Apple Releases Unchanged iPod Classic

October 5, 2011

This week, Apple updated its entire iPod and iPhone lineup. The iPod Classic, however, has remained exactly the same for the better part of a decade.

We asked a salesperson from Apple to comment on the complete and utter lack of innovation, but she was unable to find a part number for the item in her inventory. In fact, she seemed so removed from the device that she tried to operate it by prodding at the screen, instead of using the grossly intuitive “click” wheel that made the iPod famous in the first place.

Upon further investigation, we discovered that the the iPod Classic factory is suffering from a situation that resembles that of the Japanese World War II holdouts, who continued fighting in remote areas for up to 30 years after the war had ended. Due to a miscommunication, staff at the plant never got the memo that their product was to be discontinued by the end of the calendar year in 2006. Without further direction, have continued manufacturing and shipping it without question.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

Staff members at the plant were astonished, and some had some difficulty accepting the news. When asked why he thought it would be reasonable for Apple, one of the world’s leading innovators, to manufacture an electronic device virtually unchanged for almost ten years he said, “We figured that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

It turns out that the only upgrade that happened in the past five years — a change in hard drive size from 80 to 160 GB — occurred only to keep up with demands after the previous part was discontinued by Toshiba. Demand for the product, however, was artificially elevated to 2006 levels and employees were shocked to learn that only 17 iPod Classics were sold by accident in 2011.

Apple has discovered a warehouse full of new, un-shipped iPods and is considering donating them to museums all around the world.


New Study Outlines Behavioural Effects of Marijuana

December 16, 2010

For decades, marijuana has been labeled as one of the most dangerous drugs known to man. Surprisingly, however, most people remain completely ignorant of what makes marijuana so dangerous. Fortunately, three professors set out to change the status quo and educate the general public on the issue.

The long-term study, which asked volunteers to smoke either marijuana or placebo three times per day for 15 years, reported on the negative behavioral effects of the substance. Understandably, it contained some frightening statistics:

  • “Enjoyment” of Music: Marijuana was found to increase the enjoyment of music by a factor of 10. Though this may seem enticing to some, it has been shown that this experience can be far from pleasant. In fact, some users became so inebriated that they felt that they were instead viewing a painting, watching a music video or, as one patient described his experience, “traveling through a vortex of truth and knowledge.”
  • Potato Chip Consumption: The number of potato chips consumed per hour of television watching increased by almost 700% when compared to placebo. Users were also twice as likely to abandon their chosen program and venture from home in a desperate attempt to replenish their supply of chips. However, almost half of those who abandoned their television set also forgot their wallet at home or the purpose of their excursion.
  • Uncontrollable Eating: Users of marijuana are three times more likely to report having enjoyed themselves at a play, musical, or sporting event. However, this should be taken with a grain of salt as 80% of users experienced the munchies, or, as one user described, a “deafening thirst,” up to 20 minutes before intermission or half-time. These exaggerated sensations of hunger and thirst lead to uninhibited bouts of binge eating and drinking which, in turn, resulted in an intense need to visit a washroom facility well before the end of the event.
  • College Drop-Outs: Marijuana users were 40% more likely to not only drop out of college, but were also more likely to start their own business on a whim, or spend years traveling the world for pleasure. For those who started their own business, there was a 30% greater risk of failure in the first quarter, which would instead inspire world travel and enlightenment in the user. Those who ended up traveling the world were 10 times as likely to have fanciful and exciting stories for their future grandchildren, but were, at the same time, 80% more likely to forget their endeavors by the age of 35.

The study was released last Wednesday, and although it has received positive reviews by the police and press, users of the narcotic seem unthwarted. In fact, the release of the study has coincided with record sales of the drug, with some dealers finding it incredibly difficult to keep supply on hand. “It seems to me that the dope on dope is that it’s dope to be a doper!” said one dealer, who chose to remain anonymous.

WikiLeaks Announces Leak of “The Facebook Logs”

December 13, 2010

“The internet is truth’s conduit… the individual is not exempt from the truth.”
Julian Assange (on the release of The Facebook Logs)

WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, announced yesterday amidst the aftermath of his recent release of the US Embassy Diplomatic Cables, that his organization has more to come. Far more. In fact, WikiLeaks will soon be releasing the largest, most comprehensive collection of private information yet: The Facebook Logs.

During a short press conference at an undisclosed location, Assange proudly announced that an anonymous whistle-blower submitted the entire contents of Facebook’s servers to WikiLeaks after a difficult breakup with his long-term girlfriend. He accompanied his leak with the following explanation of his motive. “After consuming two bottles of wine in an attempt to drown my sorrows, I hacked her profile and discovered not only that she had been cheating on me for almost a year, but that she re-gifted a CD that I gave her last Christmas. Enraged, I began to wonder if it was acceptable for a person to have personal secrets, thoughts, ideas, and relationships,” he stated.

One thing led to another, and soon after consuming a hastily rolled “coner” for inspiration, the hacker deployed a hacking bot and reached a state of “moral euphoria.” The bot worked remarkably well, and managed to hack every single user’s profile page and then use Facebook’s new “Download Your Information” feature to upload each user’s information directly to WikiLeaks’ servers. WikiLeaks was grateful for the submission, and has since been overwhelmed by the task of preparing almost 7 billion risque private messages, drunken profile pictures, and incriminating status updates for public release.

We had the chance to briefly question Assange as he tried to escape a posse of young women trying to have unprotected sex with him in an attempt to accuse him of rape under Swedish law. “This is an unprecidented collection of documents,” he said. “The internet is truth’s conduit, and, contrary to popular belief, the individual is not exempt from the truth.” When asked about whether or not individuals’ private relations should be receiving the same scrutiny as government communications, Assange replied, “Truth is truth, and that’s the truth. They say the truth hurts, but I say that if we weren’t all such selfish, lying, conniving assholes, the truth would be rather balmy.”

The users of The Facebook community, which has more than 500 million members worldwide, are understandably enraged by this violation of privacy, and as many as 70% of Facebook users have changed their status to protest and reflect their disgust over this issue.

New iPod features “Buttons”

September 1, 2010

Apple Computers, a world-renowned computer hardware and software corporation, announced today that its new portable music device device, the iPod Shuffle, will feature a radical new invention called “buttons.”

This mind-bending innovation will allow a user to control an electronic device by depressing one of many small, typically round- or square-shaped objects into a flat surface, instead of using a traditional multi-touch display.

Apple Founder and CEO, Steve Jobs, informed us that buttons will be “far less cumbersome and distracting than touch-screen displays,” and that he “simply cannot wait for millions of users to experience the joys of trying to use Facebook and eat a bag of chips, but instead be jamming hundreds of crumbs into impossibly small, plastic spaces,” the attempted clean-up of which “will help prepare any decent citizen for their time in hell.”

The new iPod shuffle has 2GB of flash memory, and can be had for just $59 from Apple online.

UofC Library Files Bible Under “BS”

August 3, 2010

Most people have had the frustrating experience of searching for a library book and being confused by the convoluted filing system. After all, with so many letters and numbers that have nothing to do with the content, how does one find what they are looking for? Luckily, The University of Calgary Library has endeavored to make library perusing one step easier by filing The Bible and other religious materials where they belong: section “BS.”

Helen, a librarian at The UofC was kind enough to let us in on the logic behind the new filing system. “We were trying to decide how to make our library easier to navigate for readers. We realized that libraries have had fiction, non-fiction, and reference sections for years, but there was an issue when filing the religious texts. Seeing as they are the fictional works masquerading as fact, it was most appropriate to give them a section all their own, and name it most appropriately.”

We interrupted The University of Calgary Students’ Religion Society during their afternoon prayer, but they declined comment on the issue saying that they’d never heard of this so-called “Library” on campus, and dismissed the notion of a “building full of books for higher learning” as being “not in God’s image, and most likely hell-bound.”

eBooks vs. Tree Books

July 26, 2010

Over the past several years the market has been flooded with newfangled reading devices called “eReaders,” and virtually every website, magazine, and newspaper from Engaget to The New York times has compared these devices. But for some strange reason nobody has thought about comparing eReaders to the ultimate standard: tree books. You know, those old fashioned collections of words and pages that  are made of dead plant matter. The ones that have filled libraries, bookshelves, coffee tables, and even washrooms since the beginning of time?

Ereading does sound like a great idea. I mean, who doesn’t want to have an “iPod for books” to carry around? Well, it might sound like another gadget is all you need to make reading fun and modern, but the market has missed the boat in a way that only a comparison can truly expose.

As such, let’s look at the innovation of recorded music. It all started around 1860 with crude recordings of live musical performances. At first the idea that one could listen to a performance without musicians was awe inspiring in itself, but over the past 150 years people have pushed the limits on recorded music, and the advancements have been astronomical. We have seen phonographs, records, 8 tracks, cassettes, CDs, SACDs Mini Discs, and now “virtual” media such as MP3s. The downside to such advancement, however, is that you experience the frustration of having to repurchase your entire music library every time such an advancement occurs to stay current. But the frustration and cost is worthwhile for many consumers, because each advancement is accompanied by a marked increase in performance, convenience, and quality. Music, you could say, is a technology where advancement is welcome, so long as the benefits outweigh the cost.

Reading is different. Books have existed in their current state for hundreds and hundreds of years, and the only real change was the transition from handwritten material to the invention of the printing press some 500 years ago. The printing press ushered in the modern era by increasing literacy rates and allowing the mass consumption of knowledge and ideas. Since then, the last real change to print material was the typewriter and personal computer, which increased the efficiency in which books could be composed and produced. So what does this mean? Well, after hundreds of years one can still open a book, understand the format, read the material, and take something away from the experience. Try doing that your proprietary Amazon eBook in just 10 years time.

One might think that after such perpetual sameness ebooks might seem like a welcome change, but there is a reason that they remained unchanged for so long. They worked, well! Regardless, the important distinction between music and print material is that “advancements” like the ereader are not a an improvement over real books. In fact, besides the ability to carry hundreds of  books in a small package, the technology truly limits the reading experience by providing numerous distractions; causing eye strain, reducing the efficiency of study or research (you can only view one book at a time), preventing the reader from sharing the material, and all but eliminating tactile interaction with the “book.”

Unfortunately, due to the success of the iTunes store, Books are being treated like music in every regard, but this could not be further from the truth. The brilliance of iTunes was that it allowed the user to import their current music collection from CD, and then slowly start experimenting with purchasing digital media. Once the more customers got used to “owning” non-physical media, they bought more, and it’s gotten to the point where physical media is on the way out.

The Amazon Kindle Store and Apple iBooks, however, make you start from scratch and, as mentioned, any advancements that might exist provide no incentive for consumers to replace existing books, much less their entire libraries. Unlike music, the costs do NOT outweigh the benefits.

If this is the case, then why buy ebooks? And are eBooks really an alternative to real books? Take a look at this (albeit somewhat satirical) analysis and decide for yourself:

The bottom line? Ebooks are no match for the real thing… yet. Books, unlike music, have been unchanged for hundreds of years, and ebooks are not cost effective, nor do they provide any real advancement over a physical book.

However, in a cost comparison, the Amazon Kindle does appear to be competitive when compared to purchasing hardcover material for casual reading. So, if you must, get an ereader for casual reading and traveling, but don’t expect to burn your books and get rid of that space-sucking bookshelf any time soon. If you’re truly serious about reading, and not just pretending to read while you surf Facebook ad infinitum, you’ll stick to real books, and avoid the iPad like the plague.

STD Prevention Fail

February 11, 2010

This was taken in Vancouver in front of The Barclay hotel. What happens at The Barclay, stays at the Barclay! (Don’t bust the sink off the wall, they don’t like that. Haha.)