Had a research seminar this afternoon - today's was about computer forensics. Unlike my recent lectures, the guy teaching it actually knew more than I did about the subject, which was a nice change :) In fact, the Wednesday seminars are always good for that - the problem tends to be when they're pitched at people with 5 years research experience in the area, and go over my head... Anyway, I followed today's without any problem, and it was quite interesting. As I've mentioned before, I originally wanted to be a lawyer, so it's nice when I see areas where law/IT overlap. There was a bit of technical stuff, but it was mainly legal stuff, e.g. the issues of being an expert witness in a trial.
After that, I went off to see "Die Another Day" at the local cinema (Warner in Fulham). Unlike last night, there were plenty of seats available - I think there were only 20-30 people in the whole audience. Of course, this was the 16:15 showing, so lots of people would still have been at work. Anyway, I enjoyed it. It was pretty much what I expected from a Bond film - stupid, but entertaining. And very loud! Mind you, I didn't think much of Madonna's theme tune - it's the first time I've seen a Bond film and thought "hurry up and finish the credits so we can get on with the main film".
As I watched the film, I did think back to the Ian Fleming novels - I read those a while back (when I was at school), so my memory's a bit hazy, but I always view those as the definitive Bond stories. The films have always diverged from them a bit, e.g. the Bond in the novels never made stupid puns ("Saved by the bell!"). Also, I don't think that Fleming's Bond would ever have casually thrown away his cyanide pill like that. But anyway... As I say, I did enjoy the film, so as I mention the following plot-holes, it's just a point of interest. In no particular order...
* The stealth car. I can accept a cloaking device, and I can accept the idea of cameras changing the surface of the car. However, I don't accept that this technology would make the car invisible - it would depend very much on where you were standing, i.e. what angle you were looking at a given surface from. Similarly, I can understand how the technology could get damaged by gunfire, but I'm not sure how it could repair itself, unless it had some kind of organic Vorlon components...
* The Icarus satellite. Personally, I would have called it Daedalus, to name it after the survivor rather than the corpse, but I guess there's a father/son issue there. Anyway, I was impressed that a ship could launch a missile into orbit - shame it got destroyed. However, my first thought was that they should launch multiple missiles simultaneously - Icarus might not be able to destroy them all quickly enough. My second thought was that they should have launched missiles while it was taking out the minefield - it would at least act as a distraction, to slow down the destruction.
* I don't know why Bond survived so long at the start - the colonel should either have shot him directly, or his soldiers should have carried out the order without delay. I can understand why the general didn't kill him (if he wanted information), but they seemed to treat him surprisingly well (aside from the torture) - he wasn't showing any signs of starvation when he was released.
* Impressive duelling skills - handling a sword is a lot different to fencing (it's a lot heavier).
* Unlike the novels, the film Bond seems to be the worst secret agent in the world. Most of the time, he uses his real name, and whenever he uses an alias it only lasts about 2 minutes. "Hello, my name's John Maxwell." "Ah, hello Mr Bond." "Dammit!"