Saturday, July 23, 2005

Click here to view animationGet Perpendicular

Perpendicular recording increases the storage capacity of a hard drive by standing the data bits on end, allowing for up to ten times more capacity with no physical size inrease. Using this technology, Hitachi estimates that the microdrive (currently at 6GB in the iPod mini) will reach 20GB and the standard desktop 3.5" drive will go up to one terabyte in 2007.

When my first computer's hard drive was 80MB, and I heard about the existence of a gigabyte, I remember thinking 'Who could fill up an entire gigabyte?' I will not make the same mistake with a terabyte. Video is the answer to most questions regarding 'What could fill up that much hard drive space?'

For a comical, but informative presentation of how this works, check out Hitachi's animation. If Schoolhouse Rocks continued through to the Aughts, and switched focus to technology, this is what it might be like.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Superman Returns

The Fever Chart in the July 29 issue of Entertainment Weekly ("taking the temperature of pop culture") had the following listed just under the hottest temperature:

Fanboys literally weep (in a good way) as Superman Returns footage unspools at Comic-Con.
What?! They saw me there?! Hey, give me a break! It was emotional footage what with that classic John Williams score!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

New York Times: Corrupted PC's Find New Home in the Dumpster

Ms. Wong, a physician at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in South San Francisco, started getting a relentless stream of pop-up ads a year ago on her four-year-old Hewlett-Packard desktop computer. Often her entire screen would turn blue and urge her to "hit any key to continue." Sometimes the computer would freeze altogether.

After putting up with the problem for months, Ms. Wong said she decided last November that rather than fix her PC, she would buy a new one. Succumbing to the seduction of all the new bells and whistles, she spent $3,000 on a new Apple laptop.

She is instituting new rules to keep her home computer virus-free.

"I've modified my behavior. I'm not letting my friends borrow my computer," she said, after speculating that the indiscriminate use of the Internet by her and her friends had led to the infection problems.
Ms. Wong is apparently unaware that none of the spyware and adware can infect her new Mac, so the quarantine is completely unnecessary. Of course, if I spent $3K on a new Apple laptop, I probably wouldn't let anyone borrow it either.

This story is sad, though, because most of the folks aren't like Ms. Wong, they're just replacing one $500 Windows PC for another. That can't be great for the environment.

What's happening with ????? ????? is the same thing that happens with anything new and interesting. At the beginning, everybody wants to see what it is. They gather around and check it out. But gradually, people start to lose interest.

The people who don't lose interest become more and more involved. And the medium starts to be influenced by only those people. It becomes something exclusive to the people who've stuck with it for a long time. And when the people who were interested in it at first look back at it, it's no longer the thing that interested them.
This quote from Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto (who knows something about how to keep people interested in something for years) is actually about video games, but I think the same has happened in a lot of mediums: comic books, movies, television, radio, etc. It's from this article: The Man Who Keeps Nintendo Cool

Over the River and Through the Woods

Running September 7–October 1, 2005 at the Stockton Civic Theatre, Over the River and Through the Woods is "A touching, gentle comedy about families, the number one choice for comedy in the latest A.A.C.T.'s survey of community theatres. Nick is a young single guy who wants to move away from his grandparents, but they like it just as it is."

I will be playing the part of Nick. Be there, won't you? At 15 performances, this show will be the longest-running I've been involved with.

Wired News: Holy Homework! Comics Hit Schools

In the 21st century, comic-book super heroes are for kids, but comic books aren't. The likes of Marvel and DC Comics aim their printed products at older teens and adult collectors. That leaves the 14-and-under set in the lurch.
What? A story about comic books that uses a phrase from the 1960s "Batman" TV series? Unfortunately, even Wired isn't beyond using the cliche.

Watch Muppet cranks Statler & Waldorf as they review current movies on

Even using the low-bandwidth link I couldn't get smooth video (only about 10 frames total) but the audio was good and that's really all that matters (I hope).

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Front Page photos

I uploaded a selection of photos from "The Front Page" to our photo galleries before we left for San Diego for five days, but didn't have a chance to note it on the blog. I know some of you found it, though, so kudos! Anyway, this selection of 33 photographs was taken at a photo shoot (the non-blurry ones) prior to the first dress rehearsal (the slightly blurry ones) so not all of the costumes are in their final iteration.

Transformers The (live action) Movie

This 30-second car advertisement demonstrates that a live-action Transformer movie is possible:
6.3MB QuickTime clip

Of course, with Michael Bay directing, there's less hope it will be good (although I'm looking forward to The Island). Steven Spielberg is an executive producer, and his enthusiasm for the toys and the characters in this video footage shown at San Diego Comic-Con does leave hope. I'm even optimistic the Autobots will be based out of Oregon.

DreamWorks also had a booth at the convention (our pictures are forthcoming but you can see some official ones by clicking the previous link), including an 18-wheeler (it's Optimus Prime!) covered with banners advertising the movie. We got a few free buttons, too. Mmm, swag...

If you've never heard the Kidz Bop series (from the makers of the series Now That's What I Call Music!), consider yourself lucky. If you have, you know how disturbing it can be. They claim the songs are "kid-friendly versions of today's biggest hit songs" but I don't know how children singing them make them kid-friendly. They range from the bizarre (Modest Mouse's "Float On") to the entirely inappropriate (Britney Spears' "Toxic").

The latest edition, Kidz Bop 8, has U2's Vertigo. Listen to the audio clip if you dare. Fantastic return

Nearly 20 years ago, a group of superheroes and one Stockton resident helped put the city on the Marvel Comics map.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

What is Scientology?

With all the talk from and about Tom Cruise and the evils of psychology, here are some stories that you must read regarding Scientology:

The first is the 1991 Time magazine cover story The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power: "Ruined lives. Lost fortunes. Federal crimes. Scientology poses as a religion but really is a ruthless global scam -- and aiming for the mainstream."

This one is an absolute must, seeing as Time magazine fought a libel suit over it for nearly a decade. It's reprinted thanks to

Then, if you think maybe the 1991 article is outdated, read The Wittenburg Door Interview with Tory Bezazian, published in 2002.

And to bring things up to 2005, you can read AP Religion Writer Richard N. Ostling's Cruise Lends Hollywood Hype to Scientology, published just today.

Supposedly they've stopped suing people, so I should be safe from reprisal. But if any strangers ask you questions about my past, you'll know where they're from.

Monday, July 04, 2005

New York Post's PageSix: SUPER VIXEN

Red-blooded director Brett Ratner is having his dream character written into the new "X-Men 3" movie. The mutant is, according to an inside source, "an unbelievably hot and sexy hooker. Her super power is that she secretes a pheromone that helps her to seduce men. She can seduce anyone."
Yeah, because there's not enough characters in the X-Men universe that we need to start making some up for the movie. At least he's no longer the director of "Superman Returns." Oh, and don't forget, the movie is actually titled "X3." The Post probably only called it "X-Men 3" because, um, IT MAKES SENSE AND PEOPLE UNDERSTAND IT.

macCompanion July 2005