Star Wars Fan Films

I spend a lot of time watching these. These are films created by fans and some are good and some are not so good. I enjoy them all. There are even awards given out by Atomfilms and Lucasfilms.

I always like to take into consideration how much time and effort is spent to do these and with very little to no real payback.

Of course, there are guidelines for making these types of films.

StarWars.com announced that for 2007 they will be “expanding their guidelines to take in more types of movies than before.”[1] The contest imposes a time limit on entries—for the inaugural contest, it was 30 minutes, but this was lowered to 15 for the 2003–2005 contests. For 2006, the time limit was lowered again to 10 minutes. Entries must not contain nudity, excessive swearing, explicit sexual themes or graphic violence. In addition, no unlicensed copyrighted material may be used in the entries, with the exception of a small collection of approved sound effects. For 2006, the contest rules were revised to prohibit contributions by union members. In 2008, the contest has expanded to include mashups with footage from the Star Wars films.[2]

Here are some of my favorites so far…

A Clone Apart.

The I.M.P.S Material is absolutely fantastic! This link joins two Chapters together. I do not believe the 3rd Chapter has been released yet. I could be wrong on that.

You could literally spend hours of your life following all of the fan film links in YouTube. These are simply amazing. Check them out.

Drive by News: Xbox Rumours

Nice article over at Thurrott.

Sounds like we’ll be getting a choice for the next hardware installment of xBox.

One version will be an xBox with increased hardware. No worries on that one.

However, the second option — maybe not so much.

I’m not too excited about anything cloud based for the simple reason that if you live in a area with crappy internet, you’ll have issues trying to play games that you paid for. To me, that is crap.

 

Reporting on Non-Existing Consumer Products

The one thing I absolutely love about Apple is that they don’t announce something that they don’t have. You might not be able to buy it for a few months until production ramps up and they gauge how many units they can sell, but they’ve presented a REAL item.

Having said that, Stanford University is working on/developing a new type of battery storage. It is not ready to be purchased — hell, it may not even work on the scale they think it will so my question is — why report it?

There is plenty of “pie in the sky” in the article. It could do this…It might mean this…

There is even a COULD in the article’s title “Liquid metal battery could lower cost of storing renewable energy.” …and if your Grandmother had wheels she’d be a wagon.

The Origins of the RPG Programming Language

We use RPG where I work as part of the warehouse software platform. I was talking to my friend Chuck the other day and he gave me a great story about the origins of RPG. I’ll try to summarize…

Somewhere in the 1970s…

IBM had created three new computer systems called System 32, System 34, and System 36. The bigger numbers had more hardware as you might expect. The idea was to pitch these new computers to businesses and of course, sell as many of them as possible. IBM had a great sales team and as luck would have it, they sold a ton of these new machines.

During the rollout of these new machines it was quickly discovered that there wasn’t enough memory to run the existing customer programs and IBM went into panic mode. They did not want to issue any refunds. They turned to the software team and gave them a challenge to somehow, someway…figure out how the new computers could run the old existing software. They essentially locked this team in a closet.

From this crisis, RPG was born. It was very small and because it ran in a continuous loop it was a perfect solution.

RPG is still in use today on our IBM AS/400.

Is it a great language? Hell No.

But it works.

EU is a Big Fat Bully Who Wants Your Lunch Money

I equate the European Union (EU) to the bully at school that beats kids up and takes their lunch money.

Follow the Google link below for the latest bullying tactic.

They have fined Apple, Google, and Microsoft just to name a few. The reasoning is pretty weak and they just seem to be using their bullying tactics to extort money from the wealthy American companies. I’m pretty sure they care more about the revenue stream than protecting the rights of the downtrodden.

The EU declares war on American companies pretty much the same way that the small country did in the movie “The Mouse That Roared.” The whole premise of the movie was that if this small country could declare war on the United States and lose — the United States would pay them reparations which would boost their economy. My guess is that the officials in the EU have seen that movie and have taken it to the next level.

Engadget has a pretty good article giving you the background on the latest round with Google. The whole idea that Google is a bad guy for trying to get you to use its content is counterintuitive. Of course Google wants you to use its services. In case you missed it, that is how they make money. Taking that money from Google is how the EU makes money.

Getting out of the EU is probably the best thing Great Britain ever did. No-one wants to be associated with a bully when you want to make friends.

I think it would be awesome if the United States sued the EU for extortion.

They are a criminal organization that deserves NO less.

Update: 07.23.2018 – This little snippet from Engadget is extremely telling…

Google reportedly offered to make changes to its Android policies in August 2017, not long after it received an EU antitrust penalty for its product search practices. Although Google didn’t dive into specifics, it had offered to “loosen restrictions” in Android contracts and had considered distributing its apps in “two different ways.”

The EU wasn’t having it, according to the sources. Officials reportedly said only that a settlement was “no longer an option,” and that Google’s offer was “too little too late.” It couldn’t even mention the possibility of paying a fine as part of an agreement — regulators had effectively locked in their course of action.

Drums, Drums, and More Drums

I’ve switched to a Yamaha electronic drum set for practicing but I do plan on breaking this set out sometime soon.

There is no substitute for acoustic.

Update: 7.24.2018 – I’ve set the drums backup again right next to the electronic Yamaha kit. The drums are made by Pacific Drums and Percussion which is actually a division of DW (Drum Works).

Data Port Lock Down in 3..2..1

Apple. You brilliant bastard.

Let’s see you get around that one GrayKey.

Yes. I have written about this before. It just keeps getting better. Apple initially reduced the time that the data port could be active without a passcode to about a week. In iOS 12, the port was locked down after an hour. In the latest Beta (version 4), well…it is off unless you unlock it with a passcode which is what GrayKey can produce if only it had access to the data port…which it now — does not.

<insert hysterical laughter here>