Simon Cowell Flipping Off Sanjaya or Seacrest?

April 18th, 2007

Simon Cowell Flipping Off Sanjaya or Seacrest

Could this be another faux pas by our dear Simon Cowell? Two in two nights? It really does look like he’s sending a secret message to either Sanjaya or Ryan Seacrest (we’ll assume Lakisha and Blake are safe from this gesture).

YouTube Link

Simon Cowell Rolls Eyes After Mention of Virginia Tech

April 17th, 2007

Simon Cowell Rolling Eyes Virginia Tech

Can we expect really expect anything much from Simon Cowell? After Mel Gibson, Michael Richards, and Don Imus, do celebrities not understand the ramifications of their actions? This was pretty lame and low, even from Simon…

Simon did try to redeem himself, perhaps after being notified his eye-rolling was caught on camera? After Blake Lewis’ performance, he chimes, “On a more serious note, just to pick up on what Ryan said, on behalf of the three of us, we would also like to offer our best wishes and support to the families of this tragedy as well.”

YouTube Link

Looking for Wii Accessories? Go to the Nintendo Online Shop!

November 20th, 2006

Apparently, Nintendo didn’t supply stores with enough accessories and other goodies, as there were shortages of Wii Remotes, Nunchuks, and Classic Controllers everywhere, not to mention that Wii Component cables were rare too. I did see one store have the a UPC tag with Wii component cables for $60, but it was sold out.

So what do you do if you are looking for accessories? Most stores will be getting more shipments for Wii stuff in the upcoming weeks, but for those that are impatient, there is the official Nintendo store, where one can find Wii Remotes, Nunchuks, Classic Controllers, component cables, as well as remote wrist straps, for those of you (ahem, Jim) that may have had the straps break on them. Looks like Nintendo underestimated the demand for component cables, as they ran out of their initial allotment, and will begin shipping more starting November 28, 2006.

“Due to high demand, our initial allotment of the Wii Component Video Cables has been depleted. We expect to begin shipping again the week of November 28, 2006. The Wii Component Video Cable will also be available at select retail stores (Best Buy, GameStop, Circuit City) in early/mid December.”

At least the wrist strap is a reasonable $1.00 for each.

62605 Classic Controller 1 $19.99
62613 Nunchuk 1 $19.99
62606 Wii Component Video Cable 1 $29.95
62614 Wii Remote 1 $39.99
62622 Wii Remote Wrist Strap 1 $1.00

You can get expedited UPS shipping as well, regular shipping is $5.00. You may just be able to get these accessories before your local store does, as it looks like the above items are in stock. Nintendo does list the Wii Battery Cover / Holder as out of stock: The Battery Cover/Holder is currently on back order. We expect to begin shipping this part the week of December 4, 2006.

There is sales tax for orders shipping to AR, CA, FL, GA, IL, IN, MA, MI, NE, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX, WA and WI.

Wii Accessories Direct Link

Wii Component Cables Link

http://store.nintendo.com

2007 Lexus LS460 Mini-Review

October 25th, 2006

Lexus LS460

I had the opportunity to test drive the new 2007 Lexus LS460 ($61,000 base price, $71,000 for the longer LS460L) sedan this afternoon. Some of the cooler features are the 19 speaker Mark Levinson sound system, automatically holding the brake for you at stop lights, tighter handling from the last generation LS, automatic parallel parking, and one button auto-open and auto-close trunk lid. The 2007 Lexus Ls460 is much refined and definitely an improvement over the last generation LS, the LS430.

The LS460 features a V8 4.6 liter engine making 380 horsepower and 367 lbs-ft of torque as well as the first eight-speed automatic transmission. I was able to get in a few quick tests to 60 from both a full stop and from 5 mph, and it feels like it does have a 0-60 mph time of 5.4 seconds, as claimed in the specs. The listed EPA mileage estimates are 19 city and 27 highway, which is very reasonable for a full-size car of this size with this size engine. The fuel tank holds 22.2 gallons, so thereotically, the LS460 can go 600 miles on the highway and a good 418 miles on local streets before a refill is required.

The 19 speaker Mark Levinson sound system is spectacular, the audio was crisp and the system also plays DVDs on the 8 inch navigation/DVD screen (while the car is not in motion). The Lexus salesman had a DVD demo disc and played a bit from the Jet Li movie Hero and the audio was amazing, especially considering this was inside a car. If you get a chance to go to a Lexus dealer, be sure ask for the Hero demo in a Mark Levinson-equipped LS460.

A simple button press will put the LS460 on notice that you want it to hold the brake pedal down when you come to a complete stop. So instead of holding down the brake pedal with your left foot when you are stopped at a light, you are now free to tap your right foot along to the music or whatnot. Just accelerate when the light turns green and the car will automatically release the brake hold. It’s quite a smart little feature, one I’m surprised no one had thought of before, at least that I’ve seen personally. The feature works very smoothly.

One of the most touted features Lexus has added is the automatic parallel parking feature. The system works like this: you pull alongside the car behind the space you want to park in, then drive forward and stop when you reach the car in front of the space you want to park in. Then hit the parallel park button and the 8 inch screen will display a green box of the parking space if it is able to park itself. The system reportedly only needs six and a half feet of buffer space longer than the car to be able to park itself. Click here to see the LS460 parking itself. This system will be great for those that are horrible at parallel parking, but those that are great parallel parkers will easily beat this automatic system in terms of time. There is also a one-touch automatic trunk lid opening mechanism in this newest iteration. It’s a useful feature, as one button press also closes the lid too.

The handling on the LS460 is much improved from previous versions. Taking turns at relatively high speeds is stable and the car has a good feel. The salesman mentioned that the suspension is lowered by one inch while driving at 60mph (or higher) for more stability. You do feel the 4244 pound curb weight of the LS460, but even with three passengers, the LS460 felt quick and nimble.

I test drove a metallic gray LS460 with the Navigation System & Mark Levinson Premium Audio Package (a $5645 option), which includes Bluetooth connectivity, backup camera, XM Satellite with Real-Time Traffic updates, and the 450-watt Mark Levinson system with an in-dash 6 CD changer, and a 30GB hard drive which you can save audio CDs to. The leather seats were very comfortable, though I imagine one may slide a little bit during more aggressive driving.

This LS460 did have a heated steering wheel, which heats up the leather part of the steering wheel rather fast. It comes with 18 inch wheels and 13″ front brakes and 12″ rear brakes. I’d be interested in seeing how the LS460L with Touring Package, with 19 inch rims and Adaptive Variable Suspension, handles. The brakes did bite rather well, but the brake pedal feel is a bit mushy.The acceleration was brisk, but I felt some lag between pressing the accelerator and the car responding. I much prefer the feeling of the brake and acceleration pedals response of an Audi A8 and BMW 7 series (I have never drive a Merecedes S-class so I left that out of the list, though I imagine they feel similar to their German counterparts). I feel the handling in the A8 and 7 series is also superior to the LS460, but the LS460 is not aimed exactly at the same audiences, as the German cars are more “driver” cars, whereas the Lexus is more quiet and refined, in a sense. Being more performance-oriented, I’ve seen that Lexus has come far in the driving aspect of the car, and it’s getting closer and closer to a how Audi and BMWs feel. But perhaps Lexus is not quite there, yet. It definitely works for being luxurious, quiet, and fast.

Having been able to drive each generation LS series cars extensively since the 1993 LS400, this new generation feels like the biggest change to the LS model line. I prefer the new looks of the LS460, the side view is very reminiscent of last generation Mercedes-Benz S-class (1999 to 2005 W220), and the rear reminds one of the current BMW 7 series, with the raised rear deck lid and tail lights. I’m not a fan of the BMW “Bangle trunk lid” at all, but the Lexus version is more aesthetically pleasing than the 7 series’s rear end. The front looks original, something Lexus came up without any inspiration. I like the styling overall, it’s very modern, yet has a classic look, especially the side view. This car’s looks definitely suffer when there is a front license plate.

There’s still no sidemarker turn signals, either on the side body panel or the rearview mirrors, a feature that is nice to have and useful for people driving in cars alongside you but two lanes away on the freeway, as they can see your signal blinking when you need to turn. I’m surprised Lexus has not implement this.

Specs-wise, it favors comparably to its main competition, the Mercedes S550, which starts at $86,000 with a 382hp engine and a 0-60 time of 5.4, and the BMW 750i, which starts at $72,000 and has 360hp and 0-60 of 5.8. The Lexus at $61,000 base is quite a bargain compared to those cars, though you get a different “feeling” while driving the LS460, which may or may not be good depending on your tastes. I think this car definitely will be a hot car, as far as demand goes, for a while.

There is an option to totally turn off the Lexus stability control, the first-time this option has been available in an LS, which lets you actually DRIFT, yes, drift your car. Motor Trend has a picture of this in their review of the LS460.

I wasn’t expecting to go and test drive this car today, so I didn’t bring my digital camera. Pictures from a Treo 650 just wouldn’t do this car much justice. I spent about 20 minutes sitting and driving the car, and about an hour overall at the Lexus dealer. If I get a chance to drive the car more extensively, I’ll either update this mini-review or post a lengthier review.

Official Lexus LS460 Site: http://www.lexus.com/models/LS

CNBC Video of LS460 Parking Itself

Picture of LS460 Drifting (courtesy of AutoBlog)

Google Updates Google IE Toolbar 4

September 29th, 2006

Google IE Toolbar 4

Just noticed a quiet little update to Google Toolbar 4 for IE today, as I didn’t notice any changes until just a few minutes ago. Some of the new features are suggestions, if you didn’t know how to spell “errant”, Google will suggest it for you. It can also shows your Google Toolbar search history regarding that term. Pretty neat! You can also send a text message with the “Send To” button. I don’t know if the Bookmarks feature is new or not, but if you have a Google account, you can access your personal bookmarks with any computer that has the Google Toolbar installed. The new toolbar also allows you to quickly add Custom Buttons for popular sites.

Sorry, Firefox users, Google hasn’t updated their Firefox Toolbar… yet!

Enhanced Search Box
As you type a search query into the new Toolbar’s search box, you’ll see a list of useful suggestions based on popular Google searches, spelling corrections and your own Toolbar search history and bookmarks. You can also click the ‘G’ icon in the search box to search different Google sites, the current site, or sites for which you’ve installed custom search buttons.

Send To
You can use your Google Toolbar to share web pages via email, text message (SMS), or blog. To share an entire page, select from the Toolbar’s “Send To” menu; to share an excerpt, simply select the section of the page you want to share before clicking “Send To.”

Custom Buttons
You can add buttons to your Toolbar that will let you visit and search your favorite websites and keep up with interesting feeds. Our Button Gallery offers a selection of ready-made buttons for popular sites, and you can make your own buttons in seconds by right-clicking within the search box on any site and selecting “Generate Custom Search…”

http://www.google.com/support/toolbar/bin/static.py?page=features.html&v=4&hl=en

GoldenPalace Marketing Hits Olympic Closing Ceremonies

February 26th, 2006

So some guy just got up on the stage while the Italian Olympic chairman was talking during the Closing Ceremonies. He was wearing a black GoldenPalace.com T-shirt, though the camera angle sort of obscured it. Great security over there in Turin, eh? Just how much does GP pay for such publicity? It’s gotta be worth a few million in advertising as all the European countries should be watching this live. Too bad no one told him the camera angle before he got up on stage. And will some idiot dare to do this in China and risk their life?

Thanks CBC for the live feed, I wonder how NBC will censor this bit, as I’m sure they wouldn’t be too pleased with free advertising for an online casino.

Update: Guess NBC didn’t censor it after all. The NBC camera’s view was even better and showed even more exposure for GoldenPalace. And in high definition, to boot! BTW, though as proud as I am to be called a Canadian, I’m in Seattle, yes, the land of rain… (and yes, it’s raining outside right now), we get the CBC feeds on cable here.

GoldenPalace Olympics Closing Ceremonies

Google Video’s Bouncy Swimwear Model and ‘Nigga Alex’

January 29th, 2006

Google Video My Nigga

Pretty interesting Google Video’s main page highlights Christine Model Free 5, which shows a rather bouncy swimwear model, and “My Nigga Alex“, showing some true gangsta activities, including drinking beer, showing his gat, miming the motion to smoke a joint, and flinging money around (they look more like Washingtons rather than Benjamins to me) as “Popular Videos.” Click on the image above to see the full size version.

Just how pleased will CBS and the NBA be to see such quality videos right alongside CSI, Survivor, and Kobe’s 81-point performance. Hmm…. Doesn’t seem too family-friendly, does it? There also was no option to filter results for a “child-friendly” experience. Tsk, tsk, Google, are we slipping now?

Google Video

I HATE Linksys!

April 30th, 2005

I’ve always had problems with Linksys products, don’t ask me why, but it’s true. The latest round is with the much-heralded WRT54G wireless access point/router. I’ve been having major issues with it, using the default Linksys firmware as well as Sveasoft’s Alchemy firmware when using BitTorrent and when transferring a large amount of files. Basically, the WRT54G would just shut off the Wireless connection, that or the file transfer would just stop. I was only using the WRT54G as a 802.11g wireless access point only, too. I can’t believe Linksys releases crap like this and get away with it.

I’ve since found that the free HyperWRT firmware does help a bit, but there’s still some issues of pausing when doing large transfers. But it’s tons better than the stuff from before. Also added the following to the Startup script (found on this LinksysInfo.org thread) :

echo 4096 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_conntrack_max
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/icmp_echo_ignore_broadcasts
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/icmp_ignore_bogus_error_responses
echo 512 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/neigh/default/gc_thresh1
echo 2048 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/neigh/default/gc_thresh2
echo 4096 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/neigh/default/gc_thresh3
echo “600 1800 120 60 120 120 10 60 30 120″ > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_conntrack_tcp_timeouts

I’m eagerly waiting to join a class action suit against Linksys and their faulty products…

Veronica Mars on GMail

April 29th, 2005

Veronica Mars
So, I was watching one of my favorite shows Veronica Mars (something about high school kids always gets me, or something…), and low and behold, I see Veronica Mars has a GMail account! For all those curious, the email address shown (I had to rewind this a few times as it only showed up for a quick second) is vmars1987@gmail.com

I just sent off an email to the address and it hasn’t bounced yet, so I assume it’s good. Also just checked the availability of vmars1987 and it is indeed taken. For a show that’s written so smartly and geekily (they referenced the Star Wars kid and Paris Hilton as being Internet download laughingstocks), it’s no surprise that they’d drop in a GMail reference on her Powerbook. Though, technically, she was going to use it to spam everyone to get revenge for Carmen in the episode. I wonder what Google thinks about that? Thank you UPN for picking up the show for a second season! :)

Boo to Garbage!

April 11th, 2005

Shirley Manson
So, fine, Shirley Manson and crew had to postpone last Friday’s show at the Paramount in Seattle due to sickness. That’s fine, and us fans can understand postponing a concert, but there’s no word on it anywhere on Garbage.com, the band’s official site. Not one “sorry, we’ll be back” or even word on why they cancelled. It’s disappointing enough that the show was postponed, it was after all the first US tour date on Garbage’s Bleed Like Me tour, but keeping your fans in the dark just ain’t right, especially for such an Internet-friendly band. Since missing the gig, the band has put up several updates on their site, such as a Stupid Girl video, and the news that Why Do You Love Me hit #7 in the UK charts. But c’mon now, us fans in Seattle were waiting all weekend to hear if the show would be on anytime, since the Seattle P-I reported the show may have been rescheduled for Saturday night. A simple, “we’re sorry, we’re sick, we’ll reschedule” would have sufficed. Oh yeah, and Ticketmaster called me today, to let me know that the show was postponed. Well, gee thanks, if only you’d told me BEFORE I drove all the way out to the Paramount for nothing.

So Shirley, to make it up to me, I’ll take a private concert from you and the boys next time you’re in town…