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Posted by | Posted in Comedy, Entertainment | Posted on 03-12-2008

“…urgh…”

I finally got round to watching Wall-E last night. I’d previously seen the first two thirds or so, but got interupted and didn’t manage to see the end. But last night I made the effort, and what a cracking film it is too. It’s what kids films are all about!

Firstly, there’s the animation. As you probably know, Pixar Studios, the company that produced the film, have made a number of animated films in the recent past, and have made quite a name for themselves within the computer animation field. As always, this film lives up to the quality of the animation of previous films, and even surpasses it. I’ve always thought to myself how many animated films just have that “animated” look about them; not in so much as what things look like, but in how they move. People seem to move in a very “cartooney” way (which may or may not be intentional) but on occasion it ruins the film for me. I’d like to see these animation studios put their great computer power to use by animating people that actually move like real people. The great thing about Wall-E is that the main characters are all robots, and if there’s one thing that lends itself well to animation, it’s robotics.

Even so, Pixar manage to create very human-like emotions in all of the characters, with nothing more than a couple of flashing lights, and some movement. Considering that practically the only thing that Wall-E can say is his own name, that’s quite a feat.

Another excellent aspect to the film is the overall design of the virtual sets. Aside from being excellently animated, the environments all portray the vision that they are supposed to – Earth seems very much like an isolated, barron wasteland, and the ship is a very modern-looking, sterile, techno-hub. Every last detail seems to have had more than it’s fair share of thought put into it, and even if you don’t notice everything that’s going on (much like I didn’t) there’s a reason for it being there, or looking that way, or acting in such a manner.

For a film that is probably aimed at the younger audience, an awful lot of effort has been put into things that you know for a fact the little darlings won’t notice or understand, which only goes to show that the animators, directors, and everyone else involved, have put in lots of thought into making the film appeal to as wide an audience as it can. I can’t say I’m a fan of many animated films – the Toy Story films, for example. They were quite unremarkable in my eyes, aside from the always-excellent animations. The Incredibles is a film that I did like, along with Monsters Inc.

There’s also a constant comedic undertone throughout the film. Some might say I’ve got a strange sense of humour, and they’re probably right, but even so I thought that there were a few “laugh out loud” moments in the film. The general look of the human characters (which again, is what it is for a good reason) is laughable, and the animators put their comical look to good use with a bit of physical humour.

Overall, the film is 90 minutes of good fun. I imagine that anyone over the age of 30 who’s seen it has probably done so because they took their little darlings to the cinema to see it, but I would hope they found it as good as I did all the same.

In other news, my arm seems to be a tad better than it was yesterday, but still not fit enough to do anything with. By tomorrow I should be able to do some cardio stuff at the very least, which is good as that’s what was next on the workout agenda. I’ve found that consuming monstrous quantities of protein in the forum of milk, chicken, and nuts of varying sorts seems to help quite a lot with muscle tears.

Unfortunately, one of the conjoined twins that were recently given birth to here in the UK has died. The hospital has said that Hope Williams’ lungs failed, and so she died yesterday. Her sister, Faith, remains stable and in a healthy condition in hospital, all things considered. I have to say, I’ve got no idea how you’d tell one of your children that their twin died soon after birth. I guess you’d have to tell them while they’re still young, and unable to understand exactly what it means to them. At least that way, they could grow up with all the facts, and as they get older and more mature, they can ask questions for themselves. It certainly beats not knowing anything until you’re 18, and having a bombshell like that placed on you.

Apple, or, if the latest episode of The Simpsons episode would have you say it, Mapple, has done a complete 360 in terms of it’s attitudes towards viruses and anti-virus protection on a Mac. Yesterday, a note was posted on their site that said people should consider the various options for having anti-virus software installed on a Mac, despite widespread knowledge that Macs are basically virus-free. Today, it seems, they’ve changed their minds. The official story is that the note that caused such a storm yesterday was, in fact, an old note that was added sometime in the middle of last year, and as such, was out of date and has been removed from the site.

If you ask me, it’s stupid to remove such advice, and people should always protect themselves online. While it’s true that there are very few Mac viruses circulating the net (because so few people are silly enough to use them) that doesn’t rule them out completely. If you ask me, a Mac user is a perfect target for cyber-criminals. There’s very little AV protection out there for a Mac because there’s apparently very little need for it. But there have been proven methods of hijacking a Mac running OSX, and so it’s not as if the problem doesn’t exist. If I were a malicious criminal, I’d target all Mac users using the known exploits, and use the exploits to gain access to their usernames and passwords. Knowing the over-confident Mac users are likely to use the same password for any email accounts or Windows PCs they run (forgetting that they’re not as secure as a Mac), then you’ve just bought yourself a ticket to Hacksville.

Seems to me as though using the Mac to get access to usernames and passwords that may be used on more secure systems is quite an ingenious system. Not only that, but because people will be noticing that their email or Windows accounts are the ones being tampered with, it’s likely that the reputation of the “very secure Mac” will be left unshaken, meaning that few resources will be put into protecting Mac users, who represent such a small minority of overall users. Which, in turn, means that the cyber-criminals can go on exploiting Mac vulnerabilities, and gaining usernames and passwords to more secure systems unchallenged.

On top of all that, there’s the possibility that some smart-arse will create a virus for the Mac just out of pure curiousity and devilishness. I’m sure, over time, that Macs will become as vulnerable as Windows PCs, but for the time being, Mac users should watch their backs. ‘Security’ is the average Windows user’s middle name, but if you’re unprepared, it can affect you when you least expect it.

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