Tuesday, 26 March 2013

No, but really, Google are actually making these glasses?

A while ago I wrote a post about Google's glasses, and their awful, awful video. And, to be honest, I thought they were joking. But it turns out they're making these things. They're glasses that do everything you'd expect a smartphone to do, except that it's on your face. The thing is, this is obviously a bad idea. Anyone can see that. Why would you actually want to wear one everyday, in your life? Who would want that? Apparently, some people do, according to their YouTube comments. "I've wanted something like this for years," says an actual person. At least you'll know who to avoid.

It looks silly, but real glasses probably looked the same at first. The problem is that you'll be talking to somebody with a contraption on their face, and they can take pictures, and record you, and analyse your voice patterns to send back to headquarters for processing. Every now and then they'll stop talking, go cross-eyed to check IMDB, and then look back at you, if you're still there. Then, distracted by the glowing icons in front of their eyes, they walk into a lake

It's obviously going too far. The main difference between this and a phone is that they don't want you to glance at it and then put it in your pocket, they want you to see through it all day. We're already constantly connected to the internet, so why do we need it on our face? It's adding technology to ourselves in a way that is far too invasive. Anyone wearing this would literally be seeing the world through the internet. It would become part of them. It's not so essential that we need to attach it to one of our senses. We don't need to look through a wall of icons and messages. That doesn't need to come first. What's even more sinister, is that this will be connected to Google's social network. Everything you see will go through them, turning people into Googlebots. They must realise this sounds fairly evil, but they're still doing it. It's like the start of an episode of Doctor Who.

I'm sure they mean well really, but outside of their imagination and a few silly people, who is going to want this?

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Ten James Bond films

I've been watching the James Bond films in order from the start. There's a lot of them, and they're all mostly the same, but all mostly good. I realised I haven't seen a lot of them before, so it's a bit like connecting the dots between the famous parts. There's the bit where he runs over crocodiles. And the bit where the car flips over a bridge. And a woman gets covered in paint. And all this other stuff happens in between. So much stuff that I need to organise it. I need to make a list of some sort. A list that ranks the quality of the ten films I have seen so far, and is almost completely infallible.

1. Goldfinger
2. You Only Live Twice
3. Live and Let Die
4. Dr No
5. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
6. From Russia With Love
7. The Man with the Golden Gun
8. The Spy Who Loved Me
9. Diamonds are Forever
10. Thunderball

I have no idea about On Her Majesty's Secret Service. It was, really, a bit boring. He spent a lot of time in a rubbish disguise in Blofeld's allergy centre and, well, I can't remember the rest of it. But it's the one that sticks out, because he gets married, and then he isn't married anymore, and George Lazenby is there. He's a different Bond. One that can't act very well, but seems vulnerable and more serious. This is a film that's better when you're not watching it. It's interesting, rather than brilliant. So it sits in the middle of the list, out of place and a bit awkward.

They are always rubbish when they end at sea. Things blowing up on the ocean are always boring in Bond films. The Spy Who Loved Me was going fine until the water-fortress bit at the end. Thunderball is too long, and most of it is incomprehensible swimming. Diamonds are Forever just isn't very good. These three films are at the bottom of the list. It seems that everyone likes The Spy Who Loved Me apart from me, but I did like half of it - the first half, when he was in Egypt. Then hundreds of people were running around a submarine, and I didn't care anymore.

There's a lot more to come. After watching the first ten, it seems like James Bond films don't really know what they want to be. Sometimes they're really silly, sometimes they're serious. They take weird detours into whatever is popular at the time (he goes into space in the next one; he's an astronaut). But they are always recognisably the same thing. He goes to other countries and kills people, and the women like him even when he's old. Some people say that the modern films aren't comparable to these, that the new ones are better in a different way. I think it's unfair to the quality of (some of) the new films. Casino Royale could have been made in 1970, if they'd wanted to, and it would have been just as good. There's nothing wrong with being silly, if it's done well. Compare You Only Live Twice to Die Another Day. They're both nonsense, but one is good and the other has computer effects. I'm trying to judge these films outside of the time they were made. That being said, there's still a lot of Roger Moore to get through.*

* I actually think he's quite good, but I'm feeling pessimistic about the rest of his films. There's a lot of them, and one is called Octopussy.