Earlier this year, Japanese electronics giant JVC announced that it would cease production of standalone VHS video cassette recorders. While a few companies continue to produce VHS-DVD combo machines, JVC was the last company that made standalone boxes.

So it was only a matter of time before companies stopped selling pre-recorded VHS tapes, too. And that happened this week. Distribution Video Audio (DVA), the last major distributor of pre-recorded VHS cassettes, announced that it will stop shipping tapes by the end of the year, and that any stock left over after January 1, 2009 will either be given away or tossed in the dumpster.

The last major Hollywood film to be distributed on VHS came out in 2006. Since then, DVA has distributed previously-viewed, overstock, and public domain VHS tapes to libraries, dollar stores, military bases and cruise ships. But now this will cease, and Luddities everywhere will be forced to upgrade to DVRs or recordable DVD decks.

Read more about it here.

Peter Griffin as Che

I don’t have a lot of time to post today (what, with the holiday coming up and all), so I’ll just post this nifty wallpaper I made of Family Guy’s Peter Griffin as Che Guevara. Well, I didn’t make the image: I found a small version of it online (thanks, 4chan!) and converted it to an EPS file via Vector Magic so I could enlarge it in Photoshop.

The fullsize version is 1680×1050.

(click for full-size)
(click for full-size)

Those Punk Kids!

maryland_license_plateThis is hilarious! Guess what bored teenagers in Maryland are doing?

They’re using templates found on the Internet to create fake license plates, which they then print up on glossy paper with a color inkjet printer. The fake plate is then taped over the pranksters’ genuine plate. They then run a red light or speed in an area known to have traffic cameras, just to get their friends or teachers in trouble with the law!

It seems the cameras Maryland uses for speeding and red light enforcement aren’t smart enough to figure out that the plate is either a copy, or that the fake plate is on the wrong make and model car. So angry teens can easily get back at the bully that threw them into the lockers, or the teacher that assigned too much homework one weekend.

OK, I guess it wouldn’t be that funny if it were you that got punk’d in this way… but as a non-involved observer, I still find it quite amusing.

Read more about it here.

SONGS I LOVE: “St. Paul’s Cathedral at Night”

Well, there’s no long story or anything here. Trembling Blue Stars is a band from London, and this song is from their 2001 album Alive To Every Smile. I just like the song, and thought I’d share.  Here are the lyrics:

Got a postcard from her:
“St. Paul’s Cathedral At Night”.
Spent a couple of days
Trying to read between the lines:
Now I don’t have to read between the lines.

Talking in an empty cinema,
Walking back through Parliament Square.
St. James’ Park at Christmas-time:
Glimpsing the lake through the evening lights.

I didn’t want want there to come an end to our time.
I know I’m in no position to miss her,
Shouldn’t hold her so close when she goes;
Still I wonder what she was thinking
As she traveled home.

Sad, but a great pop tune. Have a listen:


ADV Wins!

Sorry, I don’t have the time to post more, but:

FAIRFAX, Va. (December 19, 2008) – The judge presiding in the church property trial between the Episcopal Church and eleven former congregations, now affiliated with the Anglican District of Virginia (ADV), ruled in the congregations’ favor today. The final rulings in this case concerned whether four parcels of property owned by the Anglican congregations were covered by the congregations’ Division petitions.

Hooray! There were, what… seven, eight different rulings in this case, and the Episcopal Church lost them all! What a great way to spend $5 million, 815!

Read more about it here.

Cheers for Boris!

Boris Johnson, the Tory mayor of London, nixed the idea of a “Multi-faith Concert”… in favor of (wait for it…) a “Christmas Carol Service” at London’s famous Southwark Cathedral. In fact, Boris has personally banned all attempts by the PC police in his office to change “Christmas” to a “holiday festival” or “winter celebration” or what have you. And for that I say… thank you, sir!

Oh, and he’s bringing back the double decker buses, too!

Read more about it here.

Johnson gets 7 year contract

There were rumors that Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson was being wooed by Auburn “University”. Tech squashed those rumors today, signing Johnson to a 7-year, $17.7 million contract. Johnson, voted ACC Coach of the Year, will earn $2.3 million in 2009 (with unspecified “incentives” thrown in). Not bad for a guy whose team was supposed to finish at or near the bottom if the ACC; instead, Johnson went 3-1 against ranked teams, and beat Clemson, Miami, Florida State and UGA to end the regular season 9-3, the most wins for any first-year football coach in Georgia Tech’s history. And since that history includes names like John Heisman, William Alexander, and Bobby Dodd… well, that’s just impressive!

This is great news, folks!

Paul Johnson

Google Chrome hearts me!

I just wanted to let you know that I’ve changed a couple of things on the trusty jimcofer.com server, and now Google Chrome appears to work with my site!

As I mentioned in previous posts, I used to run a “regular” website, and then installed WordPress in the /personal directory on my server. Once I ditched the “old fashioned” site, I changed the root index.htm file to simply redirect users to /personal, where WordPress would take over. While this “hack” worked with every…other…browser in existence, Chrome – for whatever reason – didn’t like that at all… not even the latest 1.0 version, which may or may not include the new stack which would (supposedly) fix this issue. However, last night I actually set up the redirect on the server side, and Chrome now works with jimcofer.com!

Unfortunately, Chrome still doen’t work for our sister site, belmontpc.info. I’m continuing to look into that issue…

Another Random News Dump…

– Federal regulators today announced new rules for the credit card industry. These consumer-friendly rules will hopefully cut back on some of the industry’s most egregious practices. Some examples of the new rules? Credit card companies will no longer be allowed to raise rates on existing balances; any payment above the minimum amount must apply to the balance with the highest interest rate; the minimum time before a change in terms goes into effect has been increased from 15 to 45 days; and consumers must have at least 21 days to make a payment. There are more rule changes (read about them here); unfortunately, they won’t go into effect until July, 2010… assuming we’re all not broke before then. Also, no rule was passed regarding universal default – the rule that allows Citibank to increase the rate on your Citi Visa if you’re late with a payment to Discover – but with the new Congress and the economy in the tank, I feel action will come on that soon.

– Think you can get rid of a hangover by eating greasy food, or keep your children calm by keeping them away from sugar? Think again. Researchers at Indiana University have busted these (and other) “winter food” myths. Read all about it all the BBC’s website here.

– R.I.P. to “Slammin’ Sammy” Baugh, former Redskins quarterback. He was 94. Baugh was one of the NFL’s biggest stars from 1937 to 1952, and he was also the last surviving member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s “inaugural class” of 1963. To show you how big a star Sammy was, I was born nearly 20 years after he finished playing (my parents were 4 years old when Sammy quit!), and even I knew his nickname! Rest in peace, Sammy!

– Two articles of interest for Georgia Tech football fans: this AP article talks about how coach Paul Johnson is adding several tweaks to his already-potent offense for the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. I followed Navy football for the past few years under Johnson, and I’ve been saying that Johnson hasn’t come anywhere near to using his entire Navy playbook at Georgia Tech. This, apparently, will change. Also, in this article, Johnson talks about how, despite being the winningest freshman coach in America, and despite winning against UGA, Johnson is nowhere near satisfied with his team. I like the cut of that man’s jib!

– SGAE, a Spanish group for musicians similar to America’s RIAA, has been busted by a Spanish court for secretly infiltrating weddings and other events, looking for music licensing violations. It seems that back in 2005, a SGAE investigator posing as a cameraman, infiltrated a wedding party at La Doma restaurant just outside Seville. The agency had long suspected La Doma of using music without having the requisite license. Sure enough, La Doma was found guilty of this and forced to pay a fine of €43,179. Amusingly, SGAE was fined €60,101 for violating the privacy of the wedding party. So… SGAE got their victory, but it cost them almost €18,000… not to mention all court costs and all the bad publicity!

– The Yankees just shelled out a quarter of a billion dollars for two pitchers? Seriously? Well, this just proves that, if the New York Yankees’ chartered jet collided in midair with the Dallas Cowboys’ jet… I’d burn my penis jerking off over the wreckage!