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Month: January 2009

Microsoft Songsmith: Good Intentions, Awful Execution

So, one of Microsoft's latest projects, Songsmith, has hit the wild, and let's say the reviews are less than spectacular.  The idea behind the product is that you sing a song that comes into your head, and it creates a basic music track to go along with that.  Sounds like a possibly useful tool, but then we see how it progresses from there.

From the get go, the advertising for the product is terrible.  However, on top of that, it produces terrible results.  For example, people have been taking vocal tracks from classic songs of all genres and feeding them into Songsmith, and getting results like these.  Talk about missing the boat…especially on Roxanne!

Seriously, it's like Microsoft Bob for Music, and that's an experience that will only produce a lot of geek jokes and wanting for something better.

Glad To Have You Back, TV!

Look, I'm not normally that big of a couch potato, but this past week has had me glued to the TV. It's been like a family reunion of all our favorite shows…
First, Jack Bauer came back after two long years and got off to a fast start as always on 24. Already there have been some good twists, and we're not even a quarter of the way done!

Then Fringe came back after a month-plus hiatus and was a little anti-climactic. I thought they'd string out Olivia's kidnapping a little bit, but it seems like they were more interested in advancing the overarching story than the fringe science in this episode. I just hope they do it more gracefully in the coming weeks or they may start losing my interest.

LOST then got back to business after almost nine months and began dealing with the after-effects of moving the island. It's definitely taken the jump to where they're walking the line between scientific hypotheticals and pure fiction, but they seem to be doing it carefully so far. It's pretty amazing that they had most of this in mind when they started writing the show.

Finally, our one non-broadcast crush, Burn Notice on USA, came back last night. If you've never seen Burn Notice, I'd definitely recommend it. It's another show about spies, but manages to be funny without being goofy. The lead character, Michael, just manages to ooze cool no matter what is thrown at him.

Alas, we're still waiting on one latecomer to join the party, but Chuck, probably my favorite show currently on television, won't be back until after the Super Bowl. However, I'm sure that extra wait will be worth it!

Anyway, welcome back TV! It's been a while since there was so much that was actually worth watching…

Are terrorists really bad people?

This 24 viewer doesn't seem to think so:

It's true.  We really need to get some more of those warm and fuzzy, people building their communities and helping others terrorists on the show….

Akmed, come and give me a hug!

Jeff Dunham – Akmed the Dead Terrorist

Your True NCAA Football Champs: Utah Utes

Congratulations to the Utah Utes, who soundly defeated the SEC runner-up Alabama Tide in this evenings 2009 Sugar Bowl to cement themselves as the only undefeated FBS team on the season.  It wasn’t smoke and mirrors, they just soundly beat a good football team.

Sadly, after beating a number of ranked teams throughout the season (including two of the top 11 teams in the final BCS standings [TCU and Alabama], the only team to defeat USC [Oregon State] and even one other Top 25 team [BYU, bringing their win total against Top 25 teams to four]) they were screwed out of even having a chance to play for the national championship because they are an outsider in a system geared towards picking a champion from a select few conferences.  Had they been given the chance they deserved, there is little doubt that they would have at least made a game of it, if not won it outright.  Instead, they have to sit and watch two teams who each have a loss.

And regardless of whatever slant the BCS spins, to call the winner of the Oklahoma-Florida a definitive national champion is a joke (not to mention the whole Texas and Oklahoma controversy that has already gone down).  Here’s to hoping that the media takes the high road for AP balloting and awards Utah with at least part of a split championship.  Don’t hold your breath though…