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3241  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: April 01, 2010, 02:11:28 AM
Oh yeah, and in case you are on the fence or want to get a really good idea of the iPad in motion, Apple has posted some really good guided tours of the core functions and iWork:

http://www.apple.com/ipad/guided-tours/
3242  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost: The Final Season (spoilers not tagged) on: April 01, 2010, 02:01:50 AM

Quote from: JayDee on March 31, 2010, 02:02:48 PM

Quote from: TiLT on March 31, 2010, 01:57:51 PM

Well, with only 7 episodes left, one of them being two hours long, the way I saw it was that if Walt wasn't in the locked room in the sub, he wasn't coming at all. We now know that Walt wasn't in that room.

Ah, I see.

I think the actor that plays Walt grew up too fast to be used on the show now. He's six years older but the show is only three years further along in their story. That's a big difference for someone Walt's age.

I read somewhere they were going to try to do something to acknowledge or tie up Walt's storyline.  It was vague but it almost sounded like they were considering using CGI or something like that.  Maybe for the finale...

I called Desmond in the submarine to my friends at work so I was pretty happy about that.  Now the question is what are the plans for him?  Given that he is the one who brought down Flight 815 by not pushing the button, plus his time travel ability as "the constant"- is it possible they want to use him to send his consciousness back in time so that he doesn't shoot the plane down?  And thereby creating the alternate universe and/or "merging" the realities?  But what would Widmore possibly gain by doing this, unless he wants to create a reality where the Losties (and Ben) never existed so that he can control the island (an alt-alt reality)?   Ack I think my brain is going to explode.

Either way it was a fun episode, I'm glad they acknowledged some of the new "rules" for what Lockemonster can and cannot do, and what he needs to do to get off the island.  
3243  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: April 01, 2010, 01:49:16 AM
Mossberg reviews the iPad:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304252704575155982711410678.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEADNewsCollection
3244  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Official 2010 American Idol Thread on: March 31, 2010, 05:16:23 AM
Someone must have put the pressure on because this week was a definite improvement.  They've been calling this one of the weakest casts and deservedly so. 

Siobhanshee - pitchy through the fire, she pulled off a couple of good scream notes but overall I thought she tried to do too much with the song.  I thought she sounded the best during the smaller pretty parts of the song, I wish she had just kept it contained like that

Casey - Hold on.  Sounds really good again but I'm getting a bit bored of him

Big Mike - I thought he did an awesome job and this was the first week I felt his performance was contender-like in a Reuben sort of way.
 
Didi - ouch ouch ouch.  First week she blew it for me, I thought the arrangement was just flat out weird, kind of too fast or something for the proper mood of the song.  She's lucky Tim is still here to take the fall for her.

Teflon Tim - Sweet Love?  Really?  He actually hit some tough notes but it was like watching a creepy (but super cute) robot sing.  It kind of freaked me out in spite of how adorkable he is.  Should be gone this week.  I'm happy (and so is he it seems) that he made it to the tour and Top 10.  Time to exit stage right, Timmy.

Andrew - finally returned to the competition with an acoustic "Forever" - I thought the idea was better than the actual vocal implementation but all in all a very solid performance.  I think they put weird makeup on him which makes him even creepier for me, but oh well.

Katie - Chain of Fools.   Great vocal for her, but compared to gals like Fantasia she still pales.  I feel bad that the judges are so divided in their advice to her, must be horrible for someone so young.  I wouldn't be surprised to see her in the Bottom 3.

Lee - sounded fantastic on Treat Her Like a Lady.  He still is missing the confident star factor, he always appears nervous and self-doubting and stiff in front of , but damn does he sound good.  Maybe they should just send him into the studio and let him record.

Crystal - absolutely fantastic rendition of Midnight Train to Georgia.  First time in the competition I really really liked her (as opposed to just appreciating how good she was).

Aaron - Ain't No sunshine.  It didn't come out as good as I thought it would based on the practice.  Just OK all in all. 

Bottom 3: Tim, Didi and Katie.  Tim is ready to exit and should be done barring some bizarre turn of events.
3245  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Chuck Season 3 discussion (spoilers!!!) on: March 30, 2010, 08:50:15 PM

Quote from: disarm on March 30, 2010, 04:11:53 AM

tonight's episode was absolutely fantastic...a near perfect mix of fun and serious moments.  while there was a ton of plot development around Chuck, Sarah, Shaw, and The Ring, they also managed to work in a lot of really great time with the supporting cast.  personally, i've really enjoyed all of this season's episodes, but i think tonight was one of their best.  as for next week...holy crap what a twist!

Ditto to everything above!!!! 

Comedically, I could not get enough of the "he really fills those slacks" comments!!  And the "it should be lively" comment.  There's got to be a couple of gay writers on the team.  What was the other word they kept using to describe him? 
3246  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: March 30, 2010, 08:45:54 PM
I think the "issue" of multitasking on a mobile device is actually really interesting and I've thought about it a lot.  Unfortunately I don't have the time at the moment to discuss it in further detail.

So instead I leave you with this cool link to check out a lot of the new iPad Apps.  Utilities-wise, I'm really interested in Bento, OmniSketch and Brushes.  Game-wise, Plants vs Zombies will be a must buy, and I'm interested in Real Racing and Fieldrunners.

http://appshopper.com/ipad
3247  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: March 29, 2010, 08:36:47 PM
Mine still hasn't shipped and I ordered within the first hour of pre-ordering frown
3248  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: March 28, 2010, 08:46:49 PM

Quote from: Ridah on March 28, 2010, 06:13:10 AM

Quote from: DarkEL on March 28, 2010, 01:30:05 AM

Checked Order status today and my iPad has moved into "prepared for shipment" status. Woot!!

Next 7 days of waiting are going to be unbearable.

Damn, anticipating it that badly huh?

I've been counting down the days for about a month now smile  This week is going to be a lot of fun, I'm sure it will be similar to the last iPhone release where people spent half the day tracking all the fedex planes coming from China  icon_lol

This is a bigger deal to me than most, though, I think, because of all the wasted money and failed attempts I've had to get something like this, starting with the original Apple Newton all the way to the Archos 9 Pctablet.  That's roughly 15 years and thousands of dollars of trying different devices and being disappointed time and again.  I really think this is it - not necessarily perfect in gen 1 implementation, but pretty damn close to finally being the "right" device.
3249  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: iPhone/iTouch app and game thread on: March 26, 2010, 03:28:54 AM
LOL thx Pug!  Just curious does adding roads and other niceties help anything or is that purely for your own pleasure?  I have to say I was pretty jealous of some of your towns looking so well organized.  I finally saved up enough to get a Windmill which I just think is the coolest thing, don't know why lol.  I don't know how long the honeymoon period will last but I am just finding this game so oddly enjoyable, something weirdly satisfying about touching the crops and gold etc to gain gold and xp.
3250  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost: The Final Season (spoilers not tagged) on: March 26, 2010, 12:38:54 AM

Quote from: TiLT on March 25, 2010, 12:44:40 PM

My current theory is that Lost actually has a similar setup to Fringe (another JJ Abrams show) in that there are two realities in opposition to each other. The twist here is that Nemesis isn't trapped on the Island. He's trapped in our dimension, and the Island is what stands in the way of him returning to his own. This is why things seem so much brighter in the flash-sideways sequences. Nemesis simply isn't present in that dimension, though he is trying really hard to come back.

This would also explain how the two realities will be merged. At some point in one of the next few episodes the cork will pop and the gateway between these two realities will open. The remaining Losties will then have to desperately stop Nemesis in order to protect their alternate selves, though they may die or corrupt themselves in the process. With this in mind we can also assume that the flash-sideways sequences are indeed sort of the epilogue to the show.


I find this a very compelling and intriguing theory.  The only thing I wonder about is in the flash-sideways we've seen the island/cork is sunk, which kind of implies the opposite, that Nemesis is free in THAT dimension.  Which could also imply that Jacob was lying all along, and Smokey is a good force that was being held back.  That would be a fun twist if they could pull it off, but it doesn't look like they are going that direction.
3251  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: V Returns on: March 25, 2010, 04:42:03 AM

Quote from: Arclight on November 28, 2009, 09:42:55 AM

The "extreme" amount of ships in the ending ripped a bit at my suspension of disbelief....a bit of over kill I think. But hey, we'll see what happens to them on the way to the blue marble in space.

They wanted to come prepared this time, knowing Earth is prepared to beat off alien attacks with killer viruses (computer and biological), plus we keep an ample supply of balloons to disperse our viruses.  And of course we have Will Smith.
3252  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains on: March 25, 2010, 04:39:15 AM
Wow, just a brilliant episode!  I realize the editing was done deliberately to manipulate the audience but I was sucked in hook line and sinker.  Loved loved loved seeing the shock on everyone's faces, including my own at the Villains tribal.  I couldn't figure out what had gone wrong in the split-vote strategy, if someone had flipped or just screwed it up.  I think I missed exactly what Russell said to Tyson - was it that simple manipulation that had Tyson change his vote and screw himself over?  Either way I loved watching Russell give the idol to Parvati, so dramatic, especially since I was thinking it was a futile attempt.  Another shocking survival for Russell, just how many lives does he have?

On the heroes side, the editing was done to make you think Colby was going, but clearly the discussions had turned and they didn't show it.  Well done, and I was glad to see James go.  Really hope we can see Colby step it up next week. 
3253  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 24, Season 8 discussion (there are spoiler tags for a reason) on: March 25, 2010, 02:45:17 AM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on March 25, 2010, 01:25:04 AM

Quote from: EddieA on March 23, 2010, 08:33:22 AM

I thought it was a neat little twist.  They lulled us into thinking there wouldn't be a mole this season, and they actually managed a surprise without killing off a main character.  I'd rather see them execute an old plotline well (as this was) than have surprises out of nowhere just for the shock value.  The action has ratcheted up nicely these last two episodes, and I think they've finally hit their groove for this season.


I would agree except for the mole twist.  Not one hour ago she was in tears ready to confess to the corrections officer.  This turn doesn't make any sense even by 24 standards.

Sadly I have to agree.  If she was such a kick-ass mole there was absolutely no reason for her to act scared and wimpy when meeting Wade and Dufus at her apartment, not to mention let them bitchslap her.  If she was in danger of losing her cover, there was no time to mess with their stupid demands, she should have just shot them both in her apartment.  Instead she jeopardizes her identity and her mole cover by helping them with an inane bank robbery.  The only thing more inane would be a mountain lion hiding in the bank.
3254  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: iPhone/iTouch app and game thread on: March 25, 2010, 02:39:46 AM

Quote from: Vidiot on March 25, 2010, 02:15:17 AM

Quote from: wonderpug on March 24, 2010, 06:29:56 PM


It is an addicting little game, isn't it?  Especially for the low low price of free. And what other games let you repeatedly have Rittchard sew dresses for you? 


Star Wars Galaxies?  You know that might have been someone else.  All I really remember Rittch giving me a lot of stims.

Eightball was the ultimate seamstress, I still need a few more dusters (or whatever those jackets were called) slywink
3255  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?
3256  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.
3257  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!
3258  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. 
3259  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
3260  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!
3261  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
3262  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/
3263  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.
3264  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!
3265  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. 
3266  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
3267  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
3268  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.
3269  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.
3270  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.
3271  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.
3272  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.
3273  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...
3274  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?
3275  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.
3276  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.
3277  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.
3278  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.
3279  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!"
3280  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. 
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