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3201  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.
3202  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!"
3203  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. 
3204  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.
3205  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!
3206  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.  
3207  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.
3208  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
3209  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!!!
3210  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.
3211  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. 
3212  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!
3213  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
3214  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?
3215  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. 
3216  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.
3217  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.
3218  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost: The Final Season (spoilers not tagged) on: March 11, 2010, 06:16:24 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on March 11, 2010, 04:35:40 PM

Quote from: LoneStarSpur on March 11, 2010, 04:16:49 PM

Seeing Ben turned into a sniveling, whining, begging groveling-for-acceptance shell of his former self was just disgusting.

I wouldn't put it past him to be faking it.  right now I'm expecting both him and Sayid to do a 180 when it's convenient for them.

Ben is broken, most of the people I've talked to think his core story arc is just about done and really the character is not much more than a tool at this point.  Likely he will end up sacrificing himself to save one of the real "heroes" to gain some redemption.  I was on the fence, I loved his performance in general but the last scene of him just wanting to be included with the "cool kids" was too over the top for me.  Still I'd say this wasn't too much of a surprise, the entire last season broke Ben down, he has pretty much been heading down this path ever since he let Alex die, so this last episode you could say served as some sort of closure for that plotline.  There's still some of the old Ben left in him but Jacob and Smokey and now Jordin Sparks seem like they've pretty much beat it out of him. 

Let's face it, the Ben character was *always* a "groveling for acceptance" type, it's just now that he's out of power it's manifesting differently.  As a child, he tried to win his dad's acceptance to no avail, and then at Dharma betrays them for the Others trying to get Richard and the Others' acceptance.  As leader of the Others, he tries to get Jacob's approval, also to no avail.  He falls for Juliet and tries to get her to love him, even killing off (literally) his competition, but always to no avail.  Just because he could be tough and ruthless, cool and calculating, and lied like no other, it doesn't mean he wasn't always the ultimate pathetic character wanting to be accepted. 
3219  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: March 11, 2010, 06:19:43 AM

Quote from: SkyLander on March 10, 2010, 11:43:16 PM

Stuff like this:

http://gizmodo.com/5490310/its-time-to-declare-war-against-apples-censorship

Basically it comes down to the idea, for me anyway, I paid for this piece of hardware. Ultimately I should get to choose what I put on it. If I want some crapware shit that totally destroys it, brings it to a halt then so be it. I decided to put it on. It's the thing that Apple ultimately decides, not me. So I have to bend what I put on my phone to Apples will and that bugs me. Like all the great apps that are out for jailbroken iPhones. Like multitasking, being able to put more information on the lock screen, changing the background in springboard. Why is that not allowed in the app store? That to be to able to do things that I think would benefit me I would have to crack into my own phone to be able to do it? Being contractually bound to ATT, fine, I can kind of understand that. But at the end I payed for the phone, I'm not renting it.

And it will be the same with the iPad you are limited by what Apple says you can do with the device. I guess it's bad that I think since phones and tablets are getting to be as powerful as desktops that you should have the freedom to put on that device what you can with a desktop. If someone makes something for it you should be able to access it. Instead you have to go through the land that is Apples unknown policies to get it on there.

I definitely see and understand your viewpoint on this.  There have been times I would have liked a more open environment for the iPhone and early on I used to jailbreak to get a few additional features.  At this point though I'm pretty satisfied with all the apps available (particularly the games) so I'm more or less OK living in Apple's world.  If missing out on some things is the price to pay for having a more or less stable/predictable system, I guess I'm willing to go with it.  Even as is, my iPhone will occasionally crash or lock out and I really have low tolerance for crashing on my phone.  I would likely put up with the same thing on my PC if it meant reducing crashes/viruses etc. and I don't see this as much different than Xbox Live or the PS or Wii stores.

As for censorship of particular content (e.g. porn), though I'm never a fan of censorship I don't see this as any different than TV networks, radio stations, stores, online stores, etc all censoring to some degree or another what content they choose to offer their audience.  And ultimately they are censoring what they are selling in their store (which they have every right to), not what's actually on your device.  I can put as much porn as I want on my iPhone/iPod, there's no one stopping me.  And with jailbreaking in place, you are equally free (ultimately) to run whatever software/apps you want to as well.
3220  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Official 2010 American Idol Thread on: March 11, 2010, 06:01:02 AM
Boys turn again!

Lee - opens with the recent surprise technopop hit Fireflies, but stripped down without all the electronica.  A weird but interesting choice, it could have gone totally awry but Lee manages to pull it off with his more soulful raspy singing halfway decently.  It should be enough to carry him into the 12.  I still can't tell if he is honestly nervous up there or not, because he still seems really jittery and lacking in confidence.

Alex - man oh man I am really starting to fall in love with his voice.  Singing Trouble, he does an overall decent job but really it's his voice that's just so distinctive.  Again he's the male Siobhan to me, the most interesting and distinctive voice in the group - not necessarily a frontrunner but someone I'd love to listen to.  Like Lee he still seems nervous, but unlike Lee he seems more genuine to me.  Who am I kidding, I love them both.

Tim - speaking of love, it's a power trifecta with my 3 guys back to back to back.  Risky choice with Hallelujah but our boy actually pulls it off well enough.  With a really decent heartfelt acoustic performance plus those gorgeous baby blues looking into the camera, he may just have a chance to make it into the 12.

Andrew - wow how the mighty have fallen.  Like the early girl's favorite, the guy's favorite is tanking quick.  Smelling of total desperation, he tries to recapture "Straight Up" by choosing an even sluttier pop girl, Christina - "Genie in the Bottle".  Yikes.  It's good in theory but really reaching ultimately.  His rendition is decent but when he gets to the slutty sexually charged chorus things start to get extremely uncomfortable.  You gotta rub me the right way?  Egad I am getting totally creeped out and Andrew is looking even more and more like my lesbian friend each week.  But she would have had enough self respect to not refer to herself as a genie in the bottle.

Casey - decent but kind of boring country song.  I think he'll be fine with the cougar vote though.

Aaron - singing "I'm already there" - sorry kid you really aren't.  Pitchy and kind of weak performance, he's going to need some strong tween voting to keep him going.  He does some decent power belting which the audience loves and he's actually decent working the camera. 

Todrick - singing Queen's Somebody to Love - a surefire crowd pleaser as we learned in Glee recently.  He doesn't butcher it the way he's done all competition long, so I'd say this is his best performance.  Pretty bold move and he does some decent gospel singing.  Simon calls it Hollywood-show like and I agree it may just have saved him.

Big Mike - closes the night with Maxwell's This Woman's Work - I'm not familiar with the song but Big Mike is singing really really good and he moves great on stage for such a big guy.  Big note near the end - you go guy!!  He loses some of the falsetto at the end but it's a pretty sweet performance all in all.  OMG Kara is in tears - I think they finally fed her whatever drugs Paula was taking.  I love it!  Easy move to the 12 and he suddenly looks like a contender. 

So who goes?  It's so tough to say, I have no idea who has strong voting blocks with these guys.  Based only on tonight's performance I would dump Aaron and Andrew.  But my guess is both these guys have voting blocks that will support them through anything.   Based on the 3 weeks, I'd dump Todrick and Andrew but something tells me there's no way they'll allow Andrew to not make the 12.  This bodes poorly for my Timmy who had such a horrible first week.  I really don't know who's gonna go this week, should be interesting.  I need to get voting!
3221  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 24, Season 8 discussion (there are spoiler tags for a reason) on: March 10, 2010, 07:29:56 PM

Quote from: MonkeyFinger on March 10, 2010, 12:05:39 AM

Quote from: PaulBot on March 09, 2010, 11:48:15 PM

You weak minded people don't get it. Go ahead, leave the fold. You'll regret it when Jack drags your mother into the nuclear blast radius.

Yah, and that's after he makes her clean up the mess you made. That cracked me up - "Look into my eyes!"  eek

I have to admit I never get tired of watching Kiefer threaten people, it's just so entertaining!
3222  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Official 2010 American Idol Thread on: March 10, 2010, 07:11:14 AM
Katie - looking weaker and weaker every week, former frontrunner needs to rev up quick or she won't go far.  singing a Kelly Clarkson hit should be a no-brainer but she manages to mess it up.  Should have gone with "My life would suck without you" - more upbeat and easier to sing, better crowd pleaser etc.

Siobhan - reminds me of Alex on the other side, but more interesting and quirky vs. his cute vulnerability.  She kind of reminded me of Sinead O connor vocally which is good.  I loved the opening a capella too.

Blondie - good song choice but performance was way off.  it looked like she was faking the piano

Pinkhair - she picked the perfect song for her voice and singing style, maybe enough to buy a spot in the 12?

Didi - Rhiannon a la Ingrid Michaelson.  Odd that Simon gives her props this time but dogged her when she did Ingrid directly.  Oh well.  I love the sound of her voice but I don't see her going far.  She doesn't seem anywhere near as versatile as I'd imagined.

Paige - done

Crystal - more and more looking like the one to beat.  Pretty much flawless performance.  Longer term it will be interesting to see how she fares with theme nights, that could get tough for her but who knows.

Lilly - they should have closed with Crystal again but oh well.  I liked it OK but she kind of creeps me out and the song was kind of creepy for me too.  Didn't they use that in a video game commercial recently?  Was it Bioshock?


Probably Paige and Pinkhair will go, but based on tonight's performances maybe Paige and Blondie.
3223  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Teen Angst, Japanese Style. The FFXIII Impressions Thread. on: March 09, 2010, 09:34:24 PM
Can someone comment on the save system?  It always drives me nuts when you have to make it through long sections of content before you reach a save, particularly at the outset.
3224  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 24, Season 8 discussion (there are spoiler tags for a reason) on: March 09, 2010, 09:31:22 PM

Quote from: Huw the Poo on March 09, 2010, 09:11:07 PM

...and I'm out.  It's getting too painful.  I've given it enough chances but 24 is dead to me now.  I'll always have the first three series...

It's ironic(?) or just a coincidence but when I scanned the thread titles it looked like "24 Season 8 hits Rock Bottom" but I had just transposed the Lindsay Lohan thread title into this one lol.  Still with last night's resurrection of the Starbuck plot from hell, this might be a true statement.

The commercial for next week was so desperate that they actually TELL you exactly when there will be a big twist in the plot lol.  So you might want to give it just one more week/chance to impress you. 

I'm still hoping at 3:52, the twist is that Starbuck is a CYLON!!!!  At 3:53 Freddie Prinze becomes a VAMPIRE!!!!  The 2 of them team up with that guy they killed who will re-emerge as a ZOMBIE at 3:55!!!!  The Unholy Alliance of a Cylon/Vampire/Zombie will only be taken out when Jack teams up with (at 3:59) Special Guest Star Sarah Michelle Gellar reprising her role as Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Cue the music!  Cue the timer clock countdown, beep beep beep!
3225  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 24, Season 8 discussion (there are spoiler tags for a reason) on: March 09, 2010, 09:26:39 PM

Quote from: hepcat on March 09, 2010, 06:07:30 PM

Personally, I'm fascinated by CTU's attempts to shove a 16 year old high school student into Freddie Prinze's role after Chico's kid decides to go hillbilly huntin'.  I call the little guy "Agent Junior".  I actually thought he was going to start crying during his talk with Jack last week.  

"what'ya mean the bad men are gonna hurt us, uncle jack?  did i do something wrong?  i don't understand?" <now sobbing>

But he's so cuuuuuuuuute!!!!   crybaby
3226  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: March 09, 2010, 12:43:16 AM

Quote from: Fireball1244 on March 08, 2010, 04:41:00 PM

I've decided on the 32GB model, to replace the iPhone I've had to abandon (sob!). Waver between WiFi and 3G. I'm leaning towards a WiFi, with the plan of getting a Verizon Mobile MiFi device at the end of the year. That's not "tethering," as it looks and works just like any other WiFi network, so the iPad should be able to jump onto that. If the 3G were $50 more, I'd have no second thoughts. For some reason, going above $100 more gives me qualms.

It's annoying that it's both $130 more AND a hefty monthly fee for 3G.  Now granted people are saying $30/month unlimited is a good deal but if you're already paying that for your iPhone it's questionable whether it makes sense.  For now I'm sticking with the theory that for full on-the-go purposes I'll just stick with 3G on the iPhone.
3227  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Movie] The Hurt Locker on: March 09, 2010, 12:39:09 AM

Quote from: leo8877 on March 08, 2010, 03:27:59 PM

I was shocked this won over Avatar.  I saw Hurt Locker and didn't think it deserved to win best picture.

Shouldn't have been too much of a shock.  Whatever your opinion of Avatar was, it lacked nominations in any acting or screenplay categories, which is generally a very bad sign to take it all.  I didn't see The Hurt Locker but it seemed to be a clear favorite based on the nomination structure.

Sorry if this was covered before but one thing I read about was the actual selection process on Best Movie.  Basically instead of a straight ballot form, voters would rank the movies 1 to 10, and then they'd eliminate a certain amount of movies and then re-do it.  I didn't understand the logic but essentially the analysis was that it would give an advantage to less polarizing choices in that a movie didn't necessarily need to be #1 on everyone's vote to win.  That same analysis predicted Hurt Locker would win because of this, i.e. Avatar may have more #1 votes but also more low votes.
3228  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Official Review] God of War III - Monday, March 8th on: March 08, 2010, 06:59:15 PM
Sigh, that review is going to cost me $60!!!

If I haven't played the first 2, will I be missing a lot in terms of the storyline? 
3229  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Dawntide on: March 08, 2010, 06:52:55 PM
I just got in over the weekend - so far, ummm, no comment.  thumbsdown
3230  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: March 08, 2010, 02:41:49 AM

Quote from: msduncan on March 07, 2010, 03:07:45 PM



I am still agonizing over which iPad to preorder.  

I've all but decided to get the Wifi only version.     Even though Jobs recently said 'No tethering' on the iPad.

But what size to get?    16GB is not enough space.     32GB might be enough space.    64GB you can never get enough space, but do I get this much knowing I'll probably upgrade to 2nd Gen in a couple years?

Really depends on your media and primary usage I'd say.  Are you going to travel a lot?  Put a lot of media on it?  If you like to have a lot of video on it (as I found recently on my iPhone, even just a few movies and TV shows will use it up all quick), probably a no-brainer to get the max.  Also consider we don't know what kind of games will come out in the next year or so, so it might be best to play it safe and go big.

Personally I think 16GB is enough for me since my primary usage will be at home accessing media from home servers.  But because of the X-factor of new games/apps I will likely get the 64GB.
3231  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: March 08, 2010, 02:34:14 AM
First TV ad aired during the Oscars, very sweet!

http://www.macrumors.com/2010/03/07/apple-airs-first-ipad-commercial-during-oscars/
3232  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Tablet PCs on: March 05, 2010, 10:05:03 PM
Here are 2 Windows 7 Based Tablets:

I've heard from reliable sources that the Lenovo X200 series tablets are excellent (1.4GHz Core 2 Duo with 2GB RAM).  But pricing starts at $1400 without an SSD.

http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/LenovoPortal/en_US/catalog.workflow:category.details?current-catalog-id=12F0696583E04D86B9B79B0FEC01C087&current-category-id=40613917C70A429B991D9A14A566FFAB

On the cheap end, Archos PCtablet 9 costs $550 using essentially baseline Netbook hardware (1.1GHz Atom, 1GB RAM), also no SSD.

http://www.archos.com/products/nb/archos_9/index.html?country=us&lang=en

- - -

And of course as was mentioned in Off Topic, Apple's iPad (1GHz A4 Processor) will be released 4/3.  But to make it clear, it's NOT a true Tablet PC, it's a... PAD thingy icon_razz

http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2010/03/05ipad.html
3233  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Official 2010 American Idol Thread on: March 05, 2010, 07:20:34 PM
OK for the boys, only one of the Butchers remain, and sadly there is no powerhouse Korean voting block to save John Park.  On the ladies side, we lost Michelle (not really sure why) and of course Haeley.  Of course you might be tempted to play the racist card/theory after looking at this week's losers. 

Next week it's time to really shore things up.  I don't think my boy Tim can last another week, and the second butcher has to go.  On the girl's side, really tough call on the second one, but Pinkhair has to go.  Maybe Didi unless she can do a spectacular recovery. 
3234  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: March 05, 2010, 07:16:09 PM

Quote from: Teggy on March 05, 2010, 07:03:41 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on March 05, 2010, 07:01:30 PM

I don't need one I don't need one I don't need one I don't need one I don't need one I don't need one

No one needs one.

I actually do.  If I don't get one soon my head is going to explode.   saywhat
3235  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains on: March 05, 2010, 07:15:22 PM
Another fun ep - it's amazing to see just how good a "leader" Rob can be at challenges.  It seems to me like the whole villain tribe would have crumbled into dust without him and the whole show would have been pretty horrible.  Instead we get to see the "heroes" tear themselves apart which makes for pretty interesting dynamics.  I was sad to Cirie go (primarily for entertainment value), but for once it was definitely one of the smarter moves made in the game.  She seems to have some weird way of just sitting there chatting you up and then completely changing people's minds even if they were already made up.  I have no doubt Cirie could and would have taken out my personal favorite JT as soon as she needed to.  Of course now JT has thrown himself into a precarious position balancing between 2 alliances, and that does not bode well for him long-term.  I really don't see him having much of a chance sadly.  Between multiple alliances and all the scrambling he's done, not to mention being a previous winner, it just doesn't look good for him.  Then again, the season he won I kept thinking someone should get rid of him and they never did, so who knows.

On the villains side, I don't think Russell can last much longer.  I almost wonder if Rob would throw a challenge just to dump Russell.  And WTF happened to Crybaby Coach?  Dragonslayer?  It's more like TearShedder.  I actually find him incredibly amusing this time around.  The crying, the desperate begging for man-hugs and attention from Rob, good lord it's like having a 4 year old on the team. 
3236  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost: The Final Season (spoilers not tagged) on: March 05, 2010, 07:06:08 PM

Quote from: Roguetad on March 04, 2010, 06:38:22 PM

That's an interesting thought.  It also occurred to me that Sayid seems to be the only one they've shown so far that is consistent in both realities.  Except now he seems fully committed in the island reality.  His motives still seem good in both realities, but his actions...he's a killer. 

I was kind of cheering for smokemonster when he ripped through the temple, cleaning house.  The Others were a bit too overconfident about the rules.  They should have known that the rules had already changed.  Lockemonster even warns them about this via Sayid. 

Why didn't Kate tell Claire that her son was with her mother?  That seemed dumb.  Wouldn't that be the first thing she would tell her?  Claire, your son is with your mom!  He's ok.  Her explanation seemed like a convenient plot device to bring out the crazy mommy wrath of Claire.  Which of course I'm looking forward to seeing.

I made the exact same comment about Kate and Claire - you'd think that would be the most important detail.  I argued with a friend over this detail.  Still, I think the writers intended Claire to be over the top crazy so it wouldn't matter either way, but from a "detail" perspective it seems to me the first thing she should have said is he's with your mom.  I mean if I had a baby I'd want to know who he was with more so than anything else.

I likewise cheered for Smokey and Evil Sayid the whole time.  The Others have been way too smug from day one, and the whole capture/torture/branding thing really doesn't make me feel like they are the "Good" side.

On Sayid, yeah I think the whole point was really just to show, good or "evil" Sayid is a killer, regardless of how good or selfish his motivations might be.  It's just in his nature, and perhaps that's why upon judgment he tilts toward the evil side.  Of course if you go with this theory, it's hard to explain how/why Claire was taken to the dark side.  And I'm likewise not sure how that plays is both Sawyer and Kate decide to side with him.

At this point it's kind of sad because on the other team all they have is Jack, Hurley, Jordin Sparks, maybe Sun and Jin, Lawnmower Man, Miles (?), and Ben (?), possibly Jacob's ghost.  This is really not the Dream Team to save the world I would have imagined lol.  I suppose they only need one "candidate" to take over though to contain Smokey.  If I had to bet I'd say it's Sawyer who makes the ultimate heroic sacrifice and becomes the protector (Jack seems too obvious). Maybe he's playing a long long con against Smokey and of course still has to sacrifice for Kate. 
3237  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Official 2010 American Idol Thread on: March 04, 2010, 06:21:28 PM
Girl's night was weird for me.  There wasn't anything that stood out much good or bad.  I kind of liked everything, but was really not excited by anyone enough to bother voting. 

Crystal was great - I didn't know the song so it probably lost some points for me there but she definitely seemed like a frontrunner while performing.  The problem I see for her is that longer term if she isn't willing to compromise somewhat she may not be able to win the while thing.  Definitely one to watch.

Didi I thought really blew it with Lean on Me - I like what she was trying to do, but it just didn't work.  If she was set on going that route, she really needed to play it even more up-tempo and get the crowd more involved.  Lean on Me can be a real crowd pleaser but her version just wasn't.  I think she's in danger of being booted this week.

Katie made a move in the right direction but I thought it was still a poor choice for her.  Put Your Records On is actually one of my favorite songs, but it just seemed a bit weird on her.  I think what the judges are trying to push her toward is something like Jordin Sparks, Kelly Clarkson, maybe Taylor Swift.  There's a song on the radio playing a lot on pop stations called "According to You" which I think would be perfect for her.  I also think she could take a Taylor Swift song and maybe make it a bit more soulful or rockful; Taylor Swift is not a strong singer so someone with good vocal talent should be able to do a good version of one of her songs.

Pinkhair did a nice sweet version of Kiss Me but I think she may be about done.  Just nothing to stand out except for the hair.  I liked what Michelle(?) chose to do by turning a Creed(?) song into a Whitney-esque diva ballad, but ultimately I thought she failed to deliver any big diva-esque notes.  I also liked that Paige picked a Kelly Clarkson song, but sadly she chose one of her worst songs (clearly to brown-nose Kara).  It was just OK.  I can't remember what Lilly did but I thought it was pretty good.  I do remember the blond girl looked really cute and did a Coldplay song on the piano.  I think I fell asleep sadly during that but she did a decent job.  I thought it was interesting Simon asking her about the Natasha Bedingfield version, because it really seemed to be a clone of that.  The last girl (Siobhan) did a pretty awesome screech and I was impressed and scared by "the note" - I think that alone will drive her into the 12.  I think I'm forgetting someone but that probably doesn't say much for whoever it was I forgot.

All in all I can see why Simon seems to be getting more and more impatient and frustrated.  They spend all this time picking all this talent but once it gets to the competition it can all be wasted if the contestants continue to make poor choices.  I'm sure he can't wait for X-Factor where he can directly get involved and help choose the songs and arrangements, and really I don't blame him.  With some of these people you really wonder where they are getting their ideas on what to pick and how to arrange.

All that said, not really sure who will go tonight - probably Pinkhair, but other than not I'm not sure.
3238  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 24, Season 8 discussion (there are spoiler tags for a reason) on: March 03, 2010, 07:10:27 PM
Yeah even though I'm still glued to the TV watching, I'd have to say thus far this season just seems like a patchwork mash of past seasons, and not even necessarily a good choice of things to copy.   I could swear they did the exact same "release fake news"/hospital set up in a prior season, with similar results.  The Scooby/Starbuck plot is horrible, they need to end it quick.  Maybe bring in Buffy to slay Starbuck (who is revealed to be a Cylon AND a vampire) and take Freddie off the show.

Oddly enough my favorite scene in this season was when the CTU head convinces Jack to "finish" the whole plotline.  And then Jack "symbolically" moves his patented man-purse strap from the side of his shoulder to crossover to the other shoulder, indicating he is IN.  Only Jack Bauer could make a man-purse seem so cool and use the man-purse strap in his "acting".  I actually ordered one from Amazon after that, I want to practice that move in the mirror so I can do that at work the next time my boss asks me to take a new assignment.   icon_razz
3239  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Official 2010 American Idol Thread on: March 03, 2010, 07:05:19 PM

Quote from: coopasonic on March 03, 2010, 02:26:46 PM

I can see why you'd like Tim, but he's useless to me and reminds me of Sanjaya.  saywhat

Oh he's clearly a mediocre singer with little stage presence, but that's what makes him fun!  Actually I think in this case Ellen was spot on, he'd do better in a show like Glee where he could just be cute and sing occasionally.  In fact maybe he should take a clue from that and sing "Don't Stop Believing" next week.  As for Sanjaya, I couldn't stand him, but sadly I think Sanjaya had a better stage presence than Tim, and it did make for great "train wreck" TV viewing.

Also agree with your comment on Garcia - the Straight Up thing is done, so either he was a one trick pony and needs to go soon, or he's saving gas in the tank for the long haul.  Will be interesting to see.
3240  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost: The Final Season (spoilers not tagged) on: March 03, 2010, 06:59:11 PM

Quote from: LoneStarSpur on March 03, 2010, 03:59:44 PM

Quote from: Eel Snave on March 03, 2010, 02:33:11 PM

Opinions?  I kept saying "Poor Dogen, he didn't deserve that."  Also, Sayid finally goes down the path we expected him to, unfortunately.

I guess I'm going to be the last one saying "f the Others...they're getting everything they deserve!"  icon_lol

What really, really, really (really to infinity) irritates me is what they've done with Locke. The one guy who felt the Island was special, the cripple-turned-hunter, one of the greatest characters in TV history and they had him brutally murdered by a psychopath who committed mass murder because he was mad at Daddy. And now they've turned him into the face of "evil incarnate'.

That truly sucks and I can't believe the writers would do that. That's the main reason I'm holding out hope that Smokey has his reasons.

Oh, and my wife and I turned to each other and said "Bullshit!" about the teaser: "We and only show you two seconds because of all the questions we're answering!" I think we were right.  icon_lol

Anyway, it was a good episode. Do. not. fuck. with. Sayid.

Hehe, I was cheering for Smokey and the Bandits all the way.  Psycho Claire, Sayid, Lockemonster - this is the team to beat!!!! 

I think the writers still have big plans for Locke, I don't think you'll be disappointed in the long run, but I could be totally wrong.
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