Zune Update 3.0 – New Features Enabled On Old Devices

Software update 3.0 has been released to Zune. For me and my v1 30G Brown Zune, among the more interesting new features enabled in this update are:

More Audiobook support. For instance via Audible.com and Overdrive.com, 2 of the more popular public libraries of audiobooks. You can get a free audiobook and a 30 day trial from Audible.

Zune Games

Games Enabled! Several games are installed by default, the wife is already addicted to Helix, XNA Studio has now been released in beta and will allow you to load more Zune games

Download selected TV episodes for free. As part of an NBC promotion this includes the following shows: The Office, 30 Rock, Battlestar Galactica, Psych, Monk, In Plain Sight, Heroes, Eureka, and Top Design.

For much more information check out zunerama and their report from Day 1.

Plate Armor For Programs

Here’s a quick update on some recent Geeknews activity.

Lately, we’ve been inquiring with several well known product manufacturers to receive some items for review here on the blog.  So far, we’ve gotten some pretty good responses, such as the QPAD Mousemat.  Today, I received a prime item from the great folks over at Ironkey.  They sent us a 2gb Ironkey flash drive for review!

IronKeyLogo       ironkey-reviewa

Over the next few days I’m going to put this unit through its paces, and give it a run for it’s money.  Afterwards, I’ll compose a complete write-up on it’s features and performance in everyday (and not so ordinary) use.  Look for it next week 🙂

Keep an eye out for new reviews, as Andy and I are pounding on the doors of many different innovative product manufacturers for goodies!

Are you an inventor, or have a gadget you’ve developed and want some prime exposure?  Shoot us an email, and we’ll be happy to chat with you.  We look forward to hearing from all of you!

Recover Your Lost Items With SendMeHome.com


Sendmehome.com is a new free service just released to Beta today that lets you register your valuables and print labels with a unique ID to attach to your stuff. The reason why this is interesting is that this site is essentially acting as an online Lost and Found service.

If you lose the item, anybody who finds it can go to SendMeHome.com, enter the tag ID, and get it back to you. And according to the site:

You save time, money, and hassle plus you get your stuff back!

Here’s a partial FAQ:

What items can I register?

From baseball gloves to cell phones, pets to laptops, camping gear to hubcaps, anything that you don’t want to lose can be tagged

Who pays for shipping?

That is completely up to you and the finder of your item.

Will my tag ever expire?

No. Your tag will never expire. It will only be removed from Send Me Home if you delete it.

UFO Sightings Connected to Large Hadron Collider Experiment?

ufo 1

Reports are pouring into a UK paper from EU citizens that are spying UFOs in the night sky lately and has them wondering –

Could it be something to do with that experiment they are doing under ground in Geneva letting out pockets of energy or something?

Sure. Why the heck not, let’s run with that theory why don’t we? Though I have my doubts that Occam’s Razor applies in this case.

The article has a photo snapped by one of its readers.

"Shrek the Musical" Premieres in Seattle

Shrek the Musical

The star of the animated blockbuster smash Shrek is back again, but this time it’s in a musical play and it’s the first such venture by Dreamworks to go toe to toe with Disney as a Broadway rival.

“Shrek the Musical” has a super-talented cast, charming songs and is a musical full of heart in its world premiere at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre the other week.

It’s playing in Seattle until late September to work out the kinks in this new multi-million dollar sensation before moving to Broadway in November.

Visit the homepage for Shrek the Musical.

Flight Attendants Already Battling In-Flight Internet Porn

stewardess porn

Some airlines are now offering in-flight internet access like American Airlines, Jet blue, Southwest and Delta.

And some flight attendants are tired of seeing pornography on passenger’s laptops and demanding in-flight internet porn filters be applied as well.

Does an airline have the right to censor content and if they do, how do they ensure they’re not inadvertently filtering legitimate content?

ChattyDM.net: Fluffy and Feminine or Hairy and Revolting?

So there I was, minding my own business, swinging by Musings of the Chatty DM this evening to see what’s happening in the RPG world and hear about his new Twitter feed.

Sidebar: This is not your run of the mill, vanilla flavored Twitter channel, folks. It’s a mini-RPG via tweets. As Chatty says ‘the mind explodes at the possibilities’. This is a great idea!

Back to the story – So I’m at Chattydm.net and low and behold, my eyes about popped when I saw what his GOOG advert banner was displaying under his blog’s title banner. Talk about inappropriate!

This would appear to be the new and improved, touchy feely Chatty, the one that is frilly and delicious like cotton candy? I guess if you peer closely enough it looks like the advert has two women in a hot tub, that’s somewhat redeeming I guess.

Chatty1-2   (clicky)

But my faith in the old man was soon restored as I scrolled down and saw this scaly, disgusting dragon-like creature from the underworld that we probably would all love to have as a pet. Now this is what I’m looking for in an RPG site’s adverts! More like that Chatty! 😉

 Chatty2-2 (clicky)

So I could make a claim that GOOG’s excellent analysis of his fine site has determined that the most appropriate adverts would be those that are pretty, fluffy and come from the Rainbow Brite world for little girls. Or is it dynamically updating the advert on a per user basis and is truly a reflection on me and what GOOG thinks of my personality and web searching & purchasing traits?

Hmmm. I’d like to think it’s Chatty, not me. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

When a Photo Finish Is Just What You Need.

I was shopping the other day with my mother, who was determined to buy me a new computer chair for my upcoming birthday, and I came across this interesting gadget.


This is a Sony DPF-D70 Digital Photo Frame.  Something great to display your recent pictures on the fly for friends and family!  Here’s the specs:

  • Beautiful 7.0-inch photo quality LCD screen
  • Intelligent orientation sensor automatically rotates picture for correct viewing with frame in landscape or portrait positions
  • Multi-card slot accepts Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo, SD, MMC, CompactFlash, MicroDrive or xD media
  • Easy transfer of images from connected PC to photo frame’s internal memory with no software required
  • 256MB internal memory stores up to 500 pictures: Auto size adjustment re-scales large files for increased album capacity
  • Choice of Slideshow modes or clock display
  • Comes supplied with wireless remote commander and AC power adaptor
  • Actual viewing area: 152 x 91mm

    The Sony DPF- D70 series has a 7-inch frame measured diagonally, 15: 9 aspect ratio LCD, supports memory card, and also has auto image rotation. It is designed to showcase pictures in vibrant colour in crisp detail in WVGA (800 x 400) resolution. The dimension of the Sony DPF –D70 is approximately 207 x 137 x 38.5mm without stand, and 207 x 137 x 125mm with stand. It weighs approximately 550g without the AC adaptor.

    I’d seen these advertised in several different places on the net in the past, but I found that the people over at Test Freaks have one of the best detailed descriptions for this gadget.  Go check it out!

  • Google News Agg Service Screws United Airlines

     UAL - GOOG

    United Airlines lost more than 75% of its value yesterday, erasing $1.2 Billion. This was due to an error in Google’s automated news gathering process that mines the newspapers of the world for breaking news or interesting stories.

    It turns out it picked up on a 6 year old story from the Florida Sun-Sentinel about UAL filing for bankruptcy, and in turn GOOG made the story available to Bloomberg financial news and from there the shit hit the fan on Wall Street. All the while no one actually read through the story to validate that it was new and relevant.

    Sounds like a bug in the news aggregator and bunch of idiots pushing the ‘I Believe Button’ when they kept picking up on the news and circulating it as new news, trusting in GOOG’s ability. A lot of folks are at fault here and incidents like this are not excusable, especially by a service that is expected to have higher quality standards than this (referring to both Google and Bloomberg). I smell a lawsuit acoming in 3, 2, ….

    Read the full story: "United’s share slide: A comedy of errors"

    DOJ Hires AntiTrust Lawyer For GOOG Case?

    I guess now we know why GOOG’s stock dropped nearly 5.5% today for it’s lowest level since March and nearly 10% in value in just the last five days. Can you say "here come the lawyers"?

    From the Wall Street Journal today:

    The Justice Department has quietly hired one of the nation’s best-known litigators, former Walt Disney Co. vice chairman Sanford Litvack, for a possible antitrust challenge to Google Inc.’s growing power in advertising.

    Mr. Litvack’s hiring is the strongest signal yet that the U.S. is preparing to take court action against Google and its search-advertising deal with Yahoo Inc. The two companies combined would account for more than 80% of U.S. online-search ads.

    GOOG Stock

    In other GOOG news:

    Big-money advertisers opposed to Google-Yahoo deal
    Google browser aided by Microsoft antitrust limits
    Google at 20: Top Five Predictions
    Happy 10 year googly anniversary!

    President Bush & UFO Connection?

    ufo 1

    I ran across a short comment similar to a Letters to the Editor at the Des Moines Register online, I had to share it for it’s sheer randomness and almost irrefutable logic in defense of President Bush. The comment reads in full:

    You can say what you want about the Bush administration, but since he took office there haven’t been any UFO sightings in Iowa.
    – Northwest Iowa mystic

    There you have it folks, the Bush administration has been a success in at least one area of the world and that’s in keeping the UFOs at bay.

    We can only hope that Obama or McCaine will perform half as well battling the UFOs. My recommendation is to beef up the funding for the Stargate project.

    QPAD = Incredible Mousing Madness!


    Oh yeah.  The folks over at QPAD Pro Gaming Gear in Sweden are the people to know when you want a slick mousemat setup for your intense gaming action.  Christer Körnbäck from QPAD sent us a QPAD CT Large black 4mm for review, Yay!

     IMG00573         IMG00562

    QPAD®|CT™ Large, Black, 4mm. Gaming surface with Hybratek™ coating. QPAD Glidz included for utlimate control.

    – Size: Large [40.5×28.5cm 15.95×11.23 inch]
    – Thickness: 4 mm
    – Color: Black
    – Surface: Hybratek™ Coated soft top

    I’ve used a bunch of mousemats, from Icemats to QPad, and this is without a shred of doubt the best gaming surface you can have. I tested four different mice (ball, roller, IR and laser) on the surface, using varying games and applications, and under differing situations. Some mice may jitter and skip across it a little if you’re using a cheap mouse with scratched pads, and if it’s a skimpy laser, then it might not work too well, making your gaming experience not so fun. I use a Logitech Mx518 Gaming Mouse, and tried a Razer Diamondback and OCZ Equalizer on it, and all worked without a hitch. It is supremely slick, has an amazing glide, and just feels so right under most mice.

    Cloth pads have the added benefit of a nice soft feel and less wear on your mouse feet. All that is why most of the hardcore pro gamers are using this type. So this thing is amazing, super slick motion, spot on tracking, and it’s huge enough that I never run out of room even in those mind numbing frag-tense gaming moments. I had to clear out a good portion of my desk space cause this thing requires some serious real estate!


    It is also, in my humble opinion, the sexiest mousemat on the available market. Works well with any setup, and has plenty of space for movement. It will last too, because with QPAD’s patented super-smooth Hybratek coating you won’t find it wearing down, getting dirty, or peeling at the sides. Just make sure your mouse has good feet, and if not, use the QPAD Glidz supplied in the tube with the mat!

    Seriously.  If you’re a gamer, hardcore or not, you must check these out.  Satisfaction guaranteed.  ‘Nuff said.  Shoot us some comments!

    From GOOG Maps to Gold Medal

    Kristin Armstrong

    I meant to post about this last week, but better late than never…

    Kristin Armstrong of the USA won the Women’s Individual Time Trial in Road Cycling at the 2008 Olympics.

    She did it in large part by preparing like everyone else, but unlike everyone else she traveled to the site in advance, went through the course one time while using her husband’s GPS. When she returned to her home in Utah, Kristin uploaded the lat/long results from the GPS unit to Google Maps and found a local route that was similar to the one to be used in the Olympics.

    So she was able to practice, practice, practice on a road route that mimicked what she’d have to endure for the real thing?

    Is it cheating? No!

    But I guarantee you that next time either everyone will be doing this or the IOC will not announce the official route until the games are going to begin so that everyone has an opportunity to compete on an equal playing field.

    Kudos to Kristin for using her noodle, not just her brawn, to win the race.

    Oh Frak! It’s Not a Curse Word.


    Here’s some excellent insight into how the Battlestar Galactica writers came up with ‘Frak’ as a replacement for it’s more vulgar cousin F*ck. And they’ve never received a complaint from SciFi owner NBC or the FCC over their word.

    Snippets from the story:

    It was Larson who first used the faux curse word "frak" in the original "Battlestar Galactica." The word was mostly overlooked back in the ’70s series but is working its way into popular vocabulary as SciFi’s modern update winds down production.

    Larson, one of television’s most prolific and successful writers, doesn’t much care for the new series. He used "frak" and its cousin "feldergarb" as alternates for curse words because the original "Battlestar" was family friendly and appeared on Sunday nights. The words fit in with his philosophy that while the show was about humans, it shouldn’t have an Earthly feel.

    The word has even appeared in the funny pages where Dilbert muttered a disconsolate "frack" — the original spelling before producers of the current show changed it to a four-letter word — after a particularly dumb order from his evil twit of a boss.

    "Dilbert" creator Scott Adams calls the word "pure genius."

    When new series producer Ron Moore first introduced "frak" in early scripts, Bamber said the actors were dubious. But as writers expanded its use, they caught on to the possibilities.

    "I mean why are we not offended by ‘frak’ because it means exactly the same thing as the other thing?" said Bamber, who plays fighter pilot-turned-president Lee "Apollo" Adama.

    Why Rank #1 in Google?

    Google search behavior

    Think Eyetracking is the specialist eyetracking and market research arm of Bunnyfoot Ltd, the leading usability and user experience consultancy.

    They’ve posted some interesting findings related to how people scan the GOOG search results page today compared to how they scanned the page 3 years ago. This is a good article, if you’re have any interest in SEO at all, you should check it out. If you’re not in the field, let me boil it down for you: Google has trained you to expect high quality results in the first 3 results. Beyond that, it’s a waste of your time and you’re likely to not go much further. Let alone click through to a second or third page of results like you used to.


    [via http://www.grokdotcom.com]

    Pirates vs. Ninjas Dodgeball Released


    Gamecock Media Group announced recently that Blazing Lizard’s Pirates vs. Ninjas Dodgeball will release on Wii this winter; if you live under a rock like me it was apparently released to Xbox Live Arcade on Sept 3 2008. The title features two ancient rivals, Ninjas and Pirates, along with several other teams, all looking to settle the score once and for all – on the dodgeball court.

    Besides Pirates and Ninjas you can also choose to team with Zombies or Robots. But who are we kidding, we all know Pirates kick ass in the underworld and is the smart team to join…right?

    You can read more about it at http://www.piratesvsninjas.com/ or on its Wikipedia page.