My Heart Just Went Plinko

> LOS ANGELES – Bob Barker is heading toward his last showcase, his final “Come on down.” The silver-haired daytime-TV icon is retiring in June, he told The Associated Press Tuesday.
> “I will be 83 years old on December 12,” he said, “and I’ve decided to retire while I’m still young.”
> He’ll hang up his microphone after 35 years as the host of “The Price Is Right” and 50 years overall in television.

[Read more.](http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061031/ap_en_tv/tv_bob_barker_retires)

Apple Reveals Some Of Leopard’s Spots

Apple has put up the first of their [Leopard Technology Series for Developers](http://developer.apple.com/leopard/overview/index.html). If you’re interested in some of the technological improvements to the next version of OS X, this is a must-read.

Some of these items were covered by the WWDC NDA previously, such as the formalization of resolution independence, major enhancements to OpenGL performance through offloading to another core, and Quicktime support for USB cameras.

But there’s also a few new pieces of information, or at least information I may have missed on my track:

>Leopard brings several new security enhancements to Mac OS X. The first of these is the adoption of the Mandatory Access Control (MAC) framework. This framework, original developed for TrustedBSD, provides a fine-grained security architecture for controlling the execution of processes at the kernel level. This enables sandboxing support in Leopard. By sandboxing an application, using a text profile, you can limit an application to being able to just access only the system features, such as disk or the network, that you permit.
>Also new in Leopard is code signing. This means that Leopard will be able to identify applications by using digital signatures and then use that identification to base trust decisions on.

It amuses me greatly that people continue to advocate that the only reason Apple hasn’t had a major OS X security exploit in over five years is because of market share, and not because they continue to make major advances in the security of the operating system.

As a colleague said after I pasted him this information: Sandboxing FTW.

Lik-Sang Shuts Down

[Another importer bites the dust](http://www.lik-sang.com/news.php?artc=3901):

>Hong Kong, October 24th of 2006 – Lik-Sang.com, the popular gaming retailer from Hong Kong, has today announced that it is forced to close down due to multiple legal actions brought against it by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Limited and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Sony claimed that Lik-Sang infringed its trade marks, copyright and registered design rights by selling Sony PSP consoles from Asia to European customers, and have recently obtained a judgment in the High Court of London (England) rendering Lik-Sang’s sales of PSP consoles unlawful.

It’s sad to see importers go – but, I’m not going to be shedding too many tears here.

>A Sony spokesperson declined to comment directly on the lawsuit against Lik-Sang, but recently went on to tell Gamesindustry.biz that “ultimately, we’re trying to protect consumers from being sold hardware that does not conform to strict EU or UK consumer safety standards, due to voltage supply differences et cetera; is not – in PS3’s case – backwards compatible with either PS1 or PS2 software; will not play European Blu-Ray movies or DVDs; and will not be covered by warranty”.

This was Sony’s argument, and it was enough for the courts. Lik Sang, sadly, is determined to flame out:

>”Today is Sony Europe victory about PSP, tomorrow is Sony Europe’s ongoing pressure about PlayStation 3. With this precedent set, next week could already be the stage for complaints from Sony America about the same thing, or from other console manufacturers about other consoles to other regions, or even from any publisher about any specific software title to any country they don’t see fit. It’s the beginning of the end… of the World as we know it”, stated Pascal Clarysse, formerly known as the Marketing Manager of Lik-Sang.com.

I would like to re-emphasize: *beginning of the end of the World as we know it*. I don’t think I need to point out the ridiculousness of equating the “end of the World” to an import shop closing. There are still plenty of others open.

But it’s not just enough to pretend that this is the apocalypse; after all, Sony bashing is all the rage this fall:

>”Blame it on Sony. That’s the latest dark spot in their shameful track record as gaming industry leader. The Empire finally ‘won’, few dominating retailers from the UK probably will rejoice the news, but everybody else in the gaming world lost something today.”

Spare me the “shameful track record” nonsense, especially since it was obvious that they still wanted to profit off of selling Sony’s products.

Perhaps Lik-Sang has forgotten that [Nintendo also successfully sued them](http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/06/19/nintendo_wins_liksang_piracy_case/) in 2003 for selling flash carts. Or that [Microsoft also successfully sued them](http://news.zdnet.co.uk/business/legal/0,39020651,2123307,00.htm) in 2002 for selling Xbox mod chips.

Lik-Sang has been on the shitlist of all three console makers for years.

**EDIT 1**: Ars [points out](http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061024-8061.html) that “It also didn’t help that Lik-Sang lacked representation at those hearings.” Mind-boggling. I certainly don’t agree with Sony suing importers, but if you’re going to get sued, you might want to send at least one lawyer.

EDIT 2: [Here’s the judgement](http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Patents/2006/2509.html); indeed, Lik-Sang did not appear.

EDIT 3: [Sony responds](http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=20564); they mention that not only did Lik-Sang not show up (thus, no legal costs), but they also have not yet paid the damages.

Steve Garvey Celebrity Requiem: Cheap Seats Is Dead

The word has come from AST: [Cheap Seats](http://www.cheapseats.tv/) will be [no more after this season](http://www.aspecialthing.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=75864#75864).

Allow me this moment; the show has provided me so many late night laughs, it’s hard to fathom that I’ll have to face next season without it.
In the end, Cheap Seats will have lasted [77 episodes](http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0397769/episodes) – more than I think anyone could’ve expected from a show on at a ridiculously late hour on a channel that doesn’t have wide distribution. You’ve done good, Sklars.

There are five new episodes left. If you’d like to watch the finale, it will air on ESPN Classic at 11:30 PM on – as if a date could be more fitting given my interests – November 20th.

Things I Have Been Enjoying Lately

I have been enjoying Jon Glaser. The name may be unfamiliar for people not in NYC, but you have likely heard his work – be it on Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Cheap Seats, Wonder Showzen, Conan O’Brien, or School For Scoundrels. Glaser is what has been described as a “comedian’s comedian”, doing characters and bits that lead to highbrow discussions like “What is comedy?” and “What the fuck was that?”. I did not warm up to Glaser when I first saw him in 2003 – but slowly, gradually, I have understood his genius. I bring him up now not because of his excellent turn as Johnny Ding-Dong during the Comedians Of Comedy tour, but for his mindfudging of Trevor, the wily scamp from Wonder Showzen’s “Beat Kids”. If you have the Season 2 DVD – and you should – watch the “featurette” for the Knowledge episode. For more, I recommend reading [his AST fanthread](http://www.aspecialthing.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=1664).

While I am only one third of the way through it, I have been enjoying the audiobook version of John Hodgman’s [The Areas Of My Expertise](http://areasofmyexpertise.com/), which is unsurprisingly [available from iTunes](http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=182994253&s=143441). Hodgman’s way with facts, combined with occasional musical enhancement from [Johnathan Coulton](http://www.jonathancoulton.com/), is like listening to a very pleasant NPR show, were it written by non-partisan Stephen Colbert.

I have really been enjoying [The AV Club](http://avclub.com/), as they’ve become very good with interviews, always have intriguing features like *Random Rules*, and fair critiques and reviews.

Relatedly, I have been enjoying the mobile versions of [The Onion](http://mobile.theonion.com/) and [The AV Club](http://mobile.avclub.com/). Both load very quick, have full content for the week, and aren’t a cheap RSS-hacked-river-of-news-bullshit mobile page. Works great on my Sidekick 3 and my Treo.

I’ve been enjoying MC Chris’ latest album, [Dungeon Master Of Ceremonies](http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=184802407&s=143441). I got to see Chris do most of the songs live at UCB – which was an experience in itself – but the album is really far more solid than I expected. There are at least three standout songs (*FTW*, *Wiid*, and *Townie*), and the album on a whole has a nice, almost danceable groove to it.

The third season of The Office has been enjoyable enough to add into my standard television rotation, bringing the number of shows I regularly watch up to 4. It is amusing to go back and read the [Metafilter impressions of the first episodes](http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/40851), much like reading Slashdot’s original iPod post.

Despite being only a few minutes into the first one, I am extremely enamored by [JapanesePod101](http://www.japanesepod101.com/), a podcast that teaches you a few Japanese phrases a day. I am downloading them as fast as I can.

I am enjoying the fact that [GSN](http://www.gsn.com/) finally made their play-along-at-home games platform neutral. It’s nice to be able to play from home, even if there are a large number of cheaters.

I’m Fine

For those of you who have heard about the [small plane crash](http://www.gothamist.com/archives/2006/10/11/helicopter_cras.php) – I’m fine. Not my building, although very close by.

I [took a few pictures](http://www.flickr.com/photos/remydwd/tags/72ndstcrash/). Gawker has some [better ones](http://gawker.com/news/photos/first-photos-plane-crashes-into-manhattan-building-206915.php) – the scorch mark is unreal.

Uncork The Champagne: Eudora Is Dead

Peter [breaks the happy news](http://www.macworld.com/news/2006/10/11/eudora/index.php):

> Qualcomm on Wednesday announced plans to release future versions of its Eudora e-mail client software as open source. The company is collaborating with The Mozilla Foundation to base the next version of Eudora on Mozilla’s Thunderbird e-mail software.

> The company has released the final commercial versions of Eudora for Mac ad Windows, and is selling them at a reduced price of $19.95 with a six-month tech support period (customers who have already paid will have their tech support commitments honored in their entirety).

I have never been so happy to see a piece of software die in my life.

I Dig Big Pig Gig

There are a handful of events in life that are so enjoyable, you can only write about it in the hopes that everyone else will get a chance to try it. This was one of those events.

Mid Big Pig Gig

Friday night, we took part in the [Big Pig Gig](http://www.daisymaysbbq.com/bigpig.html) at Daisy May’s BBQ. [Tien](http://www.tienmao.com/) was the organizer and ringleader; the crowd was predominantly *bloggy*.

The meal we had ordered consisted of both the whole pig as well as a whole pork butt, six sides, texas toast, and watermelon. Even with eighteen people there, this was a lot of food. No one left in a state resembling “hungry”.

As for the food: If you enjoy barbecue, you must do this at least once in your life. Hand-pulling the steaming hot meat right off the pig – dredging it in sea salt or a mustard-based sauce, or just downing it straight – is satisfying in ways I didn’t think was possible. (Unfortunately, the skin was absurdly chewy. Despite its deliciousness, it’s requires a little too much effort to eat.) The sides were heavenly: baked beans that almost resembled a chili, given the amount of pork; perfect mashed potatoes; a deliciously zingy coleslaw.

I recommend sitting close to the pig, as I had the chance to do – it’s quite pleasant to randomly pick off pieces of meat from different areas. Meg kept exclaiming “Ooh, there’s more meat *here*!” from the opposite side, so I am not alone in the excitement of pork discovery.

Daisy May’s does, of course, have a [regular menu](http://www.daisymaysbbq.com/menus.html) too, so don’t think you have to show up and just get a giant pig. I will have to test their promises of delivering to anywhere in Manhattan one of these days.

From others that were there:

* Jake’s got [pictures.](http://www.flickr.com/photos/gothamistllc/sets/72157594316162153/)
* Tien’s got [pictures](http://www.flickr.com/photos/tienmao/sets/72157594319662203/) as well as a [post](http://www.tienmao.com/archives/002271.html).
* Jen’s got [pictures.](http://www.flickr.com/photos/jenchung/tags/bigpiggig/)

Tideland: Notes And Thoughts

[The Museum of the Moving Image](http://www.ammi.org/) tonight presented a preview of Terry Gilliam’s new film, [Tideland](http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0410764/), as well as a Q&A with Gilliam himself. As a long-standing Gilliam fan, this was something resembling a dream come true.

Some notes from the Q&A:

* He described taking on *The Brothers Grimm* as being “desperate for work”, although he said he wasn’t disappointed with the product so much as the process.
* *Tideland* was edited at the same time as *Brothers Grimm*.
* He came across Tideland in the pile of materials he is sent from people he doesn’t know. The author had only sent it to get a quote for the jacket, but Terry was immediately pulled in to the book and wanted to make the film. He did provide a jacket quote of “Fucking Marvelous!”.
* *Tideland* was a joy to make: the crew was great, the producer left him alone to shoot the movie however he wanted, and they filmed in Saskatchewan, which was basically as far away from “the world” as they could get.
* The only substantial difference between the book and the movie is that the movie is not shot in the first person. This adds some tension, and makes the movie a bit more “difficult” than the book. Part of the reason for this was because Gilliam wanted to avoid traditional narrative films. He complains that movies are too similar in rhythm anymore, like pop songs.
* He considers the movie a “litmus test of people”. He knows some people will love it, and some people will hate it – he really just wants to get people thinking. He has had “some wonderful almost-fistfights over the film”.
* Jeff Bridges has the major prop of the film sitting in his garden. I will not spoil what this is, but if you see the movie, you’ll be able to figure it out without too much difficulty.
* He had nothing but kind words about [Jodelle Ferland](http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0272706/); he claimed that the dynamic on set was reversed, so that he was the kid and she was the adult.
* The most surprising question of the night was when someone asked if he had any words for aspiring filmmakers who wanted to follow in footsteps. In extremely strong terms, he said that it was nearly impossible: that he was the last of a dying breed; that even he is having problems funding his movies or getting distribution deals; that the studios are in a panic; that independent studios are a sham and owned by the major studios. He was actually getting choked up while laying it out this bluntly.

As for the movie: in my eyes, it was glorious. It is certainly not for everyone, and requires a fairly open viewpoint on the world. This isn’t because anything in the movie is terribly controversial, but because it’s a true picture of how children deal with a strange world around them (instead of the way movies tend to paint them). With a lovely score, a strong cast (Jodelle is in practically every scene), and absolutely gorgeous cinematography, Tideland will certainly please Gilliam fans, and will probably baffle more than a few people along the way.

Tideland opens in New York on Friday, October 13th.