Friday, July 20, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises: John Blake

SPOILER ALERT: pls stop reading if you haven't seen Batman: The Dark Knight Rises.

Now that you've been warned, we can start. Just to put it out there, this isn't a movie review. I just want to write to hopefully start a discussion on Joseph Gordon-Lewitt's character. His name is John Blake, and by the end of the movie we would learn that he has a middle name "Robin". It's natural to assume he's Christopher Nolan's version of Batman's unpopular sidekick, even though his name is not Tim Drake or Dick Grayson. My real question is, will Nolan take this any further? Nolan has said he won't be doing more Batman movies, and Christian Bale also said this is his last time acting as the Dark Knight. But what about a movie centered around Robin? (Guys, don't roll your eyes just yet.) Nolan has been able to develop a solid backstory on John Blake, and JGL's acting in The Dark Knight Rises has shown he's up for the task of leading a movie. Can this be the one time for Robin? Can he actually be both cool and the center of attention? I would love to hear what the internet has to say about this.

From a business angle, this also makes a lot of sense. It will be hard for Warner Bros to just let such a profit-making franchise die. To reboot it in even the distant future will be suicidal as the Nolan trilogy has impacted so much on the franchise and Nolan has put such a large footprint on Batman as a character. The only way to continue raking in the money is to develop a side-story, and Robin seems like a natural fit.

On a slightly longer shot, maybe Nolan will let John Blake be Nightwing, which is obviously ultra-cool. Except I think Nightwing isn't as well known by the mass public and it may not be as good a fit for Warner Bros business wise.

What do you think? Discuss!

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Quick Account in Modern Day Instant Messaging

Just like all things tech, instant messaging has evolved a lot since the early days of the internet. This is to quickly summarize what has gone down in the past decade or so in terms of messaging one another. Spoiler: login-required protocols are out, login-free protocols are the way to go.

This is probably the most ancient IM. Each user account is assigned a "number" according to their initial registration and users are required to log in every time. The idea of alphanumerical username was too advanced.

Email service providers entered the IM market with MSN quickly taking over as the most predominant IM service globally. (With the exception of the US which preferred AIM slightly more.) Each user account is represented by an alphanumerical username which is just your @hotmail address.

Facebook Message/Chat
Facebook made a breakthrough in the IM world with their integrated messaging service. It started with Facebook Message, and then Chat was introduced. Eventually, these two are combined as one and became Facebook Messenger as we know it today. This is still login-required but with most people permanently logged into their Facebook account on their desktop and mobile, the actual action of logging in became obsolete.

A not-so-popular service which has the benefit of being integrated into Android phones and GMail. Once again, it's still login-required but most people are permanently logged in anyways.

More a VoIP service but there's an IM aspect to it. I wouldn't say it's very popular but some people depend on it. Login is required.

And finally in comes the truly login-free IM service. This type of IM links to a cellphone number and no login/password is required. The obvious requisite is for the messaging party to know each other's phone number.

I would think that most people use FB and Whatsapp the most today with GTalk here and there. Let's revisit this post in say 3-5 years time and I'm sure things will be very, very different.