Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Robuntu: Android Gets in Touch with its Linux Side

Welcome to the future. No flying cars, mind; just some sweet digs for your computer/smartphone.

Canonical, the dudes who brought us Ubuntu (and many of its derivatives), have shoehorned a fully functioning Ubuntu distro onto an Android device. Big deal, right? We've seen this countless times before. Heck, even my Dell Streak 7 has an Ubuntu install floating around out there.

You shut your mouth. It is a big deal.

What Canonical has done here (and will show off at the upcoming MWC) is more than a simple port of a popular Linux flavour onto a handheld device; they've successfully married the smartphone and the desktop computer. Ubuntu doesn't dual boot, here, but it actually runs alongside Android when you dock your device (ala Motorola's Webtop, but this actually works well). Carry your device and it's Android; dock it and it's Ubuntu. Awesomely, when you're in Ubuntu mode you can still run Android apps and receive Android notifications. You run off of your Android's hardware, and can do anything it can do (texts, phone calls, Angry Birds, etc.). If you dock it to an HDTV, it'll automatically use Ubuntu's TV interface (doesn't look like Mythbuntu, but it still looks pretty cool).

What are you waiting for? Check out the video!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Star Wars vs. Star Trek: Episode II

We're tied at 1 and 1. Man the WiFi router; it's about to get all nerdy real up in here!

So far, Star Trek has trumped Sebulba's pod with that oh-so-sweet hoverbike, but Lucas' empire struck back with the Millennium Falcon eclipsing the Enterprise. There'll be blood in the streets before this is done.

Before we dive in and roll a few 1D20s, let's remember the criteria: we're going for "coolest in class;" not the one that would win in a fight (which is a pointless argument since some fanboi somewhere will always come up with some stupid logic to justify his favourite franchise).

"But Norman, that saber move would go against the Jedi code."

Since I'm the sole arbiter over what I think is cool and what isn't, this is a completely objective test. My conclusions are correct by the scale from which they're measured, and thus cannot be refuted.

My logic is undeniable.

Now that the exhaustive rules have been detailed, on with the show!

Vehicles (cont.)

  • Fighter Craft

This category is filled with awesome. Things that go boom and make stuff explode. Big engines, lasers, concussion missiles, and maybe a cloaking device or two. Prepare for rad.

Star Trek
I'm going to go ahead and piss off some nerds here. Star Trek ships, in a straight up fight, would mop the floor with their Star Wars kin. Star Wars ships seem to be mainly line of sight fighters, which is really old school and lame.

Probably a good thing for Star Wars that this contest isn't driven by military performance.

Let's piss off some more fans: if we were going by the average cool across the entire fleet, Star Wars wins hands down. There are a couple of awkward looking Star Wars attack craft, but, for the most part, they're pretty cool (we'll get to that when we look over the Star Wars offerings). For the most part, Star Trek attack ships look like these:


 Blurry and lame.

 Computer game from 1997 lame.

Looks like a robot sand dollar.

Oops; I heard from a basement nerd that this isn't actually an attack ship from Star Trek. Sorry.

I guess that's it. Throw this one to Star Wars by default. Heck, even the new Star Trek movie has a glorified mining craft as it's big bruiser (don't even get me started on that hokey Spock-craft).

Don't throw in the towel just yet. It's time to go old school.

That planet is about to get eRADicated.

Klingon Bird of Prey. Pew pew, son.

Not only is it awesome across almost all of its iterations, but even the name sounds cool. It's like the space-fighter equivalent of a Hayabusa (which means "peregrine falcon"), and we all know how cool that thing is.

That BoP needs MOAR CHROME, boy! 

Oh, snap! Bling bling, Worf.

It just looks so lethal. The stance, the laser-tipped wings; it almost looks more lethal than an actual bird of prey.


Every time I see the Klingon Bird of Prey up against the Enterprise, I feel gypped as a human being. How did a race as dorky as the Klingons get the cool ship, but we're left rolling in a flashlight with a dish on top? I'm always kind of rooting for the BoP, too, since it's so much more bad-ass than the Enterprise (kind of like how I was secretly rooting for Darth Maul).

Rock on, cosplay champs. Klingons win the nomination.

No doubt they stopped into town for some awkward sword-axe-staffs.

Star Wars
Unlike the Star Trek universe, you don't have to go mining deep in Star Wars to find some awesome fighters. In fact, you almost have to do the opposite.

OK, I guess you don't have to look all that hard for lameness after all.

The old school series had plenty to pick from. You have your A-Wing,

"A" is for "awesome"

your B-Wing,

"B" is for "bad-ass"

and your Y-Wing.

"Y" is for "Y U no blow up Death Star?"

That's just the icing on the Alliance cake. The Empire had those simple-yet-awesome tie fighters, the best of which being this one:

Sorry, Vader; this one is way cooler than yours.

We've only scratched the surface. Even so, we all know which fighter is the coolest in the Star Wars kingdom. We all know. (You should read that again, but read the last sentence in a whisper.)

So. Rad.

Rogue 5 standing by . . . to kick some Imperial tail. Or maybe fly into a swamp.

Transforming wings? Check. Lasers with one of the best "pew-pew" sounds ever? Check. Looks like a dragonfly made into an anime nightmare? Check. The X-Wing is about as awesome as it gets when it comes to a fighter. Throw in an R2 unit and you're all set for a one way cruise to the cool sector.


This was a tough one. Both ships have that long, lean, lithe, lethal look of alliteration. There's something to be said for pitting a small craft against a very large one, but in the end they're both models (I just had to dodge some ninja stars made out of paper from the IT department).

I have to go with my gut on this one. The winner is just a smidgen cooler than the loser, though the loser could handily beat most other comers.

Search your feelings; you know it to be true.

Round 3: Star Wars

Star Trek

Star Wars

To be continued.