Sunday, June 29, 2014

[Tech] The Panasonic DMP BD91P-K

This is a piece of crap.  So apparently, regular Blu-Ray players do not require an internet connection BUT they all require firmware updates but its up to the manufacturer when it takes place.  Panasonic has a wifi receiver in the device that can receive a signal indicating it needs up upgrade.  BUT with this model you cannot update the device using wifi.  We bought it six weeks ago and today Panasonic sent out a signal indicating that it needed a firm ware upgrade. 

I called the Panasonic guy and he offered to SELL ME AN EXTRA PART to make it work.  "Nice DVD player you have there.  Wanna buy this wifi connection device? Oh? Well then you'd better hook up with our good buddies, the cable companies."

Note, as a Blu Ray player, it seemed to work fine.  But they reserve the right to brick it any time they want. We did have fair warning, after all, as the Panasonic customer service rep mentioned on the phone, it said clearly in the manual firmware updates were required.  That's right, the manual in the box we purchased.  So right when I'm going to call the DA and ask to prosecute for fraud, I notice on the back of the box in tiny tiny tiny letters it says, "Requires Broadband Connection."

The next time someone tells you labeling requirements from the government are ridiculous? Send them to this statement.

Friday, June 20, 2014

[Book] Skin Job by Jim Butcher

Awesome! [Drops mike and walks away.]

[Awkward Pause]

[Sticks head out of side of stage left] What?

Fine.  So the fiftheenth book in the Dresden Files series is Awesome.

All Dresden files books are awesome and this one is awesomer still.

Imagine your favorite heist movie, like Oceans Eleven or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, now add Harry Dresden, and you get a supernatural thriller that only Jim Butcher could pull off. Because his rules matter, and because by now they are so well explained from the other books, he can have really complicated characters who you know the rules for, but for which he can focus on the intruige and character development instead.


Harry, now Winter Knight, now Not Dead, has three dilemas.  He has a thing in his head that will kill him if he doesn't get it out, he has a favor that Mab owes to the lunatic demon denarian Nicodemus, and he has to do all this without pissing off the White Council that governs magic.  Two out of three aren't bad.  Nicodemus wants to steal the Holy Grail....from Hades in the underworld, so a rag tag team including a Yeti, a Summoner, a Pyromaniac and a shapeshifter make for an interesting caper indeed.

Old friends and new appear.  Some things that any dresden fan would love who hasn't read this yet.

Butters is back and he's kicking ass and gets a fantasticly interesting upgrade.
Murphy and Harry finally get over it and do something about each other.
You learn a bit more about Molly's situation but not until the very end of the book.

On the whole, I'll give this book a 9.4 out of 10, and rate it my third favorite of the series after Dead Beat (It is impossible to beat a zombie Trex.  It wins everything...forever) and Small Favor (Bring me a Jelly Donut!).  Read it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

[TV] Series: Batman: the Brave and the Bold

This show is awesome if you like super heroes.  At first I thought it would be stupid since it is an omage to silver age comics, but it actually turned out to be quite awesome.  It's 70% silver age with 30% post modern spin and it hits that sweet spot that Henson does about being a product with duality...perfect duality.  The delight and moral clarity of camp is there, but at the same time they acknowledge deeper levels that we are now aware of and can't NOT be aware of thanks to the evolution of the zeitgeist and our society.

Which in regular English means that it is both fun and occasionally deep without wallowing in it.  The show basically involves Batman pairing with another hero, with an intro teaser at the start before the credits and a second longer story thereafter.  It still isn't as good as Batman: The Animated Series that was done in the 90's, but the mark on that was set very high.

And to be honest, I really enjoyed the show.  I think they had a lot of stories to tell, told many of them but still had more to tell.  It was basically a giant love letter to the wonder of comics and some of the now forgotten characters of the previous generation. If you like comics, this is a show I would watch.