Archive for October, 2009

Socializing on Xbox 360’s Xbox LIVE

October 23rd, 2009 at 10:53 pm by Mark
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     So I’m sitting down to play another friggin’ boring game of Call of Duty: World at War on the Xbox 360.  I hate that game.  I truly do.  I play it because a few friends drag me in, and tonight, I decided try and improve my gamer score a little. 
     But no bones about it, I hate the game.  It’s laggy-slow.  It commandeers bandwidth worse than the porn-hungry neighbor who “stealz ur internets.”  The glitches and screen artifacts pretty much screw up any chance of having a decent experience playing the game in multiplayer mode.  The bug reporting mechanism to the manufacturer, Treyarch, pretty well leaves you open to be bashed and belittled by the game’s developers for even having the balls to open your mouth about their precious turd.
     And if friends would stop playing it, so would I.  Which is why I’m looking forward to Infinity Ward’s release next month:  Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, because Treyarch, and their patheticly overdone World War II scenarios, can suck my left nut, right nut and anus.  Or, better yet, Brandon’s anus…

     So anyway … About an hour ago, I was abruptly disconnected from Xbox LIVE for an update.  It took a several minutes. 
     “Okay, WTF?”
     My Xbox restarted, downloaded a few more updates.  Restarted again.

     By 10PM EST, I was back online, with a new tab in my dashboard.

     “Xbox Preview.”

     Ahh, looking around… Facebook? Check.  Twitter?  Check.  Zune Video Marketplace?  Check.  Xbox LIVE News?  Check.  MSNBC?  Check.  Dillbert?  Check.  The New Yorker Cartoons?  Check.  Well… if you can call it that.

     Yep … all working … trippy … so I send out a couple of test messages on Twitter, update my Facebook status, browse friends and leave a couple comments…
     Then I start screwing around with the absolute worst interface ever:  The app seriously sucks.  I can’t even explain “why” it sucks, except to say, you’ll have to experience the suckiness yourself to understand.  Basically, if you’re looking for something easy to use, sensible, start a channel and add music to it, you’re pretty well going to be in “WTF?” land for a while.

     That aside … It’s still a bunch of neat new toys.  If you’d like to sign up for the “next generation” Xbox 360 Dashboard, go and register.  And get one of these, because you’re gonna need it…

     Why, now, I can see when this Brandon twit decides to Tweet that he’s going to take a crap … without having to log into my PC … *rolls eyes*

Communing with Carson

October 23rd, 2009 at 7:16 pm by Mark
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Johnny Carson

     On October 23rd, 1925 in Corning, Iowa, Johnny Carson was born.  It’s strange how the life such an interesting character like him can go virtually unknown.
     Neat little tidbits… Like…

     The fact that he was an Ensign in the US Navy, and reported for duty on the USS Pensylvania on August 25th, 1945?  Yep, the last day of World War II.  On the Pacific front, no less, a mere two weeks after the ship had been torpedoed.  His first job?  Superivising the removal of twenty dead seamen as the carrier made its way to Guam for repairs… After that, he went on to become a communications officer, decrypting encoded messages…

     He graduated from college in 1949 with a minor in Physics, he worked really hard to pay for his physics tuition singapore.  That makes it even less surprising that he was an amateur Astronomer who owned several telescopes, including a grossly-superior Maksutov-Cassegrain Reflector Telescope by Questar.  The Maksutov-Cassegrain shows about three time the light of other reflectors (I’d almost kill for one).

     In the 1950’s, Carson filled in for Red Skelton, who’d managed to knock himself unconcious before one of his shows.

     In the early 60’s, Carson was considered for the leading role, Rob Petrie, on the show that eventually became “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”  He was a regular on several game shows as a panellist and host.

     Throughout the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, he regularly rubbed elbows with the rich and famous on The Tonight Show.  There are plenty of stories, some of which were proven untrue.  Especially the one about Zsa Zsa’s cat… In answer to her question, no, he didn’t reply, “Sure, if you’ll get that cat out of the way.”

Your chances of getting struck by lightning go up if you stand … you stand under a tree, shake your fist at the sky, and say “Storms suck!”
— Johnny Carson

     In the 1980’s, Carson was a major investor in DeLorean Motor Company, the failed auto company of John DeLorean.  It’s too bad, too … It was a great looking car.  All stainless steel, and especially cool when tricked out with a 1.21 jigawatt flux capacitor.
     He also had a moderately successful clothing line.

     Probably one of the best known facts is that Carson didn’t care for Leno, who inherited the Tonight Show in 1992.  He’d actually asked that David Letterman fill his shoes, but the network chose Leno instead.  There was a lot of animosity on all sides. 
     Carson reortedly continued to send Letterman jokes for his monologue until his death in 2005.
     Interestingly, that’s about the time Letterman started to suck so vehemently…
     It’s amazing the crap we get stuck with on TV…

     After this evening’s seance with Johnny, attended by another dead friend, I had the opportunity to ask Carson what he thought of this whole David Letterman and Stephanie The-One-Who-Shall-Be-Called-Vicky Burkitt affair.  Pun not intended, but there it is.

     The obviously disappointed Carson furrowed his brown and dead-panned (again, pun not intended, but there it is):

     “When turkeys mate, they think of swans.”

     So, Happy Birthday, Johnny. 

     You’re sorely missed.

     *Golf swing in your general direction!*


Balloon Boy Proves Wolf Blitzer is Still an Asshole

October 22nd, 2009 at 1:30 am by Mark
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     Yes, as seen on morning, daytime and nightly television, it’s the FABULOUS, HIGHLY SOUGHT AFTER Balloon Boy costume, just in time for Halloween!

The gondola is a semi-scale precision laser cut unit that attaches to the bottom of Plantraco’s 38″ metallized nylon flying saucer balloon. It has the same chance of lifting your 6-year old as the one you may have seen on CNN or MSNBC TV. So don’t call the national guard or you might get yourself in a bit of trouble eh? It’s a bit smaller, but we are certain you can still fool CNN’s Wolf Blitzer for a long while to come! That’s whatcha call quality investigative journalism right? Right!

     Of course, it doesn’t take much to fool monotonous mediatard Wolf Blitzer, the man who singlehandedly caused the shooting death of FBI Agent Linda Franklin on October 14th, 2002 by going on television to goad and belittle the then-famous, and media-addicted, Beltway Sniper with statements like, “You’re not a real sniper!  A real sniper would make head shots!”  Agent Franklin was, of course, fatally shot in the head only hours later, as she left a DC-Area Home Depot.

     The fact that this asshat is still on television grates my nerves.

     Well, that, and every other ridiculously speculative, non-story they re-air every fifteen minutes… Oh, like how they accused security guard Richard Jewell of trying to blow up Olympic Centennial Park… or … Balloon Boy…

Tip: Okay, Anton sent the lin to the Halloween Costume, which is brilliant.  But seeing Wolf Blitzer’s name in print just pissed me off…

42 Reasons to Fix a Mail Server

October 21st, 2009 at 4:20 pm by Mark
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     After multiple issues after a year and a half, I finally talked a vendor into replacing a temperamental server that’d been causing a one of my clients no end of fits.  And so, at 5AM Tuesday morning, the hard drives were pulled and installed in a brand-spanking-new server.  Miraculously, everything worked.  Or so I thought…

     At 5PM yesterday, I was notified by my customer that, “Our mail server has been down all day.”  I’m not sure why they didn’t contact me about it earlier in the day, but… Further inspection of the server log revealed the following actual error message:

Oct 20 05:53:12 antarctica dovecot: Time just moved backwards by 7307 seconds. This might cause a lot of problems, so I’ll just kill myself now.

     It seems that that when the new server rebooted and went through its normal bit of resetting the time, the mailserver died.  However, since this is the actual error message, as listed in the maillog, it is apparent that their mail server has developed a personality.
     Given its new-found malcontentment and predeliction to suicide, I couldn’t help but think perhaps it needs a companion… I know the perfect one…

     And on that note, I’m going revert to “couch potato” mode and watch Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy


What on Earth are Our Children Watching?

October 19th, 2009 at 11:34 am by Mark
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     We ignored it when the British childrens’ show Rainbow taught such habits…

     But as time progressed, they strayed from innuendo…

     Alas, now the problem seems to have crossed into our borders.  Even our beloved Sesame Street has become a refuge for such perversion…

     Sick and twisted, all of it!  And I, for one, intend to do all I can to draw attention this sort of rampant sexual innuendo!

Note: Hat tip to Anton Olsen for his dilligence in bringing this matter to my attention.