AlterNet: Do Pregnant Women Have Rights?: "'For our law to compel the Defendant to submit to an intrusion of his body would change every concept and principle upon which our society is founded. To do so would defeat the sanctity of the individual and would impose a rule which would know no limits.' Forcibly restraining someone to make them submit to surgery for the benefit of another would 'raise the specter of the swastika and the Inquisition, reminiscent of the horrors this portends.'" /irony
Wideload Games, headed by Bungie-founder Alexander Seropian, is making a new PC/Xbox game based on HALO technology. He plans to keep
permanent headcount low, and bring on contractors as-needed. "The solution he is attempting to implement at the independently funded Wideload is one which has been championed regularly by developers over the past few years, but which few have actually managed to utilize - namely operating a studio with a very small number of core staff, and hiring independent staffers to actually bring the game through to completion." I'm betting the plas is similar to normal temp work, except the contract's wording most likely involves a monthly, not hourly wage (with no pay for overtime), which may be ameliorated by other clauses relating to bonuses for timely completion. I'm most intrigued by the observation about Hollywood: "It's kind of broken," Seropian told Reuters, speaking about the current model of development used by the bul…
The Russians may be showing up late to the FPS party, but they sure have brought some attractively wrapped presents. Witness: You are Empty and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. I can already hear my graphics card whimpering in anticipation of the punishment...
Korea's NC Soft is preparing their E3 lineup, including "City of Villains" (villainous follow-up to "City of Heroes") and "Auto Assault," a Mad Max style MMORPG with "fully destructible environments" and use of the Havok physics engine. When I saw the Havok booth at GDC four years ago, I'd never have guessed they'd get this much presence in the industry. NC Soft's booth last year was central, jumping, and full of really impressive technology and art. One year later, I'm still not hearing their name passed around as much as I'd expected.
Enjoy the plaster cherubic goodness of urinating statues talking about their favorite drink, Dakara, in this series of advertisements (RealMedia and WindowsMedia formats). The most recent (topmost) features a robotized cherub who uses his heart-shaped urethra-cannon to fire a similarly shaped diamond at the chest of his partner.
NARRATOR: The king is having sex with his daughter, and to keep suitors from marrying her, he asks them to solve a riddle. If they don't solve it, he kills them. If they do solve it, he also kills them, since the answer is 'the king is having sex with his daughter'.
ACT 1, SCENE 1
PERICLES: Hello, king. I'd like to marry your daughter.
ANTIOCHUS: Well, first you have to answer this riddle. Answer incorrectly, and you die:
My first is in Paris, my second in France,
The rest is...whatever, I'm having sex with my daughter.
PERICLES: Uh...how about if I answer that tomorrow?
ANTIOCHUS: Oh, sure, think about it as long as you like.
PERICLES: (aside) I suspect he's having sex with his daughter. I probably shouldn't say anything about it. Maybe I'll just go back home to Tyre. (he exits)
ANTIOCHUS: Hmm, I think he might have figured it out. Thaliard!
China has reported new cases of SARS: "Virologists at the World Health Organization say the SARS virus cannot be easily capable of airborne transmission, as virtually all cases during the epidemic could be traced to close physical contact with another known case.
But Yu and colleagues say their analysis of the Amoy Gardens cluster shows that under some circumstances of constrained airflow, and possibly heat and humidity, the virus can spread through the air. "Future efforts at prevention and control must take into consideration the potential for airborne spread of the virus", they conclude."(via dph)In related news, I'm even less ecstatic to think about a pan-Pacific, 10+ hour flight to an international conference (E3) next moth.
"At least initially, Perception's gamble appears to be paying off. Earlier this month Perception signed a publishing deal for their Stargate SG-1 game with JoWooD Productions Software worth an estimated $11.5 million. Speaking about the company's plans, founder Ben Lenzo recently told the Australian Financial Review, 'We used to be the ones who were shafted by the publisher, but that wasn't sustainable as a business model. We were looking for a way to avoid the developer treadmill.'"
'Iron Chef' Sets Up Camp in America: "'Iron Chef America.' The weekend-long set of specials pitting Food Network stars against two of Japan's Iron Chefs kicks off at 9 p.m. ET Friday (April 23)." I can see it now: "Today's theme is... GRITS!"
As humans go I thought I was well-hooked for web-presence, but Ugly Shyla wins. She makes dolls and has her own rockband (which I've been listening to since catching the link on DPH the other day) and someone else started a Yahoo group about her. Mainly though, I want those eyes. In silver. In my head. (via tribe)
FrogPad - a one-handed keyboard for mobile devices. Or stationary ones, if you are at a premium for deskspace. Get one of these miniboxen with bluetooth, and you've got a beyotchin' machine without the low-rider aesthetics of glowtube case-modders.
Cannot recall if I posted this before or not: Warren Ellis and Coreen Doran's online comic, "superidol" -- I recall reading he's again working with her on one of his myriad projects. I most enjoy his prose, though. Stuff like what he's doing on his SCREAM TALKING journal, is great.
Upcoming latex superheroine from the 70's, Cutie-Honey gets her own live-action movie. Yes, it's a trend. It will be better than Devilman, and not as good as Casshern. That is, unless you're really into the current unholy trinity of Ryoko Yonekura, Eriko Sato (who stars in Cutie Honey), and that other chica who are doing the office ladies in male dragGeorgia Coffee advertisments for Coca-Cola.
Wired - Mac Voyeurs in a Windows World: "There are plenty of tools for PC-to-Mac makeovers. Jason Shellen, a Google producer who's responsible for Pryor's laptop's faux PowerBook transformation, lists a few of them on his blog. Shellen notes that some people go as far as sticking Apple logos on their Windows machines.
In defense of Windows, Pryor noted that his Mac OS transformation was testament to the adaptability of Windows XP.
It 'shows the flexibility of Windows and the ecosystem of skinning artists that we have,' he said. 'How is that for spin?" All manner of curious information in this article, however there's no mention about the guts of the OS's, and their inherent stability. To me, putting an OS X Aqua skin on Windows XP makes it as macintosh-like as putting a dress on my Uncle Bill makes him into a woman. There is no replacing the nearly bulletproof stability of a Macintosh, and no matter how many graphics one frankensteins onto Win…
Wired News: Sony Playstations Used In Military Combat: "But advances in technology and gaming ability among younger soldiers led engineers to base the next generation of command/control hardware on the Playstation controller, according to the former military official.
This is troubling to Sony executives because there is wide speculation that the Playstation controllers were tested in a military exercise in Southern Iraq where 72 Iraqi soldiers and 300 civilians were killed. Fifteen US soldiers were killed from friendly fire."(via futurismic)
How To Gag On 'The Passion'"There were children. Small children, most of them under 10, in the theater where I endured this spiritual mess, their grim parents apparently believing Mel's R-rated bloodbath would offer up some sort of constructive lesson, something deep and divine and unforgettable.
And then the whips rended and the blood gushed and the sadomasochism amplified to a fever pitch and the families all sat there, stone faced and lost, apparently convincing themselves they were seeing something glorious and profound, as the hapless kids stared down a future full of bloody Jesus nightmares and psychotherapy until many years and many prescription meds later when they finally realize, damn but that movie messed me up.
Remember 'Jaws'? Remember how that flick traumatized the entire Boomer generation back in '75? Same thing. 'Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the church ... WHIPWHIPTHRASHARRRGGGH.'"(thanks, sdemory (oops))
Banned Music: "Illegal Art Compilation: A compilation of songs that have been the subject of lawsuits, primarily for unauthorized sampling. Includes music by Negativland, Biz Markie, The Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, and De La Soul. This is an audio history of banned music. For the history of each song, be sure to read the liner notes." The download system uses a tiny application to install BitTorrent peer-to-peer client automatically, then launches the torrent for the compilation. After that, other torrents are automatically recognized.
Some friends have been using Trillian to cover all their IM (instant messaging) accounts with a single application. I really like Trillian as an idea, but the default user-interface (UI) appearance has some problems.
The default Skin is unclear in presenting function: there are random-looking pips to denote each service's connection status. Connected, there is a solid colored dot; each dot represents a subscribable service (even if the user has no account for the service it represents). If it fails to connect, it leaves the pip as an outline that isn't significantly different in tone than its background. It's hard to see, as well as being very arbitrary. I'm guessing the icons of each individual service are trademarked, but why not default to a text name for each service? Parts of the UI are so far outside the "UI canon" to be counter-intuitive. The little globe in the lower-right corner of the main application window? That's a button. It's the butt…
"...but can you evade the pools full of sharks with laser-beams!?"
GooOS, the Google Operating System (kottke.org): "So. They have this huge map of the Web and are aware of how people move around in the virtual space it represents. They have the perfect place to store this map (one of the world's largest computers that's all but incapable of crashing). And they are clever at reading this map"
The New Yorker: Fact: "The secret of American commercial success is to hijack a subculture and ransom it to the mainstream. What Elvis did for rock and Eminem did for rap, Harold Ramis did for attitude: he mass-marketed the sixties to the seventies and eighties. He took his generation’s anger and curiosity and laziness and woolly idealism and gave it a hyper-articulate voice. He wised it up."
Atari readying Unreal Tournament 2004 DVD edition: Hot on the heels of the dual successes of Unreal Tournament 2004 and Unreal Tournament 2004: Special Edition, Atari has announced that it is releasing a DVD edition of the popular PC shooter. The primary advantage of the new version, which will be available starting tomorrow, is that it features the entire game on a single disc, versus the regular version's six CDs. It will also feature a second disc with extras, including several hours of video training modules that will show mod makers how to use the Unreal editor. The DVD edition will have the same retail price as the standard Unreal Tournament 2004--$39.99. This announcement is reminiscent of when Myst first came out, and people bought CD-ROM drives for their machines just to play the game. True, anymore even bargain-basement PC's come with DVD drives, so this is the market catching up with available tech, rather than the market driving emergent tech, but it's nice to …
KD tried to tell me something about my.bicycle's Comments being flonked, but I couldn't see it. I'm browsing on Mozilla on Win2k and Safari on OS X, both of which showed everything hunky dory. Since I'm an image poacher, I loaded up this site in Internet Exploder™ only to see if the remote-pilfered graphics would load, and LO and BEHOLD, the damned Comments were gone. In my experience, IE is one of the sloppiest, and therefore most forgiving renderers around, so it was shocking to see Safari and Moz holding up where IE could not. After a little fiddling, I managed to entirely break the site for IE rendering. Then after deleting a commented-out field from my Blogger template, everything went back to normal nice-nice. If you have any problems with the way things are displaying, mail me. However, I'd also like to take this opportunity to recommend Mozilla; it's flexible, steadfast, standards-compliant, evolved, intelligent, and includes an HTML editor, IRC chat cl…
Kinja (beta), a web-based aggregator, which works as a digest, is online. It's neat because you can get at your favorite sites as easily as you can access a webmail account; which is to say "anywhere and everywhere." Want to read what I'm reading? Here's my (partial) list.
(...) there are many other cases of apparent abuse of power by the administration and its Congressional allies. A few examples: according to The Hill, Republican lawmakers threatened to cut off funds for the General Accounting Office unless it dropped its lawsuit against Dick Cheney. The Washington Post says Representative Michael Oxley told lobbyists that "a Congressional probe might ease if it replaced its Democratic lobbyist with a Republican." Tom DeLay used the Homeland Security Department to track down Democrats trying to prevent redistricting in Texas. And Medicare is spending millions of dollars on misleading ads for the new drug benefit — ads that look like news reports and also serve as commercials for the Bush campaign.(New York Times Op/Ed piece by Paul Krugman)Steven K. provided links for voting from overseas. There are all manner of interesting facts in the FAQ. Thanks~!
The new Spider-Man 2 trailer is online. It's stunning. I'm going to speed up time, just so I can see the movie sooner. Sorry if anyone else had immediate plans. (The drama, the tone, and the story seem right-on for the character. Raimi gets Spidey, just fine. However the animation on the CG spiderman still seems wonky.)
Apparently spiders the size of Giger's facehuggers have been found in the desert. They are called "Camel Spiders," are apparently very fast, and "their appearance can cause alarm if they enter tents." Yes. Thanks for the news flash, Clark 'a gift for the obvious' Kent. (via stealth tribe and hedr)
Chaos League (for Windows) looks stunningly like Games Workshop's beloved, but out-of-printBlood Bowl (for tabletops). Except it's got "real-time-strategy elements" I hope that doesn't mean "resource management." Bungie's magnificent Myth series worked so well without it, but few have tried since then.
Though yanked before its time, Farscape may enjoy a brief curtain-call soon:
'Farscape: Peacekeeper War' - slated to air in the fourth quarter of this year. The four-hour miniseries picks up where the fourth season cliffhanger series finale left off and will reunite John Crichton (Ben Browder), Aeryn Sun (Claudia Black) and the rest of the Moya crew. 'Farscape' creator Rockne O'Bannon and executive producer David Kemper wrote the miniseries, which was directed by Brian Henson.
Spot On: The 2004 D.I.C.E. Summit - News at GameSpot: At the end of the day, Naughty Dog cofounder Jason Rubin delivered an impassioned plea to developers in which he advocated the need for them to 'get their heads out of the sand' to acknowledge how publishers downplay their irreplaceable contribution to the game-making process. 'We've allowed ourselves to be placed behind a brand,' Rubin said in a fiery presentation. He further said, 'The extent to which developers are disrespected is extreme.' Rubin stopped short of organizing developers into a guild or union on the spot--but not by much. 'If every major developer says, 'we're part of this plan,' then we're united,' he said.
While Rubin led off his presentation with anecdotes about how hard it has been for him and his colleagues to even get invitations to publishers' parties (while dim-witted Hollywood talent is fawned over by game publishers' marketing and PR teams), he w…
Alias is running a contest, and supplies you-and-me mit oll de toolz we'll need to do it. Maya Personal Learning Edition and Sketchbook Pro (trial edition). Just put up the skillz, and walk away with a Maya Complete and a workstation. Talk about a great excuse to get busy, and what a great way for Alias to broaden their userbase and get press simultaneously.
The Christian Media Counterculture: Over the past several decades, (hyperventilation about cultural alienation) has served both to estrange evangelical Christians from the American cultural mainstream and to blind liberals to just how many people are consuming Christian media. Just dropping the word ?CChristian?D in many online discussion lists sends some people into a frenzy and others running for the exit. Many liberals act as if the complex history of Christian debates about the relationship between spiritual and secular matters can be reduced to a glib dismissal of Jerry Falwell's ?Ccampaign?D against the Teletubbies. But not all conservative Christians wish to censor others. Many want simply to protect and promote their own traditions in the face of what they see as the onslaught of contemporary media.
The Reckoning looks really good. I have trouble relating to Willem Dafoe when he's not a bad guy; David Lynch's Wild at Heart may have permanently scarred me. Hellboy seems to be faring well in the reviews. YAY~! As one of the few people who liked Blade 2 and Mimic (save the ending), I'm happy if Del Toro gets a hit in this one; he's adept at comix-to-screen adaptation. The newest trailer is full of all kinds of joy; I especially like "Second date: no tongue." And of Jonathan Frakes' new directorial effort, if the goosebumps from the trailer are any indication, Thunderbirds are go.
By the way, other than web-presence, I'm entirely divorced from whatever cat-in-the-hat level media hype may accompany any of these movies, or if they're invisible. Thunderbirds was entirely invisible, even on the web recently, with it's trailer banished to some third-string French movie site. Even so, I'm assuming the new Devlin thing The Day After Tomorrow and…
Do Not Put Your Self in the Critical Path
What makes it so difficult is usually the reason you got your leadership role is because you were a valued senior member who could get things done and do them well. It can be very difficult to let go.
You have to let go. That’s important, so I’ll repeat it.
You Have to Let Go (thanks, timmeh)
Steamboy, a steampunk anime with all the trappings of the lowest anime, retrofit with an inappropriately generous budget. Coming to the big screen. I think Last Exile is sexier by steam-powered leaps and æther-traversing bounds.
Go Nagai's Devilman, presumed inspiration for Rob Zombie's eponymous song, has a live-action+CG moviecoming very soon (mentioned here Feb 27): To fight a demon, you must become a demon. A demon may possess a man's body and be in complete control of it. It takes a pure man to retain control of this hybrid form. Mankind's savior is a devil with a soul. His name is Devilman.
The rim of the star-light
Is wand'ring in star-flight
He'll find in star-clustered reaches
Strange love a star woman teaches.
His journey ends never
His star trek
Will go on forever.
But tell him
While he wanders his starry sea
Remember, remember me.Roddenberry's lyrics added nothing to the value of the music and were created for no reason other than to usurp half the composer's performance royalties. An unsympathetic Roddenberry proclaimed, "Hey, I have to get some money somewhere. I'm sure not going to get it out of the profits of Star Trek."(thanks, kristen)