Veronica Mars (2014)

Veronica Mars (2014) is a crowd-funded movie about private investigator Veronica Mars who returns to her hometown to help her old high-school friend who has been accused of murder. Arriving back at Neptune, she soon realizes that things aren’t what they seem and starts unraveling a deep coverup.

I have watched and rather enjoyed the old Veronica Mars TV series, so I was delighted to hear that a movie had been made to complete the story a decade later. I was pleasantly surprised that they managed to bring back that old fuzzy feeling, reminiscent of the old series. They did it fairly well, and I enjoyed watching every minute of it, even though the movie was riddled with clichés and an undeniably predictable plot.

Since being a fan of the original series left me with a marshmellowy veil covering my senses, one could say that I am somewhat biased and looking at this movie as a self-contained unit instead of and extension of the old series, it barely holds up. The viewer is presented with an small history lesson in the beginning of the movie, but it’s far from enough to convince the viewer to ignore the cheesy characters and predictable plot.

If you are a fan of the TV series, just watch this movie already – if not, don’t bother.

Score: 7/10 (Good)

The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)

I have finally taken the time to watch The Place Beyond the Pines (2012). The plot itself seems quite straight-forward at first glance, but what makes this movie unique is the way three separate stories are connected in sequence, yet intertwined at the same time.

A motorcycle stunt rider considers committing a crime in order to provide for his wife and child, an act that puts him on a collision course with a cop-turned-politician.

The movie starts on an excellent note with Ryan Gosling doing what he does best. It loses some momentum in the middle though, and continues to dwindle as the movie progresses. The characters don’t really evolve during the story and they have a couple of questionable motivators12.

I would have preferred a greater focus on the first part and further developed the motorcycle riding and the life of crime with Goslings life spiraling further down the drain, and perhaps even leave the other parts out.

Score: 8/10 (Great)

  1. Why did he have to find a way to provide money to his son? They seemed to manage just fine without his intervention. 

  2. Why would robbing a bank be the first alternative when finding a way to make money? 

Heartbleed Status

Heartbleed is the name of a recently disclosed vulnerability in the widely used security software called OpenSSL, which is used for securing web communications.

What makes Heartbleed so venerable is the way it stays completely undetectable and is very easy to exploit. Cloudflare posted a challenge for people to extract the private key from their intentionally vulnerable server, and it was just a matter of time before someone managed to break it.

What makes this possible is the ability to send a malformed request to a TLS extension called heartbeat, which makes the server respond with arbitrary memory data up to 64k. It can contain anything, such as user passwords and even the private keys used to secure the connection in the first place.

xkcd provides probably the simplest way of explaining what the Heartbleed is all about in xkcd 1354.

If you are not running your own site, you won’t have to bother with patching the software and issuing new certificates. You will however need to change your password on affected sites, and Mashable provides a list of popular sites and their current status.

Bruce Schneier writes about Heartbleed and his post contain links for further reading and discussions and is well worth a browse.

A Visual History of OmniFocus for Mac

Shawn Blanc provides some insight into the history of OmniFocus and how it all started, complete with screenshots.

What is more interesting is that the visual UI has virtually been the same for the past six years. Even though it has started to look somewhat dated lately, it has been fully functional and enough aesthetically pleasing to still be the go-to GTD tool.

OmniFocus 2 beta – initial impressions

I have been fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to try out the new OmniFocus 2 beta which was released a few days ago. I have been using it intimately since the release, and it has of course given me some impressions as to where the software is going in terms of functionality and appearance.

The initial impressions have been mostly positive with a clean user interface and finally a persistent inspector on the right side, which can be hidden with the click of a button. What I would have liked to see was an even more prominent notes view like in The Hit List, where one can expand an action to take the entire space of the application, providing a large notes field while still retaining the additional action metadata in view.

One of the initial thoughts I had when opening the new OmniFocus was the exact same though I had when opening iCal in Mavericks for the first time. While being beautiful, clean and well laid out, the interface has become overly flat and gray. I do like the subtle color distinctions separating projects, contexts and perspectives though, and the uncrowded list view.

It is easy to see that the developers used OmniFocus for iPhone as an inspiration when designing the new user interface, with the prominent new forecast view and the concept of starring perspectives.

While the user interface has been given a substantial rework, it is easy to tell that the underlying foundation still remains the same – which is usually a good thing. There are really no surprises in terms of functionality, except for the Forecast view which has been available in the iOS versions of OmniFocus for some time now.

I do like where The Omni Group are taking OmniFocus, bringing together the family of iOS apps with the desktop version. Having the Forecast view readily at hand will make the product easier to approach for anyone without having to deal with creating custom perspectives to access the same functionality.

OmniFocus 2 for Mac resumes testing, will ship in June

The Omni Group just announced that they have resumed public testing of OmniFocus 2. If you already have an account from the previous test builds, you can reuse those credentials to download the new version.

After having started the application for the first time, things look quite different from the last test. I will dive into the new features and give my two cents as I test the new builds.


What the new Omnifocus 2 beta currently looks like

on security, tech, productivity and motorcycles