|16 August 1999|
"Killing is bad."
-- Hogarth Hughes, The Iron Giant
Okay, now I can give a recommendation based on evidence; I saw The Iron Giant yesterday.
Technically, I thought the animation and soundtrack did a uniquely excellent job of communicating the robot's size, scale and mass. Also, the extra special effects near the end nicely satisfied my taste for whiz-bang cool animation.
The voice talent did a fine job, Christopher McDonald in particular.
And the story? The story? As some other reviewers have said: I can't think of how it could be made better. It's very well-crafted, with some very clever thinking by the good and 'bad' guys -- a refreshing change from too many movies where you just get annoyed by how stupid the simulacra on the screen have to be to make a typical plot work.
It deserves more of an audience than most of the other movies being cranked out, and it's reportedly in danger of dying a quick box-office death. Check it out while you can; you won't regret it. 10/10.
The makers of the Opera browser have acquired their associated no-brainer URL, http://www.opera.com/. While in my heart I would prefer it if that URL belonged to a music-related concern, I'm glad that Opera will be that much easier to locate.
And this gives me an excuse to note that even though many press folk seem to live in the Land of Foregone Conclusions (e.g. George W. Bush has the Republican Party nomination, Windows has won for all time, and there are only two browsers), reality doesn't necessarily match their assumption set:
- Opera user base grows despite 'end' of browser war [The Register]
Facts are getting in the way of Microsoft's claim that there is not a market for browsers. Opera, the Norwegian browser that sells for $35 after a 30-day free trial, has established itself as the contender, according to [figures from] research company BrowserWatch.
The data are derived from visitors to BrowserWatch, who are mostly developers, Web site designers, journos and browser nuts.
While it's true that the sample from which the figures are taken is skewed toward geeks, it's significant that this is a browser so good that people are willing to pay for it when there are two free alternatives.
Opera gives you a level of control over your browsing experience that the others just don't match. They're being rewarded for this by the market. Cool.
The Web Standards Project -- which has taken over Amazon's former spot in my administuff column on the left (it's become more important to me to promote a good cause there rather than make a paltry couple of bucks; I should be making my money other ways) -- has started a petition to Microsoft:
- An open letter to Microsoft: It's time to get it right [The Web Standards Project]
Now that Netscape has committed to delivering full support for Cascading Style Sheets Level-1, HTML 4.0, DOM 1.0 and XML 1.0 in Navigator 5 - and appears to be on the verge of doing so - it's time to get Microsoft to commit to doing the same.
"For the good of your browser and the advancement of the Web as a great medium for communications, commerce, and art, I urge you to go the distance and make full support for these standards a priority for your Internet Explorer development team. If you cannot commit to that time frame, I'd like to know when when Microsoft DOES plan to deliver full support for these standards. (If the answer is 'never,' I'd like to know that, too, so I can let my clients and site visitors know that standards-compliant sites may not work properly on Internet Explorer.)"
Read the whole page; it's an interesting idea, and I've signed myself up. Unpredictably, Dave Winer is critical of it:
- Powerlessness on parade [Userland]
The message that Microsoft hears: "We have no real say in what you do, so we thought we'd show you many of us there are."
The only way to make a difference is to build your own browser.
Whatever. It doesn't seem all that different from last week when DW et al. publicly hammered on InfoWorld to change their deep-linking policy. The complaints of some 'powerless' folk seem like they will shortly have an effect there, so why not try here?
The more attention can be drawn to the issue of standards support, the greater the chance that more of Microsoft's customers will demand a standards-compliant browser. And it's all about what the customers want, right? Right?
Maybe they'll at least get a Salon article for their efforts; that seems to be a validator of sorts (in the current era of web news, anyway).
What a bizarre poll:
- CNN QuickVote poll [CNN]
Which personal milepost would you be most willing to sell ad space at? Graduation, Wedding, Christening, None of the above...
Apparently some couple in Philadelphia sold ad space at their wedding in order to fund the whole thing...blech. If one can't afford a big flashy wedding, one can simply have a smaller, more intimate wedding, yes?
Nobody owns http://www.eatatjoes.com/ yet. Some Warner Brothers cartoon nut should grab it.
Out of time, with about 10 more links I could post...ah well. Wednesday.