iPod Updates

AppleApple released a slew of new iPod goodies today. The first new iPod is a special edition black “U2” version. It is just your typical 20GB iPod with one subtle difference… it’s black with a red Apple click wheel and the band’s signatures laser engraved on the back. It sells for $349 which includes $50 towards the purchase of “The Complete U2,” a collection of the complete U2 catalog (400 songs) from the iTunes music store.

The other new iPod release is the iPod Photo which comes in a 40 or 60GB model. The iPod Photo has a color screen and can be used to store and view digital photos. It also has a video out which allows you to connect it to a TV to view your photos (with music of course!). This iPod will also display album covers for the music on your device. This one runs $499 for the 40GB and $599 for the 60GB.

Would anyone like to donate a few hundred dollars to the buy-me-an-iPod fund?

U2 iPod and iPod Photo

Unreal Tournament 2004 Editors Choice Edition

UT2K4I guess this is somewhat old news, but Unreal 2004 has released their Editors Choice Edition (ECE). I was playing the game last week when I noticed some new vehicles and “ECE” listed after some levels so I did a little digging and found that Atari released a new expanded version of UT2K4 back in September which includes several modifications, 6 new characters, 3 new vehicles, and 6 new Onslaught maps.

The great thing about ECE is if you already own the game, you don’t have to go out and buy a whole new copy or an expansion pack. They’ve made the ECE extras available for download. You need to have the latest patch (3323) installed for ECE to work.

Review of My New Timbuk2 Commute Bag

Timbuk2 Commute BagAs of last Tuesday, I’m the proud owner of a Timbuk2 Commute bag. I anxiously waited for the UPS man to bring me my new bag. I can definitely say that after a few of days of carrying it around, I’m very happy with it.

Timbuk2 is a San Francisco company has been making messenger bags since 1989. They started by making bags for urban bike messengers. All of their bags are built tough. The stitching is solid, it’s made out of quality ballistic vinyl with a water-proof liner, a thick rubberized bottom, and it has a thick comfortable strap. (more…)

Bad Hotel Mike

I received an e-mail at work yesterday that I thought was pretty odd since it was sent out to everyone.

I’ve talked with some of you about a Power Point presentation on the web
that I heard about during the “PR Boot Camp” ILA conference session led
by Ben Hildebrandt last week. The slides chronicle the experience of
two very web-savvy guys who had a bad experience at a Doubletree Hotel
in Houston, brought on by “night clerk Mike” giving their guaranteed
rooms away. It goes on (and down) from there.

Here is the PowerPoint Presentation.

I’m really not sure why this was sent out to everyone (probably something to do with promoting good customer service) but it’s pretty funny. I guess the moral of the story is don’t be like Night Clerk Mike, and don’t stay at the DoubleTree Club Hotel 2828 Southwest Freeway in Houston, Texas.

Moblog Photos

I’ve been tweaking the site a little bit recently. You may have noticed in the right column there is now a “Latest Mobile Photo” area. This area will always display the most recent photo from my camera phone. You can also see all the past photos I’ve taken with my phone. They’re in the photos area of the site under “Mobile Phone Pics.” This will give you all a chance to do what you’ve never in your right mind always dreamed of doing… see the world through my eyes (or at least my phone’s)!

(Feel free to rate and leave comments for the photos.)

Google Releases Beta Desktop Search

Google SearchYes, I know I’ve been writing a lot about Google lately… but they just keep releasing cool things! Today the released a new piece of software that lets you use their incredible search engine to search certain files on your computer. Once you download and install this little app, a “desktop” tab is added to the google site when you pull it up on your machine. This sallows you to search within several different file types on your machine including:

  • Outlook & Outlook Express E-mail messages
  • AOL Instant Messenger sessions
  • Internet Explorer history
  • Word documents
  • PowerPoint files
  • Excel files
  • Text documents

It seems to work pretty well althought I’d like it to search within more file types. What about PDF’s? It doesn’t search within Mozilla or Firefox’s history, just IE. Google does address this in their help area. It is still in beta, so hopefully more features aren’t too far off. It definitely does a better job than the window’s find (I CAN’T STAND THAT STUPID DOG) for those particular file types. Give it a try!

Google SMS

GoogleGoogle just released a new SMS service. If you send an SMS (text message) from your cell phone to the number 46645 (GOOGL) with a certain syntax, the super smart Google robot will send you a text message back with your results.

Yesterday, I tried one of the examples from Google:
pizza 52242
(the zip code for Iowa City) and received a couple text messages back within a few seconds listing a half dozen pizza places in the area.

Give it a try, it’s pretty slick!

Gmail Drive

GmailFor those of you that have a Gmail account, this little utility is a nice addition. It allows you to use your 1Gb for actual storage. It puts a little drive icon into Windows and transfers files pretty quickly from your local machine to your Gmail storage(I haven’t tried any large files yet). I suppose that Google will eventually crack down on this (so don’t put anything important up there). Otherwise it’s a cool little application.

No More 5 second Rule

A scientist (a high school scientist) from Chicago has recently won the IG Nobel Prize for work done with the 5 second rule. The rule went that if you dropped a piece of food on the floor, it was safe to eat if you got to it within 5 seconds of it hitting the ground. I always thought it was the 3 second rule… I wonder if this changes the outcome. Anyway, this young Chicago scientist proved that bacteria could attach itself to food the instant it hit the ground. It did say that the texture of the food and the texture of the floor made a difference in the amount of bacteria.

Another Chapter in the Shrek’s Cereal Saga

cereal boxI was out buying groceries tonight and decided I needed some yummy Shrek’s cereal, and what did I happen to find on the side of the box? They have added a marshmallow, or rather “mallowbits” key giving the names for all of the different shaped marshmallows err… mallowbits.

I’d like to think that maybe we had something to do with this… they were probably getting bombarded with people writing and phoning and stopping by the General Mills headquarters wondering what on earth that blue mallowbit (got it right that time!) was. Just imagine the money they’re going to save on personnel answering questions.

See the other posts in the shrek cereal saga.

SpaceShipOne Almost to the X Prize!

On Wednesday, SpaceShipOne completed its first of two required flights to win the $10 million X Prize. The X Prize was set up to jump start the space tourism industry and provided a handsome sum to whoever can create a spacecraft that can:

  • Privately finances, builds & launches a spaceship, able to carry 3 people to 100 km (62.5 mi)
  • Returns safely to Earth
  • Repeats the launch with the same ship within 2 weeks

The flight of SpaceShipOne on Wednesday was its first flight in the X Prize race. It lifted of from the Mojave Desert in California and reached an altitude of 337,500 ft. The next flight is tentatively scheduled for this coming Monday Oct. 4th.

You can check out a video of the flight here. There is quite a bit more information about the X Prize and the different teams involved at the X Prize Site. Who knows what’ll happen after someone wins the prize. Maybe we’ll be a step or two closer to taking a quick trip to space… which sounds like fun to me!