Archive for August, 2011

The Fighter

The Fighter (2010)
Directed by David O. Russell
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams,
I’m the one who’s fighting. Not you, not you, and not you.” (Micky Ward – Mark Wahlberg)

The Fighter (2010)

The Fighter is as sweaty as the shirts its characters wear, as dirty as Dicky’s voice when he sings to calm down his mother, as quick as the narrow camera movements, as violent as making a choice between the family and you.

Read more about The Fighter

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Facebook Privacy Settings

In response to Google Plus, which wanted to make privacy one of its strong points, Facebook is changing Privacy Settings in order to make it easier for users to check a lot of features related to posting, sharing and tagging. Here is the advantage of being the owner of the product everybody copies: you just wait for your competitors to launch their main features, then you go after them.

Here are the changes.

  • Profile controls will be available in the profile page. So you will be able to decide who sees what directly in your profile page, without having to surf your Facebook account searching for Privacy Settings. While you edit your profile, you can make your Privacy choices.

Facebook Privacy Settings August 2011
Find out all new Facebook Privacy Settings

How can you tell a fake review from a real one?

There are companies out there that simply do not believe in what they’re doing. They think that they can’t have customers’ trust unless they buy it. They think that their products are not as good as their competitors’, that their customer care is not as brilliant as their worst enemies’, they think that they’re not good enough to survive their own business. This is something very common in today’s working experience, where virtually each product or item competes on a world basis.

On the other hands, customers are not always in a position to try each product or item they can find on the market. Therefore, they rely on reviews. Like Leslie Meredith puts it in her article at Standard.net: “It’s a bit like surveying your family and friends, but on a potentially much bigger scale”. The fact is that, well, reviews are more and more fake out there. Whether you are buying an iPhone app, a book, a 2-nights stay at a hotel or anything else, you must pay attention on what is actually written in the reviews of the product.

Each reviewing system has its own graphical representation of the general mood of the consumers about a certain item. Apple Store has stars, Tripadvisor has rings, Amazon has stars too. Let’s start by saying that looking at this graphical summary of customers’ opinion may be quick but it is probably not the best thing to rely on when taking your decision. This is because it’s kind of easy for any company to pay someone (or something) to write 5-stars (or 5-rings, or 5-whatever) reviews with no content or poor content just to increase its products’ status.

More tips to tell a fake review from a real one

Meet Skyrim

Gamescom 2011 ended yesterday. This kind of exhibitions are usually full of expectations for games-fans and players, and I always look at reports trying to understand how to invest my videogames-budget in the months to come. There are a few titles I’m following with great interest since their announcement and I would like to share my hopes, hype and thoughts about them. The first one is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Skyrim is the fifth chapter in The Elder Scrolls saga. I’ve played Morrowind (TES III) and Oblivion (TES IV). I’m particularly keen on role-playing games and computer role-playing games, and I’ve been disappointed by my last two gaming experiences (Dragon Age 2 and The Witcher 2), so I’m now waiting for TES V with great hope.

Find out more about Skyrim

Oops, they did it again

I’ve been quite surprised this morning to read in the news that HP is thinking about giving up its PC business, shifting its core to business services and products (cloud computing, mostly). You can find a good report of Mr. Apotheker’s interview (Leo Apotheker is HP CEO) on The New York Times. I mean, for many of us (for me, at least), HP is a brand strictly connected with PCs and printers. Actually, the last notebook I bought was an HP.

If you look carefully at some facts, the announcement is yet more “dramatic”. Last year HP acquired Palm to break through into tablets and smartphones business. In July 2011 HP has launched its own TouchPad Tablet. At the beginning of August 2011 HP has placed a permanent $100 discount on its Tablet. And now, HP decides to completely move its business away from PC, furthermore announcing that they will stop manufacturing the TouchPad Tablet which apparently has not met the financial milestones Mr. Apotheker has set.

This is quite a revolution in the PC market. And it’s easy to say that behind this revolution you can spot the happy and smiling face of Steve Jobs.

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How did Marty and Doc became friends?

I found this on Twitter (thanks to anyone who retwitted it). I’ve had a Back To The Future marathon two weeks ago. I’ve seen the first movie maybe 10-11 times. I don’t think number 2 and 3 match up with number 1, but they are nonetheless entertaining and well done.

Back To The Future - How did Marty and Doc Became Friends

Anyway, here is how Marty and Doc became friends before the events described in the Back To The Future trilogy.

Okay, from the horse’s mouth (yes, I’m the horse — er, co-writer, co-creator): We never explained it in the movie. But the history of the characters that Bob Zemeckis and I created is this…

For years, Marty was told that Doc Brown was dangerous, a crackpot, a lunatic. So, being a red-blooded American teenage boy, age 13 or 14, he decided to find out just why this guy was so dangerous. Marty snuck into Doc’s lab, and was fascinated by all the cool stuff that was there. when Doc found him there, he was delighted to find that Marty thought he was cool and accepted him for what he was. Both of them were the black sheep in their respective environments. Doc gave Marty a part-time job to help with experiments, tend to the lab, tend to the dog, etc.

And that’s the origin of their relationship.

This is how Bob Gale, co-creator and co-writer of the trilogy, puts it in an interview at MentalFloss.com. I must admit I never asked myself about it, but it’s quite funny to see how movie and fictional characters has a sort of life of their own that goes far beyond the screen.

Google Doodle

Some people are simply genius. Here’s today Google Doodle.

Google Doodle 17/08/2011 - Fermat

The Doodle is dedicated to Pierre De Fermat, French mathematician, whose last and probably most famous intuition is know as “Fermat’s Last Theorem”. To make the long story short, “Fermat’s Last Theorem states that no three positive integers ab, and can satisfy the equation an + bn = cn for any integer value of n greater than two” (source: Wikipedia). Exactly what you find in the board on the Doodle.

I can hear you all say: “So what?”. Here comes the anecdote. It was 1637 when Fermat wrote his Last Theorem in the margin of his own copy of Diophantus’ Arithmetica.

It is impossible to separate a cube into two cubes, or a fourth power into two fourth powers, or in general, any power higher than the second, into two like powers. I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this, which this margin is too narrow to contain.

And therefore today’s Doodle goes like: “I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this, which this Doodle is too narrow to contain”. I’m sorry if you can’t get it, but this is genius!