Browsing the archives for the informative category.

The Ringl Show

Written on January 15, 2009 by
informative

So I’m pretty sure Shaw is far too busy with his cool-guy life to update for the rest of the week. That means I can do whatever I want.

Thursday’s update: A picture of Spock

What’s that? You don’t want to look at a picture of Spock? TOUGH!

This ain’t no democracy

–ringl

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iTunes

Written on January 13, 2009 by
blog, informative, technology

I like iTunes as a service. For a long time I didn’t bother to use it because I had already been using Windows Media player for as long as I could remember. It played the music that I did load onto my computer and kept it organized in a way that made sense.

What stopped me from using WMP was that it was changing versions frequently, and when it changed things were no longer intuitive to me. So I eventually got tired of it and decided to give iTunes a try since it’s format seemed to have been the same for a long time. When it comes to software, I live and breathe for stability (stop making jokes about Windows).

I had trouble with it at first, and there are still things I don’t like about iTunes as a program to manage my music (nothing outside of Apple’s normal “Form over Function” mentality) but I love that it consolidates my music, videos, podcasts and a music store that I don’t mind using to just find something real fast. But over the past few months I’ve discovered an alternative.

I’m not talking about Napster or Rhapsody where you’re paying a subscription to access all of their songs. I’m also not talking about a service like Walmart’s where if they ever shutdown their activation servers you can kiss all the music you purchased goodbye.

I’m talking about Amazon.

Yes, the online bookstore. As it turns out they also have a DRM free MP3 store that has all I’ll ever need on it.

Now if you’re an Apple fanboy you’re excited about the fact that iTunes+ is now the standard and you’re music is now DRM free as well (and you should be!). But here’s the deal, you’re not DRM free. That’s right, all of your account information is embedded into every track you purchase. And if you want to upgrade all of your old, copy-protected music, then it’s going to cost you dearly

Now don’t misunderstand me, I’m all for paying for my music. And I’m not against Apple’s new brand of DRM. In fact, it’s some of the most transparent form of copy-protection I could imagine and it provides just enough information in it to keep people from just opening up their library to a P2P network. But developing and putting that system into place costs money. Which is exactly why Amazon MP3 costs less. And for now, that’s exactly where I’ll be purchasing my music… and immeadiately dumping it into iTunes.

Now if either of these digital music giants really wants to get my attention. Start providing a legal way to watch live TV streaming over the internet. When that happens, it’s only a matter of time before I purchase a laptop with an AT&T 3G cellular internet capability and stop talking to people altogether.

–ringl

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A New Face

Written on December 11, 2008 by
informative

Above is an example of the latest Internet phenomenon, known as “Sleeveface“, as performed by yours truly (with a little assistance from Leonard Nimoy). “What in the world is a Sleeveface?” you ask. Good question! It’s really quite simple: take a record (that’s right, the good ol’ Vinyl kind) sleeve and complete the rest of the scene from the cover.

You may be saying, “I haven’t heard of this Sleevefacing yet, how is it an Internet phenomenon?” Well aren’t you just chatty today! Even though Sleeveface hasn’t completely overwhelmed the Internet like Hampster Dance or Rick Astley, it is something that’s growing like crazy and has even showed up in The Killer’s music video “Human” (specifically here).

Curious yet? You should be! Head on over to Sleeveface.com and enjoy the amazing sensation of Sleeveface. Here are a few of my favorites to get you started.

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The Woods

Written on December 2, 2008 by
blog, informative

Since the writer’s strike I’ve stopped watching several shows that I enjoyed. I’m not sure what it is exactly, but after the break of there not being too much on I would start watching shows again and end up being completely unattached them.

First it was Scrubs. After the strike ended they tried to wrap up their “last season” but really phoned it in. It’s supposed to start again in January, but I really only wanted to watch it just to see how the series ended. I’d put in a good bit of time over the years catching episodes here and there, so I’ve been familiar with the characters and story. But when they did their “final episode” and it ended up being just a scrapped episode from earlier in the season I decided that I didn’t want to spend any more time with that one.

A bit further back there was 24. Now 24 was an enjoyable show to watch. There was just something incredibly addicting about that show. But if you don’t space it out it will start to feel like work real quick. After watching the third season, I decided I’d had enough of getting mad at fictional characters and screaming “I hate Sherry Palmer!”

Now there are some shows that I still watch and seem to be getting better. The Office has been one of those shows. I’ve been getting together with friends to watch The Office since the end of the second season, and it has stayed a fun show. It’s kind of become the excuse to get together as a big group of friends and just hang out. As long as it stays a fun show I’ll keep watching it.

Now the meat of what I want to talk about. Stupid, stupid take over my whole life: LOST. Let me preface with this: I enjoy Lost, I really do. But you’ve got to understand, I HATE Lost. My wife and I started watching Lost at the beginning of the fourth season. To do so we first watched the first three seasons in under two weeks. I have never had a show take this much a hold of me.

So the new season of Lost starts in January and I’ve already started listening to old podcasts, checking Wikipedia to brush up on the story to date, and checking lostpedia for all other possible facts and theories about the show that I can find. For those of you who have been out of the loop for a while, here’s a little refresher.

Jack is a doctor who is also somewhat of the leader of the Losties. He lives by one rule. Save lives. Well… two rules if you count “only shave enough to be as ruggedly handsome as possible.

Kate is a convicted felon and is on the run from the law. So being on a deserted island was probably a pretty good move for her. As far as I can tell she’s only on the island to prance around in her panties and be a tart.

Hurley is AMAZING. He’s the only person I’ve ever seen be stuck on an island for months and never drop a pound.

Locke is no fun at all. He spends most of his episodes talking about “the island wants this” and “the island wants that” and “The island needs a sacrifice” and “the island wants a supreme pizza… just give it to me and I’ll take care of it.” Locke seems okay for most of the show but does just enough crazy stuff to make you not trust him. Also (spoiler alert), dead? not dead? Do I even care at this point?


Sawyer has got to be one of my favorite characters. Is it because he’s so lovably grouchy? Maybe because he give all other characters such cute nicknames? (Jin and Sun: Crouching tiger and hidden dragon. Classic!) I think it’s just because he provides both tension and comic relief. Also, jumped out of a helicopter: very cool.

Now there are lots of other Losties worth mentioning, but I just found a Google map with possible locations for the island.

–ringl

Shaw replied on December 3, 2008 at 11:32 pm

You’re going to tease us with the talk of a Google Map of Possible Locations for the Island from Lost and NOT give us a link to it? What kind of blogger are you?

-Shaw

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Paused

Written on November 29, 2008 by
informative

Took my time today! I’ve been visiting family in St. Augustine so my day has been a little packed, but I’ve gotten back and have opened up the laptop to let you all know a little more about what you’ll find here at warptubes.

Shaw and I have a lot in common. It’s sometimes kind of scary how alike we think, but we definately have our differences as well. The one thing that you can count on from us though is that we won’t just tell you something without there being a reason behind what we say.

Here’s an example. If you ask us to suggest what computer to buy I’d show you how to get a reasonably priced PC with Windows XP and would guide you to the programs that would best help you. Now Shaw would recommend purchasing a Mac with OS X because he’s a complete tool.

But seriously, You’ll find that we have very similar tastes, with just enough variation to really keep things interesting. And with that in mind I’d like to share just a bit about what we’re planning around here.

We’ve got a few little features planned. But each of them will be introduced on their own as well.

First there’s lunchcast. Many of you who are visiting warptubes have probably already seen our early work with lunchcast. Warptubes is going to be the hub for all future episodes as well as other video projects that we work on (I think Shaw is pulling for a home-made zombie movie, I’m not against it). So look forward to future updates with that.

Next there’s a little feature (and I may be ruining the surprise on this one) called “life minus.” Life minus will be Shaw and I taking a week of our lives, minus one thing that we otherwise would regularly have. Such as a week minus fast food. Or a week without using a television. Or a week without exceeding the speed limit (even the 5 MPH roads which I will avoid like the plague). Life minus is something that I’m really looking forward to and I’m sure everyone will enjoy.

And of course a regular feature will just be our own commentary on the books we’re currently reading, video games we’re playing and movies/tv we’ve seen. So for Tuesday I’ll be swinging back in and sharing my favorite tv shows that I’ve been watching. The good, the bad and the absolutely terrible.

Be here Tuesday for more
–Ringl

Shaw replied on November 30, 2008 at 7:19 pm

Spoiler alert: Little House on the Prairie and Golden Girls take the top two spots on Ringl’s list.

-Shaw

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Light Cycles

Written on November 25, 2008 by
informative

Since the early days of the internet, its primary purpose has been to pass information from one person to another. That took many forms. E-mail, chat rooms, instant messangers, online games: all of these provided a way to communicate instantaneously with someone on the other side of the world. It’s incredible!

And I’ve got to tell you, it’s amazing how it’s evolved. My first experiences “online” involved dialing directly into someone’s computer and posting messages and playing door games. And there weren’t any fancy pictures or videos either! And I walked to school uphill both ways, bare foot in the snow and I liked it!

And that was pretty spiffy for a while. Then something else came along: America On-Line. AOL. The big time. Sure it took ages to dial in, but that was because so many people were using it, right? And once you were in you had instant access to e-mail, games, personal websites, chat rooms and instant messangers. It was unquestionably the most advanced sort of computing that humans would ever see. In fact I’ve been harboring this theory that all our mobile devices are really just running on a slightly modified version of AOL 2.0. Yes, even iPhones.

At any rate, I’m sure you can see where this is going. Nowadays there are more ways to communicate with your friends online than you can shake a stick at (or waggle a wiimote if you’re into that kinda thing). The catch all term that’s being used is “social networking” and I’m going to take a few moments to tell you what’s out there.


Classmates has been around longer than I can remember. They were one of the first sites in the social networking game and they could have had it all. Except they want all your money. We’ve all gotten the e-mails. “Someone on classmates.com is looking for you!” Spoiler alert: if you’ve left high school, no one is looking for you. And if they are it sure isn’t through classmates. They’re probably trying that number you left in their yearbook. “Tommy, We shure had a krazy year huh?!? Well keep in touch! Luv, ‘J’ 867-5309”


Who hasn’t heard of myspace? It’s a one stop shop for viruses, adware, spyware, phishing scams, e-mail scams, chain letter scams, urban myths and general tomfoolery. No wonder it’s one of the most visited websites on the entire internet! But seriously, myspace has become somewhat of a cultral phenomenon. It’s amazing to me how many people have been on this thing. However, it’s worth noting that if you want any of your information to be secure, it probably shouldn’t be on myspace.

Facebook is another of those huge websites that it seems like everyone has been on. Facebook has all of the networking capabilities of myspace and then some. And with a more mature interface and unified website it’s hard not to like it. Note: I have a hard time using the word “mature” when staring at an inbox full of invites to be werewolves, vampires, zombies and unibears. Seriously, stop it.

The other piece of facebook that I would be negligant to ignore is facebook stalking. It works like this: you sign up for facebook and find a few friends. Within a couple weeks you’ve got a lot of friends and some pictures up. Soon after that your friends put up pictures of you and tag and date them. And before you know it everyone’s all up in your bid’ness!


Twitter is kind of the new kid on the block. But it’s got the right stuff (too soon?). It’s sort of a mini blogging site. I really like it because I can pick and choose who I want to hear more from. When my close friends update I get it on my phone. And everyone else I see when I’m logged into the website. It’s a nice little blend and if you haven’t checked it out, you should. Fair warning: I can’t stop checking for updates. It’s an easy little mini-obsession.

So there you go! Social networking made easy! Now I came nowhere close to listing them all, so you should comment and tell the world what your favorite social website is, whether it’s listed above or not!

–Ringl

Shaw replied on November 27, 2008 at 10:25 am

No love for Xanga and Livejournal? C’mon man! Where do you think social networking and blogging started?!

-Shaw

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