Archive for November, 2004

Toy Story Screw

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It has begun. This week, Disney initiated the process of pissing away all the fabulous characters, places, and stories that Pixar worked so hard over the past 10 years to create. And it makes sense that they would begin by cannibalizing Toy Story since that’s where this whole mess began in the first place. It began back in 2001 when Pixar made one of the finest sequels in modern memory — a little juggernaut called Toy Story 2 — and Disney refused to accept it as fulfillment of any part of their 5 movie deal since it was a sequel and, therefore, did not represent a new property. Way to shit where you eat.

Now, having pissed off their meal ticket, Disney is attempting to make off with the IP. Only problem is Disney hasn’t made a remotely decent animated film in 10 years. Not recognizing talent when it hits them in the head appears to be Disney’s core skill these days, though the launching of Eisner shows they at least have some clue about the source of the problem.

Handing over the keys to all the brilliantly inspired worlds they’ve built has to pain Jobs and the rest no end. Then again, perhaps they are finding some ways to cope. Does the trailer for Cars look a little sub-par compared to Pixar’s other films? Could it be that Cars director and Pixar chief John Lasseter is taking one for the team? Kinda like when Pat Metheney used his grating white noise album to give a final flick of the finger to Geffen. The way Disney is acting, they have earned nothing less.

image generated by pixar but, sadly, owned by disney

Time Out New York Feels Your Pain

tony-476-cover.jpgTONY the political activist. Who knew? With this kind of openly political cover you always risk alienating some readers, but this is especially so for an events rag that attempts to retain a fairly innocuous image. Then again, with Manhattan a solid 82% blue, the risk level is pretty manageable.

What was it that drove them over the edge? The proposed United States of Canada? A little diatribe called Fuck the South? Or, maybe it’s just the fact that nobody seems to give a crap about the electoral process anymore.

image grabbed from timeoutny.com

Peace, Love, Mozzarella

moz-fox-10.jpgMozilla Firefox is airborne. The Foundation has outdone itself this time, producing a rock-solid product that is actually better than competing commercial offerings. It’s been a long strange trip from the initial dream to today’s release, but few can argue that Mozilla has finally arrived as a legitimate force in the software world. Big ups to Moz for figuring out the puzzle. Now if we could just figure out why a certain tech news source insists on calling them the Mozzarella Association

For those just getting started with Firefox, a few tiny extensions can really change your browsing experience. Here are some classics:

  • Sage — beautifully lightweight feed aggregator
  • Create Shortcut — quickly create a shortcut to the current page on your desktop
  • Adblock — never see another ad on the web again. Seriously

Props to all who have contributed. For the more technically-minded, Steve Garrity did a nice job of capturing the launch instant. Now, onward to Thunderbird and Sunbird!

image grabbed from mozilla.org

Tungsten of Death

tungsten-thurston.jpgModel numbers are a curious thing. BMW 3, 5, 7, 8 series? What the heck do they have against 4 and 6? A similar mystery surrounds Palm’s naming convention for the high-end Tungsten models T3 and T5. That is, until today:

[W]hat happened to the T4? Answer: There never was one. Turns out the word “four” sounds like the word for death in some Asian languages. (Now that would be a big seller. “New from the U.S.A.: the beautiful new Tungsten Death!”)     — David Pogue (NYT)

Tungsten Death? Tungsten of Death? Who doesn’t like the sound of that? Freakin’ suits, man! Oh, and why is it whenever I hear Tungsten, I think Thurston?

image grabbed from forbes

Four More Years!

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We tried. Now we get to see what Bush and the neocons will do with a perceived mandate and Republican majorities in the House and Senate. Nasty.

Thankfully, Gothamist has come through with a few suggestions on how we might keep our collective heads up: link and drink. Is it possible to hold your breath for four years? Okay, what about just holding your nose?

image grabbed from the village voice

How to Piss Away a Brilliant Art Department

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Killzone‘s unique graphical style — the wicked monochromatic landscapes, impressive mechanical detail, and the sinister gestapo army — makes a game that looks like no other. Unfortunately, the engine isn’t particularly good at putting those visuals into motion. For example, Guerilla appears to have impressively botched up the level of detail system:

But what’s more distracting is the way the animation routines seem to be tied into this same broken LOD system. When characters in the distance or as close as one foot away do anything they might only draw two or three frames of animation. It’s like watching a Southpark character spontaneously move from one position to the next. Since the animation appears to be subject to the same popping whims as the models and textures, this can make for a laughable experience, especially since none of the routines (death scenes in particular) are very good.   (IGN)

Sad but, hey, at least it sounds entertaining! Halo killer this ain’t. Ah, well. Better luck next time.





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