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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.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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..)
(Which hopefully won't engage in self-immolation or endless crashing/resetting)

4 years after the first of the current generation boxes came out, you'd think that... but DTT box software is *still* terribly prone to crashing if you do things like... change channels too often, or use teletext. Can you imagine them getting away with a video machine or television that crashed as much?
Ye gods. That's pretty bad going.. I can only ascribe that to poor software architecture. Resilience is one aspect, so things like the decoder don't get thrown off by illegal data streams, but then there are aspects like thread safety, or even fundamental issues like protected memory management.

But when it comes to technology, sometimes people just seem overly accommodating of unreliability - not helped by vendors who turn out bad code and seldom see any legal action forcing them to accept liability for it. Such a lack of responsibility seems endemic to IT in general, when you look at the multiple instances of laptops being stolen, with all manner of commercially and militarily sensitive information stored, with absolutely no safeguards taken as available on vanilla OSs, let alone anything custom made to afford additional security for specific machines.

I wonder if any of the open source HTPC projects include open DVB-T designs..