Terminator Salvation – review

Dupa cum se stie, azi noapte la 00:05 a fost premiera de la Terminator 4 – Salvation. Am fost in sala, si pot sa spun ca filmul … delivered a lot.

In principiu, la un film cu atata istorie, asteptam multe: visuals, poveste faina, coloana sonora, si multa multa actiune. Filmul a fost regizat de McG – nu prea are el multe filme la activ, dar cu siguranta ati auzit de Charlie’s Angels, deci stiti ca poate oferi multe, intr-un film de actiune.

Christian Bale joaca rolul lui John Connor, este acum insurat, are un copil pe drum, si bineinteles cum actiunea se petrece in 2018, se lupta din greu cu Skynet, care incearca eradicarea omenirii. Un nume mare in film, este Michael Ironside, in rest inafara de Bale, si Common, nu prea e nimeni notabil.

Efectele speciale sunt de exceptie. Nu este un CGI porn, cum ma asteptam, dar combinatia de efecte si regizare, face ca filmul sa se axeze un pic mai mult pe story, si tot ce e prin jur, sa completeze. Avem moto-terminatori, care se conduc singuri, avem hidroboti, care sunt mai mult decat rai, si avem hunter-killers, si alti robotei uriasi, care chiar fac damage. Deasemenea, pot spune ca efectele sunt foarte bine finisate, si nu prea am reusit sa fac diferenta dintre real, si CGI.

Povestea pe scurt? Kyle Reese, se intalneste cu un terminator – Marcus, (marcus nu stie ca e robot) si pleaca in cautarea lui Connor. Cand ajung la el, se prind toti ca Marcus e robot, si incearca sa il omoare.  In drum spre Connor, Reese a fost prins de Skynet, si dus la o baza de-a lor. Toti pleaca sa distruga baza respectiva.

Super tare – Arnold face un cameo in film, sub forma lui T600, apare in toata frumusetea lui, si se bate cu Marcus.

Okay, gata ca nu mai zic nimic, concluzia e ca filmul merita vazut, si merita vazut la cinema, pe un ecran mare, e foarte foarte impressive. O sa ma uit si pe comp, dar nu cred ca o sa am aceleasi senzatii 🙂

Ce urmeaza ? Nu stiu, eu as vrea sa vad Star Trek, dar nu am apucat inca. Probabil maine seara.

248-dimension maths puzzle solved

Part of the E8 matrix. Image: David Vogan / MIT

The structure is described in the form of a vast matrix

An international team of mathematicians has detailed a vast complex numerical “structure” which was invented more than a century ago.Mapping the 248-dimensional structure, called E8, took four years of work and produced more data than the Human Genome Project, researchers said.

E8 is a member of the “Lie group” that describe symmetrical objects.

The team said their findings may assist fields of physics which use more than four dimensions, such as string theory.

Lie groups were invented by the 19th Century Norwegian mathematician Sophus Lie (pronounced “Lee”).

It’s as complicated as symmetry can get

David Vogan

Familar structures such as balls and cones have symmetry in three dimensions, and there are Lie groups to describe them. E8 is much bigger.

“What’s attractive about studying E8 is that it’s as complicated as symmetry can get”, observed David Vogan from the Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US.

“Mathematics can almost always offer another example that’s harder than the one you’re looking at now, but for Lie groups, E8 is the hardest one.”

Professor Vogan is presenting the results at MIT in a lecture entitled The Character Table for E8, or How We Wrote Down a 453,060 x 453,060 Matrix and Found Happiness.

Fundamental force

Conceptualising, designing and running the calculations took a team of 19 mathematicians four years. The final computation took more than three days’ solid processing time on a Sage supercomputer.

Sophus Lie. Image: Science Photo Library

Lie groups were invented by the Norwegian Sophus Lie

What came out was a matrix of linked numbers, which together describe the structure of E8. It contains more than 60 times as much data as the human genome sequence.

Each of the 205,263,363,600 entires on the matrix is far more complex than a strightforward number; some are complex equations.

The team calculated that if all the numbers were written out in small type, they would cover an area the size of Manhattan.

In addition to facilitating further understanding of symmetry and related areas of mathematics, the team hopes their work will contribute to areas of physics, such as string theory, which involve structures posessing more than the conventional four dimensions of space and time.

“While mathematicians have known for a long time about the beauty and the uniqueness of E8, we physicists have come to appreciate its exceptional role only more recently,” commented Hermann Nicolai, director of the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (the Albert Einstein Institute) in Germany.

“Yet, in our attempts to unify gravity with the other fundamental forces into a consistent theory of quantum gravity, we now encounter it at almost every corner.”

South Park goes HD on 360

First-ever high-definition episode of animated comedy to be available free over Xbox Live Marketplace for a limited time; uncensored episodes to follow next week.

Starting tomorrow and for a limited time, Xbox Live members will be able to get lowbrow humor in high definition for free. Microsoft and Comedy Central today announced that starting tomorrow, Xbox Live members will be able to download an episode of South Park in HD from the Xbox Live Marketplace.

The episode, “Good Times With Weapons,” follows the series’ grade-school protagonists as they purchase “authentic” ninja weapons from the flea market and promptly (though unintentionally) use them to injure a schoolmate. The boys are then faced with a dilemma, as they weigh the benefits of seeking medical help for their friend against the drawbacks of being grounded for buying the weapons in the first place.

“Good Times With Weapons” will be available for free for two weeks. DVD copies of the episode in HD will also be given away with the purchase of an Xbox 360 console or HD DVD drive from Best Buy between March 20 and April 3.

In another first for the series, starting next Tuesday, the latest episodes of the 11th season of South Park will be made available on the Marketplace uncensored. Season 11 premieres on Comedy Central this Wednesday with the debut of “With Apologies to Jesse Jackson,” in which “the ‘N’ bomb hits South Park and Cartman fights a midget.”

Study: US game-console ownership rising rapidly

Study: US game-console ownership rising rapidly

US gaming households increase almost 20 percent since 2004 to 45.7 million, says Nielsen Wireless and Interactive Services.Media research company Nielsen released a study Monday showing that the number of US households supplementing their televisions with video game consoles has risen more than 18 percent since 2004.

The study, detailed in a report called “The State of the Console,” was conducted from the fourth quarter of 2004 through the fourth quarter of 2006 by the company’s Nielsen Wireless and Interactive Services division. Nielsen found that the number of US households with televisions that also have video game consoles has risen from 38.6 million to 45.7 million homes over those two years. That’s an 18.5 percent expansion, and Nielsen highlighted the fact that the total number of US households with televisions has risen only 1.6 percent over the same span of time.

This report was the first in a projected series of studies about trends in the video game industry, according to Nielsen. Additionally, the company announced last year the debut of its GamePlay Metrics ratings, which will offer console use statistics intended to identify which games are played most frequently and the demographic groups that play them. With this data, Nielsen is hoping to target the burgeoning in-game advertising industry.

Most of the study’s findings are not particularly surprising. Nielsen found, for example, that two-thirds of all men in television-owning households between the ages of 18 and 34, and 80 percent of those between 12 and 17–prime gamer demographics–have video game consoles in their homes. Additionally, while 93.8 million Americans (a third of the country) report to having played at least one in-home console video game for at least a minute at some point during the study period, it’s still the hardcore gamers who are dominant. Almost three-quarters (74.4 percent) of console use came from the top 20 percent of American gamers.

Perhaps the most interesting of Nielsen’s findings concerned “connected console” habits. About 4.4 million US households reportedly subscribe to services that link their game consoles to the Internet, and Nielsen noted that this statistic was produced before the market penetration of the PlayStation 3 and Wii, both of which have features that require the Internet.

But the “State of the Console” report may not be truly indicative of recreational gaming habits in the US. Nielsen spokeswoman Karen Gyamesi confirmed to CNET News.com that the study accounts only for game consoles that hook up to televisions, like Sony’s PlayStation line and Microsoft’s Xbox 360. PC-based video games and online role-playing games such as World of Warcraft are not included, nor are handheld gaming devices such as the Nintendo DS.

WSJ: Sony CEO wrangled with uncommunicative Kutaragi

Sony exec was placed in new role due to his refusing to inform CEO Howard Stringer about crucial PS3 decisions, reports the newspaper.Sony Computer Entertainment chairman and chief executive Ken Kutaragi was slammed with more criticism today, this time from Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer himself. This comes just three months after an article in Newsweek berated the executive for his “slowness” in securing PS3 exclusives, which it claims cost Sony PS3-only games including GTA IV, and the highly anticipated Assassin’s Creed.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, it states that the “uncommunicative” Kutaragi was moved in a recent Sony reshuffle because Stringer found him difficult to work with.

Kutaragi touts the PS3 in 2005.

The article also states that Kutaragi would frequently make decisions without informing chief exec Stringer, and not tell him about problems in the production process. One example alleged that Kutaragi had allowed the PS3 to go over budget on development costs without clearing it with upper management first.

He also advised for cutting the price of the 20GB console by 20 percent in Japan, a decision which Stringer said he agreed to in a hope it would ensure the console’s success, but now admits, “Financially it wasn’t one of my best moments.”

Stringer told the newspaper that in an attempt to patch up relations between the two, he has tried hard to win Kutaragi’s trust, to no avail: “I’ve had dinner with [Mr. Kutaragi] more times than I’ve had dinner with my wife, and that’s not really healthy,” he said.

In December, Stringer moved Kutaragi’s role away from the day-to-day control of the games division, and instead he is now focused on the next-gen games side of the business, the article concluded. SCE day-to-day operations are overseen by president Kaz Hirai, former head of Sony Computer Entertainment America.