We love watching Theo Jansen‘s kinetic sculpture strandbeests walk about in real life, and it’s not hard to imagine them as real, sentient creatures. David Lance agrees, bringing Jansen-like robots to CG life in his beautiful short film The Future Forms of Life, in which prancing robots promenade through a city, and occasionally run amok.
What Lance’s film hits home is how animalistic Jansen’s sculptures are. The first sequence resembles a marching antelope, while the later one calls to mind the mating rituals of certain species of spider, only to go bat-like in the end. Lance makes the power of these machines slightly chilling, but undeniably lovely to watch.
Last night’s Weeds was about realization. Nancy realized she can’t keep making the same mistakes, while Andy asked himself why he’s an “effortless receiver of tail.” Who is he? A sex slave, that’s who! Overall, “Red in Tooth and Claw” was an eventful and entertaining episode.
- Director: Michael Trim
- Writers: Stephen Falk
- Cast: Mary-Louise Parker, Justin Kirk, Hunter Parrish, Alexander Gould, Kevin Nealon
Episode Title: “Red in Tooth and Claw”
After seeing the positive effects of enrolling Stevie in soccer, Nancy makes a life-altering decision. Jill dabbles in extreme “couponing,” and Andy falls into the arms of another woman. Meanwhile, Shane reaches the next level with Angela.
- Stevie and Soccer: Nancy blackmails a nervous soccer coordinator to get Stevie on the team. He turns out to be good — really good. He puts all the little boys to shame because he’s fast as hell, and Mexican. (“It’s in their blood!”) The whole scene with Nancy sitting on a camping chair, cheering Stevie on, reminded us of the Pilot episode when Nancy’s sitting at the park yelling at Shane for sucking at soccer. This season really is coming full circle.
- Andy’s Monologue: Poor Andy can’t figure out why women just throw themselves at him. He thinks it’s karma. We think it’s because he’s funny. But whatever. He gave an amazing and hilarious monologue last night. It’s been a while since we’ve heard Andy pour his heart out. He’s been so busy with Jill that we almost forgot how funny and charming he is. Anyway, he’s still gotit and his imagination.
- Shane’s Horrible Date: Detective Frank Ouellette turns out to be an Obama-hater (no big surprise there). During his “ObamaCare sucks” rant, he manages to ruin Shane’s date with Angela, but it all turns out for the best because she understands drunk cops (her family is full of them). It’s interesting to see Shane be into a girl. Sometimes we forget that he’s not 10-years-old anymore. Or that he murdered someone a few years ago.
- The Quotable: “I don’t like Mexicans either, I just happened to get knocked up by one.”
- Code Breaker: After Doug slept with Celia (way back when), Dean nicknamed him “The Code Breaker.” Remember that? Well, Doug breaks the code again by sleeping with Jill. Gross! And Andy catches them. In utter disbelief, he just starts yelling “Code Breaker! Code Breaker!” It’s funny stuff, but can his friendship with Doug recover from this? After all, he actually loves Jill.
- Robbed Blind: Silas’ stash gets jacked again. This has officially become a thing for Silas. And it’s funny as hell because he always gets that same look of desperation and surprise on his face, like it shouldn’t have happened to him. But he’s a grower so this is going to continue happening. Still, how many times will Silas have to get robbed blind before he learns to trust no one?
Between Andy’s ridiculous monologue and Silas’ freak-out face, “Red in Tooth and Claw” is hands down, the best episode this season. Plus, seeing Stevie embrace his inner-Mexican was adorable and funny.
Weeds airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on Showtime.
Court documents in the Apple-Samsung patent trial have revealed that Samsung is looking to launch an 11.8-inch tablet some time this year.
With the much-anticipated patent trial between Apple and Samsung finally getting started in the US District Court for the Northern District of California on Monday, court documents linked to the case have revealed that Samsung is planning an 11.8-inch tablet incorporating a high-definition Retina-like display and LTE connectivity.
The tablet, codenamed P10, will apparently have a 2560 x 1600 resolution and be unveiled later this year, though there are few details beyond this.
As pointed out by The Verge, which first came across the information in the documents, there’s talk of a Samsung unveiling event in New York in the middle of August – could this be for the P10?
Samsung’s wide range of tablets is already replete with a variety of screen sizes, with the 10.1 inch Tab currently the largest of the lot. An 11.8-inch device can hardly be described as portable, but perhaps it can find a place in the home of those who’d rather relax on the sofa with a tablet than fumble about with a laptop or plunk themselves at a desk in front of a PC.
It’s not yet clear if judgments reached at the patent trial could have any effect on the design of the forthcoming tablet; with the case expected to last a month or even longer, we’ll just have to wait and see on that one.
While Samsung looks like it’s setting its sights on the launch of a bigger tablet, rival Apple is widely expected to launch a smaller iPad in the coming months, most likely at an event in September. With the recent success of 7-inch tablets from Amazon and Google, it seems that the Cupertino company is unable to resist entering the market itself, with a rumored 7.85-inch device in the works.
As for Samsung’s 11.8-inch whopper, do you think such a large tablet will be just too unwieldy, or is the idea of a super-sized tablet actually pretty appealing?
On Monday, Microsoft announced several new mice and keyboards, several of which incorporate new, dedicated keys and gestures specifically designed for Windows 8. The new devices continue Microsoft’s move into Windows 8 hardward that started with the announcement of the Surface tablet in June.
One of the new devices, the Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard, includes a cover that can fold back into a tablet stand, giving existing Windows tablet owners like the Samsung Series 7 their own Surface-like tablet cover. While that’s a nice touch that users should approve of, those same users may be
confused by the new Windows 8 touch gestures within the Microsoft Touch Mouse.
For its part, in an SEC filing, Microsoft confirmed that the new Surface tablet will be released on Oct. 26, consistent with previous statements that executives have made that Surface would be released at the same time as Windows 8. (The professional version of the Surface – aimed at businesses with an Intel Core chip and a native version of Windows 8 – is due 90 days later – or about the end of January 2012.)
Microsoft announced five new products: the Wedge Touch Mouse ($69.95), the Wedge Touch Keyboard ($79.95), plus the Sculpt Touch Mouse ($49.95), the Sculpt Mobile Keyboard ($49.95) and an update to the existing Microsoft Touch Mouse ($79.95). They all use Bluetooth to connect. All five will be released over the next “weeks and months,” Microsoft said, although it’s virtually guaranteed that all five will be in the market before Windows 8 ships to consumers in October.
Windows 8 Features
Prospective Windows 8 users will want to pay close attention to the new keyboards’ “Windows 8 Hot Keys,” as well as the new gesture features incorporated by the Microsoft Touch Mouse.
On the top row of the Sculpt Mobile and Wedge Mobile keyboards, lie four new keys: “Search,” “Share,” “Devices,” and “Settings”. These represent the new Windows 8 hot keys, taking functions that have traditionally been incorporated as mobile phones and placing them front-and-center (almost literally!) within the keyboard environment. Unlike competitors like Logitech, Microsoft hardware has traditionally subsumed the traditional “F1-F12” function keys in favor of more commonly used shortcuts, such as keys to adjust the volume or brightness. That approach continues here.
Finally, the new Windows 8 “windowpane” logo now appears on top of the Windows logo key. All of the keys are spaced across the Sculpt Mobile keyboard, which curves at six degrees for comfort.
The Wedge Mobile keyboard lacks the ergonomic curve. Instead, it comes with a durable keyboard cover that doubles as a tablet stand. When not in use, it snaps over the top of the keyboard, turning it off and saving power.
Of course, one of the innovative features of the Surface is the option of an integrated tablet cover, which includes a keyboard. While it’s too soon to evaluate the new keyboards, Microsoft’s Wedge Mobile keyboard looks similar to the upgraded Surface keyboard, known as the Type Cover.
Windows 8 Gestures
In addition to the new hardware, Microsoft also announced new Windows 8 gestures, includomg one-, two-, and three-finger positioning: basically, one finger navigation will scroll through content, two for apps and three for zooming. The latter may be a bit confusing for people used to the two-finger “pinch to zoom” gesture now supported on most mobile devices.
In fact, many of the new gestures will take some getting used to. Scrolling around a page is simple enough; one finger can swipe the page up, down, left or right, and a more forceful flick will scroll even further.
From there, it gets a bit puzzling. If you scroll right with a thumb – not a finger – Windows 8 will scroll through the available apps. Sliding two fingers to the right will navigate through open apps. A two-finger slide to the left will bring up the four Windows 8 charms: Search, Share, Devices and Settings. Sliding forward and backward – up and down, presumably – will open app commands. Sliding three fingers forward and backward will zoom in and out. Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc posted a handy cheat sheet in his blog post announcing the new hardware. It might be a good idea to print that out before attempting the new gestures.
The Windows 8 gestures will be available only on the more expensive Touch Mouse, however. The Sculpt Touch Mouse is an otherwise ordinary-looking travel mouse, while the Wedge Mouse uses an aggressively styled wedge shape that Microsoft claims is small enough to fit in a pocket. Both allow vertical and horizontal touch scrolling, which Microsoft touts as enough for navigating through the main Start screen of Windows 8.
The new hardware choices look impressive – and seem to make good use of Windows 8. But Microsoft could be getting ahead of itself by coming up with new gestures to replace those already known by many users. It sounds confusing, for example, to use a three-finger gesture to zoom in and out with a mouse that also includes left- and right-click buttons.
Overall, Microsoft’s plans for Windows 8 just got even more ambitious.
It can’t be easy for Nick Fury to manage S.H.I.E.L.D and The Avengers, but it sounds like fun! There’s an entertaining blog called Memos From Fury that gives us some hilarious insight on what this incredible superhero team does in their downtime, and shows us how Fury deals with it in these S.H.I.E.L.D. memos.
Last month, we brought you some great Community fan-art from the Six Seasons and a Movie art show at Pixel Drip gallery in LA. Like the show itself, the free gallery tribute had tons of fan support. Even the show’s stars and the creator of the show, Dan Harmon, were in attendance. Here’s another piece of fan art from the show by artist Glen, which he released via his blog,TheAutumnSociety. The piece features some great little details!
As Community enters its fourth season, on a new night and sans Dan Harmon, we’re hoping the fan support pays off, and NBC lets the show continue its amazing run as one of the best shows on television.
In case you missed it, be sure to watch the entire Community panel from Comic-Con 2012.
Jon M. Chu’s first foray into big blockbuster action movies have gotten pushed back nearly a year, but that’s not stopping him from jumping at an opportunity to helm another big franchise that gained millions of fans with a classic animated series.
Deadline reports that Chu is now in talks to direct a brand new, live-action adaptation of Masters of the Universe. Geeks will remember that this actually isn’t the first time that He-Man and his pals were brought to the big screen. Gary Goddard directed a movie back in 1987 with Dolph Lundgren as the hero and Frank Langella playing Skeletor, and is largely known for being the butt of jokes and being partially responsible for the death of the toyline in the late 80s. Alex Litvak and Mike Finch wrote the script for the movie, which was initially titled Grayskull(but they have since reverted back to Masters of the Universe).
Chu is best known for his work in the dance genre, making movies like Step Up 2: The Streets, Step Up 3D and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, but Paramount decided to throw him a new opportunity last year when they hired him to direct G.I. Joe: Retaliation. While the film was originally going to be released on June 29th of this year, the studio decided to pull the movie from the schedule at the last minute, citing that they wanted to convert the movie into 3D (it was also revealed that they will now be shooting additional scenes for the film so that they can revive Channing Tatum’s character, Duke). The G.I. Joe sequel will now be released on March 29, 2013.