Scott Hanselman

More and more Audible instead of iTunes

April 3, '06 Comments [6] Posted in Podcast | Gaming
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When I got my iPod (I'm on #2 now) I figured I'd get all sorts of music from iTunes. However, after I converted my CD collection with RipDigital's service, I haven't purchased more than a few songs a month.

Instead, I find myself turning to Audible.com for my audio-fix. I use the Podcast feature from iTunes to listen to a few podcasts, but I'm doing most of my listening on Audible. I was actually an Audible listener a few years back on my old Rio 500, but the iTunes integration really sold me. You download the Audible files using a small browser-helper application and they jump directly into iTunes from there.

Most recently I've been listening to the Ricky Gervais show, which is apparently the most successful podcast ever with about 250,000 downloads per show. Audible makes your subscriptions available via RSS (with Enclosures) so I just subscribe to those in iTunes and they just show up. The whole season is only $7 - I listen to this on the small flight to Seattle.

UPDATE: Doh! Al reminds me in the comments that the best part of signing up is the $100 OFF a new iPod.

I'm in the $14.95 a month "Gold" plan that gets me a free New York Times (or WSJ) subscription via podcast with one free book a month (and rollover). I used to get 2 free books a month, but I can't listen THAT fast. This plan is WAY better than the $9.95 plan, which only gives you 30% off. I'm all about free.

My favorite audiobooks:

Their list of compatible devices is pretty impressive. The current promo is two free books for a 30 day trial.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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King Kong - Dinosaur Chase Scene

April 2, '06 Comments [15] Posted in Movies
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We rented King Kong today, the 2005 version. I'm sitting here watching this and I just had to pause and take a moment to blog.

Folks have been saying that the dinosaur chase scene is amazing. Here's one:

The dinosaur chase scenes put Jurassic Park to shame. Halfway through the movie I commented to my friends that I thought this movie was redefining movies altogether.

I'll just say this one gets 5 stars and I'll definitely get the extended edition of this just so I can watch the dinosaur chase scene again and again.

Maybe I'm jaded, or have a sharp eye from working with graphics, but I'm been VERY disappointed with the lack of attention to detail in movie special effects over the last 4 or 5 years, while critics and the media heap on praise. What am I missing?

This chase scene looked like the actors were running on a treadmill and later pasted on the screen like paper dolls. It's clear an attempt was made to reconcile shadows and light sources, but several times shadows hit one character on entirely differnet sides than another. In one segment Jack Black slides down the side of a Brontosaur and hardly looks to be making contact. The little stow away runs along the edge of the cliff leaping over rocks that should be in his same position on the z-axis but are in totally different focus making the whole depth of field feel strange.

(In all the new Star Wars movies, tell me there were moments when it was clear the actors feet were never touching the computized ground. You think they'd at least let them leave footprints or something on Tatooine.)

End of rant. I guess it's just me and this is my secret shame.

I am wrong to thing that special effects are getting a little lazy? It's been 10 years since Jurassic Park and other than some fur effects (yawn) I'm not seeing what bars have been raised in the last decade (other than ticket prices).

Did you see King Kong? What did you think?

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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XHTML Validating HttpModule for ASP.NET 2

March 30, '06 Comments [4] Posted in ASP.NET | HttpHandler | HttpModule | Tools
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I just love the ASP.NET pipeline. It's so flexible. There's such power to be had when using HttpModules and HttpHandlers together. Here's a good example:

Josh Twist over at JoyOfCode has a "Validator Module" that sits at the very end of the HttpRequest and validates the page you just rendered as XHTML or not, then displays the detailed results. If you've ever found it a hassle to run XHTML validation on your site at runtime you should take a look at this clever idea. With tools like this ValidatorModule plus validation within Visual Studio.NET always improving as well as tools inside of FireFox to validate, there's fewer and fewer excuses to not render XHTML.

Try it out on Josh's site, pound on his demo, and leave him some feedback. You can add it to your .NET 2.0 applications without recompiling. He's also expressed that he could backport it to .NET 1.1 if there's demand.

Sigh, one day my site will be XHTML...until then, consider me transitional. Now, the real question, is it better to look good (render correctly) or feel good (be XHTML)?

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Type 1 Diabetes will likely be cured in my lifetime - and just in time

March 30, '06 Comments [4] Posted in Diabetes
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Thanks to EVERYONE who donated to this year's walk. We (you!) raised $10,000 in just 10 days. Amazing. I am in awe of you all and I thank you for what you've done. It WILL make a difference. Diabetic mice have just been cured, again, of Type 1 Diabetes:

Diabetes researchers have long known that the Type 1 form of the disease is caused when the immune system attacks insulin-secreting beta cells that reside in islets, round balls of cells, in the pancreas. And they realize that they have to stop that attack if they are ever to cure the disease.

"There are two possibilities," Dr. Buse said. "This treatment works for mice but no derivation of it will ever work for humans. Or this is the paradigm leap that is necessary to find the cure for Type 1 diabetes."

Maybe 5 years, 10, even 20, but I will not be diabetic in my retirement. Now I just need to stay healthy and side-effect free for the next big chunk of my life.

The Diabetes Walk isn't until May 6th, so please do continue to spread the good word about this fundraiser. Perhaps we'll hit $20,000?

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Ruby Birds of a Feather at TechEd 2006

March 30, '06 Comments [2] Posted in TechEd | Ruby | Speaking
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John Lam and I are hoping to host a Birds of a Feather on Ruby (and .NET) at TechEd 2006 this year. Head over to the BoF site and Vote for us!

If you read this blog, you like .NET already (or you're related to me). If you haven't dug into Ruby, what a great opportunity to do just that. Go vote for our BoF.

Consider John to be Ruby and me as the CLR and this BoF is the Ruby/CLR Bridge. :)

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.