Robots Like Gadgets



Blackberry 8830
Originally uploaded by rustedrobot.

Before I get to the Blackberry, I’d like to direct your attention to the new blue box over there on the right. I’ve written before about how terrific Last.fm is. It basically records all the music I listen to and spits back charts of all kinds to give me a sense of what I listen to the most. Not only that, but it also will connect you with other people who have the same taste in music, so they have the community angle covered as well. Now, through Last.fm, you can also stream my music from that player on the right. Just hit the big play button in the middle to start listening or click on the little button at the bottom corner of the radio player to launch it as a small pop up that you can keep on even when you’re off this site. Great stuff. It’s no wonder that CBS acquired Last.fm yesterday for $280 million. Good move.

Now, onto my gadget binge. The latest is the brand spanking new Blackberry 8830 from Verizon. This thing is sweet! One of biggest problems I had with my Palm Treo was that I could never get it to work correctly with my email. I even gave it to my IT guy for a couple of days to see if he could get it working and he couldn’t either. I could get my email, but it was a laborious process at best. The Treo would also freeze and crash intermittantly. That said, I still liked the phone. I liked the user interface, I liked a lot about the Treo. But I had to give it up.

The new Blackberry just works. It’s super thin, has a beautiful screen and within minutes of receiving it I had all my email (personal and work) flowing seamlessly. It took me mere minutes to get the first 20 seconds of Band of Horses “The Funeral” as my ringtone. The trackball in the middle means I don’t have to muddy up my screen with fingerprints and grease. The phone sounds terrific. The web browser is significantly faster. Maps & GPS are already on the unit. I could go on and on…..I’m loving it.

I was considering the IPhone, but a few things ended up being too much for me:

– an ALL touch screen interface sounds cool to me but I don’t think it’s my ideal since I’m always cleaning off the screens on my PDA’s.
– I just can’t bring myself to go back to AT&T after the horrific customer service and sporadic coverage when I used them a while back.
– I’m having a hard time justifying $600 for a phone.

That said, if someone gave me one I’d take it in a heartbeat – it does like it’s going to be a cool unit – and a game-changer.

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Keith Jackson says “Soph-o-more!”



Wang!
Originally uploaded by rustedrobot.

I know, I know. It’s childish. I’m a 36 year old man who still gets a kick out of headlines about Yankees pitcher Chien-Ming Wang. You just KNOW that whoever is writing the headlines at ESPN.com is rubbing his hands together every five days when Wang pitches, because that means he’ll be able to concoct another double entendre. Genius.

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Shower Goods



Shower Goods
Originally uploaded by rustedrobot.

Since we re-did our bathroom a few months ago, Steph and I instituted a shower policy of sorts – no bar soaps. I was a little against it at first, but it really has made cleaning the bathroom much, much easier. That also means that I’ve been relegated to shower gel only, which also means I have to use one of the foofy puffy things to lather up. Hey, I’m not above using the foofy puffy thing. I’m man enough to admit it.

OK, so here’s a Memorial Day quiz for you. Pictured here are five shampoos and shower gels that Steph and I are currently using. If you’re feeling adventurous (don’t be a wuss), see if you can guess which ones she uses and which ones I use. Go ahead, leave a comment. Maybe if someone nails it, I’ll give them an undetermined prize. Larger pic here.

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Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall

Short post today as we’re on the cusp of a long weekend. Back in 2003, I wrote about Buttercup, one of my favorite local bands on the Boston circuit who should have seen far more success than they did. They had such a sweet sound and guy-girl harmonies that shined like the chrome on an old Chevy. Take a second and listen to “Saffron Days” from their “Terminal E” album. Let me know if you dig. Enjoy.

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JTV

A co-worker sent me this video a few days ago and I watched it with a smile. Not only is it slightly infectious, but it takes place in the office that we (Ask.com) recently vacated on Park Ave overlooking Union Square in NYC. Strange to see our offices being taken over by people that I used to be in 1990s. Sure seems like this group likes to have a good time and I still like that song, too. It’s one of those great one-hit wonder songs that stick in your mind whenever you hear it.

Which reminds me, it is very much my intention to start shooting videos set to music soon. I’m in the process of trying to find suitable (and cheap, or free) video editing software. The curve ball is that the software needs to capture/recognize AVCHD in addition to the usual standard definition video. So far there are two, one of which (Sony Vegas+DVD 7) I downloaded a trial for and I have been fooling with it to some degree of success. If anyone knows how I can get a copy of this Sony Vegas+DVD software for super-cheap or free, I’ll owe you one.

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