Follow the gravity's pull

And so I went on to watch Attack of The Clones. Unlike the opinions shared on many other weblogs, I actually enjoyed the first half much more than the second. Although slowly-paced, it was very refreshing for a Star Wars movie — I specially liked the BladeRunner-esque depiction of Curoscant by night and the speeder chase. Jar Jar became a much less obtrusive character (although he has an important role in the plot he doesn't appear more than 5 minutes in the film), and Jango Fett became on of my favourite SW villains, as somehow he seems someone out of an old 80s arcade game. Then, the second part of the movie was actually a bit of a letdown, as all action seems to take place on the same planet (Geonosis), and worse, first the factory part looks like a bad platform game, but then we really didn't need Gladiator with alien monsters, did we? Although it was nice starting to see familiar Star Wars things in The Big Ending Battles — such as star crusaders and stormtroopers —, the whole thing seems a bit repetitive. Even the Final Lightsaber Fight (a formality in each Star Wars movie) is a bit crap. Then again, it is nice to know about the genesis of the Death Star, the Empire, the stormtroopers, how Anakin becomes Vader. Attack of the Clones is Star Wars. Bad acting, plot holes, cheesy dialogue. And for me, it is the best episode after Empire Strikes Back.

WinMX 3.1 has been released. Hopefully this will become a great P2P client again.

Creative Commons is now online. There also a demo at O'Reilly. Useful for creators who oppose copyright fascism.

Rack full of cool

A meme that has been around for a few days is Rolling Stone Magazine's 50 Coolest Records ever. In fact, respectable bloggers seems to be listing how many of those record they own, so why wouldn't I? Here's Protection by Massive Attack, Revolver by The Beatles, Vespertine by Björk (which I have on MP3 and don't like that much, where has Debut gone?), Odelay by Beck, Dig Your Own Hole by the Chemical Brothers and Classics by Aphex Twin (come on, there's better from Richard). And as far as Uncoolest Records go, I have none. Thankfully.

Ze Germans evil plan to invade ze United States. Only that it was in the 19th century.

No! First there were Hot or Not tests, now there are What's Better?. (via memepool)

Civilization CXX

Bought Ghost World, the comic book. It was only a matter of time, after such an excellent movie.

An advanced civilization... 120 million years ago? Well, according to some science books I've read evolution started from scratch 300 million years ago, when the biggest known mass extintion occurred, and I did think that there was a possibility of an ancient civilization existing before that. There were other mass extintions, such as the one that killed dinossaurs, so I'm not that surprised if there were civilizations in the distant past. But if this new discovery is true, it's a very nice thing indeed.

Pseudo-bohemian losers

There. I killed Republica Asseptica. No point in having a forum if no one posts there right? Another one for the Website Failures Hall of Fame.

Went to see Ghost World. Directed by Terry Zwigoff and based on a comic book by Daniel Clowes, it might very well be one of the best things I've seen this year, and certainly the most influential. Essentialy, it is a drama with many good comic relief moments, about a girl (Thora Birch) and a older man (Steve Buschemi) who just don't fit in society. The movie is full of subtle but demolishing social criticism, taking down everything from the art world to fast food culture. It also does a good job at showing european film-makers that people on the edge of society aren't necessarily drug addicts, prostitutes or sexual fetishists. Overall, Ghost World is perhaps the movie closer to my own perception of the world I have ever seen. No wonder the theatre was nearly empty on a Friday night premiere...

Scary! A list of 10 new copyright crimes for the new millennium. The article seems intended to be a joke, I think, but so did similar articles written a few years ago which came out true. (via The Null Device)

Merry Ifthenelsemas

Probably you have also noticed the new layout. If it displays weird, chances are your browser is using older images from the cache. Reload a couple of times and see the difference. Also, the link selector (which alternates between 'weblogs' and 'other links') seems to need improvement, as the title images sometime fail to display. Anyway, I'll be tweaking this website soon.

IF THEN ELSE is one year old. Already. It seems yesterday I made a couple of entries about Katastro.fi and Freenet, marking the start of this great blogging experience. April 23rd 2001 does seem like a late start for an international blogger, but remarkably early in the Portuguese scene (then again, Cafeína, my other portuguese language blog, started August 18th 2000), which unfortunately still has very few often-updated blogs written in english, so that the rest of you guys can read them. Because we are fun people. IF THEN ELSE also became the most visited website under asseptic.org, with about 75 visitors per day, beating webserver's root website (which has around fifty). Still far from the 250 Cafeína gets, but the internationa blogging ladder is indeed much much harder to climb. Not that I care. I often spoke out about many blogging attitudes I consider wrong, being overpersonalization (and exaggerated self-promotion) and underpersonalization the blogging sins I try to avoid as much as possible. I'll try to keep up with the my 30KB monthly average, and I'll hope year two will be just as good as year one. And thanks go to everyone who has linked back.

It's all Tony Blair's fault

Mulholland Drive explained. For example, it seems the opening sequence (those people dancing over a pink background) is a bastardization of a Gap ad. And so on... (Thanks, acb)

Global communication makes the world less tolerant. Hm, I don't think global communication is responsible for this, but today's media manipulation certainly is. More of matter of propaganda than communication itself, me thinks.

The Third Way delivers catastrphic results. Pusing the Left towards the Right shifted the Centre of the political spectrum rightwards. No Jean-Marie Le Pen managed to sneak in the presidential election's second round, taking down Lionel Jospin's brand of socialism (which has managed to leave the Left completely divided). Le Pen will have little chance in the second round, but this oughtta wake up the Left.

Kill all gurus

Guru. It's one of those words that gives me shivers. I recall 'Guru meditation' errors on my Amiga and somehow I think there is a relation between failure and those so called 'gurus'. Yes, this is a webdesign rant. Careful webdesign is about achiveing a balance between four elements: Style, Content, Time and Tech. Of course the first two depend on the Ultimate Law of Intention and might take the user through a unorthodox journey, but Time and Tech can't ever forget the end user. There are things that do depend on a certain technology, and carefully suggesting users they might try stop using Netscape 4.0 is a good thing, but to waste a user's time is a very serious offense. Time, of course, relates to bandwidth. It's okay to have a 2meg homepage if the target audience consists only of DSL users, but for 99% of the cases, the standard bandwidth will be that of a 56K modem. And that, is when having a 500K homepage gets serious. Flash is a technology that allows for much better time management, thanks to dynamic loading and streaming, and what do webdesigners do? They think they can get away with it, and will waste the users' time. In HTML, that is trickier, so if your homepage weights more than 60K, please make sure your users can at least start reading it before it finishes loading. And back to tech. Even though new computers come with state of the art GeForces, most people will be running at 800x600 on 15 inch monitors. And they should, unless they feel like wearing glasses soon. So, why the fuck do 'cutting-edge' websites require a gigantic window the size of my 17'' monitor, filled with ultra-tiny 8px fonts? Why? Has this generation that worships those accessibility gurus like Nielsen or Zeldman gone mad? Are we so concerned about the evils of <table> tags that completely forget the end user? Webdesigners ought to stop building websites for other designers. They ought to stop using the small print as normal print. They ought to spend some time on 5K and similar contests. Geez, they ought to learn that 100K are one hundred thousand bytes, that is as much information as in a small book! Gurus. Right. Bang!

Nasty. Indeed.

Massive Attack's latest single, I Against I, featuring Mos Def, is one helluva track, despite its appearance on the Blade II OST. But is it just me or a lot of British electronica acts jumping on the electro-revival bandwagon lead by Leftfield a couple of years ago? Anyway, the new track has a synth pad that send a chill down my spine. Good stuff.

Photos! More photos!

More generative stuff. Doovy, as they say somewhere.

What's this? The English Manager, your humble host and other guy on a movie poster? Relax, it's pure fiction.

My hoax is bigger than yours

After all this I oughta say: 'hoaxblog'. There, I coined that word. It's all mine.

And there are a few more on The Daily Linux Nerd: Linus Thorvalds retires, CPAN switches from Perl to Java, nVidia and AMD merge. There. and there's more, but I really don't care about subjects such as OS X, Debian or Blogger of the year/Star Trek, but those also do look like hoaxes to me.

Local TV channel SIC sets up a meteorite impact on a beach. Complete with a shaky 'amateur' video of the thing. And they used a dynamite explosion to attract the locals and get fake testimonials. Scary. Hm, I think this one really beats the crap out of the Google pigeons and the AOL-buys-blogs thing. Plus it gets the Zero-Ethics award too.

And pigeons do Google's page rankings.

Cats with short legs. Disgusting, actually. (via /dev/null)

Kuro5hin buys Metafilter. Hm — website jealousy in the shape of a lie, me thinks.

AOL buys weblogs. Ahah, this one is indeed a contender for the A01 Award.

Then, Slashdot has updated its advertising policy. Sorry guys, but the Cafeína hoax is just better.

From now on, Cafeina will be a subscription service that will cost €5 per month.

April Fools, right. So I guess this will be an April Fools special.