reviews. previews. podcast. and more...

Join sisters NinJaSistah and Pandalicious and the rest of the ESH Crew each day as they discuss video games, tech gadgets, anime, manga... pretty much everything within the geek chic lifestyle.

From Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, and PC game reviews, previews, news, and gushings to audience questions and rumor mill seeding galore you'll find it here at ESH!
First Nerdgasm of 2010: ESH@CES Las Vegas!

Goings On

Search through the goodness that is ESH. Want to see if we are writing and chit chatting about the crap you're interested in.





    CES Coverage

    We went to CES and here's what we saw and molested.

    E3 Coverages

    One stop shopping for all of the ESH E3 goodness.

    Xbox 360 Stuffs

    Check out crew rantings on the XB360 platform.

    PS3 Things

    Yeah, we've talked about Sony stuff too, check em out!

    Wii Little Bits

    Get your Nintendo bits and bobbles here.

    Oh Hai! Anime-niacs

    Peep the stuff we've written about on the anime tip.

    Manga Love

    We less than three manga as well, so peep the manga reviews.

    ESH Photo Galleries

    Check out the snapshots we've taken at events and more here...

    Girls Talking About a Pad

    posted @ 2/01/2010 08:00:00 AM by Ninjasistah
    New podcast Monday is here once again and this hour long show is jam packed full of puns and bad jokes.

    This week, NinJaSistah and Pandalicious talk about Apple's newly announced (and poorly named) iPad device and their first reactions to the device. The ladies also work in a plug for the new ESH YouTube channel, Flickr account, and FaceBook group... but mostly wrap their minds around the iPad.

    To get a better idea of what the show is like, here are some of the titles that came up but were not chosen:
    • A Braile iPad Would Make Quite an Impression
    • Pada Says All Her Appliances Are Masculine
    • Video IS the Radio Star
    • Comedy – Comment – And Another "C" Word I Can't Think Of
    • and finally
    • Oops! I Just Spoiled the Bible

    Grab your morning cup of joe or afternoon delight and enjoy Electric Sista Hood Podcast Episode 182: Pandalicious Takes On All Comers (I Wasn't Going to Say That)

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    Apple Brings Another "i" into the World With the iPad

    posted @ 1/27/2010 10:17:00 PM by Douceswild

    I'm pretty sure that at this point, if you can type "www" in an address bar, then you've read about Apple's new baby, the iPad.

    The iPad is definitely an interesting and intriguing device, but is it really necessary? Many are saying it's a step backwards and a little too late for Apple. Would this be more exciting if it came before the iPhone or iPod Touch? I mean, both of devices let us do pretty much all of what the iPad can do. The difference is the iPhone and iPod Touch are less cumbersome to carry around. Don't get me wrong. I think the functionality of the device is great, but haven't I sort of been carrying an iPad for almost three years already. My phone is by Apple. I can watch movies, play games, view pictures, read eBooks, check email, surf the web, and put it in my pocket when I'm done (unlike the iPad).

    Throw an OS on this thing and I might bite, but until then, all I can really say is that the iPad is pretty cool and for what it is and does, the price-point is spot on.

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    I Couldn't Have Said It Better Myself

    posted @ 1/26/2010 02:50:00 PM by evermore
    If you're anything like me, my spare time in these last few weeks has been spent in keeping up with the rumors surrounding Wednesday's announcement of new products by Apple. What is going to become the New Word of 2010? Will it be iSlate, iTablet, iPad, iOhWhatever?

    I was going to write my own pre-announcement story about the iToBeNamedLater, but it has already been written for me -- and it's a gem:

    Some personal thoughts about the Apple Tablet by Mel Martin for The Unofficial Apple Weblog says pretty much what I was going to write -- and it's written better than what I would have done.

    FULL DISCLOSURE: My wife owns Apple stock, currently valued at the price of about 8,000 iTunes songs.

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    Mmmm, Clip Show

    posted @ 12/07/2009 08:00:00 AM by Ninjasistah
    A new Monday morning brings with it a fresh episode of the ElectricSistaHood podcast, are you not entertained? Well, after catching this episode filled with cutting room floor goodness you will be.

    In this episode of our weekly podcast, NinJaSistah introduces three segments of content we had to cut from previous episodes that have yet to air on a final episode of our podcast... until now that is. First up are some of the things we cut from our original airing of our holiday gift guide, including the RoboTech Saga anime series, iPod Touch, and Kingdom Hearts 358/2 titles.

    The next segment kinda keeps the holiday theme going by talking about how much both Pandalicious and NinJaSistah hate Christmas gifts/holiday decorations appearing commercially before Halloween has even happened. In the final segment of the podcast, we give you some of the anime stuff that NinJaSistah has talked about recently, but hasn't made it to your eardrums like Kiba and Maria Watches Over Us.

    It's about that time kids, so grab your morning cup of go juice and enjoy ElectricSistaHood Podcast Episode 175: The Island of Misfit Tangents

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    Cheaper Stuff For JesusPhone?

    posted @ 8/27/2008 02:44:00 PM by Ninjasistah
    If you do, PangeaSoft would like to offer you a reduced price on their game Enigmo for a limited time. And I do mean "limited."

    Starting today at 9am PST, [that's 12pm for those of us on the other coast] through 9pm on Wednesday, September 3, those that purchase the game for their iPhone or iPod touch [running version 2.0 software mind you] will receive a special promotional price of $5.99, which is a four dollah drop from the normal $9.99 price point.

    If you don't know, Enigmo is a 3D puzzle game in which to complete each level the player has to manipulate various streams of flowing liquid so that the droplets can reach their ultimate destination. Liquids (water, oil, and lava) fall from droppers, and will bounce off walls based on the player moving various types of bumpers, sliders, accelerators, and sponges. Your job is to divert the flow of the falling droplets, and the faster you complete each level the more bonus points you receive. Sounds simple right? Wrong.

    Enigmo is a challenging, frustrating, and ultimately fun little iPhone diversion. Just make sure you don't miss your stop off the train because you have to solve this one damn puzzle like I do.

    If you want to buy it, click here

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    In The Beginning: It's A Drug

    posted @ 8/17/2008 01:09:00 AM by Ninjasistah
    I have spent weeks trying to ignore games on the iPhone mostly because the last thing I need is another portable gaming device, but then I heard about this game Aurora Feint: In The Beginning and I got sucked in.

    Aurora Feint reminds me of Tetris and Puyo Puyo Pop in that you spend the bulk of your time trying to get three or four items of the same type in a row in order to explode them and clear out space. In AF you spend your time "mining" elemental substances that allow you to gain new skills to level up your player. Sounds simple and light right? Wrong. AF is one of the most engaging and deep games that I have played on the iPhone. Many a metro stop have I missed as I was in the middle of mining earth stones in order to unlock a new skill or magic to make it over to the tower.

    What makes AF so deep is it's gameplay. Unlike the puzzle games to come before it, part of solving the puzzles that make up AF is that the accelerometer in the iPhone is taken advantage of and used as part of the puzzle itself. In order to get three or four in a row you will at times have to push the puzzle along by rotating the phone so that the element stones will shift and more quickly reveal the next line of stones. You can only move stones horizontally at any time, so rotation of the playing field allows you to link more stones together and get a higher bonus. I used AF to get through waiting in line for "The Dark Knight" iMax [both times] waiting to board my plane to Mass, even getting through some long phone conferences that I had to participate in last week.

    Aurora Feint: In The Beginning is a solid game, and is crazy good for being free... and now that they are through being "delisted" on the iTunes store for grabbing user info in a non-secure manner [it's been removed from the game] it's a definite on the "DOWNLOAD WORTHY" list.

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    An Open Letter to the Folks at Bungie

    posted @ 7/22/2008 02:16:00 PM by evermore
    Dear Bungie,

    I read in Variety this week that you have had some disagreements with your previous owner Microsoft and that was why there was no Halo announcement at E3 this year.

    I know it must be difficult after so many years kowtowing to the likes of Steve Ballmer, and if you think that maybe it's time for a little payback, I've got an idea on how to have a little vengeance against the Evil Empire.

    Give Steve Jobs a call. I understand that it may be a little difficult to get in. Between drinking macrobiotic shakes and counting all that money coming in from WALL-E and emailing to pals on the next version of the iPhone, he's a little busy these days. Tell him you've got an idea.

    First, tell him you've mended your ways. You're sorry you sold out to Microsoft all those years ago and took all those fun games away from the Mac. Then tell him you've got a way to kick the likes of Microsoft, HP, Dell and all those Asian computer makers right in the tail.

    The Halo Mac.

    The Halo Mac is not just a Macintosh with a bunch of decals on it. It's a Mac designed to play Halo. Take a MacBook Air and give it a multi-touch screen, like an iPhone. Just throw the controller away. You have everything you need, between the multi-touch screen and the keyboard.

    Inside, put a processor capable of bringing out the best in Halo, along with a solid-state drive and the maximum amount of RAM possible.

    And keep all the great capabilities of the MacBook intact. The 802.11n network is superior to anything on a console. Voice and video chat is built in -- not an add-on. In fact, you could share your screen with other players. You could even capture your screen play and turn it into Machinima with the free iMovie program on the Mac.

    Imagine the possibilities of a Halo-player that is as light as a MacBook Air and just as useful. The Xbox 360 is OK, but you only move that hot plate when it Red-Rings-Of-Death.

    [MacBook Air photo credit: Tim Malabuyo]

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    Live 3G iPhone Tinkering

    posted @ 7/12/2008 11:27:00 AM by Douceswild
    I've upgraded my 2G iPhone to the new and improved 3G version (even though 3G won't be in my area for a couple of months), and I want to share it with you guys.

    I''ll be streaming live in the Geek Aggro group here. If you're curious about the new firmware 2.0 features and want to see it in action then come have a look. The stream will start at 2pm CST/3pm EST. If you have a profile page on Collective Geek, then I'll be answering questions in the main lobby of the chat box. Come check it out!

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    App. Store Open! Well, Almost

    posted @ 7/10/2008 08:06:00 AM by Douceswild
    There are new additions to your regular old iTunes this morning. If you do a search, you'll find some of the new iPhone applications! Don't believe me? Then check out the AIM Application (iTunes Link).

    Unfortunately, none of the the apps can be used until we get the 2.0 firmware update for iTunes, but it's still awesome to see them showing up. I'm almost positive that as the day progresses, we'll see more apps show up in iTunes.

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    A New Meaning To the Term "Fight Song"

    posted @ 7/07/2008 08:39:00 PM by Douceswild

    Square Enix has officially announced their new rpg...for the iPod!? Song Summoner: The Unsung Heroes has gameplay and graphics in the style of the Final Fantasy Tactics series and Disgaea.

    Are you ready for the kicker? You remember the Monster Rancher game on the Playstation 1 and how you were able to create monsters from just about any CD you had around the house? Well, Song Summoner follows a similar path, allowing you to create an army from songs on your iPod. Here are some pics.

    SONG SUMMONER: The Unsung Heroes
    Publisher: Square Enix, Inc.
    Platform: iPod nano with video, iPod classic and fifth generation iPod
    Genre: Role-Playing
    Launch Date: July 8, 2008
    Price: 4.99 USD (iTunes Store download)

    Game Features

    - Transform your iPod songs into "Tune Troopers" to combat the evil Mechanical Militia.

    - Tune Trooper types and abilities are determined by the songs used to create them.

    - Your Tune Troopers can be powered up even outside of the game--just by listening to the songs you used to create them!

    - Control Ziggy, a "Conductor" that creates warriors out of music, and guide him through his journey to save his brother Zero from the Mechanical Militia.

    - Experience a turn-based tactics battle system, divided into player and enemy phases where each side takes turns maneuvering their forces.

    - Deploy the right troopers at the right time, and use contraptions found on the map effectively to achieve victory in battle!

    - iPod Click Wheelallows players to play the game as easily as selecting music.

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    Apple's WWDC Announces 3G For Me

    posted @ 6/10/2008 12:02:00 AM by Douceswild
    Ok. You guys must be tired of me going on and on about the new iPhone. Well guess what? I got MORE news about the upcoming new iPhone and you don’t want to miss this. The release date has been announced!

    So, Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference started yesterday and will commence through the week. A lot of people predicted that Steve Jobs would announce the new 3G iPhone along with the release date and they were not mistaken. Mr. Jobs also released pricing info, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
    First, let’s talk about some of the features Apple has in store for us starting with the App Store in early July. This will be the main attraction for the 2.0 update. Some of the available apps talked about at The WWDC were:
    1. Super Monkey Ball ($9.99)
    2. Auctions – Ebay tool on your phone. Check listings, winnings, and bid from the phone. (free)
    3. Loopt – a location-aware social network. Displays a map with pins representing where your friends currently are. User profiles show show a log of where the person has been and the photos they’ve sent in. You can call or text them from the app. (free)
    4. TypePad – blogging tool for the iPhone (free)

    These are a few of the apps announced. You can see the entire keynote here.

    Here’s the most important part though! Finally!! A look at the new iPhone, release date, and pricing!!

    Here's Steve doing the honors…

    You know ya’boy Douce has a bit more for you. The prices announced will be with a 2yr service agreement with AT&T. Here’s a bit of info from the inner-circle of AT&T. The 3G data plans will cost $30. That’s ten bucks more than the 2G plans. OMG…They raised the prices again…YOU BASTARDS!!

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    iPhone 2: Faster Data, Lower Price

    posted @ 5/09/2008 12:08:00 PM by Douceswild
    I’ve been enjoying the hell out of my iPhone since it released in June of ’07, but Apple may have me trading it in a month or so for a beefed-up version.

    It’s been confirmed. Apple will be releasing the iPhone 2 very soon (maybe next month). My sources inside the company have tipped me on an up-coming vacation blackout for all employees from either June 9-11 or June 15-19. This the same thing that happened last year before the first iPhone's launch date was released to the public.

    We can expect faster data from the new model as well as a lowered price with a 2-year service agreement, of course. You’ll have the choice of either an 8gig or 16gig model with price tags of $199.99 and $299.99. It was only a matter of time before AT&T figured out a way to lock us into a solid contract, but that’s not bad prices for such an awesome phone. It's unknown as of yet what the retail price of the phone will be and how this will affect the price of the first-generation phone.

    Joyous praises were heard when the news was released that the second-generation iPhone will take advantage of the much faster 3G service. What does this mean for us? Well, it means faster internet for one. It also opens up the possibility of Video Share and Cellular Video a.k.a. Mobile TV. There's also talk of AT&T charging extra for 3G usage...(bastards). I'll be pissed if they raise the charge but it may be worth it not having to wait for the page to load when checking out some ESH goodness.

    There have been rumors of multiple colors as well as a slimmer model. I don’t know how true this is, but I’d love an all black iPhone. I don’t really care if it’s slimmer. The current size of the phone is perfectly fine with me, but I could go for a smudge-resistant screen. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m constantly tapping and swiping that screen all day long and by the time I'm done, a blind cop could lift a print from the screen.

    Start making preparations now to camp your local stores because last year, supplies were gone in minutes at some locations. Keep checking back for more info, because as soon as we know it, you'll know it.

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    Is This the Future of Blockbuster/Circuit City?

    posted @ 4/15/2008 01:01:00 PM by evermore

    Blockbuster is putting out a cool billion for Circuit City -- and they say they want to turn the whole shebang into an Apple Store-like concept. Just in case you can't imagine what that might look like, we present our vision here.

    Of course, having been a customer of both stores, I have my doubts that they really appreciate what the Apple Store concept really is. I mean, you can't just tart up your store with some blonde wood and expect people to flock to it as they do the Apple Store.

    Here's a list of stuff you see in a typical Blockbuster or a Circuit City that you never see in an Apple Store.

    • Anything used
    • Dell computers
    • Microwave popcorn
    • Grey cash registers
    • Monster cables
    • King-Size Snickers bars
    • Vinyl banners
    • Electronic security sniffers
    • Jujy Fruits
    • Going-Out-of-Business sales
    And what do you see in an Apple Store that you don't see in Blockbuster or Circuit City? Customers.

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    Microsoft Copiers Strike Again

    posted @ 4/09/2008 09:09:00 AM by evermore
    It's bad enough that Microsoft copies everything that Apple does and calls it its own, but now it appears that the company is trying to strike gold by Wii-ifying the Xbox.

    Normally, I wouldn't consider MTV News to be a venerable source of hard-hitting journalism, but they did manage quite a scoop this week -- a sketch of a new Xbox controller that looks remarkably like a Wiimote.

    I don't want to hear all that guff about Microsoft being the great innovators. They had a decent marketing department, but the real innovation was from companies like Apple and Sun. I could go on all day about Microsoft innovations that were either bought or stolen, like DOS (bought), Windows Media Player (stolen) and the Aero Glass interface (stolen).

    In fact, I defy you to point out a Microsoft innovation that didn't appear earlier in Unix, Linux, the Amiga or the Macintosh. If you don't believe me, just Google the phrase "Microsoft steals."

    Oh, and if you haven't seen it for a while, here's a representative scene from Pirates of Silicon Valley.

    And now here's something that's gotta be really embarassing. It's from the January 2007 launch of Vista Office. Mike Sievert, the corporate vice president of Microsoft, shows off the online gaming capabilities of Vista, as he challenges his son, who is at home on his Xbox 360, playing (wait for it) UNO!

    "And, of course, this is my Games Explorer. This is what Windows Vista does to make my gaming experience easier than it's ever been, because all of my games are here in one place where I can manage them the same way.

    "I'm going to step into an upcoming release of Uno for Windows Vista, and I'm going to use my Xbox 360 controller plugged right into my Windows Vista machine, and I'm going to pull up a multiplayer game. Because what Uno for Windows Vista can do is something that games before have never been able to do, and that's cross-platform play. You're going to see the familiar Xbox 360 set of settings, and I'm going to use the Microsoft Live gaming platform to see if I can find my 10-year old son Jonathan at home in Seattle, Washington on his Xbox.

    "Now, he goes by the alias, Ice Monkey, and you can see that he's online. That's good because I'm on stage, and this would be important at this point. (Laughter.) And I'm going to go ahead and select him and invite him to play this game of Uno with me.

    "Now, you know, I travel quite a bit, and maybe I'm in a hotel room in Tokyo with my Windows Vista laptop, and it's really important that I'm able to have connections with my family when I'm gone. And this scenario is fantastic because it allows me to steal away a few minutes to play a game with Jonathan across thousands of miles, eight time zones, and two gaming platforms.

    "Take a look at this as I press Start. We launch into a game together and in just a moment across all those times we'll be playing cross-platform game play.

    "There it is. Now you need to applaud that, because I had to wait a minute. All right. (Applause.) And there it is, we're all in this game playing across the thousands of miles, me on my Windows Vista machine, and Jonathan on his Xbox."

    The guy even has to beg for applause.

    Sievert left Microsoft in February of this year. I guess you can take only so much UNO.

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    Product Review: iPhone Defender By OtterBox

    posted @ 3/31/2008 11:37:00 PM by FreeLoader
    When it comes to listing the current sexy [and expensive] cell phone gadgets, there's no denying that the Apple iPhone is seated firmly at the top of the list. If you have an iPhone and are terrified of damaging it, then this post may be helpful for you. I'm going to review the iPhone Defender case for the iPhone by OtterBox.

    There are a lot of different cases made by a plethora of different companies that serve can project your precious device in various ways. If you carry your iPhone in your pocket then you probably are looking for a case that doesn't add a lot of bulk to your device, and that will protect it from the other items you may have in your pocket. If you carry it in a bag, you may look for a case that will keep your iPhone from being dented by the heavier items in your bag, or from liquids that you carry along with you during your daily commute. After a month with the iPhone Defender Series case by OtterBox, I can say that the Defender series can be a great protective case for your iPhone. Like many of the cases that OtterBox is known for creating, the iPhone Defender is a water resistant hard case with protection in mind. It features a silicone membrane that slips over the main hard case which aids in your gripping the phone so it doesn't slip out of your hand, or off the dashboard of your car. The hard case itself is made up of two interlocking pieces that once closed leave the headphone jack and dock connector area of the iPhone exposed for easy connection to your peripherals. It's good to note that the iPhone is not dockable when in this case. The texture of the membrane is keeps the phone comfortable in your hand if you have to hold the phone for long periods of time, which you are familiar with if you've ever used the google map feature for driving directions.

    The Defender comes with a hard plastic holster with swivel clip that complements the case, but add quite a bit to it's overall bulk and is the first negative thing I have to say about the Defender. While the holster is solid, and firmly locks in place as you swivel, it's hard to overlook how much it affects the footprint of the iPhone. The clip of the holster is broad and not easily swayed from the pocket or belt you clip it on. While in the holster, you will only have access to the sleep/wake button at the top of the phone, the headphone jack, and the volume controls on the side of the device. This is where my other major complaint about this particular case comes in. While a great amount of detail went into this case, you have no access to the silence switch at all while your phone is encased in it. The only way you can turn sound on and off is by using the settings controls on the phone which is tedious at best.

    All in all, the OtterBox iPhone Defender Case delivers everything it promises: protection against light precipitation, bumping, dropping, dirt and dust for your 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB iphone. It is not as affordable as some of the other cases that offer similar protection, but $49.95 is a small price to pay for extra protection of your $399 or $499 iPhone.

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    CES Day 1 -- OMG

    posted @ 1/07/2008 04:53:00 PM by Ninjasistah

    I've descended on CES Day 1 and while it doesn't take up anymore space than last year, it feels bigger somehow. I don't know if it is because there are more press kits, or little swag goodies being given away, but it definitely feels different.

    The one thing I keep overhearing as I walk through the halls, the actual "real" press loves the fact that there's the new Blogger designation for press, and that bloggers are completely separate from them. We have our own little press lounges and we have our own little luncheon rooms. And there are definitely a lot of bloggers here. We're easy to spot because we're in our kick-it clothes, as opposed to full suits and adultware.

    But back to tech stuff. The big push this year, from what I've seen so far, is a focus on consumer lifestyle. While the technology is getting a big push -- and I'll have more on that in the coming days -- what I'm seeing more is a focus on the style of consumer devices to match an individual style more than additional functions on machines.

    Take Philips, for example, their focus is on making more gorgeous-looking tech devices, like their new Aurea line, which looks like an iMac. Actually, it looks damn much like an iMac (see below). But they haven't brought their prices down. You'll still be paying top dollar for a TV that has all the buzzwords you want -- 1080p, multiple inputs, the things you come to expect from new LCD TVs.

    But the main thing is that it is so overwhelming. No one's been able to make their devices stand head and shoulders above anyone else's -- which surprises me, but then again, it's just day 1. It's very possible that this will change before the show ends Thursday. I just don't know.

    Oh yeah, and the last thing? There are way too many accessories for iPods and iPhones. There's no way to start a comparison, but I'm going to give it the college try.

    So more is coming soon -- and maybe with pictures.

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    App Developers: Start Your Engines

    posted @ 10/18/2007 11:36:00 AM by Ninjasistah
    Here's a big yay for you kids...

    Third party apps are coming to the iPhonenext spring.

    I saw this note on the Apple hotnews page and then a post on Wired and I got all happy in the pants area. Then I realized it was just because I was getting a text message on my iphone and I had it on vibrate. Whoopsies!

    So, for all the people bitching about there not being a GPS app on the phone without cracking the sucker [thus voiding their warranty] quit yer bitchin' and get to coding. I want to see a true NES emulator and blogger native app by the summer.

    That is all.

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    posted @ 9/06/2007 12:15:00 AM by Douceswild

    We all knew it was going to happen, but not even I suspected it would be this soon. A price drop on the iPhone was inevitable but why so soon after its release a mere two months ago?

    Steve Jobs had plenty to announce at Apple'€™s September 5th 2007 Special Event, but the announcement that sent people running to their nearest AT&T and Apple store was the $200 price drop on the iPhone.  The 4gig will now sell for $299 and the 8gig is priced at $399. AT&T announced the price drop to employees this afternoon as effective immediately.

    This huge price cut has people asking "WTF?". At the top of the list of puzzled people are those who stood in line for hours and even days to get the phone at its extravagant release price of $499 and $599. Some say it'€™s because the iPhone sales have slacked since release. Others say it'€™s because Apple has something else up their sleeves. If you ask me, I'€™d say it's a bit of both. It'€™s a fact that iPhone sales have slowed considerably but with the holidays approaching, sales might have picked up a bit. If I was a betting man, then my money would go towards the price drop being due to the other products that were also announced at the event, such as the new iPod Nano and iPod Touch

    Whatever the reason is, now is an excellent time to pick one up if you haven'€™t already. If I were you, I'€™d move quickly, especially if you were hoping for the 4gig, because AT&T also tagged that particular model as "€œwhile supplies lasts"€. They will no longer be carrying the 4gig, which to me, was pointless anyway seeing as how $100 more gets you double the memory. 

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    Your Thoughts on the iPhone?

    posted @ 7/29/2007 11:12:00 PM by Douceswild
    The iPhone launch has come and gone. People all over are finally able to see and actually touch what is being called “the most anticipated cell phone in history”. I picked one up and I love it, but instead of focusing on what I think, let’s flip things around.

    On June 29th millions lined up outside of AT&T and Apple stores around the U.S. to purchase the iPhone. You were probably one of those people or watched the videos on YouTube of others paying big bucks for prime spots in line to get one. I was fortunate enough to get one and I can say that I have no regrets about the purchase. I will say that the phone is overpriced when compared to some other phones that do a lot more than what the iPhone does. Although you can use third party java sites to make the phone instant messenger capable, I would have gladly traded the built-in YouTube application for an instant messenger application.

    What I’d like to know is now that most of the hype about the iPhone has died down, what do you guys think about the phone? If you picked one up, do you think it’s worth it? If you didn’t get one then I’d like to know why. This is your chance to let me know how crazy or smart I was for grabbing one on launch day. Let me have it people.

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    Ya Otter Box That iPhone

    posted @ 7/19/2007 10:26:00 PM by evermore
    I've seen people drop them and try to scratch them. I've even seen a guy put it in an industrial blender and turn it into dust, but I want to make sure my iPhone doesn't meet that sorry fate.

    I don't have my iPhone yet -- it should be just a few more days. But that hasn't kept me from investigating my options for protecting it from myself. I've been very fortunate with my previous cell phones and iPods. I've had a few minor mishaps over the years, but nothing that has ever resulted in real injury.

    When I heard that Otterbox was releasing a case for the iPhone, I was relieved. Their stuff has always been top notch, so I expect their case for the iPhone won't be any different. You can see photos of the cases on this page, but don't expect to see them in the field for "several months," according to the press release that we got here at ElectricSistaHoodquarters.

    Remember what the Sistahs say: Always bring protection.

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    Exclusive First Look: Nano iPhone with TouchDial™

    posted @ 7/11/2007 02:35:00 PM by evermore
    ElectricSistaHood gives you the exclusive first look at the future of digital interfaces -- the new TouchDial™ that will be part of Apple's next iPhone model.

    The TouchDial™, seen here, is a revolutionary new interface that expands on Apple's legendary ClickWheel interface, giving you a tactile feel for operating a telephone that is beyond compare!

    Note the round interface with 10 smaller round openings that allow for easy operation. This GlideAround™ motion allows your finger to simply glide around the center of the interface, giving your finger the sensation of flying. And the rugged StopGlide™ mechanism gives your finger a positive place to discontinue the glide-around motion.

    Note that the TouchDial™ not only includes numbers, but letters as well, making it easier than ever to keep those SMS messages as short as possible. You'll never want to use an "T" or a "Y" in your messages again! (Note also that some letters are no longer represented -- you didn't really want to use a "Q" or a "Z" in your messages, did you?)

    The TouchDial™ will be used on the Nano-sized iPhone, to be announced at some point between tomorrow and January 2012.

    Also rumored is a voice-activated interface for the Shuffle-sized iPhone that will utilize a unique human-based system that is similar to the one used by Barney Fife when he calls "Sarah" at the "Phone Company" to connect him to another party on The Andy Griffith Show, to be trademarked under the name LadyOperator™.

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    UMG Cuts Off Nose, Face Feels Spited

    posted @ 7/09/2007 12:40:00 PM by evermore
    What are the three most important things in retail sales? Location, location, location. That is, unless you're Universal Music Group.

    UMG announced this week that some artists it currently promotes will be denied availability on iTunes. Supposedly, this is to punish Apple for making iTunes the overwhelming No. 1 way to buy music online.

    So who will it be, Universal? Will you ban the Black Eyed Peas from iTunes? I saw Diana Krall perform in Vegas last month. Will her records be stricken from the iTunes library? Or how about the Pussycat Dolls? Maybe you should forget about putting those girls on your iPod.

    Will George Strait find himself straight out of the iTunes library? Or Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Eminem? Could be Eve or Gwen Stefani or Melissa Etheridge or Mariah Carey or Sheryl Crow or Shania Twain or Reba McEntire? I'd suggest Universal refrain from keeping Reba off of iTunes. She's from a rodeo family. She could beat them up.

    I saw Erykah Badu in 2004 at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Surely they wouldn't strike her from iTunes. Or bands like blink-182, Bon Jovi, Fall Out Boy, Godsmack, Hoobastank, The Killers, 3 Doors Down and Weezer. No iPod access for you while you're available only in Windows format.

    Ashlee Simpson! She's a UMG act! Please say it's Ashlee Simpson that you're keeping out of iTunes!

    But as for Stevie Wonder, Sting, Elton John, The Cardigans and Wolfmother, UMG could seriously damage their careers by keeping them out of an iPhone.

    UMG might as well go and tell Best Buy to shove it. Or maybe they should start making music discs that are playable only in a Sony PSP.

    That angry noise you hear in the background is UMG's face as the company takes a knife to its own nose.

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    Mac and PC, 1 Million Years B.C.

    posted @ 3/14/2007 04:24:00 PM by evermore
    The fight between the Macintosh and the PC has gone on for years -- about a million of them, by our count. Our comic shows one early battle...

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    Cingular (The New AT&T) Really Raises the Bar

    posted @ 1/31/2007 11:28:00 PM by Douceswild
    This years Macworld brought news of what is sure to be one of the hottest gadgets of 2007, Apple’s iPhone. It was also announced that Cingular would be the only cell phone company carrying the phone for a long time. Douce is here to fill you in on what Cingular has planned for its release.

    I’m sitting at CC’s drinking a cup of coffee and pecking away on my laptop when I hear a guy and a girl sitting one both over from me talking about Apple’s new iPhone. I’m going to use fictitious names because even though I was eavesdropping, I have no clue what their names are. I hear Pete tell Sue that he can’t wait until the iPhone comes out in June. Sue says she’s seen it and she can’t wait to pick one up either but she’s not sure if the phone will work with her T-Mobile service because the phone will be exclusive to Cingular. Pete assures her that if she just goes in to a Cingular store and purchases one at retail price then he can get it unlocked for her. Pete goes on to say that he has Cingular service but isn’t eligible for an upgrade until the end of 2008, meaning that he renewed his Cingular contract at the end of 2006 for two years and received a discount on a new cell phone. He will not be eligible for another discount for two years.

    As I listen to Pete and Sue make plans to get the iPhone in June, I can’t help but snicker to myself for a number of reasons. There are a few kinks in their plans that I wanted to make them aware of but I didn’t because it was so darn funny. Here is what Pete and Sue will find out about the iPhone sooner or later, but hopefully sooner.

    1. Cingular is not allowing the purchase of the iPhone WITHOUT a two-year contract. In other words, you no get Cingular service, you no get Cingular iPhone from Cingular store.
    2. Even if you currently have Cingular service, if you are not eligible for an upgrade then you cannot purchase the phone. Again, no two-year contract, no iPhone. Retail purchase is not an option.

    Cingular may decide to change these regulations as the release date gets closer, but as of right now, all I can do is snicker at Pete and Sue and shake my head.

    Poor Pete. Poor Sue. Cingular raised that bar even higher. I hope you can jump.

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    Is This the Next Great Mobile Gaming Device?

    posted @ 1/09/2007 11:44:00 PM by evermore
    What would you think of a mobile gaming device with these specifications? It's only 0.46 inches thick. It has a speaker, a microphone and a camera. Held horizontally, its screen is 480 pixels wide, just like the PlayStation Portable, and 320 pixels tall, nearly 50 pixels taller than the PSP's 272 pixels. At 160 pixels per inch, its screen is the most dense of any standalone portable gaming device. It's got up to 8 GIGABYTES of RAM (compared to the PSP's 32 MEGABYTES). It's got touchscreen controls. It has 802.11 b and g Wi-Fi capabilities (PSP has only b) and Bluetooth built in.

    Oh yeah, it's also a mobile phone, an internet browser and an iPod.

    The iPhone, announced earlier today during Apple's MacWorld keynote speech, is a whole lotta things. Most people are going to buy it because it's an amazing mobile phone combined with an iPod. But there are a lot of reasons why it could become a force among gamers.

    First of all, its mere specifications make it better than any standalone mobile gaming system. Although the screen is not physically as large as the PSP (the iPhone's screen is only 3.5 inches, compared to 4.3 inches for the PSP), it meets the PSP in pixel width and exceeds the PSP in pixel height -- the PSP's pixels are simply larger and, as a result, coarser.

    The iPhone is half as thin (0.46 inches vs. the PSP's 0.9 inches) and half as heavy (135 grams vs. the PSP's 280 grams). Held horizontally, it is a third less in width (4.5 inches vs. PSP's 6.7 inches) and a half-inch less in height (2.4 inches vs. PSP's 2.9 inches).

    There's just one problem: no games.

    The gaming market for the Macintosh dried up when the computer's 10th operating system OS X arrived in 2000. But the iPhone is exactly the catalyst that could turn things around for gaming on the Mac.

    The iPhone shows great potential in this area. It has Google Maps and the Opera browser built in. It has "push" email, provided by Yahoo, which gives it email capabilities similar to that on a Blackberry. It is able to run Apple's Dashboard widgets, which should at least allow for simple games when it is available in June. Everything else is a big question mark: How much RAM is there? What is the graphics card? Is there stereo Bluetooth support? Will third-party Dashboard widgets work? Is there going to be a Software Development Kit to allow high-end game makers access to the device?

    Perhaps few people will even care. With the Nintendo DS and PSP slugging it out on the high end and LG, Samsung, Nokia and other cellphone makers battling each other in that arena, maybe no one will take a second look at gaming on an iPhone.

    But the sheer combination of all those different technologies sure is intriguing, isn't it?

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    Game Hardware Shopper

    posted @ 12/03/2006 11:43:00 PM by geekwoman
    Holiday Hardware Guide by Geek Woman

    If you are looking for some shopping advice on game hardware for the female, or male, gamer on your list then hopefully this article will help you understand it all. The location that is preferred for a game environment is an important choice to be aware of if you are shopping for games and accessories for your gamer. Games come in three basic types which are the PC, Console or Handheld. I'm going to try and give you the keys to the kingdom of the consoles.

    First of all "What is a game console?" These are a box like machine that you attach to a TV set. Games are played with a controller that is held in the hands and effects the action on the screen. These have indeed been around since Pong and Pac Man, and if that is where you left the game trail, then you might be glad to know that those old school or retro games are still offered, in game packs and collections. Sometimes they have been updated and upgraded. If you want to pick up something like that for a gift you need to know the brand name and the model of the console or game device that your gamer has. Write it down and take it with you when you go shopping.

    Some people opt for playing games on their PC rather than on the television. It seems that older people and women are the dominant demographic that enjoy using the PC for gaming. PC game - play are very popular for playing the massively multiplayer online games or MMOG's. Games such as World of Warcraft or Guild Wars are played on a PC with a keyboard and mouse. These games enable the player to interact with thousands of other players. Some of them also include the ability to talk to the other people while you are playing with them. Thought those features have been developing more slowly on PC. If your friend is playing an MMO there aren't many additional accessories for those. If they are a Guild Wars Player they may not have the new chapter called Nightfall which is a great game to add to the original Guild Wars or to buy it as a stand alone game. There are the Limited Edition Keyboards that are available for the MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing) games that are good looking and work well which are sold by a company called Zboard. Zboards

    Perhaps the best way to determine what console to buy is to go by the age of the person who will be playing it. Right now there are three "next gen" consoles. Last year in November Microsoft upgraded their hardware and it is called the Xbox 360. It has mid - range graphics. There are over 100 games available for it at this time. The games are mainly of the first person shooter type or FPS and sports games. If you have heard of Halo 2 and Gears of War, or Oblivion those are titles for the Xbox 360. These games are for a mature crowd. The action is fast paced and bloody. Often the most popular games for the "360" carry a "T" for Teen or an "M" for Mature rating. Those ESRB ratings mean that Teens of 17 and 18 years old and above are the recommended age limit. These ratings can mean that there could be language or behaviors that some people would consider too crude for younger kids. It is no joke either. If you have a mix of older and younger kids in the house, the choice of games is crucial and requires your attention as much as monitoring what movies on DVD or cable that your younger kids could get into.

    With Xbox the online aspect is called Xbox Live. A paid subscription is required for this additional service. With the online feature more games and demos are available to download directly into the console. The console can be bought with one of a few choices of hard drive size for saving downloadable games and other functions. Xbox Live gives players access to playing with many other players at the same time. It isn't 'massively' multiplayer as it is with with PC. Although large groups of strangers can interact with each other in an open ended party - line conversation. There are over 4 million users on Xbox Live. Xbox Live has something of a reputation for "Trash -Talking" which in short, means that a player that is wearing the headphones is opening themselves up to the possibility of hearing unkind and curse word laced tirades about the flaws in their game from other players. There is no one monitoring these conversations and there is no one censoring what the others could be saying. Because of this tendency, I would not recommend the Xbox 360 for little girls or young women under 18.

    Costs for the annual subscription is approximately $50 US, its called Xbox Live Gold which includes voice chat, and Xbox Marketplace for gamers to buy and sell content. Sometimes original games, and old school arcade titles are downloadable. Xbox 360 works on HD TVs. They claim to have 250 old Xbox or "original Xbox" games that will play on the new console. Be careful to look up a list online for games that are called "backwards compatible" prior to inserting an old Xbox game into the Xbox 360. The digital media that it plays are DVD-Video, DVD-ROM, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, WMA CD, MP3 CD, JPEG Photo CD.

    Microsoft has two variations of Xbox 360 available for sale. One has the Xbox 360 faceplate, and a Silver Xbox Live package, $300 known as a core package, that comes with one wired controller, standard A/V cable, and the console. The Gold package is required to actually play online games. There is a $400 system with a 20 GB hard drive, Xbox 360 Remote Controller, High Definition TV component cables, Xbox 360 headset and a wireless controller.

    Next the Playstation 3 was released last week the manufacturer's suggested retail price is between $600 and $700 dollars US. It has been in the news and has gotten some bad press. Most of the incidents involved mismanagement of the long lines of people who were camping out to be able to get the very low quantity of these premium machines that were produced. One Massachusetts man was shot in a hold up of a line of customers waiting outside a store in Putnam Connecticut. The gunmen were attempting a hold up when this man refused to pay them. Because Sony was not able to make enough of these complicated advanced machines to fulfill the demands for them, it created chaos in several ways.

    In the past Playstation 2 has been the most popular gaming console in the US with the most millions sold. Perhaps Sony should have waited to launch the sale until they had more of them ready. The PS3 Platform plays a few more accessories peripherals than the 360. It also boasts to be the most graphically advanced system. The new Blu-Ray Disc™ is a type of High Definition disk for playing movies that is supposed to be the future of disk published media. The way that DVD's replaced VHS a few years ago. The PS3 has what is called a SIXAXIS™ wireless controller that interacts with the screen in a close to 3D experience. You can use your Playstation 3 with High-Definition displays as well as conventional or standard TVs. It comes with either a 20GB or 60GB removable hard disk drive (HDD). The thousands of PS One® and PS2 PlayStation®2 games as well as CDs and DVDs are useable on the PLAYSTATION®3. The thing supposedly plays just about everything including some digital photo cards.

    The PS3 has online capabilities including multiplayer gaming, text and video messaging, voice chat, downloading content and browsing the web. Even though the PS3 has impressive technical specifications, you may not be able to get one for the December holidays. It could be a moot point until sometime next Spring. There are over inflated PS3 prices on ebay, and buying those is not only exorbitantly expensive, but could be risky as well.

    The PLAYSTATION®3 is available in two configurations with either the 20GB hard disk drive or the 60GB HDD. Some PlayStation 2 or PlayStation format software titles may perform differently on the system than they do on the native systems for example the PS3 doesn't support a vibration controller.

    Then last Sunday the offering of the first Nintendo Wii consoles' launch was a 1960's "Love In" where the people in lines waiting were exchanging free hugs, ordering lunch for each other and playing games together. Something can be said about the two different types of people that were attending these launch parties. For the most part the Nintendo Wii draws a younger crowd and is most popular with younger kids and people that enjoy Nintendo's cute and quirky games.

    There are approximately 50 games for the Wii, and we are told that there will be enough of the consoles to go around. Nintendo and developers seem to be in a rush to create new games for this innovative new product. Nintendo wanted to bring gaming to everyone, and has many titles that are rated for all ages and for kids. They went one more step and made a controller that is supposed to be easier to pick up and play since it is designed to resemble a television remote controller. You play with two hands and the actions resemble the actual movements of slashing a sword or driving. The remote is used as a handheld pointing device and can detect motion and rotation in three dimensions . The controller set called the "nun-chucks and wii-mote" interact with a sensor strip that you placer near your TV for a realistic complete 3D experience. A one-handed controller that uses a combination of accelerometers and infrared detection in conjunction with the sensor bar to sense its position in 3D space. Some people have found the workout to be a bit strenuous

    The Nintendo Wii is not all things to all people the way that the other two consoles are attempting to be an all around media hub that takes the place of all the other components in your home entertainment center. What the Wii does do is add another level of fun and mirthfulness back into games. The unique controller has been a big hit so far and has gotten high marks from every reviewer. It is rare for something so gimmicky and unusual to get such a unanimous welcome from the jaded and snarky gaming community. People that have the 360 are getting the Wii too because it is like the apples and oranges in the PC world yet again.

    The Wii is an ideal choice for a household with older and younger kids, seniors, and for the homes that do not have a High Definition TV set. Those aren't interested in the more mature titles, and those chat capabilities that are for adults or older kids can have a fairly safe online experience with the privacy and Friend policies from Nintendo. The console also features its own online service WiiConnect24 , which enables it to receive messages and updates over the Internet. The Wii console won the Game Critics Awards for Best of Show and Best Hardware. The console has a few kid safety features such as parental controls to prohibit younger kids from playing the wrong games. It reads the content rating and won't play games that are not set to the right age level.

    The number of Wii consoles that will be available in the Americas during the launch rollout are expected to meet demand and sales of 4 million consoles worldwide by the end of 2006 are anticipated. The company affirmed that they "are working to ensure a plentiful supply and a consistent flow."

    The launch Wii package includes the console, a stand to allow the console to be placed vertically, a circular clear stabilizer for the main stand, one Wii Remote, one Nunchuk attachment, one Sensor Bar, a removable stand for the sensor bar, one external main power adapter, AV cables (component video and other type of cables will be available separately), and a copy of Wii Sports in the US and Canada. The Wii console is the smallest home console unit of the three contenders and the least expensive at $250. US. The front of the console features a slot-loading media drive lit up by a by distinct blue light and it accepts both Wii software and discs from Nintendo's prior console, the Game-Cube. They are telling us that it is fully backwards compatible with all the Previous Game Cube games.

    Additionally the interface for the console is designed around the concept of television channels, with a Wii Menu. Nintendo will not charge fees for playing games from the service. Channels are graphically displayed, and are navigated using the point of the Wii Remote. They are the Disc Channel, Mii Channel, News Channel, Forecast Channel, Photo Channel, Wii Shop Channel, Internet Channel. The Virtual Console Channel is basically an “online service, similar to Xbox Live Arcade. The Nintendo DS will be able to play game demos downloaded from the Wii console which gamers would receive from Nintendo, similar to a DS Download Station. Gamers can download retro games not only for the NES, Super NES, and Nintendo 64, but also Sega’s Genesis, NEC’s TurboGrafx-16 and others. The Wii has average graphics and only a 512 MB built-in flash memory, expansion is available via SD card memory, up to 2 GB max. It will take Game-Cube Memory Cards for saving GCN games only.

    In addition to the larger game consoles or PC games that you find at home, mobile games have become very popular. The Nintendo DS is a hand held, rechargeable dual screen portable game system. It comes in a variety of colors and it is pocket sized. It is the most popular handheld game console, which easily buried the competition, which were the Sony PSP and the N-Gage. it has continued to hold the record for the most units sold just as the Game Boy has for years. It comes in two sizes. The original unit that made its debut last year, is referred to as the 'NDS' and it can play both the library of Game Boy Advance games as well as games for the DS. The DS Lite is a smaller sleeker version of the same DS machine, but it smaller and does not have the additional slot for the GBA games. You can find several reviews and editorials about the DS right on this website. Nintendo DS and the Wii are expected to have a type of connectivity to use functions like the Nintendo DS's microphone and touch-screen as inputs for Wii games like Pokémon Battle Revolution. It is expected that all of Nintendo's huge repertoire of well known game franchises, such as Zelda, Metroid, Mario, Animal Crossing, and Pokémon will come to the Wii in some form.

    For very tiny kids and toddlers Leapster has the education interactive toys for under $100 Leapster

    For an easy comparison chart you can check out Gamefly. They have a chart showing the three consoles. The Nintendo Wii, the Xbox 360, and the Playstation 3. Renting games or giving a Gamefly subscription is a good gift idea.

    For a stocking stuffer I recommend Geek Woman's Game Guide 2006

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    Daily News: Microsoft to Apple: Get Zuned

    posted @ 10/19/2006 11:20:00 PM by evermore
    In today's news:
    • Microsoft tells Apple to Zune itself
    • A feature no one asked for
    • Wii and PS3 kiosks heading to stores
    • The week's best quotes
    • One of those anime things

    When General Motors tried to sell the Chevy Nova in Mexico during the 1960s, they discovered an unfortunate problem. In Spanish, the word "nova" means "no-go." Well, the brainiacs at Microsoft didn't seem to care to check out the name of their new MP3 player against the world's major languages. When told the meaning of the word pronounced Zee-yoon in Hebrew, the conversation with Bill Gates undoubtedly went something like this:

    Microserf: Uh, Mr. Gates, there's a problem with the new Zune.
    Bill Gates: A problem? Is it that damn brown color?
    Microserf: No, it's not that, sir. It's... it's... it's the name.
    Bill Gates: The name? What's wrong with the name?
    Microserf: Well, uh, in Hebrew it means... it means...
    Bill Gates: Spit it out, boy. It couldn't be that bad.
    Microserf: It means FUCK!
    Bill Gates: FUCK? Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

    Last week, Sony introduced a new Walkman MP3 player to compete with Apple's iPod. The big, new, iPod-killing feature of this one? The ability to upload music directly from a compact-disc player. Think about this for a moment: Most CD players run at 1X speed, meaning a 45-minute-long CD will take exactly 45 minutes to upload the songs to the player. If you let the batteries run dry, you'll have to upload the whole thing again.

    And, as NinjaSistah asked when I told her about it, who owns CD's anymore?

    Sony's not worried about the PS3 overheating, right? Then why are they installing an extra cooling fan in their store kiosks? Read about it here.

    Speaking of kiosks, Wii and PS3 kiosks are already winging their way to Best Buy, Wal-Mart, GameStop and EBGames stores. Call your favorite store to see if it has already arrived. More...

    Don't play the Wii in direct sunlight. That's the word of a blogger on the Nintendo Gal website: "That's right, if you have the sun beaming right onto the sensor bar, it doesn't work." More...

    "For this Christmas I think the price for what it specifically does as a video games machine [it] is a bit pricey..."
    -- Sony Computer Entertainment Australia Managing Director Michael Ephraim, talking about the Wii's price. From Australia's Age newspaper.

    "E3 is not a place where product is sold anymore. The industry is recognized as a big part of mainstream culture, so the need for a big glittering event to validate the industry is not what it used to be," he said. "What is needed ... is to focus on the fact that E3 is much more about media-related opportunities. The question is what is the most efficient way to create those opportunities."
    -- Douglas Lowenstein, president of the Entertainment Software Association, the trade association that owns E3.From

    "When building a house, traditional Japanese builders start with the tiniest detail and gradually expand from there. Western builders are the opposite. They start with the picture of a whole and add details to it. When Westerners look at old Japanese buildings, they often wonder how the builders drew the blueprint for such a complex shape. But the secret is that there never was a blueprint. It is this fundamental difference in approach that makes Japanese buildings fascinating to their eyes. The same thing can be said about animation. The way we create large images for movies is similar to that traditional architectural method. I think that explains the appeal Japanese animation can have, particularly in the western world."
    -- Toshio Suzuki, president of Japan's Studio Ghibli. From the Wall Street Journal

    Naruto, Vol. 5 - Shinobi Weapons: As I was saying yesterday, join three young ninjas -- Naruto Uzumaki, Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno -- as they continue their training. Sort of like Pokemon without all the dang cards, eh? Get the thing here.

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    Daily News: The Polls are Open

    posted @ 10/18/2006 11:18:00 PM by evermore
    In today's news:
    • One election the fanboys won't want to miss
    • Sony's battery problems hit home
    • Wii remote programming made easier
    • Anime Network expands to more cable systems
    • Here a Trekkie Otaku wet dream

    Vote early, vote often: November's issue of Playboy magazine features the winners of the 2006 Women of Video Games contest, so it's too late to vote. But you can still catch a glimpse of the contestants here. There's also a link to the Amp'd Mobile sweepstakes to win the ability to play video games in the Playboy mansion's game room with two Playmates.

    Vaio Con Dios: Sony laptop owners became the latest victims of the Sony computer battery scandal as the company recalled 90,000 batteries from Vaio laptops sold in Japan and Korea, with news about the recall of U.S. batteries still to be announced. Here's the latest tally, as of Oct. 17:

    Nintendo making life easier for programmers: If the early users are right, the Nintendo Wii Remote is a hit. And now Nintendo and AiLive are making it easier for programmers to incorporate the remote in their games. Using a new artificial intelligence product called LiveMove, developers no longer have to hand-code remote movements into their games. Instead, the developers can directly train the remote by example. "LiveMove will allow the game industry to move away from indirect digital control to more natural analog control for the first time," said Dr. Wei Yen, chairman of AiLive.

    Anime Network reach grows: If you get your cable TV from RCN, Insight or Cogeco Cable, you're could start getting Anime Network. The company announced the new carriage deals Monday for its popular subscription-based video-on-demand service. "Anime has a very passionate following and is exactly the kind of on demand content we believe will be successful and will attract new viewers," said Melani Griffith, vice president of programming at Insight.

    New Manga creates Trekkie Otaku wet dream: It's the Starship Enterprise against Gundam-style mobile suits in "Star Trek: Shinsei Shinsei," the first Manga version of Star Trek officially sanctioned by Paramount. No need to know more about it. Here's how to get it.

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    Daily News: Judge Says "In Your Face, Jack Thompson!"

    posted @ 10/15/2006 11:28:00 PM by evermore
    In today's news:
    • Judge not bullied by Jack Thompson
    • Pick your favorite video game boss
    • Yet more Sony batteries recalled
    • Yet more Tenchi

    Florida judge OK's Bully: Although he doesn't want his kids playing it, Ronald Friedman, a circuit court judge in Miami-Dade County, Fla., said it is not violent enough to ban it. "There's a lot of violence," Judge Ronald Friedman said in court Friday, according to a story in the Miami Herald. "A whole lot. Less than we see on television every night." Friedman didn't offer a ruling, saying he would consider the matter further if Coral Gables attorney Jack Thompson wanted to schedule a hearing after the game is released. Thompson, who brought the complaint, said he doesn't plan to revisit the issue.

    It's National Boss Day -- Here are the top video game bosses: "Instead of leaving goopy Hallmark cards on the desks of the higher-ups around here," the video game fans at decided to choose the top 20 bosses in video game history. We won't reveal the list here, so you should just surf over to read it for yourself. And be sure to comment if your choices differ.

    More Sony batteries recalled: Sony reports no reports of additional battery accidents, but another 79,000 of the company's batteries were recalled on Friday. Sharp Corp. said it was recalling 28,000 batteries made by Sony and Fujitsu said it was recalling an additional 51,000 battereis, bringing the total number of computer batteries recalled to more than 7.7 million. Here are the current recall numbers, as of Sunday, Oct. 15:


    More Tenchi: In Tenchi Muyo! Ryo Ohki: Final Confrontations, it's the aftermath of Tenchi's battle with Z, and events are once again proceeding as they should. With normal life back on track, Tenchi's father and grandfather decide the time is right to tell him the truth about his mother's death. One thing in certain - on this day, the answers to all of Tenchi's burning questions will be revealed. Final volume comes packaged in collectible tin. Get it all right here.

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    Daily News: Wii Preorders at GameStop Friday?

    posted @ 10/11/2006 11:19:00 PM by evermore
    In today's news:
    • Preordering will be Wii-sier
    • Sony's in the red until 2011
    • Ballmer's so hip, he's not
    • Burger King's advertising in your favorite games
    • Tenchi's back

    Even if you miss it, you probably won't miss it: With an estimated 2 million Wii consoles available for sale on Day 1, do you even need to preorder one? In any case, the Nintendo Gal blog reports that GameStop and EBGames stores will start taking preorders on Friday (Oct. 13) for a $25-50 downpayment. Want to stand in line? At least you might be able to talk to some other avid gamers.

    When will Sony's business be profitable again? In a Wall Street Journal story, Fitch Ratings has announced that it expects Sony's financial performance to continue to weaken in the next year or two and that it could incur losses in the videogame business for up to five years. Fitch cites Sony's heavy investment in new technologies, tough competition and the current computer battery scandal. In the last fiscal year, Sony's consolidated debt was $37.13 billion.

    The Reverse Hipness of Steve Ballmer: How out-of-it is Steve Ballmer, the head honcho at Microsoft? It's easy to judge by his quote to BusinessWeek magazine regarding the wireless capabilities of his company's forthcoming Zune media player: "I want to squirt you a picture of my kids. You want to squirt me back a video of your vacation. That's a software experience." Squirt? I can't imagine Steve Jobs of Apple telling anyone he wants to "squirt" something to them.

    Burger King Replaces Don King in the Ring In-game ads are becoming more prolific and nothing demonstrates this more than Fight Night Round 3, in which an avatar of the iconic King joins your entourage when you win a Burger King-sponsored event. Heck, they should do this at real boxing matches. I think we would all welcome the flamboyant, yet silent King appearing in the ring after the match instead of noisy ol' Don King.

    Bottom of the Third, Tenchi Up to Bat It's the end of the third Tenchi OVA as Mihoshi’s brother has come to Earth to pursue a deadly mission. Everything seems under control until warrior Z storms in to kill Tenchi and claim his place as the ruler of the universe! Can Tenchi’s Light Hawk Wings save the day? Only one way to find out.

    Newsfree Fridays: No Daily News on Friday. Instead, look for the latest installment of my Robot's Letters to God. This month I'm featuring The Forgotten Robots.

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    Daily News: Days of Our Lives

    posted @ 10/07/2006 12:19:00 AM by evermore
    In today's issue, get a Second Life, get a Half Life and get much more.

    Adding More Lives to Second Life: Second Life fans will be glad to know there are some new tools to create new shapes to import into their virtual worlds outside of Second Life. Some IBM researchers have found a way to use Google's free 3D modeling application SketchUp to create basic shapes. In addition, there's an app to import a 2D structure from PowerPoint. Also, there's a standalone 3D modeling tool called Prim.Blender.

    Like Episodic Gaming? You're Going to See More: Valve Software, creators of the Half-Life saga, says it's going to distribute upcoming chapters in shorter, more frequent episodes. "Steam gives us a real time connection with our customers," Gabe Newell, Valve's founder and managing director, told "Rather than guessing how people are playing our game, we can watch and see them navigate through the game. We can see them get stuck at various points and say 'oh, that's not what we designed' and work to correct that (in our next installment)." Newell revealed that a regular character would be killed in Half-Life 2, to be released in the first quarter of 2007.

    The Burger King of Games: Starting in November, Burger King will offer three restaurant-related Xbox 360 games for $3.99 with the purchase of a value meal. The three games are "Big Bumpin'," "PocketBike Racer" and "Sneak King," which will feature the restaurant company's iconic King character. The Wall Street Journal asked Burger King marketing head Russ Klein why videogames. Klein answered, "We know that the eyeballs in the increasingly fractured media world are harder to get, and gaming is one of the places they are going." Fractured eyeballs? Now that's a video game.

    Hitachi Recalls Sony Batteries Hitachi became the sixth computer manufacturer to recall Sony batteries in the company's ever-growing battery scandal. Hitachi said it would recall 16,000 batteries in two different models of laptops. In a statement printed in the Wall Street Journal, Hitachi said it is undertaking the recall "for its customers' peace of mind." Here are the current recall numbers, as of Friday, Oct. 6:


    Popular XBox 360 Title to Launch PS3: Bethesda Softworks' blockbuster role-playing game, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion will be a launch title for the PlayStation 3 this November in North America, and next March in Europe when the new console is expected to be released there. In addition, The Elder Scrolls Travels: Oblivion will be released on the PlayStation Portable in Spring 2007 in North America and Europe. The highly regarded game was initially released on the XBox 360 in March.

    Alchemy? You Don't Want My Opinion on That: Just released, Fullmetal Alchemist The Movie: The Conqueror of Shamballa focuses on two boys who were in the wrong place at the wrong time and now we're all paying for it. Go ahead -- buy a copy. See if I care.

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    Daily News: Sony's Hot -- Not the Good Kind of Hot

    posted @ 10/04/2006 11:16:00 PM by evermore
    In today's issue, find out if you can fry an egg on the PlayStation 3, find out if GameTap deserves so much ink, find out if a certain senator is thinking straight and find out just why you're suddenly feeling so old.

    More Sony Woes: Two Wall Street Journal articles Wednesday expressed more bad news about Sony. In one article, the Journal revealed that Sony shares had fallen 5.3 percent during the previous week. The company closed down 2.7% to 4,600 yen ($39.09 in U.S. dollars) Tuesday, a day on which the Nikkei Stock Average was nearly unchanged. In a report issued by Macquarie Securities analyst David Gibson, PlayStation 3 units on display at the Tokyo Game Show suffered overheating problems and had to be reset several times. A Sony spokesman told the Wall Street Journal Tuesday that the company was unaware of any technical problems with the PS3. In another WSJ article, Fujitsu announced that it would recall 287,000 Sony battery packs from its computers. That brings the total in the Sony battery scandal to more than 7.6 million batteries. Here are the current recall numbers, as of Tuesday, Oct. 3:


    Is GameTap Evil or Just Stupid? That's the question asked in two different recent stories. Manifesto Games co-founder Greg Costikyan tells Gamasutra, "I'm skeptical that their business model is sustainable." Meanwhile, on his own blog, Costikyan says that while a $60 price for a video game is too high, $10 is just too low.

    Senator Wants to Impose Government Regulations on Game Ratings: U.S. Senator Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, last week introduced a bill, The Truth in Video Game Rating Act, S.3935, that would direct the Federal Trade Commission to require that reviewers consider the full content of a video game before issuing a rating. Brownback's press release stated, "Currently game reviewers do not play the games before determining ratings, and their reviews are based on taped segments of the game submitted by the game's producer to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. Such taped segments may or may not fully represent the game's content. The bill would prohibit video game producers and distributors from withholding or hiding playable content from a ratings organization." Brownback said, "Game reviewers must have access to the entire game for their ratings to accurately reflect a game's content." Want to comment to the senator directly? Just call his office at 202-224-6521. Tell him the Sistahs sent you.

    Brings Out the 1986 In You: Just released, Voltron: Defender of the Universe Collection One focuses on five lion robots and their pilots as they defend the galaxy and planet Arus vs. the forces of King Zarkon and Prince Lotor from planet Doom. You're going to want to own this one, I bet.

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    Another NinJaMix Tuesday

    posted @ 10/04/2006 04:19:00 PM by Ninjasistah
    Yeah, I think I'm going to drop these "suggested listening for your soul's sake" articles every other Tuesday.

    In case you don't know what I'm talking about, a short while back I put up a post linking to an iTunes iMix that created mostly to see if the linking thing would work, and secondly I thought it might be cool to share some of the music stuff that I enjoy with you guys. I figure if I subject you to my opinions and speculations, the least I can do is reward you with some musical enjoyment. [And getting a cut of the sales if you buy anything... c'mon, you know you want to help me quit my day job ;)]

    iconSo in continuing with the newly started Alternating Tuesday Audio Tradition, I give you: NinJaSistah Mix: Volume Too! I love this mix because it's just what I need to get my adrenaline pumping! I recently got turned on to Imogen Heap and Brazilian Girls, so they made the cut for this mix obviously, but if you like a little trance, dance, pop, and rock this is a mix that you can't pass up. Some of the tracks featured in this mix include:
    Unfinished Sympathy by Massive Attack
    Koko by Goldfrapp
    Work Me Goddamit by Armand Van Helden
    Wanna Love You Girl by Robin Thicke
    Signs by Morpheus
    Daylight Robbery by Imogen Heap
    My My My (StoneBridge Remix) by Armand Van Helden
    Back to the Roots by DJ Halperin
    Rick Rubin by Spank Rock
    P***y by Brazilian Girls
    Ayo by Mya
    Smack That by Akon
    I Need Some Fine Wine and You, You Need to Be Nicer by The Cardigans
    Cocaine by Robin Thicke
    - and -
    So Excited by Janet featuring Khia

    All you need to see the rest of the tracks or buy them is to have a current version of the Apple iTunes application, a valid iTunes account, and the ability to appreciate some kick ass music. Just click on the image of the cover art above or on this link and grab the tracks now.

    If you like any of the tracks, let me know... I like talking music in addition to gaming and anime. I'm a multi-tasker. [or a reformed over-achiever... but multi-tasker is nicer sounding]

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    Want a PS3 Badly?

    posted @ 10/04/2006 03:47:00 PM by Ninjasistah
    I know you do... you and every other fanboy/girl on the planet, but if you think that just pre-ordering will help get you a shiny box on launch day it looks like you're wrong.

    I was bopping around the internet while enjoying my afternoon snack [today was green apple jello day, if you must know] and came across this post on the Kotaku website. As the author quotes a Gamestop manager as saying
    Each Gamestop store will receive an average of 6 systems (more for higher volume stores, less for dead stores). 1-2 systems can be given to employees at the store manager's discretion. The rest are given out to the store's "regulars." If a manager feels he has a customer who is very loyal (shops there often, reserves many things), they call them and ask them if they want to guarantee one of the remaining 4 consoles...and apparently all 4 of the remaining consoles are handed out in this fashion.
    After reading that I thought I would warn the rest of you out there who, like me, don't pre-order every game on the planet or stop into your local Gamestop on a daily basis. Just having cash in your pocket [or plastic as the case may be] won't be enough any more to purchase an instrument of gaming pleasure... no, now you have to know a guy, that knows a guy, that works as a manager for Gamestop in order to get in on the fun on November 17th.

    So not only do you have to "work harder" to earn the money to buy a system and a few games like Ken Kuturagi said, but you also need to dust off your networking skills [and I don't mean Myspace here people] in hopes of befriending every Gamestop manager and employee you can find. And I do mean every single one folks. Best to hit the stand alone stores as well as the ones implanted in the malls. Put the store number in your cell phone and land line speed dials. Ladies, if you are single and want to pick up a PS3, date a manager. [First make sure he's single, don't want to accused of being a home-wrecking wench now do we?] It might sound like a bad idea, but if you really want a PS3 system before 2007 and don't care that it will probably have a bad laser [and some cooling problems evidently] then do what must be done. You are loyal to Sony after all, aren't you?

    As for me, I have no clue how the hell I'm going to get my hands on one, or if I really should take out renters insurance before I bring it home and plug it in.

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    Another NinJaMix Tuesday

    posted @ 10/03/2006 04:19:00 PM by Ninjasistah
    Yeah, I think I'm going to drop these "suggested listening for your soul's sake" articles every other Tuesday.

    In case you don't know what I'm talking about, a short while back I put up a post linking to an iTunes iMix that created mostly to see if the linking thing would work, and secondly I thought it might be cool to share some of the music stuff that I enjoy with you guys. I figure if I subject you to my opinions and speculations, the least I can do is reward you with some musical enjoyment. [And getting a cut of the sales if you buy anything... c'mon, you know you want to help me quit my day job ;)]

    iconSo in continuing with the newly started Alternating Tuesday Audio Tradition, I give you: NinJaSistah Mix: Volume Too! I love this mix because it's just what I need to get my adrenaline pumping! I recently got turned on to Imogen Heap and Brazilian Girls, so they made the cut for this mix obviously, but if you like a little trance, dance, pop, and rock this is a mix that you can't pass up. Some of the tracks featured in this mix include:
    Unfinished Sympathy by Massive Attack
    Koko by Goldfrapp
    Work Me Goddamit by Armand Van Helden
    Wanna Love You Girl by Robin Thicke
    Signs by Morpheus
    Daylight Robbery by Imogen Heap
    My My My (StoneBridge Remix) by Armand Van Helden
    Back to the Roots by DJ Halperin
    Rick Rubin by Spank Rock
    P***y by Brazilian Girls
    Ayo by Mya
    Smack That by Akon
    I Need Some Fine Wine and You, You Need to Be Nicer by The Cardigans
    Cocaine by Robin Thicke
    - and -
    So Excited by Janet featuring Khia

    All you need to see the rest of the tracks or buy them is to have a current version of the Apple iTunes application, a valid iTunes account, and the ability to appreciate some kick ass music. Just click on the image of the cover art above or on this link and grab the tracks now.

    If you like any of the tracks, let me know... I like talking music in addition to gaming and anime. I'm a multi-tasker. [or a reformed over-achiever... but multi-tasker is nicer sounding]

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    Japanese Tiring of Sony Battery Scandal?

    posted @ 10/01/2006 11:17:00 PM by evermore
    Are the Japanese getting tired of Sony's growing battery recall scandal?

    That's the way it seems, reading the latest story about the recall in the Daily Yomiuri, a Japanese newspaper.

    Takashi Shimomiya and Tomoki Matsubara, staff writers for The Daily Yomiuri, wrote that Sony has been less than forthcoming in its information about the recall: "... Even after its decision to recall all lithium-ion batteries, Sony only released information on the products over the Internet," they wrote. "Its executives did not explain the problem or apologize to the public, bringing to light its reluctance to disclose information even though faults in production safety can be fatal to users."

    The two Japanese journalists pointed out that Sony originally placed the blame on Dell Computer's original Aug. 15 recall on Dell itself. The Wall Street Journal reported on Aug. 16, "[Sony spokesman Rick] Clancy said other factors after the cells are manufactured can contribute to overheating problems, though he declined to elaborate."

    On Thursday, Sept. 28, Sony released information through its corporate website that it would be expanding the recall of lithium-ion batteries used by Lenovo, Toshiba and Fujitsu, in addition to its existing recall of batteries used by Dell and Apple. The press release was not available on other Sony websites.

    This expands the total recall to more than 7 million batteries, but the fallout could be much worse to the company.

    Although most analysts insisted the earlier recall wouldn't affect Sony as a company, the tide is beginning to turn. "...If the extent of the problems expands further, it would invite worries over Sony's technology and brand image," Tatsuya Mizuho, a director at the credit rating agency Fitch Ratings, told the Taipei Times.

    Some analysts were much more harsh about Sony's future in battery manufacturing. Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates, a market-research firm, told Dow Jones, "Sony's brand is severely damaged. I think it's going to be a question whether they can be in the battery business at all.

    "Given the nature of the relationship, in the real world the way that it plays out is that the [computer manufacturers] decrease what they buy from Sony. They'll say, 'We used to take 2 million from you and 3 million from Sanyo. Now we're going to take 4 million from Sanyo and 1 million from you. And that's punishment.'"

    Kay added that the total recall could be as high as 10 million units.

    Before Thursday's announcement, Dell had recalled 4.1 million Sony-made batteries and Apple had recalled 1.8 million. After Thursday's announcement, Dell recalled another 100,000 batteries.

    Here are the current recall numbers, as of Sunday, Oct. 1:

    Fujitsu....not announced

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    Download Your Anime Legally...

    posted @ 9/26/2006 08:44:00 PM by Ninjasistah
    For a small fee that is. Today ADV Films launched their new anime download store called ADVuniverse

    The website features episodes of various ADV license anime series for download. For a mere $4.99 American you can download episode one of Godannar or Jinki: Extended, or, um, Comic Party Revolution. Keep in mind that the store just launched so there are very few titles with episodes available. I'm sure that more titles and episodes will be added shortly. There are also a couple of movie titles available including Lady Death, but movie titles will cost you more topping out at about $19.99, which may have you asking, "is it worth it?"

    My answer is a tad bit jaded. Why? Well for starters, the files are in WMV format with DRM protection. And before you go all crazy and accuse me of being a pirate [which I am not, I am clearly a Ninja... see my shurikens?] I only object to the DRM in this case because it renders the service useless on a Macintosh. Windows Media Player is only up to version 9 on the Mac, Microsoft has said they are no longer going to improve or add to the application, and neither WMP 9 on the Mac, VLC Media Player, nor MPlayer can play DRM protected WMV files. This sucks not only for myself, but true anime horders like Pandalicious. If I would have been able to buy and play ADV's catalog of content on my Mac I probably would buy a new external drive to devote just to it and I'm sure Panda would add a few drives to her existing arsenal of external storage.

    I know that Apple recently added movie downloads to their iTunes Store, and I do feel that digital downloading is the future of film and animation distribution. Don't believe? Think of all the people that hit up places like YouTube and Viral Video, or how popular video podcasting has become... all those users can't be a fluke or fad. But I do think they have set their price point a bit too high and cut out too much of a potential consumer base to be very successful. Compare $1.99 per TV show episode through the Apple iTunes Store which you can purchase and view on either the Windows or Macintosh platforms to the $4.99 per anime series episode which you can must purchase and play on a Windows machine.

    I guess time will tell. I could be wrong, people might be willing to pay $4.99 per episode for a half hour anime episode that is DRM protected to a Windows machine... but I know I won't be.

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    Bump It! Tunes to Game By

    posted @ 9/15/2006 12:05:00 AM by Ninjasistah
    Ever been playing a video game and decide that the BGM music just downright sucks?

    iconIt's happened to me more than once so I figured it was high time that I created my own playlists of music to game by. I've got a playlist for DOA sparring, a list for questing around in Fable and a few others. Since I've been having a fun making up my own soundtracks for games I figured I would take this opportunity to share one of my playlists with you. If you have iTunes and some cash burning a hole in your pocket click on the image at right to be taken to my iMix page in the iTunes application. [You must have iTunes installed on your machine already for this to work.]

    I use the Apple iTunes application a lot [6,053 song files and counting] and one of the neat things you can do with the app is make up your own playlists that you then post to the iTunes Music store. These playlists are called iMixes and anyone with the iTunes app and an iTunes Store account can see these mixes and buy them.

    The iMix I link to above one of my bumpin' thumpin mixes that I used when I'm practicing in DOA. The great thing about these mixes is that any [and every] member of the ESH can make them and will be posting them from time to time. The coolest ever part of the deal is that we make a lil money off of the stuff that you buy so start downloading people. Bandwidth doesn't pay for itself.

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    Today's Secret Word: Accountability

    posted @ 9/13/2006 02:18:00 AM by Ninjasistah
    As in, "Where did the accountability go" accountability. This post doesn't directly deal with Anime or Video Games, but please bear with me.

    I write this post from my Apple 12inch Powerbook at 1:47 in the morning because my production machine [a 20inch iMac G5 PPC] has once again got issues...and I sit here pissed and disappointed asking myself, "where has the accountability gone?"

    Before you can understand how or why that last sentence makes sense let me first give you a little background history. My iMac G5 is one of the early batches of iMac G5's known to problematic logic boards, hard disk, and optical drives. Early on once issues became known and Apple put together a list of serial numbers of affected machines. Initially my machine was not listed among the infirmed, but that soon changed. Shortly after I actually received my iMac and it started displaying issues. I called the AppleCare support number and ran through some troubleshooting steps with the tech support guy [who was very nice, and helpful which is always a plus] and was able to get my issue resolved. HURRAH! But that celebration was also short lived as yet another issue sprung up and I was unable to fix the problem on my own. Not to toot my own horn here but I am pretty well versed in the Mac language. If you ask any of my friends the will tell you, "If you got a problem, yo, she'll solve it...check out the hook while my dj revolves it!" Ok, not exactly those words, but something resembling that will be said. I am not a n00b. There are no PEBCAK things going on here. I consider myself to be pretty dang self-reliant, so believe me when I say it takes a hell of an issue to FORCE me to call AppleCare tech support or even haul my machine into an Apple Store.

    With that said, I'll continue.

    The next problem to rear it's ugly head manifested itself in a complete non-booting of the system. No start up "bong" noise, no pop of power coming on, just a whole lot of nothing. The only piece of luck that I was having was the day before this happened I had done a complete backup of my computer and purchased the extended AppleCare warranty for my machine. [Which if you learn nothing else from this article know that you should ALWAYS buy the AppleCare when dealing with Apple people.] So yet another call to Apple, a round of troubleshooting, and the tech support guy gives me the "OK" to take my machine into an Apple Store for hardware repair. Sounds easy right? Well throw into this nice little scenario: (1) I am [on a good day] four feet and ten inches tall (2) my G5 weighs around 25 pounds and (3) I do not have a car. So getting my Mac to an Apple store requires me getting my man to rent a car to lug this thing down to the Apple Store where I get to make an appointment to hand my 25 lb paperweight off to a Genius that will run through all the troubleshooting stuff that I did with the tech help guy on the phone before accepting my machine for repair. So we do this. [Again, keep in mind that even though my machine was on the list of those requiring repair or replacement, Apple never replaced the machine with a new machine] After waiting for an hour and a half before it was my turn and going through the troubleshooting for about 20 minutes, the Genius accepts my machine, has me sign a few pieces of paper, and sends me on my merry way. I just keep repeating to myself, "at least it will be fixed now." And I go home, knowing that the next call I get will be from the Apple Store telling me my baby is all better now and I can come pick her up.

    Two weeks later I get the call, "...the logic board on your machine needed to be replaced...we got the part it and your machine is ready to be picked up," said the nice kind man on the other end of the telephone. I leapt for joy, I couldn't wait to get my machine back home and get back to work. Let me tell you there is a huge difference between working in Adobe Photoshop on a 20inch screen and a 12inch one! I call my man again, let him know we need to rent a car again [thank Bob for ZipCar!] and pick my Pookie up. We head off to the Apple Store, grab a Genius' attention and say we are there to pick up. They bring out my box with my machine in it [yes my original iMac box with all of the original paperwork and Styrofoam in it, Pandalicious wasn't kidding when she said I was anal] take my baby out and plug her in and start her up so I can see that she's working before I take her home. I tell you I was so happy I almost cried. I asked the Genius if my machine should be exchanged for another since it was on the list of machines Apple said they knew were bad, but he assured me that this new logic board would fix all that ailed me. [And that Apple rarely exchanged whole computers out so I shouldn't even think about that anymore] I had my baby back and she was working so I didn't push it. We slung that puppy in the back seat of the car and headed home so I could get back to work. All was well in the NinJahood for about three weeks.

    At the beginning of that third week I noticed that my iMac was acting weird again but in a new and different way. When I would boot the machine, the top half of the screen would be darker than the bottom half. You couldn't miss it. The machine would boot, and the entire screen would be the same color and brightness for a few seconds and then the top half would dim and be darker than the rest of the screen. The machine would still boot to the desktop and run so I didn't think much of it. It would only do it every so often so I learned to live with it. Pookie was booting, and that needed to be enough at the time. After a while I found that if I put the machine to sleep and then woke it up immediately the entire screen would return to it's proper brightness, so that's what I did. At first it was once or twice a week. After a while it was an every day every other boot thing, and it got on my last freaking nerve. But Pookie was still booting so I tried to work around it. Then one day my optical drive decided it didn't want to work properly anymore and it just happened to decide this while I was in the middle of doing a system backup. I ordered a new external burner, had it shipped over night, finished the system backup using that drive, skipped the call to AppleCare and just made a Genius Bar appointment for my machine for the next evening. Back to the Apple Store for me.

    I wish I could say that this trip was the one that got my machine fixed but it wasn't. When it was finally my turn to see a Genius, he started up my machine, instantly saw the problem and said he knew what to do. He quickly unplugged Pookie and took her into the back room to fix her. Before I could tell him that the problem wouldn't show up again on subsequent boots because that's how I'd been "fixing" it he was back saying he had cured the problem. When I told him about the machine not exhibiting the issue again until it had been powered down for a while he [very calmly] explained that he could not keep the machine unless it was exhibiting problems and that I had to take it home. "If it exhibits any symptoms tomorrow bring it back and we'll take a look at it." So I loaded up Pookie in the rental and back home we went.

    That entire drive home I raised up a silent prayer to Bob that my puter would be ok and I wouldn't have to "bring it back" tomorrow. But as most prayers to Bob do, it went unheard. It was a 36 minute drive home, plenty of cooling off time for Pookie who on first boot dimmed like a sonnofabitch. I was pissed. I knew I couldn't get back to the Apple Store before it closed so we were going to have to keep the car overnight [extra charge] and I was going to have to re-queue for the Genius Bar in the morning...on a weekend...I was fucked. Little did I know I was more fucked than pissed. Back to the Apple Store with Pookie in tow. I was so pissed I didn't even log into their queue "service" as the next available appointment was in six [yes 6] hours. I put my iMac box next to me and proceeded to lay down on the bench in front of the Genius Bar. Sure, it was childish, but I was so beyond pissed that it was ridiculous. After about two hours, the Genius that had dealt with my machine the night before came on duty and remembered my name. [A nice touch, I must say] and directed one of the other Genius' to attend to me right then and there. [An even nicer touch, I do say] This time I changed my tactic; first I told the new Genius about the optical drive not working, then I told her about the dimming. She was very polite and accepted my machine for repair. This time it was going to be fixed, I could feel it. This new Genius some how got that I really needed this to work and she was going to succeed where the others had failed. She was going to hook a sistah up!

    Three days later I get a call. "...your optical drive did fail and we replaced it, but we just couldn't get the machine to show any dimming issues at all. We even put it out on the floor to compare it to other iMacs we have and the only difference is that your wallpaper is MUCH cooler." I explained to this new guy [who was not my chick Genius mind you] what the conditions had to be in order to get the machine to show off the dimming problem. He put me on hold for a few minutes and then came back to the line to tell me they were going to keep the machine another day and turn it off for the whole day then kick start it in the morning to see what the deal was. I felt better because I knew he'd see the dimming and then my Pookie would be made to feel better. I guess by now I should have known better. The call came around 10 am. "...we just aren't seeing what you are seeing, so your machine is ready for you to pick up. Without being able to reproduce the problem, we can't fix it." My heart sank, but at least the drive was fixed. Dimming that goes away after a sleep cycle I can deal with...not being able to do system backups to DVD I can not. I would with huge files and huge chunks of data so not doing regular DVD backups is NOT an option.

    Another rental, another pickup, another boot at home that immediately displays my dimming problem, but dammit I'm not going back. In all the traveling to and fro I broke my iMac box which was the only thing making carrying the machine around plausible. There was no way I could lug that thing around without it. I would just deal with the dimming. And that's what I've been doing since October of last year until yesterday when my machine froze on me during boot. "OH SHIT!" doesn't even begin to describe the wave of emotion that flowed over me. I'm still working on Magic and Monkey's avatars on this machine. My notes for the podcast are on there, so are all the apps I use to edit the show. This is not happening. Not again, not now. But it was and did. Which brings me up to this point.

    It's now 2:54 am as I type this line and I know that later today I will have to call AppleCare on the phone, explain the problem, hope that the machine exhibits the same behavior [earlier when I was on the phone with Apple it booted twice with no problems, after a third restart while I was no longer on the phone it failed and never booted past more than a kernel panic] so I can get yet another "OK" to bring my machine in yet again for repair and I ask myself, "where is Apple's accountability in all this?" At what point does someone say, "boy, you got one of our known bum machines, that's our fault so we'll replace it for you." I get that Apple wants to fix or replace parts as opposed to a whole machine because it improves their bottom line, but when you've already replaced a logic board, optical drive, reset the SMU, done PRAM zapped and permission repaired the hell out of a machine, at some point someone has to step up and say "I'm sorry, I'll make this right."

    All I want is for the situation to be made right. When my iMac is working it's a wonderful machine. But I should not have to beg and plead to have my [still under warranty] product exchanged for being faulty, especially when the manufacturer has already admitted they know that it is.

    I just want Apple to exchange my defunct machine that has been defunct from day one with an equivalent one [since they no longer manufacture a PPC G5 20inch iMac] so I can get my data off the old HD and on to a new machine that will allow me to get my work done. Is that too much to ask for?

    You let me know. It's now 3:18am and I think now that I got that out of my system I might be able to sleep...but I'm not looking forward to my day. Shoot me a comment or two during the day, I'm probably going to need some cheering up.

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    Finish what you start...