Sunday, August 26, 2007

universal widescreen lcd compatible speaker bar

Something that pisses me off is that you can't really purchase a cheap, easily attachable, usb powered speaker bar to the bottom of your speakerless wide screen lcd monitor. Why not? Because I don't see them for sale anywhere. Sure you can buy the "HP" speaker bar for what, $200, but its grey, and presumably only for HP monitors, so , they lost a sale to me by not thinking about people who don't just buy HP monitors. Sure I could have bought a monitor with a speaker built in, but why? I didn't realise how cool it would look to have a speaker attached underneath at the time. So, if any chinese knockoff companies without any creativity whatsoever are reading this, now you have an idea that you can pretend you came up with yourself, steal it and mass produce the shit out of it. Theres probably a demand for shit like this.

Also, something else that pisses me off is buying a stereo or alarm clock these days, and they all include "iPod Compatiblity ports".. WOW. Guess what, there are other MP3 players out there that aren't iPods, as a non Apple whore, why not create shit that other people might want to buy? Like I want a big freakin hole in the front of a Stereo I buy? Though, a good idea would be for Sirius satellite radio to make a device the size of an ipod to fit into those stereos with a usb connection. If they haven't already. But apple probably doesn't let any competition use that style of port (which I hate, USB ports look better)

Thats another thing I'm going to whine about, all these different types of ports for no fucking reason. They could all use USB plugs, but they don't want to. Why? Cause they're freakin ripoff artists. Nintendo is the worst for this, not even including standard audio plugs on their GBA SP's and such. not even 2.5" plugs, which I don't like either but I can at least see the practicality for them. Though I have to give the ipod credit for creating an interesting gadget aftermarket, and bringing back quality earbuds and splitters and encouraging the use of usb chargers.

Speaking of apple ipod jacks, the fact that they don't sell Apple Jacks in Canada anymore. We only have the crappiest cereals. And I wish we could go back to the days before green and blue froot loops, when there was only red yellow and orange. who the hell wants green and blue and purple? Those are poison colours. Everyone knows that. Except in apple jacks, because at least green makes sense there.

Well until next time. that's all for now.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Winnipeg's Exchange district good news

The Exchange district is home to a conglomeration of some of the nicest old buildings in North America. The fact that it exists is one of the few things in Winnipeg that give me any sense of pride in this city. When I heard that the owner of one of my favourite buildings had plans to demolish it for a parking lot, I was incensed. Granted theres nothing I can really do about it, but still, what a dick.

Bedford Investments has owned the building for almost two decades. They wanted to demolish the building, which is not only a heritage structure itself, but is located in a national historic site. They've wanted to do this for two decades. They've wanted a parking lot there for two decades and were willing to let this building rot for that period of time and unwilling to sell because they knew if they waited long enough, it would fall apart or they would get government funding. Well, they got their wish, in a sense.

All article quotes are in italics:

Back in June, city building inspectors broke down the front door, found the block infested with pigeons and on the verge of collapse. Insane! Disgusting. How can we as a city allow this to happen? I mean its a national historic site, and its a heritage building! Why aren't we creating laws to punish bad building owners who sit on property and own surface lots? Why aren't we encouraging development with creative taxation methods? People who own surface lots in the downtown should pay higher taxes than they do for it, and people with buildings should get some sort of tax repreive for keeping their property well maintained and having tennants and basically helping the city look alive and vibrant.

But city council voted to at least save the King Building's facades, which form part of the visual landscape of Old Market Square. Mayor Sam Katz and several councillors even mused about expropriating the block if a deal could not be reached with Bedford Investments.
I wish they had expropriated it, thats probably what got Bedford Investments to come to the table. At least this means the building facade will stay, and the parking lot next door to it will see some development and probably with a facade that maintains the visual appearance of the area even further, more than the piddly little parking lot Bedford has been milking for years which used to be home to a building just like 104 King Street.

"I believe 104 King Street is like the canary in the mine. If we lose this building, we may as well put up demolition signs all over the Exchange District, because it sends the message that government does not believe in preserving heritage buildings," said Coun. Russ Wyatt, who chairs council's downtown development committee.

Russ Wyatt is right. That's exactly what it is. Nothing lasts forever, but as a society we should do what we can.

Either way, all parties appear confident the King Building can avoid the wrecking ball. "We feel under the circumstances this is in fact a win-win situation, where the multi-storey structure, along with the retail component, will be developed," said Bedford director Ken Reiss. "That was always our No. 1 objective."

Righto. Your number 1 objective. Unfortunately your number 1 objective could have been accomplished 20 years ago, and probably cheaper, if that really was your number 1 objective. No, your number one objective was to get money from the city for owning something you have no moral right to own.

Reiss claimed "several parties" are already interested in the main-floor commercial space, which would be kitty-corner to Old Market Square.

Of course they are! It's a great site! Visable from all sides!

So, I'm glad the building is being saved for the most part, disapointed in society, bedford investments, and the city for letting things get to this level, and optimistic that the Exchange district isn't going to be run into the ground any more, especially now that its getting a lot of momentum and investment lately.

Link to the Winnipeg Free Press article I quote from


So I went to 7-11 today and the total of my purchase came out to $7.11 for 3 things. So I said that it should be free! And they laughed, and I laughed, but they didn't give it to me for free! I was serious :(

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Bright light!

Gremlins 2: The New Batch was on TV today. I haven't seen this movie for years. I was surprised to find how many relatively well known actors were in this. Christopher Lee from LOTR and Star Wars 2, was in this as a geneticist. Robert Picardo the doctor hologram from star trek voyageur (which sucked) was in this as a building security head. Howie Mandel did the voice of Gizmo, Tony Randall did the voice of the Brain gremlin, and kinda stole the movie, Hulk Hogan, Leonard Maltin, Dick Butkus, Bubba Smith, all appeared as themselves for some reason.. Julia Sweeney from SNL and Pulp Fiction was in it, Gedde Watanabe from UHF was in it. some of the main characters in the original gremlins back for this as well. And it was just as entertaining as I remember it. What a great movie. Comedy horror. Theres nothing like killing a crazy monster with an office shredder, or electrocution, except of course when comedy is added to make us accept the violence more easily. Strange how they went more into the comedy aspect of things than they did in the original gremlins movie, but given the setting, it was probably the best choice. Truly an amusing movie. Plus the character Robert Picardo plays gets raped at the end. Insane!

Also saw Die Hard with a vengeance, which is a pretty decent movie. C'mon, Jeremy Irons, Bruce Willis, and Samuel L Jackson? And they all do a good job? That's a good movie, and throw in a pretty interesting cat and mouse game and explosions, truly a good movie. People should give it more respect. #2 was the only really bad one, though it's still watchable. I should go see the fourth one.

Shopping luck.

I went to Office Depot the other day because they had a decent price on an HDMI cable, which I purchased. So while I was at Office Depot, I found they had a table set up for discounted items, and they had an HP Ipaq 1700 on the table for $39.99. Which, is a pretty decent price, even despite the fact that it came with no boxes, charging cables, manuals, or anything except the device itself, which was missing a stylus and whether it worked was questionable. I then purchased a retractable cable for $9.99 elsewhere for the thing and tried to charge it. It seemed dead, until I tried a few soft resets, and eventually the screen lit up but it was stuck frozen at the boot screen. Which, while annoying, gave me hope that I could get it to work, and so I searched the internets for the technique to perform a "Hard Reset" on this thing. Which I tried, and the first time it didn't work, but the second time, success! Now I have an extra Pocket PC PDA. While my other one does Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and much more, this one can at least play mp3's and read ebooks, so $50 total for an ebook reader/mp3 player/calculator/solitaire playing device isn't that bad a deal I think. Basically, its rare to have a decent shopping find, but when you do, yay! Also the guy behind me in line at office depot saw the price when I bought it and seemed to be silently cursing me for finding it before him. It was a display model, and it had some sticky stuff on the back, but I managed to remove it and clean it and its good as new. What to do with it though, I'm uncertain. Basically I'm just gloating to the internets about my good luck. It could happen to anybody!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Ah Telus, Revenge is so sweet. Cry for me. Your tears taste so good.

An Article at the Financial Post proclaims that since cellular number portability began in Canada, Telus Mobility is the biggest loser. The article speculates that part of the problem is the CDMA technology that Telus uses. I must say, I prefer being on GSM for the most part. I like being able to swap a SIM chip and have a reasonably up to date phone. CDMA seems to be far too prevalent in North America and it was one of the reasons I switched, but the main reason I switched away from Telus, and kept my old telus phone number, was because Telus Mobility are a bunch of Greedy pieces of shit with the worst customer service in the history of the universe. I will never, ever, recommend Telus to anybody, and when I see someone signing up for a Telus contract at a Telus store, am very motivated to walk in there and tell them "Don't do it!" Just to have them lose a sale. Telus has no concept of customer service, we're all just cattle to the slaughter to them, free money. Disgusting. I'm glad to see them suffering for pissing me off. Couldn't happen to a worse company, cause there aren't any. Shitheads. Try to find someone to email on their website, you won't find shit. They took them off, because they don't want you to contact them because they know they're garbage. If you're thinking of buying a Telus phone, take my advice, don't. You'd get better reception by hammering a nail into your head and holding a car battery. Though I do not recommend doing do, it is a better experience than dealing with Telus's customer service.

Telus only does one thing right. They have an excellent advertising firm. Too bad even the best advertising won't help you sell a polished turd.