July 10, 2006

The Words that Sparked Zidane's Headbutt

The Daily Mail hired an expert lip reader to find out what the Italy's Matterazzi said to spark Zidane's fury. He called him the equivalent of "nig**r" and said his mother was a "terrorist whore". Zidane's mother happens to be seriously ill in the hospital these days. The story of how Zidane's parents suffered in poverty enduring racism to raise Zidane is well-known. In no way do I condone Zidane's action, but with the racism and hateful words so prevalent in today's world, I can understand his reaction. If true, Matterazzi also deserves the scorn and should be ashamed of himself.

If you look carefully at the video above, it looks like Italy's Matterazzi may have actually twisted Zidane's nipple before the headbutt when he wrapped his arm around him. Matterazzi is famous for his dirty tactics (video). Watch him kick player's calfs, groins, and heads. It's sad to see a real loser like him win the World Cup. Permalink - Discuss

April 01, 2006

2005 CD Sales Fall Again

RIAA released 2005 numbers. After a peak of 942.5 million units and $13.2 billion in revenue in 2000, CD sales fell to 705.4 million units and $10.5 billion in revenue during 2005. 2004 was at 767 million units and $11.4 billion in revenue. Instead of whining about piracy and digital music, maybe the industry should actually think of ways to make better music?

January 05, 2006

Stern to get $220 million Early

Howard Stern before he even starts his show on Sirius is going to get $220 million of stock thanks to strong subscriber growth incentives that were in his contract.

December 18, 2005

Bush Gets Free iPod from Bono

Fun little video clip where President Bush talks about what artists are on his iPod. Then he goes on how Bono gave him a new iPod that isn't as advanced as his iPod Shuffle. Laugh out loud.

December 06, 2005

Best Company Reputations

According to Harris Interactive, here are the top 10 companies who were ranked the most reputable in 2005. 1. Johnson & Johnson 2. Coca-Cola 3. Google 4. UPS 5. 3M 6. Sony 7. Microsoft (huh?) 8. General Mills 9. FedEx 10. Intel.

The bottom 10 were Sprint, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Tyco, United Airlines, Halliburton, Adelphia, MCI (Worldcom), and Enron. It's not a good thing when your current wireless provider is near the bottom next to Enron.

October 30, 2005

Underground City for Sale

An underground city in Britain is for sale. It used to be the nuclear bunker for the government and royal family.

WELCOME to Cold War City (population: 4). It covers 240 acres and has 60 miles of roads and its own railway station. It even includes a pub called the Rose and Crown. The most underpopulated town in Britain is being put on the market. But there will be no estate agent’s blurb extolling the marvellous views of the town for sale: true, it has a Wiltshire address, but it is 120ft underground.

October 19, 2005

List of Salaries from New Yorkers

New York Magazine had an interesting article on what people make from first year real estate brokers that make over $300K to pan-handlers. Unfortunately 99% of these people make more money than I do, read it and weep.

John Thain
$4 million
CEO, New York Stock Exchange

Chelsea Clinton
Consultant, McKinsey & Co.

Travis Harris
Shoe-shiner, Wall Street ($20 a day, three days a week)

Chris (last name withheld)
Panhandler, Bleecker and Broadway

October 10, 2005

F-14 Remote Control Model Jet Airplane Video

It costs over $20,000 to build a F-14 jet fighter model airplane which you can control by remote control. Looks like it is worth it for someone, check out this awesome video.

October 02, 2005

Link Roundup

1) Best Launch Titles of All-Time (Tetris on Gameboy!)
2) 170mbps over Electrical Socket (will this tech ever come out?)
3) Valve High Dynamic Range Explored (includes DoD Source Benchmarks)
4) New Search Site Worm (scary stuff)
5) AMD 64 CPU Shortage (why are chipsets and CPUs so short these days?)
6) Free XM Radio on DirectTV (starts in November)
7) PC World 100 Best Products of 2005 (Firefox #1? Nah..)

September 25, 2005

Bill Gates House

Learn about how the richest man in the world lives in his house.

September 21, 2005

September 17, 2005

September 08, 2005

News Corp. Buys IGN

News Corp. announced that they will be IGN Entertainment for $650 million in cash. IGN owns IGN.com, Gamespy, Gamespy Arena, Fileplanet, Askmen.com, and Rotten Tomatos. I guess I should of started this site earlier and sell myself to IGN to get a piece of that action. Oh well.

Rupert Murdoch, News Corporation's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said: "With the acquisition of IGN and its 28 million unique users, we have gone a long way toward achieving two of our key strategic objectives in our efforts to become a leading and profitable internet presence. First, we have significantly enhanced our online reach, strengthening our position as the fifth most trafficked presence on the web. We also become the fourth largest network in terms of monthly page impressions. And second, we have furthered our strategy to leverage the unique competencies the company enjoys with its news, sports, and entertainment assets to create a leading internet destination. By acquiring IGN and its compelling sites, we now have top entertainment sites to go along with FOXSports.com, as well as our myriad news sites, headlined by FOXNews.com."

Mark Jung, IGN Entertainment's Chief Executive Officer, commented: "We believe that Fox Interactive Media is an ideal fit with IGN Entertainment. With this combination, our users will enjoy access to a broad array of content and services covering video games, music, movies, sports and news, and our advertisers will benefit from enormous reach into a highly sought-after demographic. We are thrilled with this acquisition and can't wait to get started."

September 02, 2005

Kanye West Says President Doesn’t Care about Black People – Transcript NBC Concert for Hurricane Relief

During the live 1 hour Red Cross fund raiser called “A Concert for Hurricane Relief” tonight shown nationally on NBC at 8PM EST, Kanye West hijacked the show by going off on a anti-Bush tirade accusing the government and media of racism and even saying the President doesn’t care about black people. The transcipt I typed follows:

Mike Myers: there is now over 25 ft of water where there was once city streets and thriving neighborhoods.

Kanye West: I hate the way they portray us in the media. You see a black family it says they are looting. You see a white family it says they are looking for food. And you know there’s been five days because most of the people are black and even for me to complain about it, I would be a hypocrite because I try to turn away from the teacher… TV because it is too hard to watch. I’ve even been shopping before even giving a donation, so now I’m calling my business manager right now to see what is the biggest amount I can give.

And and just to imagine if I was down there, those are my people down there, so if anybody out there that’s wants to do anything, we can help, with the setup, the way America is setup, the poor, the black people, the less well off, as SLOW as possible, I mean, this is, Red Cross is doing everything they can (Mike Myers nodding his head) we already realize a lot of the people that could help are at war right now fighting another way, they given them permission to go down and SHOOT US.

(Mike Myers looks over and uncomfortably wipes his nose)

Mike Myers: (says his piece)

Kanye West: George Bush doesn’t care about black people.

(camera quickly cuts to Chris Tucker in front of a refrigerator, obviously back-stage with no tele-prompter)

Chris Tucker: In the past few days, America, and people has been stepping up to donate money, to do all they can to help people in New Orleans and all over. Please do what you can, send water, trucks, whatever you can, do what you can, and help one another

Uhh, save lives, and we all are one, and people in New Orleans need us, Mississippi need us, please.. please, please, please, do all you can (shaking his fist) to help, help, help, help, help, help, help, thank you (winks), love you.

This left a very bad taste in my mouth because NBC, the actors, singers, and hundreds of people sacrificed their time and efforts to man the phones and contribute to raise funds for the Red Cross, in prime-time live TV, no less. Instead of coming together in the spirit of giving and community, Kanye’s comments I’m sure turned off a lot of viewers from actually giving tonight.

The people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region NEEDED that money. Mr. West should be ashamed of himself. However the off-the-cuff speech which the producers forced on Chris Tucker was hilarious (send trucks! Help, help, help!) I feel bad for Chris to be put on the spot like that with no teleprompter.

Update: In a statement NBC said, "Kanye West departed from the scripted comments that were prepared for him, and his opinions in no way represent the views of the networks. It would be most unfortunate, if the efforts of the artists who participated tonight and the generosity of millions of Americans who are helping those in need are overshadowed by one person's opinion." [Permanent Link] - [Discussion]

August 29, 2005

Link Roundup

Mac OS Through the Years (screenshot timeline of the Mac OS)
Amiga Emulation Guide (Amiga 500 ruled the 80s)
World of Warcraft Hits 1M in North America (wowser)
Compactflash Roundup Review (which 1GB card rules the land)
Coffee as Health Food (it fights cancer)
Verizon FIOS Installation Story (detailed)
Hurricane Katrina Satellite Photo (bird's eye view)

August 24, 2005

Military Working on Star Wars Laser

Another expensive military project we don't need when there are body armor and bullets shortages on the ground in Iraq.

A U.S. Pentagon invention could make air combat resemble a battle scene from the movie 'Star Wars' with a laser so small it can fit on a fighter jet, yet powerful enough to knock down an enemy missile in flight. The High Energy Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS), being designed by the Pentagon's central research and development agency, will weigh just 750 kg (1,650 lb) and measures the size of a large fridge.

July 31, 2005

Mars Ice Lake Found

BBC - A giant patch of frozen water has been pictured nestled within an unnamed impact crater on Mars. The photographs were taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera on board Mars Express, the European Space Agency probe which is exploring the planet.

July 17, 2005

Link Roundup

Harry Potter and Half-Blood Prince Pirated (books on a screen aren't so great though)

Japanese PSP Porn Reviewed (Porn once again is a vanguard of new tech)

2005 WSOP Wrap-up (I wish I could make $7.5 million playing poker)

IGN Interviews Natalie Portnam (IGN a heavy hitter now?)

NY Times on Battlestar Galactica (the new season just started, go forth and see it)

Microsoft MMPORG Deal with Marvel
(Microsoft 360 City of Heros?)

EA Pushes Godfather out to 2006
(Making a GTA clone is not so easy right EA?)

July 16, 2005

Link Roundup

OLED Keyboard (drool drool)

Pocket PC vs. Palm (the showdown continues)

Rare Making DS Games (Microsoft supports Nintendo?)

ESRB Looking at GTA Sex
(GTA controversy? Say it ain't so)

Hillary Clinton Hates Sex (GTA sex)

PS3 No Router
(PS3 will not do everything)

Creative Zen Vision Video iPod
(Apple where are you?)

Moto RAZR Review (the real slim shady)

Virgin Mobile 3rd Pay Plan
($30 per month)

July 03, 2005

Commencement Address by Steve Jobs

Delivered on June 12, 2005.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of
the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from
college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a
college graduation.

Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No
big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then
stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I
really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young,
unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for
adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college
graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth
by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided
at the last minute that they really wanted a girl.

So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle
of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want
him?" They said: "Of course."

My biological mother later found out that my mother had never
graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from
high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only
relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would
someday go to college. [Read More]

June 08, 2005

Details on Intel Dev Mac (looks like just a plain PC, nothing special)

Mac Gaming Developers on the x86 Switch (some need to find new jobs)

Podcasting 101 (from a podcasting webhoster)

37" 1080p HDTV LCD Television for $2300 (PS3 buyers rejoice!)

1080p LCD Panel Discussion (read up before you buy)

Handheld Homebrew Game Contest (impressive GBA games for free)

Pixelblock Nintendo Characters (legos for the videogame age)

June 01, 2005

Link Roundup

Vonage Hits 1 Million Subs (those commercials are getting annoying though)

Nintendo E3 DS Demos (you can download them wirelessly)

How to Wirelessly Download DS Programs (neat stuff)

Comprehensive List of NES Knockoffs (Hong Kong delights)

NeoGeo CD and Genesis Emulated on Sony PSP (memory sticks going to fly off the shelves)

Battlefield 2 Gone Gold (Ex-Vietnam, I would be a lot more psyched)

Gigabyte has 6800 GT SLI on ONE card (nice heater for your room too)

May 31, 2005

Link Roundup

Woman Pulls Gun on Best Buy TV Fixer (almost too funny to be true)

Guide to GBA ROM Hardware (hackers attack!)

Echostar Working on Portable DVR (neat idea, but Echostar not known for execution)

Details on Battlestar Galactica Season 2 (warning spoilers)

Blank Virus Spreading (beware of blank emails)

Wintel Ripping Off Apple's Mini (what else is new?)

Preview of ATI's Crossfire SLI Solution (ATI not known for keeping release dates)

Google Earth (rad new functionality for Google's Keyhole service)

May 30, 2005

Link Roundup

Google CEO Says More Than One Winner (Mr. Billionaire who did nothing speaks)
Sirius Talking to Apple (iPod Satellite Radio?)
eBay Founder's Investments (interesting stuff)
Midway Stiffs Xbox 360 (Microsoft probably doesn't care though)
PS3 GPU Not Done Yet (E3 demos were on PCs lol)
Home Theater Front End Software (good list for free Tivo replacements)
Palm OS for Linux (so much for Cobalt)
2 and 4 gig Shuffles? (I wonder how Appple will price them)
Nintendo Revolution Most Powerful? (I don't think so)
Nintendo DS Upcoming Games Screenshots (Ton of great DS games coming)
Yahoo! Mindset (a search that lets you slide your preference from commercial to research)

May 26, 2005

Link Roundup

Sony Ericsson z800i Review (a new WCDMA phone)
Warriors Screenies (delayed so often, it's good to finally see some graphics)
Voice Actors Protest (2000 videogame voice actors want more money!)
Ageia PhysX Physic Processing Unit Preview (the new GPU type upgrade?)
Abusing Amazon.com Images (manipulate book covers to your heart's delight)
Diller May Rename AskJeeves (Diller seems to just be pretty fickle)
Visible Human Project (want to see an MRI few inches into a brain?)
Cell-phone Gaming (the next big old thing)
Two Sony UMD Movies hit 100k sold (as Darth Vader would say, most impressive)

May 25, 2005

Link Roundup

More Star Wars Movies (doubtful, but maybe in 20 years after Lucas dies)
Xbox Live Blogger (Microsoft employee posting a lot on Xbox 360)
Okami Hands-On (Game of E3 show, my opinion)
Seagate 400GB (review of a monster HD)
Samsung 40 inch OLED TV (I want one, want to pay for it?)
Microsoft Nintendo Espionage (spy vs. spy)
Leaked Nvidia G70 Specs? (only if you can read Chinese)
Xbox 360 Graphics Detail (interview with ATI on 360 GPU)
Tim Sweeney on Unreal Engine 3 (thoughts about PS3 too)
BitTorrent Creator to make Search (can you say lawsuit?)
HardOCP $1000 PC upgrade (best upgrades $1000 can buy)
Samsung to Develop 16GB Flash HD (interesting for perf and battery life)

May 20, 2005

May 18, 2005

Airforce Wants Space War

Airforce wants space war. We're not talking about the old classic videogame either. The military believes it must establish space superiority, which probably means if Bush says yes, we're going to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on space weapons. The billions wasted on Star Wars in the 1980s will be a drop in the bucket in comparison. The Air Force already spent $100 billion on missile defense, which can't do much of anything today.

The Air Force, saying it must secure space to protect the nation from attack, is seeking President Bush's approval of a national-security directive that could move the United States closer to fielding offensive and defensive space weapons, according to White House and Air Force officials.

May 07, 2005

Link Roundup

Katamari Damacy 2 - We Love Katamari, what a weird name
Bill Gates Interviewed - He loves Xbox 2
EB Games and Gamestop - 1+1=3?
Forza Motorsport Reviews - rocking the house
Ethusia Pro Racing Reviews - boring the house
Xbox 360 controller - first picture
Next-Gen Console War - Sony win again?
PS3 over Xbox 360 - three times as fast
ATI Multi-video Processing - watch out Nvidia SLI
Google Web Accelerator - messing up the web
PSP UMD Cracked - oh oh
How Lightsabers Work - I still want one
PalmOne Life-drive is for Real - I don't know if I want one
Sharkyextreme High-End Gaming Buyer's Guide - $2500!
Portable Gamecube Pics - if Nintendo was smart, they would do this
4 Huge Dell LCDs - nice monitor setup
Apple Shuffle 58% Flash Player Marketshare in 6 months - wow
LG Plasma with DVR - it would suck if your DVR broke though
Cablevision Says Verizon Fios is No Threat - hehe
Vonage Raise $200 Million - go big or go home
Nintendo DS Being Naughty - strange ads from a family friendly co

May 02, 2005

The Wired 40

Wired magazine has posted their top 40 companies that are the "masters of technology and innovation." The top 10 include:

1. Apple
2. Google
3. Samsung
4. Amazon.com
5. Yahoo!
6. Electronic Arts
7. Genentech
8. Toyota
9. Infosys
10. eBay

As I look through this list, it made me think that there aren't many real innovative companies out there. I mean freaking Electronic Arts and "has-been" eBay & Amazon.com are in the top 10. Enough said.

April 28, 2005

April 06, 2005

One Pinball Machine Maker

It's fascinating to think the world has gone from 150 pinball machine makers to only one. Stern Pinball has 56 employees with $30 million in annual revenue and comes out with 3-4 new models a year. Each machine is hand buit from 3,500 parts in a 40,000 square foot factory. At $4,000 a piece, the company does about 10,000 units a year with a virtual monopoly. Which isn't saying much because in the early 1990s, the industry prouduced more than 100,000 units.

Today, Stern Pinball stands alone. Based in Melrose Park, Ill., about 10 miles west of Chicago, Stern has been the only game in town since its remaining competition folded in 1999, making Gary Stern -- its silver-haired, pinball-tie-wearing Willy Wonka of sorts -- the only person keeping this piece of Americana from extinction. "If we ever quit," he says, "that will be the end of pinball."

April 05, 2005

Father of Playstation Demoted

Pretend the division you headed was the only one to significantly outperform in the past decade. Pretend you were responsible for the majority of the profits and growth for you company. How would it feel if you got demoted?

Well that is what hpapend to Ken Kutaragi at Sony, the father of the Playstation and PSP. Supposedly people didn't like his outspoken manner in criticizing his company's decisions. The reward he got was a demotion and a passing over for the top job. To make matters worse, he lost his board seat and was put under a foreigner. It seems in response all he is doing is putting his head down and focusing on the success of the PSP.

But instead of ascending in the dramatic management reshuffle last month that put Howard Stringer in the chief executive's chair, Kutaragi was demoted. Not only was Kutaragi passed over for the Welshman who had overseen Sony's music and movie businesses. He also lost his seat on Sony's board, though he still runs Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc., the company's game subsidiary.

April 01, 2005

Battlestar Galactica - Best Sci-Fi Ever

Wired is agreeing with me by saying Battlestar Galactica is the best Sci-Fi show ever. Let's hope it continues in Season 2.

The new Battlestar Galactica (whose season finale airs tonight at 10 p.m. on the Sci-Fi Channel) is the best sci-fi TV ever. And that's because it's not merely great science fiction -- it's great TV. "It's so good," my wife exclaimed as the credits rolled on an encore viewing of the penultimate episode earlier this week. "It's like Next Generation meets The West Wing."

Which is to say, nearly every episode offers up some ingenious situation or unexpected turn, and is backed by a script chock-full of believable dialogue and mostly understated acting. Stacked up against Olmos' Adama, legendary Star Trek captains Kirk and Picard come off as even bigger, unbearable, pompous assess than we might have remembered.

March 30, 2005

Blockbuster Settles "No Late Fees" Claims

Ooow what a difference. Blockbuster Video! The company has settled with 47 states for $630,000 and will also refund restocking fees for any customer who felt he or she was misled by the "No Late Fees" ad campaign. Blockbuster instead of charging late fees charged the whole movie and a restocking fee on your credit card if you were a week late. And oh my goodness, the States are actually forcing Blockbuster to clearly disclaim there ARE fees if you're late returning your video in their "No Late Fees" ad campaign. Tricky tricky corporate marketing didn't get away with it this time.

Blockbuster agreed that in future advertising, among other steps, it will not represent directly or by implication that there are no late fees or only limited late fees unless such representation is accompanied by clear disclosure of any charges. In addition, the movie renter would advise of any limitation on the stores participating in the offer; clearly display its rental return policy and applicable charges if products are not returned.

March 29, 2005

Hillary Clinton Against GTA

You have to love politicians who are running for President. Isn't Clinton supposed to be a liberal that believes in the First Ammendment? Well not if you're running and need votes from conservatives. Hillary is almost a freaking Republican these days with her hawkish views on the war, speaking out to lower abortions, and now this anti-GTA talk. She wants to spend $90 million of our money to study how games like Grand Theft Auto affect children. Are you kidding me? Why not study violent movies? Of course not because of her Hollywood donor buddies. This is a joke.

"Children are playing a game that encourages them to have sex with prostitutes and then murder them," she said in a statement on the issue. "This is a silent epidemic of media desensitisation that teaches kids it's OK to diss people because they are a woman, they're a different colour or they're from a different place."

She wants a $90 million investigation to be launched into the impact of games and other electronic media on the "cognitive, social, emotional and physical development" of children, according to a Sunday Times report.

March 28, 2005

2005 World Series of Poker Main Event Purse to Exceed $50 Million

The director of the World Series of Poker tournament, the most prestigious poker event of the year, has gone on record he expects the Main Event prize pool to be over $50 million. All 45 events in aggregate is expected to bring in $100 million. He also believes there will be 15 to 20 thousand players in attendance and 5 to 6 thousand playing in the Main Event. For you poker nuts out there, this your chance to win as I won't be able to make it this year. :)

Because of the explosive growth in interest in the World Series, the event simply outgrew the space available at the Horseshoe. We've built a 60,000 square-foot convention space at the Rio that will have room for 200 tables and provide greater comfort and accessibility to the players, as well as to the media and fans who want to experience the excitement of the event.

February 26, 2005

Bank of America 1.2 Million Accounts Info Stolen

Following the recent Choicepoint identity theft disaster where over 100,000 people's confidential information was stolen, Bank of America decided to pitch in by announcing it lost computer tapes that hold account information on 1.2 million federal employees.

The missing tapes contain names, addresses, and social security numbers. I have a feeling though the government is going to step on this incident because U.S. Senators' info were also on the tapes. Companies that compromise our data like this need to be punished, so they take greater security measures. They need to be taught a lesson that our data is just as important as protecting against bank robbers.

Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, told Reuters that he had been informed by the Senate Rules Committee that the data tapes were likely stolen off a commercial plane by baggage handlers. "Whether it is identity theft, terrorism or other theft, in this new and complicated world baggage handlers should have background checks and more care should be taken for who is hired for these increasingly sensitive positions," he added.

February 19, 2005

New Jersey Sues Blockbuster Over Late Fees

New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey has sued Blockbuster for deceptive advertising over its "No Late Fees" campaign. He takes issue over the fact the company doesn't inform customers that in the no late fee program, there actually ARE late fees. After one week, the customer is charged a $1.25 restocking fee and then if the item is 30 days overdue, Blockbuster goes ahead an charges the item on the customer's credit card. Never mind the fact that certain Blockbuster stores can opt out of the program at its own discretion.

"Blockbuster boldly announced its 'No More Late Fees' policy, but has not told customers about the big fees they are charged if they keep videos or games for more than a week after they are due," the attorney general said in a statement.

February 17, 2005

Nextel Fourth Quarter Earnings

Nextel reported fourth quarter earnings of $471 million. Revenue came in at $3.58 billion as it gained 955 thousand new subscribers. For the year the company acquired 2.9 million new customers to end at 16.2 million.

Nextel is having success on the low-end youth market by adding 755 thousand pre-paid wireless customers. The average ASP is in the high $30s, while the overall ASP was $68. Churn came in at 1.5% a month, about flat from the year before. Nextel is in the process of being acquired by Sprint.

February 14, 2005

Celebrity Behavior in Apple Stores

Wired has the scoop on how celebrities behave at Apple stores:

Melanie Griffith: threw a tantrum when she was unable to buy a pink iPod mini early last year, according to the sales associate who tried to serve her. "She then proceeded to get pissed off at me personally because we didn't have any in stock," the associate said. "She said we have a special stock of iPods for people like her.... I hadn't seen any celebrities there up until then, so at first I was like, 'Oh wow, cool, Melanie Griffith.' But then she opened her mouth and used me as a doormat, and I was like, 'What the fuck is this shit? Milk Money sucked.'"

Levar Burton: ..tongue lashing from LeVar Burton, presenter of Reading Rainbow and a member of the Star Trek crew. The associate, who also asked to remain anonymous, said he made the mistake of asking Burton for some ID when the actor was making a big credit card purchase. The associate said he recognized Burton, but wanted to reassure him he was doing a thorough job of checking credentials. Burton "began shouting at me to ask anyone in the store who he was, all the while telling me that he left his ID in the car and he didn't want to have to go get it," the associate said. "I finally caved in, only because I could see a vein pulsating in his forehead and I didn't want to be the one responsible for causing the blind dude from Star Trek to have a stroke."

Val Kilmer: "looked like he was still in the role of Jim Morrison -- high, spaced out, wandering around the Grove," one of the associates said.

Fred Durst: the Limp Bizkit frontman, always demands a discount, said one of the salesmen. His record company has a special 5 percent discount at the store, and Durst demands it for every purchase, including for a $20 iPod cable -- a saving of $1.

Verizon Buys MCI for $6.7 Billion

After all the talk, Verizon pulled the trigger and bought MCI for $6.7 billion. This was actually much less than the $7.3 billion Qwest offered, but MCI decided to go with the more solid company. Qwest is much smaller and under a large debt load.

It's strange to see companies not selling to the highest short-term bidder, but instead focusing on the long term strategic value. It is good to see.

"It was not only a matter of economics, but also a matter of which deal offered the best strategic value going forward," said Rick Black, senior telecom analyst with Blaylock & Partners. "Even though Qwest offered more, you have to ask yourself if Verizon will be more competitive in the future."

February 11, 2005

Apple 2 for 1 Stock Split

Apple announced a 2 for 1 stock split today. For every share you own, it will be converted to 2 shares at half the price on February 28th. The company is increasing authorized shares from 900 million to 1.8 billion to accomodate the stock split.

February 10, 2005

Sprint 2005 Business Strategy

Sprint outlined its business strategy plans for 2005. The company plans to spend over $4 billion in capital expenditures. About $2.8 billion will be invested in EV-DO technology and expanding the wireless network footprint. $900 million will be spent on DSL coverage expansion and $300 million will be spent on local long distance.

It's obvious from these numbers the action is in wireless data through EV-DO. I can't wait for an EV-DO enabled smart-phone that will let us access the internet at broadband speeds. Please make unlimited monthly wireless data access cheaper, don't expect us to pay-by-the-drink for content and video streaming. Predecessors have died on a vine trying to do that. This isn't Japan.

In his remarks at the company’s annual investment community meeting in New York, Gary Forsee, Sprint chairman and chief executive officer, said, “Today’s customers want access to voice and data anytime, anywhere – seamlessly from home, the office and everywhere in between. Communications services provide the underpinnings of convergence, whether it is devices, lifestyles, networks or applications. Moreover, this growing convergence is rapidly changing the competitive landscape and the traditional definition of the telecom industry. It is a market poised for growth, particularly as consumers desire more and more data applications like gaming, special ringers and video streaming and as businesses increasingly insist upon an integrated communications experience in the office and on the go.

Sci-Fi Channel Renews Battlestar Galactica

Sci-Fi Channel has ordered a second season of Battlestar Galactica. The first season has 13 episdoes, of which 5 have been aired. The last episode had 3.2 million viewers trouncing Star Trek Enterprise, which has been canceled. Who needs Star Trek? Battlestar Galactica is the best show on television. I'm ecstatic it is getting traction. The show airs on Sci-Fi on Fridays at 10pm.

For the show's second season, creator and executive producer Ronald D. Moore previously told SCI FI Wire that he has already been working on as many as six new scripts to resolve the multiple cliffhangers that will end season one. Moore added that he wants to delve deeper into the show's religious themes and open up the Cylon world a bit more in the coming season. [Discuss]

Verizon Going After MCI

According to the Wall Street Journal, Verizon has informally offered to acquire MCI. MCI's talks with Qwest have reportedly cooled down.

Verizon is trying to compete with SBC, which has recently acquired AT&T for $16 billion. The Baby Bells are doing their best to transform themselves from local phone companies to global telecommunication powerhouses with large business customers. AT&T and MCI although faltering have plenty of enterprise clients that Verizon, Qwest, and SBC want to get their hands on. With the advent of VOIP startups like Vonage and their core telephone business at risk, they need to move up the chain into new markets.

February 02, 2005

iPod Rules Microsoft Campus

According to a high-level Microsoft manager, 80% of Mp3 players used by Microsoft employees are Apple iPods. That roughly comes out to 16,000 iPod fanatics out of 25,000 Microsoft workers.

Instead of freaking out about losing mindshare from their own, maybe Microsoft should work on creating a more usable, easy to use product with a better end to end experience. A flashier shiek design from their hardware partners wouldn't hurt either.

The e-mail said: "FWIW, the gal at the Bellevue Square Apple Store said that they are getting in two shipments of 200 iPods every day to keep up with this week's demand, and are nearly constantly selling out." The note prompted a curt reply from Dave Fester, general manager of the Windows Digital Media division, who wrote the group: "I sure hope Microsoft employees are not buying iPods. We have great alternatives. Check out http://experiencemore."

January 21, 2005

FCC Chairman Michael Powell to Resign

Reuters is reporting that the Chairman of the FCC, Michael Powell, is going to resign later today following his dad's lead. I guess Powell had enough of the famous Howard Stern and Janet Jackson Superbowl antics over the years. I bet Stern will now claim victory in his personal vendetta against the Chairman.

I just hope the next FCC leader will continue to protect VOIP from the local state taxes and regulation. That is probably the key attribute of Powell in his term. He generally kept the money-grubbing local politicians away from internet communications. Let's keep it that way. Just take a look at your landline and wireless phone bill to see what I mean. Taxes galore. [Discuss]

January 06, 2005

CES Innovations 2005 Awards Honorees

CES honored the most innovative products of this year's show. They include:

NevoSL for Best Accessory - a powerful universal remote controller that intuitively delivers complete audio visual and digital media control for the networked home.

Sonos Digital Music System for Best Audio - the only multi-room Digital Music System with a wireless, full-color LCD screen controller that lets you play all your digital music, all over your house.

Krell Trio for Best Audio Component - The first high-end, networked tuner, the Trio combines Krell build-quality with an AM/FM, and XM satellite radio tuner and the ability to stream Internet radio over a wireless network.

LG Faltron 1730 for Best Computer Component - new realism to gaming experience, computing and video applications. With integrated F-Engine and its super-fast 12ms response time, viewing is a pleasure, not work.

Sony HD DVR for Best Home Theater - Sony's DHG-HDD500 is a high definition tuner and high capacity (500 GB) digital video recorder with no recording subscription fees and no equipment rental.

Motorola Razr V3 for Best Wireless - Utilize the Motorola Razr V3 across the globe for Bluetooth connectivity, to take photos and view on the 2.2" display and to impress all with its sleek, ultra thin style.

January 01, 2005

Happy New Year

I want to wish all our readers a Happy New Year. May all your dreams come true this coming year. Sit back and relax on our discussion forum as we will begin our 2005 publishing schedule on Monday.