Stefan Hayden

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Archive for the 'review' Category

Good Hair was a great movie but the critic inside of me just has to point out what kept it from being an instant classic. The movie had a lot of rough edges.

Too much of it seem to be shot by some one who had seen documentaries like Spellbound or Wordplay and though they could do the same thing. The story editing was a little rough and too many of the on location shots seemed poorly planed out. I really think Chris Rock should have hired someone who had more experience in this genera of film.

But it was easy to see past those rough edges and see a wonderfully enjoyable film. Chis Rock was more then charming and funny as ever. Being opening night I really wished there was more then 30 people in the theater. With my group being the only white people. While clearly black people have an interest in the movie I feel like non-backs would have even more interest since it’s a world that’s all around us and yet we know so little about it.

It was more the laughable after the film when it was raining and all the black women with relaxed hair handed the car keys off to the men while the natural hair black ladies were free to run to the car.

in 2007 I complained that the Gmail Contact manager was sadly under powered. Happily it steadily improved and by the time the G1 phone came out it was really robust.

Today they finally spun it out of gmail and it’s now a standalone app. And at this point it’s pretty full featured. You can merge contacts, add tons of meta info, create groups. They’ve added everything I have wanted and now any new feature will just be icing.

The only complaint I do have is more about the G1 which currently has no built in use for the groups feature and I wish it did as it would be a little easier to find things without having to bust out the keyboard to search.

We went to the $4 movie theater (okay 4.75) to see Synecdoche, New York but the projector was broken so we saw Doubt instead. I swear Philip Seymour Hoffman is the only reason that movie theater is even open. They should name movie theaters after him.

Doubt was good. The plot wasn’t anything amazing but the dialog and acting were so good I didn’t really need much of a plot. A lot of my favorite movie don’t have more then three scenes. While I think all three stars were great I was especially impressed by Viola Davis who knocked her scene out of the park.

I definitely like Amy Adams more and more each movie. At least the ones I see. I need to go see Sunshine Cleaning (from the producers who like the word Sunshine). I don’t see how you can go from these great indie movies to movies like Underdog or Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian. But I guess that’s why Philip Seymour Hoffman does 12 movies a year.

I have not seen a lot of Meryl Streep movies. This one and The Devil Wears Prada are pretty much the only ones. I need to see Mamma Mia! or something though as I’ve yet to see her play a non evil role.

My god I hope this series does not have many parts.

Keri and I decided to buy our google phones in Walmart for the discount. We knew there could be problems as we are currently with verizon and wanted to transfer our numbers. A lot to handle for walmart employees.

They were nice enough and two hours later we had our phones and were out the door. We were assured that in three to four hours our phones would be working.

Now three to four hours later we have google phones that will not let us sign in. Awesome.

I tried to call several T-mobile help numbers but all said they did not recognise my verizon number. So I guess I’m off to a t-mobile store tommarow. I hope we’re at least in thier data base of customers.

Spore has finally been released and with a big bang. People on amazon are complaining about DRM and hardcore gamers complain about it being a shallow game while the number of items in the sporepedia has doubled or qudrupled by now.

If anything it’s become clear it will be a couple months before we see what the full impact of spore really has. This is because I belive this is not a game we are used to. Even after following the reporting on spore for years my view of the game has changed.

Spore sets itself up as five seperate games that weave togeather a rich tapestry of the universe. For those who followed the hype these games came across as laughably shallow. But the hype was not even close to the full story and I even think Will Wright has done a bit of a diservice in how he has chariterised the game. In Will’s defence I think he’s been talking about the casual gamer the most, but as a former hardcore gamer I tend to aprotch games differently.

Spore is not five games. It’s one game. The space game. It just happens to not start till after the worlds longest game tutorial. And that’s the disconnect for most people. They are compaining that the tutorial is not a fufilling game. While I can not reember the last time I enjoyed a tutorial so much.

Each of the first four stages is mearly there to train you in a skill. Cell stage teaches you movement and the idea of different levels of interaction at different scales. Creature stage teaches you about the food chain, using the camera and a lot about how to explore. Tribal stage is all about multitasking. And civilation stage is about interacting with other cultures and the idea of trade and spices.

Only after learning all of the can you fully understand what is going on in the space stage, where the game actually starts.

I just finished Lirael: Daughter of the Clayr by Garth Nix and wanted to repost my review here:

I have 2 issues with these books. Part of my problem with these books is that both Mogget and the Disreputable Dog are basically deus ex machina. God like characters that explain nothing, know everything and fix all problems and because of that all agency is taken away from the main characters. YA books should be about giving agency to teens and Garth Nix just refuses to do that.

Thomas Friedman is a really cheesy speaker. I have not read the world is flat and I thought every one had good things to say but if it’s this cheese and built around these fake dates then I don’t want to read it.

There are a lot of ways to measure how involved you are in the youtube community. I think most go by subscribers or videos posted. But you could post awesome videos all day and never really be involved with the community. I think one of the best ways to see how involved you are is by how many videos you have seen.

This is a quick informal survey I did (spreadsheet embedded below) of youtube accounts of different levels of prominence. I find smpfilms a little hard to believe but I’m not sure what advantage they would gain from spoofing that number. On the other hand I totally believe What the Buck (along with his personal account peron75) has seen 50,000 videos. I’m also impress with the number of videos BarackObamadotcom has seen. I imagine that that number is across a lot of staff members though.

Mia Rose and a lot of other sponsored channels have very few videos viewed. Almost always in the low hundreds.

I have to say I wasn’t wild about the end of Dr Horrible. I didn’t dislike it. I just didn’t like it as much as the first too parts. I think the songs were a little weaker which did not do a good job of highlighting the change to a sadder tone. I’m still buying the DVD though so I can’t wait for that to come out.

Thanks to Joel and every one at Fog Creek for an awesome open house. It’s clear why they are so well respected as each member of Fog Creek was extremely friendly, Joel in particular. Definitely the best hosted meetup I’ve been to in a long time.

I’ve needed a better backup solution for a while and after looking arouns Mozy seemed like the easiest. $5 a month is nothing when you spend all day every day on your computer.

The weird thing seems to be how it handles it’s backups. You can’t delete anything it backs up. I rearranged some of my MP3 files and now Mozy has two copies because it keeps the files structure. At first glance this is horrible. If I rearranged all my MP3s my Mozy backup would be a mess and if my harddrive died it would be pailful to download all the files twice. I wish I could delete files on Mozy.

Mozy’s solution to this seems to be that if you delete or move a file on your computer it keeps a backup… but only for 30 days. Wait… what? They are saying that if I reorganize my MP3s they will delete the old MP3s in 30 days leaving me with just my new file struncture. Great!

But what happens if I delete a file and not notiec it right away? I have a lot of files I want to back up and there is always the chance something could happen to a file without me knowing. Well it seems that if I don’t notice a file is gone in 30 days then Mozy deletes it from my backup. What kind of backup service is this? How about some persistance of data!

I get that it’s a hard problem. If you let people delete stuff from thier backup then you end up needing a backup for your backup when you accidently delete stuff from it. Mozy probably wanted to avoid this and so stoped letting people delete stuff from thier backup. This presented the problem of reorganizing files. The file has moved and it’s backup a new version what should they do with the old version? They decided that could just phase it out in 30 days.

This just seems like a horrible idea. As soon as you delete a file the counter has started and you better notice it’s gone in the 720 hours the file will stick around or it’s gone forever. I want my files to stay on Mozy as ong as I pay for it. I want to manage my own backup and delete duplicates myself. I’m fine if it’s hard to delete with multiple varifications, just make it happen. Other wise the whol idea of a backup doesn’t seem to really hold true.

If you ever liked Degrassi you have to start watching The Secret Life of the American Teenager. It might even be better the early Degrassi The Next generation. Only one episode is out and there is plenty of way for the show to mess up but is seems pretty solid so far.

So I got in to The WB site’s beta and thought I would just give a quick review. Hulu has set the bar pretty high and no one should be surprised that The WB does not measure up. The site is really dark and the design is a little wonky. The shows’ flash player has a clunky MAC want to be interface and the video is really small.

But even with all of those problems they should have a chance as long as they put tons of video up. And I mean full seasons. Currently they just have a few random episodes of a few WB shows. I hope that’s a result of it being a beta as with out entire seasons I can’t imagine going back.

The do plan on adding some web only shows. I’m a sucker for good web content and so I do look forward to seeing how well they are made.

Over all disappointing and I doubt most will be fixed. But with enough content they should draw plenty of traffic. I know Keri really wants to watch Everwood.

If you need a video, a 2:47 minute video, to show people how to register then it is TOO HARD to create and account (video below).

When I heard the new weezer song I didn’t really like it but I thought I might come around. The more I hear it though the more I hate it. Like really hate it. The album is out now and you can preview the songs on amazon. This really has to be not only the worst weezer album but just a horrible attempt at making music. I have some affection for the Green album and Maladroit and some songs on Make Believe are guilty pleasure worthy but this album is just painful to hear and I refuse to own it.