Why the PS3 Will Suck

If you know me, you know I am a big Xbox 360 fan.  Heck, I have a whole category devoted to my 360 diatribes.  But the funny thing is I don’t want the PS3 to suck, although it is going to.

Here’s the deal:  Sony screwed up big time and got out-maneuvered by Microsoft.  And they are ridiculously behind.  Sony, to catch up, is promising crazy release dates, and adding crazy hardware to try to lure people to buy it. 

The latest hardware estimate by Merril Lynch prices it at $800.  And why the heck are they putting a blu-ray drive in there?  Why spend $350 on a drive that is locked in a format war and may lose?

It certainly seems that Sony is adding these expensive hardware parts because they know their content is inferior to the Xbox.  They know development for it is harder.  They know their online service will not match Xbox Live.  So they have to rush the date and add crazy hardware.

I read that it will support 1080p.  So?  1080p really means 1080p at 24 or 30 frames per second.  And at 30 frames per second all it is good for is watching films or DVD’s.  Games and television require much higher FPS’s which 30 FPS just doesn’t cut.  So Sony is adding over $400 of expense to give you a great looking DVD player?  STUPPIIDD!

Sony is now promising a HUB online service.  Will it be able to match the seriously addictive Xbox Live?  And get it working in only a few months?

I mean, come on!  At least pretend like you have a chance, Sony.

Valentines Day

p>I’d say we had a pretty unique Valentine’s Day:

First I gave her my gifts:

  • Put the wedding CD I created on her iPod Nano and changed the Artist to the wedding day, the album to “Scott Loves Samantha”, and changed each song album cover to a picture of us.
  • Compiled another wedding CD from all the songs I decided not to include or couldn’t because of space limitations.  Named the artist the same as above, and change the album to something else fun.
  • Bought a bunch of her favorite treats that she enjoys.

Then we went to get something to eat.  We went to some divey chili place my wife really thought was “cute” called, “Chili John’s.”  We were the only people in there.  We didn’t tell the guy it was our anniversary.

Chilijohns

Then we stopped at Smart and Final to pick up a couple things and grabbed me a box of Sour Blow Pops.

After that romantic stop we went to Baby’s-R-Us to figure out what baby stuff we need.  On the way we were treated to “I Want Your Sex by George Michael” (iPod on shuffle).

I tell ya, sometimes my iPod just NAILS the right songs at the right moment on shuffle.  For instance, I was driving in front of this long line of minorities waiting for food in the parking lot of Baby’s-R-Us.  The volume was up pretty high because the prior song was recorded pretty low.  Just as we came up on the mob of people, it switched to Ludacris’ Pimpin’ All Over the World’.  And in case you don’t know, my wife and I are glow-in-the-dark white.  Nice.

I am sure you can agree, it was one of those romantic Valentine’s Day’s you only see in the movies.

My Quest for Bicerin

On Friday night, I speedily made my way through my TiVo’d Torino Olympic Ceremonies.  Most of the 3–some hour marathon was pointless and boring, but one 2 minute segment caught my eye.

It was about a quaint cafe that sits across from a church, called “Al Bicerin” . It is famous for it’s drink, Bicerin (pronounced bee-chair-EEN) which it has been making to wide acclaim since 1763.

The drink is essentially, one shot of espresso, liquefied chocolate, and a little cream on top.  The recipe is one of those “closely guarded secrets”, but from a little digging I found this recipe which I plan to make this morning.  I realize that it will probably only be as good as the chocolate you get, but I at least want to make it as correct as possible, and then worry about getting the right chocolate later.

Bicerin

Bicerin -Two servings

It's important to use a clear glass; you need to be able to see all three layers.

Warm one cup (250 ml) whole milk in a medium-sized saucepan with 3 ounces (90 gr) of chopped bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate. Whisk the mixture until it begins to boil, then let it boil for 1 minute, whisking constantly (the chocolate mixture will foam up a bit.)
Afterwards, remove it from the heat and set aside. Make a small pot of very strong coffee, or good Italian espresso.

Fill the bottom third of a clear, heat-proof glass with the warm chocolate mixture. Pour in some coffee or espresso. (If you want to help it create a definite layer, pour it over the back of a spoon, into the glass.)

Top with a nice swirl of sweetened, freshly-whipped cream.

Bicerin party anyone?

Update:  I just tried it out and it went pretty well.  Of note, I used a small saucepan, thinking it was more than enough, but when the recipe says “will foam up a bit”, it will foam up like 3 times it’s size.  I overflowed several times.  I also didn’t use as much cream, didn’t have the right glass, and made myself a double.  Here is my effort:

Bicerin2

It's good, real good. But very, very chocolatey. My wife's family are chocolate hounds, so I think this will finally make me popular amongst them :).

Overheard at the Office

I am sorry, but I find this hilarious. Read at your own peril :):

Steve says:

Dude

Tom says:

Dude

Steve says:

I forgot to tell you…

Steve says:

gots a zit right under my eyelid

Tom says:

HOLY COW

Steve says:

yup

Tom says:

under it?

Tom says:

like facing your eyeball?

Steve says:

practially centimeters away from my eyeball

Tom says:

what in gods name

Steve says:

almost blocking my vision

Tom says:

dude, you GOTTA take a pic…

Steve says:

I wanted to last night when it was plump but it sorta popped while I was sleepin’

Tom says:

DAMMMIT

Steve says:

yup

Steve says:

will probably never happen again

Tom

i almost called you 2 days ago too about one on my lip

Steve says:

My wife was freakin out

Tom says:

i popped it and it fricken felt like i hit my funny bone

Tom says:

it reverberated for like a minute

Steve says:

haha, lip zits rock

Tom says:

yah, it was right on the lip line

Steve says:

a true zit has a physical effect on you, like a disability or in some cases, a superpower

Tom says:

HA HA HA! I just spit up my coffee.

Cirque Du Soleil Ka was Ka-rap

If you have seen any other Cirque show, you will agree that this show is very sub par.  I went to Las Vegas specifically to see this show, so it was a big let down.

Ka

The reason we like Cirque is the awesome combination of art, ingenuity and acrobatics. This show has LOTS of ingenuity and art direction, but no talent. It is like they forgot the “show” and spent all their time making a cool stage.

Where as a normal Cirque show has great acrobatics with clown/fun in-between, this show had fluff, with some acrobatics thrown in there. The fluff wasn’t funny, and went on WAAYY too long.

And believe me, I am not a critical person. I have seen 5 other Cirque shows, and was expecting great things from Ka. But don’t waste your money, unless you think $150 is worth seeing a cool stage.

Traffic.com

Now that I moved farther away from work, and am forced to take some gnarly freeways, Sigalert.com got very tiring. It has gaping holes on very important freeways, and is hard to read quickly.

Starting this week I found and started using Traffic.com. I set up a bunch of different routes I can take to work, and at a glance I can tell the best way to go. Pretty nifty, and it is free!

Xbox360: Best System Since the NES

I didn’t realize how much I missed the original Nintendo. There is something in the controllers and games simplicity that made it so fun. It was easy to use (when the cartridge would work) and the game seemed magical.

Ever since, game systems have gotten better graphics, but with it more complex controllers and games. I will never understand how to use 100 different combos in Dead or Alive. I just don’t care enough. Sure, DOA looks fantastic. But I still like how Super Mario 2 looks and I could complete the game using combinations of two buttons and one directional pad.

The Xbox 360 graphics are High Def and beautiful. But the controller is phenomal. It is SOOO comfortable, and it makes me forget that it has 10 buttons plus joysticks. The wireless is flawless, and the rumble pack really immerses me into the game. When I fire a tank in Call of Duty, it really feels like it.

And Xbox Live Arcade is what makes me feel like a kid again. Being able to play multiplayer Joust, Gauntlet, and the new Geometry Wars is so fun, I just can’t believe anyone would want a PS3.

Xbox Live also gives you “Achievements” for completing tasks within all games. Each game will give you a total of 1000 points by completing things within that game. So Madden may give you 100 points for scoring a touchdown and 100 points for completing 4 sacks in a game, and Call of Duty may give only 35 points for completing each mission. The sum of all those points are your Gamer Score which is attached to your Xbox Live Profile. So where as I have 695 points as of this writing, my buddy Alan has 1210. All points aren’t equal, obviously, since 750 of his points were from Gun, and are MUCH easier to get than my 350 from Call of Duty. (And the 10 points I got from Geometry Wars are the ones I am most proud of 🙂 But regardless, it is fun to try to increase your score, and gives you more impetus to play the games.

So although the controller and games aren’t any less complicated with the Xbox 360, the Xbox Live interface is very intuitive, the controller is very intuitive, and being linked to the world with Live makes it feel easier and magical. I really hope Microsoft can increase production so I can more than the one friend to play with!

So now I have a new device to rave about at parties. First it was TiVo, then Netflix, now the 360.