Archive for March 19th, 2008

Adobe, Flash, Apple, iPhone and trolls

Engadget posted the news that Adobe will port Flash to the iPhone. I replied there:

“Excuse me, but am I missing something here? You see, I am NOT interested in the “Flash Lite 3.0” standalone application, like the ones found on many cellphones. I am interested in a full Flash plugin FOR the web browser. The LICENSE of the SDK *specifically prohibits* “plugins”. Unless Adobe kisses and makes up with Apple to get special treatment, there CAN’T BE a web browser Flash plugin. Lite or full.”

The reply I got from another user:
“I just adblocked your avatar. If that’s really you, I am very sorry.”

Flash-forward to today. Engadget makes a new story about Adobe and Apple:

“we do need to work with Apple beyond and above what is available through the SDK and the current license around it” and “if we see this package pop up in the App Store later this year, we’ll know that at least one company’s been given a free pass to break the rules.”

Ugly or not, I am usually right.

Dedication

I remembered today a great uncle and a great aunt of mine (brother and sister) still living in the mountainous north Greece. The great uncle was born with health problems, he is disfigured and he can’t control his body well. They are both in their 70s now. My aunt never got married. She dedicated her life in taking care of her brother. Sending him to an institute was not an option as not only these cost money, money that sheep herders don’t have to spend, but also because back in the day Greece didn’t even have such institutes, and the ones that appeared later were abysmal in living conditions. So she stayed with him. Never got married, never had a companion in her life. I am sure that there would have been some arranged marriage talks in her youth (that’s how it was done back then in the rural Greece), but by mentioning of also taking care of her brother probably cut these deals off. That’s true love, and even more importantly in this case, true responsibility, right there.

Stupid networks

Lindelof revealed the real reason the four-toed statue has yet to be seen again on ‘Lost’: “After the monument first appeared “we got a note back from the network that said, ‘This is too weird,'” he explained. “I was like, ‘Do you watch the show? This is too weird?’ Essentially, they said, ‘Could it be a six-toed statue?’ I was like, ‘Someone explain to me why a six-toed statue is less weird than a four-toed statue?’ And they’re still noodling on that.”

24p: overrated

Stefan Sargent is a veteran cameraman/director/editor with untold years of experience. And in his latest article he takes on the legacy of 24p. As I too suggest: stay away from 24p. It’s overrated. The “film look” is not 24p, it’s a combination of at least 10 different things. Especially now that we have a TV at home that “smooths out” 24p movies to the point that you think that they are 30p or higher, it makes no longer sense to me seeing people shooting at 24fps, which is a frame rate that we are stuck since 1924 for technical reasons rather than aesthetical reasons. Anyways, read his article and take his advice on stop shooting 24p with your HV20 without understanding why you are doing so.

Update: Hollywood director James Cameron agrees.

Arrested Development

A few days ago I mentioned that I watched for the first time “Arrested Development” (AD) at Hulu.com. I decided to watch it not only because it’s one of the most watched series at that site, not only because of its extremely high 9.7/10 IMDb rating, but also because I had indeed heard good things about it (some call it the “smartest sitcom ever”). Although, I got to say that when the show was on FOX, I avoided it because it felt cheap to me.

Five days later after re-discovering though, I have finished watching all 3 seasons (hopefully Comcast won’t cut us off for excessive bandwidth usage).

The series is sitcom-like, but at the same time very different from your usual Hollywood stuff. The only series that come close to its style are “Curb your Enthusiasm” and “The Office”. It’s shot with cheap digital cameras (first episodes just used the $5000 DVX100), it has no DOF, it’s shot in 60i like most soap operas, and it’s cheap, cheap, cheap. But the writing is unbelievably good.

Tobias

The first season is the best of the three, and every episode is guaranteed to make you laugh loud many times during the 22 minutes of runtime per episode. The second season is not as good, but still watchable, and the third one is a bit of a disaster. That was when it was canceled. However, the first season alone makes up for some of the best television you will ever see in your life. Ok, it’s not as funny as “Fawlty Towers”, but it’s close. I also like that it had a very serialized plot, instead of self-contained episodes.

While watching the series, I kept having this feeling that this kind of “situation comedy” felt familiar. It took me three days to realize that the comedic style of AD is similar to most sitcoms on the Greek TV. It’s just that AD does it much better. The writing is unbelievable good, as it has so many references to things or older jokes. Some of the jokes are very subtle, but at the same time very clever that require extra brain power to process. And of course, words like “fuck” are a daily treat, this is not a wussy sitcom.

My favorite character in AD is Tobias Fünke, an Analyst and Therapist (his business card’s title reads: “Analrapist”). Tobias is a gay man in denial who hasn’t come to terms with his sexuality (he’s married to a woman).

One day he walks in to that sex shop that he has visited so many times before.
Transvestite Store Clerk: Are you going to actually buy something this time, or are you just curious?
Tobias Fünke: Well, let’s just say that I’m buy-curious.

On another occasion, Tobias tries to pick up his (straight) lawyer, Bob:
Tobias Fünke: So, what are your plans for this evening?
Bob Loblaw: I thought that maybe I would stay in and work on my law blog.
Tobias Fünke: Ah, yes. The “Bob Loblaw Law Blog”. You, sir, are a mouthful.

Hilarious.

One Million Miles Away

What an amazing song. By J. Ralph. Listen below.

The inevitability of getting caught

Two-three times a week I stumble either to an email, or to forum posts on several video places online asking: “why my Vegas installation does not accept HDV video? It says that it can’t read it“. My reply always is: “Do you by any chance use the pirated version of Vegas?“.

And somehow, they never reply back. It’s like the internets stop working for them.