October 17, 2004

The case for public floggings

Meredith and I were coming back from Salt Lake City today. In the waiting area in the airport was a teenage boy, probably about 16, lying on the floor talking on his cell phone. I isuccessfully gnored almost his his entire conversation, but was unable to avoid hearing this snippet:

"Yeah, and I stole a bunch of my grandmother's silverware, too. Yeah, it's awesome. It's really nice silver, too -- she's had it forever. Yeah, I got like five forks and spoons. I'm gonna melt it down to make into bracelets or something. Want one?"

Perhaps Singapore has the right idea with public floggings after all.

Posted by Mike at 09:14 PM

Jon Stewart v. Crossfire

For a truly surreal read, check out this transcript from CNN Crossfire with guest Jon Stewart from the Daily Show. There are also links to the video here.

Stewart took the opportunity to berate the media, and Crossfire in particular, for contributing to the decline of American politics.

STEWART: Here's just what I wanted to tell you guys. Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting America. ... See, the thing is, we need your help. Right now, you're helping the politicians and the corporations. And we're left out there to mow our lawns."

It was almost embarrassing watching this, as Crossfire co-host Tucker Carlson tries to defend his show by repeatedly insisting that The Daily Show doesn't ask politicians hard questions. Yes, CNN is now defending its journalistic integrity by insisting that they are no worse than a comedy show on Comedy Central.

The media needs help.

Posted by Mike at 10:49 PM

October 19, 2004

Blogs are not the end-all, be-all of the world

Blogs are very cool things, but I think sometimes that people take their infatuation with blogging as a concept to extremes.

Robert Scoble, an evangelist at Microsoft, did this recently with his post where he concluded that because Bungie doesn't have a blog for Halo 2, it means that the "marketing isn't there".

Huh? Halo 2 has had numerous public events, the trailer for it has shown in movie theaters. It had 45 reviews on Amazon.com -- over a year ago (today it has 377). The 'Ilovebees' site has been talked about in Wired, Slashdot, and tons of other sites. Over 1.5 million copies have been pre-ordered.

It's hard to see that having a blog and an RSS feed would noticably improve on this success.

Posted by Mike at 10:00 PM

October 20, 2004

More on Jon Stewart thrashing Crossfire

Two of my favorite responses to Jon Stewart's thrashing of Crossfire:

Reuters wrote: "Stewart might be biting the hand that feeds him, annoying the same media-elite crowd whose enthusiasm for "The Daily Show" has helped give him the platform he now enjoys." Umm ... right.

Slate wrote this about the event: "When Carlson goaded Stewart to 'be funny. Come on, be funny,' Stewart responded, 'I'm not going to be your monkey.' The audience laughed uncomfortably." No they didn't — the audience was into it. They ate it up. Go watch the clip.

Posted by Mike at 10:28 PM

Yay Red Sox!

Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox for finally beating the Yankees! Now the Sox go to the World Series. Go Sox!

Posted by Mike at 10:39 PM

October 21, 2004


Glad I gave up on tv... (Score:5, Interesting)
by Yaa 101 (664725) on Wednesday October 20, @09:04PM (#10581812)
(Last Journal: Tuesday June 01, @06:25PM)

Time proves over and over again that things can get worse, and they do... I can't wait for the first stale DRM'ed virus stuck in their systems...

Sweet ... my work project finally made /. -- see the anti-Microsoft rants here.

Posted by Mike at 09:48 PM

October 22, 2004


I recently finished playing Fable. Well, twice, actually. Fable is a recently-released RPG for Xbox. You start out as a young boy in a village shortly before bandits come in and raze your town to the ground. You're saved at the last minute and go off to Hero school. You can be good to people ... or less good. The first time through, I was evil incarnate. I would rack up experience by killing traveling traders. Then I played it through again as a good guy. When you're good, butterflies fly around you. Freaky.

The game is a lot of fun, but it wasn't quite as great as I had expected it to be from all the rave reviews. For one thing, the choice between good and evil didn't actually change that much -- some of the dialogue changed, but overall, the path of the game was exactly the same. Also, it took me about 15 hours to get through the game. Fun, but not really that long.

It's hard not to compare it with Knights of the Old Republic, the other RPG I played on Xbox. Some of the appeal of KOTOR is undeniably that playing in the Star Wars universe is pretty damned cool, but I really think that it was a much more complex game. Good vs. evil made much more of a difference to the story line and abilities, and my first time through took about 45 hours to play.

Still -- it was definitely worth getting Fable. Even if Meredith eventually learned to hate the sound of magic lightning (think: Force lightning) that my character was so fond of.

Posted by Mike at 11:12 PM

October 24, 2004


Meredith, Patrik (one of the PMs at work) and I went to see "Team America: World Police" yesterday. It's definitely worth seeing -- I think it might be the funniest movie I've seen since the South Park movie, which makes a certain amount of sense, since it was made by the creators of South Park. I especially appreciated that the voice of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il was essentially the voice of Cartman with a bad accent. Very fitting.

Stupidest looking movie trailer: "Flight of the Phoenix", which is evidently about a plane that crashes in the middle of a desert. The survivors do what anyone would logically do, which is decide to make a new airplane out of the parts of the one that just crashed. I can deal with marionettes prancing around talking about WMDs, but I'm afraid I can't suspend my disbelief enough to deal with the notion of a bunch of people rebuilding an airplane out of the parts of one that just plowed into the desert.

Posted by Mike at 03:36 PM | Comments (4)