Thursday, January 8, 2009


Didn't mean to have all those posts show up on the same day. Generally I write a few at once and schedule them for release over a few days/weeks. I like to spread out the content a little bit to make it look like I'm not constantly neglecting this blog. Apparently staring at matrices all day melts your brain or something because that clearly didn't happen this time.

In other news, here is the Japanese trailer for Watchmen, it makes the film look a smidgen more like the comic than the American trailer. However, the whole production still looks to be missing the entire point of the original version.

However, unlike The Spirit, I'll still being seeing this as I really hope I'm wrong about how this film will turn out.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

This is pretty cool.

Right before I moved down to Stony Brook I had tickets to see Nine Inch Nails (and the also cool Deerhunter) in concert. Unfortunately, the show was postponed due to illness on the part of Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor.

The concert was in support of Nine Inch Nails most recent releases, The Slip and Ghosts I-IV. What makes these albums unique is that they were not distributed by a record label, but released over the internet. Ghosts I-IV was a collection of instrumental pieces sold in mp3 and FLAC formats through NIN's official website. The Slip was a more conventional NIN release which was distributed online... for free. Furthermore, both albums were released under a non-commercial creative commons license. Allowing fans to remix and distribute both works on their own.

Now the tour in support of these releases has received some recognition for its unique visual effects. Some of these can be seen here and here. According to the NIN website there were plans to release a live DVD filmed by James Cameron's production company. However, NIN's former record label prevented this from happening.

Long story short, the band decided to allow fans to film the last few dates on the tour and assemble their own concert film to release free online. Production on this fan film has been under way for a few weeks now, and some of the footage thats popped up on youtube has looked good. However, and here is the coolest part, new HD footage with premixed stereo audio has just been leaked by a "shadowy group of subversives."

I haven't gotten to see this new footage mainly because I don't have a 2-terabyte hard drive, but it apparently consists of raw footage from multiple camera angles of three full concerts. Now obviously, whatever comes from this won't be the same as a James Cameron produced concert-film, but after seeing whats been assembled already, I think the results will be pretty cool.

This isn't without precedent as high quality footage meant for another NIN live compilation which was never officially released has also shown up online. But this is the first time raw footage has been released for fans to do with what they please. This probably isn't the future of music distribution or anything, as this is a rather unique situation and Nine Inch Nails has an unconventional relationship with their fans.

I just wish I had gotten to see all this live.

D is for Door

So apparently there was some maintenance done in my apartment when I was away. So far the only improvements that I have noticed is that one of our showers now doesn't work and all the rooms in the apartment, including the bathrooms and closets, are labeled.

I live in the D room, store my food in kitchen 1, and generally keep my coat in closet 2. Keep in mind there is only one kitchen and a single closet.

So far, campus is pretty dead. Even my apartment complex, which is mostly graduate and medical students is quieter than usual. Its even possible to find a parking space. Things will pick up I'm sure when graduate students and faculty start returning.

As evidenced by my last post, I am attempting to acquaint myself with the myriad of software required to analyze fMRI data. I'm also working on some image formatting using Photoshop so I'll be raging against the machine for most of the next few months.

This post is mostly indecipherable

Spending hours trying to track down free tutorials for SPM2 is so much fun. Although thats not nearly as fun as trying to figure out the secret command code for starting up the SPM console in Matlab. Apparently its something really obvious, but neither "SPM" or "Secret Batcomputer" appear to be working.

For some reason I have lost all kinds of user privileges... like creating and saving paths. I *love* Linux so much sometimes.

On the other hand, Matlab is surprisingly not impossible to use. I guess I'm going to be learning some programming after all.