December 04, 2008


My favorite snippet from the 60 Minutes piece on cheating in online poker:

[The Mohawk nation] now register and service more than 60 percent of the world's Internet gaming activity from a highly protected and non-descript building that used to be a mattress factory. 60 Minutes drove by the former factory with The Washington Post's Gil Gaul.

"This is nondescript," Gaul remarks.

"This takes nondescript to an entirely different level," Kroft comments.

September 23, 2008

Microsoft > Apple (for watching BSG in specific circumstances)

My house is heavily Appled. My new media center has an Apple TV at its core. I use Airport Expresses and the iPhone remote app to send tunes to other rooms (or will once more speakers show up). It's a whole thing.

One major annoyance has been watching downloaded videos that weren't downloaded from the iTunes store. Specifically, Battlestar Galactica. In general, I like the iTunes store for video. I've bought a bunch of stuff even before owning an Apple TV (which makes the experience even better and now delivers HD content). And the pay-per-view model works really well for how I like to consume video content.

The trouble is that the iTunes store doesn't have every program and, notably, got in that whole snit with NBC Universal last year. So there was no Battlestar and I had no cable. So I turned to BitTorrent and my Battlestar library is littered with DivX/XviD files that won't play on the Apple TV. You can convert them to mp4s which will play in iTunes/Frontrow. And you can convert those to files that should play on the Apple TV ... but they don't.

This became a bigger problem after I moved earlier this month. With my new setup it was no longer possible to plug my laptop directly into my TV. Or at least not without dropping down to using S-Video. So I pretty much assumed I was screwed until I read Nelson's post on playing DivX/XviD content on your XBox 360.

This totally works. You just add your DivX content to Windows Media Player on your PC (I have one!) and then share that wirelessly with the 360. Completely easy. I was shocked.

I don't entirely understand why Apple doesn't have better native support for DivX/XviD at this point. People will still go to the iTunes store to buy stuff because it's convenient and great quality. You could at least let the stuff be easily playable.

August 29, 2008

Come together

August 21, 2008

Battle of the Warlock Alans

Moore v. Parsons: No matter who wins ... actually, I'm pretty sure Moore wins.

July 22, 2008

June 30, 2008

Yeah, I got pride

So fuckin' what?

June 20, 2008


Twitter came and ate this blog. But last weekend, Crystal and I spent the weekend up in wine country. We stayed at the Gaige House which I definitely recommend. It's got a nice garden pool, the rooms have huge granite tubs for two and they layout makes it feel more like a little house than a hotel room. Note that this is only true for the newly constructed Zen suites ... I read that the rooms in the main house are not as nice.

I've never really done the whole wine country thing before. I've been up there a couple times but only to a winery once. Mostly I remember it being hot.

Well, it is hot. But also fun. I recommend checking out the Benziger estate in Sonoma. The tour gives you a great overview of their biodynamic practices. It's very cool to see a winery that uses no chemicals, recycles close to half of their water and employs an entomologist to figure out what bugs they should attract (to kill the bad bugs).

May 20, 2008

Bull to Breakers

Bull to Breakers
Originally uploaded by goldtoe

May 01, 2008

Physical digital assets are dumb like me

I rented Darkon last night from the local video store, Lost Weekend Video. I'm a big fan of both.

Darkon is a really intense documentary about live action role playing. The filmmakers take the subject very seriously which I admire. The homemade-LOTR-style of it makes it easy to get wrapped up in the in-world narrative.

I'm also fascinated by the game mechanics of Darkon since it requires so much from the participants. My initial reaction to seeing the actual gameplay was "Wow - this would be so easily griefed." I mean, you determine how much damage you take from an incoming attack, not the attacker. I don't think it gets gamed a lot because people are willingly creating this world. They want the narrative to work. Not once during the documentary did they show any disputes about rules or abuses.

I also love Lost Weekend Video. I've rented movies there for years, even through my Netflix addiction. I actually suspended my Netflix account several months back because I was getting all my stuff through Lost Weekend.

So it was a little disappointing when, on my way to return the video at the store this morning, I accidentally put it in the mailbox instead.

I guess it makes up for the time I accidentally mailed Eugene's copy of the Two Towers to Netflix by mistake.

April 24, 2008

SteveJ's Birthday

Steve's Wishes
Originally uploaded by goldtoe