Author: Michael Kwan


“This is blasphemy… this is madness…” “Madness? THIS IS SPARTA!!!!!!” Easily one of the most highly anticipated movies this year is 300, based on the Frank Miller graphic novel of the same name. This is the same guy that brought us Sin City, a gloriously artistic look at a city, well, dipped in sin. They went with the same shooting style for 300, with all the scenes taking place against a blue screen, letting the computers fill in the backgrounds after the fact. It is highly stylized and a little full of itself. There are a lot of dull...

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Meet the stars of Transformers the Movie

Transformers the Movie (live action, not the classic cartoon movie) is just around the corner. Although I know that they have completely bastardized the series by changing several key elements, I’m still very excited. Maybe not “300” excited, but at least “Spider-Man 3” excited. We’ve been taunted by teaser trailers, presented with spy pics from the set, and teased for our undying love of transforming robot-car things. After all of that, they’ve finally got the cast, so to speak, together for a group shot. In the above picture, you see the following: Optimus Prime, depicted as an 18-wheeling big...

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Kumiko Suzuki makes money online

Either the concept of making money online is quickly gaining in popularity, or I’ve recently found myself in the company of many like-minded individuals, all of whom are blogging and attempting to make money online. One such person is Kumiko Suzuki. Although she currently lives in Tokyo, she was born in New York, so her English is very good, decidedly better than the more successful root of all evil John Chow. The first thing you’ll notice about Suzuki’s blog — affectionately known as Kumiko’s Cash Quest — is that it is very pink. Like very, very pink. Every banner, every bit of linked text, even her Google Adsense ads are pink. I wouldn’t have opted for that particular color scheme myself, but then again, I’m not a girl. Although it is technically a Blogger/Blogspot blog, Kumiko’s Cash Quest looks nothing like it. It looks instead like a completely customized site: there is no Blogspot banner at the top. I’m not a fan of the three column layout as it makes the blog look too “busy.” The left column could be eliminated quite easily, merging into the right column. At this time, her main source of blogging income is through Adsense, though she does make a significant amount of dough for referring people to Friendfinder. The two other monetization methods haven’t been nearly as successful: myLot and SlashMySearch. But she...

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Top Gear is no more

BBC car enthusiast show Top Gear could be coming off the air permanently…. Say it ain’t so. Say it ain’t so. Easily one of the greatest automotive television shows to ever grace the airwaves could be shutting down for good. No more Richard Hammond ripping around the test track. No more Jeremy Clarkson giving us quirky British sayings. No more Stig destroying speed records with hot new supercars. This is a sad day in television and an even sadder day in the world of motorsports. According to Leftlane News, Top Gear will not be returning for another season this...

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John Chow makes money online

This is probably a conflict of interest, but I’m going to do it anyways. This is my blog and I’m going to do whatever I want. I’ve been working with John Chow for a little while now, writing reviews for The TechZone as well as filling in some guest blogger duties over at his blog, John Chow dot Com, wherein he mostly tries to dispense tips on how to make money online. His primary focus is not for people that do freelance writing like me, but rather people hoping to score plenty of bucks through blogging. John did make over $7,000 last month, so I’d say he knows what’s talking about, even if he has made a few enemies for trying to make too much money through advertising and sponsored posts. He’s been called the root of all evil and for good reason. He does partake in a few activities that may be seen as slightly less than ethical. He disrespects lobsters, attacks Technorati, and even gets himself banned (and unbanned and then banned again) from Digg. His most recent evil scheme involves giving a free linkback to anyone that’ll help him with a Google bomb. Sadly, I’m a part of those evil ways. In my experience, John can come off as arrogant and uncouth at times (his spelling and grammar are also deplorable), but at other times, he...

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Telus Mobility Buys Google Adsense

Well, not exactly, but pretty darn close. Number portability officially went live today in Canada, meaning that you can now go ahead and switch cell phone providers while keeping your phone number. As such, the mobile operators are frantically trying to prevent their current clientele from jumping ship, and at the same time, they’re trying to attract customers from other operators to come on in. Rogers, Fido, and Bell Mobility haven’t made a huge deal about the change, but Telus Mobility, man alive, have they taken this idea and ran with it. Chances are that the 300 Adsense box that you see in this article is showing the Telus Mobility video ad featuring those quirky monkeys. If you scroll through to a post where I have a 468 mini banner, it’s probably telling you to switch, reminding you that you can keep your phone number. They’re really aggressively targeting every Canadian IP, hogging up the Adsense space on just about every website out there. I see it on Mobile Magazine, Stephen Fung’s blog, and even (please use that link and Digg the story I wrote for Mobile Mag). I’m not a big fan of Telus Mobility myself — I prefer unlocked GSM phones from Asia and Europe, so I’m stuck with either Fido or Rogers (which is really one and the same) — but they’re really doing a...

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Video: A Homemade Roller Coaster

I’ll let the blotchy, somewhat slow-loading video above tell the story (lesson learned: don’t use Adbrite for your embedded videos), but I’d say that’s pretty cool. It’s far from being the most advanced roller coaster, but it only cost the engineering student about $5,500 in materials. Who knows how long all the construction and calculations took, but man, it’s pretty cool having a roller coaster in your own...

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Where’s the Google Phone?

Rumours of a Google phone have been floating around the internet for a long time now. At one point, people said that it was going to be like a BlackBerry with a full QWERTY keyboard and instant access to your Gmail account. And then, people stumbled across the Google “Switch”, a smartphone with a touchscreen covering the entire face of the handset a la Apple’s iPhone. The Switch was going to manufactured by Samsung. Neither one of these rumours have been confirmed nor have they been denied. Well, the rumor mill is still churning at full speed and just the other day I came across yet another rendering of what the Google phone may look like. This was at TechEBlog, one of Mobile Magazine‘s competitors, I guess you could say. They’re still saying that this handset will be made by Samsung. Sure, it’s got Samsung’s signature glossy black exterior and ridiculously thin profile, but the “open” picture reminds me of the Nokia N93. I can’t say for sure, but it looks like it slides rather than flips. I don’t think I like have the nav wheel off to one side either. Regardless, I’m tired of the rumours. Just give us the real thing and get it over with. (Remember the whole ordeal surrounding the iPhone?) I do have one request though: Integrate it with Google...

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Got a blog? Win a Wii for free!

I’m a Nintendo Fanboy and as such, I was very excited about getting a Nintendo Wii. Heck, I was flipping over backwards when they first unveiled it as the Revolution. Even though the console has been out for about four months now, it’s still hard to find one readily available on store shelves. What if I told you could have one for free? John Chow calls himself the root of all evil. I even have proof. Well, Mr. Chow has teamed up with Tejpal Salooja of 1234 Pens, a promotional pens company, to give away a Nintendo Wii to...

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Free Ad-Free Web Hosting

I can’t speak to their quality, but you certainly can’t beat the price. After all, to get your site hosted at, you don’t have to fork out a single penny. It is absolutely free. What’s more, if you’re not stuck on having your own domain name (although that is part of the dot com mogul checklist), you can even get a free parking spot on their site. Otherwise, go ahead and do the domain registration with someone like BlueFur and then get the free hosting from my10gb. As their name implies, my10gb gives you ten gigabytes of online storage. The rest of specs read as thus: 20 gb bandwidth, PHP 4 support, FTP support, 99,98 % uptime. Naturally, there are restrictions. While there are no ads or nasty pop-ups to be found anywhere on your site, they do restrict file size to one megabyte and disallow the uploading of MP3 and ZIP files. As such, I think it’s a good solution for the amateur blogger: get domain registration elsewhere for less than ten bucks and you’ve got yourself a blog. Thanks to King Nomar for digging up this deal. And no, this post is not sponsored by my10gb and I am in no way endorsing their product (I haven’t tried it myself), but I just thought I’d pass along the news since everyone can stand to save a...

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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.