My Digital IQ

My Digital IQ

I finally got around to taking MSNBC’s Digital IQ Quiz that I found over at my brother’s blog. I’m glad that I scored high on this even though I gave up my career as an IT consultant a few years ago. (note to self: Must… get… more… gadgets…) And he’ll be glad to see that he beat me by a few points. I’m shocked that Charles’ score is so low (relatively) given that he’s the Movable Type Guru. Sup with that Charles? They don’t have gadgets in Hawai’i?

Are You Part of the Technology Elite?

A study released Sunday found that 31% of Americans are ‘highly tech-savvy’ people for whom the Internet, cell phones and handheld organizers are more indispensable than TVs and old-fashioned wired phones. That’s a nice change from the perception that most Americans can’t even program a simple VCR. It’s always bugged me that Japan gets all the really cool electronic gadgets before us because they’re seen as being more tech-savvy. In about a week, when I dump my landline, I’ll meet all four of the criteria to be tech elite:

  • They spend, on average, a total of $169 a month on broadband Internet service, satellite or cable TV, cell phones and Web content. That is 39% higher than the national average, $122.

  • Some 29% of them have broadband connections, compared with 17% of everyone else.

  • About 7% of technology aficionados have canceled their landline phone and gone all-wireless. Only 2% of nontechies have done that.

  • Despite being plugged in to the Internet and other sources of data more often, only 13% of the tech-savvy crowd feels overwhelmed by information. By contrast, a sense of information overload plagues 25% of the rest of the population.

Alonzo Mourning to Retire

From ESPN:

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey — Alonzo Mourning’s NBA career is over.

The seven-time All-Star center will soon need a kidney transplant and will no longer be able to play professional basketball, New Jersey Nets president and general manager Rod Thorn announced on Monday morning.

“It is with great sadness that I make this announcement,” Thorn said. “Alonzo is a true champion and a very courageous athlete who attempted to defy the odds with his comeback to the NBA. Unfortunately, his medical condition will not allow him to continue his basketball career. Our thoughts and prayers are with him as he continues his fight against this disease.”

The 33-year-old Mourning left the Miami Heat and signed a four-year, $22 million contract with the Nets last July despite missing the entire 2002-03 season with a kidney disease.

In 2000, Mourning was diagnosed with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, a disease that causes chronic kidney failure within a decade in more than half of the people diagnosed.

I’m sad to see Zo go like this, but very happy that he’s still got his (relatively good) health. I hope the transplant and recovery goes well.

On another note, I was amazed that the Nets signed him given how many games he’s missed while dealing with his kidney disease. I wonder if the contract is guaranteed.

My 2 Cents on Eminem as a Racist

I thought I’d chime in on the Eminem controversy. Madison at Diesel Nation has done a great job of rounding up some pertinent information about this situation. And I generally agree with his opinions of Eminem and Benzino.

My take is that I doubt that Eminem is a racist right now. I can accept Eminem’s explanation that he was just an angry kid when he said those words. When you read his words they come across as very juvenile and it’s seems clear that he was just venting steam because some Black girl played him. However, unlike some, I’m not the least bit surprised to learn that Eminem would say such things. Given his background (not to mention some of his other lyrics) I’d almost expect that kind of sentiment from him.

As Madison points out, if we’re gonna hold Em responsible for his words we have to do the same for other (Black) rappers. Which is more damaging, a lower class white kid talking shit about Black women or some black men dissing (what can be assumed to be Black) women? I say the latter, by far. Compare Eminem’s lyrics (which were never meant for public consumption) to the misogynistic lyrics on oh so many commercial CDs by Black rappers.

As for Benzino, I’m not sure what his goal was in releasing the Eminem lyrics. (I won’t get into dissing him… that’s already been done to death.) But if he was expecting to negatively affect Eminem’s record sales I doubt this method will be very effective. I doubt that the majority of Eminem’s (mostly white) fans will be moved enough by this to not buy his music any more. And if Benzino was trying to boost sales of the Source it looks like that may backfire too. He just can’t win from this.

Sup with Your Boy Michael Jackson?

I was just looking at some pictures of Michael Jackson from his arrest episode today. Some observations:

His actions make me wonder if he even understands the gravity of his situation. So sad…

Home Digits Can Move to Cell

In case you’ve missed the news, as of November 24th you can not only transfer your cell phone number between carriers, but also transfer your home number to a cell phone. It’s about to get hectic for the phone companies. Expect to see all kinds of deals to win/keep your business. USAToday reports on a few new websites that are helping people to sort out the details of number portability.

Ten Commandments Judge Stripped of Office

I just got this news flash from Yahoo!:

Alabama chief justice who refused to move a Ten Commandments monument is stripped of office.

I’m so glad to see this happen. This whole ‘Ten Commandments monument in the courthouse thing’ is ridiculous. Some fools here in Georgia are taking up the same battle. May they also be yanked out of office.

Star Wars: Clone Wars

All you Star Wars fans take note: The Cartoon Network is airing an animated series, Star Wars: Clone Wars, which bridges the gap between Episodes II and III. And the best part, IMO, is that Genndy Tartakovsy, the creator of Samurai Jack (my favorite cartoon), is in charge of this series.

The first of 20 animated Star Wars: Clone Wars episodes, each about three minutes long, premieres at 8 ET/PT. A new episode of the Lucas-approved series airs each weeknight through Nov. 20, repeating at midnight. Another 10 will air next spring.

Although the Star Wars empire has spread into comic books, novels and video games, Clone Wars marks the first animated series to involve any of the saga’s leading characters. Lucas has finished initial filming on the final Star Wars movie, the untitled Episode III, due in theaters in 2005. The Clone Wars cartoon series bridges the time gap between Episodes II and III, and picks up after the first battle of the wars, where Episode II: Attack of the Clones left off.

Lucas chose Samurai Jack creator Genndy Tartakovsky to be the force behind the series. “(Lucas) said to stay between (Episodes) II and III and stay away from the love story, and that was it, to just focus on the wars,” says Tartakovsky, whose other credits include creating Dexter’s Laboratory and directing The Powerpuff Girls.

Initially, the Moscow-born animator, 31, was offered just one-minute segments, but he convinced Lucasfilm that more time was needed. After editing some Samurai Jack episodes into short nuggets, “I realized you could really do something (in three minutes),” Tartakovsky says.

Set those DVRs/VCRs.
Continue reading “Star Wars: Clone Wars”

You Want Fries with that Download?

Looks like there’s another battle going on over music downloading. Both Pepsi and McDonald’s are offering free music downloads to their customers:

Less than a month after Pepsi announced a blockbuster deal to give away 100 million downloads from Apple’s iTunes music service to its customers, McDonald’s is close to a announcing a much bigger deal, The Post has learned.

In a dramatic move that gives a thumbs up to the music industry’s efforts at creating legal alternatives to file sharing, McDonald’s plans to give away up to 1 billion songs in a marketing campaign, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Both Pepsi and McDonald’s are paying Apple’s retail price of 99 cents per song, sources say. And McDonald’s has arranged to buy up to a billion songs to meet customer demand.

The plans by two of the largest consumer goods companies to spend a significant amount of promotional money on music sharing is a validation of Apple’s revolutionary iTunes service – and a ringing endorsement for the beleaguered music industry.

I wonder if this type of thing could be the beginning of some new business models for the music industry.

(via paidContent)