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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.
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?