Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Charlie Mad started out life as a blank Mini Munny from Kid Robot. I bought him, opened the box and found some horrible person had already done the same thing, only they'd managed to break his arm off before putting him back in the box.
However, rather than taking him back to the store, I thought I'd use it as a design element. I was thinking about doing a piece about anger, so I decided he'd had his arm lopped off by someone. The bat was taken up as a revenge tool and I'm not sure where I got the black frame for his face--it started in my head as built-in running lines. I added the wonky shirt stripe for irony.
Sorry I don't have any progress shots. For some reason I didn't take any. I just sort of blew through this one almost in one sitting. Go figure.
Check out the Flickrset here: http://flickr.com/photos/thepete/sets/72157608716855297/
Technically any good? The animation designs were OK, though unlike the original Orguss (which was much more pleasing to the eye). The mecha was kind of boring and ultimately unremarkable. The story was less about a continuation of the original series and more a story that takes place in the same universe. Yes, there were direct connections to the original series, but they felt contrived and unnecessary. They almost felt like they were stapled onto a pre-existing, unrelated story, just to flesh it out more.
How did it leave me feeling? Pretty disappointed. If properly developed the story at the core of this miniseries could have made for a good show. Instead it gets diluted with elements from its predecessor. Frankly, those were the bits I liked the most. Ultimately, this shows you that the Japanese are more like us than some Westerners may think--this sequel seems like it was thrown together just to capitalize on any success the original Orguss may have experienced rather than coming up with a good story for a sequel. This was very disappointing since I adore the original Orguss quite a bit.
Final Rating? NFI - NetFlix It - if you are a Macross or Orguss purist, but that's it. Don't bother otherwise. :( Sorry, there's just too many really good anime titles to see before you sit through something like this.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Watch it now!
Buy the book!
Technically any good? This movie is definitely slanted against the credit industry, though based on the facts it presents, I wonder how you could make a pro-credit industry docu without lying your ass off. Regardless, this film talks to both the prey and the predators involved in the credit industry and shows you how both sides function. Most disturbing is seeing how much money the predators can make and how they rationalize taking horrible advantage of people's trust--or complete lack of intelligence--the film introduces us to one mentally handicapped man who was given a loan. Yep, there are people so corrupt that they will give a man almost incapable of signing his own name.
Needless to say, this film makes a powerful case for a serious reformation of the credit industry.
Final Rating? GSN - Go See Now - this film is something every American should watch. We are being preyed upon by this industry and it's wrong.
Full disclosure time: I was illegally sued for back debt I didn't owe and lost the case. The law is useless if you have a judge who won't see that it is enforced and if you can't afford a lawyer, that doesn't help either.
So, I might be a little biased in my review of this film. Then again, I think it's justified.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
In a January 28, 2009 article at CNN.com, CNNMoney reporter David Goldman reported on the US House passing an $819 billion stimulus bill that included a buttload of money for us poor folks. Now, there are a couple of things to note, here.
First off, do you wonder why the bill that helps the poor folks out is coming now, after the corporations and the banks have already gotten their bailouts?
I looked at that headline and had to stop myself from shaking my head and worrying about inflation. Instinctively, I wanted to say "more money injected into the system which will drive down the value of the money already in the system."
The thing is, we've already seen well over a trillion dollars injected into the US economy in the past six months or so--possibly more than two trillion--it's hard to keep track. The value of the American dollar is fucked already, might as well pretend we have money--after all, it's only fair that finally, we, the regular folks, get our turn at the pot.
Why do I think we won't be seeing checks proportionate to what the banks and corporations have gotten? Regardless, you have to wonder why We, The People of the United States of America are third in line of economic importance behind the banks and the corporations.
It's more evidence proving that our government doesn't give two shits about the people they're supposed to represent. Why do we not get our bailout before these businesses and banks?
Aren't we more important than them?
Don't they exist, like our government, to serve us?
Secondly, you have to wonder why precisely NO REPUBLICANS voted for this bill.
To paraphrase Kanye West: Republicans to do not care about poor people.
I mean, seriously, Republicans--do you understand reality? We voted you assholes out of office. You had your asses handed to you in the last election. 8 million more people wanted the Democrats' guy over your guy and you guys are retarded enough to vote against a bill that helps the regular people who voted against you?
Of course, we only get our bailout checks because we voted Obama into office. This is his thank you gift to us. Our payoff, if you will. He knows he's got to give us SOMEthing or we'll revolt.
The thing that's the most frustrating is just how illogical our "leaders" in Washington are behaving.
Jon Stewart asked, on Tuesday's Daily Show, why not give us the money and let us pay off the loans we've defaulted on, rather than have the USG buy up all the bad debt? Give us the money so we'll directly spend it on the economy rather than giving the money to the greedy bastards who caused all this trouble in the first place?
It's fucking frightening when the only sane voice in the room comes from a basic cable TV comedy news show host.
What the fuck, America?
We elected Obama, but now what?
Are we going to let ourselves be seduced by hope? Or are we going to demand actual leadership from our elected politicians in Washington?
Change may have come to America, but Washington is still filled with dipshits and morons who are happy to trade oral sex acts with the economic powerhouses that put them in office.
And that Blagojevich guy is getting impeached for being honest about trying to sell the Illinois senate seat. Seems hypocritical when we all know how our government is up for sale.
How else do you explain us normal folks seeing our bailout checks last?
If you have any trouble with the Flash player above, here's the mp4 link from my drop.io feed:
Back on the 25th, I posted the first of many screncaps of my iPhone's home screens. Here is page 2 of my iPhone.
The top row are mostly obvious--you want your calendar and clock handy at all times. Same goes for your camera app and you photo album (I never know when I'll have to break out the wedding photos or show off some of my custom toy designs). The only unusual app in the top row is MyLite--it's just a simple app that turns your iPhone into a flashlight. Very handy.
The next row are also apps I use a lot. The Maps app is indispensible in a city like New York. Damn thing even usurps HopStop.com's usefulness and can give you public transportation routes now. Too damn useful for words.
Speaking of public transportation, the next app on row two, called City Transit, is a subway map for NYC and also syncs advisories with the NYC MTA's website. Very cool.
"Wund NYC" is a bookmark to the iPhone-formatted weather forecast for NYC at Wunderground.com, my prefered weather news source. WiFinder is a basic but effective wifi signal sniffer. It often works better than the iPhone's built-in sniffer and allows you to connect to networks inside the app.
The last app on row two is labelled "Settings" on the screen, but it's real name is "Supreme Preferences" and it's from a guy called iMario. This is another cool thing about having a Jailbroken iPhone--Supreme Prefs gives you a handful of extra things you can control--from changing the carrier name at the top of the screen, to turning on and off iPod controls, to changing calendar settings and more. I definitely recommend this app if you're Jailbroken.
Next up, we have GrandDialer. This app will log you into your GrandCentral.com account and allow you to make calls through your GC number. You tell it what number you want to call (use the keypad or your contacts) and it tells the GC website to call you at what ever phone number you give it, including your iPhone number. Not a perfect app (it doesn't give you access to your favorites and it sometimes fails to log in to GC), but very useful.
iPhone Modem 2 is something I have yet to use. There's a lot of talk about "tethering," or allowing your laptop to connect to your iPhone to share its Internet connection. I have yet to need this service. Of course, I live in a major American city, so there's usually an open wifi network around. If not, I tend to just use my iPhone. I mean, duh.
Evernote! Evernote is one of the most useful apps I have EVER USED. I have it on every single computer I own! Well, except my OLPC XO--I don't think there's a version of Evernote that runs on SugarOS. :) Evernote, if you're not familiar, is a brilliant note-taking app that allows you to sync with a web server so you can share notes across different machines and the Internet. You can post notes from this app, via email, the web or even a desktop client. It's pretty sweet if you're one of those people that is always having good ideas you want to write down.
Dropbox isn't an app (sadly), it's a bookmark for the iPhone-formatted version of the GetDropbox.com service. It's similar to Evernote, but allows you to sync files. So, you install it on your home computer and it puts a Dropbox sub-directory in your user directory (or on any internal drive) and will automatically sync its contents. Anything I need on-the-go I dump into this directory and can then access it inside Safari on my iPhone. Pretty slick. Would prefer it as an app, though. How cool would it be to have it sync files so you could access them locally, on your iPhone without a connection to the web? Very cool.
Finally for row three, we have Nambu. Nambu is a new addition to my iPhone. It allows me to post to and read from my Twitter, FriendFeed, Identi.ca and Ping.fm accounts. Very handy but it asks me if I want to follow Nambu on Twitter every time I star the app, whether I've said yes or no the last time it flashed the alert. INTENSELY annoying. Still, it's the only iPhone client I could find that handles FriendFeed and other services.
Pinger Phone is another newbie to my iPhone. It promises IM services, Twitter, Facebook and MySpace syncing. This is a great featureset but the app is seriously flawed in that it gives too much screenspace to usericons and not enough space for the status updates. So, in order to read most status updates you have to actually click on each one. VERY annoying. It's a shame because Pinger Phone would be really brilliant otherwise.
Finally, we have Pixelpipe--this is the app for the service that will allow you to crosspost media to multiple hosting sites at once. Got an account at Flickr.com and iPernity.com? Pixelpipe can post to both in one fell swoop. It'll also post to video sites (not from the iPhone sadly), blogs and other sites, too. In fact, it's the app I'm using to post my iPhone screencaps :)
So, that's it for now! Just five more screencaps to go! Wahoo! Got any questions about what you're seeing? Just let me know.
Watch it now!
Technically any good? The characters were vaguely drawn and nothing they did made me care about them one way or the other. The relationship Clooney's character has with his wife is boring and unspecial and, as you watch, you wonder why they were together at all. FX-wise it was amazing--great space footage, but sadly, that's all there is to like about this film. It is nice to see Clooney in a scifi setting, but that's not enough to make this a scifi film worth seeing.
How did it leave me feeling? Disappointed. I used to be a fan of director Steven Soderbergh's but after seeing this and The Limey I can't help but wonder where the mind-bending stuff he did in Schizopolis went. Is Out of Sight even worth Netflixing?
Final Rating? DNS - Do Not See - I was really hoping for something mind-bending, but all I got was a very predictable (even if you haven't seen the original) 99-minute episode of The Twilight Zone. The thing is, Rod Serling could have made this premise work really well in a 30-minute structure. A movie just seems a bit much for this premise. (SPOILER ALERT: If you've seen Forbidden Planet you've seen a more dynamic and entertaining interpretation of the premise of Solaris.)
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Check out Episode 131 of the Hucklebug podcast at Hucklebug.com to hear the finished product!
I'll be posting part two of our batch of highlights tomorrow.
Trouble with the Flash player or just want to DL the full clip? Here's the mp4 from my drop.io feed:
1) iPhone dev-team member MuscleNerd Twittered just today about the possibility of silent update that plugs the hole yellowsn0w unlock uses to get in. MuscleNerd also says: "definitely don't update to 2.2.1_5H11 if you want to retain soft unlock / yellowsn0w :)" So hold off on any updates to your iPhone's firmware until further notice. Check out http://blog.iphone-dev.org for that further notice. Personally, I'll never update the FW on my iPhone just cuz.
But don't assume you are safe to update your Mac's OS if you have a JBUed iPhone:
2) My fellow XO laptop owner friend Donna posted a comment to my last iPhone-related post about an issue where updating your Mac OS after JBing your iPhone may lock-up said Mac. She links to a Gizmodo story that informs us that we should:
Be careful with that latest QuickTime update if you have run any "DFU fix" Automator scripts on your unibody (Late 2008) MacBook or MacBook Pro. Do not upgrade to QuickTime 7.6 until you've repaired the alterations that the script made to your system. UPDATE: I am learning from commenters that this is not just limited to unibody Late '08 MacBooks, but it applies to ALL MacBooks running 10.5.6.Seems if you've got a Mac running 10.5.6 and want to JB your phone, you may be stuck. Lucky for me, I'm still running 10.5.5 and see no reason to update. I'm also running Quicktime 7.5.5 so I'm covered there, too. In fact, after reading this, I think I'll just stay away from updating iTunes, too.
Thanks for the heads-up, Donna!
3) Finally, I'd like to point something out that I noticed myself just last night. I updated the JB app Backgrounder to the latest version (I think it's svn.r125) and ran into weird trouble. What Backgrounder does is allow apps to run in the background so you can surf the web or read email while you're waiting for a pal on your IM buddylist to reply to your instant message. It's a great app, but after I updated to the latest version last night, I found that I suddenly couldn't open any apps without locking the screen first. So, I'd tap the "email" app icon and it would just gray-out a bit. I'd have to press and hold the power button until it asked if I wanted to power-off. Then I tap "cancel", then hit the home button and unlock the screen and finally, I see the email app. This is the same for any app I try to open. Once I uninstalled Backgrounder, everything runs as it should. Sadly, I don't have Backgrounder anymore and it was a very handy app, to have. :(
So, there you have it! Be warned! Don't update ANYthing (firmware, OS, or even your apps) unless there is obviously a problem with them. I suppose if you really feel compelled to update, do your research first to make sure the updates are safe.
Don't be a good little Apple consumer and eat whatever they put on your plate. Sometimes it's bad for you.
Watch it now!
Watch it free at Archive.org
Technically any good? Well, it was directed by Roger Corman, so that's debatable. However, the movie did hint at the comic talents we'd see on display in Little Shop of Horrors, which was nice. The script is campy and silly and there's not much else to say about the movie. The acting is hit and miss, though it doesn't matter since this is one of Corman's more campy creations.
How did it leave me feeling? I guess it left me feeling satisfied that I'd accidentally stumbled across a Corman film I'd never seen or heard anything about. It was pretty crappy over all and would only recommend it to Corman Completists and since I'm not one, myself, I can't really recommend it--even to the MST fans in the audience.
Final Rating? DNS - Do Not See. This film will never (rightfully) see the moniker of "classic" Corman. It's mildly amusing and that's about it. I'd love to see it remade though--the premise of a guy getting rich off of a monster hoax that turns out to not be a hoax during the Cuban revolution is actually kind of interesting to me.
Monday, January 26, 2009
A world where crimes are investigated properly? A planet where bad people are dealt with? An Earth where George W. Bush faces war crimes charges?
We're not quite back to that Earth, but it seems, at least, like we're leaving the Bizarro World of the Bush Regime, behind (Busharro World?).
Today, amazingly enough, John Conyers subpoenaed Karl Rove . According to a January 26, 2009 article from AP.org (see screencap above) Representative Conyers:
...has subpoenaed former White House adviser Karl Rove to testify about the Bush administration's firing of U.S. attorneys.
The subpoena Monday by Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers continues a long-running legal battle. Rove previously refused to appear before the panel, contending that former presidential advisers cannot be compelled to testify before Congress.
I am not so pessimistic, however. Conyers wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post that he posted on his website. In it he talks about "Why We Have To Look Back." It's a pretty uplifting read for those of us who believe the law should be enforced. Here's my favorite bit:
Only by chronicling and confronting the past in a comprehensive, bipartisan fashion can we reclaim our moral authority and establish a credible path forward to meet the complex challenges of a post-Sept. 11 world.
So, while I'm hopeful, I'm not blind. I still think politicians would rather keep their jobs than do the right thing.
On a side note, I love how, in that screencap of the AP article, Google News throws up the map of where Washington DC is. I suppose that's useful to someone who doesn't have Google.
Watch it now!
Technically any good? The premise is simple enough, but the director manages to play around a bit too much with structure to the point where it's downright distracting as hell. I found the script to be a bit wandering and virtually none of the characters to be likable or even resonant. I also felt that Stamp's performance felt forced. I guess you could say I just didn't care for this movie (DO YA THINK?). I suppose on a strictly technical level it holds together, but when an audience member doesn't give a crap about the characters or the story, there must be something wrong with it on a technical level.
How did it leave me feeling? A big fat "meh." I'd like to see this film remade as a gritty, noir thriller without the structural weirdness and with a more intricate mystery to solve. The Limey unfolds like the most boring origami ever.
Final Rating? DNS - Do Not See unless you're just a huge fan of Stamp or Soderbergh. I thought I was both, but I'm starting to wonder about Soderbergh. Again, this movie was a big fat "meh" for me.
Translation: See Ya Kitty!
Ja Ne Neko, as a project, came about when I was in an Urban Outfitters and spotted a beaten up, unboxed Hello Kitty covered in pastel-colored hearts. She had been marked down to $3 so I figured I'd take her home, give it a few coats of primer and then see what I could do with her.
As you can see in the early shots, she started out a but more sexually oriented but then I decided to go the Clockwork Orange route (got the idea from a Kylie Minogue video). :) I'm happy with the results, though I wish I had a lighter gray to work with--perhaps that's a limitation of working with permanent marker.
Check out my Flickrset for "Ja Ne Neko" or keep reading for more pics and details about this piece:
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Here's page 1 on my iPhone. I have the first page blank so I can show off my wallpaper easily. Right now, it's an Obamicon of Jay ThePal. In my dock I've got my phone icon, mail, Safari then Cycorder (for local video recording and storage) and then the iPod icon. FYI once my videos are shot in Cycorder I use MobileFinder to move the clips into another directory where I can then use MF to email them. Its a shame I can't use PixelPipe like I am for this post. Page 2 of my iPhone home screen tomorrow.
Posted via Pixelpipe.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
The one thing about Facebook I really like: they let you tell them
when you think an ad on their site is offensive to you. This one fits
Posted via Pixelpipe.
The one thing about Facebook I really like: they let you tell them
when you think an ad on their site is offensive to you. This one fits
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Thomas Jefferson, who is probably my favorite founding father, is believed to have said this and whether he did or not, it's the Truth. That's right, upper-case "T" Truth.
Just because we have a Democrat and a black guy in the White House does not mean racism is gone, the world loves us and Big Brother is now your kids' cool uncle.
Just because Bill Clinton left office with poll numbers so big they'd make John Holmes blush doesn't mean Slick Willy didn't earn his nickname.
While George W. Bush created the economic mess by failing to provide moral principles and strong, positive leadership, it was Clinton (who was no stranger to lax morals) set "W" up for some of the troubles he would see before his reign in the White House was over.
Clinton messed up in Somalia.
Clinton (in my opinion) waited too long to get involved in the Serbia/Bosnia mess.
I'm also rolling my eyes at Milosevic's all-too-timely death just before he was going to testify in his own war crimes trial.
There's also a question of what Clinton knew about the CIA's use of an airstrip in Mena, Arkansas while he was governor of that state.
Of course, I wasn't paying attention back then like I should have been--like we all should always be.
If we don't watch the edges of our freedom, there is no way we'll notice them shrinking.
If We, The People, don't watch our government and make sure they don't knock those edges back several feet, we may not notice our freedoms are gone until we discover they're long gone.
Barack Obama may very well be the good man that so many think he is. However, he is still part of a system that encourages bribery, corporate-favoritism and the exchange of morals for security.
So, as President Obama does a lot of things right (like signing the order to close the detention center at Gitmo), we can't sit back and expect him to be even close to the perfect leader.
Will he allow the government to spy on American citizens on American soil as Bush did?
Every one of us must keep an eye on things since our mainstream media has proven they aren't up to the task. Don't listen to them when they tell you they did their best because they did not. The media is the fourth branch of government. It's not connected directly to it so it can move without interference from the rest of the government. Without it telling us accurately what our leaders are up to, we are on our own to determine just what the hell is going on so we know who we should vote for. Since they are not doing that, we must do it ourselves.
Like Jefferson is said to have said, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
I, for one, will be keeping my eye on things.
But don't trust me to be perfect either. We all need to watch, read, absorb and think for ourselves. None of us are perfect on our own. Together, that's another story.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Here is the best of the footage we shot today, January 20, 2009, in Washington DC on my Jailbroken, unlocked iPhone:
Click here to download the above video as a 13 meg mp4 file.
I couldn't livestream because they were using cell jammers, apparently. :(