Philip Berne

The Best Picture of the Year

The Best Picture of the Year

Having reviewed some of the worst movies of the year for this SlashGear column, I can finally set my sights on the best of the best, just in time for the Oscars. I'm only going to focus on one category, the most important one, the Best Picture. Full disclosure: I haven't seen all of the movies, but I've seen more of the ten nominees this year than in years past, and I've probably seen more than you have, because you didn't want to sit through the movie where the guy cuts his own arm off.

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The Cat’s In the Cradle and the PS3

The Cat’s In the Cradle and the PS3

When I was a kid, my dad would clobber me at video games. He's not a gamer. He didn't grow up playing games, and he didn't have much interest once games became popular. But we had an Atari 2600, and I remember spending rainy days playing games with my dad. We would play Basketball, which consisted of two jagged stick figures bouncing a square. I was probably 10 years old, or so. We would play for money. He would beat me out of a month's worth of allowance, then I would cry until he let me welch on our bet. So, obviously when I had a son of my own, I couldn't wait to get him started playing games.

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What I Learned From a Year in 3D

What I Learned From a Year in 3D

As SlashGear's self-appointed movie reviewer, I've seen about a half dozen 3D movies this year on behalf of the site, and another half dozen on my own recognizance. After Avatar, it was clear that 3D was more than just a fad, that the new technology was a potential cash cow and definitely here to stay. But has it finally become mainstream? Is this really the year that 3D finally took off, or was the glut of 3D movies just another flash in the pan? After enjoying some of the best - and suffering the worst - that 3D has to offer, here's what I've learned this past year.

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Anti-Tech Resolutions for the New Year

Anti-Tech Resolutions for the New Year

As the new year approaches, I decided to make a different kind of new year's resolution list. Instead of a cheesy list of things to watch or things I'd like to see, I thought I would make a list of the things I will resolve not to do in 2011. As a columnist writing about digital living for the last half of the year, I think the ways in which we remove technology from our lives can be as important, if not more so, than the ways in which our lives collide with the digital frontier.

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Baby’s First iPad

Baby’s First iPad

The first thing my son says when I come into his room in the morning is "iPad." He's not quite 2 years old. He can talk in some basic sentences, and will repeat just about anything you say. He can't dress himself yet, except for his shoes, a pair of Crocs, which are easiest for toddlers to put on themselves. He's a wiz with the iPad. At first, I was impressed when he could simply unlock the screen. Now he can navigate to his favorite apps, open the photo album, and even manage some pinch-to-zoom gestures when he wants to see faces up close. He can't yet peddle a tricycle, but he can already catapult an angry bird, though he hasn't yet killed any pigs. Any day now, those pigs will pay.

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The Late Adopter

The Late Adopter

I don't remember exactly how my PlayStation 2 broke, but I do remember when it happened. It was in 2005, a couple months before God of War was released. I priced out repairs for my system, and I remember that they were prohibitively expensive (more than $100 was prohibitive on my meager budget). So, instead of repairing mine or buying a new PS2, I stuck with the systems I had: an Xbox and a Nintendo GameCube. Yup, I had all three major systems, plus a Sega Dreamcast I had never quite retired. I was an early adopter. I bought all the major systems, sometimes at launch, but usually either after the release of the first game I really wanted to own or the first price drop. But now I'm here to tell you that I have seen the error of my ways.

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Facebook on the Job

Facebook on the Job

When I took a look back at the original Tron movie, one thing that struck me, one thing that I hadn't remembered since I last watched the movie so long ago, was that the encapsulating plot was really about a company that was cutting off its employees' access to the outside world. Jeff Bridges' character Flynn can't get access to the corporate mainframe from outside the company. So, he enlists the help of a couple old friends who still work for Encom, Those friends are disgruntled because their access has been restricted while the company conducts a security review, trying to figure out who has been hacking into the system. It turns out, the company was right to be suspicious. Even though Flynn is vindicated by the evidence he finds, the company was right that there was a security risk.

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Movie Review – Tron: Legacy

Movie Review – Tron: Legacy

Driving home from the midnight screening of Tron: Legacy, I realized that I should have been disappointed by the movie. It's very difficult to leave Tron and drive home on a deserted highway at 2:30 AM, with the streetlights stretching out before you and the waxing moon rising in the west, and not push the accelerator far in excess of the speed limit. I kept checking behind me to see if I was leaving a trail. Also, looking out for cops. No on both counts.

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Why TIME Got It Right

Why TIME Got It Right

In a controversial move, TIME magazine declared Mark Zuckerberg its Person of the Year. Only TIME magazine can do something controversial by avoiding controversy. I'm speaking, of course, of the more obvious pick for Person of the Year, Julian Assange. With the WikiLeaks dump still fresh and flowing, there is certainly an argument to make that Assange had more effect on the world than Zuckerberg. But I think that Time magazine got this one right.

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Five 80s Tech Movies That Deserve a Refresh

Five 80s Tech Movies That Deserve a Refresh

With Tron: Legacy rebooting the aging 80s sci-fi film, I started thinking about other movies from the 1980s that could use a refresh, if not a long-awaited sequel. These were usually a mix of fantasy and technology, some with a vision of the future, and others with a bent perspective on what was technologically possible. None of these have ever had a feature film sequel, though there may have been occasional TV spin-offs and such. Here's my list, in no particular order.

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Movie Review: Tron (1982)

Movie Review: Tron (1982)

In the run-up to the new Tron sequel, which opens nationwide this Friday, I decided to dust off my old copy of the original 1982 film to see what I'd forgotten, and to determine if the original movie still holds up after almost 30 years. In some ways, the original was groundbreaking. It was infamously excluded from Oscar consideration for the best visual effects category because the use of computer animation was considered cheating. But in many ways Tron is quite derivative of some of the more popular sci-fi movies of its age, most notably the Star Wars movies that had been released by then. Still, it's a fun film to watch, and it offers an interesting preview into what the new sequel might hold.

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Time To Buy a Blu-Ray

Time To Buy a Blu-Ray

Consider this my official holiday gift guide column. I'm not going to do a round-up of all my favorite gift ideas. I'm not going to recommend which phone you should buy, which laptop, which Lexus, or whatever. There are plenty of great gift guides to tell you all that (and I've even worked on some of those, myself). I'm not even going to recommend a specific product. I'm just going to tell you to buy a Blu-Ray player. I don't really know which one to buy, and I don't even have one myself. But it's become the number one item on my list, and it should be for you, too.

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