11 November 2010

Movie review: “Four Lions”

Chris Morris has pushed the boundaries of comedy for years, and his first full length movie continues that trend. It’s a dark comedy about a group of aspiring Islamic suicide bombers living in northern England. Like most English comedy, it’s played straight. In fact, Morris spent three years doing research–talking to police, secret service, imams, ordinary Muslims, and a former Gitmo detainee. He went along for a ride with Muslim kids on a Saturday night, and tried to learn about what their life was really like and how real Muslim radicals actually behave. ... Read more

23 October 2010

NPR funded by tax dollars? OMG!

With Sarah Palin calling for an end to federal money going to NPR, I thought it would be worth investigating just how much of the average American’s tax money actually goes to NPR. CBS news has an article with a bunch of facts and figures scattered through it. Teasing out the information, let’s start with a brief description of how the money flows: There is no direct government funding of NPR. ... Read more

21 October 2010

Did the Mac just die?

Months ago, I outlined what I considered a nightmare scenario: that Apple would gradually lock down OS X to be like iOS, with Apple exercising absolute control over what software you were allowed to run, and requiring that software be developed in Objective-C, like on the iPhone and iPad. Yesterday, it started to happen. Apple announced the App Store for the Mac. Just as with the iPhone, there’s now an annual fee to be a Mac developer for the store, and a long list of things your software is not allowed to do. ... Read more

13 October 2010

Movie review: “The Room”

I’ve seen a lot of terrible movies, from “Night of the Lepus” and “Battlefield Earth” to “Xanadu” and “Plan 9 From Outer Space”. “The Room” beats them all. Believe the hype, this could be the next Rocky Horror Picture Show. Let me start by listing the things that are right about this movie: The sets are competently lit. Everything else is wrong, even the most basic elements of movie making. Scenes are intercut with what you might mistake for establishing shots, for no apparent reason. ... Read more

7 October 2010

US Music Find bogus charges

Just got my landline bill, and it had a charge from “US MUSIC FIND INC” for $14.99. A Google search located them; they’re apparently a ringtone vendor offering ringtones each month for a monthly fee. Ringtones for my landline? Oh, you’d better believe I didn’t sign up for that. I don’t even buy ringtones for my cell phone, because it’ll play any old MP3 file as a ringtone and I’m more than capable of making my own. ... Read more

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