September 24, 2006

Things that bother me

It bothers me that I missed almost all of the 2001 Scrubs season.

I tried to rip from a AVI to MPEG4 for my iPod using ff2mpeg. I thought hey, this is a great display of open source crushing da' man. Except, it didn't work. At all. I was able to rip to mpeg4 with the "iPod TV" setting, but iTunes wouldn't sync it to the iPod. When i used "iPod H.264" it got to 38% and then claimed it was done. Twice. Done?!?!? Gah! Open source sucks. I just want to watch Top Gear on my iPod. Why is that so hard?

I've never. Once. Ever. Ever. Never. Seen Camino in a TV commercial. Come on. Some TV ad person somewhere must use it. Somewhere. Please? Throw me a bone. I'm so done with Safari.

At least it rained today.

Posted by pinkerton at 9:57 PM

Arrr Esss Esss, Part 2

I've immersed myself in RSS for a full day now and after the initial excitement has worn off, I don't get it. Of the 15 or so feeds I subscribed to, from BMW forums to LogicPro to Engadget to home theater, the quality of the feeds is all over the map.

Some feeds (like, well, mine because I'm lame and don't know how to make a RSS2.0 feed for my blog) only have the first sentence or two. Yay, thanks. Some forum feeds, like the BMW forum I read, only show the first item in the thread, even if it's not the newest so you're left wondering what's new and where you left off. Some forum feeds, like LogicPro, show every single reply as individual elements so you get 15 entries for a thread you never cared about in the first place.

It's nice having everything in one place, but somehow visiting the page and seeing the actual item in context works better for me. The differences in the feeds are so diverse that I end up going to the site to read the article anyway, and once I'm there, reading everything else I'm interested in is easier.

That said, the Engadget feeds (AutoBlog, EngadgetHD, etc) are really good and include the image and full text. I wish everything was like that. Maybe in another year...

Posted by pinkerton at 11:20 AM

September 23, 2006

Arrrr Esss Esss

Playing with recent nightlies with RSS detection is opening my eyes to something I'm sure is old hat to most of you. This RSS thing is kinda cool. Every site I read regularly has an RSS feed. I downloaded NewsFire just to play around and whoa is it sweet. I was adding feeds left and right and playing like a kid in a candy shop.

I know what you're all thinking: when are we getting full RSS reading in Camino? Probably never, and now I know I was right all along. The other thing this experience pointed out was that RSS reader applications are very involved. NewsFire is highly polished and incredibly functional. My guess is that it took a lot of love and effort (the about box says 2004-06), and that isn't something that we have the time or resources to do. It would also add a non-trivial amount of complexity to the app which adds to QA and development costs.

Sure, integration is good, but at what cost? As I've been saying for, well, a really long time now, 3rd party readers do this better than we could ever hope to. We must stick to what we do well.

If you haven't at least played with NewsFire, give it a look. I'm not sure if I'll buy it, but the author has done an excellent job.

Posted by pinkerton at 11:10 AM

September 21, 2006

HD blogs

I've found two really great blogs for staying on top of Home Theater and HD news:

Check 'em out!

EDIT: HDBeat is now EngadgetHD and expands into home theater. Go figure.

Posted by pinkerton at 6:53 PM

SportsWing 60

If Studio 60: On the Sunset Strip seems familiar to you, it should. Not only does it have Bradley Whitford from West Wing, its writer/producer/director is Aaron Sorkin. Aaron is also the writer/producer/director of my favorite show ever: Sports Night.

Studio60 shares a lot with Sports Night, including a pilot-episode-cameo by Felicity Huffman. Both shows are a behind-the-scenes look at a live TV show. Both shows feature one of the "talent" having a long history with one of the production staff. Both shows have nail-biting face-offs between production and "The Network". Both shows will probably get cancelled before their time (SN only lasted 2 seasons, fuck you ABC). Everything old is new again (not you, Felicity!).

Some more overlap between Aaron's endeavors (note IMDB only helped with the last one):

  • Josh Malina was in both SN and WW
  • Janel Maloney (Donna in WW) had a cameo in SN
  • Martin Sheen (duh) was also in The American President, which Sorkin wrote.
  • Josh Malina was also in TAP.
  • From IMDB: "The Oval Office set was originally constructed for Dave (1993) and subsequently used for "The West Wing" (1999). Anna Deavere Smith has appeared in all 3 productions."

I really hope I like S60, but it's shaping up to be yet another iteration of a really really good one-trick-pony. I really liked the pilot, so give it a watch and judge for yourself.

Posted by pinkerton at 6:36 PM

September 10, 2006

Awww come on!

Not a great HD day for NFL football. CBS is only showing 3 or 4 games all day in HD (none in this area, we got the Ravens in SD then tennis). Fox's HD is barely worth watching. Macroblocking made the Eagles game almost unwatchable and gave me a headache. I'm not even going to mention the expected quality of NBC's upcoming Sunday Night game, given their sub-par track record.

Then I discover that D* will take down TNT-HD every Sunday to make bandwidth for Sunday Ticket. Now, I'm no NASCAR fan, but you don't fuck with people who drive F-250s and drink Miller Lite by the case. Foolish move, DirectTv. Very foolish.

Sure, I'll watch anyway (because I'm a football whore) but I was thinking of buying the Sunday Ticket with Superfan and now I'm seriously reconsidering given the sorry state of HD football that I'd get for the $$ I'd be shelling out.

Posted by pinkerton at 5:43 PM

September 9, 2006


That's the answer. Who knew?

Posted by pinkerton at 2:19 PM


I found myself today doing something you may find strange: playing around with all the cool stuff Google has released. I've been here nigh on a year and I still am amazed by the software this company makes. From GMail to Calendar, Page Creator to SMS, Personalized Homepage and more. It is all consistently cool and consistently just works, even in this unknown little web browser of mine (well that's not really true, people at Google seem to love Camino).

Speaking of said browser, RSS support finally landed. Yay!!!!!!

Also spent part of the day idling by reading over Pete's blog and his girlfriend Rachel Fuller's blog (complete with obligatory "First Post" post). It's interesting reading about them both getting ready for the US leg of the tour that starts Tuesday night in Philly. I'm quite excited, as it appears they are too. The new album is scheduled for an Oct 31 release.

I've had the Who in my life now for almost 20 years and while I'm profoundly different from when I was 13, I'm profoundly the same. I take a lot from their music, and hopefully give back to others in my own way. Karma, the great circle.

While I was typing, FedEx came and delivered my dive slate. I'm going to shower shortly so I can try it out (that's for you, Alex). However, it didn't come with instructions, so I have no idea how to erase from it. I wouldn't imagine water would work...

My class is up to 10 students, first lecture on Monday. Can't wait. Maybe one of them will know how to work the slate. Kids these days...

Posted by pinkerton at 1:31 PM

September 7, 2006

Bet you can't....

Death to ye, stamped potatoes of salty dooom!!!!!

Posted by pinkerton at 2:06 PM

September 5, 2006

Rubber Ducky

As many will agree, but few will admit to, I come up with a lot of ideas and remember things to do while I'm in the shower. However, by the time I get out of said shower, I've forgotten 3/4 of what I'd come up with. As a result, I'm on a quest to find something where I can write these things down while I'm in there. Don't laugh. Ok, well, you can a little.

I've tried dry-erase markers, and they work great until the tile steams up at which point they become totally useless and won't write at all. In fact, it ruins their use for about 6 hours after that while they "dry out". I tried a china marker (similar to a grease pencil...sorta). It does write on wet tile, but "write" I think is an overstatement of its abilities. If you press really hard, it can make black marks on tile. Then you need a sandblaster to get the marks off the tile. I don't want to put a whiteboard outside the shower, because then I have to get out and drip all over the floor. Body paint sorta misses the point, since I'd need another shower to get it off.

So I'm on a mission to find something. Any ideas are welcome.

EDIT: Stuart pointed me at this dive slate which I've ordered. I'll keep folks posted.

Posted by pinkerton at 8:48 AM