Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Real World Bullies

I didn't do too well at all on my tests today, but I feel a little better in retrospect. I failed my Physics test, but at 20 points above the average, and my CS 337 test didn't go so well either, but only one of the many people I talked to didn't think they failed it miserably. Moving along though, do you ever notice how companies out there in the real world can be big bullies? Microsoft isn't a horrible company, but they're doing something pretty bad right now by pressuring UK computer retailers into selling computers loaded with Windows rather than without an OS (i.e. so they could install Linux or something else on it). I used to feel sympathetic to M$ because of all their bad PR, but not after this move where they're creating it themselves. Even worse is the RIAA, and you'll find out how bad of a bully they are when you read this college student's account of how they actually told him that he should drop out of school to raise the money to pay a settlement with them. I doubt it's that unlikely to win in court, but so few people try it because they're scared into paying the settlement. The point is that it makes me sick to my stomach to think that they'd put their own fat wallets above the future of this nation. That's like a kid harmlessly stealing a piece of candy and being imprisoned because of it. I wonder how much of that added revenue they want from raising mp3 prices would go towards taking college students' educations away from right under them? The best way to beat a bully isn't the sissy way of surrendering or just saying "I know that you're supressing deep emotions," but to gang up on them and scare them into submission. If only someone would do that in these situations.

Big news from Apple: they've released the beta of a product called Boot Camp that allows you to dual boot Windows on your Mac, and it will be included in Leopard. It seems like whenever Mac says they won't do something, they always do it (recall the video iPod). I'm guessing that they didn't wait on a full press event for this because of that hack that was released a couple of weeks ago to do the same thing, or it could mean that there will be no anniversary event. However, it may be because they're just putting finishing touches on a Bluetooth iPod, as Gear Live reports. I knew that this was coming for a while, but I'm still holding out for a WiFi iPod. There's an even better rumor floating around: Apple may be working on a framework that would allow Windows users to run Universal binaries easily on their Wintel boxes with native performance, which would put developers at an advantage who just make Universal binaries. There are also rumors of an Intel iBook and MacBook Pro, and all these fairly believable rumors could make for one great anniversary event, so don't lose heart yet! Netflix is suing Blockbuster for patent infringement with regard to online rental services, and I hope that they win since they originated it and Blockbuster just sucks in general.

Click to enlargeOne more thing in tech today, I'd like to plug a neat IPTV set top box that was recently requested of me to mention by the small company itself. It's called the IMX 1000, and what's awesome about it is that it delivers HD TV on the H.264 platform, which means that it's compressed amazingly well. This, plus their technology, would allow for uninterrupted channel service (unlike the issue I had posed in my prior IPTV post), you could easily save shows to the box, you can get hundreds of free channels, and it'll only set you back a few hundred bucks. I'm bringing it up here because it's so new and may even be the first of its exact kind, and they're rolling it out the telcos and ISPs and hotels and such, so you may see one very soon, and you heard about it here first! You've likely heard about In2TV by now, and it's has all these great shows that are no longer aired. How cool would it be to watch them on demand, in HD, and in your living room? That's the dream that MatrixStream's technology reaches for, among other things of course (including an easier pay-per-view service, especially with movies through Movie99). You can see a video of it in action over here. Much like ten years ago people looked at the Internet and said, "Yeah, this is going to be pretty big," I feel the same way about IP TV, so watch out for this neat little box soon!

Some rather disturbing movie news surfaced today: Grind House has halted production on Rodriguez's portion indefinitely, and will start on Tarantino's portion shortly. The rumor is that Rodriguez went over budget, but I doubt the validity of that because he's so careful with budgets and I feel that they may just be taking a break from his part. Fox has pumped out some good-looking TV spots for X3, which is all they're really good at (publicity, that is) for this movie. It'll actually screen very soon at Cannes though, so be prepared to see some more reviews of it in the near future. Speaking of Fox, we have a few more plot details on The Simpsons movie, and apparently a slip-up by Homer causes the town's water supply to be contaminated rather than there being a giant dome. It sounds a little better, but not very creative. AICN got a trailer description of the Snakes on a Plane official trailer that may be released soon, and it sounds as campy as it's supposed to be. Lastly, I personally think that Anna Paquin could have a decent career ahead of her, and so I was glad to see that she's signed on to a movie with some substance called Blue State about a guy moving to Canada to escape the reign of Bush and falls in love with her. At least it's an original idea for a movie.

Now for a Wednesday Mind Hump:

1. What's the luckiest thing that's ever happened to you?
I almost got into a bad car accident a couple of weeks ago due to my own stupidity, and I feel like God almost saved my life there. So keeping my life is definitely the luckiest thing to happen to me.

2. Is there something that you just cannot seem to have luck with?
Women. Why do I always fall for the ones I can't have? I'm sure this cycle will stop eventually, but it's pretty crummy luck.

3. Do you do any gambling? If so, what kind?
Not usually, but every once in a while I'm conned into playing poker for money. I wouldn't be opposed to trying out a casino, but it hasn't enticed me all that much.

4. Let's see how lucky you really are. Pick a number between one and twelve (1 and 12). If you guess the lucky number, you get an extra special comment on your blog!
8. I doubt I got it, but oh well =P


Russ said...

You didn't get the lucky number. Sorry! Only one person so far has.

[Mat] said...

Sorry about the test.
Or am I?

20 points above average is good.