Monthly Archives

March 2008

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Hollywood Producer Set to Make Shows for Xbox

From the NYTimes.com: Hollywood Producer Set to Make Shows for Xbox

Mr. Nocas said that about 10 million people had signed up for the Xbox Live service. Roughly 18 million of the game systems have been sold worldwide, he said.

10 million sounds like a decent number of people, but what percentage of them have actually buy media on Xbox Live?  I’ve bought upgrades to Halo 3 and one retro game- Super Bomberman and that’s about it.  I joined Xbox Live for one thing- multiplayer gaming.

There are a few things about the Xbox 360/Xbox Live service that makes it a no go for me for video purchases.

  1. The Xbox 360 sounds like a vacuum cleaner when it’s on.  It’s tolerable to play Halo 3 because I don’t have choice, but I do have other choices for watching video.
  2. Microsoft Points– Why does Microsoft have to its own currency?  It’s a money grab because you have to buy your points in blocks.  And because of this, you always have points sitting there leftover.  Because of this, I buy as little as possible.
  3. Portability- Xbox Live purchase aren’t portable and I can’t play them on my iPods.
  4. Xbox Live interface clunky.  I’m always flipping through trying to find things that should be easier to find.

When I see my Xbox 360, I see one thing.  Video game platform.  Not a set top box.  Not in this incarnation of the Xbox.

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David vs. Kansas

It seems you’d have to be from Kansas not to be rooting for the Davidson basketball team yesterday in the NCAA tournament.  On the ticker at the bottom of the screen, Davidson was abbreviated as David.  Appropriate, except this time David lost to Goliath with Kansas going to the Final Four.

This was my first NCAA with a HDTV and it’s absolutely amazing.  One weird thing.  Coming back from commercial breaks, the text graphics on the screen often were out of focus and slowly came back into focus.  I thought it was my eyes at first, but later I paid more attention to it and it was really happening.  Not really sure what that’s about.  Otherwise everything else was crystal clear!

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Salmon from Chile

From NYTimes.com: Salmon Virus Indicts Chile’s Fishing Methods

A virus called infectious salmon anemia, or I.S.A., is killing millions of salmon destined for export to Japan, Europe and the United States. The spreading plague has sent shivers through Chile’s third-largest export industry, which has left local people embittered by laying off more than 1,000 workers.

But the latest outbreak has occurred after a rash of nonviral illnesses in recent years that the companies acknowledge have led them to use high levels of antibiotics. Researchers say the practice is widespread in the Chilean industry, which is a mix of international and Chilean producers. Some of those antibiotics, they say, are prohibited for use on animals in the United States.

Many of those salmon still end up in American grocery stores, where about 29 percent of Chilean exports are destined. While fish from China have come under special scrutiny in recent months, here in Chile regulators have yet to form a registry that even tracks the use of the drugs, researchers said.

It’s a real problem that consumers don’t know where their food comes from or what’s been used in the process of creating it.  

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Dean Says Attacks Getting Too Personal

From the AP on NPR.com: Dean Says Attacks Getting Too Personal

This is an interesting interview because Howard Dean has mostly been pretty quiet about what might be done to resolve the fractious campaign between Obama and Clinton.

About surrogates attacking:

“You do not want to demoralize the base of the Democratic Party by having the Democrats attack each other.”

The supporters should keep their mouths shut about this stuff on both sides because that is harmful to the potential victory of a Democrat.”

I definitely agree with this.  Too much chatter by the “surrogates”.  For the most part, no one knows who these surrogates are until they say something that gets picked up by the media.  Do we really need to hear what Geraldine Ferraro has to say?  She hasn’t been relevant in years.  Or Obama’s advisor Samantha Power?

I felt that most of the attacks originally started with the Clinton campaign, but I feel like members of the Obama campaign has joined “silly season” too.  That’s unfortunately the way politics are these days.

He said it is good for the candidates to debate controversies like the incendiary sermons by Obama’s pastor and Clinton’s different accounts of danger on a trip to Bosnia as first lady. If Democrats didn’t deal with them now, he said Republicans will surely make use of them in the fall.

Unfortunately there’s not a lot of debate about these issues except barbs being tossed at each other.  It’s true though that these issues will be old hat by the time the Democratic nominee faces McCain.

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What happens to doves after you release them?

I was reading an article about the grand opening of the Ascent, a new condo tower designed by Daniel Libeskind.

In the article they mentioned

“A ribbon-cutting ceremony held near the building’s front entrance concluded with the release of white doves.”

I was kind of curious about what happens to white doves after they’re released since I’ve never seen a white bird out in the wild.   There’s a good reason why.

From Slate.com: When Doves Fly Away

What happens to the doves after they fly away?

It depends on what kind of birds they are and how they’re raised. Newspaper accounts don’t identify the species released in Hiroshima, but white “peace” doves–the kind pictured in Picasso’s famous poster–fare very badly in the wild. After centuries of domestic breeding, the white ring-neck dove is ill-equipped for urban survival. Bird rescue workers say that a ring-neck dove released in a city will likely starve–if it doesn’t get hit by a car or eaten by another bird first.

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Video game motion sickness

Played Rainbow 6 Vegas 2 for the Xbox 360 last night and boy does that game make me motion sick.  I really felt like I was going to throw up.  It’s the worst I’ve ever felt playing a video game.  I’ve had problems with motion sickness in the past playing Halo 3, but I ended up getting used to it.  I thought that my learned immunity to Halo 3 motion sickness would help me with all first person shooters, but I guess each game’s motion is slightly different.

Here’s more information on video games and motion sickness:
About.com: Video Games And Motion Sickness

It suggests ginger pills.  Might try it if I dare playing again.  It’s either that or a motion sickness bag. 🙁

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Hillary’s Bosnian Adventure

From the NYTimes.com: Clinton Says She ‘Misspoke’ About Dodging Sniper Fire

As part of her argument that she has the best experience and instincts to deal with a sudden crisis as president, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton recently offered a vivid description of having to run across a tarmac to avoid sniper fire after landing in Bosnia as first lady in 1996.

Yet on Monday, Mrs. Clinton admitted that she “misspoke” about the episode — a concession that came after CBS News showed footage of her walking calmly across the tarmac with her daughter, Chelsea, and being greeted by dignitaries and a child.

This is what Hillary had originally said:

“I certainly do remember that trip to Bosnia, and as Togo said, there was a saying around the White House that if a place was too small, too poor, or too dangerous, the president couldn’t go, so send the First Lady. That’s where we went.

“I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.

Hillary claims that she “misspoke”.  Lied is more like it.  Bosnia was so dangerous that we sent Hillary, sixteen year old Chelsea, Sheryl Crow, and Sinbad on peace mission instead of the President.  Hillary is trying so hard to puff up her role as First Lady and to give herself Foreign Policy credibility.  It’s already the second time that she’s been caught doing this.

Hillary is consistent in one thing.  That she’ll say anything to become President.