Sorry about the hiatus, but it was definitely very necessary. Copa was fun last night, as always. Was probably a little better the time before because more people came out, but bringing NSC people to Copa has turned out to be pretty fun. Anyway, I've also gotten a deluge of interview offers the past couple of days including Cisco and Amazon, so I'm very excited about those. So moving on to the interesting stuff: the odds seem to be pretty good that Apple will move its iPod line completely to Flash memory because, as any good teach head knows, hard disk drives (HDD) are unreliable and not meant for portability (or shaking). It's a logical move for battery life, as well, cost will just be tricky. It looks even better in light of near official confirmation that the Zune phone is happening. They've already made a filing with the FCC that just falls short of explicitly calling it a cell phone, and an insider revealed that they've been working on it for a long time now, and just recently realized that it'd be a good thing to put under the Zune line. But get this, they're aiming to announce it in the middle of March for a May release! Isn't that wild? It'd beat the iPhone's release, but I suppose it'd have to have some amazing features in order to attract attention. I guess it's better than waiting until after the iPhone has picked up steam. I think it's good that they have a rival product, and I do wish them the best of luck with them, because they're going to need a Hell of a lot of it. To be honest, they have a fighting chance if they do announce it next month. If they can build up enough hype, if they can launch an aggressive enough marketing campaign, anything is possible. But they have to push it better than they've pushed any of their products before, or else they're in real trouble.
Back to Microsoft for a minute: Clippy has passed on. They've decided that no one really ever liked him, and to include him in the new version of Office was pointless. So he has been callously removed. Not that he'll be missed though, just thought you guys would appreciate that.
On to the Google stuff. They've opened up Gmail to the world at large, at last! I'm guessing that almost everyone who wanted Gmail already had it, but now it's even easier! Now for the bad news: Google has decided to roll over for the telcos and television companies. Google is claiming that they can't support TV on the Internet because they don't, get this, scale well. What a complete load of crap! Look, I have nothing against them forming an alliance to get more media content that they can make searchable and tack ads onto, that's what they do best. However, don't consider the rest of us stupid. Tell us the truth or nothing at all!
Speaking of content online, here's a good list that summarizes why I, too, am reluctant about digital distribution of films. I think it has way too much room for improvement for having been around for as long as it has, and it's still a wide open market, despite Wal-mart's deal. Until they make things simpler, less obtrusive (i.e., kill the DRM), price things more sensibly, and get better compression together, that whole industry will continue to play third (not even second) fiddle to movie theaters and DVDs.
I like bringing this up at least once every couple of months because it pisses me off when people laud their camera for having more megapixels. Guess what, it doesn't freaking matter! Much like microprocessors, camera quality does not boil down to just a single number; it depends on several factors including the light sensor size, quality of pictures in various environments, and usability. So go out and read reviews! Don't just buy into specs.
Trailers trailers trailers! I've missed quite a few, it seems! Most notable is the one for Shrek the Third, which was much funnier than the previous ones. I actually have some hope for this movie now! I was also pleasantly surprised by the trailer for Fracture featuring Anthony Hopkins (in another Hannibal-like role) and Ryan Gosling (I know, it made me skeptical, too). It's an interesting psychological thriller about a prosecutor figuring out a murder, though the trailer is way too revealing. Mr. Brooks is another serial killer oriented movie with a pretty entertaining trailer, and it looks like Kevin Costner is in it, who I haven't seen in a movie in many a year. It looks cool, but doesn't interest me quite as much as the above two movies. The trailer for Faces of Death is definitely one of the most disturbing trailers I've ever seen, though I don't know that it's the actual trailer for this remake. In any case, be forewarned, it is extremely graphic (definitely moreso than Pan's Labyrinth itself was).
Toy Story 3 is officially a go for a hopeful 2009 release. This movie has a sordid history, which was improved by the Pixar/Disney merger. It looks like they'll actually put some effort into it though, so don't lose heart!
More interesting is that Metal Gear Solid really is finally getting its own movie! Other than Michael de Luca producing with help from Konami's own legendary Hideo Kojima, we don't know much about it. But if Kojima is on board, you can be guaranteed that they'll make something worthwhile with what I consider to be one of the most amazing video game franchises ever (definitely my personal favorite, even over Zelda).
Lastly, it looks like Ghost Rider is better than I initially thought! It sounds like it really is a decent comic book movie, I'm just waiting for other reviews to confirm this.
Now for Friday's Feast:
Appetizer - Have you been sick yet this winter? If so, what did you come down with?
Yeah, but just with a nose cold. Nothing too harsh, fortunately!
Soup - What colors dominate your closet?
I guess white, blue, and burnt orange! I could use some more green, though.
Salad - How would you describe your personal "comfort zone"?
I'm not really sure how to answer that. I guess it involves the people who I've known the longest because I know what I can and can't say/do around them.
Main Course - On which reality show would you really like to be a contestant?
I don't really want to be on any of them. If I had to choose, I guess I'd say Beauty and the Geek because those girls are hot (though I don't think I'm geeky enough for it, not to make me look better than those guys or anything, I just don't think I am!).
Dessert - Which holiday would you consider to be your favorite?
I enjoy Christmas the most because I have fond memories of it and enjoy the break from school, but Easter means more to me, I think. It's the one time of year when going to mass really means something special to me.