Author Archives: Philip Berne

By day, Philip Berne works for a major mobile technology manufacturer. At night, he dons his Batman cape and cowl, pours himself a dram, and sits in a dark room contemplating the intersection of culture and technology. His opinions were originally his own, but have since been digitally enhanced by George Lucas.

How Will I Teach My Son That Han Shot First?

How Will I Teach My Son That Han Shot First?

"Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility" - William Wordsworth

Recently, the sitcom “How I Met Your Mother” digitally altered a rerun to feature an advertisement for an upcoming movie. I would not call the reaction online outrage so much as trepidation. There is a huge concern that this will become the norm in television. A revisionist history where the reruns, which act as a stored memory of the shows we once watched, or never got the chance to see, are subject to the whims of commercialism. What if all of the boxes of cereal in Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment are changed to modern brands? What if the beers poured in Cheers are all adapted to modern brews? What if K.I.T.T. is suddenly a Camaro, since the Pontiac brand has disappeared?

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Relationship Me vs. Independent Me On Google+

Relationship Me vs. Independent Me On Google+

I am a libra. Like most people I know, I put no faith in the zodiac; I have no magical belief that everyone born within a 30-day block can share the same daily experience, or bear the same personality traits. But as pure amusement, if a horoscope passes in front of me, I may read it, just for fun. I always thought libra meant balance. It is the sign of the scales, after all, and so I believed it meant temperance, and equivocation. That’s not really me. I’d like to be more balanced, but I’m probably closer to manic. Then, while I was teaching at a high school in Brooklyn, a colleague asked for my zodiac sign. When I told her, she nodded: “That makes sense.”

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Transformers: Dark of the Moon Review

Transformers: Dark of the Moon Review

I will admit that I am a hater. An overwhelming majority of my movie reviews on SlashGear have been negative. When they were positive, they were usually reviews for pretentious Oscar-fodder like Black Swan. I’m more likely to hate movies that other people liked, and I pride myself more on hating those movies in new and interesting ways, rather than bucking the trend. This is why my review of “Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon” may come as a surprise. If you liked anything about the previous Transformers movies, you will like “Transformers 3.” I recommend it. Go see it and have a good time.

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Cars 2 Review

Cars 2 Review

“Cars 2” is not just a bad movie, it is dangerously bad. It is, by far, the worst movie Pixar has ever made, though “A Bug’s Life” may give it competition in that race. It is the most poorly written, the most poorly designed, voiced, and executed movie in Pixar’s otherwise stellar line-up. Heck, even the opening short was horrible, and those are usually the sweet cherry on the Pixar sundae.

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Gender’s Role in Facebook and Google+

Gender’s Role in Facebook and Google+

I’m going to tell you absolutely nothing about myself that should matter to you. I am a male human. I was born with XY chromosomes, and my body parts hew to the genetic norms of a human male. I am heterosexual. My ex-wife was a female human, and I will seek out new partners who are also female humans (‘how romantic,’ I know). I prefer female humans to male humans when it comes to love and its various accoutrements. I am mostly masculine, though I do have some decidedly feminine qualities about me. In the traditional ideas of masculinity, I fit into some norms, though I also like some traditionally feminine colors and design aesthetics, I participate in many activities that are considered more feminine than masculine, and I reject certain masculine traits as unappealing.

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Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Facebook Blues Again

Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Facebook Blues Again

What is a friend? Has the definition of friend changed since the dawn of the social network? Are we now friends with people whom we might have ignored years ago? There was a point when I thought of my Facebook friends list as a collection, and I tried to gather as many friends as I could. I even thought of it as a competition, trying to ‘friend’ more people than my best friend. You don’t have to tell me why that was a stupid idea, I already wrote a column saying as much. CNN recently published an article from a former Facebook employee. He has created a new social network that only allows you to have 50 friends. I pared back from about 350 people to just under 200, and I could still probably cut a few more and hardly notice, but mostly because they are inactive on Facebook, not because I don’t want to hear from them. But now I think it’s time to stop cutting. It’s time to take a step back and think about what truly makes a person a friend.

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Movie Review: The Hangover Part II

Movie Review: The Hangover Part II

“Chris, I have bad news,” my email starts. I’m sitting in front of my computer, and my room is a mess. My face is dimpled and red. “I messed up,” I continue, “I really messed up. There might be no movie review next week.” I’m about to hit send. My head is hung in shame.

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Double Triple Mustard Fried Whole Grilled Onions Chiles on the Side With Fries, Well Done

Double Triple Mustard Fried Whole Grilled Onions Chiles on the Side With Fries, Well Done

In-N-Out opened in Dallas this month. I was in Korea on business when it happened, but as soon as I returned I decided to swing by and get a burger. The restaurant opened early in the week. I showed up on Saturday to a line of cars that was probably a half mile long, at least. That was just the drive-through. The line of people outside on a gorgeous Texas spring day was more than a hundred strong. Maybe you heard about all of this. Maybe you saw the woman crying tears of joy at the opening of a new fast food restaurant. It did make national news, after all.

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Wherefore Art Thou, TiVo?

Wherefore Art Thou, TiVo?

Early last year and late in 2009, tech fiends were debating the best product to come out in the first decade of the new millenium. My answer was decisive: TiVo. Not just the DVR in general, I mean, specifically, TiVo. I love TiVo. Tech friends, always quick to correct technical errors, would point out that TiVo actually appeared in 1999, but they did not have to tell me that. I owned one in 1999. I might have been TiVo’s best customer of all time. But this month I shut off my TiVo service and switched to something different.

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I Don’t Hate You, I Just Want To Kill You

I Don’t Hate You, I Just Want To Kill You

When the PlayStation Network went down, I did not notice. I own a PlayStation 3, and I do play it regularly. But I never play games online. I can’t. It’s not my favorite style of gameplay, the fast-paced twitch-gaming. I’ll never practice enough to be competitive among the top gamers I seem to always encounter. But mostly, it sucks out too much of my soul and leaves me feeling intense hatred for the human race.

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