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Here's a neat competition: the ScienceBlogs 500,000th Comment Contest (currently at 473,593 as I type this, passing about 10k per week). "Grand prize: A 5-day trip to the greatest science city in the world — as nominated by our bloggers and as voted on by you." The contenders are Cambridge, Cambridge, and San Francisco. =;) (The first Cambridge is way ahead in the voting) It does appear to be open to anyone over 18, not restricted to inhabitants of any given sliver of the planet.

Simply wonderful. I'd suggest just watching Robbie Dingo's video (low resolution YouTube version here), before reading the story behind it, of how one master's painting was beautifully brought to life in SL. It's fascinating to watch, but it's the final result that's simply breathtaking.

What was most likely a Yangtze River dolphin was caught on film in August. ^_^ Of course, that still leaves them on the brink of extinction, but at least, on the right side of it.

shep_shepherd pointed out a track that I'd long lost in the recesses of what passes for my brain - Space's "Magic Fly". I'd never even known it was called that. ^_^;

[Edit: the article's since been pulled. Hopefully just a hoax, though this story it cited from the Daily Telegraph, a conservative UK broadsheet, illustrates the current state of thinking in the White House and Tehran remains pronouncedly tense] The drumbeat for more US war's been getting louder recently, with Iran in the spotlight. Nothing new - supposedly that's been in the works almost as long as invading Iraq (and may well have come close, of course. The US vs USSR standoff had one or two extremely close calls). Still, this report supposedly comes from "an LSO [Landing Signal Officer] on a carrier attack group that is planning and staging a strike group deployment into the Gulf of Hormuz", claiming that "all the Air Operation Planning and Asset Tasking are finished. That means that all the targets have been chosen, prioritized, and tasked to specific aircraft, bases, carriers, missile cruisers and so forth" and "I don’t think it’s limited at all. We are shipping in and assigning every damn Tomahawk we have in inventory. I think this is going to be massive and sudden, like thousands of targets. I believe that no American will know when it happens until after it happens."

loganberrybunny spotted an eminently worthwhile read: Jeremy Paxman's James McTaggart memorial lecture, on the nature and purpose of British television. It's an eloquent and amusing discourse on just what the industry does, and should, stand for, particularly in light of scandals such as a phone-in competition, using a premium rate number, where the outcome was already predetermined. It's not a brief piece, but highly enjoyable, even if worrisome. Comment 53 particularly hits on some pertinent issues. And as 102 quotes, "Because if they are right, and this instrument is good for nothing but to entertain, amuse and insulate, then the tube is flickering now and we will soon see that the whole struggle is lost. This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box."

Here's a sequencer/instrument that's best seen, rather than described - Yamaha's Tenori-On. It's essentially a multitouch-aware frame of a 16x16 matrix of LEDs, with some quite cool software behind it.

Bunnies selling air freshener! They could've got patch_bunny for that role. (And there's another with a raccoon too, as well as in this rather disturbing fable)

An inspiring journal entry on resistance to war, with the author invoking less famous figures and situations including Te Whiti o Rongomai, Julia Howe, the Levellers, and the Wilhelmshaven mutiny.

I don't often go for hiphop, with rare exceptions, but "Katia, Tania, Paulina y la Kim" is just a coolly funky track (seemingly Brazilian in origin), from the eclectic North/Central/Southern American "Piñata" from the Mexican Institute of Sound, aka boss of EMI Mexico. ^_^

Seeing it was a lovely (well, there was certainly some blueness in the sky) Thursday, I thought I'd take an extended wander around, given I needed to head into town anyway. So, Hyzenthlay came along as well, for the first time in quite a while, even if it didn't see much use, in the end - no open WiFi to be seen, and the sunlight had the inevitable effect upon its matte display. (If you have a glossy display laptop, can you compare how it fares outdoors? I've read highly favorable reports from MacBook owners that they're much better in such situations) The PSP fared similarly; that said, both were surprisingly usable. What nudged me away was more the number of rugrats nearby, as quiet as can be expected. (Simian babies and children are always so noisy. Even canids can control themselves far better, for the most part)

A relaxing afternoon, all the same. I visited the library to fetch a couple books I hadn't finished last time - Stephen Baxter's "Evolution" (having been quite taken by "Space", less so by "Origin"), and Pablo Tusset's "The best thing that can happen to a croissant". Seems they've reworked the layout a little, within the tragically small confines of the building, making it somewhat less confining in the process. It's a small library, but they manage to maintain quite a good variety. The DVDs tend towards the mainstream, though there is a good number of less well-known titles amongst them. Oddly, they carry PSP games, but not DS.

Today, a much greyer and cooler day, but still pleasant for a walk. Bemusing moment of the afternoon.. well, a couple minutes' walk from home is an old castle (albeit not of the kind that could host a furcon), complete with wide moat, which is now in the center of a moderately well sized park. Too much for one wag, it seems, to resist climbing up inside and playing the part of the French Knight.. who duly engaged in verbal battle with someone who really, painfully, did not get the joke. ^_^;

Pinky and Bunny research why did the US fight in Vietnam (FLV)? It's a detailed piece, at forty minutes.

If you buy many DVDs, or just follow new releases, what have been some particularly memorable packaging styles you've seen? I admit, I'm quite taken by the special edition Simpsons Movie OST, and who couldn't love a Cyberman box set?

GIT's working on what could emerge as Bluetooth's successor. Operating around 60GHz, the current prototypes offer 5Gbps at 5 meters, rising to 15Gbps at one meter - enough bandwidth for high quality wireless video links, or downloading a movie from a vending machine in a matter of seconds.

Thus spake Mr Gaiman: "Let's see. Pandas. I knew about the Chengdu Panda reserve because I had a friend who worked there for a summer. Really, it was all I knew about Chengdu. It's lovely. And it's a wonderful thing being an honoured foreign guest somewhere like that -- you get shown all the cool stuff, get to see Pandas, red ones and giant ones, and then find yourself put in a blue disposable smock and gloves (to protect the pandas from you, asnd not the other way around) and you get a year-old Panda placed on your lap. Utter, utter happiness. Better than any number of awards. Makes being a writer completely worthwhile. I suspect that world peace and harmony would come about in weeks if people just got to put pandas on their laps every few months. Honest."

If you're a musician in the south of England, one Apple vendor's offering a free hour of recording studio time, in Brighton, Bournemouth, or Hove. "The company is inviting musical types to bring along an instrument, their voice, or just turn up with ideas. Solutions Inc. staff will help record, edit and re-mix a track."

"A call by Puerto Rico's governor for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq earned a standing ovation Saturday from a conference of more than 4,000 National Guardsmen."

Well, this should be fun.. Twice Upon A Time, a relatively unknown animated feature from 1983, with something of a split personality - two versions were produced, one of which supposedly ventured into more risque territory and aired about once on HBO, before being supplanted by a milder version strongly favored by the other producer. It's the former version I'll be (hopefully) enjoying.

An early look at the ZunePhone. =:)

It's only a tiny start, but it is a start: two modules of the SL server code have been released. Which Linden says "This is some of the server code, and more will be coming out sometime in the future, and I don’t really know any more detail than that. :)"

"The Reflexive Architecture project, created by RL 3D Experience Architect Jon Brouchoud (Keystone Bouchard in SL), is an attempt to change the way we think about the until-now static nature of architecture in virtual spaces. When people naysay about SL, saying that it's just a glorified chatroom, I point with pride to locations like this one."

Might be worth playing around with: Fauxto, a free online image editor.

When you die, would you leave your Second Life - or other virtual worlds - belongings in a Will to someone?

Rather a cool SL build: the Kölner Dom - Cologne Cathedral, the result of a collaboration between German SL developer teams and the curator of the real thing, Dr Barbara Schock Werner. Perhaps even more impressive, though, is Red Square, which debuted at 8pm on Moscow's 860th anniversary on Sep 1.

More Linden Lab fun.. the Electric Sheep Company's one of the most well-known design boutiques for organisations and companies wanting a professional presence in SL. One employee was running a stress test on a project, and wound up getting banned for the weekend.

Some good discussion on Linden Lab's new "ID Verification" scheme.

Joust: The Movie?

"In response to a lawsuit brought last year by conservation organizations, Federal District Court Judge Saundra Armstrong issued an order finding the Bush administration in violation of the Global Change Research Act of 1990 for failing to produce an updated Research Plan and a National Assessment as required by the statute.

The Research Plan and National Assessment required by the Global Change Research Act are intended to be the preeminent documents guiding federal research and policy-making on issues related to global warming. The Research Plan guides all federal climate research, while the National Assessment serves to provide an understandable summary of global warming impacts on the environment, economy, human health and human safety of the United States and is to by used by Congress and federal agencies in setting policy and responding to global warming. The last National Assessment was issued in late 2000 under the Clinton administration. Its use and dissemination was suppressed by the Bush administration, and the required update in 2004 was never produced. The Research Plan was required by law to be updated in 2006 but also has never been produced.

The Court ordered the Bush administration to issue the draft overdue Research Plan by March 1, 2008, with a final 90 days thereafter, and the National Assessment by May 31, 2008."

Los Disneys: "Your job is to infiltrate the Magic Kingdom (now the state capital) in an attempt to seek and destroy the cryogenically frozen head of Walt Disney. However, doing so inadvertantly triggers Eisner's doomsday device, sending a series of thermonuclear warheads deep beneath the surrounding waters of the peninsula to devastate every major city in the world - unless you can stop it."

worthyadvisor spotted this wonderful selection of geek wedding cakes. =:D

Gods, no this does not bode well. This administration is delusional at it's core. It MUST defend these delusions, must be right or it's world-view completely collapses. Rather shattering for the psyche. They believe that they're the ones with the answer and complete and utter disaster will happen if they're not allowed to do what they KNOW is right. This is of course rather unfortunate as it's their course that will lead to their nice little foretold armageddon. That's the problem when you run things by faith rather than by reason. What happens when a scientist is forced to change his opinion or world-view. Nothing, he shrugs says "Gosh that's interesting, who'd have thought." Contrast that to what happens to someone who's god has died.

I just had a flash. I've always been afraid of being in a critically dangerous situation with my dad. Reason being that he'd be set to do the wrong thing and would completely panic. At the same time he would consider himself to be right on top of things, completely calm, and the only one qualified to do what needed to be done. Yes, he's the person who would wrestle you for the wheel of the bus as it careened towards the cliff.
It does tie in with the general authoritarian mindset - no course of action but one leading to complete domination of a situation is correct. Trouble is, what to do about it? Bush knows he's got complete carte blanche at this point - he doesn't need to be concerned about re-election, and there's no danger of the Democrats removing him from office, given their active assistance with crafting a worse version of FISA, and continuing to fund Iraq without any aim or plan.

Is this tied in with the recent spate of departures? (Rove, Gonzales, even poor Snow, unable to survive on a piddling $168k/year)

One wonders how many other countries in the world are eagerly eyeing the acquisition of nuclear weaponry, to fend off such threats..

This is, I fear, going to be a situation to monitor closely; though as they said, it's likely to be done before anyone realises it's happening, unless the orders are actually refused, which seems implausible.
A dying dinosaur thrashing it's tail, wreaking havoc on all. That's a good point about this sort of shit being a spur for other countries to acquire some nukes of their own. Cornered rats and all. Now I know that you would probably very likely get a balk if there were orders to go nuclear, but I'm not so confident about a conventional strike no matter what the size.
It's a tragic situation. $500b+ with another $200b in the forthcoming supplemental (let alone all the equipment replacing, and the long-term care for the wounded veterans - those outlandish estimates earlier on from more sceptical quarters of exceeding a trillion seem almost optimistic now), for what? Militant groups are more popular than ever, as they're not needing to offer propoganda - the news is quite sufficient. Of a population of 25m, some 2m are displaced internally, another 2m dispersed amidst neighboring states (and they're not thrilled with being forced to absorb so many people, leading to many being turned away from Syria and Jordan, for example), and in the region of 1m plain dead as a result of the invasion and subsequent civil war.

Bush will have his legacy. Not quite the one he'd hoped for, though.

Assuming there's not any larger scale carnage in the works, I still wonder how much taller the financial house of cards can be stacked - for decades, the mood in DC's been to just borrow endlessly, unconcerned with paying their way. Low taxes, they cry, until such time as the effects of such make themselves felt, as with the poor condition of bridge maintenance; once the problem's too obvious to ignore, then it's given the attention some politicians had been trying to lend it.

And check todays Doonesbury. This "legacy" will drip decades and generations of blood. Yah the idea of an Iran invasion as an October Surprise looks chillingly realistic. They'll pull the fucking "Don't change horses in mid-stream." thing.

I saw a documentary at least fifteen years ago showing how New York and other major cities were decaying from within. Pipeline valves the size of houses, over a hundred years old, can't be replaced, can't be fixed. If it goes out, no more water for five million people. Oh joy! Is it true that they're spending something like ONE POINT TWO BILLION for a new stadium in New York? Truly Uncle Sam is a gambling whore-mongering alcoholic who beats his wife and lets his kids starve.
"The drumbeat for more US war's been getting louder recently..."
Why is it all the wrong people die? Bush & Co., Ltd. I'm looking in your direction.

"...who really, painfully, did not get the joke."
'I fart in your general direction!'
'Don't be so obscene.'
*16 Tons*

"...if people just got to put pandas on their laps every few months."
On their laps every few months? Only every few months? ^_^

Yesterday's climate was pretty much perfect here. 85 with a breeze, cloudless, with 'an azure sky of deepest summer.' I actually decided to go for a walk on the construction road (where there's not a whole lot of that going on). So blue was the sky that my entirely black outfit (minus green beret) had a blue glow. It was surreal: I loved it.
The knight did indeed call out the first line. (And many more) Hearing the other side of the repartee being of a slightly different nature - more along the lines of "FUCK YOU!" - was quite surreal. I felt it appropriate not to giggle. Then, at least.

Perhaps, until red panda numbers can be raised sufficiently high, people could be issued with a few bunnies each. Not the same, but really, not such a bad substitute either. ^_^

A construction road with no construction? Are there mobile homes that never go anywhere at the end? (I need to watch The Last Starfighter again. Such a fun film. Did you ever get to see the DVD extras? The retrospective documentary was quite illuminating, illustrating just how innovative the film's production necessarily was, with much of the software required being written on the spot, laying the way for the kinds of 3D packages we can now pluck off the shelf)

Sounds like you need a photographer trailing you. Maybe the NSA can oblige? =:)

Supposedly Tuesday may be another particularly bright day, though one forecast's since backed off on that. On the other paw, it's when the dear little angels go back to immerse themselves in their daytime studies, which would seem to clinch the deal. ^_^
More bunnies! More kittens! Send them to those in power with their fur heavily laced with MDMA!

Last Starfighter. I've played that game, I think they called it "Descent". Yah, revolutionary. Was it Cray's or Thinking Machines that they used? Supercomputers for twenty minutes of stuff that we wouldn't pay five bucks for today.
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Oh that and more! Let's all have a groovy love-in! Here, gimme a hug! I've often thought of how NIGGER! funny it would be to KIKE BASTARD! dose a politician with FUCK CHINK WHORE! something that gave them CUNT FAGGOT COCK-SUCKER! Tourette's syndrome.

Nanosaurs looks nifty. Will have to get someone in town to download it for me.
The perfect opener for a new channel operated by Larry Flynt. =:D

Nanosaur's pretty cool - and light system requirements, by current standards, given it came out in 1998 or so, so even Bunny (266MHz G3 with a 4MB Rage Pro Mobility, woo!) ran it beautifully. ISTR he released the source for it a while back, for non-commercial use - on the Mac side, the catch is it used the Apple-developed QuickDraw3D, rather than OpenGL, which was still somewhat immature on Mac OS then. When OS X came out, QD3D got booted out, and OpenGL made into the (or, I suppose, a) native graphics API instead. I've never touched QD3D, so I wouldn't know how much work might be required for an OS X version.. might be interesting finding out, though.

And I should note the deleted comment above was mine - I hopped straight back to add to it, and deleted the original, but apparently you'd replied already. ^_^;
Funny you should write this, as I just read the similar Encyclopedia Dramatica's entry on Richard Nixon.
Hmm. Might not be a bad idea, actually.. isn't one of MDMA's characteristics that it tends to make one much more inclined to be open and forthright about one's feelings? Seeing a genuine display of emotion at a presidential address might be quite worthwhile. Though I'd imagine it'd only make his supporters love him even more..

Descent, yay! I need to unearth that sometime. Not that I was any good at it, but it played well - the ship felt right , somehow. ISTR there's an open source project for an OS X version of it, but I don't recall seeing my (required for the levels) game CD around lately. :-P Nanosaur 2's pretty fun, but I think I still prefer the original - velociraptor FTW. ^_^ Mmm, now there's a good excuse to get Bunny back up.. that boots into OS 9 fine, and plays the game perfectly. (Though, I'll admit, Hyzenthlay's 17" display, at normal laptop distance, makes for a fairly panoramic flying vista)

Yep, Crays - not sure if they were X-MP or Y-MPs, but in those series, I believe. Supposedly good systems for coding on, and of course, iconic industrial design. Not too light on power consumption, though; apparently the main power rail wasn't wiring as such, but solid copper rod 1" in cross-section. For overall processor throughput that could be eclipsed easily by an old laptop now..

I still adore the Starfighter design. ^_^ (Designed by one of the same guys behind much of Star Wars' look, I believe)
1) A single X-MP.
2) Ron Cobb.
"Are there mobile homes that never go anywhere at the end?"
Is the pope German?

"Did you ever get to see the DVD extras?"
Never did.

"Sounds like you need a photographer trailing you. Maybe the NSA can oblige?"
I'm sure they already do.

That's good! The sun emerges as they toddle off for learnies, as California emerges through Mrs. Rittenrottenhouse's window.
Mmmurrrrr. Pandas!
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Ah, they're actually for sale now? Did they have a price on them, or is it "if you need to ask, you can't afford it"?

Though if I were to go for a strange instrument, I feel I'd probably be lured in by a theremin - doubly so if it could report its parameters to a host computer. There's surely a MIDI theremin out there somewhere..

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Ahh, 'kay. As much as anything, maybe they're just not confident how commercial an item it is.. though I'd be amazed if they couldn't sell at least modest numbers just to the musically curious, assuming they could retail for a matter of some hundreds of CurrencyUnitOfChoice. By the looks of it, the hardware probably wouldn't be all that expensive at all - it's the software where much of the magic lies. If we're lucky, the designers can pitch it as a toy, and have them turned out by the million for $100 a pop. ^_^

I've long thought it's quite a pity the theremin hasn't really made its way into the musical mainstream, when it clearly has considerable possibilities. As much as anything, I can't help but feel its ease in generating "eerie" sounds condemned it cinematically to that role, and the rest followed.

Mm, the tabla family do have a great sound - and they definitely are fun to play. Great party instruments - anyone can have fun with them. ^_^ (At a previous gig, in a particularly musically inclined company - traditionally, audio processors for broadcast radio, ironically - one pair of friends/coworkers held fairly frequent weekend parties up in the City, and the tabla there saw a good bit of playful use. Tabla, Tom Waits, and a sunny back yard in San Francisco.. really not such a bad combination =:)

As long as you're writing about Second Life stuff, check out my story in today's SF Chron. :)
Oh, that's rather spiffy. Congrats! Gives me a possible idea for some coding, too..

Give a thought to checking out that Robbie Dingo video - you might quite appreciate it. (Go for the high res version, definitely) Such a pity it was only a temporary build, but with the current cost of sims, so it goes - $300/mo is a bit much for most people to maintain purely for the fun of it.
Oh, I saw it, and am insisting that my roommate/sweetie/resident furry artist fuct_boi watch it. :)
I wasn't really sure which painting was being "built" when I watched the video, but as soon as I saw the swirly sky come into place I almost squealed :P That's a pretty cool idea though, remaking a painting as a virtual place to explore and nose around in. There are certainly lots of paintings that come to mind that I wish I could just sorta hop in and wander about through (Though I think Mary Poppins might have had a bit of an influence there... :P)

There's seriously a lot more going on with SL than I thought, honestly I almost feel compelled to give it a try again, especially now that I have a faster connection and access to some faster computers...

As for "Static-nature of architecture in virtual spaces", after playing through the beginning of American McGee's Alice I'm quite happy to have all my virtual spaces stay exactly the way they are, thank you very much ;P

Oh BTW the article on Iran you linked to in the fifth paragraph seems to be gone :S I'm sure it probably isn't much but I can't help but get a Big Brother sense here...

Now if only I could get Chris a Teen Girl Squad birthday cake...
I suppose someone with more of a classical arts background - which most certainly (to my regret) doesn't include me, with a couple years of Latin the closest I can claim to such - would've picked up on the clues quite quickly. I had tiny tinklings going off, I think, but as with you, it was the sky that yelled out just what was going on. Lovely touch, ending with that frame, and the artist fading from the scene. I wish I'd known it was going on! Still, I suppose there wasn't much time for offering tourism.

It's things like that which make me long for the day when the server code is opened up, hopefully ushering in a heterogeneous, seamlessly linked web of SL servers. Something like that could be worked on in a leisurely manner on someone's home box, then later transferred to a colo box, or a facility such as Linden Lab's grid, if someone wanted to sponsor its public presence. Hopefully, if they are indeed working on migrating straight to Havok 4 for the physics engine, that might - as I understand it - reduce the processor load of a sim. (As things stand, it's roughly a 1:1 ratio of processor cores and sims, with the current servers being dual dual-core) Of course, bandwidth would still be an issue for many DSL connections, and some cable as well, but as with running Apache at home, it'd be fine for just light playing around, at a bit less than the current island cost.

Ah well - just have to wait and see. Or hypnotise the top Lindens into revealing their plans. =:)

Oooh, Alice! I need to dig up that demo again. Seemed like such a neat premise - though perhaps Bryan Talbot's Alice in Sunderland promises much more, given he's been responsible for the superlative graphic novel work of The Adventures of Luther Arkwright, and the potent One Bad Rat.

Indeed, it seems that article got pulled - I saw an opposing article posted, and went back to the original to see if someone had been able to dismiss it as a hoax, but the comments didn't seem to have any conclusive outcome to that effect. Hopefully it was just a product of an overactive imagination, though the situation does remain very tense, with the White House remaining utterly convinced - or at least, sending that outward message - Iran's destined soon for nuclear weapons. The Telegraph story I linked to by way of replacement is much less dramatic in tone, but not a great deal more reassuring.

I think if I ever had cause for a cake like that, I'd see if they could recreate that Soro pic by Fel, as in this icon.. =:) (Or maybe that wonderful Ken Sample piece with the brown bunny and those memorable footpads..) Hm. Wonder if Fel's ever tried his hand at artwork in icing.. surely must be very tricky, though I suppose one could cheat and print out an almost invisible layer to act as a guide sheet, or maybe project the image down onto the cake. Would make quite a change to see edible works in a furcon art show.. ^_^

The panda thing is nice, although I hope that the animals are treated well there; Chinese zoos in general don't seem to have the best reputation, so I hope that this one is going to be the exception rather than the rule.

The zunePhone ad was funny, too. :) I do think that the author's giving them too much credit, though. ^_~

MMm, and the cakes look nice, too. Somebody should do furry wedding (or pawfasting) cakes! :)

I'll still read the articles on Daily Kos and Santa Barbara News Press, too... those should be interesting as well.

(Oh, and I'm sorry for the lack of comments on the rest, but most of it seems to be either Second Life or YouTube videos. :P)
My understanding is the Chengdu establishment's more of a preserve, not a zoo; I'll happily investigate on your behalf. =:) (Thankfully, it's not nearly as difficult to enjoy the comfort of a warm bunny)

It's quite impressive how such ads can be made just by an individual and the right software - a spoof in this case, but there were a few remarkably good iPhone ones floating around prior to its announcement, like this one (I think, at least - it's giving me "currently not available, please try again later", which doesn't sound like a deletion.. ?) as well.

As I was musing above, wouldn't it be fun to see a cake or two in a furcon art show? Everyone indulges in pencils, inks, and paints on paper, but very few display works involve an oven. ^_^ (Though there'd still be the occasional chucklehead who'd only wonder about getting it home once they'd bought it, and expect the con staff to be able to mail it =:)

Aw, no love for the air-freshener bunnies or the fable? You're missing out on a superb piece of 3D creativity with Robbie Dingo.. maybe pretend it's WoW or some future version of The Sims, or a Maya animation?

I hope that Georgia Tech interface comes to commercial realisation. It'd be nifty to have a laptop without a display cable to get crunched by a hinge. Supposedly that's (understandably) one weak point of laptops with displays that can swivel around.. not difficult to see how that can be a problem, of course, given the microscopic gauge of the wires involved - here's a cross-section photo of the cable from a TiBook, about 3/4 down the page. With wires that thin, it's almost a source of wonder laptop displays survive the first dozen openings and closings. ^_^

Mmm. OK, a preserve is better than a zoo, yes... I hope. c.c

I'll check out the spoof when I get back Internet access at home again - in the meantime, I don't think that the message you got sounds like a deletion, but I'm not sure, of course.

Yeah, it'd be fun seeing cakes at furcons, too. ^.^ Of course, I personally don't even go to the art shows anymore - I only checked them out very briefly the last few years, and didn't go at all this year. There really is no point - if I want furry art, I'll go to FA or VCL or so, and if I want to *buy* it, I'll go to Furbid. Art shows at cons are just a hassle, not to mention a completely commercial, only-in-it-for-the-money kind of thing that I really don't like.

As for the youtube videos.. I may check out some of those, but usually, I'm not a fan of youtube. The reason is simply that you have to invest time to be able to say whether they're worth it; unlike pictures or web pages, you can't just give them a quick glance. (As for the rest... the words "Second Life" are just kind of a red flag for me, sorry. 10% of that is due to technical restrictions and braindeadness that could be fixed, but 90% is due to a business model that ultimately only exists to ensure a steady income for LL in the form of real money being exchanged for L$; the whole way SL is built is to ensure a top-down economy, and it's entirely antithetical to all the free culture/CC/FOSS/... stuff that I believe in. SL has a huge amount of potential to be a collaborational sharing tool that could change the world to a similar extent as the Internet as such has done, but as long as it's controlled by a commercial entity willing to forego all that potential in order to make some quick bucks...)

Mmm, interesting photos. And yeah, it's quite interesting that laptop displays survive at all, but... well, when you think about it, the same goes for many computer parts. I myself still find it quite fascinating that modern CPUs can be made to work at all, for example. :)
It's quite odd - I just checked that iPhone clip on Google Video again, only to find the same error. Perhaps it's been suspended by the uploader? No matter - it's not anything life-changing, after all, and I probably have a copy kicking around on a backup DVD-R somewhere. Hopefully your access is back to normal now, or very soon. (If the phone winds up getting replaced, maybe you can ensure its successor permits it to be used as a modem - could be a handy emergency backup)

I don't quite agree on Linden Lab's model, given that most of their revenue comes from sim owners. In-world, there's no need for money - of course, one can spend plenty on clothing, toys, elaborate houses, and suchlike, but I'm happy with just the numerous freebies around. In-world, I've spent.. maybe $6 in total, on my two avs (first a pink bun from Lost Creatures, then a white bun from Ninja Weasel Studios, which I later tweaked to add snowshoe hare black eartips), which seems like a very fair price for some rather good modelling design and support scripting. Those creators (like anyone else0 can then transfer L$ into their PayPal account, or for a US$ check, for larger amounts. LL takes a commission of a couple percent in exchange transactions, I believe; I've only made one exchange, as it was a convenient means of sending a friend some money quickly without me needing a PayPal account.

As for open source, well, bear in mind the client's source was opened a while back - it's available for OS X, Windows, and Linux. The server remains closed, but they've repeatedly dropped hints that'll be changing as well, and the OpenSim project's well underway to establish a fully open source compatible sim - possibly better than the original, ultimately, as the current server's very demanding, leading to the present situation of each CPU only being able to support one or two sims. (Hence the high setup fee - you're effectively paying for a quarter of a blade)

Don't worry if you'd like to cease the discussion at this point; that's fine. But if you want to continue, I'd be happy to offer any illumination towards a better understanding of SL.

Did you see this story on one IBM research scientist's hope for a new form of memory storage? (He previously came up with the magnetoresistive effect in the early 90s, which boosted HD densities) Basically nanoscale wire filaments, which tiny magnets would be threaded on, their position reflecting their binary state. Apparently it's all working in laboratory conditions - the trick now, of course, is to bring it into a commercially practical form. They're hoping for perhaps a 10-100x increase in storage capacity against a similar volume hard drive, noting that we're somewhat shifting from computing needs being processor-heavy to more of a need for storage, especially in compact devices. You'd think ThinkGeek or suchlike would offer a ferrite ring array USB drive.. =:)

I don't know - can you suspend videos on Google Video at all? I'd also expect a more informative error message if you could, but then, you never know...

As for SL... a quarter of a blade for every user? That's INSANE - and here I thougt the client was an inefficient piece of bloat. c.c

Mmm, using SL to send money to people is an interesting idea, though. I wonder how long it'll be before someone'll accuse LL of suppporting the OMGterrorists - or until LL will secretly pass on the data for all transactions to the feds. Well, thinking about it, I'd be surprised if they didn't do that already...

But yeah, I'm not sure talking about SL is really going to lead anywhere. I've got some big issues with both the client (technical issues; fixable) and the business model and its societal repercussions (economic issues; won't get fixed, since this is how LL makes money). I still think that SL has a huge amount of potential, but it's all being sacrificed on the altar of shareholder value and venture capitalism.

Ah well. Interesting article, though - we'll see what'll become of that. :) I've got to say that if I think back, a need for storage has always been one of the limiting factors in computing - although CPU power has, too, of course. Both these things have become (comparatively) less important, though, and I personally predict that ultimately, what will matter much more than it does even now is power consumption. (Seriously - I just read a review of some AMD-based notebooks in c't a few weeks ago, and they all would last only a few hours at most without recharging the batteries, especially under load. Wouldn't you like to have a computer that will actually work for a week before you need to plug it in again? Or why not a month? And for that matter, why not have a desktop system that'll draw less power and create a smaller power bill, less excess heat, and less fan noise?)