HTC Last

So, according to Engadget, the HTC First (their third attempt at a Facebook phone, naturally) will not be sold in the UK, because it’s stupid.  Combined with the executive team of the company acting like rats on a sinking ship this is not at all good. But back to the HTC First and why no one should be surprised that this is happening.

So, what is the HTC First?

It Is This

It Is This

Continue reading

Total Eclipse of My Car

The first car I bought with my own money was a 1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS-T, like this one but with less jack stand:

Exactly like this one, but with less jack stand

That car taught me about several things including torque steer, lift throttle oversteer (on I-85 South) and the insurance turbo tax.  When she wasn’t trying to kill me, which wasn’t often, she was a great lady.  The same can be said for many women I have known.

Continue reading

Matrix Rig

The original “3D spin” effect used in a gap commercial was craziness and revolutionary at the time. The Wachowski Brothers (back when they were brothers) raised the bar on the effect with The Matrix (or as I like to call it, *their last, good movie”).

Now, however; you can make a “matrix” rig for the cost of a nice SLR and have it shoot 1080p footage controlled by your cell phone. Someone needs to make one of these and attach it to the lip of a mini-ramp.

Then invite Dave Osato, Rob Ridge and Tobias Wicke (I just noticed that Shea Nyquist got a shout out in the credits of this, so not so fat fetched).

Where Have All The BMX Blogs Gone?

A few years ago I jacked out of the BMX webosphere.  I still rode about the same, but I figured I’d said all I had to say on the topic. I also figured that there were enough BMX websites to keep the world running and people watching videos.

So, yeah, when I decided to look around to see what was out there…it’s a wasteland. The Butphor guys were going to put have a scene website that died almost as quickly as it was born.

Beast Mode, a site that rose to take the place of AtlBMX and Mystic Negro, hasn’t been updated since October. Its last post being a video of Devon at a skatepark.  This is fitting, because Devon is the only rider from Atlanta folks care about, anyway.

Apparently there are no new Women of Freestyle and Sprfls has long ago stopped being “Friends” to my “Living Single.”

When Sprfls died some Aussie kid created a site called, I believe, BMX-Tech. The idea was to examine BMX idiocy from an industrial design/engineering perspective. It only lasted a few months and, even then, I mostly remember him trying to argue that Eastern’s products were worse than Fit’s based on art direction.

I kind of hoped he stopped posting out of shame.

Looking at what’s left on the internets it’s kind of just the usual suspects, your come ups, fats, rides and vitals. Basically sites that have multiple contributors. That’s important I think. It’s easy to burn out writing about a single thing for years on end, especially as that thing moves towards total homogeneousness.

If you’re an auto writer you get to play with a never ending parade of faster and crazier cars. When you write about BMX at some point you have a moment when you say, “oh look another guy riding at a rail at a medium pace. Joy.”

Still, it is sad to see that there have been no sites that have risen up to the top tier in the BMX space. Maybe one day

The Good The Bad and the Ugly

Due to some recent changes at Casa Negro I find myself on the hunt for a small vehicle which can carry my crap, three dogs or home improvement implements.  I don’t need anything particularly big, I want something small and fun to drive and also kind of practical.

2013-nissan-juke-nismo-3

Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrribbit

Nissan introduced the U.S. spec NISMO Juke at this year’s Chicago Auto Show.  It’s got a modest power boost (up to near as makes no difference, 200 hp) stiffer shocks, recalibrated steering feel and some functional aero bits that add downforce, but do nothing to subtract ugly. Basically it’s a relatively quick car with good handling and limits which are approachable on the street at legal speeds.

It’s also available in all wheel drive and with a six speed manual.  Unfortunately it’s not available in all wheel drive with a six speed manual.

Which is bullshit.

There aren’t a whole lot of players in this space.  There’s the arguably better looking (but still no beauty queen) Mini JCW Countryman and in a month the Mini Paceman aka the Countryman Coupe.  While the NISMO Juke and the Paceman are still a month or more from hitting dealerships, I can get a JCW Countryman from my local Mini dealer now.

JCW_Countryman

For $45,000.

Which begs the question, if I smoke that much crack rock, how do I hold onto a job that will allow me to make $45,000 for a car?

How Om Malik Saved Me From a Life Of Caring About Technology

It’s not very often that someone has an actual epiphany.  I’m not sure that I’ve had one, but I did come to a realization that changed a good number of my adult habits.

I am, however, getting ahead of myself.

Up until a few weeks (months?) ago I was what you called a “gadget nerd.”  Being a gadget nerd meant that I lusted after the next shiny piece of tech.  I wanted desperately to own the latest bit of electronic goodness to fill the aching, Lumia 900 shaped hole in my soul.

It was kind of sad, really.

I was listening to This Week in Technology, one of the ten or so technology podcasts which I regularly listened to.  TWiT’s format is that one guy, Leo Laporte, gathers a revolving cast of tech journalists who offer insight and analysis on the tech news of the week.  Obviously the quality of the show depends on the quality of the people who decide to hang out on a Sunday afternoon.

This particular show featured John C. Dvorak, Harry McKracken (I believe, also, “unleash the McKraken!” how often do you think he’s heard that?) and Om Malik.  Om runs the not at all self referential GigaOM.com where he, I’m not actually sure, I’ve never read GigaOM. On this particular show Om was in rare form.

First in a story about European cell phone carriers not wanting to carry the Nokia Lumia 900 he declared that the reason no one wanted the Lumia was that no one wanted a third phone system.  IOS and Android were all that anyone actually wanted and everyone else should really just stop trying.  Not 30 minutes later he argued that Windows Phone was awesome and he hoped that Microsoft kept working at it because we need more choice in the mobile phone market.

I know what you’re saying, “that directly contradicts his earlier point about there only being room for two mobile OSes and no one wanting a third option.”  Yes, yes it does.  You probably also think, “isn’t Om the guy who said that the reasons Android and IOS are dominant is because they’re “the only two” operating systems that when you turn them on your data is there?  I mean, surely legions of unemployed Palm engineers let out a giant “FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!” when they heard that and your own Windows Phone is currently showing a moving collage of pictures of friends and family in its contact pane.  How is this guy a tech journalist if he keeps saying things that don’t make sense about tech.”

Because, tech journalism doesn’t actually require you make any logical sense.  Much like politics tech journalism is all about staying on message, even if the message has no relation to reality.  What’s the message you ask?

Apple is all.  If you’re in tech journalism Apple is the pinnacle of all things awesome, even when they’re blatantly ripping off other people or when their products are sub par.   Apple rules, even though they treat their customers like crap and the press even worse.  The relationship between Apple and the tech press is much like that of a small town teenager and the big city pimp who turned her out.  I mean, he makes me have sex with other men for money and beats me regularly, but really, deep down inside he’s a nice guy who loves me.

Microsoft is dumb.  Despite owning its core business to the point that governments, literally, refuse to let it own it anymore.  Despite pioneering many of the very things that they love about Apple. Microsoft can do no right, even when they do incredibly right.

Amazon is secretly becoming a tech powerhouse.  I know this because every story about Amazon is about how they’re quietly/secretly/under coverly becoming a tech powerhouse.

Google is evil.  But we love them anyway.

Making fun of RIM is like punching a three month old in the throat.  Gather the three month olds.

Facebook is evil and wants to steal all of your private information.  You should not use it.  Like this post on Facebook and participate in our contest by friending us.

Patents are evil.  We will yell with impotent rage at how companies spend time to develop things and then won’t let Google other companies, ok, let’s be honest, Google use their technology for free to directly compete with them.  Oh and some other companies just buy up patents but there is no difference between people who utilize patents to protect their actual business and people who’s only business is patents.

You will only be happier if you buy a new whatsit which is vaguely and marginally better than the whatsit you bought yesterday.

It’s all basically bullshit.  The next thing isn’t going to be that much better than the last thing and neither of those things is actually going to make you happy.  The tech press is really just a collection of guys who got beat up in high school trying to be cool and it’s kinda sad that I gave them any mind for as long as I did.

50 Shades a Dey Part 6: I’s Hads Alls I Can Stands and I Can’t Stands No More

People who know me know that I have a peculiar personality trait. I cannot lose to an inanimate object. If you beat me, that’s fine. I can accept that there are people who are smarter/faster/stronger/prettier than me. However, inanimate objects exist solely to be bent to my will. A thing is not better than me, it is a thing..

This attitude, much to the chagrin of my wife and my boss, has often resulted in minor injuries as I refused to let a ramp tell me what to do.  Being self aware enough to realize this about myself has resulted in minor annoyance by my friends as I refused to do something because I didn’t feel like being hurt that day.

All of this is to say, 50 Shades of Grey, you win, I quit.

Continue reading

50 Shades a Dey Part 3: Who is this For?!?!?!?

I have a friend who was recently dragged to see The Adventures of Tintin with her husband and eight year old son.  She spent the rest of the afternoon complaining about it to me.  “It was boring, there was no romance.” I countered that it wasn’t a romance movie, it was a kid’s action movie. “It doesn’t matter,” she replied, “movies without romance are boring.”  I tried to explain to her that it was an action movie aimed at 10 year old boys and that a 10 year old boy’s idea of romance is feeling guilty after punching a girl in the head.  She would have none of it, all movies need romance she said.  This went on and on and on to the point where I prayed that she was just kidding with me, otherwise my friend was stupid.  I mean, it’s not like I demand more onscreen decapitations in episodes of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman (that would have made me actually watch that show, though).  Some things are just are just not for you.

50 Shades of Grey is obviously not for me.  So, who the hell is it for?

Continue reading

50 Shades a Dey Part 2: The Asshole Convention

It’s day two of me reading Twilight fan fiction cum erotic romance best seller, 50 Shades of Grey.  It is clear to me now that I hate myself.  It’s the only reason I can explain doing this.  Oh and a friend of mine asked me to and since she’s going through a rough patch and my pain appears to make her laugh I’m toughing it out.  Because I’m a fragging mensch, I am.

I’ve read chapters four and five without putting a gun to my head.  Ready. Set. Go!

Continue reading