Simpsons in HD, finally.

3 03 2009

“It was bound to happen sooner or later” but I kept saying that and after all these years, the once really very popular show and still good (in my opinion) has finally converted their video to high definition. Yea I know that The Simpsons has been on the high definition broadcast of Fox but until March 1st, 2009, it wasn’t in full HD and what do I mean by that? 1360 pixels wide and 720 pixels tall. Essentially in widescreen mode as that is the industry accepted standard of what it means to be in HD. Seeing that nobody else has written about it to my knowledge, here’s my way of saying FIRST!

So what’s new? The intro has been altered (or was simply modified for the 1st episode in high def) and in the picture above, you can see gramps snoring in the car alongside Maggie and Marge. Previously gramps wasn’t in the car. He was standing on the roadside waving his walking stick and cursing at Bart.

Then the intro screen flew through some time periods like during the early 1900s and then into a Brady Bunch style run-about-the-house jig. Then a Cheers variation with the family seated at a bar and the “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” song playing in the background. I was half expecting something with NBC’s FRIENDS but I guess NBC must’ve put their foot down to ruin the moment for us all.

The episode itself was standard fare. Homer forgets to mail in his insurance and goes into a series of adventures trying to prevent himself from being liable for any damages. In the meantime, Bart gets sent out on a fake vacation to allow the school to get a good average score to make it to the “No Child Left Behind” act. It’s alright but definitely watchable. And it’s in high def so you’re not going to see the black vertical bars on the sides of your tv. Finally.

So keep your eyes peeled out on HULU to see if they’ve included the new episode. It’s already there. CLICK HERE!!!

PS: I’m so sorry for not putting up anything since early February.

EDIT: I just noticed that Grampa Simpson isn’t in the car initially with Marge and Maggie but pops up when they zoom in the inside of the car.


Clueless Microsoft and Windows 7

9 01 2009

Windows 7 Windows 7 Windows 7 Windows 7 Windows 7 … everybody’s been talking about Windows 7 ever since Vista was unveiled and now that we have a pure unadulterated fully functioning officially stamped version out, it’s NOT even available.

They say “It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings!” and sing she did. Well this would be in reference to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer making a big ballyhoo about the official beta release of Microsoft over at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Vegas.

Most of the reviews on MSW7 are indeed positive but how can the masses get a taste of it if the frigging server‘s down?

“Thanks for your interest in the Windows 7 Beta. The volume has been phenomenal — we’re in the process of adding more servers to handle the demand. We’re sorry for the delay and we’ll re-post the Beta as soon as we can ensure a quality download experience.”

The sensible thing for them to do is to host Windows 7 Beta (Build 7000) as a torrent lessening the impact on their servers. Eventually, Microsoft could just limit the bandwidth on their servers making the other users handle the majority of the load. Now we’re stuck guessing which one of the available torrents are the official build and not one of those malware infested ISO files. Maybe I should stop complaining because this was made free to the public but what’s a free product if the execution isn’t done right.

EDIT 2009-01-12: The servers aren’t shut down anymore and Win7 looks meh. Better than Vista … for now.

Free iPod through your bank

15 11 2008

Free iPod deal. Sometime last week, I received a letter from my bank Wells Fargo in the mail. Seemed like the regular “SIGN UP FOR A FREE CAMERA” thing they sometimes send out. Only this time, it said a free Apple iPod Shuffle. Nothing extraordinary but could be worth picking up since it’s FREE. Didn’t think much about it until a buddy at work had one just like that, only his was through Bank of America. He found the iPod in the middle row on the scratch card.

Found the iPod in the middle row on my scratch-off card also. You get 30 days to use the service (AutoVantage – similar to AAA Roadside Service) for free and you want to cancel before then, unless you’re up for shelling out $16/mo thereafter. The Shuffle will be mailed out 3-5 weeks after processing the application. Oh and remember to include the scratch-off card and the sheet holding your signature in the prepaid envelope before mailing em out. Keeping my fingers crossed.

EDIT (12/26/2008): This is so not worth the hassle. You send in a request to sign-up along with a free iPod card. Then you wait for 2 weeks and they mail you a membership confirmation packet complete with your ID card and some coupons and booklets. Then you have to mail out another free iPod card to confirm included in the packet you received from them. This is estimated to take 6-8 weeks to process and the whole time, you are expected to be a member of AutoVantage. Also be advised that the iPods are subject to availability. To top it off, it’s just a cheapo iPod Shuffle 1GB.

Have you been Rick Rolled?

1 11 2008

I’d forgotten all about Rick Astley and his 1987 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up” until they started playing that song after ever other track at “First Ave” club in Minneapolis last night for the Halloween party special.

Thought it was strange that his song was getting inserted between the different techno tracks like a pitbull among hockey moms. Some of the people I was with had no clue as to who the singer was and then Rick Astley himself sprang up on the stage bopping around with a youthful demeanor akin to his music videos. The crowd went wild. All of a sudden, fond memories of “rickrolling” flooded back to me.

Alright enough of that sentimental crap. Here‘s the link if you want to know about rickroll and have a Happy Halloween Weekend!!! Also, remember to pass on your knowledge about rickrolling to your uninformed peers and after they’ve seen the stuff, annouce to them – “You just got rickrolled!”

UPDATE: I just found a Rick Astley video on this cool website. It’s SFW (Safe For Work) unless there’s something badly wrong with you.

The Greatest Olympics Ever?

24 04 2008

As China steadies itself for the media onslaught in the summer, for the first time in history, the Olympics will be held in a Communist state under Capitalistic economic policies and a Totalitarian-styled regime. Quite reasonably, there have been a lot of concerns voiced by various nations about the clash in the true ideals of the Olympics and China’s heavy-handed approach in attending to “domestic” matters. Never before has the prestigious games been opposed so openly by citizens behind the geographical, cultural, and political boundaries that separates them.

For one, the ethnic Tibetans in the “Autonomous Region of Tibet” have been suppressed since 1949. The history books in China paint a picture of Mao’s troops liberating the Tibetan “slaves” in a class-based society. Sadly, what is failed to be mentioned are that many millions of Tibetans died working against their wills in slave camps for the Communistic beliefs held by China. Those that survived died from malnutrition after being forced to follow Mao’s failed economic and agricultural programs which led to a long famine in the harsh climates of the Tibetan plateau. The nation lost over 50% of their lands through China’s renaming and rezoning of their provinces. Even today, their senior monks are hand-picked by Chinese government officials instead of by the monasteries and their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, is still banned in Tibet. Possessing a picture of the Dalai Lama or uttering his name in public are deemed serious offenses. The ubiquity of CCTVs (closed-circuit television aka security cameras), plainclothes cops, and cops disguised as monks on the streets of Lhasa ensure that nobody steps out of line. In fact, it’s a boot camp and not many people like boot camps when you’re forced to live in one for all your life.

So what’s going on with this summer Olympics in Beijing? Is it because of “western bias” against the communist state? Or is it “racism” as some Chinese blogs pout on the interweb? The IOC Olympics Games was revived in 1896 in Athens, Greece to promote peace and harmony through the enabling of ordinary citizens to participate in a global sporting event. Unfortunately, the Olympics is marred by a history of problems, political boycotts, and corruption. One of the nations that tried to boycott the Olympics was China who in 1976 forced Canada to withdraw Taiwan from the games who ended up missing 2 Olympics Games until 1984. What a bag of hypocrites.

Truth be told, ideally the Olympics should never be boycotted because of the values it tries to promote. In reality, something needs to be done and there is a definite need for a stronger person at the helm. Someone who can claim that his/her values firmly match that of the Olympics and is able to stick to them. A person without a conscience will continue to support the management at the IOC and the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing because of their hypocritical stance in that human rights in China shouldn’t be the concern of the citizens of the Olympic world. Whatever happened to peace?

In Nepal, an unidentified mountain climber was “deported” after security found a “FREE TIBET” flag in his backpack. The Nepalese police and soldiers are guarding Mount Everest to protect China’s interests with the authorization to use “whatever means necessary, including use of weapons” to stop the protests in the region. Media coverage in the region of Tibet and Lhasa has been neutered while government propaganda blankets the airwaves in mainland China. Oh and the whole bootcamp thing. Tibet has been turned into one after thousands of soldiers (not cops were brought into the capital) are now camping by Everest on China’s side of the mountain.

Chinese immigrants (legal and illegal) abroad have taken various stand-points. Some are of the belief that China-can-do-no-wong while others have realized the importance of human rights. To all you Chinese who actively support China’s activities, let me make it clear – the protests aren’t against the Chinese, but rather directed towards a government that has been corrupted by power and is now out of control socially.

Is this a case of too little too late or is the IOC simply not doing it’s job after failing to enforce China’s promise to clean-up their acts upon winning the bid for the 2008 Games?

It’s like fucking for babies instead of pleasure. Corporate money over ideals.

Screw human rights and peace. Let the Games begin!

A parody of parodies.

27 01 2008

In memory of SNL’s “Dear Sister” which happened to be a parody of the season finale episode of Fox’s teen drama show, The OC. Some nice guys decided to do their take using Family Guy instead. Put on a comment if you don’t find it funny. 😀

And in case you’re interested, the song featured is “Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap.

And then there were TWO

27 01 2008

So from all the exciting stuff on TV it’s now down to TWO shows until summer hits us – Knight Rider on NBC and Dexter on CBS and they’re BOTH airing on a boring Sunday, February 17th. WTF is up with that? Well we do have Simpsons (Fox) airing inconsistently on Sundays at 7pm too. So what shall we watch?

First off, Dexter on CBS sounds like a hot prospective to fill in the gap left by the WGA (Writers Guild Association) strike only to find out that the show will be heavily edited for content. If you’re unfamiliar with Dexter, it’s a hit ShowTime tv show based on a novel where the main character plays a psycho serial killer. Lucky for Dexter, he also works with the Miami Police Department as a blood analyst ironically taking pictures of the crime scenes he was involved in. I love this show but can’t imagine how badly CBS is going to butcher it just to make it OK for the masses. The one good out of having it on CBS is I get to see it on high-def compared to the standard def format of ShowTime on my network. So, will it remain the same Dexter that we all know and have come to love? I guess we’ll just have to wait and find out on Sunday, February 17th @ 9PM Central time. Ummm not sure if they’re going to show Season 1 or 2 on CBS but below is a recap of Season 1 compiled and shortened for your tastes.

Knight Rider will feature a 2-hour pilot movie to kick-off the season on Sunday Feb 17th but does not have a time fixture on NBC yet. It’s pretty much going to be similar to the old ’80s original Knight Rider show with minor changes like the transformation of the KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand) Pontiac Firebird to the KITT (Knight Industries Three Thousand) Ford Shelby GT500KR Mustang as duly reported in a previous post on this blog. Basically KITT is the computer AI so all that was done was a revised and revamped KITT and transposed into a new body. Does the KR at the end of GT500KR stand for Knight Rider? No clue. Might be just a coincidence but the Hoff’s son who is also coincidentally named “Michael” (or “Mike” as he prefers to be called) takes over as the new dude and as the 2 minute trailer on YouTube below shows, it’s just a continuation of the series.

As for NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice (Thu 8PM central) with “Dr. Strangehair” Donald Trump and his daughter might be interesting but the key word is “might” so there. The MTV reality show crazy bitch Omarosa is still there but the firing of Gene Simmons (KISS) and playmate Tiffany Fallon now leaves behind a lackluster might we say “boring” team which includes the likes of the useless Stephen Baldwin. Speaking of which, the dude’s a total douche bag as noted by countless actors, people who’ve met him, and acts it out on camera if you’ve ever seen the show Scare Tactics on SciFi, and to top it off, a real Nazi in matters concerning religion. He’s still hanging on there in the show meaning I won’t be watching it until he gets dropped. Here’s to hoping Stephen Baldwin gets bitch-slapped by Omarosa.

Despite all the hype and Summer Glau’s charming robotic demeanor in Fox’s Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Mon 8PM central), this show isn’t doing it for me. The pilot was great but now that it’s down to the regular shows, it’s kinda lame to be honest. Almost kinda like Bionic Woman. Sarah Connor’s role appears to be that of a weak defenseless woman and they focus too much on the female terminator instead of the bad dude or side plots or any real action for that matter.

As for the rest – American Gladiators (NBC), The Biggest Loser (NBC), 1 VS 100 (NBC), Deal or No Deal (NBC), Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? (Fox), Moment Of Truth (Fox) – they are truly horrible shows. The Jeff Foxworthy show about being smarter than a fifth grader has got to be the dumbest show I’ve ever seen to be perfectly honest and the biggest loser is just plain sad and depressing. Moment Of Truth (FOX) is all about passing the lie detector test and winning some money. Boring. American Gladiators rocked when I was a kid and it’s ok to watch it but why are all the men dressed up in man-bras? I hate when people use this phrase but it’s kinda gay.

The worst of all will be this year’s Superbowl XLIIVIIDCM. We all know who is going to win this year. The lucky-go-happy New York Giants up against the unbeatable New England Patriots. Feel sorry for all who purchased the tickets to see the game in Arizona. At least the bastard Packers would’ve given the Pats a good run for the money like how the Chargers put up a fight against the evil Empire. But when you put Eli Manning against what he’ll be facing there on February 3rd at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, you’ll be betting on by how many points the Pats are gonna whoop the Giant’s ass.