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Fake Steve Oil Painting - Portrait

An artist named Nitrozac is auctioning an original oil painting of Fake Steve himself (not to be confused with the Real Steve). Pretty clever gimmick. I’ll be interested to see the final price.

See some of Nitrozac’s other Apple-related paintings.

[Via Ebay.ca]

Options: The Secret Life of Steve JobsNot sure when this went up, as I didn’t see any buzz when it was announced, but Fake Steve’s forthcoming book Options: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com.

Fake Steve, as you hopefully know, is the author of the wildly popular Secret Diary of Steve Jobs blog. The book was written prior to all the hubbub about the blog, and, as I understand it, is wholly original and separate from the blog. If it turns out to be even half as fun as the Secret Diary, it’ll be every geek’s favorite stocking stuffer this holiday season.

Options: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs will be published on October 8, 2007. The list price is $22.95 (Amazon priced at $15.61).

Even though I’ve slacked off on my own running regimen recently, I still love reading a good running blog… especially when the writer is using the Nike+iPod Sport Kit. Sarah writes the very inspirational Secret Housewife Does The Marathon blog. A recent entry ends with this:

“As I ran down my road I got a picture in my head of little old me running down the finishing stretch of the Mall, with all the crowds and other runners and I got a lump in my throat. Can I do this? I want to so much. It is the most determined I have ever felt about anything.”

iPlop for iPod and iPhone

I know I’m not the only one who likes to take the iPhone to bed (I’ve seen iJustine do it a time or two). It’s perfect for checking RSS feeds, Digg, and email before dozing off. The trouble is that I like to lay on my side while reading, and there’s just no comfortable way to hold or position the iPhone while doing so. Laying it flat on the bed makes for a very awkward viewing angle, and holding it upright in your hand gets tiring (especially at the end of a long day). I had resorted to making a small nest out of my sheets and blanket to help prop up my phone, but of course, as soon as I’d move the iPhone would tumble over.

Then, one day as I was stocking up on supplies at my local OfficeMax, I noticed a ridiculous ‘impulse buy’ item near the checkout line. It was called the iPlop: A small, squishy ball with a fake cell phone propped up in it. Just as I was thinking, “How low will a company go to capitalize on the iPod craze?” it hit me. This was exactly what I needed for bedtime iPhoning.

The $4.99 iPlop is a essentially a nylon beanbag about the size of a grapefruit. It comes in several solid colors and a few bright patterns. It’s very well made, with strong, tight stitching and a very satisfying “squish.” I’m not sure what sort of small beads are inside, but they’re soft and not at all noisy when squeezed.

iPlop and iPhone iPlop and iPhone

As as indicated by the name of the product, you just “plop” your phone or iPod down into it and you’re good to go. The iPlop envelopes it and holds it in place. Adjusting the angle of your device is as easy as re-plopping until you get it the way you like it.

In bed, the iPlop works exactly as I had imagined. It’s dead simple to adjust my iPhone to to the proper viewing angle. The only thing you need to be mindful of is keeping the “home” button unobstructed. The super-soft iPlop tends to curl up around the bottom edge of the phone.

I’m guessing that the iPlop would make a good desk accessory for the iPhone as well, if you don’t already keep your dock on your desk. Giving your iPhone a comfy chair to sit on seems much nicer than laying it down on a cold, hard desk.

I haven’t felt the need to accessorize my iPhone. No cases, holsters, or armbands really appeal to me. But, as embarrased as I am to write this: I love my iPlop.

Look for the iPlop at your local OfficeMax checkout line, or buy online from Senario.

Frisky Dingo: Season 2

Killface from Frisky Dingo

Set your Tivos: The second season of Cartoon Network’s wild and wonderful superhero saga Frisky Dingo begins tonight (or more precisely, tomorrow morning) at midnight. [The season 2 premiere is also posted on the Adult Swim website.] The New York Times ran a great review when the series premiered. In a nutshell:

“If the staplers in “The Office” were replaced by laser guns, and the sitcom were directed by Quentin Tarantino, the results would look a lot like “Frisky Dingo,” an outrageous animated series that makes its debut on the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim lineup tomorrow night.”


“But the appeal of ‘Dingo’ isn’t visual; it’s verbal, a delicious bricolage of corporate jargon and superhero clichés. When [super-villain] Killface isn’t killing, or threatening to, he’s complaining about office supplies (“Not a thing dry-erase about that,” he sighs, trying to smudge the writing on a white-board) or making magical discoveries, like the fact that PC stands for personal computer. “I just got that!” he says with childlike wonder.”


“‘Dingo’ (the name apparently means nothing here) plays with tone and audience expectations at every turn. The bad guy can be endearing; the good guy can be a horror. The violence makes the jokes funnier, and the jokes divorce the violence from a moral context. With a light comic touch, ‘Dingo’ expresses some terrifying truths about the corporate world. Not to worry, though. It’s just business.”

If you haven’t been following the story thus far, there’s still time to catch up; iTunes has the complete first season available to download (for the bargain price of $14.99). And with each episode clocking in at about eleven minutes, you’ll be able to make it through all thirteen episodes with time to spare. It should be noted that each episode is so densely packed with razor-sharp jokes and pop culture references, that watching them all back-to-back could be a mentally exhausting experience.

One of the things I love about Frisky Dingo is that the short format is perfect for watching on an iPod or iPhone. I’m not likely to sit down and watch a 30-minute sitcom, much less a full-length movie, on a hand-held device (unless I’m on an airplane). But eleven minutes is just the right length for a bus ride across town, or my afternoon coffee break at Peets. I’m in the process of collecting some of the other Adult Swim titles that follow the same brisk format. So far, I’m really enjoying Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law and look forward to digging into some Sealab 2021.

But for now, it’s all about Killface.

[Watch the Frisky Dingo pilot episode at AdultSwim.com]

I’m A Winner!

Jason at Webomatica recently held a “So Bad They’re Good” movie contest, asking readers to submit their favorite “bad” movies for him to review. I’ve been fascinated with bad cinema since I was a kid. The Golden Turkey Awards was a very influential book during my formative years (how disappointing that Michael Medved has turned out to be such a douche). Anyway, I had a pretty long list of favorites to narrow down. Luckily, Jason regularly writes about movies and music, and I knew he has a soft spot for the swinging 1960′s; and for outrageous 60′s badness, no movie swings harder (and misses more spectacularly) than the Russ Meyer/Roger Ebert classic Beyond The Valley of the Dolls. To make a long story short, Jason agreed, and I’m one $20 Amazon Gift Certificate richer. What a great excuse to buy the Beyond The Valley of the Dolls Soundtrack I’ve always wanted. Go me!

Lost In Translation?

iBeat Blaxx Mp3 player

Naming an mp3 player iBeat would be worthy of ridicule all by itself. But the good Germans at Trekstor went one better and named their new gadget iBeat Blaxx. How long before we see Bono’s more inclusive version, the iBeat U2?

More at Gizmodo and FSJ.

Even though I have an iPhone, and I have a blog, I’m really not inclined to write an in-depth review. I sat down yesterday and tried to figure out how I would structure one when it occurred to me that I was having too much fun with my iPhone to really analyze it properly. And time spent writing is time not spent playing with my new toy.

Lucky for us, just about every other technology website has been rolling out their exhaustive reviews. The one that comes closest to my feelings so far is Jeremy Horowitz’s iPhone review at iLounge. Be warned, the complete review is nine pages long, and a bit dry for my tastes. I have to admit that I was starting to doze off by page five, but maybe that’s because I’m already pretty familiar with the device and its features. But if you want a feature-by-feature rundown written by someone who knows his iPods, this is the review to read. Continue Reading »


Simpsons Kwik-E-Mart

I haven’t watched The Simpsons for years, but it still holds a special place in my heart. And as uninterested as I am in the upcoming Simpsons Movie, the photos of this 7-11 promotion make me want to jump into my car and drive down to Burbank. Tonight.

[Via Daring Fireball]

Here’s a great tip from MacRumors new iPhone blog:

One minor annoyance in iPhone’s Safari is that the URL bar scrolls off the top of the screen along with the rest of the page when you scroll down a web page. As a result, in order to enter a new url, you are required to scroll all the way back up before being able to enter a new address.

Forum member dharrison9 described a very useful tip to address this issue.
1. You’re at the bottom (or anywhere) of a webpage on your iPhone and want to go to the URL field.
2. Tap the top bar with the time and battery life indicator.
3. Boom! You’re at the URL entry field!

And I was just starting to get annoyed by having to manually scroll all the way up the page to get back to the address bar. See? Apple already thought that. Another example of why so much premature griping about the iPhone might be just that: premature.

Even if you hate the iPhone and everything it stands for, there seems to be one practical use for it that everybody can love… bargaining with your current cell phone company by threatening to buy one. Metafilter guy Matt Haughey bought an iPhone over the weekend, then called Verizon to cancel his current service. He knew it might get interesting, so he recorded the call. By telling them he had purchased an iPhone and wanted to cancel his service, he received some nice offers: A discounted smartphone, a free month of service, and in a last ditch effort, a large service fee reduction. Continue Reading »

Omnipresent blogroller Alex King is reporting that his iPhone continues to function as an iPod and wireless device despite having cancelled his AT&T phone plan. This is good news for people who can’t or don’t want to use AT&T as their cell phone carrier. You may want to wait a day or two before rushing out to the store, however. With AT&T’s recent (current?) backlog in their processing department, it may be that they just haven’t gotten around to disabling his phone yet. Continue Reading »

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