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Music Review: Stars of Track and Field – Centuries Before Love and War

Stars of Track and Field is a band out of Oregon that apparently is pretty popular in the indie pop world. Their latest album, Centuries Before Love and War [affiliate], is slower and more cliche.
It has great vocals and guitar and it’s pretty unique sounds compared to current pop selections, but the real reason I bought this? There was a television commercial for them that was actually pretty good music.
Then I found out that they sell the album for cheap. I mean the real seller was that it was six bucks on iTunes. The album itself is only about eight dollars, which is definitely interesting since most music CDs or albums start out at ten or more dollars. Because the music is interesting and the price is right, that definitely sealed the deal.
Stars of Track and Field - Centuries Before Love and War

SystemLoad

SystemLoad is an interesting freeware diagnostic tool for MacOSX that does what the name says…. it puts a load on the system. When you activate this tool, you can set it to put the maximum load on the processor to check the temperature or any other type of issues you might be experiencing randomly to see if you can troubleshoot the issue.

Wii-tastic!

I first touched the Wii two weekends ago. What can I say but what an awesome console. It totally revolutionizes the way games are played since the games are more interactive. So I defied all odds and got one (yes, even almost May, they are super difficult to find). They’ll run you about $250 but these days, you’ll probably have to buy a bundle deal just to get one. Bundles range anywhere from $350+ to $650+.
And I’m just having a blast. Microsoft should fear Japanese innovation if this is anything to be said about it. At one point, I thought Nintendo, the people that made console gaming into what it is now, had bit the dust.
No more. No more.
One thing for sure. Nintendo and Sony really need to kick it up a notch for online group gaming. If they can launch a micropayment online system that allows group interaction, there will be hell to pay when it comes to online systems. So far, I’ve already heard that due to the “point and click” approach, the current keyboard entry system already beats out both of the other systems in easy to use when it comes to typing. Now it will really come down to the only thing Microsoft holds best: the online marketplace. It’s still not too late for either Japanese vendor to really turn this into a super cashcow considering micropayments are really what is hot in Asia.

Simpletech SimpleShare 160G drive

This NAS storage is one of the cheapest out there. There are many things to compliment it on, but it’s not without fault. As this review points out, it’s almost a cross-platform panacea. From unboxing this device, you can connect it easily to your network and set it up via a web interface. The hardware itself is pretty elegant and is in this hard metal case. The buttons and LEDs are well-placed and the two extra USB ports on the back are for external harddrives or USB printers.
Creating shares is actually pretty simple. The web interface is pretty intuitive as long as you’ve maneuvered around web interfaces. Windows shares are also very simple to create and access from a Windows computers. With a full Windows network, the SimpleShare is a great addition to your network for quick space. But MacOSX support is another story.

[Read more →]

Sleep Display

Sleep Display is both an application and a dashboard widget for MacOSX. What it does is it puts the display to sleep without putting your machine into hibernation. This allows the machine to run processes but draw less power on the battery since the display is not being used.
Very useful to extend the life of your battery, especially for those long times away from a wall plug.
Arstechnica < LineStreet

FON pries open Time Warner’s iron fist in partnership deal

Interesting development on the internet front. FON, that has been pushing for users to share their bandwidth with other users has inked a partnership deal with the cable giant, Time Warner. What’s interesting about this development is that the cable companies have always maintained an iron fist over sharing residential Internet. This goes for any of the cable giants.
With this partnership, it’s only a limited set of “sharing” going on since you would have to be signed up with FON also, but it does open up a world of possibilities. We’ve been a FON member since practically inception, but we also bypassed the whole residential ruling since we had business cable.
Via Engadget

Why is the gas pump hitting our wallets now?

Here’s the thing. Gas prices are up. Everyone knows that. The national average is around $2.87 per gallon, about a nickel shy of last year’s $2.91 per gallon in the same time frame. What’s interesting is that the “reason” is given that the refineries around the United States are going through maintenance and repair that has been limiting the supply, but that will soon pass.
My question is: Last year, we had Katrina… what’s the excuse for this year? It’s been a full year to repair any issues regarding supply. It almost seems like gas corporations are taking their sweet time to milk it for all it’s worth.
What’s interesting is that you don’t hear any fussing at all from the people. They suck it up and deal with the pricing, even though this time last year, there was a lot of talk about it. People don’t seem to be paying attention that even the cost of goods are going up due to the transportation costs (when was the last time you actually looked at what you were buying at the grocery store and compared the price to what you paid last year?).
The American people need to be more vocal about this “turtle-paced” move at repairing our gasoline supply and the push from the White House to double our supply reserves. It seems that the longer we are silent, the closer to that $4 per gallon gas we will come. Then the day will come when we tell our children and our grandchildren of these days and they will be in awe at how cheap $2.86 seemed. Alas, I remember the days when it was a little over a dollar.

Transmission

Transmission is a lightweight bittorrent client that is open source. It runs natively on five different operating systems (BSDs, linux, and MacOSX) and does Peer Exchange in the background to optimize the downloading of files. The ease of navigation and the fact that it’s open source makes it an attractive “no bloat” p2p package. Take a look if you’ve been looking for something that doesn’t suck up your resources whenever you launch the client and chews up that precious bandwidth that you could be using on World of Warcraft.
CoolOSXApps < Transmission

8.5 game for $1.26

What can I say… it was a stroke of luck. Target just happened to have it in the clearance section and was “AS IS” priced. It seemed like it was fine, so I picked up the PSP’s Twisted Metal Head-On [affiliate]. And without knowing anything about the game itself, it’s was great to find out that it was worth less than a Happy Meal and GameSpot gave it a rating of 8.5!
It was one of the Greatest Hits, so obviously it’s been around the block already and had to gain some fame since… well, you can’t be a Greatest Hits if you don’t play well. The game itself is a driving shoot out, demolitiion derby style game that kept me up all hours of the night. It’s definitely worth picking up if you don’t already have it in your PSP collection. Even better, it has both adhoc and infrastructure wireless play, to give it a huge boost in different types of play.
But realistically, all the ratings aside, I’m still stoked that it was the cheapest game I ever laid hands on that was actually really good. Thank you Target.

When liberals aren’t so liberal…

Usually I don’t write about politics because it’s plain stupid. But lately, it’s taken a turn for the worst. Here’s the look at why. As I pointed out yesterday, things like this are actually a poor choice for liberals. Why? Well, think about it in this fashion. Liberals are usually about the broader mindset, the bigger picture, more choices. I term it as “usually”, because when it comes to gun control, they flip sides with conservatives. Conservatives don’t care if you don’t want a gun, but they want everyone to have the right to one. Broader viewpoint, right?
So the point here is that when I read Dave Winer write this on AmyLoo’s observation in regarding McCain and the cheap shots by MoveOn, I scoffed:

Amyloo chimes in on liberals not stooping to the ridiculously low level of Republican politics.

I couldn’t help but also read Amy’s post here on the cheap shots in more detail:

I think it’s also about liberals being broadminded enough to set an example and not stoop to the picayune. If you were horrified when McCain and others seized on John Kerry’s misunderstood joke about ending up in Iraq just before the 2006 congressional elections, you’re no better if you exploit this.

Exactly my point. The one huge thing that I’ve found disconcerting growing up is that politicians all tell you what you want to hear, and there’s a bunch of yes-man groupies right behind them. But when it comes to actions instead of words, it really matters not what side or party.
I believe this is the real reason why the younger generation does not side with a side and are more in the Independent (ie. voting declaration) realm of things. If we held politicians accountable for their actions instead of nodding like bobble-heads, there would be a lot more changes taking place and politicians would be more reserved in making such outrageous claims or having the backlash that comes with it. Alas, I feel that politics as above mentioned is only but a dream. Reality is that we will always have the low blows and nasty talk of politics. We need the realization that human nature will always move towards the primal urges to pummel each other instead of taking the higher road because well… we’re human. Conflict is in the blood. Perhaps the understanding of that realization will be the first step to staying the bickering in politics. Perhaps.