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Amazing Interns

Filed under: WTF — Jared @ 9:48 am

I’m constantly astounded by the pictures that weblogs manage to come up with:



During Work too…

Filed under: Personal — Jared @ 1:01 pm

Does everyone have conversations like this?

Matt: “Yahoo!/AOL Merger Implications for Google”
wtf did i sleep through?
me: hehh
I know I read something about a yahoo/AOL merger
Matt: it’s just talk at this point though, right?
me: I think I thought it was a joke, or speculation
but I dunno
Matt: i think it’s speculation, but not a joke
me: I don’t see it as meaning much; I mean, crap + crap = still crap, so I don’t know how this will help either
Matt: yeah
two floundering companies put together doesn’t really seem like a recipe for success
me: it’s like a cinder block and an anchor tying themselves together in an attempt to float
Matt: haha
then again, it could be a deflated inner tube and a hand pump tying themselves together trying to float :\


Privacy and Check Cashing

Filed under: Consumer Activism, Security, Terrorism — Jared @ 10:22 am

The Consumerist has a post up on yet another terrifying invasion of our privacy:

BofA Throws Out Customer Who Refuses To Give Thumbprint

Are we really to this point? There were actually comments on this post saying, “If you’re not a terrorist/criminal, you have nothing to fear.” We’re really at that point?

To anyone who is ignorant enough to think this, I ask a few questions (and could probably go on all day):

  • Do you have shades or shutters on your windows? Why?
  • Do you send all of your mail as postcards?
  • Do you tell strangers on the street what you do in the bedroom?

If you don’t see the point these questions are getting at, I feel sorry for you. I should not have to fight for my privacy (except in the sense that we must fight the decay of freedom constantly); you, and everyone else, should have to fight to invade it.



Filed under: Personal — Jared @ 8:22 am

Chocobo Plushie On Street


Squirrel Day

Filed under: Squirrels, WTF — Jared @ 1:05 pm

Apparently it’s squirrel day, and no one told me; from the giz:

Squirrel-Proof Rollerfeeder: This Is a Birds-Only Club


Filed under: Squirrels, WTF — Jared @ 12:34 pm

BBC: Russian squirrel pack ‘kills dog’

Run, before they eat us all!

Seriously, going to school at UMass, I always knew this day would come.

This is the true apocalypse.


Turn them brown?

Filed under: Personal — Jared @ 3:47 pm

Just beautiful. I wish I was this witty:

Jobs: How about you take one of those white Zunes and you turn it brown, Doug.


Sony Fanboy FUD

Filed under: Electronics — Jared @ 2:32 pm

Much has been made recently of the Playstation 3’s (in)ability to scale HD content. I’ll just point you of ArsTechnica’s coverage of both its Gaming and BluRay scaling issues. The issue is as follows (from what I have read):

The PS3 seems to have no ability to up-or-downscale the content it outputs within HD resolutions. For games produced in 720p (apparently many of the launch titles), this means it will not upscale to 1080i if that is what your TV supports, it will instead downscale to 480p. If you play a BluRay title shot in 1080i or p, the player will output it either at 1080i/p or 480p. Newer TV’s can handle this: they will take in whatever resolution you feed them, and scale it to the TV output. Older TV’s aren’t so lucky. MANY TV’s will only take in EITHER 720p or 1080i, as is the case with mine. In fact, when I was TV shopping at the beginning of the year, I was unable to find an affordable TV of large size that would take both in. Mine happens to do 1080i, which would leave me out in the cold for playing games.

The reaction from Sony Fanboys on this has been amazing. The thing to keep in mind: I chose to buy the TV I bought at the beginning of ’06, knowing that if I hooked up an Xbox, Xbox360, HD cable box, or up-converting DVD player, I would be able to tell it to output at 1080i and it would scale anything that wasn’t. And I’ll tell you honestly: both 720p and 1080i cable are beautiful, and I doubt you could tell me which is which. I decided that rather than buy a 42″ screen with all of the fancy inputs (which I wouldn’t need, because the various boxes I would plug in would have scalers, because they all do) or buy a slightly more limited 52″ screen for the same money, or the fancy 52″ for $500 more. 52″ was the right size for my living room, so I bought the cheaper 52″ and it looks beautiful. But now I won’t even have the OPTION of buying a PS3 without risking that it looks like crap. The reaction of the fanboys has been something like the quote below (off of the Ars discussion forums for the PS3 review, emphasis mine):

Sony has no reason to care, because it’s not Sony’s fault that some TV doesn’t support 720p. It’s the TV manufacturer’s fault, as I’ve said time and time again. If you bought an LCD for your PC that didn’t do scaling and complained when you couldn’t run it in anything other than 1280×1024, would it be the video card manufacturer’s fault? Really it’s funny that most people aren’t having this issue. There are basically two scenarios where somebody doesn’t have a TV that supports 720p: 1) you bought a TV without enough research or 2) you were an early adopter, and if you could afford an HDTV then, you can easily afford a replacement.

This is a level of either ignorance or arrogance that I find unimaginable. First, Sony has every reason to care: they are in the business of selling consoles. MOST of the HDTV’s sold early on, and many of those sold till recently, either do 720p or 1080i, and mass-market CE devices such as DVD players and Xboxes seem to get it right: in order to appeal to the widest audience, you strap in one of those little scalers so that your device works with EVERYTHING. Second, to suggest that ANYONE have to replace their $1k+ HDTV sets to accomadate Sony is crazy, and ignores the way the real world works: The TV’s were here first, and the CE devices need to adapt to the situation in the marketplace to which they are trying to sell. It is my understanding that the vast majority of CRT RPTV’s will be affected by this; I know mine is, and I bet most of my friends that have HDTV’s will be too. Third, Sony is not on its own in the market, they compete with Microsoft and Nintendo. The Xbox360 has a scaler in it, and will output whatever you tell it to (AFAIK). This is the standard behaviour.

I think I feel better now. But I really want this to stop – Sony has made a very bad play here. Maybe there really aren’t that many of us affected by this, but I will tell you one thing: There is 0% chance I will buy a PS3 unless this is resolved. Before, there was at least a small chance I would buy one in the next few years.

Xbox and Wii ho!


Solving Poverty

Filed under: Economics, Politics — Jared @ 1:39 pm

I think Matt and I have come up with a pretty good solution for poverty – and one that’ll make him happy because we get to rid ourselves of the minimum wage. Matt, correct any mistakes I make:

We institute a publicly-funded job training program. The program is paid for by the state. It is an ITT-Tech style program (and probably makes use of pre-existing job training colleges, although we didn’t hash out those kinds of details) and prepares people for specific careers, like A/C repair, medical assistant, ect. We’ve all heard the commercials. At my insistance, anyone who is currently working full time to support themselves will be paid the hourly wage they are currently making for the hours they spend in school (instead of at work, theoretically). Eventually, most people have a skill more valuable than “Burger Flipper”, and the minimum wage is made obsolete.

What do you say? Spong/Rice for office in 2008?


The Last Funny “Your Mom” Joke

Filed under: Copyright — Jared @ 10:05 pm

Apparently, by putting this image on my blog, the ESA might send me a takedown letter. It worked for Kotaku, so why not me? It’d be neat to get a letter from an ESA lawyer – maybe it’d make me famous!

Earlier this week the Entertainment Software Association sicced their lawyers on us. Demanding that we take down the post about the shirt, calling it an advertisement and saying that the shirt would create consumer confusion and a “substantial likelihood that the ESRB certification marks will face tarnishment and dilution.”

OK, so they were confused. So we wrote back to point out that the post was in fact editorial content and not an ad and that we have nothing to do with the shirt. Problem solved.


The ESA responded demanding that we remove the post, image and links and prove we had done sone within three days.

Our response: Go to hell. Sure, it was much more eloquently stated, but the fact is that the ESA can’t control editorial content of a website. As a matter of fact, they probably can’t stop the shirt seller either, since the creation is so obviously a parody.

Yaay for scare tactics! Next time though, they should try to have at least a toe or two to stand on.

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