Once every four years, there’s a chance for the best of the best to compete for international acclaim and recognition. The competitors, who have spent their lives training for this moment, come prepared to put it all on the line.
That’s right, it’s the 2012 PC Building Olympics, held right here in the Maximum PC lab. This year we’ve put together a list of our 6 favorite events from the games—let us know if we missed your favorite.
Unless you've been intentionally cutting yourself off from mainstream movies and TV (and we wouldn't blame you if you had), you've probably become aware of the practice known as product placement--when companies pay money to have their product or brand featured in a movie or TV show.
Used judiciously, product placement can be a way for filmmakers to get a little extra cash and flesh out the realism of their world. It makes more sense to see characters at a bar drinking real brands of beer, after all. Unfortunately, Hollywood isn’t known for its subtlety, and product placement can all too often be jarring and obvious.
And, of course, tech brands are no stranger to this kind of advertising. We’ve put together a gallery of 15 of the most shameless, hamfisted instances of tech product placement in movies and TV shows. Check them out, then hit the comments and let us know what we missed.
Computers, like people, come in all shapes and sizes. Except you've never seen people who tip the scales at 200-plus tons. Or expand so radically they essentially cover the earth. Or shrink so small they're no longer visible.
For today we're going to look at the extremes. The smallest. The fattest. The most grandiose. And all things between—including a couple of quick jaunts down memory lane that'll have you pining for the innocent days of olde.
When we were kids, all we heard was how worthless video games were. "Those dopey things will rot your brain," was a favorite of my grandmother's, and even watching television was considered far more educational and intellectual than the mind-melting morass that was video games. Just how much I learned from reruns of Three's Company, The Dukes of Hazzard, and Magnum P.I. is debatable, but I can tell you, there are plenty of valuable life lessons I learned from video games.
Hollywood has always had a way with the OSes and UIs it shows on the big screen. Sometimes they're so far-fetched, all you can do is laugh, other times they're eerily accurate portrayals of future technology, and then there are the few that just make you jealous with envy. Here are a few of our favorites that Hollywood has given use, but give us some slack on what constitutes an OS or UI...Hollywood isn't always clear about that. Be sure to add your own in the comments, too.
I was minding my own business, happily writing a novel, not thinking beyond the needs of the story, when the following sentence suddenly occurred: “The Baby Cooper Dollar Bill, for example, was only fifty years old….”
I stared at the sentence for 15 seconds. I knew what it meant. The entire anecdote had flashed into my head simultaneous with the creation of that first ominous sentence. I typed, “The short version:” and began. 1741 words later, I had the longest paragraph I’d ever written.
And one of the most terrifying predictions I have ever written:
Mass bird-death incidents have plagued regions as diverse as Arkansas, Louisiana, Italy, and Sweden in the last five months. Scientists have yet to fully explain why thousands of dead blackbirds, starlings, and turtle doves have fallen from the sky, but now a more troubling bird-death phenomenon is occurring in Finland, and it isn’t just challenging experts for explanations—it’s causing real fear in the scientific community.
“To describe these birds as ‘angry’ would be a grave understatement,” says Hari Jokinen, senior director of the Helsinki Poultry and Livestock Commission. “These birds are intelligent and organized, and demonstrate a pathological obsession with murder-suicide. They’re committed to destroying our domestic swine population, and they’re willing to sacrifice their own lives—and the lives of their unborn chicks—in their quest for blood.”
What’s more ridiculous than a “moustaches of the world” app? A certain Redmond software giant hopes your answer to that is “the Apple App Store”. The new ad for Windows Marketplace pokes a bit of fun at Apple and their App Store. Microsoft is obviously of the opinion that there’s a lot of junk in Apple’s App store, and their approval process is terrible. While they may be right, will people get the joke?
The two fellows in the ad give the viewer a tour of rejected Windows Marketplace apps. They’re all pretty awful, but at least they weren’t approved. They mention at the end of the video that the apps that made it through the approval process would be pretty great. Since they’re both wearing lab coats, you should probably believe them.
Even with the App Store’s flaws, the Windows Marketplace has a lot of catching up to do. This ad probably isn’t going to help them win mindshare. Do you think the ad is effective, or does it just come off as a random collection of gags?
We cubicle warriors have it pretty easy – spending all day surfing the internet and filing TPS reports is easy on our puny man-child bodies. But lurking workplace hazards still threaten our nerdy well being. At least, that’s how MacLife sees it. Our sister publication calls out 10 startling office space threats and prescribes safety tips to avoid an encounter with the Aflac insurance duck. From poking your eyes out with lasers to blanketing your keyboard with delicious Cheeto dust, MacLife’s fear-mongering feature is a worthwhile read for any student of geeky office culture. With so much danger ready to strike any moment, we nerds might even need our own workplace safety video (NSFW).