Monday, February 14, 2005


Note: Sorry about the lateness of the post, but I had internet problems due to self-stupidity. It was ready hours ago.
I could title my post "V-day" or something, but that would be giving more credit than is deserved to ad istum diem. Part of my bone with the "holiday" is that I'm a loser and the other part is that it's not in the spirit of love but rather in the spirit of spending money. The day doesn't signify anything tangible! Anyway, back to my short title. I actually didn't know that three telephone companies are toying with the release of Internet Protocal Television until today. The big players in cable television don't feel the pressure of making tv more interactive, but this new service sounds cool because it will convert the information into data packets, much like normal internet works, so that they can fit more into their wires and in turn onto the screen. They also want to add more to what you can do on your boob tube and it sounds neat to me.

I will venture on into some more nerd news. Phillips is developing a new weapon in the war on P2P: digital fingerprinting. This means that videos would be identified in the middle of a swap as carrying a certain "fingerprint" and the transfer would be halted. It's as difficult as it is confusing to make because different compressions can complicate things and providers could potentially find away around it since they're obviously pretty smart. It sounds like a good idea, but it's just impractical. VeriSign is working on halting downloads too, but their focus is annoying pop up certificates where you have to hit 'yes' to unknowingly unleash spyware on yourself. You would think the VeriSign certification would provide security, but there have been loopholes so they're finally starting to crack down. Microsoft has had a pretty good day today overall. They announced that they have developed a GSM/GPRS smartphone platform alongside Flextronics. For those of you who don't know: smartphones are the newer models of phones with advanced capabilities (color screen, photos, faster data rates, Java compatibility, MMS, etc), GSM is 2nd generation international standard for cell phone protocol, and GPRS is basically just GSM but faster. Anyway, this OS is supposed to be pretty powerful so I guess they can do something right for a change. M$ also made a deal with cell phone giant Nokia to launch a mobile music service, which means that you can download songs to your phone and later transfer them to your PC or even order them directly to your PC. This means that you can spend your free time on the shuttle bus browsing new songs, which would be really time effective for most people. On a closing note, a patent case failed today to patent part human-part animal hybrids. The intention of the case was to prevent people from profitting from such a creation, and the whole thing sounds creepy to me.

My movie news today is rather dwindling, but quite high-quality. Moriarty put up a script review of The Departed (think Martin Scorcese, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Jack Nicholson) today. It's a really well written review, but if you want to avoid spoilers then just read the first paragraph, which provides a great synopsis. It's a cop vs. gangster movie, but of course there's more to it than that and it has some huge names producing it over and above the stunning cast. This is one of those movies designed to win little golden men and I don't think Scorcese will disappoint because the review's qualms seem to be less important than the great structure of the movie. JoBlo put up a really exciting interview with Francis Lawrence, the director of Constantine. It's a well-done interview and answers a lot of questions I had plus more stuff about the layers of the characters and the themes. It sounds like they wanted this to be a real movie, not just some blockbuster crap and they really put a lot of effort into it and I really respect that about the creators. There's actually good Punisher 2 news today: it may actually be truer to the fans this time and be a worthwhile film. John Saint's son is rumored to be the new villain so who knows what could happen now. Fans of Robert Rodriguez will want to drool over these new pictures from Sin City off of Entertainment Weekly, one of which I will display here:

I've gotta admit that she's hot

It will be out in just a couple of months and EW thinks it may be the next Pulp Fiction.

I have a few other things I would like to address. If you've heard a variant of an expression based in "breaking a heart", you'll want to check out this study about a broken heart syndrome. Apparently, extremely stressful events can have detrimental effects on your heart because of too much adrenaline being fed to your heart. So next time you break up with someone, take care to not physically break their heart. The Xbox 2 is not being predicted to be released in November or October of this year. This is a bad move, in my opinion, because the current generation has a solid year left in its lifespan and rushing this console could make it prey to the PS3, which will likely be more powerful and reliable. It sounds like blogs are finally headed into a meaningful direction with the resignation of a top CNN executive. An outrage from bloggers regarding his statement that troops purposely aimed at reporters was not the only reason for his resignation, but I'm sure it was a contributing factor and it shows that we may be getting closer to an online community that encourages the truth and, thus, provides a check for the mass media. And finally, there was a little event last night called the Grammies which I didn't see, but I managed to catch the winner's list. I'm really glad that Maroon 5 won best new album (it's quite an uplifting CD), that "Jesus Walks" won best rap song, and that The College Dropout won best rap album (Kanye is too awesome). Ray Charles won a disproportionate number of awards, but he was a musical genius in his day so I can't really complain.

Get ready for some Monday Madness:

First of all, choose a letter of the alphabet. Now, choose a number 1-10.
I'll go with the letter 'E' (for obvious reasons) and the number 6.
Got a letter? Got a number? Here's this week's challenge:
Using the letter you chose, write down _____ (number you chose) things that describe the current season where you live. (You don't necessarily have to begin each word with the letter you chose.)

I probably should've cheated and read ahead, but oh well. Things about winterin Austin I guess (it just got hot today, so that doesn't count):

1) Ephemeral, but mainly because I think that's a cool word. It's a bit of a litote, but our winter is historically a short two or three months.
2) Easy-going because we get a five week spring break at UT :-D
3) Ever-green (self-explanatory)
4) Elevating because it's a break from the inexorable heat
5) Enticing because you feel more inclined to eat christmas sweets so you can gain a little weight and warm up
6) Enamoring ecause it makes you fall in love with cold weather

Oh, and Cat put up pictures from the ACM JO intro event (which I blogged about a while ago) so I'll share one:

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