One-Sheet: Tauntaun

My sister texted me late last night: What’s the internal temperature of a tauntaun? Now, Nerd Sister, being a nerd, frequently texts me things like this. Recently, it was questions about the Sword of Shannara series and why Kryptonite hurts Superman, being that he’s from Krypton. So I treated it like any of her other questions: with a degree of critical integrity. It would have to keep Luke warm in the frigid wastes of Hoth until Han got the shelter up, right? Hmm. Warm enough that it would maintain human core…

To Gamers, and Those Who Love Them: Be Better.

Trigger warning, in advance, for discussions of and links to documentation of rape culture, threats of sexual violence, death threats There has been a fairly intense – debate? Argument? – happening on Twitter and across blogs for the last few days regarding sexism, misogyny, violence against women, online conduct, and gaming culture. Maybe you’ve seen it; Anita Sarkeesian, a feminist pop culture media critic, launched a Kickstarter to fund a series examining the depictions of women in games. Tropes v. Women in Video Games has already been fully funded, with…

Windows Phone Apollo: Should You Be Mad?

Hot on the heels of my excitement over the video of a Microsoft evangelist telling a Portugese tech site that all Windows Phone devices will get the next big update, Apollo, The Verge has reported that an anonymous source close to the company has quashed that hope, saying that no existing Windows Phones will get the next big update. Funnily enough, even though I use and love Windows Phone, I wasn’t too heartbroken with the news. After all, it’s been up in the air as to whether or not  current devices…

Vanity Project: First Hurdles

No small part of the issue with remastering Star Wars: The Gifted is what’s left of it. There’s no original footage—only the final cut of the film. That means that everything we did to the original tape—capturing, rendering, visual effects, the whole shebang—is there to be worked around. SWTG was shot on NTSC VHS tape, which in and of itself is a poor medium to capture from. Wikipedia tells me that VHS records 333×480 pixels per frame at 30 frames per second. The source footage was captured by Chris in…

Vanity Project

2012-2013 is the 10-year anniversary of the first student film I made. I did choreo, cinematography and visual effects for my buddy Chris’ Star Wars fan film in the second half of grade nine. Armed with a VHS camcorder and Photoshop 6, we put together 17 minutes of fanboy magic that have formed some of my fondest memories of high school. Chris posited in the film that George Lucas was a historian and activist, not a fiction writer, and came to Earth from Coruscant to spread knowledge of the Force and…

Windows 8 Apps Wrapup: Reader, Skydrive, and Internet Explorer

It’s the last day of the Great Metro App Roundup, and we’ve got two of the biggest new apps to go! Reader This… this is not one of the biggest two apps today. This document and PDF viewer is, like many of the preview apps, totally functional. But I’m not sold. It’ll very obviously work better in touch mode, and it’s much peppier than Acrobat for loading and viewing PDFs, but the granular control over printing isn’t in place yet; it’s even missing things like being able to print single pages.…

Windows 8 Apps: Maps, People, Music and Video, Photos, and Weather

Apps, day the second! Check yesterday’s for Calendar, Mail, and Messaging. Carry on for dumb beauty, region code errors, drama, and cloudy skies! Maps Another gorgeous Metro app. I love Bing maps’ look; the aesthetic is clean and bright, easy on the eyes and extremely readable. It launches quickly and finds your location without much effort. And then you start to use it. Rendering the map isn’t fast on old hardware. It chugs, and refreshes at odd times. Also, its contextual awareness is atrocious, as is its parsing of Bing search results.…

Windows 8 Apps: Calendar, Mail, Messaging

The OS is only half the story of what makes Windows 8 interesting. There are plenty of new apps that come baked in, replacing things like the Windows Live suite, Outlook, widgets, and web apps. Some are fantastic, some show potential, and some just raise questions. Let’s take a look. Remember, these are all still preview builds, so I’m going to try to be fair. But I’m not going to pander. Microsoft is going to need to hustle to fix some of these apps before launch so they’re an everyday…

Windows 8: First Impressions (part 2)

I’ve been using Windows 8 now for a few days since the surprisingly easy install, and I’ve quickly gotten a feel for how it works. Let’s take a tour of some of the new stuff and see how it stacks up to what we all know and love (or hate, as the case may be). Lappy is not a new computer, so I was pretty concerned about performance when I installed Windows 8. Take a look: Yup, Lappy is a crappy old HP Pavilion dv2700t, without even the max available…

Windows 8 Consumer Preview: First Impressions

Last night, I braced myself for a painful goodbye. I have been watching a dear old friend become increasingly frail, seeing function lost almost daily. And together, we were going to do something insane. It might spell the end of our long relationship. But it could also be rejuvenating—one final adventure to go out on. My friend’s name—the name I gave him almost five years ago—is Lappy486. He saw me through my undergrad and teacher’s college. He’s been dying by inches. And last night, I installed the preview build of…