New Enterprise = Not Your Father’s Starship

I just came across an interesting article about the new Star Trek movie and the various visual effects.  I had found that article through this page, which I got from @mexijew’s tweet.

One thing that stuck out for me: the new Enterprise is 2,357 feet long.  That is roughly 718 meters.  That makes it longer than the Enterprise-E!

Is that a trivial point? Maybe.  It definitely means a few things, at least from my view point:

  1. The events in the alternate timeline of the new movie (we’ll call it the JJ-verse), following the destruction of the USS Kelvin (where the divergence occurs), apparently lead to Starfleet making things bigger.  Perhaps this was in response to the large ship that destroyed the Kelvin in the first place.
  2. It is quite possible that, if we are to say that the TOS we know, for the most part, would have lived on if not for Nero’s interruption, that Starfleet would normally have went with more compact designs.  This would explain the smaller Constitution-class ship we have all come to know and love from the original series.
  3. The impact of the Kelvin’s destruction did more than just affect Kirk, but many other things as well.  Seeing the Kelvin destroyed at the beginning of the film was something that lead to many changes from what we currently see.  Not only did it affect how the crew got together, but it could very well have changed Starfleet’s entire way of viewing things.

Of course, in the opening scenes, we see a much more modern looking Kelvin.  It is easy to say, “Yes, it was just a movie, and JJ Abrams wanted things bigger.”  That could be true.  After all, George Kirk apparently saved over 800 lives from the Kelvin, which outnumbers even the original Enterprise’s crew compliment of 400-something.

Given that, while the new Enterprise may be bigger due to the Kelvin’s destruction, I do not imagine the Kelvin itself being a large vessel.  Rather, to explain the number of people on board, I have to ask what the ship was doing prior to the movie.  Did they just rescue people from some catastrophe, perhaps?

Whatever the case, I think this is something that may be analyzed for some time.  I know that, given my level of geekness, I’ll probably be trying to make this new movie fit into Star Trek’s canon in some way, despite the fact that I don’t view it as a Trek movie.  This film was a great movie in its own right.  But it definitely means a new start for Star Trek, especially since there is now a whole new timeline to explore.

What were your views on the changes brought about by the new movie?

Update: I was given the following by @TheWillEd, and I think it’s worth adding to this post.

The difference in people on Kelvin vs Enterprise is explained relatively easier I believe. The Enterprise (TOS Era) was a war vessel with no families allowed on the vessel. While the Kelvin seemed to be more of an Exploration/Scientific vessel. This would mean that there’d be the standard staff for operation of the vessel (which may go upwards around the 400 range) with the addition of the science crew, and potentially families as well(with the inclusion of George Kirk’s pregnant wife… whom was never indicated if she had any involvement in Starfleet.) While it may not be an actual indicator, I like to believe that the fact that the primary uniform colour of blue on the Kelvin would be indicative of this.

Coming Soon: Game Reviews

I figured that, given that I play video games, know people that video games, and there are plenty of video games and video gamers out there, perhaps I should share a bit of information and review some video games.

They may be classics.  They may be new.  But they will be games that I, hope, you will enjoy reading about.  Some titles that I know I will be talking about at some point include:

  • Final Fantasy 7
  • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
  • Star Wars Rebellion
  • RBI Baseball

Yes, I did just put an NES game up there.  It’s worth talking about, though!

Final Fantasy 7 Now On PS3!

It has come!  No, it isn’t a remake.  But it is close enough for me!

There was some great news announced at E3 today from Sony.  What was that?  Well, besides all of the other new game releases, trailers, etc etc… One thing totally made my day: Final Fantasy 7 is coming to the PS3! (Or, should I say, has come… It is now available!)

For some time, the PlayStation Store has had some PS1 games available for purchase and download.  It is about time that Final Fantasy 7 came along!

The game itself is $9.99 and is a whopping 1352 MB to download.  But it is definitely worth it!  I’m 11% into my download at present.  I can’t wait to play it again!

Update: After I signed off my computer last night, the download completed.  I installed it just fine.  However, before you can play, you need to create an ‘Interal Memory Card’.  Once that is done, then you can play the game.  Enjoy!

Why Do You Tweet?

I’ve been on Twitter for almost four months.  It seems like longer, but it really hasn’t been.  Time just has flown by way too fast lately!

When I first signed up with Twitter, I saw it as something that people used from their phones.  Honestly, I have no need to update people from my phone about everything I’m doing.  I enjoy my privacy!

That said, I have found Twitter to be a useful tool.  For one, it lets me follow certain people and organizations and get 140 characters (or less) of information from them.  For example, I’ve been following @Nasa and, if not for their tweets, I wouldn’t have known about the ability to watch the Atlantis shuttle launch live recently (via NasaTV).  Or I can get notification quickly of new Stargate news from @GateWorld.

With Twitter expanding as rapidly as it seems to be, there are so many useful apps and widgets that seem to keep popping up.  I can post a blog, like this one, which TwitterFeed will send to my Twitter account.  That, then, is fed to my Facebook profile.  There are enough apps out there to have Twitter do so many things.  I’m not even sure I want to guess at what will be coming in the future!

I also have found that Twitter can be a relatively useful marketing tool, with various degrees of ‘success’.  I’ve not tried to use it too much on that level yet, but it definitely has potential.  I, personally, still need to look into that, as I know I’ll be using it to try and market a few sites I work with.

So, for me, personally, when it comes to what I say with my personal account, my replies, or anything that I put up, why do I tweet?  I like how easy it is to get updates from those that I follow, how easily I can update ones that need to be updated on something, and how simply it is all done.  It can let me get information from a target group and project information to a target audience.

Why do you tweet?

Looking for Ideas

I’ve not written blogs as regularly as I thought I would. I’ve been too busy to do that thus far.  But, I am curious what interests those that do read this.  So, this blog is simple and to the point:

“What would you like me to write about in a future blog?”

I’d be willing to review sites, give my input on things, even answer questions about a variety of topics.  Leave some comments and let me know! I’ll be sure to throw in these ideas along with my other blogs that are coming up.

Thank you!

WolframAlpha: Oh, Where Were You…?

Friday, something new was unveiled.  I don’t think it’ll be competition for the major search engines, but it definitely is cool.  It’s called Wolfram|Alpha.

It’s not really a search engine.  There are definitely quite a few neat things that you can do with it, though.  I did a few quick examples.  First, I did a search of a date.  I chose September 11th, 2001, as it is a date known by almost everyone worldwide.  Now, I’m shown data about how long ago that was, notable events, sunrise and sunset times, and how long there was daylight on that day.

Let’s try a different search.  One of the examples shown was to do a search for the International Space Station.  You can get sky position and orbital data about the ISS.  So far, this is looking really cool!

It seems that Wolfram|Alpha is great when it comes to data that has statistics, numbers, or other kinds of numeric measurements.  But this isn’t what I’ve been playing with the most.

One thing that I had to try was some mathematical computation.  I initially tried it with a simple quadratic equation.  I then moved on to something a bit more complex.  Being the geek that I am, I thought back to my Calculus days and had to try a little integration and differentiation, too.  Oh, and limits.  You can’t forget limits.

I must say… I am impressed.  I just wish I had had this to play with when I was still in my various Calculus courses.  Actually, I would’ve enjoyed using this with my engineering courses, as well.  There is so much to play with!

If you would like to try Wolfram|Alpha, why not check their list of examples?  There will definitely be something there that you can play with.

Have fun!

My Experience: Chrome vs Firefox

Before you start reading this, I’m not going to pick a favorite between these two browsers.  If you’re looking for a clear cut choice, you will not find it here.

That said…

I can’t believe I’ve been using the internet in some form since 2000.  What I really can’t believe is how I survived with Internet Explorer.  Now, should I be working on a fresh Windows install, my first move is always to install an alternate browser.  But what browser will it be? I really can’t say… I don’t use just one browser anymore.

As you probably can figure out by now, the two browsers I’ll be talking about are Google‘s Chrome browser and Mozilla‘s famous Firefox browser.  Both are useful.  Both have their advantages.  How do I use them?

Firefox has obviously been on the scene longer.  I’ve come to fully respect Firefox as a very stable and versatile browser.  Over the years, I’ve come across many different add-ons that I have found to be very useful.  Chatzilla, Colorzilla, Greasemonkey, Firebug, FireFTP, MeasureIt, ScreenGrab, ShowIP.  Actually, those are the very ones I enjoy using.  They’re helpful in so many ways.

Tabbed browsing forever changed the way I did work.  I went from having multiple windows open and having to try and go through them to having just one window with multiple tabs.  It definitely made it much easier to work.

For a good while, Firefox was my browser of choice.  I got to a point, though, where I would enjoy keeping several tabs saved with Firefox.  But what if I wanted to just look at a page real fast?  I didn’t want to have to load Firefox, with the tabs I had open, just for a quick look somewhere.

Well, when Chrome came on the scene, that changed.  After giving it a go, I quickly found my browser for such a purpose.  Not only did it handle tabbed browsing well, but it also seemed to do things in a very simple manner.  The UI is clean.  It seems to run pretty fast, too, something that I was not liking about IE7.

So, how can I sum up my use of these two browsers?

Firefox is my all-in-one browser.  The add-on capabilities just make it so easy to do various things, from figuring out colors as I’m working on a site to being able to just about anything else I need.   Even Greasemonkey makes Firefox helpful with some gaming (for reasons I’ll talk about in an upcoming blog).

Chrome is there for me for my everyday browsing.  If I’m just loading links from email or IM, or just want to check some message boards quickly, that’s my browser choice.

No, I don’t think one is better than the other.  No, I don’t feel a need to just use one.  I think these two each have their benefits and can easily be used together.  If you’ve never tried either of them, why not try them now?

Don’t let ‘Domain Renewal Group’ fool you!

To be quite honest, I am not too fond of paper.  I take all notes in digital format, either on my cell phone, or via plain ol’ notepad on my laptop.  I don’t even own a printer anymore.  That said, I typically don’t get much in the mail, either.  Except for a Guitar Center advertisement, which I’m fine with.

Today, I got something much more interesting.  Looking at the letterhead in the corner of the envelope, I already had an idea of what I’d be looking at.  I had received a letter from the Domain Registry of America a few years back that looked very similar to this.  So, my first thought? “Here we go again!”

Domain Renewal Group

Opening up the letter, I saw exactly what I had intended to see: a letter telling me that my domain is expiring soon and that I should transfer it to them.  For a nice fee, of course!

drg2s

Domain Renewal Group letter

Now, why do I title this about mail like this fooling you?  It’s simple: this is not from your domain name registrar!  The appearance of their letter, though, makes it look like a bill requiring payment or else you will lose your domain (though they say that it isn’t a bill in the letter).  But, the appearance could fool you, right?  That’s the intention.  That is an example of something called domain slamming.

All I ask is that you read the contents of the letter before making a decision!  You can typically find cheaper domain name providers, which may include the current one you are using.

I actually did check out the Domain Renewal Group’s website.  While they do seem to include web hosting, there are a pair of things on their site that would make me not use them:

  1. Their site copyright is through 2007.  Have they not touched their site in over a year, possibly even two?
  2. Their FAQ (under the Support tab).  Why does it talk about the Domain Registry of America?  Oh, they must be connected.  Or they ripped off DROA’s content for themselves, though given DROA’s track record, that wouldn’t be very smart

This is only the second time I’ve received such a letter in the mail.  However, what kind of people are they targeting?  If you’re knowledgeable about your hosting provider and domain registrar, then you would probably not want to just change all that based on a letter in the mail telling you that your domain name is expiring.

So, really, like with anything, the best defense you have is to be well informed.  In this case, so long as you know who you host your site with and who manages your domain name, then you should be safe.

Side note: While I felt that this post should be used to inform people and give a ‘warning’, I decided not to use the words scam or fraud.  Given that such letters have been able to continue for years, it must still still qualify as legal.  However, given the ethical concerns of such a process of domain slamming, I felt I’d just give some information that can, hopefully, make the reader more informed about what a letter like this involves.

New Site Coming

At least, I’d like to think that I have a new site coming.  Well, I have several new sites coming.  But, when it comes to this site, it’s a new design that I’m talking about.

The last couple versions of JoshsPadd have been darker, though I was proud of the last version when I created it years ago.  At least, I was of the design.  I never did get around to really making a site out of it.

Now, I’m going for a brighter look.  Something professional, sleek, and hopefully attractive.  Just like me! (At least, that’s what I think…)

How will the new site look, exactly?  That hasn’t been created yet.  All I do know is that, soon, a new site will be there.  The splash page is a little sample of the kind of look that I’m going for (and borrowed from a splash page I made for another site I recently did).  It hopefully will be something people like.  And if not, then I may have to tweak it a bit (depending on who the people are that I ask).

But if anyone has ideas on how my new site should look, let me know!  This is going to be a my portfolio site, showcasing work I’ve done and being about me and what I do.  So, any ideas to add? I’d love to hear them from you, no matter how you choose to contact me.

Introducing The New Blog

So, this is my new blog.  Plain and simple.  I can’t say I expect for much to come from it, but then again, I’m seeing this as a work in progress at the moment.  So, call this the WIP Blog.  Jerenspeak.  Better yet, let’s call it Jerenspeak Beta.  I think I’ll keep it named that for a while.  After all, it never hurts to keep things in beta for years.

What do I expect to do with this blog?  Probably ramble about various things, from cool websites and games to neat gadgets and music.  Oh, and I’ll probably talk about new sites I’ve put together, ideas, and what not.

And, should anyone have any suggestions on something really cool I should talk about, I have no problem with that either.  Whether you contact me through this blog, my site (Coming Soon), Twitter, whatever.

Let the blogging begin!  Or… continue.  Or whatever.