Tag Archives: geek

This Is What It Sounds Like When The Nerds Cry

I know, I know! It’s been talked about, ad nauseam, by everybody. The prequels were shit. Or, to put it another way: when The Phantom Menace first dropped it was like a million nerds suddenly cried out, and there was suddenly silence… something  terrible had happened.And then it happened again, two more times. Nobody involved learned their fucking lesson, did they? George kept on makin’ ’em, we kept on seein’ ’em.We’re pathetic.But — and this may come as a shock to you dear reader, certainly it was a shock to me — not everyone had a dog in that race. Not everyone wept at What George Did, because not everyone treated Star Wars like some sort of holy text.I know, right?Just recently, a friend of mine expressed puzzlement as to what the big deal was with the new trilogy. Being as how she’s all young and groovy and has a life and whatnot, Star Wars wasn’t a big thing for her when she was a kid, so she didn’t quite understand why nerds of my vintage have such a problem with the prequels.Here is my response to her, and to all young and groovy people who have real lives to lead and don’t understand why the prequels hurt……wait, one thing before you go on. There’s a bit of ad hominem in here… it’s there for a reason, but I’d like to say something very quickly: making films is hard. I mean, really, really hard. So hard in fact that Lucas, at the very top of his game, hired other people to direct Empire and Jedi. Anyone who actually bothers to put in the eighteen hour days — long days being only the most trivial stress endured on set —  has my deep respect. Including, paradoxically enough, George Lucas.However, I still have a problem with What George Did. Here’s why:***The original trilogy was famous at the time for its special effects, inventive production design, and giddy sense of originality… but the reason it actually worked is that it had a great story, with humour and tragedy and heroism; and a set of loveable characters to care about. And, most of all, it had a heart.*The new trilogy has special effects and inventive producton design… but the sense of invention isn’t giddy, it’s nauseating. Where the original trilogy seemed to be a tour through the prodigious and fascinating imagination of a genius, the new seems more like an art show put on by billionaire parents to showcase the scribblings of their unusually slow child. The story is boring and illogical, the characters are impossible to care about, and the acting is universally bad… it is just impossible to give a shit. And it’s not the actors’ fault, not even Haydenson Hayden Christiansen’s — the script is execrable.I mean, how bad does dialogue have to be to sap the cool out of Samuel L. Jackson and the fatherly gravitas out of Liam Neeson? And the charm out of Ewan fucking McGregor!?On top of it all, it’s obvious at every turn that these poor actors are labouring in a giant empty greenscreen room, trying desperately to imagine where they are and who they’re talking to even though Lucas probably hasn’t decided yet and is just planning to get it in post.The original trilogy got away with its conceits because it was fundamentally an engaging story with well-realised characters we cared about. The new films are the opposite — without characters and story to distract us, all we see is Lucas’ conceit and, as it turns out, he either has total contempt for his audience or he’s a clown of the highest order.To add insult to insult — we loved Star Wars when we were kids. I mean, I watched it on video every Saturday to the point where I could practically quote the whole film in one long go — this is when I was in primary school. It was magical, and full of wonder, and exciting, and Leia was pretty and Han was cool and it was so much fun it was better than the real world… when Lucas made this new stuff, it actually seemed to make the films we loved look like shit. It was like he murdered our favourite uncle and then came to the funeral just to piss in the punchbowl.In short — he betrayed us.We award him no points, and may God have mercy on his soul.*I saw Empire at the drive-in, I was in the back seat. My mum turned around to check if I was okay when Darth said he was Luke’s dad. I was crying.***Sorry George… you really, really fucked it mate. You can laugh like Salacious Crumb while rubbing benjamins all over your body on a double bed made of cocaine if you want, and I’m just a podgy broke-down geek writing on a blog… you have no obligation to me or anyone else. But there’s just no getting around it big fella. Han rocked ’cause he shot first, and you went back and defaced your own Sistine fucking Chapel… then you made three new ones where Han, were he present, would be a saint instead of a scoundrel. You really, really fucked this up.For the rest of  us.This is Justin Gibson, last surviving nerd of the USS New Hope, signing off.

Fun With Twitter Spambots

Yesterday I posted this on Twitter:

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A few people asked me about it, so I thought I’d better explain.A few months ago a perfect storm of boredom and douchebaggery made me ponder how hard it would be to create a Twitter spambot. A Google search appeared to answer “Pretty fucking easy”, so i did. Now Spambot is probably the wrong word, the bot doesn’t actually spam anyone. It’s more of a Social Media Expert bot, it just posts incredibly boring shit all the time -auto copied and pasted from a list of some of the most boring Experts on the planet. It also randomly thanks the people it follows for their insight and occasionally retweets.It was designed to Auto-follow people from various lists of “top twitters”, cos i thought these people would be more likely to follow back. They didn’t let me down, and within a day the little bot had over 400 followers. It also follows anyone who follows it, making it a magnet for up and coming “top twitters” looking to boost their numbers. When it was finished with the top lists, Botty started following random people based on location, and by following the followers of its followers.  Real people (non-power users) tend to be less gullible so its follower growth has slowed, but it still has a respectable follow number of around 1,600.So why did I create Botty? Well, mainly to see which experts and top twitters will just auto-follow something so bland. My theory was that the wankers that talk the loudest about ‘community’ and ‘value’ and being part of the ‘twitteratti’ were so fucking stupid and obsessed with their own follow numbers they couldn’t spot the bot, where as people who actually used Twitter to communicate with interesting people would avoid him. Apart from the odd heartbreaking exception, this has been the case.At this point in the post a younger, angrier man might name and shame some of the douchebag expert fucks that have been following little botty from day one, but I’m too old for internet fights. I’d prefer to sit back and quietly judge them, and leave them wondering if they fell for and continue to fall for my bot.As always, I need new hobbies.

Our iPad Adventure Has Made the News (Review To Come!)

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While I was away Anthony was updating Mactalk (almost) daily on our adventures, so if you want to read the full story go there, but if you’d like a summary of the trip, Renai Lemay has a general overview of the trip, and an excellent follow up article. We’re also in the Herald Sun! As for the review, i crashed out some time around 8pm and woke up at 2am, but i’ve been playing with the iPad ever since. I’ve tested about 100 apps and Mac utilities to get stuff on the iPad, so I’ll post as soon as i can form sentences.Spoiler: Fuck the iPad is Awesome.

Jailbreaking My MacBook

I needed some space on my MacBook, so once again I’ve nuked the Windows Bootcamp partition. I realised this was probably the 4th or 5th time I’ve nuked a Windows partition without actually using it. In that sense Bootcamp for Mac is like Jailbreaking for my iPhone, something I do when I’m bored, thinking i’ll use the added functionality, but rarely do. I need new hobbies.

Microsoft Does Something Really Fucking Cool

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Microsoft have teamed up MEAN Magazine to produce “Cinemash,” a series of videos of classic scenes from old movies, that have been “Sweded”. The shorts will appear first on the Zune Marketplace, so about 4 people worldwide can enjoy them, before moving on to the XBOX Marketplace, and leaked to Youtube… To be fair, Microsoft have done a bunch of cool things with video recently, funding the second season of The Guild as an XBOX Live Exclusive, and even cooler, getting a bunch of Horror film makers to direct comedies. (Again, an XBOX Live Exclusive). Rock on Microsoft!