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Articles: 2010 April

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Tech Stuff
Friday, 2010 April 30 - 2:41 pm
So a brief interlude between all the lunch reviews and American Idol recaps... there are a few tidbits in the tech world that I need to comment on today.

Amy's iPad 3G arrived today. I'll post unboxing photos and a full overview of it later this weekend. As I noted in my Facebook status: the FedEx guy asked me, "What is this thing? We've had THOUSANDS of them being delivered today." For all the naysayers who figured it would bomb... there's a web site with a running tally of the estimated number of iPads online. As of this moment: over 1.1 million. Some estimates have Apple selling 7 million in 2010.

Meanwhile, Microsoft this week admitted that it would not be releasing its rumored "Courier" device. This thing made a splash a while back when the oh-so-reliable "We Buy Stolen Prototypes" Gizmodo web site claimed that Courier was a real device, in the "late prototype" stage of development. The basis for this was a completely artificial marketing concept video. My guess is that "Courier" had never gone much past the drawing board before Microsoft's developers realized there was no way they'd ever deliver such a device.

And also meanwhile, today HP announced that they were ceasing development on their "Slate" tablet device. Remember this? Microsoftians were certain that this vaporware product, hyped by Steve Ballmer, would easily trump the iPad. Microsoft likes to talk about how they were pioneers in tablet computing... funny how that never translated into any decent products.

I hope this is a lesson for people who are so quickly dismissive of Apple: there is an immense amount of engineering effort that goes into an Apple product, and it's really not easy for other companies to copy them, much less surpass them. Next time Apple comes up with a groundbreaking new device, and you start listing reasons why you'd rather stick with your outdated Creative Nomad MP3 player, your Palm Treo, or your Dell netbook... maybe you'll look back on this week's events and you'll open your mind just a bit.
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Posted by Ken in: techwatch

Wednesday's Frozen Meal: Healthy Choice Sweet and Spicy Orange Zest Chicken
Friday, 2010 April 30 - 11:23 am
From the "Café Steamers" collection: "Chicken Tenderloin with Rice and Vegetables in a Spicy Orange Peel Sauce".

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Posted by Ken in: food

American Idol Week 7: Top 6
Tuesday, 2010 April 27 - 9:41 pm
It's Shania Twain week. Woo, uh, hoo. Tim finally went out last week. As it turns out, Tim had been the longest-running "VoteForTheWorst.com" contestant in history.

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Posted by Ken in: musictelevision

Yesterday's Frozen Meal: Smart Ones Orange Sesame Chicken
Tuesday, 2010 April 27 - 10:21 am
From their "Fruit Inspirations" collection. "Breaded chicken tenderloins in a zesty sesame orange sauce with rice."

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Posted by Ken in: food

Today's Frozen Meal: Smart Ones Three Cheese Ziti Marinara
Thursday, 2010 April 22 - 6:01 pm
"Ziti pasta in a delicious marinara sauce topped with mozzarella, monterey jack and parmesan cheeses." Again, why the need to explain that ziti is pasta? And if yesterday's meal was "Asian-style", why isn't this one "Caucasian-style"?

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Posted by Ken in: food

Yesterday's Frozen Meal: Smart Ones Teriyaki Chicken and Vegetables
Thursday, 2010 April 22 - 5:49 pm
"Grilled white meat chicken and Asian-style vegetables in a sweet and spicy teriyaki sauce over white rice." Asian-style, eh?

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Posted by Ken in: food

American Idol Week 6: Top 7
Tuesday, 2010 April 20 - 9:02 pm
Andrew and Katie went out last week. This week is "inspirational songs" week, ugh. Alicia Keys is the mentor. Tomorrow Bill Gates is supposed to make some kind of surprise appearance for Idol Gives Back.

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Posted by Ken in: musictelevision

Today's Frozen Meal: Smart Ones Chicken Enchiladas Suiza
Monday, 2010 April 19 - 1:28 pm
"In a zesty sour cream and green chile sauce with Spanish rice." Wait: Smart Ones has two nearly identical enchilada meals? Or is this one a replacement for the other one?

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Posted by Ken in: food

Today's Frozen Meal: Smart Ones Chicken Enchiladas Monterey
Thursday, 2010 April 15 - 1:01 pm
"Two white corn flour tortillas filled with tender chicken, smothered in a spicy tomato and pepper sauce paired with a side of southwest style rice and corn." Note to company: I am not fooled by the fact that you named a California city in your product.

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Posted by Ken in: food

Yesterday's Frozen Meal: Healthy Choice Spicy Caribbean Chicken
Thursday, 2010 April 15 - 12:54 pm
"Chicken Tenderloins, Pineapple, Black Beans and Corn, in a Jerk Sauce, Over a Bed of Whole Grain Rice."

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Posted by Ken in: food

American Idol Week 5: Top 9 Again
Tuesday, 2010 April 13 - 9:45 pm
Michael was the bottom vote-getter last week, but was saved by the judges. This week: Elvis. Adam Lambert is the mentor. The cast of "Glee" is in the audience.

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Posted by Ken in: musictelevision

New MacBook Pro Lineup Announced Today
Tuesday, 2010 April 13 - 10:29 am
The skinny:

13" MacBook Pro:
  • Prices unchanged at $1199/$1499
  • CPU speed bumped from 2.26/2.53 GHz to 2.40/2.66 GHz; still Core2 Duo.
  • Standard RAM is 4GB on all models (previous low-end model was 2GB).
  • Standard hard drive lineup up from 160/250 GB to 250/320GB.
  • GPU is now GeForce 320M instead of GeForce 9400M (Apple says it's up to 80% faster)
  • Headphone port now supports iPhone headset
  • Battery life up from 7 hours to 10 hours

15" MacBook Pro:
  • Prices lineup went from $1699/$1999/$2299 to $1799/$1999/$2199
  • CPU options were 2.53/2.66 GHz Core2 Duo; now 2.4/2.53 GHz Core i5 or 2.66GHz Corei7
  • Standard hard drive lineup up from 250/320/500 GB to 320/500/500 GB
  • GPU is now IntelHD+GeForce GT 330M, instead of GeForce 9400M+9600M; auto-switches on the fly
  • New optional high-res 1680x1050 display
  • Headphone port now supports iPhone headset
  • Built-in subwoofer
  • Battery life up from 7 hours to 8-9 hours

17" MacBook Pro:
  • Prices dropped from $2499 to $2299
  • CPU options were 2.8/3.06GHz Core 2 Duo; now 2.53/2.66 GHz Core i7
  • GPU is now IntelHD+GeForce GT 330M, instead of GeForce 9400M+9600M; auto-switches on the fly
  • Headphone port now supports iPhone headset
  • Built-in subwoofer
  • Battery life up from 7 hours to 8-9 hours

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Posted by Ken in: techwatch

Today's Frozen Meal: Kashi Red Curry Chicken
Monday, 2010 April 12 - 12:26 pm
"Kashi 7 Whole Grains & Sesame Pilaf; Chicken Breast with Fire Roasted Sweet Potato, Red Peppers, Bok Choy, Bamboo Shoots & Kale; Zesty Thai Style Red Curry Sauce."

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Posted by Ken in: food

American Idol Week 4: Top 9
Tuesday, 2010 April 6 - 9:55 pm
Didi went out last week. This week: Lennon and McCartney.

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Posted by Ken in: musictelevision

Today's Frozen Meal: Kashi Mayan Harvest Bake (Again)
Monday, 2010 April 5 - 1:10 pm
Based on feedback from a few people, I went back and tried this meal again. Click here to read the updated review.
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Posted by Ken in: food

Friday's Frozen Meal: Smart Ones Home Style Beef Pot Roast
Monday, 2010 April 5 - 1:08 pm
"With carrots, onions, potatoes, green beans, & gravy."

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Posted by Ken in: food

Thursday's Frozen Meal: Smart Ones Traditional Lasagna with Meat Sauce
Monday, 2010 April 5 - 1:01 pm
No further description provided; I guess "lasagna with meat sauce" speaks for itself.

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Posted by Ken in: food


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