Mar 142008

Cnet News has an interesting story about the implantable defibrillators that some heart patients wear (including Vice President Dick Cheney). Security researchers were able to reprogram the device to either shutdown or deliver very strong jolts that could be fatal.

The researchers said they had also been able to glean personal patient data by eavesdropping on signals from the tiny wireless radio that Medtronic, the device’s maker, had embedded in the implant as a way to let doctors monitor and adjust it without surgery.

The do note that it required thousand of dollars worth of equipment, and a resource intense effort. Also, they were only inches away from a device that was obviously not implanted in a human. “Resistance is Futile.”

Live Free or Die Hard

 Culture, Movies  Comments Off on Live Free or Die Hard
Jan 202008

Live Free or Die HardOn the July 4th holiday, an attack on the vulnerable United States infrastructure begins to shut down the entire nation. The mysterious figure behind the scheme has figured out every modern angle — but he never figured on an old-school “analog” fly in the “digital” ointment: John McClane. No mask. No cape. No problem.

Director: Len Wiseman

Genre: Action, Adventure

Other: Running Time: 2 hr. 10 min.; Release Date: June 27th, 2007 (wide); MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, language and a brief sexual situation.

Cast: Bruce Willis, Timothy Olyphant, Maggie Q, Jeffrey Wright, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

I downloaded this movie via Tivo from the Amazon unbox service to check out download speeds on my new fiber optic internet service. This movie was something of a let down from the others. The special effects received the majority of the directors attention. In order to heighten the drama and effect of the visual effects, the realism of each affected situation was compromised.

The McClain character has changed. He is no longer surprised that these things happen to him. In fact, he barely gets excited at all (akin to sleepwalking) the whole movie. This wasn’t bad acting, the story clearly called for a more dispassionate McClain.

Unlike the other movies, the story is massive in scale, a country wide calamity, with a villain that the Gruber family would scoff at. The story panders unfailingly to script kiddies and other techno-wannabe/conspiracy-happy very young adults. The reality of the story and of the actions of the characters was a bit too unbelievable. Watch for the multiple 3+ story falls onto pavement by multiple characters with zero injuries (must be low gravity in this movie).

If you watch movies only for special effects (but not fight scenes) then you will enjoy this movie.

If you are a true die-hard fan and wanted a story and villain as good as the first, then you will likely be disappointed.

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