Crusaders & Villains Pt 2: How To Be A Villain

Villains always lose, but let’s face it; they have more fun.

Hatching dastardly plots, almost achieving global domination, these unrepentant fiends do what they will until the Goody Two-Shoes of the world catch up with them in the final chapter. Neil Zawacki, a California-based freelance writer and secret evildoer, has concocted a sly step-by-step guide to joining the forces of darkness.

How to Be a Villain

How To Be A Villain

Crusaders & Villains Pt1: How To Be A Superhero

I was bumbling around the bookstore the other day looking for a good book on handguns and home defense (a different story) when I stumbled across a totally geeky book, which led to another and yet another great geeky paperback for the wannabe hero or aspiring villain.

Fellow do-gooders, I’m telling you it was a treasure trove of coolness and decided to blog about them all, starting with the one that began my little odyssey; written by non other than Dr. Metropolis himself, it’s:

How to Be a Superhero

“How to Be a Superhero: Your Complete Guide to Finding a Secret Headquarters, Hiring a Sidekick, Thwarting the Forces of Evil, and Much More!”

How To Be A Superhero


Microsoft Sidewinder Mouse Returns On Steroids

Sidewinder Mouse

What we have here is the Performance Gaming Mouse System. You heard me, it’s a ‘System’, a gaming system with performance handling and custom tuning capabilities for that finicky gamer. Get the details and overview on the MS hardware site here.

Welcome to a revolution in gaming mouse performance, handling, and custom tuning. Microsoft SideWinder Mouse introduces one-of-a-kind features like veritcal side buttons, an LCD display, and a unique shape designed for quick and super-precise action.

On Gaming System features we have:

  • The first LCD on a gaming mouse
  • Cable anchor and accessories storage box. Adjust the length of the cable
  • Quick launch button

On Performance Handling features there are:

  • Vertical metal side buttons
  • Wide Metal Scroll Wheel
  • Engineered for Speed, Shape designed for quick, balance, precision gaming action.

On Custom Tuning:

  • On-the-Fly DPI Switching
  • Adjustable Mouse Weights, select your preference for mouse weight.
  • Changeable Mouse Feet, choice of three different materials for glide preference.
  • Macro Recording, record in-game macros using a dedicated macro record button.
  • Quick Turn, check your perimeter with the click of a button.
  • 5 Programmable Main Buttons

You can pre-order on Amazon for US$79.99

Retro MacOS Blog Theme

I’m a pushover for retro. Retro games, music, clothes, slang….and blogs. Blogs?

That’s right kitty kat, take a stroll down memory lane with the original MacOS and recall the days when computing was a daily exercise in learning something new and refreshing and gnarly dude.

Relive those totally tubular times. (clicky)

Retro MacOS Blog theme

The Newest Roomba Robots Are Smarter Than Ever


MSNBC celebrates the latest robotic vacuum from iRobot, the big news is ‘they’re getting smarter’. My question is “Is it smarter than Rosie?”.

The Roomba 560 is now available, this little fellow has a lineage going back 5 years now and at US$349.99 this bugger better do a helluva job.

Among the latest enhancements in the new version of the Roomba are:

  • Won’t get stuck (riiiight)
  • Improved navigation and floor coverage
  • Improved edge and corner cleaning
  • Improved brushes and filters
  • Improved anti-tangle technology (e.g., on rug tassles or electrical cords)
  • Improved Virtual Wall blocks off-limit areas
  • Automatically returns to its Home Base to dock and recharge

You can watch a video of the model 560 in action.

If it wasn’t so durned expensive, I’d love to have one of these, but $350??

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Christian Manga & Complete Bible In Manga

Manga Messiah  Manga Bible

On the left what you see above is the cover to a 288 page true Manga style comic from Japanese artists to deliver the first of 5 books that will tell the stories of the Christian bible. On the right is Manga Bible at a bible thumping 1216 pages.

It’s being delivered by Tyndale House Publishers:

Offering an eye-catching rendition of the Gospels, Manga Messiah combines cutting-edge art with a fast-paced story to deliver biblical truths in a compelling and relevant way, targeting those that might not have interest in reading a traditional Bible. Features of Manga Messiah that provide context of the four gospels include illustrated character profiles and family trees of key Biblical characters, as well as maps of Galilee, Samaria and Judea.

You can read the full press release on Manga News

Looks like Amazon already has Manga Messiah for sale and available right now at just US$10.38.

The Manga Bible can be pre-ordered for the November release at US$19.99.


Woot! ‘Gladiators’ Get A Redo

American Gladiators

OK geeks, put your testosterone back in your vials. If you’ve had an interest in taking a bow into reality TV, you’re better off sticking with ‘Beauty and the Geek‘ than this one…

According to Craig Plestis, exec VP of alternative programming, the Peacock is getting into the ring with “American Gladiators,” which has been revived for mid-season revival, possibly with all 6 episodes broadcast in a single week. 

Airing in syndication from 1989-96, ‘American Gladiators’ focused on physically fit amateur athletes who competed against the show’s regulars (action stars, stunt professionals and pro athletes) in various physical strength and endurance competitions. Some of the more popular gladiators were Wolf, Turbo, Nitro, Blaze, Lace & Sky.

The show hit it big by showcasing David vs. Goliath-style battles in events such as the Joust, the Wall, the Eliminator and Hang Tough.

Variety has all the details.

SUN’s New Stock Ticker Symbol: JAVA

SUN Microsystems

Sun’s president, Jonathan Schwartz, waxes nostalgic on Sun’s position and value to the world in his blog post the other day ‘Java is everywhere‘. In it he goes on to talk about awareness of SUN and their technologies by the public at large and that the number of people aware of Java dwarfs those that are aware of Sun or of their stock symbol ‘SUNW’.

On awareness he goes on to say:

SUNW certainly has some nostalgic value – it stands for “Stanford University Network Workstation,” and heralds back to Sun’s cherished roots (in academia). Granted, lots of folks on Wall Street know SUNW, given its status as among the most highly traded stocks in the world (the SUNW symbol shows up daily in the listings of most highly traded securities).

But SUNW represents the past, and its not without a nostalgic nod that we’ve decided to look ahead.

JAVA is a technology whose value is near infinite to the internet, and a brand that’s inseparably a part of Sun (and our profitability). And so next week, we’re going to embrace that reality by changing our trading symbol, from SUNW to JAVA.

I’m not so sure I get why they’re doing this since the ‘average joe’ that consumes Java on the PC or their mobile device doesn’t care about the stock symbol and if they needed to find it for some reason they can easily search hundreds of sites providing that information.

I don’t believe that there aren’t more important things for the president of one of the biggest, most known and respected tech companies in the world to be focusing on than the stock symbol.

With over 300 comments on Jonathan’s blog so far, it’s obvious this is an interesting topic online. Ed Burnette’s blog provides us with the Top 25 comments and categorizing them into Negative/Neutral/Positive.

Some of the most negative comments are also coming from Sun employees.

Hey, if you’re a Sun developer or tester, you ‘get things done’ and you’re looking for change, contact me.

Astronomers Find Gaping Hole In The Universe

 Gaping Hole in Universe
Astronomers have been finding dark regions of space for years, areas of the universe with no radiation, no galaxies, not even ‘dark matter’, but never before have they found a void this size.

It’s a billion light years across.

Is it just part of the random nature of the universe and how the ‘chips fell’ after the Big Bang? Is this a cosmic coincidence or divine plan?

Surely this can’t be a good thing, we’ll likely one day regret this discovery and curse those meddling astronomers.


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A Pair Of Vista Updates To Improve Perf

vista pearl icon

I saw a rumor floating around e-mail at work the other day that a pair of Vista updates have successfully resolved some of the performance problems plaguing some users.

If you too are suffering from reeeeaaaallllllyyyyy long boot times for unknown reasons or horrible shutdown times, then try these out (disclaimer: at your own risk 🙂 )-

“Update improves the compatibility and reliability of Windows Vista”
This update resolves some compatibility issues and reliability issues in Windows Vista. By applying this update, you can achieve better reliability and hardware compatibility in various scenarios.

“Update improves the compatibility and reliability of Windows Vista”
This update resolves issues that may affect some Windows Vista-based computers. These issues have been reported by customers who are using the Error Reporting service or Microsoft Customer Support Services.

Superhero Or Stripper, You Decide

I stumbled across something that made me do a double take. has some cold cast statues of superheroes in anime styling, one of them is Marvel’s heroine Psylocke,you can view their Psylocke page here. If you’re not familiar with Psylocke, some superhero geeks have written up an extensive bio of this character on Wikipedia.

The problem I see here (pics below) is that this character wound up looking more like a stripper about to pole dance than a Marvel superhero that partners with the X-Men. It would appear that from all her changes in appearance over the years, the action figure designers took this one to model the statue over.

Psylocke or Stripper

It’s not the costume that made me do the double take, it was the combination of that costume coupled with the pose that appears to do this character a disservice in my opinion.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking at this like some kind of feminazi that thinks this is demeaning to women, quite the contrary; but it does make me wonder if the target audience is not your average superhero geek, but rather an adolescent boy to have a Marvel Anime to fantasize over. Especially since it appears to be just a run of the mill anime stripper character that had the costume painted onto it and voila! You now have a Psylocke. That was easy.

Psylocke or Stripper closeup

Overall I’m not questioning the designers tastes here, I actually like this, but I am questioning the effort they put into creating this collectable since it doesn’t bear much resemblance in a pose one would expect from their heroine.

In any case, if you’re a superhero fan and interested in this to add to your collection, the statue is 5 inches tall, is a limited edition of 500 units and will cost US$79.95.


Invisible Girl:

Invisible Girl

The shy Phoenix:


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Bank of Beijing Drops Firefox Support For Their Online Bank

Alfred Peng is a blogger from Sun, he discovered to his astonishment that the Bank of Beijing (they refer to themselves as BOB) is officially dropping support for Firefox.

I went onto the English version of the BOB site and was unable to dig deep enough to expose this non-support, but copied below is Alfred’s translation of the reasons why. Head over to his blog for the full article.

The English version:

Hi there,

Thanks for your adoption and support to the Bank of Beijing personal online bank system all along. Please be informed that the newer version of the online bank won’t support Firefox browser any more. The reasons are as below:

1. Firefox is an open source browser. The programming language needs to have the universal property. Although Firefox could add many security extensions(plugins?), some extensions are provided by the third parties which makes the language otherness even worse(?). This will bring some browsing problems.

2. To provide the cross-platform functionality for Firefox(Windows/Linux/Unix/Mac OS), it’s necessary to develop a unified browser engine. However, different OSes have different browsing techniques, also different call method with the script languages such as CSS/Javascript/vbscript. So the online bank system will have style error or usage error with non-IE browsers.

3. The old version of the online bank are mostly static jsp pages, only a small set of style(CSS). And there are no big impacts if you use non-IE browsers. The situation is different with the newer version. It uses a lot CSS and higher version js syntax. So comes the compatibility issues for Firefox.

Based on the reasons mentioned above, we suggest that you could use IE bundled with the OS(Windows). Please understand the inconvenience. Hope that you can support us as always. Thanks.

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Squawkers McCaw The Parrot Is Talkin’ And Squawkin’


This little fellow will be available for purchase on Sept 15 but can be pre-ordered on Amazon right now for $69.96. This is an animatronic talking parrot that comes with at least 45 words/phrases/sound effects.

Also comes with a toy cracker, remote control and perch. I’m probably going to get this for someone’s Christmas present, but I’m not sure yet if I want to give it to someone that will be living in the same house as me! 🙂

According to the product feature description, he can be trained, too. Hmmm, this could be fun.

Squawkers Box

[via Ubergizmo]