The 404 192: Where Sen. McCain canceled his appearance on The 404

When you start out by setting the bar low, you don't need high expectations. We kick off the show with a discussion of Pirates 2, sequel to the highest budget adult film of all time. In other news, MySpace finally enters the music biz, plastic surgeons ban unfeasibly large breasts, and Justin is an albatross.

Dan the Mantern here. Somehow today's banter turned to the topic of haggard Chinese dudes who play supporting roles in action movies. Despite their recognizable faces and remarkable performances, too often these evil henchman and characters used to advance a plot line are stripped of the accolades they so deserve. I'd like to take this opportunity to initiate a new tradition at The 404: The Supporting Actor Hall of Fame.

For the first installment, we'll remember the career of the late Victor Wong. Known for his quirky haircut and lazy eye, Wong's breakthrough role as Egg Shen in Big Trouble in Little China had us reeling. Wong went on to portray The Old Man in Eddie Murphy's The Golden Child, Fighter in Bloodsport, and Grandpa Mori Shintaro in 3 Ninjas, 3 Ninjas Kick Back, 3 Ninjas Knuckle Up, and 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain. Unfortunately, we lost this timeless actor in late 2001. Rest in peace, Victor Wong, we miss ya buddy.

EPISODE 192 Download today's podcast Read more

MySpace Music makes its debut

Update Sept. 25, 4:47 a.m. PDT: MySpace and the four record labels have officially unveiled MySpace Music.

NEW YORK--Media mogul Rupert Murdoch will officially take on Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Thursday.

That's when MySpace is expected to launch MySpace Music, the music service formed by the world's second largest social network and all four of the largest recording companies, executives from the News Corp.-owned social network said Wednesday.

MySpace executives said the EMI Group, which took much longer to join the venture than its three competitors, will make its entire music library available to … Read more

Jonas Brothers billboard hails impending MySpace Music

NEW YORK--Spotted, Gossip Girl-style: Teen pop sensations the Jonas Brothers, heralding the launch of MySpace Music atop a billboard in Times Square. The launch of the News Corp.-owned social network's music service is coming any day now.

The Jonas Brothers display can be seen on the billboard on the corner of West 43rd Street, with the slogan "Songs We Can Agree On" and a short list of songs in the manner of a mixtape (which include selections from Elvis Costello, Prince, and Albert Hammond Jr.) That's a hint at the playlist-creation focus of the new … Read more

MySpace launches DIY ad-targeting site

MySpace looks to be kicking off a new do-it-yourself service for creating and placing ads on its site.

The service, called the Self-Serve Ad Service and still in beta, lets anyone capable of filling out a basic Web form promote a band or business on

Users can choose to either upload their own ad or create one using MySpace's system. After selecting from a few dozen templates and uploading an image to place in the ad, users get to select their target audience: gender, age, region, city/state, and interests. For instance, you could target your ad … Read more

Son of NASA astronaut happy to blast off with Russians

I don't know if you've ever flown Aeroflot, but I am told that on some of the flights you get benches rather than seats--which is why I am rather admiring of Richard Garriott's courage.

Garriott, a video game developer from Austin, Texas, is spending a reported $35 million to get shot up in a Soyuz, according to Reuters.

He says he isn't scared. That's despite the fact that a South Korean lady, who became a Soyuznik in April, complained that she thought she was going to die upon re-entry. Her no-doubt highly sober captain apparently … Read more

Buzz Out Loud 814: BOL: now with actual knowledge

On today's show, we get schooled about how cell phone 911 works, we school the music industry on its consistently terrible ideas regarding physical formats (seriously? Albums on micro SD cards? Are you kidding us with this?), Obama cools his pro Net neutrality stance, and Japan gets to work on the space elevator. Jason already volunteered to go. He's so brave. We'll miss him.

Listen now: Download today's podcast EPISODE 814

SanDisk, record labels announce new music format more

Endeavour put on standby as rescue spacecraft

It's not just a pretty picture. This NASA photo from Kennedy Space Center shows how, for the first time since July 2001, two shuttles are on launch pads at the same time. Atlantis is in the foreground on Launch Pad A, and Endeavour is behind it on Launch Pad B.

Endeavour was moved into position Friday so it could be on standby in the unlikely event that a rescue mission is necessary for the Atlantis' planned October 10 mission to repair NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, the agency said.

Once Endeavour is cleared from its rescue spacecraft duty, it'… Read more

Report: MySpace Music may delay launch

MySpace Music is having some trouble getting out the door it appears.

Sources told me months ago that overseers of the new music service, formed by News Corp. and the three largest music labels, were shooting for a September 15 launch date.

The blog Silicon Alley Insider wrote recently that the launch date had been moved back to September 18. Now Peter Kafka of SAI, citing music industry sources, is reporting the launch date may get pushed back a week.

Kafka, a former writer for Forbes magazine, reports that there are two obvious possibilities. On Monday, CNET News reported that … Read more

Sources: EMI close to deal with MySpace Music

The EMI Group is close to joining the three other large recording companies in backing the upcoming MySpace Music service, according to two sources close to the negotiations.

EMI and MySpace representatives were "trying to jump some final hurdles," according to one of the sources adding that the companies could finalize a deal in time for the launch of MySpace's new iTunes competitor.

An EMI spokeswoman said only that the "companies were in talks." A MySpace spokeswoman said the company doesn't comment on rumors.

The start-up, expected to launch later this week, was formed … Read more

Does Facebook have an answer for MySpace Music?

With the launch of the much-anticipated MySpace Music expected within the week, tech industry wags are already asking if MySpace's archrival Facebook has its own "social music" strategy.

Now Facebook, despite bouts of indecision, may be leaning toward a plan: The social music service iLike announced Monday that Radio Retaliation, the forthcoming album from electronica duo Thievery Corporation will make its exclusive debut Thursday on its site. (It probably wasn't a coincidence that Thievery Corporation was the headlining musical act at Facebook's F8 conference in July.)

iLike became a runaway success on Facebook's platform … Read more