Hey guys. I thought that I should end this week a little early and so I just wanted to say. Thank you. Thanks for reading the blog this year and I hope that all of you have a happy New Year. Also, be safe. You don’t want to start the New Year on the wrong foot.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
CTV is reporting that Disney’s shareholders have voted to approve Disney’s $4.3 billion take over of Marvel Entertainment Inc..
This deal represents Disney’s largest take over deal since it purchased Pixar for $7.4 billion in stock in 2006.
Personally, I think this is good news for all of us Marvel fans. Disney seems to be a company that has gotten refocused on what it does best and that is animation. Anyone that has seen “The Princess and The Frog” know that Disney seems to have hit their stride once again. (That film was awesome.) So, I think Marvel and its characters will be served well being in Disney’s ecosystem. Especially given that Disney has experience producing both animated features and live action films.
One thing that I have to wonder though is, how Disney plans to get back all the rights to the Marvel properties that are currently under contract to other studios. Also, there is no word on a settlement with the other rights holders for the Marvel catalogue of characters, namely Jack Kirby’s estate that is suing for the rights to the characters Jack Kirby helped to create.
In any case, I think this is a good deal and I hope to see what develops from it.
The Movie Blog put up an interesting post today talking about the criticism that Avatar has been receiving from political and Religious groups. Apparently, some Hindu and Native American groups are offended with the use of the word Avatar, as well as, the parallels that can be found between these two traditions. Truth be told I don't know much about either of these two traditions and how the word 'Avatar' is revered, so I can't really say much other than to say that they need to understand that the word Avatar in English means something different then it does in their religion and so its not a direct reference, nor is any reference to there religious traditions meant to be offensive.
Also, there are some Christian groups that aren't to happy with Avatar either. The Movie blog has a quote from an review done by Dr. Ted Baehr over at the MovieGuide which criticizes Avatar for having a New Age agenda which promotes the worship of Goddess, etc. Now I can kind of see his point, but I have to kind of disagree. Certainly some might come away from Avatar interested in worshiping the Earth or something, but the vast majority of the film going audience really isn't interested. I'm a Christian myself and I know that some circles are a bit more sensitive in terms of what they see and watch. But I've learned to just try and see the positive in things, and not to just try and find the evil in everything. Avatar introduced the ideas of both an afterlife and the existence of God , but we don't see that quoted in the review.
That being said, I think that criticizing Dr. Ted Baehr is kind of dumb. The MovieGuide is a Christian movie review site. Meaning that its for Christians. If you not a Christian you don't need to go there. This is not the front page of the New York Times, its a website that most people have probably not even heard about and so to take its criticism out of the context of this Christian website is a bit unwise. If the MovieGuide is serving its audience of conservative Christians, than that's great and we don't' need to go there.
Avatar has also come under criticism for being anti-American. Some have commented that the evil corporation represents the Americans, while the Na'vi are the Afgan or Middle Eastern people. So essentially James Cameron has reversed 9/11, with the Americans being the attackers and these middle eastern people being the victims. Now whether it is James Cameron's intention or not to criticize the American military's operations in the Middle East, I'm just not sure. I know that we can certainly draw parallels between the corporation and the American Military. The fact that the boss of the operation literally comes out and says that the only reason that they are even on Pandora is that this mineral found there sells for a lot of money, could add some credence to the idea that James Cameron is criticizing the American Military.
If James Cameron is criticizing the American Military, he is only sharing the same sentiment that other people around the world have been voicing for years now. But, I feel that looking at what goes on in the movie, you can only draw so much of comparison between Pandora and the Middle East. The Military's operations in the Middle East isn't just for oil. I know that some people might disagree with that, but that is what I believe. If you believe differently I can respect that too. Also, I don't see any direct criticism of 9/11 here in the movie just because the Na'vi's tree was destroyed doesn't mean that James Cameron is criticizing 9/11. Certainly, it was just as traumatic, but it wasn't the World Trade Center. Sorry I just can't see it.
So in truth, I feel that most of the criticism is just people being sensitive. There is possible some merit to the idea that James Cameron is criticizing the American Military, but I just don't really think James Cameron is.
What are your thoughts?
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
The guys at Gizmodo are reporting that they have received a leak on the pricing of the Nexus One (not the Google Phone, as Google has decided to keep the name Nexus One).
According to Gizmodo’s leak the Nexus One will sell for $530 unlocked though Google at google.com/phone. For those that want to get a subsidized model, apparently you will be able to buy one through T-mobile for $180 when you sign a 2 year contract. Also, according to another tipster, Google is going to begin to taking orders for the Nexus One at 9am on January 5th.
I really think that this is great news. I live in Canada and so I was wondering when this phone would become available up here. Assuming that the leak is correct, I will be able to buy the phone regardless of where I live and what carrier I’m with. Depending on how good the Nexus One is, this could be me next phone, as I’m currently looking to change my cell phone provider and thus need a new phone.
So are you buying the Nexus One? Do you think it can beat the iPhone?
For those that haven't been following the Ghostbusters 3 saga, there have been many attempts over the years to get this project off the ground, but all attempts failed to get started. There was even a movie named "Evolution" which starred David Duchovny that many believe was the Ghostbusters 3 that Ivan Reitman wanted to make.
So, I have to wonder if this Ghostbusters 3 will fail as well. The Latino Review is reporting that there is some interest being expressed in a screenplay that was written by Dan Aykroyd and there are currently plans to start shooting in 2011. The only problem is that their is still no news on Bill Murray signing on to the project. The big problem facing the Ghostbusters franchise in the past, other than interest, was that the actors weren't interested in reprising their roles. So, Murray not signing on could represent a problem.
Personally, I've liked the Ghostbusters movies and I hope that they can get their act together and give us another film. The only thing that I'm wondering is if this sequel is about 20 years to late. Ghostbusters 2 was release back in 1989, and so maybe Ghostbusters would be better served with a reboot rather than a sequel. In any case, I think a reboot should probably be considered if they can't get everyone together this time around.
What are your thoughts?
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Just to do a quick review. Many security researchers around the world have been frustrated with the level of security of GSM’s networks worldwide and have been encouraging GSM Providers to increase the security of their networks for sometime now. Having failed to get GSM providers to increase the security of their networks, security researches in Germany decided to instead concentrate on creating "rainbow tables" which could be used in the cracking of GSM’s Encryption.
Rainbow tables, for those that don’t know, are basically pre-computed encryption keys which are used in order to help speed up the cracking of encryption. Apparently, the creation of these keys are computationally difficult and time consuming, and so, to speed up cracking of encryption, you would instead opt to create a table or list of this pre-computed keys to then use later when you are trying to crack encryption.
The NY Times is reporting that this set of "rainbow tables" has been published and are now available via BitTorrent. The NY Times article also covers the G.S.M Associations opposition to this project, as they feel that what Karsten Nohl (the lead researcher on the project) did was border line illegal. Certainly, Karstens actions were close to the legal line, but he took provisions to insure he never crossed it.
In case you were wondering, its common practise for security researchers to go public with information on a potention security vulnerability after first giving plenty of warning to the vendor with the security vulnerability. We saw this several times over the last year. One instance that comes to mind was an iPhone vulnerability that would let someone take over your iPhone just by sending you a SMS message. The researcher in that case informed Apple and months later advertise that he would go public with the information at the Black Hat conference in order to force Apple to fix the problem.
Certainly, when researchers go public with information that a particular service or device, etc. is vulnerable it puts everyone using that service, etc. at risk, but the truth is they were at risk regardless. If the security researcher was able to find this problem, someone else with not so good intentions could have found it also. So by going public the researcher puts no doubts in the mind of the provider of the service that their vulnerability is known to the bad guys and thus they must fix the problem. I have to agree with Karstens actions. Its not his fault if GSM providers won't fix the problem.
Lets just hope that they take the threat seriously and just fix their systems.
As many of you know, I put up a post a few weeks ago talking about the issues surrounding the changes that were made to Facebook’s privacy settings. (If you haven’t read it click here.) Well, it appears that there are more problems facing Facebook than just privacy issues.
The Next Web is reporting that the Facebook Group “WE’RE AGAINST THE 4.99 A MONTH CHARGE FOR FACEBOOK FROM JUNE 30TH 2010'” is one giant scam. According to The Next Web, this group, which had 133,000 members at the time they published their post (93 members currently), looks to have been created with the intent of infecting Facebook user’s computers with Malware. The truth is Facebook currently has no plans of charging for the use of their website, but people seeing the group jump on thinking that its true, when in fact its false information. Also, on the group page there is a URL that apparently when clicked sends you to a site that attempts to download and install 25 files onto your computer.
Its really sad to see that the “WE’RE AGAINST THE 4.99 A MONTH CHARGE FOR FACEBOOK FROM JUNE 30TH 2010” group hasn’t been taken down as yet. Upon visiting the page today there were people still in the group posting to the wall. Facebook really needs to start taking security on there site more seriously. I know that its probably difficult given the number of users that Facebook has, but I have to believe that at lest one person must have reported this group already, since its the day after The Next Web posted this story. Lets just hope that things improve on Facebook.
I wish that it wasn’t true, but The Movie Blog is reporting that Warner Brothers has decided not to do the Thundercats.
The Thundercats was one of the shows that I grew up watching. And even after all of these years I still have fond memories of watching the Thundercats as a kid. That’s why when Wildstorm brought back the Thundercats for a comic book series I started to collect them. Unfortunately, that to ended.
But, the news of a Thundercats film back in 2007 gave me some hopes of seeing them again. Warner Brothers has done an amazing job with their animated series over the years with the Justice League and Batman The Animated Series, so this was a good fit for the Thundercats. Unfortunately,it has come to an end. Hopefully some other studio will be willing to pick up the rights to the Thundercats.
That being said, Rodney over at The Movie Blog had an interesting idea that I think has some merit. Rodney was thinking that it would be pretty cool if they gave the Thundercats the Avatar treatment in order to create the Thundercats, given the fact that people in cats suits might look a little goofy. I personally think that it would be brilliant if the Thundercats were done in the same quality of CGI that the Na’vi from Avatar had. That way we could have a live action film (which I would like to see) without the goofiness of people in costumes.
Tell me what you think about this idea.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Ya its unfortunately true.
The Latino Review put up a post last week informing us that Mr. T will not make a cameo appearance in the upcoming A-Team movie.
Apparently, one of the guys over at the Latino Review happened to see Mr. T in the gym, and asked him if he would be making an appearance in the A-Team remake. Mr. T responded no and with good reason. Mr.T was offered a cameo role in the film, but turned it down because he felt that they would play up his role in the movie, which in turn would fool some of his friends and family into thinking that he had a big role in the movie while he had only a small role.
I think that its kind of classy to turn down a role for this reason. Films have a habit of playing up things that they feel will get people into the theatre when it only makes up a small part of the movie. I remember when Pan’s Labyrinth came out, the trailers played up the fantasy scenes so much so, that when I arrived late for my movie I thought I was in the wrong theatre. Sure Pan’s Labyrinth was a really good movie, but I can’t help but feel that I was tricked by the trailers.
So, I applaud Mr. T for turning down the cameo. Besides what was he really going to be doing in the film that would make his appearance worth while. Its not like they will have 2 B.A. Baracus in the movie.
Well, that is if you live in Texas.
ComputerWorld is reporting that the district attorney of Montgomery County, Texas has come up with an idea to publish drinking and driving offenders names via twitter. The plan is to publish the names of anyone found drinking and driving between Christmas and New Years in order to discourage people from driving drunk during the holiday season.
This move to publish drunk drivers names via twitter follows Houston area county’s decision to publish drunk driver offenders names during holiday weekends. And, just in case anyone was wondering as to the legality of all of this, drunk drivers are already a part of public record and so this is just another avenue that their names will be published.
As for if this will work? I’m not sure. I remember learning in Psychology that people are not deterred by penalties, but I personally think that it would work on some. Truth be told anything that would stop just one person from drunk driving I think is worth it. Its a real same that many people are still being irresponsible when it comes to drinking and driving. Lets all just hope this works.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
You remember those rumours about Apple making a Tablet that have been swirling around the Internet for months and months. Well it appears that Apple’s Tablet might finally have a name.
The guys at MacRumors did some digging and found that Apple has recently registered the domain ‘iSlate.com’. MacRumors further speculates that Apple has registered this domain for the its new Tablet device.
Whether that is the real name or not is uncertain. Certainly, Apple thought that it was important enough of a name to buy the domain and then to try and hide the fact that they purchased it. Truth be told it could be a name that they may never use or use much later. Microsoft apparently had the domain bing.com registered since 1996 and has only recently made use of it.
In any case, if this tablet is coming out we will certainly hear about it soon enough. Maybe even in January as there is CES coming up and MacWorld Expo (which apparently will not be attending).
(I saw this trailer posted on The Movie Blog.)
I think the trailer looks pretty cool. Its really nice to see Mel Gibson acting again as he, up to recently, had been directing movies.
I know that some people are still hung up on Mel Gibson being a racist for the drunken statements he made to police some years ago. But I very much like Mel Gibson and I respect his acting.
Upon viewing this trailer, the story for Edge of Darkness kind of struck me as a retelling of Payback, but on a second viewing I found that it was clearly a different story. Edge of Darkness is about find out the daughter’s (Emma Craven) secret. So it is a bit of a twist from the old Payback story line and makes Edge of Darkness a bit more than a simple revenge movie. Exactly how different the film will be I’m not sure. But I do have to say that I do like a good conspiracy movie, if its done right.
In any case, what are your thoughts?
Script to Screen is reporting that this past Christmas weekend was not only the biggest Christmas box office weekend, but also the biggest box office weekend ever with an estimated $285 million made for the domestic market.
This weekend saw the release of some pretty big movies. Sherlock Holmes pulled in $65.2 million dollars, $24.5 million of which it made on Christmas day, making it the biggest Christmas release ever. But, the big winner for this past weekend was Avatar with $75 million which is actually quite good for its second week, as last week you will remember it pulled in about $73 million domestically.
I’m not sure what this means for us in North America. Are we more lonely this year, or are people looking to get out more on Holidays? It would be interesting to really find out what has lead to this increased interest in going to the theatre on Christmas. For my family we have a long standing tradition of meeting for Christmas Dinner and spending the day together. I doubt that it would ever change to us heading to the movies on Christmas, but clearly for a lot of people going to the movies is part of their Christmas holiday.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Hey Guys I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Holidays, or whatever your celebrating. I've decide to cut this week short since I have a bunch of stuff I still need to do before Christmas. So I'll be back next week. But until then I wanted to leave you with a video. Enjoy.
(I love this song.)
According to this rumors, DC will be following the same route as Marvel has with its coming 'team films'. In other words, DC will begin to start building to a Justice League film by giving each member of the team their own film.
I really think that this is an amazing idea. I feel that its hard to really build each character in a team without them having there own film. Certainly, the X-men franchise did a good job up until the third film, but they did it by focusing on Wolverine and having the other X-men as side characters. But, by having films for each member of a team, you can afford to take the time to establish each character.
Overall this is really good news for us the fans. Way to go DC.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
This is an interesting Trailer. But I'm not quite sure what to think yet about 'Karate Kid'. But, I'll try and be positive.
Personally, I think its great that they are trying to remake The Karate Kid. Karate Kid was a film that I grew up and was one of the films that defined my generation. I remember how everyone after the film released wanted to learn karate. But, whether or not this film will have the same effect on this generation, I'm just not sure. I do have some concerns with Jaden Smiths being the Karate Kid.
I know that many people absolutely hated Jaden Smith in 'The Day the Earth Stood Still', but I didn't personally mind him. But to have Jaden as the lead in a film, I'm not sure if Jadin is quite ready for that yet. Maybe if Jaden had a few more movies under his belt I personally would be a bit more comfortable, but as of right now I am concerned about his ability.
Although, this film doesn't look all bad. The fact that they have Jackie Chan in the film, gives me some hope for Karate Kid. But he is no Pat Morita. Don't get me wrong, Jackie's version of Mr. Miyagi isn't that all that bad, he just isn't going to bet the original. Sorry Jackie.
Another positive is that the aren't trying to 'reinvent the wheel' so to speak, as they've stuck with the same story. I find that unless your able to do a better story for a remake your probably better off staying with the story from the original. Certainly there are some alterations here, but its essentially the same story.
In any case, I hope that Karate Kid does well. What do you think about the trailer?
Yep, you heard that right. For dressing like 'The Villiage People'.
Above you will see an image advertising Jamie's American Road Trip, which has him and a group of guys dressed like 'The Village People'. Apparently, as John Giacobbi (the lawyer suing Jamie Oliver) puts it, this image represents copyright infringement. You read that right. Copyright Infringement.
Jamie, by dressing up like 'The Villiage People' in an advertisment for his show, violated The Villiage People's copyright. I can understand that for The Villiage People their outfits are part of their image, but how can you really copyright the way someone dresses? And does this mean if me and some of my friends decide to dress as The Villiage People for Halloween, do we need to pay The Village People money?
Personally, I think that this lawsuit is ridiculous and I hope that Jamie Oliver gets off.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Ars Technica is reporting that EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center) has filed a complaint with the FTC over Facebook’s privacy control debacle. As you know, a few weeks ago Facebook decided to make some changes to their privacy settings, and required users to set their new privacy settings as they logged into Facebook.
These changes that Facebook made to their privacy settings were, on the surface, very welcomed news for those advocating for more privacy on Facebook. But, there was a problem. Facebook decided by default, to set your account as public instead of private. As a result many people who didn’t want their accounts public may have inadvertently done so if they skipped through the process.
As I said in an earlier post (which you can read here), there were many people online that felt that Facebook was being deceptive, and wanted people to make all there information public for the Benefit of Facebook. Some were also worried that Facebook’s actions would lead to regulation of online social networks.
Now that the government is involved in this situation with Facebook, we can’t really be certain what the results will be. Will the government move to regulate social networks? Personally, I would like to know how far the FTC could go in handling this complaint, since it would effect all of us using social networks. Certainly it could be beneficial if it ensures that we all get more privacy online, but it could be at the expense of the social networks, especially if any new requirement of social networks was too onerous.
In any case, we will have to all wait and see what the outcome will be.
(If your under 18 you might want to ask your parents before viewing this video.)
I don’t know what to think about the movie ‘Kick Ass’ yet.
Kick Ass on the surface seems to be the kind of film that every adult male would want to see, but I’m still not quite digging it yet. Well, and this trailer just kind of turns me off a little bit. Maybe I’m just a bit sensitive, but I still don’t like seeing 12 year old girls swearing and killing in movies. Hit Girl certainly does a good job at killing, but a child doing all that is a bit disturbing for me.
Also, I’m personally not into child actors in general taking on action roles. They can be good side characters, but as an action star they are a bit iffy. Certainly as we get closer to the films release we will see how Hit Girl shapes up, but I have my doubts.
So what do you think? Is this a good trailer for you? What do you think of Kick Ass?
Monday, December 21, 2009
Is it just me or is no one talking about the new Robin Hood movie.
On Sunday, I went to a Christmas party/dinner where I ended up mentioning the new Robin Hood movie and no one really seemed to care. And you know, I kind of don’t blame them, since I find myself not really caring either. There was an earlier trailer of this film that was posted to the ‘Script to Screen’ blog and I remember not caring much to see it.
Robin Hood has one of the best directors on the planet directing it, one of the best actor and actress in the world acting in it, but no one is really talking about this film. Why is that?
For myself, I feel that the problem is that such a good job was done with the 1991 film ‘Robin Hood Prince of Thieves’ that I can’t even picture another Robin Hood film. Nor can I picture anyone other than Kevin Costner playing Robin Hood. I guess that Robin Hood comes just a little to close to the previous film for me to really get into it.
In any case, I hope that this movie really starts to get some real buzz behind it. There really isn’t any reason why Robin Hood shouldn’t be talked about.
IGN reported on the weekend that Microsoft has decided to put 'Shadow Complex', from the XBox Live Marketplace, on sale for 800 points. Its a pretty good deal for a game that would normally sell for 1200 points ($15 US) and has rated 9/10 over on IGN.
Now I should say that this deal is only for a limited time, as the sale of Shadow Complex runs from December 21 to the 27th. So if your interested in getting this game, just head on over to the Xbox Live Marketplace and buy the game. I know I'll be that myself.
Certainly 28 reviews doesn't make for an overall consensus on the film, but does give a good baseline. As we get closer to Christmas, there will be more reviews that will come out for Sherlock Holmes and we'll get a better picture of where this film stands in terms of reviewers.
In any case, I felt that I should at the very lest acknowledge these reviews, since I had previously warned people not to see Sherlock Holmes.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
On Friday, I had the opportunity, as you know, to go and see Avatar. Unfortuately, I wasn't able to see Avatar in IMAX 3D, but I did get to see it in RealD 3D. In any case, by now you're probably wonder what I thought of Avatar. Is it good? Well its actually not good, its amazing.
I think that I should probably scale back a bit here and say that although its a great film, there were some weaknesses.
So, what’s wrong with Avatar?
- Story. The story I would say is fairly good. It explains everything that is going on and never seems to drag. Even though the film has a run time of about 3 hours with the trailers and commercials this film never feels long. But, at the same time the story, as one of my friends put it, is predictable. (Not that anyone minded that.) John Campea, in his review of Avatar, which he put up on ‘The Movie Blog’, said the story is a ‘ripoff’ of ‘Dancing with Wolves’. Now I've never seen 'Dancing with Wolves' so I won't comment on that. I’ll leave it up to you the reader to tell me if that is true or not.
- Predictability. As I said in my last point. There is quite a bit of predictability to this film. As soon as the main character (Jake Sully) meets the character Neytiri you know they are going to fall in love. And you know that its going to cause problems since, as you find out early on, Neytiri is betrothed to be married to a prominent warrior of the Na'vi. Now, that is just one example of how cliche many of the plot points are.
- Visuals. By far the best part of Avatar is its visuals. It is probably the most beautiful movie that I’ve ever seen in a movie theatre. I would go as far as to say that if you are not seeing Avatar in a theatre you are ripping yourself off. This movie is meant to be viewed on the big screen, in 3D. Everything about this film is beautiful. Avatar is a very visual driven film, and even has scenes where the characters are just interacting with the environment of Pandora. Also, I agree with John on the fact that if the sound was turned off I think I would have enjoyed myself just watching the screen for 3 hours. The visuals were just that good.
- The Story. I know that I said that the story of Avatar was negative, but it is a bit of a positive also. The Story fits the film. It worked well in Avatar and the world of Pandora. Avatar, as I said earlier, is about the visuals and the world of Pandora. The story never over shadows that fact, but added to the over all film experience. So the story is a positive, as well a,s negative given its predictability.
Well thats enough from me, go see it.
The ‘Script to Screen’ Blog is reporting that Avatar is estimated to have pulled in $27 million dollars in its opening day, and Box Office Mojo is reporting it will make an estimated $73 million this weekend. This makes Avatar the biggest film to open for Fox outside of the summer season, although it didn’t break the record for the biggest December open, which was $34 million for ‘The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King’, but by all accounts, it was a good opening for this film.
Considering that there was a major snow storm in much of the East coast this weekend and the fact that this weekend is the busiest shopping weekend of the year, Avatar made out pretty well. I would personally have liked to see Avatar beat Twilight which brought in $70 million on the first day, but I guess I can settle for these numbers.
By the way, if you were curious to know what kind of numbers Titanic made on its opening day. According to Box Office Mojo, Titanic pulled in $8.7 million, which adjusted for inflation would be $14 million. So not bad for Avatar. If Avatar will make Titanic money, who knows. I know they will have to in order to make back their estimated $500 million budget.
Lets just hope it does well so that we can get a sequel from this film.
This was a bit unexpected.
TMZ is reporting that Brittany Murphy has passed away at the age of 32.
Apparently, an ambulance was called to a home owned by her husband at 8:00 am this morning after Brittany went into full cardiac arrest. She was then taken to Cedar Sinai Hospital were she was pronounced dead on arrival.
This really sucks. I like Brittany and I felt that she had a ton of potential, but now she is gone. Her presence on screen will be missed. Rest in piece Brittany.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Hey guys I just wanted to drop in and tell you all to have a good weekend, if I don’t get to post again today. Currently I’m heading out to go see Avatar, and I’m not sure when I’ll get back in. So you guys get out there and be safe this weekend. Hopefully, I’ll be able to put up another post today, or 2. But anyways, enjoy.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Some of you may already know of this Podcast. But for those that don’t your in for a treat.
GeekBrief is a daily technology podcast over on Mevio which looks at gadgets and technology news stories. I learned of this podcast a number of years ago from the ‘Inside the Net’ (now net@night) podcast done by Leo Laporte and Amber MacArthur and since then it has become one of my favourite podcast for keeping up with Tech stories and new gadgets.
Probably one of the best features of the Geekbrief podcast is its short length. I don’t always have time to go looking for new tech gadgets and stories, and so it really is handy to be able to listen to a podcast that covers many of the top stories in 5 mins.
But enough of me talking about it. Go and watch the video. Enjoy.
Yes, it is unfortunately true.
John Campea over at the ‘Script to Screen’ blog put up a post earlier today about how ‘Spiderman 4’ has been put on ‘indefinite hold.’
The reason for the delay is still uncertain. Apparently, there is some reports that it could be because of a dispute over who should be the villain in the movie. Sam Rami is reported to want the Vulture, while Sony wants someone else. Another report has it that it could be because of Toby Maguire possibly playing Bilbo Baggins.
Whatever the case, the film is now on hold and hopefully this delay will be a minor one. I was disappointed a little with the last Spiderman film and I want to see a good one before they call it quits on this series. If the reason is that Sam wants the Vulture I think the studio should step back and let him do the characters that he wants to do. I understand that from a business perspective, no one is going to go running to the theatres to see the Vulture. But, Vulture is the character that is currently inspiring Sam and if he is forced to do another character that he doesn’t want to do (Venom), I think it will be reflected in the film.
And as for Toby playing Bilbo Baggins, as I said in my last post it looks like that isn’t happening, (if you haven’t read my previous post, you can find it here). But, if there is any merit to this rumour, I think it might be time to consider possible replacing Toby. I don’t want to see Toby leave, but I don’t think that he is necessarily for the success of the Spiderman franchise. That doesn’t mean that I disliked Toby as Peter Parker, or that he is a bad actor, its just I think that another actor could play the character.
So what do you think? Could someone else play Spiderman?
Its Christmas time, and the perfect time to do some product comparisons. Well, I guess that’s how IGN feels anyway.
On Tuesday, IGN put up an interesting article comparing the differences between the iPod Touch and the Zune HD. Now some of you are probably saying, “Who wants to buy a Zune?” Certainly the Zune has had a rather slow start, with sales that were close to non existence.
But things kind of changed with the release of the Zune HD. It received rave reviews with its much sleeker look and the nice OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screen. The Zune HD was the Zune that should have released first. As the first Zune really seemed like a beta project that Microsoft decided to release.
Certainly, the Zune HD has come along way from the first Zune. But, the question IGN wants to know is if it has come far enough for you to buy one. At the bottom of the article the author is asking for people to vote on which product they prefer more. I know for me, if I was going to buy a touch screen device I would (if I could buy it in Canada), take a hard look at the Zune HD as it does all the things I want at a slightly cheaper price.
Now price isn’t everything. The iPod Touch has the advantage in terms of applications. iTunes currently offers over 100,000 applications, while the Zune store currently has 15. So if Apps are important to you maybe the Zune isn’t for you.
In any case, I’d recommend anyone who is interested in buying either of these 2 devices to head on over to IGN.com (or click the link), and read the article.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
New Scientist put up an interesting post earlier today about how a group of Scientist are trying to develop a smart CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) system that is capable of spotting suspicious people. Now this might be a bit alarming given the fact that some people are not comfortable with the current CCTV systems. CCTV systems are often considered to be an invasion of privacy, but there is no denying the fact that they can help to catch criminals and help in the detection of potention problems.
CCTV systems aren't perfect however, given the fact that an operator needs to be able to discern from what they are seeing, whether or not something is going on. That is where this new smart CCTV system comes in. With this new CCTV system, operators will be able to track targets between cameras, as well as, (if it works right) be able to spot suspicious people independently of an operator.
If this new smart system is able to work as promised, it would be pretty big deal for security. I worked some years ago as a security guard, and I can remember how hard it was to spot if anything suspicious was going on from watching the cameras. Security Guards are often times confronted with walls of monitors, which are hard to monitor consistently given your other duties. So any system that can make monitoring the cameras easier would be a big help.
As for what people will make of these new systems. I'm not sure. Some people will certainly not be happy given the fact that this new system now gives operates an easier way to monitor people. But, I personally welcome them. In public I don't feel that I have any reasonable expectation for privacy, since everyone on the street can see what I'm doing. So if it helps to get the crimials of the street I'm all for it.
Ya that's right folks. The trailer for Iron Man 2 is online and its just awesome.
The First Iron Man was just amazing and so I'm really excite to see its sequel. And, yes that does also include seeing what they do with 'Whiplash', whom you know I wasn't that keen on, (if you haven't read my earlier post, you can read it here), but I'll give this film the benefit of the doubt. After all the first film had a pretty unknown villain and it turned out alright.
In any case, take some time and enjoy this trailer, because its just that good.
I don’t know about you, but I love Tim Burton’s films.
I like Tim Burton’s great vision and imagination. I know that some people believe that Tim Burton is over rated, but I find that he is genius, especially when he and Johnny Depp get together. Anyone that saw ‘Charlie and The Chocolate Factory’ can attest to just how good that movie was. And I know some of you think that the original ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ was better, the truth is I haven’t seen the original in a long while so I won’t comment on that, but you can’t deny this man’s vision.
That is why when it was announced that Tim Burton would be directing ‘Alice in Wonderland’ I thought that it was just sear genius. What director could do ‘Alice in Wonderland’ better than Tim Burton. I don’t think I could think of another director better suited for this job.
But, now that we are learning that ‘Alice in Wonderland’ will be a sequel to the popular tale, it does put an interesting spin on the whole film. Certainly this means that no one could really draw a direct comparison between the original film and this one. Also, this means that Tim Burton is now free to create anything that he feels like creating. Tim Burton Unleashed if you could call it that.
Is it good news that Tim Burton doesn’t have any restrictions? I’m not sure. Anyone that has seen his movies know that he in general has done a great job. I know that ‘Planet of the Apes’ was a bit of a miss, but in general he has been good.
I can’t wait to see what he does with ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and I hope to see it soon.
*****I thought I should mention that I first say this posted over on ‘The Movie Blog’.
Today, the guys at Script to Screen put up a post reporting that Toby Maguire was rumoured to be in talks to play Bilbo Baggins, in the forthcoming film, ‘The Hobbit’. This rumour has swept across the Internet, and even had at lest one confirmation of the rumour, namely through the LatinoReview.
Since then, a post was put up, by the Senior Editor of the Scripts to Screen blog John Campea, reporting that Toby’s PR person has come out and stated that the rumours are false.
Now, I really don’t know what to think about this. Could Toby Maguire really have played Bilbo Baggins? I’m not sure. If Toby had received this role I think I would have been quite sceptical of him being able to pull off the role.
Then again, I was sceptical, (as well as half the Internet), that Heath Ledger would have been able to play the Joker. Maybe you were sceptical also. But, now having seen the Dark Knight, I can’t see how the Dark Knight could have been as good without Heath in it. Heath was the best part of the Dark Knight and maybe Toby would have hit it out of the park with ‘The Hobbit’. Truth be told, I haven’t watched a lot of Toby’s films, and thus I’m unable to properly assess his acting ability.
In any case, what are your thoughts? Would Toby be a good choice as Bilbo Baggins?
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
That’s the speculation over at IGN today.
Apparently, Nintendo filed for a trademark on the name ‘Zii’ back on October 30. Now a trademark filing doesn’t mean that the company will necessarily use that name, but it could mean that something is coming down the pipe from Nintendo. If its the Wii 2, we just aren’t sure.
Nintendo has flatly denied any rumours of a Wii HD, which doesn’t really mean anything. Apple before the release of the iPhone denied any rumour of its existence, and so its not really a stretch to believe Nintendo is doing the same thing here.
As per IGN’s update, Engadget has gotten in on the action and is reporting that Nintendo has also trademarked the names Cii, Bii, Oii and Yii. I’m not sure why Nintendo has decided to go with all things ‘ii’, but they felt that it was important enough to trademark these other names for some reason. If it were up to me I would go with either Wii 2 or Wii HD if the system is capable of that. And if those names were deemed inappropriate, I would go with something else entirely.
Who is really going to by a Oii?
Ya, its a sad time for those that read ‘The Movie Blog.
I’ve been a reader of ‘The Movie Blog’ for the last several years and have enjoyed their articles and commentary on many of the movie related stories that appeared on the site. I even enjoyed ‘The Movie Blog’ podcast, which was one of the best podcasts that I have listened to. All of this was made possible my the hard work of John Campea and his colleagues, who built the site from the ground up to where it is now.
On Sunday, John Campea put up a post on his personal blog, stating that he would no longer be with ‘The Movie Blog’ by the end of the month. This post has since then been reposted on ‘The Movie Blog’s’ Main page. In this post John thanked everyone for there support and mentioned that Rodney, who had supplied much of the posting over the last several months, would no longer be on the site as well.
This is both a sad and a happy moment for me personally, since John left because he has moved on to other things. John has in recent months, directed a full length feature film, and is currently working as a Senior Editor over at AMC’s blog, which he helped to start up, called ‘Scripts to Screen’.
So, I really do wish these guys the best of luck in the future and I plan on follow both these guys. I just learned that Rodney has his own site called ‘The Stub’ that John helped him start up. And as for ‘The Movie Blog’ its self, the current owners have put up a post stating their intention to continue the site, and they may seek to get Rodney back as a writer. Whether it will happen, I’m not sure. But until then it will be interesting to see what Brock does with the site.
But there in lies the problem. Apparently, for users that never changed there settings, the default answers for the privacy questions was to make everything public. Meaning that your Facebook page is completely visible by everyone on Facebook. Anything that you write on your Facebook page and even your Friends are now exposed for everyone to see. Well, that is of course if you made the mistake of just hitting next to get through the privacy page without reading it.
Facebook's policy of defaulting that all of your data be public has stirred up some anger in the blogoshere. Internet mogul Jason Calacanis of Mahalo has wrote an e-mail, which he sent to his mailing list, expressing his dissatisfaction with the way that Facebook has decided to handle this whole privacy issue. Jason went as far to say that the way that Facebook handled this situation was unethical, given the fact that everyone knows that people for the most part don't read policy agreements, but instead just hit 'Agree'. He also goes on to discuss his concern for how Facebook's actions could lead to the government stepping in to regulate the social network market.
I have to agree with Jason and his concerns. I often don't read privacy agreements or terms of service. I just scroll to the bottom , if that is required, and hit 'agree'. As for Facebook's policy however, I felt that it was fairly straight forward, and I made sure to go through it to check where I wanted all of my settings to be. So I'm a bit unsympathetic to some of this anger, but the truth be told, I have to agree that Facebook should have made it an opt-in for people's personal information to be public instead of an opt-out.
By now your probably wondering why Facebook would want your information to be public. According to Jason (and by the way Kevin Rose), Facebook wants more of its data to be search able in order to generate revenue. Facebook currently has a search deal with Google and Bing to make their data search able by those search engines. The more data they have for search, the more money Facebook can generate from their search deal. So there is a pay off for Facebook to give up your information.
So have you been bite by this privacy Faux pas? And is this Unethical on the Part of Facebook? Tell me what you think about it.
By they way, anyone interested in reading Jason's e-mail, you can find it posted here on his blog. If you want to hear discussion on this privacy issue, just click here and listen to Twit Episode #225.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Over the weekend, I was altered via twitter to a mysterious count down on Google’s main page. If you head on over to Google and click on the ‘I’m Feeling Luck’ button, you will see this countdown appear around the bottom of the page. (Or just look at the picture above.) The number that appeared when I went to the page was 1728080 and as of the writing of this post the number is now 1490820.
So, what does this count down mean? What is Google counting down to? That was the question the person that I learned of Google’s countdown from was asking. If you carefully observe the countdown you will see that the countdown is actually in seconds, and doing a little math, I found that the countdown is actually a countdown to New Year’s Day. Exactly, what Google has planned for New Years Day, I’m not sure.
But, if your interested to find out how many seconds you will have to wait to the New Year just head on over to Google’s main page and hit the button.
...that it would've been nice, but that the physique of Toad more closely resembles that of Mario. "And if one of the four had a dress, we'd have to come up with a special programming to handle how the skirt is handled in gameplay,"he jokes.Matt continues on to recount many cases were Nintendo has taken short cuts in the development of games. In fact, Matt goes as far to say that this was done to support Nintendo's 'bottom line'.
Those that have been reading my blog know that I had put up a post a while ago on a similar issue I had with Nintendo. (If you haven't read it you can read it here.) Certainly Matt goes into a bit more detail than I did, but my argument very much agrees with Matt's. Nintendo has been sloppy with the games they have been producing. Currently, the Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii are using the same game media (DVDs) and I've always wondered why developers for the Xbox 360 seem to be able to do more with the Xbox 360, then Nintendo is able to do with Wii games. Nintendo should have a ton more room to maneuver since they are only producing standard definition content and Xbox is doing High Definition.
It saddens me to realize just how much Nintendo has skimped on us this time around. Matt has been reporting on Nintendo now for at lest 10 years and I'm sure that this article comes out of a sense of frustration with Nintendo. I feel that same frustration. I want to pick up my Wii and be excited about it, but instead I play my PC and Xbox 360. Sadly.
So, Have you read Matt's Article? And, Are you still excited for your Wii?
On Friday, I was alerted to the fact that reviews for Avatar had came out by a tweet from Veronica Belmont. Upon receiving the tweet I headed over to digg.com where I found 'The Hollywood Reporters' review. I also went over to Rotten Tomatoes where, as of the writing of this post, Avatar currently has a score of 90% with 38 reviews. It seems that overall people are positive about this film. Even hard to please Robert Ebert has given this film the thumbs up.
I'm really glad to finally be writing something positive about Avatar. I think that James Cameron is an amazing director and the fact that this film was marketed so badly made me a little sceptical as to whether or not he could pull it off. Now that I know that he has done it again, in producing a great movie, I can try and feel excited for Avatar.
But, I have to wonder if these reviews come to late for Avatar. There are now 11 days left till Christmas and people are usually busy during the holiday season. Will people have time to look at reviews? People like us, who regularly read blogs and other news sources know about these reviews. But, does the ordinary person have that time or interest to go looking for reviews for Avatar? I'm not sure.
Also, is it to late for Avatar to give people that 'I must see this now feeling'. When Watchmen came out, I made sure I saw it on the first day it came out, by going to the first showing of the film. When Batman Dark Knight came out I went the first day by myself to see it since my friends weren't ready to see on the first day. Even though the reviews that have come out for Avatar are overwhelmingly positive, I still feel the film is missing the 'I must see this now feeling' that any big film should have. Certainly I may be wrong and you can tell me in the comments. .
Truth be told, I hope I'm wrong. I want to see Avatar succeed.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Hey guys. I just wanted to pop on and thank all of you for your support though the week in reading my blog. I hope you guys have a great weekend and I’ll see you next week.
By the way, if you haven’t voted on my Avatar Poll. Please vote. You’ll see it on the right hand side of the blog, by the top. Thanks again guys.
I saw this poster for Iron Man 2 over on Heatvisionblog.com and decided to post it here.
As you know, the guys behind Iron Man 2 have decided go with Whiplash as the main villain, and I’m not sure what to think about that. Sure its Mickey Rourke, who was amazing in ‘The Wrestler’ and was the best part in Sin City. But, I kind of don’t like the title villain in a comic book movie being an unknown character, or should I say little known character.
I never heard of Whiplash until he was announce for this film, which is probably part of my disappointment. Then again, the first Iron Man had a little known villain as its main villain also. So, I’m sure that it will probably still be a good movie regardless, just as long as they approach the film with the same spirit that they had in the first film.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
For those of you that know. I’ve kind of been giving out a lot of entertainment news lately and not as much tech. So I decided to do a technology podcast for this weeks ‘Series of the Week’.
Tekzilla is one of the more popular podcasts over on the Revision 3 network and can probably be best described as the reincarnation of the ‘Screen Savers’. (You know the popular TV series that stared Leo Laporte, Patrick Norton, and Kevin Rose, along with others.) This show has some great tech news and little technology segments that will be sure to satisfy the geek in you.
Veronica Belmont is cute, witty and knows her tech. And Patrick Norton, well, he knows his tech. In any case. click the video watch and enjoy.
So, I decided to come up with my own set of rules for a TV series reboot of Star Trek. But, before I mention these rules I should state that all of this is speculation that there will be a TV series, as there hasn't been a TV series announced yet.
- Keep Movie Timeline. I know that many people will disagree with this rule, but I think that it will be an important rule moving forward. Don't get me wrong I loved the old timeline. But, I just feel that it has run its coarse, as it just wasn't working with new audiences. And so, why not allow for a clean break from the original. You can still have the original series, they will not be diminished by the fact that the new series does not fall in that same time line with them.
Given the success of the Star Trek film, it would be crazy to go back to the original time line, as Paramount is interested in growing the audience for Star Trek, and not just bringing along the old audience. By having the break from the old timeline, it opens it up for new stories to be done without having to be tied to the old timeline.
- Respect the Old Audience. I believe for Star Trek to move forward the series needs to at the very lest appeal to the old audience. They are the ones that week after week will come back to watch the show and they will be the chief people going out to evangelize the show to others. So its important for Start Trek to respect its core audience. The chief problem with Enterprise was, it worked to alienate the old audience and so it ended up not working for anyone.
- The Series Must be Compelling. For this new series to work (if it ever gets announced), the story lines that it has must be at the compelling. The characters need to be compelling and mature as the show goes along. We need storylines that speak to world issues and philospohies, (like the older series). Especially since audiences now a days want more out of there TV series, and if Star Trek can't deliver, audiences will go elsewhere.
Also, I like that they have really done alot of work to modernize the Tron franchise, yet keep that same visual style from the old film. The original Tron film was very cutting edge in its time, and I like that they have worked to make Tron Legacy every bit as cutting edge as the original.
I sincerely hope Tron is as good as it looks. If it is, we could be in for a real treat come next year.
Over the past weekend, I learned about this 'Window Farm' Project from a tweet by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, and I have to say that it is impressive. For those that live in a house, this is probably not a huge deal, but for those that live in condos or apartments, this project is probably going to be pretty big. 'Window Farms' is a co-operative project that teaches people how to grow their own vegetables in there windows using a hydroponics set up created from items that are readily available around the house.
I really think this project is cool and is sure to bring out peoples creative sides. Its especially important to me since I live in Canada were part of the year we can't grow anything outside due to the cold. So this could help to satisfy the need for fresh vegetables during the winter season.
In any case, the reason I felt like sharing this project with you (other than the growing benefits), is that they are currently looking for support in this project. The guys (and gals) at Window Farms want to become a non profit organization, and thus are currently looking for funding to bring them to that goal. If you are interested in giving or participating in their community just head on over to windowfarms.org or click the link here.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
In this post the author goes into a rant about how everyone he talks to keeps saying that Avatar is going to suck. Etc.
He begins the post by stating,
I'm getting sick and tired of hearing about how much "Avatar" is going to suck because the trailer is loud and has silly dragons and it looks like "Delgo" or something. It seems like whenever I talk to someone about whether or not they're looking forward to the film, their response is "It looks stupid."
Avatar does look stupid. The earlier trailers haven’t really worked to do any kind of justice to the actually movie, which has been my contention the whole time. The trailers have been bad up to this point. They are certainly improving, as I saw a new (and better) Avatar trailer last night when I went out to watch ‘The Christmas Carol’. But I think its going to be hard to shake the ‘it looks stupid’ reaction people are going to have to this film. They really needed to start from the beginning to give us good trailers, but instead they coasted on James Cameron’s reputation.
The sad thing about Avatar is that I think people will avoid this movie because of the trailers and not because of the film. As we get closer, we will see how things will shape up. Hopefully things will improve for Avatar.
The author goes on to say,
Let's be honest here: pretty much all of Cameron's movies look/sound basically stupid if you only, you know, read about them, and not just in a "genre movies have different rules" way. Like, "The Abyss" is (SPOILER ALERT) about aliens who want to destroy us with a gigantic tidal wave. "True Lies" has a punchline where a nuclear bomb going off is supposed to be funny. "Titanic" has all those moronic Celtic pipes on the soundtrack.
And you know he is right. James Cameron’s movies really have had ridiculous themes and ideas. But they have all ended up being really good. I have no doubt that James Cameron could get this film to work also, its just that he really hasn’t directed this kind of film for a few years now and the trailers have been pretty bad. I think both these things will scare some people off, or at lest cause them to approach this film with some caution.
I personally will end up seeing Avatar. I’m not sure if I will see it day one, as I’m not in a huge rush to see it. If I see it the next weekend it really isn’t going to matter that much to me sadly.
In any case, I felt that it was a good idea to at lest bring this article to your attention given the more negative posts that I have put up about this film project. Also, I just wanted to remind you of the poll that I’m running over on the sidebar. If you haven’t voted yet, please vote and tell us what your plans are for Avatar.