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This Week's Movies: Hostage and Cursed

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"Cursed" is your basic werewolf loose in Los Angeles story. When a brother and sister are attacked by a unidentified animal, they soon realize they have to find a way to save themselves from another attack (or two) and the "curse of darkness". Starring the talented Christina Ricci and relative newcomer Jesse Eisenberg, this movie wasn't as bad as you might expect. The special effects were horrid, but the direction by Wes Craven and the script by Kevin Williamson were acceptable. I was surprized to see Ricci accept a role of this caliber and she was definitely the main attraction. The movie was reminiscent of those old classic horror movies of the 40's and 50's and perhaps that was intended. It really wasn't that bad.

"Hostage" was a pretty good movie starring Bruce Willis and Kevin Pollack. Willis plays a guilt ridden ex- Los Angeles hostage negotiator hiding out in Small Town, USA. His seemingly mundane new job as chief of police is disrupted by another tense hostage situation. Willis' character is very John McClane like in being thrust into unwanted action and adventure. He whoops the bad guys, saves the hostages (and his family), and walks away into the sunset (or sunrise, as the case may be). The direction and script were good, although nothing groundbreaking. It was basic Hollywood "production-line" film making complete with shoot outs and fireballs. The only things missing were the car chase and gratuitous love scene.

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today's leftovers

  • DRM display resource leasing (kernel side)
    So, you've got a fine head-mounted display and want to explore the delights of virtual reality. Right now, on Linux, that means getting the window system to cooperate because the window system is the DRM master and holds sole access to all display resources. So, you plug in your device, play with RandR to get it displaying bits from the window system and then carefully configure your VR application to use the whole monitor area and hope that the desktop will actually grant you the boon of page flipping so that you will get reasonable performance and maybe not even experience tearing. Results so far have been mixed, and depend on a lot of pieces working in ways that aren't exactly how they were designed to work.
  • GUADEC accommodation
    At this year’s GUADEC in Manchester we have rooms available for you right at the venue in lovely modern student townhouses. As I write this there are still some available to book along with your registration. In a couple of days we have to a final numbers to the University for how many rooms we want, so it would help us out if all the folk who want a room there could register and book one now if you haven’t already done so! We’ll have some available for later booking but we have to pay up front for them now so we can’t reserve too many.
  • Kickstarter for Niryo One, open source 6-axis 3D printed robotic arm, doubles campaign goal
    A Kickstarter campaign for the Niryo One, an open source 3D printed 6-axis robotic arm, has more than doubled its €20,000 target after just a couple of days. The 3D printed robot is powered by Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and Robot Operating System.
  • Linux Action Show to End Eleven Year Run at LFNW
    Jupiter Broadcasting’s long-running podcast, Linux Action Show, will soon be signing off the air…er, fiber cable, for the last time. The show first streamed on June 10, 2006 and was hosted by “Linux Tycoon” Bryan Lunduke and Jupiter Broadcasting founder Chris Fisher. Lunduke left the show in 2012, replaced by Matt Hartley, who served as co-host for about three years. The show is currently hosted by Fisher and Noah Chelliah, president of Altispeed, an open source technology company located in Grand Forks, North Dakota.