off topic

  • A call to arms: Reboot the public bathroom

    Ladies and gentlemen, I am not a loquacious orator. I’ve never written an impassioned speech. I’m just a part-time tech blogger. But today I must do my best to motivate — nay, to inspire — you, the tech-savvy population of the Internet, to bring all of your design and engineering and user experience skills to bear on the problem of the modern era. Set aside your silly… Read More

  • Brighten up your day (or salad) with a homemade 1UP Power Up!

    Generally speaking, the preferred method for procuring a 1UP Power Up is collecting 100 golden Mario coins to smash your fist into a giant question mark block. BUT, if you’re really in need of a quick (and less painful) pick-me-up, grab yourself a shiny new radish, a paring knife, and maybe a Sharpie (for the eyes?!). Follow the visual instructions above and…voila! 1UP! Power Up! Read More

  • Science: CHOP research muscles out AIDS

    Researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who have been researching AIDS for almost a decade, have come up with a novel new way to fight the immunovirus. Traditional vaccines didn’t seem to be working, so Dr. Philip Johnson, chief scientific officer at Children’s Hospital, shifted gears, and used muscles to deliver a gene in order to create a protein that… Read More

  • Thundercats live action trailer!

    It may be fan made, but it’s pretty darn neat to watch. Read More

  • SonicWall blocks WindowsUpdate

    Over the weekend SonicWall, makers of internet security appliances, inexplicably started blocking WindowsUpdate. Also blocked are updates from Kaspersky and Trend Micro antivirus products. Linux users around the world may be rejoicing, but system administrators using SonicWall appliances might feel differently. Thankfully you can disable this set of checks easily enough, so the long-term… Read More

  • Blockbuster's Top 10 Nightmare-Maker Movies list, do you agree?

    We’re not a movie blog, we know, but we are a day away from one of my favorite holidays and I came across this Top 10 Nightmare-Maker Movies list from Blockbuster and thought I’d share. It’s also a sloooooow news day. What would your top 10 list look like? 10. Pet Semetary
    9. The Blair Witch Project
    8. Saw
    7. The Shining
    6. The Grudge Read More

  • Crunch Network

    DIY: Wooden USB flash drive

    With a lot of sanding and basic woodworking skills, you can turn your plastic thumb drive into a classy wooden drive. Let me show you how. Read More

  • How are we doing?

    We’ve been doing this for a little over two years now and I’d like to see what you guys think of the site as it stands today. Feel free to excoriate or laud us in comments or email me directly at john at What can we do differently? What needs to change? What should we add? Read More

  • Activision squashes Ratner's plan for Guitar Hero movie

    This is glorious news, ladies and germs. Ratner revealed that Activision basically told him to STFU. Well, that’s what I hope they told him, anyway. “I’d really like to do it, but they’re not letting me,” he tells “I expressed my interest, but because it’s such a success, it’s like now there’s no reason to make a movie about… Read More

  • Here's hoping…

    Our former writer and good friend Mike Kobrin now lives in New Orleans. Keep him and NOLA in your thoughts tonight. Read More

  • ROM hacks: Incredible pseudo-sequels to your favorite retro console games

    I love retro games, and although part of what I love about them is the nostalgia, going through the same worlds, thinking “oh yeah, I remember when my brother beat that guy for the first time,” all that. But another part is the simply classic nature of the 2D gameplay, in which level design was everything and the graphics were simple enough that you could fit a 30-hour game on a… Read More

  • Japanese companies start anime and manga download service for the Nintendo DS

    Japanese interactive content providers am3 [JP] and DaiNippon Printing started DSvision [JP] today, a fee-based service bringing anime and manga to owners of the Nintendo DS. DSvision was announced last year but pushed back a couple of times since then. DSvision requires a hardware package for $38, which includes a 512mb microSD card, a DSvision card adapter for connection to the DS and a… Read More

  • Handling bash shell history

    This might be a little OT for all of you, but it’s an interesting piece nonetheless. Allan Odgaard of TextMate put together an interesting little piece about the bash shell history system including how to remove duplicates from the history and how to access a command by event number rather than scrolling back through your history with the arrow keys. The first step in making a great… Read More

  • "The Dark Knight" already sold out

    Has anyone else tried purchasing tickets for the midnight showing? I just tried and Fandango is a dirty, filthy liar. The midnight showing at the IMAX here in NYC was lit up all red like tickets were available, but it really wasn’t. I want to cry now. You suck, Fandango. Read More

  • G8 summit won't touch global climate issue

    This is obviously off topic but an important issue nonetheless. This months’ issue of GQ (Hello Gisele!) has a fairly interesting feature, “You can’t save the planet”, that touches on a handful of issues surrounding the whole green movement and what we can do to help bring about change. The gist is that we’re basically screwed. One particular fact was astounding… Read More

  • An Apple palate cleanser

    I just noticed that our last twenty posts were Apple-related. To that end, I’ve decided to offer this little aperitif to cleanse your minds of the iPhone 3G (“Now with more 3G!”) and the rest of the WWDC folderal. Rinse and spit. Read More

  • Off-topic: Has anyone solved the new MS SQL injection hack?

    Quick question for all you programmers. I’m dealing with an MS SQL injection problem on a site running Windows 2000 and MS SQL 2003. Has anyone seen/solved this problem yet? Read More

  • Slow News Day: Here are some babies puking

    While I look for some provocative technology news items on this holiday Sunday, please enjoy a series of babies throwing up. The one at 34 seconds is mesmerizing. Read More

  • Put your photos on M&M's

    Mars is starting a new service called M&M Faces which will allow you to slap your mug on a bunch of M&Ms. The service follows M&M’s original My M&Ms service which allowed you to personalize your candies. Why you want faces on your M&M’s is anyone’s guess, but presumably you can get anything on there you want. Read More

  • If you don’t believe that Volkswagen knows what the people want, just ask this talking Beetle. Volkswagen is on a quest to find out exactly what the people want, and they’re not afraid to use new… Read More

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