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sMoRTy71

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More user-hostile DRM from the MPAA

by sMoRTy71 In reply to sMoRTy71

When will the MPAA and the RIAA learn that hating your customers will never payoff for them? The latest in the long line of user-hostile measures involves a UCLA researcher who is trying to develop a biometric, RFID-based DRM system.<br /><br /><a href="http://www.wired.com/news/digiwood/0,1412,67556,00.html?tw=rss.TOP">According to this WIRED article</a>, the system, which luckily seems doomed to fail, will require a user to enter a password or scan their fingerprint (seriously!) in order to watch a DVD that they purchased (that they purchased!).<br /><br />The article doesn't say for sure; however, I would be willing to bet that the MPAA is underwriting this guy's research. <br /><br />Instead of treating every customer like a criminal, maybe the movie industry should adjust their business model to meet customer needs. Hmm. There's a thought.</div><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://www.smorty71.com/2005/05/more-user-hostile-drm-from-mpaa.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Revenge of the Sith

by sMoRTy71 In reply to sMoRTy71

Well, a few co-workers and I went to see Episode III this afternoon. I think I kind of liked it. Way better than the last two. My biggest complaint (besides the acting) is the quick turn to the Dark Side for Anakin.</div><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://www.smorty71.com/2005/05/revenge-of-sith.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Revenge of the Sith

by KIWIMARSI In reply to Revenge of the Sith

<p>Anakin didn't turn to the dark side quickly. You probably get that impression because the movies move at such a fast pace. Remember in Ep I, Anakin first show a burst of anger when he encounters Padme in Watto's shop. She doesn't mean to offend him when she asks him if he is a slave. Then when Anakin meets the Jedi Counsel, Yoda senses that Anakin misses his mother and fears for the events ahead. Fast forward to Episode II  Anakin is a young man now, the movies don't mention much about how Palpatine was mentoring Anakin. For that you will have to read the books that feature events that happened between the movies. He also fears losing his mother which he does in the most horrible way. By now his anger and arrogance has grown. He knows that he is more powerful than OB1. Then in Episode III, more information is revealed about Palpatine & Anakin's relationship. Palpatine uses Anakin's hatred for losing his mother, fear for losing Padme and mistrust for the jedi to mold him. He also lies to him at the end of EPIII when he tells him that he killed Padme. </p>
<p>So what we have is not a quick turn to the dark side but rather a gradual turn. The movies have to cut out a lot of detail so that it will be interesting and so that it doesn't get bogged down with too much backstory. Check out the books by Del Rey Publishing. They fill in the missing pieces to the movie.</p>

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Picked up a new receiver for my couch hack

by sMoRTy71 In reply to sMoRTy71

I just about have all of the pieces for the bass shaker couch hack. <br /><br />After failing to find a cheap 2-channel receiver (50 watts per channel or less) on eBay for a decent price (everybody wanted $20 or more for shipping), I decided to check out ShopOnkyo.com. I purchased my current 6.1 receiver and speakers from them and got a ridiculously good deal.<br /><br />I was able to pick up their TX-8211 receiver, which lists for about $250, for around $80 and that included shipping and tax. <br /><br />I'm sure some of you (including my wife) are asking why the heck I needed another receiver.<br /><br />My plan is to not only use the TX-8211 to power the bass shakers in the couch, but to also use it to power the speakers I will be installing on the patio at the new house. I figure $80 for a $250 receiver is a pretty good deal.</div><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://www.smorty71.com/2005/05/picked-up-new-receiver-for-my-couch.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Google Personalized

by sMoRTy71 In reply to sMoRTy71

<a href="http://www.rexworld.com">RexWorld</a> sent me a link to <a href="http://www.google.com/ig">Google's new personalized page</a> that they have launched within the Google Labs section of their site. Damn, it's cool.<br /><br />From a feature standpoint, it isn't really much different from something like My Yahoo! (which I have never found any use for). However, from the technology side, it is just cool (like so many Google apps). Everything on the page is draggable so that customization of the layout is a snap.<br /><br />It is a great example of the whole AJAX approach (thanks for creating more buzzwords, Jesse James Garrett) where JavaScript powers the front end.<br /><br><br />Check it out if you haven't already:<br />http://www.google.com/ig</div><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://www.smorty71.com/2005/05/google-personalized.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Over 200 blogs added today

by sMoRTy71 In reply to sMoRTy71

Well, our first week of member blogs has been a success with nearly 300 members blogging. We've had over 200 new blogs created today alone.<br><br>We are currently building new features (WYSIWYG editor for posting, editing comments) and new pages (blog door where all blogs can be searched or browsed) that will improve on this first release.<br><br>Look for some cool new stuff next week.

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New books from O'Reilly

by sMoRTy71 In reply to sMoRTy71

I just received the new "<a href="http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/htheaterhks/">Home Theater Hacks</a>" and "<a href="http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/smarthomehks/">Smart Home Hacks</a>" from <a href="http://www.oreilly.com">O'Reilly</a>. After thumbing through both, there looks to be a lot of good info. I'll be posting interesting tidbits from them here as I read them. <br /><br />Coincidentally, Hack #40 is all about adding Aura Bass Shaker speakers to your couch. Hmm, that's an idea. Hack #41 even shows you how to modify the Bass Shakers to reach lower frequencies.</div><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://www.smorty71.com/2005/05/new-books-from-oreilly.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Reaction to Wal-Mart / Netflix deal

by sMoRTy71 In reply to sMoRTy71

<a href="http://www.hackingnetflix.com/netflix/2005/05/netflix_walmart.html">Members over at HackingNetflix are mixed in their opinion</a> of the news that Wal-Mart will ditch its own DVD-by-mail business and use Netflix instead.<br /><br />I, for one, am glad that Wal-Mart is out of the market. I never thought the idea made sense for them.<br /><br />I just hope the lack of competition (there are rumors about Blockbuster getting out of the DVD-by-mail business) doesn't slow the innovation that we've seen from Netflix over the past year. They didn't really start adding new features until Wal-Mart and Blockbuster started their services.</div><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://www.smorty71.com/2005/05/reaction-to-wal-mart-netflix-deal.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Showing the house today

by sMoRTy71 In reply to sMoRTy71

We got a call from our realtor's office this morning at around 10:30 AM. They wanted to show the house at 1:30 PM. So I headed home over my lunch hour and helped Amy get everything squared away for the showing.<br /><br />While we were doing that, one of our realtor's partners came by to take all of the photos of the interior and exterior for the listing, so it was pretty crazy.<br /><br />Hopefully they will like it...</div><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://www.smorty71.com/2005/05/showing-house-today.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Burnout 3: 50% complete

by sMoRTy71 In reply to sMoRTy71

Well, I have been playing through the single-player mode on Burnout 3 for the past couple of weeks. I felt like I have been making pretty good progress; however, when I checked my "Driver Details" last night, it turns out that I am exactly 50% complete.<br /><br />I guess I shouldn't complain because I am having so much fun playing it; however, it was a little disapointing to see that I still had so far to go.<br /><br />I don't really need that much sleep, I guess.</div><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://www.smorty71.com/2005/05/burnout-3-50-complete.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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