If..Else Log

Web browser forensics

An interesting set of articles on web browser forensics: Part 1, Part 2

Venice in MSPaint

Venice in MSPaint: A for execution, F for choosing the right tool for the job:-)

Sakaguchi in exclusive deal with Microsoft

MS targets the Japanese and RPG market with the 360.

Choosing non dot com domain names

OZH writes about choosing non dot com domain names. Be sure to go through his fantastic suggestions.

Silly thoughts on Episode III – Revenge of the sith

As grabbed from my bigger post on Episode III. Don’t read on unless you’ve seen the film.

  • It still strikes me as funny that the mechanoid General Grievous has breathing problems. He literally wheezes like an asthmatic pensioner.
  • How foolish the Jedi Council are. They practically told Anakin that he’s not trusted. “We don’t want you, go play with your evil buddy Palpatine”.
  • Some of the lines: “Come join me and we will rule together forever!”, “You’re beautiful. No I’m only beautiful because I’m in love. No, it’s because I’m in love with you!”
  • When the Jedi masters went to capture Palpatine, how useless they all were besides Windu. He might as well have told them to stay at home for all the help they gave.
  • So all it took for the Stormtroopers to be baddies are the words “Order 66″?
  • How powerful the droideka’s still are. Get a few of those around and you can take down any number of Jedi’s. Why disband them?
  • How weak the Jedi’s are. Though it’s mildly interesting that knights were ultimately beaten by artillery.
  • When you become a Sith, your eyes glow yellow?!? That’s a pretty big giveaway, right?

Episode 3 – Revenge of the sith

And so I gave in to the dark side; instead of eschewing irrational hope, I instead chose to enlarge Mr Lucas’ bank balance for short term satisfaction. Just as Anakin’s descent into darkness was a foregone conclusion, so it was that it was inevitable that I’d be there to witness it.

I’ll state it now; I’m a fan of the series. I’ve read the books, played the games, know the characters. Despite being continually disappointed by the path taken by the series, it still occupies a fondness in my heart. Nonetheless, I tried to go in with low expectations so that, at the very least, I’d be satisfied. And was I? Hmmâ?¦

*Minor spoilers from this point on*

Well, Hayden Christensen was unexpectedly better than I expected. From being astonishingly poor in the last film, he has now managed to become mediocre gives a performance typical of an actor from The OC. And though this might almost sound like a neutral score as opposed to an utter negative, it’s not.

What the direction and performance has achieved is that Darth Vader, the bad ass of the original trilogy, is now nothing more than the result of a unbalanced teenager with emotional issues. “Oh nobody trusts me, nobody knows me, I’m better than they are” Anakin whines. Instead of providing the bridge from ambitious Jedi protege to fallen hero, Episode III instead puts the Lord of the Sith on a par with teenage shooters.

And the tragic love story between him and Amidala? My gosh, if you thought the performances in Episode 2 were bad, you’ve seen nothing yet. George Lucas has managed to use the precocious talent of Natalie Portman to give one of the most atrocious performances I’ve seen in any film.

And Obi Wan? How forced and strained Ewan McGregor’s character sounds. His “witty” asides, the Alec Guiness impressions, it’s altogether flat and frankly, underwhelming.

But the big disappointment is the revealing of the emperor and the birth of the empire. Far from the virtual omnipotence shown in the previous films, he comes off as being weak and pathetic. How easily he falls in battle; how shallow his powers of persuasion appear; it’s an utter wonder that all it takes for Anakin to kill is for the Palpatine to say “Kill him”. No psychological manipulation, no gentle suggestions.

Don’t forget the battles themselves. The opening space battle manages to be an utter void in excitement. Whilst the CGI is clean, and clear cut it is also without any semblance of life or character. It’s almost as if the film’s production is a metaphor for Vader himself; as the ability and more reliance on technology grows, so the humanity and passion disappears.

There are a few good elements and even the generally poor script has a few good lines in it e.g. “This is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause”. There’s how Anakin’s ultimate demise is ushered by monumental arrogance. And the basic story is fundamentally a good one to tell.

However, it’s such a shame that what we have is an average film. The series deserve more. We deserve more. Watching A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back is still a joy decades on. However, all this generation has received are a set of fun TV standard fodder.

Addendum

Some thoughts and spoilers. Don’t read on unless you’ve seen the film.

  • It still strikes me as funny that the mechanoid General Grievous has breathing problems. He literally wheezes like an asthmatic pensioner.
  • How foolish the Jedi Council are. They practically told Anakin that he’s not trusted. “We don’t want you, go play with your evil buddy Palpatine”.
  • Some of the lines: “Come join me and we will rule together forever!”, “You’re beautiful. No I’m only beautiful because I’m in love. No, it’s because I’m in love with you!”
  • When the Jedi masters went to capture Palpatine, how useless they all were besides Windu. He might as well have told them to stay at home for all the help they gave.
  • So all it took for the Stormtroopers to be baddies are the words “Order 66″?
  • How powerful the droideka’s still are. Get a few of those around and you can take down any number of Jedi’s. Why disband them?
  • How weak the Jedi’s are. Though it’s mildly interesting that knights were ultimately beaten by artillery.
  • When you become a Sith, your eyes glow yellow?!? That’s a pretty big giveaway, right?

Thankfully, my day was made better by watching the fantastic Elizabeth on DVD for the first time. Otherwise, I would be even more pissed.

Still a big thanks to Lucas for destroying our childhoods. Jabba would be proud of you.

How the pill bottle was remade

Deborah Adler takes a look at redesigning the pill bottle with safety, clarity and usability in mind. A good read for prospective designers.

Progressive layouts

Using Javascript to turn a regular layout (fixed width or liquid) into a progressive one. Interesting stuff.

BTW, I find it interesting that his example pages look so much nicer than the actual article page.

Snook’s JS colour chooser

Snook’s fantastic colour contrast checker. That’s a lot of C’s.

Updating WP via SVN

Matt writes a short post on how he updates his blogs directly from the Subversion repositories. Quite timely for the upgrade to 1.5.1.1.