Archive for May 2006

X-Men: The Last Stand

Saw this Friday night.

Was better than I expected. Having low expectations is fantastic sometimes…

Not a particularly good movie though. There’s a bit of whizz-bang action, but not quite enough. The movie raises some interesting questions (eg, it seems as though it’s going to present Magneto and Xavier as both being equally grey, rather than black/white good/evil) – but then it manages to dodge all of them without actually answering anything.

Some of the so-called ‘super powers’ aren’t very well thought out. When we meet The Juggernaut we’re told that “if he gets any momentum up, he can’t be stopped”. Funnily enough, we’ve just seen him in a state with quite some momentum (in a moving truck), and he was stopped by Magneto without Magneto even being aware that he was there…

There were a few moments where the movie seemed to forget itself and launch into slapstick humour; fortunately, I’ve forgotten all of these painful interludes so I can’t tell you about them. However, some of the casting choices produced much merriment – seeing Big Chris in a mainstream movie was fantastic. On the other hand, I spent half the movie thinking that Hank McCoy was very familiar and trying to figure out where I knew him from; once I realised that the big blue fluffy Beast was none other than Frasier, I giggled for minutes…

All in all, not terrible, but not good either. Nowhere near as good as the first two, and definitely not worth watching a second time.

Da Vinci code

Saw the movie last night.

Overall, not a bad treatment of a difficult book. Very, very very abbreviated, but that was necessary. If you liked the movie, you’ll love the book.

There was one thing that amazed me though. I thought that the ending of the book was pretty bad – the ending of the movie was even worse. It takes real talent to take the only bad part of the book and amplify it to make it even worse.

[Update 23/02/2007] Sorry, comments have been closed on this post due to too much spam.

Randomness

As I remarked to a friend today, I’m so much of a Google fanboi it’s almost embarrasing. I use Google Mail, Google Mail For Your Domain, Google Personalised Homepage, Google Personalised Search, Google Search History, Google Desktop, the Google Toolbar for Firefox, and now Google Notebook as well. I’ve been using notebook to keep clips of interesting things. You can see my raw notebook. I was going to mention a few highlights here, but on reflection, none of them seem quite as interesting any more, so I won’t.

I was going to talk about some other things, such as my work, but all my thoughts have evaporated. Instead, I’m just going to go away and play Civilisation.

Oh – I will mention that I was at Shock of the New III tonight, and it was fantastic. Not all of the pieces were entirely to my liking, but the way they were put together was fantastic.

We’re having a paintball day soon at work. I found out today that I’ve been chosen as one of the team captains, and both my manager and his manager are on my team… Hrm.

I’ve started using Bon Echo Alpha 2 today, and just discovered the Nightly Tester Tools extension, which allows me to use most of my other extensions even though they’re (technically, according to the version headers) incompatible. Having the best of both worlds is fantastic – Bon Echo is much much faster than version 1.5, and stable enough (for me) to be used as my main browser.

I’m finding myself more and more in love with Glen. The challenge of balancing time spent with him with time spent alone or with other friends is still present; if I’m not careful I end up spending too much time with him. On the whole, I’m very pleased with how things are going though.

I intend to following up the relationship posts one of these days; for now, all I’ll say is that the most honest reason anyone has yet given me for preferring monogamy in a relationship is that they’re too jealous to be able to handle anything else. In short, I don’t think that’s a valid excuse, any more than expecting your partner to not speak to anyone else on the grounds that it made you too jealous would be.

Eurovision… let’s just not go there.

I think that’s about all for now. Time for me to play some Civilisation…

Google News

Quick summary of events from this week. By sheer chance, they all involve Google.

* Didn’t make the Google party on thursday night, due to a combination of forgetting the address and an upset stomach.

* I applied for Gmail for you domain for one of my domains months ago – the domain I use to give email addresses to my family. My application was approved this week and I’ve been setting up the domain. I’ve not seen anyone else on the blogosphere talking about this – surely I’m not the first? Maybe I should search…

* Using gcal to organise events didn’t really work out, so now I’m using eventful.com to organise yum chas. If you want to be notified when future things are organised, create an account and join the group.

There’s a little boxy thing on the right-hand bar as well – which you probably won’t see if you’re using a broken browser such as IE. You can download Firefox from the button in the left-hand navbar.

Hrm. I gust realised though that you won’t *see* that navbar if you’re in IE, which rather defeates its purpose. hrm.

10 Commandments of the Holy Church of the Bleeding Obvious

Taken from SMH:

THE FIRST HOLY CHURCH OF THE BLEEDING OBVIOUS.

OUR 10 COMMANDMENTS.

1. Thou shalt say Sorry when thou hast erred. This doth not make you look smaller but taller. This doth also bring comfort to those thou hast wronged.

2. Thou shalt Admit it when thou art wrong. For this saveth time and tis a noble thing to Stand Corrected.

3. Thou shalt behave towards others in accordance with how thou wouldst like to be Remembered.

4. Thou shalt live each day as if tis one’s last as life is too short.

5. Thou shalt use the word ‘You’ for every time thou useth the word ‘Me’.

6. Thou shalt Move Down On the Bus. As there is always plenty of room in the back and doing so doth start the day well for others, disposing them to do the same for others still, and so on and so on-eth.

7. When thou ist arguing with thy loved one, thou shalt stop, call Time Out, placeth a large kitchen pot on thy head and on theirs, then attempteth to continue arguing. Laughter then signifyeth twas a silly argument. Silence signifyeth tis an important argument, yet thou shalt gaineth objectivity, cut to the chase, acheiveth Resolution, kiss and make upeth.

8. Thou shalt see the difference between Religion and God. For there seemeth to exist no greater chasm.

9. In all matters of thy Religion, thou shalt constantly ask, “Would God considereth this bit completely unnecessary, petty and/or laughable?”

10. Thou shalt have the courage of thy convictions and try not to be completely the opposite of that which thou claimeth to be. For thy God dust most weepeth at the greatest idea in the world only existing on its head …eth.

Signed, The Reverand Justin Sheedy.

Interoperability, schminteroperability

So.

One nice weapon to have in hand against spammers is an infinite number of email addresses. This happens to be something I have – actually, I have 2.5 infinite sets of email addresses (actually, not infinite, but something like 35^64 * 3 – I’m too lazy to calculate that number). This is because I have three domains of my own + one I share with a few family members, and any random address at those domains ends up in my inbox.

For people who don’t have their domains, one common way to achieve this that’s been used by many MTAs is to allow “plus” addresses – that is, zhasper@zhasper.com, zhasper+hotmail@zhasper.com, zhasper+google@zhasper.com, zhasper+amazon@zhasper.com are all treated as being the same address. This is useful, because if I get spam to, say, the zhasper+amazon@zhasper.com address, I know that Amazon has either sold my email address, or just been sloppy and revealed it to someone. I can then immediately consign any further mail sent to that address to the spam bin.

Yes, I’ve done this. icq@zhasper.com doesn’t work any more (try sending mail to it!) because ICQ’s directory published my address and led to too much spam. A certain person who may or may not read this, who is, either way, named after a snail, but apt to fly – well, their custom-built CMS didn’t mask my email either, and I got spam on the address I’d used to sign up to their site. I did, of course, give them a gentle earbashing..

As well as “plus” addresses, some MTAs instead support the opposite syntax – “zhasper-hotmail@zhasper.com” rather than “zhasper+hotmail@zhasper.com”. Both types of address are completely legal according to RFC2821.

Tonight, I decided it was time to ditch the hotmail address I’ve used as an MSN messenger address for a few years and move to something I actually read – people keep sending me emails there, but of course I don’t bother reading hotmail – who wants to log in to a horribly clunky site just to read more spam?

I wanted to use an address that would end up at my gmail account, yet not my main gmail address – because, as mentioned, it’s almost 100% certain that this address will start attracting bucketloads of spam the instant I make it public via passport.net (which you have to do in order to use MSN Messenger)

However… Microsoft refuse to believe that the “+” character is valid in email addresses – you can’t sign up for a passport account with a + sign in the email address (even though it’s perfectly valid!), nor can you send emails to such addresses from hotmail.

Gmail, on the other hand, only recognise the “+” syntax – so “zhasper+msn@gmail.com” is a valid working address, while “zhasper-msn@gmail.com” goes into a black hole.

So.. I can’t do it. bah. humbug.