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.