Tag Archives: Internet

Unexpectedly Saw Up In The Air

Yesterday, I received a phone call from my friend Vito Grandolfo to invite me to join him and a couple other friends to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie followed by a run to Five Guys Burgers. That sounded like a good idea so I headed my way down to the theaters everyone was meeting at.

By the time I got there, it was just a few minutes before showtime but I discovered that the Sherlock Holmes showtime was sold out, so the group decided to go see Up In The Air instead and to save time they went ahead and got my ticket ahead of time. I had never heard of the movie nor had I had no clue who was in it, but what the hell, it sounded like fun being spontaneous.

Turns out the movie stars George Clooney and is about his role as a traveling job terminator. Probably something that hits a little too close to home in this economy with George playing a guy that is brought in to terminate employees for bosses who in the words of the movie are “too much of a pussy” to fire their own employees. The premise is the next generation of traveling job terminators wants to bring the operations back in house and conducted over the Internet. George Clooney’s character has to train the young lady on the nuances of the firing people and while adversaries initially, become respectful of one another. It has a few surprises along the way.

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A Star Trek Communicator That Really Works

Star Trek Communicator That Really WorksIf you’ve ever been a fan of the Original Star Trek television series featuring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy from the 1960’s then you’re probably familiar with the communicator device. The communicator was amazing futuristic technology then when it was first imagined and it’s been said that modern flip phone cellular phones were inspired by this piece of fictional futuristic technology. Well there is an officially licensed communicator that you can now buy that really does work as a communication’s device.

The actual working Star Trek Internet Communicator is not a cell phone, it’s a Voice over Internet Protocol device (VoIP) which will allow you to make phone calls over the Internet. The communicator isn’t wireless, it’s got a cord with a USB connector at the end of it so that you can plug it into your computer and talk to your friends and family over the Internet. The communicator recreates the look of the original series communicator right down to the famous Moiré pattern which lights up with a backlit LED. The communicator also recreates the “chirping” sound of the communicator when it’s flipped open and is said to have over 21 sound clips built into it. The Star Trek Internet Communicator is compatible with Macs and PCs running XP, Vista, or Windows 7.

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Roku’s Netflix Player Is Now A True Multi-Media Entertainment Hub

Roku PlayerWhen Roku first introduced the Roku Netflix Player in mid 2008, the only service it accessed was Netflix. For a Netflix subscriber, it was a relatively no-brainer addition to their homes because it was a one time $99.99 purchase for the box and it would allow them to stream Netflix’s Instant access library of movies and tv shows directly to their televisions for no additional cost to their Netflix subscriptions. The box is prepared for any kind of connection to the television with outputs including HDMI, Component Video, Composite Video, S-Video, and even audio outputs in both analog and optical. And it can be connected to the Internet with either an Ethernet cable or it’s built-in wireless connection.

The first available movies and television shows on the Roku Netflix Player were all older titles. Eventually Netflix partnered with Starz to bring more recently released titles to their instant viewing offerings. Roku, the manufacturer of the box, promised the box would be able to access additional sources of content in the future. In early 2009, Roku added access to Amazon’s Video On Demand service which allows the owners of the box the ability to purchase or rent movies or television shows on a per-title basis. This allowed people with the box the opportunity to enjoy the most currently released content right on the box as soon as the day of release for most titles. And both Netflix and Amazon were offering the opportunity to watch content on the box in High Definition. The HD streaming is only available if you’re connecting the box to your television or entertainment system through an HDMI connection.

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An Excellent Experience With Sirius XM Customer Service

Sirius XMI recently decided to try the Sirius XM iPhone application with their free seven day trial, and I quite liked being able to use my iPhone as an additional Sirius radio in addition to the Stiletto 100 I already use for Sirius. So naturally when the free trial expired, I decided to give Sirius a call to add on the Premium Internet access which is required to take advantage of the iPhone application.

I didn’t really want to pay more money, so I asked the customer service agent if she could just cancel the added on Best of XM package I had added on. I mainly got to hear Oprah Radio from the XM lineup of channels, but I’ll be honest, I didn’t like the channel very much. I wasn’t listening to any of the programs and none of the other XM stations that were added were of any interest to me, so it was kind of silly to be paying $4.04 a month extra for worthless stations. As the premium Internet add on is only $2.99 a month, it essentially means it should be no problem “downgrading” my account. Since it was all prepaid I wasn’t expecting a refund on the extra already paid.

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Louis CK Says “Everything Is Amazing Right Now And Nobody Is Happy”

Louis CKThanks to my friend from High School, Elyssa Lowell, I was introduced to a video clip of comedian Louis CK who made an appearance on Conan O’Brien’s show and shared a very amusing but accurate assessment of how everything is amazing in our modern world and yet nobody is happy. He shares some highlights about how things have changed since his childhood and how those new conveniences we take for granted are downright amazing compared to how it used to be.

Some of his highlights invoked memories of rotary phones, phones that actually had cords to them, phones would just ring and ring until they either got answered or the caller gave up, credit cards were a laborious process to use, and even how people are spoiled about how good they have it now. His example is about flying on an airplane, how people are bitching about how it’s bullshit if the new in-flight internet access goes down, when you should really be amazed that your in a chair in the sky getting where you’re going in just a few hours.

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Roku Netflix Box – Best Home Entertainment Value

Roku Netflix PlayerLast year, Roku introduced to the market the Netflix Player, a small “box” that gets connected directly to a television and with either a wired Internet connection or using the built in Wi-Fi access capability, the box instantly enables the connected television to have access to Netflix‘s entire catalogue of Instantly Viewable movies and television shows. Initially the selection seemed mostly limited to older title movies and television shows, but a partnership with Starz, Netflix has been able to offer considerably more current material. Also Roku and Netflix have enhanced the capabilities of the player by allowing for High Definition content to be streamed through the player. And more recently Roku has additionally partnered with Amazon On-Demand to further expand the capabilities of the Netflix Box, that it truly has become the best value for enhancing a home entertainment system.

For a one-time fee, the Netflix Box costs $99.99 (and is available to purchase through Amazon.com by clicking here). The allows instant access to an already existing Netflix account. If you don’t have a Netflix account, then you’ll love hearing what an incredible bargain the system is. For as little as $8.99 a month, you get unlimited access to any program Netflix features for instant viewing. Technically, the $8.99 fee is for a one month subscription to the DVD rental service, where you’re allowed one DVD at a time, as many as want in a month, just send the disc back and as soon as they get it, they send you the next disc on your list. The instant viewing is included free with your subscription. If you want additional discs at a time, then the subscription fee increases depending on how many discs you want to be able to have out at one time. Netflix allows up to 8 discs to be out at one time.

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Test Driving the iPod Touch OS 3.0 Beta 4

iPhone OS 3.0 SoftwareI’ve had a few days to test drive the new iPhone Operating System (OS) on my iPod Touch and it’s been fun and interesting trying out the new software. I am currently on the Beta 4 version of the software which was released about a week ago.

So far, the new features like the search and being able to cut and paste have been pretty cool but for me seems to be of limited use my iPod Touch is primarily an iPod. I don’t manage a contact database on it, and I use it for rather limited Internet use, like some web browsing and checking e-mail. A detailed list of features being added can be found by clicking here.

I’ve really been impressed with the new and improved maps application. It now provides turn by turn directions and can even map you routes for a car, walking, and bus routes. Granted the bus routes have some limited application in terms of distances covered. They even allow easy access to Google’s street view images. I’ve been playing with that a little bit. Really nicely improved tool. Also the music player has been improved slightly in that the slider for the position in the song works a little more easily and they’ve improved how it handles audio books, such as a feature to repeat the last 30 seconds in place of the Genius logo.

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Wow, $1.32 For A One Hour Call From The USA To Australia


With the closure of ABBAMAIL, I decided to give former ABBAMAIL list and site owner, Graeme Read, a call. In the past when I’ve called him, I’ve used pre-paid calling cards to get phone rates as low as 11 cents a minute, which isn’t too bad from the United States to Australia. This time I decided to give Skype a shot, which was promising a rate of 2.1 cents per minute to Australian land line numbers for routing the call over the Internet. And the slightly more than an hour that I spoke with Graeme, only cost $1.32.

As technology advances, it gets to be quite amazing how things change. Had I have used a pre-paid calling card, at the previously great rate of 11 cents a minute, the call would have cost approximately, $7 between the connection fee and the time of the call. This was literally a savings of approximately 80%. Had I made the call directly on my cell phone without using Skype, the call would have cost $70 at 69 cents per minute, bring the Skype call a savings of 98%.

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