Behind the scenes of ALIEN

ALIEN is one of the best horror/science-fiction movies ever made. Don’t argue with me on this, you’d be wrong.

Here are some behind the scenes shots, mainly of the models used in the film. They look stunning.

It’s a shame that movies seem to be moving to CGI wholesale, foregoing the distinct effects you can only achieve with models.

Moon is the only picture that comes to mind that has used models in recent years. I don’t think Duncan Jones could have got the atmosphere of the film as spot-on if he had used CGI.

RIP, Aaron Swartz

We lose another incredibly promising life much too young.

Please, read Cory Doctorow’s post here.

While we don’t know what caused him to take his own life, and probably never will, it’s unlikely that his battles with depression were not involved.

I’ve been meaning to link to this for a while, but here is a post from Wil Wheaton about depression. If you know anyone facing these problems, read it.

Please, let’s stop losing people to this.

Comments Off (Just Like Everyone Else)

So, I’ve taken the decision to turn off comments on this site.

If you keep up with this sort of thing, you’ll have noticed that this is a growing trend, and was certainly the “hot topic” some time back (as usual I’ve waited too long to formulate my thoughts, and have missed the boat on this one). If you are interested, there is better and more complete discourse on this subject from Matt Gemmell, MG Siegler, and at MacStories, among others.

I don’t really want to re-tred old ground here by going over the points elequently made by those I have linked to, but it suffices to say, I’m not really interested in getting into the ‘religous war’ around whether blogs should have comments or not. Yes, I believe that 99.9% of all comments are total tripe (no, of course that doesn’t mean you, Mr/Mrs Sensible Person who always leaves thoughtful comments), and yes, I think that if you really want to share your opinion, there is nothing stopping you creating your own blog with awesome tools like Tumblr. But, for me, it’s really about owning every single detail of my site.

With comments on, it is effectively a blank space waiting to be filled with sentences of questionable merit. And yes, I know that makes it sound like I want to create my own soapbox, but, it’s my blog, so, is that not kind of the point? It’s not that I want to discourage the dialog that comments (could) create, I just think that dialog is better served via other means. A place where you have the stage to properly form your own opinions, not just stick them onto the bottom of some stuff that I have written. I am also aware that I can moderate the comments (and I have been, trust me), and while it is a pain, it is not my main motivation for doing this.

If you wish to respond, review or rip-apart anything I’ve said, please do so, I look forward to reading it. But when you do, I would encourage you to do so on your own blog. If not, then please contact me either via email or Twitter; information is on my About Page. Alternatively, if you want, you can comment on the link to the story when posted on Google+ (when I actually remember to post it there). Rest assured that any noteworthy responses will most likely be added to an updated version of the article.

So long, comments. We hardly knew ye.

An Introduction

I actually set up this site a while ago, but have not been posting any content. I convinced myself it was because I was “still tweaking the CSS”, or “I want my first post to be great, but I don’t know what it should be.” While both of these things still remain true, I came to the conclusion that if I want to write, I should just write, the site design and everything else can be fixed later. I was motivated to this conclusion by the same force that motivated me to create this site, Steve Jobs.

At first I was loathe to make my first post about Jobs, given the obituaries and commentary that were written following his premature end, but it was his “do…something” quotes that genuinely inspired me to create anything at all.

I am writing this first post while watching the WWDC 2011 Keynote (the first time I have actually sat down and watched it), however, I only made it to the end of Steve’s introduction before I had to pause the video and switch to Byword to start typing. I described Steve Jobs as a “force” earlier, and that wording was very much intentional.

Anyone that knows me will have realised that I have become increasingly interested (obsessed?) with technology. Not just hardware specs, or UI design, but the entirety of the impact, and more importantly, potential impact that technology can and will have on our lives. Technology should make things easier, for everyone, not just nerds. So when I come across opaque design, it’s frustrating. Instead of discussing (dictating?) at length, or forcing my friends to ‘tune me out’, I decided to try and turn it into a positive.

I’d never set up a site (and all that comes with it), and I’ve always had a desire to be a (part-time) writer. This site will allow me to combine the latent writer in me with my exigent need to “do…something”.

Oh, and don’t worry, it won’t all be about ‘technology’, I’ll basically just write about what interests me.

Including video games.

Because I’m a nerd.