Archive for the Older Category

Movie Review by Proxy: Knocked Up

Posted in Older on June 5, 2007 by dublab

One of the movies on my list at the moment is Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up, featuring Seth Rogen. Given the fact that the movie is directed by the guy that brought us The 40 Year Old Virgin, and that every supporting cast member from that movie is also in this one, it should be enjoyable (they even have the kid that wanted to buy the shiny boots at the eBay store!)

Here’s a review from my friend 73mp14r:

I went and saw Knocked Up last Friday & enjoyed it immensely. There were some slow parts of the movie and a couple of times where you want to smack the hell out of some of the characters, but there were far too many other scenes where I nearly wet myself that it totally made up for the less than funny parts.

All in all, a good funny flick. I would advise against letting kids anywhere near the theater for this one. Lotsa pot (in the beginning) and quite a lot of the naughty words…oh, and some breasts (if you’re against that sort of thing).

I’m trying to go see it sometime soon.

Update:  I have since seen the movie, and it kicks ass.  Go out there and buy it, boys and girls!


…It’s Just Science. And Technology. And a Yummy Sandwich.

Posted in Older on June 5, 2007 by dublab

Dr. Orest Symko’s students at the University of Utah have been hard at work improving the efficiency of devices that are capable of turning waste heat into electricity — via soundwaves.

The thermoacoustic devices turn heat into sound by applying the heat to a metallic screen fitted inside a plastic cylinder. The screen eventually produces a tone once it is properly heated. This sound can then be turned into usable electricity using a piezoelectric device fitted into the same plastic cylinder.

I can imagine LOTS of interesting applications for this one.

On an off-topic note (am I evern ON topic?), I’ve decided that I would be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t also blog about food, since I love it so darn much.

So I’m kicking off my food blogging by making the following recommendation: Chipotle Grilled Chicken Avocado Sandwich.


Proving that copy protection will ALWAYS be defeated given enough time and effort, hackers recently cracked the new HDDVD encryption key — a week after it was released. Haha…

Bjork’s Crazy Touring Rig, John Cage, Gadgets, Funky Drummer Documentary

Posted in Older on June 5, 2007 by dublab

There’s a lot of buzz lately about Bjork’s touring rig for her latest tour, as well as her performance at Coachella. Why? Because her backing band is using a REACtable, and a JazzMutant Lemur multi-touch interface, and it’s badass!

Read about it at Boing Boing.

Byron Scullin wrote about it too. So did Alexander.

Do-it-yourselfers can now get their hands on the visual recognition software that powers the thing.

MIT’s Audiopad seems like a less abstract version of the REACtable.

Read about how multi-touch screens work.

The official REACtable page.

John Cage is nuts:

I am very excited to hear about the new Belkin USB hub. It’s supposed to be Wi-Fi enabled, so it will make life A LOT easier for people like me that have tons of USB connected gadgets. I’m not sure exactly how it is supposed to work, but it sounds very promising. I personally have:

  1. Wireless network adapter
  2. iLok key dongle for Pro Tools
  3. MIDI interface
  4. Printer
  5. Digital camera
  6. My girlfriend’s iPod

and I would absolutely LOVE to be able to use these from various computers without having to unplug anything. I might also have to get a USB-powered missile launcher if I end up getting one of these hubs.

And since network printers (the ones with Ethernet jacks) are so gosh-darn expensive in recent years, it looks like Belkin has a wide-open market for a product like this, especially for people who wish to share printers in a home office or small business.

YouTube documentary on the Most Important Drum Loop Ever:

Jonathan Coulton seems to be an interesting dude. I read about him in a slashdotted New York Times piece called “Sex, Drugs, and Updating Your Blog” or something just as witty (seriously though, if anyone tries to whip up one more witty reinterpretation of that tired old phrase I am going to shoot myself – how do sex and drugs have anything to do with today’s rock music?)Anyway, this guy basically decided to quit his day job and write one song every week for a whole year, and somehow he has managed to make a living out of it (I don’t think he’s going back to being a software programmer).Big balls.

Read about the history of the lute (so basically the history of the guitar!)

I absolutely LOVE VST instruments and plugins. It’s like I’m getting a new piece of audio gear every time I get a new one. Sure, a lot of them suck real bad, but you gotta go through those to find the good ones…Check out:
Betabugs Audio

April Showers Bring May Newspiles

Posted in Older on May 17, 2007 by dublab

I haven’t posted anything in a while since I’ve been extremely busy with moving to a new apartment (not very far from the old one) and random other stuff that’s been going on in my life. Also, I recently learned the meaning of the word “blogorrhea” and did not want to be guilty of it so I figured I’d save my posts for when I had really good stuff to talk about.

I keep a notepad and a pen in my glove compartment. They come in handy every once in a while for taking down the odd phone number or email, but the original reason I put them in my car was to have something that I could use to jot down quick notes to leave for people. Specifically for the asses that double-park on two-lane roads, in front of driveways, blocking my car, or generally, anywhere else that specifically annoys me.The SkinnyCorp guys must’ve read my mind, and have created a product that I will be buying in bulk. Click on the link and go see for yourself, it is really too beautiful for words.

In case you run your own website and you are the only kid on your block still without one, here is a site that helps the technically impaired turn images into FavIcon files.

Now that Apple has started to run out of ideas for the “Get a Mac” commercials, somebody’s put together their very own South Park-style parody of the advertising campaign:

According to AOL, Mike “Virus” Nieves did all sorts of horrible things to its computer systems. According to an unknown hacker known as “Smokey”, as told to Wired magazine, AOL is using Nieves as a “fall guy” for a fairly sizeable backlog of unsolved hacks.Sounds like a plausible re-formulation of the plot of “Hackers”.

My friend and coworker Will likes to tell the story of his first day at a Basics of Graphic Design course that he took at Georgia Tech. According to Will, the professor informed the class that, being a graphic design course, anyone who turned in anything using Comic Sans would automatically fail the assignment.Ban comic sans.

My girlfriend has a huge collection of old wine corks that she’s been saving over the years. I hope I can convince her to try to do something like this.

Take this handy test to find out if you are an idiot. Or to see exactly what type of idiocy applies to you.

Pete Townshend has a new website where he will be trying to sell people their own personal theme music. Now you too can be like Peter in the Family Guy episode with the wish-granting genie in it…

One of the people at Ars Technica has tried it out and posted some of his theme music online. I’m sad to say that I am very unimpressed by what I heard so far… the system is obviously based on some type of algorithmic composition engine much like one that I used to play with years ago (10 years, actually…) and it’s MIDI output is predictably homogeneous. I assume this gets fed into some VST to generate actual sounds which can then be rendered to mp3. Whatever they are using to synthesize is also, unfortunately, about as impressive as the default General MIDI sounds.Here’s hoping that Pete’s gamble plays out. All he really has to do is get enough people to buy into it to offset his startup costs. I would advise him to abandon the site after that. Automatically generated music, although an interesting concept, is far from what I would call aesthetically pleasing…

Ars Technica recently published a story implying that the RIAA’s shenanigans as of late could be considered… *gasp*… extortion! Finally someone is catching on.Lets hope this idea continues to gain momentum. Someone needs to stop the RIAA from destroying anyone else’s life for alleged filesharing.

Michael Bay has put up some nice PNGs of the Transformers on his blog. As one of my friends sometimes says, “Transforgasm!”

Bill Cobham and George Duke Band, plus the Monome Controller and A Bunch of Other Stuff

Posted in Older on April 15, 2007 by dublab

Here’s a great list of everybody who is doomed to eternal suffering, and if you click on their name you get to see why…

The new Q-Tuners are humbucking guitar pickups made out of neodymium. They look pretty wicked, but unfortunately they wouldn’t look very good on MY guitar.

Midomi is a new social-network type service that… well, I’m not exactly sure what it’s supposed to do. I tried to search for some songs by singing them, and it was a terrible failure. Maybe I’m just not that good at singing… or maybe my renditions of “In the Air Tonight” and Whitney Houston’s song from The Bodyguard are less than perfect…

Found some awesome videos of the Bill Cobham and George Duke Band playing @ Montreux, Switzerland, on 7/6/76. Also featuring a young John Scofield. They’re awesome!

Red Baron


Almustafa the Beloved

Ivory Tattoo

I recently read this article from CDM about one of the guys from Sound Tribe Sector Nine and his custom-built double Monome controller. I didn’t even know what a single Monome was, so I looked it up on YouTube. I think I might want one sometime in the future…

Some girls’ boyfriend.

Some dude demoing the control surface.

Surface running KSD (whatever that is…).

Another demo.

The Post-Post-April-Fool’s Newspile

Posted in Older on April 3, 2007 by dublab

A friend of mine pointed me to some new leaked pictures of the new Transformers movie. Check it out:

Optimus Prime vs. Bonecrusher (the Decepticon, not the rapper).

Another picture of a giant robot.

Techdirt writes about more tomfoolery from the RIAA!!! Apparently, Trent Reznor (the man behind Nine Inch Nails) has decided to undertake a slightly less traditional advertising campaign to plug his new record. Instead of the regular boring billboards and flyers, Mr. Reznor has adopted a scheme which somehow involves secret websites and clandestine locations for songs from his new album. NIN fans have reportedly been finding USB keys with tracks from Reznor’s new record at restrooms during NIN shows and later posting the songs online (all with Trent’s consent, of course).

Of course, Trent didn’t really tell the folks at the RIAA about this, since they’ve been issuing takedown notices left and right. How silly!

Another very interesting recent Techdirt article talks about the possibility of web-distributed guitar tablatures going legit. Nothing would bring me greater joy, but I am still skeptical.

For some reason I can’t help think that the golden days of OLGA and Harmony Central are long gone. And I mean Harmony Central the tab-archive wonder, not its current reincarnation-as-a-blog. Maybe it’s because at the time, the disappearance of guitar tablature archives was the first real sign of what I will call the proprietarity phenomenon (patent-copyright-trademark-craziness, e.g. RIAA, MPAA, saying the word Superbowl or Olympics, Verizon vs. Vonage) that has been sweeping most of the civilized world. And it’s only been getting worse.

There’s a couple of GigaOm posts (this one and this one) about Ed and Carlos’s latest shenanigans. AT&T and America Movil (under the direction of Ed Whitacre and Carlos Slim, respectively) have made an offer to buy Telecom Italia. Apparently it’s the latest in a long series of back-scratches between Ed and Carlos that goes back even further than Carlos’s involvement in the Prodigy-SBC deal in 1999. Presumably, the deal’s ultimate goal is to give Carlos a shot at Telecom Italia’s Brazilian business, which Mr. Slim has been wanting for a long time.

The Post-April-Fool’s Newspile

Posted in Older on April 2, 2007 by dublab

Have you signed up for Google broadband yet? It’s awesome! The Internet giant has recently unveiled its new TISP service, which is sure to give other broadband providers a run for their money. The service is based on wireless access points fed by buried fiber-optic cable.

Gizmodo and GigaOm have great things to say about the service…

So today at work, one of my coworkers recommended Ethereal, a packet sniffing tool, after I had asked about a good way to monitor ports that are somehow generating traffic on my computer. I downloaded Ethereal but I also read up about how Ethereal destroys relationships. The story sounds painfully like many others that I have heard about before on the news, on the radio, and even from friends.

Readers: please don’t cheat. Or if you do, learn to hide your evidence.

Nerdalert! A new Transformers trailer has been leaked. For those of you that are out of the loop, the nerd-tastic giant morphing robots are about to be the stars of a new super-high-budget movie produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by Michael Bay.