Elessar Barton

“This shopping mall doesn’t have enough cover objects – bad design!” – SOCOMBLOG

WordPress Impressions

October 5, 2005 by · No Comments · General

Well, after a week of trying to get an invite, i finally got one. Now that i have it, i have had the chance to compare it to a few other blogs.

First up, Blogsome. Blogsome uses WP also, and is free. Boasting 24 themes and simple HTML usage, Blogsome is a great blog for anyone interested. However, it does, to my knowledge, have ads (Google, damn ye!). Though the ads are not very distracting. Overall, not a bad service, had i not gotten my WP blog, i would have considered using it.

Next is edublogs. This to is based on WP, and has the same features and functionality as both WP and Blogsome. edublogs is also completely free! Which is why i was using it prior to my WP invite. edublog doesnt feature the dashboard on top of your blogs page, you have to log in to get that. Other then that, its a great blog as well.

Now for WordPress. Its a great, free, blog with many features, and though it is early in its form, boats a very bright future ahead of itself. There are however, a few things i would like to see. One such thing would be the addition of ‘more’ tags (). The ‘more’ tag basically shortens an otherwise long post. Simply add the tag, and everythingtyped below it will be viewable by clicking on the ‘more’ link that will display the rest of the post. Another thing is that i would like to see a few more themes. If we cant install our own, at least let us have more to choose from. Currently there are only 8 (!) themse to choose from. Aside from these two issues, there are a few smaller items that i would like to see added, a spell checker and similiar conviences. One last thing, i would like to see a blog stats type of feature. So, i can check to see how many people have visited my blog. Perhaps what OS and browser they were on?

For now, i have nothing but thanks for the guys that started WordPress and made it free to users. As a college student, money is tight and its a rare find seeing a site that offers free AND good service. So, here’s to the future of WordPress.

Next-Generation DVD War Heats Up in Tokyo

October 4, 2005 by · No Comments · Technology

“By YURI KAGEYAMA, AP Business Writer Tue Oct 4, 7:02 AM ET

TOKYO – The war over the next-generation DVD standard is playing out full force at a sprawling electronics exhibition opening near Tokyo Tuesday with Japanese electronics companies on both sides expressing confidence for victory.

The CEATEC 2005 exhibition in Chiba, Japan, is opening as the battle escalated a notch after Paramount Pictures, which had previously supported the HD DVD backed by Toshiba Corp., became the first major movie studio to support both rival formats.

And Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., which backs Blu-ray Disc, the other technology, was openly gloating.

“The format war is coming to a close,” said Matsushita Executive Officer Kazuhiro Tsuga, adding that he was hopeful other Hollywood studios will follow suit. “That’s our current scenario.”

Until Paramount’s decision, the six major studios had been evenly split between HD DVD and Blu-ray, also backed by Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE – news).

Both formats deliver dazzling imagery in high-definition video and can store more data than DVDs today, allowing for interactive features such as playing an interview with director discussing a movie scene while you watch the footage.

At CEATEC, Matsushita, which makes Panasonic brand products, is demonstrating how it has been able to lower production costs for Blu-ray, a key past weakness of the format. HD DVDs are cheaper to produce because they are more similar to current DVDs.

Although hopes have been high for a compromise to agree on a single format, officials from both sides have made comments recently that hint at a stalemate.

As long as the formats remain incompatible, consumers may end up the losers. One format may eventually win in the market in the same way that Matsushita’s VHS defeated Sony’s Betamax in home video in the 1980s.

Analysts say it’s way too early to say which side has the advantage in the format wars.

“There is no decisive lead for either side,” said Koya Tabata, consumer electronics analyst at Credit Suisse First Boston in Tokyo.

Not everyone is going to rush out to buy next-generation DVD products, and the situation is changing everyday, although Paramount’s decision seems to be putting Blu-ray slightly ahead, at least for the moment, Tabata said.

Complicating the issue is that the consortium backing HD DVD includes chip maker Intel Corp. and software giant Microsoft Corp., but PC makers such as Apple Computer Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Inc. are backing Blu-ray.

Those who support HD DVD say their format has a timing advantage. HD DVD players are set to arrive at stores later this year in Japan and early next year in the United States.

Sony’s Blu-ray recorder models are already on sale in Japan, and the Sony PlayStation 3 video-game console, which supports Blu-ray, is set to go on sale in spring next year. But when Blu-ray players and other models will be available isn’t clear so far.

“What will determine the success of the product is consumers. And when consumes have that much lead opportunity to enjoy HD DVD, I think that will be the real decision-maker,” Mark Knox, a Toshiba official overseeing HD DVD promotion, told APTV.

Knox played down Paramount’s decision, noting that none of the film studios have said their backing is exclusive, leaving room for them to jump ship if that begins to look like a better choice.

The Walt Disney Co., Sony’s Columbia Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox, which support Blu-ray, have not said whether they will also release films in HD DVD. Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. remain in the HD DVD camp.

“They decided to go both ways,” Knox said of Paramount. “While it wasn’t the happiest news I’ve ever heard, it’s not really going to make change on how HD DVD goes to market.”

Yahoo! News

Paramount Backs Blu-Ray Format for DVDs

October 2, 2005 by · 1 Comment · Technology

“2 hours, 19 minutes ago

LOS ANGELES – Paramount Home Entertainment is the latest company to back the Blu-ray Disc format as the next-generation DVD standard.

Paramount said Sunday it will join a growing list of media and technology companies endorsing Blu-ray that includes Sony Corp, Apple Computer Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Inc.

Paramount will still market all its DVD movies in the competing HD DVD format so consumers can have a choice, company officials said.

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Get Firefox!

October 2, 2005 by · No Comments · Technology

So why is Firefox so great? Because its almost everything Internet Explorer isnt! Tabbed browsing. Extensions that make browsing easier and more convientent. Themes to change up the browsers appearance. What more could you ask for? Did i mention that dispite recent reports, Firefox is safer then IE, though hackers are beginning to shift their attention to Firefox which has become increasingly popular among computer users. Currently, Firefox 1.5 for Windows is in beta and expected to be released soon, until then, be sure to check out the latest build, Firefox version 1.0.7 for Windows . As a fan of Firefox, you may think I am biased…and technically, you are correct. However, once you have tried Firefox, I am almost certain you wont go back to Internet Explorer.

Socom 3: U.S. Navy Seals!

October 2, 2005 by · No Comments · Games

*moment of silence…*

Ahem…Socom 3, easily the most anticipated in the Socom series, will ship to stores on October 11th, and arrive on the 12th. As of this posting, that leaves ~ 10 days until I will be in gaming heaven! Until then, I will give a brief overview of what to expect in this 3rd installment.

*Weapons Attachments!
*Better Servers!
*Quicker Load Times!
*New Streaming Technology!
*32 Players In One Room!
*12 Brand-New Maps!
*And Much, Much, More…!

For now, I will leave it as this. Before the game is released I will try to post a ‘Brief History’ on the Socom series. For now, be sure to check out Zipper’s (the developer) official Socom Blog and stay tuned!

**Almost forgot! I paid off the rest of my preorder for Socom 3 at EB! Now all I have to do is drive down on Wednesday the 12th of October at 6 pm and pick up my game!

FAQ: HD DVD vs. Blu-ray

October 1, 2005 by · No Comments · Technology

Published: October 1, 2005, 11:40 AM PDT
By Stephen Shankland
Staff Writer, CNET News.com

“Microsoft and Intel last week tried to swing the computing, consumer electronics and entertainment industry toward HD DVD in a format war to establish a higher-capacity successor to today’s DVD.

It didn’t work.

Dell and Hewlett-Packard, the top two business partners of Intel and Microsoft, instead loudly reaffirmed their support for the other side, Blu-ray Disc. The latest volleys illustrate the continuing difficulties of trying to establish a single standard that can be used for videos, video games, software distribution and backup data.

Did HD DVD win the battle now that Microsoft and Intel voted in its favor?
No. Blu-ray has a formidable list of allies, and instead of lining up behind HD DVD, they offered a swift rebuttal. “I think things are more cloudy now for HD DVD than they were five days before,” said Envisioneering analyst Richard Doherty. “I think this is probably going to cause some reflection at Microsoft.”"

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Spirited Away

October 1, 2005 by · No Comments · Anime

First off, Spirited Away is a great movie! Before i go any further, below is a short description/intro to the movie incase you were wondering what I am talking about.

“Spirited Away is a fantasy adventure with a ten year-old girl, which starts in everyday Japan but goes somewhere very different. For young Chihiro and her family, a mysterious tunnel and haunted town lead to the Land of Spirits, inhabited by gods and monsters and ruled by the greedy witch Yu-baba. Chihiro’s parents are transformed into pigs; to rescue them, she must surrender her name and serve in this world. Luckily she finds friends and allies, including the handsome but mysterious boy Haku. Initially sulky and listless, Chihiro (or Sen, as she’s now called) finds inner strengths and establishes an identity in this strange world. But can she win back her name and return home?” – AnimeNfo.com

Now that thats out of the way, I highly recommend anyone who hasnt seen Spirited Away to BUY it now. Yes, buy it. Skip the rental process and wasting $4 only to find out how great of a movie this is. Anyone who has seen the movie, leave a comment and spread the word!


October 1, 2005 by · No Comments · Trillian

You may be asking yourself ‘what is Trillian?’ Well, you came to the right place, whether by chance or on purpose.

Trillian is a fully featured, stand-alone, skinnable chat client that supports AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo Messenger, and IRC. It provides capabilities not possible with original network clients, while supporting standard features such as:

* audio chat
* file transfers
* group chats
* chat rooms
* buddy icons
* multiple simultaneous connections to the same network
* server-side contact importing
* typing notification
* direct connection (AIM)
* proxy support
* encrypted messaging (AIM/ICQ)
* SMS support, and privacy settings

Without stealing your home page and with no other included software, pop-ups, or spyware, Trillian provides unique functionality such as:

* contact message history
* a powerful skinning language
* tabbed messaging
* global status changes (set all networks away at once)
* Instant Lookup (automatic Wikipedia integration)
* contact alerts
* an advanced automation system to trigger events based on anything happening in the client
* docking, hundreds of emoticons, emotisounds, shell extensions for file transfers, and systray notifications”

Image and imformation provided by:

Get Trillian, the Swiss Army Knife of Instant Messagine

7 And counting…

October 1, 2005 by · No Comments · General

’7 and counting…’ Your probably wondering what that means? Well, so far this is my 7th blog attempt. The other 6 i just didnt like immediately or soon after trying. Counting means that this probably wont be my last. I am still hoping for a WordPress.com invite, but until then, this will be my blog home. I’ll keep it short seeing as how i have to make other pages and categories. Stay tuned!