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Filed under: films — kevin @ 21:12

On Tuesday night I went to see Solaris, since then I’ve not had a chance to write about it.

My main impression of the film was that it was trying too hard to be arty and mysterious. Everything about it seemed slightly forced. It probably wasn’t worth going to see, there are better ways to spend the time.

I liked the design of the space station though, it avoided the sci-fi cliche of spacecraft always being dark and gloomy with all the walls painted black and lots of flickering lighting. There seemed to be a few nods to 2001: A Space Odyssey, especially the scene where Gordon is about to reactivate the station’s AI.

There was of course some of the usual pseudo-scientific babble, beams of Higgs bosons featured. They also managed to come to the conclusion that the apparations were composed of sub-atomic particles. Nobel prizes all round for the scientists of Solaris!

The best thing I can say about the film is that it’s better than the Seventies Russian effort, which is even more deliberately bewildering and dull.

Slight breakage

Filed under: site — kevin @ 11:15

My Movable Type upgrade seems to have broken the macros that handle automatic acronym definitions and dash conversions. Must get round to fixing it.

Update: now fixed, I had forgotten to add the required bits to some tags in the new templates.

Mobile phone theft

Filed under: tech — kevin @ 11:07

Phone manufacturers, police forces and various other people have got together to create, publicising the shared database used to lock out stolen mobile phones.

This is a great advance over the previous failure by phone companies to share the IMEIs (the unique identifying number of each handset) of stolen phones.

However this still isn’t a guarantee that stolen phones can’t be used again. With most phones reprogramming the IMEI is trivial — if illegal — and the manufacturers’ attempts at preventing it are usually feeble.

A quick internet search will reveal lots of sites providing information on reprogramming phones. The manufacturers’ idea of IMEI protection often only seems to consist of such advanced techniques as storing two copies, one of them obscured in some trivial way.

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