The Hobbit ‘Tolkien edit’

That didn’t take long. ‘Tolkieneditor’ has cut Peter Jackson’s way too long Hobbit trilogy into a single four hour ‘Tolkien’ edit, that removes the fluff (Elves & Dwarves living together) and focuses on the core Bilbo storyline:

I felt that the story was spoiled by an interminable running time, unengaging plot tangents and constant narrative filibustering. What especially saddened me was how Bilbo (the supposed protagonist of the story) was rendered absent for large portions of the final two films.

Joins Harmy’s Star Wars Despecialized editions on the shelf. It’s interesting to see the fan edit extend all the way to Steven Soderbergh with his black and white and silent Indiana Jones and 51 minute shorter 2001.

Kind of like DJ remixes of classic tracks.

Star Trek: The Next Generation in 40 hours

Great guide from Max Temkin to the 40 key episodes, and why Trek is more than just “Guys in pajamas looking at viewscreens and sitting in chairs”.

I watched the entire thing on VHS1 over the course of several years of man-flu induced sick leave, but this is a nice way to ease into Star Trek and enjoy some of the best sci-fi TV ever made:

Star Trek has a special place in my heart because it shows us a future where we continue to advance technology and explore without destroying ourselves or shouting over each other on Twitter all day. We should all be aware of the many difficult material concerns in our lives, and the unjust power structures that we’re implicated in. But what does life look like without them? Who’s thinking about what comes next? Captain Picard, that’s who. (via Six Colors)

  1. Each rented from a video store, from back when there was more than one last remaining holdout. Which I still use - why watch a crappy compressed stream when you can rent a Blu-Ray for $5. Yes, I’m old. ↩︎

Secure messaging scorecard

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has created a very helpful secure messaging scorecard as part of their campaign for ‘secure and usable crypto’. Interesting to see just how insecure some of the bigger tools are:

Many options—including Google, Facebook, and Apple’s email products, Yahoo’s web and mobile chat, Secret, and WhatsApp—lack the end-to-end encryption that is necessary to protect against disclosure by the service provider. Several major messaging platforms, like QQ, Mxit, and the desktop version of Yahoo Messenger, have no encryption at all.