Friday, January 30, 2004

Pixar ends relationship with Disney

After putting out several films together, such as Monsters Inc., Toy Story, and most recently Finding Nemo (the most successful animated film ever), Pixar has announced that they will be severing ties with Disney, who distributed their works.

As usual, the argument was over money. Pixar wanted more of a share of the profits and a lower distribution fee becaus their movies were so successful. I can't say I blame them. Disney's going to shit these days.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

New $100 bill

Not to be outdone by the American's $20 bill, the Canadian government has released a new $100 bill with the usual ramp-up of anti-counterfitting features: Watermarks, holograms, metallic strips, etc.

Check out a picture in this story.

Friday, January 23, 2004

No scents is good sense

"No scents is good sense", or so the new signs in my office tell me. It's supposed to be the start of some sort of campaign to get us to stop wearing scented products to the office for people who are sensitive to them. What about the people who are sensitive to people's fucking B.O.? I am acutely aware of those peoples' needs because I am among them.

What I think people really need is some lessons in moderation. I know how horrible it is to get on an elevator 10 minutes after the last person, and not be able to breathe because 6 gallons of perfume is still hanging in the air. But it's also not very pleasant to have to sit next to the stinky guy on the bus, is it?

Surely there is a happy medium.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Alexander Keith's becoming the top beer in Canada?

Read a story in the Daily News today that said the president of Labatt Breweries of Canada wants to position Keith's in a "splashy marketing campaign" that could make it the most popular brand in the country. It goes on to say how Keith's will always be brewed in Halifax, and that the marketing will not overshadow (in fact, it will use) the fact that Keith's has a long history of maritime brewing.

Maybe we'll find out whatever happened to Roger, the Admiral, and my personal favourite, the Admiral's daughter.

Alexander Keith's Hockey Night in Canada, anyone? :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

HDTV and why you should get it

So, Eastlink recently started offering a new set-top box that can decode and display HDTV. "Why is this significant to me?" you may ask? "Well", I would answer, "HDTV is not only the most significant update to television as we know it since black and white gave way to colour, but it also looks fucking fantastic.". Yes, I believe that's exactly how I'd answer.

HDTV offers about 16 times the resolution that traditional TV does. Think about it. How many of you have your computers set at 640x480? Traditional television is only about half that. Although HDTV capable sets are still fairly pricey, they're coming down quickly. As an early adopter (4 years ago), I paid through the nose for mine.

I'm not much of a football fan, but let me tell you, it's very cool seeing a game in the the clarity that HD offers and hearing the fans yell and cheer from behind you on a Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mix.

Eastlink's HDTV package has 6 channels, five of which you can get for free during their trial period and the sixth you get with a subscription to the movie network. So that's FOX, ABC, NBC, CBS, and two channels that they show everything else on. All of the prime time shows are in HDTV and they look fantastic. For anyone who didn't know, since HDTV's aspect ration is 16x9 instead of traditional television's 4x3, which means that these shows are all filmed in widescreen. It's a much more pleasant experience, like everything you watch is a movie instead of a television show. Some of them even come through in 5.1 sound.

Of all the channels, CBS really shines through with the best quality video. I don't know what it is, something intangible perhaps, but the crispness and clarity of the CBS channel is far better than the others. I would give second place to the PBS programs broadcast on the first "catch all" channel; high resolution images, to be sure, but I tend to notice some shimmer. All the rest are clearly better than standard television, but they just don't compare to the quality of the top two. When the HD channels are not showing native HD material, they show up-converted 480i programming. Even this looks staggering better than normal.

So, everyone go and get an HDTV compatible set, and get on the bandwagon. My dream is for one day to have every program on every channel to look this good. I know this is mandated by the CRTC, but they keep pushing the date back. You really haven't experienced television until you have seen HDTV.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Winter driving

You would think that we, as Canadians, would have this winter driving thing all worked out by now, but after last night's 15 cm snowfall, I can see that we have not. I witnessed some un-smart things being done by people this morning. For example, sliding into a pole is very un-smart, but perhaps that wasn't in the driver's control; I won't bitch about that. What I am going to bitch about is the amount of snow that people leave on their cars and think it's perfectly OK to drive around.

You sloppy bitches.

Not only can snow from your roof blow off and hit the windsheild of the car behind you, it can slide off when you stop and cover your own. Also, try brushing the snow of your brake lights so perhaps I could tell when you were stopping. Post your own complaints about awful winter drivers.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Kodak says, "Screw film, I never liked it anyway."

Kodak has decided to stop producing and selling film cameras in the United States, Canada, and Europe (except for disposables) and put all their resources towards digital ones. That's a fairly major statement for a leader in the field of consumer-level photography. Time to buy some Sandisk stock I guess.

Anybody out there an amateur (or professional) photographer? I know at least two people who are, one uses film and the other uses digital. Do you see this as the death of film photography? Will it be relegated to the annals of history as something only professionals or weirdos use like turntables or betamax tapes? Personally, I think it's a pretty bold step by Kodak; one I wasn't expecting to see for a few years to come.