Posts Tagged with "technology"

Ford Releases Consumer-Friendly Car for 2010

November 9th, 2009 at 6:36 am by Mark
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     This just in from The Onion News Network…

     I started reading The Onion about nine years ago while working in New Zealand.  There’s always been some pretty brilliant Tech spoof.  But one ardent reader noticed this gem, which carries a pretty serious language alert despite being about the funniest bit of satire I’ve ever seen The Onion put out:

     And an honorable mention….

     Do you have the sneaking suspicion that maybe The Onion spoofed something Apple was actually working on there?  I mean, it seems just ridiculous enough to be… real.  Of course, Apple Engineers never would have noticed the hole — err, whole — NSFW Goatse angle

Fix: Samsung SPH-A920 / MM-A920 Fullscreen Backgrounds

October 20th, 2008 at 3:50 am by Mark
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     From what I’ve seen, this is the only page on the Internet that actually answers this rather popular question, and it’s out there on the ‘net about a million times…

     “How do I get my screensaver to take up the full screen on the A920?”

     If you have a miniSD card with a converter, you can easily size your background image to the perfect resolution of 176×220 (the screen’s natural resolution) on your computer, pop the card in the phone, select the image, assign it as a screensaver and that should make ‘em full screen, right?
     Oh, hell no.  It’s much more convoluted.  You’ll end up with white bars at the top and bottom of the screen, and the vertical res cropped, thus destroying your picture and making your phone’s desktop look like total crap.

     The fix is easy, although convoluted.

     Hit the “Camera” button, then hit “7” for “Settings & Info.”  Select “3” for “View Mode” and set it to “Portrait.”  The phone will probably power off at that point, but when it comes back up, the white menu bars at the top and bottom are gone.

     I have no idea why the hell they’d drop it under Camera Settings…

     And, the fact that it crops photos in landscape mode when the vertical size is bloody well larger that the horizontal size is beyond me.

     And, why they insist on calling a background image a screen saver is totally messed up…

     It’s no friggin’ wonder everyone keeps calling their XP background a “screen saver” these days.  *shakes head*

     Quirky, at best.  And for sure, it should be filed under “annoying stuff to piss people off.”

Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC

Microsoft Windows: Coming to a Coffee Table Near You

June 22nd, 2007 at 9:04 pm by Mark
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     A little while back, I did a review about the reacTable, a table-top music synthesizer.  People loved it.  So when Microsoft comes up with Microsoft Surface, people are going insane on the Microsoft-bashing bandwagon.

     Check this out …

     Sorry, cool stuff.

     Still, a lot of people are screaming that, “Microsoft is inventing a product which there’s no need for!”
     My honest opinion says that that those types of short-sighted Asshats can suck a big one.

     Whether or not some people see a need for it or not is irrelevant.  There certainly are uses for it now.  Think in terms of business and Government, where untold sums of money are spent on Conference Calls, cameras, long distance charges, couriers, paper documents, signatures…
     Imagine the ability to slide a signed digital document across the desk to a guy sitting across the country … or at a manufacturing facility in Singapore … sending a design specification, and getting back photos of a prototype … having a Sales & Marketing meeting, complete with fresh demographic material from a country you’ve never been to …
     Imagine the ability for a President to learn about a culture by reading interacting with their representative … being able to read their material, on the fly … forging a pact … stopping a war … signing an International Peace Accord.

     Coming from the Asshat line of thinking, we had bonfires, so who needed a fireplace?  We had fireplaces, so why have an oven?  The oven was fine, so who needs a microwave?  Seriously, why have a refrigerator when we were perfactly happen asking the ice-man to come into our cellars and fill the icebox?  Why did we need telephones when we could visit?  Why did we need cellphones when we had perfectly good landlines?  Why did we need e-mail when we had a perfectly good postal system?  Why did we need the Internet at all?

     Innovation is great.  It helps fulfill our quest to better ourselves, and when used correctly, allows us to be more productive.

     I have to admit, however, that the little show when they sit my drink on the bar is definitely gonna distract me from watching the carbonation rise to a head in my Guinness…

Next Generation Combat Simulation

April 22nd, 2007 at 1:03 pm by Mark
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    Last October, I wrote about the upcoming game, Crysis, which looked really cool with its fully destructible environments.  Crysis has apparently been picked up by Electronic Arts, but there’s still no release date set.  I hate vaporware.
     But, that’s okay… Crysis is probably a little too game-like for me anyway…

     A few years ago, I got hooked on Operation: Flashpoint.  What it lacked visually, it more than made up for with its gameplay and impressive artificial intelligence.  Check out the trailer…

     It was more of a “combat simulator” than a game, which caused a lot of people a lot of frustration.  One bad move, and a whole battallion of soldiers would come shooting.  And you didn’t die instantly — you’d get a crippled leg, or a weak arm that couldn’t hold a rifle sight steady.  Unsteady and slow to react, eventually you’d take a headshot and die.

     Bohemeia Interactive really did a great job on it.  But … what else would you expect, considering they’re the ones who brought Virtual Battlefield Systems 1 and VBS1 to the U.S. Military?
     They have a ton of press about the release of VBS2, as well…

     Last month, BI released Armed Assault in Europe, but didn’t have a U.S. distributor yet.  Fortunately, Atari picked it up, but the name is a little different.  ArmA: Combat Operations is due for release on May 1st (and available for pre-order at Amazon!)
     ArmA is based much of the the technology found in VBS2.  The demo, which features Capture the Flag, Cooperative and Capture the Island multiplayer scenarios, is pretty fun if you get in with some good players.  Cooperative is the best way to experience it, in my opinion, as it relies on teamwork and tactics to clear a town of enemy soldiers.
     Even though this thing is unofficially “Operation: Flashpoint 2″ (they weren’t allowed to use the name, thanks to their last distributor), there’s been a ton of work on the graphics engine.  It’s pretty stunning, actually.  Check out the video Dslyecxi made to get an idea…

Technologically Challenged

April 15th, 2007 at 11:20 pm by Mark
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     In the last hundred years, Americans have become conditioned to radical, life-changing technology affecting their every-day lives. 

     Even between 1907 and 1917, things changed dramatically with the mass proliferation of indoor toilets, home electricity, automobiles and factory automation.  The 1920’s and 30’s brought us the golden age of Radio, talking movies, and a never-ending desire for coal heating.  The 1940’s and 50’s brought us hope for the future as first computers were constructed, and telephones and televisions became commonplace.  The 1960’s and 70’s brought us solid-state electronics, the beginnings of the Internet, commercial aviation, automated telephone switching, mobiles telephones and color televisions.  The 1980’s built on much of the technology of the 60’s and 70’s with enhanced miniaturization of large circuits and modular designs, along with the official opening of the Internet.  The 1990’s brought us widespread proliferation of the Internet, digital cameras, widespread proliferation of mobile telephones, faster everything….

     ….and an almost total reliance on Computers.

     In this decade, computers are such a normal part of life that businesses would completely cease to function without a few.  Absolutely everyone is only a phone call away.  We can get across the country in a few hours, and around the world in just over a day (just counting the flight time, mind you).  In this decade, the world can sometimes seem very small.
     These days, “technical support” is often little more than a hand-holding exercise.  Gone are the days when people would complain about their cup-holder being broken (the CD Drive, now replaced with newer, even faster inventions), or screaming because the box included a “mouse” — even grandmothers, or even great-grandmothers, now know that it’s not a foot pedal.  People call and talk about their work computer as if they own it personally — “My computer is messed up” — and actually understand the question, “What does the error message say?”

     But having lived through this period of Computer proliferation, I’ve definitely seen my share of people unwilling, even unable, to accept new technology for what it is.

     I can only imagine what life was like at the beginning the Renaissance period… but if they had a Helpdesk, it would certainly have looked like this…

Tip: Life of Red