Movie Review: The Holiday

My Rating: 4Stars

This evening I saw the movie “The Holiday” at UA Cinema, Whampoa.

The cast chosen for this movie were just perfect, Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Jack Black and Eli Wallach. The characters fit the stereotypes of what majority of people have for these actors. Some may say it was to extreme, but to say anymore will give away the movie.

All I can say is, if you’re a women in a relationship, a women in a bad relationship, a women in the end of a relationship… oh well… if you are a women you should go see this movie. If you are a sensitive man; even if it is self proclaimed, you should go see this movie also.

If you have seen my previous review, then you will too be surprised that I give this movie a higher penguin rating than “Casino Royale“. It is mainly due to this movie’s entertainment factor and Casino Royale was very disappointing to me.

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

Technology Dependence

Yesterday, a major earthquake in Southwestern Taiwan caused sever damage to the fiber optics communication cables on the sea bed.

This interruption prevented me from accessing my emails and the backend applications for my online stores which are stored on the server located in the United States.

Fortunately, for part of the day yesterday I was able to access my backend applications and email server via an European proxy server. I managed to set up auto replies for two of my main email addresses. Informing my potential and existing customers the problem.

Unfortunately, this proxy server was turned off latter in the day, may be due to overload of traffic. I was unable to change the message on my website to inform potential customers of the situation.

This incident exposed our dependence on technologies. While it also emphasize the important of technologies in our daily lives. Without these technologies I will not be able to operate these online stores for the past 2+ years. Without these technologies I will not be able to manage and process orders from 4 different online stores.

We should not be questioning the level of dependence we have with technologies. As technologies are already part of our daily lives and will continue to be in the near and foreseeable future. Instead we should be questioning the people who manage our technologies and whether they are placing the same importance on these technologies as we do. Most importantly having the foresight to protect the access to these technologies in events like this.

Movie Review: Casino Royale

My Rating: 3Stars

This evening I saw the movie “Casino Royale” at UA Cinema, Time Square, Causeway Bay.

I feel this new James Bond (#21), Daniel Craig, just doesn’t have the flare that a James Bond character should have. The usual must-not-miss opening scene was extremely disappointing. Normally it is one of the most anticipated part of a James Bond movie. After seeing the opening scene from the latest James Bond movie, I should have known not to expect too much for the rest of the movie.

Not that I must have the sexual connotation female character names that one expects in all James Bond movies, but this one does not have any of them. The Bond girl, Vesper Lynd; played by Eva Green was a newbie who did not look old enough to be a Bond girl.

They tried to have twist and turns in the plot, but as a result left the audience wondering when and if the movie is ending.

At the end they did the cheesy scene of showing the audience there is more to come, which is the already announced sequel, working titles “Bond 22” and “Risico”, anticipated release of 2008, again staring Daniel Craig as James Bond.

If it is not because I will watch every James Bond movie and that there was nothing else to watch, I would have waited for the DVD or iTunes.

So this holiday season, if you are sick of eating left overs, watched every Christmas themed movie and saw all other movies in the Theater then give this one a try.

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

Warning: Microsoft Word Flaw

To all Mac users who are using Microsoft Word that came with Microsoft Office v.X and Microsoft Office 2004.

A “zero-day vulnerability” had been found by the security advisories in all versions of Microsoft Office v.X and Microsoft Office 2004.

Microsoft themselves had also issued a Security Advisory for this vulnerability.

The current solution is not to open or save any MS Word documents from untrusted users.

My personal advise to all my Macintosh friends is not to use MS Word at all. This is because MS Word documents from trusted users may be unknowingly passing you a malformed MS Word document that is designed to take advantage of this vulnerability in MS Word.

There are paid and free alternatives to MS Office. To name a few: “Neo Office“, “OpenOffice” and Apple’s “Pages” that is part of the iWork suite, are all great alternatives.

The bottom line… I try not to use any Microsoft products whenever I can. As of now, close to 5 years now I had yet to use any Microsoft software on my Mac accept for testing purposes.

Finally no GST in HK

At least for the time being.

I guess my efforts to stop the Hong Kong government’s decision to impose a GST in Hong Kong had not been in vain.

The Hong Kong government announced today that they will, for the time being, put off the discussion of whether to impose a GST in Hong Kong.