Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Wow...this guy goes and buys an iMac, hates it and returns it. But that isn't the interesting part...what is funny is the jumping offsides by Mac fanboys in the comments. To me, the whole point is that he isn't a computer genius, and that switching is supposed to be easy...which it isn't for him. Makes me laugh to see how bent out of shape Mac fans can get when their Jesus machines are challenged by logic. :)
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
I have recently started watching the show Eastbound and Down with Danny McBride as Kenny Powers, a former ace pitcher in the Major Leagues. He loses his mojo and is dropped so low he has to teach gym at his middle school with a few people from his past.
The show has shown some propensity to be funny, but most of the humor is just centered around Kenny Powers being a huge ass to everyone he encounters, because he used to be badass but hasn't quite come to the realization that his career is over.
Overall, I am liking the show, but my nitpicky brain is very, very flustered at one glaring weakness.
It is PAINFULLY obvious that McBride (the actor) has no idea how to throw a baseball. When you see him "pitch", it looks like he has trouble throwing a baseball 50 miles per hour, yet he constantly refers to his "98 mph" fastball that he used to be able to throw.
Sure, I know that the show is showing that he no longer has the ability, but his mechanics are so awful. My daughter has better mechanics than he does, and she is 8.
In the episode I watched last night, Powers gets pissed at a local high-school pitcher who throws a no-hitter, referring to him as the competition. It shows this high school pitcher in a game, and, surprise! He can't pitch either. It shows a high school kid throwing what was probably a 45 mph pitch....and I am supposed to believe he threw a no-hitter? Riiight.
I see this quite a bit in sports movies. Very rarely do they get it right, but when they do, it is good. Miracle was a great movie for sports mechanics. The Rookie was not (the kid playing Dennis Quaid as a boy threw better than Quaid did, and he was doing it opposite handed....look it up!). The Blind Side was ok, but you can read my previous post on that one.
I know that acting is a skill just as much as throwing a baseball or hitting a slapshot, but it kills me to see a show where it isn't a focal point. Give McBride a few weeks of pitching lessons and he can correct that, no problem. But it is obvious to me that they don't care about stuff like that...like it would have been real hard to find an actor who looks like he is in high school that can throw a real pitch.
Call me...I would be glad to be an advisor!
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Submitted for your approval:
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
It’s a rare movie that has no plot holes at all. Even movies nearly everyone likes, like Star Wars (I speak of Episode IV, in case that’s unclear), are occasionally rife with them. Of course, for many geeks — myself included — part of the fun of seeing a movie is identifying and discussing its plot holes afterward.
Here, then, are ten plot holes from geeky movies that, in my judgment, are ones that are easy to miss — even though some of them seem pretty obvious once you think about them. Please feel free to add your own favorite plot holes in the comments, and check out the first and second lists of plot holes (AKA “unanswered questions”) we’ve published on GeekDad before. (Note: The list below contains spoilers for the movies listed, out of necessity.)
10. The Matrix - The machines are keeping humans alive for their body heat, right? But they also have nuclear fusion reactors, and (while I haven’t run the numbers) I’d be willing to bet that a single fusion reactor would generate more net energy in an hour than all the humans on today’s Earth would in a day. Plus, fusion reactors are considerably less likely to try to escape, so it’s pretty clear the only reason the humans are still around is so the movie can exist. Oh, and while we’re at it, how come the simulated world everyone’s living in still has computers? Wouldn’t it be much smarter to remove the computers, thus significantly reducing the likelihood of someone like Neo making an appearance?
9. Jurassic Park – The scientists clone dinosaurs from the DNA in the blood in a preserved prehistoric mosquito. The problem is that blood cells in many animals (humans included) don’t carry DNA, and when they do they don’t carry nearly enough that the frog DNA they use to fill in the gaps wouldn’t dominate the bits of dinosaur DNA. Plus, of course, they would have no way to determine which DNA strands came from which dinosaur — and which from the mosquito itself!
8. Spider-Man 2 - Doctor Octavius is trying to find Spider-Man, and Harry suggests he talk to his good buddy Peter Parker, because Pete is always taking photos of Spider-Man. Doc Ock promptly finds Peter and Mary Jane at a coffee shop, and introduces himself by throwing a car at them through the window, which would certainly have killed them if Peter hadn’t been Spider-Man, sensed the danger, and pulled himself and MJ to the floor. But Doc Ock has no idea that Peter is Spider-Man, so why would he try to kill the person he wants help from?
7. Superman & Superman II – It’s just astonishing how Superman conveniently acquires new powers whenever his already-impressive selection of powers is inadequate to the task. In the first film, Lois Lane dies in the massive earthquake caused by the nuclear missile hitting the San Andreas fault. Superman, understandably distraught, suddenly and miraculously not only has the ability to turn back time by flying around the Earth really fast a lot of times, but somehow knows that he has that ability, despite it never having been mentioned previously. Then, at the end of the second film, the same thing happens again — only this time it’s an amnesia kiss. How exactly is he supposed to be able to remove the memory that Clark Kent is Superman, while leaving other memories intact? It’s never explained at all.
6. Star Trek II & Star Trek III - At the end of STII, the Genesis device creates a planet out of the Mutara nebula and the USS Reliant, right? And that’s fine as far as it goes, because scientists do in fact think that planets form out of nebulae. There’s just one tiny little question, though: Where did the sun for the planet to orbit come from? It sure wasn’t there before the device detonated, and if the device could create a star from a nebula, you’d think Carol Marcus would’ve mentioned it.
5. Batman Begins – Ra’s al Ghul (AKA Ducard) and the Scarecrow use the microwave emitter they stole from Wayne Enterprises to vaporize all the water in Gotham City, thus making people inhale the toxin contained therein. A creative idea, to be sure, except that human beings are 60-75% water (depending on age and other factors). So everybody in Gotham should be boiled to death in their own tissues.
4. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith – The final, climactic battle between Obi-Wan and Anakin rages all over and around the river of lava on Mustafar. Then it ends when Obi-Wan leaps onto the bank and tells Anakin he’s lost because Obi-Wan has the high ground. He turns out to be right, as Anakin leaps into Obi-Wans flashing lightsaber. Seriously, though, how does being on high ground matter when you’re both wizards who can levitate objects with your minds, leap incredibly high, and move astonishingly fast?
3. The Princess Bride – When the Brute Squad is cleaning up the Thieves’ Forest, Fezzik finds Inigo and nurses him back to sobriety. He tells him about Vizzini’s death and, more importantly, about “the existence of Count Rugen, the six-fingered man.” That’s great, except… how does Fezzik know Rugen is the six-fingered man? We see Westley notice Rugen’s extra digit, but he’s knocked out and taken directly to the Pit of Despair, so he clearly had no chance to tell Fezzik. And even if Fezzik had seen Rugen, is it really likely he’d have noticed? Fezzik isn’t that bright or that observant. (Incidentally, I looked this bit up in the book, and it doesn’t explain how Fezzik knew, either.)
2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - This is a problem in the book as well, but it’s in the movie so it counts. Barty Crouch, Jr., disguised as Mad-Eye Moody, arranges for the Triwizard Cup to be a portkey to take Harry to the graveyard in Little Hangleton so that he can be used to bring Voldemort back to life and then killed. He’s in the guise of a teacher at the school, so he had any number of opportunities to make a portkey out of, well, pretty much anything that he could be sure Harry would touch — Harry’s schoolbooks, his shoes, whatever. It’s been argued that Voldemort wanted to keep his existence a secret and make it look like Harry perished during the task, but really, having Harry just disappear without a trace wouldn’t be any more suspicious. And, incidentally, why did he make the cup a two-way portkey? It’s been established that most portkeys are one-use, one-way only. Why not make this portkey one of those, so that Harry had no way to escape?
1. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back – Once Luke starts to figure out that the silly-acting, funny-looking little creature he’s with is in fact Yoda, Yoda’s mood changes. He criticizes Luke (legitimately, it must be said) and argues that Luke shouldn’t be trained to be a Jedi. Obi-Wan has to argue with him to get him to change his mind. Really, though, what choice does Yoda have? He either trains Luke or… what? The Empire wins? Good plan, Jedi Master.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Just got done doing a quick test of a new Android keyboard (for my phone) called 8pen. That isn't a typo...they have an 8 at the beginning of the word open.
It is a really cool concept. The keyboard is laid out in a X pattern, and you use circular motions to type. Note that I said it is a really cool concept...typing on this keyboard is INCREDIBLY slow. It took me almost 4 minutes to type a single tweet. That is too long. I am sure that over time, I will be faster on it, but it is such a difficult learning curve that I don't predict I will stay with it much longer.
Which brings me to the stock Android keyboard....It Sucks. With a capital S. I hate it. I have never had any success typing on it.
My first Android phone was a Motorola Backflip. I hope someone got fired over that abortion of a phone. It was awful. I sold it within a couple of weeks of getting it. It was so crippled, and the screen was tiny; it was terrible.
So, I upgraded to the Nexus One, which is truly an amazing phone. I love it...it does everything I need it to do...except type! I hate the keyboard more than anything. Google and Android, if you are listening, this is the one thing that Apple, hands down, does better than you. I can't tell you what a refreshing breath of air it is to type on my wife's iPhone 1G. It rarely lets a mistake through, and I rarely have to hit backspace.
On Android, I consistently have to backtrack to fix a mistake because the space bar is too small, or the autocorrect jacked with me for the umpteenth time.
I am sure this post will get plenty of response from my brother in law, the ultimate Apple Fanboy. I still love my phone...but I hope that the newer versions of Android will address this very glaring deficiency. I would use my phone a lot more if I could freaking type on it!
Monday, November 8, 2010
This past week, I was invited to speak at a conference for one of our software vendors at work. This is the first time I have ever been invited to speak "professionally", and it was an absolute blast. I am one of those people who seek out speaking type gigs, not shy away from them. If you give me a topic and put me on stage, I will speak about it. I love to be in front of people.
There were several other speakers at this conference, most of them were sales-type people presenting a demo of their particular product, but there was one in particular that really caught my eye. She was the founder of a consulting firm that studies our industry and is considered an expert in many different facets. Of course, I have very little doubt she is very good at her job. Companies pay her a lot of money to consult for them, and she does this well enough to make a pretty good living off of it.
But she was a terrible public speaker. Just awful.
She was awkward. She had terrible timing. Her strategy to "connect" with the audience was to use mid-90's vernacular, such as "totally rad" (and wasn't a bit tongue-in-cheek about it). I fully expected several Wayne's World references.
She was very animated, but it came off very forced. She tried to pry audience participation out of us, and only when someone felt so uncomfortable they would respond, would she move on to the next point. When she attempted to use humor, it only made it worse. At one point, she referenced "Bada Bing, Bada Boom" from the Sopranos (and every other Italian-American stereotype out there), but instead she said, "Bing Bang Boom", with no clue that she had mis-quoted it.
But this isn't the problem. My biggest problem is that she obviously thought she was the greatest public speaker out there of all time. You could really get the sense that she thought we were privileged to see her speak. It truly was painful. You could slice the tension with a knife in the room, because you could feel everyone feel sorry for her all at the same time. It was as if she went to a "public speaking for dummies" class and took every single tip and tried to cram them into a 45-minute session. To make matters worse, she went almost 20 minutes over her time, keeping everyone in the room from going to lunch.
I don't bring this up because I want to admonish her. She is actually pretty good at what she is paid to do...consult. She just needs someone to be truthful with her, but since she is the founder and CEO of the company, there is very little chance someone will say that to her.
If you are afraid to speak in public but have to, just be yourself. Don't try to do something outside of your comfort zone. Most people would rather listen to someone be a bit nervous than have a fake speech crammed down their throat. Have fun with it, and be yourself.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I have a moral dilemma.
As most of you know (if you follow this blog), I am a Cubs fan. Dyed in the wool, bleed Cubbie blue Cubs fan.
I worshipped the ground that Ryne Sandberg walked on. I marveled in the fact that Leon Durham could still play baseball in those glasses. I went into my backyard and Sports Cried when the Cubs came within 5 outs of the World Series, just to see my hopes and dreams fall flat.
I was born in Chicago, but I have lived in Texas (in the DFW area) since I was 6 years old, so I am pretty much as Texan as I can get without being native. I have always considered myself to be a Rangers follower. Not a fan, mind you. Fans live and die by their team. I have never lived and died with the Rangers. Every time the Cubs lose a game, a little part of me dies. Every time the Cubs win, a sliver of hope springs forth. This has never been the case for the squad that is about to take the field tonight in San Francisco. Sure, I would go to many games, and root, root, root for the home team because I wanted to see them do well, but if they lost, no biggie.
But, little by little, this postseason has started to turn me. I was very happy to see them take a 2-0 lead on the Rays. I was extremely worried about the psyche of the Metroplex when the Rays tied up the series. I was excited at the prospect of the ALCS being so close to my house. Then they had that disastrous inning against the Yankees, and I started to wonder if it was just me. Maybe I am the cause...every team I root for seems to fail. Only once in my life has "My Team" won a championship, and it was the '99 Stars. Other than that, I have 1 playoff win for the Cowboys, 1 series win for the Cubs, and a disaster of a Finals appearance for the Mavs.
But, your Rangers overcame that inning and pretty much demolished the Yankees from that point on. And, I will admit, that when Vlad hit that double, and Nellie followed up that at-bat with a monsterous boomstick into the left field bleachers, I have to admit that I just might have become a Rangers fan.
Now, don't get me wrong...I can't just shut off 31 years of being a Cubs fan. If it is ever Cubs/Rangers in the WS, my heart is in Chicago, and Rangers fans be damned....but I am allowed to root for them.
And this has been a lot of fun. It is great to see people in such high spirits. Baseball just found itself about 100,000 new fans here in Dallas/Fort Worth. People who didn't even know who the Rangers were at the beginning of the season are now yelling at each other to "Fear the Deer" and giving each other the claw while driving. It is great.
Overall, though, I have one piece of advice. Several years ago, there was a team from the North Side of Chicago that was primed to go to the playoffs every year. They were young. They were hungry. They were talented. They had pitching that could go all day long. They had a fearsome lineup....and that team now possesses a 9 game playoff losing streak after winning two straight division championships. Oh yeah, and they haven't been to a world series since 1945, and haven't won one since 1908. That is a long, long time to suffer.
My point is this: Your Rangers probably won't be here again. I would put money on it. For those of you who think that the Rangers now have some God-given right to be in the postseason every year, please don't delude yourself. It is hard to make the playoffs every year. Soak this in. DVR every game, and never delete them. Go see the Rangers when they fly back from San Francisco. Watch every news report you can get your eyes on. Buy the hats, the t-shirts, the plaques, do it all. Live this experience up. Because, in less than 2 weeks, good or bad, it will all be over. And you may reflect back on these two weeks 35 years from now, and say, "Yep. I remember the last time the Rangers were in the playoffs. 2010 was awesome." It can happen all that quickly. So, please, from the bottom of my baseball-heavy heart, enjoy this. You may not get another chance in your lifetime.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
That’s the winning tweet in the above screencap. Congratulations to @spoonerstreet!
We had lots of entries for this one – thanks to all of you who took part via Twitter.
Look out for more cool contests coming soon here.If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!
Tagged as: HoverCoat carbon fiber iPad case
This NEVER happens...I won one of those "retweet this message and you could win" contests. So, I won a super expensive case for my iPad...go me!
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
I took this picture for two reasons:1. The chick on the bike in front of us (yes, it was a woman) looked
quite a bit like Bret Michaels from behind. But then again, doesn't
pretty much every woman wearing a bandana look like Bret Michaels from
behind? 2. The truck in front of the bike had a full window sticker
advertising a tattoo parlor. In itself, this isn't that remarkable.
What I thought was interesting is that he had his MySpace account as
the URL to find his shop. This must make him sad, as I am sure he
paid good money to get this sticker put on his truck, only to find out
a few years later that no one uses MySpace anymore. But it was so cool 5 years ago! Please ignore the bird crap on the windshield...my windshield wipers
don't work all that well anymore, nor does my windshield washer
delivery units. That is what you get with 113,000 miles on a car.
I, for one, would love to see a video game go backwards.
What I mean is, in almost every video game you play, you start out as weak. Or, you start out as strong, and your weapons are weak. As you progress through the game, you collect various power-ups and you become stronger.
But what always happens? Your enemies get stronger too. So your power-ups become victim to the law of diminishing returns. Sure, you feel like a badass with your triple-pump shotgun, but your enemies are just as bad ass as you, so there really seems to be no point.
What I would like to see is that you start out as a bad ass, with all of the bad ass weapons (maybe save 1 or 2 for later) and just increase the volume of your enemies, so you get to experiment with all of the cool ways you could destroy them. I have always hated it when you get the best weapon in the game with about 10 minutes of game play left, and you never got to really feel like you owned your digital enemies.
Also, if you get some time, play Just Cause 2 on the 360. Great game...I just wish I could have gotten a better gun in the beginning.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Android only: Google Voice allows detailed rules for people calling you. But your outgoing Google Voice calls? Not so much, unless you've installed Voice Plus, which lets you choose contact groups to call with or without your Google Voice number.
Voice Plus is nothing more than an extension of your Google Voice settings. You choose whether you call with your cellphone's carrier-supplied number or your Google Voice number by default. You choose whether certain area codes are always called with Google Voice—handy for those who live on the border of international areas. And you can choose certain contact groups, set up in your Google Contacts, that are always called by Voice, and others always called by a landline.
So the use you'll get from Voice Plus depends on your ability to set up your contacts with distinct Voice/non-Voice numbers, but that's a big help to those who grow tired of toggling Voice on and off for individual calls. Voice Plus is a free download available in the Market; you can get to it directly by scanning the QR code at left.