Sunday, July 15, 2007

Reinventing Modern Computing?

PC Magazine is running an article on what they claim are the five ideas that will reinvent modern computing, but I always take their articles with a grain of salt. Their first one already has me suspicious: IMAX at home. It sounds cool and all, combining a bunch of $1000 computers to simulate IMAX, but who cares that isn't rich? What does this reinvent? I'll give them the quantum computer and the midair mouse though: those are both things that could be big. We wouldn't need pointers for presentations and such, just the same mouse you always use. The quantum computer could theoretically break RSA encryption, so that's a massively huge deal. I also like the idea of extreme peer-to-peer: like BitTorrent for servers or even home networks. Interesting, but complicated and hard to fit in one's head. Much easier to fit in your head is simulating the human brain, about which there's actually a course at UT, and it's a ridiculously large project. I personally don't know that I believe that a computer, even with thousands of processors, can simulate a human brain, but one of my most respected professors believes so, so I'm sure it is theoretically possible. Still, how close are we to attaining than? And when we do, what will we do with it? I don't know if these are the top ideas reinventing computing, but I'd say that four of them are valid.

Microsoft's DRM has been cracked in an interesting arms race between a hidden hacker and Microsoft. He keeps releasing new versions of FairUse4DRM, which strips DRM from .wma files, and he's done it once again to crack Microsoft's latest patch. What stuns me is that one of the richest companies in the world cannot attain the identity of one dude so they can sue him. Kudos to this guy for being great at hiding, and I hope he keeps it up. He's sending a great message: DRM will never be unbreakable.

There's no doubt that Firefox is a great browser, but could it be better by taking lessons from Safari? One blogger is pointing out several things it should take from Safari, and I think I agree with spawning windows from tabs, draggable images, highlighted text fields, and better bug reporting. I'm not convinced that page rendering is noticeably faster in Safari (please comment with benchmarks if you have them, I'm not saying it's not possible), and these are rather nit-picky things. Safari is still a second-class browser compared to Firefox. Plus, if you care so much, write an extension for it (for some of these things they already exist).

Now for the rest of the news: Apple stuff. If you're getting your first Mac then you'll probably find this site helpful, which is filled with articles to help ease the switch. What I love about this site is that it's not fanboy dribble. Just check out this article and see for yourself.

This is really a really interesting rumor: Jay-Z may be starting a label with Apple since he's reportedly been interesting in leaving Def Jam to start a "superlabel" with Beyonce. It sounds crazy, but it may be profitable for Apple, though I imagine they'd be control freaks so not sure if this will pan out. Still, could mean very interesting things for Apple to get involved with music production, though may spread them a little thin, in my opinion.

Now for some one-lines. iPhone users can also check out this site for more great iPhone apps in an iPhone friendly format, no less. If you're looking to hide your iPod or iPhone from crooks, you may want to protect it inside a brown Zune. That thing is so ugly no one would dare want to steal it. I love that they noticed the idiocy of the "squirt" term as well.

Harry Potter did predictably well in the box office with $140 million grossed since its release. It underperformed its predecessors over the weekend, but made more money in five days than they each did in a week, so that's pretty good money. I should probably go see it, huh? Transformers came in second with an impressive $36 million, and Ratatouille was close behind with exactly half that. Those movies both have some great legs on them, and are slaughtering Die Hard with its unnecessarily long title.

Yay for Dark Knight news! Despite previous intimations, it looks like Two Face will, in fact, be in The Dark Knight! I hope they don't try shoving too much in this film with so many villains. And alas, check it out, spy pics of The Joker!

I don't usually dig romance movies, but I think I'm interested in Feast of Love. I don't know why, but I really dig the trailer. It has Morgan Freeman and Greg Kinnear after all, so it has to be at least somewhat good.

We have an early review of Rush Hour 3, and it's just as I suspected: not as good as the first two. Disappointing, but that's what happens when a franchise becomes a cash cow, I suppose.

Last, but not least, we have rumors about the plot of Indiana Jones 4 about the Soviets wanting immortality. It's too involved for me to even summarize, so just go read it for yourself.

Now for some Unconscious Mutterings:

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Situation :: Room

  2. Theme song :: Human Giant

  3. Kelly :: Clarkson

  4. Club :: Music

  5. Swerve :: Cologne

  6. Couch :: Potato

  7. Bigfoot :: Chupa Cabra

  8. Arbitrary :: Random

  9. Inventor :: Device

  10. Blazer :: Blue

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