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A new, very furry music video: Wintersleep - Jaws of Life. Where else will you get to see a bunny driving a car that's transformed into a mechadeer? (Band's site here)

The other clip you should see this week has to be one person's description (FLV) of March of the Emperor, the original French title for March of the Penguins. =:)

Bruce Campbell is inherently cool (FLV), even in a commercial.

Kawaii Not comes up with another gem. =:) On the genuinely cute (and bizarre) front, though, this fruity entry from CuteOverload really needs to be seen. Who knew you could do that with a banana? (And as for rats..)

Here's a superb way to waste an afternoon: a Warcraft-inspired Flash game, noticed by patch_bunny. Lay down a choice of towers with their differing capabilities, upgrade or install new ones as you're able, and see how many levels you can annihilate. ^_^;

And if someone at the con's reading this: "Are any of you guys that are headed to FC going to be coming through Colorado on your way back? If so, can you accomodate a small animal carrier with 2-4 baby rats in it? Will trade MULTIPLE full color commissions in exchange for transport help."

ysengrin may want to see the trailer for the forthcoming New Zealand film Black Sheep, as shadowolf noticed.

Sounds like a fascinating documentary: American Eunuchs.

Consider, if you please, the lives of dogs and cats. (Thanks to momentrabbit and dagoski!)

As for the iPhone - drop-dead gorgeous, but it's the UI that fascinates me. It pretty much goes without saying that screen will be coming to the other iPods soon enough. If you've not seen it in action, here's a quick demo that'll give you a good idea of just how much work's been put into the device.. so beautifully refined. Or, if you'd prefer to watch the full-blown demo, the keynote and just the introduction can be seen here, or, for best quality, go to the iTunes Store, search on "keynote", and click "Subscribe" on the Macworld Keynote Address. It'll load in the background - 1.2GB in all.

Speaking of which, this Ars thread explores some of the future possibilities of multitouch UIs - it also covers that demo you may have seen, by Jeff Han of MIT. (And if you haven't, watch it now!)

Apparently, its version of OS X - which does indeed appear to be the real deal, simply optimised and relieved of portions irrelevant to the device - weighs in at "considerably less" than 512MB of flash. I wonder if World of Warcraft could run on it.. =:) (Yes, joking, but still.. only trouble is that the critter appears to be Xscale-based, and furtherance of its design seems to've largely stalled in recent years. Perhaps the iPhone might be where the PowerPC makes its return to Apple - there are some quite attractively low power, high performance PPCs around)

Deservedly, comment of the week on The Comics Curmudgeon, speaks of this Curtis strip, "Why the hell aren't glowing telepathic otters the most publicized aspect of Kwanzaa? Its presence in Curtis has single-handedly legitimized this holiday in my mind."

"A mother and son accused of stealing a snake from a pet store were arrested when they returned to the store and asked for books on how to care for the animal, police said. Store clerks recognized the suspects from surveillance video taken during the theft and stalled them until police arrived."

The question posed in this quiz show is "which of these orbits the Earth?", with the choices being the Moon, the Sun, Mars, and Venus. The pain, the pain..

Parallels Workstation is nifty stuff. Have a look at these screenshots showing OS X and XP applications side-by-side on the same desktop, like any other apps, each running natively within their own OS, no emulation involved.

Could be interesting: a memorial to Carl Sagan in SL, opened by his son.

balor has nobly been researching what may, indeed, be the world's worst book. Don't say you weren't warned. (An excerpt is included. Oh, how you'll wish there weren't.. and no, this is not intentionally bad, and even has a glowing New Yorker review)

I wonder what kind of climate and soil durians can manage in, outside their native areas..

Not that I have a Linux-capable router (or maybe I do? It's a 3Com 3CRWDR100A-72), but if I had one and put one of the router distros on it, is it possible to rig the firewall rules such that traffic coming in unencrypted would only be able to see the internet, not the LAN, and anything using WPA2 would have full access? (Some bandwidth throttling mightn't be a bad idea either, just to be sure no casual visitor on the street wound up slurping all my bandwidth)

Quote for the day from Tycho: "E3 wasn't so much work as it was... It's hard to say what it was, which I suppose is another reason to dismantle it. It was more like our Moose Lodge, a masculine retreat minus the bongos and face paint." (The comic, though, leaves me puzzled, given I was flying intercontinental before I could walk =:)

For OS X geeks, Google's now released an implementation of the Linux FUSE mechanism, permitting the (theoretically =:) easy addition of a range of filesystems. "Examples of file systems that work have been tested (to varying degrees) include sshfs, ntfs-3g (read/write NTFS), ftpfs (read/write FTP), wdfs (WebDAV), cryptofs, encfs, bindfs, unionfs, beaglefs (yes, including the entire Beagle paraphernalia), and so on."

Streamburst has a novel approach to DRM - don't use it. Just add a few seconds at the start saying who downloaded that copy, and embed a small off-screen "watermark" confirming that. Buy an episode of, say, Long Way Round for £1.35, and you get a 752x416 H.264 version for DVD-grade playback, 320x176 H.264 for iPods and suchlike, and 208x112 MPEG-4 for phones. An excellent idea, though spoiled a little by remaining only level with the cost of the DVD purchase - in this case, £13 for all ten episodes on 3 DVDs.

Just so neat.. a foil boat floating on a sea of sodium hexafluoride, a colorless gas.

A superb quote regarding not actually lapine shoes, but so very nearly. =:)

Arashi no Yoru ni isn't just an anime.. ^_^

Interesting take on personal net.radio: Musicovery. Requires Flash, unfortunately, so it's strictly a browser-bound affair, and may or may not be open to non-OS X/Windows folks. Still, it's a novel approach.

marko_the_rat might like to peek at some forthcoming Ratatouille books.

Album title for the day: Tim Koch's "Please don't tell me that's your Volvo".

One of the more daffy memes I've seen, so naturally it appealed: on your LJ user info, you'll see your ID number next to your name. Look that up in the US Patent Office's listings, and see what you're registered as. ^_^ I'm just a boring "air inlet device for internal combustion engines", from 1922. Whee, I suck!

Supposedly, Sony will not allow porn on Blu-Ray. As the brief article notes, "It does not matter how you stand to porn. It is here and it is a massive business. It is also an industry that is an early adopter for new media technology. VHS might not have won with out the adult film industry adopting it." That said, does the future of HD porn lie on either format - and there are others in the background as well - or with downloads? An hour of good quality 720p video using H.264 can fit into around 1GB - and whilst that might sound like a lot, with a low-end DSL connection of 2Mbps, that's about 90 mins to download. Scale up to a more usual 8Mbps, or a good cable connection, and that's all possible now, without any additional equipment required.

Torchwood season 1 finale: oh, gods, what bottomless pit of eternal hackery spewed forth such writing? A few good plot points - particularly the ending, and not just because it brought this to a close - but so much sheer wretchedness everywhere else. Was this some fanfic stinker that managed to slip into the script pile? (Ah, I see the writer was also reponsible for the execrable Cyberwoman, and the nearly-as-stinky second episode. Also Countrycide, which wasn't too bad) Still.. there was that rather delightful endcap to the season.

So, another chapter in SGI's history wraps up, with the last of their Mountain View offices closed; they're now all safely tucked away in Sunnyvale. I only managed to visit a couple times, including one occasion where I visited FurToonia's new home, having handed it over (with almost no downtime, yay!) from tbyte to the paws of another wizard who was working at SGI at the time, deep in their network bowels.

I'm impressed by the level of detail exhibited in Wikipedia's entry on "porn".

Rather a cool photo: a man with 800 acupuncture needles applied to his head.

Enjoying a little relaxation in the spa built within the massive ribcage of a long-expired creature.
Zomg, I got linked in one of your posts. Squeel?
*giggle* How could I not? I'm going to have to give those sentences another try. I may have to enjoy quite a lot of wine first, though.
I still have the whole book lying on my bookshelf, glaring at me.
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Do I get a cut of any sponsorship deals that come about as a result? =:)

Oy, that was a sizeable entry.. but, I just didn't feel up to posting it until now. I'm grateful you weren't dissuaded.
Gah... I was going to post a comment here, but I can't do that until I've torn myself away from that insanely cute userpic...
I must, of course, thank mycroftb for that - I came across it as a slightly larger and higher framerate version, which didn't fit LJ's constraints in either frame or file size. Unfortunately, I don't seem to have anything really well suited to playing with animated GIFs - as astonishingly versatile as GraphicConverter is, trying to crop an animated GIF works for the first frame, then leaves the rest cropped with an origin of the top left of the original, regardless of the bounding box. There's Potatoshop, of course, but learning how to become adept with that is virtually a career choice. =:)

Ah, to know what being stroked like that feels like for the recipient.. ^_^
*audible ripping noise* Okay...

a low-end DSL connection of 2Mbps

Tell BT that! I have 2Mbps and feel pretty pleased about it: people a mile down the road get 512K if they're lucky.
*grin* It's so soothing to watch..

Eep! Is the local exchange a good distance away?

That's the kind of situation that could, with investment, be solved by FTTC ("fiber to the cabinet"), which AIUI is part of BT's "21C" strategy they're trumpeting. So they run fiber to the street cabinet, rather than individual homes, saving on the exhaustive task of digging up that much road, leaving a somewhat more bearable task. The connection's completed using VDSL - only suitable for that kind of short run, but capable of around 100Mbps, as deployed commercially in Japan.

Next step, I'd hope, will be to greatly reduce transit costs for their high capacity lines - if you want a 155Mbps line from BT, you'll pay very handsomely for it indeed. That's at the root of the account caps that have been popping up across UK ISPs. It'd be nice to see some real competition for such high handwidth connections, but surprisingly, neither AOL (with their ATDN) nor NTL seem interested in entering that market, from what (admittedly little) I've seen.

I wonder if it'd be commercially viable to set up a local WiFi network? Such schemes do exist - they set up a point-to-point fast data link to their mast in the locality, then the connection's shared out over WiFi from there, capping people's throughput in accordance with the amount they've subscribed to. (Wonder what the backhaul on those is? 802.11n would be cheap, but maybe WiMAX is better suited)
Bewdley does have its own exchange, and it's about a mile from me. BT have said in the past that they hoped to upgrade many people to 8Mbps, but so far 2 is as good as can be got here. My 512K comment applies to people a mile or so to the west (I'm right on the edge of town) who are really out in the country.
I haven't been in Second Life in like, an eternity.. Since they did that massive password reset thing to be exact.. ..I still haven't gotten the e-mail with my pass. :|
Eep! Oh, definitely, have a sniff around - the Lost Creatures area around Sables d'Alliez is just fascinating, f'rex, and I visited a neat planetarium in Midnight City with rabitguy once.

As I recall, the mass reset meant you have to go through whatever system for obtaining a new password - you started that, and it didn't complete? Worth giving them a quick call, in that case - should be something easily solved in a minute or two.
A movie about modern-day eunuchs could have been interesting (and it's a subculture I've been interested in for quite a while, too, although I'm not *that* familiar with it - but familiar to recognise the name "Felix Spector", at least), but the review by littlesiddie speaks volumes, I think, and I doubt it's actually worth watching. I have a feeling it'd be like watching Der ewige Jude to learn about Judaism. >.>

The golden otter is nice, though - and about as believable as the rest of Kwanza. ;)

The story about those snake thieves was also delightful, of course. Seriously, saying that these people are descended from apes would be an insult to the apes - every chimp would be more intelligent than that. (On a side note, yes, I do realise that humans did not evolve from chimps, but that they shared a common ancestor instead.)

As for the "Who wants to be a millionaire" clip, the moderator of the German edition mentioned on occasion that in the Russian edition, the audience will sometimes choose the wrong answer on purpose if they don't like the contender. Maybe it's similar in France? I can't imagine that 56% seriously believe that the sun orbits around the earth, at least. Or maybe they all live on the Discworld... :P (But at least he won some money.)

And the worst book... well, it sure doesn't beat this one, I think. ;)

The hexafluoride video was neat, too, although one should add that inhaling gasses like that to deepen your voice can be dangerous; since helium is lighter than air, it will leave your lungs again quickly on its own, but heavier gasses will, naturally, stay there until you quite literally turn yourself upside down (or remove them some other way, but this is the easiest way).

I'm a braiding machine, patented in 1907. :) (And on a side note, Google Patents is much more convenient for searching patents than anything else.)

Not allowing porn on Blueray discs is gonna kill them - and I don't know whether Sony is really that stupid, or whether they *want* to kill them without openly admitting so, for some reason.

Fascinating that the director is mentioned as being entirely unrepentant about his work, but, I suppose, once a bigot, always a bigot. (Or is such more malleable than that, perhaps through increased familiarity with the target of such hatred?)

Personally, I like the idea of Yule - a winter festival, celebrating the end of days getting shorter (by that token, I'd be quite happy with it being six months off in the South, though winters in, say, Brisbane aren't exactly bitter =:).. a good reason for a gathering and feasting, ne?

I'd really hope some of the audience was joking.. ye gods. If it were some more obscure bit of astronomical trivia, like knowing which planet some obscure moon belonged to, then I could quite sympathise. But.. Earth.. Sun.. *whine*

I do like the fact gift-wrapping is available for that book. ^_^

Do you speak from experience with heavier than air gases? ^_^ (I've only tried helium, a few times. Best occasion was a trio of Trilobyte programmers and the actor who played Stauf in T7G and 11H, giving an impromptu helium performance of Sweet Adeline at the wrap party for The 11th Hour. Perhaps just as well no record of this exists =:)

Sony's such a peculiar outfit. Some things they do exceptionally well, others, it's the proverbial slow motion train wreck. The PSP's hardware is quite a marvel of engineering, f'rex, and their Minidisc players eked out quite impressive battery lifetimes - yet the software for the latter was, by all accounts, absolutely wretched - and of course, Sony refused to accept ATRAC-3 wasn't going to take over the world until quite recently. (And even then, their first MP3-aware players had to use a slightly tweaked file format, much as Sony's implementation of MPEG-4 in the PSP requires an additional atom or two, otherwise the file simply won't be recognised)
Mmmm. "Once a bigot, always a bigot" probably isn't *always* true, but I think it's something that's difficult to change. This guy certainly doesn't seem to have been able to make the transition...

Mmmm, yes, Yule / winter solstice is a nice celebration. :) I do like christmas myself, actually, but it's really an entirely secular holiday for me, without any religious connotations, and if I wanted something spiritual, it'd be winter solstice. At least it actually *means* something - unlike the christian christmas, which was only put on its current date because people already had solstice celebrations in place.

Yeah, you really have to wonder about the audience, don't you? But I can't believe that they really didn't know (although, to be honest, I'm also surprised that the candidate didn't know).

*chuckles* Mmm... well, that book certainly would make an interesting gift, wouldn't it? It actually is on my wishlist, too... ;)

As for heavier-than-air gasses... no personal experience, no, but I saw it being demonstrated in a science show on TV. In fact, I haven't been able to try helium yet, either, as far as I recall... :/

As for Sony, somebody once said that they're basically not really a single, coherent company - they're really a family of companies, all with their own objectives, that sometimes actively try to sabotage each other. I'm not sure if it's true, but I wouldn't be surprised...
Wow. Lottsa stuff packed into the this post. Cool video there. I really like the song too.

Until today, I'd not actually looked at any of the iPhone videos. I'd heard and seen all the hype of course. As someone writing industrial touch panel applications, I sure wish I had hardware like that to work with.

Instead I have to work with One of these.

I'd love to have my LabView apps look and work like that though. Unfortunately I don't think I'd ever have the time.
*grin* A bit larger an entry than I'd have preferred, I'll admit, but the time just didn't feel right until last night.. and then it all sorta came together. (And that seems to be continuing today, with a wonderful night's sleep, for a change)

You can see why I had to point that video out. ^_^ Wonder if they'll commission that director again.. I'm quite keen on the combination of a good track and an imaginative video, being somewhat visually biased. Not to say I don't enjoy just the music, of course, but there's certainly enhancement to be found in the visuals for This Binary Universe, above just the music.

Indeed, the iPhone UI does need to be seen - a report just noting it's got a touchscreen really misses out on a lot of what makes it so nifty, both in the design and implementation of the general UI, as well as the multitouch aspect of it, here used to easily resize and reposition images. If I had the money lying around, I'd be very tempted indeed - it's not so much a well-featured phone as a tiny tablet. Only thing I wish it offered, I suppose, is a completely open architecture for programming - it'd be wonderful to be able to just tweak an OS X project for iPhone deployment and drop it onto the device; the current noises suggest apps will come purely via Apple, with third party developers welcome to engage in such such development.

Good point - touchscreens are pretty well used in embedded devices, I'd imagine, where you don't need (or want) a keyboard. (Indeed, even the digital delivery system for radio I worked on offered a touchscreen interface - again, made sense in the context, so a DJ could just tap one of the virtual cartheads to get it playing or cued up, for example. Quite a cool project, really, and very comprehensive, covering everything from live DJ assist modules through to more mundane requirements like billing generation. You could run a station purely automatically with one of these, and unfortunately, that was the case in some instances. I never felt very comfortable with it for that reason, helping outfits like ClearChannel implement their consolidation. But, they've subsequently felt the results of that strategy, having cut away so much that there's almost nothing left but the infrastructure, and now net.radio and satellite radio's come along, with vastly more variety)
with a low-end DSL connection of 2Mbps

I'm just going to pretend I didn't hear that. Back in Athabasca, *usual* is considered 256K >_
And just to further that, even in Edmonton and Calgary, according to the Telus website, "Enhanced High Speed" still only offers up to 3Mbps, for over $40 a month. Standard is only 1.5Mbps.
Eep! That definitely is different to the connections I'm familiar with. Do those include monthly limits on the traffic as well? That seems to be more of a problem in the UK, and especially Australia - ISTR seeing Telstra insisting on some fairly puny limits.

Disappointing.. I'd have hoped the cities would all be ADSL2+ capable by now, offering a maximum (as always, depending on the distance from the exchange) of around 18-24Mbps in, 448-768kbps out. But, that all requires investment, and maybe the telco just doesn't feel interested in spending money, if people are already subscribing. :-P
A mother and son accused of stealing a snake from a pet store were arrested

Boy do they sound like geniuses.

Arashi no Yoru ni isn't just an anime.. ^_^

A wolf doesn't look quite right being on a chain, but those are cute pics.
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