Scifi’s Re-imagining of Oz: Tinman


Scifi channel has remade The Wizard of Oz with their own take on the classic movie from 1939, which in turn was based on a book from 1900 by Robert Halmi Sr. The reviews by those that got a sneak peek at the new rendition already appear to be mixed, though for the most part are fairly positive if you’re not a die hard fan of the original film.

“It’s postmodern, more like Indiana Jones than a fairy tale,” said Zooey Deschanel, who is the new ‘Dorothy’ — the role made famous by Judy Garland in the original OZ — though in this version she’s is a disaffected, motorcycle-riding waitress called ‘DG’.

Along the way DG meets creatures and crises that never crossed Garland’s path in OZ, which in this version is O.Z. for the Outer Zone.

Fans of the original film will recognize the classic scarecrow in the air-head Glitch, the cowardly lion in the wolverine-human psychic Raw and Dorothy’s little dog in the shape-shifter Toto.

There’s a wizard of sorts in Richard Dreyfuss’ vapor-sniffing Mystic Man.

There’s also a yellow brick road, although — in keeping with the O.Z.’s shadowy, retro-futuristic look — it barely glimmers.

And the title character is an ex-cop called Wyatt Cain played by Neal McDonough, known as the tin man for his tin badge. This version’s tin man is a much more embittered character than the metal man from the the original OZ.

Kathleen Robertson plays the wicked witch Azkadellia in “Tin Man”, this is her pic below from the set. Doesn’t it look like they recycled the costume from something out of Flash Gordon? The gowns show off her curves and the necklines plunge to reveal chest tattoos that morph into flying Mobats, or monkey bats, which do Azkadellia’s bidding.

Wicked Witch


The Real Reason Old, Famous, Rich People Don’t Use The Internet

ZDNET talks about the rich and famous old folks that publicly brag about not having a computer, not using the internet. Donald Trump, Larry King, Ted Turner, etc..

Why is this?

Short answer, they have had a long life of assistants doing things for them, they have no need to take a dependency on something as manually intensive as typing on the computer when someone else can do it.



Ubisoft to Release Chessmaster Live To XBOX Live


Below is a press release from Ubisoft announcing the release of the Chessmaster series to XBOX Live Arcade. It’ll feature hundreds of AI opponents, ability for head to head matches, new 3D chess sets and a new Message Chess option (sort of like play by mail for extended play).


SAN FRANCISCO – November 28, 2007 – Today Ubisoft, one of the world’s largest video game publishers, announced that it is releasing Chessmaster® LIVE on the Xbox LIVE® Arcade for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft.

“Bringing the Chessmaster series to Xbox LIVE Arcade makes the game accessible to a whole new audience,” said Peter Helm, business development associate at Ubisoft. “Chessmaster LIVE is not only a comprehensive chess program, but it is also one that has expanded beyond the traditional game to include exciting features for fans, both old and new.”

Chessmaster LIVE will feature:
Hundreds of AI opponents to play in ELO-ranked matches Voice-chat and LIVE Vision capabilities for head-to-head matches New 3D chess sets inspired by luxury board designer, House of Staunton Five original chess variants, including the all-new Message Chess option, which will allow players to engage in a match over the course of days, weeks or even months

Chessmaster LIVE will be available for download in January 2008.

Ubisoft will also be publishing Chessmaster for the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system, scheduled for a worldwide release in Spring 2008.

About Ubisoft

Ubisoft is a leading producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products worldwide and has grown considerably through a strong and diversified lineup of products and partnerships. Ubisoft has offices in 21 countries and sales in more than 50 countries around the globe. It is committed to delivering high-quality, cutting-edge video game titles to consumers. Ubisoft generated sales of 680 million Euros for the 2006-07 fiscal year. To learn more, please visit

© 2007 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Chessmaster, Ubisoft,, and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the U.S. and/or other countries. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.


China Showing Off Their Lunar Probe’s First Pics, Gotta Be a Joke, Right?

China Lunar Pic

China published the first picture of the moon captured by Chang’e-1 on Monday morning, marking the success of the country’s first lunar probe project.

In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao unveils the moon image captured by China’s lunar orbiter Chang’e-1 during an unveiling ceremony at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing Monday, Nov. 26, 2007.

This has got to be some kind of joke, right? It looks like something from the Apollo missions. How does this even come close to comparing to what the Japanese Lunar probe recently did?


Computer Science Is No More About Computers Than Astronomy Is About Telescopes

Is Computer Science Dying?

Now that Apple is making a profit, pundits need something else as the target of predictions of impending doom. Some seem to have fastened onto computer science, prompting David Chisnall to wonder if the subject really is dying.