June 28, 2005

Take the MIT Weblog Survery

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Thanks, Woody.

Posted by Jeffrey at 4:30 PM

June 19, 2005

IMPS - Relentless == h00t

From those zany $#*@'ers who brought us TROOPS

IMPS - Relentless

The same sort of humor as in Troops, just further expanded and much, MUCH more CGI.

Memorable Quotes:

Trooper to "Predator"-like alien: "Ok, here's your frisbee back, try not to hurt yourself with it."

Trooper 1: "Which floor are we on?"
Trooper 2: "I think the 16th."
Trooper 1: "Ok, let me know when we get to the 21st. I'm going to puke."
Trooper 3: "Just remember to take off your helmet this time."

Well worth the download folks. Serious upgrade on the announcer as well.

Posted by Jeffrey at 7:57 PM | Comments (0)

Double Review: Batman Begins and Ikiru

Takashi Shimura .... Kanji Watanabe
Shinichi Himori .... Kimura
Haruo Tanaka .... Sakai

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Release Year: 1952
rating: 3.8/4.0
quote: Life is so short / Fall in love, dear maiden / While your lips are still red / And before you are cold, / For there will be no tomorrow.

Kurosawa has a nickname on IMDB as "The Emperor". I'm not sure if that is because of his superlative body of work or because he is a 6' Tokyo native. I developed a taste for Kurosawa films during my "Development of Cinema" course back in 95. Some of his films are more accessible than others(Seven Samurai, Yojimbo(I've heard), Ran, Hidden Fortress, Throne of Blood), and Ikiru can be added to that list.

Kanji Watanabe is the modern day equivalent of middle management. Nothing can get done in his office without him, but all he does is read forms and stamps them. It's been like that for over 30 years. Then one day, he goes to the doctor with stomach ailments. The doctor says it's nothing serious and to stick to a diet of easily digestable food. However, he learned via another patient that such a diagnosis was what they told everyone with stomach cancer and that he only has 6 months to live. What happens in the next 6 months is more than what's happened to him his whole life, and what he'll be remembered by.

Kurosawa's innovative camera shots and use of lighting are in full swing in this film. His formal training as a painter comes through in his shots are blocked, transitioned, and how the action takes place on screen. Ikiru is not the feel-good hit of 52 that I would introduce people to Kurosawa with, but it is definately a must-see for those who appreciate cinema and Japanese culture.

and now for something completely different.

Batman Begins
Christian Bale .... Bruce Wayne/Batman
Michael Caine .... Alfred
Liam Neeson .... Ducard
Katie Holmes .... Rachel Dawes
Gary Oldman .... Jim Gordon
Cillian Murphy .... Dr. Jonathan Crane
Tom Wilkinson .... Carmine Falcone
Rutger Hauer .... Earle
Ken Watanabe .... Ra's Al Ghul
Morgan Freeman .... Lucius Fox

Director: Christopher Nolan(Insomnia, Memento)
Release Year: 2005
rating: 3.0/4.0
quote: Alfred Pennyworth: [Alfred tries to lift a wooden beam off Bruce Wayne who struggles] Sir, whatever is the point of all those push-ups if you can't even lift a log?

Ah... Batman's back where he belongs! Out of the neon and nipple suits and back in black and shadow. While the movie couldn't overcome inertia in the first 45min., it quickly begins to pickup pace all the way to the end. Well worth the buckage to see it on the big screen.

Posted by Jeffrey at 3:50 PM | Comments (0)

June 16, 2005

A Practical Guide to Linux by Mark Sobell

I bought this book back in `97 and has been an indispensable resource for me. I only thought about doing a plug for it today when one of my coworkers asked for the ISBN on it.

If you want a solid intro. to Linux book that doesn't favor one distro over another, yet is comprehensive enough to get most any beginner up and running, this is the book for you.

My only gripe is that I think he did only one edition, so the material he covers is around Kernel version 2.0 or so. For beginners, this isn't much of a complaint. Most, if not all, of the commands are still the same and many of the applications are just as popular now as then.

This and the Linux in a Nutshell by Oreilly is what most people would need to use linux once it's up and running.

Posted by Jeffrey at 4:34 PM | Comments (0)

June 7, 2005

Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson.

from the BBC..

It is true much of her career was overshadowed by The Graduate. I'll have to look at some of her other movies for comparison.

...And she was hotter than Stifler's mom any day of the week.

Posted by Jeffrey at 6:49 PM | Comments (0)

June 6, 2005

Apple to Ditch IBM for Intel: Does it matter?

from Reuters.

[CNET.com] said that Apple plans to move lower-end computers like the Mac Mini to Intel chips in mid-2006 and higher-end models such as the Power Mac in the middle of 2007, Cnet said, citing anonymous sources.

Two of Apple's chief gripes with IBM is the lack of processor variety and its past of failure to deliver on time. Valid points, and I as an Intel user welcome Apple to the fold. May your cpu problems be our problems.

But does this signify that Apple could be loosening the hardware rein and potentially allowing non-Mac hardware to run their OS? Will Apple lose software partners because of the architecture change? Will Will Farrel end up becoming just like Darren in Bewitched this summer?

Nein, ehh..., and he was already Darren on SNL. He has the facial expressive range of Abraham Lincoln... Today... at the Lincoln Memorial... Stone faced... But Nicole Kidman as Samantha...

Intel is the largest and most prolific chip manufacturer out there. Chances are, something in your house has Intel Inside® it. But just because Intel's providing the architecture does not necessarily mean that you'll be able to install updated versions of OSX on your Dell, HP, or homegrown box.

Apple can, and judging by how long these two have been talking most likely will, still could have a pretty high level of hardware exclusivity as they enjoy now. I wouldn't risk Apple's reputation of OS/hardware solidarity by switching to an architecture that the OS wasn't as happy with and could invite bad press by people who put it on non-Apple hardware, expecting it to work as well as it normally would(I mean, geez, how many people do you know have Darwin for x86 running?). Also, Apple's been in the market to get a cheaper and cooler chipset for their PowerBook series.

On the software side, I think there will be some attrition from the architecture switchover, but depending on the compatability between Apple/Intel and MS/Intel, this could very well be one of the best moves Apple's made yet. Their biggest issue will be making OSX perform as well with Intel as it did with IBM. After that, making it just as easy for its vendors to port their code over to Intel and hopefully offering less duplication of work for future Apple/MS software projects.

Another thing to consider is that this move will increase competition between Apple and MS. Running on (potentially)more similar architectures will potentially offer a more level field for measuring how well the OS's perform against each other. Good or Bad? I dunno.

Overall, this move has it's pros and cons. Unfortunately, it poses a serious question to Apple: give up hardware exclusivity and potential OS/hardware performance in exchange for more volume/more software? Maintain exclusivity and irritate software companies by switching architectures? Make Nicole Kidman play second fiddle or co-star to an SNL flunkout like Will Farrell? I love fillet mignon and maple syrup is OK, but no way would I put the two together. I'll still see it, who am I kidding?

Posted by Jeffrey at 4:34 AM | Comments (0)

June 1, 2005

Post Confirms Felt Was 'Deep Throat'

Official Article Here.(soul-sucking registration required)

This conspiracy happened before my time and my only knowledge of it is academic, much different to those who followed it as it unfurled more than 30 years ago.

Looks like a big, big day for news today.

Posted by Jeffrey at 12:35 PM | Comments (0)

Ben Burtt to leave Lucasfilm for Pixar

Syracuse.com article

Burtt, who has won four Oscars for sound effects editing and creature and robot voice creation, is moving on. He is joining Pixar Animation. It is, he says, time for a fresh wind to blow.


Yet, the time had come for a new challenge and Pixar came calling. He terms it "the most attractive" of his offers. One reason, Burtt chose Pixar was its Bay Area location. The filmmaker has long been a resident of Northern California not far from Lucas' headquarters at Skywalker Ranch in Marin County and its allied operations. Burtt had no desire to pack up for Hollywood.

More significantly, the sound designer and film editor knew many of the Pixar folks. He recalls that many of the Pixar honchos had been Lucas employees when it was a small division of Lucasfilm.

I was just thinking since watching Episode III that sound is what really makes a great movie great these days. Now, the man who has made some of the legendary sounds of the Star Wars trilogy is packing up and moving to a LF spinoff known as Pixar.

To do animation? Really? Well, hopefully he'll keep his ear attuned to the sound in Pixar films as well and maybe we'll catch a Wilhelm or two. Maybe they'll have him helm a couple of audio projects for them as well.

Best of luck to you, Ben!

Posted by Jeffrey at 10:31 AM | Comments (0)