Thursday, October 25, 2007

No More Long Office Episodes

After 4 consecutive hour-long episodes, I thought that my favorite TV show, The Office, had made a permanent switch to this wonderfully longer format. Unfortunately, I was misled, for the 5th episode of the season is back to the regular 30 minutes.

You know how your brain adapts to drugs like caffeine and morphine, so that you need higher and higher dosages to cause the same effect, and if you decrease or stop you dose, bad things happen? Yeah, that's what I'm feeling right now.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Hatsune Miku

Hatsune Miku is the latest singing sensation to hit Japan. What makes her different is that she's not an actual person, but created from vocal simulation software Vocaloid2 from Yamaha. I think it sounds pretty good. Could this replace real singers someday?

Here she is singing Fly Me to the Moon.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Missing Candy

I went to the store to do some grocery shopping. There was a bag that caught my eye advertising 155 pieces of assorted candy goodness. That's a lot of candy - so I bought the bag.

When I got home, the first thing I did was sort and count my loot. Here's my candy distribution:
Hershey's Milk Chocolate        20
Jolly Rancher Hard Candy Stix 27
Jolly Rancher Double Blasts 46
KitKat Crisp Wafers 20
Twizzlers Mini-Bars 20
Notice anything strange here? The total is only 133 pieces! That's 22 pieces or almost 15% less than the advertised 155 pieces! Now why would the Hershey's Company advertise such a specific number, but deliver 15% less than promised? Is this an innocent packaging mistake or are they purposely cheating all of their customers thinking no one is going to bother counting their candy?

IOV - Internet Over Voice

You know how there's VOIP (Voice Over IP) right? Well, why isn't there Internet Over Voice (IOV). I'd imagine it would be something like this:

Dial 1(800)INTRNET

IOV: Calls recorded for quality.
IOV: Welcome to Internet Over Voice!
IOV: What URL or search query?
You: Prison Break.
IOV: Prison Break, top ten results from Google.
IOV: Number one, Fox broadcasting company, Prison Break.
IOV: To select number one, simply say number one or press one.
IOV: Number two, Prison Break, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
IOV: Number three...
You: Number two.
IOV: Number two. Prison Break. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about a television series. For the act of escaping prison, see, link, prison escape, end-link. Remember, you can follow the most recent link by saying, follow link. Prison break is an...
You: Follow link.
IOV: Following link, prison escape. Remember you can go back by saying, go back. Prison escape, from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. A prison escape or prison break is where a prisoner leaves their, link, prison, end-link, through official or illegal ways, and almost always results in an effort to recapture them by...
You: Go back.
IOV: Back to Prison Break, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia......

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Verizon FIOS Service

I had a remarkably good experience dealing with Verizon FIOS (their fiber optic internet service) customer service the other day.

Last Thursday, I was having internet problems. Access to the internet would be down intermittently, corresponding to the WAN light on the Verizon supplied router turning off. After this kept happening, I got annoyed and called Verizon - at 12:30 in the morning. Fully expecting an automated message, I was surprised when a human picked up the phone within seconds. He spoke clearly, knew his technical stuff, and was pleasant to talk to. He explained that Verizon was doing scheduled system maintenance in the Bothell area that night, but would be happy to send me another router, via next-day-air, free of charge.

Although the problem seems to have fixed itself, I am really happy with the service that I received.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Portal Song

Portal is one of the best video games I have ever played. It has everything you could ever want in a game: a gun that bends space, a quirky AI character, and the promise of a cake party. After beating the game, I witnessed what is probably the most awesome ending credit sequence ever.

One component of that awesomeness was the song. Of course I wanted to listen to it over and over again. If you find yourself in the same situation, here's how you can extract the portal song, Still Alive, from the game files:

1. Download GCFScape, a tool for exploring Valve's .gcf files.
2. Use it to open Steam\steamapps\portal content.gcf
3. The file you want is portal\sound\music\portal_still_alive.mp3