Thursday, April 14, 2005

Watching the Surveillance

Today has been (and will continue to be) a busy day, so I doubt this post will run too long. I have to pack up my stuff to go back to Houston tomorrow for the last trip before the big move-out. As such, today's main topic is somewhat less than thrilling but it's an interesting idea. At an ACM conference on Computers, Freedom, and Privacy, a group of guys went to a mall and started taking pictures of hidden cameras. Not only that, but they also kept hidden cameras in tote bags with a smokey clear end (only some of which contained cameras). Their purpose was to try to prove that it bothered the storeowners that they were documenting the cameras, but the owners were more perturbed at the prospect of them giving the pictures of products and store displays to competitors. Irregardless, it was an interesting idea and the owners were concerned at making other customers uncomfortable by the tote bags. The point they bring up is valid though: a lot of times we're being monitored when we don't know it and it could be an infringement on our rights in some cases. At the end of the article they mention some of the gadgets the head dude has including a wallet that requires ID to get its ID and a briefcase that reads in fingerprints before it allows anyone to open it. The wallet idea sounded pretty cool to me.

There were a few other things going on in the world of nerds. For one thing, there's slightly more word on Google's video distribution service (the video blog thing). They want uploaders to have full distribution rights and make it impossible for others to pirate the video, and given the crazy minds they have I wouldn't be surprised if it were possible. If you're a die-hard Linux fan then allow yourself to be knocked down a notch by this article proclaiming that Linux can't kill Windows. Why? Because it's not predictable or consistent and it's an operating system not a platform. Read the article for more info explained better. Hollywood is apparently dumb when it comes to computers and are just getting turned on to the possibility of using BitTorrent for movie distribution, so maybe it'll eventually happen! If you want more information about all the P2P trials up til now and currently going on you'll find this interview with Michael Weiss quite enlightening. And lastly, we may soon see the end of metal detectors thanks to advanced physics. The new technology would rely on milimeter wave sensors and other concepts way over my head but that sound neato.

Today's movie news is pretty decent. I have quite a few bits of multimedia including this new trailer for Tony Jaa's Tom Yum Goong. It's in Thai but very cool. The first clip I've seen for House of D is over here and it doesn't incite a lot of confidence for the movie but it could still turn out well given the actors Duchovny was able to muster up. There's also a supposed "first look" at Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy over here, but I could've sworn that I've seen clips before. Anyway, it's only slapstick comedy but I guess something is better than nothing. I've mentioned the movie Lonely Hearts before where Salma Hayek plays a serial killer, and now there are some first pictures of it including this one:


What is it that makes the off-the-shoulder strap so sexy? Speaking of hotties, Kim Cattrall and Carrie Ann-Moss will be in Snow Cake, which I mention because this may be a movie to keep on the radar given its interesting plot and a cast that includes Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman. And lastly, Mel Gibson may be working on a movie about the life of the Pope (John Paul II). And in case you guys didn't know, John Paul II isn't his real name, but usually when a cardinal is made Pope he usually chooses to change his name to something more fitting for the role. I'm skeptical about Gibson's religious zeal getting the best of him.

Just two things before I conclude. A survey done recently revealed that people believe bloggers deserve the same rights as journalists. The belive that they should be censored for personal information of other people and journalists and such, and that they use blogs to get information on politics and current events. Obviously they didn't survey too many Xanga or LJ readers. Strongbad put up a new e-mail about rampages, so waste a few minutes you could spend studying and get a chuckle out of it.

Now for some meme love with the 3x Thursday meme:

1. What kind of humorist are you? What makes you laugh?
It's pretty easy to make me laugh, but I am a fan of dry humor and sardonic humor. I love David Cross, but I also like Dave Chapelle a lot. Plus, cultural humor is always great.

2. Who makes you laugh? Who are the people you look to to make you laugh when you need it?
Some of my closer friends and being around my cousins makes me laugh a lot. I'm starting to laugh a lot at our NSC exec meeting! =D

3. Where do you get your sense of humor from? Mom? Dad? Someone else?
Probably a combination of my brother and my friends from high school. I don't think I share my parents' sense of humor, but I guess I lean more towards my dad in that aspect.

Do you try and find humor in the bad stuff that happens? Why/why not?
If it's not too horrible, yes. It just depends on the situation and how impacting it is and how humorous it actually is. Like American Psycho had some funny moments.

My post tomorrow will likely be later than this one given the journey that I have to make home to Houston.

1 comment:

Andrew Ironwood said...

I think the off-the-shoulder strap works on one of the two primary principles used by the costumers for the original Star Trek series: things look sexy if 1) they show any part of the anatomy you don't normally get to see, and/or 2) it looks like it might fall off at any minute and show you even more...