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So, Doctor Who is underway, with the new Jodie Whittaker! And I have to admit, I'd been very nervous, given the quality of his previous writing, from the poor characterisation in his Silurians two-parter, to the depths of Torchwood's "Cyberwoman". Now? I'd hardly believe this is the same person. =:D Admittedly, neither of the opening two episodes are especially memorable, but the characters I'm definitely enjoying, and JW absolutely owns the role. And then there's the new composer, with a theme arrangement - and incidental music, too - harking back to the glory days of Delia Derbyshire and the Radiophonic Workshop. If the BBC operated Netflix style series dumps, I'd have binged on the whole lot within a day. ^_^ Very, very happy with how it's going so far.

And you remember that other coproduction the BBC has underway with Netflix, Watership Down? It's looking rather promising, if the initial stills are any guide. Here you go! It'll apparently be four episodes, an hour each.

Fancy some new Gerry Anderson? Here's the first episode of Firestorm, a ten minute minisode to set the scene. ^_^

And there's even a City Watch series on the way, courtesy of the BBC. =:D "Based on Pratchett’s popular “Discworld” novels, “The Watch” will follow Pratchett’s misfit cop characters as they struggle to save a ramshackle city based on the “City Watch” subset of the series. Many of Pratchett’s literary characters will also make an appearance including the City Watch Captain Sam Vimes, the last scion of nobility Lady Sybil Ramkin, the naïve but heroic Carrot, the mysterious Angua and the ingenious non-binary forensics expert Cheery alongside Pratchett’s original characterization of Death." Intriguingly, they won't be adapting his existing books, '“Many years ago Terry made the brave decision to allow brand new Watch stories to be told with his existing characters. It’s taken a long time for anything to happen because we guard these characters with our very lives,” added Wilkins.'

If you're interested in playing around with making music, or actually do, Traktion 7 is now free, available for macOS, Windows, and Linux, in 32 and 64 bit versions. (Curiously, separate versions rather than fat binaries, but no matter) You do have to sign up with your name, location, and email address, but no link is sent - they just want to add you to their mailing list (automatically, of course; consent not required, even as their T&C proudly state they never spam), so feel free to use a throwaway or filtering service like 33mail.com. (I do accept it's kind of them to make it available for free, but really, can't companies get over this obsession with adding people to mailing lists without their consent? Surely a simple "please send me your newsletter" checkbox wouldn't be so difficult, ideally along with an example of what they'll send, and how often)

Here's me! This time, by @scoliwings@scalie.business. In light of the Trump administration's plans to force gender recognition as an immutable genetic characteristic, they offered emergency commissions in exchange for $25+ donations to three trans charities.

Whoa. If you ever wondered where all the humans were in the Pixar Cars flicks, the Creative director has the answer.. and it's considerably more disturbing than one might expect. O.o;

This 2018 Hugo acceptance speech by NK Jemesin is absolutely fantastic. Only 5-6 mins, so it won't take long - you'll be pleased you watched. =:D Be sure to reach the point where she raises the trophy. Truly glorious. ^_^

So! I've no idea how much impact this'll actually have at this point, but still, it's very good to see happen: RISC OS is going open source. ^_^

The room refurbishment begins. ^_^ I've placed an order for a Hue bridge, light strip, and two side lamps, so no longer (once it's all done) will I have all the room's light provided by one LED bulb in the middle of the ceiling, perfectly positioned to ensure anything you look down at is in shadow. =:) And all three devices are fully panchromatic, so I'll be able to play with the coloring and brightness - supposedly, syncing it to music is also an option. =:D Next up: getting an appointment with the council to get one of the old chairs picked up for disposal, along with the mattress and frame, given they're both well past due. Once /that's/ arranged, I can line up delivery of the replacement futon (not as easy to find in the UK, sadly, with many only being intended as guest beds, whereas I'm wanting it as my main) and frame - and, of course, shelving, so once the chairs are out, I can get shelving in, and actually sort all the jumble out. Which'll probably be quite good fun, actually, unearthing stuff I'd mostly forgotten about. =:)

And that duly arrived - I admit, I paid a little extra for next day delivery, just to be able to play with it sooner. It's an amazing amount of fun, being able to control the tone of the lighting so freely, and Hue supports third-party apps too, with more advanced functionality, like keeping the lighting in tone with a film you're playing on your TV, or disco lighting based on spectral analysis of what the app hears. There are cheaper systems around, but, being HomeKit certified means it's practically secure; they also support various other OS' home management options. (Tip: if you have difficulty on macOS getting Hue Sync to work in Music mode - initially, it only stole the audio input and turned the lights off - be sure you gave it permission to access the microphone. I'd declined that during installation, not feeling that to be necessary) I'll want to look into how Hue deals with multiple people accessing different rooms, particularly something like a bathroom, where it'd be a touch unamusing to have someone else turn the lights off while you're in the bath - I'd love to have some more Hue kit around the house, but the roomie tends to be a bit set in his ways, and not generally interested much in matters of aesthetics.

The only downside, really, is that it is fully extensible.. so I now have three lightstrips, now 3m each (up from the stock 2m), in addition to the two Bloom side lamps. ^_^; I'll probably be leaving it there for now, but having said that, a lot will rest on just how the room winds up, once the room's sorted out, and the shelving's in place.

Rather cool. ^_^ I am now a published bunny, in last month's edition of Sciences et Avenir. ^_^ All fully with permission, and paid appropriately. I do rather like the way they've laid the page out, with respect to the photo.

Hilda, on Netflix, looks gorgeous! It's an animated production, apparently based on a graphic novel.

As you've probably heard, Telltale Games is now amongst the walking dead. *sigh* A year ago, they kicked a quarter of their staff to the kerb - 90 people - and around Sep 21 2018, eviscerated the remainder to leave a skeleton crew of 25 to finish off Minecraft Story Mode - all other projects are cancelled. A real shame - they've produced some outstanding story-based adventures over the years, from Sam & Max and Puzzle Agent, to Batman and The Walking Dead.

Here's a wonderfully 80s video: Carpenter Brut - Turbo Killer. Very slickly produced, with a thoroughly cinematic feel - I'd love to see more from that setting!

This looks like being worth seeing, over in London, aimed at promoting under-represented voices in the animation industry: Punanimation, "a new exhibition at Dalston's Pocko Gallery showcasing the varied motion and illustration talent they've assembled so far in the Punanimation directory. Animators taking part include Daniela Uribe, Wednesday Studio (below) and Justyna Stasik, who have contributed their own takes on the group's logo for the show, along with a series of animated shorts."

A handy reference to modern web design. =:)

Here's a rather weird story of high temperature superconductivity, which begins with a claim of room temperature superconductivity, but which someone then notices involves a very suspicious pattern of identical noise in two curves. Independently, a well regarded prof in the field begins being publically sceptical, only to be cautioned by a senior prof that he should be cautious with his judgement - and then we find the latter never actually sent such an email. ^_^;

You know, Ice Foxx is a very bad influence on me. Or very good. She's pointed me toward these peeps, Wild Bangarang, as being worth trying for really fun leggings. As you can probably tell, they could be quite hazardous to my account..

Well, I tried resisting, and even held out for a few weeks - but, it was inevitable I'd wind up having to lay my paws on a pair of these. ^_^ (Which the stylist at Tuttii Fruttii loved. Yay! Oh, gods, what a job she did with the coloring of my hair! I still can't believe it took me this long to try coloring. It's a mid-dark brown base, with some autumnal tones brushed in, then lent some gentle curls with a straightener; sadly, I've yet to be able to replicate those curls myself - seems it's not quite as easy as it looks. =:P

I know what's going on with my white balance. I'm more and more shooting my Lumix DC-ZS70, like my previous pocket Lumix it's pretty much always in my pocket when I leave the house. The problem with this one is that it produces a new RAW format that my Photoshop CS6 doesn't support! So I have to cheat and increase my workload a bit. As I refuse to pay a monthly rental on software, I bought a copy of Photoshop Elements 2018. I have it do the RAW conversion and save it as a DNG, which CS6 will read just fine, in which I do my final adjustments.

The mistake that I'm making, which I now recognize and know better not to do, is I'm telling the RAW converter to do auto adjustments, and it's screwing up the color balance and I'm not watching for it. I'm ever so slightly color blind, and my perception of blue is slightly off. I think it's adding too much cyan, but I'm not certain. Regardless, the sky is certainly wonky.

What I need to be doing is take the RAW, load it in to Elements, and just not do any adjustments. Save the DNG, load it in to Photoshop, THEN do all my work. It'll be a bit more work, but it's worth it. And the ones that are screwed up: I can re-load the DNGs and recreate the subsequent steps easily enough. Honestly, my Photoshop-fu is kind of weak, I don't do masking or anything terribly complicated since I finished my coursework, I just don't have the time or patience for it. And I've never been terribly good at curves.

But at least since I now recognize what's going on, I can watch for it in the future and fix it.

It'll actually make HDRs easier as I was clicking Auto, then I'd have to go back and change the exposure compensation to zero to get it back to whatever plus or minus it needed to be before I could do the HDR composite.

* * * * *

I would have absolutely no problem paying for BBC programming, but they won't let me. So I guess I have to wait for things to come out on DVD, and if I wait +6 months after that, I can buy it used/discounted, and the Beeb won't see a dime of that as it's a second-hand purchase. So where's the sense in that? I'm currently paying for two streaming services directly: HBO and Netflix, and we'll be dropping HBO (probably) when Game of Thrones ends. I get Amazon Prime indirectly with my Prime subscription. And I get a very interesting streaming service for free called Kanopy through my uni, from which I just finished watching Kurosawa's Sanjuro - pure Mifuni awesomesauce. I would be perfectly willing to pay for the BBC, but I can't, and I can't pay for BBC America because it requires a cable or satellite subscription, so we both lose. C'est la vie, I have plenty of other things to occupy my time and interests.
Ahh, ye olde CS6! So frustrating Adobe went full-force with software subscriptions - I was all ready to pick up one of their suites, when I had academic pricing available, which would've brought something like Potatoshop, Flash, Illustrator, and a few others to me for around £250, less than the cost of Photoshop alone.

It'll be interesting to see what happens with Photoshop on the iPad - will they tie it into a CC subscription? Not sure that'd jibe with the App Store, unless they offered it at the same price in-store as well. Still, at least there's vigorous competition now, with the likes of Pixelmator and Procreate working wonders, for way less than Adobe.

If you have it, don't forget Aperture still runs happily under Mojave! I'm absolutely delighted to be able to continue with it - and of course, as it uses the OS' RAW converters under the hood, it ought to be fine with any new RAW formats too.

There's also the iTunes Store for some BBC programming - the current Doctor Who is $29 (including five minute "Closer Look" extras for each episode), with previous seasons at $15, if that's still going on. I finally put down the money for that a couple nights ago, both for the extras and a vote of confidence in JW. (Haven't seen the latest one yet, though)

I'll never understand the insistence on producers insisting on going through a cable provider, even at this late stage. Maybe you won't have too long to wait, though, with Apple's vaunted TV service due around Spring - rumors are claiming it'll be free to iOS device owners, with extra services available à la carte, so maybe BBCA will be amongst those options.

I was intrigued to see, in this worldwide 100 best films list, that none of the Japanese critics went for any of Kurosawa's works. O.o
I knew of the Apple streaming service, hadn't heard it would be free for Apple device owners. That would be definite bonus, and kind of surprising considering they've gone MBA "shareholder value" mindset under Tim Cook's stewardship. I'll definitely look forward to that launch!

I believe Amazon Prime will carry the Xmas Special next month, so we have that to look forward to. Hopefully.

Yeah, I'm still running CS6. In fact, I have O'Reilly's Missing Manuel sitting on my desk ATM (it's from Barcelona) doing some study. I'm very glad I coughed up the $$$ for the student/teacher edition because we're rather tight with money right now and I really would have been unhappy spending the additional bucks on that subscription. I've been looking at Skylum recently and plan on giving them and DxO a spin when it comes time to look at alternatives. I'd like to check out Aperture, but unless I can find a class where I can evaluate it, that's not an inexpensive package just to see if it's what I want to use on-going. Plus, 2012 MacBook Pro is going to be my on-going laptop, and I don't know if Sierra or HS is what it's going to be capped at, so Aperture is probably going to be locked out from it - I learned that I couldn't install iMovie on my one that blew up last year - the App Store will only install the latest and greatest, or at least the version prior to Mojave.

I just installed Mojave on my 2015 iMac. No complaints, except when I inserted a DVD-RW to burn it wasn't obvious that you had to change your methodology and right click your material to burn instead of drag & drop. I preferred the latter as you could more easily build up a disk, now I'll have to create a burn folder, build the image there, then burn it to the disk.

But we got to see Bohemian Rhapsody last night, and I was able to build most of the soundtrack from my collection, so that was nice. And I was able to determine that I'm only missing three albums from my collection: their first, and the two from before Live Aid. Got 'em all wish listed on Amazon.

I saw that about the 100 Best Film list, quite interesting about the Japanese critics, I don't understand why. As a matter of fact, last weekend my wife was working, and I watched six movies, three foreign, Kurosawa's Sanjuro, Shaolin Soccer (Chinese theatrical release), and The Tall Blonde MAn With One Black Shoe (French, 1975 - Russian DVD).

We got a free streaming service through my uni called Kanopy, they have a large chunk of the Criterion Collection. VERY happy! Watched a fantastic 1927 silent documentary on Berlin, sort of a visual symphony. It's offered free by many libraries here, you might be able to sign up for it via San Fran the next time you're here, but it might not work in the UK.