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Elite: Dangerous is within sniffing distance of its target - but also its end, when January 4th has run its course in the UK. At 2am Jan 2, it's at £1,175,351 of its goal of £1,250,000. (Bear in mind, the minimum pledge is only £1 - it's just that the various levels offer all sorts of nifty goodies, including the soundtrack, shirt, copy of the novel, some starting bonuses in-game, all expansions, and participation in the alpha or beta testing) Scrub that: some 18 hours later, it became fully funded! At least, for its initial goal. Now to see about Mac support, and ten extra ships to play with. ^_^ (Thursday 1pm: it's at £1,299,724!)

Music video for the day: dan le sac vs Scroobius Pip: Get Better. (Love the "fox ears" hair!)

One animated feature I'll be looking forward to in 2013 is Ernest & Célestine (IMDb); in this clip, in which Célestine objects to Ernest's plan for her. True, it's from a press release, but the US distributor's president seems sold: "The film is a triumph of 2D animation and storytelling. A phenomenally beautiful hand painted watercolor design, immensely likable characters, a wonderful ‘friendship against all odds’ story that sweeps you up and does not waste a single minute of screen time. It is just overflowing with warmth and playful visual humor, there is so, so much to like about this movie."

Regarding LJ's recent issues: unsurprisingly, it's malicious traffic again.

So, I finally got to see Rise of the Guardians. ^_^ Whilst the plot was a bit lacking, I thoroughly enjoyed the characters (particularly the Russian style Santa, and of course, the Easter Bunny <3), and the visual creativity. The casting was likewise spot on. Despite the plot, the storyline nonetheless had a magnificent sense of playfulness, in its brighter times, making it a real joy to experience. I wasn't a fan of its hyperkinetic camerawork, but its positives easily outweighed such reservations - if you've not seen it yet, and could do with something to buoy up your spirits, see it. Or, indeed, to see Bunnymunde. =:9

Here's a good article that summarises just why the Daily Mail is so poisonous, leading in with a recent story on the UK about to be deluged by Bulgarians and Romanians. No, really: "We're on our way to Britain: A year from now up to 29m Bulgarians and Romanians will have the right to settle in Britain and claim benefits. And these gypsies in the slums of Sofia can hardly wait…"

I was almost tempted to pick up Prometheus on iTunes, at $14.99/£9.99 for HD, but then discovered that the "digital copy" on the physical discs - which come with a lot more extras - apparently include iTunes codes! (Though there seems to be some confusion as to whether those are good for HD or SD)

Taking a small survey from Premier Guitar could win you a 32GB iPad mini, preloaded with three of their guitar apps. Open worldwide.

So, the Yule/New Year break is over, and the house is back to normal. As is, I'm pleased to note, the diet, which I duly resumed on Wednesday, unaltered and in full effect. ^_^ (I have not, however, dared weigh myself again. Not just yet =:)
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ah, what a surprise - LJ being bombarded by (I'm guessing) Ddos attacks. It happened in December last year and the year before. Must be some strange sort of way for hackers to start the new year.

Oh do not get me started on the revolting rag that is the Daily Mail. They almost spontaneously combusted in righteous wrath about a quiz show that contained a few offensive jokes, deciding that their minority viewpoint was representative of the whole of the UK. And yet, the Tories slashing benefits and crushing the life out of the NHS, police, libraries etc is *not* offensive? Get some perspective you hacks!
As I recall, SUP is somehow aligned with people not favorably inclined toward Putin, hence the occasional attacks. I've not really been keeping up with those matters, though - perhaps lupestripe's contacts might know more. I'm a bit surprised SUP haven't hired an outfit like CloudFlare yet, though, whose whole purpose is to protect their clients against DDoS attacks, using a variety of filtering means, and incredibly high bandwidth, to ensure the servers themselves never even know anything's going on. It's not cheap, but SUP must have some meaningful revenue across the subscriber base.

The author of that article also touched on an important point - that whilst the Daily Flail in print is the epitome of hateful writing, its online presence is quite a different beast, with some often quite wonderful photography and heart-warming stories. Quite a bizarre contrast, but it keeps their placement in online traffic amazingly high.
Now that's interesting. I did wonder if there was any effective way of protecting a system against DDos attacks. It seemed like it would be almost impossible, because of how many IP numbers can be used at a time, and they have to block them one by one. But it's certainly heartening to know there *are* methods to stop them, even if it does cost a fair bit.

Well, if they can do that using their online version of the site, they've no excuse at all. Aside from all else, they're hypocrites because one of their cartoons today had a guy visiting a doctor. The doctor said "sorry the Viagra I prescribed you didn't work" and the guy was replying "That's okay, no hard feelings." And yet it was evil of a satanic level for a quiz show to make similar comments...
its online presence is quite a different beast

I was going to remark on that. This Mail Online piece is the best mainstream UK media article I have seen on the MLP fandom. It stomps all over Zoe William's Guardian piece which appeared the very same day.
I'm a bit surprised SUP haven't hired an outfit like CloudFlare yet, though

Who knows, maybe they have. I vaguely recall a statement from an LJ staffer that they have a top-notch DDoS-protection infrastructure in place — in fact, they get hit by them constantly, but regular users never really notice. What we're actually seeing here on occasion are just the rare spikes that manage to make it across the moat after all.

I don't recall where I read that or who said it, though.
Let's be weight loss buddies!
Oh, cool beans! Any idea how much you're losing? (Or hoping to) I think I'm around 8-10lb/mo, though the past fortnight's probably not been reflective of that. =:) Following any particular plan, or just cutting back? For me, that's easily done by dropping the snacks (I love crunchy snacks. And dangerously, I can cook =:), and most of the beer and cider, save for one day a week.

Even aside from the weight going down, it's also spelled an end to the acid reflux, which I'm definitely not unhappy about. ^_^
I aim to be 60 lbs lighter by the end of the year. Hopefully I can manage that with the 1200 calorie diet my doctor has recommended.

I was bad over the holidays but made up for it by fasting the day after.

I want to be able to wear my old jeans and not have my paws and knees hurt after being on them all day. My family has predispositions to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes too, so I want to try and prevent those.
Mm, 1200's quite readily feasible, and that ought to yield a good 8-10lb/mo, especially if you're up and about a lot of the day, so the diet won't drag on.

Nothing wrong with putting a diet on hold over the festivities. ^_^ I thoroughly enjoyed that delivery pizza on Dec 22. (Mmm, triple bacon & spinach.. so good!) The big thing, of course, is to resume it when intended, and that seems to've gone without a hitch for both of us.

Indeed, I know I had a lot more energy when I was at my proper weight - I was up and zooming around San Diego Zoo all day, where my friend was puffing away after a small hill. I'd love to feel that again. And definitely, if there are significant personal risks you can minimise by shedding the pounds, that's only for the better.

I'll probably wait another day or two before weighing myself again, just to be merciful to myself, all the same. ^_^; I've been doing so usually every day or so, though, mostly because the scales aren't especially accurate - get off and back on, and it'll show maybe a 2lb difference. With more frequent data points, the noise is more readily filtered out. (I wonder if there are any scales available that are accurate, without spending a lot.. still, it doesn't really make much difference, I suppose - it's the loss that counts. Dropping a jeans size last month was quite a boost!)
I use a wii balance board in lieu of an actual scale


The Daily Smell says "OHNOEZ GYPSIES!".
Really guys? In the year 2013?
Happy New Year!


It seems to be a damnably reliable formula - and so very persistent. Or should that be "pernicious"? *sigh* I suppose it's hardly anything new - as that article notes, you could replace "romany" or "Eastern European" with "Jew" quite happily in a lot of their stories. Yet, by attacking other groups, it seems the toxic nature of their false complaint is lost on their readership, and not necessarily uniquely them.
I suppose it's hardly anything new - as that article notes, you could replace "romany" or "Eastern European" with "Jew" quite happily in a lot of their stories.

You don't even have to; Roma and Sinti were also persecuted in nazi Germany.

"Pernicious" sounds about right. I'm not surprised these attitudes still exist, but seeing such blatant and open antiziganism in what is, despite everything, a major mainstream newspaper in a modern European nation, makes me both sad and angry.
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Dungeon Master? Oo, kinky. In either sense. =:)

At least they're still leagues above ITV.. =:/ I'm not sure I've even watched anything on their channels in the past.. decade? We'll have to see if the new Director General heralds any changes in the comedy lineups, like giving Red Dwarf their old home back, or maybe another season of The Peter Serafinowicz Show. You'd think the BBC would be keeping a close eye on events like the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and giving some of the best there a crack at a wider audience.

Still, I suppose running a broadcasting company's a difficult task - you'll always be disappointing people, all the time, just different people. All the same, a bit more dedication to shows that have vindicated themselves as good would be welcome - why was The Fades canned after but a single six-episode series? Can't Clarkson just be binned instead, and the money piped there, or the news division? Those star salaries are crazy. (But, he'd argue, he draws in sales of Top Gear, which is doubtless true)
'Keeping a close eye on the Fringe' = the BBC's recruitment policy for the past few decades :)
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Ridley Scott would have to pay me that to see his version of Prometheus again. And allow me to hit him every time something stupid happens.
Thank you for the tip about Ernest and Celestine :D... Also glad to hear you liked "guardians" too! *waggle*
I really liked the Daily Mail article, and I've left a comment (still screened for now) with a jocular reference to Kitten Block. There, that's my bit done for global harmony. *wag*
I don't get it. What's this about a flügelhorn? I sincerely *would* like one.
It's a minor bit from this season's opening story of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. ^_^

How's the musical noodling going these days?
That's messed up, because a flügelhorn is an *actual* instrument... and that ain't it.

I'm working on an orchestral piece, but doubt I'll be finished by my (mostly self-imposed) deadline. :( I'll tell you a bit about it someday.