It’s Time Nintendo Jumped on the iRevolution

I’ve seen Nintendo’s corporate sentiment change from “We’re not worried about Apple” to “We see Apple as our biggest competitor” over the past 2 years.  It seems so obvious to me that Apple has presented Nintendo with a way to make a small fortune very easily that they simply have decided not to take advantage of.

The number 1 reason I want to Jailbreak my iPad 2 is to use an original NES emulator with a Wii mote as a controller, specifically to play Mario Bros. 3 & Battletoads.  For those of you who have Jail broken your iOS device you can head to this link to do it yourself.   Who doesn’t want to play all their old favorite Nintendo games on their iPad/iPhone/iPod?  Why doesn’t Nintendo see the 39 million plus (and growing exponentially everyday) iOS devices out there as a cash cow?  If Nintendo released an App called Nintendo NES with the ability to get more games via in app purchases I guarantee it would be the top downloaded app in under 48 hours after it was released.  If they released it for free with original Mario on it, selling additional games for $0.99 I’d bet they’d pocket over $40 million within their first year.  That doesn’t even consider the potential for SNES & N64 apps.  The revenue doesn’t have to stop there either.  If they sold along with this app a Nintendo branded wireless controller that bluetooth synced with all idevices that worked seamlessly with their app they’d have another blockbuster product on their hands.

I’ve read statements from Nintendo that the casual games on Apple products don’t present a threat to them because the quality of the games are poor.  If you think these games are of poor quality (which some of them most certainly are not) then its time for you to compete and bring that Nintendo gaming magic to Apple’s devices, because trust me there will be more of them in the hands of avid gamers in the future.  Capcom, Square Enix, Atari & more now have their classic games available on the App Store. What are you waiting for Nintendo?  The waters are warm and lucrative, why not atleast try dipping your toe in and see if you like it?

– Rich

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Apple is Going to Take Over the World, Google & Research in Motion Have Become Obsolete

Having just finished watching Apple’s latest keynote speech at their yearly event I’m not only sure that Apple is going to take over the world, I’m HIV positive. I see a bright future filled with utility from a single device that is no longer beyond our imaginations, but instead just around the corner. I was recently watching an interview with a financial analyst walking the road less traveled by speaking poorly of Apple. His clearly illogical rant stressed it was ludicrous that the market is so focused on a company that makes toys (AAPL is consistently one of the most traded stocks on the market by volume) when the world is suffering from an energy crisis and a shortage of natural resources like we’ve never experienced in the history of the planet. I’ll tell you why Douche Baggins. Apple may have been in the toy business for a while when they staged their comeback with the iPod, but no more. The iPhone is a new beast, the likes of which this world has never seen; it is most certainly not a toy. In a few short weeks the iPhone will turn one year old, as well as expand into 70 countries. Trust me, year two will see exponential growth, as well as function in specific sectors that will improve the efficiency of every user. Let me take you through my day… in the future.

After performing my morning rituals, I grab my iPhone and leave the house with nothing else in my pockets. After I walk out the front door I slide over to the fourth screen of Apps on my trusty iPhone and select the application “House.” I then tap the “off” button next to the option “all lights” and then tap the “lock” button next to the option “all doors.” As I reach for my car door it senses the iPhone in my pocket and unlocks automatically. My favorite part about the future is my brand new iCar, which runs on a combination of electricity and a bioethanol blend made from algae. I slide my iPhone into the dash to start the car, which has a multi-touch screen with all the music / web browsing / GPS / email / every other iPhone feature fully integrated into the system of the car. Pierce Brosnan’s voice directs me to a restaurant to meet a friend for breakfast. I switched to Pierce after a brief stint with The Governator. I was sick of being told that “I’d be back.” After a delicious breakfast, paid for by swiping my iPhone, I head to my parents house.

My father is raving about a new application he downloaded to his iPhone that syncs up with his hearing aid. He can adjust the volume, check battery life and turn it on or off with a few simple clicks. He loves to play music through it wirelessly while he’s biking or at the gym. My mother recently had a pacemaker put in. She feels safe because she can check to make sure its working correctly right on her phone, with full confidence that if anything were to malfunction the iPhone would automatically alert the paramedics and her family. She can even pull up a live EKG of her own heart, which she loves to show all her friends.

I sit down at my Dad’s iMac and head to Me.com, where I can access all of my desktop features remotely, including all of my most used applications. I make some changes in my schedule for the day because I’m running late, as well as trade an Umphrey’s McGee show for a Grateful Dead show with my Dad’s collection. All of the changes I make are then updated on my iPhone, Desktop PC and Macbook Crisp (the latest iteration of the Air) automatically. On my way to work I listen to my newly acquired Dead show.

I’ve decided to make my future self a doctor, even though I have no intention of ever doctoring it up. The best word to describe the hospital I work at is synchronized. For each individual sector of the hospital there are specific iPhone apps that tailor to the needs of the employees and doctors. Everyone working in each of the hospital’s wings is fully up to date on every patient with live updates to their iPhones with more detailed information just a tap away. My secretary is constantly buying and selling crap on Ebay although it rarely deteriorates from her work since its so simple on her iPhone. I think she makes more money as an Ebay hock than working her day job. My hospital’s native iPhone applications include:

  • The Automatic Insurance Generator – emails all necessary information to patients
  • Medication Cross Checker – cross checks any prescriptions I may want to give with the patient’s allergies or other medications using the largest medical database in the world
  • Comprehensive Scheduling – a fine tuned scheduler synced with every other doctor in the area that automatically updates into the hospitals system

In the future the iPhone is no longer just 28% of the smart phone market. I believe 89% is the last figure Steve Jobs quoted at his most recent keynote. And did I mention the smart phone market has quintupled since 2008. With most of the world choosing the iPhone for their ubiquitous single device it only made sense that the rest of their highly compatible product line would see huge surges in sales. Apple’s Me.com has become the industry standard for online applications, an area many thought Google would dominate. Research in Motion’s Blackberry no longer holds the clout it once held since Apple took over the corporate market with Microsoft Exchange compatibility and customized applications for individual companies. I’ll let you guess the take home message of this post. It rhymes with “Why Snapple Lock”. The App Store launches later this month, and the iPhone 3G will be out in early July. My day in the future may not be too far away.

– Rich

Published in: on June 15, 2008 at 11:00 am  Comments (5)  
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Empowering Your New iPod: A Guide for Converting Videos for Your iPod or iPhone

As soon as I saw the screen on the iPod Touch, I instantly knew its destiny as a video destination for me. Roughly half the space of my iPod is taken up by videos. They’re great for long rides or when I get stuck waiting somewhere unexpectedly. Before I launch into my tutorial, I will mention that I have found episodic content to be a better pairing with the iPod than movies. Converting videos for your iPod is quite simple due to a free tool named Handbrake which works for Macs as well as Windows. I will also mention that the iTunes store has many TV shows and movies which you can download, and they will all work with your iPod without hassle. This guide is for other videos you legally (or not so legally) obtain which you’d like to add to your iPod.

If the video you want to put on your iPod is on a DVD, you first need to get the file onto your computer (skip to next paragraph if the file is already on your computer). Commercial DVDs are encrypted, and breaking the encryption is a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in the USA, and not something I recommend you do for the obvious legal and ethical reasons. With that said, there is an extremely easy to use Windows program called DVDFab HD Decryptor which will allow you to copy a DVD to your hard drive. If you need help with DVDFab HD Decryptor, there is a guide here. If you are using Mac OS X, Handbrake can handle the decryption for you.

Once the windows users have the files on their computer (obviously needing to be more complicated than their Mac counterpart) open up Handbrake. In the source box, browse to the file or folder with the video and select it. Handbrake can handle a wide variety of input formats. Next, under source, click on the Titles drop down and manually select the video you want to convert. If you leave it set on automatic, there is a chance Handbrake will choose the wrong title. Next, under Destination, click browse, and select where you want to save the new video stream, and type in a file name. Under “Save as,” select m4v. Now here’s the critical part, on the right side under presets, click “iPhone/iPod Touch” or another iPod option depending on what you have. Under output settings, the encoder should be set as H.264 and the Audio Encoder as AAC. Make sure “Insert iPod Atom” is selected. That’s it! Now all you have to do is click start and give your computer some time to crunch away. There are a million tweaks you can make with Handbrake, including using a queue to convert many files at once, so feel free to explore once you get comfortable.

When Handbrake is finished creating the file, open up iTunes, go to File, Add File to iTunes, and select the file you just created ending in .m4v. The video should now show up under movies in iTunes. Now plug in your iPod. Once iTunes has loaded it, select your iPod from within iTunes. Go to the movies tab under your iPod’s properties within iTunes, and tell iTunes to either sink all your videos, or just the one you created. Voila! Next time you sync your iPod, you should have your video on your shiny device to take with you anywhere.

-Jewbin

As LOL Dies Out, The Ha-Scale Rises From the Ashes: A Look at The Latest Evolution of How People Communicate Laughter via Instant Messenger

Ever since the inception of instant messaging there has been a set of acronyms, an IM – short hand if you will, that makes the lives of all the instant messengers out there in cyberspace a tad more efficient, albeit confusing at times to the uninitiated. I never subscribed to this IM language despite being a proud member of the children of technology. I always typed out verbosely that I had to go somewhere instead of leaving the industry standard g2g. For years I was confused when a chatting session concluded with the other party typing ttyl (talk to you later for those of you as out of the loop as me). Of all these acronyms, the most used for many years was LOL, to let the other chatter know that their joke or quip had made the user laugh out loud. LOL was so ubiquitous at a point that hipster instant messaging aficionados would use it outside of the instant messaging bubble in verbal communications, which I found to be absolutely unacceptable.

I can remember vividly the first time I heard LOL cross over into casual speech… because I vomited a little bit in my mouth. Walking down South Street in Philadelphia heading to my favorite poster shop, Beyond the Wall, at the tender age of 14, I watched as a dog sidled up to a sleeping homeless man and mark said homeless guy as his personal territory. The very pierced, very tattooed owner of the dog began to chuckle before stopping herself, turning to her also very pierced, very tattooed lesbian partner and stating quite blandly “LOL.” My mind wandered, as it usually does, to a bedroom where these two women were scissoring as their legion of exotic pets pissed all over a bunch of homeless folks who they had lured into their home with the promise of free food and orgies. The women’s faces were expressionless, no laughter existed in this room, but as they neared the end of their sick fantasy they turned their attention away from the homeless men pet pissing extravaganza only to lock eyes for a moment before letting out a simultaneous LOL. The scene was simply too horrifying for my young mind to handle and I began to feel a swelling in my stomach that I knew all too well. I immediately closed my mouth and swallowed to avoid the embarrassment of vomiting all over South Street, although I’m sure I wouldn’t have been the first or last. But I digress…

After informally surveying hundreds of people over the past 5 months and chatting it up attempting to elicit a jovial response, I have discovered, much to my delight, that LOL is no longer the majority’s choice for communicating laughter online. The children of technology have elected a far superior method that lets the jokester know just how well his or her quip was received. I have fittingly entitled this system The Ha Scale. The standard observational humor comment is usually rewarded with one “ha”, while funnier jokes receive more, with three being most people’s threshold. Of course if someone completely looses their shit you might see something like “hahahahahhahahahhhhhaaa” come up on your screen. This response always cracks me up as I picture the person sitting in their desk chair laughing out loud and finding the need to pound away at those H and A keys like there is no tomorrow. The true sign of hardcore laughter is the inability to complete a simple task. Once this H-A pounding is going on you can really get a good idea of how hard your chatting partner is laughing by seeing how many times they failed at attempting to type alternating keys on the keyboard.

Interestingly enough I’ve found that some people will throw a “he” onto the end of their comment to signify that they were being sarcastic, or even roll with the “he” instead of “ha” as their laughing scale. These “he” people are sly cats, usually female and are significantly more likely to cheat on you than the standard “ha” person. Personally, I’m just gonna stick with my wordy responses. If you really get me to laugh I’ll let you know with a “that’s pretty damn funny” type comment, otherwise you’ll have to deal with chatting with me without getting constant reminders of how funny you are. If you want to hear me laugh, give me a call. If you can think of a time when someone typed something so funny that you typed four or more “ha”s in a row, or you have some alternate method for laughing online, post it up with a comment.

– Rich

Sony’s Blu-Ray Beat HD-DVD in the Format War… Really?

mellerelect

As you may have already heard, today Toshiba announced that it will begin to halt its production of HD-DVD players and recorders, thus killing the format. This decision was inevitable following Paramount’s decision a month ago to opt only for Blu-Ray, it wasn’t the finishing move per se, but it was the Rock Bottom that everyone knew would soon be followed by the People’s Elbow for the Blu-Ray victory. And now that this is final and Blu-Ray won the format war, it’s time to ask: Really?

format

First of all, let’s examine the ridiculousness of the fucking name: Blu-Ray. Were they too cool for the “e” in Blue? It seems like a name picked to appeal to the ADD generation, one that is still in its teens and has little to no purchase power. HD-DVD is simple; it’s like DVD, but in HD. Get it?

The price points of the two formats boggle the mind. Currently, a cheap Blu-Ray player is about 400 bucks, while a HD-DVD player is about 150. There’s no real difference in video quality between the two, so why pay the extra money? Discs are all the same price, so what rational consumer goes to the store and says, “Yeah, you’re right Sony, I don’t need these 250 bucks.” If by chance you are one of these people, please Paypal $250 to Meller@TheTrifecta.com, cause I guarantee I need the money more than Sony or Best Buy does.

Sure, now Blu-Ray has the exclusive rights to almost every movie on the planet, but before this shift, the market was fairly split. Were Sony’s exclusive films that much more appealing than the others? Does anyone in the fucking world want to own a copy of Superman Returns that bad? I really hope they don’t. That movie was 2 hours of my life wasted I will never ever get back. Back then I figured my spare time was worth about 20 bucks an hour, a modest rate compared to my current one, so Bryan Singer, I’ll take that 40 dollar check anytime buck-o.

In the end, I guess I really can’t say I care too much about Sony’s win. I really was rooting against them because of the aforementioned reasons, but it’s not like I was dumb enough to enter this fray before the victor was crowned unlike some of my friends (Travis) who declared their HD-DVD players a wise investment. Mama didn’t raise no fool. I guess it’s just a sign of the current mindset, one where more expensive technology with a “cool” (read: lame) name can beat a logical, affordable one. And all you Blu-Ray players, I wasn’t kidding, send me that money.

– Meller

Published in: on February 20, 2008 at 12:58 am  Comments (2)  
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Are You a Zombie or a Zombie Slayer? Facebook vs. MySpace

Danny Electronics

How was it that I knew everyone who was living on my floor of my freshman dorm a month before I had even laid eyes on the building? How was it that I found out that girls phone number I met the night before even though I only caught half of her first name and her major? And how was it that I was able to see pictures of my long lost best friend from elementary school’s vacation to Kalamazoo? Obviously, the answer is Facebook, and it has dramatically changed the way in which college kids meet each other, share information, and essentially, live.

Facebook was launched in early 2004 by then Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg with a simple goal: to give college students a convenient and easy to use website through which they could share information about themselves and look up potentially necessary information about a friend. This was back in the day when they didn’t even own the domain name Facebook.com (remember good old TheFacebook.com?). Now, five years later, the company is valued somewhere in the tens of billions of dollars range. How did this happen? The answer is simple. There is no better place on the internet for advertisers to get such a focused demographic coupled with extremely high traffic. Originally you had to be a college student to register. If you didn’t have a valid Johndoe@somecollege.edu address, you couldn’t sign up for Facebook. And for me and everyone I knew, we liked it that way. The system worked perfectly for everyone involved. Zuckerberg got his millions, advertisers got their targeted demographic, and the users got a well put together networking site that wasn’t bogged down by all the crap like MySpace was.

facebook.jpg

Speaking of which, have you ever actually tried to look at someone’s MySpace page? I know it’s in the top five hit sites on all of the internet but it’s honestly disgraceful. Try dumping ten gallons of different colored paint onto your Sunday newspaper and then trying to read the articles. That’s your standard MySpace page in a nutshell. Facebook worked beautifully because only other college students were on it and the interface was clean, easy to navigate, and straight to the point. Then capitalism set in.

In my mind here is what must have happened. In the first several years of Facebook’s existence they were still working out the kinks in the site, registering all of the thousands of schools in America, and creating a legitimate business out of what was originally just a pipedream. Only a year and a half later, they realized they could easily expand. In the world of internet advertising, more hits equals more money because web hosts are paid on a per click basis. Thus, the evolution is obvious. If you want to make more money, you need more people to go to your webpage so not allowing 90% of the population to access your web page is not exactly good business. Hello, high school Facebook, the beginning of the end of Facebook as I and my fellow college students knew it. Apparently making hundreds of millions of dollars was not enough for Zuckerberg and company. This was obvious when Zuckerberg coldly turned down an offer to buy Facebook for $750 million dollars in 2006. His asking price? $2 billion! This actually sounds somewhat legitimate when you consider that Microsoft bought 1.4% of Facebook for a whopping $240 million in 2007 valuing the company at well over $15 billion.

Unfortunately, money makes the world go round and Facebook wanted its fair share. Today, anyone with an email address can sign up for an account, so don’t be surprised when your best friend’s mom challenges you to Roshambull. And now, for my final complaint, which was actually what this blog post was supposed to be about, Apps! Apps, Apps, Apps! The bane of my Facebook existence. Since when did social networking have anything to do with being bitten by a zombie!? I go on facebook to do one of a very select few things; look for a phone number, look for a screen name, make sure I remember my girlfriend’s birthday, or to look at someone’s pictures when I’m bored. That’s it! Nothing else! No zombies, no games, no advanced wall, no super advanced wall, and certainly no super duper advanced wall where you can write things in graffiti and seal it with a kiss. When I sign onto Facebook I am kindly greeted by at least fifteen zombie invitations, four zombie slayer invitations (seriously, what the hell), 3 jetman invitations (it’s actually a really fun little game), and finally thirty five invitations to random events that are being hosted by friends of mine but aren’t even taking place in the state where I live! Facebook, for the love of god when is it going to end?

Facebook needs to take a long look in the mirror and realize that it needs to get back to serving the people it was originally set up to serve, college students. If that means taking a pay cut, so be it. The site has become so bogged down with crap that it takes five minutes just to find someone’s contact information on their page. Get back to basics or you are going to start losing many of the people who made you successful to begin with.

– Dan

Published in: on January 27, 2008 at 11:22 pm  Comments (1)  
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Apple’s Big Announcement

Rich Electronics
For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Apple made their newest big announcement which has caused 4 different people in a 24 hour period to ask me if I felt cheated by apple. I first heard the news from my friend Danny, who called presumably to gloat about the fact that 3 weeks ago I paid $600 for my iPhone and now they only cost $400. My initial reaction was of course anger. I could see my Dad sitting with his bowl of cereal and newspaper shaking his head thinking – my stupid son has wasted more money. When I went to Apple’s site my $200 angst flittered away on the wind. First off, along with the $200 price drop on the iPhone they’ve also announced the first big update: The iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store. Now with a simple tap of my finger I can download songs from iTunes wherever I am – wonderful news. They’ve also announced the iPod Touch. I used to sit around and think about what Apple could do to make me and the masses all buy a new iPod even though we all already have one. I used to think it was reducing the physical size while adding more digital size, but I was wrong. It’s all in the interface. At the heart of all good Apple products is a simple, easy to use interface that is so sweet that it gives nerds chills, makes women say “oooh yea, that’s nice” and summons a deep desire within all of us to want to play. Check out a guided tour of the new iPod Touch if you haven’t seen it yet –

http://www.apple.com/ipodtouch

I’ll never need another iPod again thanks to the phone, but for those of you who aren’t planning on an iPhone, I expect to see you all enjoying your new iPods to the max. Apple’s stock price has been dropping pretty drastically over the past week, down from 146 to 134. Two days ago my financial father advised me to sell a pretty serious chunk of my holdings in Apple if it hit 150 again. Despite mediocre iPhone sales compared to expectations I really do believe in the products. When people see I have an iPhone they say one of two things: #1. “Can I play with it?” or something similar to #2. “I heard some company in (insert random Asian country here) has made a knock off that’s much better and cheaper.” To all the #2 people: You guys are all full of shit. You haven’t seen the knockoff, you’ve read something about it on the internet and I’m willing to bet it’s not anywhere near as perfect of a product as the iPhone. Don’t take your bitterness about not having an iPhone of your own out on me. To my father fretting over my $200 mistake, I’m quite confident that loss pales to the profits I’ll see from the stock in the coming years and I’d say it’s about time you bought some Apple for yourself in this mini slump because they truly are paving the way to the future one electronic device at a time. To all those on the fence about getting an iPhone I have these words of wisdom. AT&T’s service is not as good as Verizon’s but I have high hopes that it’ll improve over time. There will never be a better item to take with you into the bathroom. You can read the news, check your emails, respond to your emails, browse the web, all while listening to some smooth jazz. Thats right, I like listening to smooth jazz while I squeeze one out. The iPhone is damn near perfect and after two weeks of learning its ins and outs you will not be disappointed, especially with the new $400 price tag.

Later in the day Steve Jobs posted this:
www.apple.com/hotnews/openiphoneletter

– Rich

Published in: on September 6, 2007 at 9:46 am  Comments (2)  
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