The Rock & Roll Librarian

October 23, 2007

Google Phone Confirmed…

Filed under: Technology,Uncategorized — Tyler Rousseau @ 2:44 pm
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If I get a new phone with all sorts of apps on it, I don’t want to have to re-invent the wheel. 

No new calendar

No new photo program

No new notes

And please, no new desktop program that I have to upload to my computer and, possibly, have to constantly connect to in order to keep both phone and program in synch.  Palm OS, I’m talking to you. 

 But if Google made a phone… and it was designed to work with all of my pre-existing apps, then we’d have something!

In a way, it is a backwards approach, creating the content before creating the hardware.  Google already has all the applications in place along with millions of users.  Creating a phone that will allow users to bring their pre-existing applications with them, without having to reset or rebuild, is an extremely enticing idea.

Just imagine, all of your mail, docs, notebooks, readers, photos, maps and videos readily available at a moment’s notice.  Yeah, I know you are probably already telling me that iphone, Treo and all the other ones have the ability to link to the mobile versions of these programs but it is not the same.

I’m talking about a phone where I place in my one username and password and then all the applications are ready-to-go (think a mobile version of google desktop); ideally, they are just a simple click away from the phone’s desktop.  No jumping to various websites and no downloads of new applications.  Think plug’n’play, take’n’go w/ my phone.

The expectations for such a phone are huge, in fact, Gizmondo has already released their wishlist of apps they really want to see the phone contain. 

The only thing I would add is that the ‘gphone’ needs to have an adequate harddrive right at the start… not a 4-8GB version that will become obsolete within the first 6 months of manufacturing.

Not mention anyone in particular, I’m just saying…

October 19, 2007

Why the cheaper PS3 is still a ripoff

Filed under: Gaming,technology woes — Tyler Rousseau @ 4:39 pm
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Earlier this week, Sony announced it was going to sell a slimmed down and cheaper version of the PS3,just before the holiday rush.  The new version of the PS3 will contain a 40GB hard drive and less USB ports. 

And as enticing as this may sound for some gamers and parents to buy over the holiday, I would advise against it.

The problem is not the smaller hard drive.  I mean, let’s be honest, if you really need more than 40 GB on a gaming system you should probably evaluate your gaming habits.

The major problem with this ready-for-the-holidays version is the fact that the smaller version will not be backwards compatible.  In other words, say good-bye to your PS2 or have it ready to be hooked-up if you want to play any of the old games.  Definitely leave it unpacked as you may find yourself wanting to play some of the classic games.

In today’s gaming market, reverse compatibility has always felt like an agreement between developers and buyers.  The developers can  push out improved versions at their leisure but not at the cost of having to completely switch out and rebuild a gamers’ library.  Reverse compatibility only requires an emulator or synthesizer be built/downloaded into the console, it is not a particularly expensive or cumbersome program.

Think about this; the Nintendo Wii is still the cheapest of consoles and, at $150 less than the smaller PS3 version.  The Wii does not contain a hard drive to speak of and still has the ability to be compatible with its predecessors.

Something tells me that if the PS3-40 fails to takeoff, its inability to play PS2 games will be seen as a major reason.  Gamers like the ability to go backwards, play the original versions of games, but as much gamers love the advancement of gaming, they really despise complete obsoleteness. 

And something else tells me that if the PS3-Lite (as some reviewers are calling it) takeoff doesn’t happen, it might also be time to throw in the towel on your beloved system at any hard drive size.

October 18, 2007

I am Napster’s B*tch

Filed under: music,technology woes — Tyler Rousseau @ 2:57 pm
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I feel like such a chump.  I feel like I just went back into an unhealthy relationship and, despite my hopes that things will be better this time around, I know it will all be the same.

I went back to Napster.  I’m giving them a second chance…

I know, I know what you are going to say to me.  You left Napster eight months ago because of the way it treated you!  They’re going to treat me the same as before.  Napster is still going to put those programs into my computer and mp3 player.  It is still going to pseudo-forbid me from using players b/c it likes to be controlling.  It’s still going to make me link to it once a week, because Napster always wants to know what I am doing (it is jealous of me using other programs).

But, can’t you see that Napster was good to me price-wise?!

And I’ve tried to break the habit.  I’ve used other music programs and, although friendly at first, all they really wanted to do was get deeper into my pockets.  I even tried buying individual albums, but that only made me realize how much money I was spending and how much I was still missing out.

I’m sorry, but I had to go back for something that was going to offer me better financial stability.  If not for me, for the children… Christmas and Birthdays are coming up for crying out loud.  Do you want me to get them nothing!?

So, okay Napster, you got me back.  I hope you are happy.  You will see me linking my mp3 player to you and letting watch who I’m listening to, but that doesn’t mean I love you!

October 17, 2007

Michael Ian Black’s “I am a Wonderful Man” CD

Filed under: humor,Reviews — Tyler Rousseau @ 2:42 pm
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I'm a Wonderful Man

Despite his innocent school boy looks, Black’s comedy is far from innocuous.  With his sardonic-style of comedy, Black takes on subjects one would think a comedian should stay away from. 

The start of his show is a little rough as Black takes almost no time warming up the audience; jumping straight into shouting ‘white power’ and explaining how it doesn’t sound as bad as long as you shout “Yaaaaay” afterwards.

And I’m not sure what was weirder, the fact he would start off a show with such a volatile topic or the fact that he actually pulled it off as being somewhat funny (don’t worry, the racist comments are actually deflected and shown for the absurd mentality that they are).

Moving on, Black proceeds to poke fun at the Black Crowes cliche “rock moves” and a lack-luster night while performing in New Orleans, post Katrina (oh yes, he goes there). 

By all means, this is not an album for the easily offended, conservative, uptight or residents of New Orleans… actually, his kids might want to not listen to it either as they are a topic of discussion as well.  But if you are the type of person who can laugh at most of South Park, Family Guy and The War at Home (uurgghh) then it is worth a listen.  It’s not the funniest album you will hear but there are some very funny parts.

Afterwards, you will probably have one of two reactions;  either listen to the album again or ban Sierra Mist in protest.

On an interesting side note:  Michael Ian Black linked this review to his blogsite (calling the post ‘mildly sh*tty and poorly written).  Incidentally, I thought the part of the album where he talks about ‘googling himself’ was a joke.  Go figure. 

But it does go to show that proofreading is essential to good blogging and good reviews ;-)

October 15, 2007

Don’t Be That Boss

Filed under: Libraries,policies — Tyler Rousseau @ 3:12 pm
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Nowadays, I consider myself really lucky because I have an extremely level-headed boss. She might tell you her opinion and will definitely let you know when things need to improve but, in doing so, she never speaks in a way that I’ve construed as offensive. It’s always been direct but not demeaning and I have never left her office feeling like I just got pummeled.I haven’t always been so lucky though, I used to have one of the worst types of bosses imaginable: A Screamer.

On a near daily basis, I would hear my boss yelling at someone in her office. To put that in perspective: the distance from her office to my desk was through one room, then a hallway, up a flight stairs and then behind a solid oak door… a distance over 100 feet. To put this it in further perspective, I have a moderately severe hearing loss. If I could hear the screams just imagine what other employees and patrons actually heard her saying! I left the position almost exclusively because of her and took the first job offer that came my way… Fortunately, it lead me to my current boss.

But some of my friends aren’t so lucky. Just having to listen to the nightmare stories and thinking back on my own experiences I am dumbfounded as to how these people wind up in management positions. What quality did they possess which made the administrators willing to go with such a nasty and ineffective communication skill? And what possibly makes that boss think that their method of management is, if not effective, is constructive or pragmatic in the overall scheme of running business!? Furthermore, how do these screamers possibly think they are actually good bosses!? And yet, it seems that I always have at least one friend who is plagued by such a boss.

So, why is this being put up on our library’s blog? Because we are certainly not immune to such poor managerial practices and maybe some of us are active participants, and I have been offered a promotion to the Head of Youth Services in the Library where I work. As excited as I am, this had led me to really reflect on the poor bosses I’ve had in the past and my own managerial skills.

In hopes of being proactive against the habits of “poor bosses” I have compiled a list of, shall we say, ethical goals I would like to instill upon myself in hopes of becoming a quality supervisor. By all means, please add your own advice.

Do not panic: Even when things are at a panic stage, it is my job to present level-headedness, which leads to the second point…

Do not play into histrionics: Situations should emit their own sense of emotions and do not need my help.

Do be approachable: If staff and I cannot talk openly, then we are already on losing ground.

Do be pragmatic: When problems arise, find ways to ‘fix’ them.

Do be clear with expectations: Make sure that staff knows what is expected of them and their job details.

Do not micromanage or get bogged down in minutiae: nobody likes someone looking over their shoulder and critiquing their work to the very foundation.

Do not personalize: Sometimes, you have to be the bad guy and some times people will goad you… but do not let it sink in.

DO BE POSITIVE: Remember that your leadership will affect how the department runs.

October 10, 2007

Last One Standing; A TV Review

Filed under: TV Time — Tyler Rousseau @ 2:45 pm
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Richard Massey, Corey Rennell, Rajko Radovic, Mark Hoban, Jason Bennett and Brad Johnson in Trobriands as seen in Last One Standing.Discovery Channel/BBC - Tuesday, August, 21, 2007, 11:21 PMSad but true, I originally tuned into this show based on the promise that there would be fighting.  Sometimes, that is all the entertainment a person needs to get through the 9-10pm time-slots.  So, I flipped it on and waited for someone to get tossed, kicked or punched or, dare we go the Tyson way and say bitten?

In the first episode of Last One Standing, the six selected athletes from various sporting backgrounds ventured into the Brazilian jungle to partake in Kappalo’s Festival of Death and hopefully represent the hosting tribe in the kappalo wrestling tournaments, which includes many neighboring tribes and hundreds of opponents.

And even though the show is largely about these six atheletes’ pursuit to be the toughest of the group, it was also a great insight into the cultures themselves.  The culture shock of ‘cultured’ people being placed into tribal societies was very interesting. 

Throughout the first episode, the athletes learned about what the Kappalo tournament and Festival of Death meant to the tribe.  They also learned very quickly that none of this was a simple exhibition for the tribe;  originally, they were all denied the right to participate in the tournament and had to really step things up in order to prove themselves worth… which only three of the participants were able to do.  The other three were sent to stay with the women and children of the tribe until the day of the tournament.

And for those three who earned the privilege to represent the tribe, there was little mercy.  In order to prove their ‘manhood,’ each one was scraped with piranha’s teeth until they bled and then a salt-water and chilies liquid was rubbed into the wounds… and any display of pain would result in the revocation of representation-rites in the tournament.

In the end, I wound up enjoying the show more for its education into the martial culture of the tribe than for the fighting itself (of which there was actual quite little).  And true, this is probably a show that is more geared towards the testosterone audience, there is definitely entertainment for either gender. 

New episodes of Last One Standing air on the Discovery Channel Thursdays at 9pm.  I definitely recommend giving the show a chance and tuning in!

 On a complete tangent… I really hope this is the first and last picture I post of scantly clad men. ;-)

October 1, 2007

I am Legend returns to the big screen

Filed under: Book Review,books,movies — Tyler Rousseau @ 11:06 pm
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I will always remember the movie, The Omega Man, for the energy that Charlton Heston brought to the character Robert Neville.  In a way, you could really get a grasp of how much joy Neville took out of brandishing a gun against his enemies.

By the way, can anyone else think of where he got his inspiration for such lead-pumping tomfoolery?

And though I knew the movie was based off the book I am Legend by Richard Matheson I never bothered to read it until now… and as I am reading it I still can’t get Charlton out of my head!  The boozing, the rage… the, the… yelling at a dead car salesman “you cheating bastard!”

You just can’t get enough of that for my dollar.

 So, considering how much I enjoy the Heston-movie version of this book, I was interested when I saw there is a new adaptation of the film, this time actually called “I am Legend.”  But I am a little curious as to how the film will compete to the book and the original film version.

It’s nothing against Will Smith.  He has made some great films in the past and really dives into his roles.  And, truth be told, I love the quality of action sequences he has done.

But I like them on a campy level… and this is definitely not a light-hearted film.

In a way, I am interested to see just how loyal the film will be to the book.  As promotional pictures already show, there are at least a few details which were changed in order to fit the plot (notice the faithful and relatively healthy dog).  But even more than that is the question of whether Neville’s enemies will be vampires or mutants (the major change from the book to the movie).

In the end, I’m not sure it’ll matter… they already got my 9 dollars ready to spend.

September 19, 2007

New Baby in Town

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tyler Rousseau @ 1:01 pm

I am happy to say that on September 18th, at 6:05pm, Sophie Rousseau was born.

She is 7lbs 5oz and 20 inches long.

All is well with her and mommy.

I guess it’s back to 2AM feedings and more dirty diapers.

September 17, 2007

30 Days of Night… Graphic turned Celluloid

Filed under: books,movies — Tyler Rousseau @ 9:03 pm

The one luxury we have when the vampires attack is that daylight will come.  If we can just hold out long enough, a couple hours, the sun will rise and the vampires will have to find shelter.  For those brief times of sunlight, we are safe and can build our defenses for the next attack.

But what happens if you live so far north that sunlight doesn’t come for 30 days?  How do you rest and regroup.

More so, how do you survive?

 The graphic novel, originally written by Steve Niles takes place in Barrow, Alaska.  When the winter season hits in this small secluded town the sun will disappear for 30 whole days, thus leaving its residents in total darkness.

And that’s when the vampires hit.  For 30 days the vampires feast upon the residents of Barrow, forcing them to live like rats in hiding.  For the few survivors, including the Sheriff and deputy, they must find a way to stop the vampires and save the town.

On October 19th, the horrors of Steve Niles creation will come to the movies.

I can remember reading the graphic novel and thinking how genuinely scary the premise was.  Just think about the freakiness of all the vampire movies before this, where people have to fight to survive until daylight… but take the daylight away (i.e. the vampires’ greatest weakness and probably your best chance for survival) and it doesn’t take long to see how desperate the situation is.

If the producers of the film are able to produce the spirit of the graphic novel, this could be on seriously scary film.  I for one can’t wait to see it…

but I can wait to watch it in the daytime!

But the truly great thing about this is that, once again, the movie industry has turned to the vision of a graphic novelist for their next blockbuster!

September 11, 2007

The Mystery Chronicles by Joe Nickell

Filed under: Book Review,books,Reviews — Tyler Rousseau @ 3:07 pm

In general, I am a sucker for any unexplained phenomena; X-files, Cryptids, Paranormal, Unsolved mysteries, etc.  Not that I actually believe in much of it but I greatly enjoy reading about it.  Probably because it then enjoys me the pleasure of spouting off some randomly obscure information to people who could really care less.

By the way, if I ever happen to trap you in a corner and start  speaking of such things…  the information tends to be easier to swallow with a liquid.

So, when I came across The Mystery Chronicles: More Real-Life X-Files on the library’s shelf, I was pretty psyched.  Especially since the author, Joe Nickell, is one of the leading researchers for the Paranormal.

The aims at dispelling some of the more popular para-mysteries such as the Spontaneous Human Combustion of Bernard Hess, the Amityville house, the Nazca lines and crop circles.  In this sense it was an interesting read as most of the writing in this subject tends to be done to perpetuate phenomena, even when the facts are contradictory.  In this sense, the book was an enlightening read.

But the writing felt more like it was done in the spirit of self-promotion.  Once the mystery was presented Nickell would proceed to discuss himself and how he personally plays into dispelling the phenomenon.  So reading it was as much about Nickell as the topic in discussion.  There was a bit of bragging throughout the pages.

Which got a bit tiring and I found myself skipping paragraphs of Nickell’s career in order to get to the meat of evidence… and the book became a fairly quick read.

Honestly, I could only recommend this book to the more dedicated para-junkies.  Some of the chapters would be obscure references to the casual reader and I can’t seeing it being enjoyable for them.  That said, the more invested fan of the paranormal would definitely get some enjoyment and enlightenment from reading this… if not, definitely a lot more familiar with Joe Nickell’s career.

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