Archive for March, 2009

Digitized Blue Space Wang!

WARNING: SPOILERS

the Original Silk Spectre Today, I went and saw the Watchman. Considering how I had never even heard of the franchise before the release of the movie, I didn’t know what to expect, but since this was a DC movie, and since the latest batch of DC comic movies have been quite good, I came into this venture with that opinion.

While I was not aware of the back-story for the movie, I was able to quickly understand what was going on, based on my knowledge of History. Nixon was still president in the 80’s, America won the war in Vietnam, and Masked Hero’s were outlawed. However, on the same hand, I couldn’t quite fathom as to why Super Hero’s where being killed, considering the whole illusion that Super Hero’s lived forever.

This movie also seemed to continue the line of the flawed hero, much akin to the revamped Batman, and Superman franchises, however, unlike Batman and Superman, the Watchmen, seem to be flawed in spades.

If I was to break down each of the characters by their faults, I would be dedicating entire articles to each of them.
You have the socially inept paranoid outcast (Rorschach) who fills the role of a halfway narrator; a grizzled War Veteran (The Comedian) who dies in the first five seconds, but continues to populate the movie with his womanizing, heroine beating alcoholic antics, the unappreciated, under loved and undersexed Nymphet (Silk Spectre) who also fills the role as the token piece of ass on the film, wearing yellow latex, but not actually having the body to wear such an outfit (SHE HAS NO BOOBS!) but feels the need to show them a few times. The Aryan Bruce Wayne knockoff, (Ozymandias) who in the end feels that the only way to save the world is to blow the shit out of it…While we are on the topic of Bruce Wayne, the Watchmen seems to have a dropout from the Batman Academy for superheroes, (NiteOwl) I mean come on!, The guy looks like Batman, has Batman’s demeanor, though lacking the social skills, and has the vast array of high tech gadgets, though unlike the Dark Knight, NiteOwl uses these toys to replace, NOT supplement his fighting abilities.

And then we get to Blue Space Wang…otherwise known as Doctor Manhattan, I mean, as a man, I did not really need to sit through two and a half hours, of what seems devoted to showing the anatomically disproportionate, and yet expertly digitally mastered junk of the Blue Adonis. Because both myself and my other half were already shocked by the fact that it was allowed through the Office of Film and Literature, counted that Dr Manhattan’s radioactive wang was shown, no less that twelve times, four times in the one scene, now correct me if I’m wrong, but not even porn contains so much frontal nudity.

While we were laughing our heads off at the sheer audacity of a movie, that if it was a game, would have been denied classification, we noticed the Soundtrack.
I listened to the songs played in the background of the various scenes, and I noticed that I had a lot of those songs on my Zune that was sitting in my bag next to me, but for reasons unknown to me, or the eight other people in the theatre, was just why where they being played in this movie? It was almost as if the audio director for the movie plugged my Zune into the mixer, set it to Random, and said “There, that is the Soundtrack to this movie!” Either the song was played in the very center of a scene, or had no real connection to that scene, or in the case of the horribly scripted sex scene, the wrong damn song for the situation.

While the gratuitous bloodshed was an interesting change, though I felt a little uncomfortable about seeing President Kennedy’s brains painted all over the back of his limousine, though I did laugh when the Fat guy gets his arms cut off with an oddly available circular saw in the Jail. Though I still wonder just how that thing got there; the bloodshed, seemed to be for its own sake, not really necessary for the storytelling.

The only real saving virtue, was the curvaceous, Sally Jupiter, who portrayed the Silk Spectre during the 1940’s, I mean va-va-vaboom, that costume was amazing, so much so I included it in this review, the girl was built to the nines, unfortunately, her involvement in the movie was not particularly stellar, but it did reward me for having to put up with the rest of this train wreck.

Overall, I would not recommend this movie to anyone, other than to diehard fans of the Graphic Novel, if only to save you from the Attack of the Space Weiner.

Conroy on TV…answers nothing

Following the news that iiNet was abandoning the flawed Mandatory Internet Filter, Australian news services have been inundated with reports of smaller ISP’s following the support of the big Three, in condemning the filter, and requesting that the Government abandon any and all attempts to implement it. After Wikileaks blew the lid of the blacklist, a list that I have personally read, and I would upload it so that you can see for yourself the draconian content that is being banned, content that for the most part, is legal in this Country, even if it is morally questionable, and no I am not talking about pedophilia, there are a number of homosexual and heterosexual websites on this list.

This is after Federal Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, appeared on a Panelist Interview Program, hosted on the Government owned ABC network; this program prides itself by having the option for viewers to send in questions, in either email, or video form, for the panelists to answer. According to the host of the show, Senator Conroy personally received over two thousand questions submitted, with another ten from the audience, which was the highest number of any panelist. Of these questions, he avoided the topics of Censorship, technical feasibility, and why everyone bar Christian Lobby Groups, seem to be against this. He also scoffed at the idea that the Government would use this filter as a means of controlling what Australian’s do online.

While the only ISP, who has actively taken an interest in being involved in Phase Two of the Trial is Optus, though their reasons behind this are not as clear as they were at the onset of testing, considering that while they initially only wanted to be involved if the Filter was cut down, and its application was more transparent. These days, however, it seems that the the number 2 ISP in Australia, just wants to be involved/

The Government plans on rolling out the Filter later this year, however, reports from the trial, on small scale ISP’s have encountered a number of implementation issues, and some of the participants of the trial, haven’t even begun wide scale testing, According to the Technical Director of Primus Telecom, the largest of the initial ISP’s in the trial, the filter does NOT affect Peer to Peer Services, where 80% of child pornography, (Which the government said was the reason for the filter) comes from, is not even affected by the filter. Sure, targeting P2P services will also stop music and movie piracy, but even I know that is the way to get a hold of objectionable material. 

Now, my personal opinion about the current Government are widely known, but considering the madness coming out of the party, I wont kick a man when he is down, even if I may laugh manically at him. All I do know, is that I still throw my support into the Opposition of this stupidity, and even Labor voters are joining the cause, and for that I welcome you to the good fight.

Earth Hour: Only an hour to affect nothing

This evening marked a time in that those with social consciences turned off their electronic devices in an attempt to save the world from global warming. At 8:30 AEDT, those that felt that their one act could save the world, turned off their lights, and turned on their torches, for one whole hour. News reports speculated that over a billion people turned their lights off, some had parties where they would celebrate their achievement by torch and candle light.

All the while, these people turned off their lights, the Powerplants still chuffed away, producing the same amount of emissions they did the hour before, and the hour later. Regardless what the masses had done, since simply killing the power in the home, does nothing towards the generation of said power in the powerplant, any action anyone did, would have simply been a cosmetic one.

Now I have been trawling the blogosphere, trying to gauge what the ‘official’ stance on Earth Hour is, and I am amazed, at just how naive a lot of people are. There are some bloggers who insist that this becomes an annual calendar event, while others are marveling at how major cities look with some of their lights off, compared to them on. All the while, ignoring the fact that as long as things like Stadiums, and Shopping Centers, who consume more power than most city blocks, remain in operation during these times, no matter how many houses turn their lights off, nothing is going to happen.

I personally did not participate in Earth Hour, for abovementioned reasons, so I went out to Dinner, to a Steakhouse, that for the duration of Earth Hour, had its lights on, kitchen running, and showed Happy Feet on the TV, while another showed a local sporting event, that I wasn’t paying attention. This Steak House also happens to reside on the largest club in the Region, and it as well, chose its bottom line, over any so called attempt to save the planet.

There are a number of reasons as to why Earth Hour, as a whole is a pointless venture, namely, its our reliance on power generators to maintain a number of our vital systems, namely public transport, and hospitals, systems that if power is removed from the process, the whole system grinds to a halt. The other major issue, is the fact that there is no incentive to do it, other than a moral one to say that they did their bit to save the planet, before they get into their gas guzzling SUV and drive to McDonalds.

If anything Earth Hour, is and always will be, an environmental failure, propagated by the Greenies, in an attempt to guilt the masses into accepting that their misguided approaches to well just about everything, as the correct course of action.  If anything, all it did is raise some kind of awareness, that the individual might be able to affect an environmental issue, but if failed any real attempt to combat any form of climate change.

In blogging news, the DocNetwork has reached Two Thousand Visitors, that is over a thousand visitors in little over a month we would like to thank you all for this, and hope you will join us for the next thousand

Miniature Star Wars Battles

When I’m not costuming, or writing, or chatting on the TWiT Army IRC Chatroom, I am enjoying a good game of Star Wars Miniatures, though finding players has become increasingly difficult to find considering that I play in an area whose only idea of Tabletop gaming, is Warhammer, trying to entice them over to the comparatively simple game, has not been without its troubles. Tabletop gaming is as much a commitment than anything else, especially considering the sheer costs involved.

Since the number of people playing it has been low of late, I have taken to retouching the figures that come prepainted from Wizards of the Coast, though I must say, it is an incredibly bad job. What turns other players off the game is the fact that it comes in packages with a randomized selection from each of the 10 factions, which makes it incredibly difficult to get the squad you want unless you buy a gross of them, and the price attributed to it, takes the fun out of it, especially when others have more funds and can do that, and your playing people that only get a finite amount a week to spend so they buy only one booster.

Wizards of the Coast as of late is trying to rectify this but releasing new new boosters with only two factions plus Fringe each, I fear its too little, to late.
To coincide with the launch of the Clone Wars TV Series, they released the Clone Wars Booster set, which in all honesty was just re-boxed versions of Republic and Separatist units mostly from the discontinued Clone Strike series, with a few new figures to coincide with new characters from the new TV Series.
More recently they released a Rebels and Empire Booster, under the title of Imperial Entanglements, while I use a Mandalorian Squad more than anything, the addition of a number of Fringe units to that set, has caught my interest. However, the absence of a card list, which is both rather odd, and annoying. With any luck, the next booster, supposedly called Jedi Academy will either have New Republic and Yuhzong Vong, or New Republic and Mandalorian. Either way the Mando’s and the Vong both need more units, as while they are more powerful unit for unit, they often get overwhelmed by the more ‘Cannon Fodder’ geared Factions. The Rumour Mill is rife with speculation of Mandalorian units who will work in the other factions, but no new named characters.

From time to time I will be posting up pictures of my custom Mando’s but for the time being, I will keep playing around with them, trying to find someone who will take them on

At least one South Pacific Government see’s reason

As I stated in the last article, the New Zealand Government yesterday, officially announced that the publically denounced Section 92A Amendment, ceases to exist; following what reports in New Zealand state, as a failure of the ISP’s and the Entertainment Industries to find any form of common ground to reach an agreement on the proposed law, which had necessitated the original postponement of the Amendment back in February.

New Zealand Minister for Commerce Simon Power, said yesterday, that “Cabinet today decided that section 92A of the Copyright Act 1994 will not come into force on 27 March as scheduled, but will be amended to address areas of concern,” While this is a victory, what concerns me, as well as a number of other technology bloggers, is that while in its current form, the Amendment has not gone away; there is nothing stating that the Government will rewrite the entire thing, or if they will change one or two minor issues and hope for the best.
Ever the skeptic, I suspect that the only reason the Government withdrew the Amendment was because of the electronic tongue lashing they received from the masses, and that it will be back, though we are not entirely sure as to when this will be the case, or what it will look like.

The Kiwi Blackout Protest showed the world what online communities geared around social issues, do in fact work, while the end result was brought on by the entertainment industry unable to come to terms with the ISP’s had it not been for the BlackOut campaign, the rest of the world would not have been aware of if, I know for certain, had it not been for the TWiT Armies kiwinerd, informing me about this event taking place, I probably would never have covered it.

While I am happy for my Kiwi brethren, I feel torn somewhat ashamed at the same time, that while the Kiwi Government can openly come out and say that this Amendment does not work so we are going to fix it, while its counterpart over the ditch, can’t seem to pull their finger out and realise that if a hundred thousand or so people, from a country of only 21 million are against something, and the number one and three ISP’s in the country are against it as well, and the number one ISP is still partially owned by the same government, and yet is against it, that maybe, just maybe, that it doesn’t work, and they should stop doing it.

According to reports, the whole S92a debacle, was brought on as a result of foreign interests, in particular the RIAA, as a way of clamping down on P2P file sharing. Had the online communities not stood up to this, then New Zealand would have been a horrible guinea pig for other countries, however its failure sets a precedent to prevent this from happening again.

I will continue to cover this, and the Internet Filter as more information becomes available.

iiNet yanks the cord on Censorship

I knew this one was coming, but I would like to thank SteveH for bringing it to my attention.
iiNet, Australia’s third largest Internet Provider, has officially left the table on the Governments flawed Internet Filter, after it was discovered that the system that was initially intended to block Child Pornography, wasn’t just blocking it, a discovery that the DocNetwork speculated on a good month and a half ago; the blacklist at the core of this Filter, not only contains child pornography websites, but thousands of legitimate websites, most of those contain content that the Government deems unwanted.

While iiNet was always involved in the trial exclusively to prove that it was a flawed waste of taxpayer money, the fact that they have effectively walked away from the trial, stating that they cannot in good faith support such a draconian system, and joined rival Telstra in refusing to be associated with it any further. The reason behind iiNet’s ‘shock’ withdrawal was sparked by the Swedish based whistleblower website Wikileaks.
On Friday, the website published a ‘secretly’ obtained blacklist of websites that would be blocked under the new filter. Characteristically, Federal Communications and Digital Economy Minister, Stephen Conroy, who has become the number one enemy of the DocNetwork, came out and stated that this blacklist was not the one to be used as it was not the same size, though it contained similar URL’s. On Sunday, in response to this hilarity, Wikileaks released a NEW blacklist, dated the 18th March, which is near identical in size and content as the proposed blacklist. On this list was a Queensland Dentist, a canteen support group and a number of legitimate, innocent websites, which had been thrown on the list, for apparently no reason.

In response to this news, Wikileaks has been down over the weekend, and as of 11:30PM today, it is still down. It is unclear as to why this is the case, whether or not it has been down due to Traffic loads, the Legal threats of the Australian Federal Government, or a Directed Denial of Service, by the government to prevent Australians access to the site, is unclear.

iiNet is not the only ISP, attached to the trial that has openly criticised it, smaller ISP, iPrimus, has compared the new filter, to China’s filtering system, where the native Chinese are banned from accessing content that shows the Communist Party in a bad light, regardless of their statements, they are still in the trial; however, according to reports from the developers, none of the six ISP’s approached, are in fact ready to start trialling the service.

Now I have received some flak from some readers about the obvious fact that I do not agree with the statements, actions or beliefs of the current Government, but when the current Prime Minister, who speaks fluent Chinese, is rallying behind a filter that seems an awful lot like the denial of freedoms, the Chinese Government has on its technocratic populace. I know that John Howard, the former PM, took a lot of cues from America, but Rudd, really should not be taking his cues from the Peoples Republic of China, when it comes to civil liberties, or anything else for that matter.

While iiNet has quickly become my favourite ISP, despite not being a customer of them, Optusnet has become my most reviled, as while the condemnation from everyone who isn’t on the payroll of the Labor Government, Optus, still wants to be involved in the second stage trials of the service expected to be launched later this year.
While I have on more than one occasion, made vocal my displeasure of Telstra’s operational standards, I fear that because Telstra owns the entire telecommunications infrastructure of Australia, it will go down to them, if this filter succeeds or fails. The lynchpin of this story is that Telstra is still part owned by the Government, and the Government at this very point in time, wants this to go ahead, despite the fact that Telstra has said that they want nothing to do with it.

I honestly hope that the Government, follows its Kiwi counterpart, and abolish this extremely stupid proposal. While I will be covering a separate story dedicated to this, I can say that New Zealand has scrapped its widely condemned S92 Amendment, that imposed guilt on accusation on matters relating to copyright infringement.
If not, I guess that sometime in the future, Australians will be disadvantaged even more than they already are when it comes to the internet

The Rugby Season Starts

This one is for the guys of the Hawkesbury Valley Rugby Union Club, I’ve heard that a few of you actually read the blog, (Shunt told me about the comments made about Chan’s Slave Leia Costume), to that end, I would like to welcome as many of the new members of the club who stumble upon this in the future.
For those of you who are not aware, during the Australian winter months, I am according to their books, the First Aid Trainer, though officially I am there at the request of the club to make sure that they have someone carded with medical training in the event that it hits the fan.

Yesterday was the second of three trials games for the Club; Games played before the regular season starts, to determine numbers and aid in selection of teams for the coming year. I missed the first trial for some reason, and the Second Trial was in New Zealand… well more or less, we were on a oval on the very extreme east of New South Wales, nothing was in front of us but the Ocean, so much so that the home team advised us to not bring our good Match balls, otherwise we might lose them in the Pacific; though in the end, no balls ended up getting wet as far as I was know, it is one of the more interesting requests I have heard.

This will be my third season attached to a club that I have known my entire life. While I have been associated with the club for 22 years, I have only actively contributed to it for three, though it is a few more if you count the season or two I did when I was younger and I babysat all the little kids at the time, though most people don’t so it doesn’t matter.

Overall I think we won two and lost two on Saturday, though to be honest, I was paying more attention to the game in the event of injuries, not the score. Though baring a few issues with the turf, nothing really came to my attention.
Depending on what I do, I might do a weekly report on the weeks games. but then, I might not, who knows