Archive | July, 2005

GTA Hot Coffee Spills Over

For the three people who haven’t heard, it seems like the “Hot Coffee” situations inside of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has left a bad taste in the mouth of a lot of folks. Not since the blood issues in Mortal Kombat have we seen such an uproar about content inside of a video game. What would fix everything? Follow these two simple tips and everything would be right in the video game world:

1. Make businesses and companies stick to the video game rating system when selling new games. Right now it doesn’t matter if you are 14 years old or 41, you could go in and buy a “Mature” rated game from just about anywhere. Parents and guardians should also pay attention to the games kids are playing. Video games should not be virtual babysitters for adults.

2. People need to realize that video games are not just for little kids anymore. My generation and older generations who have grown up with video games have done some growing up of our own. We never “grew out” of playing video games. Some of the games coming out now are aimed more towards adults and older teens, not for little Jimmy from down the street to get on his 5th birthday.

To prove things have gotten even sillier, it seems like the next target is the Sims 2. Grand Theft Auto’s hot coffee has spilled, and now it is time that we cleaned up this mess that it made.

Automated Podcasting?

What if you could produce a podcast by just a few strikes onto the keyboard in front of your monitor? Hit in a few keystrokes and then you have your own little podcast? Does that sound cool? The folks at Talkr hopes so.

Are you confused? Here is how Talkr describes what it is they do:

Talkr provides a service that allows you to listen to your favorite text-only news sources rather than read them. If you can point us to an RSS feed (a machine-readable version of your favorite blog or news source) we will convert that feed from text to speech.

Talkr can also provide you with a podcast of your favorite news sources. This means that you can plug your MP3 player into your home computer once a day and Talkr will provide you with hours of audio content with no additional work on your part. Talkr will keep tabs on your feeds and send audio to your computer as those audio files become available.

I listened to a few that they had produced and personally, it isn’t something I would want to listen to. The reason? They use an automated “computer” voice that sounds very bland and boring. Sure, there are a few people producing podcasts out there with even more boring voices than this, but dull and uncharismatic voices or people just ain’t going to get my attention.

Another thing that kind of bugs me is that hearing people’s voice and passion behind the voice is part of the fun of podcasting. It gives the content a personality that a computer just can not copy yet.

Web Hosting Forum Wars, One Dollar Domain Names

It is that time of the week again. The time of the week where you take a break from the boring expectations of your everyday life and jump into the wild and wacky world of Web hosting with me. There was a lot of things going on with this week’s edition of the Web Hosting Show podcast. Want a sample? Want a taste? Good thing that is what I am here to deliver to you.

[Download the Web Hosting Show!]

Web hosting provider Host Color announced on Thursday that it is offering one dollar domain registrations with its Max and Mega hosting plans.

Now here is my take on this topic. How much longer will it be before we do not have to worry about paying for domain names at all? With hosting prices in a fixed market right now, it seems like the domain name is becoming a bigger and bigger bargaining chip on the table. This is also a good practice to keep your current Web hosting customers coming back. Who is going to want to leave with such a sweet deal?

Another topic covered on this week’s show was the most often seen threads when you go to visit a set of Web hosting forums. The idea that you will see these threads pop up week is more dependable than some Web hosts themselves. So what are the hot topics that keep coming up again and again? You will have to listen to the Web Hosting Show to find out.

Remember the Web Hosting Show is served up fresh every single Monday with all of your Web hosting news, views and ideas you need to know.

Is Podcasting a Trend?

In the past few weeks there have been a hanful of talking points thrown out there into the world saying how podcasting isn’t going to stick. They say that podcasting is a gimmick, a trend, and will soon be more over than platform shoes and MC Hammer pants. Since I’m in the world of podcasting, I guess you could say I thought I’d share a few of my own ideas on it.

Right now podcasting is in the same phase that blogging was in a few years ago. When blogging first hit the world, everybody had to have one. Heck, some people had two or three! Since then, things have cooled off some. There are still new blogs, but not as many as before. The folks that were good at captivating an audience went on and gained the attention. Others found out it wasn’t for them, and moved on.

I think that is the state the podcasting will reach eventually. Right now everybody and their grandmother is making a podcast because it is the cool thing to do. Some are good, some are bad. The feeling that I have though is that as long as you have an audience for what your putting out there, then keep putting it out there.

Taking myself as an example, I have the market cornered when it comes to a Web hosting podcast. I do my best to put out a good show every week, and I have gained a little fan following as well. As long as people want to listen, I’m always going to be willing to talk and help. Now, would you ever hear about a Web hosting radio show on your local FM station? Probably not. I have a very specific audience with Web hosts and Web hosting clients and I don’t expect Pete down the street to listen to me if he has no intrest in either in being either a Web host or a Web hosting client.

Podcasters should find a gimmick that works for them and stick with it. If you put out a show that is about “technology” then you are entering a market with hundreds of other people doing the same thing you are. At that point you have to find something that seperates you from the rest. You need to find something that makes you special.

So do I think podcasting is a trend? Not so much. I think eventually things will cool down, good folks will become established and others will try to rise to the top. The ability for common folks to showcase what they have to offer to the world is a very exciting thing.

Open Source Control Panel, Outsourced Hosting Support

On this edition of the Web Hosting Show podcast show we covered open source control panel solutions out there, domain name registration help, my thoughts on WYSIWYG editors and why outsourcing Web hosting support is both good and evil.

[Download the Web Hosting Show!]

Now a few shows back I mentioned the topic of Web hosts outsourcing their Web hosting support to other companies outside of the United States. Do you know who exactly is answering your help desk tickets? Most people really don’t care, but I am here to tell you why you should care.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of Web hosting gurus out there that are going unused or unnoticed because of this current trend of sending support requests out of the country. Why is it done? The reason is, is that it is a lot cheaper to have a guy in India answering your clients than it is having a guy in Texas doing the same job. Money shouldn’t be such a big issue, but in the world we live in today, money is pretty much what makes the world go around.

In the Web host defense though, I do have to say that it is handy to have a guy in India answering your calls when nobody else is around. I doubt you would find too many people willing to work a 1:00 AM to 7:00 AM shift here in the states. Over in India or some other country, it is daytime when it is night here, so then it is a little easier to excuse Web hosts for these kinds of actions.

I recently got an e-mail from Mike, one of the loyal Web Hosting Show fans. He wanted to know if I knew of any free solutions in the Web hosting control panel world. Well Mike, I know of at least two!

Webmin

Zpanel

If you know of any more open sourced control panel solutions out there, be sure to let me know!

For My DJ

One of the only down sides to owning a Dell Pocket DJ is the fact that there aren’t too many places out there that specialize in it. Everybody and their grandmother has an iPod, but there are not too many Dell DJ or Pocket DJ resource Web sites out there. The folks at formyDJ.com look to change that. I have to say I am pretty impressed with the line of accessories they have there. So if you feel a little left out, check them out.

It might also be worth mentioning that the Dell DJ Site is another great resource Web site for us Dell DJ or Pocket DJ owners. Actually, that is how I came across formyDJ.com and my new favorite software selection, Deubox Explorer. Deubox Explorer is like the software that came with my Dell Pocket DJ on steroid. Really great program.

Know of anymore Dell Pocket or regular DJ resource Web sites? Let me know!

Going from VHS to DVD (Part 5 of 5)

I have to say after it was all said and done, it wasn’t as much work or as much of a pain as I thought it would be. Are there better ways of doing it out there? Sure. This is just one out of a million ways you could go through the process. I have a few more family tapes I’d like to get converted over as well now. If nothing else, this whole VHS to DVD copying project has opened up even more side personal projects for me down the road.

The only thing I’d like to find now is a program that would do all the capturing, editing and burning all in one. It is a pain to have to go through three or four programs to get to the final result. I also have to get rid of about half of the software that was installed while getting the capture device and DVD burner because either I have something that does that “job” already or it was total crap.

Have any suggestions, comments or help you’d like to add? Leave me a comment or two and let me know what you think!

IE7 to Fix CSS Support?

I have been talking about it for a long time now, and so have other people. It seems like the IE7 team has started to listen. Internet Explorer’s support for CSS and HTML elements is horrible.

Address CSS consistency problems. Our first and most important goal with our Cascading Style Sheet support is to remove the major inconsistencies so that web developers have a consistent set of functionality on which they can rely. For example, we have already checked in the fixes to the peekaboo and guillotine bugs documented at positioniseverything.net so use of floated elements become more consistent.

Hopefully by the time IE7 rolls around they will have all of those issues fixed. Well, “all” might be setting the bar pretty high. I’d be happy with “most” for now.

It seems like IE7 will also have anti-virus and anti-phishing tools built in as well. Good stuff!

Going from VHS to DVD (Part 4 of 5)

We have bought the equipment, we have captured the content, now comes the fun stuff. We get to burn some DVDs! Using the simple software that came with the DVD burner, I was able to drag and drop what I had captured into the program, then burn some simple and menu-less DVDs. This first time around I just wanted to make things as simple as possible. I can play with adding “fluff” at a later date and time.

So why go with the HP burner? Well I trust HP belive it or not. The last two computers I’ve had have been HP Pavilions and I haven’t ever had a problem with either (other than just old age). The burning process seemed to take as long as the capture process. I really wish that could have done by a little faster, but hey… I got a few things done on the side while I waited.

Next I’ll let you know my final thoughts about the whole process, and how things turned out.

More Classic Horror Movies

I told you I’d let you know when I got more! The last time around I was talking about The Dead Walk. Since then I have ordered and received 50 Horror Movie Classics. Am I happy about it? Heck yeah I am. Here are all the movies that come in the pack of DVDs:

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde starring John Barrymore

Blue Beard starring John Carradine

The Corpse Vanishes starring Bela Lugosi

Night of the Living Dead starring Judith O’Dea

Doomed to Die starring Boris Karloff

The Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Chaney, Sr.

The Indestructible Man starring Lon Chaney, Jr.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame Lon Chaney, Sr.

Nosferatu starring Max Schreck

Swamp Women starring Mike Connors

The World Gone Mad starring Pat O’Brien

The Little Shop of Horrors starring Jack Nicholson

Tormented starring Richard Carlson

The Monster Walks starring Rex Lease

Monster from a Prehistoric Planet starring Tamio Kawaji

The Gorilla starring The Ritz Brothers

A Shriek in the Night starring Ginger Rogers

Bloodlust starring Robert Reed

The Amazing Mr. X starring Turhan Bay

Last Woman on Earth starring Robert Towne

The Bat starring Vincent Price

The House on Haunted Hill starring Vincent Price

The Last Man on Earth starring Vincent Price

Dementia 13 starring William Campbell

Phantom from 10,000 Leagues starring Kent Taylor

Carnival of Souls starring Candace Hilligoss

Atom Age Vampire starring Alberto Lupo

Creature from the Haunted Sea starring Robert Towne

Nightmare Castle starring Barbara Steele

Black Dragons starring Bela Lugosi

Invisible Ghost starring Bela Lugosi

One Body Too Many starring Bela Lugosi

White Zombie starring Bela Lugosi

Attack of the Giant Leeches starring Ken Clark

The Screaming Skull starring John Hudson

Beast of Yucca Flats starring Tor Johnson

The Terror starring Boris Karloff

Revolt of the Zombies starring Dean Jagger

The Giant Gilla Monster starring Don Sullivan

The Fatal Hour starring Boris Karloff

Dead Men Walk starring George Zucco

The Mad Monster starring George Zucco

Maniac starring Bill Woods

Metropolis starring Gustav Frolich

The Vampire Bat starring Fay Wray

The Ape starring Boris Karloff

The Monster Maker starring J. Carol Naish

The Killer Shrews starring James Best

The Brain That Wouldn’t Die starring Jason Evers

King of the Zombies starring Joan Woodbury

Okay so maybe not every single movie that comes with it is a real “classic”, but a lot of them are. Know of any in there you think I should watch tonight?