That Shit Won’t Fly at Macworld

So Editor Brian Lam and the crew at Gizmodo.com apparently pulled a slew of pranks at the C.E.S. expo in Las Vegas this week. They got their hands on a gadget called the TV-B-Gone that lets you turn off virtually any TV remotely and went around the show switching off all manor of flat panel displays right in the middle of presentations. As one might imagine, show organizers, sponsors and naturally presenters were furious and have called for firings as well as banning Gizmodo from future admission at C.E.S. We know how much Brian likes to have fun, but after viewing the video that they themselves made, I find myself pretty upset.

The people who attended C.E.S. went to see the very stuff that Gizmodo screwed with. If I had been in the audience and monitors started blacking out every time I sat down, I’d be raising bloody hell to the organizers too. This group of bloggers saw fit to waste people’s time and money on a puerile joke that that isn’t even that funny. David Pogue wrote this week that Gizmodo crossed the line and I happen to agree with him.

“Why do the exhausted, hard-working booth reps deserve to have their demonstrations ruined? Why did the audience deserve to have its time wasted? Besides: if Gizmodo’s beef is with the C.E.S. organizers, why punish the presenters and their companies?”

Imagine if they had tried to pull this at Macworld instead of C.E.S. What do you think would have happened then? Unlike some wishy-washy people in charge of C.E.S., I would bet my right arm that Steve Jobs wouldn’t let them set foot in another Macworld expo for at least 3 years. In addition, Mac users would probably hoist Lam and company to the top of the highest yard arm and have their way with them seven ways to Sunday online. However, the Gizmodo crew isn’t stupid, and so the chances of them attempting a repeat performance next week in San Francisco are slim to none. After all, I don’t think even Brian Lam is crazy enough to come between the faithful and their Macs. For his sake, let’s hope so.

UPDATE: The more I think about what Gizmodo did, the more upset I get. Apparently some people think we should all just “lighten up” and have a sense of humor about the whole thing. Hardly. The folks at Gizmodo want to have access to people like Bill Gates, the most successful CEO in history, so they can post video interviews of him and lure eyeballs. At the same time, they run around C.E.S. pulling vandalism worthy of 5th graders. You can’t have it both ways boys. Thankfully an opposing view point at ZDNet seems to get it right. As anyone who’s watched The Amazing Race knows, karma’s a bitch.

Update II: A reader points out, not only are they jerks, but they’re hypocrites too. Check out Gizmodo’s original review of the TV-B-Gone. Irony much?

Mr. 9/11′s Cheap Too

Not only is he way behind in the race for the GOP nomination, but Rudy Giuliani won’t be paying campaign staffers for the entire month of January. There seems to be some disagreement from CNN whether this was mandated or voluntary:

“Two sources in the campaign, speaking on condition of anonymity, insisted the campaign was not in dire financial straits. A third campaign source, however, said “things are starting to get tight” and that “it was more telling than asking” the senior staff to forgo paychecks beginning the first of the year.”

The way I look at it, either you have enough money to run a proper campaign or you don’t. It appears that Mr. Unbeatable doesn’t. Maybe he should just pack it in now and save all those would-be campaign donors their hard earned cash.

Next Up: Arcade Daze System

They say you never forget your first true loves. I think that’s one of the reasons why I’ve recently gravitated to the pixel-click world of Arcade Daze once again. When I released the first Arcade Daze set back in August of 2006, it managed to combine two of my favorite things: video games and icons. I’m not talking about the photo-illustrative, super real creations that pass for icons today. I’m talking about good old fashion 16×16 and 32×32 pixel-clicked pieces of hand crafted art. Back before some of you who are reading this used a computer, icons were limited in the number of pixels AND colors they could contain. Placing each dot in the canvas was critical to the success of the final icon and something I thoroughly enjoyed doing.

Over the holiday break I started working on a new system replacement icon set for CandyBar based on Arcade Daze and I have to say it’s been a blast. I still have a way to go until it is completed, but I can already tell it will be one of my favorite sets. Every item in the collection is based off a 14×15 pixel click icon that then gets super-scaled up by various factors to flesh out all the sizes up to Leopard’s 512x512s. With Anthony’s help, I managed to create a series of Photoshop actions that take a lot of the grunt work out of creating Arcade Daze System. Thanks to these actions I’ll be able to include more icons in this collection than I’ve ever done before.

So stay tuned to the Iconfactory and in the meantime, head on over to my Flickr page for a sneak peek at what the pixelated future holds. This is gonna be fun!

Outlook Not So Good

Magic 8-Ball, I have some questions about Britney Spears. You know, that singer that used to be a cute little Mouseketeer and is now allergic to underwear. Did you see her latest episode where she was taken into medical custody for “being a danger” to herself and her kids?

You may rely on it.

Is this like that time she shaved off all her hair just to get attention?

Reply hazy, try again.

I mean, is she so screwed up that she’d risk losing visitation rights with her kids to help boost the sagging sales of her latest album in some kind of crazy stunt?

Better not tell you now.

Well, if she really is sick then isn’t Cedars-Sinai Medical Center run by a bunch of heartless monkeys who released her two days earlier than was originally planned?

Signs point to yes.

Can Dr. Phil’s 15 minute hospital visit really help the Britster get the broken pieces of her life back together?

Don’t count on it.

I mean by convincing her to go on his show, isn’t he just taking advantage of Britney and using her as his own personal publicity stunt?

It is decidedly so.

Okay, so if the hospital let her go early and Dr. Phil thinks of her as a meal ticket, who’s gonna get Spears the help she needs?

Ask again later.

Oh, come on! There has to be somebody that cares enough about her to stage an intervention or something, right? How about her bodyguard her lawyer or even her family?

My sources say no.

What about her mom? Will Lynne Spears really keep trying to sell books about her awesome parenting skills while she sits back and watches her daughter burst into flashbulb induced flames?

You may rely on it.

Sigh.

Just one more question then Magic 8-Ball. If things keep going the way they are, a year from now, will the paparazzi still have Britney Spears to kick around?

Outlook not so good.

Bless Him & Keep Him Safe

Media outlets are reporting tonight that Barack Obama has won the Democratic Iowa caucuses by a definite margin over his rivals Senator Hillary Clinton and John Edwards. I had been keeping my fingers crossed for Barack for months leading up to this night, but didn’t dare to hope until all the votes were in. Although the true race for the 2008 Presidency is just getting started, this small victory for Obama is a signal of hope for all of us progressives that want to break the cycle of Bush/Clinton that this country has been caught up in for almost two decades.

I’ve admired him ever since his inspiring 2004 Democratic National Convention speech. Like so many other Americans, I’m ready for change in this country and for me, Barack is the very embodiment of what is possible. All eyes now turn to my home state of New Hampshire and then onto states like South Carolina, Florida and others. If Obama can continue to appeal to young, fresh voters and find his voice on matters like foreign policy and national security, he might just pull this thing out.

Yet, in the midst of my hope, I also feel fear. I fear for the safety of Barack Obama because of what he represents. He is a man with a background and upbringing that some twisted individuals feel threatens their patriotism or social status. These extremist views have no place in a true democracy, but I sense they might be heard by others who refuse to sit by while Barack ascends the ranks.

I pray to God that he will keep Mr. Obama safe under his mantle and help those who feel hatred towards him for racial or religious reasons, see Barack for what he really is… a person just like you and me. His family raised him with love and respect for other’s beliefs, determination and a sense of self-respect that has given him unique vision. He is the embodiment of the American dream, a United States senator born to a Kenyan father and an American mother. He is a role model for young adults of all colors, religions and creeds, and he deserves a chance to show us how he would lead this country into the next decade. I only hope we all, every single one of us, give him that chance.

JibJab Does 2007 Up Right

Okay, just one more year end retrospective and then we’ll get on with the business of 2008. The folks over at JibJab have been hit or miss lately with their online videos, but their “In 2007” entry is one for the books. Love the “OJ took his crap back” and of course “Steve Jobs invented the iPhone”. Bravo guys, well done!

Hat tip to Jen Segrest for this one!