Author: Michael Kwan

REVIEW: Archos 104 MP3 player

Thanks to my affiliation with Mobile Magazine, I got shipped an Archos 104 MP3 player direct from the manufacturer for my review. To go on sale the first of next month, this thing looks and feels a lot like an Apple iPod nano. Well, the review has been posted: Archos doesn’t have the same level of market penetration as Apple (well, no one does these days), Creative, or Toshiba. In fact, their products are pretty hard to come by here in Vancouver, with only the odd outdated PMP popping up at the local Future Shop or Best Buy from time to time. Myself, I have never had the opportunity to fiddle with an Archos product, so I jumped at the opportunity to test out one of the company’s latest DAPs – the Archos 104 – and I must say that I am pleasantly surprised with the hard-drive based player…. Click here to keep reading the rest of the review at...

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Millenium Falcon Transformer??

Okay, this might be a little random, but it almost seems like the perfect marriage between two otherwise disparate groups of geeks. What do you get when you combine Optimus Prime, Megatron, Grimlock, and the rest of the Autobot vs. Decepticon universe with the likes of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Chewbacca? I’ll tell you what you get. You get the Millenium Falcon Transformer. Yes, a transformer version of everyone’s favorite intergallactic fighter. Arguably, this is the best toy of all time and it ain’t for the kiddies in the crowd. Check out this link over at Gizmodo if you don’t believe me. This toy…er, action figure (?)…collectible (?) is the real deal and apparently, for the time being at least, it’s a Canada-only release (apparently through Toys R Us). Take that, Yankees! We’re geekier than you… wait a...

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Screech is broke! Saved by the Bell star begs for donations

Whether you are willing to admit it or not, if you grew up during the 80s and 90s, there’s a good chance that you’d rush home after school each day to catch “Saved by the Bell”, starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zack Morris and Tiffani Amber Thiessen as Kelly Kapowski. That said, the geek with the strange voice that always stole the show was Samuel “Screech” Powers as portrayed by Dustin Diamond. Well, it turns out that real-life Dustin is broke and is getting kicked out of his home in Wisconsin. Unless you buy a t-shirt. Diamond has set up a website — at GetDshirts.com — where he further expounds his story. He’s already expressed his woes on the Howard Stern Show. In a nutshell, he got served with a notice to foreclose, demanding $250,000 or the bank will take the house back. He got screwed by a lawyer-type, and is now desperate for funds. So, he’s asking you to buy a t-shirt. For $15 (plus shipping), you can a snazzy white tee featuring the Saved by the Bell star turned broke stand-up comic. For an extra five bucks, he’ll even sign the thing, giving you a priceless (well, $20) piece of autographed memorabilia. As this for real? I can’t say for sure. Contrary to popular belief, he can’t ask Michael Diamond (Mike D) of the Beastie Boys for a...

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WiFi music browsing and downloads with MusicGremlin

Get past the Rio-esque design of the MG-1000 and you’ll discover an incredibly portable music playing machine that can download new content on the go thanks to its built-in Wi-Fi capabilities. Of course, you have to pay for MusicGremlin’s subscription service (MusicGremlin Direct) — currently fetching $15 a month — but that’s not much more than what satellite radio is asking for, and here you get to pick and choose your content. They’re calling this 8GB device the world’s first WiFi-enabled, service driven digital audio player. Find yourself in a wireless hotspot or set up an ad hoc WiFi network, and you’ll be able to browse MusicGremlin’s library in its entirety. They’re reporting over 2 million songs at this time, a fairly beefy selection if I say so myself. You can even share your DRM goodness with other Gremlin users nearby. The 2-inch QVGA display is colorful, the 802.11b connectivity isn’t the fastest but is fairly adequate, and it throws in USB 2.0, line-in, and FM radio for good measure. Plop down three Benjamins and you’ll be able to enjoy the wireless browsing and downloading on the go with the Gremlin MG-1000 WiFi DAP. Source:...

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Smart Car crash test video. Verdict: Goes for a tumble

Worried about the safety issues surround the Smart ForTwo from DaimlerChrysler (marketed through Mercedes-Benz in Canada)? If you’re an American looking to save a few bucks on your annual gas bill, while being able to squeeze into the tightest of parking spots downtown, the Smart Car just might be for you because they’re expecting to launch the golf-cart sized vehicle in the States pretty darn soon. We already have it here in Canada, of course, as well as certain areas in Europe. Check out this video of the Smart Car going for a head-on collision against a Mercedes S-Class. Let’s just say it goes for a tumble and I’m glad I don’t have a part-time job as a crash test...

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The perfect resource website

MichaelKwan.com is slowly, but surely, undergoing a site redesign. I hope to have the new look up sooner rather than later, so expect some fairly substantial changes to the main site in the days, weeks, and months to come. Whenever that happens, I’d like to expand the MichaelKwan.com branding to other sub-websites, if you will. In a way, Beyond the Rhetoric can be thought of as the first of these, being the official blog of MichaelKwan.com, but what other “sections” would be most valuable to the lookey-loo web surfing community? I’m totally up to suggestions and opinions on this matter, because, well, it is you, the internet surfing public, that will be served by these new sub-sites, if you will. They will serve several purposes, of course. For starters, I’d like to get my name “out there”, so that I become a little more prominent as a freelance writer and editor, being able to land a few more projects. Don’t get me wrong, I am thoroughly enjoying my time with Mobile Magazine and LoveToKnow, but I’m always itching for more. And hey, making a little coin along the way is more than welcome. This blog will remain as probably the most frequently updated section of the site, but I’d like to throw out a “resource” section or two. Some of the possibilities that I am considering include: Shakespeare: Helping...

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Motorola Q running Pocket NES

While there was a whole lot of hub-bub yesterday surrounding the launch of the Nintendo DS Lite, those of you who want to get your old school gaming on while still rocking the latest and greatest that technology has to offer… well, you guys just got a whole new toy to play with. Launched in the United States through Verizon Wireless, and seemingly available to Canadians through Telus Mobility (though it’s not on their website, I did get a flyer the other day telling me they had it), the Motorola Q is said to the be the world’s slimmest smartphone and this puppy sure has a whole lot of tricks up its sleeve. Smartphones are growing in popularity because they add so much more functionality to an otherwise strictly-for-communication device. Sure, SMS and MMS may be fun and all, but isn’t it great to watch some TV on the go with Slingplayer Mobile, rock the satellite tunes with XM Radio, and all the while keep up with your work-related things using light versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and Internet Explorer? That’s what the Motorola Q smartphone is all about. Regular cell phones are so yesterday. Check out the video below of a user that got Pocket NES working on the Motorola Q. He’s playing a hit from a legendary sereis, and arguably one of the single greatest games of...

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Spiderman 3 – Video on the set!

Now that the X-Men movie trilogy is officially wrapped up (although Wolverine and Magneto spinoffs — prequels, actually, are said to be in the works), we need to refuel our superhero fix. Let’s cast aside Superman for just a moment — I know how many of you are itching about that movie too — and turn to Peter Parker and his webslinging ways. Comic book lovers of the world rejoice because I’ve come across this video (watch below) on the set of Spiderman 3 in New York. The Spiderman universe is actually just as popular as any other major comic book derived super hero out there, ranking right up there with the X-Men, Batman, Superman and others. We’ve fallen in love with Tobey Maguire as Spiderman and we can’t help but have a soft spot for Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson. For this third offering on the silver screen, your friendly neighbourhood Spiderman has to face off against the Sandman (played by Thomas Haden Church) and VENOM!!!!! Perhaps most interesting of all, Venom (aka Eddie Brock when he’s not covered in the black goo) is going to be portrayed by Topher Grace of That 70s Show fame. Yes, Eric Foreman. Anyways, here’s the Spiderman vid I mentioned above. It’s not much, but it’ll have to do until we get to enjoy Spiderman 3 in all its glory next...

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FREE: Electronic Gaming Monthly subscription

I came across this link — http://www.gameshout.com/egm — a little earlier today, and they’re saying that I can get a one-year subscription to Electronic Gaming Monthly, a rather prominent video game magazine, absolutely free with no strings attached. Growing up, it had to be EGM and GamePro for all my video game news, reviews, previews, and cheat codes needs, but with the advent of the internet, most of the things published in these gaming mags is a little dated, compared to big websites like the IGN family of sites, Joystiq, Gamespot, and other resources. I figured it was worth a shot and filled out the form, so I’ll keep you posted as to whether I actually receive an issue (if I remember to update this entry; after all, it will take 4-6 weeks before I receive my first issue… at best). Now, I am not responsible for any external links that you may stumble upon through reading my blog — video game related or otherwise — and I in no way am affiliated with these people, but I just thought I’d pass this information onto you and from there you can do whatever you want. Take a chance… or don’t, see if I...

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Driver-oriented Maybach 51 destined for 2009

With the exception of their extra length, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish a Maybach from a standard-issue Mercedes based on the exterior looks alone. Open the rear doors, however, and you’ll quickly realize the substantial differences between the two sets of vehicles as the Maybach is a car to be driven in, not one that you purchase to actually drive yourself. That might be changing though, according to Auto Motor und Sport of Germany. Word is that Mercedes is working on the smallest Maybach to date – dubbed the 51 for its 5.1 meter length, following in the tradition of other Maybach models on the market – with an expected launch some time in 2009. Because of its smaller size, they’re calling this the most driver-oriented model in the Maybach lineup. Driver-oriented indeed, because the 51 will sport a V12 engine capable of between 500 and 600 horsepower. It might even rock the same platform as the W221 S-Class Mercedes. In addition to the four door sedan, there are rumblings of a coupe version as well, further pushing the driver-oriented nature of this new vehicle. While exact pricing is far from being confirmed, it is likely that the Maybach 51 will fall into the same range as the Bentley Continental Flying Spur (the world’s fastest 4-door production vehicle). Source: Leftlane...

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About

Michael Kwan
Hi, I'm Michael. By day, I'm a freelance writer. By night, I'm still a freelance writer. I'm also a proud father, a voracious foodie, an avid traveler, a gadget geek, and a thinker who thinks he might be thinking too much. Beyond the Rhetoric is a reflection of my eclectic entrepreneurial life.

Read more about me and what I can do for you.

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