Laura June picked up on Siri’s interesting thoughts on certain movies. She loves those with robots and artificial intelligence…
Many are in love with the new Facebook app and giving it high ratings. “Its App Store review average has risen from 1.5 stars to 4 stars in just three weeks since relaunch, Facebook told reporters at its headquarters.”
And apparently we were all chomping at the bit. Half of all iPhone users “updated their apps in just four days”. I was one of them and I love the new app’s speed. The old one was so slow I ignored it and placed it on my last page of apps.
There is a new meme floating around the internet and it involves finding the rarest of cult hits on Netflix. Anything from classic 80s comedies, to Japanese cartoons, even art-house flicks from the 50s.
Well, here is a new one, the 11-minute entertainment clips Netflix created to test out new streaming devices.
“This is television done right.” “Absolutely spellbinding!” “This wasn’t a show. It was a revelation.” These are only some of the raving customer reviews for Netflix’s first original TV show…I asked Netflix about it, and was told that the clips were produced a few years ago for testing purposes. Also, the moon-walking Shakespeare aficionado starring in them doesn’t actually work at Netflix. He’s a freelancer, specifically hired for this project.
It’s silly and childish, I know. But where else can you write an over-the-top review just to make yourself laugh?
The final review of the radiation leak at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Stations (SONGS) has been completed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Among its findings are that Southern California Edison (SCE) responded appropriately to the issue, while Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a company based in Japan, is to blame. They found that Mitsubishi’s “faulty computer modeling” resulted in mismatched components that, after only a year, had worn down significantly.
The good news is that we caught this issue before a catastrophic problem occurred, hinting that the safety protocols from SCE were adequate. The bad news is that we were one computer glitch away from a national disaster.
The outcome of all this is uncertain. You can bet that SCE would like to restart SONGS to start making money again, and they can do so by completing the checklist in the NRC report. They have said publicly this will not be until at least September, probably longer, meanwhile the public is digesting this news and preparing a public hearing from the NRC.
Many are speculating that since the plant was not needed during the heavy-use summer days, maybe it is not needed at all. But, that ignores the fact that other power plants were operating above capacity to compensate. Either way something will need to change, whether it’s an acceptance of the restart of SONGS, a new plan to make normal the over-operation of natural gas plants, or some blended model that takes into account the renewable energy sources coming online in the next few years.
It’s bold, it’s brash, and it’s 25 pages long. Don’t worry it has a table of contents. If you’re short on time, read the TOC and you’ll be up-to-date. Otherwise, sit back and dig in for a feature rich update on your favorite computer.
Apple’s traditional desktop computing business has suffered many indignities over the past decade. Once Apple’s flagship product line, the Mac first found itself playing second fiddle to the iPod—a mere music player—in the early 2000s. Today, matters are worse; on a graph of Apple’s revenues, the Mac now appears as a thin strip of earth while iOS devices are the mountain that sits upon it.
Apple presented last year’s release of OS X 10.7 Lion as part of a turn “back to the Mac.” Ostensibly, the tagline was Apple’s promise to bring innovations from its mobile operating system back to Mac OS X. But more broadly, it also meant that the Mac would receive more of Apple’s attention.
That attention resulted in some dramatic changes to aspects of the operating system that had not been reconsidered in decades: application launching, the document model, process management—even basics like window resizing and scrolling. As Apple’s newly refocused gaze fell upon its desktop operating system, many parts of it were deemed archaic and unworthy of continued existence.
At the end of last year’s Lion review, I concluded: “[Lion] marks the point where Mac OS X releases stop being defined by what’s been added. From now on, Mac OS X should be judged by what’s been removed.” Unfortunately, the surgery was not a complete success. There were… complications.
Source: ars technica - OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: the Ars Technica review
You have to give it to ars technica, they write the best, most in-depth reviews. If you’re interested in buying the new MacBook Air the whole 4-page article is worth reading.
But, to cheat, I skipped to the last page and copied the conclusions below:
The 2012 MacBook Air doesn’t look any different than its last couple of predecessors, but the upgrades on the inside are what make the machine. Although Apple elected not to try and squeeze a “retina” class display into the MacBook Air this year, such a change would have come with great sacrifice to performance and battery life. And let’s be honest—with the MacBook Air, there’s very little wiggle room on either of those metrics. For me at least, I would rather have the performance and battery life.
For someone like me upgrading from a 2010 MacBook Air, or even a MacBook Pro from the last couple years, it would be no question: go ahead and buy one of Apple’s latest MacBook Airs. The performance increase is noticeable even during everyday use (even while using the lowest-end 2012 machine), and Apple finally gives users the option to upgrade from the soldered-on 4GB of RAM to 8GB of RAM in the Air.
Finally, this makes it a more serious machine than it was pre-WWDC, and the battery life of the MacBook Air has reached a respectable level as well. With the addition of Thunderbolt for I/O and USB 3.0 this year, it’s going to be difficult to convince me (or most other existing Air owners) to go back to a MacBook Pro—unless they are hankering for that shiny new retina display or even more significant performance improvements.
“Snow White and the Huntsman” reinvents the legendary story in a film of astonishing beauty and imagination. It’s the last thing you would expect from a picture with this title. It falters in its storytelling, because Snow White must be entirely good, the Queen must be entirely bad, and there’s no room for nuance. The end is therefore predetermined. But, oh, what a ride.
“Snow White and the Huntsman,” starring a fierce Kristen Stewart and an even fiercer Charlize Theron as warring sides of good and evil, is a baroque enchantment filled with dazzling darkness, desultory dwarfs, demonic trolls and beastly fairies. It is an absolute wonder to watch and creates a warrior princess for the ages. But what this revisionist fairy tale does not give us is a passionate love — its kisses are as chaste as the snow is white.
Both reviews fawned over the special effects in the movie, from the overbearing castle to the forbidding forest. Describing it as “a triumph of art direction and CGI” and, “a forest lush with bewitching flora and fauna is otherworldly to behold.”
Which means you can count me in, I love that stuff!
A review of the reviews from Om Malik.
The new iPad reviews are out and here is my summary of those reviews: LTE is fast, the retina display is stunning and immersive, the new processor is speedy, the camera takes great pictures now, and the more (1 GB) memory makes the iPad awesome. In short, it is totally worth buying and upgrading.
The new iPad is a little fat and little heavy, but don’t worry — wear an untucked shirt and no one would notice. Oh, but the way, bulk or not, it is still the tablet king and it totally kicks Android’s derriere. It is a little expensive, but don’t worry, it is worth it.
My favorite review is that by Dalrymple, so read it. The old hand Mossberg is still the gold standard when it comes to reviews. And Gruber is well Gruber.
The only thing I have to add is that ars technica always has the best review but it takes several days to come out. I’ll post that once it hits the presses, until then enjoy these.
From a fantastic new book called Bureaucratics come these photos of bureaucrats around the world. For the full story check out brain pickings review.
Hugo dazzlingly conjoins the earliest days of cinema with the very latest big-screen technology.
..this opulent adaptation of Brian Selznick’s extensively illustrated novel is ostensibly a children’s and family film, albeit one that will play best to sophisticated kids and culturally inclined adults.
Not sure which one I am a sophisticated kid or a culturally inclined adult?
No matter you should see this movie, indeed I may see it again, just for the 3D. It is absolutely mesmerizing from the multiple layers of snowfall over every outdoor shop to the depth of crowds inside the train station.
I haven’t seen such amazing work since Avatar and I daresay it’s even better. Add onto that a historical edge, filmmaking in Paris in the 1930s, and you have a delightful December movie.
For anyone remotely interested in film history, Hugo must be seen in 3D
The richness of detail and evident care that has been extended to all aspects of the production are of a sort possible only when a top director has a free hand to do everything he or she feels is necessary to entirely fulfill a project’s ambitions.