Friday, February 17, 2006

Government Backlash

All of a sudden, the government thinks that it's an expert in the affairs of technology. There's a couple of issues they've now gotten uppity about, and neither of them should come as much of a surprise to you. One of them is the major search engines bending to the will of Chinese authorities in censoring their searches, and, in Yahoo's case, releasing information on dissidents. While I don't think the latter is reasonable in any situation, I don't think our government has any business telling them how they should conduct themselves in foreign countries. We can't force our culture on them and we can't force multinational companies to do so either. Other companies are doing much worse things than these search engines are. The other thing that has them up in arms is the production of rootkits, which they're now seeking to outlaw. This is something that I do agree with because I don't think it's fair for software to install itself on your computer without you knowing about it. What would separate it from a malicious virus or piece of spyware?

I actually have one more case where the government is trying to get involved: cable television. They've become concerned with unreasonably high cable television prices caused by monopolies that are restricting many homes from subscribing to the service. The prices have caused dead weight loss (i.e. it's against society's well-being), and the government can help alleviate the problem by taking more actions to regulate local governments protecting these monopolies. I want to see them put their money where their mouth is. In an amazing move, Microsoft has actually admitted that it screwed up! A flaw in some of their drivers has caused USB devices to sap battery life in more recent Intel processors, which has become a huge issue for notebook users, and they're working on a convenient patch for the problem while Intel looks to prevent the problem from occurring in future chips. I wonder how a driver designed to work well in sleep states goes so terribly awry? Lastly, if you want to know more about the history of the Xbox, Elite Bastards has a good article summing it up and talking about evolutions in the Xbox 360.

Click to enlargeI don't have any particular fascination with Ultraviolet, but I think that Milla Jovovich is hot so I thought that I might as well showcase one of the many new pictures that IGN has uploaded. The big news today is actually the first real trailer for A Scanner Darkly, and it definitely looks awesome. It's going to be pretty trippy watching a whole movie in that animation style. Also pretty big is word from major distributors that they're going to stop producing movies on Sony's UMD format (for the PSP) due to weak sales (which I knew would happen) and piracy issues. Sony is still going to keep pushing for it, but without a wider user base I don't know what they can really do. James Cameron has announced that his next project is a movie that has been speculated on by movie geeks for a little while now called 880 that has remained very hush-hush. Michael Bay has spilled a few beans himself regarding Transformers 2 stating that the Pentagon is going to cooperate with the movie's production to introduce more credibility in the film (because giant robots are commonplace, of course). I don't get why Bay keeps releasing his updates on a forum rather than in a video diary or a news page. Frank Miller has confirmed that the next Sin City film will cover at least "A Dame to Kill For" (featuring Rosario Dawson's Gail and Clive Owen's Dwight) and a brand new story he's writing featuring Nancy Callahan after what happens in the end of Sin City (I won't spoil it for you, don't worry). As long as Jessica Alba comes back I'll be a happy camper. Lastly, IGN put up their opinion of the Green Goblin making his appearance in Spider-man 3 through Harry Osborn, although Gwen Stacey does complicate matters. I personally feel like this one will set him up more for the fourth movie, but we'll have to see what happens.

I'm going to go with Friday's Feast this week:

If you were a color, which color would you be, and why?

Probably blue, because I can be construed as sad/contemplative sometimes and bright/fun other times.

When was the last time you went to the doctor, and what was your reason for going?

I think the last time was when I got sick a couple of summers ago and nearly vomited an internal organ. Obviously I'm exaggerating, but it was pretty crappy and I had to go to the emergency room for that. I don't think I've seen a doctor since because my body's immune system is surprisingly efficient.

What do you collect?

Not much of anything anymore, though I still keep some pennies in my penny bank. Collecting money is always fun. I guess I can consider my music CDs and DVDs a collection as well, but I'm sure that other people are much more into it than I am; I'm a casual shopper.

Main Course
What were you like in high school? Name one thing you miss and one thing you don't miss about those days. (If you're still there, imagine how you'll remember it in the future.)

For half of it I was rather standoffish and subservient. I think I grew into someone slightly more self-confident and much less of a loser by the end of it all.

Pretend you're standing in front of your home, with your back towards your home. Describe the view - what can you see? Trees? Cars? A zoo? Wal-Mart?

At my parents' place there's just another house, and here it's just another building of apartments. Nothing really exciting about either of them, sorry.

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