Archive | Gadgets & Gizmos

Business down the drainpipe for Mario Brothers

Business down the drainpipe for Mario Brothers

WORKERS have spoken of their sadness at a family run plumbing business has gone bust after 33 years trading.

Mario Brothers Plumbing Ltd announced last night that it was to go into administration and there was expected to be a loss of more than 300 jobs.

The business has sighted the worldwide financial crisis, but staff have accused the poor management of the two owners, Mario and Luigi, that ultimately lead to the closure and loss of jobs. Continue Reading

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Posted in Biz News, Gadgets & Gizmos2 Comments

Video Game Makers Reach Around to Senior Citizens

Video Game Makers Reach Around to Senior Citizens

As the video game industry continues to mature, game makers are scrambling to create the next generation of games designed specifically for a maturing demographics. You can give the older gamers a fancier avatar, but it’s a lot harder to get it up…to the higher levels than it used to be.

The average age of the hard core gamer is now…well about your age and getting older! So in accordance with the changing needs of an aging population, a new wave of games is coming. Wholesale “death and destruction” is not even remotely entertaining anymore. It takes a lot more to arouse the mature crowd these days.

Face it, you’ve seen one head explode, you’ve seen them all. It gets to a point where mere imagery just doesn’t pop the cork anymore. Aging gamers are looking for games that reflect the thrill and exhilaration of the “real life” that is slowly slipping away from them, while providing the irresponsible escapism and high definition graphics they’ve grown accustomed to. Get ready for Geezer Games.

These next generation games are so cutting edge, you can shave your ear lobes with them and the fear factor is so high, you’ll have to change your adult diaper. Using newly emergent “full immersion” technology, it’s like being trapped in The Matrix with a bad bootleg copy of “Misery” and irritable bowel syndrome. On the drawing board:

1) Grand Theft Audit:

The premise is simple. The Player is required to accumulate wealth by locating kickbacks, contraband and other sources of undeclared income and effectively hide them in offshore accounts before the Tax Man can audit their Piggy Bank. The game has 17 levels, each with a different Tax Code and Tax Bracket.

Those reaching the top level are exempted from the Tax Man, but are immediately set upon by the Charity Hordes and The Paparazzi, seeking to knock the player down a few levels for their selfish amusement. Rated ” MMMP” for Mo Money Mo Problems.

2) Staff Reduction of Doom:

Up to 16 million players compete on-line with each other over a dwindling numbers of staff positions within a global conglomerate. Each player is required to do absolutely anything possible to make themselves appear less expendable than the others. The Player is allowed a choice of sabotage tools, including Gossip and Blackmail.

Fall prey to the Slander Lawsuit and lose everything. Successful players move up a level. All others are tossed from a 40-story building by a cackling caricature of Donald Trump. Land on someone coming to work, get a 500 point bonus. Land in a garbage can surrounded by homeless people and get another life. Rated “YFSMO” for You’re Fu**ing Stressing Me Out.

3) Moving Violation:

Patterned after many of the most popular driving games, this next generation game requires players to navigate a maze of traffic jams, road construction elderly drivers, car-jacking thugs and being cut off in traffic without shooting anyone. Randomly targeted by small town policemen with ticket quotas, the goal is to make as many trips back and forth between home and work without accumulating an excess of tickets, losing ones license or insurance coverage.

Or shooting anyone. There is an increasing level of difficulty as game avatar ages, so hurry the hell up, Grandpa. But locate the Orb of Mid-life Crisis, buy a sports car and knock ten years off Player’s age. Rated “BYTTD’ for Bore Your Teen To Death.

4) Sims Child Support:

An interactive game, The Player must meet, marry and divorce a SIM, and gain control of child support payments before their financial stability is crushed. Players can play in one of two modes: Philandering Pete or Fertile Fergie. In the Fertile Fergie mode, the player must reproduce as quickly as possible, gaining points and Child Support for each child born.

In the Philandering Pete mode, the player must avoid marrying or divorce his SIM before she gives birth to more children than he can support. The Pete avatar has an Incognito mode, while Fergie possesses the Turbo Lawsuit Power Ring. There are no levels in this game and the player who dies last wins. Rated “OC” for Oh Crap!

5) Castle of Crumbling Credit:

This is an interactive game designed for many players. Players are required to acquire material goods and maintain their opulent lifestyle, while keeping their credit manageable. Players borrow and pay off Debt, looking for the perfect balance that allows them to climb the Social Ladder without being knocked off by falling sandbags of Minimum Payments.

Players must carry water from the Well of Cheap Credit to irrigate their Investment Crop in order to advance. But beware The Margin Call of Doom, a nebulous capital sucking incubus that’s always after your Lucky Charms. Or the Ogre of Increasing Interest Rates that can send you back to Level One! 256 levels of agonizingly thankless difficulty. Rated “SAY” for Screw All Ya’ll.

These games are planned to be rolled out in time for the beginning of the Christmas shopping season or as we call it, Labor Day. So get in line now. For those of you not inclined to camp out in long lines just to buy a video game…there’s a video game for that, too.

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Posted in Entertainment, Gadgets & Gizmos2 Comments

Come on, Google ChromeCast, You Know What We Want

Come on, Google ChromeCast, You Know What We Want

Google came out with an innovative product at an amazing price. For just $35 you can get a clever HDMI device to plug into your Hi-Def TV to receive broadcast video from nearly any wireless device in your home.

But as great as it is, it still sucks one approximate pail of floppy donkey dicks.

With this affordable device you can stream Hulu-Plus (not the real Hulu, but the one you have to pay for,) Pandora and YouTube. You can also stream anything that shows up on Google Chrome, which is nearly everything, save for a ton of the things you actually want.

If you have files saved locally to your hard drive, you might be disappointed when you try to play them. You can drag files and drop them in the address bar, and early tests said many files would work just fine.

There are literally zero files from the various cameras I’ve owned over the past few years that will play in Google Chrome. Many of the video files I get to review won’t play, which is a bummer.

I installed MyPlex to work around it, but it’s a weak workaround. It’s a tricky, mostly terrible interface. It tries to do too much without actually doing the one, basic thing you want it to. That’s no good, Google.

In a perfect world, Google would make a local player that allows for browsing by folder. Short of that, they could just support a wider variety of files in the damn Chrome browser.

Maybe Google knows better than I that I don’t really want to see my family videos again, or the home videos my friends share with me. I can admit, these are likely painfully awful videos, but seriously, if there was just even a half-assed attempt to accept a reasonable range of modern filetypes, I’d rate this a must-buy device… but it doesn’t, so I can’t.

I’ll still say it’s pretty good, and that it’s something you should think about, but the market for it as of now is pretty limited. You have to be tech savvy, you have to only desire a narrow range of filetypes to be supported, and you have to be patient as hell, since it’s still equally buggy. Equally buggy as hell.

Disclaimer: Google didn’t give me a Chromecast, I bought it myself. The only thing they ever gave me in the 8-years I’ve been working with them was a free lava lamp for participating in a marketing test, and it died within a month. I can’t say I’m not in anyone’s pocket, but I’m definitely not in theirs.

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Posted in Gadgets & Gizmos, Internets Tubes0 Comments

78% of Radio Shack 1993 Catalog Is on Your Phone, but Better

78% of Radio Shack 1993 Catalog Is on Your Phone, but Better

I recently got to reminiscing of days gone by. When I was young, carefree, and studied the Radio Shack catalog even more religiously than religion, and I was religious.

When I realized, all those gizmos and gadgets I so desperately wanted are now all on the phone in my pocket, and they’re much better, and much cheaper, and we all have access to them.

I decided to dig up an old Radio Shack catalog, choosing 1993 as it was roundly 20-years ago, and found it conveniently hosted here at Radio Shack’s official page. Continue Reading

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Posted in Gadgets & Gizmos, Technology6 Comments

Starving Artists call the Internet a vast Communist Conspiracy

Starving Artists call the Internet a vast Communist Conspiracy

Millions of underemployed or out-of-work citizens of Canada, Europe, and the United States took to the streets to protest the internet as a vast communist conspiracy.

Moreover, many Westerners are flocking to China, praising its pervasive censorship of the internet as instrumental to that country’s economic boom. Continue Reading

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Santa Claus finally sells out; cashes in

Santa Claus finally sells out; cashes in

This Christmas, you might notice something a little different when you look up into the sky and see Santa and his reindeer in flight delivering presents to children all over the world.

In an unprecedented partnership, global shipping giant FedEx® has agreed to become the official sponsor of Santa Claus.

For years, financial analysts have been puzzled with how Santa’s operation could remain profitable with labor and production costs continuing to skyrocket. Continue Reading

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Posted in Gadgets & Gizmos, World News0 Comments

Smart Phones Turn their Users into A#$holes, Researchers say

Smart Phones Turn their Users into A#$holes, Researchers say

Dateline: BERKELEY– While many Americans are reeling from the news that the NSA is spying on their locations by tracking their mobile devices, social scientists are concerned about a more existential threat: those devices are turning people into a#$holes. Continue Reading

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Posted in Gadgets & Gizmos4 Comments

Toy Mandibles Empower Weak-Jawed Masses

Toy Mandibles Empower Weak-Jawed Masses

Dateline: LOS ANGELES—There’s a hot new product that’s flying off the shelves. It’s called Gravitas Jaws and it consists of a crude plastic mandible bone that’s worn over your lower jaw like a beard, except that this piece of plastic has the power to force everyone to take you seriously for no good reason. Continue Reading

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Shia LaBeouf Makes Cameo in ‘Black Friday IV’ Trailer

Shia LaBeouf Makes Cameo in ‘Black Friday IV’ Trailer

Shia LaBeouf plays a sexy, sharpshooting stranger in the new live-action trailer for “Black Friday IV,” due out Nov. 7 for PlayStation and XBox.

The minute-long trailer, set in the post-Thanksgiving Day ruins of a large retail outlet, features a group of disheveled women battling to escape with their purchases intact as Frank Sinatra’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” plays over a background of gunfire and explosions. Continue Reading

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Posted in Gadgets & Gizmos, Talky Pictures0 Comments

Elderly Woman Sends Text Message

Elderly Woman Sends Text Message

INDIANAPOLIS – An elderly woman became the talk of her family today after miraculously turning on a cellular phone and successfully typing, and then sending, a 23-word text message to her 18-year-old grandson.

Maureen Hamilton, 84, is believed to have navigated her way through the menu options of her Nokia 1680 handset without needing assistance – eventually arriving at the “compose message” tab inside her messages folder. Continue Reading

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Posted in Gadgets & Gizmos, Society0 Comments

Nine Nasty Reasons to Never Shop at Best Buy

Nine Nasty Reasons to Never Shop at Best Buy

It would be too easy to go into the daily fraud perpetrated by suckering trusting customers into buying gold-plated HDMI cables. Sure, they sell cables at 5,000% markup on the odd hour, but that aside, they’re terrible, incompetent and wholly inept.

I’ll take just my latest purchase as an example. It’s a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.0 with 16GB memory. Pretty nice… then we bought it. Continue Reading

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Posted in Biz News, Gadgets & Gizmos1 Comment

Man Flicking Hair off Kindle Screen Plunges Self Right into IMDb Spoilers Section

Man Flicking Hair off Kindle Screen Plunges Self Right into IMDb Spoilers Section

BOISE, ID—While browsing the Internet Movie Database on his Kindle Saturday evening, transit vehicle inspector Ted Coakley reportedly set out to remove a hair from the screen of the device by flicking it, causing him to plummet well into the spoilers section of trivia he was in the middle of reading.

“I just froze,” said Coakley. Continue Reading

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Smartphone User Glad He Doesn’t Have to Have Series of Interesting Thoughts

Smartphone User Glad He Doesn’t Have to Have Series of Interesting Thoughts

CHICAGO—While using his phone to browse an online forum where users rank their favorite vacation spots, Roger Howton reflected with great fondness on the fact that he didn’t have to use his imagination for a single moment to wonder about anything.

“Just give me cold, hard facts or someone else’s opinion and I’m good,” said Howton.

Howton is one of millions of Americans that have the great privilege of being able to simply pull out their phone and answer any question that crosses their mind. Continue Reading

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Posted in Gadgets & Gizmos2 Comments

Important safety alert: The dangers of texting while breathing

Important safety alert: The dangers of texting while breathing

In our increasingly technology-bound culture, cell phone use has exploded over the past decade. A recent report indicates there are now more cell phones in the USA than people, and three times more cell phone users than people who can locate the United States on a map of North America.

People use their cell phones to do all sorts of things – a few have even been known to use them to place phone calls. But mostly, people use their cell phones to text thought-provoking comments like Hey. Continue Reading

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Posted in Gadgets & Gizmos, Human Interest0 Comments

Local scientist and teen killed in freak Delorean accident

Local scientist and teen killed in freak Delorean accident

An eccentric inventor and local teen were killed yesterday when the Delorean in which they were riding crashed into a wall at about 90 mph. Martin McFly, 18, and Dr. Emmett ‘Doc’ Brown, age unavailable, were pronounced “really dead” at the scene. Homeland Security became involved in the investigation after radiation was discovered to be leaking from what authorities are calling a “flux capacitor” in the back of the vehicle. Federal investigators are calling the incident a possible “thwarted act of terrorism”. Continue Reading

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Posted in Gadgets & Gizmos, Technology1 Comment

Apple’s iOS 7 to Feature Impressive, Radically Redesigned Glitches

Apple’s iOS 7 to Feature Impressive, Radically Redesigned Glitches

CUPERTINO, CALIF — Apple recently unveiled the new iOS 7 operating system, which CEO Tim Cook is hailing as “the most radical redesign of iOS glitches since the iPhone was invented.”

According to Apple’s VP of Software Engineering, Leonard Umbrage, “Installing iOS 7 on your phone is like getting an entirely new phone, but one with which you’re already completely exasperated. It’s like an old friend with a new drug problem: truly astounding!” Continue Reading

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