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October 9, 2015


I hate Dell's lollipops!

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 5th 2009 5:02PM
lollipopsInspired by Bob's recent post, I thought I'd share a commercial I can't stand that's all over the dial right now. The Dell "Lollipop" computer.

I don't think Dell had in mind that people like me would find its new Inspiron laptops commercial like nails on a chalkboard. However, every time I hear that pop followed by the singing laborers crooning a version of the 1958 Chordettes hit "Lollipop," I'm compelled to grab the remote and change the channel.

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Watch the NYC Prep preview here

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 18th 2009 5:31PM
Bravo's new show NYC Prep premieres on July 23. It follows a bunch of rich kids and the schools they go to (yes, lots of sex, drinking, and talk about money). There's one kid named "PC," and I really think they should have gotten another kid nicknamed "Mac." That would have been good. There must be at least one person with that nickname in the private schools of NYC. Here's the first episode. (You can also watch it on iTunes.)

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Regis and Kelly offended Dominicans? When?

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 4th 2008 12:04PM
Regis and KellyNear the end of today's Live with Regis and Kelly, Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa offered their apologies to the Dominican community over remarks they made on the show last week. It seemed like a sincere apology, even if it was read from a teleprompter.

Anyway, since I don't watch the show every day, I had no idea what remark they were talking about. So I immediately fired up the ol' Google search machine and plugged in "regis kelly dominicans." Sure enough, a story (and accompanying video) came up from our cousins at TMZ about the Reege laughing at a joke where Kelly associates "donkeys" with "Dominicans," and the ensuing protest by Dominican organizations.

But then a click on the video clouds the issue a bit.

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SageTV 6.2 released

by Brad Linder, posted Sep 18th 2007 1:04PM
SageTVAfter spending a few months in beta, SageTV 6.2 was officially released this week. The powerful PC-based PVR offers a lot of features you won't find in Windows Media Center (without appropriate plugins), like automatic recording of recommended shows and the ability to watch online video from sites like YouTube.

So what's new since SageTV 6.1?
  • Support for transcoding videos for viewing on the Apple TV or iPhone
  • Enhanced H.264 support
  • Support for DVB-T, DVB-C, and DVB-S on Windows and Linux
  • ClearQAM support for the Hauppauge HVR-1600/1800 on Windows
  • ClearQAM support for the AverMedia M780 on Windows Vista
  • New themes
  • Bug fixes
SageTV 6.2 is available for Mac or Linux. It's a free update if you've already paid for SageTV 5.0 or later. New customers will have to cough up $80.

[via Missing Remote]

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SageTV 6.2.5 Beta includes improved tuner and HD support

by Brad Linder, posted Aug 1st 2007 7:09PM
SageTV 6.2.5 beta
SageTV released a new beta of its PC based PVR software today. SageTV 6.2.5 Beta for Linux and Windows includes a boatload of bug fixes and new features, including:
  • Added support for Hauppauge WinTV HVR-1800 TV tuners in Windows
  • Added ClearQAM (unencrypted high definition cable) support for Hauppauge WinTV HVR-1600 and HVR-1800 TV tuners in Windows
  • Added support for AverMedia M780 TV tuner in Windows Vista
  • Fixed a Windows bug that caused music files to end early
  • Fixed audio/video sync bug with H.264 files
  • Support changing from over-the-air to cable TV tuning without restarting the application or having to pick a different input
  • Added Apple TV transcoding profiles
As always, remember that this is beta software, so your results may vary. If you're the adventurous sort, and don't mind crashing your PC or missing a few recordings, it looks like a great update. For everyone else, you might want to wait until the next stable release.
[via Missing Remote]

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What it's like to be John Hodgman

by Anna Johns, posted Apr 11th 2007 2:19PM
john hodgmanThere was a great piece on last week's episode of This American Life (the radio version) by John Hodgman about how television has changed his life. John Hodgman is, as many of you know, a regular contributor on The Daily Show and also plays "P.C." in those popular Mac ads.

His monologue on This American Life was about suddenly becoming recognized when he's at Radio Shack or at the airport and not knowing how to respond to the stupid things people say to him. For example, the employee at Radio Shack was just shocked that Hodgman would be shopping at Radio Shack in Greenfield, Connecticut! Hodgman lays out all his star struck encounters in his typical Hodgman style, making the things we all do and take for granted sound just plain stupid. I highly recommend listening, it's the first "chapter" and you can listen for free on iTunes for the next week. It can also be streamed at This American Life's official website.

BTW, that episode also had an interesting interview at the very beginning with an astronaut who talks about how much she loves Battlestar Galactica, and also how The Borg figured out the ultimate spaceship.

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Get a Mac ads from the UK

by Annie Wu, posted Jan 29th 2007 2:03PM
Get a MacThe "Get a Mac" ads, featuring the PC and Mac personified, are doing very well in the States. The American ads, as most of you know, star John Hodgman as the nerdy PC and Justin Long as the hip Mac. It looks like Apple is continuing to try and recreate the success in various other countries, including Japan, which I posted about a few months ago. The latest in this line of commercials hails from the UK, where the PC and Mac are played by Robert Webb and David Mitchell, stars of the British comedy Peep Show. You can watch the ads here.

When it comes to the American commercials, I always like the PC better because I'm a Hodgman fan, not because I dislike Long or the Mac. However, in a few of the UK commercials, the Mac actually sounds kind of mean. I feel like if I were to try and check my e-mail on the Mac and accidentally type my password incorrectly, he'd laugh at me for several minutes and then make a snarky remark about my hair.

[Thanks, Tom!]

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Skype creators prepare to launch global broadband network

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 17th 2007 3:02PM

Niklas ZennstrmNiklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, the brains behind Skype and Kazaa, are preparing to launch the first global television network later this year. The new service, called Joost, has already garnered interest from Endemol TV (Fear Factor, Deal or No Deal and 1 Vs. 100), September Films (Beauty and the Geek, Bridezillas) and the Indy Racing League, all of which will be providing content, though what that content will be is unknown at the time.

The creators hope to provide entertainment for viewers using a format that will also allow content providers to keep their shows safe from piracy. The new venture already has several advertisers lined up, which is no doubt due to the popularity of both Skype and Kazaa.

Speaking as a viewer who isn't exactly tech-savvy, I have to say that the success of Joost will come down to how easy it is to use. I've said before that a large part of YouTube's success is that it's incredibly simple to find and watch videos. As long as Joost doesn't over-complicate things and actually provide worthwhile content, it might be worth checking out.

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Is 2007 the year computers and TVs finally merge?

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 1st 2007 8:05PM

tvNo, it isn't, but we're getting closer.

It's no doubt that TV and the Web found one another last year, as more and more shows began to pop up online, both legally and illegally. Despite that, however, one problem still remained: How does one view the content on their TV screen rather than a computer monitor?

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The Japanese "Mac and PC" ads

by Annie Wu, posted Nov 17th 2006 3:02PM
Mac and PCIf you have ever watched the Mac ads featuring John Hodgman and Justin Long and wondered what their Japanese counterparts must look like (and I'm sure everyone has), look no further! Yes yes, the Japanese have their own versions of the ads, starring members of sketch comedy group The Rahmens (I don't really know who they are, but I've read that they're like Japanese comedy's answer to Wes Anderson... whatever that means). The ads are pretty much the same as the American ones, but, y'know, in Japanese and with different actors. I like the original ads better, but, I must admit, the Japanese PC works some pretty sweet hip movements when he's rocking out to his iPod. Look out, Hodgman.

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Comedy Central's MotherLoad finally shows some Mac love

by Annie Wu, posted Nov 17th 2006 12:04PM
MotherloadComedyCentral.com's online video section, the MotherLoad, has always been a source of frustration. The clips don't always work and, when they do, they usually take forever to load. Of course, Mac users didn't have to deal with those troubles, because, well, the MotherLoad isn't Mac-friendly. So, most users turned to YouTube to get their fill of Comedy Central goodies... and they -- by "they", I mean "we" -- were horrified when a majority of the channel's content started disappearing from the site.

Folks, finally, some good news is here. Comedy Central is planning on giving a make-over to their site, including a revamp on the MotherLoad feature. The new player will be Flash-based and more friendly towards users with Macs, older PCs, or pop-up blockers. In a strange sort of way, I'm disgusted by how excited I am about this.

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John Hodgman is more than just a PC

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 25th 2006 2:08PM

John HodgmanYesterday I pointed to an article in the Boston Globe about all of the nerd heroes that are on TV this fall season. But I didn't see this story until later in the day, a profile of John Hodgman, the PC guy in those Apple ads, Daily Show correspondent, and author of the very funny The Areas Of My Expertise.

I knew that Hodgman was from my neck of the woods in Massachusetts, but I didn't know he wrote his book while sitting in a cafe in Northhampton. The article talks about his family, how he got the idea for the book, and his amazement at not only how popular the Apple ads have become but how he was shocked that he got a gig on The Daily Show.

He's been working on a follow-up book in MA this summer.

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Microsoft already pulled from the Daily Show pool

by Annie Wu, posted Jun 13th 2006 9:07AM
Microsoft loves TDSWhen it was announced that Microsoft signed on The Daily Show contributor Demetri Martin for some ads, many accused the company of trying to copy the success of the new Mac ads featuring Martin's fellow TDS contributor, John Hodgman. Well, in actuality, Microsoft has utilized the talents of several TDS correspondents for quite a while now. Samantha Bee, Rob Corddry, and Ed Helms have already done various video segments and appearances for Microsoft.

Still no word on which company has called dibs on Jon Stewart.

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The Five: TV commercials I'd like to see as a series

by Bob Sassone, posted May 13th 2006 11:53AM
1. Raisin Bran Crunch: The long running series of ads where an office worker named Smith tries to get Johnson (who just always chomps on cereal) fired, and all of his efforts backfire. This could be a really cool series like The Office or Newsradio. Johnson could spend the entire series saying nothing at all, but he keeps rising up the corporate ladder until he's President of the company, and viewers across the country would be waiting to see what his first words would be.

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The Daily Show's John Hodgman is not cool

by Anna Johns, posted May 2nd 2006 6:16PM
john hodgman
John Hodgman, author of The Areas of My Expertise and 'Resident Expert' on The Daily Show, is starring in the new advertisements for Apple. Hodgman plays a PC. With his hair combed the way it is and his glasses and suit, he kind-of resembles Bill Gates, doesn't he? Just like on The Daily Show, Hodgman plays it totally straight and it's pretty darn funny. Either he's a PC with a cold, or he has to restart, or he can't talk to the hot Japanese girl who is talking to the cool Mac. Interestingly, the super-hip Mac is played by Justin Long, who has played some memorable geeky roles in Galaxy Quest and Dodgeball.

Check out all the ads here. My favorite personal favorite is 'Viruses'.

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