Saturday, April 30, 2011

Stalked by micro ninja

Noticed that little guy at Generous George's in Herndon today. The employees swear that they don't add toys to the decor often, instead they just switch them around.

On waiting for live tech support

From Dilbert:

The Official Dilbert Website featuring Scott Adams Dilbert strips, animations and more

Pet peeve: audio menu trees that are designed to steer you towards automated solutions, or it keeps reminding you to go to their website. I hate phones with passion, by the time I resign myself to call tech support is because I ran out of things I can check for on my own, and that of course includes going to the goddamn website!

Another thing I hate is when the audio menu only allows for voice prompts. Those of us with thick accents and loud children really don't do very well with these. What I do now is spew some nonsense (or yell ELEVEN), force the menu to fail and send me to a live person.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Hulu plus for Xbox 360 is out

Image representing hulu as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBaseDisclaimer: I am in the middle of one of my well-documented encounters with Insomnia. You've been warned.

Very early impressions:

  1. Noticed the Hulu plus sponsored mode on the dashboard around 5:45 AM DST
  2. Took me a few clicks and one failed Google search to find out how the hell to download the stupid dashboard app. Eventually found it by going to the only obvious place in the dashboard where such a thing would be.
  3. The dashboard app had an update, this was installed instantly and with no interruption.
  4. I already have Hulu Plus, logging-in was painless and did not involve going to to authorize the device. 
  5. Usage is consistent with the UI for things like Netflix and the Zune Marketplace. It took me less than a minute to get up to speed. 
  6. Watched a Daily Show clip, looked fine even if the volume was a bit off. And yes, there are ads even if you pay for Plus, which is the same experience as using a browser or the Roku HD.
  7. Watched a trailer for Priest in HD. It looks perfect, which worried me since it is one of those movies with a trailer that is just TOO GOOD and makes you wonder if they simply crammed all of the good stuff into the trailer and the rest of the movie is going to suck.
  8. Checked out my queue, both of my shows still there are web-only, which really irritates me. Why the hell Archer and COPS haven't released rights for non-browser viewing? Hello? We are almost halfway through 2011!
And that's it. It took me maybe a minute to install the app, login was a non-issue and the UI is consistent with the way other video apps work in the console. The user experience is no worse than using the Roku HD. And don't forget that Hulu plus is free until next week since the launch was sponsored by Jack Link's Beef Jerky. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

How did Research in Motion lose its way?

From: BlackBerry Playbook: How did Research in Motion lose its way? - By Farhad Manjoo - Slate Magazine

What's going on—how did BlackBerry, a brand that was the ne plus ultra of the mobile world just a few years ago, fall so swiftly? Although RIM is still selling lots of phones, several of its latest products have been panned, and its share of the smartphone market has been slipping. More importantly, the company's leaders—it has two CEOs, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis—have been comically incoherent about their plans for the future.
I can tell you why I ditched my last crackberry (the Curve 8530, best goddamn phone I have ever owned) for an android phone: the blackberry tax.

It doesn't matter who provides your phone service, if you use a blackberry, you are going to pay the blackberry tax. This is because all data for the blackberry is piped through RIM's servers, and that of course costs money. Even prepaid carriers like Virgin Mobile have to pay for that, but a $10 fee tacked on a $25 bill is significant. These $10 over two years more than pay for my current Android handset.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

It's one of these days

You are not expected to understand this unless you are a programmer and painfully familiar with what happens when you fuck up a merge:

Olivia Bucks/The Oregonian,