July 15th, 2010

Peter G

Keep Watching The Skies....

I've said before that, when it comes to the paranormal, I've seen too much to say it's real, and I've seen too much to say it's fake.  That covers everything from ghosts to psychic phenomena to ufos.  Well, the general stuff.  I have my limits.  No amount of talking will ever convince me that otakukin or "headmates" (not DID, that's legit, I mean people who think psychological reactions indicate entire other living consciousnesses sharing their minds) or soulmates (I don't mean true love, I mean soulmates) or soulbonding or Thetans are real and I will mock such people mercilessly.

I'm a fun one when it comes to this stuff.  One of the things I like doing when I'm bored and want to be a mouse potato is going on YouTube and looking at videos of PROOF OF PARANORMAL ACTIVITY!!!  This actually goes back several years, to when I had a Circle Of Friends to hang out with.  There were eight of us total.  At the time, the Alien Autopsy video was spreading like an STD through a cheerleading squad.  My friends, knowing that I enjoy catching goofs in movies (like how Bruce Willis made a phone call in Washington DC from a Pacific Bell phone), asked me to watch it and give my opinion.  I was suspicious when the whole thing was shot in black and white -- color film existed then, and you can bet the brass would have made sure it was used.  Second was that that was not how a real autopsy is performed.  But the clincher came when I saw a radiation symbol that didn't come into general use until well after when the film was made.  I declared it phony (and was recently proved correct when a prop maker from the British Max Headroom show admitted he made the props for it).

So I will watch videos and begin picking them apart, seeing how they could be faked.  After all, if you can't trust anonymous people with video editing software on the Internet to show you the truth, who can you trust?  Usually, once the shock of whatever I'm seeing wears off, the movie maker in me begins figuring out the flaws.  There was a video showing a girl in broad daylight peeking around an old stone church, but when the guy with the camera ran around the corner, she was gone.  Based on the angle, it made sense to me that the girl simply ducked down out of the camera's view.  The camera staying on its horizontal plane, even as the guy was casually going around the corner (which didn't make sense to me, either), it proof positive for me.  Another video was a woman shooting rooms of her house with a night vision camera to document bad home repairs for a lawsuit when she caught a ghost on camera in another room.  The video had just started when I wondered why she was using a night vision camera instead of a regular color camera with plenty of lighting.  But when I saw the ghost, I laughed.  Night vision is ambient light -- every green should be the same shade.  The "ghost" was not.  I used to find Ghost Hunters somewhat interesting until the infamous live Halloween special.  When the hood of the jacket got pulled...well, I don't watch the show the same way anymore, and I think I've found other errors that I was giving a pass to at the time.  Hey, I never said I was perfect, just willing to admit when I'm wrong.

But people want proof, whether to convince themselves or prove to others they aren't crazy.  I saw a UFO video purportedly from Haiti.  It showed a finely detailed UFO flying overhead as the camera tracked it.  It was pretty amazing until I heard the gasp of the camera operator.  Wait -- shouldn't there be hubbub or fear from the crowd?  It was too quiet.  The fact that all the videos were the same thing instead of from different angles proved to me it was fake (turns out, it was from a special effects demo reel).

So, while I believe most of what I'm seeing is bullshit, there are those times when I look and go, "...well....maybe...."  That happened on July 7 in China.  I saw reports that a UFO appeared over Xiaoshan Airport in Hangzhou.  Yeah, right, I thought.  One of the few things I liked about the Hulk movie was how, when the Hulk gets in the fight on the college campus, people are recording video with their cell phones and uploading them to the Internet.  I think, let's see some pictures clearly taken from different locations.

Poof!  Here ya go, smart ass!


Mutliple angles, spontaneous....

Folks, if anyone has an explanation, I'm very anxious to hear it.
Tux

Okay...Let Me Explain This "Open Technology" Thing To You Again

This weekend, while out and about, I was looking over the Droid phones.  I don't like cell phones, but a phone powered by Linux is really hard to resist.  Despite all the problems with Google's Android software.

First, Google refuses to let anyone remix Android with their own Linux distro, which is cheating, as far as I'm concerned.  Then, their wonderful SDK can only be used to dev for Android, no other Linux platforms.  Bad enough Google, one of Linux's biggest stumpers, doesn't get it.

Now, manufacturers have a problem.

Motorola makes the Droid X.  A guy decided to try tinkering with it.  Turns out the Droid X has a hardware locked bootloader called eFuse.  When the phone starts, it passes information to eFuse which checks to make sure it matches its firmware configuation (OS, mem test, etc.)  If anything doesn't match, eFuse bricks the phone.  Not refuses to start, it breaks the phone.  Fixing it requires a hardware fix, which can only be gotten from Motorola.

Folks, I would like to point out that Apple is a proprietary company, but they do NOT stop you from loading other OS'es on their hardware if you so choose.  You got a MacBook and want to dual boot Linux and OS X?  No problem.  Here's a company with a Linux-specific device, that you are free to alter as you see fit, and they will bomb you for tinkering with something you legally bought and own, the software of which is COVERED BY THE GPL!!!

Hello, Moto?  Good bye!  And I'm glad I didn't buy one of those stupid things this weekend!