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The Oscar Nominees

I kind of really hate Oscar awards because I think that most of the time, an average flick gets an award, but an outstanding flim is deprived of it, for God-knows-what reason... like way back in time, movie like The Matrix was given only four oscar, while some average flicks got way much more!

But anyways, I'm intersted in knowing about the nominations, and who gets what. So here's the list:

81st Annual Academy Awards®

Best Motion Picture of the Year
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008): Ceán Chaffin, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall
Frost/Nixon (2008): Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Eric Fellner
Milk (2008): Bruce Cohen, Dan Jinks
The Reader (2008): Nominees to be determined
Slumdog Millionaire (2008): Christian Colson

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Richard Jenkins for The Visitor (2007/I)
Frank Langella for Frost/Nixon (2008)
Sean Penn for Milk (2008)
Brad Pitt for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler (2008)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Anne Hathaway for Rachel Getting Married (2008)
Angelina Jolie for Changeling (2008)
Melissa Leo for Frozen River (2008)
Meryl Streep for Doubt (2008/I)
Kate Winslet for The Reader (2008)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Josh Brolin for Milk (2008)
Robert Downey Jr. for Tropic Thunder (2008)
Philip Seymour Hoffman for Doubt (2008/I)
Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight (2008)
Michael Shannon for Revolutionary Road (2008)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams for Doubt (2008/I)
Penélope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
Viola Davis for Doubt (2008/I)
Taraji P. Henson for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Marisa Tomei for The Wrestler (2008)

Best Achievement in Directing
Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
Stephen Daldry for The Reader (2008)
David Fincher for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Ron Howard for Frost/Nixon (2008)
Gus Van Sant for Milk (2008)
(See why I don't like Oscars? No Christopher Nolan... instead Gus Van Sant was nominated for making a gay movie!)

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
Frozen River (2008): Courtney Hunt
Happy-Go-Lucky (2008): Mike Leigh
In Bruges (2008): Martin McDonagh
Milk (2008): Dustin Lance Black
WALL·E (2008): Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, Jim Reardon

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008): Eric Roth, Robin Swicord
Doubt (2008/I): John Patrick Shanley
Frost/Nixon (2008): Peter Morgan
The Reader (2008): David Hare
Slumdog Millionaire (2008): Simon Beaufoy

Best Achievement in Cinematography
Changeling (2008): Tom Stern
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008): Claudio Miranda
The Dark Knight (2008): Wally Pfister
The Reader (2008): Roger Deakins, Chris Menges
Slumdog Millionaire (2008): Anthony Dod Mantle

Best Achievement in Editing
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008): Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter
The Dark Knight (2008): Lee Smith
Frost/Nixon (2008): Daniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill
Milk (2008): Elliot Graham
Slumdog Millionaire (2008): Chris Dickens

Best Achievement in Art Direction
Changeling (2008): James J. Murakami, Gary Fettis
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008): Donald Graham Burt, Victor J. Zolfo
The Dark Knight (2008): Nathan Crowley, Peter Lando
The Duchess (2008): Michael Carlin, Rebecca Alleway
Revolutionary Road (2008): Kristi Zea, Debra Schutt

Best Achievement in Costume Design
Australia (2008): Catherine Martin
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008): Jacqueline West
The Duchess (2008): Michael O'Connor
Milk (2008): Danny Glicker
Revolutionary Road (2008): Albert Wolsky

Best Achievement in Makeup
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008): Greg Cannom
The Dark Knight (2008): John Caglione Jr., Conor O'Sullivan
Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008): Mike Elizalde, Thomas Floutz

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008): Alexandre Desplat
Defiance (2008): James Newton Howard
Milk (2008): Danny Elfman
Slumdog Millionaire (2008): A.R. Rahman
WALL·E (2008): Thomas Newman

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song
Slumdog Millionaire (2008): A.R. Rahman, Gulzar("Jai Ho")
Slumdog Millionaire (2008): A.R. Rahman, Maya Arulpragasam("O Saya")
WALL·E (2008): Peter Gabriel, Thomas Newman("Down to Earth")

Best Achievement in Sound
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008): David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce, Mark Weingarten
The Dark Knight (2008): Ed Novick, Lora Hirschberg, Gary Rizzo
Slumdog Millionaire (2008): Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke, Resul Pookutty
WALL·E (2008): Tom Myers, Michael Semanick, Ben Burtt
Wanted (2008): Chris Jenkins, Frank A. Montaño, Petr Forejt

Best Achievement in Sound Editing
The Dark Knight (2008): Richard King
Iron Man (2008): Frank E. Eulner, Christopher Boyes
Slumdog Millionaire (2008): Tom Sayers
WALL·E (2008): Ben Burtt, Matthew Wood
Wanted (2008): Wylie Stateman

Best Achievement in Visual Effects
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008): Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton, Craig Barron
The Dark Knight (2008): Nick Davis, Chris Corbould, Timothy Webber, Paul J. Franklin
Iron Man (2008): John Nelson, Ben Snow, Daniel Sudick, Shane Mahan

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
Bolt (2008): Chris Williams, Byron Howard
Kung Fu Panda (2008): John Stevenson, Mark Osborne
WALL·E (2008): Andrew Stanton (It should get this Oscar)

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Der Baader Meinhof Komplex (2008)(Germany)
Entre les murs (2008)(France)
Revanche (2008)(Austria)
Okuribito (2008)(Japan)
Vals Im Bashir (2008)(Israel)

Best Documentary, Features
The Betrayal - Nerakhoon (2008): Ellen Kuras, Thavisouk Phrasavath
Encounters at the End of the World (2007): Werner Herzog, Henry Kaiser
The Garden (2008/I): Scott Hamilton Kennedy
Man on Wire (2008): James Marsh, Simon Chinn
Trouble the Water (2008): Tia Lessin, Carl Deal

Best Documentary, Short Subjects
The Conscience of Nhem En (2008): Steven Okazaki
The Final Inch (2008): Irene Taylor Brodsky, Tom Grant
Smile Pinki (2008): Megan Mylan
The Witness from the Balcony of Room 306 (2008): Adam Pertofsky, Margaret Hyde

Best Short Film, Animated
Maison en petits cubes, La (2008): Kunio Kato
Ubornaya istoriya - lyubovnaya istoriya (2007): Konstantin Bronzit
Oktapodi (2007): Emud Mokhberi, Thierry Marchand
Presto (2008): Doug Sweetland
This Way Up (2008): Alan Smith, Adam Foulkes

Best Short Film, Live Action
Auf der Strecke (2007): Reto Caffi
Manon sur le bitume (2007): Elizabeth Marre, Olivier Pont
New Boy (2007): Steph Green, Tamara Anghie
Grisen (2008): Tivi Magnusson, Dorthe Warnø Høgh
Spielzeugland (2007): Jochen Alexander Freydank Read more ...

I Watched Gran Torino

You know those kind of movies which touches your heart from deep down inside, but there is really nothing much to tell that what that movie was all about? or something which you like, but have got no particular reason about why you liked it? That movie is one one of them. It has got no fancy story or motion effects, nor any hi-fi actors (except Clint Eastwood, offcourse) but when the movie reaches its end... Damn! I just loved how it ends (I'm not going to mention it here to spoil the story). Really a simple and beautiful movie, and the funny thing is that I can't explain what I liked in that movie!

Here's the review of IGN:

Multiple Academy Award winner Clint Eastwood stars in the drama Gran Torino, marking his first film role since his Oscar-winning film Million Dollar Baby. Eastwood stars as an iron-willed and inflexible Korean War veteran, living in a changing world, who is forced by his immigrant neighbors to confront his own long-held prejudices. Retired auto worker Walt Kowalski fills his days with home repair, beer, and monthly trips to the barber. Though his late wife's final wish was for him to take confession, for Walt--an embittered veteran of the Korean War who keeps his M-1 rifle cleaned and ready--there's nothing to confess. And no one he trusts enough to confess to other than his dog, Daisy. The people he once called his neighbors have all moved or passed away, replaced by the Hmong immigrants he despises. Resentful of virtually everything he sees--the drooping eaves, overgrown lawns and the foreign faces surrounding him; the aimless gangs of Hmong, Latino and African American teenagers who all think the neighborhood belongs to them; the callow strangers his children have grown up to be--Walt is just waiting out the rest of his life. Until the night someone tries to steal his Gran Torino. Still gleaming as it did the day Walt himself helped roll it off the assembly line decades ago, the Gran Torino brings his shy teenaged neighbor Thao (Bee Vang) into his life when Hmong gang-bangers pressure the boy into trying to steal it. But Walt stands in the way of both the heist and the gang, making him the reluctant hero of the neighborhood--especially to Thao's mother and older sister, Sue (Ahney Her), who insist that Thao work for Walt as a way to make amends. Though he initially wants nothing to do with these people, Walt eventually gives in and puts the boy to work fixing up the neighborhood, setting into motion an unlikely friendship that will change both their lives. Through Thao and his family's unrelenting kindness, Walt eventually comes to understand certain truths about the people next door. And about himself. These people--provincial refugees from a cruel past--have more in common with Walt than he has with his own family, and reveal to him parts of his soul that have been walled off since the the Gran Torino preserved in the shadows of his garage.

I recommend this movie to everyone who has got taste for some serious, good-story-line movies!
Read more ...

One More Browser

Yup, one more browser has made its way in the market. As there are tons and tons of Internet browsers already available in the market, only few are famous, like Chrome and Firefox. But here I'm writing something about a browser which has not levelled in popularity like Firefox, but the thing which differentiates it from others is that it was developed by a 19-yead old Pakistani geek, living in Karachi! Though Blake Ross was only 13 when he started working for Netscape, but still poeple like them are hard to find, and I'm really glad that the World has found one in Pakistan!

Here are the requirements of the browsers:
-10 megabytes (MB) of hard disk drive (HDD)
-128 of random access memory (RAM)
-Net Framework 2 (Compulsory)
-Windows Operating System

Salient features of Xtravo are tab browsing, short cuts, fast browsing, Integrated RSS feeds and Integrated DOM introspection. its advanced pop up blocker, provides its users with safe and secure browsing. However, The individuality of this explorer is not only restricted to loading heavy websites within 10 seconds, but the special features for web designers: Document Reader, which allows one to review the websites coding and Image Grabber, which permits saving multiple pictures at the same time. Also, the improved ftp uploader through which webpages can be uploaded by simply

I can't wait to see how it would look like when the final version is out. Good work Imran Sheik.. keep it up and best of luck for the future.
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Steve Jobs...

Big names in IT Industries, like Apple and Microsoft are not dependent much on any particular person, but when comes in mind the name of Steve Jobs for Apple... I always wonder that how Apple will survive this massive loss, If something bad happens to him. I'm personally a BIG fan of him, regarding how he started his career and played his role in growing Apple. Also the times when Microsoft was blooming with their multi-platform Operating system, but they didn't give up the ride, and are still continuing there business successfully. Steve Jobs courage and patience was the main point for their success.

I pray from the depth of my heart for his health and life, and hope to see him again in the next product-launching ceremony of Apple in his jeans ;)
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Terrorists killed by Israel

I wonder how large those children were a security threat to Israel..!

So much bloodshed of innocent people, and not a single person to condemn!

I bet when the survivors of this war would grow up and will find out that their siblings were killed by Israeli solider, they'll be angry till death and will convert into suicide bombers to avenge the death of their beloved one (since they won't have provision of fighter jets like Israel has, but they'll be willing to do anything to fight back), and once they'll do suicide bombing in any area, the western media would portray them as Islamic extremists and terrorist, not even mentioning or bothered with the fact about the pain the had been suffering before! Thats the real irony!

Source: Read more ...

The MacBook Wheeler

Here's the new concept of Apple in revolutionizing laptops; guess what it is? Its replacing the keyboard of a laptop with an iPod classic wheel! Look it here:

More over, notice the price tag, $10k for a 40GB!

I wonder how good this laptop can be for anyone, I mean without keyboard, just imagine how much time you'll be wasting in scrolling to the letter you want to type. Instead, if they would have introduced another touch screen instead of roller which could display touch-keyboard, the iTouch like, and changes itself accordingly with the contents of the screen, it might have proven more helpful!

I don't know what good it is, how you'll be able to do some gaming or use application key-board shortcuts with the help of that wheel, and moreover If you're a coder, then this thing is definitely NOT for you! Just imagine writing your code as shown in the above clip! To get that job done, you'll sure need a lot of practice. I wonder if Apple is going to ship its laptop with a typing tutor :) Read more ...

The Digital Warfront

I see so many people, on and off the Internet, Pakistanis and non-Pakis, who are condemning whats happening around. Whats happening in Palestine by Israel and what previously happened in Mumbai blasts.

When the event of Mumbai happened, I noticed a sudden wave of hatred from Indian people. At first, I thought that its natural, there leaders are as usual blaming Pakistan for their loss and of course they will be pretty much pissed off at us, but what happened afterwards is that Indian media went with full force against Pakistan and published stories regarding the terrorists and their relation with Pakistan in such depth that even Indian Minstries didn't know (I learned that from an Indian journalist blog). The result? Fire of hatred spread more and more and now I observe that in popular social networks and websites, Indians are spreading the word against Pakistan. Whether its facebook, digg, twitter, youtube, journalism websites or blogs, I see a stiff and sorry to say a very bitter reaction from Indians towards Pakistanis.

Still it's a mystery to find out the real people behind the blasts. No one knows for sure, and even after 2 months have passed, Indian ministry still hasn't provided any proof to Pakistan for further investigation, nor they are allowing Pakistani agencies to probe the matter further with Indians, but what they have done uptill now is giving a 10 year old list of wanted-person to Pakistan, which Pakistan had refused to handover in past, and plus continuous threats by their numerous top leaders about bombarding Pakistan, which itself is the proof that it was a staged show from Indian government for some personal & political benifit (considering that Indian election will be held in March 2009), Pakistan was dragged in between just to clear their own mess.

Whoever was behind those scenes, or whatever their purpose was, I don't care about it, since its India's own personal matter, I don't need to be bothered about it, but what I'm bothered about is the bad image of Pakistan on Internet citizens, which has been successfully posted by Indians in the past, and now more swiftly after these attacks. The sad part is that as more Indians are online than Pakistanis, they are creating an environment against Pakistan and are getting people, which are not from subcontinent, in their favor. I saw most of them in the favor of India, and the reason being that either they know a little, or nothing about Pakistan. The general perception of Pakistan is about a country, which is filled with Islamic extremists and terrorists, which is a great threat to the whole world, and Indians are successfully using it.

Now what we need, we Pakistani people who are online, we need to diminish that image, blur it, as much as possible. Show them that we aren't what they think we are. We can, and we must show them that we too are not only against terrorism but we also condemn it, and express our gratitude towards the countries who have been hit by it. We are not responsible for spreading it. This is what we should do, what we should atleast try, or else there will be no one left in the world to even weep on our grave.

In this world, the new 21st century world, wars are not always fought on ground and battlefields. Things have changed, strategies have been changed. Now there is another battlefield in terms of media, print and electronic. Whoever win this field, gets hold of the war, because in that way you convince the world that what you did was right. If Indians win this, they'll surely attack Pakistan someday and there will be no one to condemn, as everyone will look at this war from Indian perspective and completely justified, there will be no one to question Indian government, but instead they might be helping them. Why this could be happening in near future? Because they are convincing people around the world that they are right, Pakistan is wrong and as its a threat to global security, it needs to be destroyed. So if we don't try to stop it, don't take any action against it, don't reply it accordingly, then no wonder how good our military performs in front of the world, all the good-will of general people will be towards India, and they'll see Pakistan as nemesis.

So the bottom line is, that we can help Pakistan and do a favor to our motherland by winning this war. We don't need to be a expert for this or sacrifice anything, just do a simple thing that wherever you find such sites, blogs or sort of stuff, always report it or REPLY whatever bullshit they are saying. We MUST reply on their own place, to show the world that whatever they're saying ain't right!

Even Israel, everyone knows what she's upto these days, is using twitter and youtube to justify its position on war. Look at this CNN article. This is a small example which defines the importance of this digital warfront!

So buddies, we are on our own, and no one's will be taking our side until we halp ourselves. So whatever we need to do, we need to do it on our own, and its better that we start now! Read more ...