Blog Archives

Bad Play, Google


I kinda grimaced when Google announced their rebranding Music and Android Market into “Google Play.”  To me, it just seemed like an idea that came from marketing as some hackneyed effort to breathe some perceived new vibrancy into a product that hadn’t even scratched its showroom paint yet.  It certainly didn’t come from engineering, as the following screenshot can attest:

Well played, Google. Well played.

As you can see, Google Music has become “Play Music,” and, when put next to the built-in Android music player, might cause some embarrassingly humourous (and vaguely confusing) results.  Granted, I’m excited about the potential of Play:  if I can upload and stream my video files the same way I can with my music, I’ll enjoy being able to access my entertainment on the go without lugging around an external hard drive or even my lappy.

It’s clearly Google positioning itself to compete directly with Apple’s iCloud service, but, for the Big G’s sake, I hope that they work out the kinks between the different apps quickly or it all may be doomed to suffer the same fate as Google+.

Afterburn 1×01: The Pilot Episode


Here is the (not so) long-lost pilot episode of Afterburn, uploaded with pictures for your enjoyment!  As always, do us a solid and comment, rate, like, follow and/or subscribe!  Much appreciated!

In this episode of Afterburn, Drake imbibes alcohol, Hammy’s dad flies a B-1, and Atari still doesn’t have a job.

Check out more at http://afterburn.podbean.com/

The Blizzard of 1993


The wind and the waves made a tattle-tale sound….

Gordon Lightfoot, “The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald”

A novelty piece in the old “break in” style where song clips replace soundbytes from interviews or dialogue. I downloaded this from AOL in the mid-1990′s, and I don’t recall who uploaded it originally. If you or someone you know created this, please let me know so that I may give proper credit. Thanks!

Afterburn 2×02: Tusken Raiders Ride Zombie Ponies On A Battleship


To me, the image is really funny…I just picture them on horseback with their scimitar swords and their man dresses on…on a ship, out in the water.

Hammy, Afterburn

Today’s episode of Afterburn analyses Iran’s naval power (as well as the merits of Tusken Raiders having a navy).  In addition, Hammy and Drake argue about guns and whether helicopters or aeroplanes are better.  Meanwhile, special guest Blue reviews AMC’s orginal series The Walking Dead and Atari recounts an encounter he had in LA traffic.

Opening theme by Wixor.

Closing music by Jonathan Mann.

View on YouTube

Listen/Subscribe at Podbean

Afterburn 2×01: A Brony’s Final Fantasy In Reno


I am going to love and tolerate the SHIT outta you!

Drake, Afterburn

Season two of Afterburn kicks off with an expose on the dark side of My Little Pony, initial reactions to Jimmy Leeward’s tragic crash at the Reno Air Races, and an argument on the merits of Final Fantasy VIII. Loki sits in for Atari who has moved to Los Angeles and taken the executive producer’s role on the show. New opening theme by Wixor.

View on YouTube

Listen/Subscribe on Podbean

Apollo 13.5


Our mission was called “a successful failure,” in that we returned safely but never made it to the Moon. In the following months, it was determined that a damaged coil built inside the oxygen tank sparked during our cryo stir and caused the explosion that crippled the Odyssey. It was a minor defect that occured two years before I was even named the flight’s commander. Fred Haise was going back to the moon on Apollo 18, but his mission was cancelled because of budget cuts; he never flew in space again. Nor did Jack Swigert, who left the astronaut corps and was elected to Congress from the state of Colorado. But he died of cancer before he was able to take office. Ken Mattingly orbited the moon as Command Module Pilot of Apollo 16, and flew the Space Shuttle, having never gotten the measles. Gene Kranz retired as Director of Flight Operations just not long ago. And many other members of Mission Control have gone on to other things, but some are still there. As for me, the seven extraordinary days of Apollo 13 were my last in space. I watched other men walk on the Moon, and return safely, all from the confines of Mission Control and our house in Houston. I sometimes catch myself looking up at the Moon, remembering the changes of fortune in our long voyage, thinking of the thousands of people who worked to bring the three of us home. I look up at the Moon and wonder, when will we be going back, and who will that be?

Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks), Apollo 13

A novelty piece in the old “break in” style where song clips replace soundbytes from interviews or dialogue. I downloaded this from AOL in the mid-1990’s, and I don’t recall who uploaded it originally. If you or someone you know created this, please let me know so that I may give proper credit. Thanks!

1968 NBC Pre-election Interview with LBJ and Richard Nixon


President Johnson and I have a lot in common. We were both born in small towns and we’re both fortunate in the fact that we think we married above ourselves.

Richard M. Nixon

A novelty piece in the old “break in” style where song clips replace soundbytes from interviews or dialogue. I downloaded this from AOL in the mid-1990’s, and I don’t recall who uploaded it originally. If you or someone you know created this, please let me know so that I may give proper credit. Thanks!

The Best Gnome Music Player


All right, after days of searching and playing and installing and uninstalling and other keystroke-intensive activities, I have finally found what I feel to be the best music player for the Gnome desktop under Jaunty: Listen.

I’ve used Rhythmbox ever since I started with Ubuntu, so I was more then familiar with its offering. It’s stable and has a good user interface, but it really lacked the power that I was looking for in an audio player. Essentially, I want something that has excellent organization capabilities, seamless Last.fm support, and an attractive visual element. It has to feel like what I want in a player. Banshee 1.0 was another major contender, and I was impressed by the addition of a video player, but apalled at the lack of organization for video files. Amarok was out of the question as I have never been a fan of it or having to load KDE dependencies in the background. I heard good reviews for Exaile being lightweight, and the working AWN plugin was a boon, but I could not stand the interface–too similar to Amarok. I want to see album art, not file folders.

Finally, I found Listen, and I was impressed. Version 0.5 is in the default Ubuntu repositories, and it has a lot of promising features: dynamic playlist creation, Last.fm and Wikipedia support, lyrics, and your basic streaming radio support all in a very slick interface. My main problem with Listen was that it tended to be very unstable and would crash if you just looked at it the wrong way. Enter Listen 0.6.2–it fixes the bugs that made 0.5 unstable and even adds a few new goodies: AWN support (shows the album art and time remaining in the dock), an equalizer, DAAP support, and the Jamiendo music store. Unfortunately, v0.6.2 is not in the default repositories, so you’ll have to add them manually. Detailed instructions on how to do this can be found on the PPA page here.

Happy listening!