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You shouldn't miss this clip showing the time lapse construction of some dinos, including a triceratops and an extraordinarily cool raptor that would probably cause spontaneous public inconvenience for quite a few FC-goers. They're appearing in the Walking with Dinosaurs show, currently in Brisbane. (Thanks to ysengrin)

Anyone heard of Mouse Guard? Looks like a promising comic series of six issues. Not that I keep up with print comics particularly, but given it's been out for a year, I'm surprised not to've seen any mention of it until now.

"Why would the big four music companies agree to let Apple and others distribute their music without using DRM systems to protect it? The simplest answer is because DRMs haven't worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy. Though the big four music companies require that all their music sold online be protected with DRMs, these same music companies continue to sell billions of CDs a year which contain completely unprotected music." Stunningly obvious, except to executives of member companies of the RIAA. Now, a year ago, I'd never imagine the big labels coming anywhere near DRM-free music downloads, but - industry analysts (not paid trolls like Dvorak, or Enderle for that matter) seem to be finding reason lately for suggesting there are such musings being contemplated.

Speaking of music (dancing about architecture?), find for the day has to be Mika's "Life in Cartoon Motion" - as one description read, 'His sound - flamboyant, funky, quirky, grandiose pop - has seen him described as "a one-man Scissor Sisters" and has also drawn comparisons with Freddie Mercury.' And so it is. It's ~faaaabulous~. =:D

It's very early code (at the 0.1 release), but still, the OpenSim project should be worth following, being a GNU-licensed SL-compatible sim. For now, it's very limited in functionality, supporting login, movement, object creation & updating, and chat; server-side Lua scripting and script uploads are mentioned as being "in progress".

Cool beans - the second trailer for Life on Mars confirms its return date: Tuesday, Feb 13. (The trailer itself is unremarkable - just a collection of clips)

Word's emerging of a rather cool POWER-derived processor, potentially offering quite an exciting reinvigoration of the PowerPC family at the high performance/low power corner of the market, comparing remarkably favorably even with Core 2 Duo, especially once the support chips are included. The secret sauce, courtesy of a few Alpha veterans, is downclocking unused or underutilised segments on a hitherto unseen scale, offering power economy at a very fine level.

I'd been wondering how people actually recorded the footage for machinima, thinking it was just a matter of software. Seems, though, more common is just to record the system's video output on something like a DVD recorder, then rip that disc. But here's an alternative, particularly for Intel Macs, as it seems Snapz Pro is still not a Universal Binary. This is, and cheaper to boot - the blogger here uses it to record some 720p footage, making for a much cleaner, higher-res option.

I wonder if I can try inducing dreams? Not necessarily lucid dreaming, just ones that are coherent enough to remember. Last night's wasn't anything to write into a Nobel Prize winning novel, just pleasant, snuggling up to sleep with someone; no-one I know consciously. But then we were disturbed, causing us both to scamper out of the room, to the top of the stairs. "Well, that was awkward" the visitor said. It didn't seem to bother my companion, thankfully, who was just grinning.

The erstwhile newsreader MacSOUP is finally a Universal Binary, with the release of v2.8. The other changes are just given as "minor bug fixes", but the author nonetheless recommends it to all users.

sphelx noted an especially nifty APOD image, over here, on an Australian beach, the panorama at once including the comet, fireworks, and lightning.

 
 
 
 
 
 
I love the beach picture!

Also, interesting icon you have there :) What's the full picture?
I really ought to pick up the LJ APOD RSS (eep!) feed again.. they do post some outstanding imagery there, no question.

(Wish I'd had a camera with me at the time - one photo I wish I could've taken was on a flight a few years ago one evening, with a thunderstorm not too far away. There was what appeared like a cavern in the clouds, its space flitteringly lit up by lightning, all manner of sulphurous hues shining from the sunset beneath)

Oh, the full pic? You wouldn't want to see it. Definitely not worksafe at all. =:D (Fel really needs to draw more bunnies. But that goes without saying)
Sounds awesome! Sadly there's just not enough decent storms here for me to get the camera ready for :/

Nice pic ;) No, I really didn't want to see it ;P
Still, there's probably other scenery worth photographing, ne? Might be worth posting the odd one in day_on_earth. Especially if tonight's snowy weather reaches far enough east to reach you. Yay snow!

Definitely another lapine I'd love to be. =:D The expression's just wonderful, and those feet, those cuffs.. hmm. Maybe I should make up some cuffs for myself on SL sometime, nicely detailed like those. Got some, I think, but they're in storage, along with the collars - one's just a simple black thing, homemade, the other a nice red one. Both fine by themselves, but they worked especially well with the black underneath, red on top, making for quite a nifty neck corset, given the combined thickness.
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Ack, speculators.. I thought they'd been successfully culled back in the early 90s, along with way too many independent publishers. (Eclipse for one - their anthology title had some very good furry work in it) Still, I suppose part of that was inevitable, with the swamping of the market with TMNT parodies and ripoffs, some of which were actually quite amusing.

Still, I suppose I can't begrudge such sellers their "success" very much - if someone's really willing to pay that much merely for the words "first printing", I doubt I'd refuse their money. Wish I'd sold my DVD of Liquid Sky when that was out of print, as it was fetching around $100 at one point - it's now easily available again. Bizarre little work indeed. ^_^
I'd heard of Mouse Guard, but I was waiting for the trade paperback. Because Diamond are such evil sods, it's near impossible to find back orders.
I'd probably go that route, out of choice, given the convenience of a single volume, and usually something of a saving on buying the issues separately (albeit at the cost of losing the covers, which do look rather attractive in this instance - mind, Cerebus' were often works of art in themselves, but I always went with the compilations anyway. Come to that, I need to pick up the final one sometime, when I have the money - I've steered clear of spoilers, so I'm unaware how it all did wrap up in the end).

Reminds me, Castle Waiting was appearing as mini-collections of three issues or so.. wonder how that developed. (With all the moving around, I've given up buying paper comics. Just too much hassle lugging them around, or being without them for months or years, whereas in digital form, I can have as large a collection with me as I like)
I gave up on Cerebus, too much of Sims kookishness creeping into things.

I do assume you have the collected Bone?
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Awfully appropriate show for him, ne? =:) I suppose there's nothing wrong per se with skillful ribbing - Charlie Brooker's been at it for years, let alone Chris Morris and Armando Ianucci - but those people aren't seeking to be taken seriously. As a person, though, he seems fine - a while back, he was a guest columnist (the right hand column, to be precise) on BoingBoing, as you may recall. There, away from tech matters, he was actually quite insightful, even compassionate.

Still, yes - perhaps taken in the right light, he might be quite worth catching. ^_^

Hrm! How would one use frappucinos to capture video? Sounds fascinating. =:)



(No, wait.. it's a dice game, ne?)
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Aahhh.. okay. I'd thought that was the cleaner method, assuming one's system is up to the job. I'll have to look into iShowU and see how it performs on Hyzenthlay. Might work alright, given I was able to capture 320x240x16 at 30fps uncompressed on a 266MHz PBG3 back in 1998, though that was just a matter of raw video data capture, little CPU work required.

I assume you read the blurb about that picture? It's a composite of three separate photos. Still good, though.
Ahh, right. I'd suspected as much, given the nature of the composition, and its similarity to that "day and night on earth" one that did the rounds a while back. As you say, a superb image regardless of origins. I'd be tempted to use it as a background image, but it's not really very furry - for now, that honor belongs to one of those "Bambi and Thumper" images CuteOverload and BoingBoing carried a few months ago, of a deer and brown bunny being quite friendly in the back yard of (of all people) a wildlife photographer.
It says it is "a three photograph panorama". Digital photographers frequently stitch together panoramas from multiple pictures, and I've never heard anyone describing the result as non-genuine. It's like having a fish-eye lens, but with more pixels, though it takes longer to take the photograph. Probably that specific firework was not visible at the exact moment that specific bolt of lightning appeared, but another one probably was or people wouldn't still be on the beach in those numbers at night looking in one direction.


The part about it being "digitally processed to reduce red reflections from the exploding firework" sounds like more involved fiddle work. Maybe just a matter of changing the white-balance of everything in part of one of the 3 frames.
True enough, panoramas are common, but it's easy to do Silly things with them.
*chuckles*
Though it that particular case, I would have combined multiple frames to make zero copies of someone walking around and blocking the view. ;-)
That dinosaur video was quite nice, and yes, the raptor was definitely the best - although it'd be even better if they actually managed to allow the actor to be completely invisible inside it. :)

As for DRM... it never was about protecting music at all, I think. The big labels do not WANT to sell music over the Internet at all - the reason is that when you buy a CD, you (typically) will get 3 or 4 songs you like, and an extra 10 or 12 you don't like but which you're paying for as well. When you buy individual songs (online), this doesn't apply - you only pay for what you actually want, and thus, the labels get less money. Well, at least that's one theory; you might also say that people have more money available to spend on music they *do* like, but all in all, I still think that they'd spend at least *some* of the extra money on other things, so the labels would still lose out some. And that's doubly true given that CDs typically seem to cost more per songs than individual downloaded songs.

(Of course, it's probably still in *Apple's* best interest to lobby for DRM to be abandoned, but I doubt the label will move until they actually have to.)

Nice fursuit, too, although I'm not a very big fan of deer, an an interesting APOD. :) Although I doubt the latter is actually a single, unaltered shot...
I'll need to seek out some more clips of the show - there seem to be quite a few up on YouTube. I suppose they just rely on people being caught up sufficiently to disregard any humans they see in the vicinity. ^_^ I'm really impressed by the fluid motion they've been able to achieve, even if it's the work of skilled puppeteering rather than any AI (now that'd be something to see!) - wouldn't mind finding out just what mechanisms they used for that. So, wonder if someone's going to be inspired to make something similar for a furcon soon.. ^_^ Gods know, the level of expertise in some costumes now is quite impressive - even moreso than traditional pro work, in many cases, as "furry" costumes will generally look good and be practical, whereas sports & theme park mascots often place wearer comfort and practicality very low on the list, with on-model accuracy the nigh sole consideration. (That said, I'm sure there are a good few exceptions - the old San Jose Earthquakes' "Richter" looked quite practical, and sexy =:)

I don't know - I think the big labels are fine with selling music however they like, but salivate at the prospect of reselling the same music as many times as they can. On each separate device, if they could get away with it.

Do you find that with albums? Generally, I either like pretty much everything on a given CD, or little enough not to bother. For those cases, though, certainly, per-track makes a lot of sense, whether iTunes' 99¢ each, or eMusic's cheaper price per bundle of tracks. A bit of a pity eMusic stopped their earlier unlimited schemes, but even the current plans work out very affordably, assuming you want at least 40 tracks per month. Not difficult to go through, I'd say. ^_^

Should be interesting to see if this works, leading some journalists to dare ask the labels for a clear position on the matter, and whether they'd consider dropping the uselessness of DRM. If the MPAA members would do likewise, I'd be very pleased indeed, but that I'm definitely not holding my breath on.

I do like the odd hoofie, it has to be said. Or even almost-hoofie, like My Little Pony. ^_^ Might pick up (or make, though I think I'd sooner try my paw at a robobunny) a MLP-like avatar sometime - Wynx has some cute ones. In costuming, of course, there's Mranti.. :-9

Indeed, as darac noted, it's a composite image - none the less wondrous for that, of course.
*s* Yeah, that mascot looks quite nice - actually believable, instead of very mascot- and costume-like, as they usually do, and more like a fursuit.

And yeah, the fluid motions on those dinosaurs are very nice, and one can only hope that we will continue to get better and better fursuits over time. :)

Mmm. Yeah, reselling music as often as possible probably also plays a role, but how many iPod users will actually buy a Zune (or vice versa)? I doubt it's that many really...

As for albums... it depends. I don't buy CDs anymore where I only like a few songs, but there certainly are enough out there where it's true. Sometimes, when the song was released as a single, you can find it on samplers later on (hopefully with other songs from the same genre you also like(d)), but when it's not, you'te pretty much out of luck. But then, I don't generally buy big-label music anymore, anyway...

With regard to the MPAA etc... we'll see. Ultimately, the same thing's true there, too; DRM only hurts the honest people. Someone whosevideo card and screen aren't compliant will be bitten when he can't watch their new HD-DVD movie in the full resolution in windows vista, but someone who downloads the decrypted 30 GB file on BitTorrent simply won't have that problem, and neither will someone who purchases an illegally-pressed DVD on the black market in South East Asia for a few bucks, for example. :P

Heh. Yeah, Mrianti's okapi suit is definitely cute, although I actually liked his pantherskunk better. :)
*gahhh* I'm in love again! That caribou is just too gorgeous. ^^
*giggle* Those hoofy fingers are just adorable, ne? ^_^

Ah, I really need to look into finding a supplier of foam somewhere around here. I'd love to start making up a bunny for myself. Or there are plenty of other techniques - but foam gives that nice snug feeling.
Decided to try the Home Version - installed openSim, followed the directions, attempted to log in..

"You must update in order to log into Second Life."

Wow! It's just like being there! ;D
Don't forget to charge yourself 50% more tomorrow, for complete authenticity. =:D

(Fascinating project, ne? Even without connectability to the main grid, just the ability to practice building on a big area without hefty sim costs would be rather cool. As I understand it, LL do intend to open the server code at some point, presumably under some kind of commercial license, so they'd preserve something of that revenue. But wouldn't it be cool to be able to run a light-load sim at home, just as I can fire up Apache here, for a server that's only intended for light casual use? Then LL and others could offer similar services to now, essentially colo with a heavyweight connection)

BTW, have you tried any of the recent First Look clients? Seems some people have been seeing significant improvements in framerate, whilst others are just seeing much the same as usual. Worth a shot, though one bug in the latest version seems to leave some people's hair in places other than on their heads. ^_^

I have tried a First Look client on my laptop, which needs every frame it can scrounge - no improvement, but it ran, at least, as smoothly as the LL clients.

Yeah, I'd like to be able to play with SL locally for a host of reasons - not to mention no grid congestion, no griefers, and no network lag. :) And then I can run bots that emulate my friends, and never have to go outside again except for groceries and vitamin shots. Ahhh, blisssss... ;)

The binaries of the Sim, btw, don't seem to work with the current client. They do run a server, and it does seem to recognize it, but login - no go. OTOP, the precompiled binaries seem to be substantially different from the latest code - I may have to assemble a toolchain and compile it.

(blows dust off programmerly knowledge) I hope I remember how...
I read the first mouse gaurd. I picked it up read the first page, then i stopped everything sat on my bed and read teh rest of it. Its a fun story
Hee! It's a wonderful feeling when a comic or book grabs one's attention like that. Had that when I first encountered Chynna Clugston-Smith's "Blue Monday" series, and Vernor Vinge's "A Fire Upon the Deep". Or SL, for that matter, save for currently being in a ridiculously shy condition, so I want to get out and about and meet people, yet wonder what I'll do (run away) if anyone actually does start conversing.

I wonder if I could persuade the local library to bring in a copy of the TPB.. should get a card there, come to think of it. Don't think it's a large branch, but useful.