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Ah, it's official: Torchwood will debut on BBC3 only. First ep will be on BBC1 simultaneously, on Sunday Oct 22, but the rest are for BBC3 only, until the New Year, when it'll be repeated on BBC1. Interesting that they'd choose to hand BBC3 such a coup, but presumably uptake of digital terrestrial and satellite's broad enough now to permit such a move.

rigelkitty spotted a new study published in The Lancet, which estimates some 600,000 deaths in Iraq due to the post-invasion violence. The report can be downloaded in its entirety here.

Finally, I got around to watching Buffalo Boy, a tale of 1930s life in Vietnam, the title taken from the livelihood of those who'd take locals' buffalo away to higher ground when the floods came, for a fee. It's a raw tale of abandonment, and of the essential need for others' company and assistance, in conditions that make those endured by Steinbeck's folks seem luxurious. Beautiful and harrowing, it manages to convey the feeling of life at that time surprisingly well, even given the cultural gap for a foreign audience.

It's heartening to see some nations continuing to look forward and dream, with news from Sweden that "the state agency SSC has carried out a technical study showing that it is indeed possible to put a little red cottage on the moon." (Thanks to befrafa)

So very cute! razzlfraz found this video featuring a giant plush teddy bear that they'd turned into a costume.

otter3 noticed this interview with Nicholas Meyer, director of The Wrath of Khan. (Also uncredited screenwriter for it, as well as involvement in the two others I'd consider the best of the series: writer on IV, and writer & director on VI)

XaoS is a good fractal generator, with plenty to choose from, along with various coloring modes, and an autopilot mode. (OS X, Linux, Windows; or, for older versions, BeOS, OS/2, old Mac OS, and DOS)

A possible sign of corporate retrenchment? It appears Sony's pulling out of LCDs entirely. A little surprising, given the ubiquity of LCDs in new TVs, with plasma remaining a good contender at the upper end - the volumes involved would seem to be still sustainable, as opposed to, say, cellphone and PMP displays, now wholly a commodity offering, though still with differences of quality between manufacturers, and different grades.

Not all that many people probably know of Eudora, but, I still have a soft spot for said mail app. ^_^ It's just been announced that future versions will be free and open source, coming in the first half of 2007, and will be based on Thunderbird. If they manage to make a smooth transition of the underlying engine, I'll certainly give it a try. Mostly, I get along with OS X's Mail quite well, though it still exhibits design quirks that irk me slightly, such as taking a second or two to switch between mailboxes, where Eudora would bring them up instantaneously, as well as leaving mailbox selection in the menubar, rather than as a pane; for something only requiring occasional access, a pane seems an inappropriate UI design choice.
 
 
 
 
 
 
I have used Eudora for ages, the version kuma uses is adware enabled, not too sure if they will all be like from now on
The FAQ mentions they'll simply stop serving ads at some point during the free version's development. They do seem to be going about this very decently, passing the project into the public realm, and not leaving people stranded with a dead-end app - one which quite a few folks still like. I can't help but feel the writing's been on the wall for a while now - first came Outlook, and then when OS X appeared, Mail was included. And given the choice between a free app, good or bad, and one that's either limited, ad-supported, or paid, a lot of people will just take the path of least resistance, quite possibly not even exploring other options.

How well would you say Eudora's kept up with the times? Not that I really use any particularly complex operations - all my email's kept locally, retrieved with plain ole POP3, and I couldn't give a hoot about HMTL in email, given it's only spammers and marketers (funny how closely related the two groups are) who use it. Only thing I remember wishing they'd change was bringing out all those x-eudora-setting prefs into the UI, rather than tucked away like that.
Interesting that they'd choose to hand BBC3 such a coup, but presumably uptake of digital terrestrial and satellite's broad enough now to permit such a move.


Well it was actually originally commissioned by BBC3's director, just given extra BBC funding quite quickly as that channel's budget wouldn't cover it alone, so it makes sense they'd give it full airtime on BBC3 first. =;)

At the end of the day it makes no real difference to the BBC which channel they show it on. It's all licence-fee funded, so huge ratings aren't as vital.
originally commissioned by BBC3's director

Ohh, right.. ! Okay, that would make sense, then.

And, after all, it will be getting a BBC1 airing as well, just a little later on, so nobody need miss out on it. Cunning way of promoting Freeview too, I suspect.. my mother indicated she'd be interested, so maybe I'll pick up a box when I'm able, at some point, given they're down to the £30 mark now, for a basic device. (Which hopefully won't engage in self-immolation or endless crashing/resetting. The NTL box I once used seemed to have a tendency to fall over every couple days, requiring a manual reset..)

Yay lack of ratings concern! Would we see shorts like The Rabbits of Skomer otherwise? (Wonder if that was shot on film/HD? That's something I'd love to see in as good detail as possible. Maybe I can make it over there myself someday, armed with a suitably good (and well insured) camera..)
The Sony decision: I wonder if that includes things such as LCD and LCD-based rear projection TVs? One of their more recent models in the latter category got very good reviews and had a very VERY nice quality picture when I saw it in the showroom (I like to dream I could afford one OK)
That's something I'd been wondering about as well, given their LCD TVs do seem to be well received - and those larger panels surely command a premium when brought in from an external supplier, versus being manufactured within the group. Though sometimes different arms can be just as competitive with each other, sometimes constructively, sometimes not, particularly in Sony's case, with the consumer electronics people seemingly endlessly at odds with the content production wing. Strange how they can come up with some fabulous devices like the PSP, yet also saddle them with software as they foisted on Minidisc owners.

And to think what LCDs were like just 20 years ago.. !
Interesting tactic with Torchwood. Lure people in with one BBC1 episode, then make them wait for the rest. Unless there's a weekday repeat, I shall have to wait until New Year.
There's always BitTorrent, of course; I dare say there's some chance it'll wind up being secondarily distributed thusly. Is Freeview not a reasonable option for you? Seems the boxes are at bargain bin DVD player prices now, for ones that simply act as tuners. Something more PVRish would be nice, of course, as long as it had some way of transferring the data onto a computer, or onto DVD-R. (That said, it's fairly rare for me to rewatch something, for the most part - but then, my level of TV/movie viewing's gone way down in the past few years. I keep winding up feeling more attracted to LJ or SL, for that actual company. Wondrous works they may be, a cinematic experience by oneself is very much a one-way affair)
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Mm, the WaPo feature does focus more on the report than the reactions to it; an unusual request, to be sure, but as the article seems superior, it's a change I that will leave the entry in better standing.
That bear costume is cute... the proportions are too far off for me to find it sexy, but still, it's an interesting idea to take a plushie and turn it into a plushsuit. ^.^
For me, there's just that special appeal of actually being a plushie. ^_^ I suppose you'd inevitably sacrifice some visibility, though you might well be able to see something just through the fur.

So, all I need to do is find a very cheap 6' bunny.. =:)

(Though I did once open up an inflatable orca as an impromptu costume of sorts - worked quite well, in fact. Not one for public use, however)
Thankfully, I have a friend who will be more than happy to send me the episodes of Torchwood as they come out. ^.^ That's how I saw the new Doctor Who a whole season early.

Yay about the plushie suit video. Razzl sent that to me earlier as well. Very cute. :)

And I remember Eudora. I only used web-based email nowadays, but before that, Eudora was my preferred mail client. :)
Well, with any luck, I'd imagine you'll have access to BitTorrent - they're certain to show up there too. It's how I've followed it, given I don't have a TV (the family has a few, though) - that way, I get to enjoy it in full digital widescreen quality in stereo, rather than a mildly cropped version to fit into 4:3, mono, and noisy image. And no fussing around with antenna installation. ^_^

Google Mail works very nicely, but I feel I prefer the way Mail works (eg inserting comments within quoted text is a positive pain with gmail) - plus, it gives me the ability to access all my mail when offline, not only when I'm within reach of a connection.

And it'll change its name to "Penelope", apparently. Hm!
Oh. Xaos. Nearly forgot. I've been using that for ages. If you run Xscreensaver, then it's possible to use Xaos as a screensaver. You need certain options to turn on autopilot etc but Xscreensaver handles the launching of it and the detection of activity etc.

If you need it, I can probably dig out how I did that.
Oh, no need, but thanks - I don't actually use any screensavers. So often they're so CPU-heavy - I just leave something BOINCy running without graphics, and let the display turn off after half an hour or so, both to preserve the backlight, and avoid having Hyzenthlay act as an expensive (but very flexible) nightlight. ^_^
So, do you think I should upgrade my Eudora now or wait until it goes open source? (I'm using 5.2.1 now.) Will the first open source version be the same as version 6.2.4, or will it already have changed? I guess I'm not clear on just what this means...
Oof, difficult to say.. they could just be replacing the underlying mechanics, much as OmniWeb 5.5 brought in WebKit to replace their own erstwhile HTML engine, leaving it otherwise indistinguishable from the "original" (but much faster!), or they might choose to integrate Eudora with Thunderbird, resulting in something new. I'd hope they'll leave it recognisably Eudora, though - there wouldn't seem much point in the exercise otherwise.

I did notice they'll stop serving ads for the sponsored version at some point in Penelope's development, though, so you could always see how 6.2.4 suits you, and remain using that without any ads actually appearing.

Rather a pity, in a way, but maybe it'll turn out to be a good thing in the long run - it's not really been receiving much attention from Qualcomm for a few years now, with Windows users happy with Outlook/Entourage, Thunderbird, or more exotic options like TheBat!, and the Mac market mostly acquiesced to Mail.