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Kickstarter of the day: Kaiju Combat - Giant Monsters. Awesome Fighting. Online. Put in enough, and your monster concept goes into the game.. =:D

If you were about to buy (or indeed, have) an iPad, would it be WiFi-only, or with cellular capability as well? Why?

WiFi-only or 3G/4G as well?

WiFi & cellular

Strange as it may seem, I'd never really thought much on spiders' circulatory systems - but, this press release includes a rather nifty, brief video clip of a tarantula's heartbeat, captured using MRI technology. (It also notes that "the use of MRI reduces the need for dissection and provides greater insight to internal workings as the animals are live and unharmed")

Via the Guardian's look at rabbits in film (some fun, some gruesome, though nothing untoward is pictured) came mention of Tale of the Bunny Picnic, a ten minute Jim Henson short. ^_^

jakebe's written another vignette, following on from his earlier introduction to Matthew's new world: No Man's Land. It won't take long to read; good if you're short of time, sad if you enjoy being immersed in a different world in the space of a couple sentences.

Another trailer of potential interest: Blood of Eden, a CG animated epic from Iran, apparently scheduled for late 2013.

With the previous Targus bag having broken one of its rings after a few months' usage, I'd been using an emergency replacement I had lying around - but with that one's construction being fairly flimsy to begin with, the zipper beginning to tear out was incentive to look for something a little more permanent. And with the assistance of the extraordinarily helpful people of Wex Photographic, I picked a Tenba Messenger (large), on the basis of having to be able to accommodate a 17" MBP, iPad, D90, 300mm & TC, 28-80mm, 10-20mm, plus various geegaws. And lo: it's all there (well, save for the D90 + 28-80mm, being used to take the shot), with plenty of little nooks and crannies left over. There are two zip compartments on the front flap; five pockets revealed once that's up; long, thin compartments suitable for a 17" MBP and iPad; separate lens compartments with removable dividers; another long compartment for papers, on the side against the wearer, including another five pockets, and probably more. =:) The shoulder strap is very well padded, plus padding on the bottom and side, with all the zips being suitably heavy duty, and generally solid construction. It's not the cheapest possible bag, but if you want to heft a good bit of kit around, and be able to have confidence rings, straps, or zips are going to give way at a bad moment, as well as know where every little accessory can be found, I'm certainly happy with it. ^_^

There are no great revelations, unsurprisingly, but here's a small news article about internet access in North Korea.

Amidio's been busy! They've just launched what looks like rather a fun musical noodlebox, and for free: MINT.io Groovebox - Music in No Time. Sadly, it requires iOS 6, and my now venerable iPad was left behind with the latest OS. Still, they did also make two of their previous apps, Seline Ultimate, and Songineer, free. So I'm not such an unhappy bunny. ^_^

And of possible interest to someone, Raccoon Rub, in which you play masseur/masseuse to three raccoons.

I finally have a pony! Princess Cadance. ^_^ About the only piece of MLP:FiM I've spotted locally, and one of my favorites they've made so far. (Ye gods, though, that packaging!)
I wouldn't have one, but the tablet I do have can be tethered to my shiny phone via wifi = no need to pay for mobile internet twice.
But isn't that rather a fiddle? You're standing out in the countryside, waiting for some buns to appear in one of their usual spots, or on a short bus ride, and want to check email or somesuch. Tethering means you've got to pull out the phone, turn tethering on, back in the pocket/bag - then you can whip out the iPad. And then turning tethering off again, unless you choose to just leave it on.

My usage is probably (or not?) atypical, though - I barely use my phone for more than the very occasional call or SMS, to the point where a £10 top-up will last a couple months quite happily. Data's available as a 20p/day option, but it's a similar expense to £7.50/mo for 1GB (or £15/mo for 10GB - but I've never gone over 1GB, so I fell back to the cheaper option a while back) for the iPad, making the latter a rather more convenient option.

And then there's the wild and wonderful world of telco pricing, where the nature of the device affects the cost of the data.. AT&T offers something like 2GB on an iPad for $25/mo, whereas to get that on a phone plan costs quite a bit more. Why? No idea. Logic appears to apply as strongly to telco pricing as to airlines. =:/

Hey ho. Someday, they'll start talking not just about speed, but how freely you can use all the data you could pull or push, genuinely targeting cellular data as DSL replacement, not merely an augmentation for when out and about.
Two taps, and I check email on the shiny phone anyway.

My voice usage is minimal, so that's on a basic phone with Virgin PAYG with a typical bill of £2 every three months. On T-Mobile, £20 gets you six months data, with a 500Mb/month cap only on streaming and downloading rather than email etc, so that's what shiny phone has. (Must check that deal is still there now they've merged.)

See also Blackberry data pricing...
Mm, since getting the iPad, the iPhone's usage has fallen to next to nothing - just voice and text, really, and emergency toy while on a long journey with the nephews, when one's already using the iPad. =:) I just love the extra space for email, browsing, etc. And maps, of course, though Sustrans apparently had to drop the lowest scale OS maps out of the licensing costs, but there are some others that still offer that lowest level of detail, like OutSide. For all the recent hullabaloo over mobile maps, I'm tickled to see not one single journalist even thought of Ordnance Survey - still by far the best UK maps, especially once you're walking in the countryside, and want to know where the footpaths and bridleways are, as well as historic features, and height contours.

Interesting division between browsing and email in data usage! 500MB/mo's certainly fine, though I suppose any online map data (rather than cached) would count toward that, assuming they're working on the basis of ports or protocols. Hmm. If I can get that on the iPad, that might not be a bad move.

With that similarly light usage, did you buy the phone outright, or is it simply now out of contract? (Mine's been out of contract for a good while, not surprisingly. It's not the shiniest on the block, but it's very cheap to feed =:)

The basic phone was about £10, and shiny was bought SIM free (and unlocked, obviously) for about £300 two years ago. I've never had a phone contract, and I reckon I've saved a pile of money that way.

For light usage, almost certainly! I'm okay with the concept of a contract, although I'm uneasy with the trend toward longer rather than shorter ones - two years is quite a period, after all. I just view it as an auxiliary form of credit - rather than sitting on a card, it's in its own self-contained financial box. (Which, of course, also means it's not covered by any unemployment insurance you may have on the card(s) - and £35/mo or more is quite a chunk out of the *cough* princely sum lavished upon jobhunters)
Apple has already obsoleted the original iPad? That seems a bit hasty, doesn't it?
Well, they've left it behind for new OS releases, but I'm still delighted with it. ^_^

That said, certainly, I wouldn't refuse an iPad 3 or 4. =:) That display's absolutely gorgeous, both for text, and photos. (Though in terms of color gamut, the iPhone 5's is, I believe, the better one, almost fully covering sRGB faithfully. If they can bring that to the iPad next time around, that'd make a brilliant photo portfolio device)

Realistically.. tempting as that might be, sometime or other, I'd probably be more inclined toward a supertelephoto lens. But before I went for something as major as that, I'd first want to see the return of the local buns, who've been rather scarce lately - partially due to the season, and partially that huge haystack that's been on top of their favorite spot for the last couple months. =:P The first time I went out there a few weeks ago, I saw a few just the other side of the gate to usual, and was hopeful they were remaining around, but the last few times, I've been lucky to see one. *sigh* Very frustrating, as you can imagine, not helped last time by seeing one on the pathway itself, eyes all but closed through myxomatosis. And yet, they persevere..
Apple rarely hesitate to say 'buy another one, yours is too old'. Of course, they're not the only ones - Microsoft's attitude to their mobile software springs to mind.

Ah, looking at the specs, it's probably because of how little RAM the original iTem has.

Were it an Android device, people would have doubtless come up with alternative firmware for it which would have allowed continuing upgrades in the same way that my shiny phone and Joggler have been made to jump through hoops that the maker never intended. As it is, Apple's 'you bought it, but we still own it' approach means that the barriers to that appear insuperable.
One important distinction to note between the Wifi and Wifi+Cellular models of iPad, is that only the Cellular one has GPS.
A good point. I'd thought more recent revisions had added GPS to all, but nope, seems that's only for the cellular versions. The WiFi-only ones do still get a reasonably useful fake GPS off WiFi and cellular triangulation, but I suspect that wouldn't be much use to me, when out on the trails.

I wonder how the specific capabilities of the GPS functionality's changed with the four revisions thus far - maximum number of satellites, etc. Still, my iPad 1's seems to've been good to me - certainly, good enough that I can easily check if I've wandered away from an unmarked trail, if the direction isn't obvious, such as following a wall or treeline. All so much easier than the days of paper maps.. =:D (Though I can certainly use those too - but not having to go searching for the right page, or having to unfold and fold it back up again, especially if the weather's less than ideal, is so handy, let alone being able to find out where you are, particularly when deep in the woods, with no specific trails around)
Nice bag. :) I'll definitely have to hunt for a good camera bag some time, but I'm probably gonna wait until I have some more kit first; no use in buying something if I don't yet know what I'll want to carry. I'm still tempted by the camera backpack I linked to recently myself, but the price tag... bah.

Raccoon Rub sounds interesting. Pity I can't use it.

And congrats on your first pony purchase. ^^ The big Cadance, I suppose? (As opposed to the one from the "Cadance and Shining Armor's wedding" set.)

iPad-wise, BTW, I'd probably go with "wifi + cellular", for no other reason than "it can't hurt, and I might use it". Well, assuming I had a data plan, or a need for an iPad, and also assuming the premium you'd pay for cellular capabilites wouldn'T be TOO much. :)

Edited at 2012-12-19 12:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, quite. I was fine with my laptop bag for a good while, but the 300mm did begin to strain at the weak points.

Mm, this is the larger one (I think!), with her alone, as shown here (though without any size reference). Those hoof boots/spats look so good on her. ^_^

I suppose it's a matter of usage pattern, really. For me, cellular's an easy choice, as I'm out of WiFi reach quite a bit, either on buses, trains, or walking around, and it'd be a bit of a nuisance to have to turn on the phone's tethering first.

I was set to wondering, whilst perusing TalkPhotography's non-photographic classifieds lately - of the iPads that've been appearing, almost all have been WiFi-only, which rather surprised me, both out of personal inclination, and recalling that sales have been biased more like 2:1 toward WiFi-only. Maybe I'll try picking the brains of a vendor or two, and see what they can report, without giving away any confidential info. There's just something that intrigues me about the widely disparate ways and places people use such a device - but then, I've long been a fan of portable computing, and the freedom it affords of being where you want to be.
Yeah, that's the large one. :) And yeah, the hoof boots are nice; Night Mare Moon has the same kind.

but then, I've long been a fan of portable computing, and the freedom it affords of being where you want to be.

There is that. :) And it's funny how perceptions of these things vary, since "freedom" is about the last thing I'd associate with an iPad, or in fact any iDevice. Convenience? Yes. Slick interfaces? Sure. Functionality? Yes, as long as you're not trying to do something that would break Apple's stranglehold on you and your data (like, say, wanting to transfer a file to an iPhone using Bluetooth).

But freedom? No, I'd never think of that.

I'm not saying you're wrong, BTW; I just think it's interesting how different our perceptions of these devices are, and (perhaps) how different the concepts we actually mean when we use the word "freedom" in this context.
Maybe I'll try a MLP costume next year. Might be fun to add such boots as an accessory. ^_^

like, say, wanting to transfer a file to an iPhone using Bluetooth

I recall having a free utility or two (eg Air Transfer+) to transfer various kinds of files, and view/play them, but that was WiFi-based - Bluetooth I've enabled.. hm. Once, I think, to play with an external keyboard on the iPhone, which felt rather superfluous. Fun geegaw, though - it collapsed down surprisingly compactly. Not sure I've ever fired Air Transfer+ up - the books, comics, and other such Stuff™ just get dropped onto iTunes and synced next time I have it hooked up. (WiFi syncing works, but it's slower - I only use it if I don't have the cable on me, but others may favor the lack of a cable above the speed)
Maybe I'll try a MLP costume next year. Might be fun to add such boots as an accessory. ^_^

Oh, yes. ^^ You could be the first to have a tight-fitting spandex pony suit and a kigurumi pony mask, too! Wouldn't that be fun? ^^

As for Bluetooth — I don't actually use it much, either (although I imagine it would be useful if I wanted to get e.g. a wireless headset), but it is quite nice for transferring files. Oh, you'd like that pony song I've got on my phone? Sure, I'll just send it to you... unless you've got an iPhone, in which case that won't work, and you'll have to jump through hoops and get the file onto your computer and then into iTunes and then go from there. And if the recipient's desktop PC isn't within reach, it's outright impossible.
Ooh, now kigurumi could be much fun too! I've love some of Kigurumi Café - so adorable!

Sure, I'll just send it to you... unless you've got an iPhone, in which case that won't work, and you'll have to jump through hoops and get the file onto your computer and then into iTunes and then go from there

Well, no.. as I mentioned above, I'd fire up one of the various options for receiving/sending that file over WiFi. Presumably that wouldn't be a problem for you? So we all get the music transferred without any tears. ^_^
Well, no.. as I mentioned above, I'd fire up one of the various options for receiving/sending that file over WiFi. Presumably that wouldn't be a problem for you? So we all get the music transferred without any tears. ^_^

Wifi — would that work from one phone directly to another? And without me installing stuff on my phone, for that matter?

(Even if it only requires additional 3rd-party software on the i-side of things, that's already a significant amount of hassle, for no other reason than that Apple wants to control what users do and how. To each their own, but I think I've made the point regarding freedom.)
I alwyas thought a spider's circulatory system was open.
It does appear to be, mostly, but still powered - I'd always thought insects and spiders "ran" purely on passive processes of diffusion and osmosis, though I'll admit, I'd barely given it much thought.

I wonder if any of the free online courses now offered by schools and universities around the world include aspects of biology.. must be some by now, shirley? Though I'm more inclined, if I were to specialise, toward cellular biology and genetics. I could never, ever be a surgeon. ^_^; I know roughly what's inside me, and I'm hoping I'll never get a better look. =:)
I think that's true for very small animals only. I vaguely recall from biology class that e.g. bees have a tube-shaped heart, although they lack blood vessels.

Once animals become sufficiently small, the need for a dedicated heart goes away as well.
I'm sure I've seen Tale of the Bunny Picnic as a DVD extra at some point, though I can't remember where. No harm in seeing it again, though!

About the only piece of MLP:FiM I've spotted locally

Really? I can only really speak for Worcester, Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Bristol, but all of those cities do much better than that. Still, it's a pretty decent choice to start off with. =:)
Ah, that sounds a likely vector for escaping into the wild. ^_^ I'll have to see if I can find whence it originally came to be - presumably just one of Jim Henson's one-off specials, rather than being part of something larger. Aha! Now, they're saying it hasn't seen a DVD release, but of course, that could easily be mistaken or out of date, or even a matter of only seeing a release in, say, R2 rather than R1. (Egh, regions.. but the studios and publishers do so cling to their preservation)

The Tale of the Bunny Picnic first aired on HBO on March 26, 1986 in the U.S, and three days later on the BBC in the UK.
The special was filmed in England in 1985 and shot in the same studio as The Muppet Show, Studio D at Elstree Studios.

When the special originally aired on HBO, it opened with an introduction from Jim Henson walking through a park:

Hi there, my name's Jim Henson and I'd like to tell you a little bit about The Bunny Picnic. Now the idea for this started one evening when my daughter Cheryl and I were sitting in a park at twilight. And while we were sitting there a whole big bunch of bunny rabbits came hopping out looking to all the world like they were gonna have a meeting or convention or something. About that time a great big dog showed up on the scene, he saw the rabbits he started barking like mad. The rabbits ofcourse dissapeared in a flash. Cheryl and I thought it might be fun to make up a story about what had just happened, and from that notion came 'The Tale of the Bunny Picnic'. And this tale starts with a phrase like many other good stories, "Once upon a time..."

I'm quite surprised about this locality! The Poundworld and 99p Stores haven't had anything pony-related, and I don't think I saw anything in the mid-sized Tesco (first floor for toys, clothes, etc) at all. Indeed, same with Sainsbury until this recent occasion. There's Morrison nearby as well, but ISTR they're strictly groceries only. (Asda too, but they're up on the edge of town - with the others so conveniently by the central bus station, I almost never go there)

Perhaps I ought to hire your pony detective skills. =:D

I'm quite surprised about this locality! The Poundworld and 99p Stores haven't had anything pony-related, and I don't think I saw anything in the mid-sized Tesco (first floor for toys, clothes, etc) at all.

Hmm... Poundworld sometimes has the peach-scented wet wipes, but not much more. And the 99p Stores seem to confine themselves to the toothbrushes and (occasionally) toothpaste. Poundland has been known to have things like colouring books, but not much else. And Tesco varies enormously: the medium-sized one in Kidderminster had one playset when I last looked (Cheerilee with the CMC) but absolutely nothing else.

You probably need an actual toy shop for much in the way of, well, toys. The Entertainer is usually fairly reliable -- that Cadance you bought is in stock most times I look -- though their attitude towards older fans varies hugely. The Birmingham branch is quite brony-friendly by all accounts; the Bristol branch notoriously not. Smyths toy shops also seem to be pretty good, though I'm not sure of that chain's geographical reach.

The annual turns up in The Works from time to time, while TK Maxx occasionally has a few toys and H&M is the place for hair accessories and the little woolly Pinkie Pie scarf. Asda is traditionally the best supermarket for pony (Wave 6 blind bags have turned up in the Worcester branch, before appearing in Forbidden Planet or the like) though Sainsbury's is sporadically good. Morrisons is very rarely useful.
Hmm. I don't think there really is a proper toy shop around, oddly, although I'm not as familiar with the town as the housemate. That said, there is a new, modest sized Toys'R'Us, again quite close to the bus station (developed as part of the shopping center, but still not really adequate capacity - too many buses all vying for space to reverse to depart their bays. During the day, at least.. *cough*)

I wonder how the MLP toy sales are doing - you'd think stores would be showing a little more attentiveness, but then, I suppose one SKU's much like another, when looked upon as a spreadsheet.

Not sure I'm familiar with The Entertainer, nor Smyths, unfortunately. There is a Works, although I suppose the annual doesn't quite live up to the comic's promise. =:) I was a little reluctant, given the lack of digital discount, but the quality of the work happily justified it entirely, as well as receiving all of the IDW covers!

TK Maxx.. hmm. Not sure if there is one around or not.. ah, poop. Nope, although there are a few in the larger towns not so far away, not to mention the city.

Ponies in Asda? Hm! Maybe I'll wander up that way sometime - there's a reasonably frequent bus route up there. And an aerodrome not far away, though the weather's been about as glum as you've seen, with the exception of Monday. (Unfortunately, whilst I was there, the buns were not, mostly - did catch a couple okay shots, but none that had me leaping to upload. Still, it was heartening to see the place was pretty much exactly as I'd left it when scattering my handfuls of raisins in parting, two years ago)

Morrisons is very rarely useful

Well, their beer selection can be good. =:)

Though Sainsbury seem to be not far behind, and are putting in more effort with ciders, which is where my tastes seem to've leant of late.
Raccoon Rubs, LOL!

I said wifi AND *G because my current one only has wifi, so IF I was to buy another, it would haveta be an upgrade :>

Merry Holly Days!