Jul 2005

Proof that some scientists need to get out of the lab more often..

Here's a scary link to a story about a robotic android that is intended to look like a real woman. For all those nyerds that need to get a date, the future is here!


CNET article offers an interesting take on the effect of the payola payoff in New York by Sony BMG...

This was an interesting article about Indie labels and how the payola payoff from Sony BMG in New York could impact small indie label owners. Apparently, it's a good time to be an indie label. Here's the link.

Memory woes...

This weekend I made the long trek to the only Fry's Electronics in the East Bay down in Fremont off of Auto Mall Parkway. When I got out of the car, it felt like I was wearing a big blanket of heat that weighted about 40 pounds! I couldn't wait to get into that big huge air-conditioned warehouse of tech nyerdiness.

Once inside, I went straight for the memory counter. I first took care of my MMC card situation I blogged about earlier and purchased a 1 gb card for my Nokia 6620 and all is right with the MMC card and my phone.

Right then and there, I decided it was time to get some more RAM for my 1.5 GHz 15" G4 PowerBook laptop. A nice Fry's employee with a wandering eye for slender geek babes wandering around the store with their geeks in tow, asked me how he could help me and I said I needed some RAM for my pooter. Of course, I had to tell him when he asked what kind of memory I needed that I had a Mac. He didn't know what kind of RAM I needed so I went at his suggestion to the EarthLink computer center that has a browser on the internet and quickly navigated to
www.crucial.com/ as instructed.

On this site, right in the middle of the page is a select manufacturer pop-up and so I chose Apple and clicked Go. On the second page, I selected PowerBook and clicked Go. On the third page, I clicked the PowerBook G4 1.5GHz (15" Display) and got a recommendation right there on the spot:


I wrote all of this info down on a piece of paper and took it back to my salesperson and he started doing his thing on the Fry's supercomputer to find me a good price and a good size. I thought about getting the 1 gb RAM card but the price was more steep that I had expected [around $170] so I went for the 512MB card and after I got some official paperwork from the store employee, I was off to the impulse buy line where I grabbed a power strip, because we all know you can never have enough of those, and I promptly checked out.

When I got home, I turned of the Mac and got my trusty Mac under-carriage screwdriver out and started unscrewing until I had the memory compartment exposed and at that moment, I realized that I had made an unfortunate assumption about Apple and my computer's factory RAM configuration.

My mac came with 512MB of RAM from the factory. Since I got the 512MB card and I figured that Apple had only one RAM card with 512MB on it, I figured that getting the 512MB card would give me 1 gb total. Unfortunately, Apple instead put in two 256MB RAM cards. With laptops, space is at a premium so normally, you only get two slots, if that. Luckily, there's no parity issues anymore where you have to have the same sizes and speeds in two paired slots, but basically, instead of 1 gb of RAM, I now have only 768MB with the new 512MB stick installed and the other 256MB stick that was already in there. This is what I get for not checking the computer before I went to Fry's!

Hopefully, this little story will save someone else from making the same stupid mistakes that I make all the time and the crucial website is just that; crucial for finding out what kind of memory to purchase. Some of us have to learn the hard way I guess...

Accident closes 16th between Utah and Potrero Sts. today...

A multi-car accident that occurred before noon today on 16th St. right in front of Il Pirata resulted in the closure of that short block for a time while police investigated the accident. I was parking my car when I noticed that the street was closed and flares were out to stop people from going up 16th at the accident scene.

A Black Mountain water truck, a Mustang, a Chevy land stalker SUV and a Lexus were all involved in the incident. The Mustang, SUV and water truck all seemed to be fused together with crinkled metal shards protuding out of the fronts of the two cars. The truck was hit on its side where the water bottles would be stored and seemed to sustain the least amount of damage.


SD vs. MMC cards...

I learned a few things about the differences between these two cards and how little is known about them at the Cingular office near my work. I went in to ask them what kind of a card I needed and was told that the Nokia 6620 takes an SD card.

SD cards, or Secure Digital Memory Cards, are the same size in every dimension as MMC, or Multi-Media Cards, except that the SD Cards are slightly thicker (2.1mm vs. 1.4mm for the MMC cards). The MMC card has only 7 contacts and the SD Card features 9 contacts. The SD Card also has physical indents on its sides and a slide lock for memory card write protection.

It turns out that MMC-compatible devices, like my Nokia 6620 phone, aren't compatible with SD Cards but the reverse is true that SD Card-compatible devices can use MMC cards. SD Cards also 'feature', if you can call it that, a little-used DRM file protection scheme that the MMC cards don't have.

Both formats are available up to 2GB but SD cards are much more prevalent in consumer digital cameras and portable devices, such as the Treo and as such, the MMC format may be a bit more expensive.

I hope that this information helps someone avoid purchasing the wrong memory card for their phone or protable device like I did. Check out your phone or camera's manual before heading off to Office Depot to purchase a new card for your device.9f4f6988-193a-4485-843f-fbbe3cfe8c5e.medium

Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age and Autolux, Sept. 30th, Oakland Arena...

How did I miss this? I must have been busy testing something. Ticket went on sale July 17th. What a strange grouping! Nine Inch Nails with two rock bands? Hunh. Go figure.

Bay Area details:

NIN, Queens of the Stone Age and Autolux
September 30th, Oakland Arena
Doors open at 7:30PM
Ticket prices: $36.75 or $47.25

Link to ticketmaster Oakland Arena NIN tickets page.

Tour dates for NIN around the U.S.


Remake of Logan's Run, "The Island" starts well, ends like a typical Bay flick...

According to a San Jose Mercury News review, this re-titled plot bite from a B-movie 80s classic flick Logan's Run, among others, gets out of the gate well enough and is visually stunning, as all Michael Bay films are, but leaves the big issues envisioned in the movie's setup in a mangled heap behind all the special effects and stunt scenes. Link [Registration may be required]

Firefox 1.1 delayed, renamed 1.5 with more features...

CNET ran a story about Firefox today that said Firefox 1.1, scheduled for July would be pushed back a few months and would now be called 1.5 with more features that were originally planned for 1.1. Here's the link to the story there.


Charlie and The Factory top the box office totals...

Other than the #1 slot, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, directed by Tim Burton, starring Johnny Depp and probably at least worth a couple of bucks to watch, or #5, Chris Nolan's Batman Begins starring Christian Bale which is starting to fade at the box office anyway, American's prove once again that we're still largely lacking in culture or taste with this week's top movie box office totals. At #2 is the Frat Pack Wedding Crashers, and #3, the Hollywood comic crash continues with the Fan. 4 flick. Here's a link to Box Office Mojo and the box office take results.

"Scotty" of the Star Trek Enterprise beamed up to a better place yesterday...

boingboing posted a sad note about the man who coined the phrase "We're givin' her all she's got captain!" on the 70s version of television's Star Trek. Apparently, he passed away yesterday and will be sorely missed by his family and trekkie geeks everywhere:


Memory Alpha Montgomery Scott link.
CNN Story link

Parrots are smarter than the average bird...

Wired News carried a story today about Grey Parrots that are not only smart but one in particular that may actually understand the concept of none. Here's the link

Google Moon...

Imagine the google mapping technology applied to the Moon with little indicators that show where each Apollo mission ended up on the planet. I highly recommend that you zoom in to check out the amazing detail. You can do it! Zoom in all the way!

Firefox 1.06 release fixes third party extensions bug in 1.05...

ZDNet reports that Firefox 1.06 has been released to fix a bug in 1.05 that broke some third party Firefox extensions. Here's the ZDNet link.


Somebody over at KRON really likes Craig Newmark...

I just read the KRON 4 "The Bay Area is Talking" blog post about Craigs' List and I gotta say, they are fond of that man. I didn't know that Craig was taking over?


Fox's News Corp. buys Intermix Media, parent company of myspace.com...

TechDirt reported that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. is acquiring myspace.com's parent company Intermix Media. In the deal, Intermix also exercised its option to purchase the remaining 47% of the popular social networking site that it didn't already own.

In June, Intermix Media settled charges for 7.5 million that the company was secretly installing spyware on end user's computers with the state of New York.

Intermix CEO Richard Rosenblatt and Myspace CEO Chris DeWolfe will join News Corps.' recently announced Fox Interactive Media unit. So, if you like Fox or Rupert Murdoch, myspace is the place for you.

Here's the internetnews.com


PG&E continues to disappoint...

Our local power company know as PG&E in Northern California sucks royal ass. They don't take credit cards from the two largest banks in the nation, so I have to go into their office in the Mission District which is always crowded and usually has at least one pissed off person harrassing the tellers whenever I visit the office.

All of this is necessary because I forget that the uncrowded office in Alameda is closed from 11 to 12 Noon and because PG&E can't afford, or won't allocate resources to update their systems to accept those three digit codes that appear on the back of the credit cards now.

The good news I got from the teller that helped me today? They will probably close this particular payment center at some point within the next year. Lovely. All of the propaganda about how great PG&E is on the walls when I go into these payment centers is just that: propaganda. I won't even get into how the shell corporation raked in California power users' dollars when deregulation was implemented and Californians were getting totally screwed and tattooed by Enron. Thanks PG&E! Too bad you're a monopoly in this market!

The first BS Blog entry...

This is my first blog entry using RapidWeaver. I will be adding content to this blog on a regular basis very soon. Stay tuned!