Friday, February 11, 2005

First Trip of the New Year

Trip home that is! I'm back in Houston for the first time since winter break and I can't hep but feel that it's going to be really short. It seems like I'd get more stuff done being in Austin than being over here, but at least I can stock up on some food. Plus see my family of course, but I was here for five whole weeks for winter break and I talk to them on the phone a few days a week. I took my CS test yesterday and I thought I did pretty well on it. It was definitely quite a challenge though in that it made us solve difficult problems that could definitely be solved with the knowledge we had of Java. There were two biggies: one was to do a fibonacci sequence in O(N) time with O(1) memory, and the other was to find the maximum and minimum of an array in ~1.5N time. The former was hard becuse he mislead us through the wording of the question into believing that we have to keep track of the numbers as we found them, and the latter was difficult for obvious reasons. I spent as long on that test as I did on the CS 307 final (an hour and a half) and I managed to solve them all alright.

I'm going to start out today with some more tech news. There's a trojan virus spreading around that targets Microsoft AntiSpyware software and is aiming for secret information. I think it's pretty ironic that even their AntiSpyware software had a hole in it! They need some UT graduates on that team. You can read the definition of a Trojan horse here if you don't know how it spreads. Speaking of M$, there's a good article about their decay here. The writer claims that he's had experience in predicting when companies were likely to go downhill, but I think it's kind of hard in this case. M$ is in a tough spot right now, but it's wholly possibly that they can get themselves out of it given the amount of money they have to throw around. Though they are so cocky that they're asserting that they are more secure than Linux.

The House of Representatives has passed legislation that requires states to issue electronic ID cards to all adults with ultra verification of the person's identity. It's a good idea taken too far, and I don't think it can be properly enforced across the board. Loki-torrent has finally fallen victim to the MPAA and shut down. There's a rather ominous message on the site right now and I feel split on the issue. One on hand I sympathize with the MPAA, but on the other side I don't see what's wrong with downloading tv shows once in a while. Those of you interested in AI will enjoy this article about the possibility of robots that can construct buildings on their own. AI and security are the two hottest topics in computing and stuff like this is why. Those of you wary about what browser to use will want to read this article about the fastest browsers. Apparantly Opera is the fastest all around, but Firefox has some advantages of its own which you should read about.

There's some interesting Tom Cruise news today: he's not going to be Iron Man in the upcoming Iron Man movie! However, Steven Spielberg will be working on a Transformers movie in the not too distant future. Also in that article is that a final draft of the Indiana Jones 4 script will be ready within a month to determine whether the movie will move forward, so keep your fingers crossed! There are rumors floating around about the possiblity of the Scottish parliament building being a casino set for the new Bond movie, Casino Royale. There's a new trailer for A Lot Like Love up now, but unfortunately it gives away a couple of the movie's twists. I guess you can't have much surprise in a romantic comedy, but I hope that this movie won't suck because I like romance movies that are more realistic (ala Garden State, though I'm not comparing it to this movie). There's also a trailer up for Madagascar, but I never expect much out of Chris Rock movies. The rest of the cast is rather good though, so I could be mistaken. I thought I'd share a couple of interesting pictures with you all from Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory:

Weird kid Weird people


Supposedly Willy Wonka will be a bit creepier in this movie so it should be an interesting change from the old version. Now onto some superhero news. A couple of characters from the old Superman movies will be returning in the new one so keep your eyes peeled for them. There are a bunch of little clips from Constantine now available online and I actually saw 10 minutes of the movie on MTV a little while ago, which are available online as well. The buzz is true: he can actually act! I'm becoming more optimistic about the movie and dare I say I'm looking forward to seeing it. Like yesterday, I have saved the best from last: a review from an early Batman Begins screening!!! I really think this will be the first movie where I'll actually piss my pants in excitement of seeing it. I haven't been this anticipatory since Kill Bill, and that's saying a lot. So read that review, it's great and detailed.

Now just a couple of random notes. Arthur Miller passed away, which came as a shock to me because I loved The Crucible. I suppose all good people must meet their end though like everything else, and I hope he's in peace now as a reward for the brilliant literature he left us. There's a short blog here that hints at the new trend of open source being on the rise, and I think it may be right. Although it needs more momentum to become a full-fledged movement.

And now, the Friday Five meme:

1) Would you rather live in a world with or without technology such as computers, cars, airplanes, bombs?
With! If it was without technology I'd shrivel and die, and plus I wouldn't have a job! I don't think I'd be smart enough to develop the technology, so no doubt my life wouldn't be as fulfilling as it is for me now knowing what my life's goal is career-wise.

2) If you had to live without either heating in your house or air conditioning, which one would you keep?
I've actually had this predicament before, only without a choice. I'd rather live without a heater since it's hot here more months than cold so I can just bundle up in the winter.

3) If you had to own five dogs, what kind would you get?
German Shephard and Golden Retriever are my favorites because they're so loving in general.

4) If the world had a front porch, what would you do on it?
Play classical guitar? I have no other real talent to showcase. I guess I could just buy a laptop and play Half-Life 2 and Counter-Strike and Starcraft on it.

5) Would you rather live in a neighborhood where you know all of your neighbors by name, or where everyone sticks to their own business?
Probably the former because it would be safer. I only know a few of the people in my neighborhood and I kind of wish I knew more just so that it'd be a nicer place to live at. Of course in Austin I don't know anyone in my apartment complex since a lot of the people in it are weird. It'll be great to move to Far West in the Fall.

1 comment:

cookie said...

elton i just have to say that your posts have got to be the most interactive posts ever. you have like 50 million links in EVERY post. not that its a bad thing. im just like.. wow. if anyone needs more information to ANYTHING im sure i'd just tell them to go to you...