Categories
bad review revue

The Bad Review Revue

The Lie: “The actual lie is that anyone will find this entertaining.” — Brian Tallerico, The Playlist

Lost Girls & Love Hotels: “One could look at it as a PSA against self-loathing, but mostly it’s just a really bad movie.” — Eric Eisenberg, CinemaBlend

Antebellum: “The realization of what’s going on dawns on you in waves, and it’s fun to watch as they crash on the shore. But once the water recedes, the rest of the movie goes out to sea along with it.” — David Ehrlich, indieWire

The New Mutants: “It finally arrives more than two years after its original planned release date and at times it’s hard not to stifle the unkind thought: ‘Why so soon?'” — Philip De Semlyen, Time Out

The War with Grandpa: “It depends on your tolerance for watching Robert De Niro flash people.” — Amy Nicholson, Film Week

Categories
Apple

Apple Special Event “Hi, Speed”

Today Apple announced four new phones: iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max and a new HomePad Mini.

Updates to iPhone are incremental in nature and can be expected yearly with each new iteration being only slightly faster, more efficient, and more capable. This year’s new set of phones are no exception. Unless you call 50% faster “only slightly”, which is one reason why the title of today’s event is, “Hi, Speed”.

Here are some highlights from today’s event.

iPhone 12

All four versions of the new iPhones contain Apple’s proprietary A14 chip. With circuitry separated by a mere 5 nanometers and 11.8 billion transistors, the performance and efficiency of this chip is the fastest cpu in any smart phone. The only chip even close is last year’s A13 chip.

iPhone 12 Pro back camera

The main reason to want such crazy fast speed is machine learning. It’s the key to computational photography and in turn that’s what makes such great photos from iPhone 12 possible. The iPhone 11 Pro has eight dedicated machine learning cores and this year that number grows to 16. Apple’s new flagship phones are now capable of 11 trillion operations per second up from last year’s paltry 6 trillion.

A14 Bionic is the first 5-nanometer chip in the industry, with advanced components literally atoms wide. Forty percent more transistors rev up speeds while increasing efficiency for great battery life. And a new ISP powers Dolby Vision recording — something no pro movie camera, let alone any other phone, can do.

Also interesting is the inclusion of MagSafe technology for phone charging and accessories. No more worrying about whether your phone is placed on its wireless charging pad correctly because the magnet will straighten itself. I’m also intrigued by the idea of paring down to just the leather wallet attachment shown below with built-in magnetic action.

iPhone 12 MagSafe and wallet

HomePad Mini
Apple HomePod Mini stock photo

It’s been long speculated that Apple needed a HomePod Mini in order to compete in the smart speaker market against lower cost smart speakers from Google and Amazon. It remains to be seen how the sound quality of the HomePod mini stands up to the original but I’ve always wanted to add a second HomePod for the bedroom where the heavy bass isn’t so important, so I’m tempted.

And, as for rumours that the free year of Apple TV+, is going away, it appears to still be on offer that, “For a limited time, eligible customers who purchase a new iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, or Mac can enjoy one year of Apple TV+ for free and three months of Apple Arcade for free.”

Here’s Apple’s 51 Second summary of the event:

Categories
pandemic

Trump Tests Positive

Last night the news broke that Hope Hicks, one of President Trump’s senior advisors tested positive for the coronavirus. This morning it was announced that Trump himself has the virus.

From the New York Times:

Mr. Trump, who for months has played down the seriousness of the virus and hours earlier on Thursday night told an audience that “the end of the pandemic is in sight,” will quarantine in the White House for an unspecified period of time, forcing him to withdraw at least temporarily from the campaign trail only 32 days before the election on Nov. 3.

As far as an October surprise is supposed to be unpredictable, this one is very surprising.

Categories
Art psychology technology

Pareidolia on Grains of Sand

I came across a site tonight that hits on a lot of my interests. It’s got a nice mixture of art, technology, with just a hint of psychology.

I’ve been interested in pareidolia since I first learned about it years ago. It is, as wikipedia defines it, “the tendency for incorrect perception of a stimulus as an object, pattern or meaning known to the observer, such as seeing shapes in clouds, seeing faces in inanimate objects or abstract patterns, or hearing hidden messages in music.”

In this particular case, the objects are grains of sand and the incorrect perception is that they look like faces.

In the artwork Pareidolia* facial detection is applied to grains of sand. A fully automated robot search engine examines the grains of sand in situ. When the machine finds a face in one of the grains, the portrait is photographed and displayed on a large screen.

Check out Pareidolia, face detection on grains of sand.

(via Waxy)

Categories
pandemic work

Alberta Parents’ Guide to Returning to School

The Alberta government today released their parents guide for the 2020-2021 school year.

“Your child may feel nervous about what school will be like. While there will be changes, the key school experience will be the same as before—they will learn in class with their teacher and see friends.”

Parents’ Guide 2020-2021 School Year PDF

Categories
work

Alberta Education Minister Wants Teachers Tested

In a letter sent to school superintendents across Alberta yesterday (and then forwarded to all teachers), Education Minister Adriana LaGrange explains that the government has been working hard to increase testing capacity and turn-around times.

I recently became aware that the test result turnaround times in Alberta are already supposedly down to two to three days. Friends of mine decided to get the whole family tested because one of their kids became ill with Covid-19 like symptoms. (Still waiting until tomorrow to hear back).

LaGrange also suggests that all teachers should be tested for the novel corona virus before returning to in-person learning this fall.

Her complete letter after the jump.

Categories
humor Politics video

I Am Starting to Regret My Vote For Trump

The Lincoln Project is an American political action committee formed in late 2019 by several prominent current and former Republicans. The goal of the committee is to prevent the reelection of Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. Their latest ad features the comedic satire of David Cross explaining that he is just now starting to regret his vote for Donald Trump.

Here’s the original Cross routine that is a little longer than what you get in the ad.

Categories
animation

In My Particular Case

It turns out, trying to work out what your film is going to be about is a pretty good topic for a film. Check out this interesting piece by Chico Jofilsan in which he talks himself into, out of, and back into making this particular movie and how exactly he went about it and how worrying about how choosing a bad idea can turn into something not that great doesn’t help because sometimes you just have to go for it. The whole thing is a bit meta.

In My Particular Case from Chico Jofilsan on Vimeo.

(via Neatorama)

Categories
Politics video

Dr. Danielle Martin and US Senator Richard Burr Debate Health Care

Back in March 2014, Canadian Dr. Danielle Martin was asked to speak to a US Senate Committee investigation on health care systems, specifically regarding issues such as single-payer and multi-payer systems and wait times.

From a CTV report on the clip:

Martin was invited to testify by the committee chairman, Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-described socialist who would like to see the U.S. adopt a single-payer system like in Canada, something Vermont is already doing.

Canada’s health system is really run by the provinces, with federal funding, Martin explained, citing research showing better outcomes for cancer and heart patients in Canada at a much lower cost than the U.S. medical system.

That made her a target for Republicans on the committee, but Martin counter-punched with gleeful spontaneity.

Was it true that Canadians were dying because of health rationing? Not as many, she replied, as the 45,000 Americans dying each year in a health-care system rationed on the basis of someone’s ability to pay.

(via Metafilter)

Categories
Music video

Come and Get Your Love (Official Music Video)

This is the official music video for Redbone’s popular 1974 hit, “Come and Get Your Love”. It was released last week.

From IndianCountryToday:

As an enduring pop hit, Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love” has had millions of plays on air and on YouTube with the pioneering rock band’s visually powerful performance on TV’s “The Midnight Special” in 1974, when the song was released.

That clip begins with a powwow dancer performing in front of the band, introducing millions to a Native traditional dance they had most likely never seen before.

In 2014, the mega-budget sci-fi film “Guardians of the Galaxy” used the song in a key opening scene and on the official soundtrack, garnering a whole new generation of fans.

But the infectious, bouncy song with a message of earthy and universal love never had an official video from the band. Until now.

(Via Miss Cellania)