November 21, 2006

On Michael Richards

So Michael Richards gets heckled in a comedy club over the weekend and fights back. The rest is all on video, as well as the apology on David Letterman the day after. Has anybody coined the phrase, "Mel Gibson syndrome"? If not, it's mine and you heard it here first.

NY Times on Casino Royale

Review of Casino Royale from the NY Times. I don't agree with their opinion at the end that "with this 21st edition, they have shaken (and stirred) it (the Bond franchise) a little, chipping away some of the ritualized gentility ". My opinion is that they've shaken it up quite a bit, to the point of bringing it more inline with a modern-day spy thriller such as Bourne.

November 20, 2006

Casino Royale

OK, so I didn't make it opening night (Thursday), but I did make opening weekend. Last night, to be exact. Let me start by saying Casino Royale does indeed take Bond in a new direction and strips him of all his nonsense. All the gadgets -- gone. Q? Gone. The jetpack, SMERSH, the laser beam watch, the little Nellie portable helicopter, the smirky wisecracks, the Denice Richards oh-so-hot-why-don't-you-believe-I'm-a-nuclear-scientist --- all GONE. In it's wake we have a much leaner movie, and a much tougher Bond. This, quite frankly, is the direction and movie I've been waiting for. It's back to basics. It's a real spy story, complete with intrigue and honest to goodness suspense. The main action takes place not in an invisible car or underwater villain's lair, but instead in a casino. I don't want to spoil it, but my recommendation: go see it.

To whet your appetite, here's some info on Casino Royale. Make sure you click the "Trailers" tab and see some great interviews and short clips from the movie. Then head to the theater to see it yourself.

Some other Bond links:
CNN Money article: Blond, James Blond
Merchandising in Casino Royale: Bond's new temptress

November 15, 2006

Microsoft makes a joke but no one is laughing

Microsoft thought it would be great fun to create a screensaver that mimics the dreaded blue screen of death. The screensaver even has a simulated reboot procedure, where you think your system is restarting. Apparently, the guys in Redmond thought this would be a hoot. The problem is, no one else thinks so.

More Black Friday Info

Ah yes, the Black Friday info is really coming in now. Circuit City will be offering a notebook computer for a measly $99 (!) after rebates, and here's a story about the profileration of Black Friday info being leaked ahead of time to the internet. Some retailers have even tried to have sites shut down. Bad form, bad form. Share the wealth guys. It only makes us want the deals that much more, you know.

November 13, 2006

Original Site

Here's an original web page. Seems like the personal site of someone who's just kind of writing stream of conscienceness. There's plenty of places to click, and you'll be taken to another page of the site. Pretty neat. I clicked on a link for Superman, and Superman himself started flying around. I then clicked on the flying Superman, and he, ummm.... died. Try it yourself.

WiFi Tips

Most of us either have Wi-fi at home or use it at work or elsewhere, but do you know what contributes to a good quality signal? How about what eats it up? What to look out for? It's worth a read for sure. The writer is based in London, and did the research using London's pubs as a reference point, but you can easily take the advice and pitfalls mentioned and apply it to your environment. I'm raisin' a glass to you, mate.

November 12, 2006

Vader post-Death Star

Check out this video where Darth Vader calls the Emporer after the Death Star's been blown up the first time. The way the phone rings in the Emporer's office should sound familiar to most; it's taken from the show 24.

Banging your head against the wall

Ever had one of those days where you feel like you're banging your head against the wall? This guy's had one too. But in his, he planned on breaking things. Too bad that didn't work out for him.

Take your computer with you - USB drive style

Many of us have seen them and maybe even have one and use it occasionally. It's the USB drive, the successor the floppy disk, with a capacity hundreds of times larger. As these devices proliferate (have you seen how many different types and manufacturers there are now? You can get one if pretty much any color you want) there's people saying that it represents a shift in the way we should be using computers. Namely, we should use the computers to create the material, but then store in on the portable USB drives. That way, you data is always backed up, will never crash (USB drives don't have moving parts and thus are almost impervious to failure) and can always be with you. Need to work on that file in the hotel? No problem. At the library? At a friend's house? All good, as long as you've got that small drive tucked away in your pocket. It makes a lot of sense, and is what I've been saying for quite some time now (years, in fact): we have too much of our valuable data on one specific type of machine. Our data is restricted to that machine, and to add insult to injury, it's also prone to failure. What we've needed for quite a while was a way to take all our data so we could work on business files at home, or personal files somewhere away from home. For a while we solved this with laptops, and for many they're still a good choice for performing business tasks back home or on the road. But these devices are still pretty big to bring everywhere, and their hard drives are still subject to fail at some point as they age. True device freedom comes from using a device you can always carry with you, and will work with just about any computer, regardless of operating system: the USB drive.

November 10, 2006

More kudos for Craig

Another story praising Craig's performance as Bond and how he's even winning over detrators by the strength of his performance in the film's trailer alone. If the trailer is that good, I can't wait to see the whole movie...

Apparently, there was an anti-Craig web site, http://CraigNotBond.com, which was gaining members and strength in the begginning, but has now folded, it's supporters now having gone over to Craig's camp. There's now a standard "under construction" page there.

The media machine for this film is really picking up steam. They've made us forget about Brosnan, they've made nice with the opposing forces and even converted them to their side, and the film comes out next friday. It will be very interesting to see the public's reaction to the actual movie. Not the trailer, not the photo ops, but the movie itself. I'm seeing it opening day, and I'll post my thoughts.

Bond, Zune, and Video Game Systems

More buzz about Casino Royale, apparently the reviewer was fascinated by Bond's early years. Whatever.

Microsoft's Zune is just about to be put on the streets for sale to the public, and in general it's getting good reviews. USA Today seemed to like it, as did Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal, although both reviews state that at present it's no iPod killer, so don't trade it in just yet.

If you're excited about Microsoft's new operating system, Vista, get used to new sounds when you start it up. No more ta-daaaaa. Of course you can always change it back.

Jerry Seinfeld showed up at New York's FourSquare media conference and ripped the TV industry a new one, saying "They don’t have confidence in their instincts. Maybe they don’t have instincts to be confident in?”.

Finally, there's yet one more rundown of the upcoming new game systems. Which one to buy? This story is one of the first to mention an alternative many have overlooked: simply wait to see which shake out to be the best. Now that's a smart alternative.

November 08, 2006

Casino Royale Parody

Check out the official Casino Royale Trailer, then check out this second one from a theater preview, and then come back and check out this parody. It's very well done and funny.

They love Craig as Bond

OK, as promised, more Bond news. Not the promotional/advertising kind mentioned yesterday (yes, I will get to that) but more of the straight news type. Apparently, although I'm still not real keen on him, the critics love Daniel Craig. Yep, that's right. Love him. Gotta love the Craig. They're saying things that really shouldn't be said, such as, "He's the best James Bond Ever". Yikes. With that much pressure, the film is sure to flop. Just wait. OK, I made that up. But still, to follow in the footsteps of Connery and his apparent successor Brosnan, and then to have this kind of press, it's incredible. Casino Royale will either be a huge success or a bomb. You heard it here; I'm not afraid to say it.

Apparently the movie is noteworthy for other reasons also. There's a car stunt that breaks a world record for the most number of "cannon rolls". Bring in the stunt double!

And, as the movie opening draws near, former Bonds are starting to weigh in. Roger Moore says he's a fan of Daniel Craig but that "Bond doesn't require good acting". Ouch. I'm sure Daniel Craig is sending over a nice fruit basket for that backhanded compliment.

November 07, 2006

Countdown to Casino Royale - let the merchandising begin

Actually the merchandising began long ago, and I'll post exmples of this later, but this caught my eye today: a 007 Sony USB drive. What's the difference between this and the one that I've had for over a year? It has the Casino Royale movie trailer and 4 Bond-themed wallpaper images. Both this one and the one I have are jet black. It will take me all of 10 minutes to grab the movie trailer and the wallpapers and put them on my own drive, thus giving me the same James Bond USB drive.

But it won't have the 007 logo on the front. Darn. That's worth paying for.

November 01, 2006

Post Halloween nonsense

So you or your kids (Both? How modern of you) have done mischief night. You've done Halloween night. The obtaining of the candy, the throwing of the eggs. The whole deal. Now that it's over, indulge in some post-Halloween nonsense, courtesy of the good people at PC World magazine.

Write a novel in November

I didn't know it before I read this article, but November is National Novel Writing Month. The emphasis is on quantity over quality, so I'm not sure if I agree with that, but I know why the approach works -- because it gets people to actually write. It gets them motivated, it gets them typing away, and it lets them tap into that creativity. Check it out and get motivated yourself.

Cracking your knuckles

Confusion over, problem solved. Cracking your knuckles does not do any harm to your hands and does not cause arthritis or any other hand, bone, or other ailment. So, to parents everywhere -- relax.