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relee spotted quite an intriguing writing project: Orion's Arm, a shared setting that's apparently been going on for about ten years (hence the rather dated look in places). It's a hard-SF universe, with something of a transhumanistic bent.

Breakout, in HTML5.

Behringer have come up with a nice little attention-grabber for next year's CES - the iNuke Boom. It's an iThing dock, which happens to sport ten kilowatts of output power.


Apple's 12 Days of Christmas promo will be running again this year, with various app, video, and music giveaways from Dec 26 to Jan 6, for peeps in the EU and Canada. ISTR some of the freebies last year were rather good, so it'd be one to keep an eye out for.

I've been searching around for a good spot to photograph buns lately, with almost no luck, save for one by the canalside the other week, until I spotted two on the way back from the kebab van on campus - well after sunset, but, there they were, feeling safe enough to venture out now that the big mass of bipeds had gone elsewhere. Of course, not exactly optimal lighting - just mild street lighting, so I simply took comfort in knowing they were indeed around, joking to myself that maybe I'd be out in the future at midnight, with the Bunnycam, flashing away.

So, of course, that's precisely what happened last night. ^_^ I was feeling in the mood for a bit of a stroll, and took a circuit into the west side of campus, down into the middle. Spotted one leaping merrily up the slopes of the western road as I approached, but gone much too quickly to get any shot. In the heart of the tiny parkland, though, two were munching away contentedly, even not minding my presence too much. It was about then I realised that that kind of weak light really wasn't going to let autofocus happen - not when it was difficult for me to attempt accurate focus! And with only the on-board flash (still, a good deal more potent than on a compact), and down to the minimum shutter duration with internal flash of 1/200th.. it was firmly in the realms of experiment for me.

And yet it worked. =:D There were quite a few near misses on focus, unsurprisingly, but the fairly narrow point at which the subject's in focus at 50' at f/4 actually helps, as it falls out of focus quickly either side. It's hardly a shot I'll be selling, not by a long chalk, but I'm just delighted to realise it's possible, not to mention the simple fact that they're there, in what's such a center of activity during the day. The natural world truly is something wondrous. ^_^


If you ever need to ward off a rhino, try camomile. Apparently, they - and other herbivores - find it quite unpleasant.

Video of the day must, unquestionably, be David Attenborough's "What a Wonderful World". Seriously: you must make time - two minutes - for this. It's just weepingly beautiful. ^_^ (Edit: the BBC has, unfortunately, geolocked the clip, so it may not be available where you live)

(If you'd like to save it for offline enjoyment, amongst other methods is the very easy KeepVid site; they also offer a JS bookmarklet which you can drop into your browser favorites. Either way, it'll quickly show you all the different resolutions available, which you can then save with but a click, whatever browser you're using.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Neat little breakout game... Even works in Firefox 3.6(.x) if you do this:
http://www.iandevlin.com/blog/2010/01/html5/enabling-the-html5-parser-in-firefox-3-6

I like how when I won it popped up the message "Omg omg! You won! Totally deserve a prize, but I don't have one :'("

Kind of reminds me of the game BRICK OUT from my //e system disk... (Hmm... I wonder if anyone's ported ANIMALS to the internet yet? It was always sort of interesting... it even "learned" to a slight extent.)
ANIMALS? I've not actually seen all that much of the Apple II era's games, I admit. ^_^;

More recently, there was a great little Flash demo, which I thought was distributed on a SIGGRAPH CD around 1996, but I can't find it anywhere. I did try looking it up in their archives, which did have a list of their CDs' contents, but couldn't seem to find it there either. It was a fun little thing in what was then Macromedia Director, just "teaching" birds to fly - three chicks up on a treetop, and if you dragged them out correctly, they'd fly off happily. Once they were all gone, there was a little pause, then "It's Spring, we're back! Teach us to fly!" There was more fun, as you might suspect, in not just doing that.. like clicking on the tree, which would flash briefly, the first few times, then the voice would intone "Why are you clicking on a tree? Go click on a cloud." Do so, and it'd get a little irritated, and eventually zap the poor birds, "YOU WERE WARNED." Then there were all different ways of slightly irritating the birds themselves, or just amusing them, with one line being "Hey baby, let me see you shake your tailfeathers!"

Like I said, a silly little tech demo, which ISTR the author was intending to develop further. No idea if the current Flash would even run it, of course, but I'd love to find a copy if it's out there somewhere. ^_^
Digging around, I noticed that this SIGGRAPH page mentioned the Macromedia Showcase CD, could it have been on whatever version of that they were handing out there?

As for ANIMALS, I did find a QBasic port of it apparently, although to run it I suspect I may need DOSBox, I don't know if QBasic will run on Win7 directly or not... http://www.beagle-ears.com/lars/engineer/how_comp/animal.bas (I've also seen Atari-Basic and TRS-80 Basic ports of it before I think...)
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It's probably out there somewhere, by now. =:) I actually recall Breakout implemented in QuickTime, in 1996 or so - wonderfully daffy, but they wanted to highlight just how flexible the framework was, beyond merely handling media containers and codecs.

Agh! Dammit. Why must companies insist on such backward practices, especially for something of that nature? It's even all material under the BBC's control, so there isn't even the "our suppliers insist on it" excuse. Particularly ironic, given this clip's innately global theme.
Apparently David Attenborough hates Canada; the video you linked it's available here.

Well, this was my video of the day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACkmg3Y64_s


I also find camomile unpleasant. I have to wonder what sort of a nut decided to make it into tea.
It's amazing the BBC would do that to a two minute clip, especially one that features material entirely produced by them. Deeply frustrating, but I imagine it'll get uploaded to YouTube by someone or other, without such inanity. It's very well worth seeing.

I'll watch that later on today - hafta hop off f'now, and make sure all the ducks are in a row for today's meeting. ^_^;

Not sure I've ever actually tried camomile, actually! I'm not huge on fruit/herb infusions, though I'll happily take them as additions - chai can be wonderful stuff, f'rex. =:9 And Celestial Seasonings do/did Fast Lane, black tea with added a couple spices rendering it tasting somewhat like Christmas cake, plus added caffeine, around espresso levels. Great for those mornings when you want the boost of coffee, but not the taste. ^_^
I find chamomile tea quite relaxing. It helps me wind down before bed after a stressful day.