Monday, January 21, 2008

I saw it! It's Alive! It's Huge! (follow up)

Cloverfield arrived this weekend. I blogged about this mysterious movie last July, when it's title-less trailer premiered before Transformers. No one knew what it was, or what it would be, but everyone wanted to.

This may sounds obvious, but hear me out... This movie is excellent, for what it is. If you expect it to be something it isn't, of course, you'll be disappointed.

Sadly, most of the people in the movie theater I watched it in were in the latter group. This movie is NOT a "giant monster movie". It's a cross between "The Blair Witch Project" and "Saving Private Ryan", except instead of Nazi's, you've got a giant monster destroying the city. The story is NOT about fighting this behemoth - it's just a plot device. It's about saving the person you love against all odds in a terrible situation.

It's also using the "found footage" plot device, and all that that implies.

Finally, if you do see it, stay for the whole credits. There is no score throughout this movie, but the orchestral piece written for the rolling credits is a fantastic piece of 50-es era styled giant-monster-movie music.


Many people online have faced this problem... what do to with a webpage that had outlived it's usefulness.

Some delete it, giving subsequent visitors a 404 (webpage not found) error. That isn't very useful, though a properly formatted one will try to suggest alternative sites.

Some have a sense of humor about their unhelpful errors.

Some choose to let it sit... un-updated... forever...

Some are more creative. The Dutch department store HENA was recently bought by a British company, rendering the old .NL address useless. Rather than simply redirect to the new address, they're trying something different. Let the page load, and then wait a moment....

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Macworld... ready or not!

In case you're not a tech-geek or Mac-fanatic, Macworld is today (no, not that macworld). Usually held shortly after CES, it's the Apple event of the year, with big announcements, surprises, and booms. You heard me, booms. All the excitement starts today at noon (eastern time).

However, behind Steve Jobs vision is a quiet designer, Jonathan Ive. He's been the man behind all of apples latest products, from the iPod, to the iMac, to the MacPro, to the iPhone. A clever website has found possible inspiration in the work of Dieter Rams, who designed for Braun in the 50' and 60's. It's impressive that he's been able to modernize these classic designs and bring them to current products, but the real questions is, can the rest of Rams' portfolio give hints into Apples future?

Also of interest are Deiter Rams' 10 Principles of Good Design:
  • Good design is innovative.
  • Good design makes a product useful.
  • Good design is aesthetic.
  • Good design helps us to understand a product.
  • Good design is unobtrusive.
  • Good design is honest.
  • Good design is durable.
  • Good design is consequent to the last detail.
  • Good design is concerned with the environment.
  • Good design is as little design as possible.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Telecomputing for the masses

For years I've set up my computer so that I can "remote-control" it from another computer over the internet. It came in especially handy at college, where I could have full access to my dorm computer using my laptop anywhere on campus.

Initially it was VNC, followed by the faster TightVNC, and then the feature-rich UltraVNC.

When I switched to Mac, I was pleased to find that OsX had VNC built in!

All of those options have firewall and IP address issues, which are fixed with various online offerings. LogMeIn is unique in that it has a free version, and just added Mac support, allowing you to control any of your PC's or Mac's (after installing a program on them), just by logging into their website.

This is handy for accessing your computer when away, at work, or on vacation. It's also great for troubleshooting someones computer. I fixed my dad's while he was in Italy using this.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Oslo is big on fireworks

In Oslo, Norway, there's no centralized fireworks. It's too cold to expect people to wait outside in some public place for a single large display. Instead, the residents usually just step out into their gardens or rooftops and set off their own small show.

This photo was taken a few minutes after midnight.

Unfortunately, this will be the last year, as the Minister of Justice has banned the practice, due to the large number of injuries and fires every year.
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