Monday, August 31, 2009

Disney Buys Marvel!


The House Of Mouse Eats The House Of Ideas: Disney Buys Marvel [Disney/marvel]: "

It might be the most unexpected, and biggest, news story of the year: Disney have bought Marvel Comics for $4 billion in stock and cash. Good news for shareholders, perhaps, but what does this mean for everyone else?

News broke early this morning that the Walt Disney Co. have acquired Marvel Entertainment in a move that, according to the official press release on the subject, 'highlights Disney's strategic focus on quality branded content, technological innovation and international expansion to build long-term shareholder value.'

The deal will give the House of Mouse the rights to all of Marvel's characters, but current licensing deals with movie studios like Fox (X-Men) and Sony (Spider-Man) will stay in place, according to this morning's investor conference call to discuss the sale. Despite reassurances on the call that the deal wasn't about acquiring the characters or stories but bringing in Marvel's talent pool ('No one knows their characters and stories better than the folks at Marvel' it was said at one point), Disney President Bob Iger sure made it sound like Disney was looking to take a firmer control Marvel's IP in this morning's statement:

This transaction combines Marvel's strong global brand and world-renowned library of characters including Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, Fantastic Four and Thor with Disney's creative skills, unparalleled global portfolio of entertainment properties, and a business structure that maximizes the value of creative properties across multiple platforms and territories.

Marvel's current management structure will stay in place despite the acquisition, and the company is expected to maintain its two main bases in New York and LA in a similar fashion to Pixar continuing to operate in Emeryville, CA, following their own acquisition by Disney in 2006. However, the goal of the sale, it was said on today's call, is

not to rebrand Marvel as Disney but to shine a spotlight on the Marvel brand.

When asked about this changing Marvel's movie plans, it was said that Marvel Studios would make decisions about 3D or co-branding autonomously, although 'sparks will fly' following meetings between Marvel and Disney/Pixar CCO John Lasseter because everyone was so excited about collaborative opportunities: 'Exciting product may come from that,' it was said.

The sale, while approved by both Disney and Marvel, is not necessarily a done deal. Before being finalized, the sale has to be approved by Marvel stockholders (who'll received an estimated $30 per share plus Disney shares, if it goes through) and approved by antitrust committees.


Additional Reporting by Meredith Woerner.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Snow Leopard Tip: Minimize to Application Icon in Dock

I will try and compile a list of handy-dandy tips and tricks for Snow Leopard here on my blog as I come across them.

The first of which helps to reduce clutter on the dock:

Minimise to Application Icon in Dock: "Another small but new feature of Snow Leopard is minimising open application windows to their respective ‘application icon’ in the dock (instead of a new icon on the right hand side of the dock). Not bad!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Saab spills few more beans on 9-5 [w/new pics]

I'm drooling over every new morsel I can find about the future of Saab.

An article with more hi-res pictures about the upcoming succulent 9-5 is below, but first a brilliant "Changing Perspective" ad for the new 9-3x and a quick interview Saab's new CEO Christian von Koenigsegg:

Saab spills at least a few beans about its forthcoming 9-5 [w/new pics]: "
Filed under: , ,

2010 Saab 9-5 - Click above for high-res image gallery

It's been about a month since a batch of photos of the new 2010 Saab 9-5 showed up online thanks to a leaky German magazine. With only three weeks to go until the Frankfurt Motor Show, Saab has just dropped a press release and a fresh batch of images of its new flagship. With a profile that will be immediately recognizable to Saab fans of yore, the new 9-5 sedan moves to General Motors' new Epsilon II platform along with the Opel Insignia and Buick LaCrosse - despite the fact that Saab is in the midst of divorcing GM in favor of a relationship with Swedish supercar manufacturer Koenigsegg.

Sticking with another Saab tradition and reinforcing a growing industry-wide trend, all available engines in the 9-5 will be turbocharged, ranging from a 1.6-liter gas four banger to the 2.8-liter V-6 found in the 9-3 Turbo-X and the new Cadillac SRX crossover. The two engines available from day one will both be 2.0-liter four-cylinders - one running on gas, the other diesel. The petrol 2.0-liter will later get a flex-fuel E85 option as well. The 2.0-liter gas and BioPower engines as well as the 300 horsepower 2.8-liter V6 will also get the Haldex XWD ('Cross-Wheel Drive') all wheel drive system.

Perhaps drawing on the company's admittedly shopworn 'Born From Jets' slogan, options for the new 9-5 will include a heads-up display (dubbed 'Pilot HUD'), as well as 'DriveSense adaptive chassis with real-time damping control,' three-zone HVAC, and bi-level Xenon headlamps. Interestingly, the 9-5 will get a keyless entry/start feature, but in order to honor tradition, the start button will be between the seats (where the ignition key cylinder was traditionally located). Check out the new images in the top gallery below and the press release after the jump.

Gallery: 2010 Saab 9-5

[Source: Saab]

Continue reading Saab spills at least a few beans about its forthcoming 9-5 [w/new pics]
Saab spills at least a few beans about its forthcoming 9-5 [w/new pics] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 27 Aug 2009 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Government To Ban 'Robocalls'

First it was the fake car warranty calls that got the ax in May. Now any prerecorded solicitation could be faced with $16,000 per call without written permission from the customer. It's nice to see a government commission actually taking actions that positively impact my daily life. I feel a little bit better about paying taxes last year.

Government To Ban Unwanted 'Robocalls': "

The Federal Trade Commission said Thursday it is banning many types of prerecorded telemarketing solicitations. Currently, consumers must specifically join a do-not-call list to avoid them. Starting Sept. 1, telemarketers will first need written permission from the customer to make such calls. Violators will face penalties of up to $16,000 per call."

Search for system files with Leopard’s Spotlight

This is a pretty meaningless blog post unless you are on a Mac and ever tried to track down a particular system file (which occurred to me last night for the first time in the 3 years I have been using OS X). In the rare occasion that you need to perform such a feat, remember I posted a tutorial on my blog. :P

Search for .plist and other system files with Leopard’s Spotlight:

Although Leopard’s Spotlight search function is more powerful than the one found in Tiger, some of that power is hidden. Searching for OS X system files, for instance, can only be done when special parameters are set.

Spotlight is configured out of the box to produce results that include the folders and file types that the average Mac user searches for on a regular basis. It’s absolutely the right way to go for everyday routine searches, but what about when you want to dig a little deeper? The most common example of this situation would be trying to find an OS X preference file (.plist). Or maybe you’re attempting to track down your Parallels virtual machine disk image (.hdd).

If you’ve ever tried to find one of these with Spotlight in Leopard, you were likely left scratching your head. This is because Leopard excludes Mac system files from search results in an effort to prevent users from unknowingly screwing up their computers. However, if you know what you’re doing you can easily accomplish this task with a few extra clicks.

  1. The first step, of course, is to open a new Finder window and type your search term in the Spotlight text box. For my demonstration, I will type “”. Notice that nothing really comes up for this term in the results.

  2. In the upper-right corner of the window, click the tiny plus (+) button next to Save. A new menu will display directly below.

  3. Click on the menu (which most likely says “Kind”) and select “Other”.
    Search for system files with Spotlight in Leopard

  4. A window with a long, long list of attributes will pop up. Type “sys” in the search box and, once “System files” is listed in the results, check the box under In Menu. Click OK.

  5. “System files” should now be selected in the Finder drop-down menu. Select “Include” in the menu next to it and your Mac’s previously-hidden files will be populated in the search results.

There you have it… simple enough, right? Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s possible to configure Spotlight to automatically include system files every time you make a search. You will have to press plus (+), choose “System files”, and select “Include” from the Finder window every time. If anyone with more knowledge on the topic can prove me wrong, please do so in the comments! It would be great to figure out how to cut out these extra steps in future searches.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Happy Papa John to give Camaro owners free pizza after getting his ride back

When the American automakers can design cars that evoke this kind of passion they will be well on their way to recovery. I'm not saying anything that hasn't been said many times over, only that this is a perfect example of such passion:

Happy Papa John to give Camaro owners free pizza after getting his ride back: "

Filed under:

John Schnatter, the Papa in Papa John's Pizza, has been looking for his 1971 1/2 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 for nearly twenty years. He sold it in 1983 for $2,800 and used part of that to rescue his father's business and the rest to begin the pizza chain that has gone global. He has spent more than 100 times that much trying to get it back.

Starting off with a FBI agent, then a web appeal and a $25,000 reward, he got nowhere. The reward swelled to $250,000, and then he got on television and talked about trying to get the car back. Some Indiana readers heard about it, and a web engine search led them to Schnatter's story on Jalopnik. Those readers, the Sloanes, thought they knew the owner of the car in question, because they had owned it and recently sold it.

The new owner -- only the third one, after Schnatter -- was a Kentucky man named Jeff Robinson of Flatwoods, Kentucky. He had transformed the original Z28 into an 825 horsepower dragster doing 9.55 quarter-miles at 141 mph. Still, he was unsurprisingly content to sell his car back to Schnatter for the $250,000 reward. The Sloanes also got $25,000 for the assist.

And now their gain may be your gain - if you're one of the Camaro faithful. Papa John is so happy to have his car back that he's giving away free pizza to all Camaro owners tomorrow, Wednesday, August 26. One pizza per Camaro, one visit per Camaro. Although we suppose if you can get that transforming Bumblebee Camaro suit from the Mexican Chevy dealer, you might earn a couple more pies. Thanks to everyone for the tips!

[Sources: Jalopnik; The Associated Press via Google]

Happy Papa John to give Camaro owners free pizza after getting his ride back originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 25 Aug 2009 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Apple Announces August 28th Availability of Snow Leopard

The big day is in sight! Can't wait for this breath of fresh air to my 3 year old MacBook.

Apple Announces August 28th Availability of Snow Leopard: "Apple today announced that Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard will go on sale Friday, August 28 at Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers, and that Apple's online store is now accepting pre-orders."

Citroën releases production DS3 ahead of Frankfurt debut

I would need to see the gutsy supermini DS3 in person to make a final judgment, but it is obviously a very polarizing design (two-tone roof, overdone grille, b-pillar fin). After perusing through the expansive gallery of pictures released before it's Frankfurt debut I am oddly drawn (it commands a similar unexplainable allure as the Saab 900) to it's funky and unique design.


Citroën releases production DS3 ahead of Frankfurt debut: "

Filed under: , , , ,

Citroën DS3 - Click above for high-res image gallery

French fashion is at the forefront of the industry, and the same goes for French cuisine and French wine. But when it comes to cars, France's auto industry can hook you up (assuming you live overseas) with economical hatchbacks and minivans, but that's just about it until you get to the seven-figure Bugatti Veyron. Which is owned by a bunch of German fellows. That gigantic gap is apparently one which Citroën hopes to plug with its new DS line.

Citroën launched its premium initiative with the DS Inside Concept at the Geneva Motor Show this past March, and the French automaker has a whole range of premium vehicles lined up. Now Citroën has released the production version of the first model in the line, and it looks pretty darn close to the concept. In fact, the only thing they seemed to have changed from the show car to the production model is the exhaust - switched from twin pipes to a single tip - and the radio antenna, which goes with a conventional aerial instead of the concept's fin. Otherwise - and overall - Citroën appears to have managed the transition from concept to production in exceptionally smooth style - even retaining the showcar's unique fin-like B-pillar treatment.

The compact premium hatch shares its underpinnings with the new C3, only with a touch more class. Like a custom-tailored French suit, buyers can specify a whole range of color choices, extending beyond the usual exterior and interior shades to include the roof color, door mirror housings, dashboard trims, wheel hubs and more.

Power choices include two diesels (90 or 110 horsepower, respectively) and three gasoline engines (95, 120 or 150 horsepower), with five- or six-speed manuals. Mini and Fiat ought to take notice, and you can check out the full details in the press release after the jump and the images in the high-res mega gallery below.

Gallery: Citroen DS3


[Source: Citroën]

Continue reading Citroën releases production DS3 ahead of Frankfurt debut

Citroën releases production DS3 ahead of Frankfurt debut originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 24 Aug 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

"GUI interface using visual basic to track the killers IP address"

I've had this tab sitting for awhile, so I regret that this will be old news for many of you (though I think you will enjoy getting another laugh out of it). For others of you, I'm afraid the humor may escape you. Simply put: "GUI", "Visual Basic", and an "IP Address" have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Lazy screen writers at its worst!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Alternative Rick Roll

I love Nine Inch Nails, and I love a good Rick Roll. Pure genius

I thought about writing up a quick history of one of my favorite internet memes. But why should I, when the dedicated hordes at Wikipedia already have it locked down? Check out the Wikipedia entry on RickRolling.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Star Trek in The Park

I went to this a few weeks ago, but was just reminded of it by the blurry pictures I had snapped with my camera phone. This show was a brilliant work of art! Through creative use of props, great costume and makeup design, and live sound effects (on-site ensemble) and music (including vocals on the original Star Trek opening scene).

The screenplay was adapted from the well chosen episode Amok Time - humorous, fast paced, and well choreographed fight scenes.

Based on the three packed showings with at least 100 people standing behind the seating in the 200 seated in the amphitheater and another 100 sitting in the blistering sun on the backside of the stage, and the mad rush for t-shirts after the show, I anticipate the pleasure of attending the next episode of Star Trek in the Park next summer!

What really took me aback was the diversity of the crowd. There was not a single demographic unaccounted for in the crowd.

Gotta love the creative eclectic nature of Portland culture and the beauty of Portland Parks!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Barberrian Villagers

Make sure you are are following Barberrian Villager (click "follow" on the top right hand corner) or subscribe to it in your RSS Reader. It's where we, as the Christian community living at Barberry Village Apartments living on purpose for the sake of the Gospel, post our thoughts, questions, updates, and pictures. We've had a couple updates recently.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Testing Base of the Emergency Control Ministry of Belarus

A good example of why English-Russia is one of my longest running, consistently favorite blogs that I follow. I came across the blog after noticing many of their articles hitting the front page on Digg. I decided to cut out the middle man and subscribe to it in Google Reader.

English-Russia hosts a diverse array of unique photo-journals and cultural tidbits from Russian (and surrounding ex-USSR nations), which make for a fascinating mental jaunt out of the daily grind.


Testing Base of the Emergency Control Ministry of Belarus: "000d7df2

That’s not Apocalyptic era, it’s just a testing base of the Emergency Control Ministry of Belarus. They tried to stimulate virtually any catastrophe you can imagine, and they really know what they do. It looks like a cemetery of human civilizations -- planes, helicopters, trains, oil reservoirs. Houses, plants and many other objects. Kind of toys for grown-up more..


Friday, August 14, 2009

Google Reader: "Send To"

I must confess, the last post was the result of geek driven excitement. The excitement not was not so much driven by the content of the post, rather, the manner in which it was posted.

I have raved about the convenience and efficiency of using an RSS reader (e.g. Google Reader) on multiple occasions through the years (most notably on RSS Awareness Day when I posted a video demonstrating the concept simply). Google Reader has just taken it's functionality as a RSS aggregator to new heights by uniting it with my other online passion: Blogging.
More often then not I blog about things that I come across in Reader. A simple button titled "Send To" drastically simplifies the process and allows me to more efficiently write about the things I am interested in.

Here I am browsing through the latest updates in my subscriptions:

Hmmm, this looks interesting. I want to blog about it. I'm going to "Send to" Blogger:

Now I will write a post to share with all my wonderful readers (Note the handy little drop down menu on the top right if you have multiple blogs):

Don't use Blogger? You need not be dismayed. "Send to" can be enabled under settings for a number of different outlets, including custom urls:

If you are a blogger (and even if you aren't!), there has never been a better time to start using Google Reader.

iPhone Devs Being Courted

Sony and Microsoft are both courting iPhone Devs for the PSPgo and Zune HD respectively, but neither have a device that is "always connected" (e.g. 3G) - much less a phone. I can't believe the iPhone has been on the market for 2 years now and it's still the only revolutionary handheld that does everything well (Zune is media centric and PSPgo is gaming centric).


Sony to court iPhone devs, match App Store pricing?: "

We've known for a while now that 'snackable' content (inexpensive apps for instant gratification) was in the cards for the PSP, a fact that supports rumours reported by Pocket Gamer that handheld games for the PlayStation Network will be priced in the €1-5 range -- on par with Apple's App Store. In addition, it seems that the company has been "actively sourcing" iPhone developers to bring their existing titles to PSN. Who knows? Maybe the quick'n'easy approach to games (and someday apps?) will take some of the sting out of the PSPgo's 'premium' price point. Either way, if all this is true it's turning out to be a red letter day for iPhone devs.


Filed under: ,

Sony to court iPhone devs, match App Store pricing? originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 14 Aug 2009 12:54:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Home Sweet Home

We promised many family and friends who are physically distant that we would post a virtual tour of our home. Wait no more!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Brand New

Brand New has been one of my favorite blogs over the last 6 months. The blog engages marketing and brand identity work. The postings are frequent and are regularly intelligent, informing, and spark creativity. Brand New provides an "insiders feel" by regularly breaking new branding and rebranding campagns before you see them in advertising or on products (Ex. Brinks Home Security, 76ers, Victoria's Secret, Pizza Hut, GMAC Bank, Miracle Whip, Pepto Bismol, Payless).

The recent redesign of their site and today's brilliant post (which encapsulates everything I love about Brand New) on Tron: Legacy compelled me to share it with all of you.

In regard to the movie, the trailer just might have made me interested to see a movie in 3D for the first time.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

No LAN on Starcraft 2?

I have been anxiously awaiting Starcraft 2 since 1998. Over a decade later, and the day is quickly approaching come. But there is one glaring error - no LAN play.

Outrageous huh?

One brave soul is taking a stand by hitting Blizzard where it hurts most: canceling his WoW subscription.

And if there is a most effective way to start a viral campaign to promote ones message, it's got to be by creating a Downfall parody (The best of which I have been blogging about for the last 2 years). Enjoy!