Monday, October 13, 2008

Texas is #1

I really didn't have a better title for this post. Heck, even if I did, it probably wouldn't have mattered.

Texas Beat OU

I don't usually talk football, but this game warrants a very brief aside. #5 Texas beat #1 OU on Saturday, 45-35. It was the best football game I've seen since Texas beat USC in the Rose Bowl. There's no doubt that I hate OU, but they played an excellent game. I have to give props to them for preparing as well as they did. they were coming at us with the best shots to our offense, but we had some tricks up our sleeves and got the job done. Texas has always been an underdog. No matter how good we are, no sports commentators want to believe. It's really nice for UT to get national recognition as the #1 team in the country. I just hope that it doesn't go to the team's heads because we have a grueling season ahead of us, and Mizzou is coming out of a heartbreaking loss so they won't want to lose 2 weeks in a row. You know it was a crazy weekend though when 3 of the top 5 teams lose.

The Dark Knight Pre-order Rush

I can't believe that I'm actually dedicating a whole section to this, but I did so much digging around about it that I feel like I'm cheating myself to not deliver my findings. I got an e-mail yesterday morning from Amazon that The Dark Knight was available for pre-order The Dark Knight and on Blu-ray right now, and it'll be released on December 9. It's already #1 on Amazon in Movies and TV Shows, which is no small feat for a movie months before it comes out. The DVD is only a couple of bucks cheaper than the Blu-ray edition so it's a pretty easy choice for Blu-ray player owners. I think that both editions have a similar arsenal of features including a couple of History Channel features, a digital copy of the movie for your computer and/or portable media device(s), and episodes of a Gotham City news program. Some of the features are actually in HD for the Blu-ray disc, so that's pretty neat. I'm hoping for special Blu-ray extras, supposedly it's a BD Live disc. What does that mean? Well I looked into it and apparently it means that it can download special content from the Internet and possibly interact with other people watching the movies, what they're going to specifically do for this movie is unclear. Also interesting is that the aspect ratio is going to be a shifted IMAX ratio for the Blu-ray release, which apparently used to make things look more epic. Hopefully we'll see the difference for the better in November! Until then, we have to just enjoy the cover art. I'm super excited for this release and already have my pre-order in!

Obama and McCain on Net Neutrality

Popular Mechanics has a great thorough look at net neutrality and how the two presidential candidates feel about it. It's more of just a great low-level explanation of what the issue is all about since neither candidate is willing to talk about the issue much at length right now, but I implore you to take this issue under consideration when you vote.

On Open-sourcing Skype

Linux Journal thinks that Skype should be open sourced, and I read their article and thought about it some but I just can't get behind that. Besides that, there's no way that they'd do it. Skype's codebase has been heavily obfuscated as it is and it is as such as a security. To be clear: this is the worst method of security for software. There have been research papers written in which they try to figure out what's going on beneath the covers, but only so much has been known. We know that it always encrypts data, but it also doesn't control user registration, trusts anyone else who speaks its protocol, has a weak privacy policy, and we have no idea what vulnerabilities really exist because of the code obfuscation. Of course, once someone figure it out then it could be very dangerous. Heck, they could even be listening in on your calls.

Anyway, with these kinds of practices in place, I think it's pretty clear that they wouldn't entertain the idea of open sourcing what they have. Here's what I'd prefer: an open source alternative built from the ground up with the right principles in mind and without any details hidden behind stone walls. What I'd prefer from Skype is a premium VoIP service with better customer service, superior call quality, and clearer security ideas in place. What I'd want from the community is a simple, totally free, service that draws on wisdom from the crowd and grows to be without restrictions despite foreign governments and without the threat of someone watching over what you do - it has to be transparent.

We'll see what happens, I imagine that this is a decently big priority for the open source development community.

Quick Notes

Apple is having a press event on Tuesday to talk about a refresh on their line of laptops. I don't foresee anything spectacular, just them keeping up with the current market.

MakeUseOf has a post of 5 Gmail Labs things that you probably haven't heard of but are super nifty, like signature tweaks or a way to keep you from sending drunk e-mails. No solution to getting locked out of your e-mail due to security measures.

If I had more time, I would've talked about this list of common online blunders that make your online interactions insecure. Clicking on pop-up ads that are misleading is more common than you think.

I don't think that I'll be able to post next Sunday, but I'll try to post later in the week, like maybe Wednesday or Thursday. I have a long week of work ahead of me, but I'm looking forward to the weekend. I hope you all have a great week!


Mary Jane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

the new macbooks have LED screens, aluminum casing, AND glass trackpads... i think that's pretty damn spectacular :D

Elton said...

Is that you, Jane? I guess you have a MacBook Pro nowadays? :)

goooooood girl said...

So good......