Osama Bin Laden News Roundup: The White House updates the narrative on how Osama Bin Laden was killed. Federal prosecutors will seek to dismiss all charges against Bin Laden. Bin Laden had 500 Euros sewn into his clothes for a quick escape. Wikileaks reveals that in 2008, US troops were 1,800 yards from Bin Laden, training Pakistanis how to catch him. Steven Colbert tracks the politicization of Bin Laden's death. It's been 3 days since Bin Laden was killed, time for some conspiracy theories and memes.
A state health department administrator has been arrested for driving drunk in a government vehicle.
Hard cider was mentioned in today's Daily Word and the email quoted below appeared in all the Alibi mailboxes this morning, almost simultaneously.
If it’s a conspiracy, I say give into it. This is the day for drinking and discussing the fruits of the fruit.
The cyser mentioned below is very dry; all my ciders and meads are dry except for one gimmicky cyser/braggot hybrid I've got maturing. If you're feeling like something sweet, my favorite is the one we just call “Scrumpy's,” and I just can’t figure out how they do it.
Cyser is a variant of mead, where the water is replaced by apple squeezin's, thereby adding even more sugar to feed the yeasties (and of course some flavor).
I made this one in February 2010, as a cheap and experimental batch to evaluate Wyeast's 4632 "Dry Mead" Yeast strain, to see if I would want to use that yeast later in the fall when it would be time to make the "real" stuff.
I am very pleased with 4632 and will use it again (though perversely, I ended up not using it in my fall 2010 batches which you'll be tasting another 3-9 months from now, but that's another story). It matured rapidly, and I thought this stuff was good enough to drink within 3 months, all the more exciting because of its mundane ingredients. (It just blows me away that more people don't make meads, hard ciders and cysers; it's so damn easy compared to beer, and can be so yummy.)
The base cider was 6 half-gallon jugs of Trader Joe's Gala apple juice mixed with 2 half-gallon jugs of Trader Joe's McIntosh apple juice. The honey was 9 pounds of "Mrs. Crocket's" honey from CostCo. Nothing exotic here at all.
Came out smooooooth and mellow and dangerous; a sip of this and you'd never guess it's somewhere in the mid teens % ABV, unlike my 2008 cyser which still tastes like rocket fuel (which is why I haven't brought it in). A 12 oz bottle is a good two servings, and your old Swirl, Swish and Swallow glass is the perfect thing to drink from. As usual for my stuff, this is unfiltered so may have some sediment at the bottom of the bottle. You might want to handle and pour the bottle carefully and leave it behind, though for this batch I have just been drinking the whole thing.
It would be really nice if you could rinse and return the empty bottles to the sixpack holders at my desk. I sorta expect people to take these home rather than drink 'em here (AHEM, Adam), so if that's too inconvenient, don't sweat it. But if it's not a lot of trouble, please give 'em back.
Oh, and if you're under 21 then please forget everything you just read. These bottles contain something very bad and gross.
Looming transports you to a whole other world. In this mysterious and moody puzzle/exploration game, you must traverse the simple, black-and-white terrain of an alien planet. By gathering archeological remnants, you piece together the story of what happened to this once peaceful realm. The game is arty and contemplative, and you can drop in and out using the glowing portals on the playing field. So you don't have to solve it all at once. Bonus points for the old-school graphics, which look like they were programmed on an Apple IIe. (All that's missing is the sickly green hue.)
Although eclipsed by the understandable hoopla over iPhone 4, three high profile applications were also announced for the iPhone/iPod Touch during the WWDC keynote this week.
The iPhone/iPod Touch Netflix player that was revealed in April headlined the software demonstrations, and now has a semi-solid release date of "this Summer." It looks to boast the same functionality you get with both the home and iPad versions; you'll be able to see your instant queue, browse for titles, pick up movies where you left off etc. It works on both Wi-Fi and 3G, though now that ATT has removed the option of an unlimited data plan, that could be a bit of trouble.
The Facebook phenom Farmville is coming at the end of June. The integration with Facebook is all there, so you'll have the same farm, same friends, etc. Is this exciting? If you play it, you already know what it is. If you don't play it, you still know what it is from getting spammed in Facebook about it. Also, I'm not sure if it's such a great idea to have bent-necked Farmville junkies out wandering the streets, though that touch control tractor does look pretty awesome! Yikes.
Finally, the Guitar Hero iPhone was announced during the WWDC keynote for immediate release that same day. To my untrained eyes, it looks nearly impossible, though seeing the Activision guy 5 star "Death By Diamonds and Pearls" by Band of Skulls was completely impressive. The packed in track list includes: Queen - "We Are The Champions", Rise Against - "Savior", The Rolling Stones - "Paint it Black", The White Stripes - "Seven Nation Army", Weezer - "Say It Ain’t So", and Vampire Weekend - "Cousins". Currently, 15 more tracks are available from the in-game store.
The shell is a complete redesign, and now acts as part of the antenna to improve reception. The newer, faster, and substantially smaller A4 chip leaves room for a much needed larger battery.
The new camera is 5 megapixels, and now sports an LED flash. HD (720p) video recording is available, as well as the ability to edit the video directly on the iPhone. At 960 by 640 pixels, the Retina Display is double the resolution of previous iPhones. This won't, of course, make the most of your 720p video, but the iPhone can display 720p via the dock with VGA adapter (not included).
A forward-facing camera allows for true face to face chat, and Apple has packed in their own video chat application (kind of nauseatingly) dubbed FaceTime. One wonders how this will compare to Skype? The iPhone 4 hasn't forgotten gaming, and significant improvements have been made to the motion-sensing/tilt control as well.
The phone now boasts two camera lenses, and the presence of a front-facing camera indicates that video calling will be a feature on upcoming iPhones. Gizmodo wrote that other new features include a higher-resolution screen, a larger battery and a glass back that should improve cellular reception. In early April, Apple demonstrated the upcoming version of its iPhone OS, announcing that it will include sought-after features like the ability to run multiple applications at the same time. With the hardware and software of the new iPhone now public knowledge, a clear picture of the upcoming device is beginning to form.
The iPhone was given to Gizmodo by a man who found the device in a Redwood City, Calif. bar close to Apple headquarters The blog’s editors thoroughly examined the phone, pointing out on video that it now has not one, but two volume buttons. Trivial details aside, they also cracked open the case to uncover several “Apple”-labeled parts, and essentially proved the legitimacy of the device when Apple sent a letter requesting that the blog return “a device that belongs to Apple.”
For those seeking more information, Gizmodo is treating this leak as the biggest tech story in history and has published multiple features about the new iPhone, ranging from a play-by-play account of how the Apple employee in charge of the phone lost it and how it ended up at Gizmodo to a rebuttal of “conspiracy theorists” who alleged that Apple had staged the leak to ensure that the phone received plenty of pre-release hype and media coverage.
Any PC gamer who's been around the block lately knows at least two things about Valve's digital distribution service, Steam: 1) it's awesome, and 2) Apple users who want it are dual booting into Windows. Well, the awesome part is about to get awesomer, because the Apple barrier is about to fall. Valve recently announced it would extend the Steam platform and the Source engine to Intel based Apple OS X systems starting in April of this year. Even better, games purchased on one platform can be downloaded/played for free on the other, and save games for those titles will persist across environments. At the time of the announcement only Valve titles (Left 4 Dead 2, Portal, Half-Life 2, etc.) were included in the games list, but since Steam is such a large distribution channel we should see other publishers begin to follow suit in the near future.