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Facebook and Oculus 

I assume by now everyone has heard that Facebook has purchased Oculus and that a lot of people are unhappy about it. I didn't give Oculus any money and so perhaps my feelings are different. I like many people was excited about the possibilities of the Oculus Rift and I suspect that may change, but I'm not entirly certain that is a bad thing.

One of the reasons I think this may be a good thing is that most important thing I wanted to see the rift do has already been done. It forced everyone else to reconsider virtual reality and Sony has already announced that they will be making a virtual reality system and it seems likely microsoft won't be far behind. These are likely to be more gated experiances but that isn't always a bad thing and I am certain that if any of them are successful there will be a computer version of a VR device and that will be as open, or more open than the oculus rift, whether the people who make it want it to be or not. Hackers will make it open.

The other thing that is interesting is what Facebook might want to do with the oculus. When I think of Facebook I think of really bad games, but if they are smart Facebook is looking both to improve its current buesness and to expand it into areas that are more stable than the one they are in.

Expanding their buisness would best be done by keeping the current oculus rift on its same trajectory and hopefully speeding it up a bit. There isn't a huge reason for them to make major changes. But there is another interesting possibility. Facebook is in the leader in social at the moment and virtual reality has some really interesting possibilities in that area. Imagine instead of chatting with your old friends if you could put on an oculus rift and sit down to have a real conversation. Sure at first they would likely be avatars you were talking to, and even if they scanned themselves in it would look less than real, but it would be them in the ways that really matter.  This is something that facebook does well and the ability to visit people and places virtually is a huge area that would be awesome. I for one would love to go to visit the great works of art around the world, but it would be even more fun with my friends. This is something that almost certainly never going to happen in reality even if we all had the money, but virtually it would be far easier and because we're already all connected on facebook it's going to be far easier for them to do that than anyone else.

So, perhaps in the long run having facebook in the vr wars along with sony and microsoft might acutally give us a wider variety of possibilities because while VR gaming is interesting the things that excite me the most about this technology is when it stops being a game and starts to allow mo to do real things virtually. 


Will Smith and M. Night Shyamalan to Make Science Fiction Movie Together

A few years ago this would have been huge news to me. Will Smith is fun to watch in almost everything and I have liked movies M. Night Shayamalan that others don't, such as Contact.  the problem is that Will Smith is in no way a guarentee a movie will be good, and in recent years M. Night seems to have been a guarantee a movie won't be good, taking something like The Last Airbender which should have been a great movie and making something sub par.

The other thing that should excite me is that the movie appears to be an original story not one taken from a comic book, short story, TV series or rewriting a movie. This is very rare in recent years and frustrating for someone like me who reads other media because I often know the story before it is in movies.

The working title of the movie seems to be one thousand A.E. The idea seem to be that the Earth got used up and abandoned a thousand years before and in the story a son, played by Jaden Smith and his father, played by Will Smith, return to the world due to a crashed space ship. Not the most original premise of a movie ever, but more original than many and M. Night Shyamalan has always had the ability to put a unique twist on stories, even if that twist was not always good.

M. Night Shyamalan needs this movie to be good, and convincing people is not likely to be easy. At this point people are so annoyed with him they are looking for reasons to dislike his movies, and if he can't make it work this time with one of the biggest stars in the world it's hard to imagine him being given a lot more chances.


Some science fiction news stories 1/25/2011

A Sundance Film about Another Earth found in our system.

A bit of a stretch as science fiction goes but as a metaphor and parallel realities it might be good.

The Microsoft Kinect used to create a hologram similar to star wars.

Of course holograms have been around and many look better than those in star wars but it's still fun.

NASA considers what it would take for people to live on mars.

Perhaps one good start would be to get someone besides NASA to do it because they don't seem to be in much of a hurry.

Scientists Claim to have discovered cold fusion

This could change the world if its true, but sadly it is almost certainly not true.

Lenard Nimoy will return to fringe

Great news as Nimoy has retired but Fringe could use his help with its new day and time.

Wonder Woman coming to NBC

With the head of programming leaving NBC perhaps they have a chance to get some good shows on the air.

Elijah Wood will have a cameo in the Hobbit  -- Orlando Bloom has not yet signed on though.

It would be good to see a lot of the main characters at least have some type of a cameo at the end of these stories because it will connect them but it really does need to be at the end for the next generation of Hobbits such as Frodo.

There may be a visible supernova in 2012 which will almost be a second sun.

There is no doubt that the many people who seem to want 2012 to be the end of the world will love this but there is no reason to believe it will do anything.




NASA forced to add 2012 debunking to FAQ

I came across this bit of information and was very disheartened by it. It seems that NASA has been asked about the movie 2012 so many times that it has added information about it into the FAQ on NASAs webpage. In addition it has created a list of movies that are absurd.

Its not even that 2012 was a bad movie,though it was not really very good. The problem is that people really believe this and feel the need to contact NASA in order to get assurances that something is being done (or possibly to warn NASA) and while I believe things that others may find wrong it is a general lack of thought about it that bothers me more than anything and I would really like to ask people to stop trying to get their thoughts about science, or anything else for that matter, from action movies. 

Nasa Explains better than me the whole thing at their website, but before you go I would like to make a prediction that at least one meteor will strike the earth in 2012, in fact there will be a number of them. All so small that no one notices.


Stargate Universe Canceled 

I guess it shouldn't be a surprise that Stargate Universe was canceled, but it is disappointing. I was one of the people who really liked the first season and it was a lot of fun as it was slowly beginning to reveal the long term ideas of the show.  In addition it was a spaceship based science fiction. These have a history of being very popular with a specific group of fans and being canceled.

While I am certainly not happy about this as I have really liked Stargate Universe I am interested in whether this may open up the possibility of science fiction with truly advanced technology, as apposed to shows like Fringe and Eureka which is our modern world with some liberties because there are generally not more than one of this type of show on TV at any one time.

The other point is that hopefully this will encourage Syfy to make more Stargate movies, whether they are based on the Stargate SG1 or one of the other versions of this show. After all the people who are making Stargate still have sets and a lot of talent and fans so might be able to get us more Rodney.

All the information I have is from IGN