So your Mom has e-mail now

I guess I should start with the disclaimer that my Mom actually does have e-mail but she is an anomaly on my theory. She actually user her e-mail in a very conservative fashion and everything that she has sent me is actually worth reading. That said; this post is about the jungle that it is the Internet.

We all have experienced a new person in our social group getting e-mail. The first thing that happens is that you start getting every single old joke that circulated the internet for the past couple of years. The next thing is funny pictures, surprisingly enough, the more conservative you thought the person was, the more crude the pictures you will get from them. Then you get the, lets get rich by forwarding this e-mail, which has the added bonus for us computer folks of, could you write a program that send tons of e-mails so we can rich faster. Last but not least is the tearjerker, where they only ask you for a prayer for that sick little boy or girl.

I truly wish that the e-mail could be used as a method to find children, but I think that the amber alert system is the best way to go. I am not trying to say that word of mouth is not powerful, but that the Internet is not the best place to get information. What did Logtar just say? (I love speaking in third person, but I don’t do it often because several people in my close circle will make fun of me for doing what I just did). You heard that right; I don’t think the Internet is the best place to get information. Why? You might as, well because along with valuable information, there is tons of misinformation. The Internet only becomes a good resource when you have learned to sort through all the information. That is a huge task on itself.

I do however have a solution for that new member of your family that just got e-mail or Internet access. Snopes is a place that will thankfully shut the case on a lot of the Internet hoaxes out there. This however is only a first line of defense, and we need to learn a lot more about what the Internet offers before we take the information as true. The Internet is about 90% opinion, and like 23% of statistics this one made up. I can say pretty much anything and claim it is a fact, and if I put fancy figures around it people can believe it is actual data. Someone might say that corporate websites have actual information, but think about it, they have a marketing department.

Believe it or not, one of the best places for information is the wikipedia. Not because it claims to be all knowing and factual, but quite the opposite. It is a site that is kept by contributors and the validity or neutrality of any topic can be put up to debate. I am not saying do not use the Internet as a source for your information, I am just saying be careful as to what you believe. At least the Internet has some level of truth; the news media is in my eyes the worst place to get your information from.

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iGame the Apple device I really want

Well, I have to admit, EGM got me really good. I read an article in their magazine about how Apple was going to jump into the video game market with the iGame. Unfortunately it was all a hoax. Even though it is not confirmed hoax yet, I know it is totally an April fools joke. It was both mean and uncalled for EGM, you hear me. Not that I am going to cancel my subscription or anything but I am not going to forget to really be more of a skeptic when I read their April issue.

The iGames was supposed to be this gaming device that was also an iPod and had video capabilities. The games were going to be dowloaded to your computer and then into the device. The possibilities were endless and I could not wait to play some of the older gamers on an Ipod like device.

The iGame is an excellent idea though. One of the things that Apple has always lagged behind is gaming. I am hoping that using Intel Chips will make it easier to port games to work on Macs. I have wanted to frag my Mac friends for quite some time, and not being able to is kind of lame.

I have always liked Macs, but since high school my involvement with them has been minimal. We have had Macs at some of the places I work and I can navigate them but not do much more. My recent acquaintance with Mac geeks, a Sun developer, a Mac developer and a Mac fanboy and graphics designer, has really sparked my curiosity to the point that I might be getting a Mac in the near future. I would like to learn to program for Macs and just get to know them a little better. In the mean time I will keep on hoping that Apple does pick up on the hoax and makes it a reality.

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Ultraviolet (*)

It is a good thing that I was not a fan of the comic before I went to watch this movie or this review would have been a lot more bitter. Ultraviolet makes you wonder why there is not someone reviewing projects so that the money is saved for the future instead of making a mediocre movie about the future. Director Kurt Wimmer is not to blame for the whole movie, even though I did expect a lot more from the guy that directed Equilibrium, one of my favorite movies in the genre.

Mike Smith was the stunt coordinator for both movies and I was very disappointed by his work here. There was nothing innovative about the martial arts at all. The sword fighting was mediocre at best. My biggest complaint in this department was the implied fighting. When they used this technique the first time, I went “ok, that’s cool.” after that I was almost ready to yell at the screen, “where is the action? How did the killing happen?” While I get that maybe it was supposed to give you a comic book sense, it kind of failed.

The special effects were another mess. I think they ran out of budget during the movie, some of the effects looked very well done and blended with the movie, others gave me a sense of Saturday morning cartoon, Power Ranger kind of feel. Don’t get me wrong, some of it was done very well, the guns and other technology looked good, but then having the last scene being picked apart by my 9 year old as crappy tells you how bad it was. I hate comparing it to Equilibrium, but since both of them have a similar futuristic theme I have to. Equilibrium did not have the best effect either, but they help they story along instead of making you stop and think how crappy they are.

The story was the only thing that you can save here. However they had a comic book to borrow it from. I would love to hear from a fan of the series to see how true to the comic they were. I loved the fact that they did not let you know from the very beginning that this was a movie that had vampires. I felt that was done well.

I would not even recommend you rent this movie. I think that after paying Jovovich to star in the movie they did not have enough money to finish the film effects. If you want to be entertained rent Equilibrium.

*Update*

From The WikiPedia

Screen Gems edited the film from its original length of 120 minutes to 88 minutes, against the wishes of director Kurt Wimmer. He was quite angry with this, and many fans agree that this decision lowered the quality of the film significantly.

It might be worth the wait to see the director’s cut, because to me the film just seemed like a mess.

buy at Amazon.com

Ultraviolet.

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My Space

My Space was on the local news this morning. It was a news cliffhanger about a young girl and concerned parents. When the newsperson comes back with their “story” it was a little anticlimactic. The parents of a teen were concerned because she received a picture of a male penis from an adult on her My Space account; they added that the teen is keeping her My Space account.

I don’t have a My Space account, I am not a total hater but I feel I am over that. My space is like the high school of the Internet; I think I am in College. When I have ended up in there, I feel like I need to take a shower afterwards. It is not due to the amount of obscenity, which is also disgusting, but the attack of images, videos and music. I dislike being spammed with sound; I believe it is a big Internet no-no to have music unless you are a band. My space to me is friendster gone wrong, kind of like when Gizmo’s (the cute little gremlin) kids get to eat after midnight. Don’t even get me started on their poor coding for skins and layout. It is nauseating just to think of it.

Yet rolling stone hails it as the force that is making music hip again, and others make it sound like the future of marketing. I don’t know, maybe it is a good thing to be able to connect with a bunch of people that you have like interest with, but My Space still sound to me like the ultimate Emo, hookup, filthy corner of the internet.

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Review Your Service

I am almost willing to bet that right now you are overpaying for one of the services you receive. Anything that has to do with Telecommunication I am almost certain that you are paying too much for right now. Cell phone plans change all the time, promotions expire and if you do not proactively call, they will leave you in the plan that will overcharging you. Isn’t that stealing?

With all the mergers and acquisitions going on with big telecom companies, there is going to be a lot of price changes. I just found out that I was paying almost 3 times what I am supposed to be paying for my Internet service, and if I had not called, I would still be paying the “standard” rate.

I wish this was the only time that this has happened to me, but it has happened over and over in different occasions and with different providers. Last year one of my coworkers heard what I was paying for a service and asked me, what company. It turned out that he had been paying double for a year and they never bother to tell him that the price had changed.

It’s sad that we cannot trust our service providers. That if there is a cheaper plan, or there are more services that you should be getting for the price you are already paying, why don’t they switch it automatically? Don’t even get me started on their “packages”, where you pay an extra fee just because you do not want one of their bundled services. There is no real communication channel for it either.

So, I bet that if you spend 30 minutes going over all of your services, you will most likely save money for just reviewing what you are paying vs. what you are getting for. Be proactive and save money.

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