Monday, September 28, 2009

Classic Scifi Movie: Colossus: The Forbin Project

Charles  Forbin  is the  designer of a secret government computer.  Colossus is a gigantic  supercomputer that controls all of the United States nuclear missile systems. Colossus like todays internet is designed to be impervious to attack.  Like the WOPR from Wargames it is  encased within a mountain (Norad) and powered by its own nuclear power plant.

Colossus' first announcement is that the Russians have their own super computer called  "Guardian", that controls Soviet nuclear weapons.

The computers order that Forbin provide a link between the two computers.  When the link is established the two computers begin developing a common language allowing them to communicate.   When national leaders get upset by the joint communication between the computers and disconnect them Colossus gives a warning the if the connection is not reestablished they will take action on their creators.  Colossus Fires a Missile at a Russian oil field forcing the reconnection of the two computers who rename themselves Unity.

Unity then begins to cosolidate its world power and create a world of peace and love.The humans try fighting back and fail.  In the end Unity promises that people will grow to love its new computerized leader and forbin replys "Never!".

I first saw this film in 1984 or 85 in a little room on the back of my parent house on my VCR and a black and white tv.   When the movie went off I went and disconnected my commador Vic 20 and slid it under my bed.  It stayed there until I wanted to play space invaders again.  This time I am watching it on my laptop setting next to my 5 desktops and I again have the feeling I should take my computers lose and hide them under my bed. I won't of course or Id never get this post written.

Colossus is one of those movies you watch and a week lader your passing by a computer with a camera and you wonder if its realy watching you, if it has a neipherous plan, and if you might not be better moving in with the Amish.

The acting is slightly wooden and you can sometimes tell the writter, actors, and directors don't have a clue about the technology they are "using" in the movie.   This movie is really the Grandfather of WOPR from WarGames, and many of the same themes are in both movies.  While both movies are a cautionary tale about the use of Artificial intelligence in the military, the main difference is that WarGames ends with the humans averting war and recovering control to the computer.  In Colossus Unity ends with all the pieces on his board and doesn't want to play a nice game of chess.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Old Comics Project. DP7

DP7Starting this week and for as long as I can afford to pay for my Marvel Subscription or find other comics online I will be looking at old series or singles and talking about them here.  Its a way to look into the past at comics I loved as a child and remember foldly as an adult.

This is week I'm looking at DP7 as part of Marvel's New Universe from 1986 I remember this book very well.  It was Marvels attempt at Xmen in its Other univers.

The Idea for  New Universe was  "What would happen if normal people became superhuman overnight?" It all started White Event a strange white Light kind of  astronomical event that  on July 22, 1986.  in the seconds that it lasted it  bathed the earth in a bright white light and mutated 1/500,000 of the earths populace.  Millions of people started developing powers.

I have read the first year of the book at this point and I must say I was really happy with the series.  I found the characters a bit 80's ish but then it was a 80's book.  I also couldn't help the feeling it was anti xmen title.  Instead of the Professor bringing everyone together to protect the people here the doctor brings them together or recruit them for evil, and he won't take no for an answer.  The time in the books are supposed to be running in real time with each book lasting for a month, but I felt the time was a little compressed for all the action in the book to have happened in a year.  There really wasn't enough action to fill a year.  Most of the action seems to have taken place in maybe a couple of months but even that time would be streaching it a bit.

The art is very classic.  It is a looks like a 80's book.  Some of the panels are very bland and boring but don't distract from the story or try to overshadow the story  like many of today's artists do.

I found the books a bit slow to read in compairison to tittle like Runaways and Xmen but very good and well worth my time in reading them.  If you can find them be sure and pick up this missed 80's Marvel marvel.

Number of Books:32
Year: 1986-1989


Randy O'Brien
David Landers
Jeff Walters
Charlotte "Charly" Beck
Dennis "Scuzz" Cuzinski
Stephanie Harrington
Lenore Fenzl
Stephanie Harrington

Sunday, September 6, 2009

EPB VS Comcast Part Two

Today I am going to look at prices for internet between EPB and Comcat.

EPB's cheapest price is for 15 megs which Comcast says they will be providing in the near future.  Comcasts website is already saying you can get 15/3 but my test make it more like 4/.128 in the Brainerd area.

EPB  charges $57.99 for it's cheapest.  While Comcast's cheapest is only 24.95 for a snail like 1meg down andto 384 Kbps for up stream.  EPB's is 15 megs bi directional.  Comcast's 15m/3m plan costs $42.95 or $15 dollars less then Epb's 15 meg line.

Comcasts 20meg down/4meg up goes for 52.95.  Epb's goes  for 69.99 for a bidirectional 20 meg line.   If your playing along at home you see a 17 dollar difference again in Comcast's favor.

Now in round three EPB offers 50 megs for a ridicules $174.99.  Comcast just looks on and weeps.

Now for some comparisons AT&T, you know those guys trying to squeeze every penny out of those old copper lines,  is offering internet at $7.158 a meg for 6 megs or DSL Xtreme 6.0 for $42.95 a month.

At that price mark comcast and EPB should be selling it's 15 meg per lines for $107.38.  But as I said earlier i'm only getting about 4 megs a second so it should really cost me $28.63.

The real question is does EPB mean to really bring some price compatition to the market place, or are they just trying to get a little of Comcasts pie.  When I lobbied for EPB to be allowed in our market I thought it would bring some real compatition to the area.  Looking at what we are seeing its seem we are really just getting higher prices and no real compatition.

If EBP wanted to compete it would offer some 6, 8 or 10 meg lines for 29, 35, and 45 dollar price points. This would put it in real compatition with Comcast, At&t and give people a real choice in the market place.   I can't afford to spend 100 dollars for Internet and Cable TV and not many other people can either.

Price per meg

Comcast (15 meg) $2.86
AT&T (6 meg)  $7.15
EPB (15 meg) $4

Comcast  (50 meg) $2
EPB (50 meg) 3.48

Ebp VS Comcast Part One

A comparison of Epb and Comcast Prices are close to being equal but the real difference is that Comcast offers the better channel line up IMO.  Though EPB has a better children's lineup.  I think they are nearly equal in the lower price teir but the higher priced selection is heavely waited in Comcasts favour.   I think EPB is airing a lot of garbage channels to fill out it's lineup.   I had hoped that EPB would be a  cheaper.  EPB offering an ala carte lineup would have also been good.



Number of Channels



Epb Basic Comcast Digital StarterComcast Digital Classic EBP Fi TV Essential
54.9954.95$ of service71.965.99
0.720.70$ per channel0.530.48
A&EA & E3ABN3ABN Latino
ABC FamilyABC FamilyA & EA&E
Animal PlanetAnimal PlanetAMCAMC
BETBETAnimal PlanetAnimal Planet
Bloomberg TVBBC AmericaBBC America
BravoBravoBBC World News
C-SPAN 2C-SPAN 2The Biography ChannelBio.
C-SPAN 3Bloomberg TVBloomberg
Cartoon NetworkCartoon NetworkBoomerang
CNN Headline NewsCNN Headline NewsC-SPAN 3C-SPAN 3
Comcast Sports SoutheastComcast Sports SoutheastCartoon NetworkCartoon Network
Comedy CentralComedy CentralCatholic TV
Discovery ChannelDiscovery ChannelCMTCMT
Discovery HealthCMT Pure CountryCMT Pure Country
Disney ChannelDisney ChannelCNBCCNBC
Disney XDCNBC World
E!E! EntertainmentCNNCNN
EPG Education/GovernmentEducation & GovernmentCNN Headline NewsCNN Headline News
ESPNESPNComcast Sports SoutheastComcast Sports Southeast
ESPN ClassicESPN 2Comedy CentralComedy Central
ESPN UniversityCrime & Investigation
ESPN2Current TVCurrent TV
Food NetworkFood NetworkDiscovery ChannelDiscovery Channel
Fox NewsFox NewsDiscovery HealthDiscovery Health
FSN SouthFS SouthDiscovery KidsDiscovery Kids
FXFXDisney ChannelDisney Channel
G4Disney XDDisney XD
Game Show NetworkDIYdiy network
HallmarkHallmark ChannelE! EntertainmentE!
Hallmark Movie ChannelEducation & GovernmentEPG Education/Government
HistoryHistory ChannelEncore Action East
HGTVHome & Garden TVEncore Drama
Home Shopping NetworkHome Shopping NetworkEncore East
Inspirational NetworkEncore Love East
ION TelevisionIONEncore Mystery East
Local/Leased AccessLeased AccessEncore WAM
LifetimeLifetimeEncore Westerns East
Lifetime Movie NetworkLifetime Movie NetworkESPNESPN
WDSI (MyTV) ChattMY NETESPN Deportes
MTV2ESPN University
National GeographicESPNewsESPNews
NickelodeonNickelodeonETBN Enlace USA
PBS Kids SproutEWTNFine Living Network
OxygenExercise TVFit TV
QVCQVCFine Living
Retro TVFlix EastFlix
Science ChannelFood NetworkFood Network
ShopNBCFox Business ChannelFox Business Network
SoapnetFox NewsFox News
Speed ChannelSpeed ChannelFox RealityFox Reality
Spike TVSpike TVFox Soccer Channel
SportSouthSport SouthFS SouthFSN South
TBSTBS SuperstationG4G4
Teleguide TVTV Guide ChannelGame Show NetworkGSN
The Golf ChannelThe Golf ChannelGospel Broadcasting Network
The Inspiration NetworkGospel Music ChannelGospel Music Channel
The Learning ChannelThe Learning ChannelGreat American CountryGreat American Country
THIS TVHallmark ChannelHallmark
Hallmark Movie ChannelHallmark Movie Channel
Travel ChannelTravel ChannelHistory ChannelHistory
truTVtruTVHistory Channel InternationalHistory International
Turner Classic MoviesTurner Classic MoviesHome & Garden TVHGTV
Turner Network TVTurner Network TVHome Shopping NetworkHSN
TV LandTV LandIndieplex
TV OneInspirational NetworkThe Inspiration Network
USA NetworkUSAInvestigation DiscoveryInvestigation Discovery
VersusVersusIONION Television
VH1VH-1Ion Life
WDEF (CBS) Chatt 12WDEF (CBS) Chatt 12JCTV
WDSI (FOX) Chatt 61WDSI (FOX) Chatt 61Jewelry TVJewelry TV
Weather ChannelWeather ChannelLeased AccessLocal/Leased Access
Weather RadarLifetimeLifetime
WELF (TBN) DaltonWELF (Ind) DaltonLifetime Movie NetworkLifetime Movie Network
WFLI (CW) Cleveland 53WFLI (CW) ClevelandLifetime Real Women
WNGH (PBS) Chatsworth 18WNGH- PBS KidsMilitary ChannelMilitary Channel
WNGH-PBS KnowledgeMilitary History Channel
WRCB (NBC) Chatt 3WRCB (NBC) ChattanoogaMOVIEplex
WTVC (ABC) Chatt 9WTVC (ABC) ChattanoogaMTV 2MTV Hits
MTV HitsMTV Jams
MTV JamsMTV Tr3s
MTV tr3sMTV2
National GeographicNational Geographic
The N
Nick GAS
Nick TooNick 2
Nicktoons Network!Nick Toons
Ovation TV
PBS Kids SproutPBS Kids Sprout
Planet GreenPlanet Green
Retirement Living
Retro TVShopNBC
Smile of a Child
Soap NetSoapnet
Speed ChannelSpeed Channel
Spike TVSpike TV
Sport SouthSportSouth
Sundance East
TBS SuperstationTBS
TV Guide ChannelTeleguide TV
The Golf ChannelThe Golf Channel
The Learning ChannelThe Learning Channel
The Science ChannelThe Science Channel
The Weather ChannelThe Weather Channel
Travel ChannelTravel Channel
Trinity Broadcasting Network
Turner Classic MoviesTurner Classic Movies
TV LandTV Land
TV OneTV One
USAUSA Network
VH1 ClassicVH1 Classic
VH1 SoulVH1 Soul
WDEF (CBS) ChattanoogaWDEF (CBS) Chatt 12
WDSI (FOX) ChattanoogaWDSI (FOX) Chatt 61
WeatherscanWeather Radar
WELF (Ind) DaltonWELF (TBN) Dalton
WFLI (CW) ClevelandWFLI (CW) Cleveland 53
WGN ChicagoWGN America
WNGH- PBS KidsWNGH (PBS) Chatsworth 18
WNGH-PBS Knowledge
WRCB (NBC) ChattanoogaWRCB (NBC) Chatt 3
WTCI (PBS) ChattanoogaWTCI (PBS) 45
WTCID Create
WTVC (ABC) ChattanoogaWTVC (ABC) Chatt 9

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