Friday, April 14, 2006

Apple Employees in the Dark

I'm back in Houston for Easter, and pretty glad that I'll be able to take a couple of days off from my normal, crazy busy schedule. I have much more time this week to get my homework done, and, more importantly, no tests! I thought I'd talk about today something I've known about, but this Mac geek puts it in better terms. Apple employees typically don't know squat about what's actually going on backstage at Apple. I found this out last fall when I met with an Apple recruiter (as well as some VP) the day before the video-enabled iPod was released. I asked her about it and she had no idea about what the rumors were or what was going to be released, because she didn't know. They came back a couple months later, and their speaker changed to a guy who knew something about what I assume was the MacBook Pro but wouldn't say. However, he was actually working on the project himself, and that's why he was in the know. Don't badger your local Apple store employees, because they won't know jack either. What's funny is that as good a model this, it clearly still doesn't work. The fact that there are rumors that end up coming true means that people are talking. Why would someone intimately involved in a project want to spoil the surprise of all their hard work though? My theory is that they do it on purpose. Think about it: if they're right a few times, then they'll become "trusted sources." Then, they can spread whatever garbage they want, and Apple can get a window into people's views on a product concept for free. They can also spread false information just to throw people off the scent. These are all my personal opinions though, I have no clue if their secrecy model is really that intricate or if some people just happen to have big mouths who are in high places. One thing is for sure though, no one knows about products who doesn't absolutely need to know.

If you own an mp3 player, then you should definitely look into Rockbox, which is an open source piece of firmware for most of the best mp3 players around (including the iPod). Basically, it allows you to play all the big proprietary DRM-regulated formats, so that if you have a Zen you can still use iTunes. Not sure how well it works, but it couldn't hurt to try it out (you can revert back to the original firmware). A Firefox update has been released, and it sounds pretty sure so be sure to update your software (I would hope that you're all on Firefox). Do you hate getting porn sites when you misspell a URL? Microsoft has actually created a tool that would help you not be automatically redirected to that junk, though it's still in beta. It sounds pretty cool to me, except that it only works for IE 6. I smell a Firefox extension being thought up right now. Fox has decided to put reruns of select prime time programming online the morning after it airs. The article doesn't specify whether it will be streaming and ad-supported (like what Disney will do) or ala carte purchase-based, but I'm sure we'll find out more very soon. More on the television front: Sun's open source DReaM DRM format will be put to the test through the magic of IP TV for a Korean company called Alticast. I'm mainly thrilled with the DReaM idea, and am very anxious to know how this little experiment turns out. Lastly, Google's Summer of Code project has already begun accepting proposals, so if you're a bored programming student then this would be a great thing to do over the summer (looks especially good on your resume). (Correction: they're only signing up organizations and mentors right now, but students can start signing up on May 1. Thanks, Greg!)

Click to enlarge

I'm still quietly anticipating 300, and we now have a few new pieces of concept art to feast our eyes on (including the one above) until, well, the next production video blog entry. If you're still stuck on X3, then IGN has some TV spots you'll probably want to see, and MSN video has some on-set footage. The former looks familiar (it may have appeared online before somewhere else, but they all look similar so it's hard to tell), and the latter requires IE6 (boo). Take heart though in a new clip from Silent Hill over at Moviefone. That sort of environmental shift actually happened in the last two games, so don't think that it's just a gimmick because it's really an inspired idea. As some of you may know, Brad Pitt has been working on a western with a name so long that I'm choosing to not say it here. However, I will say that it's first trailer will be attached to United 93 prints, which I think is kind of a strange mix but I guess they just pick the film to attach it to based on the date they want the trailer released by. Lastly, Electronic Design has an article about how movie theaters may forcefully turn off your cell phone for you through nanomaterials in the walls that would effectively kill your RF signal. The thing is, this isn't why people aren't going to the movies! It can be annoying at times when someone's phone rings, but it's not like it constantly happens, and it's not a dealbreaker. The reason I haven't gone to the movies in a while is because I haven't gotten truly excited (and, hence, motivated) about a new movie in a little while.

Now for Friday's Feast:

What movie soundtracks do you own?

Not very many, but I have the soundtracks to Lion King, Tarzan, Batman and Robin, both Kill Bills, Team America, and Space Jam. Very eccletic, but I just don't buy many soundtracks.

How much cash do you usually carry with you?

Usually around $20, because I feel uncomfortable with too much money in my back pocket. However, I tend to keep a little more at home so that I don't have to go to the bank too often.

Are you more comfortable around men or women? Why?

Around men, because I am one! I guess you could argue that women are more sensitive and less judgemental towards guys so I could feel more comfortable around them, but I don't buy it. Around a guy, I'm not wondering if they like me or not and I'm not trying to hit on him at all. Also, if I have a problem with a guy at least I know I can intimidate him into thinking I'm going to kick his butt, whereas I wouldn't hit a girl so if she was being a bitch to me I would be pretty much powerless.

Main Course
What is the most mischievous thing you remember doing as a child?

The most mischievous thing is too crazy to be shared, but I did break this big, crystal trophy once and tried hiding it from my parents (and failed miserably). It was a heavy star thing, and it was up high so I tried to reach for it and it fell and actually broke off a piece of tile.

Who is the funniest member of your family?

In my nuclear family: my brother. In my extended family, one of my dad's brothers is really funny and always has crazy stories to tell so I'm going to go with him.


Greg Stein said...

Actually, we are signing up organizations and mentors for the Summer of Code. Students won't begin submitting proposals until May 1st.

LizzieDaisy said...

So do you think I should buy an intel mac then or will they put a new one out the next day? :)

Love the Space Jam soundtrack...