Monthly Archives: January 2009

More problems with Windows Live Writer

I don’t know why I have never run into this problem before, but I was getting an error that said

"Invalid Server Response – The response to the blogger.getUsersBlogs method received from the weblog server was invalid".

And so I googled around and found this site that listed several fixes and none of them worked.  The fix ended up being setting up the link to my xmlrpc.php as ‘schalicto.com/xmlrpc.php’ instead of ‘www.schalicto.com/xmlrpc.php’ .  Lame, but fixed.

Josh

Academy Awards 2008 (and how they continue to suck)

I get passionate about things… unfortunately they tend to be really unproductive things like yo-yoing, politics and movies.  And there is one thing that you can bet on and that is that you will hear me rant every single year when the Academy Award nominations are released.

Best Picture

This is the category that has me the most steamed.

  • Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Straight up, right off the bat, this film does NOT deserve to be on this list.  The script was (as previously mentioned) almost a direct retelling of Forrest Gump.  Brad Pitt did not do any acting (more on this later).  And the film was not Oscar level great… it was good… but not a buyer and not great.  Cinematography and direction however were fantastic, but those have their own categories to compete in.
  • Frost/Nixon: I have not seen this movie, but I don’t have a problem making bold and ignorant statements about how good it is.  It’s probably very good.  It might be Oscar quality, but let’s be honest about things, the only reason this got nominated was because Ron Howard directed it… I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, just a true thing.
  • Milk: Another film that I have not seen but have no problem judging.  It looks great.  I have heard from people who I trust that the film isn’t all that great.  I guess I don’t really have anything else to say about it.
  • The Reader: This happens every year, some BS film that I have never heard of ends up as a best picture nomination and they never win and they always suck.  Where did this film even come from?  (does a little research) Oh… it’s an obligatory WWII film… figures.  This film should not have gotten nominated and The Dark Knight should have been nominated in its stead.
  • Slumdog Millionaire:  I’ve seen this one and it’s fantastic.  This film really has all the makings of a real Oscar Best Picture.  The acting is great, the story is great, the Cinematography is great, the direction is great.  It’s just an absolutely great film.  This should win best picture because IMHO it is the best picture of the year (The Dark Knight is number 2).

Best Male Actor in a Lead Roll

  • Richard Jenkins(The Visitor) : Don’t care.
  • Frank Langella(Frost/Nixon): Don’t care.
  • Sean Penn(Milk): Don’t care.
  • Brad Pitt(The Curious Case of Benjamin Button): Does not deserve a nomination!  He did not do poorly in this film, it was not Seven Years in Tibet or anything (although I have heard people criticize his accent, I thought it was pretty solid… not as solid as Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump… but still solid).  But the performance was not great and to be honest he didn’t do much acting, he just did a lot of standing around looking bewildered.
  • Mickey Rourke(The Wrestler): Amazing.  Should win.

Best Female Actor in a Lead Roll

Just like the left field nomination that is present in the Best Picture category every year, the Best Female Actor categories are always full of performances from movies that nobody has ever heard of.

  • Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married): Who what why?
  • Angelina Jolie (The Changling): I don’t have anything to say.
  • Melissa Leo (Frozen River): Same for this one.
  • Meryl Streep (Doubt): I need to see this film.
  • Kate Winslet (The Reader): Hurm… The Reader again… wtf?

Best Director

  • David Fincher (Curious Case of Benjamin Button): I get this.  David Fincher has made three groundbreaking films and has never been nominated.  As I said before this was a very well directed film and I would completely support Fincher for this award if he didn’t have such stiff competition.
  • Ron Howard (Frost/Nixon): It’s Ron Howard.  Nuff said? Whenever Ron Howard makes a nonshitty film he seems to get a nomination and whenever he gets a nomination he gets a win (he is three for three), let’s see if we can break that streak.
  • Gus Van Sant (Milk): I had forgotten this was directed by Gus Van Sant… he’s a (kinda) great director and he was nominated before with Goodwill Hunting.  He probably deserves this nomination but I doubt that he will win.
  • The Reader (Stephen Daldry): Again?!?! This guy has a couple nominations under his belt (With The Hours and Billy Elliot) which makes his the most nominated and least winningest person on the list… does that make him the worst good director? or the best terrible director? It doesn’t matter, he doesn’t have the chops to win.
  • Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire): I wish I could have lunch with Danny Boyle (I’m buying).  Danny Boyle has made eight features and you have probably heard of about half of them but they are all pretty awesome.  The direction in Slumdog Millionaire was top shelf and with such a solid filmography under his belt Danny Boyle deserves this Oscar.  But even without his filmography Danny Boyle still deserves the Oscar based on just this film alone.

Those are my thoughts for now.  I’m going to try and see The Reader (I really hope it sucks) but I doubt that I’ll see Milk or Frost/Nixon (they are getting plenty of coverage elsewhere).  I will also do a write up of the nominations for Supporting Male Actor and Supporting Female Actor this weekend.  Bye for now.

-Josh

Thoughts about subscription TV

I’m trying to formulate my thoughts on subscription TV in the wake of the cancelation of my favorite show ‘Pushing Daisies’. There are two online companies that’s are using voluntary subscriptions to subsidize their ad revenue and they seem to be very successful at it. And not only does it subsidize their income, but it also provides them with a listener engagement figure that they can show to advertisers.  Sure, ‘Pushing Daisies’ had 100k people sign an online petition, but imagine having 50k people subscribe to the show for $2 a week, now that’s a solid measure to sell to an advertiser.

The two companies that are using this model are Revision3 and TWiT.TV.  They are both online ‘broadcasters (or more specifically ‘netcasters’).  Both companies have created successful models that involve both paid advertising and voluntary subscriptions.  In the past I might have felt this model as repugnant but when you view something like H.B.O. you can clearly see that the best programming is created when money is not an object and money is not controlled by advertisers.

Those are just some preliminary and completely incomplete opinions.  What are you thoughts?

-Josh

WLW and why i have not been blogging

I’m sure you’ll find this to be a very bad excuse, however it’s true.  I have not been blogging because Windows Live Writer has not been working.  I finally got a chance to dig into the problem and this is what I found out.  PHP 5.22 has an error when generating the xmlrpc.php file in wordpress.  My hosting company, HostMonster, happens to use PHP 5.22 and therefore when Windows Live Writer looked at the xmlrpc.php to determine the details about my blog it gave me an error.  Here is a link to the site that gave me the errors

The site gave me the instructions to put this line of code at the top of the xmlrpc.php file

$HTTP_RAW_POST_DATA = file_get_contents(”php://input”);

and since I am a noob I took that to heart… but what I should have inferred from that was to place it on the second line of the file right after the

<?php

Once I figured that out it was smooth sailing.

I would just like you to know that I am typing this on WLW in Windows 7 beta (build 7000).  Windows 7 is proving to be just as fantastic as everyone says that it is.  The installation went great.  Networking has been a snap.  Everything on my Toshiba a215-s5837 laptop was fully supported out of the box.  The new tool bar is just stellar.  And of course the entire OS is very very pretty.  Are you bored yet?

-Josh