Because you can't find it anywhere else

Category: Technology

There's a $1000 fine for Twittering

Attentive readers may have noticed the appearance of a new Twitter sidebar on this otherwise flawless website.  We’re having management look into it; hopefully it’s not indicative of a larger problem with our servers.  We’ll get back to you as soon as more information becomes available.

It’s not all bad news today, though.  I am proud to announce the debut of the official Obscure Porn Twitter!  You can subscribe at www.twitter.com/obscureporn.  It will be your up-to-the-minute source for all news obscure and pornographic, and possibly neither.  Our correspondents are working around the clock to provide you with the latest coverage of them working around the clock.  You don’t want to miss this.  Starring Brad Pitt and Kate Hudson, with Eric Hysen as the gnome who sells them weed.

The Great Comparison

The Translocator: The translocator was originally created by the Liandri Mining Corporation to allow the workers to be able to escape in the event of a cave in. The translocator is a disc, that fits into a launcher and can be launched in for a great distance in any direction.

Pros: This gun can be fire fired anywhere, and with a little clever use of physics can allow the user to a very wide range of transport. As the translocator forcibly places the person in the area of the disc, anything else that is there is vaporized. This makes the translocator a somewhat unique weapon.  The translocator can be opened anywhere (in midflight, under water, in a teleport, etc..), allowing the user to hop around quickly.

Cons: The translocator can only be used by the person wielding it, and it is a one way trip. To get back, the disc must be relaunched. The translocator has a terrible aversion to a person carrying a flag while using it. It looks ugly as all hell.

The Portal Gun: The portal gun is a hand held device produced by the Aperture Science Center. This gun can fire two “portals”, one orange and one blue, that open a gateway between each other. It can pick up and carry objects.

Pros: After the portal ends are set, anything and anyone can go through them. Single ends of the portal can be manipulated independently of each other, which coupled with the fact momentum of objects is conserved through the portal, allows the user to propel themselves wherever they please (this of course, takes a certain amount of skill and a high tolerance for pain). It is aesthetically appealing

Cons: Because the portal gun is so contrary to our perception of physics,  it is very easy to mess up while using it. VERY EASY. The user has to have a visible line between them and the desired portal position, which makes portal placement limited. In addition, the portal itself is a passive and nonviolent entity, even though it could be used indirectly for violent purposes (such as dropping blocks on people, making them fall until they reach terminal velocity and catch fire, launching them into the sun, etc..).

Author’s choice:  Both? I don’t know they both have their purposes, and having a translocator I could fire through a portal would be sweet.

My Own Class Action Suits

So apparently there’s been a class-action lawsuit filed against Apple because, in the plaintiff’s words:

Unknown to the Plaintiff, and undisclosed to the public, prior to purchase, the iPhone is a sealed unit with its battery soldered on the inside of the device so that it cannot be changed by the owner… The battery enclosed in the iPhone can only be charged approximately 300 times before it will be in need of replacement, necessitating a new battery annually for owners of the iPhone.

Let me get this straight. This guy claims that the fact that the iPhone’s battery isn’t user-replaceable is “undisclosed to the public.” Apparently he didn’t pay attention to all the news stories about this exact point, or didn’t even bother to look at an iPhone to see that there isn’t a way to remove the battery. (And in addition to all that’ he can’t even get his facts straight.) Well, if morons like this get to file class-action lawsuits for things like this, I think I deserve a few of my own:

  • The fruit I bought at the supermarket went bad after I didn’t eat it for a month. There was no notice saying it spoils, and the cashier didn’t tell me, so I feel I’m due a couple hundred grand for the pain and suffering caused by eating an overripe pear.
  • My cell phone broke when I accidentally dropped it, ran it over with my car, and flushed the battered remains down the toilet. I saw no “Do not drop, run over, or flush” warnings when I bought it, so pony up, Cingular.
  • My TV uses electricity, adding a sinister hidden cost to its advertised price. Pay me, Sony.
  • I suffered ear damage after listening to my iPod at maximum volume for hours on end. You owe me for my surgery, Apple.

Oh crap, that last one is real. I’ll stop there or I may give someone ideas. But seriously, how screwed up is our justice system when crap like this sucks the time and money out of the courts? This almost makes me wish for the good old days, when all you had to worry about was being sued over creased pants.

First Look: The iTaco

As part of its continuing quest to put lowercase i’s in front of everything, Apple has released the new iTaco. I don’t normally write about technology (actually, so far 100% of the columns I have written have been about technology), but this is such an earth-shaking event that I am forced to report on it. The iTaco has been marketed as a revolutionary combination of great taste, great ingredients, Internet connectivity, multimedia play, and a shockingly intuitive interface. Does it live up to the hype? Don’t ask me- I didn’t waste my time waiting in line for 14 hours to get one! Uh, I mean, I am a highly qualified reviewer who definitely owns an iTaco. Several times. I actually created the iTaco. Anyway, don’t consider this a review per se; instead, just take these opinions and use them as your own.

Let’s take a quick look at the features of the iTaco. The iTaco breaks away from the usual constraints of tacos, featuring touch-shell technology, which allows users to operate it with one finger. No longer will an entire hand be occupied during the process of taco-eating. Apple’s revolutionary new technology suspends the iTaco in an anti-gravity field in front of the user’s mouth, and it can then be rotated with the wave of a finger. This interface worked incredibly well for the most part; the only problem I found is that all of the contents of the iTaco fall out onto the table when it is rotated upside down (an embarrassingly common occurrence).

The main function of the iTaco- to eat a taco- was at least adequate. Like almost all of Apple’s products (at least in my experience), the iTaco looked better than it tasted. (For the trivia-loving among you, the one product that didn’t follow this paradigm was the original iPod Shuffle- definitely not the second generation one.) There’s not too much I can say about the taco part of the iTaco: I’ve eaten better tacos but I’ve certainly eaten worse Apple products.

The Internet browser on the iTaco worked pretty well; unfortunately, since the iTaco doesn’t have a screen, it instead employs a speaker that reads aloud the content of websites. I am especially impressed with the software that describes images you find as you browse the web. For example, the iTaco described this image as “um, it’s this kind of like, silver thing, in the shape of I think an apple? But somebody took a bite out of it, and the stem’s not really attached. I don’t know, that seems kind of weird. Is this thing on? He- hello? Where am I?”

The one other feature of the iTaco that I want to highlight is the presence of built-in applications such as Google Maps, which shows the locations of iTaco stores near you in case you want to buy another one; YouTube, to which the iTaco is continuously posting videos of you using it; and Stocks, which shows Apple’s stock plummeting (well, that was my experience, anyway).

Some of the lesser known features of the iTaco are its uses as a personal space vehicle and teleportation device. Some users have also reported the manifestation of god-like powers gained through purchase of the $750 special edition iTaco.

Usability: B-
Look and Feel: 92%
Size: Excellent
Price: 4 stars
Goodness: 4.6
Likes: Long walks on the beach

Overall: So how do you make an eye talk? Oh, I see. You have to blink in Morse Co- oh whoops, that was for my other column at howtomakebodypartstalk.com . Where was I? Oh yeah, summing up. In conclusion, the iTaco really sucks and you should consider buying the iPhone instead.

The iTaco comes in your choice of beef, chicken, or vegetarian, and costs $500 for one taco ($600 if you want toppings). Each one you eat costs you an additional $500.