Monthly Archives: August 2009

MiFi Wi-Fi Bubble

MiFi uses a 3G signal to create Wi-Fi signal for up to five devices. Charlie Sorrel of Wired called it “a bubble of Wi-Fi that surrounds you wherever you go.” Sorrel spent two weeks using it and wrote a review on Wired. It acts just like a normal wireless router, complete with port forwarding and key-protected access. The battery is claimed to last four hours. Sorrel said he never drained it, but it seems that he wasn’t attempting to use it for long periods of time. It takes about 30 seconds to start and turns off after five minutes of inactivity. In addition, it can be connected via USB without the thread of a dead battery.

This sounds like an amazingly cool gadget, but I’m not ready to start saving for one just yet. If I was still in high school, this would be amazing! I used to carry my laptop with me, and I spent most of my time out of the house, so I’m sure this would have been incredibily useful. At this point in my life, when I’m out of the house, I’m doing something. If I need to look something up, shoot off an email, update a social network, or just check a social network, my iPhone works just fine. Still, a personal bubble of Wi-Fi? Yeah, I want that.
Source: Wired

Disney Buys Marvel

Disney is purchasing Marvel for $4 billion. Disney is obviously larger and has more money, which could be good, but it’s not like Marvel really needed bigger budgets. Both Joystiq and the OC Register wondered about Disneyland rides featuring Marvel properties. I doubt these possible new rides would even be that out of place. The Pixar characters already have a vastly different feel than the classic Disney movie characters or the Disney characters such as Mickey and Donald, my favorites.
Disney already owns a few movie studios whose movies definitely aren’t all aimed at children. However, Marvel could easily be refocused at children. Children already love many Marvel franchises despite the containment of mature themes. I wouldn’t want Disney to focus Marvel exclusively on a younger audience, but I don’t think they will. Maybe we’ll see Spider-Man dancing on a float, and maybe we’ll see some more Marvel cartoons on ABC or Disney Channel.

Both Disney and Marvel also suffer from a similar history in gaming. Occasionally they’ll release a good game, but most of their games aren’t worth playing. Disney hit their peak on the NES, and Marvel… well, Marvel made Maximum Carnage on the SNES, which was awesome, and Marvel Ultimate Alliance was mildly fun. I guess this can’t hurt Marvel games! Maybe we’ll even see a game featuring characters from both Disney and Marvel, although I’d prefer an action game to an RPG like Kingdom Hearts. We’ll see.
On a side note, the OC Register’s entry in their RSS feed about this was titled “Disney buys Marvel and Spider-Man for $4 billion.” Marvel and Spider-Man? What a stupid thing to say.
Sources: Joystiq, OC Register

Phoenix Wright Musical Clip

Capcom-Unity recently embedded a clip of the Phoenix Wright musical from YouTube, including English subtitles. I still can’t get over how strange it is that Phoenix Wright became a musical. I hope that the DVD gets released here or that there’s some other way for Americans to watch the Japanese release. It’s also amusing that Capcom-Unity found this via Kotaku.
Source: Ashcraft, Brian. “Japanese Phoenix Wright Musical In English!” Kotaku. 8/31/09.
Via: “We Do Not Object to These English Subtitled Ace Attorney Musical Videos.” Capcom-Unity Blog. 8/31/09.

My Dad’s Frantic Call

I’ll need to provide a quick background for my dad’s frantic call to make sense. A few days ago a car hit him while he was on his motorcycle. It was a hit and run. My dad was going about forty MPH and flipped over the handlebars when he was hit. The bike got some cosmetic damage. My dad put out his hands to protect his head. A lot of skin on his hands and legs was torn off, and he was feeling pretty banged up, although there didn’t seem to be any serious damage. Of course, he hadn’t gone to the hospital. Part of it was that he didn’t really feel it was necessary, but it also would have been a hassle without a car or anyone near him that would take him.

Anyways, he calls me the day after the accident. “Peter, something happened,” he says in a worried voice. “You know my hands are pretty torn up. There was a lot of skin hanging off. You know, dead skin and stuff now. So I was trying to pull off the dead or hanging skin. It hurt some too. As I was trying to rip some skin off it hurt began to hurt a lot because it was attached to living tissue underneath. But I… I just pulled anyways.” At this point I’m pretty worried and am urging him to continue. “I pulled on the skin and it… it kind of… pulled up the tissue underneath it.” Now I’m pretty worried. Why is he dragging it out so long? Please, just tell me what happened. Maybe I should be jumping in the car to see him. Could he have pulled off enough skin to get to muscle or exposed a vein or something? I’m really freaking out at this point. “The tissue pulled up a bit and… well… there was like a pocket. Like I could see under the skin and tissue…” God, gross. He really screwed himself up. “And Peter, there was… there was something under there I could see, you know, in the pocket, under the skin. It was like… it was some sort of… something… metallic. Peter, I think I’m a robot! Hahaha!”
I couldn’t even laugh at first. At first I guess I was still trying to piece together what he was saying. Then I was relieved. Then I was a little in awe that my dad would do something as awesome as call me to tell me this story. Anyways, despite the fact that he was in an accident, the point of this post was that funny phone call.
He did go on to tell me that he thought he had a few broken ribs and possibly a torn muscle. The next day he did manage to go to the ER. He did indeed have broken ribs. He didn’t tell me what they said about the torn muscle, although it’s not that far fetched; he’s torn it previously. He bandaged him up and told him to come back in a few days to have them changed. I’m glad he’s okay!

Leave Me Alone

Tonight I entered Del Taco around 1:00 AM. There were two girls in a booth, sitting back and not really eating, and a man eating alone. After ordering I went to a booth in the back and put on my headphones. I hadn’t turned on the podcast I was planning on listening to yet because I wanted to listen for my number. I was facing towards the rest of the restaurant. It’s hard for me to decide on which side to sit when I’m alone sometimes. If I face my surroundings it allows me to be mindful of others. People watching can give mild amusement as well if nothing else is happening. On the other hand, something else is happening – a podcast. If I face away, I don’t have to worry about awkwardly making eye contact or anything of that sort.
After thinking about this and deciding to sit facing everyone else, the man left. Then I began to wonder what would happen if the two girls tried to talk to me. I really did not want them to talk to me. I wanted to be left alone, not have to make some excuse to make them shut up so I could go back to my podcast. What’s the chance of some strangers striking up a conversation? Probably not likely. However, it was late at night, and I feel like that increases the chances of the people being abnormally out going, even if it is primarily because the people might just be drunk.

Anyways, on the way back from getting my food, the girls called out to me. They looked right at me and said “hey” a few times. I had my headphones on so I just bobbed my head (despite there being nothing playing) and walked back to my booth. As I was sitting down, they were giggling and waving their arms to get my attention. The fact that I walked across the restaurant and they were still looking at me eliminated the possibility that they were trying to get a worked from Del’s attention. I only saw them waving out of the corner of my eye, so I fiddled with my iPhone and then kept my eyes down, enjoying my podcast. I still have no idea what they wanted. Nothing was out of place or abnormal, so it couldn’t have been something like “hey mister, you dropped something.”
I don’t dread socializing or anything of the sort, but I don’t think there was a possibility of meeting a true friend through an encounter like this. I just wanted to be left alone and listen to my podcast. Listening to podcasts are a big reason why I walked to Del in the first place. If this was an xkcd comic, I’d wonder what the girls wanted for the rest of my life, always regretting not saying anything to them. Luckily, this isn’t xkcd. I got to listen Chris, Justin, and Ludwig, so I’m happy.

Dramatic reading of a break-up letter

Here’s the last thing I’m going to link to for now! William shared this post from boingboing in GoogleReader. There’s a picture of a break-up letter from a young girl. I’m guessing she’s in high school, but middle school is also a possibility. The letter is slightly amusing by itself; it’s written and terribly, and the author is obviously very immature. The dramatic reading of the letter on Your the Man Now Dog is hysterical. My eyes teared up a little from laughter as I listened. Please check it out!
NonDripHelmet. “Breakup Letter, Dramatic reading.” ytmnd.
Frauenfelder, Mark. “Dramatic reading of a break-up letter.” boingboing. 8/29/09.

Missing Girl Found 18 Years Later

The OC Register had an interesting but very eerie and disturbing story about a girl found alive after being kidnapped 18 years ago. Her kidnapper and his wife kept her in their backyard living in a tent. She had the ability to call for help or attempt to run away but didn’t. According to the article, she was screaming and fighting when kidnapped as a young girl, so obviously that drive to get away faded. Somehow she became emotionally attached the kidnapper, which isn’t unheard of by any means. What’s stranger is that she had two daughters with the kidnapper. These girls lived in the backyard in the tents with their mother, leading a private life without contact to the world. From the descriptions in the story they acted almost like robots and seemed to cling to their father emotionally. I wouldn’t blame anyone reading this for not clicking the link if this type of story isn’t of interest, but I think it’s odd enough to post.
Source: Cohen, Sharon and Brooke Donald. “Gone 18 years, girl found but questions remain.” The OC Register. 8/30/09.

Greatest TI-83 Games

GamesRadar decides to talk about “one of the most criminally overlooked gaming platforms,” the TI-83 in an article by Carolyn Gudmundson, The best TI-83 RPGs ever.” After a brief introduction, Gudmundson lists what she considers the best five RPGs on the calculator. Some are individual games while others are actually series, and one, Drug Wars, seems more like a strategy game than an RPG to me. She includes descriptions and download links to all games as well as video embeds for four of the five. I’ve played one of the games on the list, Dying Eyes. I can’t say much about it because it was a long time ago, but I remember enjoying it! I definitely agree that the TI-83 is overlooked as a gaming platform. After reading the story, I’m a little excited at the idea of finding my TI and trying some games on it, but honestly, even in high school I carried a Game Boy, so I’m not sure it would be anything more than novelty. However, I do find playing games on usual platforms fantasizing. Take a look!
Gudmundson, Carolyn. “The best TI-83 RPGs ever.” GamesRadar. 8/13/09.
Sheffield, Brandon. “Best TI-83 RPGs.” InsertCredit. 8/13/09.

Hiding Underground

Last night I had an interesting dream. There was a catastrophe that triggered aliens / monsters attacking the human race. After the catastrophe, which I can’t remember the details), these monsters were found living on Earth and began to attack. I don’t know where they came from. There were different types of monsters: The two I remember were gerbil-like monsters and monsters that were like humans but were hunched over, had large claws, and were smaller. They were also a dark brown and had leathery skin. For some reason, humans were forced to move into underground cities. Somehow I had experienced this all previously. After some amount of time I’d wake up right before the catastrophe and continually live the same time period. Regardless, in the dream I think it was my final experience. I wasn’t going to relive them anymore.

There was an elevator that went down into our underground city. Residences were much smaller than full houses, but people still had private places to live with their families. We also had running water, although we used public restrooms and showers. The tunnels were actually dug out of dirt, so there was dirt on all sides, although we still had security doors and similar things. At one point I fought some sort of boss. I opened a glass sliding door, pressed my laser rifle up to the screen door, and shot at the boss, winning. I think he may have given up. I was also sitting on a bed with another guy when I was told to defeat him because he was a boss. I jumped at him, punching, but he said he didn’t want to do this anymore. We became friends!
Then I noticed that I must have been in my mom’s room because I saw a stack of books of hers that I recognized including one that was mine, Star Fox (which is not a real book). Then I was talking to a girl around my age who was a friend of mine. She took the manual to something from me because she wanted to write to me in it. Then I went to a meeting to discuss what to do because the monsters had found our city. While in the meeting, the little gerbil monsters came in through the open door. We killed them, but I don’t remember how exactly. Then one of the humanoid ones attacked. Those were the bigger threat. Leading out of the room we were in was a straight tunnel with a sliding, metal security door at the entrance to the room. We saw his arm extend from the wall right on the other side of the open door. I guess he was reaching out from within the wall. Anyways he reached in to the room, clawing, and we pulled the security door shut, cutting off his hand. We heard him retreat in pain. For some reason, we didn’t seem concerned with the fact that there must be an enemy tunnel connecting to our tunnel now.
We went back to discussing what to do, and I wanted to know if there were other human cities underground. I was informed that there were, but ours was the largest. Others had escaped underground, but there were no other full-scale cities underground like ours. As we were leaving, I noticed an iPhone on a table next to a recliner in which my great-grandmother was sitting. I asked if it was my phone, and she got mad at me because she thought I said her chair was mine. I checked the phone, and it wasn’t mine. Then I began to make my way back to my room when I awoke.