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In a most welcome move indeed, the New York Times has closed its TimesSelect service, making such formerly "premium" work available freely on the site instead. 'The move is an acknowledgment by The Times that making Web site visitors pay for content would not bring in as much money as making it available for free and supporting it with advertising.'

Now, scalies can be cute (and shiny), and bunnies, well.. so, say you had a TF sequence taking one hapless individual from the former to the latter condition, expressed in toony sketchings reminiscent of Warner's golden age, you might expect it'd have some appeal to me. Oh yes. =:D

And for a shinier kind of TF, there's this one by Jutland Claymore, starting with two furs, one of latex. ^_^ (Thanks to mycroftb for finding that!) Or there's Kenzik's similarly shiny TFs here and here.

Some cars are lovingly customised. Some.. are less fathomable, as jirris_midvale unfortunately noticed. Thus, the pain must be shared. [Edit: bah! Photo's temporarily offline]

SL Ballet's debuting a new production on Sunday, "with original choreography by Inarra Saarinen and a score by Louis Volare. 'Windows' is a series of vignettes about seeing glimpses of a person's life and loves." 5pm, on IBM 10 (14,179).

So, I'm finally caught up with the SL Music Dev list again - from which I learn there'll finally be a music venue section in a revamped Showcase area on the LL site, drawn on user-submitted contributions - and I'm on top of the SL Dev list as well, which looks like it'll be an excellent addition to my LSL resources. Rather cool seeing genuine discussion taking place with lindenlab.com addresses, too. (FWIW, the source is now up - no big changes, basically just the addition of the IE URL handling vulnerability patch) The bug tracker is well worth perusing, too - there's some good discussion to be found, such as here, initially suggesting visual muting of objects on 16x16 parcels, to effectively eliminate adfarms.

Oh, such a gorgeous plush hare, from Hansa. (Though I would've posed the ears a little less awkwardly =:) About my only criticism would be less obvious seam lines, but that's a difficult problem, unless the fur nap's quite long.

Stephen Fry - who now has his own weblog, echoed on fryblog - takes a long, penetrating gaze at the history and state of smartphones; like any journey through history, the vistas are replete with grandeur and shit, and this one's no exception. It's primarily intended for a gadgethead audience, but it remains a good read for those of us largely uninterested in such devices, given his particular style of writing.

plushlover spotted this superb two-dimensional chart for outcomes of modern lifestyle choices. =:D

Best comment on the video of a student being tasered at a John Kerry speech: "When the Taser was first introduced, we heard it was only to be used in a case where deadly force was the only alternative. This was also the excuse for when the Taser killed someone--well we would have had to used deadly force, they would say, wringing their hands. Now the Taser is used for behaviorial modification in places that deadly force would never be used: ordering a student out of a library, making a protestor not ask a question at a political forum. (I have no sympathy for a protestor being arrested for disrupting a political event, but there is no excuse for being tased), or silencing an unruly defendant. Bouncers at clubs are without such devices and yet can maintain order, merely by threat and menance of force: why aren't the police doing this? Have we lost the ability to defuse without escalation and torture?"

A guy buys a laptop backpack, uses it, strap breaks. 'Dave had only purchased it a few months previously so decided to return to PC World and request an exchange. However, on entering the Leeds branch of PC World and explaining that he had been carrying his 17-inch Apple MacBook Pro in the bag, Dave was bemused to hear the store's response. "I was told, in no uncertain terms, that the bag that I had purchased was 'incompatible with Mac laptops'."' (El Reg also refer back to another story with the same chain, where they refused to repair a broken display hinge because the guy had installed Linux)

The good news: Logic Studio comes with a rather nifty showcase disc, including Logic Pro sessions from a number of folks, including Plaid and Shiny Toy Guns. The bad news: Hyzenthlay's too slow to use any of them. :-P I can try dropping Logic Node onto Ocelot, but I doubt a 400MHz G4 will be much of a network boost to a 1.67GHz G4. ^_^;

"A wild rabbit grooms its ear along a road near Great Falls, Montana", as found by djmermaid.
That poor scalie... :(
*giggle* I noticed a couple similar sentiments in the comments.

Hmm. I should see if relee's going to design that TF gun.. =:)
He's just come up with the reverse scenario. =:) Not as good a piece, I think, but still amusing.
When the Taser was first introduced, we heard it was only to be used in a case where deadly force was the only alternative

I was thinking the exact same thing when watching it on this morning's news. When they were first rolling them out I never heard of suggestions to expand the use of force.
That's a perennial problem with any issue that's potentially much broader than its initial purview would suggest, sometimes exploited entirely deliberately, so as to get, say, some initial legislation passed. Even in more benign scenarios, mission creep can be something to be very wary of.

It's perhaps a little surprising - and most distressing - that the reaction in some quarters was simply one of "he wasn't cooperating, so he deserved it all", but when the political atmosphere's so heavily polluted as to accept the nullification of habeas corpus and official sanctioning of torture, maybe not so much.
I once went around and asked about it, and you'd be surprised how many people here in Canada are actually in support of torture. Especially considering how few have any respect for authority or the police.
When I say here in Canada I mean my little part of it, Sarnia. I'm just pointing out that I'm from another country, but I realized it came out sounding kinda global. XD
As I understand it, the principle of taser use now is that it prevents police officers from coming to harm. They're just doing their job, they say, and these people are attacking them, or a threat to them.

Of course you ask me, being a threat never constitutes a crime. Untill you graduate from threat to hazard, you're clean.
Nice to hear the NYT finally got a clue. :)

The second "Rubberized" comic was quite nice (the first was OK, too), but the author really, Really, REALLY needs to get a "how to draw canines" book and figure out the difference between wolves and dogs. Really.

The car jirris_midvale apparently linked to's gone. :P Ah well.

Yeah, good comment about the taser incident as well. You may be interested to hear that Greg Palast has offered the student in question a position as a paid intern, BTW, although I don't know if he accepted that one yet.
It's very good to see. Hopefully the site won't be plastered with ads as a result, but I suppose those can be dealt with easily enough. ^_^ (In OmniWeb, a checkbox; I've just downloaded an ad blocking CSS as well, which offers the main benefit of dealing with Flash ads, which I find horribly distracting, as the designers are usually unable to resist having blocks of text or images moving around constantly, while you're trying to read something on the site you've just visited)

Mm, seems like all ljplus.ru images from the 19th are down, for some reason - visit dashing, and everything from that one day's gone. Stupidly, I don't seem to have a local copy, either. Ah well. I'm sure I'll be able to inflict it upon you later on. =:)

Now that's quite a surprising development. Perhaps this wretched incident may work out well after all. I wonder if the library has a copy of Armed Madhouse in stock.. probably not, given it's a fairly small branch, but maybe I'll remember - I need to go in tomorrow anyway to renew the two books I've got out. (Well, I needed to go in by Thursday, but they keep closing at night =:)

Yeah, ads can be dealt with, fortunately. I really love adblock, myself - it's so useful, and it's not even limited to ads. ^^ I also use it to block tracking stuff like Google's Urchin, IVWbox and so on; if they want to track me, they can just mine their httpd logs. :)

As for the image... OK. :) And you'd kinda expect ljplus.ru to have backups/a redundant setup, anyway, so maybe we'll see it pop up again soon.

Definitely might be worth checking the library to see if they have the book. And yeah, Greg did - quite a cool reaction, I think. :) We need to stand together, especially in times such as these...
In a most welcome move indeed, the New York Times has closed its TimesSelect service

It is indeed. I stopped reading them so much because I didn't feel like I was able to sign up for the service, but I might start browsing it again now. If nothing else, they're probably a better source of news than most of the local stuff.

That chart looks like something that ought to be on the walls of college dorms all around the country. If only to prevent more tragic accidents caused by student's mixing sheep and spicy food.

And the picture of the rabbit at the bottom is just too cute for words. Although he does look slightly annoyed at the attention, too.
It's a pity they pioneered the idea of having to register, even for free, but AFAIK, they've largely been good about not pestering people with Offers from Specially Selected Partners™. And it's fair enough they'd like to have an idea of who's reading them, though I'm sure demanding it rather than asking nicely resulted in a dramatic upswing in 90 year old Azerbaijani grandmother nuclear scientists in their demographics. =:)

For general coverage, they do seem amongst the better papers, though certainly gravely flawed on occasion, as when they sat on the story about the massive scale of secret, unwarranted wiretapping going on until after the 2004 election. I suppose the general maxim holds true - for a good picture of any story, especially where politics are concerned, check multiple sources that don't draw from the same well.

As plushlover remarked, the sheep row's especially amusing. =:D (Oh, to have the chart animated by Aardman.. I doubt we'll be seeing a Poser pack from them any time soon for just that reason =:)

True, now you mention it. I know I'm not fond of having my photo taken at all, especially if I were en déshabillé. I'll bet the photographer didn't even split the proceeds, either. But certainly, one of the finest examples of lapine photography I've seen, alongside the Alaskan snowshoe hare featured in one of my icons. Even aside from a good camera, that one illustrates the sheer luck involved in obtaining some of the best photos, just happening to be in the right place at the right time. A motto for life, I suppose. ^_^;

Hm. I wonder if I could make a mood icon set out of that chart.. =:D

the New York Times has closed its TimesSelect service

Good. As it happens, I've just noted in a post that The Economist has done something very similar; almost all its online content is now free without the need to register. =:)
And slightly ironically given your Taser-related section, the Economist editorial I was reading (and posting about) is attacking the "slippery slope" of increasingly repressive actions being used "to fight terrorism"...
Oh, that is good to hear - I need to add them to my roster of news sources. Indeed, I suppose I should get set up again with RSS, especially if I can find a reader that does a reasonable job of aggregation.

It's positively tragic that measures such as the elimination of habeas corpus in the US, official sanctioning of torture, and mass public wiretapping haven't seen much more of a pushback; indeed, even this week, a move to restore habeas corpus failed to pass. At this rate, I'm not all that confident that even if the Democrats win in 2008, that they'll actually ensure the restoration of such basic human rights - there seems to be this overwhelming need not to be thought of (at least by the pundits) as "soft on terror"; and therein lies the inherent failure of the plan, as if terrorism is something that can be eradicated by the application of military force and increasingly heavy-handed civil measures.