Pop Culture

The Cover of Next Week’s New Yorker

by Joey deVilla on October 7, 2011

Cover of the New Yorker, October 17, 2011, featuring an illustration of Steve Jobs at the Pearly Gates, with St. Peter processing him on an iPad

This article also appears in The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.

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The New Yorker’s Hallowe’en Cover

I make sure to keep an eye on how technology pops up in mainstream non-geek culture because it’s a good way to gauge the techno-cultural zeitgeist and see how technologies are being received by the public at large. As techies, we’re all too happy to be early adopters and are willing to put up with usability problems, annoyances and extra work just to have the latest and greatest gear for its own sake. We have a tendency to forget that many non-techies don’t adopt technologies while they’re still new and need a techie mindset to use; they’ wait until technologies evolve to the point where the benefits outweigh the annoyances.

The current issue of The New Yorker has a Hallowe’en-themed cover that hints at how much smartphones have worked their way into everyday people’s lives:

New Yorker Halloween Cover

Here’s a closeup:

New Yorker Halloween Cover closeup

(I’ll bet that at least one of you went out Saturday night trick-or-treating and checked your smartphone.)

The practical upshot of all this: the mobile platform is in your future. It’s the one that people take everywhere and it’s growing in power in leaps and bounds the way desktop (and later, laptop) computers did in the ‘80s and ‘90s.


WinMoDevCamp banner

Speaking of mobile platforms, we’re holding a full-day workshop on Windows Phone development called WinMoDevCamp Toronto next Wednesday, November 11th  from noon to 9 p.m. at the Microsoft Mississauga offices (1950 Meadowvale Boulevard). It’s free of charge and your chance to learn how to develop applications for Windows Phone.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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Disney Buys Marvel

by Joey deVilla on August 31, 2009

Spider-Man, Wolverine and the cast of "High School Musical"

My spider-sense is tingling, and not in a good way: Disney is buying Marvel Entertainment (yup, that Marvel, as in Spider-Man, the X-Men and so on) for $4 billion in stock, acquiring the rights to all their characters. Soon we’ll see the cast of High School Musical as the newest young mutants to join Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters and a Marvel Team-Up featuring Spider-Man and the Jonas Brothers.

I feel like this:

Peter Parker in an alley, walking away from the Spider-Man costume he just dumped in the trash

This article also appears in The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.


The Temptation to Loaf

by Joey deVilla on March 26, 2009

There’s a small TV set in my home office that I sometime turn on – usually to one of the cable news channels — as “background noise”, which I sometimes find helpful when I’m trying to get work done.

Today, I’m on the road in London, Ontario with Microsoft’s EnergizeIT tour. I’m hanging out in the hotel room with my coworker Rodney with the TV on as background noise and here’s what’s on right now:

Photo of "lower third" of the Maury Povich show: "I had a threesome...who's my baby's father?"

When I tell people that I often work from my home office, they ask if I ever get the temptation to plunk myself in front of the TV instead of getting work done. The answer is no, and part of the reason is that there’s nothing but this junk on during the day.

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An Ad for Dharma Initiative Computers

by Joey deVilla on March 25, 2009

This ad won’t make any sense if you’re not a follower of the TV series Lost. However, if you are, you’ll find it amusing…

Ad for the Dharma Initiative's computers: "Chat with your family and friends -- even when they're miles away."
Click the ad to see the original on its Flickr page.

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The Battlestar Galactica “Frakmap”

by Joey deVilla on March 19, 2009

One of the best sci-fi series on television, the reimagined Battlestar Galactica, comes to an end this Friday night at 9 p.m. on Space here in Canada and the Sci-Fi channel in the States. With only one episode left, it would seem an appropriate time to point you to the Battlestar Galactica Frakmap, a little chart that tells you which characters have been intimate with each other and quick summary of their story.

The screenshot below shows only a part of the Frakmap, but it’s the part with the most promiscuous of the bunch: Kara “Starbuck” Thrace and Gaius “Horndog” Baltar. Click on the image to see the whole Frakmap:

Portion of the Battlestar Galactica "Frakmap"

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Why He Became Darth Vader

by Joey deVilla on March 18, 2009

Photo courtesy of Matt Gunn.

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