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3081  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: iPhone/iTouch app and game thread on: March 24, 2010, 11:14:16 PM
I keep losing strawberries, are they the only crops that go bad?
3082  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost: The Final Season (spoilers not tagged) on: March 24, 2010, 11:13:12 PM

Quote from: jament on March 24, 2010, 10:58:28 PM

It's more like two marooned angels who have a differing opinion on the character of the human race than a God/Devil thing.

That's a cool interpretation!

One question I have.  If we pre-suppose that Jacob is telling the truth about the island serving as the cork that holds the Smoke Monster in check from leaking out and spreading, what does this mean for the alt-universe where the island has sunk?  Does that mean that he is free to roam/spread in the world, and if so, why does there seem to be no repercussions to our cast?  In fact it looks like our heroes are for the most part doing better in the alt-universe.
3083  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: iPhone/iTouch app and game thread on: March 24, 2010, 04:52:32 PM
Come on!  We need more peeps to join us in We Rule!  It's so fun!
3084  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Official 2010 American Idol Thread on: March 24, 2010, 05:29:11 AM
This season is quickly becoming kind of a dud, it's like the race to figure out who is #2.  But oddly enough having said that, I wouldn't be surprised if the most talented musician/artist (Crystal) loses to someone else.  She has a kind of air about her that doesn't inspire me to vote for her in spite of how good she is, I wonder if that will hurt in the long run.  That said, I don't know who would even compete with her at this point.

Lee - I still like him and I think he improved this week with his rendition of The Letter, but he still gives me the feel of being uncomfortable on stage, and no matter how good his voice is, that will cause problems with the audience.  I'm not sure what it would take to get the jitters out of this guy, at this point it's almost too late.

Paige - trying to do a version of Mariah's recent remake of Against All Odds with a recovering voice that wasn't great to begin with, bad choice.  She may be done unless the sympathy vote can save her, against all odds.

Tim - my boy does his best to screw himself over with a campy over the top performance of Crazy Little Thing Called Love.  The audience play and the now famous "slide" were just a treasure (and torture) to behold in all its awfulness.  He should have sung without the coat jacket to accent his pecs.  Maybe just maybe his core voting block can save him over Paige though.

Aaron - Don't want to miss a Thing - I must admit I think he did a legitimate version of the song and he's good at belting out the power ballads (even with tonsilitis).  Should be an easy pass this week

Crystal - she sang yet another song I didn't know but blasted it out of the arena.  It's almost too disconcerting to have her and Paige/Tim/Andrew in the same room together. 

Michael - does an over the top rendition of When a Man Loves A Woman.  I thought his vocals were great but similar to the judges comments, he just went way over with the dramatic hand gestures and wooing of the audience. 

Andrew - ugh, it was a horrible version of Grapevine complete with creepy dance moves, one of the most often sung songs on this show (usually during auditions and Hollywood week).  WTF is up with these bizarre song choices?   You can pick any number 1 song and they all (save Crystal) seem to pick songs that have been done on the show ad infinitum. 

Katie - she takes on Fergie's Big Girls Don't Cry and actually nailed it IMHO.  Fergie is only an OK singer herself so doing a similar version is actually a pretty smart move.  Katie is still a bit too pitchy but overall she stepped it up this week.

Didi - she does a sultry kind of sexy, playful version of You're No Good, and I thought it was awesome.  But the judges simply skewered her all around, which I don't get.  I thought she was wonderful and got to show a different side of herself, as well as show off the growl in her voice, but somehow she gets punished all around.  Judges blew it on this one I think.

Casey - close your eyes and freakishly it's like Huey Lewis was REBORN.  This really creeped me out, I was never the biggest Huey fan but it is disconcerting to see this pretty young blond dude singing but distinctly hear Huey Lewis.  I don't know if he should get kudos for sounding so similar or not.  Only Simon blasts him, the others love it.  Oh well.

Banshee - I love her name, it's like she was tailor made for the X-Men (Siobhan Magnus) - she could be Magneto and Banshee's love child with the power to scream in any song.  She uses her powers to dream up a screamy version of Superstition, and again all the judges except Simon eat it up.  I really wished she would have done Sinead this week, this was the perfect opportunity.  Oh well.

So that's it, I honestly could not pick a Final 4 from this mess, let alone a final #2 to compete against Crystal.  My personal favorite of the bunch (Didi) has clearly been ostracized by the judges/producers so she has no chance.  Ditto Tim, Paige, and Andrew.  Katie was an early favorite but now is on the bubble; unless she can do a Jordin Sparks-ish transformation every week she will have to go somewhere in the middle.  Banshee is a clear new judge/producer favorite, cougars and older women love Casey, and Aaron has the tween girls quivering, but are any of them Final 2 material?  That leaves Big Mike and Lee - Mike has the chops and the stage presence but can be a bit drama queen/over the top.  Lee has the voice and could easily go Daughtry-esque but something is clearly holding him back (I guess himself?).  At this point, it remains Crystals competition to lose, which amounts to a long 10 weeks or so to the finale. 
3085  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 24, Season 8 discussion (there are spoiler tags for a reason) on: March 23, 2010, 11:46:57 PM

Quote from: Xmann on March 23, 2010, 09:40:34 PM

This season is so painful to watch it's ridiculous.   To me it's like a bad car wreck, it's terrible to look at....but you can't help it.   

The writing and characters are just plain awful.   I just don't know if i can take Dana much more.   Wow, surprise-surprise...Dana is a CTU mole.   Gimme a damn break.   My wife is done watching and i'm seriously considering it myself.   

Noooooo!  You must stick it out til the bitter end!!!  Suffer (and enjoy) with the rest of us  icon_surprised
3086  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 24, Season 8 discussion (there are spoiler tags for a reason) on: March 23, 2010, 05:56:46 PM

Quote from: Eightball on March 23, 2010, 05:30:35 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on March 23, 2010, 01:57:07 AM

oh dear god :facepalm:

Pretty much.  It's as if they had to justify her existence on the show...OKAY LET'S MAKE HER A MOLE!!!!

LOL!  That was so ridiculous and inconsistent I didn't know what to think!  If she was such a tough mole cookie why not just kill that stupid Wade to begin with rather than waste time with the whole heist?  Seems like the writers changed their mind midway after realizing they'd written her into a corner and made her more annoying than Kim (which didn't seem possible until now).

But all in all I thought it was one of the best eps of the season.  Go girl power!
3087  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Chuck Season 3 discussion (spoilers!!!) on: March 23, 2010, 05:54:17 PM

Quote from: Rowdy on March 23, 2010, 03:50:04 PM

Sarah's reaction to what she thought Chuck did was ridiculous too - one minute you're leaning in for the kiss, next minute you are disgusted by the guy because you think (and didn't confirm) that he basically did the same thing you do regularly?  More inconsistency.  I don't think these writers know how to handle Sarah's emotions in a realistic fashion.

Yeah I agree with you on the writing of Sarah's character - and her acting makes it that much more confusing.  Half the time I can't tell if she is humoring him, lying to him, mooning over him, feeling guilty about something or what.  I think the director just says ... look conflicted!  So she spends almost every scene looking that way.  I really love the actress but I'm wondering if the writing and/or directing is just making it really difficult for her.

I do think though that Sarah (the character) wasn't so much disgusted by him at the end as she was disappointed and guilty about really having (what she believed) fundamentally changing the really sweet guy that she presumably fell in love with.  So maybe more disgusted with herself would be more accurate?  I think that part was consistent.



P.S.  Chuck in (and out of) a towel!!!  thumbsup
3088  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: March 23, 2010, 05:47:40 PM
Couple of items:

First, check this out, I just pre-ordered one:

www.airstash.com

I almost cancelled it in favor of Apple's non-wireless version (not available to order as of today), thinking you wouldn't be able to independently use the unit when you were travelling, but apparently it makes its own little network so you can use it on-the-go. This is just way too cool and totally opens things up for me in terms of storage and media. Now I could theoretically throw a few seasons worth of Buffy on a single SDHC card, or the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, or my entire photo library, or tons of pr0n (!!), or a huge chunk of my music library and just hotswap SD cards.  Schweet!

I actually am wondering if it makes more sense to just get the lowest-memory iPad now and only store Apps on it.

Second, looks like Opera may be coming to iPhone/iPad fairly soon, unless Apple blocks it:

http://www.macrumors.com/2010/03/23/opera-submits-browser-app-to-apple-starts-countdown/
3089  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] First Avenger: Captain America on: March 23, 2010, 05:45:30 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on March 23, 2010, 03:05:48 PM

Yeah I think Chris Evans is a better choice than pretty much all the other ones floating around as rumors.

I am a huge huge Chris Evans fan, he's my favorite young movie actor right now.  I think he is absolutely one of the most gorgeous, perfect (physically speaking) men in existence and I pretty much will watch any movie he is in. 

That said, I'm not sure I like the choice for him as Captain America.  I'm not much of a Cap fan anyway, but it seems like someone a bit older and/or more mature would have fit the bill better IMHO (I saw John Krasinski was on the list, and though I love John as well, I totally don't get that choice either).  I thought Chris was the perfect selection for Johnny Storm, and though he's done some more serious-ish work lately in Sunshine and Push, I think his natural personality is much more of that cute, roguish charming pretty boy type, which really does not say "Captain America" to me.  But we'll see.
3090  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: iPhone/iTouch app and game thread on: March 22, 2010, 06:21:34 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on March 22, 2010, 04:14:19 PM

Damn We Rule server problems!  Mah squash ain't gon' harvest themselves!

I can't explain why but I find this inane game completely addictive!  Go carrot mojo go!
3091  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie]Final Destination 5: Finaler Destination of Finality on: March 22, 2010, 06:17:06 PM
I've been a fan of Final Destination since the first one, but seriously, how many more variants can they do?  It's actually become more of a comedy for me than a horror series. 
3092  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: iPhone/iTouch app and game thread on: March 21, 2010, 07:30:44 PM
lol sorry I think that's what I read - similar to Farmville for Facebook which I never played before.  I like having this kind of game portable though, more so than browser based.  Unfortunately I've been having some technical problems, or maybe the server has been down/busy.  Thanks for joining it's nice to have some neighbors smile
3093  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: iPhone/iTouch app and game thread on: March 21, 2010, 05:06:44 AM
I just grabbed "We Rule" for free - it's a mini kingdom builder type with multiplayer elements. 

Are any of you on the Plus+ network, I'm in as rittchard and could use some friends smile
3094  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Suvudu Cage Matches on: March 21, 2010, 04:37:49 AM
I did a search and didn't see anything (though I'm sure I botched it again), so I thought I'd mention this funny cage match site:

http://www.suvudu.com/cagematch.html?ref=TextLink_Top

It's completely inane but pretty funny stuff.
3095  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: March 18, 2010, 06:21:48 PM

Quote from: Zero on March 18, 2010, 04:14:22 AM

Quote from: DarkEL on March 18, 2010, 04:07:45 AM

Quote from: Vidiot on March 17, 2010, 11:57:54 PM

Woah now, hold the crazy talk.  There is no way the iPad could replace my kindle.  The last thing I want to do when I go to bed and read is stare at a glowing computer screen. 

Totally agreee -  I don't expect that the iPad will replace my Kindle either.  Although I am looking forward to seeing how books look on the iPad -- especially if they do get some deals for full color magazines subscriptions.

Have you tried Classics?  (http://www.classicsapp.com/)  I pulled that down a few weeks ago for the iPhone, and so far reading on it has actually been good.  I think with the right background color and brightness level - the iPad will do great with book/magazine reading.

I really think a lot of this is subjective and relative; I've read articles which claim there is no medical proof that LCDs cause more strain than eInk, but I've also read the opposite so who knows what to believe.  In the end it comes down to the individual and what is comfortable and what the conditions are.  For me even reading on paper will strain my eyes eventually if I read too long or in poor lighting conditions.  In my office right now the lights are so bright everything is very clear but it's actually almost too much.  I know a friend of mine has a Sony reader which he loves but he spent weeks trying to get the "right" booklight so he can read in bed.  To me needing an extra attachment would be an annoyance. 

So yes, I definitely believe with the right background color, brightness and font size/shape, reading is going to be a decent experience (with some tradeoffs of course) on the iPad.
3096  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Official 2010 American Idol Thread on: March 18, 2010, 12:16:11 AM

Quote from: PeteRock on March 17, 2010, 08:39:21 PM

I've been pretty underwhelmed this season.  In years past I've enjoyed a number of performers and didn't mind watching with my wife, but this season no one really stands out, I have yet to be wowed other than when Andrew did "Straight Up" early on (he needs to sing some Sublime ASAP), and for me everyone else just blurs together as equally forgettable. 

Siobhan sounds too nasally and like she's doing something funny with her throat, Crystal is unique, she knows who she is, and she's got a great voice, Didi, while struggling at times, did a reasonable job, but outside of Crystal overall I think this season's field is disappointingly weak.  In the past I had Chris Daughtry, David Cook, Allison Iraheta, Kris Allen, Blake Lewis, and a few other stand-out performers to catch my eye, but this season I can't find a single singer who stands out for me.  Everyone seems equally mediocre and forgettable.  And for the life of me I can't see why Siobhan received so much praise.  She hit that scream note pretty well, but the rest of the song just sounded odd to me.     

I'd have to agree with you, this season is really turning out to be kind of a dud/bust for me so far.  The judges are all over the place, even more so than in years past.  One minute they want you to "be yourself" or skew "younger" or "make the song your own" then the next they punish the contestants for taking the advice.  They keep talking about how recordable someone's voice is or how good they sing, but then criticize for not enough "drama" or "wow factor."  Clearly Siobanshee delivers the "drama" by dressing weird, getting weird lighting and screaming.  Don't get me wrong, I think she's kind of interesting and fun to watch on stage, but she's not someone I'd necessarily buy music from.  I think that's really the problem I'm seeing, the discontinuity between finding the best singer/recording artist vs. the most dynamic performer, and the conflicting advice from the judges because of this.  Ideally you'd get both in a single package but this year there doesn't seem to be anyone who emobides that.  Then you add the bizarre voting dynamics and different voting blocks, where clearly the tweens hold a huge impact, and you have the makings of a very strange show.
3097  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: March 18, 2010, 12:06:19 AM

Quote from: Vidiot on March 17, 2010, 11:57:54 PM

Quote from: Zero on March 17, 2010, 05:05:38 PM

So who here pre-ordered?  In looking at the past two pages, I don't think anyone here admitted to pre-ordering!

Well - I did pre-order, so here's to April 3rd that can't come soon enough smile  I've also sold my kindle last week, and so I'm committed, ha!

Woah now, hold the crazy talk.  There is no way the iPad could replace my kindle.  The last thing I want to do when I go to bed and read is stare at a glowing computer screen. 

As for preordering, I want to see one in real life before I make a call.  I don't think I really need it, but that has never stopped me from being buying a gadget in the past.

You should definitely check it out - though I have no proof of this, I am thinking that with the brightness turned down and the proper choice of page color (if possible) and font size/color, reading on the iPad might be better than eInkers imagine.  From what I know about eInk, you still need some sort of external light source shining to be able to see it, so is a dimly lit LCD that much worse than a booklight or lamp?  Sorry if this offends anyone, I know people here are very dedicated to their Kindles.  This is just idle conjecture on my part.
3098  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Official 2010 American Idol Thread on: March 17, 2010, 06:38:08 PM

Quote from: Toe on March 17, 2010, 12:25:25 PM

Paige: I thought it was a horrible performance from start to finish. I am just amazed that lots of people apparently think she is a good singer. I just can not see it, even in the slightest. 99% of the time I can find some redeeming quality in their singing and, while I might not like it, see where others would. For her, I just do not get it at all.

The LA Times had an article today on last night's ep, and after reading what they wrote about Paige I have to say it bumped her performance and song selection up a notch for me. 

Quote
And Miles! A black woman taking on "Honky Tonk Woman" -- beyond that, declaring herself a honky-tonk woman -- claimed redemption for all those Jagger and his mates shagged, stole from and occasionally dishonored, from backup singer Merry Clayton to mentor Tina Turner to the anonymous slave women fetishized in "Brown Sugar," a song that will never make the "Idol" cut.

Kind of an interesting interpretation which had never occured to me.
3099  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Chuck Season 3 discussion (spoilers!!!) on: March 17, 2010, 06:32:25 PM

Quote from: farley2k on March 17, 2010, 02:53:07 PM

I am happy people enjoy the show but like Rowdy said it was a show close to cancellation anyway and I don't think this new setup is going to draw in viewers.   

Has anyone heard people talking about the show as something they just started watching and are loving it?  It doesn't feel that way to me but I don't talk to a ton of people about TV.

I know quite a few people who started watching for Kristin Kreuk, but now that she's gone...
3100  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost: The Final Season (spoilers not tagged) on: March 17, 2010, 06:31:20 PM

Quote from: LoneStarSpur on March 17, 2010, 02:04:59 PM

Good episode, though. "I had a crazy mother." I bet that's a big hint about who smokey really is.

For some reason I was kind of bored this episode and I did not enjoy the way it ended with Sawyer's plots unresolved and Kate popping up (my friend calls her the D and D roll - you rolled a 6, Kate appears!!!) out of the blue.  I'm guessing they intend to follow up but with so few episodes there's no guarantee.

The best part of the episode for me was what you referred to - the crazy mother.  Anyone good with Egyptian mythology or Christian stories know who this might be referring to?
3101  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: March 17, 2010, 06:23:12 PM

Quote from: Zero on March 17, 2010, 05:05:38 PM

So who here pre-ordered?  In looking at the past two pages, I don't think anyone here admitted to pre-ordering!

Well - I did pre-order, so here's to April 3rd that can't come soon enough smile  I've also sold my kindle last week, and so I'm committed, ha!

I pre-ordered AND reserved for store pickup to hedge my bets and make sure I have it on day one.
3102  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Official 2010 American Idol Thread on: March 17, 2010, 05:20:56 AM
Rolling Stones night - has to be some disasters, right?  Surprisingly it went pretty well all in all. 

Michael Miss You

I missed the majority of this but it seemed like I just saw him jumping around a lot and flailing.  I think he's OK but I can't say I'm a big fan.  Should be OK to stay though.

Didi Play with Fire

I really like Didi and can imagine buying her stuff, but she just doesn't seem like she fits well in a competition like this.  I thought she did fine but stylistically she just isn't going to have the "showcase" big voice moments (or "drama" as was the new buzzword tonight) that some of the other people are capable of.  I think she still has a few more weeks left in her though.

Casey All Over Now

Another good solid performance from Casey, and nice guitar.  Still he's so stiff and locked in place, eventually that's going to limit him as it's indicative of his overall stage comfort.  Fine for now.

Lacey Ruby Tuesday

She did about the best you could hope for her, taking Ruby Tuesday and making it sound like Sixpence None the Richer.  That's pretty much her style and comfort zone, but I'm thinking that might be about it for her.  Of course I've been saying that for weeks so who knows.

Andrew Gimme Shelter

I thought he sang pretty well and it took off the horrid memory of last week's "rubbing the right/wrong way".  But there was really no "drama" and not enough passion in it so I was overall underwhelmed.

Katie Wild Horses

I thought she did a nice job with this, reminded me a bit of the old Sheena Easton version I was familiar with.  I think that's about the best we can hope from Katie, she's really kind of a less talented, less pretty Katherine McPhee.  So she better sing Over the Rainbow pretty soon or she'll be gone.

Tim Under My Thumb

Eeek, I was pleasantly amused but he got skewered by the judges.  I wasn't familiar with the original song so turing it into a weird reggae version didn't bug me so much.  That said, he might be gone after that.  I don't know how much longer Worsters and gay fans can keep him afloat.

Siobhan Paint it Black

She steals the show with an Adam Lambert-esque over the top performance and some screeches to show she is a true banshee.  Oddly enough I dug it, but I hope she doesn't turn into Adam and scream/wail every week.  I'm still waiting to hear her sing Nothing Compares to You a la Sinead O' Connor.  Please please please!

Lee Beast of Burden

A safe, very nice vocal, his raspy voice works really well.  But as the judges lament, no wow factor.  It's kind of weird because one moment they want the singers to "be themselves" and establish who they are as "artists" but on the other hand they demand "wow" factor - which generally means screaming, wailing, over the top drama, power belting, etc. - which clearly not everyone can deliver.  Make up your minds, judges!!!

Paige Honky Tonk Woman

Even with laryngitis Paige belts out a pretty decent version of the song.  Sympathy vote should carry her this week.

Aaron Angie

I don't get him but I guess the judges and tweens love him.  I literally fell asleep for the exact couple minutes he was singing.  I guess his tender boy voice and completely unthreatening boyish looks just don't do anything for me.

Crystal You Can't Always Get What You Want

The song title says it all.  She did a decent rendition but I didn't get my wow factor as when the Glee cast did it - they jump all over the "get what you NEED" portion where Crystal decides to go opposite and tone it down there, so it sounds good but doesn't drive the crowd into a frenzy.  I think she could have spruced it up and gone crazy crowd-pleasing if she really wanted, she certainly has the skillz to do it.  Time will tell if this is a sign of her not willing to play the game as well as someone else in the competition.  Otherwise the title is hers to lose, and she and everyone else knows it.

So all in all a decent night.  I'm guessing Lacey and Tim in the bottom 2, and Lacey heading out.
3103  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Elemental: War of Magic on: March 16, 2010, 10:47:41 PM
Weird when I try to preorder the price says $69.95 but the total says $79.95 and there is no mention of what the extra $10 is for.  Also there is no way I've seen to simply upgrade my original preorder.  Will have to contact customer service I guess.
3104  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Chuck Season 3 discussion (spoilers!!!) on: March 16, 2010, 10:34:42 PM

Quote from: rshetts2 on March 16, 2010, 10:20:48 PM

dont give up yet.  I have a feeling since they are wrapping up the 13 episode arc and will be going into the final six which have been stated as being a new story arc that the recent dark tone is soon to change.  I do feel the tone of the show has changed as Chuck become more spyish but Im thinking that its more a set up for a payoff than anything else.  

Frankly I'm enjoying this season quite a bit (though I wish they could have simply added Kristin Kreuk to the cast), I thought last night's episode was absolutely wonderful.  Of course I am a longtime Adam Baldwin fan and was delighted to see him finally get a decent storyline and screen time.  I'm not sure what the big complaints are - the characters continue to move forward and deal with the "complexities" of spydom vs "life" as well as growing up in general.  I think the writers have floated these ongoing themes since day one, but are now just dealing with them differently.  The characters like the show are evolving - honestly I don't think they could sustain the writing if they left the characters stagnant and just did "spy story/villain of the week" episodes.

It sounds like some folk wanted the show to be a full-on comedy and they have gone a different route.  I guess I never viewed the show as a comedy but more of a fun, light-hearted action-adventure with comedic elements and characters.  I really hope it lasts.
3105  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 24, Season 8 discussion (there are spoiler tags for a reason) on: March 16, 2010, 06:42:53 PM

Quote from: Davidbld on March 16, 2010, 05:10:25 PM

Wait...they had the daughter on the phone as she was driving up towards CTU...why didnt they tell her to stop the car and get out before she arrived. It seemed like they had enough time to do that after jack figured it out. And yea...what a coincidence that Star Buck was just about to give the Bail Bondsman the info he wanted when the EMP hit. The Gods did not want Starbuck off the show yet, I guess.

Although I like the concept of the EMP knocking out CTU (I love how easily CTU can be taken out season after season lol), the execution was pretty horrible.  So many different ways to stop the car, and what, does the place have no gate security lol?

The Starbuck sideplot has got to be one of the most annoying and lame ones ever.  I mean who the hell is this guy and how the hell does he know so much about CTU and everything CTU can do?  Give me a break.  Starbuck should just turn him into a cylon.

So there's the "twist" that changes everything lol.  Fun stuff but pretty horrible writing all in all.  You have to love the commercial though in all its glorious cheesiness:  "only one thing left that stands in the way... Jack Bauer!"
3106  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: March 15, 2010, 06:08:43 PM

Quote from: SkyLander on March 15, 2010, 04:52:57 PM

Apple thinks they know what you need better than you do. Whereas ultimately people are going to go to where they have more freedom. I might be kind of off based with that comment but I'm not sure how to word it better. You have HPs Slate coming out, it has a full version of Windows 7 on it. You have Android tablets that are going to roll out along with other propietary tablets. That and you have Chome OS from Google which I wouldn't be surprise to have it be adapted to a tablet platform. I feel limiting the IPad to the iPhone OS isn't the best idea, if they threw the full version of OSX onto it, just give it the iPhone skin I think ultimately that would of been the better idea.

I guess the main question is that in the end would people want a tablet that leans more towards a laptop, or more towards an mp3/movie player?

I think this is the heart of the issue.  I personally don't think people would have been willing to pay for a laptop type tablet - unless they could have kept everything else the same: battery power, size/shape/weight, and price.  You can get a Modbook right now that is a OS X Tablet, and clearly these things are not a hot ticket item.  Ultimately what you are describing I believe would have been a decent niche device probably priced in the $1500 range.  Clearly the iPad is going after a much larger target audience.

Regarding your first point that ultimately people will go to where they have "freedom," I think is very debatable.  I also think the statement that "Apple thinks they know what you need better than you do" is also debatable.  Based for example on the iPod, I think people (of course it might depend on how you define "people" lol) will ultimately lean toward the best end-user experience, even if it comes at a higher price point.  I'm often surprised to see just how many people still stick with iPods given all the choices out there these days.  I don't think this comes as a result of Apple thinking they know what you "need" as much as they are trying to give people what they hope they want, and again, that's an enjoyable end-user experience.  This is where many other competitors have failed time and again, they don't do the research, they don't do the user testing to make sure it just "feels" right.  Unfortunately this gets into a lot of touchy/feely arguments, and that's probably why a lot of the more hardcore geeks/enthusiasts get annoyed by Apple.

As for the tablet format, yes there are going to be a lot of choices - actually that freedom of choice alone may be the downfall for a lot of the competitors who will fall to the wayside.  The problem for ALL of these guys is they don't have a lynchpin to hold the entire experience together.  What some might call the loss of freedom, others will see as the glue that holds it together - and that's the iTunes/AppStore experience and App development.  Combined with a slick piece of hardware, the creativity of the developer population in creating awesome Apps for iPhone OS has just been unbelievable.  Even after 2 years I am surprised on a regular basis just how powerful the iPhone can be (I can play a decent version of Street Fighter IV on my frickin phone?  Are you kidding me?).  HP Slate may have all the Windows software in the world available to it, but just how many of these programs were specific dedicated designs to a touch interface platform?  Again that's where I see it boiling down to end-user experience.  Having the freedom to run a boatload of programs in Windows 7 on my tablet is ultimately worthless if the experience is clunky or annoying (see my Archos Pctablet review).  Maybe HP will rectify this with some software improvements, but it's doubtful they can create an entire community of development centered around the Slate. 
3107  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: March 15, 2010, 06:35:48 AM

Quote from: SkyLander on March 15, 2010, 06:17:59 AM

I think as time goes on here, more and more people are going to be jumping ship from Apple and moving to Android. Developers are ultimately going to go where the money is, and that will be Android since there are more and more phones coming out with Android while the iPhone has stagnated.

http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2010/3/comScore_Reports_January_2010_U.S._Mobile_Subscriber_Market_Share

That is due to just the amount of phones that are coming out on Android. I'm sure in the Summer when Apple releases the iPhone 4GSTZDFG.

Anyway I don't outright hate the iPhone, but I do think it can be better. It has set the bar high, for me in what phones I will choose to replace it and for the competition. Either way I am jumping ship from ATT, tired of the shitty service.

As usual, there's always 2 (or more) sides to a story and different ways to interpret numbers.  I keep seeing reports of how the iPhone is "stagnating" - yet I can also read reports on Apple's last quarterly report which says they've doubled iPhone sales in a year to year comparison.  Doesn't sound "stagnant" to me, and this is without as mentioned any new hardware announcements, not even any formal announcements of iPhone OS 4.0 (which is rumored to bring multi-tasking).

http://money.cnn.com/2010/01/25/technology/apple/index.htm

As for ATT service, everyone has different experiences.  I get awesome reception in the basement of my work building in a closed office, and good reception on the beach.  When I had Verizon I got exactly ZERO reception in the same 2 locations.  I'm not saying I  love AT&T but clearly it's a variable experience.

As for Droid, I've heard some good things, but will it take over?  I have my doubts.  Google is clearly a force to be reckoned with and they are coming after Apple hard but they are not a hardware company, and underestimating the importance of hardware is generally a losing proposition over the long haul (of course I am biased since I'm a hardware engineer).  That's why releasing the iPad now and in this format was so essential for Apple - they need to get their hardware AND their OS to as many people as they can as quickly as they can, using the iPod Touch and iPad to help gain further leverage for iPhone and iPhone OS. 

It's certainly going to be fun to see these 2 major players go at it after they've been in bed together for so long.
3108  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (03/14) on: March 15, 2010, 06:16:37 AM
I'll get the Dragon Age expansion for PC, and I got GT effected into getting God of War 3.  I can't keep up at all with all these great games!
3109  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: March 13, 2010, 10:18:13 PM

Quote from: Vidiot on March 12, 2010, 10:08:49 PM

The tech geek in my wants to order one today. 

The overly analytical engineer in me wants to wait to see what the competition looks like first.  The Joojoo looks pretty nice and is even running Intel.  I'm not too excited about the Windows based systems.  I think a custom UI is the way to go until Microsoft gets its act together on touch interfaces.

The problem I see with the Joojoo is it appears to be so limited in functionality.  It looks like all it's going to do is internet and video.  Maybe it will do internet even better than the iPad but is that worth trading off all the apps?  My other problem with it is size/weight; at 2.4 pounds and a 12" diagonal, as much as I love larger screens I have to wonder how it's going to feel in one hand for any significant amount of time.

I definitely agree the Windows competitors really need someone to step up and enhance the UI to make it feel right.  The HP Slate looks like it could be a contender if they can make the adjustments.

- - -

Regarding jailbreaking, I do agree it's a pain, but it's also a matter of perspective on what the "pain" represents.  The way I see it when I buy a new device like this I can choose to use it in "out of the box" form the way the manufacturer/designers intended, or I can try to bend/fix/change it to the way I want it to be.  If I go with the former, I expect a pleasant experience all around but that I may have to give up a few things here and there that I'd like.  If I'm going with the latter, I fully expect that it's going to take some work, which generally means searching on the internet, downloading files, a few hours of installs, drivers, etc etc.  In terms of the amount of hassle, I don't see the jailbreak process being too different from if I decided, for instance, I wanted LinuX or Ubuntu on my Windows XP netbook.  Now granted you can argue the netbook vendor doesn't purposely try to block you from using a different OS, but to me the end result is the same - a lot of hours of research and "work" to get it the way I want.  
3110  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Lords of Ultima on: March 12, 2010, 09:15:08 PM

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on March 12, 2010, 09:07:16 PM

Quote from: Harkonis on March 12, 2010, 07:08:05 PM

I've been playing this.  why is it saddening you KD?

I'm an Ultima Dragon - bring back the Ultima series as it was, not this...thing. 

I'm just pretending it has nothing to do with Ultima so it becomes a pleasant browser game.
3111  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: March 12, 2010, 07:18:17 PM
Check out PadNotes, pretty sweet note-taking app that let's you take general notes, but also outline on ebook/pdf files, as well as draw/modify on pdf forms, etc.

http://gizmodo.com/5491912/padnotes-offers-something-closer-to-our-ideal-ipad
3112  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains on: March 12, 2010, 07:02:37 PM

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on March 09, 2010, 01:28:50 PM

Finally caught up! The last episode was the best one of the season.  So glad Cirie is gone as I've NEVER liked her.  Tom and Colby live to fight another day and I'm glad that finally someone did the right thing when it comes to voting. JT made the right move.

Wow another crazy episode.  WTF is up with JT?  I guess part of it is editing but man he seems like he has gone bonkers with his flip-flopping.  The whole Heroes team is just really messed up, it's good TV but kind of disappointing at the same time.  If it weren't for the weakness at puzzles and Boston Rob's unexpected leadership skills during challenges, I would have expected a really united and powerful heroes team.  Instead they seemed to fracture almost immediately and the more conniving players united to take out the more genuine ones.  Although I originally would not have wanted it so early, it might be a good time to remix the tribes to shake things up more.

The only plus to the dying heroes is how interesting the "villains" have become.  Rob v. Russell is just flat our good entertainment.  Slutty Parvati, Jerri finally getting chocolate in the jungle, Coach being "knighted" - you can't script this stuff!!!
3113  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: March 12, 2010, 06:51:08 PM
Preorders began this morning, get 'em while they are hot!!!!   icon_razz

I was kind of freaked out and couldn't sleep knowing they would be up at 5:30ish this morning (PST) so I ended up both pre-ordering AND reserving at the store.  Most likely I'll let the store one drop (you have to pick it up by 3pm or the reservation ends), unless it looks like I won't get delivery on Saturday.  I'm almost tempted to just bite the bullet and buy 2, 1 specifically for work and 1 for home.
3114  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Official 2010 American Idol Thread on: March 12, 2010, 06:49:14 PM

Quote from: Toe on March 12, 2010, 01:18:58 PM

I was definately suprised by the results as well.

While initially a big fan of Lilly, I did not enjoy her last 3 performances nowhere near as much as I did her stuff in hollywood week. Still I thought she would have enough of a following to make it through.

Paige making it through over any of the other remaining girls was a shock to me. Same with Arron getting more votes than Alex. My guess is that the voting was extremely tight for all of the light and middleweights which bodes will for the heavyweights like crystal and, now, mike. Based on that I still have to agree with Simon in that Momma Soxs is the one to beat. I know she can deliver strong performances week in and week out. I do not have that confidence in any other contestant right now other than perhaps Big Mike (I bet he will have some more nasally performances though).

How the judges interact with each other really doesn't not bother me much. I am there to watch the singers and, hopefully, be suprised by the good ones and bash the horrible ones and then be puzzled by how america votes.

I was genuinely surprised at the end when they pitted Andrew vs Alex, and extremely disappointed that Alex went.  I always wonder how they decide to choose the 2 to show, if it's based on something in the voting or just for drama.  I almost wish they'd have had the judges save to bring Alex back.  I really thought he had a chance at going far if he could show growth each week.  But apparently the tween girls like Aaron more, and the gay/VFTW vote went to Tim.  Bleh, I feel bad since I voted mainly for Tim (I thought he was a goner for sure).  The odd thing was I dialed Alex first and the number was busy, so I kind of assumed he was going to be fine.  Oh well. 

I also can't believe both Paige AND Redhair survived; at least they will provide good fodder for the following weeks.  Still I have to say in spite of her talent, Lilly was kind of too creepy I think with the white hair and goth makeup.  Somehow I don't think there is a big goth voting block out there.  I hate to play the "race card" but I think that might have saved Paige.  Pinkhair I think she really chose a good song for herself this week, and for whatever reason America seems to like red/pink hair; it's certainly less creepy than all white hair. 
3115  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Lords of Ultima on: March 12, 2010, 06:39:43 PM
I just started this, kind of fun I guess for a browser game.  Apparently if you were in Battlefield Heroes you can use the same login.  Post if you are playing!
3116  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Do you tip the car wash cleaning guy? on: March 11, 2010, 06:49:52 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on March 11, 2010, 06:42:43 PM

Quote from: rittchard on March 11, 2010, 06:30:39 PM

Quote from: Brendan on March 11, 2010, 04:04:53 AM

Like any other job where you hire someone to perform a service, it's appropriate to tip based on the cost. If you're paying $20 for a car wash, a $4 tip is appropriate.  If I pay $150 for a full detail, I'll tip 30 bucks.

This sounds right to me.

In the same vein, how much do you tip for a haircut?  I go to Supercuts and they bumped the price to $15.  I used to tip $3 when the cut was $13-14.  But now that it's $15 it feels awkward asking for change for $20 to not give a $5 tip. 

I leave $20 for a $15 haircut.

Damn you!!!  Now I feel guilty lol  ninja2
3117  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: March 11, 2010, 06:48:08 PM

Quote from: Brendan on March 11, 2010, 06:44:35 PM

Quote from: rittchard on March 11, 2010, 06:23:44 PM

I haven't actually tried to jailbreak in ages, but it seems like every time I see a new OS release, soon after I see a "jailbreak" message.  Here's one from last July:

http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/07/03/how-to-jailbreak-the-iphone-3gs/

A 3GS with 3.1.3 can't be jailbroken at the moment - that was an older firmware version described at your link.

Almost!

http://www.redmondpie.com/sn0wbreeze-3.1.3-jailbreak-iphone-3g-3gs-3.1.3/

I haven't done any of this in a while, can you downgrade your firmware so that you can use an earlier Jailbreak?
3118  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Do you tip the car wash cleaning guy? on: March 11, 2010, 06:30:39 PM

Quote from: Brendan on March 11, 2010, 04:04:53 AM

Like any other job where you hire someone to perform a service, it's appropriate to tip based on the cost. If you're paying $20 for a car wash, a $4 tip is appropriate.  If I pay $150 for a full detail, I'll tip 30 bucks.

This sounds right to me.

In the same vein, how much do you tip for a haircut?  I go to Supercuts and they bumped the price to $15.  I used to tip $3 when the cut was $13-14.  But now that it's $15 it feels awkward asking for change for $20 to not give a $5 tip. 
3119  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Official 2010 American Idol Thread on: March 11, 2010, 06:28:05 PM

Quote from: Toe on March 11, 2010, 01:33:11 PM

We saw Kara crying and mumbling something about her not being able to have kids and were like wth?

Obviously the producers have decided to step it up by giving her Paula's cup and whatever delightful concoction was inside of it.
3120  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: March 11, 2010, 06:23:44 PM

Quote from: Brendan on March 11, 2010, 04:30:55 PM

Quote from: rittchard on March 11, 2010, 03:45:46 PM

And with jailbreaking in place, you are equally free (ultimately) to run whatever software/apps you want to as well.

Huh?  With every OS update, Apple attempts to prevent jailbreaking from working.  AFAIK, it works for my 3G, but not my wife's 3GS (unless she wanted to have to tether her device to the PC every single time she rebooted it.)

I haven't actually tried to jailbreak in ages, but it seems like every time I see a new OS release, soon after I see a "jailbreak" message.  Here's one from last July:

http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/07/03/how-to-jailbreak-the-iphone-3gs/

- - -

On the 4:3 I definitely think it's a smart compromise.  I think the intention with the iPad is to really mimic the size/shape of a "pad" of paper (thus the name choice as well) from a look/feel standpoint.  Staying closer to a 8.5x11 ratio gives a much more familiar form factor for reading, and I think it will be most appreciated in the browser, and for reading magazines and books.  When you go to a widescreen ratio, the portrait mode ends up with a long and skinny factor that is actually kind of awkward.  HD video will suffer somewhat but I think it's a worthwhile tradeoff in the long run.
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