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The video YouTube - nay, the Internet - was destined to disseminate has debuted: David Hasselhoff in True Survivor, the music video for Kung Fury, a not-very-serious homage to 80s action films, including dinosaurs, Valkyries, Hitler, time travel, and 80s computing tech galore.

The director of the superb Summer Wars, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and The Wolf Children has a new production coming out this year: 「バケモノの子」, which translates more or less as "The Monster's Child", though the English title appears to the "The Boy and the Beast".

Here's a remarkably insightful look at Second Life, with a perspective of personal identity. Worth reading whether or not you're involved in SL - the themes apply to any sufficiently flexible virtual world.

If you're in or within reach of London, and have an interest in modern urban history, you might be sufficiently geekily interested in two new TfL tours, for which tickets will open at 10am on Friday, April 17th, at 10am. Going by the Rotherhithe-Wapping tunnel walk last year, if you're interested, you'll want to snag tickets as soon as convenient. "The one likely to cause the most excitement, is the exceptionally rare opportunity to go into the Clapham South deep level shelter, a series of tube tunnels dug next to the tube station that were used as accommodation during air raids. One of eight such shelters across London, most are off limits as they are used for secure document storage, so this is a very rare opportunity. The other tour is to see one of London’s newer disused tube stations — at Charing Cross. Go behind closed doors to exclusive areas not accessible to the public, walk under Trafalgar Square and see the London Underground from a different angle." [Edit: it would seem both events sold out within about five minutes. ^_^; But not before I landed tickets for the deep shelter!][w00t! The waiting list was real! - I also landed the Charing Cross ticket, which will segue oh-so-nicely into the White Horse's American beer festival. And they take their festivals seriously, with not just kegs, but even casks, and sometimes of very special brews..]

I had no idea Criterion had given Watership Down their attentions, but there it is: an absolutely gorgeous Blu-Ray, at long last. =:D Many thanks to whitetail for bringing this to my attention! I see there is an HD version on iTunes UK, but lacking any mention of Criterion, I suspect it's an old transfer; iTunes US does have explicitly Criterion's, though without any of the rather interesting extras.

I remain a trifle disappointed that of all the WiFi nodes I can see from here, only the roomie's and mine are non-generically named. What have you called yours? And are there any favorites you've spotted? (One I thoroughly appreciated, visible then from Muddy Waters on Church & Market, was named with a suitably short URL, along the lines of - connect and load that page, and it explained the WiFi was open for anyone to use, and that if you'd found it helpful, to consider dropping them a line at a given email address. I did, and received a thankful note back =:)

I appreciate web design isn't an easy matter - many professions often seem easier from the outside. Nonetheless, there are some principles one might think would be fairly obvious to design in or allow for. The local bus company recently reworked their site, and committed some amusingly bad mistakes - now, true, having promo codes be case-sensitive isn't a grave mistake, but a bit silly. Rather more bizarre, though, is the date field on their contact form, for specifying the date of a trip you want to discuss - it hints, reasonably enough, that it should be of the form dd/mm/yyyy. So, you might be inclined to enter something like 2nd March 2015 as 2/3/2015. Nope! They mean quite literally what they said, and will reject anything but 02/03/2015. =:D (And let's not even get into the many sites that will reject phone numbers of the form 07684 786000, as advanced space removal technology has not made it into their toolbox) Okay, gripe done. ^_^

Gin of the week: Martin Miller's, distilled near Birmingham, then shipped to Iceland for dilution to 40%. (Apparently, they can't import the water, as they'd be required to treat it before use) To my palate, it's on a par in the world of gin as Chase and Grey Goose are in vodka. Very smooth, exceptionally soft mouth feel, but with all that makes gin what it is. =:9 I hadn't heard the name before, but it isn't merely the product of a marketing department - it is indeed the result of that person feeling dissatisfied with a G&T, and setting out to create their perfect gin.

If you'll recall the stolen fursuit from the other week: there's been an update. It's been returned, along with shipping costs; benevolently, the owner's choosing not to pursue the matter further.

Nice competition: two flights anywhere Cathay Pacific flies, in premium economy. (UK residents only)

With finances beginning to improve, I felt like finally returning to one of my old haunts on Saturday night, a pub with a particularly good line in food, a well-chosen selection of beers and ciders, and enough history to be.. well, I'd say nigh tangible, but those hefty beams are quite real. The place's date of construction isn't entirely clear, but it's apparently known that some previous owners laid on hospitality for the inbound Normans. Started off with their charcuterie plate (which still doesn't come with anywhere near enough baguette slices!), with slices of a deliciously tangy saucisson, deeply aged Serrano ham, and house-made pork rillettes and cornichons. Such a satisfying start to a meal. ^_^ The main, meanwhile, I chose from the specials board - as tempting as the lamb shank with puy lentils was (I'd had that on my first visit, and it was absolutely excellent), I plumped for the pan-fried pigeon breast atop spiced red cabbage, with potatoes dauphinoise, and a red wine sauce. Mmm.. really nicely done, with the meat cooked perfectly pink, nicely tangy cabbage, a rich sauce, and I'm always a sucker for that style of potato. =:9

Whew. I is a relieved bunny. ^_^ In the early hours of Thursday, I discovered the iPhone wasn't charging at all, nor being seen by Hazel. Awkward enough per se, particularly as I'd just added a month's broad area bus pass to it. ^_^; I tried vigorously blowing down the Lightning port, and using a bit of paper as an improvised spudger, but to no avail. To the Apple Store! Just, the only one with availability on the day (otherwise, Sunday or Monday) was a couple hours away.. still, I'm fine with any opportunity for travel, and the pass would cover most of it. ^_^ Mercifully, it did indeed turn out to be merely an accumulation of microfluff - a few minutes in the back room, and they had the Lightning and headphone sockets both in pristine condition. (And a minor bonus: got to see the Apple Watch in person. Rather a nice bit of tech and design, though I'm yet to be sold on the utility of smartwatches. Still, we'll see. There's inevitably going to be a good deal of discovery ahead for developers and the public alike, working out just what such turn out to be really good at and for)
I named my WiFi as I PEE IN THE POOL in an effort to mess with the minds of everyone living in the apartment complex.

I had no idea you were quite that evil. =:D
Hahah! I bet the pool got cleaned more regularly since you made home there!
The chlorine is extra strong. My poor eyes and lungs!!
I wonder what would happen to the chlorine level with the application of a huge chunk of sodium.. =:D
- I do wunder sumtymes eeef we'll ever meeet up in SL.... *wistful glances toward the horizon*

- Arrrgh... sorry to hear the bus site is another victim of modern is best so let's just throw out all that was learned in the past (about design) and then not even check our work! ;P

- Congratties for the good vibes and successes at the Apple Store! ^V^
I really do need to get in-world more. ^_^; Every time I am, I feel.. oddly happy, more me. (Ah, would that I could simply become my SL self..)

It's odd, just how many sites seem to exhibit no sign of actually having been used by their designers. Just today, with those TfL events via EventBrite.. ye gods and little fishes, when you've been given eight minutes to check out for an event that's proven insanely popular, and it keeps rejecting proceeding to checkout because not all compulsory fields have been filled in, including "where did you hear about this?".. not to mention having maybe thirty dates available, but no way to check which have any availability, beyond checking each of them in turn.. !

I was pleased with the Apple Store's performance. Good lot. ^_^ And whilst I'm really not one for chi,dren, for the most part, I do like the way they not only are fine with any displays being played with, but even have a section intended for kids, with low seating. That's pretty cool.

Still a bit miffed I couldn't remedy the matter myself, but, it's been taken care of conclusively, for free. And I've gained a few new ideas for pubs to try out along the way there. =:) (Do you review on anywhere like TripAdvisor?)
*happy warm fuzzies re: your SL note* ^v^ ... mebbe sometime ....!

Also, funny you should mention TripAdvisor... I did do a review or three over there... and they kept telling me it was a hit!... Right now I can't find it anymore... which I'm guessing may be because I haven't logged in for a while... or, more likely, the hotel has changed its name so the review was scrubbed...
I'm not sure how TripAdvisor works in that regard. I'd imagine they're inclined to encourage people to keep on reviewing, though of course, I haven't had many outings to review. =:/ As for places closing, I should check what provision they make for fundamental changes like that - there's a pizza joint I reviewed positively, bringing actually good pizza to the local delivery options, but their cunning "avoid all publicity" strategy apparently didn't pay off. =:/ (I know Apple Maps does/do update its info, though it can take a few weeks - I reported several places that had closed or moved nearby. I do wish they'd wrap up agreements with more than just Yelp - reviews there often seem years out of date. TA would be a far better option)
Here's a remarkably insightful look at Second Life, with a perspective of personal identity. Worth reading whether or not you're involved in SL - the themes apply to any sufficiently flexible virtual world.

Interesting. But I'm not sure I'm understanding this bit:

Nakamura tore into white gamers who chose to write stereotyped Asian qualities into their player descriptions. [...] Nakamura bemoaned how virtual reality had [ceased to be] a place where individuals could detach themselves from the social pressures of the real world.

Aren't these basically entirely at odds with each other? Either you can express yourself the way you want, without shaming, social pressure to conform etc., or you get people (like Nakamura here, apparently) telling you that you're not allowed to do so. (And although it's not usually said openly, once you push through the smokescreen it almost invariably boils down to "I should get to decide what you can and can't be".)

Best of luck to Veronica, though.

I remain a trifle disappointed that of all the WiFi nodes I can see from here, only the roomie's and mine are non-generically named. What have you called yours? And are there any favorites you've spotted?

Pretty much everything around me is generically-named, though there is apparently a "rogue state" somewhere near by. Heh.

If you'll recall the stolen fursuit from the other week: there's been an update. It's been returned, along with shipping costs; benevolently, the owner's choosing not to pursue the matter further.

Told ya it'd work out. :)
My WiFi SSIDs are three letters that form the password of three words which are 15+ characters. Very easy to remember. Before the Edward Snowden leaks I was thinking about hooking up an old router in my car and naming it NSA_SURVEILLANCE_MOBILE_1701, but then Snowden happened and it just wasn't funny anymore.

What model iPhone do you have? I have a 6, and though I haven't had a fluff charging issue, I did have a fluff speaker issue. I thought the speaker was dead, turns out it was just crud in the slit. I think their design was a little weak there.

I just pray to Buddha that they go back to a smaller form factor. I think the 4/5 were the perfect sizes, the 6 is just a bit too large IMO.
I have no interest in the iWatch, but I bought and am really looking forward to the metal Pebble Time.
What's the particular attraction there? They all seem pretty nifty. ^_^ Though, I suppose Apple has the benefit of a hefty developer flotilla, all eager to fiddle around and see just what they can do with it, and an OS with particularly tight integration. (Handoff/Continuity, yay! Worth the price of Yosemite by itself)
I don't know for certain, but I would assume that developing apps for the iWatch will require you pay the $100 license for iOS app developers/App Store, I haven't heard that one way or the other, it just makes sense to me that it would be a logical extension. The Pebble SDK is free, and I don't think there's any fees to make or release your app or watch face, and their watches work with Apple or Android. They advertise over a thousand apps and watch faces, I don't know the exact number. They also do an amazing job of listing what OSS software they use, the licenses, and when they've forked and contributed back to the registry.

And you can get a 1st gen Pebble for $100.

[ETA] And they say it's good for 7-10 days on one charge because it uses eInk.

I came across this on Slashdot this AM:
John Gruber On Third-party Apple Watch Apps: They Suck and Are Really Slow

For me, I ordered a Pebble Steel when I saw the price and the fact that both the case and the back were stainless steel and that it was waterproof. I had an awesome Seiko: analog face, very pretty, and it had an alarm and a countdown timer and a stopwatch. I failed to notice that the case was base metal, and eventually my sweat ate through it and the watch died. I've been waiting for a good, affordable, highly functional watch made entirely out of stainless, and the iWatch is just too much money, and it looks to me like they're trying to cram too much functionality in to it.

Edited at 2015-04-18 03:10 pm (UTC)
Three letters? Could have a nicely minimalistic vibe. Getting your Ive on? =:)

Mine's a 5s. I'd had a 3G, but.. well, it was getting a trifle long in the tooth, and app support had basically concluded for that CPU architecture. I don't use it as a phone often, but it's brilliantly handy as a pocket assistant, for things like real time bus and train departures, maps, and banking.

Mm, Snowden finally managed to bring it all well and truly into the sphere of public attention. We'd heard of the NSA's tap in an AT&T room in San Francisco, but somehow, that never quite impacted the public consciousness.

I'd even go further: Jobs had it right. The 3G was the perfect size for use in one hand, using just a thumb. I certainly don't mind if some want big devices, but I have the iPad for that.
I made the mistake of upgrading my 4S to iOS 7 or 8, and it was totally inappropriate for the CPU. And, of course, after a week they yank the crypto key from their servers so you can't revert. And it totally F'd up the podcast app, which is the thing that I use the most. So I was kinda forced in to getting a 6. I wanted the 4G anyway, but after I had it I think I would have preferred a 5S except the 64 gig model was no longer available at that point. *sigh*

I like simple to remember, but difficult to hack, passwords. So for example, if I made my SSID "BGE", I could make the password BobEatsGoldfish, and you instantly have a 15 character passphrase. The admin password for the router uses a totally different scheme. I use a specific difficult word with either a prefix or suffix word, sometimes both, that identifies what I'm doing. You'd have to brute force to get 'em. Yes, I sometimes fatfinger passwords, but that's not a big deal and none of 'em have ever been compromised AFAIK.
The original size was the perfect size for everyone to use in one hand, while the new one is the perfect size for some people to use in one hand. Frankly, it would be good to have two model sizes. They probably made both 6 models a bit too big, though.

The 4 and 4S were neat. Add a D-pad on one side and A and B buttons on the other, and you could imagine a kind of retro-chic Gameboy Advance. It felt like the culmination of 80s european design made timeless. The newer ones are far more modern, and it's impossible to mistake their place in today's history.
It's interesting to see the rumors of a 4-inch "6C" swirling around. Perhaps they're realising that whilst there absolutely is a market for large and very large phones, there's also the one they've currently left behind.

I'm not quite sure which basic design I prefer. ^_^; I admit, I'm very fond of the way the 3G held, with the gentle curves letting it sit cosily in one's palm. I haven't actually held a 6 yet - I ought to see what they're like, when I'm next in an Apple Store. It sort of reminds me of the progression in PowerBook designs, with the 3G akin to the Wallstreet (open, closed), and the 4/5 more like the TiBooks - ST:TNG versus 2001. =:)
Net-5 Undercover Van. Net-5 is the name of the local police anti-drug task force.
I'll be a derp and ask, what's potatoes dauphinoise? :P That said, looks some prime meal, nothing I can say I've ever tried. One nice thing from a few days back was my signature lamb heart stew-thing...mmm, got to say I do love my offal <3
Basically potatoes baked densely in a cheesy white sauce, topped with a little more cheese for a golden crust. =:9 Really rather good, but it does need to be paired against meats that can take the richness, as you can understand.

If I can lure you down this neck of the woods sometime, we must visit. ^_^ The food's reliably good, the beers and ciders are well chosen, and the feel is very much a place you can come and nestle down for a full evening's eating and drinking, and still hold conversation comfortably. (Which is a failing point for so manu places, even the Magnolia Cafe - when a place is filled, why do owners insist so often on turning the volume up? O.o;)

We'd pull the perfect Jack Sprat duo - I can't abide offal. ^_^; (And don't even talk of cooking it.. erf, those scents will send me running from any kitchen)
I had a box of Scalloped Potatoes (I guess that's an American term or something) and the French label said something like "Pommes de Terre Dauphinoise au Gratin". It's funny, because we've got duplicates of so many European towns in Canada. There's a Dauphin close by.
Durn furrin words. =:) (And while we're at it, fie upon "crescent rolls", I want croissants! Mmm, croissants.. warm from the oven, split open, with a tiny bit of butter, and nice dollop of strawberry or apricot jam..)

The name duplication, of course, causes plenty of amusement when searching for things relevant to English towns, like Brighton or Bristol, with a stack of American namesakes cropping up. (Why do search engines still suck as much as they did ten years ago? Even now, we seem absolutely no closer to being able to readily offer context to particular words, or even specify which Lincoln or Brighton we mean. And then trying to search for Bath matters..)
My Wi-Fi is named aaabaaajss. Oh, those were the times.

The problem with programming (which seems to be the underlying problem with the site you were talking about) today is that languages still don't encapsulate that kind of functionality and a lot of people still aren't using the frameworks that provide it. The frameworks are kind of diffuse, too, with a whole bunch of little scripts each solving a problem in needlessly-complex ways so that they're applicable to as many use-cases as possible.