Monday, August 21, 2006

War in the Digital Age

There wasn't much great news to talk about today, but ArsTechnica had a simply amazing article up exploring the comforts of technological toys for those American soldiers currently in deployment in Iraq. What I find most fascinating about the article though is that, whether it means to or not, it almost draws parallels to what's being said about teenagers today, which is that they're "plugged in" to electronics too much and are missing out on the real world. It suggests that things like webcams are making it easier for those abroad to communicate with family, but that GameBoys and iPods are encouraging more reclusion than camaraderie and even a trivialization of combat (ala Hollywood movies) through music videos some make. Similarly, teenagers walking around with iPods are accused of wasting time they could spend thinking of brilliant ideas but the Internet has become so vital in research and getting help from fellow students on assignments. I think that technology will always be a gift and a curse, and I'm sure that even more primitive technology before what we know it as today was considered distracting from the way things were before. The fact of the matter is that, like all other good things, these modern-day comforts should be taken in moderation. Similarly, soldiers need a balanced life from what they used to know it as to the battlefield as they know it today. I would think that it'd help ease the transition and give them some form of comfort in their downtime. This isn't to say they shouldn't take solace in spending time with their fellow troops and getting to know them better, but sometimes you just want to be alone for a while to unwind, and you can still play PS2 with your friends.

Did you ever think that you could secure your data better by scattering it? This concept, now being enveloped in a project called Cleversafe, is almost the exact opposite concept of RAID and yet it could be extremely secure (though RAID is targeting more at backing up information, not securing it). This reminds me of my theory course last semester, and I think it's a pretty neat idea that sounds like it would've already been done. Meanwhile, new ideas are also sprouting in cell phones where cell phone providers are testing out new design concepts for their cell phones to match how fashionable they've now become. Some of them (like a phone with no buttons) sound a little extreme, but I'm glad to see that they're not trying to expand on the same tired old concepts. The UK press received word that Apple will have a "special presentation" at the Photokina photography show on September 25 in Cologne, but many are brushing off the news as being rather meaningless and exaggerated by most interpretations that think it'll hold the launch of a new fall product line. I personally agree with that and believe that they wouldn't have a big event at a photography show if they really wanted to unveil some important products (and outside of the U.S. at that). If you're confused about what ODF is, you might like this article explaining more about it. Lastly, Jon Stewart rightfully took some jabs at the 24 hour news networks for speculating even more about the new discovery in the Jon Benet Ramsey murder case, which I don't think is really any of our business in the first place. God forbid they'd report on things that matter, like any of the wars going on or net neutrality.

I'll start you guys off with a couple of trailers today (thank God I can finally watch streaming media again). The first one is for Bug, which looks like it could be an interesting horror movie, but it seems like it'll end up being a trainwreck nonetheless. You can watch it and decide for yourself though. The other trailer is for Macbeth, which looks really awesome. Similar to Romeo + Juliet, it's a modern-day adaptation taking place within the confines of Australian organized crime. I actually recall some of their lines from English 3 in high school! There was apparent word earlier that there would be more than one sequel to Ocean's Twelve in the near future, but Steve Soderburgh has stamped out that plan claiming that the next one would be the last one. I bet you that if it ends up making enough money though (it probably won't though) that they'll try to squeeze another one out. AICN got a pretty decent review of Fanboys, but it makes me skeptical of how funny that movie will really be. They also have an interview with the director of the new TMNT movie, and it sounds like it'll take place after the fall of Shredder. Oh, the excitement of seeing one of my childhood favorites back on the big screen! Lastly, there's been an outpouring of publicity for Black Snake Moan, so I have to post a picture of how Christina Ricci looks scary and sexy at the same time in this movie.

Click to enlarge

Now for some Monday Madness:

1. Would you shave your head for any amount of money? If yes, how much?
Probably for just $10,000. It would grow back fast enough to have made that worthwhile.

2. What "whacky" thing might you do for a large sum of money?
I'm not really sure. I'm not the "do crazy stuff" type, but I'm open to suggestions.

3. What do you think is a "large sum of money?"
$100,000 is a lot of money.

4. Do you watch "reality" tv shows?
Only The Contender because the fights are awesome.

5. If so, which do you watch and in what order do you prefer them? If not, are there any you may consider watching?
See #4.

6. Which reality show have you thought about participating in? Why?
Beauty and the Geek, though I don't think I'd be interesting or geeky enough. I don't know any other reality shows I could do though.

7. Share one thing you would like to do in life but have not yet done..... think about why you haven't done it and share if you wish.
I'd love to try jetskiing and snowboarding. Those sounds like they'd be real fun, and I definitely think I'll be doing them someday within the next few years.

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