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Old Spice commercial is all the rage

Friday, February 26, 2010 by Amber

Would you even believe me if I said I've got two toddlers at my feet? Didn't think so, but such is the life when the stupid daycare doesn't have power. Or a phone line. Sigh. I need a distraction that isn't asking to use my pen or fighting with his brother about which notebook to color in. And, I think I've found the perfect one! :)

You've seen that *hysterical* commercial from Old Spice, right? The one with the 'Look at your man, now back at me' guy who's on a horse? :) Hehehe I'm giggling just thinking about it -- here's the YouTube of it as a refresher.

Here's some info I got from the company:

-The commercial has spread virally, reaching over 3M YouTube hits -- placing it third among Super Bowl commercials ... and it didn't even play during the game!

-Traffic at http://www.oldspice.com/ has hit 5x its total monthly average with more than 1.5M hits.

-An underground movement has begun to get the actor (Isaiah Mustafa) on Saturday Night Live. Check it out on Twitter at #isaiahmustafaforSNL if you'd like to join in.

-There has been at least one popular remix of the commercial on YouTube. It's pretty funny too.

-For me, though, I'm curious how the whole freakin' commercial was shot *without* CGI! Seriously! Check out the 'Making Of' video with Old Spice's agency creators.

-Oh, and just in case you still haven't had enough of the buzz, you can also vote on the next T-shirt Old Spice will offer as swag at its online store!

Hehehehe ... OK that was fun :) Have a great weekend and I'll see you back here Monday for a (hopefully less hectic) post!










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Snowed in with headlines

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 by Amber

It's a snowy morning in New England and the buzz form the DnD weekend has pretty much burned off. Good news for you all because that means some headlines are on tap!

--Looking to be ahead of the curve in 2010? Here are the top gadgets already making waves.

--I'm always wary when it comes to money and technology, but this seems pretty freaking cool.

--People are getting fired up about Apple's recent string of app-store censorship. Kind of a cool story on that fine line between logical and racy.

--Paleontologists from the National Dinosaur Monument in Utah have announced that they've uncovered a previously unknown species of plant-eater! The best part for me is that they found the skulls of the dino-vegans a quarter-mile from the museum!

--Are you on the market for a new camera? Check out this review article from USAToday.

--Do you like in dry air? If so, get your flu shot.

--Holy interconnectivity, Batman: 1.2B cellphones were sold last year.

See you all on Friday for more news!







We interupt this program for ...DnD!

Monday, February 22, 2010 by Amber

Good morning, everyone! Husband and I went to TotalCon in Mass. and played DnD 12+ hours a day for 4 days. It was without a doubt the *geekiest* weekend of my life, and I loved every minute of it! I mean, it only takes a few dragons, drug-addled barmen and plague-changed tentacle-thingys before you are all friends, right? :)

If you know what I'm talking about, then you're already ahead of the game -- if not, check out Wizards of the Coast, your one-stop shop for Dungeons and Dragons knowledge and info on how to start playing.

Anyway, I took a quick peek at the tech headlines of the day, but there isn't anything out there that trumps DnD for me this morning, so that's what we're going to talk about. Riding the fence on this one? Well, don't make fun of me until you've tried it!

How's DnD work? It's like mixing a board game and a video game together, only you're playing the video game in your mind. OK, weird explanation, let's try again ...

Imagine you're sitting around a table. There are little miniatures showing your piece on the board, and there is a little path your mini has to follow to win and rules of what kinds of movements you can make. Roll your dice, make your move, then the next person goes. Pretty standard, right? These, my friends, are the rules to DnD, too, only much cooler!

Instead of a metal top hat, you get to create a mini avatar to represent yourself -- you can be an elf ranger who shoots arrows, a gnome sorcerer who casts wicked spells, a halfling thief with a dagger, a big brutish fighter with an ax ... the possibilities could go on for hours. You have a bunch of fun, colorful dice to roll for all of your moves and attacks (really simple instructions with them, too ... mine are sparkly).

The board-game aspect of it is simple: There is a Dungeon Master (the most experienced person who knows all the rules) who plays the story narrator. This person will take you through the story and tell you everything you need to know. Oh, and they control all of the monsters, so they're also trying to kill you :) Games take 4 hours and will be the most fun you've had playing a game in a long time.

Girls, may I suggest 'Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress' for your reading pleasure? The author is a true girly girl, with her Prada pumps, her Gucci purses and, you know, optimal personal hygiene. She worked for Wizards of the Coast as a PR rep, and ended up being invited to play a game one night. Needless to say, she's totally hooked, and she shares her gradual acceptance of the game -- and her friends' acceptance of her new hobby! -- in this hysterical how-to. (Click the link box to check it out!)

We'll be back Wednesday for some real news, but thank you for allowing me to indulge and share my weekend hobby with you all! Email me if you have more questions or want to know more!












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Roundup of days top stories

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 by Amber

We've got some fun toys winging our way from the Intl Toy Fair, but we don't have anything in hand yet, so let's move on to our top headlines!

--Technology has made a big leap forward at the Vancouver Olympics this year. Also, if you're looking for some of the great photos you've seen on the Captivate Network from the Winter Games, check out our online gallery!

--CNet has another list of 'Must-Have Gadgets.' Yawn.

--If you're taking the chance to jailbreak your iPhone from the carrier, then you'd better read this story.

--Wii owners are getting a new world to explore next week when 'Endless Ocean: Blue World' hits store shelves. If hype and previous Wii history is taken into account, I'd preorder my copy today to make sure you are one of the first explorers!

--Good news for all you tiger fans -- and, no I don't mean baseball: Wild tigers are making an encouraging comeback from the brink of extinction!

--OOh, in my favorite story of the day, scientists and historians and geneticists have banded together and released a study on the fate of King Tut! Sweet! I mean, not for him, but for humanity ... It's like the very first case of paparazzi and celebrity fascination!

--Check out some stats on 'Halo: Reach' -- looks like it could be awesome, but I want to know if they're bringing back Cap'n Mal and Jane! (... from 'Firefly'? Come on, people, stay with me.)

--I'll be honest, I haven't tried the Buzz. But, that's only because of stories like this.

--This 'Death Star' looks awful life-like. Oh wait ...

So, I'll be gone this Friday -- Everyone has to take a vacation, right? -- but I will be back Monday with some fresh news, headlines and stuff for you all to check out ... cross your fingers for some fun toys to test!






Playful week ahead!

Monday, February 15, 2010 by Amber

Hey faithful readers! It's going to be a playful week for all of us here at Byte-Sized, as our contributor Lorenzo is heading out to the International Toy Fair to get the scoop on the newest, coolest things to decorate your geeky little desks ... oh yeah, and keep your kids happy, too.

We'll have more as the week goes on, but since it's a holiday, I'll just leave you with that little tidbit! Have a great week, and I really hope you're not working ... like me... Sigh.

Stay tuned!






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Musings this close to the weekend

Friday, February 12, 2010 by Amber

Yikes! Too much time and so little to do! ... Wait, strike that. Reverse it.

--TiVo is stroking the building buzz over a pending announcement of a Series 4 TiVo. Need I express my massive excitement? :-)

--Aww, help a single, loving seeking nerd out, won't you?

--Buzz popped up in my Gmail account this week, and I'm not gung-ho about it. If you're like me, maybe you should disable it before it gets annoying.

--CNet's daily video channel has a Valentine's Day Guide for men and women.

--OK, I know I'm late to the party, but 'HALO: ODST' features the voice of my favorite 'Firefly' browncoat and tool-monikered superhero Nathan Fillion! What a dee-lightful surprise!

--This story poses a question. My answer is, 'Yes.'

--So, I recently broke down and bought a Blu-Ray to sit next to my obsolete HD-DVD player. Looks like I should also get these flicks to christen it.

--I've contemplated giving up my social networking for more free time, but I don't think I'm strong enough or willing to make the cut. Are you?

OK, that's plenty of stories to keep you buzzing as the weekend quickly approaches! See you back here Monday for more headlines (and snark) from yours truly.






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Back to business as usual -- but at least it's fun!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 by Amber

Somewhere right now in Georgia, a girl is screaming in delight that she's won our final Hello Kitty Valentine's Day Giveaway :-) Congratulations to ...

Jennifer S. of Marietta!

OK, well that's it! I'm totally tapped out on Mimbots for now, but as I've said all along: Get your butts to http://www.mimoco.com/ and check out the company's vast selection of 2-gig USB flash drives! They average about $30 each, are the perfect gift for geeks in your life and they just make the act of transferring files more fun.

I do the whole cubicle thing, too, so I really appreciate a company that can add some spice to my otherwise bland office walls ... though, truth be told, my office walls are totally not bland :) I'll have to post pictures some day ...

Anyways, back on topic, I can't thank you all enough for entering this contest and for reading Byte-Sized three times a week!

Now, as promised, we're back to business as usual at least for a few days. The entire Eastern seaboard (including my perch up north in Boston) is being hammered with snow today, so I'm going to make this quick and cut outta here just as the first flakes start to fall! Here are your headlines:

--Ohh, how could I resist this review? If you're in the market for an e-reader, check out what happens when you pit the Kindle Gen2 against the new B&N Nook. *Love* it. Meanwhile, if you're looking to get your love the Nook, looks like it will be in stock around the US this weekend. (If you're gunna make the leap into that and not the Kindle, at least go for this Kate Spade case, too. Just saying.)

--Check out this review for the new Bioshock 2 game. I'm *dying* to play with the Big Sister!

--This CNet video feature looks at the changing world of passwords ... and why it's starting to look like a mirror.

--I really like the newest Facebook redesign, but in case you're a member of the very vocal dissent, good news: If you don't like it, you don't have to use it anymore. You know, just as long as you can get all of your friends to switch over to Gmail's new social experiment too. Otherwise, pipe down and get used to it.

Have a good rest of the day, stay warm and cozy, and we'll see you back here on Friday!












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Love -- and celebration -- is in the air!

Monday, February 8, 2010 by Amber

While I am still calming my heartbeat down from the numerous times I jumped off my couch cheering and smacking my husband's hand in shock -- and in the process woke up every sleeping child in my house -- I'll get you right to the goods:

Today and tomorrow (until midnight tomorrow night) are the very last days you have to enter yourself into the Hello Kitty Valentine's Giveaway right here on Byte-Sized!

The response to this giveaway has been overwhelming to say the very least, and I want to take a moment not only to thank our partner in this event -- the wonderful, creative folks at Mimoco, whose products are really just that cool -- but also to the 600+ people who've entered the contest! You all are fabulous, and you've really made this an exciting month here in my little cubicle!

For those of you just joining the party, here's the rundown: Send me your name and other relevant contact info to bytesized@captivate.com. Wednesday morning, I'll randomly pick one lucky winner to win the last Hello Kitty Mimbot!

Specs: Aside from obvious adorability factor (love those overalls!), this little lady packs 2 gigabytes of storage in her teensy 2 inch-body -- plenty to carry around music, books, files, pictures, etc., to always have them at your fingertips! Even if you just want to carry her around for the fashionability of it, trust me, I can relate to that :)

If you don't win, be sure to visit http://www.mimoco.com/ to scoop up your own Mimbot -- there are so many different, eclectic styles and designs to choose from!

And, as promised, for all you lovers out there looking to pair that Hello Kitty Mimbot with some delicious chocolate for your sweeties, the female editors here at Captivate (namely me, Jacqui and Kate) spent a day eating the most delicious chocolate truffles in the world and reviewed them just for you! I call the feature 'We (Heart) Chocolates' and it's live right now over at www.Captivate.com!

... Don't be too jealous, I actually got sick from the whole thing -- a definite case of too much being a bad thing.

See you back here on Wednesday where I'll announce the final winner and catch you all up on some awesome headlines! L8rs!










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Almost the weekend ... just a bit longer!

Friday, February 5, 2010 by Amber

Yay! It's the weekend! Well, almost ... A few more hours until you're out for a few days -- this is what makes Fridays so awesome! Let me add to it by offering up so cool stories for you to read and enjoy while you wait for quittin' time!

--Google and Amazon are all over the iPad situation by planning competitors right out of the gate.

--OK, I'm a geek, but I loves my football. Here is a list of some fun gadgets that will help spice up your Super Bowl experience! I'll be honest, most of them are no-brainers, but what can ya do?

--Bethesda's fallow-up video game 'Fallout: New Vegas' was announced and set for this fall. Word. Something tells me I may be short one husband for a few weeks.

-The Large Hadron Collider (and still my best on-screen typo EVER) is about to be powered up for it's longest ever run -- 18 months! It goes over my head after the first few sentences of explanation exactly what it is being geared up to do, but whatever it is, I'm sure it's *awesome*!

--What color were the dinosaurs? Who knows, right? Scientists have figured it out -- for real.

--Word to the wise: Pay attention and do your research when you're giving to charity. The FBI is tracking so many Haiti scams right now that it breaks my heart.

--Just because it's on Facebook (which is sporting a new design today! I like ...) doesn't mean that it's safe. And, I don't want my company getting fed up and blocking it from the office, so I'm extra careful. You should be too.

Catch you all back here on Monday!







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We break from our regularly scheduled programming ... to talk 'LOST'

Wednesday, February 3, 2010 by Amber

Did you *see* 'LOST' last night?

How could I possibly be expected to think about anything technology related whilst also pondering the concept of two connected-yet-separate strands of time co-existing on the same path yet separated by years and experiences?

The sheer acting feat of playing the same characters from different perspectives -- one evolved, who we've grown to love, and the other the fresh face we met 5 years ago -- is banging my head around and around!

But, before I delve into any concept of theory in relation to the best show on TV, let's announce this week's winner of the Hello Kitty Valentine's Day Giveaway, courtesy of the fine folks at http://www.mimoco.com/!

Congratulations to ... Jeremy G. of San Ramon, CA

If that's not you, email me at bytesized@captivate.com! ... Gosh, what am I going to do when I have no more Mimbots to give away? ;)

OK, back to 'LOST'. I had a text-date with a friend of mine, and we gasped at all of the revelations! Here were our biggest take-aways:

Where the heck is Christian's body?
I think it's the strand that connects the two different times! Maybe Jacob is to Christian as Smokey/Gray Shirt is to Locke! I mean, you heard what Jacob said: 'There's only one end. Everything else is just progress.' Ohhhhh :)

What happened to Sayid?
My husband, who only got part-way through Season 1 because he 'didn't like the flashbacks' (GAH,I *know*), called this one minutes into the episode: If Christian isn't the new Jacob, Sayid is the new Jacob.

Why was non-crash-Jack bleeding?
This is my proof for my ultimate theory that the different timelines will reconnect -- both careening to the same end. What happens on the Island effects what happens in LA, and vice versa!!

Who didn't get goosebumps when Charlie said, 'I was supposed to die.' ? Liars! :)
What a prophetic statement -- actually, we got prophetic statements from all of the returning deceased! Boone suggesting that, should the plane go down, he's sticking with Locke!

What's up with all the lists?
We keep seeing a 'list' being brought out -- first when the Others kidnapped the plane survivors form the beach, and now with Jacob's massive ankh holding a note to the weird Asian guy and the hippie!

What in the frickity frick was Desmond doing on the plane?
Your guess is as good as mine.

Got a theory or an observation you want to share with the group?? Leave a comment below or email me! I'll post up the best ones on Friday along with your weekly look into the biggest technology headlines!











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Only two more weeks left to win a Mimbot

Monday, February 1, 2010 by Amber

I had a long, sickly weekend, so it's going to be a short post for me today, my friends, while I work to shrug the blahs.

Cheering me up, as always, is being able to give cute things away to you! For those new to Byte-Sized (shocker, I know), let's do a recap:

For the last few weeks, I've been giving away ONE Hello Kitty USB flash drive with 2 gigs of storage capacity, courtesy of Mimoco, home of the cutest USB drives on the planet. All you have to do is enter once by emailing me at bytesized@captivate.com and your name will go in a pool for every week of the Hello Kitty giveaway.

This week's special friend is merrily frolicking through fields of green and tulips while she teases and tempts you to win her!

Please visit http://www.mimoco.com/ to see the latest designs the company has commissioned for their 'bots, and join me back here on Wednesday when I announce the winner!

Until then, I think I need some Vitamin B12 or something ... :) Here are a few tasty headlines to tickle your fancy:

-- The Olympics are coming up, and I can't get enough. So, here's some interesting coverage from CNet on how the event coordinators are using bales of hay to augment not enough snow.

--It's becoming the most retold story of our age -- and no, I'm not talking about 'Romeo and Juliet finally have a happy ending' that is 'Twilight,' I'm talking about which system is more secure, PC or Mac. And, as it turns out, you shouldn't take your security knowledge from Drew Barrymore's boyfriend.

--Honey, if you're reading, I posted this story for you: Dell has a new netbook out.

--I'm all about e-readers, and I say to you, iPad, bring it ON.

--Yay, best for last! Here is a great list of some amazing projects from NASA and beyond! Wooo!











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