Monday, January 31, 2011

Usage Based Bandwidth Billing in Canada

Bell: pay more for less every day!

Seriously people, the majority of canadians are going to see their internet bills double because the CRTC approved usage based billing.

It's not over yet though and there are some great sites where you can find out what you can do to combat this.

This is  big deal.  You're reading this over the internet right now!  Soon you might have to pay per site you visit. Youtube will cost you money per video! Playing online multiplayer will be expensive! 

This is bullshit and we need to stand up against this.  Let everyone know that we're not going to take it.


Monday, January 24, 2011

One Thing to Consider when Picking a Research Area

That you can spell the words involved in it.  I'm in parallel programming, and for the longest time I'd have to stop of think for a second every time I typed parallel. 1 'r' and 2 'l's.  It comes up a lot.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Grad School is Camping

Because it's in-tents!

No semester of undergrad can compare to how hectic its been in the last few days.  There has been an absolute ton going on almost all the time.  Getting into the swing of things has been tough and I'm also doing a lot of stuff I've never done before.  Tons of changes.  It is not like getting a bachelors degree at all.

I'm currently only in two courses - so I'm hardly ever in class while I'm on campus.  One of my courses is a "how to do grad school seminar" which may be more challenging than my actual course - which is advanced cryptography.

I'm instructing two labs:  Csc 110 - which should be fun - and Csc 355 - which may be tricky.  I'll also be doing some other related work and perhaps helping write up with one of the 110 assigments.  Still the fact that I could be teaching things to people - some of which are only 2 years behind me - is a little frightening.  Still the best way to learn is to teach right.

I have an office!  It pwns!  If you're ever in ecs and bored you could drop by.  It is theoretically a shared office, but I'm all alone in here so far.  I'm actually typing this in my office right now.  Having an office is awesome - mostly just as a quiet space I have control over.  My office is currently sports a tribble - proving that I do belong here.  I may owe some folks tribbles.

I need to get starting on doing research and defining what my research area is.  Perferably by the 13th which is freakishly soon.

Anyway I now have to run to a meeting about a project with the Hertzburg Institute of Astrophysics.  Life is insane.


Tron: Legacy and Why It Draws My Ire

I could talk about the new tron for awhile. It sucks. It's bad on so many levels.

The special effects are dull, boring, and feel irrelevant. Scenes involving them aren't interesting either. All they really try to do is one up tron and and make it look cooler, bigger and brighter. They somehow manage to fail.

They're also really contrived. Most of the action scenes are in there only because they were in the first movie. He gets put on the game grid, why? Because they thought they could make lightcycles look cooler. Nope.

It's impossible to care about the characters. In the first movie everyone is likeable and believable - and well rounded. You cared about them. In this one, they just feel meh. This is probably also why the action sequences suck. They're more or less the same as the first one, except instead of having 3 characters you cared about, now you have the new young star and 4 random guys - who's faces you never see. They drop like flies. woot.

The plot is ultra contrived. It feels like an afterthought. I suspect they had a checklist of action scenes and required elements: bike scene, hot female lead, young male lead, role for jeff bridges, shiny stuff. Once they had it checked off, then they decided they needed a central thread and they'd be damned if it made sense in any context or was believable in any way.

For instance there is a location that's supposed to be impossible to get to. Heavily gaurded, no direct path, etc, etc, etc. But you can take a train to it - so they can have a scene on a train.

"What on earth were they thinking?" is what I pull away from the entire plot.

They also decided to take some pages out of the matrix sequels books. Honest to god shit like, "We need to find the keymaster, he can get us into anywhere." Woot.

They also seemed to think that audiences wouldn't understand the concept of being inside a computer. They honestly sit down and eat a dinner of sausage and shit at one point. Why would programs need to eat sausage? Where did that come from?

In the first one, everyone was clearly programs. They acted like it to. One guy is a banking program - he isn't programmed to fight. Bizzarly they come off as a hundred times more human than anyone in Tron: Legacy.

Not the biggest problem, but it bothers me that Tron isn't really in the movie. He's in the title, but apparently Bruce Boxleitner isn't a big enough star to warrant more than five minutes of screentime. Sure he's old now, but seriously. It's called Tron. Tron should have been in there.

Basically, I would say that everything that made Tron great has been mercilessly gutted and replaced composite parts designed to be "better". It has none of the character, charm or wonder of the original.

In terms of terrible its probably better than the prequel trilogy and the crystal skull, but it has a lot of the same elements that made those movie spectacular.

Don't go see it.  You have better things to do with your time.


For more reviews (or actual ones) you could go here:
But seriously, your time is better spent elsewhere