Category: technology


Truth 1Recent “Moment of Truth” contestant Lauren Cleri maybe heading for divorce because of her honesty. The show is a new low for television. USA Today said it correctly when they stated, “[Fox Reality] pursues bad taste with a zeal unrivaled in the industry”.

The show pits contestants against a polygraph and they are rewarded for telling the truth. That is fine and dandy but contestants have led anything but exemplary lives. They have cheated on their spouses, stole from their jobs, admitted to gambling problems and much more.

Contestants are so mesmerized by the chance to be on television and the thought of half a million dollars that they are willing to embarrass themselves and put themselves in ruin. Players do not consider that fact they could lose their jobs, their spouse or worse. The crowd could tell Monday that Cleri was going to be honest even if it ended her two year marriage to Frank Cleri. Host Mark Walberg even asked the contestant to stop but who knows if that is a genuine plea or merely a part of his job.

cleri momentContestants know what they are signing up for and should hardly act surprised about the results. According to an article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, “Contestants’ friends and family are interrogated thoroughly. “They research your whole life,” says Christie Youssef, 22, who admitted she’s a virgin in the second episode. “I didn’t have any idea of the scope until afterward.”

All the questions are answered in advance when the player is connected to a polygraph. Contestants are just not aware of the results. They also have to put up with shocking twist, like when Cleri was read a question by her ex, Frank.

A polygraph is not a perfect tool that magically detects lies. While the lie detector is hardly flawless it is the best tool available but still should not be considered by any means a mind reader. New York polygraph expert Joel Reicherter explained how the machine worked in an article with The Columbian. Essentially, the polygraph monitors whether a person is trying to “‘beat the test by clenching muscles. The collected data is fed into the examiner’s laptop computer and charted. The program includes a comprehensive database of medications that affect the test, so those can be factored.”

Players unfortunately seem to be getting themselves into more trouble by admitting to the truth rather than merely attempting trying to beat the test.

Hopefully predictions about the show are correct and it will be pulled because of faltering ratings.

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Jon Stewart did a decent job at the 80th annual Oscars last night but certain segments made me wonder if some of the sketches were built in plugs.youtube-iphone.jpg

Jon Stewart had some funny moments at the Academy Awards. He nailed a lot of jokes, excelling of course with his trademark political humor. He was gracious during the ceremony. He even ushered singer Marketa Irglova back on stage for her acceptance speech for the song “Falling Away” from Once after she was abruptly cut off.

He seemed quite taken back by new technologies though. Stewart was featured watching Lawrence of Arbia on his iPhone. He battled 11-year old singer, Jamia Simone Nash, from August Rush in a game of Wii Sports tennis.

Engadget readers are left to debate whether the skits were merely a paid for advertisements or a celebration of new technology and pop culture.

The iPhone may have been a tool to make fun of some of the petty arguements that were center stage during the writer’s strike. Essentially studios and writers were fighting over profits from downloads that may end up on iPhone’s 4 1/2 by 2 1/2 inch screen.

Neither Nintendo or Apple were official sponsors of the Academy Awards. A list of sponsors included American Express, Coca-Cola, General Motors, L’Oréal, Mars, Mastercard, McDonald’s, J.C. Penney, ad firm Procter & Gamble, and Unilever. I am curious how Apple and Nintendo managed to sneak their way on the show.

I guess, good for them. They got the perfect promotion spot and waived the reported $1.8 million advertising fee. The commercials during the Oscars are only second to the Super Bowl in price.

Rest in Peace HD

There was an official announcement today that put thebourne_identity_hddvd_box.jpg final nail in HD’s coffin. Although HD was the more affordable option, a reported $229-329 versus the $1000 Blue Ray (or the $600 PS3) it finally admitted defeat.

Toshiba even had a limited offer to have players available for $100 at Walmart.

Friday Walmart changed the deal and switched entirely to Blue Ray. In addition, Best Buy and Netflicks recently announced their switch to Blue Ray after months of stocking both.

Toshiba stands to lose millions when they leave the DVD market.

Another blogger has speculated about the possible outcomes for Toshiba. -And no word yet why Toshiba’s presence in the market can’t save them.

-At least I got to see the Bourne Supremacy in HD.

Movies may need to boost their effects in order to keep up with changing displays. The movie The Bucket List opened to mixed reviews. The movie had fine acting, a sentimental yet comedic, tearjerker plot, and an underdeveloped look into the struggle of cancer patients. The message was good and I don’t believe there is a critic that can argue that.

There was a bigger problem than the script for me. I watched the film in a theater with Digital projection. The biggest difference is there are no scratches, or burns. Generally it make for a slightly improved experience. It is just an overall clearer picture. A simplistic technical explaination is a movie can either come on a film reel or a harddrive.

Green Screen

The Bucket List used superimposed backgrounds in a lot of its scenes or green/blue screen. Essentially two images are combined or layered to look like one scene. I have come to associate this with campy television or reporting. The effect looked horrible. I am looking for responses from DV-Forums to see how the new formats change their output. I am really interested in what can be improved and what effects if anything are being abandoned.

 

The best example I could find

This image of Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson from The Bucket List is the best example I could find. This is an attempt to make it look like Nicholson and Freeman are sitting atop a desert pyramid in Egypt. There are much more blantant examples of flaws in the actual film. The director tried to cram in a bunch of backgrounds to look like Nicholson and Freeman traveled the world but the settings looked cheap.

Maybe the technology is not to blame here by how this one film utilized it. I am not against the tool it has been used many times and worked well. I am saying if the technology is skewing it, it maybe time to upgrade.