Quality anime additions to Adult Swim

The last time I watched a lot of Adult Swim, they were mostly showing stuff I didn’t care for, or stuff I’ve already seen. Lately, the line-up additions are worthy of notice.

Samurai Champloo has more of the wonderful style you might expect from Shinichiro Watanabe. If you loved Cowboy Bebop as much for the visual and musical style as for the story-telling, you won’t want to miss this. Hopefully it will be released in a space-saving DVD set, because I’ll be buying this when it’s complete.

I don’t find the look of Full Metal Alchemist particularly compelling, but the storyline definitely makes it worth a place on the TiVo.

I’ve only seen a single episode each of Paranoia Agent and S-cry-ed. Paranoia Agent has a gorgeous Lain-esque look and weirdo tone I’m always a sucker for. It shows great promise. S-cry-ed reminds me of a futuristic Full Metal Alchemist; similar storyline, generic visuals, but might turn out to be a great story. Again, very TiVo-able.

It’s wonderful to see quality anime on cable these days, and even better with series that are really oriented toward older folks (Samurai Champloo and Paranoia Agent are definitely not kiddie fare).

Guido on Gmail’s (lack of) confirmation dialogs

I’ve been mocking up some UIs for a few apps over the past few days, and while the idea is not entirely new to me, I found this post regarding confirmation dialogs by Guido van Russom to be particularly illustrative.

The innovation (if you want to call it that) of Gmail is that they found a way to implement a point solution to allow undoing a particular operation where undo is not normally thought of.

Every action path through a UI should reinforce the user’s train of thought, simultaneously efficient and forgiving. In case you were not aware, this can be very hard to do well.

The Aquatic Life, Closer

Those who said I would enjoy The Aquatic Life with Steve Zissou (I count myself as one of those) were right. I guess Wes Anderson’s unqiue vision might polarize viewers, but I’ll be damned if I can understand why. The color, texture, and charm are undeniable, Bill Murray is perfect, and Willem Dafoe is hilarious. I liked it better than The Royal Tenenbaums.

I enjoyed Closer less so. I was convinced enough by all of the acting (and yes, I think I would have liked Natalie Portman quite a bit in this part even if she weren’t smoking hot), but I wasn’t very interested in the flaws of Dan and Anna. I found the relationships more stupid than tragic, but I’m willing to give the film another chance as I suspect there is more to it than my first impression (I suppose it’s too easy to rush to judgement when considering the honesty vs. fidelity angle).

Speaking of unpleasant movies, both James Woods and Melanie Griffith were outstanding in Another Day in Paradise. I originally had no intention of watching it, but I got sucked in and saw the entire thing last Friday on IFC. The Lou Diamond Phillips cameo was over the top.

I haven’t seen HHGTTG or Sith, and I honestly wonder if I will while they are still in theaters.

PSP

While I was in Best Buy picking up Scrubs I passed by the video games, and finally saw a Sony PSP on demo. Of course I’ve heard all about the new portable game system, but I hadn’t actually seen one running. Basically, the thing is so slick I had to go out and buy one yesterday.

Up until now, I’ve appreciated people with their little Gameboys and such. I know Nintendo puts an enormous amount of artistry and craftsmanship into its games, but there has always been something less-than-thrilling to me about portable game systems. The A/V experience was always sacrificed; they always look like console video games from a few generations back, and understandably so.

Well, not any more. The PSP’s LCD screen is simply gorgeous, and the visual quality of the games I’ve played is pretty much as good as a full-blown PS2. Maybe I’m just getting old, but I’m finally impressed by a portable gaming device. Now, all it needs is this.

Scrubs!

Oh my, I am now the probably-too-happy owner of the first season of Scrubs on DVD. Better yet, I somehow had no idea it was to be released today.

Ubuntu upgrade is painless

Seriously, this is the way to handle the distribution upgrade process.

Update: Perhaps I wrote too soon. However, I can’t fully blame Ubuntu for my difficulties, as I think the hard drive on my poor old laptop is finally dying.