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Up at Fort Mason in yonder City, today through Sunday, NextFest: 'guests include Andrew Stanton from Pixar, "Doom" creator John Carmack, Space Adventures CEO Eric Anderson, X-Prize founder Peter Diamandis, James Luyten of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Xcor CEO Jeff Greason, NASA Space Architect Gary Martin, robotics guru Rodney Brooks, and creators of the film "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow."'

This sounds like a good way to help people in Afghanistan: pens. (Seriously)

And I have to make note of an especially nice little package from someone, containing my Very Own Copies of two of my favorites movies: Cats Don't Dance and Donnie Darko. If you've not seen both, I'd encourage you to give them a try. CDD is an exceptional animated feature, with excellent comic timing, a sharp script, and characters with actual depth; DD, on the other paw, is an awkward one to describe well - consider it a mystery of sorts, with no small amount of wry cynicism. It's not a straightforward movie by any means. Performances throughout sparkle, from the lead characters, through to the more peripheral, including a particularly (deliberately, I should note) obnoxious Patrick Swayze.

According to this Wired article, Apple wants to locate "everything from out-of-print singles in music company vaults to songs that have never been pressed onto a CD and even recordings from the estates of deceased artists." Interesting that "labels have less than a third of the music in their vaults available for sale because it's too expensive to distribute such CDs to stores", "95 percent of the vast Motown catalog is still unavailable to the public", and that Motown "elected to put 16 albums like Moods of Marvin Gaye -- which had been available overseas but not in the United States -- in the music store. Six albums had never been on CD and 23 albums had been printed on CD at one time, but were now out of print". You'd think the labels would be stumbling over each other to sign up for electronic distribution, given the need only to supply a master of some kind, and then enjoy the royalties, without the need for variously imposing (sometimes even on the same online store) levels of DRM getting in the way. Still, at least the indies seem to be taking up the opportunity well - and that's the aspect of the iTMS and friends which appeals to me most, letting people know about a far greater diversity of music than they might otherwise have had exposure to. Even if you don't buy anything, online stores can be fun to simply nose through and enjoy clips.

I was saddened to read of the death of Ritsuko Okazaki, on May 5th; anime fen may recognise her name from the opening themes for Fruits Basket and Princess Tutu, and the ending for Mahou Tsukai Tai. Such a beautiful voice..

Firewireless is apparently finally on the way, albeit known by the rather less catchy monicker of "Wireless Firewire", which.. doesn't quite have the same ring, but maybe that's just me. Still, it should be interesting to see what happens, once it's commercially deployed.

Coolness! DSL activation's apparently due for next Thursday afternoon.

Straus Dairies just inaugurated their first biomass electric generator, powered by the 270 cows on the farm, yielding 75kW, saving some $5-6,000 per month. And their milk is superb, too, found in places like Whole Foods Market; organic, and if I recall correctly, unpasteurised, at least in my case. Or bottle. (Did you know each cow produces some 120lb of manure per day? That's more than even Rumsfeld and Bush combined!) I wonder if irradiation would be a viable alternative, for milk? Or UV treatment, as is commonplace in some water supplies?

Interesting.. Kerry's saying he'd want McCain for defense secretary, though McCain's giving a clear "no".

Meanwhile, Sony finally unveiled their PSP hand-held, somewhat reminiscent of the late Atari Lynx, albeit with a rather niftier spec. ^_^ 480x272 4.3" 16:9 display, 32MB, 802.11b, USB2, IrDA, 6cm UMD discs holding 1.8GB, audio support for MPEG-4 (presumably meaning AAC), ATRAC3+, and PCM, and video in MPEG-4 and Caption PNG. No word on the processor or GPU (if any), but I dare say details will follow in time. Maybe tursi knows?

PlayFair returns as the HYMN project - Hear Your Music aNywhere. It's an app to remove the iTMS restrictions, leaving you with a vanilla AAC file, playable on any AAC-savvy software - handy for users of OSs other than OS X and Windows, the only two for which iTunes is available. Some reports suggest it's not always successful in locating the file's key, so it probably shouldn't be viewed as an absolute solution.

And finally, please enjoy a very cute red panda. ^_^
And finally, please enjoy a very cute red panda.

I was just about to ask how are we supposed to enjoy you, then I realised there was actually a link in the sentence. =;) They don't show up very well on the stylesheet used on my friends view!
*giggle* [blush]

I had the same problem to begin with - I think my colors defaulted to something like black for plain text, and deep blue for links.

And now, back to Cats Don't Dance. Yay!
IIRC it's dual R4000's.

Friend of mine got to check this stuff out at E3...said the screen is magnificent, but the combination of overall bulk and a two hour battery life were a bit of a letdown.
Aaah! Thanks. That would make sense, given Sony's prior MIPS connections - not a family I've played with, but the "simpler" end of the family looked quite friendly. (Well, not that the desktop PPCs aren't, but they're certainly a good deal more complex, once you consider dispatch/execution resource allocation, cache management, and prefetching, let alone the PPC970's more complex dispatch unit and lengthier pipeline overall)

Two hours on a battery? Ooch.. that could definitely hurt its prospects. There's always the option of carrying a spare around, but that's not quite the same. There's LiS and fuel cells on the way, but AFAIK, neither are fully ready for deployment in such a context. Perhaps the similarity to the Lynx is more than skin-deep?

And bulk - indeed, that can be make or break too. I've heard some PDA fans postulate that as one of the reasons for the Newton's downfall - the original Palm Pilot could easily slip into a pocket almost unnoticed.

It'll be interesting to see how things play out, so to speak.
You *are* going to make an icon of that red panda pic, aren't you?
I think it must be done. ^_^ I'll see how it wind up looking at a size admissible by LiveJournal, of course.. and it's only a free account, but I doubt I'll be using the Gollum Rapper much more. ^_^ (As I recall, icons are only stored as a simple index, so if you change a given icon, it changes the one presented to any subsequent viewers of the page, ne? I'll hafta get a paid account someday - not for the extras, but just out of principle.. I'm still puzzled quite how the place manages to tick over, providing as good a service as it does, for between little and nothing)

Of course, I do have a fair bit of red panda footage on Hi-8, too.. but none so wonderfully close-up. ^_^ Still, even if I don't have a DV bridge, I'm tempted to digitise some of it, for little webpage clips.. of course, some might make no sense to a lot of people. Who'd ever think a few minutes of a peaceful, barely moving red panda to be so appealing? ^_^

Though my next commercial electronic expenditure will be OmniWeb 5.0, when its final release emerges. I really like its ways, far more than 4.5 (or even v2 or 3, which worked nicely, but weren't exactly speed demons, though the hardware was somewhat different).. its tab handling is so simple, and graphically intuitive. Bookmark management is improved. Per-site preferences permit a fine level of control. 5.0b6.1 even includes an experimental renderer that works more quickly - beneficial for as venerable a system as Bunny, which'll celebrate its sixth birthday in September. ^_^

And that's how I won the Iron Cross.
> I think it must be done. ^_^ I'll see how it wind up looking at a size admissible by LiveJournal, of course.. and it's only a free account, but I doubt I'll be using the Gollum Rapper much more. ^_^

I found the Gollum icon rather jarring, really. You're cute, and it isn't. The Wah would fit nicely :)
But I am up against quite some competition. ^_^

Oh, Gollum was never meant to be a fixture - just a bit of fun at the time. (Pandas, cute? *giggle*)
That would be awesome if Apple could do that. I always have fun going through old records, seeing what strange things I can find. There's stuff I have on 78rpm record that I'd share, if I had good equipment to record it into the computer. There's all sorts of old stuff out there, lost to time, that really deserve to be heard again.

Yay! Red pandery!
Interesting.. Kerry's saying he'd want McCain for defense secretary, though McCain's giving a clear "no".

I'm sure Kerry knows of a few ways to /rope/ McCain into his way of seeing things. *-grins-* Sorry, bad humour...

Firewireless is apparently finally on the way...

Wasn't Fireless what people already called PowerBook laptops produced by Apple, post-Michael Spindler era?

Meanwhile, Sony finally unveiled their PSP hand-held, somewhat reminiscent of the late Atari Lynx...

Definitely very sexxxy specs, but Sony is a masters at product hype and may end up delivering much less (see PS2).