3D TV sounds like the next big thing for your in house gadgetry collections, but in truth, how many people are actually going to buy it?
Based on the popularity of made-for-3D movies like Avatar, electronics giants have been producing and marketing 3D TVs as the next big thing to occupy your living room space.
Very few movie films and even less television shows use 3D technology, which means that if you were to get a 3D TV, you would also have to purchase expensive 3D blu-ray films in order to enjoy your 3D experience.
Also, some films asked for movie goers to “See It In 3D” but sadly flopped in that aspect because the 3D technology was sprinkled on as a last minute addition. Truthfully, 3D movies haven’t proven to be a great experience just yet. Some sentiments gathered were that the glasses were too heavy and uncomfortable to wear or it darkens the film, washing out the colours. Other sentiments on the 3D films were that the 3D effects did not create a big impact on the film. What I understand is that 3D has not brought much value to the movie experience other than a little depth between objects in focus and those out of focus or foreground and background.
Right now, even with the 3D technology, films are still shown at the screen away from the audience. What would really improve the 3D experience is to bring the film away from the screen, right to the audience, allowing viewers to feel and experience the movie right beside them. There is just not enough value provided in the current technology of 3D and unless something is done about it, 3D will soon fall as a preferred way to watch movies and TV.
Did TV makers listen to their target customers? Did they understand them before they set out on the conquest of the 3D market? Or was it just monkey see, monkey do?
If you don’t know what [REC]2 is, it’s the sequel of a spanish zombie flick [REC] which got remade in English as Quarantine.
I never watched [REC] but I did watch Quarantine and I walked out of the cinema stunned and scared. It was a good zombie show but shot in the likes of Blair Witch Project where the camera man is part of the story. Quarantine provided lots of scares, gore and suspense. The story in the first part revolves around a TV reporter and a crew of firemen rushing to a building to help save people only to get locked and quarantined in the building where a deadly infection causes people to lose control of themselves and turn violent. Part 2 switches firemen for a spanish SWAT team given orders to enter the building to find out more about the origins of the infection.
I expected a lot from [REC]2 due to online reviews of [REC] stating that it was better than Quarantine. Truth was, I didn’t walk out of the cinema as scared after the show. Suspense was watered down in this second installment, and so were the zombies. The main focus of the story switched over to the cause of the infections.
The film’s take on the origins of the zombie infection draws me in despite not being much of a scare fest. Details within the movie were handled very well and are much appreciated.
Should you watch it?
Definitely watch the first part before watching the second as the second takes off immediately after the event of the last scene of part one. And if you’ve watched [REC] or Quarantine and liked it, this is an interesting continuation so put it on your radar.
Long overdue movie reviews coming up! And I’m gonna kick them off with none other than… Kick Ass!
Kick Ass is essentially like Lost Season 6. It’s 2 separate story lines that merge into one at the end of the movie.
One is about the life of an ordinary teenager who questions why no one is willing to don a mask and aid people on the streets like super heroes. And thus, he takes it upon his powerless self to be THE super hero that people need. Like all antagonists, he meets multiple challenges along the way. I find myself asking that same naive question sometimes. After all, being a geek is a special kind of super power isn’t it?
The other story is about the life of father and daughter. I shall not spoil their back story suffice to say, though they aren’t mutants, aliens, bitten by radioactive spiders or over exposed to gamma rays, they are decent crime fighters. Their abilities are self trained and honed just like Batman and to add to the kick, the girl looks like she’s barely 14. Or maybe younger.
All in all, this show is a blast of violence and action mixed with geek fantasies that makes you believe geeks get the hottest chicks. (I actually do believe in that. I mean, look at Transformer’s Shia LeBouf and Megan Fox.) I really like the parts featuring the little girl doing her ninja assassin stuff. You have to watch it to know what I mean.
What I think the movie lacks is a sense of epic which I attribute to the fact that this story is an amalgamation of two story lines and thus, the exploration of the characters may not be as deeply satisfying. I can’t possibly expect every movie to be like The Dark Knight can I? I definitely still wish for a better story though.
Should you watch it?
If you’re up for 2 hours of humor, violence and action, I say give it a go, it’s definitely worth a watch for some interesting direction.
5 Slide Decks to Introduce Digital Marketing Strategy.
These slide decks found on slideshare will give you a good general overview of the digital marketing landscape. Some of them can be very detailed and will take some time to go through, but time well spent especially if you’re in the business of digital marketing.
Facebook, Privacy and You. Screw "privacy" because you're not Spiderman.
There’s been widespread panic over the possibility of facebook taking over the interwebs following Facebook’s announcements during their f8 conference held a few days ago. It’s almost as if people are afraid that what The Matrix portrayed might really come to pass and the AIs could possibly hold us hostage by knowing too much about us, feeding off the social connections and interactions between the human kind.
I think that instead of being afraid, let us take it one step at a time because we never know if this new technology might bring us one step forward in our human evolution if we use it right. Why? Because if you actually saw or read Facebook’s vision of the internet, you’d understand that it’ll be a digital space where we will all be more connected to each other and the internet will also be more personal at the same time.
This vision can only work if developers understand you on a personal level. It’s not just Facebook that wants to get to know you. It’s also people who want to make the world better for you.
All of this also reminds me of the Civil War arc of the Marvel Universe which depicts a world where super heroes have to register as official crime fighters under the Government and it is mandatory to reveal their true identity. Some were unwilling to do it because it would endanger their loved ones if the villains knew who they were. Spiderman was greatly affected by it as few ever knew his real identity.
But you are not Peter Parker, you are not Spiderman. Developers just want to know what you like so that they can move the world forward by creating applications that help. Marketers want to bring relevant products to you. Your friends want to share with you what they found interesting.
So why are you still fighting the future of the web? And don’t give me nonsense about “privacy”. You lost it the moment you updated your first status on Facebook.
Note: This post is potentially full of web jargon used in the past decade+ years of my web usage.
1998 - 2001 The Medieval Internet Age
Over the past decade, I have been living a digital life almost every day. (Barring days in an army camp without access to any computer.) The rate at which people change the way they use the net has been so rapid that you’ll probably miss a technology with a blink of an eye.
This series will be a summary of a tech geek’s journey through cyberspace in the past 12 years. I hope to summarize the web trends I’ve experienced thus far through my retrospective lens. And no, I will not talk about porn. Not today anyway!
I will begin this 3 part series from the time I first got my 56k modem and got connected to the vast interwebs. Back then, I mixed up the intranet with internet. Most would just call me a noob. Not that I really knew what that meant either. But I learn fast, and in days, it was my turn to call others noob. It never felt this great to be a geek. And nowadays, when shows like Kick Ass and Transformers continually reassure you that geeks score the hottest girls, I can’t help but let loose a sly smile, satisfied that I chose the right path.
I first got hold of an internet connection in 1998, my first year in Singapore’s Secondary level of education. At that time, a 56k modem was the norm and internet speed was (to me) snail paced at best. But I never knew the wonders of broadband so I was content sitting before the monitor waiting for animated gifs. During that time, I used both Internet Explorer and Netscape to browse the net. And yes, I was plagued with pop up advertisements and malwares due to terrible security.
Web portals were the hype in those days, with Yahoo! and Excite dominating the web portal business. They provided almost the same benefits but as we all know, search was terrible. Then came search engines like altavista and askjeeves that never did too well either. (Of course I’m comparing them to Google.)
The defacto web email service of the day was Hotmail, with it’s infamous self advertisement at the bottom of every email you send out using it’s service. Pretty much everyone had a hotmail account. Every stone you throw, you’d probably hit a email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Having multiple email accounts was important as the spam filters weren’t great then, so you could use one email for work and the other to sign up for accounts which were the usual suspects for spam. As the web portals such as Yahoo and Excite started to offer email services, it became cool to have an account at each one too!
Mass Internet Relay Chat, MIRC. Singaporeans usually connect to the Galaxynet server. Being a channel admin used to be a big thing. You even get an @ prefixed to your IRC nick. You were the king of the channel and you could kick or ban others if you disliked them. Privately messaging people and asking people for their A/S/L could get you laid. (A/S/L = Age, Sex, Language… or whatever L is, it’s not as important.) Guys tend to private message others more than girls. And if your nick sounded sexy or pretty (like Sexygal87 or babyangel85), you’re sure to score multiple private messages a night. It was at that time that a select group of internet users started to develop a weird typing disease that caused them to TyPe LiKe ThAt. Yeah, nicks were things like cUtEyP|3, b0|iNw0nD3rL@nD…… you get the drift. Channels you have to be in include your birth year (#1985, #1986, #1987 etc), your school (#TCHS, #SCGS, #NYGH, #RI, #ACSI, #SJI etc), schools in your neighbourhood (refer to previous list for examples), your cca (#band, #ncc, #npcc etc). That makes me wonder, were there gang channels??? (#369, #PHT, #AST, #ZPS)…
ICQ was the norm at that time, giving each user their unique id number with which you could add your friends to your instant messenger friends list with. ICQ’s “Uh Oh!!!” sound when you get a new message from a friend will remain one of the most haunting sounds I’ll remember my whole life whether for it’s effectiveness in alerting me or in the sheer annoyance of the cutesey sound. Comic Sans was one of the favourite fonts used when chatting.
Geocities and Tripod led to the first age of personal websites for the common people to showcase their ability to put together animated gifs, repeated backgrounds and terrible font colours. It was like everyone was creating their own Frankenstein of a website. Horrendous and illegible, but those were the beginnings of user created content.
Internet was such a new technology, buzz and excitement about the internet was all over the news. It was the next step in the evolution of man kind. But as with the medieval age, it was a dark age indeed. At the end of the internet medieval age, year 2001, the internet bubble burst causing a worldwide financial crisis.
Share with me how you used the internet in those years before the internet bubble burst. What were some of the unique experiences of the internet at that time?
Appalled by the quality of local freelance web designer's creations.
Just for curiosity’s sake, I did a google search for freelance web designers in Singapore and looked through the portfolio of the top few search results. Like my title suggests, I was appalled. It was no simple shock. It was one BIG FAT shock!
The first thoughts that ran through my mind were horrible and amateurish. These guys ain’t no web designers… they’re impersonating as one. My previous colleagues Taqin will curse them like there’s no tomorrow. I shall not point names but you can do your own google search and check it out yourselves. If you are in need of a website, PLEASE do NOT throw them your money for those ugly templatized sites. All they seem to do is copy an outdated template and change the content to fit yours.
If you want to see what true professionals can do, please go to Smashing Magazine and have a look at stuff around there. They also have galleries of well designed sites collected. Compare and you tell the differences immediately. One’s like Shrek and the other’s like Fiona before she turned Ogre.
I have my utmost respect to contributors of the opensource movement. A movement with sharing as it’s basis. Their willingness to share their creation with the world puts them at a different league. What would the world be without the Creative Commons License?
So there, today I share 2 sites that have given me resources to create designs with great typography.
Of course we listen to The Killers while we code or read books or mug our brains into juice. That’s if you’re not listening to Lady Gaga on the Telephone of course.
Now, the earlier parts of the book was pretty much a breeze but as I got deeper (in fact just about another 50 pages deeper), I realized it was getting insanely hard for me to understand the concepts. It’s not that the concepts were exceedingly hard to get or that they were baked in cupcake style, but not knowing the Ruby code syntax was holding me back.
When do I use @text and what’s an instance variable? When do I use text as a class variable? When do I use <%= %> and when do I use <% %> without the = sign in it? What’s going on with |text|? What’s those 2 pipe characters doing there? And what the hell is this, and what the heck is that?
That was a random bunch of bananas that confused me. It’s like looking at the familiar characters in Japanese language but not understanding what they mean.
Following along with the book is an easy task. I mean, look! The application is working as it should. In fact now the application has an Ajax enabled sidebar cart that updates on the go without reloading the page as users add items to the cart.
However, following along hasn’t helped me become the ub3r 1337 h@ck3r I’m supposed to become. In fact, if you asked me if I could make a beautiful website for you with 120398123 features after following through with the book, I’d probably say “YES!” And I’d definitely make a half ASS-ed one for you.
But hey, we all start somewhere don’t we? Even Frodo started from being Gandalf’s pet boy. Now look at what the ONE RING has made him. So whimsicality aside, I set out on my own Journey to the Ruby. And today’s been a day of primarily Ruby.
Every single thing I learned today makes me go “Ahhhhhhh”. NO! Not that kinda sexy “ahhhhh” or “ooohhhhhh”. I don’t do no such thing when confronted with endless lines of code. I’m not sick in the mind or something. I mean the kind of “Ahhhh” that you relate to shiny light bulbs popping over your head.
So yes, it has been a good day. I expect myself to be Ruby-fied enough by the end of the learning session that my face is probably going to glow red like one huge Ruby.