Saturday, May 31, 2008

WiiWare just got Dr. Mario, yipee!!

I've been waiting for the Wii Virtual Console version of Dr. Mario to come out for a while. (For those who don't know, Dr. Mario is a little like Tetris but with colors instead of shapes.) It isn't my favorite game but my wife LOVES it and anything that makes her happy makes me happy! Today I was excited to see Nintendo did one better: they released a new version for WiiWare called Dr. Mario Online Rx.

This new version has a mode that works the same way as the old game with some newer graphics and some additional features (like the annoying shadow pieces, which you can fortunately disable). The best part of the new features with the old game is you can play against others online. Currently my wife is almost on her 4rd straight hour of playing since I bought it for her and we found the online play feature. She has even faced several Japanese competitors.

There is also a new variation of the game you can play with the Wiimote pointer. It is the same game but you drag and rotate the pieces using the pointer and the buttons. The pieces move a lot slower and are a lot larger to make it possible. I didn't care for that as much but it was still neat and better than just Dr. Mario. Oh, it is also multi-player on the same screen.

The download cost is 1,000 points ($10) which is well worth it. Had they just made a virtual console version it would have been $5 but without the nicer UI, the additional game variation and of course the online play. Props to you Nintendo.

There are some excellent posts/reviews here, here and here.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Warner-Lieberman Climate Change Bill - a step in the right direction

Over 10 years after the Kyoto Protocol was adopted, the United Stats is finally getting a clue about the best way to tackle air pollution - economics. Debate in the Senate is set to begin soon on the America's Climate Security Act of 2007 (also known as the Lieberman-Warner bill). This bill aims to limit greenhouse gases using a cap and trade system. Air pollution, carbon dioxide mostly, would no longer be free for companies and people to emit. Polluters would have to pay to pollute but those who reduce pollution could sell their rights to pollute to make money. That limits the amount of pollution (the cap) and gives a financial incentive to reduce pollution (the trade rights to pollute for cash).

This was the idea that was implemented in Europe as suggested by Kyoto but it didn't work out so well. It is still being tweaked. The problems with cap and trade in Europe? - the caps were set too high and the credits to be traded were given away for free. The Lieberman-Warner bill looks make a similar blunder by only selling some of the credits but give away most. I hope for our sake we learn a little more from Europe's mistakes before we pass this bill. Most economists blogs I read think credits need to be sold too: Greg Mankiw on cap-and-trade and Robert Reich on cap-and-trade (They also both discuss the issue in relation to McCain and Obama's view on the subject.)

Either way, I am excited to see some real serious discussions about air pollution and global warming by the US government. I am even more excited that we are finally realizing our environment is a resource too that should not be free to plunder.

One more thing. The way I head about this was from an email from Human Events from Newt Gingrich. They are much more worried about the economic costs of the plan. That is understandable but destroying our environment for free has gone on long enough. The environment should not be a free resource. There should be a cost associated with polluting it and I for one don't mind that price being built into the energy and products I consume.

Are you offended by a scarf? Michelle Malkin thinks you should be.

This morning I read an article about a new Dunkin' Donuts ad that was pulled due to spokeswoman Rachel Ray wearing a scarf. Gasps! Oh no, not a scarf! Conservative blogger and FOX New contributor Michelle Malkin is one of those outraged. She doesn't want to call it a scarf. She wants it to be a keffiyeh. "The keffiyeh, for the clueless, is the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad." Has it really become some symbol? I am guessing most Americans fall in that "for the clueless" group. It sure looks like a scarf to me. Stirring up controversy must be fun.

It really is a shame though that so many fashions and symbols have to go out of style because of someone's ideology. The toothbrush mustache will never be cool again thanks to Hitler.

I am glad I am not alone in thinking this is a slow news day and Malkin is looking for some attention though.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Living in the mall, Michael Townsend did it in Providence, RI

I heard about this guy Michael Townsend and his girlfriend (now wife) who lived in a hidden little area of the Providence Place Mall a while ago but never looked into it much. Today he was interviewed on the radio show The Story. It was really interesting. I found a good site with some videos of his home in the mall too. What a sweet pad!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Looking for free online storage for your blog?

Today I needed to share a file on one of my blogs. A quick search showed a ton of potential sites but very few met my exact requirements. First, I wanted something free. Many of the sites are cheap but few have a free plan. I really only need a few hundred MB at most anyway. I also wanted something that I could share files with anyone without a password and also anonymously would be nice. Many of the sites were more backup oriented which wouldn't work for me either. I used this guide, The Online Storage Gang, at TechCrunch to help me.

The only real solutions left I found were xdrive owned by AOL now and The Link Up. I never was able to get an account setup on xdrive thanks to almost no available usernames and crazy password restrictions. I think The Link Up will work well for me though. They offer 2GB free and 25GB for $5.95 per month (I think). Their site is low on information. Check out a screen shot of some of the options:

Honestly though, I think the best solution would be to use Amazon S3 but I am still just looking for something very, very cheap (read free). Maybe if my blog ever gets big enough (I doubt it will, I don't have that much time for it) then I will use that.

And another note, I should have looked at dropfiles. I've used dropload before but it is no longer functioning. Lifehacker has some file sharing suggestions too.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Durham, NC - Republican Primary Voter Guide - May 6, 2008

Looking for the 2008 Democratic Primary Guide for Durham, NC instead?

This is just a page of links to the candidates campaign websites for the Republican Primary in Durham, NC on May 6, 2008. This list is based on the sample ballots.

Also, you can print out a sample ballot that will be exactly what you will see when you get to the voting booth. First, go to check your voter registration and make note of your precinct number. Then go find you ballot based on your party affiliation and precinct.


US Senate

US Congress District 4


Lieutenant Governor

Superintendent of Public Instruction

Other Resources: