Friday, June 30, 2006

Guantanamo Bay Prisoners

Stephen Colbert argues with himself regarding the politics of holding Arab prisoners at Guantanamo Bay without fair trials. It's hilarious, just watch!


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

DS Lite + M3 Lite > DS Lite

The M3 Adapter is a flash-based add-on card that fits into the Game Boy Advance cartidge slot of the Nintendo DS (Lite & Phat). When used in conjuncture with a passme device plugged into the DS cartridge slot, the M3 allows the DS to play movies & music, view pictures and e-books, and most importantly, run DS and GBA roms as well as any homebrew applications made for the DS.

This is actually a pic of the EZ4Lite, a different brand, but similar product

The M3 adapter accepts many different types of flash memory cards, including: Compact Flash (CF), Secure Digital (SD), and MiniSD. But next month, the folks at M3 are releasing a special M3 Lite version, made specially for the DS Lite system, using the new MicroSD memory. Due to DS Lite's smaller design, the current M3 adapter would stick out the bottom by a good couple centimeters. However, the new M3 Lite will appear almost identical to the included, glossy-white dust cover that all DS Lites possess. And with its wi-fi capabilities, tons of available roms, and a slick, asthetically pleasing look, the add-on makes a great portable device a whole lot better.

The only drawback is the relative infancy of the new MicroSD flash memory format. Since the memory is so new, it will be significantly more expensive than more common CF or SD formats. So the question is...should I wait another month or so for a more expensive, but ultimately nicer looking solution, or do I buy a MiniSD M3 and go nuts right now?

Decisions, decisions...

M3 Website / G6 Website
M3 Forum
M3 Wiki

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Spiro Dance

Check out the cool flash-based interactive spriograph at I made a little video of me playing around with it. All done in less than 20 mins. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Congress Debates Video Games Rating System

Jon Stewart keeps the Congressmen sounding like out-of-touch, old windbags, as the Daily Show critiques the recent Congressional hearings concerning the ESRB video games rating system.

"I'm a gamer myself...I was an expert in Pong. That was a great game..(makes beeping sound effects)." ~ said one Representative from Michigan

Hmm, seems YouTube was down Thursday night. Hopefully it will be back up soon! Use the following link if the YouTube video is unavailable..

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Man Will Remember Unanswered Prayer

An area man will remember an unanswered prayer the next time God needs his help. Local account executive Scott Fields says, "The Lord should remember that devotion is a two-way street." Fields won't soon forget the time the Lord decided not to answer his prayer for a promotion at work.

"I felt pretty good with my relationship with the Lord. And now I feel like I'm being blown off, and I think it's bullshit."

Fields added that he can't wait for the Creator to ask him for his help so he can throw it in his face.

~taken from the Onion Radio News

Friday, June 16, 2006

It's Official...Summer is Here!

Three weeks ago, it was Memorial Day and it was BBQ crazy! Last weekend it was Vegas for my roomie Van's 24th b-day. This Friday (tonight) the party continues with my other roommate Josh's b-day (which also includes Tiffany's b-day/graduation as well) at the Shark Club down here in Costa Mesa. Not that I'm complaining or anything.. But I guess since work has become an all-year-round gig and you can no longer count on those nice 3-month long (though they never felt long enough) summer break hiatuses, the weekends are sometimes all you have.

Though the summer has started in full swing, there are a few activities that I'd like to do to fill out the rest of the summer:

- Six Flags...haven't been to an amusement park in a while and I'd really like to try out X.. I hear it's pretty good.
- Paintball...this one's already on the schedule for July. if anyone else is willing to go, please contact me.
- Golfing again...i'd like to play another round of 18 holes and hopefully do better than the last time.
- Beach/'s a shame how ridiculously close I live to the ocean and how little I actually go.
-'s funny how I've started reading so many books and have yet to finish them. So far, I gotta wrap up Watership Down, Eragon, Narnia, The Thrid Policeman, The Firm, and Needful Things. Note to self: no more buying books until every last word is digested from the above list.
- Inject computer virus into the accounting system so that it will round down fractions of a cent created by compound interest and wire transfer the remainders into personal account.

Another summer woe is the lack of good TV programming. I guess this is the first time I've been really into a tv show (ie: Lost) and had to face the harsh realities of off-season withdrawal. It seems like October won't come soon enough. Oh well, cue the endless stream of summer reality shows...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

What Do You Mean They Blew Up the Death Star?!?

Props to Russ for finding this gem... Robot Chicken from Cartoon Network's Adult Swim.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Trouble with Web Apps

Web applications are great! You can do pretty much anything on a website that you can do on your computer now. From checking your email (Gmail, Yahoo! Mail), to Word Processing (Writely ..which, btw, I use to write my blog entries), Spreadsheets (Google Spreadsheets), Online Bookmarks (, Photo Sharing (Flickr), and even watching videos (YouTube, Google Video), you can do it all. It may not look as pretty or have all the features of their desktop counterparts, but they're getting there. And what's more, you never need to reboot your computer when a new patch is added to Gmail. No need to install software...everything can be run through your web browser, which means added security. till, there's something missing here. Something that needs to be addressed before any web apps truly become mainstream.

The fact that these programs and services are "online" is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they're usually free services, supported by web ads. They're incredibly portable, allowing access from anywhere you have an Internet connection. But, herein lies the problem. You need a constant connection to the Internet for these applications to work properly. Any hiccups in your broadband connection, and you can't access your files. Granted, in 2006 we have much better broadband than even a few years ago, but it's still not perfect. If the connection is laggy, it can be quite frustrating. What we need is an way to avoid over reliance on this connection.

For now, the switch away from desktop apps like Word or Photoshop is still not a reality. For some functions, such as email, web-based mail services have become almost second nature to use. If only we had the broadband networks that Korea and most of Europe has... Oh where are you city-wide wi-fi?!?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Wi-Fi + Mario Kart = A+++++++

Damn, just played Mario Kart Wi-Fi for the first time. It's a lot of frenzied action and good clean fun. I finally setup a connection to one of the nearby wi-fi networks (yes, I am a leecher) and figured out how to join a match. The whole matchmaking process is pretty brainless and simple, though there is a small amount of waiting required. My second match included someone from Japan. You could tell cuz their name was in Japanese characters. I proceeded to sent a friendly diplomatic greeting in the form of an ass whooping! Let's hope my 3-3 record improves in the future. Still no good way of solving the universal "disconnect-to-avoid-loss" problem. At least now I may be able to get by without buying the $40 usb wi-fi connector (that's more than I paid for the game).

In other news, I finally beat New Super Mario Bros w/ 100% on the ride home from Vegas on Sunday. More about the trip soon...

Btw, apparently Japan Airlines is offering DS Lites to first class passengers. Now you can challenge rich Japanese businessmen on a race around Rainbow Road.

FYI... Here's my Friend Code if you wanna play Mario Kart DS with me:


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Life as a Video Game

This is a cold, hard fact of life, "life does not have a reset button." But, what if it did? Think about it. What if the things that could be done in video games, could also be done in reality. Here are just a few noticeable differences you might encounter...

The Save Game (ie: Reset Button). You gotta love the fact that you can revert any mistakes, bad judgment calls, and/or any other social missteps you might make. Just reload your last conveniently saved state and you're ready to make things right all over again. Don't get me wrong, you're definitely learning from your personal mistakes, you just don't need to spend so much time making up for them anymore. And now that the fear of bad decisions no longer exists, you can be more free to be bolder and more creative with how you tackle things. Go nuts! Thank God for the reset button! Just don't overwrite the wrong slot, or you'll end up starting from the very beginning...well, enjoy high school again!

Just Pause It. Need a break from life? Want a little extra "me" time? Well then, pause it. Don't worry, we'll all be here when you get back from whatever it is you wanna do. You can have your own personal monologue while the world stands still, a la Zack Morris style! Just remember to say "Time in!"

Extra Lives (ie: The 1Up). As long as you've got some spare lives, be reckless and live a little. It ain't game over 'til you run out of continues. If all else fails, just reload.

Victory Dances. Why let awkward dancing become reserved for dark, crowded night clubs and moments of drunken bliss? Show the world like a bad "So you think you can dance" reject audition. Anytime you win a battle, whether it be an argument with your five year old cousin, or the moment your boss remembers your name. Be proud and dance like your victory fanfare is playing in the background.

Special Moves. Why do everything with a normal effort and technique all the time? Once in a while, when it's really necessary, bust out the big guns and show off your special move. Just make sure you have enough energy/mana/stamina, otherwise it's cookie cutter sales pitches and average joe love making from here on out.

Keep the Change. Never will you have to worry about using fractions of a dollar ever again. All monetary transactions can be made using the primary currency unit. And marvel at the bottomless pit that is your wallet. No matter how much money you end of carrying around with you, it will never take up anymore than a trivial amount of space. Now go buy some clothes. I hear Gap jeans give a +5 to invisibilty. Don't worry, you'll blend right in! And if you're getting low on cash, look around. Any random animal ought to have some sort of sellable items on hand...once you dispose of it first.

Carefully Read the Dialog Trees. If your speech isn't strung together in an uncontrollable linear fashion, then you must have a dialog tree of speech options available. Just be sure to consider every multiple-choice verbal exchange carefully. But hey, look on the bright side. At least you know you have a 20 or 30 percent chance of saying exactly the right thing. Do try and avoid any infinite loops though. It's terribly embarrassing to get stuck in one of those, for both parties. And remember, you can only talk to one person a time now.

Movement is Relative. Don't be surprised if you can only walk in 8, 6, or even 4 different directions. Are you really saving that much time by walking north-northwest anyway? And if you're being chased and you need to lose 'em, try entering a different room. That usually works!

That's all the "what-ifs" I've got for now. But don't worry. I have a movie/tv version for the future. I mean wouldn't it suck if you found out your life was a series of bad sequels and prequels?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Lite Brite!

I don't mean to brag...but I will, just a little. I finally got my very own Nintendo DS Lite. Picked it up today, this morning actually, at Target in Southgate , CA. It was all because I decided to impusively check out the 'ol DSLiteAvailability map. Apparently, this guy named Dan said there were 13 units available on Saturday night. I would like to take this time to personally thank are a model for all the Dan's of the world to follow.

As soon as I found the electronics department, I was paused by the sheer beauty of seeing those simple, white boxes, sitting behind the glass. I was still sceptical though. It wasn't until the register approved the transaction that I was officially convinced that the DS Lite was mine. I got to my car and couldn't resist opening the box, right there in my air-conditioned driver's seat. C'mon, don't tell me you've never opened up the box of a new game, only to read the instructions manual on the car ride home. I fired up the system, and got as far as completing the setup wizard before I decided to drive home. I don't know what seemed to take longer: the anxious car ride there, or the ride back.

Once home, I wasted no time. I poped in Mario Kart and started racing. And let me tell you, this baby's is a sweet piece of plastic. The picture is very crisp and bright. Although there are 4 levels of brightness, each with an increasing level of battery usage. I think I'll probably use the 2nd or 3rd level most of the time (maybe using the lowest level only on long outings). I love how the white stylus tucks into the side of the unit itself. The game cartridge (yes Nintendo's still using cartridges; my guess is to preserve battery life though) is ejected via a spring after you push it in a second time. The touch screen is quite responsive, especially during the New Super Mario Bros minigames and written exercises of Brain Age. The microphone seems to work most of the time (there are some instances where it can stutter). The sound is excellent (although it could be slightly louder; headphones can always remedy this) and the soft control pads are precise and gentle on busy thumbs.

It's been so long since I last played a hand-held game console (OG, 4-shades of green Gameboy, anyone?). What I do remember is that they were all about fun. The games were easy to just pick up and play, for anyone. That's what I think the DS is all about.

As it turns out, I was showing my girlfriend, Thao (who plays the Sims, and not much else), some of the minigames and she really got into it. So now I will be buying one for her too, and we can battle each other, or compare our "brains' ages". All in all, I'm glad I waited for the Lite version. It's worth every penny.

Btw, I'll post pics once I extract them from my cell phone.

Hole in One

This shot is incredible. Just watch it. Kinda reminds me of a chip shot into the cup by Tiger earlier this year.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

All About Podcasts

Podcasting (taken from Wikipedia ): a portmanteau of Apple's "iPod" and "broadcasting", is a method of publishing files to the Internet, allowing users to subscribe to a feed and receive new files automatically by subscription, usually at no cost. It first became popular in late 2004, used largely for audio files.

Still tuned in?!? Okay. Let me explain it a little bit more. Basically, podcasts are free audio (or video) programs made by anyone, which are then downloaded by everyone, and then listened on any electronic devices you may have. True, the original concept was made popular by ipod users and the easy-to-use iTunes app, but there are many different ways to access the multitude of podcasts out there. For some, this means burning each set of episodes (usually the average podcast lasts 30 mins to an hour or so) onto a CD. I even occasionally listen on my computer straight out of iTunes. The majority of podcast listeners use more portable mp3 players to keep up to date with their favorite shows.

So, first things first. You need to find what podcasts you want. Since I like to know what's up in the techie world, I subscribe to This Week in Tech (TWIT). Led by Leo Laporte, it also features a panel of regulars, many from the disbanded Screen Savers show from TechTV, and highlights the week's technology news. Diggnation covers top stories from the social tech news site Other notable ones are Inside the Net, Security Now, and Engadet.

If you're into Lost (and I mean really into Lost), check out some of the many Lost podcasts out there. Though this is probably more for September, when Season 3 begins again. Theres the Official Lost podcast featuring two of the writers on the show. Lostcasts is a really good in-depth theory-based show. The Lost podcast with Jay and Jack is another good one with a father/son dynamic. Others worth mentioning include: Generally Speaking: Lost, MYOKOMSAS, and Delta Park.

Then there are the miscellaneous ones like movies reviews with The Onion Radio News, Ebert and Roper, NPR: Story of the Day, and the President's Weekly Radio Address (fake of course).

Lastly, there are the video podcasts. Tiki Bar TV teaches you how to make a different cocktail every epidode. X-Play allows you to download reviews for all the latest videogames. Ask a Ninja is a pretty popular one, where a guy dressed as a ninja answers emails (a la Strong Bad). Others include: Despair Inc (like those awesome demotivators), Strong Bad, InDigital, and Happy Tree Friends.

Once you've subscribed to your shows (or RSS feeds), iTunes will automatically download new episodes as they become available. Sync your iPod or burn you cds and you're ready to go! Trust me, once you get into it, you'll come to love always having custom radio programming that is always fresh and new. It really makes my commute to and from work a lot more bearable.

So, if you're still new to the whole podcasting universe, I'd recommend using iTunes to browse and download podcasts. Here's a simple guide to get you started. And here's a much more detailed guide from the editors at ilounge. Or you can always ask me and I'll gladly get you started. Once you get your feet wet, it won't be long before you take the plunge.