Friday, October 22, 2010

The Internet...Point and Click or Tab and Type

Does anyone remember those old loud keyboards? You know, the ones that sounded like jigsaw puzzle pieces clicking into place as you struck the keys! I remember the old Tandy that we had practically echoed down the hallway when you typed. I kind of miss those keyboards. They were from an age of computing (I know I'm only in my early 20s) when a computer was a smart tool...smart in the sense that you had to have some smarts to use them.

I'm not saying that computers were for any sort of elite group (and I am by no means calling myself smart), but they definitely required you to use your brain. Today, a "good computer" or rather a good UI (user interface) and OS (operating system) is one that any native pulled out of the jungle could sit down and figure out without being shown. Modern computing for the average home user has become idiot-proof. This phenomenon applies to the Internet as well. Websites that have been around since Al Gore gave the green light for the interwebs are updating the sites more and more every year to make their interface "more user friendly"...you know, in case all of the Aborigines decide to leave the bush and buy MacBook Airs tomorrow. The point is, just because more people can supposedly use computers without instruction doesn't make them better...maybe more marketable, but certainly not better.


Why did we most of us learn to read analog clocks? Well, some might argue it's a product of the Cold War days and that we should be prepared for the potential reality that an EMP from a large nuclear detonation might wipe out all digital watches in the world leaving humanity to fall into a post-apocalyptic world of chaos because no one will know when Survivor will be on (NaOnka, you need to go home). Others might say it's simply because there are many analogue watches still being made...very valid. While still others might say it's because it is the most efficient (let's not talk about atomic clocks here) and fail-safe form of time keeping and helps 7 year olds (and older) learn an engaging mathematical system in a practical way. Well, a watch is a simple little machine that helps people like you and me obtain information that gets us through our days. Isn't a computer the same thing, only worlds more complex? In that same vein, aren't we forsaking the more efficient, powerful, and engaging forms of computing for the less-capable, less powerful, and more passive forms? Simple is not necessarily better in computing!

Remember the days of command lines and terminals? Maybe you don't, hell I wasn't typing when it was a mainstay. However, you used to need a basic level of programming in order to navigate a computer. You needed some training, some knowledge, some cerebral activity. It took more work, but your computer experience was more adaptable. Tech support was not the multi-gazillion dollar business that it is today because people could work through their own problems. They didn't have a message box with the "OK" grayed out...they had a loop in code or an error that had to be worked around.

While many people companies might argue that more user-friendly interfaces are beneficial to productivity and other similar things, it can't be argued that being ignorant and only knowing how to click things is more powerful and long-lived than knowing how to type commands.

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."


I just threw up a little in my mouth for using that, but it's applicable here. We've become too dumb for a race that has become so dependent upon a technology and experiences that require some real smarts to maintain and adapt to the future. Maybe this newer generation who were born with Baby Einstein and Fisher-Price laptops will change things?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My return... **Imperial March**

So I haven't posted in quite awhile, but I blame that on medical school starting. This leads me to my first point...a shameless plug for my new blog: What Would Simon Tam Do (wwstd.com).
Is the plug shameless?...I think not. It is however very reminiscent of Nathan Fillion's tweets yesterday for the facebook page that is petitioning for him to host an SNL episode...like Betty White!



So my new blog is obviously medically related, but of course nerdy. So really it's a medical nerd's take on science and medicine, but anyone who likes medicine or nerdy things will like it...so yeah you should just start following me there too! The name of the blog is a reference to the amazing series Firefly (R.I.P.). If I haven't already made some comment in a previous post about how you're a loser for not know what the show is...this is that time. Pause and let the shame soak in. Wait. Wait. Almost there...ok. Don't worry though, I didn't know the show at one point, but my girlfriend changed that for me. You should just buy the DVDs here and add them to your Doctor Who collection: 

In other news, I bought a Fathead a couple weeks ago. For those of you who don't know what Fatheads are, I'll just explain and save you the Amazon Associates link. It's basically a giant plastic re-stickable sticker that you stick on your wall. Mine is of Darth Vader posing with his lightsaber (please note there is only one tribute to Star Wars in this entire room and it is therefore not my room but a staged reenactment of how Vader looks on my wall).

Looks cool right? Well it is much cooler and scarier in person (almost too stimulating to sleep in the same room). However, the damn thing had a habit of falling off of my textured wall when I first got it! Might not sound like a big deal, but imagine a massive super strong sticker sticking to itself in like 50,003 places...not add the intimidation of that sticker being a Sith and you'll understand what I went through. After giant Annie Skywalker falling twice, he is now up and happy on my wall. I highly recommend getting a Fathead...they're like an intermediate between a poster and the real person.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

THOR Trailer!!!



Ok, so it looks like the video got pulled. While I don't believe this extended trailer has been "officially" released yet, it's all over the internet now...use some googles. I just want to say that if you follow this blog regularly you would have had this high quality leak (compliments of io9.com) within an hour of it hitting the internet...I'm just saying.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

People Watching: Episode I

I love to people watch in my spare time, but really...who doesn't? In light of this reality, I am going to start an episodic series here on people watching. For each episode I will state the place, time, and aliases of the individuals involved (I will of course choose the aliases myself in order to fully protect the identity...yadayada...this will make it more fun! So here we go!

******************************************************

PLACE: Starbucks
TIME: 9:00PM
ALIASES: the Doctor, Rory, and Amy Pond

******************************************************

It appears that the Doctor and Rory are working on some sort of project for school. Amy Pond is obviously with Rory and appears to not be involved with said project in any way...well, unless you consider chewing gum and staring at Rory's bicep through her freakish contact lenses a contribution. The Doctor has a laptop and half a brain, Rory has a heavy Jordanian-Guido accent (yes...such a thing can exist), and Amy Pond...well she likes her gum.

After some attempt at school talk, Amy Pond decides to take a break from mouth-breathing and ask for the Doctor's opinion on something. She wants to know if Rory is justified in getting upset over her allowing guys to dance "all up on her" at the club. Her argument is that the guys were coming up to her and her friends on their own...they weren't moving from their spots. Rory interrupts Amy Pond before she finishes to interject the fact that she was completely sober and can't use alcohol as an excuse for the behavior. The Doctor lets the two bicker for a minute and then bestows his grand advice. He says that guys "grind up on bit*hes because they're looking for a play" and that Amy Pond should understand that she shouldn't be looking for said plays if she is with Rory. Rory agrees with the Doctor and Amy Pond becomes despondent...causing her to simultaneously chew her gum and mouth-breath more loudly. This event is what catalyzed me to blog!

After some more bickering, the Doctor begins to talk about his relationship with some mythical chick and how it's a shining example of perfection in a world of blind booty grinding and mistrust. This leads to a discussion about which movie Amy Pond, Rory, the Doctor should "do as a double" (I assume this is a double date). The Doctor suggests Inception (one of the most amazing original movies I have seen in quite some time!!!) or Despicable Me. Rory replies, "Well I heard that Inception is really hard to understand and I just don't get that...why do I want to use my brain or have to think when I see a movie...I want to relax man!" Amy Pond then settled the matter with, "Despicable Me...oh, the little yellow guys!...let's see that baby!" The Doctor simply nodded his head and then finally started concentrating on the project. I think Rory was relieved that his booty grinding Snooki wanted the yellow man movie over the brain movie.




LLAP!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What I'm thinking about right now...in my brain!

So normally I have googolplex of thoughts and opinions on a daily basis...each of which could easily be turned into a blog entry. However, because I have such high standards when it comes to my blog topics, holding my readers in such high esteem, I only select one or maybe two a day (if I do choose to blog). Tonight though, I am going to deviate from the norm and give you something different. A sampling of my brain! Below are 3 short topics I am currently pondering...in my brain (as Jason Stackhouse would say).

1. Dead Space is a ridiculously scary game! I haven't been playing it for too long, but so far I would describe it as a cross between F.E.A.R. and Bioshock. Now, I also thought Half-Life was scary the first time I played it, but I think it's all about the conditions of your gameplay. For instance, when I was first helping Gordon Freeman through Black Mesa I was doing so after finishing homework at about 11:30 at night, with the lights off. Similarly (but ungodly more scary), I have spent a portion of my time in Dead Space with the lights off, in 1080P, with full 5.1 surround sound.


2. I hate the physics of this universe because they disallow the existence of an ansible! For those of you who (once again) are so lame as to have never read Ender's Game or come across this device elsewhere...an ansible allows for instantaneous communication across infinite space. Seriously, Stephen Hawking can't come up with some sort of theory that makes quantum entanglement a predictive cause-and-effect system? For the time being, Ender Wiggin won't be able to help out our military. Read all about it here: http://io9.com/5584356/can-i-build-an-ansible-to-communicate-across-the-cosmos I mean, if the TARDIS can exist then why not an ansible?


3. James Dyson is an alien! I'm talking about the man who "invented" the Dyson Airblade, Dual Cyclone bag-less vacuum cleaner, and Dyson Air Multiplier. If you have seen any of this alien technology firsthand then you will surely agree with me. If you haven't been exposed yet, I suggest a trip to Best Buy for a look at his Air Multiplier...a fan that blows strong with no blades! Below you can watch some of Dyson's enslaved humans playing with his technology...probably on his spaceship.


LLAP!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Vampirism: Mother Earth's Final Solution?

Last night I watched the movie Daybreakers for the first time.


It was pretty boss...something I wasn't expecting based on how fast the hype died out and it came to BluRay and DVD. For those of you who haven't seen or head much about it, the general premise (no spoilers) is that vampirism was discovered and spread (in many cases intentionally) throughout a human race that was craving a cure for all diseases and the resulting immortality. The form of vampirism used in the movie is fairly typical and includes an allergy to sunlight (specifically UV rays). As a result, populations are really only active and out during the nighttime hours and forced to move about the world in underground tunnels during the daytime. In the movie, this lifestyle appears to have forced mankind's vampirekind's hand in terms of technological development (that and the need to harvest blood from the few remaining humans...it's really cool...you should definitely just watch the movie).

When you take all of this reality into account and add in the fact that vampirism is viewed as an "evolution" for humanity, giving it a sort of natural connotation, I think it could serve as a solution to "Mother Earth's poisoning." Now hold the phone one sec! I used quotes with that last statement, my thesis here if you will, because while I believe in preserving this planet I am by now means a member of Captain Planet's Planeteers...although, what boy didn't have a crush on Linka from the Soviet Union?
So yeah, what it things eventually get so bad that vampirism pops up as an evolutionary solution? It would force us underground for half the day and force our ingenuity! We would work to reverse Global Warming (even though it doesn't exist...*cough*) because vamps like it cold and would want as much protection from UV as possible. We would essentially isolate ourselves from the earth that would be lethal to us in her prime hours.

Wow!...I hate that this made me sound so much like a tree hugger. Btw, I love veal!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

WOOT Shirts...another one of my addictions!

Hi, my name is Aaron and I am addicted to Woot Shirts awesome! I am the proud owner of 18 19 Woot Shirts, though not proud of each of my shirts...but more on that in a moment.

For those of you who are not familiar with http://shirt.woot.com, it is affiliated with the more generl http://woot.com, which hosts a single online sale item each day. Like its parent site, Woot Shirt offers up each and every day a new item...only they are always T-shirts. Yes, and cheap shirts at that...for $10 flat you can buy a different Woot Shirt each and every day of the year (and for $5 more you can have that shirt overnight or internationally delivered). Sure beats the hell out of Abercrombie & Fitch!

Now, what's super cool about these shirts is where their designs come from. Public submissions. Yeah, every week a new theme is selected for the Woot Shirt Derby and designs are submitted. Website visitors are then able to vote for their favorite designs and the top 3 are made into shirts. The shirt designs also come from hired Woot Shirt Designers, who will also sometimes pick their favorite designs from submitted designs.

Anyway, after a shirt has been online (or sold out), it goes into the Woot Shirt Reckoning where you can buy it for $15 as the base price. If the shirt is in the top 20 selling shirts on the site, or fits into a particular category, it can be kept around in the Reckoning for longer.

So there are the basics! Go bookmark the site and then come back here.

Hokay, so if you were a noob, now you can comprehend about 0.000000134% of the awsomeness that is Woot Shirt (no offense) and I can share my collection with you. BEHOLD!

 


As I said above, there are 19 of them (I bought one while writing this as the new shirts come out every night at 1:00PM est). They are listed chronologically in order of purchase starting with the most recent...isn't that newest one awesome?...my med school friends will love it! Anyway, these shirts plus a couple button-downs and a couple polos make up my entire wardrobe.

Jealous? My girlfriend surely is...and YES, I do have one!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Guantanamo Bay library is our greatest threat to homeland security!

This blog, as eclectic and awesome as it is, will never become political. With that said...have you seen what the Camp Delta prisoners have access to?


Twilight and Harry Potter!?! What was somebody thinking? A little harmless teen fiction to keep the prisoners occupied perhaps? No!

First off, it appears that only 2 Potter books are available...Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban. Upon realizing this, one might say, "Well, at least those prisoners won't learn any of the Unforgivable Curses and won't learn about what Horcruxes are"...at least that's what I said. However, if you think about it Guantanamo Bay is probably about as close to Azkaban as you can get (located on an island in the middle of the sea...Cuba in the middle of the Caribbean Sea)...so WHY are we giving these prisoners a book about a guy who escapes from Azkaban!!!?!!!


That's the most obvious problem we have here. If you think about the power of J.K. Rowling's writing and how awesome the Harry Potter books are you know that it's almost inevitable that prisoners will stage a riot or claim under International Law that they are entitled to the other books in the series...that's when we need to change the color on that Homeland Security Advisory System!

I'm going to stop myself right there with Harry Potter. I feel that if I let myself go any further I might write a book detailing the parallels that exist between Harry Potter and the U.S. war on terrorism.

Check out the rest of the pictures HERE!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Halo: Reach or a flying car?

So I've be anticipating Bungie's newest project, Halo: Reach, especially since my recent acquisition of an Xbox 360 (thank you Microsoft for the price cuts that made way for the Elite). My anticipation has taken on a new fiery fervor since the release of this new trailer:



So, if you're like me you might go for the gold and put down some money to reserve your copy of Halo: Reach...do it here actually because Amazon truly has one of the best deals around for it:

However, if your "money-down-reservation" impulse is especially primed, may I suggest you take a cool $10,000 and lay it down to reserve a model of the first flying car.

Yes, a company called Terrafugia-Transition is giving you the opportunity to put money down and reserve your very own flying car: http://www.terrafugia.com/order.html

"Each $10,000 deposit is kept separately from Terrafugia's operating funds at the Massachusetts-based Cambridge Trust Company. Until such time as we can arrange for a purchase agreement, the original deposit, less a modest processing fee, remains fully refundable."


I don't know about you, but I'm torn now between Halo:Reach and the Transition!

Dream: David Tennant...no homo!

So I had a dream last night. It was pretty weird, but I think I know why I had it...all that Comic Con research I've been doing.

I was working as a waiter at some small restaurant or coffee shop somewhere. It was late and the shop was just closing up. I was sweeping the floors and stacking cups or something when I saw one of the tables in the back still had someone sitting at it. As I made my way to the back of the shop to give the non-verbal "you should pack it in" to this customer I stopped suddenly. I caught a glimpse of the patron and it hit me all at once who he was...the 10th doctor!!!


David Tennant was sitting by himself reading a newspaper/magazine in my place of work. I didn't want to seem like one of those ridiculous fans his kind probably run into daily, so I tactfully picked up the broom that I had dropped and casually made my way at a natural pace to the table he was occupying.

Once I was within a reasonable distance I stopped and asked him if he was...who he was. He was very nice and asked if I was a fan of Doctor Who. We talked for a bit, during which time I dropped in that my girlfriend would die if he autographed something for her. It seemed like he ignored this fact and we kept talking about his career as the Doctor and how this past season ended with Matt Smith taking over. He said he liked the direction the show was taking, but didn't know anything about River Song...damn!


After about a half hour of talking, I decided I was done being creepy and decided to let him go. As we were getting up he told me to hold on! He asked if I had anything to write on. I asked him to wait a second while I ran into the back. When I returned he was standing by the door with an open hand. He asked for the paper in my hand and my girlfriend's name.

I don't remember anything after that. I assume he signed the paper and I became like the best boyfriend in the world.

Fin.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

FrontierVille...my new addiction!!!

Hi, my name is Aaron and I am a FarmVille FrontierVille addict.

If you would have asked me to sit in a room with Tyler Durden a month ago, I would have sworn up and down that FarmVille is where it's at. Now...I feel I have evolved. For those of you who haven't already received a neighbor request from me, may I present FrontierVille:

video

It's basically WoW for Facebook...especially in terms of how emotionally invested you can become. Take for instance my frontier (referring to it as a "frontier" and "frontiering" instead of "farm" and "farming" takes some getting used to). I am married to Amy Pond...if you don't know who that is then you should buy the following:













My son is Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton's finest role) and we all work together under Manifest Destiny. The game allows you to share your items with your neighbors, so it really does pay to have a lot of friends...more so than it does in that evil FarmVille!

Go check it out: http://frontierville.com

Friday, July 2, 2010

Xbox 360 game lets players battle oil spill - Technology & science - Games - Citizen Gamer - msnbc.com


Ever read Ender's Game? If you haven't you should really stop, cancel all plans that you have for tomorrow, and plan to read it!





***Ender's Game Spoilers***



You know how Ender believes he is in a simulator at the end, but he's really piloting an actual ship outside the bugger's homeworld? Well, I think that's what BP is doing with these video games. You buy the game...maybe just playing the demo is good enough...and as you pilot your digital sub/ship, a real remote vessel is moving and following your commands out in the gulf.

I'm not sure if this system is real time. Maybe it only deploys real vessels if you are successfully able to stop the oil leak and clean up the gulf in the game. Maybe BP will come pick you up and bring you out into the gulf to use your skills firsthand if you prove yourself...have you seen The Last Starfighter? I'm not sure, but either way the system could totally work. Just think about it! Xbox Live is such a structured and controlled network...it's the perfect infrastructure for deploying such a system. Also, Microsoft is aching for some limelight and power (they really keep failing in the mobile tech world right now)...GO ANDROID!!!



Star Wars Lightsaber Room Light - Star Wars Various Other Lines Star Wars Science

I have been waiting for this to be released for months now! As of yesterday we are now within the 3rd Quarter (at least it would make sense that we are). Can you imagine setting these up in all the rooms of your my house/apartment?...so boss!



@Blake, I am totally following through with my plan of marking your guest room with one of these. How cool would it be to link the electrical outlet to the internet and set it up so that I could light the saber when I was on my way over. Or maybe we could set up a similar system in my place too and anytime either of us needed help (maybe with class) we could light the saber in the other person's place. YES!!!

Star Wars Lightsaber Room Light - Star Wars Various Other Lines Star Wars Science

What Is This? (Spoiler: A Complex List)

You know how Lost (may you rest in peace) loved lists and making the simple things more complex and unnecessarily cooler than they needed to be? Yeah, that's kinda what this is like.



What Is This? (Spoiler: A Complex List)

Turn a flashlight into a handheld burning laser

I have been wanting to do this for such a long time.


Laser Flashlight Hack! - The best bloopers are here