Star Apps: Chelsea Handler

Comedian Chelsea Handler spent seven years questioning celebrities about their latest projects on "Chelsea Lately." Now the retired talk show host is partnering with Netflix to create comedy special "Uganda Be Kidding Me Live" and four mockumentaries in which she gets answers to some of life's mysteries, like where apps come from.

What makes Uganda an untapped resource for good comedy material? Well, I always figure anywhere I travel is an untapped resource for material. I always end up having a good time, and I like to give America the reputation that I've given … Read more

Google brings Wi-Fi sprawl to NYC neighborhood

Google today is rolling out free public Wi-Fi in the Chelsea neighborhood in New York City.

The free public service, which is being unveiled today by Google Chief Technology Officer Ben Fried and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), is the largest contiguous Wi-Fi network in the entire city.

When folks enter the Chelsea neighborhood, which spans Gansevoort Street and 19th Street from 8th Avenue to the West Side Highway, including the Chelsea Triangle, 14th Street Park, and Gansevoort Plaza, they'll have free access to a Wi-Fi connection provided by Google.

The search giant has been making a push in New … Read more

Get the Blues on your desktop with Chelsea Windows 7 Theme

If someone says to you, "Stamford Bridge gives me The Blues," would you offer sympathy? When someone says, "Chelsea," do you think, "Clinton?" Or perhaps you think of a leafy London borough named Chelsea, not Fulham. If so, you might get a charge out of Chelsea Windows 7 Theme, a free theme pack of high-resolution desktop background images from Windows 7 Theme. And as you might suspect by now, it's dedicated to the Chelsea Football Club of England's Premier League. The Blues have played in the same stadium since their founding (as … Read more

Cell phone service comes to some NYC subway stations

New Yorkers will finally be able to use their cell phones in subway stations--as long as their commute takes them through one neighborhood in Manhattan.

The New York Times reported yesterday that cellular service will come to four stations starting Tuesday. AT&T and T-Mobile customers will be able to make phone calls, send text messages, and browse the Internet on their phone underground--something that's virtually impossible today. The deployment is extremely limited: only four stations in the Chelsea neighborhood on the west side of Manhattan.

The initial launch, which acts as a pilot program for a wider … Read more

The 404 680: Where you really should be working right now (podcast)

"Bringing a date to a wedding is like taking a deer carcass on a hunting trip." Des Moines from Shane left us one of the best voice mails we've listened to in a while, so thanks for the advice, dude! On today's episode of The 404 Podcast, we're looking at some of the most inappropriate Halloween costumes of all time. Plus, a preview of the upcoming Sonic 4, and a list of catchphrases every 404 fan should use at least once a day!

Sonic the Hedgehog is one of the most recognizable titles of all time, right up there with Mario and Tetris. Even an anti-gaming Luddite like myself can appreciate its simple objective: to run as fast as possible while decimating anything that gets in your way. Also, coins.

The next evolution, Sonic 4, is a throwback to the original games but this time with HD gameplay, so look for it in stores for the Nintendo Wii, Sony PS3, and the Xbox 360, and it'll be featured on a future episode of CNET's PreGame as well!

The next story in the daily rundown is a public Twitter booth spotted in Russia, but it'll have to wait until tomorrow because we'd rather talk about the most inappropriate Halloween costumes of all time. Watch Wilson's head explode and follow along as we show off a couple controversial costumes, including the sexy Finding Nemo, the Suicide Bomber children's outfit, the "Shocker," and one other play on word costume that brings Wilson to tears- don't miss this segment!

We spent the first half of yesterday's show talking about the disturbing world of Renaissance faires, and I told a story about a young fan of The 404 who spotted me in attendance but couldn't stay long to talk with his mother in tow.

Well, he actually called us up with a voice mail that illustrates exactly how bad my sense of observation is--sorry dude! Come to our Meetup at The Frying Pan this Thursday, October 7, and I'll buy you a drink! If you're not a member of our Meetup Group, sign up for more details and RSVP if you can make it!

Here are the meetup details.

Episode 680 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS VideoRead more

Russian billionaire puts anti-paparazzi shield on yacht

Not so long ago, paparazzi pictures emerged showing Italian Prime Minster Silvio Berlusconi at his villa with several dignitaries. Among them was former Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, who was really quite naked and, well, excited to be so.

Now it seems that Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich is keen not to be the victim of such covert camerawork. According to the Times of London, Abramovich is having a yacht built in Hamburg. And it has some fine technological accoutrements.

Perhaps the most interesting is a shield that manages to disrupt the technical capabilities of anyone trying to take a photograph … Read more

Facebook death threats for soccer referee

I understand that not everyone loves soccer.

However, Wednesday saw one of the most important events in the annual soccer calendar--the UEFA Champions League semifinal between Chelsea and Barcelona.

Barcelona prevailed with an excellent goal in the very dying seconds. Which, unfortunately, has resulted in many Chelsea fans turning to Facebook and other media in order to suggest that the Norwegian referee, Tom Henning Ovrebo, should be doing some dying too.

In their somewhat warped view, he refused to award four penalties to Chelsea. And he should, therefore, suffer the consequences.

Here is a sample from just one of the … Read more

What's better? Live or recorded music?

There are a million ways to experience music, but for the purpose of this blog let's just break it down to two categories: live and recorded.

I don't know about you, but if I get to hear live music more than twice a month, that's pretty good. Sure, I can look back and remember some great concerts in my life, like the Rolling Stones at Madison Square Garden in 1969, Miles Davis in a tiny club in Greenwich Village in the early '70s, and Stevie Ray Vaughan in the '80s. The Pixies in the '90s were definitely a high point.

I recently attended a concert with the Chelsea Symphony at St. Paul's Church in Manhattan. Sitting in the top balcony, the sound was simply awesome; I've never heard anything close to that sound reproduced by even the very best high-end audio systems. The orchestra certainly didn't need amplification; it was definitely loud enough. Not quite rock concert loud, but the Chelsea Symphony's eight percussionists can make a strong impression.

Better yet, the sound never hurt my ears. But the orchestra was far more viscerally dynamic than any rock band, and the sound of strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion filling the acoustic space of the church was a thrill I won't soon forget. That is, you don't so much hear the sound of each instrument, you hear it filling the church. The sound of the entire orchestra floated, like a cloud, above the pews. The sound was beyond what I've ever experienced from an orchestra in a large concert hall.

In those and other experiences, the music connection was stronger than it could ever be from recordings, but for the most part I actually prefer recorded music. First and most obviously because it's a repeatable pleasure I can have any time I want it. Next, recorded music is, after all, perfected and approved by the artist(s)--live music is subject to the vagaries of chance.

Recorded music's production can't necessarily be duplicated in concert. Depending on where you sit, and how good or bad the sound system is, live music is a crap shoot. With a decent hi-fi at home, you can get better sound than most live gigs. Oh, and you can play it at exactly the volume you want.

"Live" recordings fall between the two extremes, and if the band's up for it, may be the best of live and recorded. … Read more

The 404 150: Where Justin apologizes profusely to Sarah Tew

We finally get CNET photographer Sarah Tew into The 404 lair and I screw it all up in the preshow. 'Twas totally unintentional, Ms. Tew, I promise! Ahh, this big, dumb mouth of mine. Anyway, Sarah was dragged in by Corinne Shulze, another CNET shooter visiting from the City by the Bay. In nothing short of a miracle, they still agree to do the show and we get right into it.

Wait, not quite...we have to talk about medical ailments and weekend buffoonery, right? Corinne tells us about her fight with a MUNI rail (you should've seen the … Read more

SXSW wrap-up: or how to link 3 panels in 3 synthesizing steps (+bonus)

Since the SXSW conference buzzword was convergence, Chelsea Holden Baker of Frog Design looks back at convergent themes of three panels in three synthesizing steps, and a little bonus at the end:

Blood Sweat and Tears: Great Design Hurts

John Gruber (Daring Fireball) and Michael Lopp (Apple), made the case for cultivating discomfort as a designer: "Are you willing to be an asshole?" We took a trip back through the iconic designs (like IBM) of Paul Rand and examined the allure of the Apple logo (whether rainbow-striped or white, what makes it sexy is the bite. It's … Read more