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One of the more unusual and inventive TF tales I've had the good fortune to enjoy: Davey & Mif, by Azimuth.

I can think of a few folks on my flist who might want to visit this: The Great Internet Migratory Box Of Electronics Junk. ".. a progressive lending library of electronic components. An internet meme in physical form halfway between P2P zip-archive sharing and a flea market. It arrives full of wonderful (and possibly useless) components, but you will surely find some treasures to keep. You will be inspired look through your own piles, such as they are, and find more mysterious components that clearly need to be donated to the box before it is passed on again."

The Burma VJ Movie, premiering on July 14th around the UK:
Armed with small handycams the Burma VJs stop at nothing to make their reportages from the streets of Rangoon. Their material is smuggled out of the country and broadcast back into Burma via satellite and offered as free usage for international media. The whole world has witnessed single event clips made by the VJs, but for the very first time, their individual images have been carefully put together and at once, they tell a much bigger story. The film offers a unique insight into high-risk journalism and dissidence in a police state, while at the same time providing a thorough documentation of the historical and dramatic days of September 2007, when the Buddhist monks started marching.
”Joshua”, age 27, is one of the young video journalists, who works undercover to counter the propaganda of the military regime. Joshua is suddenly thrown into the role as tactical leader of his group of reporters, when the monks lead a massive but peaceful uprising against the military regime. After decades of oblivion - Burma returns to the world stage, but at the same time foreign TV crews are banned from entering the country, so it is left to Joshua and his crew to document the events and establish a lifeline to the surrounding world. It is their footage that keeps the revolution alive on TV screens all over.

Does anyone have experience with either - or, ideally, both - Aperture and Lightroom? My top consideration is filing, rather than manipulation - I'd like rapid previewing of multiple images, and easy, fast tagging. When I'm going through anything up to a few hundred images a day, it's frustrating not really being able to add such metadata as I go, at least, with the kind of speed required for that volume.

A Nebraska Tornado (click for more photos)

Caution: this photo is dangerously cute. Baby bun being fed.

Gack. I was just reading Cory Doctorow's "I, Robot" on the iPhone, and had the urge to get a better look at one of the lead characters by turning it over to look at the cover..

Little Wheel is a superbly stylish Flash game, set in a city "Full of Living Robots".. until an accident kills the central generator, sending the entire city into a long slumber. Accidentally awoken by a lightning strike, 10,000 years later, your task is to restart the generator, and bring the city back to life.

Egad! I'm really out of the anime loop.. Gake no ue no Ponyo (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Totoro, et al) is/was the latest Studio Ghibli release, coming to the US in August. And yes, this is a genuine Miyazaki work, written and directed by the master himself.

A fun superhero-ish tale that doesn't take itself too seriously: Abyss issue 1 of 4, first issue free.

Via Pharyngula, an in-depth report into Scientology, from the Tampa Bay Times.

On the professional front, not much new to be said - just slogging it through, with a view to picking up one or two toys I've been promising myself for a while now. Lately, it's mostly been the radio bootloader - building on the original USB-only program, as currently present in the first production run, but extending it internally quite considerably, for a good deal more flexibility. Using this will mean customers will be able to update larger deployments (perhaps a few hundred devices, maybe a couple thousand) in far less time than individually over USB. Of course, it brings in a whole slew of new issues, but it's also giving me the opportunity to tidy up some of the original code in the process, which is a welcome matter, given that was designed (even moreso =:) on the fly, at a point where I was still completely new to the project. ^_^

If you don't follow Cake Wrecks, you're missing out on some quite wonderful culinary failures - like this Space Shuttle, which wouldn't actually be so bad, were it not for the way the main fuel tank is colored rather oddly, has a slight curve to it, and even has rather more prominent a gasket ring around the top than I recall. It's safe for work, but not by too much.. =:)

Coffee for today: the Yemeni Haraazi. Definitely a personal favorite now. ^_^ Very robust flavor, almost smoky (but much less so than the Yemeni Bura'e, which was outright tobacco), quite acidic.

How was Michael Jackson's death received? Well, one indicator of just how many people's lives he added magic to is that Google suspected a malware attack on them initially, when the surge of traffic hit. Twitter and AIM went down. No big surprise LJ was hit! Ye gods.. to have touched so many people's lives - that's surely the greatest achievement of them all.
That bit about the iPhone was very amusing. What do you use to read text files on it?
Mostly just the defaults, actually - plain text and PDFs are very easy to read, stored within Discover, a lovely free app that presents itself on your LAN as a web-based file repository. Beautifully simple to use. There are CHM and ePub readers, but between PDF, HTML, and plain text, I haven't really found a need to keep such apps on board, given I'm always running into the 11 page icon limit. ^_^; (Not a brick wall with 3.0, given Spoylight, but I prefer having every app's icon visible)
Thanks for mentioning Discover! I just went and snagged that for my new iPod Touch, and it is a lovely free app, indeed. I was hoping to find an app to give that sort of file storage functionality.
It was, I think, one of the first such apps, and still about the best - and free! They do offer a "pro" version, which seems to be really just a shareware route to offer them money, which seems more than fair - $2.99, I think, and it does away with the AdMob ads as well. I think I'll be shelling out for that and Noise.io tonight (iSyn is loads of fun, too. Hopefully just the first from them - I'd love to see a company like VirSyn continue to work on iPhone apps! So much potential, and there's surely a place for music apps that don't cost a small fortune, as most pro desktop plugins do, but more for people simply wanting to have fun with noodling around, whilst still making real music easily possible).

And have you plumped for Zen Bound yet? ^_^
The Great Internet Migratory Box Of Electronics Junk.

The article says "USPS box", but the wiki says most of the boxes are European or Australian.
Heh! Interesting.. I wonder how easily boxes can travel internationally. Easy to see it being problematic, given some border agents' paranoia (or officiousness), but I'd still want to try it - the cost of not doing so would be higher, ne?

Will you be participating?
Will you be participating?

It doesn't seem likely.  The idea is interesting, but the practicalities are another matter.  Most of my "stuff" is either 30+ years old, fragile, and/or heavy.
Well, age certainly wouldn't be a barrier - quite the opposite, I'd imagine. But fragility and weight are awkward factors, indeed. Still, if there turn out to be folks participating within some reasonably travelling distance from you, it might all still be viable.

Wish I still had the old mechanical calculator I once played with.. no electronics at all, just a dense mesh of armatures, to add and subtract LSD, printing the amounts and totals through a ribbon onto a normal cash register roll. Quite a piece of work. ^_^;

So you haven't been getting into microcontrollers or high power lasers? Dear me. You'll never make Supervillain status like that, you know.
Somewhere around I have one similar to that, except it's not quite entirely mechanical - rather than a lever on the side, it's got an electric motor inside!

As I understand, it's a 1937 Burroughs Class 9 portable adding machine. "Portable" being somewhat subjective of course, seeing as how most typewriters I've had were lighter than it is.

(Interesting note - type the word "typewriter" - Notice anything about the placement of the letters on the keyboard? They're all on the top row!)
You know, some people might be crazy enough to reconstruct such a device in software, through replication of the actual mechanical functions. Sort of the next step up in emulation. ^_^ SL might be a suitable venue, too.. could even sell copies of it, although something as fantastically geeky as that would really be begging to be free.

There are so many urban legends regarding why the QWERTY keyboard came about as it did - do you have any insight into the matter? I've heard of the "less chance of typewriter arms getting stuck together", which seems fairly plausible, though maybe not actually genuine.. but someone, somewhere, must have actually been the first to put the combination together, either randomly (Hail Eris!), or with some concept in mind.

I love the advance of technology.. look where we are now, not even one century hence - devices like the iPhone, pocket sized, with billions of bytes of memory, full color displays, touch sensitivity, tilt awareness, and radio connectivity capable of megabits locally, and able to make phone calls from almost anywhere, to just about anywhere in the world. And yet it's still smaller and lighter than a pack of cards. The next few centuries will really be something to behold.. ^_^
Someday I should get one of those little clicky calculators that you used to see people with at the grocery store.

And didn't someone replicate one of those old WWII "Enigma" mechanical encryption machines in software a while back?
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On the other paw, Shrub's demise might be of great interest as well. =:)
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Indeed, his bank managers would probably confirm such sentiments. Which is, after all, the measure of a man, in some eyes.. ^_^;

("How do you sleep at night?" "On a pile of money, with many beautiful women." So, he's half way there =:)
wrt Ponyo, I'd been hearing snippets from that on StreamingSoundtracks.com for a few weeks now. For some reason, I just assumed it was some Joe Hisashi work that I just wasn't aware of. Didn't realise it was an upcoming film from Ghibli. Thanks!
Ooh, I'll have to give that site a try when I'm back home! How is the soundtrack? If it's from Joe, it can hardly be disappointing. ^_^

There are some good fansubbed cams from Japan circulating, fwiw - I'll probably watch one tonight. ^_^. Have the Ghibli releases in the UK been subbed as well as dubbed, or only dubbed into English?
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Ah? Maybe I'll need to consider further. I should've noted that there's an additional wrinkle in the equation - a friend at the fruit factory gets 50% off their software. (Which will make Logic Studio a complete no-brainer, and maybe Final Cut Studio as well)

Feel up to a full review? =:). Or maybe a link to one you feel does it justice?
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Hm! It does sound well worth examining - if nothing else, I'm sure it'll be easy enough to give it a trial courtesy of The Pirate Bay or similar. I suppose actually trying both out for myself will be the fairest test, even with Aperture's discount advantage, and possibly a more native feel, given Adobe's weird fetish for things like their barely-baked updater system.

So, who are you on Flickr? ^_^
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Ooh. Duly added.. some lovely work there, even if I'm quite useless at criticism.

Do you work in video as well, or stills only? And that's something else I could do with replacing.. my coal-fired Hitachi Hi-8 camcorder works fine - indeed, it's really quite a good device (and yet, they've never gone into still cameras?) - but I'd greatly prefer something recording directly in some digital format, whether M-JPEG or AVC Lite, not to mention 3 CCD. Ideally, I'd find something equally adept at video and stills, but whether through engineering or marketing, the two do seem to remain quite distinct, though there's at least some encouraging overlap. The TZ5 takes quite passable 720p video at 30fps, which is fine for my rabbiteering needs, and might well be good enough for zoo use as well, though I'd still much sooner go for something with the full quality HD can permit.

Still, that's another thing in the queue. For now, the TZ5 does quite a reasonable job, and importantly, it's tiny enough to be nearly always on me. ^_^ (Above it is the MacBook Pro, and quite probably, a 12" Cintiq, and a simple hammer-action keyboard)