Archive for July, 2010
This week was packed to the gils with guests, which oddly, all surrounded wrestling at some juncture.
This week’s show, we welcomed back Chris Maverick, who joined us previously on Wrestling Mayhem to talk about his Cosmic Hellcats comic. Aside from his participation in wrestling and writing, I knew him as an accomplished photographer, and figured he would be a good pairing for Rob to talk geek about photography and it’s access these days. It was a great conversation that I unfortunately had to tune out of momentarily to handle some tech stuff, but I don’t think they needed me once they got going.
Also, you almost saw grown men cry as Rob attempted to make this a 3D podcast by throwing his iPad at the camera. Lesson? Don’t use the Dodo Case…
Mav stayed on to join us for a return to WMS. Good thing since we had a dissappearance due to sickness. Mav is an impressive fan of the product and set some discussions straight about stuff like the ECW copyright question.
Joe Dombrowski, who I’ve spent far too much time in a car with in recent months, joined us in what is hoping to become an annual appearance to talk about PWO Wrestlution 3 up there in Cleveland. It’s always great talking to Joe. He’s had some fortune to get involved with Ring of Honor, and genuinely loves the industry, regardless of the weird crap he’s seen.
All around, I’ve loved the variety of configurations on this show lately. Random appearances by Doc Remedy and Mayhem Missie in studio, bringing viewers like Hotwheelz and Rizz, and this week a wrestler in Mav, to the conversation keeps it fresh, and we don’t hear the same opinion week in and week out (except mine, of course).
Technically, we started a new process for editing. I had never actively worked my iMac in the office into any of this process, since there wasn’t much use for multitasking for just WMS. Now that I have a couple shows to process Soundtrack Pro’s Noise Reduce and Final Cut renders
I’ve detailed in the past my experiences with such services as PlayOn and Orb. PlayOn is the service that sits on your PC that acts as a passthrough to push Hulu, Netflix Streaming, TV.com, and other web content to your video game consoles and other internet devices. Orb was a fantastic program that sat on your computer that will stream the video, audio, and photo content straight to your browser, video game consoles, and with a paid app, your iPhone.
Recently, both of these services took a small turn. PlayOn was offered until now as a one time license fee of about $40. Higher than I would typically indulge, but important enough to try in my self imposed cable exile. Lately, the service has canned the one time fee for a $40 a year service fee. There’s a Basic version. And my license has been preserved. Supposedly I can continue as I have now, but some of the content is being moved to the “premium” subscription. Thankfully, the company has softened the blow by offering “founding members” such as myself an offer of only $5 to upgrade, and $20 a year after that. Or a lifetime subscription for another $40.
Orb, on the other hand, seems to mainly make money from their iPhone apps. After much deliberation, I bought the $5 OrbMedia app, the version that allows streaming video from your computer, to supplement only having an over the air antennae in the bedroom and other rooms in the house. I came to find out that they had discontinued this for the $10 OrbLive. Meaning, for those not on iPhone, you cannot download this app again even though you purchased it. So I have to buy the more expensive, filled with features I don’t need for more money.
These are business decision by these companies struggling to discover how they’re going to make money. Both are in competition with the Hulu Plus and Slingboxes out there. But it’s small moves like this that make a case not to support the smaller independent software out there.
This feels familiear (or, how I relate this to the other things I tend to talk about)
This is a situation that feels quite similar to my experience with professional wrestling. It’s been a long talk we’ve had that we always talking about supporting the local independent wrestling groups out there. The ones that operate at the local level, tour the northeast, and mostly operate away from television where the World Wrestling Entertainment dominates still. But too often, fans go out of their way to discover these groups only to find cancelled appearances, poor fan experiences, or all around under par talent not worth supporting, in their eyes.
In the end, I’m going to stick with Orb. I was fortunate enough to receive a refund for my OrbMedia purchase, and will put that towards their currently supported product. It’s a testament to iTunes support. They even gave me 5 “video credits”. Likely since I was discussing a product that would compete or compliment with their offerings. PlayOn will be more of a consideration as Hulu Plus looms on the horizon. While I’m far too forgiving, many more will not be. the ones that, as I felt, stuck their wallet out to give a shot at a forward thinking technology’s offerings.
For this audience, this is an independent show they’ll never attend again.
This week, I prove that I don’t make the same twice two weeks in a row. Which means next week is fair game.
We invited AJ Kuftic back this week, since I enjoyed his appearance last year, and the iPhone is still far too high on the news radar for it’s own good, here we are again. I’m struggling not to make this a phone show, but that’s the news. All of the podcasts and blogs I absorb are the same way.
When did we get here to this point that the device in our pocket has eclipsed the device on our laps and desktops?
In the “I need a checklist” category, instead of not plugging in the audio input to record, I forgot to plug in the external hard drive we record too. Thankfully BoinxTV dropped the recordings on the Desktop instead of out into the ether. All is good.
On the cool tech note, AJ joined us via a Verizon USB Stick (even though he moved in three blocks away). You can see the results, and we only dropped him once after almost an hour online.
I’m always ecstatic to have some of the “original” crew back in studio. And this was no exception as we got an untethered Mayhem Missie on the couch. For the ladies, she got to discuss Mike Sydal’s star tattoos with intern/wife Missy. I believe in expanding audiences.
I think I’m beginning to find my voice with this show. It’s another “classic” WPAJ Interview retread from 2007, but it was spawned by seeing Wolfpac’s name on the Gathering of the Juggalos infomercial that I still can’t stomach, regardless of how “down” I’ve been.
Either way, I think we have a bit of a breakthrough in contacts for the show. I’ve been in contact with the singer from Relic, whom I discovered via the upcoming WMS coverage of PWO’s Wrestlution 3 in Cleveland next week. That and two contacts for future interviews down the pipe, It feels like it’s hitting it’s stride. Just when I feared It was falling by the wayside.
In one of my many hats I wear, I fancy myself a music reviewer. I’ve moved that practice to the site for my Music Funtime Show. The following was reviewed there.
Authority Zero is well known to me. I’ve had the chance to see them once maybe at Warped Tour or somesuch mass showcase of bands of this nature, so I didn’t have much of a preconception when this album arrived in my mailbox. But the more I listened, the more I got hooked.
I don’t think I’ve heard a decent pop/punk album in ages. Offspring’s Smash comes to mind, and that’s what this album envokes. Nothing as striking as that albums “Keep them Separated”, but the overall tone is there. But with an album title like “Stories of Survival”, how can you expect less than a collective rally cry of positivity across 12 tracks.
I’ve played “A Day to Remember” as the first track that stuck out to me on Episode 3 of the show (Free Music Funtime), and have become a big fan of “Brick in the Wave”. But the album, as a whole, is a great listen.
Last week, my brother had the oppurtunity to get his iPhone 4. This meant that my old iPhone Edge, which I had given him to play with as an iPod Touch without it’s service, was coming back home. This phone was bought from my coworker, used for a year, and then given to my brother, so it’s seen it’s share of use. So finally, I had a spare iPhone (I’m still running a 3GS) to play with.
So Friday night, I ventured into the world of Jailbreaking. After a bit of research on the different methods, I went with the redsnow option. The biggest hangups I had was the instructions that worked off of you just updating your phone to 3.1.3 (the highest you can update the iPhone Edge to.) or the need to not have the most recent iTunes, which I have on all of my machines. Those that this isn’t an issue, the Spirit method seems easiest.
My Jailbreak Philosophy. I won’t be jailbreaking my 3GS. Until I get the iPhone 4, or iPhone 5. When I buy one of these phones, I’m buying into the experience, for better or worse. Already, I’m seeing some of that experience breaking down as I tinker with parts of the OS in this version. I’m less afraid of bricking my phone than slowing down my usable phone.
I refrianed from the Android hack, since it’s so underdeveloped, and this was a good choice. Redsnow installed Cydia, the Jailbreaker’s supplement to the App Store (which still works) and you’re ready to go.
Cydia…has to be the roughest experience. It loads information every time I open it that takes forever on my wifi. But it will install and setup things tidily, after a little bit of command line display. But a better option is…
Rock Your Phone. This came with some of the emulators, and serves as a “monetization” outlet for Jailbreak developers. Basically the App Store for the underground. Some of the software I’ve played with comes with trials, and you’re app buying occurs over Google Checkout or Paypal. That feels safe enough. I have some caveats, but I’ll talk about them at a later date.
Categories. The jailbreak equivalent of folders. Not terrible elegant, but gets the job done. You also get the option to hide icons, like the call and messaging ones, in my case, that I don’t need since there’s no phone service attached. I refrain from multitasking, because it’s so much slower, and not even the 3G was allowed to in the official release.
Emulators. This is a huge reason to jailbreak. If you want the equivalent of all of your old consoles in her hands, this is it. The genesis4iphone and nes4iphone are both very serviceable. gb4iphone, mame4iphone and snes4iphone run at less than full speed on this first generation iPhone. But the best part? Many of these emulators support a Wiimote for gameplay! A great alternative over the soft, overlay buttons that numb your playing experience. These were games made for physical buttons. Some are ad supported, but some are actually four to six dollars on Rock my Phone. This seems curious considering the lack than legit status of the emulation community, but it’s a tremendous value depending of what side of that fence you’re on. (keep in mind you’re not supporting the companies you love with this sort of purchase. But then, you don’t when you buy used games, either.)
Quake. They got it running, and damn, it runs good. It’s not as smooth as the Doom and Wolfenstein releases, but those underwent a good bit of UI design thanks to Carmack’s direct involvement. But this is a great demonstration of what you can do. Quake 3 is represented, but seemed even less polished, or final.
It’s just a start, and I’ll be sure to talk more about fun things I find, or attempt, with this hardware.
Nature. It’s a bitch. Both the mother that reigns from the sky, and the personal nature to maybe not check all of the bells and whistles before embarking on your latest Podcast venture for the week…
Again, serving to not go as smoothly as I’d hoped, this one was my mistake all of the way. See, each podcasting session involves hooking up my MacBook to the system, and includes plugging it into the firewire cameras, external recording drive, and an input from the audio board to record with the video. 25 minutes in, I realize I never plugged that in. Thankfully, I believe in multiple backup recordings, and managed to toss in the subpar audio from another machine. Yay for paranoia!
Then as if it wasn’t enough, we were setting up with our interview with Johnny Kashmere, and nature struck. We couldn’t hear much of the rain and storm outside, but after our first attempt to reach our interview, the power went out. We went minimal tech, and rolled after two outs. Thankfully, we stayed on the rest of the night.
Including our interview. Kashmere was on thanks to the Acid Fest show this past weekend at the famed “ECW Arena” in Philedelphia. He had teamed with, and was good friends with, Trent Acid, who had passed in late June, and had put together this tribute show to raise money to help the family with funeral costs. It was a good 25 minute interview, and Johnny was great. He was emotion about the subject, but great in helping us get to know Trent in his passing and touch on the demons of this wrestling industry. This was one of the toughest shows I think we had done since the Benoit tragedy a few years back. We got back into the swing of things and had some fun for the rest of the show, but it pales in comparison to this interview.
This marked a little bit of reaching out. Partly because we featured another old interview by Will/DJLunchbox of ThoughtfulRiot.com, and the last minute thought to bring in old friend from AIP, and WesternPAjuggalos.com co-founder, JuggaloJohn on the show to talk about his problem with the Lilith Fair. It’s opened up some new ideas for commentary for the show.
In one of my many hats I wear, I fancy myself a music reviewer. I’ve moved that practice to the site for my Music Funtime Show. The following was reviewed there.
According to the recent press going out, Johnny Richter has been working on a solo album since Kottonmouth Kings’ Capitol Records days. Finally, so many years later, we have it in hand and on the shelves.
For those into the Suburban Noize sound, you will be in some familiar territory here. A collection of songs about partying, smoking weed, and enjoying life round out this album, as they do other Kings and Kingspade albums. It’s always to hear these solo albums, as it was with Daddy X, and now, if you go back to pre-KMK Dirtball tracks. You get an idea of what the artist brings to the group when you single them out from the rest of the collaboration. In this case, the party songs seem to be missing something. I don’t know if it’s the selection of beats or production, but the songs seem to missing some intangible layer that I loved the Kingspade albums for. Even so, this solo album isn’t as much of a 180 as Daddy X’s solo venture.
The highlight to me was the lighter tracks, such as “Remember That Summer” and “Nice Cold One”. Nice reminders that these albums aren’t always about rebellion and illegal (or illegalish in California) substances all of the time. While the subject matter of these albums over the years may be loosing their variety, I’m rarely ever disappointed of the quality of the disc as a whole. And while not the best release in the bunch, it’s still a great album to pop in for these hot summer days with a lemonade in hand on the front porch.
It was yet another fun filled week of podcasts via Sorgatron Media. And the Skype bug hit us on a few fronts to keep us on our toes.
Originally scheduled to be joined by Andy Quayle, we had some trouble hooking that up. For some reason, we weren’t let aware that he’d be online waiting for us twenty minutes before the show, and when we finally got it semi-sorted out, we had some issues smoothing out the connection. Luckily, Chachi was on hand to chat it up with us about all the tech news. This also marked the first week we had to deal with a light flow of real obvious news to talk about, or a discussion topic to fill the latter half. But things came off pretty well, and I’m pleased with the conversations we had, including a bit of reminiscing about the old days of PC tech.
We were back to what’s become the typical Skype trio, maximizing that Skype Beta setup. We also made another venture in our “fan roundtable” initiative. We had Rizz a few weeks back join us, and this week, we had Hotwheelz on. It’s been great to get the guys involved we see in the chat room every week. And this week, everyone was great to talk with. I even got a little heated by the constant beat down of TNA. Some great WMS Gold stuff as well.
We had some trouble here as well. ’Wheelz had requested me on Skype, and I did the same back, but again, like Andy, we couldn’t find him on our list as online. I consistently received a “user hasn’t approved you” when I tried to call. This is an odd occurrence. I partly atribute this to multiple instances of Skype running over maybe three machines, or a bug in the beta we’re using. Something to keep an eye on.
We had another BoinxTV failure, but that doesn’t bother me anymore so long as the Ustream is recording. I’ve been rather impressed with the quality of those recordings as of late, and don’t sweat using those. It’s still unfortunate that I have to go through my process (download FLV, upload to Youtube, who converts it to .mp4, which I can then download and edit. I haven’t found a converter that handles ustream’s codec in flv) The issue with the BoinxTV sofware switcher we’ve found is that when that program crashes, we lose everything that’s been recorded in that session. Poof, into thin air. I’ve searched for a recovery method for that without any luck. Here’s hoping the new updated fixes some of that. One consideration to take some of the stress off of the program is some cheaper switcher solutions I’ve been researching.
Another classic show, but I’m working on some strategy for getting new interviews. Thank you “classics vault”. Really happy to finally see Whitney Peyton’s new album out for free download, and King Frown’s track on there we had so much fun with last week on WMS 225.
And the usual disclaimer: I’m a big fan of the TWIT network, Revision3, and the CNET podcasts. And they serve as a lot of inspiration for my work and a direction it can go. But there’s always been something missing.
Yeah, I may have been over exposed to Leo Laporte over the years. He’s one of my favorite pundits and surrounds himself with an amazing assortment of people. Revision3 has some amazing productions the cohesiveness of their presence as a network of shows is incredible to watch on a lazy Saturday on my Boxee setup. I’ve watched CNET since they had shows on Sci-Fi Channel in the late ’90′s, and returned when I discovered Buzz Out Loud and The 404 in recent years. (thanks Rob and Jen!) And it wasn’t the fact that I’d filled the background noise of maybe 50% my work day with Leo’s shows.
Someone wasn’t represented.
All of these shows are run and filled with opinions of journalists. Tech journalists that have worked their way to one pillar or another to get on the radar of the tech press elite that run them. When you hear these people talk about their phones and how well they do or don’t work for them, it feels unrealistic. They’ve seen too much, and have had there hands on quite a bit. When a show member talks about juggling between his Evo 4G and iPhone 4, it feels like it has less weight to me.
The other thing that’s bothered me for a long time is the failure of representing middle America. Maybe I’m jilted by being in middle America, and a middle America where it feels like there is a lot going on.
Granted, we are getting our information from our hotbeds of information, since much of the “main” tech industry is in California. Experiences in these places vary greatly from the rest of us. In Pittsburgh, I’ve hardly had a problem with my AT&T service from a coverage point of view that I wouldn’t expect from a carrier. I understand the inability to get service in the middle of nowhere in Western New York when I visit the folks, but only a smattering of spots on the highway are without service in Western Pennsylvania. Yet, the tech media is littered with opinions based on the worst case experiences of New York and San Francisco.
AwesomeCast, sans the name Rob provided, has been something in the back of my head for a good while. A show where we can really tap a pool of real people and creators. Something different than the jaded pundits and critics of the larger shows. IT Professionals that love tech. Animators that make comics, and with any luck, people building new businesses that aren’t located in a coastal city.
But even with the mass of content available, there are plenty of other angles not being properly adressed.
What are you missing?
This is the part where I sound like the worse of fan boys. But there’s something missing here. Something that got me into this series in the first place. Something that I’m amazed that someone as accomplished, Happening-be-damned, as M.Night Shyamalan could have missed. I’ve never been so fan boy about something as this, but I’ve never seen such a great series turned into high budget slop so easily.
The Movie is Fast Tracked.
I understand the issues with basically squeezing 20 episodes of the Water Book season into an hour forty five minute film. But there was no time for anything else. Just as you get comfortable with a scene, we have another. We don’t have time to just have a conversation about any of the issues at hand. We’re simply around long enough for characters to spit facts, which don’t make sense unless you’re filling in the blanks from watching the series in advance.The Character is gone.
Not just the humor, but the growing people. I can’t be angry about certain elements and people not being in there. encounters like Jet’s rag tag band, the new residents of the one Air Temple, and the like are victims of the time crunch. But nothing was left to build on. The humor lost aside from some quick spots where Sokka gets wet. Appa and Momo are relegated to cameo appearances in scenes with no character, and a badly interactive shot with Ang. There’s no reason for these people to be together, and no chance for them to grow, which you saw plenty of in the series. At one point, after Ang and Zukko’s fight, Ang walks out and states “You know we could have been friends” much like in the series, if I recall correctly. We couldn’t even get a reaction shot of Zukko to see how he initially reacted? That seems like editing 101 to me. M. Night’s work seems to be more about characters in peculiar situations, but he seemed more concerned in getting from episode one to episode 20 with as much efficiency as possible. Too bad he forgot to stick a generally watchable movie in there somewhere.
I’m not even a little bit angry about the multi-cultural casting as some fans are. I don’t care if they cast a black Spider-Man (which was rumored for a time) so long as there’s a good story in there. I’ve been a big defender of M. Night’s past work. I took every movie at face value for what it was and enjoyed the ride. This was such a potential paint by numbers project that seemed to get the numbers wrong.
What did you think? Has any theatrical experience disappointed you to such anger?