RF3 ENVi Natural Wood Stereo Earbud Cell Phone Headset | Amazon.comA while back I wrote about this headset I’d won in a contest over at iLounge and sponsored by Mobile Line Communications. For the first couple of weeks, I was pretty happy with the headset. Then it developed a short or something that caused the left ear-piece to only work randomly. Annoying. Very annoying.

So I looked up the manufacturer’s website which to all intents & purposes is a fancy coming soon page. They did include an email address inside an image on the site[ref]support@mackarl.com[/ref], so I sent them a note asking about my problem with the left ear-piece. I got no response, not even a simple automated note saying they got my message. Annoying. Very annoying.

Then I tried Mobile Line to see if they could help me, but their site wants you to register to do almost anything there and seems to be geared towards getting you signed up as a peddler of their crap. After a bit of poking around, I found an email address on the site and thought I’d writing them[ref]salesorders@mobileline.com[/ref]. Sure the email address was for their sales department, but I figured at the very least I’d get a response saying they would forward the request off to their support department. But I figured wrong.

Now over a month later, neither the manufacturer or Mobile Line has bothered to respond to my emails and now to add insult to injury the right ear-piece started flaking out (while the left now only rarely & randomly works). So I’m forced to change my rating on this headset from “yeah, cool!” to “junky crap” and recommend that nobody ever buy them.

Stargate Universe, Complete First SeasonThanks to a lucky purchase at our local used book/music/movie shop, I recently picked up Stargate Universe, The Complete First Season on DVD[ref]At $13+tax, it was a must buy.[/ref]. Since picking it up I’ve been rushing through watching it as fast as I can; partly because I really enjoy it and partly because I wanted to loan it to a friend. As I’ve completed watching the discs, thought I’d post a few notes on the show.[ref]Excluding the commentaries, but including all the rest of the special features.[/ref]

Things done well

  • Usage of music, particularly where the show’s creators have selected a single song as a theme for a particular episode (e.g. Flogging Molly’s The Worst Day Since Yesterday, SGU S01E09: Life) is stunning.
  • Despair of ever seeing home again is handled fairly well, though the most interesting characters[ref]Eli & Rush[/ref] tend to spend more screen time in enjoying the experience of being where they are rather than pining for home.
  • Special effects and set design: To understand how impressive this really is, you need to watch the special features on the DVDs to see how things look without the special effects and to see how much of their set can be reconfigured to work as different areas of the ship.

Things done poorly

  • Leaving people behind on a planet and getting them back again in the very next f**king episode. If you’re trying to convince viewers that the plight of people on that ship is so deadly serious; once a character gets left behind, they should be gone permanently[ref]Unfortunately they can’t seem to help themselves with bringing people back; as they do it again in the second season. Though in season 2, at least the character wasn’t brought back in the very next episode.[/ref]
  • They don’t handle the portrayal of limited supplies well. Sure, we get a lot of talk about food, water & medicine (with the occasional note about ammunition), but….
    • They never seem to run out of bullets and sometimes use them in seemingly wasteful ways (e.g. in S01E06: “Water” they used their guns to carve chunks out of a frozen waterfall).
    • Some characters suddenly have different cloths (e.g. Chloe starts off with an ugly dress but ends up with a rather nice pantsuit).
    • Rush never seems to run out of those little notebooks.
    • Almost everybody’s clothes or uniforms look spotless all the time. With the exception of a character who just got back from a planet[ref]This is only true towards the end of the first season. Paying close attention to the clothes in earlier episodes shows bloodstains & whatnot on a variety of characters.[/ref]
  • No real sense of isolation and there should be, but they spend a fair amount of time using the ancient communication stones to pop back to Earth. Doing so helps them to explore character back-stories and motivations but it also severely undermines how isolated and far from home they really are.
  • Chloe, Eli & Matt: SyFy[ref]*shudder* I still hate that you guys changed the name of your channel.[/ref] you’re writing a show that caters to geeks and we geeks like to see the geek get the girl. Keeping Eli as the best friend to both Chloe & Matt, is at best annoying.