Starbucks Everywhere

January 25, 2005 at 10:18 pm | Posted in Humor (G- and R- rated) | Leave a comment

Starbucks has a store locator and is running a contest to see who has the most McCoffee branches in a 5-mile radius.

One has to be careful in meeting someone for the first time (or first date) – “let’s meet at the Starbucks” may not be such a good idea:

Google Video Debuts

January 25, 2005 at 8:46 pm | Posted in Technology | Leave a comment

Today, Google Video went live. While Microsoft spends R&D money to figure out how to shoehorn Aqua into Longhorn, the codemeisters at Google have made close-captioned text searchable, along with still-frame snapshots of the show.

The initial response to the results might be – “what’s the big deal?”. It’s quite a big deal – if the actual video content is online, it would take little work to add additional links, information, and (here’s where the $$$ comes in) advertising to the stream. Imagine what the content providers would do to generate additional revenue making shows available after broadcast. It sure beats seeing them on Bittorrent.

Buying a Mac mini

January 23, 2005 at 5:26 pm | Posted in Macintosh | Leave a comment

Apple introduced the Mac mini earlier this month at the Macworld Expo. People have been getting them as early as last Wednesday. I decided to get in on the action and went down to the Costa Mesa Apple Store today to buy one. I wanted the $499 base model, but the only one they had was the higher-end 1.42GHz Mac mini, and they only had one left (or maybe they wanted me to think that :-)) I guess I’ll just have to try again next week, or order it online.

To put things in perspective, here is what you would see if you were to try to buy a Mac in Kuwait. The faded signs, the layers of dust, and ancient software still on display makes it painfully clear that those of us living near Apple Stores are lucky indeed.

Battlestar Galactica The Series

January 21, 2005 at 11:45 pm | Posted in Fun Indoors | 2 Comments

Over a year ago, I posted doubts about the new Battlestar Galactica series from SciFi Channel.

Having seen the 2-episode miniseries in 2003 and the first two episodes, I take back my doubts. The new series is fantastic – plot and characters are well-developed, and the series has a story arc reminiscent of Babylon 5. I believe that the show creators are going to do something very interesting to the Cylons and Cylon philosophy, since they are the ones radically different from the original series. They aren’t the mindless robots portrayed in the original show; they are more advanced than humans and may actually be an example of a limited singularity. I also suspect the producers may also be making a political commentary, but I will leave that speculation to others.

In the new series, Richard Hatch (who played the role of Apollo in the original) plays a very interesting character. Depending on your point of view, he’s either a political prisoner or a terrorist. I hope they take this subplot a bit further in future episodes.

Where Your Taxes Go

January 9, 2005 at 9:21 pm | Posted in Politics | Leave a comment

Taxes suck, but since we pay them, we do have the right to know where all that money is going. A graphical representation of the proposed Federal Budget clearly shows that over 50% of discretionary spending is already military, and there’s not much pork elsewhere in the budget.

English Bay in Winter

January 7, 2005 at 6:03 pm | Posted in Fun Outdoors | Leave a comment

Today’s KatKam picture shows a rare positioning of the camera. It is pointed to the northwest overlooking English Bay Beach. The snow-covered benches in the lower-left look west towards Vancouver Island. The view during the summer is very impressive as you see multiple container ships leaving as the sun sets over the island. I will post those pictures I took in September 2003 ASAP.

Amiga Memories

January 6, 2005 at 5:38 pm | Posted in General | Leave a comment

I’m now in San Francisco for the annual MacHajj taking place next week.

Before driving into San Francisco, I stopped at Campbell south of San Jose and visited the strip mall at Campbell and Bascom. The last time I was there, it was 1985 and Dave, Kevin, and I took a road trip from Berkeley to see the first Amiga on display in the Bay Area. It was too expensive for me, but Dave decided to go for it, and the rest, as they say, is history. Sadly, the computer store is no more, but the burger shop next door is still there – a plain storefront with no decorations except for some blue trim around the doors and windows. It seemed to be under new ownership – the prices have gone up but the decor hasn’t changed in almost 20 years.

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