t given away all of my Transformers when I was younger)

Remember the ways of the Geek, young padawan

I found out about this article from my twin, Lizmoney. Thanks Sug!

So this article from laptoplogic.com (which is a good resource to bookmark) has been in circulation for weeks now. Reading it got me to thinking. There is a lot of these that I don’t even know or have down pat(Yep, I heard the sound of Geek cred fall just by saying that). Don’t get me wrong, I can at least say that I have a good solid double digits of info in my cranium from this list, but clearly, I’ve been slippin’. HARD! And so here we are and here you go if you hadn’t seen this before. Use it to test your geek, or the geek of someone you know. Even better, if you’re not a geek, check it out anyway. Knowledge is power, and this stuff could save you life…ok maybe your computer, but they are a part of life so there!

Go in, go hard, and get to geeking.

64 Things Every Geek Should Know – LaptopLogic.com

Oh, and before I forget, there’s one more thing that all geeks that all geeks should know. Theme music: Every good geek should have one:

Geek Christmas comes again (want list starts now)

Happy New Year, all!

You all know what time it is. It’s a new year which means CES is here. The Consumer Electronics Show that happens every year around this time(this year Jan. 8th-11th). This also means that it’s time for Geek Christmas. And this year proposes not to suck like last year did, I’m happy to say. If fact, I have some picks of the show already, thanks to Engadget. The want list for this year is looking to be pretty good. Now if only the “can get” funds would work with me. Anyway, check these out & I’ll be back later with more.

Asus EEE PC T91 Tablet

Ok, I’ve been looking into Netbooks(more on that later) for months now. The only other thing I’ve been looking into are Tablet PC’s. Asus read my mind…Ok, it was a natural progression, but work with me. You basically have a laptop roughly the size of the Amazon Kindle. HELL YES! That’s exactly what i’ve been looking for. I think I’m in love…depending on price, memory, & battery issues, that is. Still love.

LG GD910 wrist phone

Not much to say. Get your Dick Tracy on with this watch. Yea you’ll look stupid talking to a watch, but compared to walking around with an earpiece talking to yourself like a fool(confession: I’ve done it. Don’t act like I’m the only one). And it’s not ugly, either.

Just about anything from BUG Labs

I’ve not talked about these folks before, I don’t think. The BUG Labs folks make mini modular kits that you can mix & match to do what ever is offered. It’s pretty cool. They now have a projector based on Texas Instruments’ Pico technology. May have talked about having projectors in cellphones before, the same tech is here. I need to look into this stuff even more.

That’s it for now. More later.

As always, i’m following these places:

CNET
Engadget
Gearlog/PC Mag
Gizmodo
(new this year) thegadget411 (Shout out to my girl, Lizmoney)
also (new this year) expecting a podcast from gdgt.com.

for coverage because I am not in Vegas, where this is held. I think that is on my list, though.

Contemplating a purchase…

I’m in the market for a laptop. I pretty much know what I want. I was going to get it in preparation for a work trip that was coming up. I say was because that trip has been thankfully put off. February is another story *SIGH*.

Anyway, I don’t reaaaaally need a laptop, but I wants one. I even pretty much know what I want. Still seeing if there is something else that might sway me….oh yea, & I don’t have the money to get one. But I do have my phone, which in a lot of way is a little computer. Web capable, QWERTY keyboard, GPS, too if I can get the damned thing working(stupid ass Verizon for locking shit down). I can pretty much do what I need to do on this thing that I would do on a laptop. Well except a laptop is fullsized, faster, better suited to watching porn movies, and in cases come with a webcam built in for video conferencing( should you need that sort of thing).


My phone

I came across something that might marry my smartphone to a laptop in a sense. It’s called the Celio Redfly Mobile Companion.

What it does is turns your cellphone into a laptop. The Redfly is basically a screen & a keyboard with touchpad that has USB ports and Bluetooth. You connect your smartphone to the Redfly by either Bluetooth or USB, then use your phone’s programs on a bigger screen like it’s a laptop. It’s a neat concept for those who are always mobile and don’t want to always carry a laptop. Okay, there are those I’ve heard use this and still have a laptop. That’s besides the point. I can see myself using this. Sometimes it’s nice to have a bigger screen to bat out an email or check Google Maps out on. Then again, when I have to do this, I’m in a place where I can do this in a proper setting(ie: home).

To make it even sweeter, I just came across an offer that knocks half of the price off of this thing. It will be regularly $399, but up until Oct 31st, the price is $199. Personally, I think that’s the price it should be for it. I mean it’s basically a screen, keyboard, & some ports. No Operating system, no CPU, no memory. It’s a dumb terminal that uses a smartphone as it’s “brains”. Still it’s an appealing gadget.

Pros:

  • Bigger screen and keyboard than your average smartphone
  • Don’t have to carry a full laptop
  • You can charge your smartphone off of the the Redfly’s battery

Cons:

  • No CPU, storage, or memory. Can’t dump stuff to this if wanted
  • For around it’s regular price, I can get one of these mini laptops (AKA Netbooks) like the Asus EEE PC
  • I’d probably still want a laptop.

I’m sure there are other things I’m missing, but I can’t think of them right now. I’ve got until Halloween to make the decision to jump on this or not. Still mullling it over. If you yourself would be interested in this, go check it out here. There’s even a 3 minute tour at the bottom and you can check out whether your phone is supported here. It’s all Windows Mobile based phones, but I’d be willing to bet that they are working on supporting Android based phones like the HTC Dream (AKA the G1) in the future. That’s just my guess, though.

Here is a video from the mobile blog Jkontherun talking about the Redfly.

You fools, you’ll kill us ALL!

Why am I saying this? Well because of this.

You see in, oh about a little less than an hour from this post scientists, in their never ending quests to kill us all, will rev up a machine that will… You know what? You read up on it.

Large Hadron Collider Homepage

CERN

Google News

I like how there is an article for best & worst case scenarios yet scientists basically say that there is no cause for alarm. Now I’m all for scientific explorations, but I’ve seen enough movies to know that it never turns out to benefit mankind. More like destroys it. Somebody needs to send  these jokers some movies. Better yet, let them colonize the moon or Mars. Let them play their reindeer games there. If it works out, send it home. If not, we don’t have to worry about it…hopefully.

Anyway, should you see this in the afternoon and laugh at my lunacy, Cool, I’ll except that. But if you don’t see this, then I was right and you can all suck it.

And I love you all! Really!

(EDIT) It’s 3:50am. The Collider has been initiated. So far, still here.

Here is a tour of the joint doing the commotion:

CERN Tour: Video that makes you smarter – Scobleizer.com

(EDIT 2)
It’s 5:45am and we’re still here! Whoo HoOO! The starting up was successful. Except I hear there may have been a “small problem” during the initial startup. AND I’m hearing that they will be firing up the damn thing a few more times in the coming weeks. The want to build up to crashing two particles Crash Test Dummy style into each other. Clearly they, don’t know the words “Quit while you’re ahead”.

I would like to thank twitter for keeping me on pins & needles abreast of the goings on over in Geneva Switzerland(where this is taking place). We are not out of the woods yet, folks. Never fear, though, the website Mashable tells us “How to know when the Large Hadron Collider spells your doom“(Including a strip from a web comic I love, XKCD).

07 gems: Muxtape

So after much hemming and hawing, I’ve decided to kick around Muxtape. You see, i’ve come across some old tapes and playlists that i’ve done in times past (I guess you can call them mixtapes, but there was no real mixing involved). I wanted to find a place or two where I could put them up and link them to the blog for any number of reasons. Not saying that there might be any additional segments to the site, but you never know what may come. Anyway, I’ve found other such websites, but they either need the song to be already on the net or you need to have your music on a site or space you’re in control of. Well, I can’t always find songs on the net using sites like Seeqpod, Skreemr, Mixwit, or Grooveshark lite (though Grooveshark has been having a better average so far), and I don’t have a spot of that I can just store stuff in the cloud…yet. I’m looking into something, but that’s for later. Right about now….

Muxtape is a website wherein one can put up a quick, and I use the word quick loosely (you’ll see), playlist for the world to share in…Well at least your friends or whoever you send the link to or sees it. There are other site that probably do this better and will let you embed something on your own site, but this is a quick dirty job, with a fairly clean interface.

After you sign up, (its free), you can start uploading MP3 tracks or do what little customizing of your page that you are given. This means you can title, caption or change the password and color of the page. Simple. But let’s get to the meat of it. Muxtape is cool for it’s simplicity, but some annoyances at the same time. You’ve got a 12 song limit and you can only load MP3s for now. No problem there, but you can only upload them one at a time. This is not such a bad thing if it wasn’t for the fact that some times you get an error in the midst of uploading a song and have to start again. There is a 24MB limit per track but I don’t know too many MP3s that will exceed this. Once you get your songs in there, you can rearrange them, rename the track, or delete the track if you don’t think it fits, which you probably would have done before uploading songs. And once you delete a track, it’s gone unless you upload it again. By the way, the speed of the upload depends on the speed of your internet connection. Don’t think you’ll be trying this on Dial up. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Rearranging songs is easy, just drag and drop the track where you want it. Doesn’t really get easier. Once done, sit back and enjoy the mix (or mux). Once you get to your playlist page, you can click on a track and listen away. You get the names of the track which, I believe, comes off of the ID3 tags of the MP3 unless you change the name after uploading. This reminds me of a pet peeve with MP3 tagging, but that’s for another post. Anyway, let’s get to controls. You can click a track start/stop a track and/or click on in another track. That’s about it. No rewind, no fast forward. No wire hangers. If you start a track and let it play on through, it’ll go to the next one automatically. You can see how much time the song is under the name and a counter to the right of the song. Also, if you were listening to someone elses Mux and like the song that’s playing, you can buy it by clicking the ‘buy this MP3’ link under the title.

If you know of someone else with a muxtape, you can favorite there mux at the top right. They can do likewise and you can see the ones you’ve favorited when you log in. One thing I’ve noticed is that in the terms of service, they say that once you you upload a track, they can use it. I have little problem with this, but I’ve not seen what they do with the track and/or whether it stays with them should you delete the track.

And speaking of deleting, This brings up the thing that peeves me out about the site. Suppose you are tired of the mux that you’ve made and want to another one. No problem, just delete it and start fresh with a new one….oookay, and what does one do if one wants to recall an old mux. Guess what, you’re SOL unless you delete and reload it! You can’t have more than one muxtape ever (Unless you have multiple logins). That’s bunk! I would really like to see the ability to keep at least 5 muxes around, but maybe the internet music license strikes again. Who knows.

Now you may be asking yourself, I wonder how can I find a particular artist or song in someone’s muxtape. Well, look no further than Muxtape Stumbler. I don’t think it has anything to do with the folks at muxtape, but it doesn’t matter. Muxtape Stumbler, as you would expect, is a music search engine using muxtape as the playground. this way, you can find songs and there by finding new muxtapes to discover, as opposed to the ones you see on the front page of the site. Now if there was an alternate way to get the mp3’s this would be a dangerous combination. it’s just as well there isn’t. you should really support the artists and but the songs anyway. What would also be cool is if they had support for Last.FM, which I hear is coming.(EDIT: as of the day after I originally posted this (probably the day of) Muxtape now has Last.FM integration. You first have to logon and link it to your Last.FM account. Then while you’re logged in to Muxtape, you can scrobble any songs you listen to.

(EDIT)
Came across an app that let’s you have Muxtape up without going to the site in a browser. It’s called Muxtape on AIR. It’s made with Adobe’s AIR platform, so if you don’t already have it, you will have to download it and install it before installing MoA. This is cool if you don’t feel like having a browser open or don’t want to have Muxtape in a browser while surfing. haven’t checked this out yet, but I will.

Well, that’s about it except for one thing from the ‘You should have saw this coming’ file: If you care to check out MY muxtape, you can go here. What’s there now may not be new to a couple of you, but if it is, enjoy it. It was something I put together a few months ago, just for giggles. Plus, if you should happen to see this post sometime from now and the content has changed, hopefully, it’ll still be good. And while this defeats the purpose of sending you there, you can download the mix (if you liked it) from here:

Now before you ask me why I’m using Pando, 1) is because I like it, and 2)Mediafire wasn’t playing right and zshare…I just didn’t try. There you go.

Late to the party: The Twitter thing

(ED. Note: Twitter has been seeing it’s fair share of outages lately, so don’t be surprised or annoyed if it’s down.)

So this post has been long in coming because…While I’ve known about it since it started in 2006, I really didn’t check it out until ’07 and even then, I didn’t think it would last. Boy, was I wrong, or just short in being right.

Anyway, let’s get to it. We are here to talk about the phenomenon known as Twitter. I think I’ve decided to do a couple of things with this post: 1) Break it up into two posts, and 2) concentrate on Twitter more than it’s closest competitor, Pownce(Which I also like). Why, because I’ve spent more time on Twitter than Pownce and the fact that I will probably use Pownce in a slightly different way than I do Twitter. The reason why I’m even mentioning Pownce is for contrast. Both are good services with great potential and should be looked into that the first chance. Wait until you finish the post first though, eh?

The thing to answer is what are Twitter and Pownce. Before I answer that, I’d like you to take a peep at this great short video from Commoncraft.com on what Twitter is. It can tell you better than I ever could.

Twitter in Plain English

Finished? Cool. Now that you’ve seen that, you have an idea on what Twitter is. What you don’t know is that it can be so much more than that. It can be a teaching aid, a news reader, meeting arranger, book starter, blog promotion, news gathering, poll taking device, search engine, Public IM chat, mini blog, movie reviews, and many other uses I’m sure. For my people on the ED board, think of it as any of the random thoughts threads all in one. Basically what I’m saying is that it can be just about anything you’d want it to be. For me, I listen to and read a lot of podcasts and blogs. A lot of people I read or listen to are on Twitter so it’s a lurk into what they are thinking and doing at the moment. Plus, there is a chance to get in on some good conversation or see who’s eating a cheese sandwich. 🙂 Next post, I’ll list off some Twitter tools to help get more out the service. For now, let’s get a couple of basics out of the way.

First off, Twitter is free to sign up for. Once you do, you fill out your particulars and start twittering(the act of posting) from the site. Before you do that though, you may want to hit the settings button. You may want to make some changes if you hadn’t done so when signing up. Barring any changes you might want to make to your account page or password, you may want to hit the picture tab and add a picture of yourself or what have you. I don’t know about how they feel about anything of an obscene nature, but even if they are cool with it, others might not be. Even still, the picture will represent you so that’s on you as to how you want to do that. There is also the design tab to mess around with. You can use Twitter’s default style or you can change the text and background picture and colors. You know, make it more homey. Just PLEASE don’t go Myspace with it. (*BLECCCHH!!*) By the way, you have the option to make your tweets private by checking the “protect my updates” box on the account tab. Then, only those you choose to see your tweets (those that are following you) can see them.

You might also got to the device tab and set twittering from a mobile phone or IM client. No only can you tweet (that’s what they call your posts) from the website, you can tweet from your cellphone via text or by an IM client. We’ll talk about other ways next post. For the phone, you just put in your number and save it. You will probably want to set up a contact for Twitter in your phone. For IM, you put in your Gtalk, Livejournal, or any other Jabber client’s ID and go to town. You can also turn on/off device updates and set a “sleep” time from here. Ok, here’s the deal on this. With device updates on, tweet’s from anyone you follow will be sent to your phone via text, provided you chose to have that person’s tweet sent there. This is cool if you have an unlimited texting plan or like vibration. I still don’t think that if you follow a lot of people (or people who tweet nonstop) and send their tweets to your phone, you’d want to have this to be a factor. But if you do set up for phone updates, you can set up a time that you won’t get the texts. This is handy if say you are in a meeting or, I don’t know, maybe want to sleep.

Now that you have all of that ironed that out, you may want to start twittering. If you are on the website, you will see a text box at the top of the screen where you can make the magic happen. There is a character countdown on the right hand side the goes down as you type. Even though you have a 140 character limit on tweets you can keep typing past that. Once you hit the update button, it’s only going to post 140 characters though. If you have more than that to say, you might want to split the tweet or just blog about it elsewhere. 🙂 If you are on your cellphone, you already know that you have a cap of between 140-160 characters depending on phone. If you went over 140, your tweet gets split after the 140 mark. Got it, good. All you need now is some commands.

Let’s get some lingo going. Basically there are two things necessary to get around Twitter. Learning how to tweet and replying to tweets. I think the first part is covered, so let’s get to replying. Replys are handled in this manner:

(At the start of a tweet)

@username [whatever you want to say minus the brackets] = @ mean the reply will be publicly seen but directed to the username given.

d username [whatever you want to say minus the brackets] = d means a direct message to username given. I don’t think you can direct message people who are not following you. Haven’t tried it yet though.

These can be done from wherever way you tweet from. There are other commands that might be useful if you are checking things out from a phone. You can find a list of the lingo here.

Below is an example of how the page will look when you sign on from the web.

You have a picture of a person’s tweet(s), their name, the tweet, where they twittered from and a star and an arrow pointing back to the tweet. The star is for when you really like the tweet and want to favorite it. Just click it and go. I’ve yet to really use this even though I’ve come across some great tweets. The arrow is for when you want to reply to the tweet. You just click that and you will see an @username in the box at the top where you update. just start typing your reply and update(leaving a space in between the @username and the start of your reply.

That should just about cover everything you need to get started except for one thing. The whole following thing I’ve been alluding to. On Twitter, you’re either being followed by or following people. Think friending in Myspace, Facebook, etc. and you’re pretty much there. Say you are signed in to Twitter and you come across someone (or you already know someone there) that you find interesting and want to keep up with their updates. On the top of their page under their pictures, you will see a box that says “Follow”(example above). Click that and you start following their updates. If you’ve set it up, you can get an email anytime that someone follows you. So when you start to follow someone, that person might get an email saying that you are following them. If they choose to, they can follow you back, but it’s not mandatory that they do. The same goes for you when someone follows you. You can also block or remove people should they prove to get besides themselves as people on the ‘Net are want to do sometimes. On the same token, you can be blocked at the discretion or the person you are following, so take that as it is.

I should also point out that there potentially could be spam on the service. Using a site called Tweetscan, where companies and others can search through Twitter for keywords of choice. Think Google Alerts but for Twitter. This can be used to find out who’s talking about what (IE: about them) so that they can follow their updates if necessary. While I can see good uses for the site, I’m not so keen (or sure) on how it can be used. After all, the people following you can see and reply to your tweets, but unless you follow them back, that’s about where it stops. Not sure what exactly is gained outside of the fact that you may have mentioned them once. There are those people who somehow seem to follow everybody for rather suspious reasons. If you should happen to check out who’s following you and all they ever post about are links going to something on their site, you should weigh it out. If you like it, cool, if not, do what you must. All of this may sound a bit contradictory when I speak on another site next post, but I think you can handle it.

That’s enough for now. Get to Twittering. Me talking about it doesn’t give it enough justice. And if you care to, send me a message when you get on there.

If you care to read a little more on it, try these places:

Newbie’s guide to Twitter – Webware.com

The Twitter Handbook

The quick guide to Twitter

I’m sure I’ve missed something, but maybe I’ll catch it for next post. This should be enough to get you out there. Before you know it, you’ll be a Twitterholic in no time.

Couldn’t resist it.

As you can see, I just changed the template of the blog. I got from here. It was done by someone over at Infocreek.com and was based from a wordpress template of the same name called Aspire. I was thinking of a change for the blog anyway, so this came along a t a great time. It may still need a tweak or two for my own likeness, but it kind called to me. It’s a little different from the old one, but still has a feel that I kinda like. What’s funny is, it was billed as a template for History or Food bloggers, of which I am not. Hopefully I didn’t break anything in the change. On a side note, it’s taken me about 2 or so hours from the time before I posted this to get it the way it is now. Blogger is a funny animal at times.

At any rate, let me know how you like.

Quick reviews…just ’cause

The Roots – Rising Down: Go get it.

Estelle – Shine: Why don’t you already have this?

Portishead – Third
: Still need to spin this one some more, but get it anyway. Maybe they’ll get their asses into the studio more. (If any member of Portishead happens to see this, I say this with love. And where the Hell is Keybored 299 03??)

Iron Man movie: Hadn’t seen it. Shut up! I usually wait until they get to DVD anyway.

Grand Theft Auto IV: It apparently is the shit. I’ve only cracked it open and started it before getting busy with other crap. Lemme lone. If I finish it before Soul Calibur IV, that’ll be saying something.

That’s all I can think of right now. If this wasn’t enough for you. Allow me to point you to a time passer.
It’s called Typeracer. Sounds self explanatory? It is. You’re a car, you’re in a race with other cars. First one to type their way to the finish line with the given lines of text, wins. Mistakes have to be dealt with before moving on. I personally, suck, but their seems to be some jokers who can type 160 words a second (that’s insane!). There is a leaderboard, if you some choose to participate. You can also practice, which let’s you know how bad you really are. It’s pretty fun…if you like typing games.

Later!