Friday, September 4, 2015
Squeezing time to blog is difficult, but I just do what I can.
Have seen ‘Inside Out’ and ‘MI5 – Rogue State’ recently, Pixar produced a great one this time. The movie was entertaining though it didn’t hit me until I read reviews afterwards. My sons couldn’t get into the movie much, but my wife found that surprisingly deep in content. I think the creativity is superb giving the subject matter and the way of presentation. Certainly, a keeper! MI5 is good too, I like the third one since and I think this one is quite entertaining from start to finish. The female lead is pretty good, something like an equivalent of Tom Cruise in it, not very pretty but very decent for the part. The villain looks a bit funny, I don’t know why his look really reminds me of Tim Cook?! J
Spent 6 days in Osaka and have a day trip to Nara last week. A happy trip overall with the whole family. To be honest, I was very tried everyday, but it wasn’t any worst than before. Foods can be better, but certainly much better than the SG trip earlier this year. Didn’t do much shopping, except surprisingly few clothes from GU for myself. I wish the kids are older and would be able to appreciate culture part more, though the Lego Center, Kid science place are fine for them. The Universal Studio was actually more for me and my wife! The Harry Potter land was really amazing, the ride as well….There weren’t too many tourists from the PRC, so the tourists’ places aren’t too packed. Love the day in Nara, the temples are good, but surprisingly the best meal during the trip wasn’t the crab dinner, but the largely veggie lunch in the temple yard, very refreshing!
Haven’t brought it yet, but I’m about to buy a NAS first time and would install that at home DIY. After experiencing the HORRIBLE LOSS of data that I’ve in a freaking Seagate hard disk this year, lost few hundred GBs of MP3 that I collected last few years, damned! I would need to prevent any further loss in my other hard disks, just able to partially rescue most of my photos in another, thank GOD! So, the setup of the NAS is imminent, just need to find time to buy it and install it, most likely QNAP TS251C would be the one, though Synology DS214Play is also good. Let’s see…
With the huge loss of my MP3 collections, I just don’t have the mood to construct my iTunes library anymore. Also, listing to podcasts have occupied my audio entertainment times, I’ve not listened to any music for months! However, given the Apple Music hype, I did the alternative: registered Spotify instead, cuz the prior doesn’t have a free version, I’m not gonna pay for anything in case I forgot to discontinue the free service after 3 months. Well, the free Spotify version is fine and good enough, particularly when I just don’t have the time to be very picky for customization or constructing my playlists. Just looking back the when we still listen to vinyl and cassettes, I thought MP3 would be quite ultimate, just couldn’t expect streaming would potentially takeover until I tried it on myself to see the beauty of it. I think every music delivery format has its fans, more options the better.
The refugee crisis in Europe is sad. But, for being a fan of conspiracy, it is just the result of the force behind all those chaos. Those who suffer are mostly Muslim and Africans, they are the ‘targets’ of the conspiracy behind. What can we say……
China just has another military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the deficit of fascism?! The purpose of the show is largely for domestic reason. I just feel that ‘self-reflection’ is more important than all the ‘empty’ words and propaganda, if anyone really for peace-keeping. As a side note, my older has started asking me questions about world events as I was watching time on TV. He recently was quite interested in the anniversary of end of WWII, the Japanese invasion of China, etc. He asked me who the face on Tiananmen Square is? Well, I answered him with comment, I think that raised more questions in his head than before, which would be a good thing down the road. ….
Thursday, August 13, 2015
"You know, if I were to get hit by a bus today," Google co-founder Larry Page once reportedly said, "I should leave all of it to Elon Musk."
That's admittedly an unorthodox way to handle one's estate. Most wealthy individuals leave their money either to heirs or to a charitable foundation. But as Page later explained, he thought the Tesla Motors/SpaceX CEO could do more good with the money. In an interview with Charlie Rose, Page mentioned Musk's idea of "backing up humanity" by creating a parallel civilization on Mars as an example of an effective way to improve the world through business. "That’s a company, and that’s philanthropical," he said.
In retrospect, now that he's founding Alphabet as a way to keep researching big moonshot ideas, Page's comments seem less like idle musings and more like a coherent theory of how to best use his money to change the world: not by giving it away, but by investing it in projects he thinks could be truly revolutionary.
As the above chart shows, the main factor in whether a country escapes extreme poverty is whether its economy grows. You can see an animated version of the graph covering many years here.
Page's career is premised on the idea that advancing technology through a for-profit company can meaningfully improve people's lives — and indeed, there's a decent argument to be made that, historically, profit-motivated technical advances have helped people more than charity has.
If you look at the major forces of progress in world history, philanthropy isn't high up there. Scientific research and technological innovation, however, are. The most important force in lifting people out of extreme poverty has, at least since the Industrial Revolution, been economic growth, which is boosted by scientific discovery but not by charity. Improvements in life expectancy have been driven both by increased wealth and by medical advances, which are often funded and backed by pharmaceutical companies and other for-profit actors.
Even major charitable success stories stand on the backs of technological and medical innovation. The eradication of smallpox was a major humanitarian undertaking, but one that required the invention of readily deployable vaccines. The Green Revolution — which dramatically increased crop yields in Mexico, India, and elsewhere — was sponsored by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, but worked by spreading existing technological improvements in farming to poor countries.
Ken Thompson (left) and Dennis Ritchie, who invented UNIX and C at Bell Labs. (The Jargon File)
So let's suppose you're Larry Page. You have billions upon billions of dollars. You feel, as any decent billionaire would, an urge to give back to the world. You could do that by starting a foundation and giving away your money, or you could join Warren Buffett and dedicate your money to someone else's foundation, so you don't have to worry about setting up a totally new one.
But you're not necessarily good at running a foundation, or even at picking the best one out of the existing options. What you are good at is making consumer products. It seems like if you want to do some good for the world, that's a useful skill set to draw upon. Things like Google Maps and Gmail and Hangouts and Android have already made life better for millions of people. Why not do more of that — and do it bigger?
This may not be the most profitable path for Google. But then again, AT&T didn't reap most of the benefits when its Bell Labs researchers invented the laser, or the transistor, or UNIX or the C programming language. Those advances trickled out and made the whole world better. Same goes for Xerox, whose Xerox PARC researchers invented the graphical user interface, which made widespread computer ownership and usage possible, and then saw companies like Apple and Microsoft profit from it while Xerox got little back.
Google's self-driving car; if these go to market, they could save thousands of lives, help end congestion, and improve the world in countless other ways. (Google)
Alphabet gives Page the freedom to pursue those kinds of bigger projects. The reorganization's main purpose is to cleave the core functionality of Google — search, Maps, Docs, Gmail, YouTube, etc. — from the company's more far-out research projects: self-driving cars, giant wind-energy-collecting kites, attempts to radically extend human lifespans, balloon-based wifi provision, etc. By placing those initiatives as subsidiaries of a company, just like Google, Page is signaling that he regards them as peers of similar importance, and suggesting that Alphabet's focus as a company will be just as much on exploring those kinds of moonshots as on improving Google's core business. The self-driving cars aren't a fun hobby supported by the search engine business, in other words. They're an equally crucial part of the business.
Page also frees himself, and Sergey Brin, to focus on those projects rather than on Google qua Google. Page and Brin's time and attention are scarce and valuable resources at Alphabet, and by committing them to moonshots, Page improves their likelihood of success on the margin.
He's also suggesting that he's going to use his own money to enforce a vision of Alphabet/Google as a company that invests in ambitious, crazy-seeming ideas. Page and Brin have purposefully structured Google such that not all shareholders have equal voting power — and so that the minority of shares (only about 14 percent) owned by Page and Brin wind up having a majority of votes. Because Google sells "Class C" stock that has no voting power, it can still raise money from investors without giving up any control.
Page wants Google to be doing more to aggressively change the world. And Alphabet is set up to enable just that.
This releases Page and Brin from any need to pursue share buybacks, pay out big dividends, or otherwise appease investors. Instead, profits can be plowed back into investments, including the long-shot projects Page is so passionate about. This only works, though, if he and Brin hold on to their stakes. If they were to sell them off and give the money to a foundation, they'd lose their ability to force Alphabet to invest in ambitious ideas. But by holding on to the roughly $30 billion apiece in Google stock they own, they can raise many more billions from investors to spend on self-driving cars, wind energy kites, and defeating death itself. They're leveraging their money to get even more money for the charitable cause Page thinks is most important: major, revolutionary innovation.
Page said as much in his interview with Rose, arguing that using his money to influence and benefit his own company was the best method he had for doing good. "You're working because you want to change the world. You want to make it better. Why isn't the company that you work for worthy not just of your time but your money as well?" he asked (emphasis mine). "I mean, but we don't have a concept of that. That's not how we think about companies, and I think it's sad, because companies are most of our effort. They're where most of people's time is, where a lot of the money is, and so I think I'd like for us to help out more than we are."
Page wants Google to be doing more to aggressively change the world. And Alphabet is set up to enable just that.
Monday, June 15, 2015
I don't know if anyone still subscribe my blog and don't care if anyone would still read it. These days, everybody is using FB. Blogging activities certainly declines. However, I still visit my own blogs everyday, just for the sake of checking the new blogs of my favorite blogs. Why have I not blog for so long? Well, that doesn't really matter, I would say that is combination of time, convenience, access, etc.
Anyway, I'm back! At least for today.
There are stuffs that I wanna say on record for the period since my last blog. I'm not gonna organize it in any structural way, cuz, that would take too much time which is something I gotta cherish when I can.
I saw many movies during that period, Avengers sequel, Big Hero Six, Interstellar, etc. Damn, if I don't blog them after I saw them, I would just forget what I have seen... Well, look at it the other way, if I don't remember them, probably they should be forgot!
I went to the Mega-Hit Taichi 30 Years Anniversary Concert few weeks back. It was a very refreshing experience since I've not gone to any concert for a long time. I went there by myself with my wife's 'dear understanding', though she yelled me for coming home late. Anyway, a rock concert is something got to see live. Not all songs are my favorite, but certainly some are. What a nostalgic effect when I listened to some songs that I would say I'd not listened for more than a decade, and I could still sing along and remember the lyrics. Goldies are goodies!
My fxxking Seagate hard drive of 1TB couldn't be detected by my PC at home for the last 2-3 months and checked with a data-content rescuer service, it would cost me HK$1700+ to get the data back. I tried to download some software to save it myself but no vain. I'm wondering if I should cough that much $$$ to save the data which was my freaking music collection in past 10 years of 300+GB!!! Well, I'm still trying to rescue myself, but time is just not on my side. I would decide if I will need external help in this week or two. That's a lot of money to pay and not 100% guarantee! However, come to think of it, it probably cost less than the purchase price of 20 cds, but I can save 5 figures of MP3s!......I gotta be more careful in backing up my files, the second most importance library is my photo library, I plan to store them on cloud. I got a free online storage accounts of a couple TBs, that should do it. But, the problem is that that is from the 'Strong country' in the North. So, God knows if someday it will simply disappear without a trail?.......
Well, as usual, I don't really talk about it openly because once things are said, there is no secret. What I wanna mention is that a big project has been delivered and went live early this month. So, I'm having a bit of relax time now. However, as I would need to move desk to be closer to my new boss in a 'challenging' environment, i.e. out of a comfort zone, there are just too many unknowns and would take a bit of adaptation. That will happen by end of this month. So, I'm just gonna chill a bit for now.
- Went to Singapore with the whole family in end of Feb for 6 days. First leisure travel as a family for years! It was fun! Lived in Sentosa, went to Universal Studio, Legoland in MY, etc. First time for kids on plane, a good experience. Tired but worthy.
- Well, got a housemaid replacement, decent so far.
- Got my wife an iPhone 6. Was thinking about getting an Apple Watch, but just can't seem to find a convincing reason to buy one: No killer app so far, battery life is short, looks a bit bulky, and it is still the first gen.!
- No major gadget has been bought.
- Still yelling my sons which is something I don't wanna do but still doing it. They really test my patience and EQ. I'm so far still on the losing side.
- Wife and I are fine, can always improve....
Well, that's it for now, until next time.....
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Long time no blog! I’ve let the dust to settle down before sharing my 2 cents of thought.
iPhone 6 and 6+
Apple finally bows down to competitors to make bigger phones. The hardware and specs are decent, not spectacular, and they don’t need to be for commercial reason. The design are still top notch, better than its competitors, all it needs indeed is to make consumers feel that iPhone is still a premier product that deserve premium price. The chip and sensors are marginal upgrade from 5s, expected. My view is that iPhone 6 and 6+ are probably the beginning of the end of hardware renovation for iPhone. Cuz, what more can Apple does? Unless they make a hologram, minority report types of projection, etc. Otherwise, that’s pretty what we will see in years to come. i.e. 6s would have the same physique, 7, 7s, from round edge back to sharp edge, may be Sapphire glass, liquid metal be used for materials. Maybe Apple will make color metal cases, etc. That’s pretty much what the incremental change it would make. Size will stay for at least next few years if not permanent. What really would change are internal, upgraded sensor, chip, battery and the killer iOS. That’s about it.
The killer for Apple, as I mentioned in many posts before, is its ecosystem of hardware, software and services. ApplePay is surely the latter one. It is not a very innovative thing, it just as most of other Apple’s services incorporated in its ecosystem, just works! The most important thing is the lure of banks and merchants to buy in this services and to become an industry standard in next 2-3 years. Apple doesn’t need to do much but getting fee from every transaction! That will ensure a new stream of cash flow. I’m pretty sure ApplePay will succeed given it simply makes payment easy. This service will do if not more than the iTunes App store to Apple, 30% charge on Apps. Apple just opened a gold mine!
I’m less a skeptic of this product than many naysayers. To be honest, for both iPhone and iPad, my first purchase of them were happened to be the 3rd gen of the products. I want an AppleWatch, but I don’t need one, at least for now. So, as usual, I will stay tune to let Apple fine tuning this product before I hop in. What are current problems or issues that I have with the 1st gen AppleWatch? Yes, many spec have not been released, but the following suspicions at the moment would still be largely believable.
Battery – nightly charge is no good. Sure, I nightly get my iPhone recharged, shouldn’t matter to recharge another thing. But, it should be going reverse, to have better iPhone battery so I don’t need to recharge it daily. Watch is smaller and so does its battery, but people would expect a smaller screen size shouldn’t consume a lot of power that requires daily recharge. Yes, a magnet recharger is nice, but what matter is the other end of the recharger that it is connected to - Still a bulky backup portable battery! Apple gotta do something about it, be it to be recharged remotely or via kinetic action or something. Stay tune to Apple to acquire some small companies that can do those things in next year or two.
Size – the belts are nice, I’m sure 3rd party dealers will do much more than that. Stay tune to Louis Vutton, Gucci, etc to come up with their belts for AppleWatch in next year or two. The problem of the watch itself is that it still looks a bit bulky! It looks too thick! I would say that it will definitely be improved by in next gens as a major selling point by Apple, the only roadblock is the battery. A tough case to crack!
I think the UI is innovative with those circle icons, but it would demand learning and memorization by users to recognize which icon is which. Also, I’m not sure if it is easy to spot the right icon for people with big fat fingers. The digital crown is nice, would want to see more details about that. The watch can do wi-fi. I’m not sure if I would buy in the map feature that it shows in keynote. The screen is simple too small and if it has to work with iPhone, why don’t I just take the phone out and look at it? Also, about the use of Siri, I’ve concern of the audio volume. The health sensor is a nice touch, ApplePay indication is nice too, but I think Apple is still waiting for a killing app to drive its sale. Anyway, I’m pretty sure I will buy an AppleWatch…in few years.
Saw the movie the other day. It is a decent movie with the right amount of drama, action and CG.
Scarlett Johansson carried the whole movie beautifully. She makes this movie watchable and engaging. Morgan Freeman remains Morgan Freeman, a decent part without much up or down in emotion. I think he just did it for the paycheck. The Korean villain is cool and has more acting to do than Morgan Freeman, but still a stereotype of Asia bad guy: crazy, over the top, killing everybody just because he can.
Yes, agreed with many critics that the ending of the movie is a bit too much. How can someone use 100% of the brain will end up omnipotent like God? That doesn’t make sense! But, it is just a movie, doesn’t matter for this mindless detail. For a brief 90 minutes of fun, I think Luc Besson did a good job to entertain the audience. More a commercial version of Tree of Life with some Matrix feel, well I’m entertained.
Monday, July 21, 2014
It has been the longest absence of blogging ever for this site. I guess many people thought that I've abandoned this site for good. Well, that's not true. There are just simply too many things happened in the last two months+ that can explain my absence. I think we could take over 10 posts to cover everything in details which just not gonna happen given the current situation that I'm in now. So, I'm just gonna do that by bullets, just for my personal interests to record part of my history.
1. Job change
I left my previous company for a new one. Hours are much longer and works are much more challenging. It is not an easier environment to survive. Cuz, my current job has no BAU, I either succeed or fail! No third way. So, I've been working very hard to please my new boss as well as everybody and myself as well. I even dreamed many times about my job which is not a good sign! But, what can I say? I made the choice to move on and I'm not that kind of person who will regret over such decision. So, I suck it up and take it like a man! It ain't easier, but looking at the good side, I've not been that self-motivated for a long time. I do like my current job and think that I still have the chance to make something about it. So, I gotta focus and work smart at the same time! What can I say?
2. Business Trip
I left for a business trip to the U.S. for 2 weeks last month during the World Cup period. It was an interesting trip. Met my sis one day in NYC. Visited the 9/11 Memorial Center, etc. Also, some scenary do stimulate certain nostalgic feelings.... Stucked in the middle of nowhere, glad to have free WIFI to Facetime with my family daily, and some old friends as well.... Travelled on B-class for the first time, it was indeed nice! Watch tons of movies!!! (includes LEGO, The Rise of the Planet of the Ape, The Wolf of Wall Street, Captain Philips, Total Recall and Robocop remakes, Frozen, World War Z, The Amazing Spider-man, Thor 2 - the Dark World, Iron Man 3, etc.)
3. Housemaid Replacement
That happened before my B trip. It was done out of a 'necessary' reason. Is the result good? That's certainly debatable. Just another unique thought comingle in an already very busy and hectic household. Challenges always, such as new relationships to be formed, broken things like washing machine, electic fan in toilet, etc. Another character to deal with.....
4. Health concern
Touchwood, nothing really bad has been detected, but I do think that I'm getting old and stress at the same time. My hair loss is getting serious. My recent flu virus attack that gave me 4 days+ of sore throat has been a torture! I need to really pay more attention to my health and body.....
- Went to see Transformer 4 with my wife which was nice! Haven't done that for a while.
- My iPad was disabled more than a month ago and I still don't have time and arrangement line up to fix it...
- Bought a new HP PC before I left for my B Trip. It was a rush decision that I'm a bit regret that was made. Win 8.1 sucks! can't read isilos, problem with reading Chinese, still has problem in downloading files, iTunes problem, etc......SUCKS!!!!!! Well, that's all for now. Hope that I will have chance to blog more in near future!.....
Friday, May 9, 2014
Just came across a very interest article about Chinese URL.
In case the article will be gone in future, I just copy that below:
In case the article will be gone in future, I just copy that below:
The Secret Messages Inside Chinese URLs
An American friend living in Beijing once said she refused to communicate with anyone whose email address consisted of a string of numbers, such as email@example.com. This made sense to me at the time—why make email addresses as difficult to remember as phone numbers? But I soon realized that issuing a blanket ban on number-based communications would mean cutting off just about every single Chinese person I knew.
In the U.S., you really only have to remember two long numbers, ever: Your phone number and your Social Security number. In China, you’re constantly barraged by digits: QQ numbers (QQ is China’s most popular chat service), email addresses, and even URLs. For example, the massive online retailer Jingdong Mall is at jd.com or, if that takes too long to type, 3.cn. Check out 4399.com to see one of China’s first and largest online gaming websites. Buy and sell used cars at 92.com. Want to purchase train tickets? It’s as easy as 12306.cn.
Why the preference for digits over letters? It mostly has to do with ease of memorization. To a native English-speaker, remembering a long string of digits might seem harder than memorizing a word. But that’s if you understand the word. For many Chinese, numbers are easier to remember than Latin characters. Sure, Chinese children learn the pinyin system that uses the Roman alphabet to spell out Mandarin words (for example, the word for “Internet,” 网络, is spelled wangluo in pinyin). And yes, Arabic numerals (1-2-3) are technically just as much a foreign import as the Roman alphabet (A-B-C). But most Chinese are more familiar with numbers than letters, especially those who didn’t go to college. To many, “Hotmail.com” might as well be Cyrillic.
The digits in a domain name usually aren’t random. The Internet company NetEase uses the web address 163.com—a throwback to the days of dial-up when Chinese Internet users had to enter 163 to get online. The phone companies China Telecom and China Unicom simply reappropriated their well-known customer service numbers as domain names, 10086.cn and 10010.cn, respectively.
Digits are even more convenient when you consider that the words for numbers are homophones for other words. The URL for the massive e-commerce site Alibaba, for example, is 1688.com, pronounced “yow-leeyoh-ba-ba”—close enough! Those digits can just as often have individual meanings. The video sharing site 6.cn works because the word for “six” is a near-homophone for the word “to stream.” The number five is pronounced wu, which sounds like wo, which means “I.” The number one is pronounced yao, which with a different tone means “want.” So the job-hunting site 51job.com sounds a lot like “I want a job.” Likewise, to order McDonalds’ delivery online, just go to 4008-517-517.com, the “517” of which sounds a bit like “I want to eat.” (An English equivalent might be the old radio jingle, “How many cookies did Andrew eat? Andrew 8-8000.”)
This kind of number-language has become an infinitely malleable shorthand among Chinese web users: 1 means “want,” 2 means “love,” 4 means “dead” or “world” or “is,” 5 means “I,” 7 means “wife” or “eat,” 8 means “get rich” or “not,” and 9 means “long time” or “alcohol.” The numbers 5201314, for example, mean 我爱你一生一世,or “I will love you forever”; 0748 means “go die”; and 687 means “I’m sorry.” (See here for more examples.) Chinese has plenty of other number-based slang, such as erbaiwu, or “250,” which means “idiot,” or “38,” pronounced sanba, which means “bitch.” And of course there’s the association of certain numbers with good or bad luck, and the subsequent demand for addresses and phone numbers with lots of 8s (“get rich”) and minimal 4s (“die”). Back in 2003, a Chinese airline paid $280,000 for the phone number 88888888.
Why don’t Chinese web addresses just use Mandarin characters? Because that’s a pain, too. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which sets the rules for web addresses globally, has periodically hyped the expansion of domain names to include non-Latinate scripts, but Chinese web sites have yet to take full advantage. Some devices require a special plug-in to type in Chinese URLs, and even then it takes longer to type or write out characters than to input a few digits. Plus, for web sites that want to expand internationally but don’t want to alienate foreign audiences with unfamiliar characters, numbers are a decent compromise.
Still, the numbers/letters divide is emblematic of the Internet’s built-in bias: Even more than two decades after its birth, it’s still a fundamentally American system. (Sorry, Tim Berners-Lee.) ICANN is an American non-profit corporation, though the U.S. recently agreed to hand it over to a “global multi-stakeholder community” in 2015. ASCII, the character-encoding scheme that was long used on most web pages, is short for the “American Standard Code for Information Interchange.” In 2012, the United States refused to sign an international telecommunications treaty, supported by both Russia and China, that would shift the Internet away from its current U.S.-centric form of governance. In other words, the structure of the Internet is a constant reminder of American digital hegemony, from WiFi standards to GPS. Even the “.cn” at the end of Chinese URLs comes from the English word for China, not the Chinese word for China. You can’t blame other countries for wanting to tell the American 250s to 0748.
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Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Able to squeeze two and a half hour of time to see this movie the other day and wanna share my thoughts on this movie with you all.
What I know before I went to see the movie is that the actions are good, the movie is the longest Spider-man ever, and there will be Rhino, Electro and Goblin in the movie as villains.
What I think about the movie after I saw it are:
1. Andrew Garfield is better than I expected. I didn't see the reboot one of the franchise and I did like Tobey McGuire more as the Spidey, so when I know that the relatively good looking Andrew Garfield as the replacement, I'm kinda got put off to see the reboot. However, he seems to be fine as Peter Parker, though the movie has a sad part of it, he doesn't portrait Peter Parker as a loner and miserable person as Tobey did.
2. The love story between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy is actually acceptable, though I think that the death of her character in the movie doesn't hit the audience as much as it should. She is a likable character, but I don't see how she affected Peter Parker's character or decision making much either when she is alive or after she died. Peter Parker/Spider-man still act and talk the same.
3. Jamie Foxx is a waste in the movie. Seriously, I like his character better as a person before he became Electro. He really didn't do much in the movie. Electro's character is just skin deep and so one dimensional that his purpose is just to give Spider-man a run at the money in CG heavy action scene.
4. Actions are good! The swinging scene, the action scenes in the movie are all good, visually great and good use of CG/3D. There are enough or more than enough of action to entertain the audience, while the other aspects of the movies are relatively lacking.
Would I recommend people to see this movie? I would say yes, for Spider-man fan, a big 'YES'. But, don't be too excited about this movie. I just think it just try to do a bit too much and none of them (i.e. Peter's relationship with Gwen, friendship with Harry, his relationship with Aunt May, etc) are really good except the actions. Honestly, I would say Captain America 2: Winter Soldier is actually a more entertaining movie than this one. I would give a B-.
Monday, May 5, 2014
I read this on the net today and really wanna record and share it with others:
...The biggest danger of faith is when people believe what they want to believe, defending against any and all evidence; especially when that evidence revolutionizes their foundation from the ground up. And the biggest culprit to that danger is the ego trap: rejecting/criticizing others, for being unlike you.
For centuries, the “defense” of blind faith has driven nations to war, violence, discrimination, slavery and to become the society of automatons that we are today; and for just as long, it has been justified with lies. If you know better, act like it.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Just saw the Captain America 2 – Winter Soldier the other day. Man, I heard that this movie is good and I entered the cinema with expectation. Well, I was very satisfied! For most of the Marvel movies that I saw in the last couple of years, except Thor 2 which I couldn’t make it to see in spite of the presence of the beloved Natalie Portman, I love most of them. Certainly, some are better than the others. The first Captain America movie was actually a surprise to me. I thought it would be quite boring giving the background of the movie was back in WWII, it was actually a better one than Thor. This sequel is just amazing!...
The acting by most characters is fine. Robert Redford as a villain is a given, but his presence in most scenes are still commanding. Sam Jackson the Nick Fury is still the Sam Jackson, more than enough for this character. Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow hide her physique in most of the movie, but the bigger part in the movie make her character more interesting and we even root for some romance between her and Captain America. Anyway, she is still eye candy to the viewers. Falcon and Winter Soldier characters are smaller but optimal to screen time, and they were great in action/fight scenes. Chris Evan as Captain America is nice, though his acting is still a bit wooden, but we don’t really expect too much from Captain America. However, his fight scenes are really well, particularly those against Winter Soldier. The car chase and explosions are great as well.
The good thing is that this movie is really fine to be a stand-alone movie for people who are not following the rest of Marvel movies. As the heroes and villains of these movies don’t have too much super-power, it is more ground and realistic than Avengers. Also, the story itself with the spy plot that describe the supposed to be ‘good’ agency - SHIELD into a puppet of the” Nazi” Hydra add a nice depth to the story than would be a vanilla script for simply linking showing actions to actions. I think the subtext of technology of preemptive strikes, government’s seize of personal info to making the so-called ‘New World Order’ really resonate with viewers who are sensitive to the Edward Snowden vs. NSA saga, and other conspiracy theories.
Of course, there are always ‘holes’ that we can spot on in every movie, this one is no different. E.g. why would Black Widow, Falcon and Captain America after being caught, would be put in the same vehicle which would be easily hijacked by a good SHIELD agent easily? How would Black Widow know where Nick Fury’s USB drive be put in the lending machine? How could Black Widow and Captain America would be able to reach Falcon’s home so easy when the whole country are looking for them, etc. Those are minor things that I spot, but they wouldn’t really affect my enjoyment of the movie.
I don’t know how to rank this movie against other Marvels, but for a sequel, it is definitely one of the few that is better than the first one, even for outside the superhero genre. I would give a B+ easily.