The Hustler

One of my favorite movies. The new DVD has a beautiful anamorphic widescreen transfer of the 2.35 to 1 black and white picture. THX certified. I was reminded of the film as Ebert just named it the latest in his great films series. It reminds me of another of my favorite films starring Paul Newman, Cool Hand Luke.
"Fat Man, you shoot a great game of pool."
"So do you, Fast Eddie."

The Two Towers Quicktime Trailer

I hope I don't have much in common with the rabid fanboys who post at Ain't It Cool News, but one thing I must agree with them on. Quicktime is gorgeous and the best online streaming format. The Two Towers trailer, in full screen Quicktime, is very impressive.

Marilyn sings Dido

Researchers at MIT have developed a way to use artificial intelligence and videography to create video of a person speaking words they didn't necessarily utter. Their first demo clip is one of Marilyn Monroe singing Dido's Hunter. Interesting stuff, though I wish they had a stream of the clip itself. Digital revivals of dead people, or completely digitally created characters (including voices), are around the corner. Maybe not on this block or the next, but a few streets away.

Who Wants to be a Millionaire

Saw this in Slashdot.
Solve any of the following seven math problems and you win a million bucks from the Clay Mathematics Institute. Take your time--these were deemed problems for the third millenium.

  • The Riemann hypothesis: prove (or disprove!) that all the non-trivial zeroes of the Riemann zeta function lie on the critical axis (real part of s = one half).

  • The conjecture of Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer: prove (or disprove!) that the algebraic rank of an elliptic curve over Q (the rank of the group of its rational points) equals its analytic rank (the order of cancellation at 1 of its L function).

  • Is P=NP? In other words, is it possible for a deterministic Turing machine to solve in polynomial time problems which are solved by a nondeterministic Turing machine in polynomial time, or, on the contrary, is the traveling salesman problem truly "hard" in the sense that no polynomial-time algorithm exists to solve it?

  • The Poincar