James Bond: Skyfall – Review

Last night we went to watch the new James Bond movie, Skyfall. I should probably first point out I’m a huge James Bond fan and own all of them on DVD and have watched most of them more than 10 times, I grew up watching the movie franchise and wanting to be James Bond. So this “review” is going to be a little biased.

I had heard many good reviews of this movie, and had high hopes for it. After watching over 20 minutes of trailers and 007 themed adverts the movie finally started.

The simple truth was that while this was an awesome movie it was not a a great “James Bond” movie. In fact had they changed a character or two’s name and the title I think I would’ve given it a huge thumbs up.

[A possible spoiler or two after the break]
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Short fiction story online

On and off over the last few days I’ve been reading a rather interesting piece of short fiction called Tyro by Sam Hughes. (It’s on the guys website so you can read it online.)

It’s a rather complicated short story about a company who writes software using Heuristic Algorithms, basically they write an application that re-writes its self with certain goals in mind and this?iterates?over and over checking against the goals until they’re reach and finally you have the application you want. Sort of like biological evolution happening at high speed except for computer programs.

With out giving anything away, I loved the story… although thats probably because I loved the idea behind the story of what would happen if you created a “new intelligent life form” you have no control over… a nice fun read for the computer geeks.

PS: I have learnt why people buy iPads and other tablet like devices… to read these “electronic” documents, laptops are not suited to lying in bed and reading…

On Demand Book Printer

I found this via MakeZine but I think its one of the most awesome things I’ve ever seen. It’s a standard Laser printer and what looks like a Canon Inkjet printer combined with a fancy bit of mechanics to hold, fold and cut paper. The complete system can print a book, a real softcover book in a few minutes and will handle up to about 850 pages.

It’s a pity the system is patented because I would love to build and sell these but thats not going to happen. What amazes me is if this was combined with some of the opensource textbook projects and give it to schools or perhaps put in a central place in a town you could print textbooks for kids on demand, printing only those portions that were required for the class they were taking, whats even cooler is you could perhaps combine textbooks into one book making it easier to carry.

The system would also lower the cost of the book as publishers no longer need to worry about doing large runs of books, storing, shipping or even having an order handling department.

Ooooh could the Dark Side be good?

I’m not a huge Star Wars fan, although I must admit I liked the movies and have watched them all a few times, but I can’t recite them back to you…

Just read this article on Arstechnica where the guys at Arstechnica interviewed Daniel Erickson from Lucasarts, he’s a lead writer for the new game Star Wars: The Old Republic.

I love this quote from the article.

Did he really just convince me that the Sith were the good guys in all this? Growing up, being taught to understand and explore our emotions and passions, and then being told this monk-like order had hunted my people to near extinction… it’s easy to see the attraction to taking up your blaster or lightsaber against their order.

In other words, to give into your hate.