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The former roomie/member of the landed gentry let me know Thomas Dolby's got video from his October 2007 "Sputnik and Beyond" show downloadable now, as four 40MB files. "This was a one-off concert to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik 1, the first man-made satellite successfully launched into space. My friend David Hoffman, a documentary filmmaker, had recently premiered his full-length movie ‘Sputnik Mania’ (previously entitled The Fever of ‘57) and he was kind enough to allow me to use footage and entire edited sequences from his film, to project at the ICA. The Radio Science Orchestra arranged and performed a live soundtrack, with commentary provided by pop culturist/DJ/sci-fi writer Ken Hollings."

Or for something slightly less serious: Broke Trek. ^_^

This is what people can achieve: "Flies faster than a rifle bullet.. it's exciting to sit at 60,000 feet and see the curvature of the Earth; it's exciting to sit at 60,000 feet and see the dark of outer space.. to have a horizon-to-horizon 750 mile range. That's exciting. When you take off for New York in the dark, and see the sun rise in the west, you know you're doing something slightly different." Concorde, here shown in a four minute clip narrated by its pilots, and pointed out by captpackrat.

Some interesting connections are highlighted by Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican congressman. His investigation links Terry Nichols, Ramzi Yousef, and Timothy McVeigh, only to find his requests for interviewing Yousef blocked by the Justice Department.

So, the iPhone/iPod touch saw the roadmap laid out for application development. ^_^ It's the real deal, rather than some half-baked sandbox. What caught my eye, though, was mention of the iFund Initiative "with $100 million in venture capital to invest in companies developing applications and services for Apple's innovative iPhone and iPod touch." And EA announced Spore for it, too (whether the "full" or DS version is another matter - looks closer to the latter), alongside Sega with Super Monkeyball, and ePocrates and Salesforce will be there. ^_^ Ars Technica forum response over here. Engadget's coverage, 37signals, and Apple.

Also noting the SDK's release was John Carmack: "We (Id) have put in our application like everyone else, so I don't have any inside information at this point. I think Steve is still pissed at me over some negative comments I made about iPod development tools a while ago. Just based on the blurbs, it looks very good -- a simulator plus debugging on the native device is the best of both worlds, and a 70% royalty deal for apps over iTunes is quite good. The iTunes distribution channel is really a more important aspect than a lot of people understand. The ability to distribute larger applications than the over-the-air limits and effectively market your title with more than a dozen character deck name, combined with the reasonable income split make this look like a very interesting market. This type of developer / customer interaction is probably the wave of the future for mobile devices, it will be interesting to see how quickly the other players can react. Based on our experiences with the carriers, I am betting not very quickly."

Clear off a bit of disk space if you're fetching the SDK - it's a 2.1GB download. Sadly, it's for Intel Macs only, so I'm out in the cold for now. Or is it? "FWIW this is on a PowerPC Mac where I managed to get the full SDK installed by manually opening the packages. Despite Apple not supporting it, it seems to work well; even the simulator runs."

Noteworthy indeed: the reclusive director of, amongst other works, La Jetée (the basis for Twelve Monkeys), Chris Marker, will be present at a gathering in SL on Tuesday, 11am PDT/6pm GMT, courtesy of Zurich's Museum für Gestaltung.

It's essentially a commercial, but what a gorgeously realised one.. Trembled Blossoms.

You've seen the "Truth in Advertising" short, produced a few years back by ad agency insiders - here's a similar endeavor atomicat found, from 1965 or so, The Cliché Family. =:D

Quite a substantial interview with Phorm's CEO, with as much spin as you'd expect; the comments take issue with matters inadequately addressed.

Ah, the joys of security theater.. someone brings a MacBook Air through TSAland: 'One takes me aside to a partitioned cubicle. Another of the endless supply of TSA agents takes the rest of my bags to a different cubicle. No yellow brick road here, just a pair of yellow painted feet on the floor, and my flight is boarding. I am made to understand that I should stand and wait. My laptop is on the table in front of me, just beyond reach, like I am waiting to collect my personal effects after being paroled. I'm standing, watching my laptop on the table, listening to security clucking just behind me. "There's no drive," one says. "And no ports on the back. It has a couple of lines where the drive should be," she continues.'

Quite neat work: ABBA's Waterloo, with an entirely synthetic lead singer, Yamaha's Vocaloid 2 software, using the Sweet Ann voice.

Via miyabisan, a little lapinity for your car. =:D

This restoration technique struck me as quite ingenious. They're wanting to restore the original color from shows like Doctor Who, where the only surviving prints tend to be b&w film copies. But how can you possibly turn monochrome footage into color, without either entirely faking it, or having to painstakingly work from occasionally available low quality home video recordings, using those for visual references? Apparently, there is a way: "Any black and white telerecording of a colour programme is prone to pick up interference from the colour encoded video signal. This manifests itself as a pattern of small grey dots, called chroma-dots, across the picture. There was a way to stop this from happening, by using a special filter to cut out the electronic artefacts. However, the interference was often deemed so minor that the technicians doing the transfers used no filter and so the resultant film prints often contain a burnt in pattern of these chromadots. Insell suggested that it might be possible to decode the original colour signal of the show from these chromadots, since they contain an electronic remnant of the original video signal. Since then, Insell has set up an independent group - outside the BBC - to put together a technology to extract this coded pattern within the black and white film and decode it."

How would cats react to a (running) vacuum cleaner with a laser pointer aimed a few inches in front of it? Which impulse would win out?

Some nifty Flash-based 3D visualisation tech: Papervision, and another example, the world information map.

Seeing a new announcement of a college or university establishing a presence in SL is nothing new, but I was tickled to see the Johnson County Community College apparently has one of those superb hare sculptures in RL, and in SL too.

The comments for this entry need to be enjoyed in their entirety; be sure to expand the threads. Anyone who's had a cat go into heat will know whereof these people speak. ^_^;

On which note, "The United States is one of the world's most undersexed countries, according to a new study released Monday. Just 53% of Americans having regular, weekly sex according to results from the Durex Sexual Wellbeing Global Survey of 26,000 people in 26 countries, tying the USA with Nigeria for the second worst spot on the list." (Number one being Japan, with Greece heading the other end of the list)

circuit_four somehow noticed carbon diselenide, an aromatic compound, in the olfactory, if not chemical, sense. "Selenium compounds are, if anything, more intrinsically noxious than sulfur ones. Imagine a sort of hyperskunk, scattering its enemies before it and making them carom off trees and dive into ponds." "The first report of the compound in the chemical literature is from a German university group from 1936, and it was a memorable debut. A colleague of mine had a copy of this paper in his files, and he treasured a footnote from the experimental section which related how the vapors had unfortunately escaped the laboratory and forced the evacuation of a nearby village."

The European Parliament report on fraud in staff allowances I mentioned last time has been leaked by Paul van Buitenen, MEP for the Netherlands. (Irksomely, the BBC article failed to mention where it could be found, but Wikileaks was happy to oblige)

Oh, you didn't think it was just called Facebook, did you? ^_^;

Check out this Flash demo from Adobe that rabitguy found. Then remember it's a massive 25975 bytes. =:D

Some very young jackrabbits someone loving found, and is carefully (and knowledgably) now attempting to raise by hand.

Very much a series of in-jokes, but if you know SL, Gods of Second Life may prove amusing, comprising a multitude of shrines. "Uncle Phil is the Creator from who's loins the world of Second Life and Ruth, the All-Mother have spung. The bringer of Order from Chaos and Pixelated Reality from the Great Void. An effigy of Philip's pants is the shrine of Ruth." The trinity is completed by "The Great Corey". And as the teleporter inscription commands:

"In Yadni we trust | thou shalt build like crazy | thou shalt help the newbie | thou shalt save the freebie"

There are all manner of wonders in SL; but I thought I'd point out a contrary example, in Sun's presence. As our hero illustrates, it's perfectly competently realised, but with an aura of 'okay, now what?'.

An anthology of Tamil swearing, including such invaluable phrases as "You, who is without an asshole" and "Your dick is smaller than the toothpick I have in my mouth".

Visit Beautiful Swindon! (Motto: "Swindon. There can be only one.")

krinndnz pointed out a very handy Firefox plugin for LJ - in particular, you can expand all an entry's comment threads easily.

Very nice. Samsung's shipping a 500GB 2.5" drive - unlike other makers, it's a normal 5400rpm, rather than slowing down to 4200, and 9.5mm high, so it'll actually fit in most laptops. SATA only, but that's par for the course now; unfortunately, the Intel migration from PowerBooks to the MacBook Pros also brought with it the IDE to SATA switch, so it's not something I can drop into Hyzenthlay - 250GB seems to be about the largest available in IDE.

Rather a neat little scribbling on the nature of popularity and commercial success: 1000 True Fans, illustrating what I'd say reflects the future of artistic endeavor, beyond the giant record labels and publishers.

This piece on collaborative architecture's worth a look, concerning the wiki -based design of a new hospital in Tibet.

The California Supreme Court's been hearing arguments for and against recognising marriage between same or different gender couples.

So, I finally got around to finishing off Torchwood s2e5 "Adam" - certainly one of the best episodes, albeit with yet another nihilistic finale. (And that camerawork.. damn, that's offputting. Maybe the BBC can offer a third version for airing: regular, family-friendly, and image-stabilised) Whilst Reset's plot was pretty much just along for the ride, the character interplay was a joy, not to mention seeing Martha Jones back to being her own self, independent of the Doctor.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Could you beat a Turing test? :O
> What makes you wonder if I could beat a Turing test?

I've seen Alan Turing's willy.
You know, that's one avenue I don't think any biometrics company has yet exploited.
OMG! Haptic joystick!
It's multitouch aware, too!
Engadget's reported on the Samsung drive a few times, and I can't help but chuckle a bit every time they describe the 9.5mm drives as as "standard height." I remember when PowerBooks first adopted the form factor, and the related nuisance and expense of acquiring any drive that could fit within this then "non standard" space.
I still have the (more or less dead) Travelstar 14GS I picked up for Bunny in 1999 - being the largest 2.5" out at the time, it had to be 13mm tall. (I still remember placing the order for it at a payphone in the Union City BART..)

Now, smaller capacity 2.5" drives can be, what, 5mm?

Compares pretty well to the ST203, my first hard drive.. 5.25" full height, with a gigantic 15MB. Which I was never able to fill over about the 70% mark. Wish I still had it - even then, it was a bit of a museum piece, but I picked it up for next to nothing.

Isn't it tickling to see the iPhone gain more of the smartphone market than WinCE/Windows Mobile's managed in all these years? And with their first and only device, too. *sigh* I'm not one easily given to gadget lust, but I'd have to admit that's an exception - and I don't even like phones.
I wonder if Apple will release an iPhone/iPod Touch SDK for Windows. I saw that it had an emulator for the devices, and I was wanting to at least play with that.
I could imagine it being technically possible, but probably quite a major undertaking, given it's basically a modest addition to the existing Xcode IDE - it'd be very surprising to see such. 'Course, if you've got something reasonably recent on the Intel front (SSE3, primarily), dropping Leopard into place shouldn't be too much work. "Hackintosh" installations seem to work quite well, but with the obvious caveat that you can't just use the usual Software Update mechanism to apply OS updates. But, if you've got reasonably non-exotic NIC and sound chips, the patched installers appear to work quite nicely.

I'm also curious as to how the emulator fakes things like the accelerometer - probably something dull like "nope, still not moving" values, but it'd seem to be fine for testing the rest of an app's UI, and of course, the core logic. (Though it would be pretty neat if it could pick up on the motion sensor in later PowerBooks and MBPs.. there are a few cute demos using those, like the one giving a lightsaber-like sound effect as you swoop the 'book around =:)
Nothing Intel and recent in the house at the moment, unfortunately. The laptop is only about 2.5 years old but AMD, and my desktop/server (it switches roles) is an old 1.33GHz P3. Not exactly the most powerful machines on the block, but they get almost everything I want done.

Hmm...what about using the mouse for basic 2D accelerometer tests?
ISTR some form of AMD-patched versions as well, but they might also be too new. When funds permit, I might ponder getting something home-built up for that purpose, basically for raw CPU power - video compression, music synthesis, and the ever-lean SL viewer. =:) (Though, to be fair, Hyzenthlay's not exactly cutting edge any more, and still runs the latest Windlight-enabled viewer fine - 1.67GHz G4, Radeon 9700 Mobility with 128MB. You'd probably be fine, as long as it's got something above Intel integrated graphics - even the cheapest GPU's a long way above, though Intel do seem to be wanting to improve their graphics offerings. That's where I see the real Intel/AMD fun coming, in 2009, when they're both starting to get into CPU/GPU integration)

Mm, that could certainly work.. pretty easily coded for, and good enough to check basic gameplay in the absence of an actual device. Bit of a nuisance, though - tried running the SDK installer in its default configuration, only to discover regardless of architecture, it needs to be on the boot partition.. :-P And I usually run fairly close to almost nothing spare - I'd been hoping to just drop it onto one of the external's partitions. Still can, I suppose - just means having to reboot off that. And try remembering not to disconnect the USB cable without restarting off the internal again.. ^_^
The laptop is only a Sempron 2800+. It was low-end when I bought it, so OSX will probably have to remain a dream for it. Actually, it will remain a dream, as that's the same laptop that burns up power cables. After destroying one and melting 2 of the replaceable tips on another, I've decided to just retire it and possibly purchase a new one with that tax rebate I should be getting sometime this summer. Heh, graphics wouldn't have been too much of an issue on it. It's got a 128MB Radeon m200 in it. It managed to handle SL reasonably, and ran Half-Life 2 rather well.

I never could get into SL, actually. I get bored after I quit messing with my avatar and try to do something useful. In my perception of it, it comes off as too much chat for a game, but not enough game for a game.
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Thinking about it, a collected volume of such could be quite illuminating - not so much as an emergency phrasebook, but illustrating the different approaches languages take in expressing curses, some more earthy (where would we be without Anglo-Saxon?), some considerably more florid, especially as you head into Asian languages.
Keep in mind that you have to sign up for the $99 SDK program to be able to use the remote debugging feature.

To be honest, I don't understand why so many people keep talking about the remote/emulator debugging as if Apple has just hit on some really cool new idea. Windows Mobile/CE development has has this feature for years now. And you don't need to pay $99 for the priviledge (eVC and eVB are both free and they do it too).

As for royalty fees - with WiMo you don't have any if you want to market your own app - a choice you don't get with the iPhone.

As for distribution - McCormack should stick to his own domains. :) The phone companies (lest we forget, the iPhone *is* a phone) have been in the biz of selling applications, music and stuff for immediate download to the phone for years. If they think they can make more money with this model, they'll be all over it in days, although they're more likely to wait and see if it works for Apple.

Microsoft already has this model for the XBox system and will add Zune Games to it shortly, so adding WiMo to that should be easy too.
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Hee! Did you get any comments about the cervinity?

I wonder if the bunny set comes with a tail.. ^_^

Check out this Flash demo from Adobe that rabitguy found. Then remember it's a massive 25975 bytes. =:D

The size doesn't really mean anything as long as you don't also add the interpreter's size. (And of course, Flash has remote loading capabilities, anyway, and while I don't think they're being used here, generally speaking, you have to take that into account as well.)

Anyhow... the selenide compound does sound interesting; I wonder what it actually smelt like now.

What did you think of it? I think he did a good job of walking the line of publicising a problem without targeting a person.