News of the Day!

Confirmed: US and Israel created Stuxnet, lost control of itYeah, so those viruses you’re getting? Courtesy of your tax dollars at work. Nice.

Engineer Thinks We Could Build a Real Starship Enterprise In 20 YearsThis person maybe more than a bit over-ambitious and slightly insane. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. 🙂 . How about something simpler buddy, an effective and affordable alternative energy car so I can stop spending a fortune on petrol? 🙂

Google dealt blow in book scanning lawsuitI have this whole despise, defend, despise thing going on with Google. I think monopolistic companies are bad, and Google is a bit too omni-present and in everybody’s business for my liking. The bastard killed my favorite search engine! (See my rant on Scroogle).

That said I think Android and their defense and support of it, is one of the most hopeful pieces of news to come out in years. And I see Android as a defense against the entrenched proprietary monopolies of Microsoft and Apple. And as a public domain advocate, I think public domain books should be readily available, where Google is getting in hot water is they were perhaps overzealous in digitizing works no longer in public domain. And a few authors are seeking a payday. Should be an interesting case.

Between Microsoft, and Oracle, And Apple, and just about every other billion dollar company in the world suing Google, I’m actually starting to feel sorry for them. Mainly because I don’t want to see Android go away, or get crippled with licensing fees to alleged software patent holders. But yeah, end of the day, it will be interesting.

New concerns over safety of arsenic in drinking water First sign of a corrupt, despotic government… lack of trust in the utility companies. Namely local Water treatment plants for your municipality. Hence the boom in people buying bottled water, because we don’t trust our government to deliver safe, pure, clean drinking water to our taps.

That’s all the News you can use for now. 🙂

Paramount STAR TREK DVDs & Blu-Rays to Buy and the ones to Avoid!

Paramount is a bit of a mess when it comes to triple and quadruple dipping and because of that, determining what version is the best DVD or Bluray for you to own, can be difficult and time consuming. Well I’ve done homework (yes, I said homework) for you, my beloved reader 🙂 , to hopefully help make that decision making process… easier.

First, Avoid the 2009 Bluray versions of any of the earlier Star trek films (WRATH OF KAHN, UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY, and FIRST CONTACT), and stick to the 2disk DVD Directors cuts. Links are below. You just get more bang for your buck, and Paramount in a year or two will release Director’s cut version of the movies on Bluray, with better mastering.

However I would recommend the Star Trek Original Series Complete Seasons 1-3. Paramount did an okay job on those Blu-Rays, with exception of cheap packaging, and no labeling on the disks.

The 2004 Star Trek Original Series Complete Seasons 1-3 DVDs are better packaged than the blu-rays, and come with labeled disks, but the Bluray’s offer you remastered images and the option between viewing with CGI effects or original effects.

Pretty cool. So not perfect, but you gain more than you lose, by going with the Blurays over the DVDs for Star Trek Original Series. Also the very reason the 40 year old series could be processed into HD Blu-rays was because it was shot and mastered on film, the same as any movie, As opposed to many shows of the 80s and 90s, including DS9 and TNG, that were cheaply mastered and processed on video, meaning the original masters are not on film, so no true HD is possible with these shows, they top off at 480i.

For a pretty absorbing read on why you wont be seeing true HD Blurays of DS9 (my favorite of the Trek shows, followed by the original series, and then Next Generation. You’ll notice I omitted Voyager and Enterprise. 🙂 Send hate-mail to—) ) anytime soon go here and here.

So bottom line the existing DVDs of DS9 are the best you’re going to see of the series for the immediate future, if not the indefinite future. At the very least until technology goes up, and the cost goes down. So, below I have put a link to the DS9 set, as well.

For the JJ Abrams STAR TREK they did a good job on that Bluray, so would suggest the 3Disk Bluray. Though only 2 of those 3 disks I consider worthwhile.

Well those are my suggestions, and links (of what I consider the best, in terms of content and presentation and extras) are below:

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – The Director’s Cut (Two-Disc Special Collector’s Edition)

Star Trek – First Contact (Two-Disc Special Collector’s Edition)

Star Trek VI – The Undiscovered Country (Two-Disc Special Collector’s Edition)

Star Trek (Three-Disc Edition) [Blu-ray]

Star Trek: The Original Series – Seasons 1-3 [Blu-ray]

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Complete Series

Star Trek Fan Collective – Captain’s Log

Hope This helps.

STAR TREK CAPTAIN’S LOG Disk #5 Enterprise

“Character is Destiny.”

William Shatner says that in disc one of the 5 disk STAR TREK CAPTAIN’S LOG Box Set, and that philosophy, edict, belief sums up what separates the best trek, Star Trek, DS9, Next Generation from the shows I had no affinity for, Voyager and Enterprise.

These later shows suffer from an unfocused premise, lackluster, and oft uninteresting or irritating characters, and poor writing, which translates into poor direction and performances.

ENTERPRISE starring Scott Bakula is a particular disappointment. A more uninteresting bunch of actors you would have a hard time finding, They all appear to be constipated all the time and having no joy or fun. The Marcus guy, every-time you put the camera on him, looks like he wants to cry and the other actors are just boring.

Bakula who was great in Quantum Leap, and I was happy when I initially heard of his casting, thinking he would bring that range to his role, is very one-note and constipated in this series. And all the actors are as much fun or interest as a root canal.

The supposed fan selected ‘best’ episodes just highlights the weakness of the later trek series. But luckily the first three disks… rock, and are worth the price of admission.

Recommended Holiday Gift #1: STAR TREK CAPTAIN’S LOG dvd!

I received in the mail today, STAR TREK CAPTAIN’S LOG FAN COLLECTIVE box set. The latest in a recent line of Paramount Releases that repackages select/popular episodes of the long running and beloved phenomena that is Star Trek. The Fan Collective Box Sets, claim to fame, being the binding of episodes together based on themes.

There being a Klingon Set, A Borg Set, A Time Travel set, to name the most well known ones. However the one that got my money was THE CAPTAIN’S LOG box set, which was the first set to offer special features, in this case commentaries/introductions by all five of the actors that helmed the Captain’s Chair in all five different incarnations of the Star Trek legacy.

Particularly having the first three actors to sit in the big chair, William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, and Avery Brooks, offering commentary and introducing their favorite episodes made this set a must have. Most of the FAN COLLECTIVE box sets, are bare bones, and I think can be seen rightly as a bit of quadruple dipping, and superfluous fluff, but with CAPTAIN’S LOG the additional material, definitely makes it worth your while.

The first DVD visits the flagship series, and William Shatner is quite…effecting, self effacing, and profound. Plus him and Joan Collins discussing their episode CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER, is worth the price of the DVD by itself. It’s a rambling bit of fluff, but what strikes you is the great chemistry they have 4 decades after the filming of that episode, and William Shatner, at his age is still the mac, as he puts subtle moves on Joan, and Joan is still sensual, flirtatious woman of yore, our bodies age, but not our hearts, and it made me feel hopeful and young to watch them.

And the actual selections themselves, are brilliant. It’s been a good couple years since revisiting the original series, and it is so much fun. It really does hold up as just great, tense, but ultimately feel good tv. It’s a reason an enduring dynasty rose up around this relatively short lived series, it really is television that is forever relatable to all times, while being always still timeless. Looking to the future, while being a beautiful time capsule of a nostalgic past of mini skirts, and go-go boots, and women as women, and men as men, and somehow solid values of our past, writ large in our future.

I have not even gotten to the other 4 DVDs, but this first one, is clearly worth the price by itself. I’ll bring you updates on the other discs as I work my way through them, but my quick assessment… An essential and recommended purchase to any fan of the Original Series.