Archive for October, 2010


Wow, it’s almost November.  The days are getting shorter, there is a chill in the air and before you know it the year will be over.  Halloween is this weekend and I will be kickin’ it on the beach reading and watchin’ the waves.  Three important things I’ve learned this week, Brett Favre is a scumbag, NFL officials are indeed blind or biased and Charlie Sheen really knows how to party.  Let jump right into the biggest news of the week.

New Star Wars Movies Planned
Yes you read that right.  Sources at Lucasfilm have told IESB that George Lucas, apparently bit by the creative bug as he prepares the first six movies for 3D re-release, is wanting three new Star Wars movies.  There are few details and what is being said is only “rumor” and denied by Lucasfilm.  That being said, they have done this before when rumors of the 3D release hit several months ago.  The new movies would take place after the events in Return of the Jedi but have nothing to do with the live action television series in development.  We could see the new films after the release of the 3D versions of the saga, sometime around 2016.  It has long been rumored that Lucas had originally planned for nine films, a rumor which he denied.  Let’s hope that this go around goes better than Episodes 1 through 3.  You can read all about it at IESB.

Tech Nerd

Sony Retires the Walkman
Just a year after celebrating its 30th anniversary, Sony has announced that it is putting the Walkman out to pasture.  The popular brand of music player which still uses cassette tapes is being retired by Sony which its release said that no new units have been made since April.  The device which is apparently still popular in Japan outsold the iPod in August.  You can read more about it at Geeks Are Sexy.

Download Your Personal Info From Facebook
Facebook has recently added a feature to let you download all of your data off their site.  But their process doesn’t cover 100% of data you might think is important.  Courtesy of Lifehacker, how to download those “missing pieces” of your data.

Upgrade Your DSL
As far as DSL is concerned, hate it.  Tried it once, didn’t like it, had nothing but problems with it and the ISP in question lied to me about the overall performance.  I switched back to cable and I am happy with it until a faster, more reliable alternative comes along.  But those of you who are happy with or have no other choice than DSL, here is a nice little how-to to help you get a better connection.  Check it out at MPC.

How To Crack A WEP Password
I should have called this section Hacker Nerd, based on these next two articles.  If you are using WEP encryption on your Wi-Fi network then stop.  WEP is easily hacked and who knows what can happen once someone hacks your Wi-Fi network.  But if you’re interested just how hacking a WEP password is done and how easy it can be accomplished, check out this article at Lifehacker, then go change your encryption.

Learn To Pick Locks For Fun
Picking locks is one of those super spy things I’ve always wanted to know how to do.  It always seems so easy in movies and television shows.  It is indeed an art form and one that you too can learn and impress your friends by breaking into their homes.  Once again from Lifehacker, this article is more to show you how to increase security rather than prepare you for a life of crime.

Eliminate Common Computer Annoyances
From the hallowed halls of Maximum PC, five freeware apps that help you avoid those common annoyances and help you with mundane tasks.  Check out the full list here.

Boost BitTorrent Speed and Privacy
If you’re a regular user of BitTorrents then you probably know these little tricks.  But those who don’t use them or are new to the world of the torrent, then this article from Lifehacker is essential to your downloading survival.  Okay maybe not that serious, but they are helpful hints and good practices to live by.  Check out the full article here.

Windows 7 SP1 RC Available
Although I would advise most users against it, if you just can’t wait for the final release, the release candidate for Windows 7 service pack one is available for download.  The pack mostly consists of OS updates you’ve probably already have; but it does contain RemoteFX.  According to a release from Microsoft, “RemoteFX can be deployed to a range of thick and thin client devices, enabling cost-effective, local-like access to graphics-intensive applications. RemoteFX also supports a broad array of USB peripherals to improve the productivity of users of virtual desktops.”  You can read the FAQ sheet and download the pack here.

7 Top Tier Routers Reviewed
Leave it to the tech gods at Maximum PC to deliver another stellar review of the top tier routers.  Check out the full review of all seven routers here.

Flash Attack Credit Card Scam Nets Big Bucks
Now why can’t I hear about these brilliant credit card scams before they go public and everyone finds out.  I’ve been racking my brain for months on ways to supplement my retirement.  Or better yet, retire early, buy a small island someplace warm and change my name to Mr. Pago Pago.  Anyway, here is another scam that credit and debit card users should be aware of.  Check more about it at The Register.

How-To Nerd

In honor of Halloween or simply because they are tired of being so nice, the guys over at Lifehacker have declared it Evil Week.  All week they have provided a series of how-to tricks and tips that could be considered a little less than ethical.  Learn how to be a more effective liar, hack a PC, defeat Big Brother surveillance and manipulate people.  Check them all out and more here.

Escape Annoying Political Calls
The National Do Not Call Registry doesn’t cover political calls.  Here is a way to potentially get rid of those pesky automated political phone calls once and for all.  Check it out courtesy of Lifehacker.

TV Nerd

New Galactica Series Gets Green Light
What was intended as a series of webisodes is now a whole new series for SyFy.  Blood and Chrome is set in between Caprica and Battlestar Galactica; ten years into the first Cylon War.  It follows a young William Adam on his first missions aboard the brand new Battlestar Galactica.  The series is just into development, so there is no word on casting or a potential air date.  This may be bad news for Caprica which has been struggling recently for ratings.  You can read more about it at Blastr.

Badler On for Full Second Season of ‘V’
The original reptilian bitch you loved to hate Jane Badler has been confirmed for the entire second season of ‘V’.  Originally signed for only four episodes, Badler is playing Diana, the mother of the queen alien visitor Anna played by Morena Baccarin.  Source: TV Guide     

Movie Nerd

Top Gun Sequel Confirmed
What started out as a goof to me now seems to have some legitimacy.  Director Tony Scott has indeed confirmed that Top Gun 2 is being made.  Scott said that this will not be a reinvention of the first movie; but a new movie.  You can read more about it at Hitflix.

Liam Neeson Replaces Mel Gibson in Hangover 2
Due to objections from the cast and crew, Mel Gibson’s cameo in The Hangover 2 will be done by A-Team star Liam Neeson.  It seems a good majority working on the movie had a problem with the casting of Gibson in light of his recent troubles.  Many people are having a hard time believing they weren’t comfortable having Gibson around when in the first film there was a cameo of Mike Tyson, a convicted rapist.  Goes to show you people in Hollywood are insane.  You can read more about it at Variety.

New Transformers Footage Being Revealed Tonight
Entertainment Tonight is featuring behind the scenes footage from Transformers: The Dark of the Moon.  Along with the new footage, a peek at the logo for the movie which will air on Thursday night’s 10/28 edition of ET.  Check out a promo and more at Geektyrant.

No Khan In Star Trek XII
While it has been said that we won’t see Khan in the new Star Trek film, sources are saying that a classic Trek character will appear.  The rumors are running wild through the Internet on just who or what that character might be.  Some are saying it will be a Vulcan female previously seen; but “the source” has leaked some potential names like Gary Mitchell, Harry Mudd, Trelane, the Horta and Talosians.  The unnamed source would not confirm anything, but did hint that it would be one of the names mentioned.  Now based on my extensive knowledge of Star Trek and what has happened so far in the first film, it would not surprise me if it was either Gary Mitchell or the Talosians.  You can read more about it at Empire.

New Batman 3 Details
It’s hard to get anything out of Christopher Nolan about the new Batman film.  But in an interview with Hero Complex, Nolan did confirm two very important things.  First off, the title will be The Dark Knight Rises, corny but okay I can live with it.  The second being the villain will not be The Riddler.  I posted last week that Tom Hardy had been cast in the film, but it was not yet known who he might play; that answer is still up in the air.  There is some writer speculation that Harvey Dent might make a return.  Nolan also stated his desire to not film in the movie in 3D.  You can read all about it at Hero Complex.

Avatar Sequels Are Go
James Cameron has confirmed that the sequels to the highest grossing movie of all time Avatar have been green lit and are headed to production.  Cameron is hoping to shoot the two films back to back and is eying release dates around December 2014 and 2015.  Read more about it at The Hollywood Reporter.

Flash Movie Updates
Now that writer Marc Guggenheim has finished Green Lantern, he has moved on to The Flash.  Guggenheim revealed in a recent interview that his script for The Flash is actually three movies in one.  You can read more about it and watch the video interview at IESB.  And in other Flash movie news, Star Trek star Chris Pine is rumored to be in the running to play the lead.  Another name attached to the film is Bradley Cooper who has denied the rumor he’s being considered.  Read more about it at Screenrant.

Gadget Nerd

PlayStation Phone No Longer A Rumor
Sony Ericsson has given us a sneak peek at their new PlayStation phone.  Among it’s many features that will be of interest to PlayStation fans this new device will run on the Android 3.0 OS.  You can see more for yourself at Engadget.

More Gaming Headsets from Sennheiser
Sennheiser is expanding on it’s quality high end line of PC 360 gaming headphones.  The new PC 136D, PC 333 and PC 360 G4ME feature virtual 7.1 channel and 360 degree audio.  The PC 360 also features closed acoustics with a flip design similar to DJ headsets.  You can see more of this beauties and get yourself a pair which are available now at the Sennheiser website.

Razer Anansi MMO Gaming Keyboard
You got to love those guys at Razer.  Their stuff is usually overpriced in my opinion, but they seem to have their thumb on the pulse of what gamers want.  Their apparent total commitment to gaming as produced the Anansi MMO keyboard.  Designed for use with (you guessed it) MMO games, this little gem sports seven thumb modifier keys, over 100 programmable Hyperesponse keys with on the fly macro recording and 16 million color backlight illumination.  It even has a feature to let you disable the Windows key while gaming, how’s that for attention to detail?  You can read more about it at Engadget.

Gaming Nerd

PC Gaming Declared Dead…Again
The debate continues whether PC gaming has given up the ghost.  I’ve been hearing it for years and although I have two different gaming consoles, I still own a lot more PC games and play them much more.  Rob Pardo of Blizzard Entertainment tries to set the record straight once again to help end the debate.  You can read all about it at MPC.

Diablo 3 Preview
I have been waiting for Diablo 3 forever and now it is finally coming.  Blizzard loves to make us gamers wait for stuff, but in this case the wait might have been worth it.  For those not familiar with the Diablo games, just think of it as World of Warcraft, only free to play and much, much more awesome.  G4 has a preview to this long awaited next installment from BlizzCon.  Check it out here.

36 WoW Accounts
I found this while looking for images for this post.  Now the story itself is nearly two years old, but I have a hunch that this guy is still going strong.  He has 36 World of Warcraft accounts that he plays on 11 computers at the same time.  He goes on raids by himself, and his 35 other characters I imagine.  I don’t know if this is sad or simply awesome, but I am leaning toward awesome.  Read more about it here and be sure to click on the image of his set up, you got to see it full size to really grasp the scope.

Pure Nerd

Mac To PC
Now I have heard and even witnessed the reverse of this, people abandoning their PC for a Mac.  One of my close friends practically turned his entire household Apple.  Now I will admit that Apple makes great products, but I have been and probably always will be PC.  In this really great article from Geeks Are Sexy, the writer explains the transition from one platform to the other.

The Doctor May Get to Live Forever
I am sad to say that I haven’t been excited about Doctor Who since Tom Baker left the series back in the 80s.  I am one of those fans who believe that he can only regenerate 12 times.  A recent development in the series has thrown a great big sonic screwdriver into the works.  Read all about it at Blastr.

Battle Droid Seen On TNG
So did Star Trek steal from Star Wars or the other way around.  Given the approximate date the episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation aired and the date of Star Wars Episode 1, I think the guys over at Lucasfilm stole some design ideas.  But given the fact that ILM worked on the special effects of both, who’s to say.  Check it out at Blastr and make up your own mind.  For the record, along with Jar Jar, the battle droid was dumbest idea…ever!

Best Halloween Costume Ever
So if you’re looking for that last minute awesome looking Halloween costume I have a couple of suggestions.  Slave Leia is always a good choice and it is always a crowd pleaser.  Then again a terminator is a really cool option and if done right it’s a sure one to win that big costume contest.  So which one should you pick?  Sexy Slave Leia?  Awesome cyborg terminator?  Hey, why not both?  Click here.

WOW Creators Get Out-Geeked
This is a perfect example of having your ass handed to you in a room full of nerds.  One piece of advice for anyone involved in anything as popular as World of Warcraft.  The fans are ravenous and if you are going in front of them for a Q&A at BlizzCon, you better have your shit together.  Check out the video at Topless Robot.

Imperial March by Beethoven
Pianist Richard Grayson (not that one) plays a seven minute rendition of the Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back in the style of Beethoven.  It is really quite brilliant and remarkably good, worth listening to the end.  Check it out here.

Poll Results
In last week’s poll, you voted on the most anticipated 2011 summer movie.  The results are in and we have a three way tie between Green Lantern, Thor and Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2.  Thanks to everyone who voted and keep an eye out for more polls coming soon.

Photo of the Week

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I have had my hands inside hundreds of different computer cases over the years.  Some of them have been a delight to work with, while others have presented themselves as death traps that even Indiana Jones couldn’t find his way out of.  Every one presents its own unique challenge to work with because sadly I have yet to find the perfect PC case.  Any case you look at will have something you don’t like about it that makes it a pain to work with.

The particular thorn in my side that prompted the writing of this post, the Dell Optiplex 960 mini-tower.  See image below.

The engineer at Dell who designed this case should be taken into a dark room and beaten with a sock filled with rolls of quarters.  The first challenge to this is opening the card retention latch that holds the expansion slot covers in place.  I now have a permanent scar on my left thumb from the multiple cuts and scrapes I’ve received from trying to open this “easy to access” cover.  Once opened, the expansion slot covers immediately either fall out completely or partially making it necessary to put them all back into place.  If you’re unfortunate enough to work in this case with it oriented upright, you can guarantee the slot covers will all fall out and then you are treated to a hell of a hard time getting them all put back in.  A task I compare with having to put an octopus into a plastic bag.

Although Dell has gotten better in the past few years with their case designs, I think they need to go back to the drawing boards with this one.  What I think the engineers and designers at Dell fail to realize is in their effort to make their product aesthetically pleasing, they make it difficult for techs to work on them.  And it’s just not Dell that has this problem, all the major PC manufacturers suffer issues with easy to access cases.  Unless you’re buying a custom rig with your choice of case, components, etc., then you’re rolling the dice if you ever plan to open up your box and work on it yourself.  Still, for all it’s faults Dell does put together some pretty decent rigs.  I just wish they’d take us lowly technicians into account before they come up with these crazy designs.  Those of you who have worked on PCs a while will remember this little pain in the ass.

After taking an unannounced week off, I am back with this week’s edition of The Word.  I apologize to everyone for my absence; it couldn’t be helped.  Let’s skip all the witty banter and get right into this week’s edition of The Word.

Tech Nerd

Gene Simmons Can Kiss It
A group of hackers, displeased with Kiss frontman Gene Simmons’ comments on illegal file sharers have struck at two of Simmons’ websites.  The sites were brought down entirely and there is no word yet as to their status.  The group of hackers called Anonymous were a little upset about Simmons comments, “Make sure your brand is protected.  Make sure there are no incursions.  Be litigious.  Sue everybody.  Take their homes, their cars.  Don’t let anybody cross that line.”  You can read more of the article here.

Thief Returns Data From Stolen Laptop
A Swedish professor was delighted after having his laptop stolen to find the thief returned his data backed up on a flash drive.  Talk about a crook with a conscience.  The thief stole a backpack belonging to the professor but shortly returned it minus the laptop that was inside.  The professor was stunned when a week later, the documents and other personal data was also returned to him on a USB flash drive.  You can read more about it here.


Free Public Wi-Fi Isn’t What It Seems
We’ve all seen it; that free public Wi-Fi network.  But in this article from NPR, it isn’t what it seems and you should to weary when trying to use it.

Nvidia Releases 260.89 GeForce Drivers
Nvidia has released the latest drivers for their GeForce model video cards.  If you don’t updated your video drivers regularly and you should be; now is your chance to get the latest and greatest for your Nvidia hardware.  You can read more about it here and download the new drivers here.

Hacker Goes After Torrent Sites
Hosting provider Reality Check Network which hosts several popular torrent sites was compromised by a hacker attack this past Saturday morning.  The attack corrupted the Master Boot Records (MBR) of several servers which has caused significant downtime for the torrent sites.  You can read more about it here.

Dirty PCs
If your PC looks anything like one of these, you need to unplug it and throw it away because you do not deserve to own a computer.  Hopefully you don’t have a weak stomach because some of these are just nasty.  Check it out here.

Alternative To Best Buy Warranties
I talk a lot of shit about Best Buy and Geek Squad.  Contrary to popular belief I don’t hate Best Buy; I actually shop there a lot.  I just don’t trust them when it comes to warranties and their support practices.  But that is a blog for another time.  A former Geek Squad employee talks about another choice than the extended warranties offered by Best Buy.  You can read more about it here.

Choose Strong Passwords You Can Remember
Your password is the first line of defense when it comes to keeping your PC and personal data secure.  Using a strong password of at least ten characters including upper and lower case letters, numbers and punctuation is recommended.  Here is a video to help you choose and remember your passwords.

IKEA Hack of the Week
Build your own CPU cabinet using an IKEA filing cabinet.  Check out this nifty how-to here.

Over 2 Million PCs Caught in Botnets
A botnet is a network of infected computers or zombies as they are called used by cybercriminals to launch viruses, spam and phishing attacks on other computers on the Internet.  Nearly 6 of every 1000 PCs in the US were recruited into botnets in the second quarter of 2010 according to the latest Security Intelligence Report from Microsoft.  Go and read more about it here.

Lessons I Learned When My Laptop Was Stolen
Heed these lessons learned from the writer of this article so you won’t suffer the same fate.  Sometimes we’re so wrapped up in keeping our equipment safe from electronic intrusion, we forget to properly secure it from being stolen.  Check out this very informative article here.

China To Crack Down On Pirated Media
In this week’s biggest example of irony China’s Premier Wen Jiabao said that their goal is to curb the import and export of pirated software and other media.  Yeah you read that right, China wants to crack down on pirated media.  I’m sorry, I thought that’s where most of the pirated media comes from.  You can read more about it and hopefully keep from laughing here.

Pure Nerd

Enterprise Seen On BSG
It seems the USS Enterprise was among the handful of ships to survive the attack on the twelve colonies.  Those cheeky devils cleverly slipped the Enterprise into one of the final shots of the original Battlestar Galactica remake mini-series.  You can catch a glimpse of the effects shot here.


Wal-Mart the New Galactic Empire
See for yourself the irony of the situation.  Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.  I wonder if there was a Sams Club on the Death Star.  Check it out here.

Marvel Heroes in the TRON World
Here’s what 10 of Marvel’s heroes would look like re-imagined into the world of TRON.  They are really cool, click here to check them out.

Steampunk R2-D2
Personally I don’t get the whole steampunk thing, but as a nerd I don’t judge those who are into it; nerds don’t judge other nerds.  There is however a few things that appeal to even this nerd.  Check out the full size image here.

32 Reasons Why I Want to Work at Google
With Microsoft employees soon having to help pay for their health insurance, it makes working someplace else all the more appealing.  Here are 32 pics of just how awesome it must be to work at Google.  You look at the pics while I go update my resume.

Rare Pics From The Empire Strikes Back
It’s hard to believe it’s been 30 years since the premiere of The Empire Strikes Back and long before George Lucas practically ruined the franchise.  Check out some behind the scene images that were included in the book The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

Haynes Enterprise Manual
Ever wonder how Scotty knew everything there was to know about the Enterprise?  Simple, he had one of these babies; the Haynes Enterprise Manual.  The manual contains cutaway illustrations and technical information from the NX-01 all the way to NCC-1701-E.  You can read more about it here and order a copy here.

Movie Nerd

Top Gun Sequel In the Works
In spite of it being one of my favorite movies from the 80s and my inspiration for joining the military, I’m not real sure I like the idea of a Top Gun sequel.  Paramount has approached Jerry Bruckheimer and Tony Scott about a potential sequel to the 1986 hit.  It is also being reported that Tom Cruise is on board to reprise the role of Maverick.  Read more about it at Vulture.

Autobots Exiled from US and Plot Synopsis
Major spoiler alert from the set of Transformers 3.  A news report that was being filmed for the movie clearly states that the United States government was expelling the Autobots from American soil.  This is an interesting turns of events that I’m sure plays heavily into the plot of the movie.  To read more and watch a view of the scene being filmed, click here.  You can also read the now official plot synopsis here.

Superman Updates
Filming has not yet begun on Zack Snyder’s reboot of Superman, but the speculation mill is in overdrive.  According to sources, Snyder is still undecided whether he will shoot the film in 3D; but has confirmed that this movie will have nothing to do with the previous films.  But to add a bit of continuity to the series, Snyder said that Brandon Routh is still in the running to play Superman.  General Zod is likely to be the villain however that too is unconfirmed.  You can read more about it here.

DC to Marvel: Our heroes are better than yours
DC Comics took to bashing Marvel in their attempts to explain why there won’t be a Justice League movie.  What do you mean there won’t ever be a Justice League movie?  “I think our characters are bigger than Marvel’s,” said Geoff Johns DC’s chief creative officer.  Nothing like thinking too highly of yourself and your product.  Even though I am a die hard DC fan, I think they are passing up a potential money making machine by not teaming up for a Justice League film.  DC and Warner Bros. need to wake up and listen to the fans.  We want a Justice League movie!  You can read more about it here.

SHIELD Helicarrier Concept Art
One of the coolest things I’ve liked about SHIELD and The Avengers were the helicarriers.  I was hoping they would be in Iron Man 2, but it turns out they were being saved for The Avengers movie.  You can see concept art recently released here.

Hardy Confirmed For Batman 3
Tom Hardy, who is probably best known to Star Trek fans as Shinzon from Star Trek: Nemesis and appeared recently in Inception has signed on for Batman 3.  It is still unknown what part Hardy will play, but Internet rumors are pointing at The Riddler.  There are also rumors that it could be Killer Croc.  You can read more about it here.

The TNG Movie That Never Was
There were only four lights, but there would have been five movies.  Sir Patrick Stewart recently discussed a fifth Next Generation movie that was to be made after Nemesis, but never saw the light of day.  The film was to have been a “real farewell” to the Next Gen cast but was scrapped by the studio due to “franchise fatigue”.  You can read more about it here

TV Nerd

New Hulk Series in Development
ABC is planning a new live action series based on The Incredible Hulk.  The original series on CBS ran for five seasons and was a big hit for the network and for Marvel.  Let’s hope that ABC can capture that same magic.  There are few details at this point other than the series is in development.  Stan Lee has given the new series his blessing.  You can read more about it here.

ABC Shortens V Episode Order
Potential bad news for V fans.  ABC has cut its order of episodes of season two from 13 to 10.  It’s not known whether this is bad for the upcoming season or not, but it can’t be good.  I watched all of the first season and even though it got much better towards the end, I am not 100% caught up in it yet.  The new season begins January 4 following No Ordinary Family.  You can read more about it at Deadline.

Green Lantern Animated Series Coming
Oh yes you read that right, Green Lantern is getting his own animated series on Cartoon Network.  Attendees of NYCC were treated to a few short minutes of test footage of the new series.  The bootleg video might still be out there if you want to see it.  It’s still over a year away as to not interfere with the live action movie, but look for it sometime around November 2011.  Read more about it here and here.

Gadget Nerd

The Ultimate Joystick With the Ultimate Price
You might want to start saving your lunch money if you want to buy one of these jewels from Thrustmaster.  The Hotas Warthog is designed to imitate the flight controls of the A-10C attack fighter and boasts 55 fully programmable buttons and 2 four-way hat switches.  It’s nearly all metal construction helps it weigh in at 6.5kg and carries a price tag of $499.99.  You can read more about it here.

3TB Western Digital Hard Drive Ships
From the ultimate joystick to the ultimate hard drive.  Western Digital has shipped the first 3TB internal hard drive.  In spite of the PC limitation of 2.19TB partitions, the drives come with Western Digital’s Advanced Host Controller (AHCI)-compliant Host Bus Adapter which will help you boot from the drive without any advanced configurations or additional software.  You can read more about it here and a benchmark review here.

Razer Ironclad Mousepad
While you’re shelling out big bucks for a joystick you might as well shell out a few more for Razer’s Ironclad mousepad.  This thing will set you back $60 and is one of the largest mousepads I’ve seen.  Measuring out at 12.6 inches by 10.6 inches, it should give you plenty of room to move around on.  Made from finely sandblasted anodized aluminum it should be the last mousepad you ever buy, at least for the price it should be.  You can a better look and order your own here.

Gaming Nerd

Xbox.com Gets Major Update
Microsoft has given the Xbox website a welcomed overhaul.  Among the updates, a browser based avatar editing tool and combining messaging, game and friend requests.  The update was scheduled for 2am October 20 when the site went down for the upgrade.  As of 1:30pm EST on 10/20, they were still ironing out a few wrinkles.  You can read more about it here.

Day of Action for Video Game Voters
As the Supreme Court prepares to make a ruling that will decide your rights as consumers, I urge everyone who is able to vote to help make your voice heard.  Protect our First Amendment rights by going here and take a stand against government censorship.  Video games should be protected under the First Amendment as other forms of entertainment.

Blizzard Goes Overboard On Cheating Bans
In a previous post I commended Blizzard for handing out bans to players caught cheating online in Starcraft II.  Well it seems all that power may have gone to their heads over at Blizzard turning them into gaming Nazis.  They are now banning players found cheating in the single player mode of the game.  Now come on, who is that really hurting?  I hate an online cheater because it takes away from the enjoyment of the other players, but cheating at single player is only cheating yourself.  Maybe the folks at Blizzard need to back up and think just a bit more.  You can read more about it here.

Why The Gaming World Is Better Than The Real World
Sometimes it’s just easier/better/more fun/more exciting, the list goes on and on.  Whether that’s where all our friends are or we’re just there for an escape from the real world, we love to immerse ourselves into the virtual world gaming provides.  Here is a great article about why we gamers prefer our virtual existence to our real one.  Check it out courtesy of Back2Gaming.

Photo Of The Week

The Nerd says, “I play Klingon Boggle every Wednesday night with my closest friends.”

The fans have spoken and Christian Bale has won the Who’s The Best Batman poll.  Val Kilmer and Kevin Conroy were tied for second.  Thanks to all who voted.

Is the Dream Really Over?

Microsoft employees found out Friday of last week in a town hall type meeting that starting in 2013 they will have to start contributing to their healthcare plans.

So based on that little tidbit of info, is the dream over for Microsoft employees?  Most IT professionals consider Microsoft as a top tier company with benefits and other perks to die for.  I for one have always dreamed of working at Microsoft, but as one employee posted on Mini Microsoft blog, “Microsoft now looks ordinary to me”.  Has this move changed people’s perspective and opinion of the company?

Speaking from experience of working for an organization that provided better than average health benefits that just recently pulled the rug from beneath its employees with barely adequate benefits; I feel for Microsoft employees.  It is not yet known just how much they will have to pay out of pocket, but in these tough economic times any amount could be substantial for many employees.  Those who also cover spouses and/or children will be especially hard hit because cost can double or even triple to cover families.

So what could this be a sign of?  It could be that Microsoft is losing the battle and on it’s way out.  However unlikely that could be there seems to be blood in the water and the sharks are starting to circle.  With its stocks being downgraded and Steve Ballmer having his bonus capped, there seems to be trouble in paradise.  Microsoft employees could be easily led away by other companies offering better benefits and that could spell potential trouble.  The economic troubles we’ve faced in these past few years have affected everyone and even the might Microsoft giant was not immune.  Employee retention will suffer as more and more employees weigh their options when it comes to paying anything out of pocket for health insurance.

Or could it be a sign of the direction the US as a whole is headed?  Healthcare costs in this country have skyrocketed over the past decade with no signs of letting up.  On top of the economic problems that makes making ends meet a tough challenge for households.  So you have to give Microsoft credit for holding out this long.  The funny thing is about health benefits as much like sales tax hikes, they very seldom ever get better or go away once your employer is forced to lower them.

One thing you can give Microsoft kudos for is that there seems to be no plans to eliminate the endless supply of free sodas offered to it’s employees.

Surf Porn At Your Own Risk

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There has been so much movie, TV, comic and other news out there it seems I have been distracted from bringing you topics this blog was based on; which is help you with your PC.  So ladies, I apologize but this one is mainly for the guys.  So this post blog isn’t going to be filled with flashy pictures and links to other sites.  Today it’s just me giving you some tips and trying to help.

You’ve done it, I’ve done it, nearly everyone has either inadvertently or purposely landed on a porn site.  It’s one of the biggest money makers on the Internet so there are millions of them out there.  Some are legit or as legit as pornography can get; while others are just breeding grounds for malicious activity.  Let’s face it, there is big money in pornography and as long as men are men, we’re going to go to one at some point.  If you’re a frequent visitor to those types of sites you are playing Russian roulette with the safety of your PC.  Surf at your own risk, but there are some things you can do to help protect yourself.

     1.  Invest either time and/or money in a good anti-virus software.  This is probable most crucial since most “casual” users use the anti-virus package that came with the PC.  This can be a costly mistake if you haven’t renewed the trial license and your PC is no longer being protected.  There are free or inexpensive packages out there that are highly rated and will do the job shielding you from viruses.

     2.  Anti-spyware is essential to keeping your PC free of unwanted intrusion.  Most anti-virus packages have an anti-spyware of some sort built into them.  But for added protection, it is always prudent to install at least one or two others.  The next biggest thing is to use them.  Scan your PC on a regular basis for spyware and viruses.  You can either schedule the scan during a time when you don’t use your PC or you can run the scan yourself.  The main thing is to do it more often that just once a month or more.  Usually once a week is a good idea.

     3.  Know your PC.  This is where most often users get fooled into thinking they have been infected with something.  There are a lot of worms and trojans that disguise themselves as legitimate software warnings that pop up on your screen when you’re on the Internet.  The user thinks it’s an anti-virus or some other software warning and clicks to allow a scan to take place.  That’s when they have you; you just gave permission for the worm or trojan to be installed on your PC.  Knowing your PC and what software you have on it is important to avoid situations like that.  A good rule of thumb if you’re not sure of a warning message that appears, especially when you’re on the Internet is to close as many programs and windows you might have running as you can, but avoid clicking anywhere on the suspected window.  Reboot your PC and see if the warning comes back.  If it does you may either be infected or have some other legitimate OS or software problem.

     4.  Probably the best way to avoid potential issues is to stay away from pornography websites.  But the truth is that any website can be compromised into carrying some type of malicious code that infects visitors.  So even if you don’t go to adult websites, you can just as easily get attacked on some other popular site.  The key is to protect yourself before there is a problem.  As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.  Once your PC is compromised, the damage can be irreparable and oftentimes costly.  A lot more can happen than just losing your favorite receipts or family photos.  Your banking and other personal information can be stolen and used for identity theft.  You can get firewall and other programs that will block you from being able to go to porn sites.  If you have kids you might want to think about limiting their access to certain types of sites.

So there are some tips to help you if you choose to steer through the murky waters adult websites.  If you have any questions or comments, please leave them for me and I will try to get back to you as soon as I can.   Check back soon for my upcoming post on preventative maintenance tips for your PC.  There will be tips, hints and links to help your exercise some of the things I’ve discussed in this post.  Until then, please surf smart and surf safe.

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Fall is finally here and it’s Thursday again!  Time sure does fly by.  Welcome to this week’s edition of The Word.  I have labored and sweat like a Breen in the Vulcan sun all week to bring you some of the best news and links from the world of the nerd.

Word of the Nerd is now on Facebook.  There is a link to the left of the blog to The Word’s FB page.  Check it out.  There will be daily updates of all the nerdtastic news you’ve come to expect from Word of the Nerd. 

A really big post this week and some big news breaking.  So as I battle seasonal allergies, let’s get to The Word for this first full week of October.

TV Nerd

Wonder Woman Series in Development
Writer/Producer David E. Kelley is working on bringing Wonder Woman to television.  Kelley, who’s responsible for other TV hits like Ally McBeal and The Practice has been approached to write and produce a series based on the Amazon princess.  It has yet to be pitched to any network, but if Kelley can work his magic the series could fill the gap left by Smallville when it ends its ten season run next year.  Deadline has full the story.

A-Team Creator Dies
Stephen J. Cannell, creator of shows like The A-Team, 21 Jump Street and The Greatest American hero died last Thursday at the age of 69.  His career in television spanned over forty years and included many very successful and acclaimed series.

George Lucas Gives Updates On Star Wars Series
The once thought dead live-action Star Wars TV series isn’t “all the way” dead just yet.  Creator George Lucas spoke with IGN to explain the status of the series and reasons for its delay.  The main reason being the cost to produce a series with effects worthy enough to put Lucas’ name on it.  You can read more about it and catch a view of the interview at ENI.

Movie Nerd

Zack Snyder To Direct Superman
This probably some of the best news I’ve heard all week.  Zack Snyder director of Watchmen and 300 is set to helm the new Superman movie.  It was announced earlier this week that he would be directing the project, with help from Christopher Nolen.  Snyder had previously turned down an offer to direct Superman Returns.  It is still a rumor, but the villain is said to be General Zod but no word on casting at this time.  Looks like they’ve finally decided to let Lex Luthor have a rest.  I cannot wait to see how Snyder will envision Superman.  You can read more about it at Heat Vision.  In addition, sources are saying that David Goyer’s script for the movie still needs “a lot of work” but may not get it due to time constraints on the studio.  More on that at IESB.

A Darker Script for Flash in the Works

With work already being done on Green Lantern 2, DC and Warner Bros. are turning attention to their next project, The Flash.  This has been on again off again for several years, with rumors of one star or another in the title role; but plans have always fallen through.  This time it looks like the Scarlett Speedster might finally make it to the big screen.  The word around the studio is saying we’re going to be getting a darker film more to the tune of The Dark Knight or Se7en.  I hope they don’t put Flash’s head in a box because I envy him.  HA!  Get it?  You can read more about it courtesy of SuperheroHype.

Deja-Vu for X-Men: First Class
It seems that X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn is recreating the opening scene from the first X-Men film shot for shot.  The scene details a young Magento being led through a Nazi concentration camp.  Which leads some to think that maybe this film is a prequel instead of a reboot.  Perhaps it’s too soon to tell but as this report from BleedingCool indicates, the movie is well into production.

Deadpool Movie Still On
When Ryan Reynolds accepted the role of Hal Jordan in Green Lantern, many fans thought that the possibility of a spin off movie of the his X-Men Origins: Wolverine character Deadpool wasn’t likely.  Reynolds is saying it’s still possible.  Read more about it here.

Transformers 3 “Best Yet”, says Cast & Crew
Shia LaBeouf said in a recent interview with MTV News that this third installment of the Transformers franchise is the best of the series.  Co-star Josh Duhamel after seeing 10 minutes of footage from the film said it was “pretty awesome”.  Both actors had very positive things to say about newcomer Rosie Huntington-Whiteley who is replacing Megan Fox.  Rosie will play Carly, the new love interest for LaBeouf’s character Sam Whitwickey.  Megan Fox left the series for still unconfirmed reasons.  Read more about it here.

Emma Stone Offered Role in Spider-Man
As reported last week, Emma Stone was one of the five finalists for the female lead in the new Spider-Man film.  It has been confirmed that Stone, has been offered the role of Gwen Stacy and not Mary Jane Watson.  So far no one has been chosen to play Mary Jane and may yet be offered to one of the four remaining contenders.  You can read the official press release at CBR.

Shuttle Discovery Get Role in Transformers 3
NASASpaceFlight.

Still Hope for More Stargate Movies
Fans who are still waiting for the two promised Stargate movies may have to wait a little longer.  Stargate: Revolution and Stargate: Extinction have been delayed due to changes in the direct-to-DVD market and a shake up at MGM studios.  The problems at MGM have delayed or killed a number of projects including the next Bond film.  Executive Producer Brad Wright says they are working with MGM on a plan B.  You can read more about it at Gateworld.

New Images from Thor
Empire has posted a few new images of the upcoming Thor movie.  Chris Hemsworth looks absolutely bad-ass as the God of Thunder.  Check out the images at SuperheroHype and ENI.

Green Lantern Website Launches
There’s nothing up on the site yet except the animated movie logo, but the official GL movie website is up and running.  Get to it here.

Transformers 3 Title Leaked?
Sources are saying that Amazon might have leaked the title of the new Transformers film.  Posted on its website are titles of three tie-in books with the title Transformers – The Dark of the Moon.  Sources also say that according to DomainTools, the domain Transformersthedarkofthemoon.com has been created.  Not so sure I am crazy about the title so hopefully the movie will help me forget about that.  You can read more about it at Seibertron.

Comic Nerd

Comic-Con To Stay In San Diego
As it is and ever should be, Comic-Con will remain in San Diego at least through 2015.  It was announced that the convention will stay in it’s original home for the last forty years.  Los Angeles and Anaheim also submitted bids for the Mecca of all things geek but lost out.  Read more about it here at G4.

Adult Stars and Their Comic Counterparts
Everyone has somebody famous they look like.  But it’s funny to see just how many porn stars there are that look like comic book characters.  Coincidence?  Check it out at Unreality.

Gaming Nerd

Blizzard Follows Through, Bans Cheaters
Bravo to you Blizzard for keeping your promise to crack down on online cheaters.  After issuing a warning a couple of weeks ago, Blizzard gave the boot to over 5000 users found to be cheating at Starcraft II.  I hope this serves as a warning to anyone else out there who thinks cheating will be tolerated.  No link, just good news.

72 Percent Of Adults In Favor Of Gaming Law
In another insane attempt to regulate common sense, California is trying to pass a law to make the sale of violent video games to minors illegal.  The fight is leading all the way to the Supreme Court after it was appealed after it’s signing.  I am in favor of not selling violent games to kids, that’s a given.  But to create a law around it is another attempt by the government to impose their sense of morality on the people.  Parents should be keeping a better eye of their kids if they are so concerned about it.  This is some more of Governor Schwarznegger’s lame attempts to get re-elected.  Read more about it at G4 and Common Sense Media.  There is also another great series of articles Video Games On Trial.

Parents Unaware of Kids Playing Online Games
This falls right into line with the previous story.  A study has revealed that most parents are unaware that their children are playing video games online.  The results show that 77 percent of Canadian children ages 6 to 17 play games online.  But only 5 percent of the parents know that their kids are online.  This is just insane, and no doubt the statistics are higher in the US.  Parents need to get the message; they should know what their kids are doing.  Read more about it at CNET and CBC.

Dedicated Servers For Black Ops
This is great news for COD fans.  In response to overwhelming criticism from users, Activision is going back to their policy of dedicated servers for the next installment of the Call of Duty franchise.  The only catch, and you knew there would be one is that users wishing to set up their own servers must use Gameservers.com.  Go read more about it at G4.

EA Folds, Takes Taliban Out of MOH
This saddens me just a little.  I am by no means pro-Taliban, but the decision by EA to remove the option to play as Taliban forces in the new Metal of Honor is only bowing to censorship.  I am sure no one at EA laughed manically as simulated Taliban fighters battled against US or other allied forces.  I respect the thoughts and feelings of soldiers and families of soldiers killed in action, but to place this out right censorship on a stupid video game is ludicrous.  Read more about it at Maximum PC.

What Type of Gamer Are You?
International Hobo has come up with a personality test to judge what type of gamer you are.  What types of challenges you look for in video games dictate the style of gamer you are.  You can read more about it and take the test yourself at BrainHex.

DC Universe Online Delayed
Sony released a statement Monday that the DC Universe MMO has been delayed until early 2011.  The good news is that there is time for you to get a beta key.  If you pre-order the game between now and November 15 you will be eligible for a key.  You can read more about it at SuperheroHype.

Tech Nerd

Build the Ultimate Gaming PC
I love Maximum PC.  I refer to it most often as the tech bible.  This week the gods of tech have blessed us with another one of their great how-to articles.  This one leads you step by step to build their ultimate gaming PC.  Whether you’re a fan of MPC or not, you gotta respect those guys, they know how to build a great rig.  Check out the full article here.

10 Things to Do with a New Windows 7 System
Courtesy of Lifehacker, 10 things to do with a new Windows 7 PC.  Some are geared for more tech minded users, but all are good suggestions and tips to keep in mind to help you get your PC running like a real power user.

New Worm Attacks Your Anti-Virus Software
McAfee is reporting a new worm that is spreading through email as seemingly harmless PDF files or other non-threatening attachments.  The worm is dependent on the user trying to go to the hyperlink embedded in the attached file in order to run.  Once there, the worm installs itself within the Windows directory and begins to send the infected email to all your email contacts.  As an added bonus, the worm attempts to disable any security or anti-virus software present.  Read more about it here.

US to Use Lasers to Thwart Iranian Navy
This is just plain cool, laser battles at sea.  Northrop Grumman is working on a rapid-fire laser cannon that will aid in the protection of the US Navy from possible swarming attacks of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard naval forces.  The cannon will be used to knock out the groups of flying “stealth” boats and attack craft used by the Iranian navy.  My question is when did those rock throwing savages in Iran get flying stealth boats?  Read more about it at The Register.

Anti-piracy Bill Put On Hold
A Senate bill designed to give the DOJ the power to shut down sites suspected of illegal file sharing was not passed as expected.  Legislators were hoping the bill would be rushed through before the Senate adjourned until after the November elections.  It was thought that the bill faced little opposition, but as it turns out there are plenty of people willing to speak out against it.  You can read more about it CNET.

Hot Laptops Can Cause Skin Condition
I knew it was only a matter of time before something like this would happen.  Along with getting brain tumors from cell phones, you can now develop a condition known as “toasted skin syndrome”.  Repeated exposure to heated objects like laptops and heating pads are known to cause the condition.  It usually looks like a reddish brown rash and is also known to lead to certain types of skin cancer.  You can read more about it here.

Windows Live Essentials Now Available for Download
Microsoft released the latest version of its suite of desktop tools.  It includes some useful and some not so useful apps from Windows Movie Maker to Windows Messenger.  It also has a tool to help compose and publish blog posts…how convenient.  Read more about it at Lifehacker.

VLC Comes to iPad
Remember VLC media player from part one of my series on MP3 apps?  It looks like those beautiful devils have release a version for Apple’s iPad.  Lifehacker has all the details.

Hidden Data Storage In Your Mouse
This is absolutely brilliant.  For the paranoid user in us all, detailed instructions on how to hide a USB storage device inside your mouse.  Check out the full article courtesy of Thice.nl.

While you’re making modifications to your mouse, why not try this little trick.  Add some USB ports to the inside of your mouse.  See for yourself at Stupid Hax.

Your Inkjet Printer is Hiding a Dirty Secret
A few weeks ago I posted an article about why printer ink is so expensive.  Here is another very good reason why and something the printer manufacturers don’t want you to know.  Check it out at YouTube.

Geek Squad Charging for Free PS3 Update
Best Buy is once again trying to rob their customers blind by charging $30 to install a free firmware update to the PS3 that my cat could figure out how to do.  Now I understand why they are doing it, because we live in a free market society and all of that; but this only goes to prove my point that I have tried to make here time and time again.  Why pay for something that you can do yourself?  Best Buy is trying to take advantage of their customers.  Read more about it at Maximum PC.

You May Not Own the Software You Purchased
Think you own that software you just bought?  A recent federal appeals court ruling may say otherwise.  Another case of the big guy trying to stick it to the little guy.  Read more about it at Maximum PC.

Pure Nerd


H2K2
Looks like someone has an unnatural fetish for Hello Kitty.  Poor little R2, he’s always getting the short end of the stick.  Check out H2K2 and a full gallery of other unholy conversions here.  The GL is kind of cool, minus the bow.

Where In the World is Jonathan Frakes?
Being cast in a Star Trek series is a blessing and a curse.  Actors are often typecast and once their tenure on Trek is over, many have trouble finding work.  Some go on to very successful endeavours afterward, some struggle.  Jonathan Frakes says it’s all about planning for the future.  Read more of his interview at TrekToday.

7 Reasons Lingerie Football is Better Than the NFL
Not knowing which category to actually place this link, this one seemed as good as anything else.  I don’t usually post stuff like this, but I found it rather humorous and the girls are hot too.  Check it out courtesy of HolyTaco.  Site is NSFW.

Klingon Opera
You knew it was coming sooner or later.  As soon as Dax wanted to borrow Worf’s collection of Klingon opera you knew sooner or later we’d see it.  A clip was shown on the Today show, so this is no joke, or is it?  The opera follows the journey of Kahless as he faces the tyrant Molor.  You can read more about it and see a clip at Blastr.

Santa vs. Edward Cullen
I love vampires.  TV shows, movies, books, anything to do with vampires and I am there.  But I hate the Twilight series.  It is beyond ridiculous and it very poorly written and performed.  On top of that, the stupid plastic looking kid that plays Edward especially grates on my nerves.  When I saw this I laughed loud enough for my co-workers to walk in to see if I had finally snapped and was about to begin the shooting spree.  Sadly the only thing I shot was coffee out of my nose.  Check out what I am talking about here.

Make Your Own Star Trek Merchandise
CafePress and CBS Consumer Products have teamed up to allow Trek fans to design their own t-shirts, mugs, hoodies and other unique items.  The one catch is that your design has to be approved before being made and shipped to you.  There is also a selection of items already available.  Go to CafePress and begin designing your own Trek stuff.


Gotham Uprising Poster
A unfortunately fake poster for Batman 3 featuring Neil Patrick Harris as The Riddler.  It is obvious that the artist went to a lot of trouble to make it look legit…my hat’s off to you Sir.  Go and check it out at 9GAG.  There is also a few more Gotham Uprising posters here.

Star Trek Themed Cocktails
These should get the party started in true geek fashion.  Check out this list of awesome Trek themed adult beverages at Geeks Are Sexy.  I want to try the Fuzzy Tribble.  Live long, prosper and try not to throw up on your shoes.

Girls Play D&D Too
Didn’t think girls played Dungeons and Dragons?  Think again.  Not only girls, but hot girls love to get their geek on and play some D&D.  Check out the video at Caveman Circus and Escapist Magazine.  Site NSFW.

Warner Bros. to Release Danny Elfman Music Box Set
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the teaming of composer Danny Elfman and filmmaker Tim Burton, Warner Bros. Records will be releasing a box set of music by Elfman he composed for Burton’s films.  In addition of the 19 total hours of music there will be 7 hours of previously unreleased tracks and a DVD recently filmed of a conversation between Elfman and Burton.  The set is due to be released in December.

Star Wars vs. Star Trek – The Motion Picture

Star Trek Napkin Holders
These are extremely cool and to use the term “rare” is an understatement.  I hope this guy decides to mass produce these things because I want a set so bad.  Read more about it here.

Man Attempts to Build The Enterprise, Digitally
A lot of Trek stuff going on this week.  Using a game called Minecraft, a man is attempting to build a full scale digital replica of the Enterprise-D.  Currently it is nothing more than the framework, but the plans are to allow users to walk around inside once it is completed.  There is an awesome video of what he has built so far.  Check it out at Blastr.

How To Nerd

Change Your iPhone’s Apps Icons Without Jailbreaking
How to Get Cheap of Free In-Flight Wi-Fi
De-Grease Your Laptop with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
Top 10 Strategies for Getting Back Your Lost or Stolen Stuff
Install iTunes 10 Without the Extra Bloatware
Set Up a Workplace Wiki
Use Toothpaste to Restore Old Sneakers
How to Go Completely Wireless in Your Home
Use a Metallic Sharpie for Easy Cord Labeling

Image of the Week

And that is The Word for this week.  I had a great time putting all this together and you’d be surprised just how much stuff you can find.  I hope you like what you’ve seen and if you do, please please leave me a comment.  Don’t be shy…yeah that’s it…just click then type something…come on.  Don’t be afraid to be the first one to post something, think of it as an honor.  Don’t forget to vote in the Who’s The Best Batman poll.  I will post the results next week.

The Nerd says, “I named my cat Kal-El”.

A number of really good actors have played The Caped Crusader over the years.  Some pulled it off, some did it brilliantly and some fell way short.  Few actors have been able to pull off the duality needed for the role; having to play Bruce Wayne and Batman as totally different characters.  In this new reader poll I’m asking you, the readers, who’s the better Batman?

Adam West – We all remember Adam West from our childhood as he brought Batman off the pages of the comic books and into the spotlight of prime time television.  West’s portrayal was a campy, almost satirical version of Batman that even though seen today as silly, was for some our first memories of the comic legend.  He brought a smooth, James Bond quality as Bruce Wayne that could almost pass today.  Supported by an equally campy Boy Wonder (Burt Ward) and a host of guest stars making up the rouges gallery, Adam West donned the cowl from 1966 to 1968 and one feature film.  West also provided the voice for Batman in later incarnations of the Super Friends and a Filmation animated series.

Michael Keaton – In 1989, director Tim Burton brought us his vision of Batman for the first time to the big screen.  In a somewhat surprising move, comedian Michael Keaton was chosen for the role of Batman.  To the surprise of everyone, Keaton pulled it off with a convincing portrayal of both Bruce Wayne and Batman.  With Jack Nicholson who got top billing in the film as The Joker, the movie was an overnight success, but lacked a certain chemistry that could have made it better.  There was very little interaction between Joker and Batman that could have made all the difference.  Keaton put on the cowl again for the sequel Batman Returns in 1992, but hung up his cape after.

Val Kilmer – Director Joel Schumacher took over the Batman movie franchise which led to 1995’s Batman Forever.  This time a more seasoned dramatic actor was chosen for the role of Batman, Val Kilmer.  Val brought a vulnerable quality to Bruce Wayne but made a much better Batman than his predecessor.  This installment introduced Robin (Chris O’Donnell) to the series and the two played well off each other.  With Jim Carrey, Tommy Lee Jones and Nichol Kidman co-starring, Kilmer’s performance was over shadowed by colorful imagery and over the top performances.  Kilmer would not return for a sequel.

George Clooney – Probably one of the most unfortunate movies ever made, Batman & Robin in 1997 was hyped for months with the casting of Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze and the introduction of a new Bat-brat in the form of Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl.  Clooney’s performance as Batman was the only bright point of the entire film.  In spite of all the film’s shortcomings, he was able to pull off a convincing performance as Bruce Wayne and Batman.  Riddled with ridiculous dialogue, over the top performances and campy humor that made me long for West and Ward, the franchise was certainly in trouble and the movie was a flop.  Clooney took personal responsibility for killing the franchise and it looked like we would not see the bat signal shine in the sky for some time.

Christian Bale – To pull the bat from the fire, director Christopher Nolan brought a fresh approach to the Batman franchise with a total re-imaging.  In 2005, Batman Begins gave new life to The Caped Crusader as it told the origin of the character in full dramatic detail.  Bale gives a brilliant performance of the troubled young Bruce Wayne who avenges his parents’ murder by creating the incorruptible alter-ego of Batman.  The story leads you through Bruce’s tragic childhood, to training with a secluded band of ninja assassins, to the transformation into Gotham City’s Dark Knight.  This was by far the best of the series, led by an all-star cast of actors who along with Bale gave it a sense of believability that the other films lacked.  Bale would return again in the extremely successful sequel The Dark Knight and a third installment soon to go into production.

Kevin Conroy – In 1992, Warner Bros. redefined the animated series for the next decade.  Based somewhat on the Tim Burton style, Batman The Animated Series premiered in a prime time Sunday night slot.  Although it was directed at kids, the series was a success to adult fans and critics.  Kevin Conroy was cast to voice the character of Batman/Bruce Wayne.  His portrayal quickly became the standard by which all other Batman performances were and will be compared to for some time to come.  Conroy would continue to provide his unique and unmistakable voice through two incarnations of the Batman series, Batman Beyond, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited and seven animated feature length movies.

So there you have it.  Now you decide who’s the best Batman.  Will it be West, Keaton, Kilmer, Clooney, Bale or Conroy?  The results will be posted in the 10/14 edition of The Word.  Same bat time, same bat channel.

It’s Thursday September 30 (now Friday, October 1) and time for another edition of The Word. A lot of great stuff has happened since last week’s post and I’ve got a bunch of great links for you. But first I’d like to apologize for the late post, I’ve been sick and haven’t felt up to sitting in front of the PC. There is a long, long list of links today and I am feeling better now so here we go. I am trying out a little different format this week, let me know what you think.

TV Nerd

Supergirl Returns To Smallville
Laura Vandervoort returns as Kara aka Supergirl in the October 8 episode of Smallville.  She is sent by Jor El to help Clark stop the dark force on its way to Earth.  It’s funny that in the promo images, Kara looks more like Clark Kent than Clark does; with the nerd glasses and her hair up in a bun.  Anyway, check out a full synopsis and see the images courtesy of Comic Book Resources.



Evil Bitches X2
In the upcoming season of V, actress Jane Badler who played Diana in the original TV movies and short lived series returns to the V universe as Ana’s mother.

The Hub Sneak Peak
Discovery Communications and Hasbro are launching a new network for kids programming.  The network called The Hub will be taking the place of Discovery Kids and is set to launch on October 10.  Among the new programming line up is the new Transformers: Prime and G.I. Joe: Renegades.  You can catch a sneak peak of The Hub on October 10 with regular programming beginning October 11.  Check out the full release and a programming schedule here.

10 Shows You Should Watch Now That They’ve Ended
Courtesy of Unreality, a list of 10 sci-fi shows that if you hadn’t watched you need to now.  Some were great shows and I can’t believe you missed them.  Others not to great and there’s no wonder they’ve gone unwatched.  Some I’ve never even heard of…those are the ones I want to see.  Catch the full list here.

Pre-Star Trek Roles For Shatner And Other Trek Stars
Before beaming aboard the Starship Enterprise, veteran actors William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelly and James Doohan all rode horses and carrier six-shooters.  Check out how they looked as cowboys and Indians here.

NBC Orders Pilot For Munsters Remake
I love classic TV.  I was happy to hear that NBC is working on a reboot of one of my favorite classics, The Munsters.  The original show starring Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis and Butch Patrick centered around a family of classic movie monsters.  It only lasted two seasons but it left a lasting impression in the world of pop culture.  The remake is being developed by Bryan Fuller.  Hopefully he can work the same magic as he did with Heroes.  Read the full story here.

No Heroes Movie
Fans of the now canceled Heroes will be saddened to hear that plans for a TV movies are now shelved.  Much to the dismay of fans and breakout star Zachary Quinto who expressed his disappointment with not providing closure to the fans.
  “If it was in their best interest I’m sure they would have done it,” he adds. “And for whatever reason, they didn’t think it was. So that’s a bummer. But we have to just accept it and move on.”
You can read more about it via Entertainment Weekly.

Movie Nerd

Star Wars Going 3D
Some Star Wars fans now have something new to cheer about.  George Lucas is re-releasing all six movies in order in 3D.  That means shelling out money to go see the theater releases, money to buy the 3D BluRay box set release AND buying a new 3D TV.  George sure does know how to milk a franchise.  They’re promising that the new 3D release will be better than what you’ve seen in the past.  We’ll see!  Read more about it here.

Nolan Confirms Batman 3
Batman fans can now breathe a sigh of relief (as if we were worried) now that Christopher Nolan has confirmed he will direct the third installment in the franchise.  Still no word on a plot or who the villain might be, but it was hinted by Michael Cain that filming may begin in May 2011.  You can read more of Nolan’s exclusive interview in Empire.

Baccarin Could Be Up For Avengers’ Wasp
The latest rumor from the set of The Avengers is that the role of Wasp could go to V’s Morena Baccarin.  Even thought it was said that Wasp didn’t have a part in the movie, evidence to the contrary is out there.  You can read more about it here.

Ed Norton Wouldn’t Say No To Batman 3
In an interview Ed Norton said he’d be open to a role in the upcoming Batman 3.  Now that his involvement with The Incredible Hulk has come to an end, the actor said he’d love to be apart of Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise.
  “Chris Nolan’s making the best ones out there by far.” Norton said. ”I’d do one with him. He’s set a new bar for sure, and I think he’s done a great, great job.” 
You can read more courtesy of blastr.

McAvoy Wants You To Forget Stewart
British actor James McAvoy said in a recent interview that he wants his version of Charles Xavier in the upcoming X-Men: First Class to surpass the performance of Sir Patrick Stewart who played the role in the three previous installments.  Catch a video of the interview here.

A Black Widow Movie May Happen
Sources at Marvel are not ruling out that a spin off movie starring Black Widow could happen.  It would definitely happen after The Avengers is released and it would also depend on how well that movie does before Marvel would green light anything.  You can read more about it here.

Stone On Short List For Spider-Man Reboot
Variety has released that Easy A actress Emma Stone is up for the female lead in the reboot of Spider-Man.  Read all about it here.

Green Lantern Sequels May Not Include Hal Jordan
Ryan Reynolds told MTV News that sequels to Green Lantern may not be about Hal Jordan.  Since there are three other members of the Lantern Corps from Earth, it would only make sense that any future sequels could and should include those characters.  Warner Brothers has already begun plans for the yet unreleased Green Lantern’s sequel.  Catch more of the interview here.

Not So Excellent!  Bill & Ted 3
Please say it isn’t so.  Bill & Ted 3?  As if the first two didn’t make me want to jam pencils in my eyes, star Alex Winter confirmed that a third installment is in development.  You can read more about these unfortunate events here.

Iron Man 2 Easter Eggs Give Hints To Other Characters
Director Jon Favreau gives some insights and hints to other Marvel characters hidden in specific scenes of Iron Man 2.  The little hints or “Easter Eggs” as known to fans are carefully hidden, but are discussed in featurettes on the Iron Man 2 Blu-Ray release.  Read more about it here.

Top 10 Horror Movies Named
Total Film comprised a list of the top horror movies.  The votes came from 63 leading names in horror and then complied to make the list.  The top horror movie was the 1974 flick The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  See what other films made the list here.

DC Animation’s Next Release: All-Star Superman
Fans of DC line of animated features were treated to a preview of the upcoming release as part of the special features of Superman/Batman: Apocalypse.  Check out a short preview here.

Gaming Nerd

Blu-ray Living on Borrowed Time
The head exec at Microsoft Xbox in the UK says that Blu-Ray isn’t going to be around much longer. I don’t know what kind of crack they’re smoking over in England, but I just don’t see it happening. You can read the full article here.



Zombies Confirmed In New Call Of Duty
Activision has confirmed that a game mode will be included in the upcoming release of Call of Duty: Black Ops that will allow players to fight against Nazi Zombies.  Courtesy of G4.







Xbox 360 Dashboard Getting A Makeover
To prepare for the release of Kinect, Microsoft is updating the 360 dashboard with a redesign.  One of the most notable additions will be to the Netflix streaming feature that makes it fully searchable.  Check out a video preview courtesy of G4 here.

Michael Jackson MMO
Whoever thought that this would be a good idea should be taken outside and beaten.  Apparently a MMO is in development that centers around the late Michael Jackson.  The game called Planet Michael, no doubt in an effort to cash in even further on the death of the pop superstar is slated to launch next year.  Read more about it here.








Straight Up Nerd

Planet Found That Could Support Life
Astronomers at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii have discovered a planet that could be capable of supporting life as we know it.  Orbiting a red dwarf star, planet Gliese 581g apparently falls into a sweet spot that could allow it to sustain life.  Read more about it here.

Buy Your Own Batmobile
For the low price of $150,000 Fiberglass Freaks will build you your very own 1960s style Batmobile complete with flame throw boosters for added effect.  It’s 100% street legal and 5000% awesome.  I am one step closer to my dream of being Batman.  Read more about it here.



Teenager Wins Texting Competition
A 13-year old from Brooklyn NY has won $50,000 in a texting competition organized by LG.  The winner competed against 500,000 other contestants and is now eligible to compete for another $50,000 for herself and for a charity of her choice.  Read more about it here.


Lost Lyrics To Star Trek Theme
Now I thought I knew everything about Star Trek, but this I was totally unaware of.  It seems in an effort to cash in on the original and at the time unprofitable Star Trek, creator Gene Roddenberry wrote lyrics to Alexander Courage’s now famous opening theme.  Catch the full story here.

Best Buy Cutting Back On DVDs and CDs
To make room for electronics this holiday season, Best Buy will be scaling back on their CD and DVD sections.  The move is to help free up space for more in-demand products like video games, netbooks and other electronics.  You can read more about it here.



Little Girl Dances To Star Trek Theme
This is beyond adorable and totally how I am going to raise my kids.  Watch it below or go here.

Gadget Nerd

Verizon Offers Limited Edition Star Wars Droid
A limited edition R2-D2 droid phone is being offered by Verizon.  Take a peek and get more information here.

The World’s Most Dangerous Laser
Who wants to own a 700 milliwatt handheld blue laser?  I do, I do!!!!  While they are legal to own, for now, these extremely cool little gadgets are extremely dangerous and potentially life threatening.  Where can I get one?  Read more about it here.

How To Nerd

Make Your Own Customized Ubuntu Live CD or Thumb Drive
How To Find Your Music’s BMP To Build A Great Exercise Playlist
The Best Sites, Numbers and Forms for Banishing Junk Mail
Gargling with Salt Water Actually Helps a Cold or Cough
Choose Which Applications To Launch on Start Up with AutoHotKey
How to Play Any Media File in iTunes
User Levels to Fix Poorly Exposed Photos
Use Tall, Narrow Glasses To Cut Down On Drinking
Save Silica Packets to Keep Tools Dry and Rust-Free

Tech Nerd

The 10 Best Ways To Screw Your PC Up
I’ve told you how to keep it from getting screwed up, now here is a list courtesy of Maximum PC that tells you how to screw it up.  The intent is for you to avoid these common mishaps, so don’t go getting the sledgehammer just yet.  Check it out here.

Gmail’s New Feature Is A Relief For Some
Our friends at Google have made a major (to some) change in Gmail that I for one am welcomed to see.  You can now opt to change the regular Conversation style view to your emails for a regular looking list.  Check out the full explanation here.

The Gaia ’10 Linux Desktop
For those of you who might think Linux is the kid from Peanuts who drags the blanket behind him, let me set you straight.  Linux is an operating system, a pretty cool and rather power operating system.  Check out the new Gaia desktop courtesy of Lifehacker.

Netgear Refers Customer To Geek Squad
This is exactly the kind of story that made me want to start this blog in the first place.  I can’t believe Netgear actually thought this was a good idea.  Read the full story here.

Microsoft Security Essentials Marks Anniversary
Microsoft’s security software celebrates its first birthday with some interesting facts.  Information gathered by Microsoft claims it has been installed on over 31 million computers, out of which 27 million reported attacks.  Read the full report here.

Is Your PC A Sitting Duck?
Until security holes are patched by their respective vendors, operating systems and other software are left open to attack by hackers and malicious software.  Is your PC vulnerable?  Read this article courtesy of CNet and find out.

Chrome Is Overtaking Firefox’s Market Share
Firefox has long held the title, Google’s Chrome internet browser is quickly taking more and more of Firefox’s share of the browser market.  Chrome seems to be listening to users and giving them the features that they want and Firefox is struggling to keep up.  Read more about it here.

Poll Results
Here are the results of last weeks poll The Baddest Comic/Cartoon Villain.  It was a close race and we ended up with a three way tie between The Joker, Skeletor and Lex Luthor.  I don’t know if it’s fair for me to cast a vote to break the tie but if I had to throw my vote in, it would be for The Joker.  So the Clown Prince of Crime is the baddest of the bad.

Image Of The Week

Batman Ruins Another Card Game

That’s it for this week’s edition of The Word.  Once again I apologize for it being late, but better late than never.  Be sure to check back next Thursday for The Word where I will give another great set of links collected over the week.  Have a great weekend everybody.

The Nerd says, “I’ve been Darth Vader every year for Halloween since I was 10”.