Every grilling party suffers from it at least once: dry, flavorless meat that has been either overcooked or otherwise improperly prepared. It can happen when least expected. A little distraction--of which parties naturally provide--and meat can go from succulent to cinder in the blink of an eye. Because grilling can at times be tricky, an ounce of prevention (or in this case 12 ounces) can be worth a pound of cure deliciousness. And if that little bit of forethought makes for a better-tasting, juicier steak, well I'm all for it.
Welcome back to another Yuletide Mini-sode of CNET's The 404 Podcast. We'll be keeping you company all season with fresh episodes, year-end wrap-ups, CES 2010 previews, and much more!
It's hard to believe that 2009 has already come and gone, but with the holidays over and 2010 around the corner, we've decided to record a special wrap-up episode to finish off the year. Lots of big changes that happened in the past twelve months, but the most momentous for the show has to be the introduction of the Tricaster and the subsequent evolution into a full-fledged video show. Of course, we have to thank Jason Howell, the man behind all the CNET Podcasts who helped us set up and troubleshoot our new equipment.
2009 also saw our first ever corporate sponsorship by way of Beck's Beer and the Beck's Beer Semi-Weekly Audio Draft in Conjunction with Beck's Beer and Last.FM, a subsidiary of CBS Interactive, or BBSWADCBBLFSCI for short. As a result of this segment, new music became an asset to the show, and we were very excited to welcome musician Andrew WK, Family of the Year, Jonathan Coulton and The Paper Raincoat into our studio for an interview and even a few in-studio performances!
Another huge change we remember in 2009 was the contest submissions for our logo competition! We asked for your best ideas and you guys answered in DROVES! We had so many (hundreds!) of the most creative and inspired logos that the decision became much harder than we predicted. We finally voted on Blake Stevenson's bubbly design, and you can now see the finished product plastered all over our studio and merchandise. Thanks again Blake!
Before we welcome the new year, The 404 would like to extend a personal thank you to everyone involved with The 404. We consider ourselves incredibly lucky to say what's on our mind every morning, and we certainly wouldn't be able to do it without you, the listeners. The three of us listen and read each and every tweet, Facebook comment, e-mail, and voice-mail, and although we might not respond right away, we definitely appreciate every kind (and constructive) message. We also want to give a big thanks to every single person in the daily chat room, Jason Howell, Bonnie Cha, Cheryl Holloway, Mark Licea, Natali Del Conte, Richard Peterson, and everyone else that helps us navigate through the rigors of a daily talkshow.
It's going to be very difficult to top 2009 in the new year, but we're already off to a productive start with our debut at CES 2010. We're broadcasting LIVE everyday from January 5-9 on the CNET stage, so come say hi if you're heading to the show! In addition to merchandise (we promise!) and a very exciting new CNET podcast, we also have plenty of exciting guests lined up including artists, musicians, authors, celebrities, and sports starts, but you'll have to keep listening and downloading the daily show to find out more.
Have a fun and safe New Years everyone, see you in 2010!Yuletide Mini-sode - Remembering 2009 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
Is all this space travel worthwhile? Will it really contribute to our civilization or our touchingly naive way of life? Will it even lift our spirits?
I cannot be sure about the first two, as I feel these might be permanently floating somewhere out there. But I have some space-sourced spirit lifting to share.
Japan's Sapporo Breweries, the entity that brings you those large silver tins of beer to complement your rainbow roll, announced this week that it is launching space beer.
Get ready to have your faces melted, because Brutal Legend finally comes out today for XBox 360 and the PS3. To quote Jeff, the game is a "metal fan's absolute fantasy come true." It stars Jack Black as the voice of Eddie Riggs, a roadie for a metal band that must fight off metal-infused demons to save the world. Unfortunately, Jeff has some criticism about the game that might influence your buying decision.
Speaking of video games, though, it just so happens that Uncharted 2 also comes out today exclusive to Playstation 3, although it's already garnering excellent reviews from critics, including our own Dan Ackerman. The game is essentially the male-centric version of Tomb Raider, a take on the Indiana Jones adventure-style franchise. The antihero of the story, Nathan Drake, acts as a treasure hunter and art thief for hire, and it's up to you to navigate him across the world as he battles through firefights and explores virtually limitless environments that add to the overall realism of the game. Can't decide between Brutal Legend and Uncharted 2? Jeff's got your answer on today's show!
Big congratulations goes out to Natali Del Conte for making onto Manolith's list of the 12 hottest geeky girls in tech! NDC joins the ranks of other Internet hotties like Jade Raymond, Jessica Chobot, Morgan Webb, and more, so be sure to take a peek at the list and let us know who YOU think is missing! Don't even think about nominating Wilson...he's booked solid for the next decade.
Finally, it's my turn to choose the Beck's Beer Semi-Weekly Audio Draft Pick! Today's band is Raisinhill, a couple of talented chums hailing from Redding, Conn., who play a modernized version of up-tempo jazz/rock fusion. The trio are all classically trained and use their wide range of talents to create their dancey jams.
We understand that today's generation probably isn't running to record stores to pick up jazz CDs, so we're hoping you'll keep an open mind with Raisinhill and appreciate their instrumental talents. Besides, any band endorsed by Mr. Belding, Ron Jeremy, and Napoleon Dynamite HAS to be pretty good. The songs of the day are called "Nameless" and "The Ridge." You can listen to both songs on their MySpace page. If you like what you hear, you can buy their self-titled album as well. Enjoy!EPISODE 444 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video
It's only been about a week since the release of Sony's PSP Go, but hackers are already ahead of the game, despite Sony getting rid of the removable battery in an attempt to stop the siege. We don't have a link to the actual game you have to use to release the exploit, but hackers are using it as a proof-of-concept for future homebrews and pirated gaming. As usual, these guys are ahead of the curve, as we've seen before in Sony's previous PSPs. Of course, you can always get free games if you can somehow get a job reviewing them for a big Web site...right, Jeff?
In other news, Facebook can now measure what they're calling the GHP, or the Gross National Happiness. The popular social-networking site is using text analysis software to index how its users are feeling based on positive or negative words in their status updates. You can see on this chart that there were major spikes last year around November 23rd for Thanksgiving, as well as in December for Christmas and New Years. Check out the podcast to hear Jeff's reason why Hanukkah is nowhere to be found.
It's also time again for the Beck's Beer semi-weekly Audio Draft! Jeff's pick for today is an oldie but a goodie, The Rx Bandits! Jeff and I are huge fans of the bands from when we were wee lads. They're rooted in Seal Beach in Southern California, and while their ska sound grew popular in the early '90s, they have successfully pulled out those roots and progressed into a super eclectic alt/prog/rock/reggae sound. They just released another full length entitled Mandala, which also includes one of today's featured tracks, "Bury it Down Low." Here's to many more years with the Rx Bandits!
Oh yeah, everyone's password got hacked.EPISODE 439 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
All the 404 listeners out there will be very happy to see our own Natali Del Conte in the hot seat today. Our favorite guest just returned from a trip to the U.K. and, of course, Wilson is indulging himself in a bottle of Beck's Beer, so we foolishly decide to guess Ms. Del Conte's actual body weight. This sounds like a recipe for disaster, but I'm not one to let things spoil, so you'll have to watch the video below to witness me, Jeff, and Wilson making idiots of ourselves.
And of course, since Natali is here, we have to make things as uncomfortable for her as possible, so the first story of the day is about an LA sperm bank offering celebrity lookalike donors to their exclusive clientele. Each donor goes through an extensive scanning process to determine the celebrity they resemble the most, and the clients certainly love it: the service has been available for only a week and their Web traffic is already up 50 percent! We grill Natali for a second about which celebrity she would choose, but now that she's gone big time, she manages to weasel her way out of it.
After a few more stories that let Natali shake off her BOL-shackles, Jeff poses an interesting question to the group, by way of Reddit.com: When we get to be the age of our parents, will our generation be just as technologically inept, or will we retain our tech-savvy? This conversation actually stemmed from a rather painful iTunes tutorial that I overheard Jeff giving to Big Lou, and it's the perfect diving board for our show. All of us have varying opinions, but the general consensus is that because we've actually grown up with technology and computers (unlike our parents who were forced to adopt it later in life), we'll always have those building blocks to help us navigate through newer technologies, whatever they may be. Or we might just be bitter old luddites pecking away on our Jitterbugs, bemoaning a time when 140 characters ruled the world.EPISODE 438 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
TGIF!TGIF!TGIF!TGIF!TGIF! Before you take off for the weekend, be sure to check out today's episode of The 404 Webcast, where we're reintroducing the Semi-weekly Beck's Beer Audio Draft! Today's featured artist is Family of the Year, an up-and-rocking folk(ish) band from Los Angeles. The sextet mix together Fleetwood -style rock guitars with a tinge of country that make for a perfect end of summer soundtrack, and we're very psyched to help them promote their new EP release called "Where's the Sun."
The two tracks on today's show are titled "Let's Go Down" and "Psyche or Like Scope," both available as a streaming preview on their MySpace page.You can buy it on their Web site at a sliding scale, meaning you can throw down however much you want. Give $1, $5, whatever you can afford, but keep in mind that all the earnings will be put toward the expenses of their upcoming CMJ tour. You can also buy a signed postcard from the road with a personalized inscription from the members themselves! Give them a listen, buy the album, and check them out in a city near you. Who knows, they might even stop by The 404 studio the next time they're in town...*hint* *hint* *nudge* *nudge*
Plenty of stories to get to today as well, including a story about some fool trying to extort money from David Letterman for a little fling he had several years ago with his assistant. In our eyes, the king of late night can do no wrong. It's not like he's, oh I don't know, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES; can we all just let the guy live? Keep doing what you're doing, Dave, and if you want to come on The 404 for an exclusive interview, we'll be more than happy to oblige.
We also have a quick story about 3.4 million or so phallic pictures crashing AT&T's servers last week, but there are also a ton of movie-related news stories to get to, including a list of 8 movie franchises that must die, a "Kill Bill 3" in the works, a Spore adaptation, and ugh- a new "A-Team" movie. Can we run through all these stories in time and still not bust over the 45-minute mark? Check it out and find out!
Have a great weekend everyone!EPISODE 437 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
We're very proud and excited to welcome Beck's Beer back as our official show sponsor for the month of October, as you can see by the advertisement over yonder. You know what that means, right? All month long we'll be bringing back the Semi-Weekly Audio Draft Pick, sponsored by Beck's Beer in conjunction with Last.fm. That's a lot to say, so if you can think of a better title for the segment (maybe even a funny acronym involving beer), shoot us a line at the404(at)cnet[dot]com. Just like in July, we'll be introducing you to some of our favorite musicians and playing their music on the show every Tuesday and Friday for the next month, so be excited, and if you have any suggestions, well, tweet us.
OMGWTFBBQ! The Robsham Theater Arts Center from Boston College is putting on a musical comedy inspired by songs by our buddy Jonathan Coulton! If you didn't hear his live performance the last time he was on The 404, go check it out and get ready for some musical theater. Luke Jorgenson, the associate theater professor at BC, was "taken by Coulton's satire of office life and technology," which inspired him to produce the script. We're very psyched for Jonathan. Congrats, buddy!
Next up in the news, we've got a few iffy Sony PS3 ads to show you guys. The first one is a picture of a stereotypical gamer giving a blood transfusion to someone that looks a lot like Erwin Rommel, aka "The Desert Fox" and a German General in World War II. The other one features the same gamer, but this time he's giving his heart to Joan of Arc. Like, literally giving his heart in a celebratory transplant. Yikes, Sony--what message are you guys trying to convey here?
Next, we play a brief PSA video to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a subject that is very dear to our hearts. The video is played in jest, and of course we have to make a few jokes about the steamy subject matter, but Breast Cancer itself is very real, so all month we'll be supporting the cause.
Have an awesome Thursday, everyone!EPISODE 436 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
I know many of you think we bloggers are pimple-faced, bloated nerds who live in our mother's basement and survive on Fritos and Mountain Dew. While that is certainly true for some of us (Hi, Devin!), it's not the case for all of us. In fact, many tech bloggers, myself included, are socially well-behaved people. Who drink beer. A lot of beer.
And sometimes we have occasion to swap our T-shirts for button-downs and ties. But as geeks, we prefer that everything, including clothing, has a utilitarian angle. Thus, the After Office Tie by Argentinian design house Sinapsis.
It's a regular black tie for wearing to conventions, meetings, interviews, parole hearings, and other things bloggers need to attend. But unbutton your jacket and you see the magic: a bottle opener integrated into the tip of the tie. Imagine, no more church keys taking up precious room on your key ring where an eighth USB drive could be clipped!
Sadly, the After Office Tie--an entrant to a Designboom competition whose winner will be announced October 4--is just a concept at this point. Until then, we can wear the ThinkGeek Power Tie. Also, more photos of this handsome be-mulleted man after the jump.… Read more
Part of the fun of playing video games in the arcade back in the day was watching the adults try to evade giant pickle slices, fried eggs, and hot dogs in Burgertime without spilling the beer perched precariously on the cabinet.
Now, through the miracle of modern technology, you can relive those days with the Arkeg arcade cabinet. Not only does the cabinet house a PC preloaded with 69 arcade classics (legally licensed, even), but it also has a kegerator with a 5-gallon keg.
You can customize it with add-ons such as drip trays or a European keg coupler as … Read more