Tuesday, March 01, 2005

SG Elections Begin

This paragraph only applies to my readers who are fellow Longhorns. You know that you can't avoid the campaigns of Connect and Ignite everywhere you go, and now it's voting day. It's kind of funny how people take this almost as seriously as the presidential election, but it definitely is a big deal. I hate it when people brush it off because they think it's useless. Our SG representatives are the people who are really proud of the University and are trying to make it better, and they deserve a few minutes of your time to vote for who you think is worthy for the respective roles. I just wanted to sound off on those people and say that it's up to you to educate yourself and realize that these are students who really care about making things happen rather than our nation's Congress who are more concerned about money. Sure, it looks good on a resume, but given the commitment it requires I hardly think that that's the main motivating factor for most SG members. If you want an opinion on who to vote for, you can always look at some reccomendations, but just get out there and vote at least. I mostly voted Connect though because the Ignite platform is dumb in my opinion.

I've got some cool nerd news today. A very smart computer scientist ran with a good idea and developed open source card reading software called Stripe Snoop. It was intended as a research project and he ended up finding out that the cards we carry in our wallets with magnetic strips seem to have a lot more information then we think so it's just a real interesting idea and I applaud him for it. Speaking of open source, Yahoo! has released APIs for its search products so that developers and business can integrate it into more stuff. It's good that they're opening up, but I fear that it's only because Microsoft has starting to show its teeth to the searching industry. While I'm talking about M$, I might as well mention that SP1 is extremely insecure and if you're a stubborn bastard like me and don't want to get SP2 you should really look into hardware and software firewalls. Since I hate to mention M$ without giving props to Mozilla I thought that I'd plug this article that briefly talks about how Google's deal with the Mozilla browser has helped bankroll some new contributors to the project. Though it has its disadvantages, I think they've made the right move by sticking with Google. Moving on to the science community though, it sounds like a couple of American scientists have been creating an invisibility shield. This is the kind of stuff that dorks like me dream of, and while it's a little complicated it's also really cool at the same time because it almost seems obvious.

I thought I'd discuss video games next because I have some neato stuff from IGN to talk about. They picked Gran Turismo 4 to be their Game of the Month, which once again proves my point of how awesome this game is. Another game I've been looking forward to is Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, which is considered to be the first true sequel to the original, and they put up some impressions of the co-op missions. I think it's a great step forward in the industry because if ganes are going to be multiplayer action they should have co-op play because it makes the game so much more fun and it's what I remember playing with my brother as a kid (gotta love Streets of Rage).

Teamwork is key

And since I think it's important for less visible games to get exposure, I'll even plug this video from Midway's Area 51 game (not a remake, totally different from the arcade version). I'm impressed with how well it has progressed. Lastly, afficionados of scavenger hunts may want to look into this alternate reality game that I have never heard of before and sounds like an advertising ploy.

Not much film news today, but I'll do my best. It turns out that Batman Begins will be released not only in normal theaters but also in IMAX on the largest commercial film format available. I'm definitely going to try to hard to see it at Edwards on the really big screen on opening day. While I'm talking about a superhero movie I might as well mention a wild rumor in the Superman Returns community that Brandon Routh will be replaced by Smallville's Tom Welling for the role of Clark Kent. I really think that Warner Brothers has more sense than that though. Since I'm on the topic of big movies, I should mention that the new Revenge of the Sith trailer will premiere during March 10's episode of the OC, and I may decide to watch the show just for that because it is the last Star Wars flick after all. One trailer that has been released recently though is for what's sure to be one of the worst movies of the year, Monster in Law. Does Jennifer Lopez just ask for crappy movies? To alleviate the situation you should check out a new clip from a good upcoming movie, Gunner's Palace. It isn't much, but it shows the level of realism of the movie. Those of you awaiting Hitchhiker's Galaxy to the Galaxy can feast your eyes on some new pictures. And finally, it looks like the upcoming Pink Pather movie is going to blow, which is too bad because I like Steve Martin (especially the Father of the Bride movies).

I have a few more things that I wanted to mention about the entertainment business. The ratings from Sunday's Oscars were lower than expected, and it's mainly because the contenders this year weren't really blockbusters. In fact, I regretfully hadn't seen many of them and am still planning on doing so. Meanwhile, the fight for decency standards rages on and while I agree some standards should be set I also think that they should be waived for late night broadcasts. I also feel that taking it to satellite is a bit extreme because I don't know of many kids who have Sirius or XM. Cheapos like me may want to look into Airfoil if they want to be their own DJ at home and they have a pretty Mac.

I decided to do the Ten on Tuesday this week because it's so interesting:

Ten Songs that Bring Back Memories (and why)
10. 4 Seasons of Loneliness by Boyz II Men - This song is from the heyday of Boyz II Men and R&B and so it really reminds me of how much I love them!
9. Ati Kyaa Khandala - This is a song that my little cousin and I learned back when I visited India like 5 years ago and it just reminds me of my lazy summer over there.
8. Autumun Leaves - It reminds me of the jazz combo at Bellaire High School and how much I miss my old guitar teacher. I wish I could get into GUI 201!
7. The Sign by Ace of Base - The first CD I ever got was Ace of Base so it reminds me of the days when I used to sit in my room and just listen to music on that JVC stero I had.
6. Wasting My Time by Default - Around this time in high school when I really liked this girl who didn't like me back, this song was popular and it so it became associated with the crappiness of that time.
5. Sweetness by Jimmy Eat World - It reminds me of my New York City vacation with the family because I heard it at someone point when I was walking around with my cousins and it just stuck in my head.
4. One Day at a Time - It reminds me so much of my grandmother that it's eerie because she really loved this song.
3. Shakalaka, Baby - This song is from the musical "Bollywood Dreams" and it reminds me of our fun trip to New York City for Economics Challenge was.
2. There She Goes by Babyface - Similar to my number 5 song, this song really strongly represents my family trip to Washington, D.C. for some reason.
1. Last Night by Az Yet - My brother moved to UT when I was like 10 and so I heard this song at some point on that trip and now when I hear it it makes me sad because that was one of the saddest days of my life. Those of you who have brothers can hopefully understand that bond and it was hard to get over his not being around.

I don't expect tomorrow's post to be up before 10 or 11 P.M., so brace yourselves for that.

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