Thursday, July 24, 2008

Free Empire Theatres Movie Passes

Apparently there's something called Empire Insider that, if you join, sends you a link to a PDF that you can print (as much as you like) for a buy-one-get-one-free movie pass.

BUT, the thing is that the link to the PDF can be accessed regardless of whether you join this Insider thing or not. Check it out:

See you at the movies.

One Bad Apple Improves the Bunch?

A lot of the reason why I like Apple so much is because Microsoft just sucks so bad. In my experience with both, Apple comes out far ahead in terms of quality, ease of use and overall enjoyment of their products.

But that doesn't mean I think Apple is perfect. Far from it.

Recently it seems like quality control at Apple has been slipping, as evidenced, for example, by the myriad of little problems that the MacBook has had since its introduction in the middle of 2006. Nothing that has made headlines, but enough to aggravate users like myself and others nonetheless. Despite this, their market share has continued to soar, which is hardly an incentive for a company to start fixing things.

If that kind of trend were to continue, the fear is that Apple would devolve into just another Microsoft. Nobody wants that.

Apple just recently launched a new product called MobileMe, and so far its been a clusterfuck. A clusterfuck of headline proportions. Granted, up until today it was mostly just the blogs that were complaining, but now the Wall Street Journal has chymed in with a resounding thumbs down. And I couldn't be happier about it.

Hopefully, by demonstrating that it is imperfect, Apple will be more inclined to strive for perfection. Or at least stop making so many little mistakes.

The End of Time: Coming Soon!

Does this look like something that could destroy the Universe to you?

Well, it should, because there's a chance that it could. Or at least that's what most science geeks on the internet will giddily type at you. Ask an actual scientist and you'll likely get a different response akin to, "something, or nothing. But hopefully something."

The image above is of the Large Hadron Collider, a particle accelerator spanning 17 miles that is buried 300 feet below Switzerland and France. It's taken thousands of people 13 years at a cost of $8 billion to build, and at midnight NDT on August 6th, it's getting switched on.

They're looking for something often reffered to as the "God particle," which scientists call the Higgs boson. In a nutshell, they're trying to understand what makes the universe the way it is, and they think this particle, currently just theorized to exist (or to have existed - they think it had it's hayday roughly 14 billion years ago when the universe was less than a trillionth of a second old. Yes, you read that correctly.) will give them the information that they're after - an anticipated 120,000 terrabytes of information a year. To get that information, they're going to take 13 trillion electron voltz of energy and use it to smash protons together 30 million times per second and study the results.

All sounds perfectly safe to me! And just to reassure you, I'll leave you with this quote from Dr. Jim Virdee, one of the LHC's project leaders: "Our judge is not God or governments, but nature. If we make a mistake, nature will not hesitate to punish us." Sweet.

(You can watch for yourself as the doomsday clock counts down and read lots more about the Large Hadron Collider here.)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Stepping on the Clover

Wired Magazine just ran a three page article on the Clover coffee machine and its adoption acquisition by Starbucks that's well worth the read.

The Coffee Fix: Can the $11,000 Clover Machine Save Starbucks?

The last line pretty much says it all.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Microsleep, Peeps!

It's Monday. The weekend was a wacked-out, whippidy-wankered whapp-a-thon. You're fuckered for sleep.

No worries.'s How-To Wiki Cheat on the Need to Sleep to the rescue.

Scientists say that a successful midday nap depends on two things: timing and (no kidding) caffeine consumption. Experiments performed at Loughborough University in the UK showed that the sleep-deprived need only a cup of coffee and 15 minutes of shut-eye to feel amazingly refreshed.

1. Right before you crash, down a cup of java. The caffeine has to travel through your gastro-intestinal tract, giving you time to nap before it kicks in.

2. Close your eyes and relax. Even if you only doze, you’ll get what’s known as effective microsleep, or momentary lapses of wakefulness.

3. Limit your nap to 15 minutes. A half hour can lead to sleep inertia, or the spinning down of the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which handles functions like judgment. This gray matter can take 30 minutes to reboot.

See you in 15.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Optimus Maximus - The Pulled Video!

Engadget posted a video first-look at the Optimus Maximus keyboard and then quickly pulled it when they got a letter from the company written in confusing legalese. Meanwhile, UndeleTube managed to snag the video before it got pulled back a layer on YouTube and you can see it here!

Although there are reports that it's not the best for actually typing with, this thing clearly would be awesome for use with apps like Final Cut, Photoshop and the like. Too bad it's nearly $500, but I'd say once this idea catches on over the next few years we'll see many more like it and at much lower prices... unless they've got some sort of evil patent on it I suppose.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Moltz on Macworld: It's Ether

If you don't read Crazy Apple Rumors Site, chances are you don't know John Motlz. A great introduction to his entirely sardonic take on all things Apple (a great laugh no matter which side of the Apple tree you fall from) can be found at, where Moltz gives his take on day one of the Macworld Expo. To wit:
In addition to touching Apple hardware, you can actually touch Apple executives and last year I did just that. I walked up to senior vice president of retail Ron Johnson and touched him on his arm. He was talking to someone else and after touching him I quickly walked away, as I just wanted to touch him, not disturb him. He looked confused but not concerned and I managed to avoid an unfortunate incident with security.
Via Macworld.

Join the Accordion Revolution!

Are you familiar with the Accordion Revolution? Want to be? Your best bet at getting started then would be to check out Daniel Payne's, Learning the Newfoundland Button Accordion | Volume 1: The Basics. From the Facebook Marketplace:

Click for larger view

It's only $35.00 and is very well produced.

Then you can truly wear the t-shirt with pride.

Via Living Planet T-Shirts.

Robot Suit of the Future, Today!

Embrace the sheer ecstasy of uncertainty as the overwhelming burden of the future collides with the unsuspecting present and tremble. Robot suits have arrived.

"Strap-on" takes on a whole new meaning.

Via Engadget.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Final Thoughts on Reading for the Day

This is hilarious.

Courtesy of Daring Fireball.

Bennington Gate

I put in a call to the longstanding, independently owned and operated bookstore Bennington Gate today to see if they had a book I wanted, and when they said they did not I asked how long it would take to order it in.

The answer? We're not taking orders now because we're closing at the end of the month.

I paused on the line.

We all kind of thought this day might come, but no one really wanted to believe it. Chapters came to town, Auntie Crae's and the Liquor Store pulled out of the Square. It was only a matter of time before globalization-sized competition and a lack of foot traffic forced the Gate the to close. Or at least relocate... right?

I asked and was told that they're hoping to relocate but as of now do not have anything lined up. Grim news.

If you're as hopeful as I am that Bennington Gate will reopen in a new location, why not let them know they have your support? 576-6600 is the number to reach them at, or walk on in to the Lower Level of Terrace on the Square and tell them yourself.

Here's hoping.

Is Literacy the Next Obesity Crisis?

As the popular technology blog Engadget pointed out today, it's kind of ironic that you're reading this since, according to Apple Inc.'s CEO, Steve Jobs, no one reads anymore. Jobs to the New York Times on the reading device Kindle: "It doesn't matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don't read anymore. Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don't read anymore."

Notice he says it twice in case those reading have trouble catching it the first time: people don't read anymore. As much as I'd like to call him to task, listing alternative reading materials like blogs and cereal boxes as proof that book consumption is not the only measure of literacy in a society, the truth is I think he's right. People don't read anymore. Not like they used to. Not like they should.

According to an article published January 1st of this still very new year by Misty Harris of the CanWest News Service, 31 percent of adults in Canada did not read a single book last year. Things get slightly less grim when you look at the portion of the population that did read at least one book. Of that group, the average number of books read was 20.

So is this a crisis? To compare, let's look at something that we've all recently agreed is: obesity. According to, 23 percent of adults in Canada fall into the category of obese. To put that in context, there are more Canadians who didn't read a book last year than there are who qualify as grossly overweight.

Obesity is not just the problem of the individual but also that of their society. Obesity can lead to pour poor health, which can render a person less able to contribute and more dependent on public resources such as health care. Pour Poor literacy can have a similar effect, and while a person's disinterest in books is by no means an indication that they are illiterate, it could be considered an indication of how their literacy is valued.

It's been said that some people suffering from obesity do so because they find healthy foods intimidating. It's not that they are incapable of eating healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, but their lack of experience in preparing them keeps them from ever trying. For those who can read but choose not to, they are likely experiencing a similar kind of intimidation.

This intimidation can lead people to develop a dependence on media other than literature to assimilate and consume information and entertainment. The more they do so, the less capable they become of engaging in literary activities. Literature itself then becomes undervalued, and its place in our society diminished. For information to disseminate honestly, it must disseminate diversely. If literacy is lost, so then is our level of assurance and means of testing that the messages we receive are true. In the face of this uncertainty, engagement is replaced with trust, criticism with acceptance. We no longer understand what is said, we simply believe what we're told.

31 percent of Canadian adults didn't read a book last year. I'd call that a crisis. If you read me.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

5 Solid Reasons for deadmau5

You've probably noticed a bit of a BUZZ in the air over the last couple of weeks here in Sin City. New Year's Eve was a wild time for everyone, so normally by now all should be relatively quiet, but there's an undeniable noise that can be heard circulating this place, and it sounds a heck of a lot like party. That's because local DJ/promoter/hero Pat Dunn has been busying himself making the place ready for the arrival of a very special guest, the likes of which this town has never really seen before.

Meet deadmau5 |dead•mouse|. Never heard of him? Then I guess you haven't been listening. Hailing out of Niagara, Ontario, this producer/DJ has turned the heads and opened the ears of the entire electronic music world. Pete Tong, John Acquaviva, Chris Lake, they've all been playing his tracks and screaming his praises. He's topping all the charts and filling all the dance floors, and the next floor on his list is yours.

Thanks to the promotional efforts of Pat Dunn's BUZZ Management, deadmau5 is coming to St. John's this Saturday, January 19th at Liquid Ice. In case I haven't made myself clear: that's fucked.

To make myself even more clear, here are 5 solid reasons why you should go see deadmau5 this Saturday:

1. There are DJ's, and then there are DJ's, and then there are DJ's like deadmau5. If you think you've heard what electronic music has to offer in this town, then you must have traveled into the future, specifically to this coming Saturday, because deadmau5 is going to flip your perceptions on their head.

2. Tickets are just $23 dollars. Travel to London, England. Go to a top West End club. Pay twice that much for a DJ half deadmau5's caliber. Enjoy that.

3. Tickets are selling fast. What's that an indication of? You tell me.

4. Ever heard the term Modern Day Mozart? Pick up a copy of this week's Current and have a read. Then you'll know.

5. Pat Dunn is behind this. Have you met this guy? He is party incarnate. Figure it out.

deadmau5 is playing at Liquid Ice this Saturday, January 19th. Tickets are $23 (and include a free high ball) and can be purchased at Ballistic, Hostyle, and Liquid Ice. You know what to do.