January 29, 2007

Babel (2006 movie)

Filed under: Uncategorized — yeeguy @ 12:58 pm

Just saw “Babel” on Friday with Brad, Becky, George, Julie, Sandra and Ken.  Probably one of the last movies Jami and I will get to see in a theater prior to Hamilton’s arrival!

After the movie we all had different opinions about the movie, ranging from “very well done” to “totally random connections between people” to “I wanted to walk out.”  All agreed it was a pretty depressing movie.  Jami and I compared the movie to “The Story of Qiu Ju” (admittedly Communist propaganda where “the nail that stands up” ends up hammering down a pillar of her own community, but still beautifully executed) — that’s another movie that features the unpredictable outcomes that can stem from human actions.  Anyway, I dunno what made me think about “Babel” this morning (three days later), but it suddenly struck me that the whole movie was biblical allegory.

(spoiler-ish analysis after the “More” link.)



January 9, 2007

Apple iPhone

Filed under: Uncategorized — yeeguy @ 4:23 pm

While at Macworld, I also watched a demo of the new Apple iPhone.  Pretty impressive little device!  Am looking forward to trying it out in June, when it should be available at Apple and Cingular stores.  Would love to replace my Blackberry with a device that has a good MP3 player, video capabilities, and a camera.  My main concern about the iPhone is the touchscreen keyboard.  Not sure if/how thumbing will work on that, but will just have to try it out in a store to tell, I guess.

Other concerns:
 – web browsing via wifi seemed pretty slow during the demo
 – am afraid that surfing over Cingular’s EDGE network will be even slower (it’s EDGE, not 3G/HSPDA, boo!)
 – push email is only supported for Yahoo email (not sure why they have that constraint; will push *any* IMAP/POP email to a Blackberry device)
 – they did not demo the camera at all, not sure what photo/video quality is like
 – and an overall concern: Apple claims that the iPhone runs OS X, but it’s looks like a custom OS written for the phone.  Same for Safari — they say the iPhone runs the “same Safari” as any Mac, but it’s clearly a custom phone app.  So, this ultimately could be just like Microsoft’s Windows Mobile and Pocket Internet Explorer.  Microsoft’s
mobile offerings were pitched the same way when they were first announced (e.g., “get the Microsoft apps that you’re used to, right in the palm of your hand!”), but in practice have proven to be very unreliable on the Treo 700W with lots of random device freeze-ups and restarts.  We’ll just have to see how the iPhone performs after it comes out…

Overall: I’m curious, but am not holding my breath!

Apple TV

Filed under: Uncategorized — yeeguy @ 4:19 pm

Happy New Year! 

I just wandered over to the Macworld Expo and checked out some of the latest stuff from Apple.  One item that caught my eye is the new Apple TV.

Seems OK, but not as cool as a full on Apple-powered DVR/Tivo.  Basically, think of Apple TV as a big video iPod that happens to use your TV as a display and pumps sound through your stereo speakers instead of headphones.

You have to sync the aTV with iTunes on a Mac in order to move songs/videos/TVshows/movies from iTunes into the aTV unit.  You can set it up to sync automatically, I think.

So the whole system still revolves around your Mac+iTunes as the controller for your media collection.  E.g., buy a new music video in iTunes on your Mac, and then sync it to your aTV unit in order to play the video on your home stereo & TV.

Not sure why this is better than just plugging a Macbook into your home stereo & TV directly through the built-in audio & video outputs when you want to play a movie on your TV.  I guess it’s for folks who want to have an Apple device dedicated to their living room and it’s cheaper to buy an aTV than to dedicate a full-on Mac computer to that purpose?

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