Digg’s best submission title = self-censorship

Digg.com Logo

Note: All of the ? should be black boxes, I can’t get my databases to register the symbol, just check out the digg story.

Although Digg is currenly in the midst of a small scale user revolt over the release of their new comment system, its users are still able to submit great stories with even greater titles. Take this for example: ??? to declassify cl?????ied do?????ts. No, your browser isn’t malfunctioning; that’s how it’s supposed to look. The description for the post goes as such, “THE CIA says it it has decided to declassify most of a voluminous 1973 file known as “the family jewels”, which details some of the agency’s most notorious operations.” Fairly clever, huh? The comments for this submission are equally as good!

Please refrain from discussing or engaging in any sort of interoffice ????? or ????? or finger??? or ????sting or ????? or even ???? Even though so many people in this office are begging for it. And if anybody does anything with my sister Lindsay, I’ll take off my pants, I’ll shave ????. And I’ll personally ???… -jimsterbell

09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-?? -praveenmarkandu

My thoughts on the new threaded comment system is that it ????’? so ????ing much that if I ever see Kevin Rose on the street I will ???? his ????? little ????. I HOPE YOU ??? KEVIN! -MikeonTV

Yeah, Digg users might be funny, but not a single one has any class.

The Horrors make me blend in

The Horrors

Fuckin hipsters. It’s their fault that I’m one who blends into the crowd. Too bad I listen to their music.

Just look at that picture for another second. Where do you get the idea to dress/do your hair/put on makeup/etc… like that?! It’s a damn good thing that The Horrors play amazing music, or else they’d slip under my hipster radar like so many others do. Maybe it’s something in the British blood. If that’s the case, I’m nothing but screwed.

So, back to the music. The Horrors play a mixture of lofi indie garage punk. The sound quality is equivalent to The White Stripes, but their style is closer to the punk bands of about 20+ years ago. Need something more recent as a comparison? Think Klaxons sans electro plus scenester clothing.

What makes the Horrors different from any other band in the British punk wave going on right now? For me, it’s the electric organs. Nothing is too complicated with the Horrors, and nothing about them pretends to be (other than their hair). Their chord progressions are repetitive, as are the organ riffs, drums, and vocals. They are simple, original, and … they have really tight jeans.

Success is coming to the Horrors as of now. Their latest (and first) LP Strange House has received very good reviews that basically agree with everything that I’ve said thus far. Check them out.

Why is Blockbuster’s influence so huge all of a sudden?

Blockbuster LogoLast time I checked, everyone had crossed Blockbuster off of their list of companies that matter. I thought that it’s recent attempts to make a showing in the online movie rental sector was a joke. As of late, it seems that my assumptions were wrong because every tech blog has been pronouncing the victory of BluRay over HD-DVD as a result of Blockbuster’s recent announcement that it would be adoption BluRay over HD-DVD.

Don’t get me wrong, I was BluRay to win this standards war. I believe that Sony’s PS3, while the most expensive, is the best “next-gen” console. I believe that it is years ahead of the Wii and of the Xbox360. But that argument needs to be saved for another day. Apart from the console wars being waged right now, BluRay is just the better format.

Has everyone forgot about Netflix? The one company that has risen above just being a “geek’s only” secret you shared with only your best friends. It’s public and normal people use it without a problem. Just for a second, think about what would happen if Netflix adopted HD-DVD. Obviously, Blockbuster is the larger of the two companies, but it is also falling much faster than Netflix is rising. If there was a coalition of sorts made of up every movie rental company/organization against Blockbuster’s adoption of the format, it could mean the end of both BluRay and Blockbuster. Of course, this won’t happen, but the Netflix situation certainly could.

Just playing Devil’s Advocate here, but just think for a second about the contradiction of your past words and current assumptions. As usual, only time will tell…

Apple WWDC 2007 Keynote

Mac OS X Leopard Disc

Of course anything that happens regarding Steve Jobs will make the tech blogs, but yesterday was a big day in the life of a newly converted Mac user. It was the start of WWDC, and as usual, Jobs gave his keynote as an opening act. Also as usual, there were massive rumors circulating both forums and blogs alike, some rumors came true, other fell back into the “save for next Apple event” pile. Here are some of the things announced today and my take left along side of them:

Mac OS X Leopard

  • leoparddesktopicon.gifDesktop: We have a new dock and semi-transparent top bar. The new dock is definitely nice with the Stacks feature, but listing a semi-transparent bar as a feature? What’s up with that? If Jobs would have skipped the bar and focused solely on the dock, I would be much more pleased. Either way, the new dock is a definite improvement. It’s a step in the left direction.
  • leopardfindericon.gifFinder: This is where I am most excited for Leopard. The finder has a whole new way of browsing through the files and folders located all around your hard drive. New icons that mimic the file/folder contents, new Cover Flow view, and and improved searching with Spotlight all excite me. I believe that Core Animation will be integrated somehow into the new Finder features which would make this new explorer even prettier.
  • leopardtimemachineicon.gifTime Machine: Nothing really new, but Time Machine looks nice. Admittedly, it is just a backup program with a pretty GUI, but what’s wrong with that? Having it integrated into my OS is very welcome.
  • leopardspacesicon.gifSpaces: Again, nothing new, but this is probably my second favorite feature coming to Leopard. This makes it OK for those of us who can’t fit four screens on our desks. It looks like it will have very intuitive integration into everyday use, and with the rapid increases in RAM size and decrease in prices, more programs are going to be open more of the time. One screen can’t really handle that without something like Spaces.
  • leopardichaticon.gifiChat: A few new things make this simple text/audio/video chatting program even more appealing. You can now show your the people who you are chatting with your presentations, slideshows, or other things not pertaining to your face. Nice new features, nothing shocking though.
  • leopardbootcampicon.pngBoot Camp: We all knew that Boot Camp would be integrated into Leopard, and although we were hoping that Apple would make it into a Parallels/VMware killer of sorts, Jobs presented it as a complementary product to these two others. The new Boot Camp will allow quick switching between your different virtual machines. Small update.
  • leopardfrontrowicon.pngFront Row: It will look like Apple TV, that’s nice… I guess. I don’t really use Front Row right now, maybe I will next year at college. This new interface doesn’t affect me too much.


  • 3rd Party Apps: No SDK, only web apps. Apple needs to learn that, although first-party limitations have worked thus far, competitors are coming in on all sides. Seeing as Apple is entering into a brand new market that already seems saturated with carriers and phone makers, being locked into the Cingular/AT&T contract sucks big time. Only web apps really hinders the capabilities for others to develop kick-ass applications.
  • Size Issues: The picture of the iPhone has changed on the Apple website (which has also received a redesign). What is odd is that it now seems MUCH smaller than before. It turns out that after the old and new images are compared and the new one is vertially stretched, they match exactly. This is some shady imaging on Apple’s part. It looks like Andre the Giant’s hand holding the iPhone where as before it was Mini-Me’s.


  • Safari 3 for Windows: I get the point of releasing an Apple browser for Windows. It can be used as yet another point of entry for Apple. It’s too bad that their product sucks. Mac users don’t even use Safari, why would Windows users. If Windows users are to use any browser other than IE (which sucks equally to Safari), they will either use Firefox or Opera. Apple still has a ways to go with this browser. They might want to focus on getting a home-court advantage before going to the visitor’s side.

    Update: Wired has done benchmarks on Safari 3, Firefox 2, and IE 7. Guess what? Apple lied. Safari is slower than both…

  • Games: Another “why?” to me. Now that Parallels is making strides in virtualization with Windows and the integration of gaming on Macs using the Windows OS, why keep producing games for Macs? I don’t think it makes sense on a developer’s side. It makes perfect sense for Apple, but not for EA.

Bonde Do Role parties with their baile funk music

Bonde Do RoleLadies and gentlemen, we have another entrant into the indie/foreign/dance punk/electro musical niche. Bonde Do Role is a Brazilian baile funk band whose music complements other musicians such as M.I.A. and CSS, and their oversexed attitudes seem to mirror Peaches. Their sound, while not completely unique right now, is definitely uplifting and danceable (seeing as their genre means dance funk).

The band currently consists of MCs Pedro D’Eyrot and Marina Vello, and DJ/MC Rodrigo Gorky. All three bring massive amounts of energy to the already insane beats laid down by Gorky. They have released one EP and one LP so far, both of which clearly state what style of music they are aiming for. Their LP With Lazers is right alongside of CSS’s Cansei de Ser Sexy in terms of music made with fun in mind. Mild singing, loud yells, and lyrics in a language I don’t understand are all pluses for me. While other dance punk acts are coming to the point of breaking into the mainstream market, Bonde Do Role is sure to stand out and make it past the “Pitchfork hype” which seems to come and go with the tides…

New iPhone ads are simple in true Apple style

Apple iPhoneI will confess, although I am no Apple-fanboy (yet), their commercials and advertising practices are truly impressive. If I owned a business, I would kidnap every person on their PR and marketing teams. Like many, I was very disturbed by the iPhone ads that were recently shown of about a million famous people saying “hello?”; they were annoying, repetitive, and didn’t tell me anything about this supposedly revolutionary device. Now, after seeing the new iPhone ads, I’m glad that Apple has returned to their minimalistic style.

These new ads are very basic in nature. What do they show? How to work the device. Through clever workflow ideas (Calamari) they display the ways that the iPhone can easily switch from and to each different function in-between sessions. The narrator is soothing, the music appropriate, and the visual part is as simple as it can get: a hand holding an iPhone. Then again, it does have one level of complexity at times; its that damn second hand.

That second hand is going to be a big problem for Apple. The fact that the iPod is completely functional is one hand is amazing (but this attribute is repeatable). June 29th is the launch date according to these commercials. Continue reading “New iPhone ads are simple in true Apple style”

SebastiAn’s Rage remix is pure joy to my ears

SebastiAn DJ

Please, before you read anything here, click on that link below and listen to the song. It is a remix of Rage Against the Machine’s Killing In the Name Of by SebastiAn.


Now that you have been blown away by yet another artist signed by Ed Banger Records, let me elaborate on my feelings/reactions to the song. Let me begin by saying that I love Rage Against the Machine (RATM). You probably know this if you have read any other stories here about RATM (notably at Coachella). Secondly, I love SebastiAn. Ross Ross Ross is a record that I can listen to start to finish and love every track on it.

In no way, shape, or form is turning a funk metal track into a dirty electro track an easy task. But somehow, SebastiAn does exactly that without compromising the track’s original style or his goal of making an amazing electro song. Even though the lyrics are replaced by different sources (there are only 6 lines of lyrics in the original song anyways), the sources he uses are very fitting, complementing the track throughout. The distortion is appropriate and calculated. Thank you SebastiAn for making one of my favorite metal rebellion songs into a great electro track. I hope to hear it played at the Daft Punk/SebastiAn/Kavinsky concert I will be going to in LA next month.