Friday, April 28, 2006

Your Votes Count

Somewhat geekish news from the inbox.

Icons, the much debated Culture Online project, has accepted my nomination!

Please, if you have the time and are so inclined, could you toddle over there and vote for The Tardis :-)

Seems a load of other folks voted it in too, thus adding a dash more credibility than just the behind-the-sofa brigade. Nice one.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Pirate Baby's Cabana Battle Street Fight 2006

Animation junkies and Double Dragon fans nostalgic for '80s-era graphics, drop everything you're doing right now and download this short film from digital artist Paul Robertson.

Pucker bat wielding brilliance.

Million Crystal Tat

Lookin' like a megga naff Bond villainess, comes an attrocious bit of poorly concieved adverting from Swarovski.

My mates at
mail order beads (who do all this Swarovski mung) will have kittens when they see this one!

Check out the Million Crystal Body for the very peak of Germanic euro-tat.

I hate bad online 'adverting-for-sake-of-it'. "Ack, mein lieben, what can we do? Vot is popular? Quickly Hans, let us look at ze demographic and do something controversial unt vacky"...

In order to enable the purchasers to watch the uncovering, photos of the model will be shown on the web site in short intervals. The more stones are sold, the less stones will cover Chantal’s skin on the photos. "The photos will be very aesthetic, but it may motivate some of the purchasers to make Chantal visible in all her beauty by purchasing some of the stones", von Kuczkowski says.

For gods sake...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Building My Own

Having decided to build my own machine, now I have the space for something other than a laptop, Choppa (playing the Baron) and I (playing Egor) sat down this evening and strapped together a nice bit of kit for around a grand. Deal-of-the-week-tastic.
  • Leadtek GeForce 7600 GS SILENT 256MB GDDR3 TV-Out/Dual DVI (PCI-Express)
  • BenQ FP202W 20" Widescreen LCD Monitor (Black)
  • Intel Pentium 4 940 Dual Core "LGA775 Presler" 3.2GHz
  • Abit AL8 Intel 945P (LGA775) PCI-Express Motherboard
  • Maxtor MaxLine III NCQ 250GB 7V250F0 SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM
  • GeIL 2GB (2x1GB) PC5300 667MHz Value DDR2 Dual Channel Kit (GX22GB5300DC)
  • Antec SLK3700BQE Black Quiet Midi Tower Case - 350W SmartPower PSU
  • Liteon SHW-16H5S-05C 16x Lightscribe DVD±RW (Black)
  • Logitech Internet Pro Keyboard (Black)
All from the infamous Overclockers, in Stoke-on-Trent. Bit of software, and some stuff I already got, and we're in business. Maybe even as soon as the weekend.

This one's so nice, it needs a name. Suggestions?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Woppit Hopolis Arrives

Last night, an extravagant and somewhat impulsive purchase arrived at Pemberley.

In a fit of online shopping peak, we bought Worthington Woppit and Emily Wiffles a new toy. Their very own castle. I jest you not. We still have no furniture, but the 'food-stuff' has a castle.

Emily has already started nibbling out a new ballroom, and Worthers is contemplating a double garage.

Check out CardboardGuy, for the absolute peak of small mammal domestic extravagance. This place has 3 floors, ramps, 'drawbridge', tunnels and it's totally edible.

The rabbits actually seemed geniunly excited (almost as excited as Jema) and, while not really exploring the upper floor yet (unless tempted up there by chocolate products), they cheerfully spent the evening munching the walls and huckled up together in 'the dungeon'.

Hopefully it'll stop 'em eatin' the furniture, when we get some...

Monday, April 24, 2006

Sad Day For Temporal Dynamics

I'm cribbing this directly from our Derbyshire entertainment site...

Former Dr Who, Tom Baker, is to be dropped as the voice of talking text messages by the end of the month, it emerged today! The feature was introduced at the end of January allowing people to send their friends and family messages in the instantly recognisable actor's dulcet tones.

But his voice is to be axed to allow the introduction of both male and female voices. The new voices will start being used from April 28 and will be rolled out nationally from May 1.

Wendy McMillan, BT general manager, Consumer, said: "Tom Baker has been a huge success and a great way to introduce a new audience to BT Text. As the technology develops we want to give people the option to have their texts delivered to landlines in a gender that is the same as their own or one they think will be more effective depending on the message they're sending. But if people haven't yet had their fill of Tom Baker they've still got more than a week to enjoy pretending to be The Doctor."

Research carried out by BT suggests male voices are appropriate for sending different messages to female voices. Seven out of ten people think male voices are better for telling jokes and were considered more powerful and better for disciplining children. Female voices were described as more comforting, truthful and persuasive than male voices.

Damn shame. Still, if you've not seen this already you should cheque out Tom Baker Says and The Doctor Says and The Doctor Sings (check out Common People and God Save the Queen) for the outstanding application of this service. Damn, damn shame.

Still, K9 and Sarah Jane next weekend.

Hmmm, Lis Sladen, many happy hours of wasted youth...

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Morris Filled Weekend

Jema was teaching workshops this weekend so was stuck in Nottingham.

Paul and young Helena came to see us, and Big Morris on Saturday evening.

Poor Big Morris has had to do one of those obligatory 'apply for your own job' interviews and was fretting, probably unjustifiably, as he's lookin' a buying a property in Belper and has stuck an offer in on somewhere just over the hill.

Helena, Paul and I did some gardening (lots of gardening, actually), a bit of cillin' in the sun, some fence painting, and (on Sunday) the 4 of us went to the windmill at Heage to show Helena around and to pick up a load of bread flour.

Nice to catch-up with old mates. Hope it's the start of seeing more of Paul.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


This is Pigs life. He's Senior designer.

Motorstorm is a new launch title for the P3.
It's 'his game'.

This is why we're not walking the Pennine Way this year. Cheers Evolution.

He can't talk about it either, cos he'd have to kill me or Sony would send ninjas...

Friday, April 21, 2006

Is He, or Isn't He?

Here's a screen grab from the latest Who trailer, the one for (not tomorrow) the weekend after next. That sign next to Anthony Stewart Head is pretty damn unsubtle.

I SO hope it's true. He's playing a character, apparently, called 'The Headmaster' (or 'Mr. Finch'). Personally, if it's true, I can't think of anyone better for the part.

Back in November, he did an interview with SFX magazine...

SFX: Had you heard about the rumour in the newspapers that you were playing The Master…
ASH: [Shocked] No!! I love it when papers say things stridently, whether they're right or wrong.
SFX: So, who do you play in it?
ASH: I can't even remember the character's name. Now I'm on tour, all my energies are channelled into that. Hmm, I don't know how much I'm allowed to say. My name is stamped all over the script so if anybody ever gets the script, they know it comes from me!

Yeah, right, we'll see.

Apparently, it's actually all about shape changing aliens giving kids a mickey in their school dinners and keeping them sat in front of computers. Some kinda gargoyle jobbies called
'Krillitanes'. The teaser clips for Series Two showed these flying whatsit thingys (Krillitanes) in a school hall.

And Websites...

Geekily, and interstingly for this episode, the beeb have recently registered, (the school where this is all supposed to go on),,, etc., but there are no websites there yet. They did some nice stuff last season last like this so fingers crossed for online conspiracy nonsense.

As a point, and as well as the stuff Daz and I found last year, there are a few new Who sites about for this, ongoing, season:
I hope Sarah gets a kinda 'journalists blog' thing, that'd be well funny.

A couple of others, non BBC, are
Flydale North (the constituency of 'Harriet Jones MP'), Powell Estate Tenants Association (the estate where Rose, Mickey and Jackie come from) and the forthcoming cyber-mungus Cybus Corporation (none of which really do a lot, but are nice to have out there causing trouble).

Cheers to Dave C for the pic.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Hitchhiker's Guide to Blogging

Blog·ging - Blogging is the act of regularly updating your website with some humdrum information about your life or a link to something you just read on the internet in the mistaken belief that anyone actually cares. It is the 21st century equivalent of hanging around railway stations, writing pithy but erudite descriptions of the passing trains. To take part in "blogging" or to use the appropriate terminology "to join the blogosphere" there are a couple of things you need to do.

Firstly, you'll need to increase the size of your ego. Without a swollen ego you simply cannot achieve the levels of solipsism required by a modern blog. This necessary step is often missed by new bloggers, yet without it, you won't believe that anyone is remotely interested in what you've had for lunch today, how cute your cat Mittens is, or whether or not you designed some tedious internet protocol. In fact blogging without a nova-sized ego can actually be dangerous...

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to Blogging" by Steven Fry and Joby Talbot.

Funny as hell, and painfully true, there's more stuff available in the iTunes Music Store, but not for us limeys...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Trasks Finest

My new toy arrived in the post from Canada today (£8, yes £8 bleedin' customs duty!).

It was a birthday present from my mum and dad (cheers for the cash guys) and took muchos competative bidding on eBay to get at a decent price.

This hastily snapped pic does not do this puppy justice. Truely it is a thing of unparrelelled action-figure beauty. That cocky damn multi-jointed Wolverine has been askin' for a squashin' for a while.

This proud 14" of Sentinel justice comes in the form of 6 bits that you get in the packets of the 6" figures in the 'Marvel Legends Series 10' range, most of which (with the exception of Mr. Sinister) I don't want and, to be honest, are border line bobbo. Even just finding one for these
Sentinels for sale on it's own has been tricky.

There's also a Galactus (not my bag, a bit too fab 4 for me) and an Apocalype (who looks pretty tasty) in these put-together collectable ranges, if you're so inclined.

Do ya know the best thing about being 'an adult'?

You get to buy your own toys ;-)

Monday, April 17, 2006

Less Gardening, More Pottering

Didn't get as much done in the garden today. A bit, but not a lot.

It kinda rained, which as they 'is good for the plants', so (being new to this Derbyshire lark) we had a look at some of the local sites and went to Kedleston Hall for a potter about. We also went to another garden centre (at Little Eaton) to pick up some bits.

Kedleston was designed by a chap called Robert Adam, between 1759 and 1765, and was built for the Curzon family. Kedleston was the home of the Curzons for over 800 years and is now owned by the National Trust.

Adam also created the 820 acre park and the five lakes. There is an 'India Museum', though a lot of this seemed to be 'undergoing renovation' while we were there. It is the start of the season I guess. The museum is usually full of stuff collected by Lord Curzon, who was Viceroy of India. There was 'the peacock dress' though, which totally blew Jem away and, I have to say, was a gob-smacking piece of work.

I think it was Cuzon who led the campaign against women's suffrage in the House of Lords. If I'm right, in 1908 he helped establish the Anti-Suffrage League and eventually became its president.

The National Trust wedsite appears to be down over the weekend (doh!) so I can link to them but it might not work immediatly. Kedleston is a nice enough spot, with a couple of light garden walks, and we enjoyed the miander.

A pleasent way to while away the last afternoon of the Bank Holiday.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Inlaws and Outlaws

More gardening. Planting and weeding now that all the lifting and carrying is done. Joy.

The folks came over this afternoon, Jemas dad and my mum and dad, all with shed loads of cuttings and plants to get crammed into the borders. All 3 as mad as a bag of cats.

Even the rabbits, well Worthers anyway, ventured out into the garden today.

It's sad to say it but my folks are getting old. Especially my mum. Seeing them outside their own environment really put it in context for me just how 'frail' she is now. I don't see them that often. Since her last operation she's not really eating properly either, so she's lost loads of weight.

It's kinda sobering, but what can ya do? It's hard for her, mainly because of her memory loss which stresses her out constantly. She's quite 'proud' my mum, and I think she finds it (unjustifiably) embarrassing. She was quite the socialite up to a couple of years ago; Conservative Party this and Round Rotating Ladies that. Literally, a different party every night. It clearly gets to her, and with being so frail now it makes her seem, suddenly, as old as she actually is. Still, being my mum and all, she's just as happy and carefree and full of jokes as ever.

Anyroad. Pic of the garden exploring 'flopsie eared bunny', taken this afternoon just for FoxyTallChick ;-)

Derby Auction Site

This is nice. Local Derbyshire auctions.

Like eBay, but just in the immediate local area. Nice idea and it has the backing of our papers (all the Northcliffe titles) so it could take off.

Hope so. It's free to put ads on (unless you're selling a car), it just needs to get around. Loads of local Derbyshire bargains, and it's gonna be rolling out in all our news areas.

Other places are gonna include Hull,
Devon, Gloucestershire, Leicestershire and Rutland, Grimsby and Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, North Staffordshire and South Cheshire, Nottinghamshire.

Shameless plug, over and done. No, seriously, I like this. It's one step up from FreeCycle. Okay, hardly an 'eBay buster', but well worthy (and brave of 'em).

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Badgering On

Finally, and with the kind assistance of Captain Depper, I managed to shift the European bramble mountain into the skip or onto the bonfire. You wouldn't believe the amount of space this has freed up. We managed to finish felling a couple of trees and the bigger prickly and more pointless bushes. It kept old David warm all afternoon.

I'm still totally covered in itchy grassy pine needle pollen stuff. There is muck in every crease and opening of my body.

Depper and Leslie came over this afternoon to give us a hand. Leslie took charge and was "Rutheless in the borders", digging up a fury that I think, to be honest, slightly scared Jema.

Captain Depper and I 'badgered on'. I find it's best just not getting involved in the garden design thing. I'm better just carrying stuff, digging holes and smiling pleasently when asked what I prefare. It's kinda like outdoor soft furnishings, i.e. I 'm fairly sure I'm just not genetically disposed to care, unless I can eat it.

After a decidedly average episode of Dr. Who, we popped up to the Holly Bush (with Daz) for a couple of pints. Daz and I watched a surprisingly enjoyable (if a little disposable) Midlands based Shane Meadows movie (Dead Mans Shoes) that he brought over.

In a minute I'm crashing out. The backache is catching up with me
and I'm knackerd...

Friday, April 14, 2006

A Very Good Friday

A day off work. Good Friday. Birds are singing. The cat is stretched out in the sun. Time to do some graft.

We went shopping to the garden centre this afternoon, we had to wait for the skip. If I may just hop on my soap box for a second: £80 for a bleedin' skip! I nearly had kittens, but that was the cheapest I could to find that'd deliver to where we live (which isn't that back-of-beyond). I know that's 'the going rate', but it's a danm site less expensive to just chuck stuff in the river ;-)

Now Jem has been reading about gardening, and if you know Jema you'll know than means she has supernaturally absorbed 10 or 12 books and is now verging on the skill level of Percy Thrower.

I'm not joking here. It amazes me how she does it. I've seen her assimilate whole careers (that it'd take others years of Uni to aquire) by doing this. If she wasn't so cute it'd be scarey. She had some good, clear, practical ideas on what went in what soil, in what light and what would go with what colour etc.

I just followed along enthusiasticly with the cheque book.

A new personal best for the Smart car. 4 large bags of compost/mulch, what you see in the trolly (above), and a 3 carrier bags. People stopped and stared at us in the car park. She was a bit sluggish on acceleration on the way home.

Anyway. Taking down the odd small tree and crappy bushes. Put up some bird feeders for the cat. Stacking stuff in Daves (one of our v. special collection of neighbours) garden ready for burning. Digging and shifting turf. Drinking G and T in the sun. Lots or lifting, shoveling, carrying and running round with a wheelbarrow, while Jema laid stuff out and did some planting.

It's kinda nice this middle age home owner stuff. Kinda reassuring and comfortable and we've money to spend right now so may as well make the most of it. It seems, somehow, very British. Thank god it's not spoilt by children.

Tomorrow we should have some more constructive help than Pixie and should be able to get loads more done.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Veg Box

Hmmmm, organic veg.

Got the first delivery from River Nene this afternoon, dropped at the back door. Veg that actually tastes of something, and eggs, and milk, and yummy organic goodness.

River Nene Organic Farm is in the Nene Valley, nr. Sutton, and has been managed organically since April 2000. The fruit and veg is packed the day before delivery, in Yaxley near Peterborough, and goes to a local distributor who drops it off while we're at work. The dollars get Woldpayed out of our account weekly, and you can mess and fiddle with your standing order, adding organics as you wish, online.

Purple sprouting broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, courgettes, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, orla potatoes. Top stuff.

Heartily recommended.

Click on a Kitten to Prove You're Human

I am a submitting fool.

Day in, day out, week after week, I have to fill in form fields with some bunch of mashed-up coloured comedy type-face in order to get a search engine to believe I'm a human and not some bot or spider. Cutting and pasting and squinting at the screen has become my very life blood.

The future could be KittenAuth, which has pictures of cute little fluffy animals, a third of which are baby putty-tats. By selecting the three kittens, instead of typing in the usual letters and numbers, we can prove we're human.

Trite? Cutesie? Yes. But less boring than what we have to do now. And, think of the other possibilities for other subject matter...

Monday, April 10, 2006

Chocolate Starfish

Captain Depper took this on his mobile while at the Birmingham Sea Life Centre.

Poor little chap. The other Starfish must take the Mickey something rotten...

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Idiot Tax

Simon (the bookies favourate) D, at work, always sorts a sweepstake for any big horse race, World Cup stuff, or Grand Prix that's on. There are a lot of sports reporters on the other side of the room and people who know there stuff.

Like a big wally, I always hand over my quid. Have done for everything for the last 3 years. Golf, motor racing, the National, the Derby, whatever. Not won a bean.

I was hopeful this time. Someone said "Oooo, well done" and it had some bookies numbers on it that were better than the usual nag I pull out of the bag. I never win anything like this. I'm just not lucky that way.

So, having an uncharacteristic chance for once, I made a point, while Jema is away at her sisters hen party, of watching the race live from Aintree.

It fell at the second fence.

Oh God! How Does It Know?

lactose the intollerent


A person who is constantly high

'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at

Friday, April 07, 2006

Ultimate Tagging Tool

I'm a graphic designer at heart.

Anal, and all obsessed with cinematics, signs, symbology and layout. I was never 'an artist'. I leave that for those with skills, but, check this baby for replacing genuine talent with modern technology.

Graffiti artists, taggers, those creepy people who do installation stuff and common scum alike can now do, well, anything they damn well like on any flat surface that takes their fancy.

"Print anywhere, onto anything," is the tag-line. "Both indoors and outdoors." Now that's just asking for trouble.

Though the world of paint based vandalism hasn't really had much in the way of a technological innovation since the stencil, this impasse has now ended with the introduction of Stuart Wood and Florian Ortkrass' PixelRoller.

This talent replacing little beauty works (in short) like a kinda dot-matrix printer on a very long stick. All the 'artist' has to do is to find an appropriate bridge, programme in some suitable esoteric or pop-culture image, and run the roller head over the spot they want painted. Then, before you can say "Call Out Gouranga & Be Happy!", it spits out ink/paint in accordance with whatever the 'artist' has programmed it to produce. Là-bas vous allez, 'instant art'.

You could train monkeys to do it. Makes we wish I was still an art student.

No underpass is safe tonight.

Best Quote in Ages

I heard a great quote just now on the radio.

China's censors have banned a few of the more 'rauncy' Rolling Stones' songs from being preformed live ahead of The Stones' first concert in the the country.

Speaking at a pre-gig press conference, Mick Jagger said "I'm pleased the ministry of culture is doing so much to protect the morals of expatriate bankers and their girlfriends."

Brilliant. That's priceless Mick. Nice one.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

London Again

I was in London today, visiting the folks at Google. I had to get a GPS fix of the new offices this time, just for the crack of it.

Had an informative meeting with the guys there, just smoothing over our account stuff and putting some security things in place for the future, then we sat in the back bar and ate lunch at Boisdales in Belgravia. I recommend the salmon and horseradish. Well tasty.

I hate not getting to do anything else while I'm in London. I know I'm usually on business and all that, but not getting to a show, or at least a gallery, seems such a waste. I'm so soddin' provincial and every time I visit it's always a mad rush. I just climb straight back on a train, loaded down with freebes for the guys at the office, and that's that. I get a sniff of the odd nice coffee bar, a museum sign for Greenwich and a few tantalising show posters on the tube, and nowt else. All the running around and no pay-off.

It'd be good to book a hotel with the Mrs sometime and just do some shopping a chillin' for a weekend.

Oh come on!
What am I sayin'? Making the effort to visit London? Me? It's must be all this livin' in the Midlands making me soft...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A New Way

By the power of GPS, I found a new route to work today.

Far more chillin' than running the gauntlet of the A6; it follows the usual route then it meanders downhill through a quiet estate, over the Derwent by an enormous weir (see startled canoeist), through this kinda craft workshop/factory thing, over some bridges, and through the park following the river.

Very little traffic and only a few dog walkers to get in the way.

It brings me out right by
work, all refreshed and un-smogged.

Most tranquil.


Jema picked up the cheque from the marina, for Andromda, this afternoon. I'll stick it in the bank tomorrow.

Sad, but at least we can crack on with getting the work done on the house now, and get ourselves some more furniture.

I guess that really is it then...

Monday, April 03, 2006

D&D Fails Its Saving Throw?

I work in a newsroom, so I read a lot of RSS and bobbo...

--April 1, 2006

Following slow first quarter sales and four consecutive down quarters, Hasbro, has decided to cancel production of the world’s oldest role playing game, Dungeons and Dragons.

“We knew the brand’s profitability was marginal when we acquired Wizards of the Coast,” said Jane Ritson-Parsons, president of the Hasbro Properties Group (HPG). "For the past four years, its primary income has been through its licensing arrangements with companies wanting to cash in on the game’s nostalgia value. Atari’s Temple of Elemental Evil, for example, is based on a product dated from 1985, and Sci-Fi Channel’s Wrath of the Dragon God is laced with dialogue references to 1980s products. We need a self-sustaining product, not the glory of 20 years ago.”

“We’re obviously disappointed with the decision, and we appreciate the opportunities that Hasbro has given us to help restore D&D’s profitability," said Charles Ryan, Brand Manager for Dungeons and Dragons Role Playing. "We’re going to continue with the current release schedule through GenCon, and then no further releases are planned. We intend to keep the core books in print indefinitely to maintain the licenses we have in place now and to allow the opportunity for new license revenue.”

Hasbro (NYSE: HAS) is a worldwide leader in children's and family leisure time entertainment products and services, including the design, manufacture and marketing of games and toys ranging from traditional to high-tech. Both internationally and in the U.S., its PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, TIGER and WIZARDS OF THE COAST brands and products provide the highest quality and most recognizable play experiences in the world.

Wizards of the Coast, Inc., is a worldwide leader in the trading card game and tabletop roleplaying game categories, and a leading developer and publisher of game-based entertainment products. The company holds an exclusive patent on Trading Card Games (TCGs) and their method of play and produces the premier trading card game, Magic: The Gathering, among many other Trading Card Games and family card and board games. Wizards is also a leading publisher of roleplaying games, such as Dungeons & Dragons®, and publisher of fantasy series fiction with numerous New York Times best-sellers. For more information, visit the Wizards of the Coast website at

Wizards of the Coast, Magic: The Gathering, and Dungeons & Dragons are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All rights reserved. © 2006 Wizards.

Now, that said, this came 'over the wire' at the weekend, specifically on the 1st of April (so ya gotta wait for some kinda legitimate confirmation) preferably on another day, yeah? On the Wizards of the Coast site, in the press releases, it just mentioned the New My Little Pony RPG (which is an April Fool wind-up for sure).

My opinion? I thought I'd care but I don't. D&D is the grandaddy of RPGs but, frankly, something like this was/is bound to happen eventually. The world has changed, players are different, the art of conversation is dead.

Cinema on a Bus

I found these while I was surfing past KJ Global.

"The visual experience is similar to that you might get by watching a 30" screen at a 2 meter distance" - hmm, yeah, if you say so, and they don't make your vision go doo-lally then

They are compatible with pretty much any NTSC video source. DVD players, VCRs, game machines, etc., etc., yada, yada, it's stereo capable, portable, you can basically use it pretty much anywhere (except while cycling, I would imagine).

The upper range MPGlass, namely MPG-230A, also includes a multimedia unit which can be used for reading SD cards, as the device currently doesn't have any form of decent internal memory.

The MPG-230A is available at around 720 Euro, while the MPG-230M costs a measly
430 Euro. That's pocket money you'd only spend on tabs otherwise. Give up the smokes, you could have one of these.

From the brochure: “The display is set up so that you can look away and be ‘back in the room’, aware of what’s going on, but also so that snooping fellow passengers can’t get a squiz at what you’re watching.”

It says
"Ideal for dentists, or just the home user..." whatever that means. Perfect for long road trips and Strange Days style virtual tours, I would imagine.

Despite being a tad on the pricey side, the MPGlass system could be a nice bit of kit. Who knows, this kinda thing could be as common as the ubiquitous iPod one day. Yeah, and we'll have personal jet packs too. I doubt it though. If you buy one you've got more money than Yoko Ono, you'll look like a knob, and you'll keep bumping into stuff.

Loverly lookin' bit of design though.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Johnny 5, is Alive!

The new Mindstorms NXT looks nowt like 2.0 and isn't backward compatible.

We can still program our bots from our PCs, but everything else about the experience has been changed. The centerpiece of the new Mindstorms kit is now the RCX brick, which acts as the robot's 'brain'. In short, it receives input from a variety of sponny new sensors and sends instructions to the assorted motors, breathing life into my USB/PDA powered puppet minions.

The new brain has a 32-bit processor - a huge upgrade over the old 8-bit processor - allowing your mini NXT mecha to perform more-complex tasks than their predecessors (like ambling along with a 'near-human' gait or reacting to voice commands). The 'SpongeBob SquarePants' chunky yellow brick iis a thing of the past, surpassed by that swish gray iPod/first-gen Gameboy look. Importantly, the programming language has also been revamped, as they now have the sensors, motors, and I/O ports. As a result, Mindstorms NXT robots look and act far more realistic than their predecessors.

Us lowly peasents in the UK are gonna to have to wait 'till the 15th of September. But you can pre-order now to avoid disapointment.

"The Lego becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th."

As soon as thet cheque clears for the boat, I'm 'avin' one.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Mr. Pig and Ms. Ellen

I am so full of rich food and Landlord.

So, it was Pig and Ellens 'engagement' do today, instead of the wedding as planned (see previous post).

This made the event 'relative free', though there were loads of jolly decent folks there to wish them all the best; Burly Chassis and associates, Ph@BoyIan and Captain Depper, Adam and Catt, Chris (who took loads of photos), and many other folks too numerous to mention, all there to wish em' well.

We had an excellent curry buffet at the Bengal Dynasty in Wincham, Nr Northwich, and then (despite Pigs uncharacteristicly appauling map) on to The Hazel Pear in the evening for dancin', booze and more grub.

They did loads of 'psudo-wedding' stuff for the crack of it, including an appropriate first dance to Diana Ross's "You Can't Hurry Love" and the cutting of the chocolatiest damn cake I've ever seen.

Pig made me do an 'anti-bestman's' speech which, while improvised, seemed to offend almost everyone except Pig.

The music this evening was amusingly 80's, and I managed to avoid the 'Fraggle-dance' by lookin' busy and enjoyed the view provided by the wife hoppping about on my behalf.

A good laugh.