February 02, 2002

Final Fantasy is a fantastic movie with one of the most intricate plots I have had the pleasure to experience in a long time.

Bad news though: Square USA, the studio that made Final Fantasy is closing up shop.

I believe that all the movie critics that claimed the film had a "weak story line" were either too stupid to get the plot (which is rather complex) or didn't even really watch it -- and just panned it based on the heresay of others.

I predict that the brilliance of this well scripted, brilliantly directed, plausibly depicted and meticulously executed film will get more recognition in the future. Hopefully after it is seen by more people now that it is available on DVD. (Yes I just bought it and watched it again to make sure it was as great as I remembered.)

I think it was perhaps the best film of 2001.

I'll even throw it into my top ten films of all time.

Anyway, here are the sad details, courtesy of David Briscoe for Salon. (Thanks, Cory.)

The head of the GAO says Cheney is lying about the details behind its lawsuit against him.

See the Byron York article on the National Review Online:
GAO to Cheney: You’re Lying.

In an interview with National Review Online, Walker in essence accused Cheney of lying about the GAO's demands. "There have been material misrepresentations of facts coming out of the White House in recent weeks," he says. In particular, Walker points to a statement Cheney made in a television interview last Sunday. "They've demanded of me that I give Henry Waxman a listing of everybody I meet with," Cheney told Fox News, "of everything that was discussed, any advice that was received, notes and minutes of those meetings."

"That was a very critical and highly material misrepresentation," Walker says. "If we were asking for that, I'd understand where they are coming from. But we are not."

Indeed Walker is correct, although there is a little more to it than that. At one time, the GAO did ask Cheney specifically for notes and minutes, among other things. In a letter sent to Cheney last July 18, the GAO demanded "the following information with regard to each of [the task force] meetings: (a) the date and location, (b) any person present, including his or her name, title, and office or clients represented, (c) the purpose and agenda, (d) any information presented, (e) minutes or notes, and (f) how member of [the task force], group support staff, or others determined who would be invited to the meetings."

It was a wide-ranging request, and a month later Walker backed off the demand for notes and minutes. "Even though we are legally entitled to this information," Walker wrote to Cheney on August 17, "we are scaling back the records we are requesting to exclude these two items of information." While Cheney's recent comments on television gave the unmistakable impression that GAO is still demanding the notes and minutes, Walker wants to make it clear that the GAO is not. "There should be no confusion about that," he says.

February 01, 2002

Despite the dismal headlines today, there is still nothing known for certain yet about the fate of Wall Street Journal Reporter Daniel Perl.

See the CNN story:
E-mail claims U.S. reporter in Pakistan killed.

January 31, 2002

Hey, I don't remember giving Bush the go ahead to start World War III. Do you?

Will somebody please explain to the President that this "war" is over (in the sense that we have neutralized the threat and reduced the possibility of the same thing happening again) and that we can't just keep blowing up the Middle East until we've found Bin Laden?

Time for Plan B, C or D guys.

I'll give you a hint: Keep on going down the list until the possibility of destroying all life on the planet isn't one of the potential outcomes.

Check out:
Iran honored to be targeted by US - 'most hated Satan',
by Afshin Valinejad (AP) for the Jerusalem Post.

Khamenei was one of several Iranian officials, including the president and foreign minister, who have condemned Bush's characterization of Iran as part of an "axis of evil" during his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

The reaction went beyond words. State radio reported that Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi had canceled plans to attend the 32nd annual World Economic Forum in New York, which opens today.

The cancellation, the radio said late last night, was to protest America's stand toward Iran and the "humiliating" attitude of the US State Department in issuing visas for the Iranian delegation. It did not elaborate.

President Mohammad Khatami said Bush "spoke arrogantly, humiliatingly, aggressively and in an interfering way - and worse than anything, it is an insult to the Iranian nation." The president spoke during a Cabinet session last night, according to state-run television and radio.

"We are supporters of peace, a peace based on justice for humanity," Khatami said.

Kharrazi said the accusations were intended to divert world attention from Israeli violence against Palestinians and reveals US global ambitions.

"With these arrogant statements, the American government has further unveiled its true image as a hegemonic power that wants to dominate the whole world through force," Kharrazi told the Islamic Republic News Agency.

AOL doesn't want instant messaging interoperability. Tough luck for them -- it is the future.

Trillian isn't the first of these instant messaging integration programs. To my knowledge, Jabber was the first.

AOL shuts out users in battle over IM,
by Lisa M. Bowman for ZDNet News.

People using the popular Trillian software may lose access to part of AOL Time Warner's instant messaging system.

Firing another salvo in the battle over instant messaging, America Online is blocking people using the Trillian interface from linking to its AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) system.

Trillian, which allows people to access multiple instant messaging programs from one screen, has attracted nearly a million people who are hoping to streamline their use of incompatible systems, including AOL's AIM and ICQ, Yahoo's Messenger and Microsoft's MSN Messenger.

But in the past 24 hours, an elaborate game of cat and mouse has developed between AOL and Trillian creator Cerulean Studios--as the start-up has repeatedly released new software designed to get around the block, prompting AOL to rush in and stop people from using it.

Meanwhile, Trillian fans are snared in cross fire.

January 27, 2002

A new monkey study suggests that playing a more dominant role in one's peer group leads to increased dopamine production and a subsequently a decrease in the desire to seek artificial stimulation.

See the article:
Monkey junkies
by Anjana Ahuja for the Times of London.

provides an archive
of character designs:
logos, branding, flyers, icons and
(Thanks, John.)