Movie Review: War of the Worlds

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My Rating: 3Stars

Tonight I went to see the movie “War of the Worlds” at Broadway Theater, Olympian City.

This is a remake of the original movie in 1953, which was in itself an adaptation of H. G. Well’s novel.

Although, I have not read H. G. Well’s novel or seen the whole of the 1953 version of the movie, but only bits and pieces of the 1953 movie. Steven Spielberg had accurately reproduced the 1953 movie with today’s technologies in his version of the movie. The only thing I wonder is… WHY?

At the moment this movie is very successful at the box office, but it may be the results of publicity and the names of Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise.

Hollywood had made many movies in the past with similiar story line, but this version is really not as good as movies like “Independence Day“.

Rating Legend:
5Stars Not to be missed
4Stars Wait for the DVD
3Stars Buy the VCD
2Stars Rent it if you can
1Stars Waste your time elsewhere

Podcasting

Podcast

Podcasting is the publishing of files (ie. audio, video, photo, PDF, text, etc. or combination of) to the Internet. They are normally published in RSS format and are normally subscribable.

Since the invention of Podcasting in late 2004; the exact date is arguable, there have been thousands of new Podcasts published to the Internet. Many of these have been from non-profit individuals broadcasting from their bedrooms or den. Recently large corporates and commercial organizations have jumped onto the bandwagon (ie. Disney, BBC, CBS, ESPN and various local radio stations around the world). You can find many of these Podcasts in Podcast Directories, like PodcastAlley.

At the moment most content in Podcasts are free with some Podcasts introducing advertisements to cover their cost. In most cases these Podcasts contain royalty free and original content. Opening up a new medium for the independent musicians to introduce their music to the public. Many of these musicians create original soundtracks for Podcasters to use in their shows.

Although Podcasting came about partially from the popularity of the iPod; or more like the popularity of MP3 players created by Apple’s iPod, accessing a Podcast does not require an Apple iPod. A matter of fact, majority of them are in standard MP3 formats, therefore, any devices that can play MP3 are capable of being a Podcast client. Since it is published in the XML technology RSS, it is not limited to the audio format of MP3. Especially with Apple’s latest extension to the format, introducing the concept of “chapters” and associate files cued to these chapters. For example, imagine walking along a self paced museums tour with an iPod Photo that is synced to the work of art in front of you.

For the past 8 months or so there had been different Podcast clients for the Macintosh, Windows and PocketPC platforms (ie. iPodder and iPodderX). Now with the release of Apple’s new version of iTunes 4.9, Apple has again done its part in bringing something lesser known to the main stream with this new version of iTunes.

One may ask what is the big deal about Podcasting? Most of the time it is a MP3 file recording that someone made about a topic that s/he thinks that others would like to listen to. Well, one reason most radio stations are getting into Podcasting is because Podcasting is seen as the TiVo for commercial radio. Small local radio stations love it, because Podcasting opens up a brand new group of audiences to their contents, which they cannot achieve with their traditional terrestrial medium. Some sees Podcasting as a threat to commercial radio, but many understand it as something they need to embrace or they will be left out.

Check out this new technology. May be you can become one of thousands of Podcasters out there. If and when you do, please drop me a line and let me know.

Another Milestone on eBay

eBay

We have achieved yet another great milestone on eBay from my online activities there (Vinko’s Treasures).

Aside from gaining the status of “Power Seller – Silver level” after only 3 months in business, we have also been able to maintain an amazing “100% Positive Feedback” on eBay for the past 9.5 months in business. According to many, apparently this is quite a feat.

For those, potential customers, who are considering purchasing from our online shop here on this web site. Please do go checkout the 1884 Feedbacks on eBay. These comments are just some of the many we have received, from the 1000s of customers we have delivered our quality shopping experience to so far.

X-Plane 8.0

For my pilot friends out there, Austin Meyer had updated his award winning flight simulator application “X-Plane” to version 8.11. It is one of the few Flight Simulation programs that are certified by FAA.

You can read all about it at Ausin’s web site, and you can even get a demo of the application before you buy.

Disclaimer: I do not have any affiliation with Austin and have no financial gain in recommending his software.

Movie Review: Mr. and Mrs. Smith

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My Rating: 4Stars

Tonight I went to see the movie “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” at Broadway Theater, Olympian City.

The story of this movie is fairly original, but half way through it started to be a bit unbelivable.

The leads “Brad Pitt” and “Angelina Jolie” were perfectly cast, with each of them playing their sterotypical roles.

For some reason this movie reminds me of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “True Lies“.

The only reason that this movie deserves 4 penguins from me is because you can really enjoy the better sound quality of DVD with this movie.

Rating Legend:
5Stars Not to be missed
4Stars Wait for the DVD
3Stars Buy the VCD
2Stars Rent it if you can
1Stars Waste your time elsewhere

Macs with the Badge “Intel Inside”?

IntelInside

Speculations for the past few weeks have been running high in the media and through out rumor sites around the Internet.

For the regular Apple watchers, this sort of rumors are nothing new. Similar speculations of Apple’s desire to drop, the IBM/Motorola, CPU for the Intel developed CPU had came up before.

The only difference is, this time Steve Jobs confirmed it at a keynote to a roomful of developers at the company’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco this morning (June 6, 2005 PST).

Steve job announced plans to begin delivering Macintosh computers based on the Intel processor as soon as June 2006 and to transition all Macintosh computers to use Intel processors by the end of 2007. He also previewed a Mac OS X 10.4.x (“Tiger”) system running on an Intel-based Mac to the audience.

So the in the future, seeing the “Intel Inside” logo on Macintosh boxes will be a common place.

What does this really mean? Well, I will start by talking about what it DOES NOT mean…

1. It does NOT mean that you will be able to run Mac OS on a Dell or Compaq computer purchased today or in the near future. Unless Apple is willing to release its ever protective hardware production to these companies. We saw this back in the 90’s and we all know what happen to those companies and their efforts.

2. It does NOT mean that you can build you own Macintosh using hardware parts purchased at your local electronic malls (for those of you who live near one).

Before I get to the “What does this really mean?”, I also want to touch on what may this mean?

1. Microsoft MAY create a version of its Windows OS to run on the future Intel based Apple Macintosh. Which will be yet another attempt for Microsoft to take over 99% of the personal computing world. We cannot forget those Linux users out there.

2. Apple’s Intel based Macintosh MAY be able to run Windows 2007 (or whatever it will be called then) natively (without emulation).

[Editorial: 2005.06.17 – it has been confirmed that the above 2 points are no longer relevant. Steve Jobs (Apple’s CEO) has confirmed that he will alow users to wipe the Mac OS that will be preinstalled on the IntelMac and install another compatible OS. These other OS’s includes current versions of Windows OS]

Now for what does this announcement mean to you, the average computing user (I make a very daring assumption that readers of my Blog are “average computing users”)…

1. Apple’s market share may begin to creep up; how far? If I know that I will be rich. Assuming that Apple will continue to excel in the User Interface and Industrial Design areas.

2. Apple Macintosh OS may become more acceptable in more corporate environments.

3. Apple will have a much lower cost for building these future Intel based Macintosh. Due to the massive dominance of Intel in the computing world over its competitors (AMD, and new Israel and Chinese microprocessor manufactures). Whether Apple will pass on much of these savings in production cost to its consumers is yet to be seen. Although, given Jobs’ lesson learned, the chances are high that consumers will benefit from this savings.

4. Techies who refer to PC running Windows OS as “Wintel” to distinguish those PC running Macintosh OS, will no longer use this coined term. In the future it will be just Macs and Windows. I definitely do not wan to hear “Macintel”…. eek!!

For the long time (over 11 years) users of Macintosh computers (Macintosh OS), this imminent transition is nothing new. Most of us went through the transition (pain) to the PowerPC processor back in the early 90’s.

This will mean more work for Macintosh software companies who will again develop dual platforms versions of their applications. May be some of those Windows only software companies will now rethink their “Windows only” strategies.

All in all another major even in the computing timeline.

To be honest most of the above are my personal opinions, what actually will transpire?… Time will only tell.

Movie Review: Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy

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My Rating: 3Stars

Tonight I went to see the movie “Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” at Broadway Theater, Olympian City. Another one of the movies from my Must See Movies list.

Well if you are a true fan of Douglas Adams‘ (1952-2001) book “Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” or the British TV/Radio series of the same name, then you will appreciate this movie. Although I have seen the BBC TV series and had the pleasure of listening to Mr. Adams speak at an Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (1990), I did not find this movie that interesting.

I can tell you that Mr. Adams does speak the way his book is written. Listening to him is like serving the Internet; going from one topic to another as he touch upon each during the progress of the conversation. In a way it is like the way I have conversation with people.

The international version of the official web site is very cool.

Rating Legend:
5Stars Not to be missed
4Stars Wait for the DVD
3Stars Buy from iTunes Store
2Stars Rent it on iTunes
1Stars Waste your time elsewhere