This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at abulsme@abulsme.com are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.

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February 2009
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Molybdenum is Coming

Time to Check it Out Again

I’d pretty much switched to Firefox, but looks like it is time to once again check out Safari.

Apple releases public beta of Safari 4 browser
(Katie Marsal, Apple Insider, 24 Feb 2009)

Apple on Tuesday announced a public beta of Safari 4, a new version of its share-gaining web browser that packs a powerful new JavaScript engine and the latest web standards.”

Dubbed “Nitro,” the engine in Safari 4 is said to run JavaScript 4.2 times faster than Safari 3. Other new features include Top Sites, for a visual preview of frequently visited pages; Full History Search, to search through titles, web addresses and the complete text of recently viewed pages; Cover Flow, to easily flip through web history or bookmarks; and Tabs on Top, to make tabbed browsing easier and more intuitive.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: It Is Big, It Is Lunch

Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • Oscars and Cable Boxes
  • Nutrition and Diet
  • The Happy Birthday Song
  • Obama Loves Bush Policies
  • Clinton in China
  • Newspapers
  • Stimulus
  • Market Predictions
  • More Pyramids
  • Housing and Nationalization

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Note: For those using the “View in iTunes” link, it often takes iTunes several hours to show a new episode after the episode is posted here. For those who are subscribed, your Podcast software should pick up the new episode next time it checks for new episodes on its own, or you can always force a refresh. For those using the XML feed directly, the new episode is now there. Enjoy.

Training

Curmudgeon’s Corner: The Vengaboat is Coming

Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • The Boat Show
  • Wall Street Compensation
  • Financial Fraud
  • Stimulus
  • Bipartisanship
  • Smorgasbord

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Baywatching

I’m following the Pirate Bay trial on TorrentFreak. It is an important test. Pay attention.

50% of Charges Against Pirate Bay Dropped
(enigmax, TorrentFreak, 17 Feb 2008)

here has been high drama on the second day of the Pirate Bay trial. Due to serious shortcomings in the prosecution evidence, around 50% of the charges in the case are going to have to be withdrawn. The defense describes it as a ’sensation’, seeing half of the charges being dropped on the second day.

What has been shown in court today is that the prosecutor cannot prove that the .torrent files he is using as evidence actually used The Pirate Bay’s tracker. Many of the screenshots being used clearly state there is no connection to the tracker. Additionally, prosecutor Håkan Roswall didn’t adequately explain the function of DHT which allows for so called “trackerless” torrents.

The flaw in the evidence was pointed out by Fredrik Neij (TiAMO), who requested to comment on Roswall’s explanation of how BitTorrent actually works. Fredrik said that the prosecution misunderstood the technology, and told the court that the evidence doesn’t show that the Pirate Bay’s trackers are used.

Iced Saturn

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Going Like Dirt

Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • Travel Stories
  • Frugality
  • Recession Fun
  • News Coverage
  • A Town Called Roy
  • Stimulus
  • Copyright Crackdown

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DVD: Doctor Who and the Silurians: Disk 2

It was time for yet another Doctor Who DVD. In this case, it was time for Disk Two of a story we started in September. This was the Third Doctor story Doctor Who and the Silurians which is interesting because it is the only Doctor Who story that had “Doctor Who and the…” in the title shown on screen. It was an accident. Somebody screwed up when producing the titles. Oops.

The last few sentences were quoted exactly from my review of the previous disk. I’m getting lazy.

In this second half we find out a bit more about where the aliens come from, and there are some battles. The Doctor is trying to make peace between the humans and the Silurians, but most of the humans, and most of the Silurians, want no such thing. The Doctor tricks the Silurians into something he hopes will avoid conflict but keep them alive. Of course, the humans decide immediately thereafter to blow them all up.

Oh well. And that was the end.

As usual with these older Doctor Who episodes, the pacing is VEERRRYYY SLLLLOOOOWWWW. And of course the effects are awful. They have some level of charm though.

We need to go faster though. I like the Fourth Doctor and beyond much better than the first three.

[05:15 UTC edited for a typo and minor wording change]

Cinema: Outlander

So, a little while ago… I think it may have been two weekends ago, but I’m not really sure… Amy had some sort of extra long rehearsal or something, so Brandy and I decided to go to a movie. We had looked earlier at the movie list, and there wasn’t much that either of us thought was really all that exciting. I listed some I’d be “OK” with though. And when we actually got to the theater, Brandy spontaneously chose Outlander, most likely influenced by the exact time it was starting relative to what time it was.

In retrospect, this may have been a mistake.

OK, the basic premise of this movie, and pretty much as much as I knew going in, was that an alien crash lands amongst the medieval Vikings, and then things happen. In the first few minutes, the alien crashed, opened its helmet… and it was a PERSON. This wasn’t even a Star Trek style alien with bumps on its head. Just a generic person. I had been hoping for a movie sort of like ET, but set in the middle ages. No such luck.

Anyway, the first half of the movie was really bad. It seemed like nobody in the movie could act at all. There were a few words here and there and some grunting and fighting. Oh, and a dragon showed up. And of course the alien is going to save the village from the dragon and all. Of course.

Anyway, it was pretty bad. Laughably times at times, but not so much so that you actually enjoyed it because it was so bad.

I think Brandy retained this feeling through the whole movie. She was ready to walk out.

On the other hand, I thought the movie started to improve somewhat about half way through… right after they started giving some backstory on what had happened to the alien guy before he crash landed.

But I think the main thing is that they pretty much stopped even trying to do anything with the characters… there was no more getting to know the people or any of that stuff… they just started running around fighting the dragon. So just your normal sort of action and adventure thing with chases and fights and explosions and such. And OK, that stuff is usually not enough for me in a movie… I like to actually care about the characters some, and perhaps even think a little. But in this case, the constant running around and stuff at least meant that none of the people were trying to have conversations or really talk very much, which they weren’t very good at.

I did feel sorry for the dragon though. I actually ended up empathizing with the dragon more than any of the main characters. Poor dragon. You really wanted the dragon to win, because pretty much all of the humans sucked.

So, I doubt it is even still in the theaters, but if it is, save this for video… or not at all. You won’t miss it.