- Future Tense becomes Marketplace Tech Report
09/17/10 06:12 PM
Hi everyone. John Moe here. Starting Monday, September 20th, Future Tense will be going by the (more...)
- Google and competition
09/17/10 02:40 PM
On Thursday, a House subcommittee heard testimony about Google and the issues of competition and (more...)
- Bronado is the new Double Rainbow
09/17/10 12:53 PM
There was some heavy weather in Brooklyn yesterday. A tornado? A funnel cloud? Regardless, these (more...)
- Best Buy CEO: iPads are murdering laptops
09/17/10 12:02 PM
Interesting article in the Wall Street Journal as the holiday shopping season approaches. People (more...)
- New marketing: getting it right, getting it wrong
09/17/10 11:16 AM
Right: McDonald’s increased foot traffic in its stores by 33% in one day by using FourSquare. (more...)
- CROWS USE TOOLS, EAT HEALTH FOOD
09/17/10 11:09 AM
As if we didn’t have enough to worry about with the robots, now we gotta worry about rapidly (more...)
- 102.5 mpg vehicle wins the X Prize
09/16/10 04:45 PM
Yes yes, but does it have cup holders? (more...)
- Halo Reach pulls in 200 million dollars in first day
09/16/10 02:04 PM
That’s the dollar estimate in the first 24 hours in the US and Europe. That’s compared to 170 (more...)
- Oakley to release 3D eyewear
09/16/10 11:13 AM
If 3D is going to take over our lives, at least we don’t have to look like total dorkwads in the (more...)
- Internet Explorer 9 beta launches
09/15/10 05:49 PM
I think we need a new story category on this blog: Geek Chow. Stories that probably don’t (more...)
- Google to take baby steps toward social networking
09/15/10 05:49 PM
We’ve been waiting for the alleged “Google Me” project to surface for a while (more...)
- What all the hipster cyborgs are wearing this year
09/15/10 11:23 AM
Tech Crunch tells us about a new wearable video camera that goes on sale today. The Looxcie (more...)
- Google engineer fired for snooping
09/15/10 11:12 AM
Google has fired engineer David Barksdale for accessing private information from users’ Google (more...)
- Walmart gets into wireless business
09/14/10 05:34 PM
Walmart will begin offering their own branded wireless service (partnered through T-Mobile) (more...)
- Weezer tries to go viral by lending themselves to people who have
09/14/10 03:06 PM
The rock band Weezer has a new album out and they’re approaching promotion of it in a kind of (more...)
Angry Birds: An Appreciation, by Paul F. Tompkins
Posted: 08/03/10 12:27 PM
(Note: We noticed on Twitter a while back that famed comedian and friend of the show Paul F. Tompkins was somewhat obsessed with the iPhone game Angry Birds. We asked him to explore the issue a bit for you, dear blog readers.)
How did we kill time before smartphones? I honestly can’t recall. I have a vague recollection of flipping through magazines in waiting-room-type situations, but what did we do, say, in line at the post office? Waiting for a bus? Waiting for someone to meet us at a restaurant? I mean, did we just… look around or something? Can you even imagine! We just stood there like a bunch of ponderous cows, staring blankly and blinking, because what else was there to do? Cows must spend more than ninety per cent of their day just looking!
Finally, we were given personal portable telephones by The Science People. Thank you, Science People! Now we could shut out the world in front of us by staying connected to the world behind our backs. Texting, emailing, surfing the web—now this was living!
But the greatest gift The Science People (praise them), in their wisdom, gave unto us was games. “Were games?” Look, I’m no Science Person! I don’t know grammar but I do know that I love playing games on my phone. Even though it’s rather embarrassing when it becomes obvious to another person that that’s what I’m doing. The second my airplane seatmate glances over and sees that I’m breakin’ bricks, I always hide my phone and blurt, ‘I WASN’T DOING ANYTHING!” Then I slip the flight attendant a note indicating that the person next to me keeps punctuating her sentences with “Death to America.”
Anyway. Games! I’ve played ‘em all on the ol’ iPhone: Doodle Jump, Flight Control, Plants v. Zombies; and they’re all pretty good, but one game has captured my heart like those others just couldn’t (or wouldn’t, I’m not gonna take all the blame here).
That game is Angry Birds.
Look, we have long known that birds and pigs are mortal enemies. That’s just the way of the world. Birds HATE pigs. But have you ever thought to ask why? Of course not. It’s none of your business and you’re not a gossip. I like you. Well, now you can find out with a clear conscience, because the game lays it all out. It turns out the pigs stole the birdses eggs! I KNOW! And ever since then, the birds have been, to coin a phrase, angry at the pigs.
“Angry Birds” depicts the birds as willing to do whatever it takes to destroy the pigses forts of stone, wood and glass, and it seems that what it really takes is slingshotting themselves at these structures and smashing them bit by bit.
More than just a sobering history lesson, “Angry Birds” is a beautiful game. It’s absolutely lovely. The way the structures buckle and sway after a bird-bardment; the way one bird will hurtle through the air, splintering, Blue Angels-style, into a three-bird assault squadron; the way a box of TNT explodes, propelling boulders into the air… the movements are all as realistic as you’ve ever seen in one of these phone thingies. You actually have a sense that you actually, physically did something. Sometimes. I’m not crazy!
When I first played and finished every level “Angry Birds,” like Alexander, when he realized he had no worlds left to conquer, I wept. But unlike the dumb days Alexander lived in, we here in this time have The Science People! And they keep making new levels of “Angry Birds!” Now who’s great? The Science People, that’s who! “That’s whom?” Again, no Science Person here! ALL GLORY TO THE SCIENCE PEOPLE AND THEIR GLASSES WHICH ARE OH SO THICK!
As of this writing, I am waiting on two promised levels of “Angry Birds,” which, the game informs me, are ‘COMING SOON!” Why must I wait? Why, Science People? Can you not see that I love you? How may I please you? Do you demand sacrifice? Say the word and I shall spill bloo—
Oh, hey, my sandwich is ready!
09/26/10 11:15 AM
There’s a vote coming up this week in Washington that will have a big impact on how you use the internet, what’s available to you, how much faster you’ll be able to get things online. On Thursday, the FCC is expected to open up unused parts of the broadcast spectrum, a lot of people call it “white space”. This is space that was positioned to be something of a buffer between television stations but such padding is proving less essential since the conversion to digital TV.
On today’s show, we talk to Glenn Fleishman from Wi-Fi Networking News and The Economist about how the spectrum works and what kind of new space we’re talking about. We also check in with Tim Wu from Columbia Law School about the companies that will look to use the space and what it all might mean for you and me as internet consumers.
- Can social networks help prevent the flu?
09/20/10 02:43 AM
- The Wikipedia entry on the Iraq War in 12 handy bound volumes
09/17/10 01:02 AM
- Free public domain classical music on the way
09/16/10 06:00 AM
- Microsoft and political repression in Russia
09/15/10 06:00 AM