Censorship in DVD's - Utah style.

In this New York Times article David Pogue discusses how a new technology in DVD player works: ClearPlay.

DVD players supporting this technology will allow you to filter some contents in DVD's - foul language, sex and violence and more. You do this thru filters made for specific movies, created by human editors. 100 filters are built-in, 500 more can be downloaded (for a fee) from ClearPlay's website. Nice attempt to sanitize DVD movies, but not one without shortcomings. The weakness of ClearPlay is not the technology, but on the fact that what your ClearPlay - enabled DVD player will skip is not really your choice, but those of who made the movie filters - the human editors. Your take on whether their taste of what's to be skipped and what should be shown maybe one of the biggest factor you'd have to consider if DVD players enabled with this technology are for you.

My two cents? Of course, I have not tested any player (heck, I don't get to test stuff) but based on what the article says, ClearPlay tries to make movies suitable to audiences beyond to what it was originally made for. Hmmm. questionable. Violence and or Sexual content may not just be reflected on some specific scenes but on the overall theme of the movie as well-can you really sanitize some movies without ruining the original form of it? This compromise between integrity of the movie as an original work of its creators and thoroughness and accuracy of the filters is something that is really hard to do.

Of course, i haven't mentioned the Movimakers complaining about ClearPlay. But the issue is of more important to the consumers who would eventually be using the technology. To quote a text from Mr Fred "zAmboni" Locklear of Ars Technica:

One can see why Hollywood studios are complaining about the ClearPlay technology. The ClearPlay editors are the ones who override the writers and directors visions to decide on what are filtered, and do a ham-handed job about it. But the studios' arguments fall apart because the consumer consciously chose to purchase a ClearPlay enabled DVD player and chose to enable the filters. The most valid complaints may come from the purchasers of ClearPlay DVD players after sensitive eyes see violent images they thought would be filtered out.

I agree.

Link courtesy of Ars Technica

Who in the world is David Jeske

I am still on with my google groups 2 beta testing and lately i found out it does have its own litle rewards. Besides the gain of knowledge and skill on the workings of the new service, that is.

If you are the owner of a google group, you can promote your groups thru your website using the google groups 2-provided promotion boxes, just like the ones provided by YahooGroups.

I was testing it just minutes before this post and i entered my email in the email address field. Then i got the message that says:
Almost there!

In order to confirm your request to join [our group name], a confirmation message has been sent to the following address: jeske@chat.net

Please check your mailbox for this message. You must click on the link in the email message to confirm your subscription. Until then you can...

Register or Sign-in
Check out the group archives (only if public!)

bolding mine. Now who is jeske?.It didn't take long (0.24 seconds) after googling before i saw Mr. Jeske's page and his resume. Aha! what would a previous Yahoo Groups manager's email be doing at google groups' report page? Im not really sure, but I see two possible scenarios here, equally interesting i guess:

  • David Jeske still works for yahoo and somehow he managed to request the google groups' developers to provide him feedback about the people that subscribes to a google group, or,
  • he is working at google.

until he returns my email inquiries, the question still holds: Who in the world is David Jeske?

Sounds uglier, Tastes Better: Orkut

The perks of being an orkut early invitee: You get to be the owner of communities that you like! But at the moment, it's down. So ill do my community-building spree later. Good thing, I'm forced to do the first things first.

Testing the waters with GG2

For those who just came out of their caves, Google, our favorite search company started testing revitalized google groups 2 (gg2) weeks ago. And up to today i have been watching and testing the service. In many aspects it is still pretty in its beta stage, and therefore it doesn't make a lot of sense to have a review of the service at this time. Getting a first hand experience of the service would probably serve best those who are curious about the service.

As in the case for most of us, our Yahoo Groups pretty much does everything for our group collaboration needs. I actually see Yahoo's excellent and exhaustive features as the best in the field which google engineers should aim to leapfrog. Parity cannot be enough, if google wants to take a big slice of the cake. The sevice from Google however, should not be underestimated, for it has its own arsenal of features, albeit still in its young stages. The power of the google search, a very good implementation of threaded messages and Atom Feeds for messages summaries, are only a few of these features.

So you have a yahoo groups account, but want to test this new Google groups, What can you do? I would really go against migrating your whole group at this point. It's just too early. What you can do as a starter, is create your group under Google Groups 2 now. I see two reasons for this "beta migration": 1)to reserve your group's name as early as now and 2)to be able to duplicate future posts to your current Yahoo group. The first is obvious, so i'll just dwell on the 2nd reason.

What i mean with the second reason is like this: if you start your google groups now, you can forward all future message posts done in your yahoo groups TO your NEW google group's account. (Take note:FUTURE messages only. so if you start early, the more messages you will have later). This way you will have a Google groups archive of your Yahoo Groups message posts. Should you chose to migrate later, you'd already have a message archive to start, minimizing the barrier to and inconvenience of migration. Normally you can just set your group preferences in Yahoo Group to forward emails to your new Google group email, but for some reasons, Yahoo prevents you from doing this. So you have to find an email forwarding service that will serve as a midle man between your Yahoo and Google group. I tried despammed and bigfoot. I had some problems with despammed because it breaks the message threading feature of GG2, the glitch actually being the effect of the "[DESPAMMED]" string appended by the service to the subject of the messages. Im afraid that spam is the caveat of the bigfoot service, but i have yet to see one.... Lastly, you can always set your own mail server do the forwarding work. After you've done all that, your google groups account will now begin archiving your yahoo groups messages.

Amazon's A9 Search

I know this is late. but Amazon's A9 seach does add a fresh idea to searching. Search history is cool...

Apple patents transparent windows.

Apple is trying to patent transparent windows. OS news has an editiorial piece here.
hmmm. google just launched google groups 2. this i found out yesterday. so far im having a hard time testing the features... (i think it's hard to be the sole member of the group). and the blogger just made a major makeover. and it's now more pleasing to the eyes. i'm starting to see how serious the google guys are in taking over the world. of information organizing. hah.

Graphical Composition in Avalon by Ian Griffiths -- Longhorn introduces significant new graphics technology, codenamed "Avalon." Avalon renders an application's visual elements onto the screen using a much more sophisticated approach than Windows has previously used. In this article, Ian Griffiths show how this new graphical composition model solves various limitations of Win32, what new user interface design techniques this enables, and what it means to developers.

pardon my perhaps naive and young exposure on discourse and intellectual debates on the internet, for the discussion that follows this article certainly raises the bar of how i view discussions in general (and i thought that slashdot was good way back). to ian griffith, i have developed a great respect for your professionalism and control, for being open minded. the same goes to mweiher.