Archive for June, 2006

WinFS has ceased to be

Looks like Microsoft have finally admitted defeat and killed WinFS. Paint me unsurprised, I'm old enough to remember Cairo, and watched as the object file system has moved over time to be put into the Next Big Release of the operating system. In the meantime, however, things like Google Desktop and MS's own MSN Desktop Search have utterly eroded the space in which WinFS was going to reign. I'm sure that MS wanted WinFS to be much more than the current crop of desktop searches, but as far as users are concerned, desktop search is just good enough for them.

I used to use Google Desktop Search, but I found it to be annoying in enough ways to remove it, and I've not moved over to any other system to replace it. I guess I just know how to find things in other ways, the built-in XP file search is slow but effective enough for me and my email client (TheBat) has another built-in search facility that hasn't let me down yet, so I don't miss unified desktop search.

One more feature of Vista down, my experience with it so far is that it's a prettier, more annoying (UAC anyone?) version of XP that won't install on my main system. There are few compelling reasons to upgrade for me so far, since all the interesting features (WinFX for example) are being back ported to XP. I won't be queuing up to buy my copy at midnight, that's for sure.

[update: looks like WordPress had a special moment and deleted most of the text, I've added as much back as I could from memory. Note to self, back up entries]

June 25th, 2006

The 25 most controversial movies ever? I don’t think so

Entertainment weekly have a list of the 25 most controversial films of all time, although it’s a fairly well chosen collection it does have some notable omissions.

Firstly, however, I’ll look at some of the films listed, if I’ve seen them.

Number 24: Caligula

Call me strange, but I actually like this film. Ok, Tino Brass’s original vision was, how shall we say, augmented by Bob Guccioni (publisher of Penthouse); but beyond the hardcore there is a visual treat to behold, with some reasonable performances. Peter O’Toole, however, was visibly drunk for most of his scenes, which somehow doesn’t detract from them that much.

Number 21: Bonnie and Clyde

Oddly enough, Entertainment Weekly didn’t mention that this was the first mainstream American film which hinted at cunnilingus, surely more controversial than silly amounts of violence.

Number 19: Basic Instinct

Ok, it’s obvious why it’s controversial; but beyond the violence, fast cars and Sharon Stone’s minge, there is actually an above average thriller on show. It boasts fantastic cinematography, good performances and Paul Verhoeven has yet to make a bad film in my opinion. Avoid the sequel though.

Number 17: Freaks

I love this film, it still sets a benchmark for creepiness. In these days of multi-million dollar effects budgets, you never forget that in Freaks those are real pinheads, and Johnny Eck really did stop above the waist. Everyone should see this film at least once.

Number 9: Last Tango in Paris

Sure, the sight of Marlon Brando in that “I bet she can’t tell Stork from butter” scene leaves you with more questions than answers. Was it a thinly-veiled allusion to homosexuality? In any case, any Bertolucci film is worth viewing.

Number 1: The Passion of the Christ

I have a confession, I haven’t actually seen this film. Nor do I intend to. However, after seeing this version, I do think it’s actually pretty good comedy.

Now, onto those films that I think should have been on the list:

Un chien andalou

Eye-slitting, priests turning into rotting donkeys, riots at the first screening. Sure sounds controversial to me. I’m still waiting for a decent version to be put onto DVD.

Salo, the 120 Days of Sodom

This is the only film that made me feel physically sick, and I speak as a man who paid to watch Police Academy 6. Pasolini was clearly off his rocker when he made this, yet it still is an incredibly powerful piece of cinema, you come away felling nothing but despair for the human condition. This is not Harry Potter.


Brain-destroying camera work, a twenty minute anal rape scene, a man getting his face caved in with a fire extinguisher. This still is not Harry Potter.

I know that it’s a function of these ‘top x’ lists to cause arguments amongst readers about what should and shouldn’t be on them, but missing out Salo is pretty poor.

And I actually like the Harry Potter films.

June 14th, 2006

God bless us, every one… AGHHH!

Praying woman struck by lightning 

I'm glad that the woman survived, but as a secular humanist atheist, I found the whole idea highly amusing.

She says she's blessed to be alive – personally I'd be highly pissed off that my god had decided to smite me from on high. Perhaps from now on she should pray to Thor, just to be safe, after all, Pascal's Wager becomes less abstract when you're having thunderbolts thrown at you!

(via BoingBoing)

June 4th, 2006

Microsoft’s iPod killer, doomed to have a lame name?

Via Engadget, very blurry pictures of Microsoft’s alleged iPod killer.

While I’m not personally part of the iPod cult, like most Apple products they’re good to look at whilst still being functional. Unfortunately I don’t see how Microsoft will be able to compete in this sphere against the very entrenched Apple and the myriad other personal media players – given their tendency to give interestingly code-named projects utterly dull ‘real’ names.

For example, there was the recent ‘Origami’ project, there was a fair amount of buzz on the blogs about it, people were speculating, there were viral marketing sites, then… They called it the ‘UMPC’. Frankly they could have called it the ‘Huh?’ and gotten a better name.

Microsoft needs to hire some marketers with a flair for imaginative names. Or just steal some of Apple’s, either works for me.


June 4th, 2006

I am OS/2 Warp!

Somehow I'm comforted by this, as I actually ran OS/2 for many years, firstly as my sole operating system, then as a dual-boot with NT4, then finally I bid it farewell and installed Windows 2k. 

You are OS2-Warp. You're plagued by feelings of abandonment and disgust for your backstabbing step-brother.  Oh, what might have been.

Which OS are You?

But, at least it would install, do you hear that Vista?

June 2nd, 2006


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