Because this had to be shared, it may not relate directly to being a nerd, but I can classify YouTube clips under “Web Stuff” and sleep at night. We all have our favorite infomercials (nothing will ever beat the food dehydration machine, think of the banana chips!) but this Booty Pop commercial is a strong contender for first place.
Be sure to listen for the explicit “pop” sound effect to clue you in to the product’s key benefit. Amazing.
Not every Covert Nerd post has to be 400 words right? There is something about webcomics and video games that makes them go so well together. Personally, I enjoy the comics that take a look at video games as if they were based in reality, kind of like when Family Guy points out that Brian is still a dog.
Anyway, two great examples, both about Link being a destructive, remorseless pillager:
I was inspired by a post on Joystiq today which noted that Electronic Arts not only purchased the rights to the NBA Jam trademark, but is also rumored to be at work on a fresh installment for the series. (Post can be seen here: http://www.joystiq.com/2010/01/05/rumor-ea-sports-creating-new-nba-jam)
I hope I’m like many of you who spent a few formative years playing NBA Jam until my fingers bled. Well, maybe not bled, but bruised, definitely bruised. Perhaps you remember the strength of the Charlotte Hornets squad of Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning. Maybe in subsequent iterations of the franchise you remember the unchallengeable glory of Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman. Regardless, you had your squad, your rotation at half time, your style of play, you had an innate NBA Jam identity.
You remember when NBA Jam came out, when NBA Jam TE (and the silver flaming basketball on the cover came out, when NBA Hangtime (spiritual successor) and its infinite alley-oop combinations came out. I love that franchise and when Acclaim’s billion bad decisions came calling, it died a sad and untimely death.
We should all be aware at this point that people pay a hefty premium to be reminded of their childhood. Star Wars movies, food that tastes like your mom used to make, vintage posters, all that stuff. Let me be clear, I will pay a nice little premium for NBA Jam, especially if they include the original in the game as an unlockable feature. How great would that be?
To be honest with you, this post has no clear purpose other than to talk about my excitement about the return of a gaming staple. Maybe Duke Nukem will finally emerge from the tattered foundation of 3D Realms. Yeah, you’re right, probably not.
Any other favorite squads out there?
I hate the iPhone battery, make no mistake. The vast promise of the iPhone’s myriad of functions pales when you actually see them in action and watch the little battery logo in the top right corner of the phone visibly drain with every function. About two weeks ago I was simply fed up with the battery life all together and did some research on a few of the things I could cut to preserve the life of the phone. I was on a cycle of not being able to make it through a full day without a quick recharge, which is ridiculous for a phone that Apple touts as a serious “business ready” phone. That claim is laughable and until the battery life problem is fixed or batteries are replaceable at the very least, serious smartphone addicts simply aren’t going to be satisfied.
All that being said, here are five tips that have actually worked for me and haven’t killed the experience of having an iPhone, a tough balance to achieve. For the record, I have an iPhone 3G (not 3GS) and have used it for about a year.
Kill Your Microsoft Exchange “Push” Option
This has been the biggest help for me. I added my Microsoft Exchange email account to the phone (of which you’re only allotted one, which is a whole different gripe) and couldn’t make it through a work day. That is ridiculous and while it is nice to get your Exchange email the second it gets sent, setting it to a 15-minute cycle helps greatly. Your spam email and fantasy football aperts can wait those extra 14 minutes to be read. This applies to non-Exchange accounts as well as the more infrequently the iPhone checks email, the better your battery will fare.
Make Sparing Use of WiFi
The auto-scan feature of the iPhone’s WiFi connection is useful, to a point, but also kills battery life. Of course, if you’re like me and you get annoyed that when you’re driving the iPhone asks you every 10 minutes to connect to “Brian’s l337 Connection” or “Default SID”, you’ve already turned this off. Utilize the WiFi only when you need it and only when you know of the network you’re trying to connect with to save a little bit of gas.
Turn Off That Infernal Vibration
For a company built on intuitive user interfaces, I will be shocked if you found the setting to turn off vibration the first time you tried. It is ridiculously buried in Settings -> Sound and turning it off not only preserves your sanity (the email vibration alert on a desk every 15 minutes is enough to strangle a cubicle neighbor) but your battery as well.
Turn Down Screen Brightness
I wouldn’t say that you should turn down the brightness at all times, but when I go out at night and I know I don’t need a very bright screen to be able to see the phone, I turn the brightness down to almost nothing. This won’t prolong your battery for an extra day, but it will buy you a few extra hours of idle time when you’re waiting for that important late night text message. Enough said about that.
Succumb To Capitalism
There are quite a few third party products that you can bring with you to give your iPhone a quick boost when you’re not near a USB power source. You can do your own searching on USB chargers (there are hundreds of different types), but there are a few well-reviewed iPhone-specific charging devices that will get the job done. Check out the Amazon listings and reviews for these three items, all with decent reviews:
- Kensington Charging Dock with Mini Battery Pack (nice little dock)
- Energizer iPower Case with Built-In Rechargeable Battery (a pretty cool case + battery combo)
- Duracell Instant Power Charger for USB (a pretty cheap USB-compatible device with good reviews)
Hopefully one or two of these tips work for you and help extend the battery life. Even with them, I hate the iPhone battery for turning the many features of the phone into a giant cost vs. benefit game where I have to evaluate whether the 10 minutes of TweetDeck reading is worth the battery it chews up. Of course, if you’re using it to follow @covertnerd, more power to you.
For more in depth discussion of iPhone battery life, check out:
- Apple’s Battery Tips: http://www.apple.com/batteries/iphone.html
- Gizmodo’s Longer List of Tips: http://gizmodo.com/5025150/how-to-maximize-your-iphone-3gs-questionably-adequate-battery-life
Going into too much detail about this link would probably kill the joke, so I’ll refrain, but I will say that there are few things more covertly nerdy than Star Wars. Enough non-nerd folks have loved the movies to the point where just learning that someone likes Star Wars isn’t enough to peg them as anything really. The Yoda cardboard cutout in my house though (which looks a lot like this Yoda action figure), different story.
Knowledge of the movies will help with the humor of this link, TheMovieBlog’s take on what a Star Wars Facebook friend feed might look like, but isn’t completely necessary.
Anyway, courtesy of TheMovieBlog.com, check out the full slate of Facebook status pics:
To be honest, I think it’s surprising that these things dont’ happen more often to famous people, pope or not. Further, as Mashable very accurately points out, this is just the latest in a long string of events that traiditional media missed but user generated content managed to capture.
By now this kind of trend is old news, but it’s important to note that we’re talking about major events, not just an awkward celebrity moment captured by a cell phone. As Mashable points out, the Hudson River plane crash, the protests in Iran, it’s redundant at this point, but think about how traditional media is being scooped on a long list of major stories by consumer-created content. I would hate to be the guy running the AP right now (the unfortunate Tom Curley).
Link to the Mashable story: http://bit.ly/77×5XG
While blasting up a few zombies in Left 4 Dead (recent updated with even more zombie killing power in Left 4 Dead 2), it dawned on me that we are in the midst of a zombie revolution. Given the recent spate of vampire-related, unfortunately popular pop culture stinkers (sorry Twilight fans, not my thing), the corresponding zombie renaissance has mercifully served as an excellent counterpoint.
I don’t know what has happened to make zombies a culturally-relevant motif again, but whatever it was is owed a great debt of gratitude. Zombies have always been great fun, but I think both The Zombie Survival Guide and Dead Rising can be credited with a significant amount of the current zombie push. At least in video games, I would think that zombies are popular for the same reason games involving killing Nazis are popular. No one generally argues against the digitized killing of Nazis, nor would anyone argue against the slaughter of the undead.
In my own life, there is no better indication of the zombie revolution than my secret Santa gift this year: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (pre-production has commenced on the movie version).
Watch your back. Or brain, it really depends on the genre of zombie.
I joined the ranks of the iPhone snobs (even spelling it as Apple wants me too) back in February and I have since added countless apps that I have either used once or perhaps never used at all. Regardless, it’s an addictive practice and every time I’m stranded in a waiting room, I’m thrilled I have Alive4Ever or FlightControl on my iPhone. Thankfully, two great web sites (which I discovered thanks to slickdeals.net) make the app addiction a little easier to feed.
AppShopper.com is probably the most all-encompassing app site that I have come across, giving you very clear direction to apps recently reduced in price, newly free apps and does so in a very uncluttered, easy to understand manner. Click on an app and you’ll be directed right to the iTunes page that lets you purchase it, all very simple and worth a visit.
If you are so inclined (covert nerd that you are), there are RSS feeds available so that you can receive updates on price changes, new apps and the like directly to your chosen RSS reader. That’s a little too involved for my taste, but the more compulsive Apple addicts among you might find that just right.
To strip the AppShopper concept completely down, FreeAppAlert gives you only a streaming blog of apps that have recently been reduced to free. As many app developers use the tried and true “free for a limited time only” trick to drum up buzz around their app, there is no shortage of recent price drops to post.
Now I get that compulsively checking a stream of newly free apps just to save typically, $1.99 or $2.99, might strike some as a gigantic waste of time, but as we all know, “free” is a potent mistress.
As I’m on seven pages of apps at this point, these two sites probably aren’t going to help de-clutter my iPhone, but the Great Clips waiting area is a bleak place. Have to break up the monotony somehow. Best of luck with your own iPhone addiction.
(Web site thumbnails powered by http://www.thumbalizr.com/ btw)