RaaD Movies, News and Technology

Dany's RaaD Roundup

This Week in the Onion High-Speed Bus Tour and the Daily Show for May 14th, 2011

After listening to No Agenda (subscribe here) this week, where they highlighted this video from The Onion News Network (subscribe here), I had to share it, watch it by clicking here.

I love the comparison between politicians Ron Paul and John McCain here, I just wish more of the media would cover Ron Paul more seriously and on a different note, who had heard of Herman Cain?
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Here is a great clip extravaganza that takes us back, all the way to President Reagan for the Presidential credit mongering for who deserves credit for killing Osama bin Laden.
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Wow, Common and Ice-T have FoxNews and FoxNews.com all tied in knots, the corporation is a mass of mixed emotions when it comes to the music community. I guess it’s OK by FoxNews to have violent lyrics against the police, as long as they are old lyrics, you know, at least as old as from the early 1990’s…
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Here is a very funny interview with Albert Brooks, promoting his new book 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America (buy it here). Just as a side note, if you have never seen his film Defending Your Life, stop right now and get your hands on it ASAP, it is one of the most comedic and well done hilarious movies of all time.
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Please don’t give Asbestos, Canada ANY of your business, they are CRAZY people that want to sell you MORE asbestos even though it causes hundreds of thousands of cases of lung cancer per year.
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Enjoy

Dany

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May 14, 2011 12:37 pm Posted by | books, Canada, clips, comedians, DC, health, Islam, medicine, Middle East, music, music videos, podcasts, politics, Religion, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

Super Mario Audiobook Miniature, The Daily Show and Colbert Report Roundup for the Week of November 13th, 2010

I came across this audio short story from the Podcastle series (subscribe here) called Mario’s Three Lives. Anyone who grew up playing the Mario franchise of games should enjoy this 8min short audio story, I know I did! How can you go wrong with any story rated Rated PG “for plumbers, philosophy, and good ol’ fashioned shrooms?” The story is by Matt Bell:
Mario’s Three Lives

Jon Stewart comments on all the people commenting on his Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, then about Keith Olbermann’s suspension. Later in the week Jon Stewart sats down for Rachel Maddow to interview him for 50min. He talks about the reaction to his recent rally in Washington, DC. He then talks about how he tries to see the political news as a climate scientist compared to the 24hr cable news channels that seem to only report the weather. It’s a great interview.
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Debunking the huge costs that Glenn Beck and Fox News commented on, which probably costs more like ~$5million/day, what’s being wrong by overestimating costs by ~$195million/day when you can insult President Obama‘s decision making for a week? Thanks to Factcheck.org and Snopes for the sourcing of RATIONAL numbers, I’ll take their sourcing over an “anonymous Indian official” any day.
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Texas Governor Rick Perry does an extended interview to promote his new book Fed Up! I must say, he is quite riveting and learned person to listen to, but I am also glad that he is not my governor.
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All I can say is, who knew that Obama lost his dancing shoes somewhere between his inauguration and today?
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I didn’t know I wanted a McRib, but I doubt President Bush will and Harrison Ford agrees with me (that’s right, Han Solo/Indiana Jones agrees with ME) while he promotes his new movie Morning Glory. The next night Jon shows all the different places President Bush was interviewed recently.
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Rosario Dawson seems so lovely, her new movie is Unstoppable and congratulations on breaking ground on the new Girls Club in Manhattan!
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Who knew Mick Foley was such a prolific writer, his new book Countdown to Lockdown is his 9th!
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I don’t know how Rand Paul can say there are no rich, poor or middle class, that just blows my mind. It will be interesting to see how this libertarian and Tea Party member governs over the next couple of years.
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Abbe Lowell helps explain how likely it is that in 2011 there will be a lot of investigations in the House of Representatives.
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I must agree, it would be very convenient when I needed to get me a crab, to buy it from a vending machine… THANKS CHINA!
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I know I don’t usually do music, it’s not my thing, but this week, there seems to be quite a bit of it. If you like music, you’ve gotta hear Quincy Jones, he has a new book Q on Producing and a new album Q: Soul Bossa Nostra.
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Cee Lo Green has this dirty little song on his new album The Lady Killer, so if you don’t want to hear or read the explicit language. just stop here… OK, for everyone else, the song is called Fuck You (music video). He does an interview with Colbert, then performs said song below, again, beware the foul language. He sounds a bit like Gnarls Barkley… just way more cursing.
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Enjoy

Dany

November 13, 2010 2:42 pm Posted by | audiobooks, books, China, clips, comedians, crazy celebs, DC, economy, guns, Iraq, Middle East, movies, music, music videos, newspaper, podcasts, politics, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

Apple’s New Toys for the 2010 Holliday Season

Steve Jobs made quite a few announcements about newer smaller  iPod shuffles, iPod nanos, iPod touches, a new iTunes and a new Apple TV along with many more updates on September 1st. You can watch the whole 90min conference here (subscribe to their keynote podcast here) including a performance at the end from the lead of Coldplay, Chris Martin. You can watch the musical performance here:

Of all the announcements, I thought the most interesting were the new social network Ping that is built into the new iTunes store, also accessible on the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. They made a big deal about having over 160 million customers already with access to the store itself who now have access to this music social network. Considering that you’ll now be able to follow your favorite artists and friends, get local concert information, post videos, music and photos and get customized music suggestions based on who you follow, the facebooks, myspaces and twitters of the world should be wary, especially since Apple has a clear business model already tied into this network since it’s another way to open up people to new songs, albums and artists. It’s only a matter of time before this expands to include TV shows and movies. Facebook’s 500+ million worldwide active users still seems to top the charts, but I’m guessing Mark Zuckerberg‘s ears perked up when he heard this news.

The other interesting story from the conference I felt was the new Apple TV. Jobs admitted that since 2006, when the original Apple TV launched it wasn’t the biggest hit, but now they have added a lot of new features to integrate it with all the other products, with the ability to stream content (movies, TV shows and photos) from their computers, iPads, iPhones and iPod touches.  They added Netflix streaming support for Netflix subscribers along with TV show and movie rentals ranging from 99cents up to $4.99 for new movies being released on the same date as their dvd, there is also the ability to listen to and watch all the podcasts you subscribe to, which brings online content almost onto an equal playing field as movies and TV shows for access to your HD TV. The new Apple TV box is a lot smaller than before (the box almost fits in the palm of Steve Jobs’ hand),  probably because there’s no storage space on the device (everything works via streaming internet), the menu system seems easy to use. You’ll need a TV with an HDMI port since that’s the only output port, but it has built in WiFi and an Ethernet port for faster connections. I think with the new $99 price point for the Apple TV, they will basically put Roku‘s streaming box and anyone else like them right out of the market.

The photographer in me was very impressed with the demo of the new camera feature that was added to the iPod touch camera, high dynamic range (HDR) option. Using this, you can take a picture in bright light and the camera will take 3 quick pictures in succession, one at normal exposure, another underexposed one to bring out the colors from a bright sky and a third picture that is overexposed to bring out the dark sections of the picture and then blending the three pictures together to have a final photo with an enormous dynamic range of color and detail in the shot. Here is one example Apple has up on their site:

and here is an example that the great folks at AppleInsider created with their iPod touch with the original on the left and the HDR image on the right:

Thanks to Apple and AppleInsider for the above pictures. Also, if you want to see some professional HDR images from higher-end cameras check out this Flickr page and SmashingMagazine.

Enjoy

Dany

September 2, 2010 9:26 pm Posted by | apple, art, clips, HD, movies, music, music videos, photography, podcasts, software, technology, tv | 2 Comments

OK Go – This Too Shall Pass – Rube Goldberg Machine Video

The band OK GO burst onto the music video scene with Here It Goes Again performed on treadmills (video below). Now, their latest bit of insanity has them going through a giant Rube Goldberg machine with This Too Shall Pass. There isn’t much to say, other than the fact that it took them over 80 takes, completing the entire sequence 3 times to put this video together (TWIT Special 14 [subscribe] video creator interview and Net@Night 145 [subscribe] band interview). This band definitely has some flair.

Here’s there official site and here is the Amazon.com OK GO page if you want any of their work.

Thanks to the lovely Lucy for turning me on to this most recent video.

Enjoy

Dany

Here It Goes Again

April 14, 2010 9:55 pm Posted by | clips, crazy celebs, music, music videos, podcasts | Leave a comment

Thoughts on the Apple iPad Announcement

Yesterday Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, announced the upcoming iPad, Apple‘s take on a tablet computer, smartbook, slate or whatever you want to call it… maybe just GIANT iPod Touch.

After seeing the keynote (watch it here), there were some interesting things I noticed and wanted to talk about with this new device. First off though, I currently use a 4+ year old Dell Inspiron 700m laptop and I carry around a 60gb iPod Video. Both of which I will need to replace sometime soon as both are starting to slowly die on me. With that, I’m always looking to see what I can replace each device with without breaking my rather small bank account in half as a poor medical student.

The most surprising part of the whole announcement for me was that this iPad is running an Apple customized A4 processor. So, Apple is almost completely vertically integrated now, they make their processors, their own batteries, their own multi-touch technology, they control every piece of hardware that goes into their machines, they write their own operating systems and control their own online store where you can buy music, movies, television  shows, applications, games, podcasts (free), educational materials (iTunes U) and now electronic books (iBookstore). Jobs now claims that Apple is now the largest mobile devices company by revenue… something that should concern Jobs at some point because the US has laws against monopolies and while being as vertically integrated as I mentioned just now is fine for a small company, once that company gets large enough, that kind of power starts to get noticed by government officials.

This new iPad is very similar to the iPod Touch/iPhone (it just doesn’t have a phone). The iPad basically runs on the same operating system as the iPod Touch, it’s just BIGGER (almost 10inches compared to the 3.5inch iPod Touch), can play HD video and with a longer battery life (10 hours of use with 1 month of standby time). The iPad will also run virtually all of the 140,000 applications that are already available for the iPhone/iPod Touch.

Since Apple’s current 3.5inch hardware has 2 different skews that have been immensely successful, it’s not too surprising that there are going to be 2 separate skews for the new iPad, a wifi version that starts at $499 (basically a GIANT iPod Touch) and a version that also has a 3G internet data subscription option starting at $629 (almost like a GIANT iPhone, just minus a phone or camera).

The other thing I noticed that was interesting after reading Engadget, is that Apple now has a way for you to buy into their vertically integrated ecosystem for almost any amount of money. To gain direct access to all the different online stores from Apple’s mobile hardware you can pay as little as $99 to buy an iPhone (with a 2 year contract), you could pay $199, $299 or $399 for an iPod Touch, now you can pay $499, $599 or $699 for a wifi iPad with 16, 32 and 64gb of storage space respectively, you could buy any of those previously mentioned iPad with wifi models and add 3G internet access from $629 – $829, after that if you shell out $999 you can spring for their basic 13inch Macbook and from there you can pay buy into the 13inch Macbook Pro for $1199, the 13inch Macbook Air for $1499, $1699 for their 15inch and $2499 to start for their 17inch Macbook Pro and you can customize those laptops to your hearts content to set the price to any amount under $6,500 FULLY loaded for a single purchase. So it seems that Apple is basically bridging the price gap between their $399 iPod Touch and their $999 Macbook to give customers new ways to access all of their online stores.

From previous experience with the iPhone/iPod Touch, I was not surprised when the wifi only iPad didn’t have a either a front-facing web camera (for video chat) or a rear-facing camera (to take pictures) since the iPod Touch doesn’t have either of those features, BUT I was VERY surprised that the iPad with 3G DIDN’T have either or BOTH of these cameras since all iPhones have rear-facing cameras and ALL of their laptops have built-in front-facing web cameras. Maybe this is a feature that will come later, maybe not. Who knows?

It is also disappointing that with the larger screen and faster processor that you can only run one application at a time. That means you can’t surf the web while also keeping a chat client open.

I am not going to try and guess how successful this device will be since Apple has done quite well ever since Steve Jobs returned to Apple, but at this point, when I replace my 6ogb iPod and my old Dell laptop, I will probably just go with a new iPod Touch and a Windows 7 laptop for now, iPad or no iPad.

Thanks to Apple for the above pic.

Enjoy

Dany

**Update 2009-1-28 – Upon further analysis it will also be interesting to see how specialized industries, like the medical profession write applications and start utilizing this type of device, it is specialized markets like this that have already shown the willingness to utilize tablet technology in the past. Maybe companies like Microsoft HealthVault and Google Health will write special charting applications to use for accessing medical records in a more hands-on sort of way. Time will tell.

January 28, 2010 3:03 pm Posted by | apple, ATT, books, clips, medicine, movies, music, music videos, podcasts, software, technology, tv, Windows | Leave a comment

Do You Wanna Date My Avatar? – The Guild

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OK, anyone with any geek credibility already knows who Felicia Day is since she was on the last season of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series, she starred in Dr. Horrible and she created and stars in The Guild. Now she and the cast of The Guild have produced a great geek oriented music video that feeds on the MMORPG theme that The Guild is based on.

Enjoy

Dany

August 27, 2009 6:43 pm Posted by | clips, commercials, music, music videos, tv, video games | Leave a comment

Slumdog Millionaire Review

I saw Slumdog Millionaire on the advice of Lindsey the newly anointed movie buff. The movie was extremely entertaining and funny, but it will be a bit violent for some people. The people I went with were watching a few of the more violent scenes with hands over their faces to block out some of the harder to sit through torture and scenes of violence.

The story overall was entertaining, funny, sweet and uplifting though… and after hearing the M.I.A’s Paper Planes song all over NYC at EVERY single bar with a jukebox, hearing the song here in director Danny Boyle‘s film was extremely surreal (video above). I thoroughly enjoyed this film where the Indian police are trying to figure out, using any means necessary,  how a slumdog could know enough to make it all the way to the final question in the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and why this slumdog wanted to win, and no, it isn’t just for all the rupees involved.

The only issue with this movie is that I feel the same way I did after I saw Boyle‘s Trainspotting and Sunshine, I really enjoyed myself, but I knew I do not want to rewatch this film, the only one of his movies I’ve ever seen more than once is 28 Days Later… (watch the full movie here on Hulu) and after seeing both the long and short versions of that movie, I don’t feel like ever watching THAT movie again either, even though I liked that zombie movie as well.

The other problem I had though was with the movie theater I saw Slumdog Millionaire in. I saw the film in City Cinemas’ CC East 86th Street theater here in NYC and the official showtime was listed as 7:10pm and we had gotten to the theater early, but promptly at 7:10pm, the lights dimmed and the they proceeded to play 5 minutes of commercials before the actual movie previews started at 7:15pm. It would be fine if before the published movie start time, the theater was playing commercials, but once it’s showtime, the movies previews should be starting, not the commercials. I know that Roger Ebert has even complained of this same issue both here and here. Movie tickets are getting more and more expensive and we currently had to pay $12.50 per ticket here in Manhattan and we didn’t pay to see commercials start once we were expecting to watch the movie. I do not have a problem with movie previews starting at showtime, I consider the previews a key part of the movie-going experience in theaters, but NOT commercials!

So, after the film, I went and found the theater manager and politely complained about this, explaining that I enjoyed the movie, but didn’t appreciate having the commercials start when we should have started watching the previews at 7:10, she said she had no control over it, since the computers were preprogrammed to do this, but she gave me the name and phone number of the person in the main office to talk to about this.

I will call on Monday and will keep note of my progress with this issue. This used to be an issue at all the theater chains, but I know that AMC/Loews changed their policy of at one point showing 15 minutes of commercials after the published showtime, so now their listed showtime actually indicates when the previews begin.

Dany

December 28, 2008 3:47 am Posted by | clips, commercials, Indians, movie reviews, movies, music, music videos, New York, NYC | Leave a comment

Literal Music Videos Are Taking Over the Internet

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I don’t usually post music videos, I’ve been described by others as someone who hates music, but I’ve been hearing talk about these funny literal versions of 1980’s classic music videos. The above video is DustFilms‘ newest literal version of Head Over Heels by Tears For Fears.

The original video, which is even funnier, that they made (below) is Take On Me by a-ha. These videos are pretty funny and I can’t wait for the next one to appear on FunnyOrDie.

Enjoy

Dany

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October 18, 2008 3:30 pm Posted by | clips, comedians, music, music videos | Leave a comment

Music Video I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend by The Black Kids

I think I might be more surprised about this article than anyone else, especially since I pretty much have no interest in non movie soundtrack related music, but I’ve actually got to spotlight a music video I heard today on Popsiren (subscribe here). The band is the Black Kids and the song that hooked me is called I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend. The visuals in this video just really caught my eye and I found myself enjoying what I was hearing as well. I don’t know what got into me.

Let me know what you think

Dany

August 1, 2008 9:15 pm Posted by | clips, music, music videos, podcasts | Leave a comment

JibJab is Back to Crack You Up with Time for Some Campaignin’

I think most of you remember the hillarious JibJabers from their amazingly funny hit from the 2004 election season: This Land! Well, they’re back for this year’s presidential election with Time for Some Campaignin’JibJab never really went away, they’ve actually been making videos since 1999 way back in the dial-up days and before the dot-com bubble burst.

Thanks to Net@Nite (subscribe here)for interviewing those funny JibJab founders. Hopefully soon, those crafty JibJab guys will set up their videos as a podcast to make them even easier for people to watch and keep up to date on their latest funny videos.

Enjoy

Dany

As an added treat, here’s the This Land! video below, just in case you forgot what I was talking about.

August 1, 2008 7:22 pm Posted by | cartoons, clips, comedians, music, music videos, podcasts, politics, toons | Leave a comment