End of 2011
IE7 vs IE8
At least they fixed whatever was causing that monumental hang on the string-base64 test and the slightly less monumental yet still pretty comical hang on string-tagcloud. Here's IE8 vs the real browsers, at least you can see the others in this graph.
So the three real browsers are pretty neck-and-neck, with IE7 being in a different and horrifically worse league of its own. If you wanna run your own tests, check out my little home-spun analyzer here: Sunspider Analyzer
Some guy on a movie news website I read posts that "as a classics student", he's really excited for 300. I find that concept idiotic. As a classics student? Was he excited about Troy as a classics student as well? Cause as a classics student, I was shocked and appalled by Troy and I expect much the same from 300. Why? Because "as a classics student" we read the real primary sources about these sorts of things. We're required to do so. We read the Illiad several times, and, if you're lucky, at least once IN GREEK. In the same way that the Illiad was ill-represented by Troy, this will be a blight against the real valor and heroics of the Greeks and Persians that fought that battle. I think I should be clear that I'm not actually against the film, I'm just against this kid throwing in his vote "as a classicist". Regardless of modern film's hubristic tendency to take worthy and inspiring historical concepts and make them "relevant" by adding nonsense love stories and gaudy effects work, I like a good popcorn action flick as much as the next guy really, and if this looks more like that by the time it comes out, they'll get my $9. Back to the point, the following was my return post, and I wanted to mirror it here for posterity, in case the site admin burns my post down for being a "flame". Far from a flame, it was an outright gauntlet throw, questioning this man's very pedigree as a classicist. You can almost TASTE the INVECTIVE.
Seriously, "as a classics student" you're pretty excited? Did you not notice the otherworldly razor-toothed man-beast things I can only assume are to be the Immortals? Or that they are later shown wearing what I can only describe as metal kabuki masks? The multi-pierced Mr-T's-jewelry-wearing Xerxes? The impractically ornamental arrowheads? The saber-toothed wolf squaring off against a boy in what I'm sure will become yet another exaggerated account of Spartan heartlessness in training their youth for the army? As a classics student, I'd expect you'd be spotting painfully glaring historical inaccuracy. I'd expect you might wonder why we need to do a Thermopylae movie as interpreted by a graphic novelist, rather than doing a Thermopylae movie based on actual history. I'd even expect you to wonder if it could possibly be as primary-source-trashing as Troy. I'd mostly expect that because a classics student would be more versed in actual historical record, art and literature pertaining to this sort of thing.
Personally, as a classics student, I'm pretty much already trying to disavow everything I know about the battle at Thermopylae in order to judge this as a film rather than a travesty against history and a painful "re-imagining" of what may be one of the single most important military battles in the history of Greece and consequently the western world. Is it not enough that the Greeks held off a vastly superior force of Persians over an extended engagement providing time for Greece to organize and crush an invasion that, if successful, would have strongly altered if not completely redefined western society? Apparently we need supernatural man-beasts and rhinos to make that a worthwhile concept.
As a movie guy, I'm trying to decide if the seemingly heavy reliance on digital effects is going to be too distracting to allow for meaningful plot or character development. I'm also wondering if the odd melting pot of weapon-based martial arts is going to work in a way that's engaging, or if they were just going for maximum flash, minimum realism, a-la Wuxia kung-fu flicks. And I want to know if Gerard Butler ever stops yelling, cause that's pretty unclear at this point.
As more trailers pop up, I plan to continuously evaluate on a film level. From the level of a classicist, I think it's already clear that this film will be as much a failure at communicating the amazing achievement and capability of Spartan and Persian warriors as Troy was at retelling the Illiad.
Also, in before someone flames me for being a narrow-minded art-pleb academian with no vision for the personal imagination of a film writer and director in retelling a historically fuzzy story about some dudes fighting. I also expect to be told to "chill out" and that it's "just a movie dude". Make me proud, interweb.
So it is. I just...man I was bothered by that dude's comment. I feel better now, though. Horray semi-anonymous consequence-free intertron!
[09/12 13:36] jpl202: me: "adam knows more about linux than me, I should follow that advice"
[09/12 13:37] furbetheking: oh shit, that's going on my website
Joey may be reached for comment at multigl.net.
[03/24 14:07] furbetheking: you know that's gonna be in my chat history forever now, right
[03/24 14:07] jpl202: yeah
[03/24 14:07] furbetheking: In fact, I might post it on my website
[03/24 14:07] jpl202: that's fine
[03/24 14:07] jpl202: I freely admit it
[03/24 14:07] jpl202: Adam is a superior Linux user/administrator to myself
[03/24 14:07] jpl202: use that
Joey may be reached for comment at multigl.net.
Toward that end, I have constructed my own, alternative, ending to Half-Blood Prince. I tried to use some JK form, but my own writing style is a bit higher in general and so it comes off a little lofty and haughty at times, but what the hell, you'll get the point.
Half-Blood Prince Alternate Ending
PDF | DOC
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. My first little fan-fic. I'm very afraid of myself, right now.
I hope against all hope that JK has some plan to put them back together. I'm about one short stint of boredom away from spreadshirting a "Harry + Ginny 4-ever" shirt for myself. If you'd be interested, contact me, we'll set up an order.
This is just my little interweb recognition for the most judgemental fundies I've ever encountered. You guys, with your signs and your professional protesting harnesses have shown me that, try as we might, arrogant, discriminatory, uninformed, backward, hipocritical, self-important, dehumanizing, bastardized, half-Christianity is here to stay. Yea God!
Let's get to the excitement. Intel Core Duo. Wowsa. Another horrible horrible name, but technology, oh yes. Take the Dothan and make it two Dothans in one socket. Blamo. Core Duo. Then put it on a 167Mhz quad-pumped bus with DDR2-667, SATA, and PCI-Express and you've got a screamer on your hands.
Now, the not-excitement. Where's the frickin' redesign Steve? Did you have something BETTER TO DO OR WHAT?! All new processors, new as in, NEW, and we can't get a redesigned case on either machine? That's crap, Steve. Crap. Not to mention, what's with these machines being the launch vehicles? iBooks and Mac Minis were the speculation. Did they swing the lineup last second just to make the rumor sites wrong? Very wierd. We don't normally beta-test a new chip on the Pro segment, but it's Steve's call I suppose.
IBM and Moto have consistently shown that they have no interest in focusing their research and development efforts on keeping PowerPC in the desktop market. The PPC970 (G5) was a stopgap measure to keep Apple on board as a PowerPC PR darling, while IBM fired up the "Power Everywhere" campaign. Now that Power chips are running EVERY next-gen game console, they've got all the media exposure they need for PPC, and Apple is simply vestigial, and would probably have been consistently ignored until it went away anyway. The 970 can wither and die, much to IBM's general delight, and they can focus on what they consider the future of Power, the Cell, which is a dubious proposition, but one they seem committed to. By taking on Apple as a high-profile (low-volume, but still) client, Intel gets to send a quiet-riot-style flip-the-bird over at Microsoft, who decided that IBM was the place to be for the Xbox360, despite the years of mutual support given and received by Intel. Once MacOS runs on Intel hardware, Intel can finally get behind an OS partner that isn't being crucified once a week for yet another catastrophic security flaw, and will finally show what x86 can do with a crack team of quality-conscious software engineers who are used to and good at squeezing every benefit they can out of an architecture. The double-bonus for Intel is that the software comes hand-in-hand with the best industrial design team on earth, who will finally make the Pentium sexy, unlike Dell and its ilk who have done little except replace beige with greyish-black. Mac users get to keep their spiffy trademark looks, and since most don't know a G5 from a redwood tree, all they'll notice is that Macs are way-the-heck faster than they used to be. Developers get to mull the mouth-watering possibilities of HD in the living room, as well as easy porting between OSX and Windows, as I'd imagine Apple has some tricks up its Developer Connection sleeve that will make porting Windows apps much easier. Intel gets good press, Apple gets a price/performance ratio that makes the Mac a much more viable PC-replacement, and they get the added benefit of being on the same architecture as the PC. This allows big-ticket development houses that have traditionally shunned the Mac entirely (read Autodesk, the CAD kings who also own Discreet of 3DSMax fame) to reconsider the possibility of putting their products on the Mac, now that a port is little more than a quick re-compile using the OSX shared libs, with free access to the Intel C++ compiler and Xcode. This gives them access to a whole new market of content creation and design professionals who have been alienated by their platform choice. Mac design pros account for big money as far as workstation dollars go, and I doubt these companies will pass up the opportunity to tap into that cash-flow.
With difficulty, I'm overcoming my PowerPC conditioning and getting inside the RDF with His-Steveness. Don't get me wrong, I'm still slightly queasy at the thought of Intel-inside my Mac, but I can see the benefits for everyone involved, including us as consumers and developers. I think once the shock wears off, I'll allow all the good news I've just evangelized to truly sink in. Then I can get back to the business of being a Mac Zealot. We don't need a different platform to be elitists. We've been trained all our Mac-using lives to value a whole different set of priorities in our computers. Looks and style are our trademarks, and they will continue to be. Innovatition is our calling-card, and it will continue to be. The hardware doesn't make a Mac, the creative use of that hardware through clever and inspired software design makes a Mac, and it will continue to do so.
Lets all just take a moment to say goodbye to a tried and true friend, the PowerPC architecture. Some of us have been with you since the beginning, others, like me, are recent converts, quickly initiated to the cult that is Mac, but a constant for many years has been the adherence to the dogma that Power was always better than x86, and we just needed the right developer to make it reality. We never got that developer, but were delivered shoddy promises and false hope instead. Our devotion to a different architecture, almost delirium, was really an extension of our desire to "Think Different". Though we could only imagine your true potential, we all envisioned it with possibilities constrained only by our fear of what lay ahead. Though we have been forced to part ways, those that knew Power will always remember fondly. They will remember growing pains from the 68k, and the early difficulties in adoption. They will remember their first G3 and the Pentium wars. They will remember the first time they heard about the Velocity Engine, and how it changed Apple marketing forever. They'll think wistfully back on the announcement of the G5, thinking happily that Steve had done it again, delivering us a PC competitor at last. And they will certainly remember June 6, 2005, the day that we turned away from Power, aligning with our old foe, now our new friend, x86. We'll always know you were better, Power. Somewhere inside every legacy Mac user, there will be a thread of devotion still tied to Power. You may be gone, old friend, but you'll never be forgotten. ¡Salud!
Am I the only person that thinks this is a total dilution of the iPod brand? iPods are known for their exceptionality. They are "the best". By market share, by user adulation, by critical acclaim, undeniably "the best". This is not the best. This is not even close. With no screen, no playlisting, not even some adapted version of the classic iPod click/scroll wheel, what's the point? Not only do I not know how long the current song has, I don't know what the next song is until I memorize my playlist, and even if I'm in love with random, I can't even choose a song to start the randomizing on. This is inane. I know the iPod brand has the thunder of god behind it right now so everything stamped iPod is gold, but why would they choose to under-feature their device compared to currently available competition and expect us to believe it's somehow better? Danger! Reality distortion field at maximum! Let's scan the real world for a second. Shuffle isn't new. I'll wait for your shock to wear off. That's right folks; shuffle has been a feature since digital music began. Shuffle existed before digital music. Shuffle worked on my last TAPE DECK. Everything that plays music has shuffle. It's not a selling point. It's a REQUIRED FEATURE. No scroll/click wheel is not an improvement. It's a travesty. No screen isn't streamlined. It's a mistake. This is to an iPod what a MINI is to a BMW. It's not one. Period. Even if they make them in the same building. You wouldn't try to pass off a spiffy new MINI Cooper as a low-end Beamer, and this is absolutely no different.
This is not an iPod, this is a joke. This is corporate bottom-lining taking over. Apple has a cash cow, now they're gonna milk the brand-name for all it's worth, quality be damned. I wouldn't touch this with a 10ft Dell-branded pole. It's so underwhelming the urge to cry consumes me. It features NOTHING that makes an iPod an iPod: not visually or stylistically, not software interface, not physical interface, not storage space, not a thing. Not one single thing that has defined and pushed the iPod brand to the pinnacle of portable audio is there, except white Apple plastic with a half-eaten fruit on the back. This could just as easily be an Apple-brand USB memory stick, or even an Apple logo ink pen holder, from what it looks like, who would know.
The fact that everyone and their brother intends to buy one doesn't justify this. Pandering low-end feature-poor products to everyone is Rio's job. Little Timmy doesn't have an iPod because Little Timmy doesn't need one. Cheapening the iPod's quality and capabilities to make it more attractive to Suzy Simpleton is 100% debasing Apple's nature. If they can afford to do it better AND as cheap as the other guy, do and do well, but it'll be a cold day in Satan's Workshop before I support Apple in lowering their standards to accommodate price points of their competition, playing on the success of a revolutionary device to pimp a catastrophe of a device like the iPod Shuffle on the unsuspecting masses.
Time has shown with the original iPod and the iPod Mini that people WILL PAY. Competing products sell for half as much and move only a small percentage of iPod's units sold. iPods are the best because Apple chose to maintain the quality of their product and produce something better, cleaner and more attractive than anything on the market then, now, or coming, price point be damned. And it worked. And now, now they want us to cheer like frenzied cult members as they take something innovative and debase it into something average at best, with no justification but the bottom line? Red flags should fly when you're trying so hard to think of a GOOD thing about your digital audio product that SHUFFLE SEEMS BEST. No thanks Steve, you can keep the tagline and the extra-helping of brainwashing. I'll continue to use my real iPod with real features, real Apple style, and real industry-defining clout, and hang my head in sadness each time I have the dubious good fortune to see a Shuffle in use.