Tech + Lifestyle

games, gear, and googleplexes (joke)

Hello, Nikon D60. You’re A Sexy Beast.

Excessive? Perhaps. At the same time, the transition from an Olympus FE-140 to a Nikon D60 is similar to what I experienced when I switched video cards in my desktop from an nVidia 7300LE to an 8800GT.

If you’re not the PC gaming type, allow me to illustrate graphically. Here’s what I had at first:

…and here’s what I’m using now:

The power in my hands is mind-boggling. I think my head might explode if I get a decent set of lenses for it.

I’m not a great photographer, but I’m working on it. I’ll post some pics I’ve taken later.

March 27, 2009 Posted by | Personal, Tech | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

They Always Come in Groups of Twenty

In an effort to beef up my content a bit, I’m about to start on a rather ambitious project to score some interviews, albeit electronic ones (I’m in China, what do you expect?), with some decently-big names in geekdom. I don’t want to spell out exactly who I’ve got in mind, mostly because I’ve got no idea how successful I’ll be, but it should prove interesting, to say the least. If you’ve got any specific requests or ideas for people to talk to, leave a comment or shoot me an email at

Also, I accidentally woke up my roommate because I was laughing so hard at this, so I thought I’d share it:

As usual with Cyanide and Happiness, it’s hilarious, but oh-so-wrong…

March 25, 2009 Posted by | Humor, Personal | , , , , , | 1 Comment

New iPhone/iPod Touch This Summer

The Apple rumor mill is in full swing once again. Reports are popping up all over the internet, mostly about the speculated release of new, 3rd-gen iPhones and iPod Touches. There’s always a chance that we won’t be getting anything more than a minor revision like increased storage, but it’s more likely that we’re looking at a pretty major update. For starters, Apple has made a pre-release of the 3.0 firmware available to iPhone developers. Additionally, AT&T has reduced the pricing on their no-commitment iPhones, perhaps in an attempt to clear out inventory. There are no guarantees with Apple, but I’m guessing that the combination of these two pieces of information means something. Below, in no particular order, are some of the rumored updates, as well as how likely I think they are.

Continue reading

March 24, 2009 Posted by | Tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Tech in China: Bootlegged DVDs

Most people, at one point or another, have heard about how easy it is to buy bootlegged DVDs in China. I’m here to tell you that what you’ve heard is true – sort of.

Almost anything is available, if you know the right places to go, but quality is something of a mixed bag. I’ve had some DVDs that I purchase work perfectly, while others make a horrifying rattling noise for minimum thirty seconds when my laptop’s optical drive tries to spin up. I think perhaps they’re unbalanced, but I’m not positive. Anyway, the dumb drive is persistent and makes a valiant effort, I’ll give it that, but it doesn’t know when to quit. Continue reading

March 23, 2009 Posted by | Tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I Want To Kill YNNU’s IT Department

If you read this often, or even a very small amount, you’ve probably gathered that I’m online a lot, and by that I mean most of my day. I’m online at school, online at home, online any bloody place with available WiFi.

In China, that’s a different story altogether.

For the last hour I’ve been trying to read an article on Anandtech about SSD storage. This isn’t really atypical of how I spend my evenings, except for the fact that every freakin’ time I try to navigate to the next page (or anything else, for that matter), the stupid server at my university disconnects me. Every. Single. Time. Continue reading

March 19, 2009 Posted by | Personal, Tech | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Whipping out the Crystal Ball

The government is spending too much! The solution is clearly to pair that spending with reduced income. Thatll get rid of our national debt.

The government is spending too much! The solution is clearly to pair that spending with reduced income. That'll get rid of our national debt.

Today I read a solid dozen news and opinion articles on the economy, partially out of curiosity and partially out of a faint sense of despair. The long and short of it is that as usual for the past year or so, the economy is sucking it up more than we previously thought. Some, like Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman, think the Democrats aren’t doing nearly enough, and should be reacting faster than they are. On the other hand, you’ve got the Republicans, who are even more useless than the current administration, insisting over and over for tax cuts. That’s like standing on the deck of an already-sinking Titanic and calling for greater compartmentalization of the ship’s bulkheads.

What’s a PC gamer to do? There are a lot of problems facing the market we love so dearly, and most of them are only going to get worse. Here’s what we’re looking at: Continue reading

March 10, 2009 Posted by | Gaming | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Review: Microsoft Arc Mouse

Microsoft Arc Mouse

Microsoft Arc Mouse

Travel mice are, by definition, something of a niche product category. Not everyone needs that extra bit of mobility that one provides, and many are quite satisfied with the track pad on their laptops. Some of us, though, just aren’t as productive with a track pad as we are with a mouse, and I fall firmly into that category.

Given that I’m in China, and won’t be back in the US until August, the prospect of only using a track pad for that period, even the huge one that my unibody MacBook boasts, was unacceptable. What’s a nerd to do? For me, the answer was pretty simple, as I’d already been mulling over the potential purchase for a few weeks. My choice was the Microsoft Arc Mouse. Here’s why: Continue reading

March 9, 2009 Posted by | Tech | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Live from China: Tech+Lifestyle Is Back

Hong Kong Intl Airport

Hong Kong Int'l Airport

The past two weeks have been interesting, to say the least. I’ve been in China since February 23rd, experiencing all sorts of new stuff. Being the nerd that I am, one of the very first things I attempted upon getting here was to get online – my laptop’s battery had given out at the Hong Kong International Airport, and my iPod Touch gave up the ghost not long after.

I was somewhat dismayed to find a complete lack of Wifi here – none in my dorm, or anywhere else on campus, for that matter. I’ve got a single ethernet connection in my room, which I’m obligated to share with my roommate until I can find a cheap switch to use. Even with a wired connection, though, I wasn’t immediately able to get online. For some reason, my MacBook absolutely refused to yield internet access. I endured a week of no access in my room except for two occasions when I borrowed my suite-mate’s computer to check email, and once when I went to a shady internet cafe for a couple of hours. Continue reading

March 8, 2009 Posted by | Personal, Politics, Tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment