I took my kids to see this weeks after it had opened. Despite reading both good and bad things about it I was still looking forward to it.By the time we got to the end, my kids we getting antsy, it wasn't grabbing them entirely. Like me, they loved a lot of the individual jokes and scenes but it did not hang together as a great movie.Obviously they have a lot of characters to fit in but I felt more from Skinner and Burns would have helped a lot. It was missing an edge and the EPA/President stuff was pretty ham-fisted.I find it hard to believe they spent the years they talked about writing this, it felt very rushed, unfinished and storylines just petered out without resolution.Things I loved - the booing of Green Day when they tried to talk about the environment, the superglue on the crotch and Flanders "devil's curly hair quip".I'm not very PC but the constant gay jokes started to become almost offensive and the goddamed leprechaun character should have been shot during script revision 2.Well worth watching on DVD or Cable eventually but not a classic by any means. .... Read Original Full Review.
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When I started using Last.fm about a year and a half ago, I thought that was the only playlist I would ever need. I was very happy to scrobble my life away listening to recommendations from my neighbours. I dont like organizing my music - I go into a frenzy about once a year where every single tag must be perfect, and I usually spend about eight hours capitalising song titles and adding in album information. The rest of the year, I like to just click play and leave it at that. The greatest thing about Last.fm is that it knows exactly the kind of music I like, and it finds me more of the same. On the other hand, the downside of Last.fm is that it knows exactly the music I like, and always finds me more of the same. Im not sure exactly why I overlooked the existence of MP3 Blogs, but I know that extreme laziness is at least partly to blame.Now I have found Peel, named after the man. It is basically just a music blog feed-reader for the Mac, really nice and simple and easy to use. I have it set to auto-download new tracks from my favourite music blogs, and I will manually play the latest music from the for blogs that I dont trust quite as much (I dont want to accidentally auto-download any Sean Ban Breathnach tracks). The best thing about Peel is that it automatically creates a playlist for each blog, and adds the downloaded tracks to iTunes. For some reason, I really hate making playlists. Now that Im sold on the product and will happily fork out $15 on a licence, I need to find my favourite music blogs. I was very pleased with the ones that came with Peel.Aquarium DrunkardFluxblogMusic for RobotsSaid the GramophoneI know of a couple of music blogs from Ireland which I visit occasionally (please let me know which ones Im missing, because Id like to check them out):MP3 HuggerNialler9Im working my way through this list to find some sites that I like - please let me know if you have any recommendations. My feature requests:A maximum file-size limit for auto-downloading, so that I dont waste my bandwidth downloading 100mb+ podcasts which happen to be in mp3 form.The ability to view the title and description of the post accompanying the song. Im probably missing out on interesting trivia here, or possibly even some important note left by the blogger. I might subscribe to a music blog that I dont really like, if I felt that it produces the occasional gem, and it would be handy to see the title of the post, just the bogger refers to it as the greatest song of all time or something.It is a great app though, I would advise all you Mac users to check it out. Windows people, Im sure there is something very similar that you can use. Linux guys, you could probably write a script that does this without the need for a fancy GUI anyway. .... Read Original Full Review.
I do a lot of running on a weekly basis and I'm constantly looking for things that will make my runs more enjoyable and successful. New trainers, better clothing, etc, etc. However, one thing I would never change is music, I bring an iPod Nano with me on every run. When I heard about Nike+, I was at first sceptical about it but then I gave into temptation.After a quick calibration over a few hundred metres, simply select your workout type, playlist and away you go. The Nike+ kit consists of two parts. A small pedometer device that goes into your shoe and a small receiver that plugs into the port of your iPod Nano. Nike manufacture shoes specifically for this system with a cavity under the insole for the pedometer but it isn't necessary to purchase these shoes. I have an old pair of Nike Shox and the device fits snuggly under the lining of the tongue of the shoe. The system allows you to input your weight also. So, while you are running about it is estimating your calorie burn rate. There is even a workout that is based on calories burned rather than distance, great for anyone trying to shape-up. Over a recent 11km run the accuracy of the device for distance was out by about 5% (underestimated). However, that's more than acceptable to me as pedometers by nature cannot be wholly accurate and this route involved many uphill and downhill sections hence varying my stride. When you complete your run you get a full lowdown on how you performed and during your run you get updates everytime you run a kilometre or mile (your choice) and also regular updates on your distance left after you hit half-way in a distance run. You can also hear your average time per km/mile all without ever having to look at the iPod. Another nice feature is the "power song" feature. Every runner has a song that releases a bit of adrenalin, "Eye of the tiger" or whatever you want. I always wished the iPod had this feature and now it does by simply holding down the centre button for a second or two.When you get home, it's still not over. Connect up your iPod and launch iTunes to transfer your data to the Nike website. You can store your past runs, track your progress, set goals and challenge somebody in Boston to a virtual race. Overall I'm blown away by this simple little package that cost less than Euro 30. I don't think I'll ever run without it again. If I had to say something negative I'd be stuck but I guess it would be that the receiver that plugs into the iPod needs power obviously and depending on the state of your iPod battery it might not last some of the longer distance runs unless you're a top athlete or your iPod is always fully charged. .... Read Original Full Review.
We're doing some playing around with video reviews right now and what better thing to try it out on than the saviour of the Irish tech industry. .... Read Original Full Review.
I hadn't heard many good things written about this movie when it came out but I finally decided to watch it on Sky Movies recently. I was very pleasantly surprised to find an interesting, exciting, well written movie which made up for the horror of the second two Matrix movies.Basic plot is a dystopian near future where UK is a fascist state run by a dictator (John Hurt) and his secret police.V is an anarchist/terrorist who blows up the Old Bailey, hacks into the emergency comms system and tells everyone to turn up at the houses of parliament in one years time to take power back for the people.V spends the movie in a Guy Fawkes mask and it is testament to Hugo Weaver that his voice is rich enough to pull this off.Natalie Portman gets sucked into his world but has a less extreme vision than him.Lots of stuff about viruses, germ warfare, experiments on undesirables etc. Pretty standard fare for any dystopian movie.The plot rollicks along with lots of depth. The colour schemes work extremely well.Alls well that ends well and the nasty dictator is toppled but V dies in the process.My main gripe with the movie is that dystopian futures in books/movies are always run by fascists whereas, apart from Hitler, all recent dystopian pasts have been run by communists. I read up on the graphic novel on which the movie was based to discover that it was written in the early 80's and the author thought Maggie Thatcher would lead the UK to a world like V's. What a numbskull. .... Read Original Full Review.
A perfect rock song. Finest piece of music I have heard in six months. .... Read Original Full Review.
I headed over to Amsterdam on Thursday for TheNextWeb and kicked it off with a short stint at the first International OCC. There was a large group of attendees of multiple nationalities and the banter flowed. We had a quiet night of the Irish Mafia that night with Nooked, PollDaddy, PutPlace and LouderVoice in attendance.The event was heldin a wonderful building calledThe Tuschinski Theatre - a gem of a theatre with beautiful decoration everywhere. My first pleasant surprise was that this was not going to be a huge mob conference like Le Web 3 so the chances of finding who I wanted to talk to were much higher.The three guys were decked out in white so you could spot them from 100 metres away!Throughout the whole day everyonewas eager to network and I had wonderful conversations with people ranging from the Ziki guys to the Widsets guy.Scott Rafer was a total pro as the MC andhad a great lightness of touch when the odd thing went screwey. The first speaker of the day was Saul Klein and his topic of "Why Europe needs to seed the growth of its new strars" is one very dear to my heart. A storming start to the conference!The two old farts Canter and Clavierreally added to the whole day with their Statler& Waldorf routine. Apart from the humour, they made some good incisive commentson the startups who did showcases on stage. On a side-note, why were these not announced a week before as promised?Jeff gave a great talk but I missed Deborah Schutlz which I'm annoyed about. I saw bit of Tapan Bhat's talk but to be honest it sounded like the usual corp-schtick and washed over me without me noticing.Tariq Krim had flight problems and looked wrecked but I thought his presentation on the widgetization of everything was a killer and it really got me going. Particularly considering my earlier conversations with Widsets and PollDaddy.The Speed Pitching session was in danger of collapsing in disorganisation due to tons of no-shows but they guys pulled it together and it ended up being the highligh of my day. Four minutes to each of three VCs really focused the mind.My only tiny criticism was that they were not critical enough. I was hoping to be scorched but all the feedback was encouraging!Dick Hardt gave the classic Dick Hardt presentation. I was very surprised tosee thatmany of those sitting near me had clearly never seen him in action. I had thought everyone hadwatched those videos online.Unfortunately, whilst I love the style, I came away from that unsatisfied. It was less Identity 2.0 and more Identity 101.He needs to add depth and I don't know how you do thatin such a rapid-fire style.The only showcase which really stuck in my head was Respectance. Initially I thought it was one of the worst ideas of all time. I was expecting it to be monetized via ads for coffins. But the more I think about it, the more I think they may have a winner. I want to write about my recently passed away Grandaunt and whislt I'll probably do it on my blog, I may give Respectance a go too. The CEO needs to learn how to use his laptop tho!I missed Felix Petersen as I cannot shut up talking about LouderVoice and returned for Rod Beckstrom. This looked like it was going to be some slick sales pitch but was a wonderful eclectic race through a bunch of ideas, stories and biography. I'll be buying The Starfish and The Spider this week as a result. There was a hard deadline on ending the event which was a terrible pity as I could have listened to Rod for another hour.Very little downside on the day. A few things - where the hell was Arrington? His name is still on the site and he is bitching about the Plazes guy being a no-show? And thedemo booth idea didn't really work for me. I had been disappointed not to get a slot for LouderVoice (particularly when 4 were given to sponsors) but seeing it in action cleared that up for me - too tight and cluttered.I headed home right after the gig so Imissed the mealand theparty. All reports are that it was a wild night. Damn!Well done Boris, Patrick and Arjen. I'll definitely be back next year. .... Read Original Full Review.
If you are looking for an easy way to broadcast yourself live over the Internet then check out Ustream.tv. The site bills itself as live interactive video for everyone and it lives up to its motto. I was up and running within minutes.Ive streamed live for a couple of days in a row during the afternoon as I surf the net. Ive only had a few visitors because I havent shared the url of the stream or embedded it on my blog. So, the people who have watched and chatted with me are also exploring Ustream.tv. Ive had a couple of people from the UK, a man from Brazil and a couple of people from the Midwestern U.S. Basically I talk and chat with them, telling them the websites Im checking out and just chatting in general. Its very easy to set up a live stream. Just open an account and you can create a quick show that can be seen by anyone and comes with a chatroom.You can also opt for a standard show where you have more options. For a standard show you canname your show and give it a description and add tags.record an intermission video.choose whether to have a public chatbox for audience interaction.password protect your channel to control who views your stream.set up a recurring show if you plan on broadcasting at the same time each day, week or month.You are given a permalink for your show as well as code to embed it in your site or blog. I created a show called, you guessed it, Confessions of an Infomaniac. Ive given you the link rather than embed another video in this post.Ustream.tv is pretty straight forward with a keep it simple approach. There is no help section and unless they add more features really no need for one. Each step of setting up a show is explained and there are no bells & whistles to need further explanation. Yesterday when I was streaming live a tech popped into the room to check out my streaming speed. My connection is DSL and I had some background programs running that were slowing down my speed causing stuttering and freeze ups. He worked with me until the connection speed was adequate enough to stream live.You can also record video and again embed it on your site or blog making Ustream.tv an application you could use for video blogging. My first impression of Ustream.tv is that it is an easy way to stream yourself live over the Internet if you are so inclined and not looking for a host of options. I give it 5 stars for ease of use and 3 stars for features. .... Read Original Full Review.
A few months back we visited my sister and saw my nephews modded XBox. I had always thought these were for playing dodgy games. Little did I realise what the modern mod-chips and software are capable of.I decided to get the same chip for my sons 8th birthday. Game Station are doing used XBoxes plus two used games for EUR60. Add to the the Xecuter chip, 80Gb hard disk and another joystick and you are still coming in well under EUR150.Installation with the non-solder adapter is trivial if you are happy to open a PC. My kids lost said adapter and I had to go the soldering route. Attempt 1 splashed solder on an IC and killed the XBox. Frustrating but EUR60 more got me another plus two more games and a joystick.This time it went perfectly. The replacement box was a v1.6 model (the latest) which was good due to newish DVD player but on the downside, the 1.6s need an extra pcb soldered to them. Still, it wasnt too difficult. New HDD was trivial too. Note that you do not need to transfer anything to new drive unless there are game settings etc you want to keep from the old one. I booted the box and got the minimal Xecuter screen. Using instructions provided I grabbed the full-feature software and made a http connection to the XBox and loaded it up. Again, this was trivial to do.I then located the Slayer software on the web and downloaded that. This is a collection of great XBox tools and applications in one easy installer. I burned the ISO to DVD and loaded it up onto the XBox. I was blown away!Some of the kick ass features:Copy any game from DVD onto HarddrivePlay movies in almost any format and regionDitto musicStream media from networked PCPlay a network copy of a DVD ISO on your TV with no mounting or any messingFull Media Centre FeaturesA bunch of old school console emulatorsAnd much much moreThis thing is so good, Im seriously thinking of getting one for myself and replacing our DVD player. .... Read Original Full Review.
The kids had always enjoyed Star Wars Lego I for GBA (but running on a DS). When the 5 year old kid was getting his DS Lite, we got him Star Wars Lego II as he adored playing it on his friend's Playstation.All of the children love the game from the 7 year old down to the 1 year old who just likes watching it.I've tried it a bit but it doesn't grab me the way something like Mario Karts does. You basically wander around the recognisable world of Star Wars as one of the usual characters but in the style of Lego, finding things, fighting with the forces of the empire and customising yourself with different outfits, hair etc. Obviously many Lego aspects to the game too with things breaking apart into blocks and other things having to be assembled.I tend to get very bored with explore-type games like this but as I said the kids adore it. The music is from the Jabba The Hut scene in whichever movie it was and gets very annoying very quickly. .... Read Original Full Review.