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November 2009

Written By: Gary on November 30, 2009 One Comment

It’s reported that there will be a season four of Torchwood.
Torchwood: Children of Earth Euros LynnIt’ll star John Barrowman. There will be thirteen episodes. Found at SFX.
Torchwood: Consequences Joseph Lidster, James Moran, Andrew Cartmel, David Llewellyn
This was said by John Barrowman on Steve Wright’s radio show (on BBC Radio 2) today. You can actually listen here (for the next 7 days) and the interview starts at about 2:17.20 into the show. At 2:27 is where he starts talking about Dr. Who and Torchwood.

The DVD An Evening with John Barrowman that is mentioned in the doesn’t appear to be available in the US yet but it appears to be region free if you order it from the UK.

Don’t know why the BBC hasn’t done a press release on this yet…

Written By: Gary on November 27, 2009 One Comment

So I tried out CoPilot Live North America GPS turn-by-turn software. First off let me point out it’s on sale for $24.99 through December (and then it goes back to $34.99) and it appears to include free quarterly updates (with no time limits listed as of today). Secondly please note that North America is defined as USA and Canada. FYI, if you don’t have an iPhone and you’re hoping to get one for the holidays, buy it now! It should work later just fine (at least all the sale and free apps I bought before I purchased worked fine.

copilotapproad.jpg

It’s awesome! You can use it in spoken turn-by-turn mode with or without the street names, only one voice (Frank) does the full street names, but I don’t like that on GPS devices (I get long names like “turn right at next exit Grand River / US-5 / 10 mile road”) and it’s too long for my attention span so I use Lisa (or John). In short mode I think it should speak the highway exit numbers though, it actually sounds truncated the way they do it.

It’s really easy to pick addresses from your address book and save as favorites, it did give me a little problem with my home address the way I had it in my address book but not any of my others (I’m not sure why). If you’re typing in an address it’ll let you use zip codes which I like. You can also search by business name (such as Detroit Science Center) and it’ll add to favorites or even make a call for you. It’ll also show routing for cars, walking or biking. It’ll let you play back your tracks, which would be great for hiking but this has got to eat your battery though.

copilotappsettings.jpg

My biggest complaint is that while it integrates the iPod player into the application, it doesn’t pause the iPod part of the iPhone when it’s speaking; but this is listed as one of the next upcoming features. My second biggest complaint, is that sometimes I don’t feel like they followed iPhone interface guidelines and you have to think sometimes when picking out and typing things (mostly in the search areas).

The 2D maps will let you pinch / zoom like many iPhone map programs will. And it works in landscape or portrait modes. While I like portrait better, the fonts of turns show up bigger in landscape.

It’ll give you live weather for where you are too!

It’s probably the biggest app I have, it’s 1.3 GB, that’s a 1/12 of your 16 GB phone! You can get more info here: http://www.copilotlive.com/iphone/

CoPilot Live North America

Bottom line: If you don’t have a turn-by-turn GPS for $34.99 this is a great deal. For the $19.99 sale price (for only a few days) it’s an even better bargain.

Accessories: I’d recommend a car charger or external battery to charge your phone when walking or biking.

Written By: Gary on November 27, 2009 No Comment

Wow! They’re already lined up at Best Buy in Dearborn. They store doesn’t open until 5 AM!!!

Here’s a link to the HQ video.

That’s insane, I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like later on…

Written By: Gary on November 24, 2009 One Comment

I love xkcd, a cartoon about life, tech, love, science and other abstract concepts. I’ve referenced a few xkcd cartoons before, looking now I see I haven’t even mentioned a few of my favorites. I’ll have to remedy that…xkcd-659.png

You’ll have to click to see the other four frames of the cartoon.

FYI, hovering your mouse over the actual cartoon usually adds a little more to the cartoon’s story (or explains some of the geeky concepts concepts).

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Written By: Gary on November 24, 2009 No Comment

I was looking at the Montezuma Beach web site the other day and I found the best map of Montezuma that I’ve ever seen. The town is mostly just those two blocks at the center of the top. Montezuma really isn’t that busy, it’s the names of all the places that take up space. It even shows the start of the path to get to the waterfalls (at the bottom).

montezuma-map.jpg

Here’s the original (and often updated) larger Montezuma, Costa Rica Map.

It’s one of the few maps that shows both roads in and out of Montezuma; the split at the South end of town that goes to the North always gets left out (even my Costa Rica purchased GPS maps don’t have that road!). There is an “Open Source” Open Street Map of Montezuma. I’ve actually added a lot of the items on the Open Street Map of Montezuma. If you look at it and zoom out you can see how small Montezuma really is. I’ll admit most of the locations are estimates based on the few roads already in the image, but they’ll get you there. I’ll use the GPS next time I’m there to make it more accurate.


View Larger Map

I’ll (probably) tell more about the Open Street Map project in a future post, but it’s one of the few maps only zoomable map with all the roads in and out of town that actually shows some detail of “downtown” Montezuma. This is all that Google shows and I’m not even sure where that (nonexistent) road the goes North-East up the coast goes..

Written By: Gary on November 23, 2009 No Comment

Here’s the first three minutes of the 2009 Doctor Who Christmas Special. It’ll be on December 25th in the UK on the BBC and delayed a day before airing on BBC America. I believe this is a two-part episode but I’m not sure when part two is on, the day after this airs or New Year’s or …?

Direct link to the 3 minute preview.

FYI, if you’re not a fan, the Sigma Ood character might not make too much sense. And you might not know that this is David Tennant’s last story which is the reference to his “song ending soon”.

Written By: Gary on November 22, 2009 No Comment

So you can order ESPN Magazine from Amazon for a present for someone for only $5. This is for 26 issues shipped over the year. It takes 4-6 weeks to start, so it should arrive right around New Year’s…

espnmag.jpgIt’s even got choice in the drop down specifically to renew too.

Normally I wouldn’t try to sell you something I’m not interested in for $5. But when I starting writing this post people were reporting getting a $5 credit at checkout which made it free for the year, I don’t see it when I put it in the cart.

But it is a deal so I thought I’d post it anyways (since I’d already written it up and created the affiliate link) and it’s the right time of year for some stocking stuffers. Leave me a comment if you get it for free (or even if you buy it for $5).

THIS DEAL HAS EXPIRED.

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Written By: Gary on November 21, 2009 No Comment

Yes, I know I’m a little late to be pointing out Halloween costumes, but I thought this was awesome.

http://GarySaid.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/best-halloween-pixel.jpg

She went out as “low resolution”! Looks great too!

Found at KindaCarSick

Written By: Gary on November 17, 2009 No Comment

So I was in southwest Michigan the other day and managed to catch the sunset. I snapped a few photos with my Digital Rebel XT. Actually I snapped a bunch of photos, but I picked these three to share…

michigan-sunset-IMG_2737.jpg
These were all taken in a little roadside park in St. Joseph, Michigan.


michigan-sunset-IMG_2724.jpg
I really like this one, but I wish the bushes had a bit more detail.


michigan-sunset-IMG_2736.jpg

I’ll have to play around with these and see if I can get a little more detail out of the trees and bushes.

Written By: Gary on November 17, 2009 One Comment

So a few months ago I installed the A Year Ago Today plug-in it shows a list of posts that I’ve done on this day (date) in the past at the top of my blog. onthisday11152009.pngI’ve liked it a lot, it reminds me of things I’ve done in the past so I generally revisit the posts. Sometimes I barely even remember blogging it. And sometimes it generates new traffic to the posts (most times not).

I think today is the first day that not only has there been a post from each of the year’s that I’ve been blogging but there were exactly two (2) posts from each November 17 for the last five years.

This helps me clean up my blog too: I’ll occasionally fix some links or add some tags and categories or sometimes fix something minor. Some of the categories I use now, didn’t exist when I wrote some of the earlier posts and I use tags the first few years. This results in things getting reposted to Facebook (via WordBook), generally I’ll delete them but sometimes I’ll leave them (if it’s got a photo or isn’t time sensitive). Occasionally, I’ll read a sentence and think “that makes no sense” so I’ll fix it, I try not to do this too much, it’s really about what I was thinking/feeling/doing then, but if it’s not clear it needs fixing…

Written By: Gary on November 15, 2009 One Comment

I can’t really say much about the episode without giving too much away. So while I’ll try to be discreet, you might want to stop reading. If you’ve seen the preview, I’ll be giving away a little more than that and also my opinions on the episode…

One of the things I noticed in the previews was that Adelaide (the Mars commander) didn’t seem like much of a companion at all. But since I saw she was being referred to as a companion (here and there on the ‘net) I thought I might change my mind when I saw the episode, but that didn’t happen at all. I really felt like it was much more of a loaner episode for The Doctor. He works so much better with a sidekick companion, he doesn’t need to talk to himself as much…

Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead BBC WarnerIn a few ways it was a very non-typical episode, but with only two more David Tennant episodes some changes were to be expected. At least I’m assuming the two part Christmas special includes David Tennant in both episodes; I’d like to point out I quite often see 2010 listed as the end of his tenure in the role, so it makes me wonder if he’s appearing in the first episode of 2010? or is part two of the Christmas episode, The End of Time, going to be on New Year’s Day? or is the 2010 date a mistake? *

Pretty creepy episode. I thought they were originally going to air it on/near Halloween, it would have worked!


Direct link to Doctor Who preview.

Overall, I really enjoyed the episode, the first third was very typical and enjoyable. But by the second half I felt like I (and The Doctor) was just being pulled along through the episode, part of the whole “this is a point fixed in time” problem (assuming you’ve seen the preview) you kind of have to just wait it through. The end was the part I didn’t like, it felt rushed and incomplete. I think they were trying to do some character changes and it made him seem more like an ass mean than crazed. Maybe they’ll follow through in another month and make it more clear why, but…

* He is doing the voice of The Doctor in a Doctor Who cartoon series, Dreamland, maybe that’s running until 2010?

Written By: Gary on November 14, 2009 No Comment

The Doctor is on the BBC in just a few hours, I’d say it’s on today, but it’s still yesterday in Michigan, but it’s already tomorrow in the UK.

It’s one of the last few Russell T. Davies episodes and it’s written with/by Phil Ford who’s done a few (eight!) Sarah Jane Adventures, a Torchwood book (Skypoint) and “Something Borrowed” (the Torchwood wedding episode).

Viewers in the US will have to wait a bit longer (December 9th) until it’s on BBCamerica.

Written By: Gary on November 13, 2009 No Comment

Would more people take the stairs instead of the escalator if it was more fun?!?

Here’s the direct link to the stairs video.

This is actually part of something called The Fun Theory which is an initiative of VW.

Written By: Gary on November 9, 2009 No Comment

I stumbled across this new segment of The Ellen Show called “Know or Go” on the web. It’s a little game show segment. The best part isn’t the first contestant falling through the trap doors, it’s the reaction of the other two contestant’s when the first falls!


Here’s the direct link to the Know or Go game show video.

Written By: Gary on November 8, 2009 No Comment

Here’s a demo of a panoramic 360 degree video, it’s actually more than 360 since you can look up too. Just click and drag as you watch the video and you move while the video is running. It works really really well.

yellowbirdlogo.jpgHere’s a link to it full screen.

The company has more information and demos at their website, which might be the longest URL I’ve ever used it’s www.YellowBirdsDontHaveWingsButTheyFlyToMakeYouExperienceA3dReality.com but then again it’s also yb.nl one of the shortest too.

I found this at pda-247.

Written By: Gary on November 6, 2009 One Comment

So this week’s Friday Question (#87) is

If rain could fall in any scent, what scent would you want it to be?

I had several answers come to mind: I like the smell of rain, the ocean, or I think I’d get bored of the same smell. But the I noticed first few people to comment gave those answers, so I’m going with my fourth option, the world (could) would be happier option…

delete-rain_5.gifI think the smell of rain should change every time it rains. Everyone would go outside to see what today’s scent is or they’d open the windows so they can catch of whiff of it. So instead of being sad it was raining, everyone would be chatting about it and if they liked the smell or not. And the puddles would smell nice too.

Maybe people would tweet to say go outside and smell the maple syrup! Or, just as importantly, we’d get asparagus alerts to not to go outside.

And maybe after the rain it would affect the color of the sky or the rainbow, everyone would wonder outside to see what the flavored sky would look like and have something else to talk about and to brighten up their day.

Written By: Gary on November 1, 2009 4 Comments

So I applied for the job at The Big Trip and the big requirement was a ninety second video to go with it. I just found out about the job yesterday and put this together this video this afternoon.

An applicant will be selected from a pool of an estimated 30,000 worldwide applicants to travel and explore various travel destinations around the United States for a period of 3 months. Their journey will be documented, filmed and aired on thebigtrip.com in mini-episode form (similar to programs depicted on the Travel Channel) for millions of viewers to view each month.

Here’s my video in larger HD quality.

thebigtriplogo.jpgNot only will the applicant we choose get a dream job, they will receive a generous salary of $50,000 USD for their 3 month journey. The traveler will be given a video camera and a MacBook to upload the videos to the internet.

Oh, and they give you an iPhone too!

With a guesstimate of 30,000 applications the odd are low, but you can’t win if you don’t play! And I do love to talk about travel on-line…

LATER: I don’t see that many applications on YouTube (part of the requirement), I’m thinking less than 500, maybe even a lot less than that, but it’s possible people didn’t add any keywords or description. Also, the requirement was to be 60-90 seconds, quite a few are a little longer, many are a lot longer (and a few are too short); I wonder if that being too long will disqualify them? Most of the ones I like are too long, I could have gone longer, as it was I had to trim it to get it to less than 90 seconds…

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