Last Saturday's selection was remarkably simple: we started with "Hail, Caesar!", a veritable return to punchy form by the Coens, followed by a latterday classic, The Prophecy, with Christopher Walken superbly cast as an angel - but not of the kind fabled in recent lore. (Inexplicably, the latter only has a 6.6 rating on IMDb, roughly level across age, leaning slightly female) Tonight, I'll either be chilling here on LJ, or perhaps finally getting to see The Martian, as the roomie's off in the big city, enjoying a night of cocktails. Who knows? Maybe I'll even get back onto Reddit, where I've been absent for a year or so. I did get to see half of "The Huntsman: Winter's War", which.. was enjoyable fluff, but could have been much more, had the writing simply been up to the task. Still, it struck both of us that the costume design was quite remarkable, especially Queen Freya and Ravenna's ensembles toward the end - breathtaking! Apparently, the work of Colleen Atwood, whose credits include one or two other productions, such as Mars Attacks!, Sleepy Hollow, Edward Scissorhands, the current Supergirl series, and the forthcoming Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.
WWDC took place last week, and with it, no shortage of headline material, as well as more geeky issues, like the unveiling of a new filing system, inexplicably titled Apple Filing System, taking plenty of cues from the likes of ZFS. Right now, it's a developer preview, and can't be used as a boot disk; but, they seem to be aiming to unleash it in 2017. And, it appears the Quicktime framework is now officially muerto, no longer present in macOS Sierra's SDKs. It's not really something most folks will care about, I know, but Quicktime was once quite an astounding framework, with forward-looking technologies like QuickTime VR, and scriptability to the point where one dev demo CD included a complete Breakout game implemented purely as a QuickTime file. ^_^ And then there was the media processing/compression app I worked on - around 1998-2001 or so, pretty much any professionally produced media on the web had almost certainly been prepared with it - which relied on QT for its cross-platform nature. (I should note we didn't go with any cross-platform UI kits, in order to provide a genuinely native UI on both Mac OS and Windows. Not much extra work, really - the vast majority of the code sat beneath that level)
(w00t! Aperture is listed as compatible in MacRumors' Sierra compatibility thread)
The more geeky keynote, as it were, is State of the Platform, session 102. (You can watch it on the site, or flip to the Resources tab, and download the HD or SD version; 3.3GB for HD. All the other sessions can be found over here)
It's also been quite a pleasant surprise to see Apple moving to mandate HTTPS for iOS apps by the end of 2016, given apps are typically opaque about the level of security involved.
And yes, gone is OS X: long live macOS. ^_^ I'm quite happy with that. It's a nice combination of the old name, tweaked to blend in with its kin. And finally gets rid of the "Oh Ess Ecks" monicker smart alecs have persisted with. =:)
There were, of course, little videos they'd prepared, and they're actually rather cool by themselves: New Beginnings, on what motivates people to program - quite wonderful, and seriously, worth a minute or two of your time; and, more of a zappy summary on Messages, Hey Hi Hello. (Love that track: provided by Hollywood Wildlife, apparently, track of the same name) FSM knows, I'm not the audience for anything IM-related, but there's equally no doubting it'll be gobbled up by those who are. The new enhancements are fun, I will admit. ^_^
There's plenty of coverage elsewhere, so I shan't bother touching on everything. Nice to see the supported devices list being largely (completely?) unchanged: iOS 10 will support devices beginning with the iPhone 5, iPad 4, and iPad mini 2. Still, I was quite intrigued to see Serif demoing a work-in-progress version of their Affinity Photo, for iPad. Trouble is, AP's still much more of an app to work on specific photos - as I recall, it doesn't really sport any asset management features, where Aperture works so well. At least it seems like Aperture's running happily under macOS Sierra, which is a big relief - indeed, the list of incompatibilities, with this first preview, is quite petite.
Via hastka, 8 bit wood, celebrating classic games' 8/16 bit artwork, beautifully realised with wooden pixels. ^_^
In politics, The Canary (an independent news site, along the lines of The Intercept and ExaroNews) reports that a recent AQAP routing in Yemen wasn't what it seemed: whilst official reports claim an intense routing of the enemy from their fledgling statelet on the southern Yemen coast, it appears it may have been much more arranged, with Al-Qaeda's safe passage in exchange for the safety of the oil pipeline they'd had control of. "The commandos bravely secured the Dhabah oil terminal from the AQAP barbarians, before rapidly defusing hundreds of landmines. Except they didn’t. Independent on-the-ground sources have denied there was any such attack. Veteran BBC journalist Iona Craig, who has reported extensively from Yemen, said that the coalition statement was “ridiculous”, as AQAP had already deserted the city before the alleged military ‘rout’"
With Thursday not being an especially good day, I took refuge in catching up with the final three episodes of pony (well, this half of the season - they're doing a Doctor Who style split, with a Summer recess). And, delightfully, they were all well on form. ^_^ Applejack's "Day" Off didn't dwell too heavily on the difficulties encountered in trying to secure that precious time off, instead showing AJ as simply doing what she could to help, fixing a problem affecting so many. The coda, however, was quite perfect, with the excellent moral illustrated amusingly: that sometimes, others' perspectives can be very useful in revealing problems in your routine that you've simply grown accustomed to. Then, Flutter Brutter saw a remarkably assertive (in a kind way) Fluttershy, including the best ever use of the word "peeved". I was very pleased with this episode simply because it showed a dimension to her we haven't seen much of - with writers often falling back to her being extremely timid - being quite determined, yet still compassionate. Finally, Spice Up Your Life, with one of the best songs in a while, and ultimately, celebrating creativity and being true to yourself. ^_^ I admit, I felt a bit awkward with Rarity being painted as so strictly conforming - true, there are trends in cuisine, just as in couture, but there's no lack of variety for that; and there's no way anyone with as tightly restricted a concept of good food as Zesty Gourmand would rise to prominence, or even be considered by such as Michelin. Still, that's a minor nitpick. ^_^
It was, as we've all heard, a terrible time for targeted murders, with the Pulse nightclub the focus of a religious homophobe, and on Thursday, an MP, Jo Cox (by all accounts, a very good and genuinely compassionate representative) stabbed and shot, dying later that day, because of a neo-Nazi nationalist. I'd been vaguely hoping his appearance in court might offer up some measure of repentence: but, no. He apparently gave his name in court as "Death to traitors, freedom for Britain". I might hope, similarly, for some measure of regret from the likes of Ken Paxton, Attorney General for Texas, or the sponsors of North Carolina's loathsome HB2, but I very much doubt they'll be experiencing anything negative. They do not get to spread fear and hatred of the LGBT community, doing all they can, wilfully, consciously, deliberately stoking prejudices, villifying LGBT folk, or immigrants, and be surprised when some people act on that hatred, whilst offering platitudes of mock sympathy. As noted by lovelyangel, Only The Onion Can Save Us Now, whose writers have nailed the issues so well in the past, eg “‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.” or “At Times Like This, We Need to Pull Ourselves Up, Hold Our Loved Ones Close, Block Any Legislation That Would Prevent Suspected Terrorists From Buying Guns, And Say a Prayer For the Victims.”
And, via supergee, apparently Stanford rapist Brock Turner was like that all along.
Courtesy of Dinosaur Comics, I am enlightened that the Spanish equivalent of "the ball's in your court" is the rather spiffy "the ball is on your roof". ^_^
Finally, I'd like to end this entry with five simple, delightful minutes, via drhoz, of Denis Lock at the Palladium, blowing bubbles. Yes, really. And the finale is just a moment of simple wonderment.