New Geek on the Block
Technology, Sci-Fi, Gadgets, & Geekery.

Nov
15

The XPERIA XIa (who names this shit?) is now available for pre-order, and it has a heafty price tag attached to it. $799 (US) will get you Sony’s answer to the T-Mobile G1 (and the iPhone, Blackberry Bold/Storm, HTC Touch HD Pro… whatever it’s called).

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Is it really worth it? Would you pay that kind of money for a smartphone? If the iPhone was that expensive I doubt I would have got one. That is the kind of money I would expect to pay for a much more functional computer. Seriously, what makes the XPERIA X1a so special? For that price it better be making with the head.

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Nov
15

I was skeptical about watching this trailer online because I didn’t want to spoil it for myself. I’d really like to see it in the actual theater, but I haven’t been to a movie in months and I doubt I’ll actually see Quantum of Solace anytime soon.

New Star Trek Trailer

It is somewhat off putting that their are cars in the 23rd century, especially an American muscle car like the one you see Kirk recklessly driving in the trailer. And depending on what you consider canon cars were practically unheard of to the people of the future. In Enterprise, the crew of the NX-01 discover an old Chevy truck in space (I can’t remember why it was in space, but none the less they find it) and Trip is the only person who actually knows what it is, and how it works. He has to explain what a combustion engine is! But apparently I’m the only one who actually liked Enterprise and consider it to be actual canon in the Star Trek universe.

Nov
11

oscenderinexileToday Orson Scott Card’s newest addition to the slew of Ender Wiggins books entitled, Ender in Exile, was released. I have very mixed feelings about this book for a couple of different reasons.  Firstly, it is being called the first true sequel to the classic novel Ender’s Game, which is a book I’ve read (and listened to) several times, it’s an excellent science fiction story that I USED to cherrish. Ender is Exil is supposed to take place in the time after Ender’s Game, when Ender realizes that he cannot return to Earth. Prior to this release Speaker for the Dead, was the only sequel, which actually takes place 3,000 years after then events of the original novel (so it wasn’t much of a direct sequel).

Now all this is not what troubles me, what troubles me is Orson Scott Card himself. Between the time that I read a great deal of his work (including Ender’s Game, Ender’s Shadow, Shaddow of the Hegemon, and Speaker for the Dead) he has revealed himself to be a very biggoted individual. In recent years he has revealed his very strong opinions on gay marriage, and has attempted to justify his homophobia. Check out one of his rants here.

This is particularly disturbing to me because in my opinion science fiction has always been a genre that has embrassed diversity, and for the most part fans of science fiction have always been open minded and accepting of others.  Star Trek for example was ahead of it’s time by embrassing multiculturalism, and encouraging open mindedness.

I’m entregued by Card’s newest novel, but will most likely neglect to read it (I’m certainly not going to purchase it) because I do not wish to support someone with such ignorant, and discriminating values.

Check out Topless Robot’s take on Ender in Exile.

Nov
11

Check out this video previewing the update to the WordPress app for iPhone/iPod Touch. I’m a big fan of the original application, but to be honest haven’t used it too often (mostly because you couldn’t type in landscape mode, and it’s hard to share links). This update looks quite promising though.

It would be even more promising though if Apple added Copy/Paste so that adding long URLs is actually possible.

[NOTE] For some reason WordPress’ own video won’t embed properly in this post, so check out their iPhone page instead.

[UPDATE] Oh hey, looks like it’s working now. Neververmind, but click the link to see what the people at WordPress have to say about the iPhone app.

Nov
10

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You know when you casually ask someone how they are doing (but you don’t really care, because fuck if you care about anyone else’s problems) and you get a response other than “I’m good” or “OK”, “Good, how are you?” this happens to me all the time, especially with coworkers.
Their are some people who will regularly give lengthy answers, usually about how it’s cold outside and they are depressed, or they have a cold and feel shitty, or their parents have been hassling them a lot lately (apparently people still live with their parents, weird eh?). Well, today I had one of these experiences, except the response I got was not to be expected. It went something like this.

Me – “Hey man, how’s it going?”

Coworker – “Uhhhh….. (insert long pause and deep sigh)”
“Not good.”

Me – “That sucks…”

(this is the point where normally I would internally kick myself for even asking and prepare for the onslaught of problems this person supposedly has, but this time was different).

Coworker – “Yeah. I’m really worried about the bees.”

Me – “Bees?”

Coworker – “Yeah man, the bees. They’re disappearing. Their are no more bees.”

Me – “Do you mean like now, because it’s NOVEMBER… In WINNIPEG! I’d be more worried if their was an army of winterized bees. Like if they wore little parkas, and started feasting on human flesh instead of pollen.”

Coworker – “No, like… They’re disappearing. Apparently bees are going extinct.”

Me – “Umm… So you feel shitty because you think there aren’t going to be anymore bees in the world?”

Coworker – “Yeah, it’s a really bad sign.”

Me – “Huh, I supposed that is bad.”

At this point our conversation was interrupted by a customer.

There was no real point to this story, I just thought it was odd, and definitely the weirdest conversation I had all day.

Apparently he was right though, honey bee colonies across Europe and North America are disappearing.