Ha, I just noticed something funny.

I just noticed something funny. So I was clicking around Pease Jay‘s webpage, and I clicked the link to Dick Murphy‘s webpage. Then I clicked the link to Murphy’s advisor’s webpage, one Peter M. Kogge, who is apparently the “McCourtney Professor of Computer Science and Engineering”.

See that space shuttle pic on Kogge’s webpage? Wonder why a small picture takes so long to load? Shoot, it must have escaped his attention that you should resize the image file itself, rather than just changing its dimensions in an image tag, and you should not use GIF format for photographs.

As a result, we’ve got a webpage with a low-quality 153 x 148 image of a space shuttle that is 654 KB in size and takes days to load. I’m struck by the realization that Kogge:

  • is hopefully very clueless compared to most other comp sci professors, and
  • is probably the perfect advisor for Dick Murphy.

I wish we still had that Technodermis webpage. Har har har, at least Kinementium is back, and its even harder on the eyes than ever. I can’t wait to see what “Titanium Picks: The Future of Sport’s Analysis” is. I bet they’ll give my outfit a real run for their money… not!

Yeah

Yeah, that Buffy-Spike thing was pretty cool. Deb made me watch that part of the show and I got to agree with her (and you), the … uh, imagery and presentation were really provocative. Nice job by all involved.

It is apparent the style sheet and format of the log needs more work. I’ll get on that as soon as possible, and once I’m done I’ll bring peasej in to fix my mistakes.

Good news. Jeff sounds serious about working on stuff once he’s done with finals. In fact, we’ve got a task list all set up for stuff that will take place in December.

  • Jeff will fix my phone.
  • Jeff and I will grab all of KSDT Radio‘s Estradasphere material off cart and put it on CD. Then, we’ll rip it to mp3 format. Apparently the studio stuff the band did at the last concert got taped over by mistake, but the station still has a bunch of shows, including the live show they did that we went to. Yes, the good Lord willing, we will have live cuts of “Fame (Rasta and Banjo version)” and “Body Slam” available for your listening pleasure next week. In the meantime, click here for a usually-working link to a Winamp playlist of all the ES action we’ve got.
  • JesusH will get a major upgrade. Features and stuff, places to do things like movie reviews, perhaps some Anne Geddes pictures, ASCII Choose-Your-Own-Adventure, original artwork… all kinds of good crap.
  • I’ll pretend to help Jeff as he installs the Hands Free Car Kit in my truck, so I can talk to my vehicle instead of to my phone while I’m driving. K-Rad!!!!1111!!1
  • There is some seriously crazy modifications going on with the CueCat, which is a symbol of the stupidity of the new economy if there ever was one. More details coming later.
  • On the home front, I will find and download a bunch of MAME files, which will turn my Dreamcast into an arcade emulator, further enhancing my ability to talk about my Dreamcast.
  • My, but I’m impressed with my ability to prattle on.

Buffy the Vampire F-er

Only slightly less interesting than discussions of the technical specifications of competing Digital Light Processing systems and their effect on channel distribution methods in the film industry is the equally progressive advancement of the depiction of soft-core pornography on network television. Before I begin my treatment of the events that have led to this posting, I will disclose the personal bias that is coloring my analysis: I’m for it.

Now, many were puzzled when the recent musical episode of “Buffy, The Vampire Slayer” achieved its highest Nielsen ratings among the 18-34 year old male demographic. Why is a show about an empowered young woman crossing the gender divide so effectively? I offer a simple, yet profound answer: lesbians.
Continue reading “Buffy the Vampire F-er”

I’m the best.

If digital cameras are used to capture an image in the first place, the playback on digital systems will work great. However, my concern is with the digital image captured by the camera. Like I say, my only experience is with DV-CAM, which is pretty damn high-end, but still suffers from digital artifacts, much to the detriment of one of my favorite films, Chuck & Buck. However, I would imagine that a.) George Lucas is aware of this problem (he’s no doubt also a big fan ofChuck & Buck), and b.) George Lucas believes he has fixed it with these new cameras. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

I sent Shlonglor an angry rant yesterday, and he just responded. He said that I’m the kind of person he writes off immediately. So much for hopes of being saved…

In other news, I just finished my paper. I’m the best!

Digital conversion

Obviously, digital conversion (sounds like a new economy company name) from 35mm doesn’t make all that much sense, Jeff. But in concert with pure digital cameras–as you note Lucas is doing for Episode II–there’s nothing lost in any conversion. It’s a panacea.

Especially if Attack of the Clones is successful, more and more movies will probably be shot in native digital and then converted to film for normal theatres. From then on, the movie companies have a great reason to push for digital worldwide and it’s only a matter of time.

In other news, there are some hot deals available at www.hot-deals.org. PS2 for $275 shipped, a cool leather recliner and ottoman and $20 of office supplies for $75, and a 100 GB hard drive for $120 if you are a Sam’s Club member. Follow the link for more info. If you feel like blowing $75 on me for Christmas, I want the recliner, and you can keep the office supplies for your trouble!

Digital Projection

The question of digital vs. analog projection is pretty interesting. Film certainly sucks in terms of distribution and production costs, but I think there are still advantages in terms of image quality, especially for live action stuff. In any situation where you’re transferring an analog image to digital, you have to settle for taking a subset of the available information, which I’m not convinced is preferable to the filmic approach (which deals with detailed images by introducing grain). I have seen a couple of movies (in theaters) that have been SHOT on digital formats that have had digital artifacts (aliasing), and I would be hesitant to say that this doesn’t happen with high-tech digital projection until I’ve seen a couple of live action films on them. It’s certainly possible that digital projection is good enough in terms of image quality, but I still am not sure that it is better in this regard.

I freely concur that digital projection makes a lot of sense for Monsters, Inc, since the film version is just a lower generation dub of a digital original. This does nobody any good.

As kind of an aside, I hear that all of Star Wars Episode 2 is being filmed on fancy prototype high res digital cameras. No film is being shot at all. That should be interesting. I’m not sure if this hurts or helps my point.

As another aside, I’ve been doing a lot of research (well, minimal research. In books that I already own. Mostly picture books…) for this stupid Special Effects paper I’m writing. One interesting thing that I’ve come across is that, when artists are painting background mattes for a film, they generally try not to make it too photorealistic since that doesn’t translate well to the big screen. They look better on the movie screen than on paper. Weird. I’m not sure if this hurts or helps my point.

Uh, now that I think about it, this post is probably more suitable as a comment attached to your original post. So I suppose that’s another reason we should have comments capability. Because I’m a jackass.

Hi there… the reason I

Hi there… the reason I didn’t write about racketball is that I didn’t want to embarass you by pointing out how you were exploiting Dad’s physical rehabilitation for your own personal gain, peasej.

So a couple of weeks ago Deb and I noticed one of the screens at the AMC 20 was DLP, or Digital Light Processing. In other words, there’s no film involved–it’s a movie projected by a computer, like when you’re watching some k-rad internet porn you downloaded, like President Bush is here. Only much higher tech, much less likely to crash, and much more expensive (about $100K per system).

We just got back from taking in Monsters, Inc. in the DLP auditorium, and both Deb and myself were very impressed by the system.

  • The movie was perfectly framed, because some jackass being paid seven bucks an hour to sleep in the projection room isn’t responsible for changing the reels and the slides and putting the projector back in the right place. With DLP, the setup never needs to be touched, so the top of Brad Pitt’s melon or the bottoms of Anna Nicole Smith’s breasts will never be chopped off. Bonus!
  • In the “This movie is rated X for extended snowballing” screens, the aliasing you might get with very large-size fonts on your computer screen was actually visible. Seeing this during the previews made me concerned that I’d detect jagged edges on stuff in the movie, but it seems they just didn’t care enough to anti-alias the ratings screens. None of that was visible in the movie itself.
  • Most importantly, the movie seemed markedly cleaner and sharper than we remembered film looking. There was no graniness and no artifacts–dust, scratches, melting–that you might see with normal movie film.

I was interested in making certain we weren’t convincing ourselves of these things just because we knew the theatre was digital, so on our way out we dropped by a normal showing of Monsters, Inc., and both of us could immediately tell the difference. The print was more grainy and the colors were much less sharp and uniform.

My prediction is that this is the kind of thing that’s really going to start bothering me if I watch very many more DLP movies, to the point that I’ll actually go out of my way to avoid normal film in theatres. I’m guessing all those crackmonkeys who talk about movie film being superior to digital projection for anything but fixed costs are going to fall fast, and digital will take off like a rocket.

Now, the only question is, will the Texas Instruments system or the Qualcomm system be prevalent? (The Mission Valley 20 has a TI system, so I’m not sure how to compare the two.)

I encourage you to drop by the AMC 20, if you haven’t already, and catch a flick in the digital auditorium. You won’t be disappointed. If you hurry, you can see Monsters there; it was actually really, really good.

Racquetball. Stuff.

I’m not sure why Dave hasn’t written anything about racquetball yet, so I guess I have to. We played cutthroat with Dad (which really isn’t as ghastly as it sounds), and the final score was PeaseJ: 4, Pease[CD]: 0. I hope this doesn’t keep up, or I’m going to start feeling bad reporting the scores. In their defense, this was kind of a foregone conclusion because I drank, like, an entire gallon of eggnog last night, so I had a lot of extra energy.

Dean Kamen’s-secret-scooter-that-will-change-the-world(TM) will be unveiled tomorrow on Good Morning America, which is kind of cool (Side note: Does anybody remember that Razor scooters were cool for a week-and-a-half a while back? Weird, eh?) I’m not exactly sure if I’m excited by this thing or not. If I give Kamen the benefit of the doubt, that he has created a device that can be safely driven around at pedestrian speeds and that can run for days without charging the batteries, I still can’t decide if that’s the end-all-be-all. I have to walk around school all day, but I can’t say that it has ever really bothered me. I’m also not sure how this thing will get rid of cars in congested areas. Am I going to ride a scooter 5 miles to the store? And how do I get to congested area in which to drive around in my scooter? Wouldn’t I have to drive there in my car first (after loading a scooter in the trunk)? Maybe I’m missing something.

Maybe I think Segway (the scooter) is a bit misguided. The technology would be far cooler if it was built into a dinosaur robot that could run around eating Aibos (oh WHY won’t anybody answer the call?) However, this Kamen guy has an empire that includes his own island and two helicopters in his garage, ALL OF WHICH was financed by his past inventions, so I guess if I believe anybody could build the next big thing, it’d be him.

Ugh. Now I have to write my paper. Ugh.

I don’t want to work on my paper

I’ve just discovered that Troody, the badass autonomous dinosaur robot they’ve been building at MIT, was retired a couple of months ago. That really sucks. They should have sold the manufacturing rights to Tiger electronics or something so I could have bought one. I would train it to track down Aibos and voraciously consume them.

Troody Site

The rest of the MIT Leg Lab site is pretty cool too, but I don’t think that any of the other projects were near as cool as Troody.

MIT Leg Lab

Anthony Michael Hall

That Anthony Michael Hall CD looks pretty badass. My compliments to the chef or something.

I kind of take exception to the picture on the cover of the album, though. I’m not sure that this guy has the horsepower to assume that sullen, sunglassed pose. He looks like a cross between Eminem and John Tesh, and while I’m all for cross-germinating in the arts, I’m not ultimately sure that this works. I am however, pleased to see that it is a stereo recording. I vowed long ago that I wouldn’t buy any more of Hall’s recordings in mono.

In other news, for those keeping track at home, tonight’s racquetball match between PeaseD and myself had a final score of PeaseD: 2, PeaseJ: 2. I didn’t actually catch the line in Vegas. I hope nobody lost money or anything. Stay tuned for the Next Big Match on Sunday, this time special guest starring PeaseC, fresh out of retirement. It should be a scorcher!

Speaking of Fry’s…

Speaking of Fry’s, I found some way cool resources that you might be interested in.

The Google web directory has a topic called Allegedly Unethical Firms, and Fry’s is one of the companies with the most webpages dedicated to complaints and bitches. For some reason, I find the idea of a directory of Allegedly Unethical Firms very funny.

Anyway, this complaint-type page has a link to the BBB page for the San Diego Fry’s. The link is broken but I found the actual page by going to the Better Business Bureau page. If I’m reading it right, there are only two outstanding complaints. I don’t know anything about how many complaints the BBB gets per customer but this seems like a very low amount, considering the number of cattle–er, people that go through the door every day.

The best link, which I may have forwarded before, is the Fry’s Employment Application.

PeaseJ’s First Entry

Yo, yo, yo! Uh, I’m not sure where the Fry’s article is. Now that I think about it, I think it might have been a casualty of “The Great Laptop Purge” of 2000. I’ll look around for it. If I can’t find it, I can probably work up a new creamy lather of disdain for the store at a moments notice, so we can always rewrite the thing if need be. I’d suggest we do it completely in haiku, for a refreshing blast of culture.

Nice job on this logging thing, Dave. In my view, this thing alone is worth the price of admission, as long as we can keep it updated. I assume that this wouldn’t be a problem, since we rarely run out of insightful things to say. Especially Andres.

As whiz-bang as all of this is, I still feel a little bit naked without PHP on this site. Felix, you’re not going to make me learn CGI, are you?