OK, maybe the '80s got it started with Dragnet, but we really have the '90s to blame for the plague of Hollywood remakes of old TV shows. If it was on the Nick at Nite lineup, you can bet some producer was trying to convince Judge Reinhold or Kelly McGillis that it would be a perfect family-friendly comeback vehicle. Can you endure the awful memories long enough to remember these eight '90s movies based on much earlier TV sources?
Oh, 1993, you enigmatic year, you. Were you the year of mindless frivolity like Sleepless in Seattle and "Achy Breaky Heart" and Boy Meets World? Were you the year the future began, with the launch of the first Pentium chips and the first true web browser (Mosaic, which mutated into Navigator, the stepfather of Firefox)? Were you the year we realized that the end of the Cold War only brought new and different problems, with the first World Trade Center bombing and the intensification of the war in Yugoslavia? Were you the year the likes of Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots decisively set the mopey, leaden tone of mainstream rock for the rest of the millennium? What was your deal, 1993?
We're going to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this (for better or worse) pivotal year the only way we know how: with some dumb jokes in a Woot-Off. And with some pieces about various Clinton-era concerns on the Woot blog.
Oh, and with some '90s-themed giveaways on the Woot Facebook page ("Like" us to play along). We've got some used stuff, some authentic '90s deadstock, and some new stuff with a '90s flavor. You might just find a piece of your past. That's OK. There's no shame or judgment here. We all lived through it; we all did what we had to do to survive.
So here's to 1993, in all its ridiculous glory. For the next two days here on Woot, Homey will definitely play dat.
The wheel in the sky keeps on turning, and Steve Perry don't know where he'll be tomorrow. But you do, thanks to our resident all-orang seeicle Jason Toon, the star whisperer. Lean closer, now, and hark to your future…
The Consumer Electronics Show brings together thousands of people from around the world, and requires them to walk around with their names clearly printed on a tag around their necks. Just watching the badges go by is a great way for a snap education on the wonderful variety of human names. Every single one of these names belongs to an actual CES attendee, as spotted by me. Just imagine how much better, how much more colorful your life would be if you woke up every morning with one of these names:
- Lili Li
- John Hater
- Nicholas Nikolas
- Bong Valdez
- Jerry Springer
- Ernst Ginkel
- Lobo Law
- Jason Toon
We'll keep pointing fingers and naming names in our CES 2013 coverage.
The appeal of crowdfunding for tech projects is obvious: the plucky visionary speaking straight to the masses, bringing magic to life without any interference from the venture-capital suits. In reality, of course, the record is mixed. But this year's Consumer Electronics Show proves that hasn't stopped inventors from turning to Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites to back the projects they're passionate about.
"It's an environment where people are super-supportive of extremely strange ideas like we're doing," says Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, founder and inventor of Good Night Lamp, a family of Internet-connected lamps that bring a warm, sensory, high-design quality to social connectivity. "But also, they give us some amazing feedback, We've been on Kickstarter for two days now, and I've had huge amounts of feedback. It's really great."
Mystery can be an effective tactic in piquing the public's interest. The makers of Lapka prove that "excessive minimalism" is not a contradiction in terms. Their inscrutable booth consists of an arty video loop set to Erik Satie, some text-free postcards showing Lapka, and a few examples of the enigmatic product itself. Of course, people were lined up three deep at the counter. For every baffled showgoer who shrugged and walked away, two more elbowed forward to take his place.
So, OK, what IS Lapka?
This is going to hurt the people who earn their crust peddling iPhone covers and wireless mice bedecked in skulls and flames, but it has to be said: the Consumer Electronics Show is about the least rock 'n' roll environment this side of a Methodist church. And even a Methodist church might have a bad-ass cross or a cool-sounding organ or something.
So when a potent force of corrosive rock power strides onto the show floor, you can practically see reality rippling around you. The mighty Lemmy was ostensibly here to introduce Motörheadphönes. But his real message was "Take heart, weary electronics peons! All around you is illusion! Outside these walls, rock 'n' roll still walks, breathes fire, LIVES!"
Sometimes I listen to earbuds as I fall asleep. Sometimes I would like to, but I don't because it's just too uncomfortable trying to sleep with hunks of plastic wedged into my ears. For side-sleepers like me, regular headphones are even worse. The people at SleepPhones understand my pain. They solved this problem a while ago. I wasn't alone.
Some very flat speakers in a cozy headband. That's all it took. Done. Fixed. I'm a little concerned at how inordinately happy this makes me. As with my previous love for the TV Hat, I guess I just I like my innovations the way I like my cocktails: simple, cheap, and distracting me from my problems.
What say you, my fellow rock-a-bye rockers? Do SleepPhones look comfier than your current bed-bud setup?
Advanced insomniacs are directed to take a large dose of our CES 2013 coverage.
If you're like me, you're sitting in a hotel room thousands of miles from anyone who cares about you, in the name of covering the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show starting tomorrow in Las Vegas. And you're thinking "WHAT THE FREAK, SCOTT LYDON, WHY DO YOU GET TO SLEEP YOUR IN OWN BED TONIGHT AFTER A 'GRUELING' DAY OF INVENTING FAKE CES COVERAGE?" It's funny how, even in a super-shmancy hotel where the rooms have remote-control linen blinds, the check-in people still remind you that the in-room mini-bar is weight sensitive. No 3 A.M. pig-outs discreetly covered by cut-rate gas-station knockoffs for me.
But you don't care about that. You care about the haps on the ground, the CES recon sitch, the young, restless gadgets bold and beautiful enough to warrant their own yearly soap opera for a few days of our lives. Is "ultra-HD" a real thing we're actually supposed to take seriously, and should I take my Blu-ray collection down to the city dump right now to beat the rush? What if Intel and Qualcomm throw a mobile chip war and nobody shows up? Can we please, please come up with some term for a bulky smartphone other than "phablet"? "Bulky smartphone" works, right?
And if you're at the show, say hi! The place is rife with Wootness! There's the official Woot booth at South Hall 1, 21900. There's the world debut of our roving Mortimer mascot in terrifying larger-than-life-size. And there's me: I look like a Groucho mask without the mustache (pictured at left), and I'll be workin' it like Missy Elliott all over the Convention Center. Come up and bump fists with me and you might just see your face (or, I guess, fist) in this space!
So here we are. The end of the world. Guys, it's been swell. But before we all ride the cosmic handbasket into oblivion, there's still time for one more naked promotional ploy.
Mortimer, the more impulsive of our two spokesmonkeys, is tidying up his cubicle for the impending Armageddon. And he's dumping the contents all over Woot's Facebook page. Go there, LIKE us, and watch for giveaway announcements throughout the day to win a piece of "problem inventory" to call your very own!
Of course, no amount of unwanted consumer junk can stave off the inevitable devouring of everything you hold dear. Goodbye, cruel wooters. We'll catch you fools on the flippity-flop.