Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Zach Wahls Speaks About Family

One feels like one is watching a movie star who had 50 takes to get this right. One take - he nails it. Great job. Important message.

Friday, September 16, 2011

happy accidents - a movie

It's been a while since I wrote about movies I've seen this year. I've seen a bunch in the interim.

This one has motivated me to write. I came across it when I discovered you can sort within a genre by user ratings at Netflix. Happy Accidents was near the top in Science Fiction.

I think it is a good movie and with 7.3 on IMDB it seems others agree. This is apt from Rotten Tomatoes:
Happy Accidents has enough quirkiness and charm to rise above the more formulaic entries in the romantic comedy genre.
Quirky, that's the ticket. But it doomed the effort to just $688,532 at the box office.

Both the leads Marisa Tomei and Vincent D'Onofrio (yeah, that one and THIS ONE) were really good. So good. There is a lot of 12 Monkeys in this movie with the time travel and such (don't want to give anything away).

If you've got 2 hours, this ain't your worst bet for a movie. It's a love story after all.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Thinking of rooting my HTC Incredible. Hmm, which rom? Here is one I've never heard of till today.

A short list:
Who names these things? 

FWIW, Jonathan has Gingerbread on his incredible.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

black snake moan - a movie

Started watching this because of the trailers showed a wee bit of skin.

Well surprise surprise this is a really good movie of redemption. Great music too.

Justin Timberlake performs really well and of course so do Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci.

Go see for your self.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Saturday, March 12, 2011

battle: los angeles - a movie

Battle: Los Angeles is a lot of fun. Definitely worth the big screen and sound system you get in the theater.

They stayed away from women dressed in tank tops while shooting guns at aliens. Everyone stayed in uniform and there was no sex. A monumental achievement these days.

I enjoyed this movie. It's a summer block buster action movie released in March. I predict it has legs and will remain in theaters with repeat business.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

McCarthy would be proud

Why is this so hard?

A congressional panel investigating homegrown terrorism in America displayed sharp divisions Thursday over how to frame the discussion, reflecting a country still struggling with how best to combat terrorism nearly a decade after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Keep, and/or return to, doing the things that made America great in the first place. These people who do turn to radicalism and act on it will face our laws and justice system. Bringing back McCarthyism is not the answer.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Facebook: why are you so full of bugs?

Why is it so hard to keep track of which notifications I've looked at? Why do you show notifications that lead to yet-to-be-posted or deleted content? Comments that you tell me about which I can't see makes me sure you just hate me. Why else would you torture me so?

And why does your Android app insist that I've not seen notifications just after I've clicked on them? I am glad you stopped clearing the notification screen (making it blank) while fetching new notifications - but there is still work to be done here.

Notifications are hard I guess.

On a different note, why do you still show my old employer on everyone's iPhone?

One more, I just tried your sign in function on Engadget and the photo you used is very old. Sigh.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

network - a movie

Network came out in 1976. I found it after clicking though some 2011 Oscar news and landed on Faye Dunaway. She is awesome in this.

Watching Network I saw things you don't see today: imperfect teeth, suits, smoking. Man the smoking - everywhere smoking. Amazing. OH, and there is no musical score running over everything.

I like this movie - though I have to admit about 1/2 way through I almost turned it off. The final 1/3 was exciting. I guess I liked watching everything fall apart. I do think the ending was a bit much. Almost like they didn't know what to do, so they...I don't know, punted?

I read somewhere that this movie predicted 24-hours newstainment that we have today. With Peter Finch's Howard Beale taking the role of Glenn Beck. It's spot on - unbelievably prescient.

Worth checking out.

Monday, February 28, 2011

salt - a movie

Salt is a lot of fun. This was my second viewing and knowing who third villains are only added to it.

It's a female James Bond with some Jason Bourne tossed in. I enjoyed this movie both times I've seen it.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

wanted - a movie

Over the top action sequences, check. Silly bullet curving abilities, check. Fun action flick, double check.

Great movie it is not, but Wanted is fun to watch. Sort of a violent Office Space.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

the house bunny - a movie

Tired clichéd losers-to-winners movie.

Still, I laughed quite a bit. The skimpy outfits provided some entertainment all their own.

district 9 - a movie

Irony comes to mind big time watching this movie. To be treated like you treated others so suddenly. A stark reminder of the golden rule.

Anyway, District 9 is a very cool and unique take on the Alien landing genre.

Highly recommended.

movie sound

The more I learn about how movies are made the more I see how much crazy work goes into a movie.

SoundWorks Collection: Gary Hecker - Veteran Foley Artist from Michael Coleman on Vimeo.

(From kottke)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

the fighter - a movie

The Fighter is excellent. Great acting by all involved. Good music and cinematography.

The character actors do a wonderful job in this film. Recommend.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Statistics can be manipulated to show what one side of an issue wants to say. Sometimes though they are just plain wrong. And can be corrected.

As a guy who likes numbers and math and such, this was a fascinating look at some materially relevant number sets.

the fountain - a movie

I really don't know what to make of this movie.

Certainly one of the strangest I've seen in a while. Hard to follow as the movie repeats things and does those repeats in different orders, building up each of 3 stories in turn.

Interesting yet hard to recommend. Visually, very cool in many ways.

Monday, February 21, 2011

the history boys - a movie

This is an entertaining movie. Though I found its light take on sexual abuse, however "tame", a bit disturbing.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7

Sunday, February 20, 2011

unknown - a movie

I went to see this on the strength of Taken.

A third of the way through I was thinking how clichéd it was and thought I'd wasted time/money on crap. Then it went all 6th Sense on me and the surprise was very cool.

taken - a movie

Wow, this was a fantastic movie - full of good suspense right through to the end.

Go rent it now. Great stuff.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

the town - a movie

Probably not as good as The Departed, but still worth watching.

I really liked this movie, but it was missing a bit of grit that Nicholson brings.

whip it - a movie

This coming of age movie is a lot of fun to watch. I recommend it.

There are just a ton of funny moments. I bet if I were to watch it again there would be more. The cast is really great together.

No cheese here - just good fun.

restrepo - a movie

This documentary leaves no doubt that being a solder in war is a very tough bit.

I was left wondering, for all the cost, did they (we) accomplish anything in that valley? Was it (is it) worth being there?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

good will hunting - a movie

Caught this movie on cable the other day. Easy to see why it won so many awards.

Good, heartfelt movie that manages to avoid any hint of cheesyness. Solid.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7

Saturday, February 05, 2011

departed - a movie

What can I say. Just a good the second time.

DeCaprio is great, as is the rest of the cast.

If you like crime/mob movies this has to be at the top of the bunch.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Murdoch on Steve

From DF...

"Here we have the man who invented the personal computer, then the laptop. He’s now destroying them. That is an amazing life."

That is cool.

Monday, January 31, 2011


Backlighting is not good.

Hope their SW is better than their lighting tech.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


This is why I came to Apple.
"New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind."

Steve Jobs
April, 2010

Saturday, January 29, 2011

SystemVerilog - inline is not the same as non-blocking

Of course we know that inline is not the same as non-blocking.

Since SystemVerilog can't x<=y (non-blocking assign) for x and y of class types I decided to try a giant always block and code my pipelines reverse order. Coping data using just = (blocking assign).

This would've been fine if each pipeline did not look at the data in the other pipelines. And as such get confused because the inline code changes some pipelines before the next gets a chance to look at the data.

After hours of research I found 2 things:

  1. a struct can be in x<=y; statement
  2. if you use the keyword automatic in your task/function declaration you can pass a struct/class by reference and avoid this cryptic error: "reference argument is illegal inside static task-function declaration".

That last would have been found faster if I'd remembered the keyword - but is very hard to find the opposite of static. Esp. since I didn't realize there was one.

Worse, there are hundreds of examples of SystemVerilog code that won't compile (at least with Cadence):
task xyz ( ref mytype_t a);
should be
task automatic xyz (ref mytype_t a);

So now I've changed my data class into a struct, moved all the methods out to (automatic) tasks, and passed the struct in by reference. Now all my assignments are <= so I get pipelining for free - the way Verilog is supposed to be.

And it still doesn't work because.....
"Although it is not explicitly stated in the LRM, the Cadence implementation does not support the passing of a member of an array, or a member of a packed structure, by reference to a task or function."
What is the point of having this c++ like OOP language if you can't pass pointers to array elements, or  whole arrays, etc to a task/function? I'm at a loss.

Time to recode a bunch of stuff.


hey android - how about fixing the volume issues

My phone does it, many other phones do it. So the problem is in android itself.

Connect your bluetooth device. Use it. Then disconnect.

Guess where your volume is set? Somewhere so loud that it sounds like you're on speaker phone - through the normal ear speaker!

People say that if you turn the volume all the way up and then down again it is fixed. Or reboot.

I say Google should fix this crap. Remember, details matter.

hey android - turn of the f*(#ing screen

The phone is an HTC Incredible. I have a blue tooth headset, a nice one.

Phone is in my pocket, I answer with headset. Phone screen unlocks and turns on. If I go to retrieve it I push something.

Hangups happen. Frustrating.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

inglourious basterds - a movie

Very violent, occasionally funny, at times sad.

Incredible movie, really cool ending.

Good love story in places.

new york, i love you - a movie

Great cast - good writing. Nice music.

The old couple at the end made the whole thing worth it.

Enjoyed it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

fried balls

Who allowed this menu item?
Falafel Wrap : Fried balls made of a blend of garbanzo beans mixed with parsley, onions and spices, wrapped in tortilla bread, with tomatoes, lettuce, pickles and tahini sauce
Fried balls? Really? There has to be a better way to describe this.

Call me silly, but I think I'll pass.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

stranger than fiction - a movie

Hilarious. Poignant. Surprising.

Amazing cinematography, some of the shots really blew me away.

Worth watching on many levels.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Saturday, January 22, 2011

some things never change

I emailed Daring Fireball's John Gruber for the first time (about some vids I found). I wondered what he'd find if he searched for me using my gmail account name: mjbiren. I came across this from 3 phones ago:
Back to the battery: I don't like having to worry about the batter life day to day. I think if I charge it over night I should be able to just use the phone for the whole next day. By "just use it" I don't mean all day 100s of minutes of in-call use. I just mean use it however I want all day - a few calls, some messages, some music, maybe look at the weather or get a stock quote a couple times. With the original battery this was barely possible. When I got BT headphones and an SD card it was impossible. The phone would die by 1 or 2pm. I bought the 1200 Mah extended battery. Now the phone looks like crap, but lasts two days worry free, even if I listen to music over BT headphones 2-3 hours each day.
Same with my Incredible. It looks like crap but the battery lasts all day. Some things never change.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

plantronics voyager pro+

Not many pictures show this headset in use. It feels much smaller than it looks. It is more comfortable than my tiny H710.

Great audio in both directions, really nice voice tells you how much battery is left etc, and bonus feature: you can listen to your phone's podcasts (and other audio) through it.

Best headset I've had. Better than the last Jawbone I had.

Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

plastic is evil

In case you didn't know plastic is evil. It lasts in the environment for a long long time. Not that we can do much about it - like everyone is going to stop using plastic.

How much of a problem? Look at this video from VBS TV.

Easy to ignore when it is so many miles away. Besides, what can it harm? Do we need that part of the ocean to be cleaner? I don't know, but my gut tells me this can't be a good thing.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

google search failing lately?

If you care about search you'll find this fascinating.

I've heard a lot of chatter here and there that "social" (Facebook, twitter etc) will replace Google. Until know I've not understood how that might happen.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Google Reader for android: I already read that

When I click "mark all as read" I expect stuff to stay that way. Reader for Android instead remarks the items as new. Only happens on the Engadget feed....
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Thursday, January 06, 2011

map of metal - pandora port

The map of metal is of course awesome. But when a map runs out of songs what then?

I took a "walk" around the map, picking up my favorite lands and dropping the artists as seeds to a pandora station. The result is streaming metal music that takes a long long time to repeat.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

feeling lucky?

Sometimes you get away with one.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

sex and breakfast - a movie

Sex and Breakfast (2007) - IMDb staring Macaulay Culkin, not as bad as the reviews have it.

Very uncomfortable sex scene when they finally get to it.

Pretty realistic, and good ending.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

working it from my phone

No time like the present, let's see how Mplayit: Blogger-droid works.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5