Friday, August 19, 2005

Bill Gates is Gangsta

Robert Burke over on apparrently has more time on his hands than is good for him. He has compiled a list of all the rap songs that mention Bill Gates. Pretty funny stuff.

Blogging has officially reached the mainstream as well. All you real bloggers (who don't read my drivel) are FIRED! Donald Trump has a blog! That Donny is a hoot. Now alls we need is for Bill Gates to have a Gangsta Gates Blog. Oh that would make my heart sing.

I really don't have much else to say, I just had to get that link service off my chest. They've been chilling in tabs on Firefox since probably Wednesday. I don't have the motivation to go out and get riled up about something to write about it. So off I go to prepare for the Google Summer of Code 2006. My C skillz are not that of 'teh mad haxxorz' so I must get better if I want to spend my summer working in the wonderful world of OSS. For money.

Besides I think Dr. Jaime Niño laid a good groundwork for learning to design software, I just need more practice. So yeah. Enough talking to myself.

New Linkzor:

I swear the bathroom in this damned place has got to be worse than the ones in Guantanamo Bay.

But that's not the reason i'm here. It appears Tycho of Penny-Arcade fame is going to be a father. But that's not even the coolest part. He starts the post containing this wonderful news with a World of Warcraft reference. Many geek points from the non-WoW playing camp.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Some Kind of Arrogance

It appears that Microsoft believes it is the alpha and omega when it comes to software. Forget what you, my fair nonexistent readership, have heard about MacOSX being the bomb diggity swerve; forget the fact that until last month Windows did not have an answer to any hardware vendors and their 64-bit processors; in fact forget this article too, written in 1998. They weren't innovating then either.

Mactopia. Apparrently Microsoft thinks their tiny corner of the web is the Utopia for Mac users.

Mactopia. Fucking rididulous. A quick browsing of the front page makes me think Microsoft has fooled themselves into thinking they have a superior solution to the 3 things most pedestrian computer users use their machines for.

Web browsing - Internet Explorer 5 for Mac. I can't believe it. PC users are jumping ship in DROVES in favor of Mozilla Firefox over IE, and they think Mac users are going to want to get back in that leaky boat? Safari (the Apple standard browser) is built on KHTML, a standard developed for the open source web browser Konqueror. Firefox is built on publicly-released-after-the-demise-of-Netscape source(OSS). Is it any wonder that these programs are safer than IE?

'Office' applications - Microsoft Office for Mac. I think MS is hiding their head in the sand on this one. OpenOffice is probably a bad word on the Redmond campus. Bill Gates once wrote an open letter to hobbyists. In it he makes the case for proprietary software, so I know how he feels about open source software.

Chat software - 'instant messaging.' Microsoft Messenger for Mac. Being a latecomer to yet another application that people rely on regularly in their daily lives, MS now offers their 'messenger' service for Mac users. Honestly, this is the category where Apple has satisfied me 'out of the box.' iChat roxxors. It does what I want, and it appears that GAIM, yet another open source app I use on my Windows box, is modeled to look like it. So yeah, I dig it. But on the Big Brother tip, I'm just plain scared of the .NET framework that MS requires you to install to use their Messenger. A PASSPORT? For the internet? Scary.

Making a list is a really good way to relieve stress. I feel like I did something. However useless, since no one will make good use of my awesome link service.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Underground Breakfast Sandwich Railroad

So yeah, I smuggled an Egg McMuffin away from it's oppresive stay in the main office. Given to me by my contact on the inside (the secretary), she had acquired the stray Muffin from the vile Quality Assurance Manager. She insisted I save the sandwich by smuggling it within my pants to the greener pastures of the Parts Room. Always an adventure at Otech.

I'm a regular Harriet Tubman up in this piece.

I watched The Man Who Wasn't There on Sunday. Amazing. Simply, freaking, amazing. Neo-noir is like good punk rock. Most punk bands who started the punk movement were terrible musicians, I wouldn't even call anyone in the Ramones a 'musician' since they are just so bad. But, all the kids who grew up on a healthy diet of bad punk, the ones who wanted to learn how to play music, wanted to emulate their idols; but invariably, they had more of the musical 'chops' and ushered in an era of punk that's not only fast and energetic, but well composed and more intricate than the three power chord crap that was so popular to early punk (still is). Even bands like The Mr. T Experience and Screeching Weasel, who sought to emulate the Ramones, sound better. It's like they just can't help not sucking as bad.

And now that I've carried the neo-noir as punk rock analogy waaaaaaay too far, it's time to reel it in. I don't have a tremendous amount of respect for many early films. Static camera techniques, mediocre writing, and not to mention the terrible acting. I have no love for, to use a comic book phrase, the Golden Age of film. Granted the medium was new, and there are many gems, the majority are just bad. Take the early Hitchcock noir film Shadow of a Doubt. A sophmoric conception of the psychology of a serial killer coupled with Hitchcock not fully realizing his ability to create suspense, it's just plain bad. And it had so much going for it....

Man, I am just in a tangental mood today.

Back to The Man Who Wasn't There, it's the Coen brothers rehashing the classic black and white film-noir style, with their filmic 'chops' front and center. Any film shot in the fifties doesn't have to place itself in time if it is 'contemporary', at least not in obvious ways, not to mention the limitations on what filmmakers could get away with back then. The Coen brothers use obvious historical cues to place you in time, and it serves to paint an interesting picture of the time, the observer looking back. The camera work is absolutely wonderful. I read somewhere, maybe IMDB, that they shot the film in color, and de-colorized the film. Dunno if that's true, but the film certainly looks vibrant. Great use of shadow (it's called noir for a reason), the film has it's share of starkly lighted scenes, yet some scenes manage to use many middle grays. Billy Bob Thornton is wonderful as the barber drifting through the American Dream. I cannot say enough good things about it.

Sometimes the homage can be more significant than the original piece one is paying homage to.

Neo-Noir is so punk rawk.