Check out the 30-Second Bunnies Theatre, where a troupe of animated bunnies parody movies by re-enacting them in 30 seconds. They've done Titanic, Pulp Fiction, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, It's A Wonderful Life, Scream, War of The Worlds... the list goes on and on...
An Australian Senator recently made some blunt comments about airport security, and she's receiving a lot of backlash from her political peers. I happen to think she's right about this issue, though. Check out Bruce Schneier's recap and comments on the issue, and his links to several news articles.
Some of Senator Amanda Vanstone's comments about airport security:
"If the day has come when a minister can't say what every other Australian says and that is that plastic knives drive us crazy, I think we're in desperate straits"
"Has it ever occurred to you that you just smash your wine glass and jump at someone, grab the top of their head and put it in their carotid artery and ask anything?"
"What I have said is that putting a plastic knife on a plane doesn't necessarily make you very much safer. Bear in mind there are other things that are on planes. ... People should not feel that because plastic knives are there, the world has dramatically changed -- because there are still HB pencils."
Personally, I agree that a lot of airport "security" is just for appearances. Going through U.S. airport security last year (I'm blanking on the location - I'll have to ask Brad to remind me where it was), I somehow managed to go through the wrong door, so I had to go back through security a second time. Even though nothing was found in my carry-on luggage the first time, after the second scan, they searched my backpack because a glass paperweight that I'd bought showed up on their x-ray. I had no problem with the search, but It doesn't promote much faith in the system when the same machine in the same airport scans your luggage twice, 'finding' something one time, but not another.
I'm a big Disney fan.
Let me amend that.
I went to Disney World on my honeymoon last year. I'm a big fan of classic Disney, and Disney animated features (the ones that are shown in movie theatres) from before 2002. But frankly, I think the animated features have been going downhill in a big way, and now that Disney has abandoned traditional animated features in favour of cheaper computer animation, my love affair with Disney is waning.
The thing that bugs me the most is the sequels. Oh God in heaven, THE SEQUELS. It makes me wonder if the folks at Disney have a creative bone left in their bodies. I used to have every Disney movie. I bought all of the animated features, and even started buying the direct to video sequels of animated features. I have The Rescuers Down Under, the Aladdin sequels, The Lion King 2... Lord help me I even have The Little Mermaid 2. Then I started to realize that in general, they're not very good! In fact, some of them downright suck. My frustration hit a peak when Disney released Cinderella 2. (It's happily ever after!!! There shouldn't BE a sequel!!)
Finally, I've found someone who shares my frustration enough to write about it. The 7th Level has an article about Disney sequels that's funny, truthful, and for those of you with children, tells you which sequels are tolerable, which are just plain bad, and which ones you shouldn't watch
Pixar still rocks, though.
Transcripts of text messages have been admitted as evidence in the Brampton, Ontario court case of two teenagers accused of drowning their alcoholic mother in a bathtub. Sick crime, but it shows the emergence of an interesting Canadian precedent.
Link to story
(originally posted November 16, 2005)
For those of you who haven't heard yet, some interesting news has been swirling around over the past couple of weeks regarding copy-protection on SONY/BMG Music CDs. The record label had placed DRM (Digital Rights Management) software on some of their CDs, which installs a rootkit onto Windows PCs when the CDs are played on the computer. According to Mark Russinovich, who discovered the rootkit,
The software on the CDs automatically installs when the CD is played, and limits the amount of copies that may may be made. It disguises itself as essential files, and most shockingly, if a user deletes the cloaked files, it will disable Windows. The End User Licence Agreement on the CDs makes no mention of the fact that software will be installed that the user can not uninstall.
In addition to all of this, experts agree that trojans and other malware can use the rootkit to hide on users' computers, and although SONY has created an uninstall for the rootkit, experts warn not to download the current version of the uninstaller, as it will create security vulnerabilities on your PC.
Due to public backlash, SONY has issued a list of CDs containing the rootkit (although one wonders about the completeness of the list), has stopped the production of CDs containing it, and claims that it will shortly re-release those CDs without the technology. It is staggering to think of the amount of infected CDs currently in stores, in people's homes, and the number of computers that have already been infected, though.
Links to stories:
Schneier on Security - Nov 1
Schneier on Security - Nov 15
Mark Russinovich's Sysinternals Blog
In fact, Boing Boing has also reported that government agencies are banning the use of SONY CDs in the workplace, due to security concerns. Alberta Agriculture has banned all CDs!
(originally posted November 4th, 2005)
Here's an interesting website about mobile voting and voter registration. Thus far, mobile technology has only been used in a rudimetiary way by North American politicians and governments, but the city of San Francisco has launched a campaign for mobile voter registration. The campaign, largely geared towards youth, is being advertised on billboards, on taxis and at concerts. Voters who register through SMS (using a short code) will also be sent a text message on election day, reminding them to vote.
Links to stories in CNET, 160 Characters and the official website blog, Mobile Voter
A designer has created a 'wall of breasts' to help men buying lingerie for their wives and girlfriends. Instead of guessing or pointing to another woman in the store to determine size, men can play with the breasts on the wall to determine which is most similar to the size they need to purchase.
I wonder if they have trouble with men loitering in the store?
Link to story
Visit Old Radio Fun to purchase MP3 CDs of classic radio shows like Superman, Little Orphan Annie, Dick Tracy, The Lone Ranger and many many more. This is a cool site, with reasonably priced goods ($6.99 for a CD with 10-20 hours of audio).
Also, visit their blog for freebies!