Wilson, Kansas, UNITED STATES

Joined April 10th 2008

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derek's Blogs

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Anyone who has read this blog before knows that I'm an avid PS3 gamer. In fact, I have owned every Sony produced console since the original Playstation. This, in my opinion, is by far the most advanced system on the console market. The 360 is close, but since HD DVD is a dead format, it has lost a lot of clout. HOWEVER, I use as my main source for game rental since I live in Podunk, USA and don't have ANY place within 50 miles to rent games, and I must say that the selection of titles on the system is not that great.
I have never been very good at first-person-shooter games either (I was the laughing stock of every Halo LAN party in college) so that really limits my ability to rent or purchase games I'm going to get a lot of enjoyment out of. In fact, since buying my PS3 in November of 2007, the only two games I have gotten significant enjoyment out of that were worth the sixty dollar price tag are Bethesda's two giants, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and Fallout 3. Little Big Planet is a hoot. An amazing game, IF you have more than one person.I also loved Assassin's Creed, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and Grand Theft Auto IV, but they didn't quite immerse me in the same way as Oblivion and Fallout.

It just seems to me that Sony is lagging behind in acquiring quality titles for their system. I can't really think of any titles on 360 that jump out right away as something that would sway me to purchase the console, but that doesn't stop me from being dissatisfied with the selection on PS3. I'm sure there are a lot of 360 fanboys and girls out there who would think that my distaste for their system is unfair, and they would be right. It is unfair. I have an ingrained hatred for anything Microsoft puts their name on. I mean, I could throw a low blow out there and mention that Windows Vista and 360 Red Rings have been a huge blemish for the company, but when I turn off my bias, I do have to admit that overall, they do produce quality products and have been a driving force in this technology industry that I love so very much.
The spark that inspired this piece though, is an article I read on about online gaming. In that article they reported that not only is the 360 still the king of console online play, but that the Wii has surpassed the PS3 and taken second. Good lord. It looks like the honeymoon Sony enjoyed through the holidays has finally had the final nail driven into its coffin.
For the benefit of my journalistic pursuits, I've often thought of buying a 360 and possibly even a Wii so I could give an accurate opinion of all three systems and their games. I might just do so now, but, it has seemed so far that every time my faith in my beloved console gets humbled, Sony shocks the world with some big development that launches them back into the forefront. Maybe this time they'll finally develop a way to play my PS3 games on my PSP at work over Remote Play. Hey, I can dream.

Two Twitter Apps Side by Side

March 13th 2009 08:14
It's official, I've been Twitterfied. Er...Twitterpated? Call it what you will, but for the past few days I've been glued to the micro-blogging sensation like a 12 year old boy who stumbles across some porn while searching the web for information on the White House for a school project. (circa 1999, its .gov... NOT .com)
I digress.
I signed up for my account with Twitter clear back in May of last year after hearing about it on Tekzilla, but I wasn't too impressed to begin with. It seemed like a site full of Facebook status updates with none of the other perks. But the rise in media attention sparked my interest as to what all the fuss was about and here I am, a certified addict. Even though I've never considered myself much of a voyeur, (and let's face it, that's what Twiiter fans are) I can't get enough of this site.
Anyone who knows me knows that when I get into something, I dive in all the way. It usually only lasts a short while, (even though the Concerta works fairly well, I think my ADHD still peeks out now and again) but while I'm in, I'm IN. So naturally I went about finding a way to satisfy my addiction without having to use my browser. Any shortcut, however ridiculous, is always a plus. So far, I've found two Adobe AIR-based desktop apps, TweetDeck and Twhirl.

Both are pretty straightforward, easy to use. They both have the same tools for using Twitpic, shortening URLs, TweetDeck only uses shortener while Twirl has a couple of options. It's not clear to me yet if this makes a difference. TweetDeck has a dropdown menu for frequently used hashtags, Twirl doesn't that I can see, but again, not really a huge thing.
I haven't found a way to adjust the refresh rate on Twirl, so while running both simultaneously, TweetDeck gets the updates a bit quicker. Unless your obsession has reached critical, possibly fatal levels however, this too should not be a big deal breaker.
Near as I can tell, the biggest difference comes down to aesthetics. TweetDeck allows you to customize the colors of it's UI, while Twhirl sticks you with pastels. TweetDeck only lets you choose between two fonts, where Twirl has all your basic font choices. I haven't found a way to shut off notification sounds on TweetDeck, but you can turn them off on Twhirl.
And that's really it. Personally, I prefer TweetDeck so far, despite the inability to turn off sounds, mostly because I'm more of an Earth-tone person and I don't really care for pastels. And I'm a big Poe fan, so the TD icon reminds me of "The Raven". However, Twhirl lets me use the Georgia font, which is prominently featured in just about anything I can put it in, so that's good. I just like the way it makes numbers look. You're like "That's just like Times!" But then I retort with a little of this...1234567890. Yeah, how 'bout that?
There I go digressin' (and speakin' all apostrophied.)
But, back on track here, really, you just have to decide which one you prefer to stare at. There's no big WOW feature that stuck out to me on either one. Let me know what YOU think though. Try 'em out, give me some feedback. I'll even disagree with you for the sport of it if you'd like.
In the meantime as well, you can follow me on Twitter @ddsmith3. Follow some of my favorites too,
@rustyrockets (Comedian Russell Brand)
@garyvee (The amazing Gary Vaynerchuk)
Speaking of him by the way, there's an amazing video he did that analyzes a clip of Howard Stern hating on the web. Vaynerchuk is who inspired me to get into blogging, he's so right on and so inspirational. Check it out.
@JohnCleese (Monty Python's John Cleese... duh.)
@DAVID_LYNCH (his movies kick ass, and if you wanna know conditions in LA each morning, he's your man)
@lilyroseallen (Lily Allen, her tweets are great)
@quoolquest (Roots drummer QuestLove. Tweets during tapings of Late Night. So cool.)

There's just a few, check my page for more. Also check back for a video I plan on making to accompany this post. Vaynerchuk's got my wheels agrindin'.

If there's one thing I hate in this world, (actually, there are quite a few) it's when a decision is made with no apparent motivation other than to show that the "deciders" have the power to do so. Hulu's decision to block access to it's site through Boxee certainly qualifies. Boxee, an open source media browsing application designed to provide quick and easy access to streamable video and music content, had been the savior of my home entertainment system. Where I live, cable TV is very limited. I also work nights, so I miss a lot of the shows I could watch. I really would rather not utilize Bit-torrents, or shell out the bucks for better cable, satellite or DVR, especially if an alternative is staring me right in the face.

Sure, I can still get Hulu on my PS3, but it's not just a simple click away like it was with the Boxee hack on my Apple TV. And even if I could get past the frustration of navigating the PS3's web browser, it doesn't provide true full-screen like I was getting on my Apple TV.
The folks at Boxee are still fighting with workarounds to remain Hulu accessible. In fact, as I'm writing this post, the Twitter feed ishuluonboxee reports that Hulu is working. But no one has yet to offer a reasonable explanation as to why this is even an issue. I found stories on PC World, Engadget and CNET, all reporting on the absolute absurdness of the whole thing with no leads to answer "why?"
Ads are still shown, everything is exactly the same as it would be on a computer, just easier and more appealing to access, so it makes no sense. When record companies started suing P2P users last decade, at least that was understandable on principle. But Boxee is safe, legal and convenient.... I could ramble on and on, but it just makes my media-deprived brain throb relentlessly.
Fortunately, I have hope via Dan Moren over at Macworld.

"Some of you may remember my cardinal rule of technology (never bet against the hackers)--like many corporations, the content providers here (or, well, 'content witholders' in this scenario) don't seem to have realized that they're on the losing end of this battle."

Thanks Dan, let's hope the good folks at Boxee and those poor, confused NBC-Universal execs can settle their differences soon.

Ah, blogging. What a wonderful art. The only problem is, in order to become a successful blogger, just like anything else, you have to be dedicated, diligent and, well, creative. Sadly, shortly after the premier of the Dark Knight last year, all my dedication, diligence and creativity went down the drain. I burned out.
But, as the blogless months wore on, it occurred to me, "Hey, I have a f**king website. Let's do something with it." So now I'm back, and I have a plan. Tech is my life, I love toys, computers, video games, the web, but I also love music, movies, TV and books, as well as tons of other things I couldn't even begin to list here. And I figure, since I'm one guy, what's the harm in making this a bit more personal? Boosting things that I like in hopes that others will enjoy them too.
So, in the coming days, weeks and months, is going to be reformatted, redesigned and restructured. We're still going to be a tech blog. Oh yes. But so much more than that. We'll be reviewing music, movies, books, stores, restaurants, food, drinks... public restrooms... Pretty much anything that strikes my fancy at the moment

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Itís always a good idea for a movie-goer to get the original movie sharp in mind before going to see a sequel. Confusing references can ruin the experience. Studios re-releasing the first movie immediately prior to the premier of the sequel isnít a new practice, but Blu-Ray can allow it to be reinvented, and thatís just what Warner Bros. is attempting with the Batman Begins Limited Edition Blu-Ray Gift Set.

The film speaks for itself of course, a dark retelling (or some might say first telling) of the origins of Batman. A fan of the film no doubt would be interested in seeing it on Blu-Ray, and any self respecting consumer wants to get the most out of their coin, especially when the inflating prices of everyday essential needs force us to think again before spending our money on superfluous entertainment. So, does this set deliver or make you wish youíd taken the receipt out of your pocket before washing your jeans

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This is how it goes sometimes isnít it? Sometimes the Gods of Journalism spin the roulette wheel and choose a single opinion blogger to whom they will serve a freshly peed in bowl of Cheerios. Maybe Iím too bias. Maybe Iím too one-sided. I donít know.

For those of you who are wondering what Iím talking about, it has to do with this fancy new firmware Playstation released last week that I basically wrote an advertisement rather than an article about. I was baffled today when I switched on my PS3 and saw the ďUpdate RequiredĒ message pop up. With a little bit of investigation (courtesy of I found out that the update has caused a few consoles to nearly crash. Well, I must have been granted immunity, because my system has been problem free, but it doesnít make the fact that I talked the update up in excess of 500 words sting any less

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NCAA Football 09 Looking Good

July 8th 2008 11:09
Ah, the joys of this new generation of gaming consoles. I remember the days when a guy had to wait for a Pizza Hut promotion or subscribe to a pricey gaming magazine to get his hands on some upcoming game demos. Then, if that didnít work you had to wait for your rich buddy to buy a game, then go over to his house, throw a few please and thank youís his momís way till she asks you to stay for dinner, then politely excuse yourself from the table to figure out whether Mortal Kombat 13 is really as cool as it looks on TV.

Nowadays, with the Information Age in full swing, all you have to do is pick up your controller. Xbox Live and the Playstation Network have enabled us to preview thousands of titles right from our couches. NCAA Football 09 is one of the newest demos on PSN, and itís definitely worth a look-see. Sure, you might be skeptical. Last years demo, with no announcers, weird camera angles and horrible frame-rate kept me from buying the game. But this years effort is much smoother, sleeker, and packed with as many features as EA could cram into a gig and a half

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Qore Episode 2

July 6th 2008 09:05
As many of you know, the first article on My Take/System Attic was unprofessional and sloppy and had a very ďthrown togetherĒ feel to it. (And it was less than a month ago. How things change. Or do they?) In that article, the first episode of the new Playstation 3 series Qore was basically slammed, and well, rightfully so. The bang for the buck just wasnít there. It also seemed a bit thrown together, and although it may seem hypocritical to criticize that due to the aforementioned unprofessional nature of our first article, our article was free. I mention this because the host of Qore, Veronica Belmont, commented on the article in defense of her show, and I feel the need to clarify that her comment in no way affected the objectivity of this review. In fact, if anything, it may have caused a harsher judgment in an effort to prove credibility.

Now, thatís out of the way, so here we go

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Tonight, as I was surfing the web looking for something to write about, I came across an article about how Time-Warner has begun to initiate bandwidth caps on their cable internet users. Now, before tell you what happened, I want to go point out that this will have no affect on me whatsoever because Iím not a Time-Warner customer and I use DSL (Also, I donít think I consume near enough bandwidth to constitute a cap). But regardless of those factors, a tiny inkling of panic still rose up from the bowels of my technology-reliant soul. ďOh NO! Theyíre cuttiní me OFF!Ē Eventually though, I regained my common sense and the panic subsided. But this got me thinking. What if all of the technology that so many of us have allowed to be ingrained in our daily lives was suddenly in limited supply, or worse, disappeared completely?

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Favorite Firefox Extensions

July 3rd 2008 14:42
Firefox 3 is great isnít it? It looks great with my OS and is a formidable, if not nearly superior alternative to Safari or Internet Explorer. A huge part of what makes it so great are all these nifty extensions you can get for that can streamline your online experience or just make it more fun. Iíve decided to make a list of a few of my favorites in hopes that many of you can get as much enjoyment out of the browser as I do.

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Recent Comments

Comment by derek
on USB Heating Gloves

March 10th 2009 14:28
That is absolutely ridiculous...yet, utterly amazing. My favorite.

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I wonder what the buffet would be like? I can't imagine that would be the type of wedding you could just drop in on for the food.

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Comment by derek
on Software Programs Feed Need For Brain Exercise

July 4th 2008 08:01
hey, thanks for the comment. your site is great too. that artwork is awesome. well done. keep it up.

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Comment by derek
on For Sale: Facebook going for a song

July 3rd 2008 16:04
Zuckerburg is such an asshole though, he'll never let go of his share. And I think as long as he is majority stockholder, it won't be long before that ship is sunk.

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Comment by derek
on Firefox Does It!

July 3rd 2008 15:55
wish i could've gotten a badge but i was over eager and downloaded the beta a month beforehand. oh well, still got a great browser.

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Comment by derek
on A Change Will Make Technostuffs Good...

July 3rd 2008 15:31
cool banner man. really professional yet fun. like it a lot. wish i had the time to do something like that.

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Comment by derek
on A Change Will Make Technostuffs Good...

July 3rd 2008 15:31

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