It wasn’t too long ago when Hong Kong movies often copied plots from big budget Hollywood films. But it seems the tide has been turning lately having seen a few Hollywood films simply buying out rights of foreign films and produce a big budget version of its own with inferiority in quality and depth.
I wasn’t surprised to see Martin Scorsese’s The Departed winning all kinds of awards in the West having known the plot is almost an exact copy of Hong Kong’s Infernal Affairs trilogy. But what I didn’t expect was how The Departed sucked in comparison to the original film that it borrowed ALL of its plot and characters from, but yet it won critical acclaims just because it attached a bigger budget, internationally known director and big shot actors. To be fair, The Departed is pretty ambitious in that it tries to condense a story told in trilogy with just one film. But the resulting movie wasn’t all that impressive given everything that was thrown behind this big budget film. Let’s just say it wasn’t the best work for most of the persons involved in this film. In comparison, with Infernal Affairs, it brought out the best in everyone who participated in the film.
It appears that Hollywood is running out of ideas as of late. They now produce more sequels, stories from old titles and foreign copies than genuinely fresh and interesting ideas (even though the Indies are supposed to take care of that problem, very few of them actually make it to nation wide release with big marketing push).
Today I got another call from a recruiter about a potential Ajax/LAMP position they are looking to fill. Without me doing any active advertising, this is probably the 5th or 6th contact from recruiting companies looking to fill a similar position in the San Francisco Bay Area.
This reminds me of Jason’s comment on how his other programmer friends told him that any coder in the Bay Area can get a job if he just sticks his resume on a rock and slingshot it in any direction. Just a couple of days ago, VMWare’s recruiter also contacted me about a similar position…
This morning Murdza forwarded me an email containing some stuff from Barnes and Noble. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was about some exclusive line of back to school products Barnes and Noble is promoting with SCAD. Looks like SCAD is really expanding its reach and influence by trying out different things. This may have been done with other schools before, but it’s certainly a first with SCAD that I am aware of.
Come to think of it, this is actually an excellent idea especially for art schools since these designs are originated from students currently attending the college. It really helps to shed the image of “starving artist” and bring more attention to how SCAD actually tries pretty hard to get students to land on their feet in the commercial market with a running start (or I should say, harder than most art and design schools that I know of). Some background info about this partnership with Barnes and Noble from BN’s website:
This item is part of a unique product development partnership with student artists from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Working with SCAD’s Working Class Studio, Barnes & Noble has produced an exclusive “Back-to-Campus Collection” consisting of nine journals, two pencil pouches, a sketchbook, and a canvas messenger bag decorated with student-designed contemporary graphics.
Working Class Studio is a product development venture of the Savannah College of Art and Design. Each academic quarter, students are selected as interns to form an interdisciplinary design team led by studio directors. The studio manufactures a line of products based on the team’s market research and designs which are then sold nationwide. This innovative concept for an educational institution marries function and fine art to deliver a well-curated mix of cutting-edge design.
SCAD is obviously taking risk on producing and marketing students’ work using its own resources. But I think that’s really a non-risk because SCAD students work have been pretty consistently excellent. I just hope the students who worked on these projects got paid a lot more than the “work study” wages.
Yesterday we finally decided we should have a look at this “revolutionary” device called the iPhone at the local mall. After taking turns playing with the phone, Grace went to the GAP while Bryan and I just hung out. I mean, I loved the phone, but I just don’t use my phone enough to justify buying one. So we went home.
Last night, I tossed and turned and dreamed about the stupid iPhone all night long… Maye my subconscious REALLY wants one. At least my dreams were about how certain “fictional” iPhone commercials were made in my dreams. Grace’s dream is about how I got her one… hah hah…
In reading some criticisms for the new Mac OSX Leopard, I cam across this interesting design for potential OS use:
A while ago, I documented some other interesting OS level file organization innovations. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen much of anything implemented with recent introduction of operating systems from the major players.
The video above reminds me of Sun’s “Looking Glass” project:
Whatever innovation someone else comes up with, one thing is certain — Japanese are going to improve upon it, no matter how mundane or insignificant it is. Take the crop fields, long believed to be aliens’ messages to the low life earthlings about their 2nd coming, err, I meant first contact… Only Japanese can see past that crap and make them with an artistic twist.
Apparently this guy has been doing it for years. Check out more of his other work. Now that’s something even the UFOs could appreciate.
Granted there are actually a number of other browsers not listed there, given IE’s lion’s share in the market, I found it amusing that they chose not to mention it at all. Considering Microsoft bailed out Apple at the brink of its demise back in the days, perhaps Apple ought to be a little nicer to Redmond even if they know Microsoft is just making bad copies of whatever Apple makes anyway…
I read somewhere today that Firefox has been gaining a lot of ground at the expense of IE, especially in Europe. It’s weird that Europe and Asia are always at the cutting edge of things even though some (if not most) of those technologies are often originated from the other side of the pond. As a web developer, this is a welcome news. And it should force Microsoft to do some introspection (if that’s even possible) on finally adhering to some industry-wide standards and really innovate. There are days when I can’t believe I still argue with people as to why they are still using IE if they are not being forced to use it for compatibility reasons (i.e. “my bank only supports IE”… my answer would be, “what kind of idiotic bank is that?”).
In other news, it seems like people are running to the Macs these days. Jason is at the brink of getting one pending certain conditions are met (though AJ already has my old PowerBook G4). Many friends who used to laugh at the idea of using a Mac are now hardcore Mac users (albeit some are using the hardware to run Linux). But overall, just within my own sphere of influence, people are getting fed up with having to install multiple virus scanners (seems like ONE just doesn’t cut it anymore), 3rd party firewall software and still getting their computers ruined for one reason or another… Just within the past 3 months, I’ve already heard multiple instances of people getting their Paypal/bank accounts exploited, files infected and OS blue screened, all happened behind the comfort of those so-called virus/malware/spyware scanners. They must make tons of money from those licenses. I almost want to think that THEY are the ones coming up with them…
In comparison, it’s comforting to know that there still isn’t a single spyware/virus in existence for any version of the Mac OS since 2000. With the addition of Little Snitch on top of Mac’s built-in firewall, my Mac is in good hands even if there were any written for the Mac. I found it funny that some people tried to argue about certain exploits found on the Mac… but little did they know the context in which they were found — because the sponsor had to lower the threshold (un-checking some out-of-box preferences) in order for those exploits to even work. In other words, straight out of box, Mac OSX is rock solid against those exploits (which have since been patched anyway). Nothing is water tight… But at least it’s tighter than the leaky bladder that is Microsoft Windows….
Some people buy cheap PCs with Windows for the “biggest bang for the buck”. But the way I look at it, even if I had to reinstall the damn OS even once (or to put Linux on it), my time spent doing that already far exceeds the cost of the stupid hardware (let along its inferiority being a bargain basement hardware). As a freelancer, my time is money… In the 6 years I started using Mac full time, there was no time I’ve had to reinstall the OS for any reason. And I’ve only experienced kernel panic, at most, 3 times. When Grace was still using XP, I’d easily have to reinstall the OS every 6 to 8 months despite all the protective software I’d installed for her….
I’ve admired Shaun Inman‘s work for a long time ever since I ventured into the world of css styling and designing better sites using css. But I had no idea he’s also a fellow SCAD grad! Cool. Shaun is a pretty big name in the world of css designs having designed and developed Mint.
Having noticed how much certain keys got worn off on my last laptop, I decided to get a silicon keyboard protector for my MacBook Pro (because its keys are known to wear off and they are not that easily replaceable unlike the older models). I am still intrigued every time I look at the reflection of the keypad and seeing how certain keys are just so much more used than others.