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Sonic Screwdriver News

MFXReplicas is planning to introduce their Sonic Screwdriver replica at the San Diego ComiCon in July.

Also, today’s episode featured a new type of Sonic Screwdriver:

My Take

Patapon: I normally can’t stand rhythm games, but this one is a ton of fun.

iPhone SDK: Finally! Looks great to me, but I am not happy about the ‘no background apps’ policy. I’d like 3rd party chat apps and feed readers to be able to alert me from the background. Hopefully, background capabilities are coming.

OS X Leopard’s “Alex” voice: Text to speech is normally pretty crappy. I’m glad Apple invested in a voice that speaks clearly, even if it does require 700MB of disk space!! I’m working on a simple OS X app that connects to Google Reader and reads articles aloud.

Jericho: Canceled AGAIN? Really? At least there’s still Torchwood, Doctor Who, Lost, BSG and Smallville (major spoilers in this week’s promo – be careful).

Arduino: I’m having a lot of fun with mine. An Arduino plus a series of BlinkMs is a great combination.

MacBook Air: I’ve had mine for 2 months and I love it. The combination of mobility, screen size and performance it provides makes it much more useful than the notebooks, umpcs, pdas and internet tablets I’ve used in the past. Meanwhile, the flexibility, usability and safety provided by OS X gives this machine a huge advantage over similar Windows-based laptops. It’s my main computer, now.

WaterField’s Racer-X Laptop Case: The Racer-X is perfect for me. Not too big, not too small. It stays upright do to a solid rectangular bottom, which is really nice – it makes it a little heavier but it’s worth knowing it’s not going to tip over. The Air is in a zippered into a lightly padded, secure pocket. The other zippered pocket is big enough to hold the charger, my cradlepoint PHS, a usb hub, a medium sized ora book or my Kindle, a tiny usb HD (for backups and extra storage) and some other misc stuff. It’s small enough that I have to think about what I want to keep in it, but not so small that I have to leave anything important behind. I bought the black version with leather handles. The build quality is terrific and I can see it lasting for a LONG time.

Knight Rider Light Bar

UPDATE (2/17/08): Added more videos to the bottom of this post.

UPDATE (2/17/08): Code is available here.

I’m making a Knight Rider (KITT) Light Bar to celebrate the premier of the new Knight Rider Made-For-TV Movie (tomorrow night on NBC). I’m using an Arduino Diecimila board and 18 LEDs.

Here’s a picture from a few hours ago. The LEDs are now much more aligned and some of the wiring has since been cleaned up, but the photo will give you the general idea.

Materials (so far): FedEx box (temporary; looking for a suitable plastic container) with black construction paper for the housing. Arduino, 18 LEDs (wired to 9 output pins on the arduino – two LEDs in parallel per pin), 9 75 ohm resistors (note, 75 is not the right value, but they were the closest I had). The faceplate is made of cardboard, tissue paper (light diffusion) and some cheap car-window-sun-shade-material I found at Target.

Here’s what it looks like in action (this vid is from the afternoon, before the housing and faceplate were ready): kitt2.mov.

If you haven’t already, consider reading this article about the guys who built the real thing!

New Video: In the box, during daylight.

New Video: Out of the box.

New Video: Arduino and wiring.

Great so far…

I’m halfway through Bioshock on the PC (widescreenmod!) and William Gibson’s new book, Spook Country. Both are great so far.

I’m also really enjoying this season of Eureka!

Road Tasted – Food Network presents specialty foods delivered to your door!

Join fun-loving brothers Jamie and Bobby Deen (sons of Paula Deen) as they hit the road and cross the country in search of the best local, hand-crafted foods. Armed with wit, ingenuity and a passion for all things food, the Deen boys offer a fresh, fun look at the specialty stores and family run businesses that make one-of-a-kind edibles. Plus, they’ll show you how to get all these foods delivered to your door. So, come along for the ride! Tasty rewards await at the end of the road, but half the fun is getting there.

Road Tasted premieres Tuesday, July 11 at 10pm /9c.

Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares

I’ve been watching this show on BBC America.  I enjoyed previous episodes, but this season is amazing.  Tonight’s episode was one of the best.

Episode six – Clubway 41

Despite being voted Restaurant of the Year by the local tourist board, Clubway 41 is in dire straits. It’s the prime example of how not to run a restaurant. Owner Dave is the flaky, self-appointed head chef who hasn’t been in a kitchen for 30 years and can’t cook. His partner Dawn invents bizarre dishes ranging from ‘tomato and cointreau soup’ to ‘pork with brie, nectarine and whiskey sauce.’ Gordon faces a hellish week, Clubway 41 is breaking every rule in book. Can he bring Dave, Dawn, and their food back to earth?

They renamed the restaurant Jackson’s, btw.

West Wing on Stage(or on radio)…

Since this is the last season of the West Wing, Dave is thinkingout-loud about ways to save it.

Put it on a stage in a high school auditorium. Make it a Sims scenario. It’s the story, the characters, their brightness and integrity that I value. Sure it’s nice that the sets look cool, but that’s not what makes the show so great.

I’ve seen every episode of the West Wing and I definitely don’t want to see it end. I’ve invested too much. Especially this season – the ‘two campaigns’ storyline didn’t feel right at first, but now I NEED to see how the winner will function as POTUS. Would I listen to a Radio serial of the West Wing? New President, new format? I could get into that. Especially if they keep CJ, Toby, and Josh and bring back Rob Lowe.

Actually, it feels like a betrayal not listing everyone. I think the entire cast of “West Wing” is fantastic. Donna(Janel Moloney), and Janeane Garofalo, for instance, are both kicking butt this season. I’m sure there are exceptions – but I can’t think of any at the moment.