I, Robot

While certainly not the most amazing movie ever, I, Robot will probably not leaving you wearing someone else’s underwear. The special effects were pretty good, if possibly overdone and slightly undercooked. This is a movie where you need to suspend your disbelief to make it good. Obviously this has to happen with most movies, but if you start in with the “Ohgeezhe’dneverdothat,that’sstupid” lines, the movie won’t be very good for you. But, on the other hand, if you start in with the “Whoacoolhe’srunningonthewallsanddoinga
flipthroughtheairthatwassoawesomedudewhoa” lines, it will be good for you. So suspend your disbelief, and fall into the moment.

I felt that the acting was not necessarily the best. Will Smith, of course, was good as always, but it seemed like maybe he was just warming up the whole time. Supporting roles, comprised of actors I’ve never heard of, were merely alright. The voice of the main robot was emotionless and boring, so I guess that part was pretty good.

It may be an important distinction that this movie is not based on the book of the same name (curse them for filling the cover with their movie picture). It is more like they read all the Asimov books about robots, thought carefully, and came up with a new story set in that universe. In fact, the movie does not even claim to be based on the book, I believe at the end the credits say “suggested by”, which is, in my mind, entirely reasonable. Props to the makers for quoting the Three Laws in the beginning word for word.

Also, the product placement in that movie was sick. An atrocity, really. Quickly: JVC, Converse (this one was really obscene), FedEx, and Audi.

Links

In a nod to traditional websites, I now have a links page. However, the way it works is that the hotbox to the right there selects three or so links randomly from the collection (soon to be large) and shows them. If you want more, then you can go to the links page.

The only real reason for this post is to see if I can get my Technorati claim working, it seems to be broken.

Movable Type Redux

At this point, after messing around with Movable Type some more, the question that arises in my mind is why I didn’t convert to it before. The analogy I can come up with off the top of my head is this: Imagine that you have to get across the Pacific ocean, and the only method of travel available to you is mechanical wings that you strap on, and you have to flap your arms to fly. Then somebody comes along and says, “Hey, I’ve got a 747 I’m not using, you can have it if you want. Heck, I’ll even pilot it for you while you sit in first class and enjoy a Coke.” Then he gives you the address where a bunch of 747 enthusiasts meet, and at their weekly meeting (there’s free pie), one of them says, “Well, I’ve taken a look at the engine structure, and I’ll help you install some upgrades if you’ll pull the wrench, it should cut down your travel time by half.” Then another one says, “Yeah, I found a way to make the seats recline all the way, here’s some detailed instructions on how to do it.”

That’s what using Movable Type is like, versus using my custom software. I feel like I’ve just been rocketed from the stone age, hitting Ug with rocks, to the space age, firing lasers and anti-matter missiles at Jithoric.

Movable Type

So I’ve become yet another perpetuator of the increasingly popular Movable Type blog software. This software will be replacing the blogging software I had before, which was a custom written bit. The reason for replacing is that Movable Type has many, many more features that it would take me a long time to develop (and to what purpose?), it is easy to use, it is standards compliant, and it’s pretty kick-ass. So we’ll see. I’ll obviously be keeping a backup of my software around until I’m fully satisfied that MT will do the job, but so far it seems pretty wicked.

Internet Audio

I invite you to take a trip with me, down a lane to a place you have perhaps not traveled to before, or at the very least recently. Now imagine: You are listening to internet radio, nodding your head to the beat, thinking to yourself, “My, but this is a good song.” So you quickly (using this program) call up the name and artist of the song and write it down (type it into a blank Text Edit document, or even one contained within your Documents folder called, conveniently, “song wish list”), thinking “I’ll have to get that song sometime.” Over the ensuing weeks, you go to work, you meet people that are mean and rotten, you work long hours in a hot school (this is summer, remember, they don’t turn on the air conditioning then) unpacking fifty pound machines, and eventually you wear out to the point where you hate all of humanity. Mankind, you think to yourself (or shout from a megaphone at the park if you’re ambitious instead of spineless), is composed entirely of slugs and unsightly insects, with few small animals and furry children. Then you come home one day with a song you’ve heard once stuck in your head. It’s head-noddingly good. Fortunately you keep a song wish list for just these occasions and you discover that the song you have stuck in your head is there– the artist and the title. Googling for just the title leaves you wearing uncomfortable underwear that doesn’t belong to you, bringing up songs that were bad in the eighties and are worse now. Adding the artist to your search along with some salt and a twenty returns matches that have references to your song. Clicking on a likely one gives you information that is much needed to track down this song, which is nice, but not as nice as what comes after: the song is free. You can download it. Right now. For nothing (good because you just dropped a twenty on a Google search). Your hopes lift, blood comes back into your feet and you get that tingling sensation. Further clicking around on the site (while you’re downloading the song, of course) takes you to Internet Archive’s Netlabels page. It seems to be yet another one of those undergroundish internet things that you’re always stumbling on, and it provides lots of good music. For free. Under the Creative Commons license, too. At this point, while you’re downloading other music and listening to the stuff you’ve already gotten, your faith in humanity is suddenly restored. You like people and rainbows again, and were it not raining and dark outside, you would gladly skip through a few fields of flowers with a dopey grin on your face.

Okay, I’m done with that, but you should really take a look around. I just think it’s cool that places like that exist on the internet. That, my friends, is what it’s supposed to be about, not that commercial dotcom internet startup company crap. People, and the stuff they made, sharing freely with other people.