Movies Are Subjective

Jay Sherman - The CriticAm I the only person who doesn’t give a shit what Roger Ebert thinks about a movie? Or any critic for that matter?

Look, it’s a good idea to check reviews of a movie as a collective – meaning looking at the “Average User Review” or something to see if everybody thought it was crap. In that case, don’t waste your money.

But when I hear “professional” critics raving on about how great No Country For Old Men was, I want to vomit. Now before I get any hate mail for the last statement, I thought the movie was very well-made, and I’m sure that’s what garnered all the reviews. However, a well-made movie does not equal a good movie. Yes they had all the artsy-fartsy dramatic camerawork and long silences, but just because it was well written or well filmed does not make a movie entertaining.

And on the other side of the fence, I heard countless “pros” saying Transformers was bad. WHAT!? Every “regular” person I talked to loved that movie, but the high-and-mighty movie critics had to find something wrong with it. Maybe because it didn’t have 22 minutes of silence between dialogues or no dramatic artsy film angles. Rubbish.

Movies, as well as most forms of art are simply too subjective to be taken from one opinion. For example, I like the movie Snatch, and my fiancee hates it. No amount of critic’s opinion is going to make me dislike it, or make her like it. It amazes me to think that these “professional critics” get paid as well as they do just to give their subjective opinion about a movie. It amazes me even more to think that people take their opinions and use it to decide if they should watch a movie or not.

And that, Quahog, is what Grinds my Gears.

Design Coding Rap

Jon Lee turned me on to this excellent…umm…informational video about web development. Kids, please listen to the nice rapper: Jon highlights the tips:

  • Have a nice navigation
  • Use appealing graphics (but use animations sparingly)
  • Highlight your contact info
  • Use correct color combinations
  • Use divs, not tables!
  • Use XML and CSS (on a separate sheet)
  • Include doctype in your HTML
  • Check compatibility with all browsers
  • Add titles to anchor and image tags
  • Don’t use deprecated tags (<b>, <i>)

Feedburner Glitch, or Just Me?

A few days ago I noticed my feed count for two of my websites dropped by about 50% overnight. Assuming that 50% of my readership didn’t suddenly decide to unsubscribe at the same time, I figured this was a simple glitch from Feedburner:

Feedburner Graph

I contacted customer service and posted on the help forum, with no response from either, as expected. This went on for five days, then suddenly this morning the feed count jumped back up to normal numbers. It didn’t jump up again for the other site yet, so we’re yet to see what happens there.

Did anybody else have this issue?

Amahi – A Free Home Server Alternative to Windows HS

Amahi logoI’ve been using Microsoft Windows Home Server since the beta test, and while I’m not normally a raving fan of any software by Microsoft, I love this thing. It’s designed to be very user-friendly, and while it is very easy to use for a server, I wouldn’t give it to my grandma to try out. I consider my self to be pretty tech-savvy, but I did have some problems setting some stuff up.

That aside, it’s a wonderful piece of software, and I’d recommend it to anybody. It’s a great backup solution, automatically backing up all of the computers on your network every night, and allowing a simple recover feature in case something happens, completely restoring any PC on the network. It has some great plugins to use as well – Webguide is my favorite. Webguide was so popular that MS themselves picked up the project and made it free.

On to my point…the problem with Windows Home Server (WHS) is that it’s expensive. The system builder software is good for those who have a spare PC to run it on or can just build a new PC. The software alone is $160 now $50, then add the price of the hardware. Even better though, you can buy an HP Mediasmart Home Server for about $750. It comes with 1TB (1000GB) of storage space, and is built with WHS in mind. It’s a great option, but way too expensive for most people.

The good folks at MSWHS blog introduced me to Amahi HDA – a free linux-based home server software with many of the features of WHS. Amahi offers:

* Calendaring
* Wiki
* Shared network storage
* Network Backups
* Printer server
* Remote access

You can use a spare computer with at least a 800MHz processor and 512MB RAM or they can send you a desktop box pre-configured as an HDA with a Pentium III 800MHz processor with 256MB of memory and a 20GB disk for FREE (-shipping). A Power user option is available with a PC using an AMD Opteron 244 chip running at 1.8GHz with 2GB of memory and a choice of hard disk, all in a black desktop workstation case for a very low cost.

Sounds like a damn good deal to me. Keep in mind this isn’t going to be as user-friendly as WHS, but that’s what to expect when it’s free (or cheap if you buy the systems they offer.)

I have 3 total invites available for the Beta. Please leave a comment below if you want an invite.

Blogitive Introduces LinkNerve- Might be on to Something

A few days ago, I got an email from Blogtive announcing a new product called LinkNerve, and is currently in Closed Beta. LinkNerve is yet another paid link service, but where the other services seem to be about placing links in your sidebar or footer or every page making it easy to discount it as paid, LinkNerve sells keywords that are already in your articles.

Imagine it like Kontera (or any of the other in-content linking services) except with normal-looking links and no annoying pop-ups every time you hover over the word.

I would imagine this would be automatic in that you place the given script in the footer and it automatically links these keywords for you when you approve it, but I would prefer to place the links myself.

This system is great for bloggers because it take no ad space (no more cluttering up your blog,) and makes it very difficult for search engines to find these links and PR-slap you. The links look very natural.

The links looking natural is also the biggest benefit for advertisers because you can choose the terms you want to rank for and it’s within the article, surrounded by 100% related content.

As bloggers though, you have to make sure the websites you link to are quality sites, so be sure to visit them first.

Let’s just hope that they don’t consider Google Page Rank when determining the price of links, that’s really been throwing a wrench into the gears of paid link services.

Google Street View Leprechaun

Cloverleprechaun moving

A couple of days ago I noticed that the normal little yellow dude Google has for the Street View is now a leprechaun for St. Patrick’s Day. Very cute.

According to Wikipedia:

In Irish mythology, a leprechaun (Irish: leipreachán) is a type of male faerie said to inhabit the island of Ireland. They are a class of “faerie folk” associated in Irish mythology and folklore, as with all faeries, with the Tuatha Dé Danann and other quasi-historical peoples said to have inhabited Ireland before the arrival of the Celts.