Tuesday, 31 August 2004

Snow White and the GeForce

This morning the third generation (3G) iMac was released at Apple Expo Paris 2004. Since the 1G iMac appeared in JLo's stylish video for 'If You Had My Love' (1999), the diminutive all-in-one solution has been at the vanguard of consumer style. The latest iteration of the successful iMac brand is a slender vision of silicon perfection.



I've owned both first and second generation iMacs and can't wait to see the latest model for myself. Apple should be applauded for producing a high quality product at a competitive price. Dropping the iMac logo from the front fascia is a natural progression, the Apple logo is elegantly subliminal.

As with previous consumer desktops, the only flies in the ointment are the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) and RAM! This blemished beauty ships with the pitifully underpowered nVIDIA FX 5200 Ultra and 256MB RAM (at time of writing I'd recommend a minimum of 512MB). The first revision will, in all probability, redress this imbalance in the hardware DNA and should be timed to coincide with the retail release of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger.

Monday, 30 August 2004

You never stop looking

Natalie Portman's acting debut, Leon, was pure ingénue. When it was announced that she'd signed to the Star Wars prequels (alongside an unknown Keira Knightley), most fans (myself included) were anticipatory! However, George Lucas' prequels drained the essense from even the most talented of actors and Natalie was no exception. Her onscreen persona was overshadowed by the Menace of a technologist's vision. The movie Closer may see the return of Portman's promise. Is Mathilda back in time for Revenge of the Sith?



I'm really looking forward to Batman Begins. The teaser trailer has rekindled my faith in the franchise. Fellow fans of both Batman and Katie Holmes would be wise to read this informative article. Over the Autumn/Fall I will showcase new Batman fine line drawings here.

Sunday, 29 August 2004

Welcome to the party pal!

Sent out Gmail invites this evening. Google's strategy is interesting in that media pundits had anticipated the service would be open for business by now! However, Google News has remained in beta phase since last year. And preserving a 'by invitation' strategy adds value to the service.

Watched a Charmed teaser featuring Nick Lachey (husband of Jessica Simpson). Alyssa Milano has grown her hair and looks gorgeous!

Friday, 27 August 2004

Miami Sound Machine

No this isn't a tenuous link to the band that became subservient to its lead singer Gloria Estefan (loved them in the 80's). Today HP's Miami bash sees the release of a range of digital lifestyle products and a branded iPod too (announced earlier this year). Apple's stock price has soared and there's the Paris Expo next week - new products galore.

Loving Gmail! The contextual AdSense banners are non-invasive. However, there might be a loading issue with Safari 1.2.3 (appears to be a cache problem and is solved by super refreshing). For instant gratification I'm using the Camino branch of Mozilla for maximum compatibility until Safari 1.3 (soon) or 2 (2005).

Thursday, 26 August 2004

Pop!ular

This afternoon whilst toying with the Blogger UI and adding new gizmos, I decided that a name change was in order! Given that the subject matter of this site skews towards popular culture, Soda Scribes is far more befitting and catchy.

Wednesday, 25 August 2004

You've got Gmail

Thanks to a charitable forum poster (not telling where), I'm the proud owner of a Gmail account now! Considering that eBay is still witnessing bids between US$60 and US$120 for invites, to say that I'm delighted is an understatement.

Safari 1.2.1 (and newer) is officially supported and plays well with Google's latest poster child. There are glitches, but these will (probably) be fixed soon. The interface is one of the best web-application interfaces I've seen so far - alongside stablemate Blogger - and unquestionably the best web-mail interface bar none.

During the coming days and weeks I'll post my experiences of this most coveted of email services and may send the odd invite too (no requests or bids please). Time to download the patched World of Warcraft Beta patch!

Tuesday, 24 August 2004

Art of Revenge

In the lead up to the release of Star Wars Episode III, Lucasfilm has begun to offer subscription-only content to non-Hyperspace members. Tellingly there is a QuickTime documentary entitled "Video Village", which illuminates the strengths and weaknesses inherent in George Lucas' directorial style. The words 'remote' and 'direction' have new meaning when read together!

At Inside Mac Games we've teamed up with Aspyr Media for our latest giveaway. And it'll be worth entering!

Monday, 23 August 2004

Sony Wars

Sony Classical began its illustrious association with George Lucas' space opera with the release of the Star Wars Trilogy in 1990. Following its merger with BMG, Sony is set to release the Original Trilogy Soundtracks to coincide with the DVD release.



Over the years I've owned the Star Wars soundtracks in vinyl, tape and CD guises. However, this latest edition introduces digital surround sound (Charles Gerhardt released Dolby Surround recordings from 1977 onwards) and value added content.

With this release of the trilogy soundtrack CDs, the entire collection of Star Wars film music is now on the Sony Classical label.

On the subject of future Sony music releases. The new studio album from the Destiny's Child franchise will be based on CD/DVD flip-side technology! This was announced during their manager's keynote speech.

Saturday, 21 August 2004

Final Cut Pro

In exactly a month Episodes IV, V and VI of the Star Wars saga will be released on DVD. As I mused in an earlier post. According to the more extreme rumour sites the 'original trilogy' has been dramatically reforged in Lucasfilm's compositing refineries!



Not only will the Special Edition sequences be refurbished, but the entire trilogy will be augmented with new and extended scenes. More ambitious suggestions range from old Naboo Starfighters appearing in the first Death Star battle to digital Ewoks and John Williams' score reorchestrated to form a more cohesive whole. Certainly alterations to CGI Jabba are welcome (see the above image for new rendering). In 1997 a friend and me lambasted The Hutt on our return journey from The Odeon, Leicester Square.

Will this release be Jar-Jared, the definitive edition or is that a matter of perception? Whatever the answer, I will post my comments here. Then there's the new edition of Episode I...

Thursday, 19 August 2004

Thunderbirds are go!

Visited our local Ford stockist. The gleaming showroom cars were all but obscured by Thunderbirds The Movie promotional litter. The new Focus 2 isn't released until 2005. So, I've ordered a Ford Fusion 2 UAV (Urban Activity Vehicle) to replace my current Focus Zetec.



This stylish UAV excudes urban chic and will sport magnum grey livery! It's so The OC, and I can't wait to collect it in November.

Tuesday, 17 August 2004

Happy Birthday Michael

No, not MJ (although his birthday is later this month)! This is to wish my friend Michael a very Happy Birthday and to lift the wraps off Photoshop album art, which will form part of his belated birthday gift. We're both fans of Michael Jackson - attending two concerts together - and twenty years ago MJ ruled the music world. His elaborate Pepsi commercials, which reached their zenith with 'Dreams' (1992), were as eagerly anticipated as his groundbreaking music videos!



Crafting a CD, with purchased iTunes music, is no mean feat. And it's best practice to adopt the Quincy Jones methodology and keep editing each time you've selected the ten best songs.

Whovians can rejoice! From the BBC archives, eighteen incomplete stories have been restored and compiled in a boxed set. Lost in Time includes the first release of 'Day Of Armageddon' and the newly discovered, 'The Daleks' Masterplan'. Also features another Dalek story, two Cybermen stories and both Yeti stories as well as the BBC1 trail for 'The Power Of The Daleks', the last episode of 'Fury From The Deep' and Tony Cornell's 8mm colour film taken during the shooting of that episode.

Have a great day Michael.

Sunday, 15 August 2004

Into Dust

Following severe flash flooding in the South West of England, my broadband connection was offline for a couple of days! However, my neighbour, who is also a blueyonder customer, did not suffer such a trammel! Presumably we are on different servers!

Today's Culture section includes an interview with Hollywood wunderkind M. Night Shyamalan! He's a consummate, and measured, mix of early Spielberg optimism and Hitchcockian horror. From The Sixth Sense to The Village, hubris is always a frame away, but Shymalan's work echoes my own aspirations. I'd encourage anyone to view his body of work at least once!

Back to iTunes.

Thursday, 12 August 2004

The Charmed Ones

At last my prayers have been answered! Trouble is my Titan Magazine budget is already maxed-out on Alias, Angel, Buffy, dreamwatch and Star Wars...



I've enjoyed Charmed in both its Shannen Doherty and Rose McGowan years. Shame that Julian McMahon left. However, nip/tuck is genius.

Wednesday, 11 August 2004

More Mayan Magic

All you aspiring artists may like to know that Maya 6 PLE is now available for download (broadband recommended). Apple Computer has also been industrious and there is an avalanche of software updates available. From Mac OS X 10.3.5 (Combined Update recommended), iSync 1.5 and Java amongst others. Grab them all whilst stocks last!

Following last week's indulgent link to brunettes. Demand was, unsurprisingly, high and IMDb has released the sequel! I pray for your forgiveness!

Monday, 9 August 2004

Verily Vuitton

Japanese consumer culture has embraced the iPod mini as an icon of urban style! Sony's Walkman brand has been usurped, according to Tokyo's fashionistas, by Apple Computer.

Sunday, 8 August 2004

Brand slam

Sony sweethearts Destiny's Child and JLo are recording their fourth studio albums, which are released to retail during the lucrative Holiday season.



Is there no limit to the JLo brand extensions? From perfume and apparel to movies and records, she's a multi-platform phenomenon. Now add a lingerie line (available only from Figleaves). Wonder if JLo will promote the iPod mini in her next promo video?

The Sunday Times Culture section includes an interview with the ever-engaging Jennifer Garner. Her movie, 13 Going On 30, has received positive reviews. Whilst it's certainly no landmark in movie making, it's replete with plenty of pop, fizz and chutzpah. I'm toying with the idea of purchasing the R1 DVD!

Coming over all geeky now. Mac OS X 10.3.5 is nearing final candidate release. The update sees improvements in Core Graphics, Audio/Sound, Bluetooth, OpenGL, Video drivers, Mail, FireWire, NFS and Safari.

Friday, 6 August 2004

Algarve adventure

For the first time ever (better late than never) Dad has won a competition to spend a week in Portugal courtesy of the very fine folks at Eglo! I jokingly 'ribbed' Dad that he would win... Perhaps I should start predicting lottery numbers? Well deserved Dad.

Whilst we're in Portugal, I'll have to scout a few locations for a future film!

Thursday, 5 August 2004

Garner gets animated

Keeping to the Disney-theme. The Alias S3 DVD set includes an animated feature, which chronicles Sidney's untold exploits during her two 'missing' years.

Wednesday, 4 August 2004

Disney's demographic channel

Reuters, my first employer following graduation from Bournemouth University, announced that the Mouse House is to soft launch the ABC brand on Freeview!



ABC1 bows in September. Launch lineup includes Once and Again, new Thirtysomething and Geena Davis Show. Bring on Alias series 4.

Tuesday, 3 August 2004

Pinter pause

Please humour my self-indulgence, but not all gentlemen prefer blondes! IMDb Salutes "Hollywood Brunettes" and satiates my penchant for the dark side.



I have Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) in the majority of rooms in my home! Last week a Grundig GDT1500, which resided in the lounge, 'overheated' (less than a year old)! Ironically a Philips model (from the ONDigital era) remains in active service. So, I searched the net and selected a Sony VTX-D800U Freeview STB. A signature design. Sony updated the software to v1.11.01 U and the seven day EPG is now up and running. The VTX-D800U ships with one of the most intuitive remote controls I've ever used!

iTunes UK released its first single of the week today! The Tina Dico song Break of Day. It will only be available, free, for a limited time. iPhoto has been updated to 4.0.2 and iSync 1.5 is imminent.

Monday, 2 August 2004

Deep Sea Titan

My close friend, Doctor Michael Williams, recently brought to my attention that über director James Cameron recently received an honorary degree from Southampton University. You can read the press release here.

It's so disappointing that, following Titanic, aside from a brief flirtation with television in the dusky-tressed Dark Angel, James Cameron has embarked on a documentary-obsessed odyssey to the detriment of his mainstream movie making! Aside from an alleged extended 5-hour cut of Titanic (destined for future DVD release), and perhaps further revisiting of earlier entries in his cinematic oeuvre
, that next movie appears to be elusive. Of course, with the exception of Piranha II: Flying Killers, I wonder if his next film will also be another romance? A romance between director and medium! This fan is waiting. So, in the words of Vasquez "Lets Rock".

You may wish to read Cameron's original treatment for the aborted Spider-Man movie here.

Sunday, 1 August 2004

Yeah ... and I'm still - I'm still - well, I'm still Seth Cohen

According to Digital Spy, The OC S1 DVD set will be released in the UK on October 18. This is a week in advance of the US bow. Pre-order your copy of this delicious guilty pleasure.