Daily Archives: December 15, 2013

R.I.P. Actress Joan Fontaine

Legendary Actress Joan Fontaine Dies at 96

There are people out there who refuse to watch black & white movies. When I was a kid, there were just three TV networks and, in NYC, four local stations. TV was still monochrome and so were many of the movies. We had a cultural continuity between the generations back then that I think we’re missing now. It’s a shame that many reading this won’t know who Joan Fontaine was and have never seen her work.


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R.I.P. Actor, Writer, Director Tom Laughlin

Tom Laughlin, star of ‘Billy Jack’ films, dies at age 82

Tom Laughlin, the maverick actor and filmmaker best known for the “Billy Jack” films, has died. He was 82.

Laughlin died Thursday in Thousand Oaks, his family announced.

And I was trying to sit through one of the worst movies ever made, his own The Master Gunfighter on Thursday.

Of course he will be best known for Billy Jack. But he also changed movies forever. He was the first to rent a bunch of theaters to show his movie and to collect all the receipts. He was the first to blitz local TV stations with ads for a movie. These were maverick moves that the mainstream studios came to adopt as well.

He fought and won against a major film studio. He was stubborn, he didn’t take shit, and when we was right he was damn right.

But when he was wrong, he was wrong in a huge way too. Aside from The Master Gunfighter, Billy Jack Goes to Washington is up there as one of the worst movies of all time too. I was frustrated for decades that I couldn’t see that movie, believing he had finally been squished by The Man. The truth turned out to be it was a horribly inept and just plain bad movie. It contained a martial arts scene that not only didn’t fit in the movie, it was also borderline racist — a serious misstep for someone otherwise so sympathetic to minority peoples.


He is now free of this earthly plane, having gone beyond The Fourth Level, to the Fifth.

Rest in peace, finally.


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HP Slate 8 Pro Has Been Rooted

Every day I’m looking for information about this tablet. It’s very frustrating coming across so little. Is it available only from HP’s website? Does that account for the lack of YouTube videos, blog posts? But what accounts for the lack of tech reviews at sites like The Verge and Engadget? Very puzzling.

Nevertheless, today I discovered that someone rooted the HP Slate 8 Pro. Of course, it’s over at XDA Developers. See this post that recounts the adventure of doing it via a Chinese method. And in this post he refines the rooting method.

He also says:

Things very fast. A bit chunkier than I wanted, and yes, the bezels are huge on the top and bottom. I don’t like the feel of the back at all and am glad I bought the HP sleeve with it. It feels like it wants to drop out of my hands when it’s not in the sleeve.

So far, I think the biggest problem this thing has is the network connection. I’m not sure what’s going on, but I’m getting a lot of errors connecting (and was before the dodgy root as well.) None of the other android devices here have this much trouble and I hope HP remedies that.

The screen is toward the Note/N7 end of the spectrum in terms of brightness and quality – a big step up from the gpad.

The screen is much brighter than the LG GPad 8.3, which he also tried.

Continue reading


Filed under Android, iPad Mini Clones

R.I.P. Actor Peter O’Toole

Peter O’Toole, star of Lawrence of Arabia, dies aged 81

Lawrence of Arabia has been described as “history as it never was.”

But after reading a biography of T.E. Lawrence, I thought O’Toole captured him perfectly.


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Because My Head Is Thick

I keep referring to the Buying Advice! page.

But as I’ve tooled around the Net, I keep seeing tablet bargains that continue to tempt me.

So I’ve had to create a new thing to refer to:

If I buy a cheap tablet, I’ll wonder what a faster tablet is like.

Meanwhile, I’ll have spent money that could’ve gone to a faster tablet.

And I’d have to spend more money for a faster tablet.

If I have the fastest tablet, I won’t wonder what a slower tablet is like.

And I’ll have the fastest tablet and no need to spend more money.

It’s not like I have the money to spend right now anyway. But still.


Filed under Reference