Thursday, June 01, 2006

Aftermath of the Raids

Unfortunately, work is starting to feel pretty long. However, I feel confident that time will pass much easier once I start my first project. I just wish I could breeze through learning this new programming language. I'm probably going to crash after this post since I'm actually tired today, so let's get started. Yesterday, I reported that The Pirate Bay, a major torrent repository, was shut down by Swedish officials. How are they coping? They intend to have everything back online within a couple of days! I suppose that shows a bit of arrogance, or it may just show the lack of faith they have in their own government to be able to do anything to them. Meanwhile, there's much more at stake, in actuality. The servers that were confiscated largely supported perfectly legal business sites, and those companies are none to happy with the Swedish government for condoning this action. What's funny is that The Pirate Bay will probably win their case since they weren't hosting any illegal content, but rather just the torrents. It almost seems that the government hurt more legit entertainment sites than The Pirate Bay, which probably will not have lost much uptime in the end. And since The Pirate Bay has some political following over there, this could probably end up hurting the power of the current political party in the end. I guess it almost sounds like the bad guys win in the end, but it wouldn't be as widespread of an issue if everyone went to digital distribution more readily.

Speigel Online has an interview with Phil Harrison, SCEA's lead game designer, in which he hotly contests claims that the PS3 controller design is copying from the Wii. I think it makes them looks worse to say that the most innovation they could fit into it was that stupid feature, but what's more important is that it's clear that they didn't plan the tilt thing since only the Warhawk team knew about it, and even they didn't know until a week before E3. Meanwhile, the Wii keeps getting all the praise taking top honors from the Game Critics Awards in multiple categories, including Best of Show. I wonder if it makes Sony jealous? Apple also won an award: PC World's top hardware company of the year, partially because they created five of their top 100 products of 2006. Guess who won worst company? That's right, it was Sony. And Apple is trying to spread its hardware even further by authorizing Best Buy to sell what sounds like its new line of Intel-based Macs. Still, I'd probably recommend going to an Apple Store if possible for the better service since the price has to be the same (its part of Apple's requirements to sell their stuff). Speaking of Intel, they're really going full force into power efficiency since that seems to be the trend nowadays what with everyone buying laptops all of a sudden (my hypothesis is that it's a result of more widespread WiFi coupled with cheaper, low-end laptops). They're really trying to fight for ground against AMD since AMD has been getting so much good press for beating Intel in test, but ExtremeTech believes that the Core 2 may change that with preliminary benchmarks looking real good for it. Don't get too excited yet though, since this was all done at Intel on their machines. Still, I'd wait before getting an Intel for Core 2 chips to come out. We have bad news from Sun though, they're laying off 5,000 people. I actually asked my first CS professor a couple of years ago how they stayed afloat since they don't seem to sell products that make much money (who uses SunBlades?), and he said that they just had a good nestegg from their machines in the 80s, I believe, so I guess their fortune is starting to run dry. Lastly, we have more Vista impressions. If you want to see Microsoft's spin on things, the official site now has video tours of some of the flagship features in Vista. If you want to see them knocked down a peg though, ComputerWorld has 20 things you probably won't like in Vista. They make valid points, but everyone has their own spin on things. I think it'll likely be a very divisive piece of software.

That slightly thrilling shot comes from some spies scoping out the Spider-man 3 set, and it shows Bryce Dallas Howard as Gwen Stacy onces again. There are more here if you care to see them. We also now know that Spider-man 3 has four villains in all. That was revealed to us by Jessica Alba, who also informed us that Fantastic Four 2 will start shooting in August and will include Silver Surfer this time around. Weren't there rumors that he'd be getting his own movie? Merrick at AICN has seen the Die Hard 4 script, and he seems to like it. I didn't read much into it because of its spoilers, but from what I saw it looks to stay true the series's roots. AICN also got a review for Miami Vice itself, and the reviewer claims the movie was good, but its editing doesn't cover up the lackadaisical plot well enough. Speaking of plots, we have one for Saw 3, but I chose to not read it since I've yet to rent Saw 2. Lastly, JoBlo has a terrible review for Southland Tales, which goes against what else we've heard about it. Could Richard Kelly have really let us down so much?

Now for 3x Thursday:

1. What do you do when you're mixed up (this can be any context you wish)?
Try to go back to a reference point, that sounds pretty solid. Whether it's in your life or on the road or maybe you've lost something, you should always have something you can turn to to find your way again.

2. Do you think we're going about all the continuing religious violence in Iraq the wrong way? If so, what other routes do you think we should go? Why? If you think we're on the correct track, how so?
I do, but I can't come up with anything better. What's done is done, and we have to follow through on it or all the lives lost will have been for nothing.

3. One could argue that the USA has it's priorities all mixed up. What's one issue that you think we should pay attention to that we are not, or are not giving enough attention to? Why?
Besides common sense? I guess just being more sensitive to how others perceive us. It's not always that everyone is jealous. In fact, more often than not it's because people are just pissed at our foreign policies. Maybe if the government listened more it would be in a better world position. And maybe they could listen to the people more rather than spread propaganda to push their own agenda.

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