No Doubt is suing Activision for the use of their likeness in the new game ‘Band Hero.’ First let me say how much I love No Doubt, and secondly, how much I dislike ‘Guitar Hero’ or ‘Rock Band’ or whatever other version of those games are out there. Fake instruments being played badly by people who can’t play the real thing and would probably be able to learn the real thing if they spent the same amount of time practicing as much as they did hitting the colored buttons. Sorry for the run-on sentence but, those games bother me more than they should. Most musicians I know who actually play guitar or drums have trouble playing those games because they are nothing like the real thing. Maybe that’s not even the point of the games but still.

Less tirade about the games and more on the lawsuit.  According to a statement from the band “No Doubt agreed to place avatars containing their names and likeness performing three No Doubt songs in the upcoming ‘Band Hero.’” Their problem lies in the fact that users will “have the ability to manipulate No Doubt members, both collectively and individually, into singing popular songs by other artists– something the band said the didn’t sign up for.”

The band claims that other songs are not ‘appropriate for No Doubt.’ Having Tony Kanal, the bands bassist, singing ‘Just a Girl’ or Gwen singing another bands song isn’t what they agreed to. The members of Nirvana had a similar complaint recently when Kurt Cobain was used as a manipulated character but Activision dismissed claims from Dave Grohl and Kris Novoselic because Courtney (head of Cobain’s estate) Love gave them permission. No Doubt however are in a better position to argue their case depending on the contract they signed.

It’s all muddy waters on image rights. What your image, or name, can be used for based on interpretations of contracts. I for one don’t want to see Kurt Cobain singing ‘Just a Girl’ anymore than I want to see Gwen singing ‘Rape Me.’ It’s all money to Activision and nothing to do with artists wishes, legacies, or respect. To me it just represents one more reason to avoid these games.


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Time Warner’s ‘TNT’ cable network has picked up ‘Southland’ from GE’s NBC/Universal. The series had 7 episodes last season and 6 episodes had already been filmed for this Fall before NBC pulled the plug. I’m just glad that the show will get another chance. If you missed last season you can catch up before the new episodes air. If the 13 week period goes well then maybe, just maybe we’ll get to see another season of ‘Southland’.


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While the technology might not be brand new (see GE’s ‘Plug Into the Smart Grid’ campaign from earlier this year) the December issue of Esquire magazine is bringing Augmented Reality to a much wider audience. All you have to do is look for Robert Downey Jr. sitting on top of a bar-code/crossword puzzle image and the rest you do from home, or take it into an Apple store and really impress/weird out people (like that one time I used the ‘remote’ App for my iPhone and started playing videos and songs as people walked by a computer. Sometimes you have to make your own fun while you wait for people).  

According to HuffPo  when you hold up the magazine to a webcam “an on-screen image of the magazine pops to life, letters flying off the cover. Shift and tilt the magazine, and the animation on the screen moves accordingly,” followed by a 3-D version of Robert Downey Jr. joking around about the technology and his involvement.
  If you want to learn more about the magazine industry and how this is a great step Esquire’s parent company, Hearst Corp., is taking then I suggest reading the HuffPo article. Since Andrew Vanacore has already written that article I’m not going to re-hash it.

I’m going to think about practical applications for the technology. Magazine covers are neat and will help sell some copies for sure, but that’s small time. Think bigger, think about how the 3-D image can add to a user experience, a gaming experience. Add a few interactive sensors to a remote, or a person. The Wii just took gaming to the next level, again. Imagine placing yourself into immersive 3-D world’s from the comfort of your living room. The possibilities seem endless for what this technology could do for gaming.

I know I’ll be looking forward to experimenting with it more once the Esquire hits newstands in early November. From last year’s E-ink cover, to the augmented reality edition, Esquire seems to be the only magazine around who is making an effort to make print media current and exciting again. While I can’t predict the future of periodicals I can say as long as innovation exists there will always be some cash in my wallet ready to jump on it.


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It’s been a while since I posted. Most of the year I’ve been suspiciously absent from IandB. Took a month off and got out of the country, heck out of the continent. Nothing like running away to Europe for a month to make you realize just how important it is to jump outside of your comfort zone every once and a while.

I’m not going to spend a lot of time rounding up past news stories and try to post on the latest technology and entertainment happenings of the last few months. As always, I assume if you are here and reading this you already know about them. Michael Jackson is dead, Windows 7 launched, and 3-D movies are every-fucking-where.

At any rate, I’m going to do my best to get back into it. If anybody has specific topics that have happened in the last few months you want my opinion on then feel free to let me know.

For now I’ll simply say, it’s good to be back and I look forward to bringing the future of everything to the masses once again.


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So I’ve started bringing my personal MacBook Pro to work on occasion to use at lunch for personal tasks and also sometimes througought the day in lieu of my work-issued Dell.  The Dell is tiny, underpowered, and has about 30 minutes of battery life before it dies (what’s the point of an ultra-portable notebook when you have to bring the giant power brick with it??).

My Windows laptop automatically locks after 15 minutes away from the keyboard, or with a quick hit of Windows Key + L.  I wanted to do something similar with my Mac but it seemed the only way to do this was to just let the Screen Saver come on, as I require a password when the screen saver is deactivated.

However, this seemed cumbersome.  I’m not a fan of the hot corners.  One way of quickly locking the computer is to drag the actual Screen Saver program into your Dock.  You can do this by opening:

/System/Library/Frameworks/ScreenSaver.framework/Versions/A/Resources/

and dragging ScreenSaverEngine.app to the dock.

Another handy way, which in Snow Leopard is slightly different than in Leopard, is to do it from Keychain Access.  Launch Keychain Access from Spotlight (or /Applications/Utilities/).  Then under the Keychain Access menu select Preferences…  From there check “Show Status in Menu Bar”, close the window, and quit Keychain Access.  You will now have a small lock icon in your Menu Bar.  ”Lock Screen” is the first option in the drop down when you select this new icon.

Now I can quickly lock my computer whenever I am at work and need to walk away for a few minutes, without having to sleep the computer or wait for the screen saver to come on.


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Fortune’s Apple 2.0 weblog posted an article today covering the Piper Jaffray report surveying teens and the ChangeWayve Research survey professionals on their interests/intent to buy.  They reported that 16% of teens and 30% of professionals plan to buy iPhones.  The percentage amongts teens was down from the period right after the 3G launch, but I expect this to climb back up sharply when they introduce the next version, rumored to be announced at the WWDC this summer.  Amongst teens, actual ownership was only at around 8% however.  With AT&T’s exclusive deal ending on the iPhone, this could change as companies compete to entice iPhone users away from AT&T.


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For my birthday teh internets gave me two sites that will suck away hours and hours of time.

bomomo.com is a great way to spend time ‘drawing’ nonsense, starting over and going again and again and suddenly it’s 5 and time for the weekend to start.

Etsy.com is a way to shop by color. Right, cause normally when i want to go shopping I say, man I need something orange, not orange orange but more of a burnt amber color and then go shop. Whatever though, it’s neat and time consuming and amusing.

Happy Birthday to me. Now I’m going to go back to watching an xbox version of the super bowl being playing out on the internal tv system in the office… yay working for a sports network.


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Big brother is getting a little free help from Google. “Swiss police said Thursday they stumbled across a large marijuana plantation while using Google Earth.” I guess I figured the police would be using Google Earth but it didn’t really occur to me that it would work to solve crimes. The plantation was hidden inside a field of corn that was easily spotted from Google Earth’s ariel view. The head of Zurich police’s specialist narcotics unit Norbert Klossner said “it was an interesting chance discovery.” Such a chance discovery that it’s possible a lot of grow operations might move into more covered locations.


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Bad Idea:

Delaying the analog/digital transition to June 12.

Good Idea:

Investing in Netflix (yesterday)


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The full list can be found lots of places, try here if you are having trouble finding it. This pretty much means I have to see ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ this weekend as it nabbed 13 nominations. It also means maybe next week I’ll go see ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ as it grabbed 9. Along with its many nominations ‘Slumdog’ beat out ‘Button’ at the Golden Globes a couple weeks back so this could be a very interesting race. Until I’ve seen all of the movies (and this year the best picture nominees pretty much run the table of the other nominations) I won’t make any predictions but my expectations for ‘Slumdog’ have been set pretty insanely high.

Best Picture Nominees:

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Frost/Nixon
  • Milk
  • The Reader
  • Slumdog Millionaire

In other nomination news, ‘Wall-E’ might have been left out of the top running but it was nominated in six other categories including Best Animated Feature of the Year, which it is. The animated short, ’Presto’, that preceded ‘Wall-E’ was nominated for Best Animated Short.


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