The 40 Year Old Virgin: Movie Review

August 27th, 2005

Starring: Steve Carell, Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd
Director: Judd Apatow

40 Year Old Virgin had some very funny scenes in it. The chest waxing scene alone was worth the price of admission. Steve Carell is a very funny man and this movie does a good job showing off his talents. Catherine Keener and Paul Rudd do a good job as well.

I didnt find all the jokes in the movie terribly funny, so I did find that there were some slow spots.

Seen at Arclight Cinemas, Aug 26, 2005

Rating: 4/5


Four Brothers: Movie Review

August 27th, 2005

Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson, André Benjamin
Director: John Singleton

Four Brothers is a terrible movie. Four brothers seek revenge on their mothers killers by resorting to violence. The story is very linear and had nothing interesting to it. I didn’t care about the characters so I didn’t really care if the brothers or the people they were after were going to get killed. There was really nothing interesting about this movie at all.

Rating: 2/5

Seen at Graumans Chinese Theatre, Aug 20th, 2005


51% of US Journalists Use Blogs

August 26th, 2005

In a recent blog posting about the small percentage of Americans who are blog readers, I said:

The people reading blogs, like the press for instance, are probably more influential than the average person.

There has now been a study that backs this statement up. It reveals that 51% of American journalists read blogs regularly, and 28% rely on them for their daily reporting. Despite what some people say, blogs are an influential medium that is going to be around for a while.

Found via The Blog Herald.


Google Flip-Flops on Talk

August 24th, 2005

Google’s long term strategy is simple – throw things against the wall and see what sticks. Some people think Google is building a Web OS, but that would require some long term strategy. I don’t think Google has any strategy.

This is pretty evident from their recent launch of Google Talk. As the Got Ads Blog pointed out, Googles Corporate Philosophy seems to have been revised a little.

At the bottom of that page you can find this disclosure:

* Full-disclosure update: When we first wrote these “10 things” four years ago, we included the phrase “Google does not do horoscopes, financial advice or chat.” Over time we’ve expanded our view of the range of services we can offer –- web search, for instance, isn’t the only way for people to access or use information -– and products that then seemed unlikely are now key aspects of our portfolio. This doesn’t mean we’ve changed our core mission; just that the farther we travel toward achieving it, the more those blurry objects on the horizon come into sharper focus (to be replaced, of course, by more blurry objects).

This of course gives them free reign to do anything they like and say “Oh, its all about accessing or using information”. But everything we do on a computer is accessing or using information. So that statements becomes absolutely meaningless.

A little research shows that this statement was on the page a lot less than 4 years ago. The internet archive shows the page in November 2004 with ” Google does search. Google does not do horoscopes, financial advice or chat.” on it in November 2004. It may have even been there more recently, but the archives don’t seem to have any updates since that time.

So they went from “we don’t do chat” to releasing a chat service in well under a year. Now that’s a flip-flop even a politician could be proud of! Launches

August 23rd, 2005

i have just launched a new website: It is a resource to fight spam blogs, or ‘splogs’ as they have come to be known. It will be a resource center for dealing with the problem of splog. It lists actions that can be taken, sources of information and news.


Saw: Movie Review

August 22nd, 2005

Stars: Leigh Whannell, Cary Elwes and Danny Glover
Director: James Wan

I was very interested in seeing Saw because it seemed like a little bit of a different horror movie than the usual slasher flick. It turned out to be a little different, but not as much as I thought.

After seeing the first few minutes I thought I was going to be treated to a good tight, psychological horror, something along the lines of Cube. As the movie went on it turned out to be a little more of a standard serial-killer thriller. It did, however, still have some interesting aspects to it.

I didn’t like Cary Elwes acting in this movie. He seemed to be trying to hard. Relative newcomer Leigh Whannell did a good job though.

Rating: 4/5


Flying Spaghetti Monster

August 21st, 2005

This is the funniest, most brilliant thing I have read about in a long time. Bobby Henderson wrote an Open letter to the Kansas School Board complaining that the teaching of Intelligent Design in Kansas schools won’t include the alternative Intelligent Design Theory of Flying Spaghetti Monster. The Flying Spaghetti Monster is, of course, the creator of the universe. There is even some scientific evidence presented in the letter.

There is now also a good Wikipedia Entry about it. Boing Boing is “willing to pay any individual *$250,000 if they can produce empirical evidence which proves that Jesus is not the son of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.” This has been recently up to a whopping $1,000,000 by three other bloggers.

This is one of the best memes to ever hit the Internet.


Red Eye: Movie Review

August 21st, 2005

Stars: Rachel McAdams, Cillian Murphy
Directed By: Wes Craven

Red Eye is the latest film by Wes Craven, who’s usual movies, such as A Nightmare On Elm Street and Scream are from the horror genre. I was interested to see if he could deliver the thrills with action instead of horror. Overall I think he did a good job, although I think the end of the movie resorted back to some horror-type thrills, which seemed a little out of place. The suspense level was kept fairly high throughout the movie.

Cillian Murphy and Rachel McAdams gave solid performances.

Rating: 3.5/5 Problems

August 18th, 2005

Frank recently started a new service:

It’s a nice idea but I see a few problems with it.

  1. SpamReporter itself open to spamming. If the spammers start spamming SpamReporter with a bunch of legitimate blogs, the information in it will be useless. Maybe using a Captcha or something would help.
  2. I’m not sure I see how the blog search engines could use this data. Just because a blog is marked as spam by someone doesn’t mean it is really spam. Maybe the more “spam votes” a blog gets would reduce it’s relevancy or something, but I’m just not sure how much sense that makes.
  3. If this data is publicly available, the spammers will be able to use it too. As soon as they find out one of their spam blogs is on the SpamReporter list, they just start up a new free blog.

I hate to criticize a well-meaning project, but hopefully my suggestions can make it a better service.


Blogger Makes a Small Step Forward at Fighting Blog Spam

August 18th, 2005

As reported on BlogHerald, it seems Blogger has been listening to some of the unhappiness about spam blogs. They have announced a new “Flag as Objectionable” button.

It seems like the main purpose of this is to try to hide offensive material from being accidentally found:

When a person visiting a blog clicks the “Flag?” button in the Blogger Navbar, it means they believe the content of the blog may be potentially offensive or illegal.

The spam blog part seems like its almost a afterthought:

For more serious cases, such as spam blogs or sites engaging in illegal activity, we will continue to enforce our existing policies (removing content and deleting accounts when necessary).

This is a small step in the right direction. I’m sure now that Spam Blogs are getting more attention more resources will be spent on defeating them and the community as a whole should be able to get a handle on them. Its good to see everybody getting in on the action to defeat these spammers.

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