Ubisoft has a new game coming out called Assassins Creed. I had originally planned on passing on this game, but… after watching this trailer, I may have to rethink that…

My wife LOVES American Idol. I have no idea why. While I do find the first couple of weeks of each season amusing – the part where every jackass in America tries to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that being tone-deaf is worthy of TV time – I loathe the series! This season is no different.

Except, maybe, that the contestants suck even more than the previous years. The girl from Tennessee is the one exception. But otherwise… grrrrrr…

The beatbox kid is an arrogant prick. The gender-repressed Indian kid is flippin’ irritating beyond words – including his damn hair. And am I the only one who thinks that that Lakisha girl looks like Sigmund the Sea Monster???

Sigmund / Lakisha

Is there anything more nasty than a used bandaid?

Bandaid

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Everyone now knows about High Definition (HD) content. And this past year the format war re-ignited with HDDVD and Blu-Ray. I’m not going to go into it all but suffice it to say I like HDDVD better than Blu-Ray. Not because it is a higher quality image. People’s eyeballs can’t see the difference if both are properly encoded. Like those “3-D” posters of the dolphins when you take your eyes out of focus; if they say they can see it — they’re lying. But because it makes more sense. It’s cheaper to convert manufacturing. Cost of entry for consumers is lower (if you call $500 for a set-top player lower). And the cases are that cool reddish color. But since the movie houses are split the consumers will have to purchase one and guess who will win.

Until now. What’s changed you ask? The answer my friend is Porn. I don’t mean the amateur videos you see posted on all the dirty YouTube clones. I’m talking about the $14 billion a year “Adult Entertainment” industry. Depending on which tale you subscribe too you get a different reason but the gist of it is that originally they chose Blu-Ray but then received rebuffing from the Blu-Ray distributors about not wanting to license the discs to that type of material. Another version is simply that HDDVD is cheaper to produce. So porn companies are taking their money to HDDVD. Blu-Ray should have played nicer. An almost identical situation occurred back with Betamax and VHS. Betamax was the better quality but the Porn industry went with VHS and so now everyone who bought a Betamax has to keep it in the garage next to their laser discs. The other thing for Sony (the creators of Blu-Ray) to keep in mind… where porn goes, consumers follow. Porn has always been the pioneers of new technology. Does anyone think the Internet would have evolved so quickly without everyone downloading dirty pictures? What force other than maybe Xbox Live has driven so many consumers to adopt broadband connections? It ain’t the Food Network.

Regardless what puritans may think, people like looking at other people naked. That coupled with the fact that people vote with their money (and if it’s cheaper they can vote more often) are indicators that HDDVD has a very good chance of winning. So, whoever can get below the $250 price point first (HDDVD is kinda there with the Xbox 360 addon) and supply movies showing the naughty bits will win.

It’s simple sexonomics.

Last week Apple announced their new iPhone at MacWorld. Everyone cheered. I was a little skeptical. First strike against it? It’s only set up to work on the Cingular (AT&T) network. My wife works for Verizon Wireless. Plus, I used to work for Cingular. Now I mostly just hate them.

Still, the phone seems pretty cool – a cell phone, iPod and PDA-like device all rolled nicely into one well-designed package. Just the way Apple operates. Then I heard the price – $500 for the 4GB model and $600 for the 8GB model… and that’s WITH a 2-year contract!!!

Screw that – they can keep the damn thing for that much money!

Then I saw this video that does an amazing job of demonstrating the product and its many uses.

While I still won’t be purchasing one until they make it available on a reliable cellular network, I have to admit there is a high lust factor for this little gizmo. Well done, Apple, well done indeed.

Safety Matches are A-OK!So I’m listening to the radio last night on the way home and caught a snippet of a story about an American Airline (I think) flight that was delayed or had to land in a huff due to the smell of burning matches. Matches were banned after 9.11, but apparently safety matches have been put back on the “OK” list. All right.

I can’t seem to find the story online today, but as I remember it, they had to land the plane and search everyone. Turns out a woman had pulled out her safety matches and lit one in an effort “to conceal a body odor.” They confiscated her matches and removed her from the flight. Once everyone else was searched, they were allowed back on the plane and the flight resumed, minus matchlady.

<blink, blink>

Wait a minute… WHAT?!?! To conceal body odor??? The woman farted on the plane and decided, lucidly, she would do like she does at home/work/McDonald’s/church and light a match??? How stupid can you  be?!? Someone should pummel her unconcious with a pinetree air freshener!

GrinchOk, so anyone who’s known me for at least a 12 month period knows that I am not a fan of this time of year. I view the time of year after Halloween and before New Years a lot like a I view Jagermiester, nothing good ever happens once it’s begun.

Now, before you get on your box of Tide and start pointing out all the holiday cheer and Charlie Brown specials, let me rebut by saying bullshit. Well, that may not be emphatic enough. What I meant to say was BULLSHIT! All of the Christmas specials talk about how man’s goodness will overcome any type of travesty so long as we all embrace the holiday spirit and love our fellow man. (And before you feminist start throwing Oil of Olay, I’m using Man in the generic sense describing all of the human race. Not just those of us with a penis.) Love for one another does not exist on the grand scale. If capitalism has taught me nothing it’s that it’s best to screw the other guy if it helps you (oh, and if you aren’t competitively priced, you’re out of the game). Go to any mall or Wal-mart and you’ll see man’s love in action. People push you, they’re rude and if someone in some way inconveniences them, they get angry.

Did you see the story about the guy who was shot while trying to acquire a new Playstation 3. SHOT!?! Who would shoot another person over a video game? Or on a less lethal scale, just look at all the women driving gigantic SUVs to the mall. If you feel compelled to own a Hummer even though you never drive on anything other than pavement (and apparently hate Gaia) then you should have to park in the North 40. The Target by where I live is in an “L” shaped strip mall. Along the length of the “L” is a row of parking spots labeled “Compact” for those of us who drive small cars (and actually care that the fossil fuels are depleting). A small but nice reward for our civic consciousness. So, I pull in last week and guess who’s parked in the “Compact” section? Some rich bitch in her velvet sweatsuit taking up two spaces with her hummer. TWO! And not one of the new “smaller” H3 Hummers mind you; the real deal. I didn’t have the luxury of watching her park her behemoth but I did get to see her try to leave. She actually had to lean out either window and fold in the mirror of the cars next to her so she wouldn’t scrape them as she exited. It’s not like there weren’t several spaces open if she was willing to walk the extra 40 feet to put her Tonka out of the way. But Noooo!

I could go on and on with examples of people treating others like shit merely because they were in the way or didn’t have time to deal with it. So before you start getting excited about the “best time of the year”, take a look around. See how your fellow man is treating each other. And for gods’ sake, don’t get in line in front of me!