I make films. I'm also a nerd.

Archive for 2011:

The glass may be less than half full, but there’s a full bottle somewhere close.


Are tablets PC’s?

Any device which is A) personal and B) computes is a PC, to my mind. The argument that phones and tablets aren’t PC’s because they’re less capable than desktops is more than a little specious. Our phones and tablets are arguably more powerful and capable than our desktops and laptops were ten years ago–with a few exceptions given for things like video editing, but even that task was pretty primitive back then compared to now. If tablets aren’t PC’s because they’re less capable than a full-blown modern Mac Pro, should we also retroactively decide that 1995’s computers aren’t PC’s?

The idea of “what a computer is” isn’t changing, per se, it’s just that we have this arbitrary distinction between mobile and not-so-mobile. That distinction will continue to erode. I have no doubt about it. We’re talking about form factor here less than we’re talking about essential functionality.

Back to the oft-repeated notion that one “can’t get anything done” on these mobile devices: I personally own a Windows desktop, a Windows netbook, a CR-48 (chromebook), an iPad and an iPhone. Any computing task I undertake–anything, except for video editing–can be done on any of these devices (nota bene: I’m a professional filmmaker, so the editing I do is of a different sort than that which Joe Blow is going to do…and that can be done on an iPad, pretty much). The idea that “real work” can only be done on a desktop or a laptop is incredibly fallacious, and I think the people who say that sort of thing are probably most often people who don’t (yet) own tablets.

Hmmm. Bile? Is that what I’m tasting?

I just saw an ad for a yet-to-be-released movie motion-tracked into the background of a scene in a years-old sitcom episode, and then a full commercial for that movie appeared one minute later among the other commercials. Perhaps after I quit barfing up my pancreas I’ll start to think about a new profession.

Forgot your password? Less likely: do you remember it?

Am I seriously alone in being nearly driven to murder by the sheer number of times daily I have to type meaningless, hard-to-remember gibberish (in the form of imminently hackable and insecure user / pass combos)? Ever spend 15 minutes typing in 57 different variations of your sign-in info, only to visit another site 20 minutes later and repeat that process? I realize this is becoming something of a white whale for me, but for Dog’s sake, there has to be a better way to do this!

Weird Urbanity.

Sounds, downtown San Jose. Metallic clunks. Whispery whirrings. Chirpy crosswalks.


This graph (taken from The Economist–I saw it on davidbordwell.net) visualizes the flaccid flop that is theatrical 3D exhibition. Think of all the money the theater chains have wasted in installing the technology. 


Point Reyes


Riding the Tech Train With the Brakes On

<p><span style="color: #666666;font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;font-size: 14px;line-height: 18px">I remember a (resistive) touchscreen interface in an Alabama Welcome Center along I-59 back in the late &lsquo;80&rsquo;s. It was a sort of proto-Google on a local level, with info about tourist attractions and the like. My sister and I would always make our mother stop there so we could play with it. It seemed so futuristic and sophisticated. And now I&rsquo;m typing these words on a more advanced (capacitive) touchscreen. Did it really need to take so long to get this tech in everyone&rsquo;s hands? Is the lightning-quick tech dev cycle a myth? What&rsquo;s holding us back, if so?</span></p>