By the time Tron Legacy is released it will have been 28 years since the original Tron… who cares? This sequel could be made 50 years after the original and everyone my age would line up from the old folks home to see it.
Released on July 9, 1982, the original Tron was the first movie to really feature “computer animation” as a main story plot, and it launched an entire generation of computer geeks as we all imagined this world inside the computer. Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) was a computer programmer that worked for a company named ENCOM that stole his idea for a video game and went on to make millions from it. In his efforts to get the proof, he was confronted by the Master Control Program (MCP) of ENCOM that uses a digitizing laser to transport Flynn into the company mainframe to get rid of him.
Once there, Flynn finds a fantastical world of gladiator style games that pit programs (represented by humans) against each other to the “death”. Eventually Flynn and Tron (Bruce Boxleitner), a security program inside the mainframe, defeat the MCP, and Flynn is returned to the real world. He gets the proof he needs to prove he created the game, and Dillinger (David Warner), who was also the template for the MCP and his general, Sark, is thrown out of the company, and Flynn is made the new CEO of ENCOM.
That is a very, very trimmed down version of the plot of Tron, and it is well worth watching if you’ve never seen it. It changed a lot of lives, and was one of several movies (The Last Starfighter and WarGames being the other two biggies) that really got people thinking about computers and what they could do in this world. And, hey, it also gave the world one of my all time favorite movie quotes:
Sark: You’ve got it. I’ve been hopin’ you’d send me somebody with a little bit of guts. What kind of program is he?
Master Control Program: He’s not any kind of program, Sark. He’s a User.
Sark: [shocked] A User!?
I don’t think a week goes by that I don’t say “He’s not any kind of program, Sark, He’s a user.“… and you have to say it with a bit of a British accent.
So, here we are. In 2005 they announced a sequel to Tron, and then some test footage was shown last year at Comic Con with the title of Tr2n (thank goodness they changed it to Tron Legacy). It was actually this same footage, but its been cleaned up considerably since then. The biggest change is the Light Cycles (the funky motorcycles) changed significantly from the first movie when they could only make 90-degree turns. The rumored plot is that Flynn disappeared some years ago and now his son, Sean (Garrett Hedlund), and an unknown female played by Olivia Wilde go looking for him. Somehow or the other they end up in the computer world and discover Flynn has been there for years, and from the looks of the footage, and has taken over.
Is this movie really needed? Who knows. Will I be waiting like a giddy schoolboy to see it? Yes. Will I watch the first movie again before seeing it… oh yeah. It’s a regular watch anyway.
So, what do you think? The look is going to take some getting used to, but I don’t care, I’m still seeing it.
It seems there is a movement out there to cut the standard work week from the familiar five days of 8-hours each to four days of 10-hours each.
According to a recent article from Scientific American, numerous studies have been conducted about the economic and environmental benefits of eliminating one day from the standard five-day work week. Instead of working a 40-hour schedule over five days of eight hours each, you would instead do it over four days of ten hours each. This would give everyone a three day weekend each weekend.
Before you start whooping it up about how wonderful that is, remember this means you would be in your office ten hours a day for four days a week. Imagine an 8 AM – 6 PM or 9 AM – 7 PM schedule. Imagine trying to still cook at home… going to the gym… running errands… anything else you might try to do on a work day. Still excited about the concept?
Before you start making up your minds, there are some actual benefits from the scheme. In August 2008, Utah impletmented the plan with 17,000 of its state employees. Here are the pros according to the state:
Local governments in particular have had their eyes on Utah over the last year; the state redefined the workday for more than 17,000 of its employees last August. For those workplaces, there’s no longer a need to turn on the lights, elevators or computers on Fridays—nor do janitors need to clean vacant buildings. Electric bills have dropped even further during the summer, thanks to less air-conditioning: Friday’s midday hours have been replaced by cooler mornings and evenings on Monday through Thursday. As of May, the state had saved $1.8 million.
There is no arguing that not only is the state saving money, but all of those things they listed should have a definite impact on the environment, and it also impacts your wallet as you are spending one day less a week on the road commuting to work, no money spent on an expensive lunch out and so on.
While everything everyone is listing sounds like it lands on the size of positive, I have to be my usual nay saying self and bring up the fact that unless you get the rest of the world on board, this will be a disaster if it should ever get wide spread in the USA only. We already lag behind the majority of the world in many ways, and if we give them a leg up of working five calendar days a week as opposed to four, and mind you this has nothing to do with hours, they will have a distinct tactical advantage in reaction time to market movements, world developments and more. Again I stress that this is only if by some wild-eyed chance this schedule would gain wide spread acceptance in this country.
If it remains in the realm of some state employees and a company here or there, more power to them, but as a national plan, I would have a problem with it.
The most important part of call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has been revealed: the multiplayer game.
While the single player campaign is fun, but the true value in video games any more seems to reside with the multiplayer experience. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare has barely left my Xbox 360 in 2 years thanks to the multiplayer aspects, so I have been waiting to get some sort of hint as to what we could expect from the follow-up.
While most people are “ooh” and “ahh” about the fact you can get an AC-130 gunship after an 11 killstreak (for non-players, that is 11 kills in a row without you dying), I’m a bit worried by other things the video shows. Sticking grenades? No… please no. That’s what Halo 3 is for, not Modern Warfare. I’m hoping that is some sort of special playlist as opposed to the standard Deathmatch, but if it isn’t… well, hopefully I’ll adapt to it. Looks like a few new guns, definitely a new rocket launcher and at least one new scope (looks to be heat sensitive).
While the gunship is a nice touch, hitting that long of a killstreak is fairly rare, but it does solve a complaint I always had in the first game. In Modern Warfare 1 you got radar at 3 kills, air strike at 5 and helicopter gunship at 7… then nothing. If you did get an 11 killstrike, or 15, or 20, you got nothing. It sometimes paid to allow yourself to die just so you could go through the kill bonuses again. So, this really is something that needed addressing.
Any way, the video is below, and it just makes me want 11-10-09 to get here that much faster.
For as old an organization as the Associated Press is, you would think that might have some people around the offices that might be able to tell them how the Internet works.
Back in April, the Associated Press (A.P.) began its war on the Internet. At that time they were already saying that they wanted news aggregator sites such as Google News to stop indexing their stories as it iolated the Fair Use doctorine in their eyes. Fine, whatever, this is the same group of yahoos who was trying to set up a system where every site that quoted any story of theirs was charged $1.50 per word for the use.
Well, late last week the A.P. took another hit off their collective bong they keep in the office and came up with a new policy that is just mind boggling. In a story from The New York Times entitled A.P. Cracks Down on Unpaid Use of Articles on Web (and I am using the full headline on purpose here), the A.P. has now said that no one may use their headlines without express consent from the association.
The Associated Press said Thursday that it would add software to each article that shows what limits apply to the rights to use it, and that notifies The A.P. about how the article is used.
Tom Curley, The A.P.’s president and chief executive, said the company’s position was that even minimal use of a news article online required a licensing agreement with the news organization that produced it. In an interview, he specifically cited references that include a headline and a link to an article, a standard practice of search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo, news aggregators and blogs.
Now, you notice how nice all of this is for The New York Times? They’re getting a link (which helps get them better rankings in search engines… they’re getting free advertising… some of you will click on the link, giving them another pageview and assists in upping their ad impressions… heck, some of you may even click on an ad, generating revenue for them. Well, here is just a little bit more from the article from you that shows you how the A.P. obviously doesn’t have a brain in their heads.
Asked if that stance went further than The A.P. had gone before, he said, “That’s right.” The company envisions a campaign that goes far beyond The A.P., a nonprofit corporation. It wants the 1,400 American newspapers that own the company to join the effort and use its software.
“If someone can build multibillion-dollar businesses out of keywords, we can build multihundred-million businesses out of headlines, and we’re going to do that,” Mr. Curley said. The goal, he said, was not to have less use of the news articles, but to be paid for any use.
Okay, let me explain this in the simplest terms for the A.P…. no, you are not going to grow a “multihundred-million businesses” out of this. Well, wait, I take that back, you just might, but it won’t be yours, it will be all of the other sites that will get the traffic you once did.
When AP tries to impose a license fee on linking to its content, people will stop linking to AP content. Not just some sites, but 99% of sites. There may be no official boycott as such, but likewise most won’t be interested in battling AP in court. The result will be a big drop in traffic to AP content as the link juice it previously had disappears, juice that also helps their search engine rankings.
But it could be better again, because big players like Google won’t stand for paying for the right to link, so AP content may disappear altogether from most search engines as well.
The net result is that papers who rely on AP content online will see their traffic and online revenue plummet at a time that many of them are struggling to survive as it is. The drop in newspaper advertising may have driven many of them to the point of extinction, but AP will help push them off the final cliff.
How can a group that has been in the publishing business as long as the A.P. not be getting this? Instead of making money you are only accomplishing making enemies out of every blogger out there. Sure they will be able to continue to sell their wire services, but the idea that anyone on the Internet is going to pay them a single penny when there are so many sites that gladly welcome you linking to them, well then… the office bong is working overtime.
Give it up A.P., you have failed at the Internet, and you might as well leave because you are going to be non-existent here pretty darn quick. No links = Internet death… I am sure it will be a lovely funeral.
The story behind the Erin Andrews peephole video is just getting silly at this point.
I have to admit that before the story about her peephole video broke, I had no clue who Erin Andrews was. I’ve never been big into sports, and couldn’t tell you the last time I turned on ESPN, so my lack of knowledge of who she is was to be expected. All of that changed as stories of this video cropped up online and her name appeared on every major blog out there.
For those who have somehow missed the story, Ms. Andrews is a well known personality on ESPN both for covering stories and being an attractive woman. While in an unknown hotel room, getting ready for work, she was curling her hair and going about her business while naked. Unbeknownst to her, there was a peephole in her room and an unknown person was shooting video of her.
The video hit the Internet, and while her identity wasn’t confirmed at first, ESPN’s legal department got involved and the video became one of the most sought after on the Web. The first site to have it, NSFWpoa.com, removed it, but it was too late, the cat was out of the bag and the video started showing up all over the Internet now that her identity had been confirmed.
While all of this is bad enough as it is, now some pundits are saying that she brought this on herself. I shall not name who they are as they don’t need any more attention heaped on them for their words, but there has been more than one person saying that they feel the way she dresses provoked this, and if she didn’t wear such skimpy clothing while on TV this wouldn’t have happened.
There are two issues with this train of thought, the first being the peephole, as far as can be determined, was not drilled specifically for her. There appears to be other victims of this pervert and she just got caught up in his slimy little racket.
As for the people saying the way she dresses as to blame… you are idiots. Are you the same people who sit around and say that women who dress a certain way and then get raped deserve it? Most of these people have now come out and said that they’re sorry this happened to her, but… But nothing! No one deserves to have their privacy violated in such a way. I don’t care if she showed up at work in a bikini, this does not give anyone the right to violate a person’s privacy in this manner.
Nothing like criticizing the victim who has not done one thing wrong except to be an attractive woman who happens to work on television. This woman has been violated, and you choose to lay part of the blame on her. Classy people… really classy.
At last, moving images from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland have appeared before our eyes.
The movie isn’t due until March 5th, 2010, we’ve already gotten a fairly in-depth trailer for the new live-action Alice in Wonderland from the mind of Tim Burton. It does seem to be a bit heavy on Johnny Depp (big surprise), which if this movie wasn’t a sequel and was instead based on the original I would be screaming “BAIT AND SWITCH!”, but we don’t know yet how much the character of the Mad Hatter play into the new story.
It’s time for Hollywood to make another classic movie and make me question the sanity of the entire movie industry.
I am almost always against remakes and “reimaginings”, but the upcoming remake of A Nightmare On Elm Street seems moderately interesting. Since Wes Craven, the original creator of the series, is back on writing chores, I have some hope, and the casting of Jackie Earle Haley (most recently seen as Rorschach in Watchmen) seems a decent replacement for the original Freddy Krueger actor, Robert Englund.
What sparks this particular post is the image at the bottom. This is the first teaser image released from the film which is due in theaters on April 16, 2010. When you hear of Hollywood doing a remake, you always expect little changes, but in this case there appear to be… none? He’s got the glove… he’s got the hat… and if you look really close, it looks like the sweater is still red and green striped, so… what’s the point of this? Is this just going to be a relaunch to the series? (I hate the current term of “reboot”) If so, good luck to Rooney Mara, the replacement of Heather Langenkamp in the role of Nancy, those are some mighty big shoes to fill in the hearts of horror film fans everywhere.
I’ll give it a fair shake, but I am awfully perplexed by where they are going with the film based on this first image. Now, someone get me a teaser trailer ASAP!
It’s that magical time in every Doctor Who fan’s life where we get to see the first pictures of the next regeneration, and the first pictures of Matt Smith as the eleventh Doctor are… odd.
I have to say on first seeing these new pictures of Matt Smith as the eleventh Doctor in costume are just kind of… blah. Although, points for my mother who said, “Well, at least he isn’t wearing a piece of celery.” (A reference to Peter Davinson as the fifth Doctor) I don’t so much mind the bow tie, but the jacket is annoying the heck out of me. Sure they can’t all wear long coats, but the tenth Doctor (Christopher Eccelston) at least had a bit longer of one. I don’t know, this outfit is just not doing anything for me.
Also in these shots are the first images of Karen Gillan as new companion Amy Pond, and a slightly redesigned TARDIS. You can see more pictures at IO9, but be warned there is a spoiler to the first story of Matt Smith’s Doctor in them as someone returns from last season.
I was born on this day in 1971… and, oh yeah, some guys landed on the moon in 1969.
Yes, it’s true, I’m 38-years-old today, and it is also the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon. Don’t worry, I rank the moon landing as SLIGHTLY more important than my birthday being some number of little significance this year.
So while I have a lot of rants about the current state of the United States space program that I could go off about, today just isn’t the day. Today is the day you salute the power of the human will. President Kennedy set a goal for us to accomplish this within the decade (the 1960′s), and we did it.
The sad thing was that after that accomplishment, it began to come clear that we were taking very much a, “Well, what next?” attitude with space exploriation. Sky Lab orbited the planet. The space shuttles were nice, but they left us orbiting the planet. The Interntional Space Station? Guess what… it orbits the planet. I totally understand that interstellar travel is out of the question without some form of mew propulsion system, but we aren’t even done in this solar system yet.
So, now we target leaving Earth’s orbit again, and we look to… go back to the moon. It’s like some outdated rock band decided to get together again for a reunion tour and relive the good old days! Lets take that money and that energy and, not necessairly put a man there, but send more probes to Mars. We’re constantly learning more and more about our closest neighbor, but it still isn’t enough. We need to explore the (supposed) river beds, dig deeper into the soil for possible fossils, try to see just how deep the ice goes at the poles and a whole lot more.
I think it was the fact that my birthday fell on the 2nd anniversary of the moon walk that helped to contrinute to my love affair with space, but it makes me far from being an expert. I just don’t see any particular need to return to the Moon, lets spend that money on doing something totally new instead.
Oh well, what do I know? I’m a 37-year-old 38-year-old kook.