Hey Hollywood, Instead of a Remake, How About a Nice Game Of Chess?

October 30, 2011

They are re-making WarGames. They being some Hollywood movie company.

This is incredibly stupid.

Some hacker kid can’t turn a cold war into a nuclear war through computers in today’s era.

#1 – Remote access of the government’s war computers in 2012-14? Are you kidding me?

That premise doesn’t work now. Sure, the kid hacked the Sony Network, which is designed to be online. The US Military system is NOT designed to be online. They’ve closed that door in the movie industry 15 years ago. In Mission Impossible, they had to break into CIA headquarters to use the computer. Even the biggest technology plot holes in 24 were not this big.

#2 – Hypothetically, if the government’s computers could be entered by some hot shot hacker (and, PS, we already saw the awful Die Hard 4 movie), the hacker is not ACCIDENTALLY starting WWIII because he thinks he’s playing a game:

 “I’m going to steal some video games by hacking into this computer software company’s server at WarGames.com. Ooops, I accidentally hacked WarGames.GOV” ?!??

#3 – Oh, the “there’s a back door the programmer put in himself and never closed” concept (hey, worked in Jurassic Park… in 1993!) doesn’t work. You think the US military has ONE GUY doing their system? It’s a massive team who’d close each other’s backdoor systems.

#4 – The whole plot worked in the 80s because computers were so new, and there was the fear of an older generation within the military, and civilian areas, of things like that happening. McKittrick and Beringer, the two guys at odds over the “new tech war” vs “old school defense systems,” would both be about 10 years younger than my Dad is now. My dad was showing me tic-tac-toe on his work computer 28 years ago (right before the movie came out, probably why I loved it so much).

Anyone in the US military is fully indoctrinated to the role of computers and technology. There’s no possible antagonist. Who believes we can’t trust a computer to handle things in 2013? Do you know anyone who doesn’t have a computer? Ten years ago, my GRANDMOTHER was selling things on sells things on E-Bay!

Don’t believe me? This is the info from my grandmother’s Facebook page.

#5 – WWIII? How are we going to have a full scale, Global Thermonuclear War without Russia? The whole concept of mutual assured destruction was predicated on the fact that we knew ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about the Soviet Union (through our inept CIA), so we thought they were a threat, they thought we were a threat, and we thought we were two massive super powers staring each other down. (In reality, the “intel” we had on the Soviets was so much guesswork by CIA operatives trying not to get fired for finding out nothing so they made it up).

There’s only ONE country that could POSSIBLY fit that bill in 2013: North Korea. And no one is talking down Kim Jong Il, cause that bastard’s crazy.

The only way to advance the plot of “hacker almost starts a nuclear war” in 2013 is if the hacker is trying to get access to what the heck is going on in North Korea, discovering their military systems are online because they’d 30 years behind the times, and inadvertently puts us on the brink of WW3. But that has a major plot hole of… “How the hell would the US government find out, hunt him down, and have him race against the clock to stop it” when the real US response would be “screw it, just annihilate their backward-ass country.”

How about re-making bad movies into good ones, instead of good movies into bad ones?

How The States Got Their Shapes / Why Does Anyone Live There? Part IV

October 18, 2011

There’s a series on The History Channel called “How The States Got Their Shapes,” which tells you… you get it. It talks about imperialism, border wars, territorial fights, political maneuvers, religion, bigotry, slavery, booms in industry and commerce, weather, etc, shaped the borders of, and inside, our country.

One thing they discussed the other day was the economic boom going on now in North Dakota. Which has like three percent unemployment, and plentiful jobs in tech, green initiatives, and dozens of other fields. The cost of living is ridiculously cheap. My employer just hired a guy from North Dakota, he got his law degree, and paid, for SEVEN YEARS (four years of undergrad and three years of law school) about what tuition costs for my friend’s final year of undergrad at Tulane.

Of course, the show makes it sound like everyone should move there immediately with their packaged footage of industry booming, people talking positive at their workplaces, and talking about how great North Dakota is. Which made my broke behind consider looking for a job there.

Then they go to the standup part of the show, where the host interviews people on the street (usually to ask them state trivia questions and have them draw states on a clear marker board). And of course, it’s minus-three degrees outside. They said they found ONE person to interview on the street cause everyone else was inside or not going to stand outside to talk. That leads to the weather discussion, and how it’s so freaking cold there, you need survival gear in your car at all times.

Which my new co-worked completely backed up. I realized, “I pay more for things so I can live in nice weather locations, like smoking a cigar on my porch in New Orleans in December. Since leaving Ohio, it’s snowed in the town of my residence exactly ONCE, and that was wiped away by my windshield wipers. Screw cold!”

I’ll even accept an influx of crime to avoid that cold. While discussing the status of our fair city as “Most Miserable” and having a high crime rate.

Would you actually want to live in any of the “Safest Cities”? There’s no crime because the 48 people – who are too stupid to have moved somewhere better – all know each other.

My new friend from North Dakota summed it up: “You can’t mug someone at gunpoint in North Dakota half the year. If there actually was someone outside to rob, you’d have to go inside because your snot would freeze before they could pull out their wallet from underneath all the layers of clothing. Actually, they’d know your fingers would be too cold to pull the trigger and just punch you in the nose. Getting punched in the face with frozen sinuses would definitely incapacitate you, possibly kill you.”

Yeah, that’s less miserable than my city: where I did a double-take on the first overcast day after 150 straight days of sunshine and temperatures between 72 and 92. I opened a window in April and closed it on October 23rd. Those city rankings need to fix their methodology.

Mysteries of the World

October 10, 2011

There’s lots about the laws of physics and how the universe works that I will never understand. The most mind blowing are among the most obvious. But the three that are insanely simple, yet mind-blowing really bother me. They are:

 #3 – If I use my AC to lower the temperature of my apartment to a lower temperature than it is outside, and then I turn off the AC and open my windows, how can my apartment become swelter and 15 degrees above the outside temperature in minutes – with nothing in use like hot lights, just my energy saving TV?

#2 – When you’re sick, how is there that much phlegm in a human body?

#1 – If I use Q-tips in my ears every day (yes, in the ear canal, violating the directions, like everyone else), how come for four days in a row there’s nothing on the Q-tips, and the fifth day, it’s the motherlode of earwax?

A Long Flight To Hawai’i

October 1, 2011

Written Sept. 7. On a plane over the Pacific Ocean

My day started with a phone call from Julie at 5:30 am.  Julie’s awesome. Not only did we have a late night convo about things we really can’t talk about with other people (tamer topics included: “Am I gay if I think I should have gotten a pedicure before going to Hawai’i? I always wear socks and my feet… they need some work”) But the moral of the story is: I finally found a way to make time zones work for me: Have my east coast friends call me when I have to be awake three hours after bed time.

Once sleeping was not an option on the van trip to the Sacramento airport (hour drive), I surfed twitter on my phone for news. First item I see: the team plane for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (a hockey team from the KHL, the top league in Russia. They steal NHL players all the time) crash this morning outside Moscow and killed at least 34 of 37 people on board.

That would be a horrible thing to read even if I wasn’t about to get on a plane with a team and fly 3200 miles over nothing but the Pacific Ocean. My sick brain immediately pictures a stewardess saying “Today’s inflight movie: Castaway!”)

I assure you, these next to statements are not related:

1. Anyone who complains about a free trip to Hawaii should be punched in the genitals.

2. Five hours and 24 minutes is a long time to be on an airplane

It amazes me how my shoulders can sag and be sore, along with my neck at 11 am after two hours on a plane. I sit at my desk looking at my computer from 9 am until about 7 pm six out of every seven days. Why should there be a difference between desk and airplane? I guess my office chair is 5 times more ergonomically correct than an airline seat.

 I’m pretty sure someone on this plane brought an entire block of the strongest smelling boldest sharp cheese that exists.

 I really miss the internet. Or things that transmit news but also require the internet, or phone access, such as twitter or facebook. Or texting people. I can’t even ask.

As many of you know, I have an abnormally large interest in the subject of college athletic conference realignment. And the night before my flight, the SEC held a secret vote on whether or not to admit Texas A&M from the Big 12 as their 13th team. The twitter rumors last night were they accepted A&M  and would announce it Wednesday. Which means, the SEC would need a 14th team (West Virginia of the Big East, or Missouri of the Big 12), the other Big 12 schools might scramble for better conferences, the Pac-12 might add four teams from the Big 12. The Big East might need to replace West Virginia, maybe take those left in the Big 12 and expand to an unprecedented 20 teams. Or the Big East might break along football lines (seven schools don’t have basketball) with the football group adding Big 12 leftovers or Conference USA schools (my former employer was in C-USA), the basketball side might add Xavier and Dayton (my other former employer) and my alma mater might lose status with Xavier and UD leaving.  In otherwords, it’s basically an Armageddon day on internet/twitter for one of my main random interests. While I’m internet-less on a plane. But again, it’s a small price to pay for a free trip to Hawaii. And I’m not complaining.

It’s amazing how quickly I can accomplish computer tasks that don’t require the internet when I don’t have internet access. For example, a work task, or writing a page and a half about nothing.

If this were the SATs: Internet is to KevFu trying to work as

  1. Productivity decreasing
  2. Tools are to cavemen
  3. Ooh! Shiny Things!
  4. All of the Above

If I meet the person who programmed the auto-format features on Word, I will punch them in the throat and say “Sorry, we have auto-punch to the throat enabled for your convenience. You needed to tell me to adjust my auto-punch to the throat settings BEFORE I automatically punched you in the throat.”

In a somewhat related story, I can’t text my friend from West Virginia about WVU possibly going to the SEC, because there’s no way to phrase it without my phone changing it to SECOND.

You’ve probably stopped reading because you’re bored or the shiny internet distracted you (I’m so jealous). But we haven’t reached the halfway point of the flight yet.

One of the things I discussed with Julie was how boring my life was. She disagreed with my assessment and probably won the argument with: “You’re getting a free trip to Hawai’i to hang out with barely dressed, spandex-clad college girls!” I scored minor points with “You hang out all day with first-class business jet setters enjoying cocktails!” It’s all in the presentation.

I rail on Macs for not being as good as PCs, but the Mac version of Freecell keeps your stats in a much better way. It lists every game you’ve played with the date. I’m at 51 games and counting on this flight.

This would have been an ideal time to do some things I’ve always meant to do but never had the time to dedicate. Like, had I looked them up on the internet and saved them/printed them before I left, I could have learned all the words to the German version of 99 Luft Balloons.

I did download an entire season of Dexter since I’m only through Season 4 and Season 7 starts soon. But I downloaded them to my Mac, and they only play on Windows. And I can’t transfer them from the Mac side of my computer to the Windows partition for some reason.

I briefly wondered: “Is it a bad thing that Michael Jackson’s death made it cool to listen to MJ again?” If you think “you know, that’s a valid point. You never want to see someone die – child molestation charges not withstanding – but…” you are TOTALLY WRONG on this issue. It was NEVER UNCOOL to listen to Michael! (Classic KevFu misdirection).

If it takes five and a half hours to get to Hawai’i, which is pretty much the most gorgeous place on earth. I have to believe that Asia, Europe, Africa and Australia are totally not worth going to see.

I always wished I was a gifted enough to be a professional athlete who made lots of money playing sports. However, I think a 6-2 baseball player would be ideal, because I couldn’t imagine being a 6-10 basketball player on a plane for this long. In related news, I can’t feel my right leg anymore.

Must conserve phone battery for landing news-seeking bonanza.

Just because it’s been a while since I’ve said it: “Who Dat? Who Dat? Who Dat say they gonna beat them Saints?”

I should write something worthwhile during this time, instead of a bunch of rambling crap.

Hey, if you look out the window, you can see the Pacific Ocean!