I would've beta released my project today, except that the PE (i.e. my client) wasn't ready until late in the day, and the team leads didn't want to do a release so late in the day. Still, we tested it and it was just such a thrill to see it in action, but really scary at the same time. It made the past however many weeks all worthwhile. Anyway, someone posted a followup to Monday's article on semantic searching threatening Google by claiming that they have indeed taken out an insurance plan on their future and cannot be so easily brought down. I don't agree that Google isn't distracted because overtly they're all over the place, but I agree with his other points. They do appear to be pretty well versed in AI though, and it looks like they haven't lost sight of the semantic web after all. Plus, having boatloads of money doesn't hurt either. I'd definitely put my hope more in Google than any competitor for searching, but I wouldn't discount the possibility that someone could get there before Google. Let's think realistically here, Google was just started by a couple of smart guys and Yahoo never saw it coming. Who's to say that another team of smart guys couldn't pop out of nowhere and beat Google to the next big thing? I think he goes a little far by saying that no one can beat Google, but the odds are definitely on their side.
Meanwhile, another giant, Apple, is facing delays on their next big iPod arrival. Apparently, they want to increase the screen size while reducing the battery life, which are totally complementary things so I can see their problem, but it's totally worth the delay if they pull it off because battery life is so important to consumers. Microsoft released a newer build of Vista Beta 2 to a select few that fixed a lot of bugs plaguing the current public build leading some to believe that maybe they're on track after all. It's hard to gauge how good it is when they don't do a wide release with the changes, so let's just say that they're working hard rather than that they're totally on track. I recently praised a USB TV transmitter for Macs, and it looks like another one popped up for PCs at a trade show in Korea. We don't have any details on it yet, but at least the product is out there. Another neat gadget coming soon can read text out loud by taking pictures of it, and it's obviously targeted at the visually impaired. I just find the technology quite amazing and I just hope the price will go down from $4,000 soon enough. For those of you who can see just fine, you may want to take a look at this online photo editor that doesn't quite rival Photoshop, but it has a lot of impressive filters that put it ahead of Picasa. I'm not sure how they profit off this product, but I'll take it while it's free! Lastly, if you wondered about what was going to be replacing NYC's Twin Towers, then you should check out this article reporting that the tower design has been chosen and they hope to have it completed by 2010. I personally like the design they chose.
I'm going to start off with a few news items on Grind House. It turns out that hottie Rosario Dawson is joining the cast of Tarantino's portion of the double feature, Death Proof, and Rodriguez is already finished with his portion of filming. Filming on Tarantino's half will start very soon. Entertainment Weekly interviewed the duo to find out how they met and such and it turns out that they're going for real authenticity here down to a reel being purposely missing in Rodriguez's portion for added effect. This should be a real movie geeks's movie. Nicole Kidman may be in the film adaptation of Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass as a scientist/conspirator, but no word on how she feels about the role. When the writer of the book wants an actress though, you know she's right for the part. I ran into some spoilers for Spider-man 3 that are really spoilerific so don't read them if you don't want to know, but the source has been on the set for a lot of the filming and gives away some details that makes me want to see the movie even more now as opposed to the X3 spoilers that made me hate Fox with a passion. I'm actually going to watch that teaser again right after I finish this post. Yahoo Movies has a slightly different trailer for The Night Listener than what we've already seen, and like I said before: I'm interested to see Robin Williams and Toni Collette in a serious movie together. Lastly, Gael fans or people who just love French will want to check out these clips from The Science of Sleep.
Now for the Wednesday Mind Hump:
1. What are your favorite TV shows? If you can, also tell us the one show you absolutely HATE to miss.
24, Lost, and Family Guy right now. I really hate missing 24 because it's so intense and you literally spend the rest of your week waiting for the next episode.
2. Who handles the remote control in your household?
My dad, of course.
3. How many remote controls are there in your house? Not counting your childrens' appliances.
At my parents' place, I'm going to go with 8 or so.
4. Do you flip through the channels mindlessly, or do you stick with one or two channels?
Here or in Austin: mindless flipping. In Houston though, I know what channels are good all too well so I have a list in my head of what channels to flip through.
5. Adam Sandler's latest movie is "Click," about a guy who discovers a remote control that works on life. If you could have such a device, how would you put it to use?
I'd go back in time to undo totaling my baby :(