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Another Massive Microsoft Fail February 6, 2010

Posted by weare1 in commentary, economics, gadgets, geek, OS X, rant, software, video games, xbox 360, xbox live.
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The fact that Microsoft didn’t turn the Xbox into a media center which we proved it could be great at, was one of the largest mistakes in the history of technology which amazingly they are repeating with their 360 product. They are more concerned about making sure their box doesn’t get hacked then making sure their customers get the most out of their box. Once one of these dumb (I’m looking at you Sony who lost the complete control of the console market, but also made the same media center mistake) companies figures out that the homebrew community can improve their product, and has better software engineers then they do, and is willing to open their product will have massive success, because the people have spoken. We know what we want, the companies know what we want but for some reason are unwilling to provide it. The fact that Microsoft was greedy about their box will doom them to failure. Because our XBMC community was unable to use the 360 we switched to the Mac and Linux platforms, which we are going to use as our media centers thus depriving Microsoft of their beloved “Microsoft Tax.” They could have owned this market segment which will grow and grow, but because they chose to milk their consoles for profitability over usability they lose. Management in America is very short sighted.

Best Home Theater Accessory Ever June 27, 2009

Posted by weare1 in gadgets, geek.
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Harmony 890 Kit

You must get this exact version of Harmony’s fantastic universal remote control, not the fancier ones, and not the cheaper ones although you’ll be tempted.  This ain’t cheap, but it has a feature called the RF extender, and what this little black box does receive the command from your remote via radio frequencies instead of infra-red (light) and then send that command to your components via infra-red which is what most components use.  RF is way better then infra-red because it has longer range and does not require a line of sight, so you don’t have to “aim” your remote.  Also, because the RF extender comes with IR emitters, you can put all of your components in a cabinet out of sight yet still have full remote control.  Fantastic.  Better still is the easy to use software (mac and PC) to set up the remote with all of your devices and even fine-tune it.  The remote itself has a rechargeable battery, so there’s no concerns about running out of juice.  The remote even plays a cute little slide show on its little LCD when it goes back in it’s cradle.  The remote itself has an small screen on it, is fully customizable and works by activities rather then devices, what this means is that it offers things like “watch TV” or “listen to CDs”, not “CD->play”, it’s a subtle but significant difference.  When in an activity the screen offers relevant choices.  It took a few tries to get everything working perfectly, but each tweek made it a little bit better.  I’m overjoyed with this device, it’s made my life better.

Logitech Harmony 890 Advanced Universal Remote Control

The Annoy-a-tron November 28, 2006

Posted by weare1 in comedy, gadgets, geek.
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File under extremely devious:

The Annoy-a-tron – Gizmodo

Vomit Barrel – Be Very Afraid October 10, 2006

Posted by weare1 in comedy, gadgets.
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vomit.jpgFile under over the top:

Vomit Barrel

JungleDisk – Reliable online storage powered by Amazon S3™ October 4, 2006

Posted by weare1 in frugality, gadgets, geek, Internet, OS X, software.
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jdisk.jpgHard disks fail. It’s only a matter of time. Backups are a pain in the ass. Finally I’ve found a great solution for this common computing problem. JungleDisk is a cross-platform application to backup your data off-site on Amazon’s S3 storage server cloud. This thing is fantastic, and the economics of the S3 backup service are good. Having your data off-site is essential because any catastrophe could take out your original data as well as your on-site backups. Even RAID is not a good solution because of the locality of the data.

While JungleDisk isn’t perfect, it’s a great start. It has built-in encryption to protect your data, you can backup and access your data as a drive letter disk. This tool is going to help me sleep better at night, and that’s a good thing. I heartily recommend this application and service.

JungleDisk – Reliable online storage powered by Amazon S3™

I digg sleeping better at night

Fair and Balanced – no really October 1, 2006

Posted by weare1 in frugality, gadgets, rant.
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dsc01313.JPGWhile I do use this blog to bitch about stuff that isn’t up to par, a frightfully common occurrence, I forgot to mention this good story about Sony a while back in the pre-blog days, well for me anyhow. Although the LCD HDTV I got from Sony was great, it didn’t work with the Sony camera I had. I even went in to the Sony Style store in San Francisco and showed them it didn’t work on their TV with their camera. They said they would follow-up (but they didn’t). I called Sony and after what seemed like a brush off they came back to me albeit about a month later with a patch for my TV’s firmware on a USB memory stick.

So kudos to Sony for doing the right thing. I know they’ve got a bad rep these days after that rootkit fiasco, their music software really is dookieware, but they did come through for me when I needed it. I use my TV (BRAVIA XBR-32) to review my digital camera photos, and it looks mahvalous, well when I can hold my tiny Sony digital camera (T-5) steady that is.

iWake: Ipod & alarm clock mashup September 7, 2006

Posted by weare1 in gadgets, music.
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mi4004_main.jpg

UPDATE: got mine today via overstock.com. (target only sells theirs in store)  Kinda flimsy feeling with cheap plastic, and the ipod connector isn’t tight.  However for $80 this is still a great bargain, and it seems to work as advertised with only a few minor annoyances which I’ll elaborate after I have more time to try this bad boy.

Brilliant, at only $79.95, the new iWake is an alarm clock with an integrated ipod dock and speakers. Wake to iPod. Gradually increases volume every 5 seconds all the way to 11. Available at Target.
iWake Mi4004 Product Detail Page