30
Oct 14

Recently I watched The Lego Movie and it's just what you'd expect from a film marketed to children, goofy and predictable but still fun to watch even as an adult.  Yes it's goofy, and they do drag the jokes out a bit long sometimes, but they don't do it so much that it's annoying.

It was an interesting take seeing Lego people living in a world they would build and destroy without a care in the world.  Obviously you have to totally suspend reality and let your inner child run free to be able to really enjoy this one.  And while I'm on that, to the people who are saying they are trying to make a political statement and are brain washing kids just because the bad guy's name is Lord Business, give me a break people you've seen the movie you know what that means, get over yourselves, some times it's just a child's imagination.

Now as for the film it's self, the animation was top notch as you would expect.  The casting was great, I can't believe how many big names they got.  Some people say that Morgan Freeman's character was to goofy but I liked it, it made fun of the wise old wizard in a fun way without being annoying.  The rest of the cast was great too, though I'm not crazy about Will Arnett as Batman, his voice just didn't sound right to me, then again I did grow up on Batman: The Animated Series.

Over all it's a great movie to put in for the kids, or your inner child.  Just be prepared to have the "Everything Is Awesome" song stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

27
Oct 14

With the development of CurrentC in the wake of Apple Pay, I have to say this is a horrible PR move and CurrentC will be the Qwikster of the credit industry.  QR codes as payment systems were an interesting idea 4 years ago but now that we have NFC, QR code payment systems just don't make sense.

So what is CurrentC?

CurrentC is a payment app developed by retailers to bypass the credit card companies and process your payments themselves while also collecting data on you using QR codes to process the payments instead of the magnetic strip on your credit card or the NFC chip in your phone.

Why do retailers use CurrentC instead of Google Wallet and Apple Pay?
Well for one the retailers were slow to adopt NFC payments and so they didn't put things in place to have loyalty cards attached to your NFC wallet of choice, and now as a result they don't have the ability to track you and gather information on everything you buy.  So a few years ago these retailers (see the list below) teamed up to create their own app for mobile payments instead of just going to Google and Apple and asking how can we work together to build a better payment system.
What should the retailers do now?

Well first drop CurrentC and beg the public for forgiveness.  Next allow NFC payments right away.  Then while customers are happy because they can use NFC payments, the retailers can be working with Google and Apple to insert loyalty cards into Google Wallet and Apple Pay thereby letting them get their precious tracking data on they consumers.
If these retailers don't want to face an ever increasing backlash from consumers I suggest they give up on CurrentC and turn on NFC right away, but sadly I fear they will dig in and fight to use their own useless system while the retailers who allow and embrace NFC will flourish.
24
Oct 14

I recently watched Snowpiercer a 2013 South Korean Sci/Fi art house film directed by Bong Joon-ho based on the novel Le Transperceneige by  Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand and Jean-Marc Rochette.  The film takes place after the apocalyptic freezing of the earth, the only remaining humans on earth are aboard the train "Snowpiercer", the front of the train is inhabited by the upper class, and as you move towards the rear you move to the lower classes until you reach the rear when the lowest of the low are housed.  Rebellion ensues after years of the upper class using and abusing the tail section, fighting their way to the front for their freedom.  It's kind of like Orwell's 1984 set on a train.

The film really makes you think, you can see civil rights issues, issues with how power corrupts, and the lows humanity will go to in order to survive.  What's really impressive about this film is that it can convey all this without being overly complicated, it's really not a hard story to follow.  If your a student of history you will notice the nazi references to the Gestapo and Hitler Youth in different parts of this film.

Chis Evans plays his part wonderfully, he is strong willed yet gentle, in other words the perfect hero type.  Song Kang-ho is subdued yet has so much to add to the film, he points out important plot points yet you have no idea that he's doing it when your watching.  Tilda Swinton plays the self important representative of the upper class to the point where you can really come to hate her yet understand she really thinks she's right.  Wonderful performances all around.

The effects were amazing, you really could see that a lot of time and effort went into every detail of this film.  The set was beautiful as well, everything looked like it belonged down to the minor details, this has the feel of a big budget Hollywood film even though it's an "art house" film.  At just over two hours you may think it's drawn out but trust me when I say the two hours blew by without notice, I was totally drawn into the film and was never finding myself loosing attention.

Definitely take the time to see this film, it's a masterpiece and you won't regret having seen it.

21
Oct 14

Having just finished watching Free Birds I don't understand why it was blasted by so many people, it's was just a goofy children's movie about talking turkeys that time travel to stop Thanksgiving.  The critics blasted it for not being historically accurate, give me a break, your watching an animated children's film about time traveling talking Turkey's and you think the issue is if it's historically accurate or not?  Basically what I'm saying here is don't pay attention to the critics, if you've got a young child or just want something goofy like I did, give this a shot, it's not bad.

Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson give great performances even though it's just voice work, you can just kind of get a feel for the fact that they were having a good time during this.  George Takei as S.T.E.V.E. stole the show in my opinion, his sarcastic and dry deliveries were great as always.

As you would expect from basically any animated film these days the animation was solid, everything looked good and held up to the minor details.  The music set the mood for each scene nicely and helps you feel what the sense of the moment is about without over doing it.

Would I recommend this film?  Yes.  Do I think it's something worth watching over and over?  No, unless your five years old, then of course I could understand, but if your five years old why are you reading my blog instead of coloring?  Go watch Free Birds and take a nap!

20
Oct 14

Ok, well asking for donations to fund oppy1984.com obviously wasn't a great idea, since I got nothing.  No I'm not bitter or upset, I knew that may be the result but I had to try.  Well I spent the weekend going through my moms basement and found a bunch of my old junk so I will be selling that on Ebay in hopes of raising enough capital to fund oppy1984.com for the first year.

Please check out Galway Tech's Ebay page everyday for the newest listing, I've got at least 9 things to sell and I'll be putting up a new item each day.  Also please remember to share each item with your friends!

Here is the link to Galway Tech's Ebay Page.
Galway Tech on Ebay

19
Oct 14

With the news of the landing of the X-37B Friday I guess I'll throw my two cents in on what it could be doing.

  1. It's an advance spy plane that can orbit space taking pictures and video at high resolution, making it harder to detect and bring down.
  2. It's an unmanned bomber that sits in orbit with it's payload waiting for someone on the ground to give it the order to launch the bomb(s) it carries.
  3. It's the prototype for an unmanned warp speed ship to try and bring the Vulcan's to earth.
  4. It's a cheaper and safer way to test new technology in the harsh environment of space, before building a new manned spacecraft, without putting human or animal life in danger.
How much you want to bet it's #4?  But why would the Air Force be running the vehicle instead of NASA?  Well lets think about this, NASA has been moving more to exploring deep space, and sending out small probes, while the Air Force has been more focused on space (near earth orbit space to be exact) for the last twenty years.  Let's face it with every major government wanting to put space stations in orbit, it makes sense that the U.S. government would think about the military applications and hand it over to the military.  Does that mean I agree with it?  No.  But that's probably what's happened.  Personally I think space should be like the south pole, a neutral place for all countries of the world to explore.
So should everyone get upset over this vehicle?  No, it's just a test vehicle.  If they start arming it, then we should get upset.  Heck go ahead and tell the government that we don't want space to be armed, let them know now so when the day comes that do do it anyway we can say we told you not to do that so we're voting you out.
12
Oct 14
Found this on Reddit's Advice Animals and had to share it here.
All glory to mbritt74