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Archive for September, 2006

Blade Runner DVD… again.

Oh goodie! Warner have released Blade Runner! Wait, didn’t I buy this DVD seven years ago?

Fear of flying

This little gem couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time: I’m flying tomorrow. What in-flight announcements would sound like if they were truthful:

We appreciate that you have a choice of airlines and we thank you for choosing Veritas, a member of an incomprehensible alliance of obscure foreign outfits, most of which you have never heard of. Cabin crew, please make sure we have remembered to close the doors. Sorry, I mean: ‘Doors to automatic and cross-check’. Thank you for flying Veritas.”

(via BoingBoing)


Sometimes bordering on the obsessively skeptical, Re-Imagineering is a great blog about the shortcomings of Disney theme parks today. The latest post, “Communi-clutter“, features a comparison of EPCOT Center’s Communicore of the 80s/early 90s and Epcot’s Innoventions of now. Same place, different time.

It’s clear that the practice of dumbing down and cheapening what were (and still are, underneath) fantastic architectural statements by The Disney Company is sadly now incredibly commonplace.

iTunes 7: It’s a bit buggy isn’t it?

Engadget has a little article on the glitches within the newly released iTunes 7. I have, so far, only encountered a couple:

Firstly, scratchy playback. This I managed to fix by opening up Quicktime preferences and turning off safe mode, which had inexplicably turned itself on after upgrading.

Secondly, and more annoyingly, I store some of my older music tracks on an external network drive. When I used to fire up iTunes 6 with my iPod installed and had forgotten to turn the drive on, iTunes would happily skip those tracks. They’d still be listed in iTunes and on my iPod, but they just wouldn’t update. Which was all good.

Now, with v7, if I want start iTunes with my iPod connected I have to make sure I’ve started up my network drive, opened the drive in Windows Explorer and then start iTunes… or it’ll just hang using 100% CPU. I have to then force quit the application and the helper before starting it up again.

I hope they fix that bug soon!

Woman Demonstrates Bionic Arm

Video of woman demonstrating bionic arm: The first woman to receive a ‘bionic’ arm, which is controlled by thoughts alone, has demonstrated how it works.

80s Daytime TV intros

AUTOMAN and various 80s tea-time TV: Grid212 has put together a fantastic little collection of intros from Saturday afternoon television from the 80s.

How to destroy the earth

How to destroy the earth: “Destroying the Earth is harder than you may have been led to believe.” (via Pixelsurgeon)

The Compton Skyline Project

Compton Skyline Project

The street in Brighton that I moved out of just 6 months ago plays host to a week-long rooftop art show!

“It will take the form of still and moving images projected onto large rooftop screens after dusk. They will be visible from a substantial part of the city. The installation will last for one week from 16th till 23rd September 2006 beginning with a street party for residents.”

If you want to see it for yourself the installation will last for one week with 6 showings a night from 7:30pm until 11pm on the rooftops of Compton Road, Brighton from the 16th until 23rd September 2006 and will be visible from the valley area around Preston Park and Fiveways. Visit the Compton Skyline website for more information.

Sadly, I’m out of town for much of the duration but hope to catch the final show before it’s taken down on the 23rd.

Showtime at Apple

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s been announced by Apple this afternoon:

  • iPod beefed up to feature 30Gb and 80Gb models.
  • iPod Nano gets new, uglier, mini-style design. Presumably, as Grid212 mentioned, because of the problem the original had with scratches. It’s also been bumped up to 2Gb, 4Gb and 8Gb models and has a brighter screen.
  • iPod Shuffle gets smaller and restyled to match the new Nano.
  • iTunes 7: Movie downloads, Cover Flow (flip through your DVD and CD covers), updated interface and Automatic Album Art (which sounds rather scarily Big Brother: “As long as you have an iTunes Store account, iTunes will automatically fetch available album art for any CD you imported to iTunes.”).
  • Downloadable games for iPod like Tetris, Pac-Man and Bejeweled.
  • Movie downloads. Still 4:3, though a slightly higher (but still small) 640×480 resolution. It also, predictably, seems to be Disney content right now.

They also announced that they’re working on a sleek looking set-top box tentatively named iTV (no relation, I assume, and, pending a lawsuit from ITV, I am certain it will change) which transmits video from iTunes to TV.

eDonkey Gets Shut Down

As of today the eDonkey network has been shut down. MetaMachine, the firm who created the eDonkey 2000 software, has agreed to pay $30m to avoid potential copyright infringement lawsuits from the recording industry.

Under the terms of their agreement they can no longer distribute the eDonkey software or any of its variants. An attempt to run the software will inform you via a pop-up that the network is no longer available and attempts to uninstall itself in a self-destruct fashion.

Visitors to the eDonkey website are now greeted with the message:

The eDonkey2000 Network is no longer available.

If you steal music or movies, you are breaking the law.
Courts around the world — including the United States Supreme Court — have ruled that businesses and individuals can be prosecuted for illegal downloading.
You are not anonymous when you illegally download copyrighted material.
Your IP address is x.x.x.x and has been logged.
Respect the music, download legally.
Goodbye Everyone.

As of posting, a federal judge has yet to give final approval over the settlement.

Several file-sharing services have yet to reach settlements with the recording industry, including Warez P2P, Limewire and Soulseek. (via Associated Press)