Archive for September 26th, 2008

Random Stuff, Part 25

* My Pegasos/Morphos machine is now donated to the Computer History Museum. I am very happy that this machine found a good home.

* I hate software. I really do. When my new PC came in last week, I put back my old 21″ vertical display for web browsing to my older PC. However, because –as I had blog posted last year– nVidia GeForce’s driver didn’t support full acceleration for rotated displays, I had to download the latest one to see if they added such support. Well, they haven’t. But in any way, I had a new driver, so all was good. Until I loaded my Sony Vegas with “Magic Bullet for Editors 2.0”. When the GPU is enabled in Magic Bullet’s dialog, everything is rendering with a strong fucking red tint. I don’t know if Magic Bullet was relying on a bug that nVidia fixed in the meantime, or that nVidia introduced a new bug, but the point of the matter is, all my video projects were now useless. All my shots were red. Apparently, sometime in the last few months this problem was introduced so I went back to a December 2007 nvidia driver and it’s good again. It seems that most of the 17x versions introduce the problem, but the v169 doesn’t. Just so you know, the problem was only with “Magic Bullet for Editors 2.0”, not with the version of “Magic Bullet Movie Looks HD” that used to be supplied freely with Vegas, or with the new “Magic Bullet Suite” version. Update: The latest v186+ version of the nVidia drivers fix the problem!

Update: Motherfucking video drivers. Now Windows won’t go to sleep. The “stand by” option is now disabled! I never had this before.

* This morning while sleeping, I felt that someone was leaning on the side of my bed (JBQ was already at work btw). I got panicked and tried to move. I couldn’t move, I was paralyzed. Panicked some more. And then I shouted to my self: “MOVE”. And I moved, which woke me up. I looked around and there was no one there. So I fell back asleep. When back asleep, after seeing a normal dream, I felt that I was waking up because I was seeing a shadow on the bed, and it felt so real, but I managed to moved again (and wake up for real). That was the point that I realized that most of these alien abductions (if not all) are just what they seem to be: sleep disorders. You see, there was no chance in hell, that I could “see” a shadow on my bed, because I was sleeping at the time — even if I thought I wasn’t. Yes, it felt like it was real, because I was dreaming of myself sleeping in that bed — which is what I was doing. But when I deterministically ordered myself to move, I actually woke up for reals. Of course, the believers will always say that I wasn’t fully sleeping, and that I was seeing the shadow with “my third eye”. Or some bullshit like that.

* Mac fans disappointed in GTK+ port, says WebMonkey. How could they not be? The Lunix developers tried to “sell” their unpolished crap to Mac users. That shit can never fly in the Mac platform without some strong integration and beautification. So that’s a release that goes straight to /dev/null.

Kids’ fascination with death

As a moderator of many channels at Vimeo, I get to watch a fair bit of HD videos uploaded daily by its users. One thing has stroke me in the last 8 months though, that’s pretty unsettling: most mini-stories written and directed by kids (and their friends), usually younger than 16 years old, are ALL end in death. Usually by a gunshot.

It’s one thing to watch 2-3 videos that are like that and let it be as “kids fooling around”, but when the huge majority of story-fied teenage videos end up with a gunshot, it’s very disturbing. Especially when to come to think of it from the point of view that the kids who actually do sit down and direct a story, are the most creative ones. So if the most creative of our kids are so violent and single-dimensional, what good are the rest ones?

I don’t want to sound like a 60 year old whining about the youth and where it’s heading, but truth is, there is definitely something wrong with the upbringing of these kids. I don’t believe that any kid from my class would have written such grim stories in that age. Also, please note that I am not against grim movies (heh, my own short story ends in death too), but there’s a difference between a deeper story that sadly ends in death, and a story written as a plot device for that death scene only.

Update: Here’s one today.

Are gaming videos art?

A few weeks ago Vimeo decided that uploaded videos that show computer games in action are to be banned. Many got seriously pissed off about this decision, as Vimeo was offering them a good 720p HD quality to upload their gaming videos. Vimeo argued that these videos are not art, plus, many computer games companies are arguing that they own the copyright of the images, and therefore Vimeo can’t allow such videos.

I am personally siding with Vimeo on this subject. These computer games are indeed copyrighted, along with all the images generated from them. As ludicrous this sounds, it’s how it is. Additionally, I don’t find these videos to be any kind of art — apart from the art of the gameplay ability itself. The gamer only offers the gameplay seen on these videos, and nothing else. On real videos, that you shoot with a camera, the shooter needs to take a lot of things into account, it’s a much more complicated affair than just enabling FRAPS to do the recording for you.

And honestly, I don’t see what this whole fascination of showing off yourself killing monsters is. What kind of self-expression is this?

Why “Heroes” sucks

While the NBC broadcast on Monday bombed for “Heroes”, the bittorrent version went well. However, I do expect that the bittorrent fans of “Heroes” to eventually also stop watching too.

The reason is “Heroes” itself. I can’t identify with it. It looks like a show about some people that I care nothing about. It’s spread too thin over some convoluted and repeated “change the future/don’t change the future” crap, and that’s just not serious.

I urge you to find for me two recurring characters apart from Claire’s adopting parents who DO NOT have a super power. Even Mohinder and Ando now have or destined to have super powers. This takes away a lot of the realism of the show, so much that it makes it irrelevant. It’s like the whole Earth is full of these special people, while it’s not the case in the “Heroes” universe.

And some more crap: Niki now has a new power, out of thin air? Peter last year lost his memory and this year is in another body? What an unlucky guy, isn’t he? And Hiro being stupid just for the sake of moving the plot forward? And why no one is staying dead in that series?

In my opinion, Heroes needs a complete reboot.