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I am absolutely delighted to make note of the release of the third and final season of Star Billions, yours for a measly $2.99. ^_^ You may need to update the app first; I noticed the announcement in the update release notes.



But if that's not your bag, how about a newly announced made-for-TV Invader Zim movie? =:D The same treatment is apparently also being extended to Rocko's Modern Life.

Do you live where you do out of choice? Where do you call "home", and why? For my part, no, not presently; it's a perfectly okay locale, but, a long way from where I'd consider home - San Francisco.

Aaaah, so that's where it went! In iOS 9, Safari used to offer a "request desktop site" in the address bar pulldown. In iOS 10, however, it seems they've dual-tasked the reload icon; press and hold, and you'll be given that option, along with "reload without content blockers". Useful, as a few sites will improperly serve the phone version to an iPad, leading to UI delights like buttons the entire width of the display. =:P

Zootopia may have had Shakira, but My Little Pony's big screen debut will have Sia. =:D

Here's a language resource with a difference: Lexicity. They link to resources for grammar, dictionaries, and suchlike, for old tongues, such as Aramaic, Akkadian, Sumerian, Mayan, and Etruscan.

Or for something a little more on the technical side, how about Disney's Practical Guide to Path Tracing?

/u/Fearful_Leader painted me! =:D

Another example of the dangers of traveling while brown, this time a naturalized US citizen daring to visit her family in Turkey, flying to and from LAX.

Well, now, that's not much fun.. I was out rabbiteering on Thursday, which turned out to be a mostly beautifully bright day, despite both the Met Office and MeteoGroup insisting it'd be overcast, later reluctantly updating to just "cloudy". ^_^; Beautiful day, the buns were out - what could happen? The lens could stop focussing, that's what. =:P Suddenly, it became a manual focus lens - not much use with fast-moving subjects. *sigh* So, I'll have to see what I can do to try to fix the issue, else, establish that it really needs repairing; there's the possibility it's just a matter of the contacts being dirty. It's possible it's the body, but the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 is functioning normally. I'll be trying to clean the body and lens contacts with a dustless eraser, and checking if it works on the roomie's D5500. Worst case, it'll be an expensive trip to Nikon or an appointed service center - a quick search suggests something around $300 to replace the focus motor. =:P Hopefully it won't come to having to make such a decision. ETA: whew! Spent a couple minutes polishing the contacts with a putty eraser (great things! Can form them easily to a point for accurate pencil erasing, with no rubber dust or shavings), and everything appears to be working normally again. (I tried in the field with just a clean hankie, but to no effect) Yay! And the weekend's looking sunny - maybe the buns will be gracious enough to be out and about again then. And I must remember to pack some raisins for them as well. ^_^

I'm not generally keen on superheroes, with very occasional exceptions like both versions of TV's The Flash, and the recent Supergirl, but Joss Whedon writing and directing a Batgirl film does sound rather good fun. ^_^

The film industry does seem to have some realisation that things need to change, but as one might expect, cinema owners are putting up stiff resistance to the concept of releasing films to home audiences after a 30-day window, or when the number of screens falls below a certain threshold. You know where I stand on this: multiplexes hold no magic for me - if I'm watching a film by myself, I'd far sooner be able to do it from the comfort of the warren. Groups of friends, that's a different matter - and when you've got places you actually can enjoy going to, like the Castro Theatre, that's again very different, but venues with character aren't in the multiplex business model.

I'm relieved to (finally!) read that Pixar isn't planning any further sequels past Toy Story 4 and The Incredibles II. It's undeniable that Toy Story 3 did superbly at the box office, and even Cars and Planes have proven lucrative, primarily through merchandising, but - I've been growing increasingly concerned at that turn, almost reliance, on sequels, at the inevitable expense of original stories. I'd so much prefer to see another original production like Ratatouille, Inside Out, or Wall-E than another continuation of Toy Story or Finding Nemo. (And we'll forget about The Good Dinosaur. Not a bad film, certainly, but.. not exactly amongst their crowning accomplishments, I think we can agree)

It'll be a while before we see any industrial scale deployments, but nonetheless, this OLED development news is quite exciting, with a potential improvement in energy efficiency from the current 25% or so, up to more or less a perfect 100%. (As is, the rest just becomes heat. The patent holders might stand to benefit from that, as will we all. I wonder if the technique described might be useful for bulbs as well, not just displays..)

There was another SPG live performance last Saturday, and you can find the archive over here. ^_^



Anyone who follows Intel processors: we've seen AMD coming back recently with Ryzen and friends, but does the company have anything at all in store for low power usage, like phones, or even laptops? As a casual observer, it seems like they're completely ceding that ground to ARM and Intel respectively.

It seems there's a very welcome added benefit to legal weed: a distinct drop in opioid overdoses. "Hospitalization rates for opioid painkiller dependence and abuse dropped on average 23 percent in states after marijuana was permitted for medical purposes, the analysis found. Hospitalization rates for opioid overdoses dropped 13 percent on average."

Here's an interesting security issue - taking over a smart TV. 'The proof-of-concept exploit uses a low-cost transmitter to embed malicious commands into a rogue TV signal. That signal is then broadcast to nearby devices. It worked against two fully updated TV models made by Samsung. By exploiting two known security flaws in the Web browsers running in the background, the attack was able to gain highly privileged root access to the TVs. By revising the attack to target similar browser bugs found in other sets, the technique would likely work on a much wider range of TVs. "Once a hacker has control over the TV of an end user, he can harm the user in a variety of ways," Rafael Scheel, the security consultant who publicly demonstrated the attack, told Ars. "Among many others, the TV could be used to attack further devices in the home network or to spy on the user with the TV's camera and microphone."' This exercise only pertains to DVB, so the US isn't affected - that said, I haven't looked into ATSC to see whether it might have an equivalent attack vector.

Huh! So the iTunes Store does offer multiple language tracks after all! They just tend to be very coy about it. I finally got around to watching my rental of Long Way North (which I'll very happily recommend), and thought I'd just check if there was an original language option - and lo, the French soundtrack and English subtitles were available. Yay! (The English voicework is good, though - this isn't a Tenchi Muyo grade dub. ^_^;) As for the film itself: I'd wondered if the animation style might grate, but no, the painted look works very well, and indeed, provides a refreshing change from the Pixar 3D CG look adopted nigh universally amongst the big studios. Overall, I enjoyed it very much, and will consider purchasing it - and I'm only reluctant to do so as I simply don't rewatch films often at all. (Hell, it was in the final hours of its month long rental period that I even got around to it for the first time =:) It's suitable for all audiences, but it's not especially aimed at younger children - perhaps think of it in terms of similar appeal to Doctor Who. Anyway! Have a look at the trailer, and see if it might be something you'd enjoy. (Regrettably, I see it's returned to being a $4.99 rental; I took advantage at 99¢. Would that that were the norm!)


Following a rather unfortunate trademark tussle with a Birmingham pub, BrewDog has apologised honestly, and in a rather fun twist, made all their recipes available, past and present.

Well, poop. I've finished all the iOS Phoenix Wright games. It began innocently enough, with the release of Apollo Justice - which, for some reason, Capcom released after the title following it in the series, Dual Destinies; so, of course, I had to replay DD to gain a better feel for that one, now in better context. And then I though I'd go through the original trilogy.. hey ho. I imagine they'll bring the newest one to iOS at some point, and maybe even Miles Edgeworth Investigations - and of course, there's the ending chapter of Star Billions now. ^_^

Oh, yay. Looks like one tooth is deciding to gradually shuffle off its mortal coil.. a little fragment came away the other day. =:P Time to get registered with some local dentist and see just how bad things are.

If you enjoy good music videos, have a look over here - BUG Videos periodically collects several that have caught their eye, and produce viewer notes for each. Speaking of which, might you have any to recommend of late? You've seen some indication of what musical styles I like - the ideal then is for a video that perhaps tells a story (Black Light Dinner Party "We Are Golden"), or is simply wonderfully odd (Galantis "Peanut Butter Jelly"), not merely concert footage or miming, unless, perhaps, there's a really good light show or particularly appealing costumery.

And on that note, Badmarsh & Shri "Get Up" is a good example of a nondescript video carrying a rather cool track - sort of South Asian drum'n'bass. Meanwhile, this animated one tells a story - but how do you interpret what finally happens? C2C "Delta". A tidily choreographed video with a catchy track: Keren Ann "My Name is Trouble". A downtempo/folk rock track with a story being told: Mala Vita "Top of the World". Quite an odd animated video: Rone "Bye Bye Macadam". And I'm amazed I'd forgotten to post this one until now, given it's a very well produced stop motion video starring a bunny: The Shins "The Rifle's Spiral". The video's playfully designed, reminiscent of Michel Gondry's work, with a breezily funky vocals-led track with some echoes of Bjork: Jain "Come". (Her bio is quite fascinating, too!)

Food recommendation of the day: Sainsbury's Basics pollock fish fingers. At 65p for ten, way cheaper than any of the big brands, and surprisingly good, with even a slightly higher fish content as well.

It's a fairly niche combination of interests, but still, a wonderful piece: Revolutionary Mare Utena, by mr-tiaa. Perfect! ^_^

And in Canada, The Beaverton announces their candidacy for Conservative leader.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Loan payments: I paid mine off over a decade ago. Once you're out of school for 6 months (at least for mine), payments were due regardless of income or lack of income. You can defer them for up to a year with interest accumulating on them, but that's it. Tough luck if you haven't been able to find a job.

As for college/university tuition, it's been steadily going up and up and up. My debt for 6 years of education wouldn't cover a single year now. Most states have been cutting their funding to the state schools. Those institutions need to come up with funds from somewhere and there is only so many positions you can cut before the quality of education declines. So, tuition is raised and raised again.

Wife is studying to be a Universalist Unitarian minister. I suspect if the Catholic Church ever catches wind of that, I'll be booted out and forced to go watch her preach instead. (chuckle) She's in the middle of her 2 yr long student ministry (aka internship) with a UU church 30 miles away. This weekend is her turn to do the sermon. Canada is a remote option, but I'm not sure if they'd let us both in. I'm not on my government's deportation list and like the US, Canada has too many meteorologists. And unless the requirements have changed since the 90's, a gov. employee must be able to speak both of Canada's official languages. While I can understand the occasional word of French, don't ask me to try and speak it. I looked into it after my graduation for while meteorology jobs were in a death spiral here, there was a shortage of them at that time North of the Border.

Edited at 2017-04-09 10:00 am (UTC)