Monday, March 28, 2011

Red Pandas Playing in the Snow

Happy Monday,and thanks to the Macalope.

No iPhone 5 in June?

From AppleInsider:

Apple is not expected to introduce a new iPhone at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference in June, as it has done in years past, and will instead focus on software for the 2011 show, according to a new report.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's a Dark, Dark Day...

From the Houston Chronicle:

'Mad Men' season 5 premiere likely delayed ... maybe until 2012

Filming on TV show "Mad Men" has been put on hold as financial wranglings between TV bosses threaten to push the next season back until 2012.

The fifth season of the program, which stars Jon Hamm and January Jones, was due to start shooting in April or May ahead of a summer TV debut.

But bosses at the network behind the show, AMC, have reportedly failed to agree a deal with the Lionsgate studio which makes the series, leading to lengthy production delays.

A start date has yet to be agreed, meaning the season premiere looks likely to be pushed back until 2012, according to the New York Times.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Texsun Post

There's a brand of juice that they serve in the break room here at work called Texsun. With a name like Texsun, you' think it would be based in Texas and feature Texas orange juice.

And you'd be wrong.

Texsun juice is actually from Florida. How do I know this? Because it says so right on the side. See? "Distributed by Citrus World, Inc."

But I doubt even the Florida connection (and in fact I actually suspect that we may be buying some fell-off-the-back-of-a-truck black market Chinese OJ because of the next sentence:

So who's based in Lake Wales - a cooperative or a crower? And what the heck is a crower doing making orange juice? Shouldn't they be, you know, crowing instead?

How did no one catch not one, but TWO typos on the can?

[EDIT:] After I posted, I happened to turn the can over to see if it was expired. This is what I found:

Texsun, it turns out, is neither a product of Texas nor Florida. It's made in Mexico. So much for truth in packaging.

Canon's Connection of DOOM

So, wait. I can't disconnect the USB or the power source while the camera is connected to the computer? But my camera is using battery power, so it is the power source. And if I can't disconnect the USB cable while the camera is attached to the computer, how am I supposed to go and shoot more video?

Does that mean I can never disconnect it ever again?

And I can't turn off the camera, either? Geez. Thanks, Canon.

The Difference is that No One Is Going To Die From Bad Creative

From AdAge:

Take a look around the room at your next gathering of professionals. Each of the following is classified as a "professional" based on experience, education, certifications and credentials.

Lawyer: college + law school + a little thing called "The Bar"
Architect: college + apprenticeship + test for licensing
Doctor: college + med school + internship + residency + lots of tests

Now, let's take a look at the training, testing and certification of an account executive, graphic designer or other agency professional. (I will pause for a moment so you can imagine the sounds of crickets breaking the silence.) Yep. All you need to call yourself an art director or copywriter is a computer, phone and a copy of "place any do-it-yourself marketing book here."
Even Realtors and interior designers require testing and certifications to practice their trade, and it just seems wrong that our industry does not require the same amount of quality control. In the end, I guess the question we need to answer should be, "Is what we do important?" How can we expect clients to respect us if we don't even take our industry seriously enough to insist on testing and licensing?

What about continuing education? Yoga teachers and speech pathologists are but a few of the professionals that are required to attend continuing-education classes to maintain their licenses. Yet advertising and marketing professionals have no such requirement. I don't think the human body has changed nearly as much as our industry in the past 10 years.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Weinberger/Powell Doctrine is Dead


[...]the doctrine that sought to prevent the United States from engaging in risky and counterproductive missions that had nothing to do with protecting U.S. vital interests (e.g. Lebanon 1983; Somalia, 1991; and Kosovo, 1999) is dead. Shovel dirt on it.

To review, the doctrine was first coined by Ronald Reagan's Secretary of Defense, Caspar Weinberger, in a speech at the National Press Club in 1984. Weinberger was aided by a rising military officer, Colin Powell, who later adapted the concepts for his own purposes as National Security Adviser for Reagan and later as Chairman of the JCS under George H.W. Bush. The essential elements boil down to five key questions:

1. Is there a compelling national interest at stake?
2. Have the costs and consequences of intervention been considered?
3. Have we exhausted all available options for resolving the problem, i.e. is force a last resort?
4. Is there a clear and achievable military mission, and therefore a well-defined end state?
5. Is there strong public support - both domestic and international - for the operation?

The current operations over Libya fail on at least four counts.

Very good article. Highly recommended.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Nature's Laser Floyd

Timescapes Timelapse: Learning to Fly from Tom Lowe @ Timescapes on Vimeo.

Simply amazing. Beautiful photography. Beautiful movement. Amazing angles. And great music.

Be sure to check out for more videos.

Huge thanks to Angus for showing me this!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thoughts on NFC and the iPhone

Appleinsider reported a few days ago that Apple has decided not to include NFC - Near Field Communication - in the iPhone 5. I've always been dubious of NFC because of security reasons. I've never understood why people feel that it's acceptable to put some of their most sensitive information - their financial information linked to their bank account - on a credit card or key fab that can be read simply by being in proximity to it. And I wondered why the heck Apple would choose to do such a thing in the iPhone.

Lots of companies are using NFC for payments. But what if that's not what Apple was intending it for?

But while I was listening to an older episode of my new favorite podcast, Hypercritical with John Siracusa I realized what Apple might be trying to do with NFS. The conversation in the episode I was listening to revolved around input and out put and the size of the dock connector. Siracusa mentioned that the iPod dock connector is larger than the size of the shuffle, forcing Apple to use the headphone jack as a sync, and that the thinness of the iPod Touch was approaching the width of the dock connector itself.

But what if what Apple was trying to do was to remove the dock connector altogether?

One thing people - myself included - have been wanting ever since the original iPhone debuted in 2007 was a way to wirelessly sync the content. What if Apple is looking into ways to do just that? What is there is some sort of a NFC chip on steroids that Apple has been playing with that has a fast enough data throughput that it can sync wirelessly via Bluetooth. Now, granted, it won't be as fast as USB. But Apple is known for its tradeoffs, isn't it? And how would you like to never have to plug in your phone or iPod ever again? I'd like it a lot. And I'd especially like that I wouldn't have to remind my wife to sync her phone from time to time. She would just put it down on the desk near her computer to sync it.

An interesting note to this effect can be found on the NFC News blog:
Electronic News: Let's go back to the range. How will a short range be a benefit to the consumer electronics world?
Duverne: NFC can be seen as a connectivity technology that is very short range. If you compare it to Bluetooth, for example, NFC is just a few centimeters, less than 10. The thing about it in terms of consumer electronics applications is, because it is very short range, you can make applications very intuitive. With Bluetooth, when you carry out a Bluetooth transaction, you need to go through many steps and identify which device talks to which device. Because NFC is very short range, it is enabled by a very intuitive pairing of devices. In the consumer electronics world, that is very interesting and we see a number of applications in that space. For using NFC, actually, in combination with other wireless technologies.

Electronic News: In combination with Bluetooth?
Duverne: NFC in combination with Bluetooth for initiating a connection via NFC, then doing the transition of data with Bluetooth, which has a longer range. The way it would work, for example, is you have a Bluetooth-enabled cell phone and you want to download pictures from your PC or TV set, you bring the two devices next to each other for initiation of the [NFC] link, then you can take the two devices away and the download of the pictures will be carried out by Bluetooth.

But if the iPhone doesn't plug in, how will you charge it?

Great question, but the tech already exists. It's called inductive charging. I used to have a shaver that could be charged just by placing it into a little cradle. It allowed the shaver to be waterproof and I didn't have to plug it in every day, avoiding wear and tear on connectors. You see inductive charging technology on display in the "charge mats" that are appearing in stores. And in the example mentioned above, my wife could charge her iPhone by placing it directly on her MacBook.

But, sadly, most people who have iPhones use a PC and not a Mac. And even those of us with Macs don't have the newest Mac. So how do people with PCs and older Macs use the technology? I suspect that Apple would need to make available its own flavor of charge pad, which connects via USB to their computer. But such a charge pad would need to come with a new iPhone, not come as a separate purchase, which would drive up the cost of the phone. And if the iPhone comes with its own charge pad, what's the use of building the technology into a MacBook, which would also add expense? I suspect that such dilemmas are why Apple reportedly has opted to wait on NFS.

So it may not be ready yet, but I'd bet that Apple is working on imbedding wireless technologies to sync and inductive charging technology to charge a device with the intent of making the iPhone, iPod and iPad ridiculously thin and light. Wireless is the future, and that means wireless everything.

If anyone can do it, it's Apple.

FUD Alert: "Plume to Hit the U.S."

The NY Times today is showing a map with the the path of a radioacative plume originating in Japan and headed toward the United States. Here are some screenshots:

Notice anything weird? Check out screenshots four and five. Radiation is hitting the U.S. mainland, but it popped up out of nowhere, independent (and well ahead) of the approaching plume.

Some additional shots:

Run for your lives, people! Start freaking out NOW! California is going to start generating radiation of it's own!

At least then it might help to explain all the freaks that live there...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Obama Fiddles While the World Burns

From White House Dossier:

The Middle East is afire with rebellion, Japan is imploding from an earthquake, and the battle of the budget is on in the United States, but none of this seems to be deterring President Obama from a heavy schedule of childish distractions.

Saturday, he made his 61st outing to the golf course as president, and got back to the White House with just enough time for a quick shower before heading out to party with Washington’s elite journalists at the annual Gridiron Dinner.

With various urgencies swirling about him, Saturday’s weekly videotaped presidential address focusing on “Women’s History Month” seemed bizarrely out of touch.

Obama Friday took time out to honor the 2009-10 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks. Thursday was a White House conference on bullying – not a bad idea perhaps, but not quite Leader of the Free World stuff either.

Obama appeared a little sleepy as he weighed in against the bullies, perhaps because he’d spent the night before partying with lawmakers as they took in a Chicago Bulls vs. Charlotte Bobcats game.

Meanwhile, the president has been studying for weeks whether to establish a No Fly Zone over Libya, delaying action while the point becomes increasingly moot as Qaddafi begins to defeat and slaughter his opponents. And lawmakers from both Parties are wondering why he seems to be AWOL in the deficit reduction debate.

What the hell?

Is Obama In Favor of Torturing American Citizens?

From Salon:
On Friday, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley denounced the conditions of Bradley Manning's detention as "ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid," forcing President Obama to address those comments in a Press Conference and defend the treatment of Manning. Today, CNN reports, Crowley has "abruptly resigned" under "pressure from White House officials because of controversial comments he made last week about the Bradley Manning case." In other words, he was forced to "resign" -- i.e., fired.

So, in Barack Obama's administration, it's perfectly acceptable to abuse an American citizen in detention who has been convicted of nothing by consigning him to 23-hour-a-day solitary confinement, barring him from exercising in his cell, punitively imposing "suicide watch" restrictions on him against the recommendations of brig psychiatrists, and subjecting him to prolonged, forced nudity designed to humiliate and degrade. But speaking out against that abuse is a firing offense. Good to know. As Matt Yglesias just put it: "Sad statement about America that P.J. Crowley is the one being forced to resign over Bradley Manning." And as David Frum added: "Crowley firing: one more demonstration of my rule: Republican pols fear their base, Dem pols despise it."

I can't wait to see what the Obama apologists cook up to explain this one.

Microsoft Abandons Zune

From Appleinsider:

Microsoft's direct effort to challenge Apple's iPod, introduced in 2006 under the Zune brand, is being abandoned after a failure to gain traction in the market.

Too bad, really. One doesn't know how great their stuff is unless you have utter crap to compare it to.

As I said back in July, "Is it just me, or does the word "thud" seem to describe everything in the post-Bill Gates era at Microsoft?"

Monday, March 14, 2011

AT&T Sucks

From Mashable:

AT&T customers will later this month be receiving a notice that the company will cap its DSL and U-Verse usage starting May 2.

For DSL customers, usage will be capped at 150GB per month, and for U-Verse customers, the cap will be 250GB. Overage charges will only be imposed on customers “who consistently exceed the new caps,” according to Broadband Reports.

I freaking hate AT&T. I don't know for sure, but I'd bet that with all the Netflix we stream and movies and TV shows we rent or purchase that we would blow right through 150 GB a month.

AT&T is looking for a way to make up for lost revenue due to losing exclusivity on the iPhone and iPad. So how do they do it? By introducing cutting-edge new services or features that people really want and will sign up for in droves?

No. Bend their existing customers over and have their way with them and dare them to switch, knowing full well that in many places (such as Brenham) there is no alternative to their crappy service.

Thanks to John T. for passing this along.

Footage of the Wave Hitting

You have got to see this.

Time Change

From CBS News:

The massive earthquake that struck northeast Japan Friday (March 11) has shortened the length Earth's day by a fraction and shifted how the planet's mass is distributed.

A new analysis of the 8.9-magnitude earthquake in Japan has found that the intense temblor has accelerated Earth's spin, shortening the length of the 24-hour day by 1.8 microseconds, according to geophysicist Richard Gross at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

It's weird, but I thought my clock was a little slow after the time change. I kept showing up 1.8 milliseconds late to everything yesterday.

Destructo Fail

So, I've been informed (by Kristi, immediately) and then by my buddy, Matt, that the Brenham cubs are't bears after all, but lion cubs. And Matt is from home, so I guess he should know.

Buh-huh? I've lived here for six years and all this time I thought they were supposed to be bear cubs. Most of that impression is based on this drawing, which - to me (a mascot and illustrator) - looks more like a bear than a lion.

I'll save my full-on rant for another day, but I've got to ask the question - "why, then, isn't the high school the lions and the junior highs and elementary schools the cubs?" (For those of you who don't live in Brenham, an explanation is in order. You see, every single public school mascot in town is the "cubs." Every. Single. School.)

I guess I always thought that they were supposed to be the Brenham Bear Cubs, which kinda makes sense due to the alliteration. But the Brenham Lion Cubs? I just don't get it.

But I guess I might still be wrong. It's only happened twice before, so I forget what it feels like.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mascot fail

I'm pretty sure that's not a bear.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

You're Not Helping, Google

Isn't it bad enough that the unthinkable may have happened and that part of a nuclear power plant has exploded in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami yesterday? As of this writing, it is still unclear what the damage is or how great the danger of radiation. One thing is for certain - the explosion was big, but not massive. Why, then, does Google (or anyone else) feel the need to show this:

Why show a mushroom cloud attached to the story, Google? You're not helping by adding to the FUD coming out of Japan right now, Google. Shame on you, or whoever ran the photo with their story.

Friday, March 11, 2011

100 Years of Set Locations

From Box Office Quant:

I’ve taken the top 2000 films from 1910-2010 according to IMDB, and fed their locations into the Google Map below. You can browse in the window below or click the “full screen” link to see a larger version.

Amazing. Check this out right now and thank me later.

Solar "Death Ray"

Two words: Bad ass.

If you're seeing this on Faceboopk, click on the post title to see the video. It's totally worth it.

Ginormous thanks to John T. for sending this.

The Reality of Stimulus



Thursday, March 10, 2011


From the NY Times:

Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate voted Wednesday night to
strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from public
workers after discovering a way to bypass the chamber's
missing Democrats.

All 14 Senate Democrats fled to Illinois nearly three weeks
ago, preventing the chamber from having enough members
present to consider Gov. Scott Walker's so-called "budget
repair bill" -- a proposal introduced to plug a $137 million
budget shortfall.

The Senate requires a quorum to take up any measures that
spend money. But Republicans on Wednesday split from the
legislation the proposal to curtail union rights, which
spends no money, and a special conference committee of state
lawmakers approved the bill a short time later.

I hear a lot of bitching and moaning this morning about a "trick" pulled by Republicans to pass this legislation. What trick? The Democrats in Wisconsin are the ones who chose to make a game out of the legislative process by leaving the state. They threw a tantrum because they couldn't get their way and now they're throwing another tantrum because their ploy didn't work. Kudos to the Republicans for finding a way to play the silly game the Democrats had set up and to win.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Charlie Sheen Found Dead

From Reuters:

Charlie Sheen, the actor who in the past two weeks has appeared on television, radio and in magazines on an often confusing and colorfully-worded tirade against his former employer, Chuck Lorre, was found dead last night in his Malibu home. The cause was no immediately clear, but sources close the investigation said that drug paraphernalia, meth-amphetamines and piles of cocaine were littered throughout the house.

Now, I just made that up. But if it were real, would you really be surprised? Even if Sheen isn't on drugs, he's clearly mentally unstable and needs help - and quick - before he disappears down the rabbit hole forever. It may be entertaining to see what Sheen will say and do next, but it's also frightening. I hope he has family and friends around him that have his best interests at heart.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Banned iPad Promo Video

If you're seeing this on Facebook, click the post title to see the video. Memo to Facebook: fix the video embed bug already.

I'm a Thousandaire!

Wow. Who knew? That last post with Chewbacca riding a giant squirrel and fighting Nazis was the 1,000th post on Destructoville. It's kinda fitting in a way that such a silly, random image should be the thousandth post because it kinda sums up what Destructoville is: silly and random at times, but come-at-you-with-a-freaking-bowcaster serious at others.

Happy thousand posts to me. Now get off my lawn!!!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Chewbacca Fighting Nazis

I ran across this again today. Too awesome not to share again...

That Sound Was Bantha Poodoo Hitting the Theater Screen

From Engadget:

"Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace returns to theaters in 3D February 12, 2012"


Actually, at least it isn't the original trilogy that he's re-releasing in 3D. Lucas must be really, really stupid to think that people actually liked the prequel movies enough to pay again - nay, extra - to see them again in theaters.

This is good time to once again link to the best movie review of all time.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy Texas Independence Day

On this day 175 years ago, Texas declared independence from Mexico in a small town called Washington on the banks of the Brazos river. It was on this day that the Texas spirit was born - one which exists to this day and lives in the hearts of all true Texans everywhere.

We don't mind being governed, but we refuse to be ruled.

God bless Texas, and Happy Independence Day!

How to tell when Noble has had your phone

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sheesh. These Kids Today.

Thanks to Tony for sending this.