Thursday, March 05, 2009

Follow Jeff at and

Long time, no post - sorry :-) .

I still have plans to do more stuff at but, until then, you might want to keep up with my musings at and


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3/05/2009 11:47:00 a.m.  

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

commandN EP #166 FLV

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1/28/2009 08:42:00 p.m.  

Thursday, October 09, 2008

commandN #152

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10/09/2008 06:42:00 p.m.  

Friday, August 22, 2008

commandN #145

This week, Will is back with comic craziness, Jeff makes your iPhone last longer and Amber stares at her Nano. 

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8/22/2008 12:59:00 p.m.  

Friday, July 25, 2008

commandN #141

What it would take to become Batman, Amber talks about how to criticize anonymously, and Jeff reviews the iPhone 3G.

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7/25/2008 09:36:00 a.m.  

commandN #141

What it would take to become Batman, Amber talks about how to criticize anonymously, and Jeff reviews the iPhone 3G.

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7/25/2008 09:36:00 a.m.  


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7/25/2008 08:28:00 a.m.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

commandN #140

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7/16/2008 10:28:00 a.m.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

newsFlash: Tiger Pig, Tiger Pig

OK, this isn't very recent news, but I just dug this up from an old email that Will Pate sent me. The link to more pics and the full story is . Here's the basics...
"In a zoo in California , a mother tiger gave birth to a rare set of triplet tiger cubs. Unfortunately, due to complications in the pregnancy, the cubs were born prematurely and due to their tiny size, they died shortly after birth.

The mother tiger after recovering from the delivery, suddenly started to decline in health, although physically she was fine. The veterinarians felt that the loss of her litter had caused the tigress to fall into a depression. The doctors decided that if the tigress could surrogate another mother's cubs, perhaps she would improve.

After checking with many other zoos across the country, the depressing news was that there were no tiger cubs of the right age to introduce to the mourning mother. The veter inarians decided to try something that had never been tried in a zoo environment. Sometimes a mother of one species will take on the care of a different species. The only orphans that could be found quickly, were a litter of weaner pigs. The zoo keepers and vets wrapped the piglets in tiger skin and placed the babies around the mother tiger."

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10/17/2007 01:05:00 p.m.  

Friday, September 07, 2007

webFed: Shining trailer (the Shining spoof)

Since I haven't seen this before (despite it being online for over a year :-) ), I thought I'd share it with all of you. It's basically a spoofed trailer for "the Shining" with Jack Nicholson that's done in some kind of redeeming family flick style. Pretty funny :-) ...

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9/07/2007 08:50:00 a.m.  

Thursday, September 06, 2007

newsFlash: New iPods and the iTunes Wi-Fi Store

I kinda nailed the prediction for a new iPod that is almost exactly an iPhone minus the phone (and email), but I never got the chance to put my prediction in print first :-) .
So, in light of missing that opportunity, I am announcing here my prediction that the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store that's now on the new iPod touch and the iPhone (or at least will be within the next few weeks) will be quickly migrated over to satisfy the same need on the Apple TV.  They've developed the software for a simple but effective, so there's now no excuse to not have the iTunes Store on your Apple TV (I mean, I can buy games directly through my Wii, so the Apple TV should be able to handle the same :-) ).

(Other announcements were the new iPod nano , new GUI and more storage for those and the revamped iPod classic, and some new colours for the iPod shuffle.)

I'm seriously considering migrating my blog over to make use of the new iWeb 08, so here's hoping I get some free time to nail that down soon.  Thanks for reading!

Labels: , , , ,

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9/06/2007 11:31:00 a.m.  

Monday, July 23, 2007

webFed: Mac Mini newspaper vending machine

This is a pretty unique use for a Mac Mini!

Scott Walker has taken an old newspaper vending machine, slapped in a 17" LCD display on the front, and then hooked up a Mac Mini to stream newspaper front pages and more. Cool!
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7/23/2007 09:52:00 a.m.  

Friday, July 13, 2007

webFed: Colourful Optical Illusion

It's been a while, so busy.  Maybe some more short posts would make it easier to keep up with my beloved blog? :-)

Colourful Optical Illusion


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7/13/2007 11:46:00 a.m.  

Thursday, June 14, 2007

commandN 92

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6/14/2007 01:07:00 a.m.  

Friday, May 25, 2007

commandN 90

Amber and Will talk about Google Trends, internet usage and a wiki for pickup lines. Jeff talks spam fighting.

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5/25/2007 10:54:00 p.m.  

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

commandN 89

Amber and Will talk about YouTube's new inline ads, US Defence Dept. blocking websites, Facebook Marketplace, and more. Jeff gives a hotSTUFF product review of the Airport Express.

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5/16/2007 03:09:00 p.m.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

commandN 86

Amber talks about the new look for Facebook, Leopard delays, and Google Earth in Darfur. Jeff shines the spotLIGHT on fan edited films.

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4/17/2007 11:52:00 a.m.  

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

commandN 85

Amber and Will talk about Yahoo! Mail, the Apple/EMI DRM deal, Columbia Records and Vox, and lots more. Jeff gives you some techTIPS on video content for your AppleTV.

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4/03/2007 05:03:00 p.m.  

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

commandN 84

Amber and Will talk about the YouTube Video Awards, net neutrality in Canada, and JustinTV. Jeff gives a hotSTUFF product review of the AppleTV.

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3/27/2007 09:41:00 p.m.  

Monday, March 19, 2007

commandN 83

Amber and Jeff talk about NBC on your cellphone, NIN Garageband remixes, Xbox Live for Vista users, and more. Will provides some techTIPS for Facebook users.

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3/19/2007 01:55:00 p.m.  

Monday, March 12, 2007

commandN 82

Amber and Will chat about the best Firefox extensions, non-DRM music, technosexuals, and more. Jeff review the Sony Portable Reader System PRS-500.

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3/12/2007 09:38:00 a.m.  

Monday, March 05, 2007

commandN 81

Amber and Will talk about iTunes' first indie video, the Mesh Conderence, Ning launch, and more. Jeff provides techTIPS on video disc formats.

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3/05/2007 11:33:00 p.m.  

Saturday, February 24, 2007

iRant: Lost gets lost (and good riddance)

I've finally done it. After multiple seasons of increasing disappointment, culminating in the most recent episodes (which have been plain 'ol bad), Lost has been removed from the auto-recorded programs on my DVR. I've been talking about doing this for a while and if I didn't get to see the show in beautiful hi-def (and I have to admit it's still very nice to look at) then I would've done it long before now.

Lost is just a terrible, substanceless tease. Each week brings the promise of something new to be revealed, but there are no answers, only more (stupid, insipid) questions. Although the first season, and to some degree the second, were quite good as network television goes, the show how so "lost" its way that it's very hard to believe that there is any over-arching story going on here at all.

Let's face it - Lost was burdened by its concept from the beginning and should have ended after a couple of seasons (there's a reason why Robinson Crusoe was such a quick read). What's going on now is just a pathetically slow death kept on life-support entirely for business, as opposed to creative, purposes. Such is the way with television, but it's hard to believe how low Lost has sunk.

Look at a show like Heroes (which I really like) - it, too, unwinds a continuing stream of new questions with each episode. The difference is that it also answers some of these questions every episode. If the makers of Lost could muster up enough pride to understand that this endlessly wavering series is not going to make it past another season then they'd smarten up and start writing their way out of this tangled mess they've created. At least then, after a final season of explaining what's going on instead of just creating further shallow "mysteries" like some David Lynch series gone bad, viewers could look back and think that all in all it wasn't a total waste of time - good first season, decent second season, some floundering in the middle, but boy did they wrap it up tight! However, given the decision-making that has brought the show to its current sorry state (and the lack of much competition on Wednesday nights), I'm not too optimistic about a "creatively principled" ending anytime soon.
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2/24/2007 10:04:00 a.m.  

Monday, February 19, 2007

commandN 80

Amber and Will talk about open Gmail, hi-res Skype, OpenID with AOL, and more. Jeff brings you some blogging tips.

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2/19/2007 09:57:00 a.m.  

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

eyeCandy: Alpha Dog (2007) 4/5

I didn't know what to think when I first heard about Alpha Dog. I mean, was this going to be a Justin Timberlake vehicle or a serious movie. Turns out it is a serious movie, and quite a good one at that.

Alpha Dog is based on actual events: the kidnapping and subsequent murder of a crazed druggy's 15 year old brother by a group of teenagers led by the local pot dealer/wanna-be-gansta. The movie is a disturbing look at the increasing disconnect between real life and the life depicted in rap videos and tabloid news.

Jake Mazursky (played by the talented Ben Foster, best known for his role as Claire's boyfriend in HBO's Six Feet Under) is a psychopathic, drug-abusing Jewish kid with some serious Nazi tats who owes teenage kingpin Johnny Truelove (Emile Hirsch) $1200 in drug debts. The diminutive Truelove tries to play tough and is wholly outclassed by the crazed Mazursky, who demeans Truelove in his retaliation. When Truelove and his crew (including Mr. Justin Timberlake, who is surprisingly capable in his role) happen across Mazursky's younger brother, Zack, Johnny decides kidnapping the kid would be some serious payback. Zack (Huff's Anton Yelchin) is happy to party with the "big kids" (which is what he ends up doing after the first few hours) and figures he'll be back home within days. Needless to say, things escalate beyond all reason.

Alpha Dog is ably directed by Nick Cassavetes, and has a great supporting cast, including Bruce Willis (Johnny's dad), Sharon Stone (Zack's mom), and the first I've seen (although it is brief) of Alan Thicke in years. The fact that this atrocity actually happened is totally disturbing, and it's not exactly a movie that'd make your average parent very optimistic about raising a kid today (at least not amongst the idle rich in Southern California). That said, with the copious sex, drugs, and hip hop involved, that's probably not the target audience anyway.

PS: I hope you didn't expect a romantic movie for Valentine's Day ;-) .
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2/14/2007 09:35:00 p.m.  

Monday, January 29, 2007

muzikDEN - Episode 4

In the fourth episode of muzikDEN: Brian Bourne shows us the "stringiest" instrument in the West - the Chapman Stick; we give you some tips on Surround Sound Music Listening; Terry Pulliam and Mark Dolmont provide us with the first in a series of drum recording segments; we talk to the Gordon Lapp about what Music Industry Associations can do for you; and guest host Chris Campbell tells us about eMusic! - a commandN Inc. Production

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1/29/2007 08:04:00 p.m.  

Friday, January 26, 2007

MacOnMacs: Canadian iPhone to use Rogers Wireless

I thought I'd post this because I was asked about it in a recent comments thread:

Well, it's looking pretty likely that Rogers Wireless will be the carrier for the iPhone in Canada. There's been a slew of different reports on this (MacNN and many others) and I think yesterday's CrunchGear post probably cements it, quoting an official Rogers rep as saying:

“Rogers is actively working with Apple to launch the iPhone in Canada as soon as possible and will be the exclusive provider of the iPhone in Canada.”

This makes sense because Rogers is the main GSM network provider here, but a quick peruse through the comments threads of various articles (like John Wiseman's blog and the MacNN story referred to above) certainly shows a lot of displeasure at the prospect (including some insane price calculations for service that I can only hope are far off base). I've only used Telus in Canada, so I can't really offer any firsthand opinions, aside from agreeing that telecommunications competition in Canada is not what it should be.
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1/26/2007 08:59:00 a.m.  

Thursday, January 25, 2007

MacOnMacs: Judge your "experts" wisely

I just finished reading the Wharton Prof. (Widely) Misses Point of Apple Name-Change on Wired's Cult of Mac blog. The title of the article is a little misleading in that the name change argument is just one of three major points brought up by the writer about how wrong-headed people can be when evaluating technology products. The three points Wired disputes are:
  • Design is just about being cool (relative to the iPhone);
  • People will be disappointed by the video quality of the Apple TV (talking about how 480p upconverted to 720p is somehow lacking compared with most people's viewing habits); and
  • the titular Apple dropping "Computer" is a sign of surrender (drawing some terribly false conclusions about why Apple Computer Inc. has become Apple Inc.).
I think the Wired writer makes some very compelling points and really demonstrates that people need to take some of these "expert opinions" with a serious grain of salt (see: every iPod-killer article ever written).

I'm not being an Apple fanboy here, this kind of uninsightful reporting is done all over the place, but I think this shows the value in knowing whose content you're reading and, even if you find them reliable, backing this up with a little exploration of your own. In any case, just wanted to draw your attention to this PLUS Wired's Cult of Mac blog is great reading for all you Mac-heads out there, so you should check it out.
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1/25/2007 08:41:00 a.m.  

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

earCandy: Weird Al Yankovic - Straight Outta Lynwood (2006) 4/5

I have to admit that I'm a longtime Weird Al fan - I've even seen him in concert in Montreal, where I managed to jump on stage and steal his spatula, which I still have and regard as a highly sacred artifact. I also have to admit that it's his early catalog that really got me feelin' him and, frankly, a few of the more recent albums have been a little thin. That said, Al is back with a vengeance with Straight Outta Lynwood!

The first single, White & Nerdy (a parody of Chamillionaire's "Ridin' Dirty), is not only a brilliant parody touching on a lot of things that people that read and write blogs probably know a little too much about ;-) (check out those lyrics here), but it also shows that Weird Al actually has some serious chops - I mean, he can actually rap, seriously, it's at once awe inspiring and deeply troubling.

As a Canadian, I thoroughly enjoy Canadian Idiot (a parody of Green Day's "American Idiot") - for some reason this sort of thing seems to amuse us :-) (lyrics here). Usher's Confessions is lampooned in Confessions Part III - I laugh just thinking about the line "Like remember when I told you I knew Paulie Shore (Paulie Shore) - That's a lie, I don't know what I said that for" (and lyrics). Pancreas is distinctly Beach Boys sounding, although I don't think it's a direct parody, and Polkarama! continues a long history of polka mashups of a popular tunes (50 Cent's "Candy Shop" being a standout).

Unfortunately, a parody of James Blunt's "You're Beautiful" (called "You're Pitiful") kept the album from being released on schedule and was not included on the album at the request of Atlantic Records (although Blunt himself was okay with it). However, you can listen to it online at Al-oholics Anonymous, even if it's just to hear the line "never had a date that you couldn't inflate". :-)

In any case, it's a very funny album, especially if you're familiar with the songs being parodied. One can only hope that this is the start of another upswing in Al's career, and that would make a lot of us very happy - so go buy it already!
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1/23/2007 10:13:00 p.m.  

Sunday, January 14, 2007

eyeCandy: Rome - HBO (2005, 2007) 5/5

I just finished watching the second season premiere of HBO's Rome and I simply cannot imagine a series more cater-made for my particular interests. There is political intrigue of a level rarely found on television (or movies, for that matter), there is a setting so beautifully foreign yet strangely familiar, there is an intricately woven story that follows a web of relationships amongst a fantastic ensemble case, and, to top it all off, this is the stuff that history is made of, literally.

Without giving anything away, Rome follows (as quoted from Wikipedia) "the violent transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire; a change driven by the class struggle between Patrician and Plebeian, the decay of political institutions, and the actions of ambitious men. While showing the lives of the rich, powerful, and historically significant, the show's perspective is centered around the lives, fortunes, families, and acquaintances of two Roman soldiers: Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo, two soldiers mentioned in Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico."

Rome is an incredibly sophisticated production, and the complex storyline requires (and more than amply rewards) the attentive viewer. Having absolutely fallen in love with the series over its first season, I was pleased to find (after some casual research) that, although the story itself takes some liberties with the historical specifics (all the while following the broad strokes of what actually happened), the sets, costumes, and depiction of life in the "capital of the world" circa 50 BC is, as far as I have read, remarkably accurate. On top of the fascinating story, Rome is an onslaught of visual splendor supplemented by a wonderful soundtrack and all the trappings that have made HBO the source of so many great productions over the years.

I really don't want to provide much in the way of storyline details, as I think anyone who is interested would be best served by simply renting the first season and then scrambling to watch the second season as soon as possible (I couldn't imagine leaping into season two without at least having read about what has happened in the first season). So if history intrigues you and you love movies then you could simply ask for nothing better than HBO's Rome.

PS: This still doesn't mean I can forgive HBO for cutting off Carnivale immediately after its second season cliffhanger. Please, somebody wrap up that story for me. I'll read it in book form if necessary, but stringing me along and then pulling the rug out from under me at such an integral plot point is just not right (and I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling this).
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1/14/2007 10:04:00 p.m.