Way cool alt-history movie idea being pursued by artist Larry Blamire. Basically, the 19th century was dominated by wars fought between huge steam powered robots similar to the now-clichéd mechs of Japanese origin. Check out the web site and gallery. Lots of stuff here. I’d love to see this turned into a movie.
Archive for October, 2004
According to this article from Reuters, Google says they will create a version of their desktop search tool for OS X. Currently, it is only available for Windows.
Schmidt did not set a timetable for a Mac version of Google Desktop, saying it had to be rebuilt from the ground up because of the fundamental differences between the Mac OS and Windows.
“We intend to do it,” Schmidt said at a University of California-Los Angeles conference commemorating the 35th anniversary of the Internet.
We’ll have to see how this compares to Spotlight, a similar tool that will be available in Apple’s Tiger. I’ve played with both, and right now Spotlight has a slight edge (finds things in PDFs.)
This article in New Scientist reports that the sales of virtual items from online role playing games has topped $100,000,000. That’s One Hundred Million Dollars. For purchasing objects from a game. Amazing. People are selling not only swords, but whole characters and game money itself.
I don’t expect that it will be too long before we’ll start seeing lawsuits for losing things due to bugs in the game’s software. After all, once real money is involved, lawyers can’t be far behind.
According to this AP Story, Homeland Security agents visited a small toy store in Oregon and forced the store owner to remove a Rubik’s Cube clone, based on some sort of complaint. The cube, called a Magic Cube, didn’t infringe on anything, trademark or otherwise. The owner even called the manufacturer (based in Auburn, Washington) to check.
A spokeswoman for Homeland Security said:
“One of the things that our agency’s responsible for doing is protecting the integrity of the economy and our nation’s financial systems and obviously trademark infringement does have significant economic implications,” she said.
Yeah. A clone of a 20 year old toy is a major threat to the integrity of our economic system.
If we have enough agents to harass a small business owner over a damn toy (with which there wasn’t even a problem) I think we can cut back on the spending and get rid of some of them. I mean, seeing as how they caught all of the terrorists and stuff.
Books, a great free software librarian that keeps all your books in order, has just released version 2.2.0. I’ve written a mini review here of a slightly older version. This newer one just adds some bug fixes and minor enhancements.
You can download Books directly from the homepage.
Check out other’s reviews of Books on VersionTracker’s Books page.
The remains of a new species of meter sized humans who lived as recently as 13,000 years ago have recently been unearthed on an Indonesian island. They’ve been assigned a new to a new species - Homo - Homo floresiensis (aka Flores man.) Other evidence shows Homo Sapiens inhabited the same island for up to 55,000 years ago suggests the two species lived along side of each other for thousands of years. Pretty freaky.
This whole thing sounds like a plot element in Greg Bear’s Darwin’s Children , which I’m just finishing in audio book format. Something very similar happens where two species of early humans were found living together about 20,000 years in the past.
In any case, it’s big news for the anthropologist set.
Update Oct 28, 2004: A good series of articles at Nature.com has some great details about Flores man. In addition, it appears that something like Flores man may still be walking the forests of Indonesia even today. Fauna and Flora International area are setting up camera traps to look for the “Orang Pendek”, who witnesses describe as similar to the Flores man. More information here.
Update Oct 29, 2004: They may have found Flores man hair in a cave nearby. They are hoping to find DNA from the sample. I love the fact the researcher calls it hobbit hair.
Today, October 26th, the Sixth Circuit Court has ruled against Lexmark in their lawsuit against Static Control, a maker of generic Lexmark ink cartridge refills. Basically, Lexmark claimed that they were violating the DMCA by resetting the software that tells when the cartridge is empty. Thanks for to the EFF for helping out with case.
Link to the EFF’s page on the case with all the gory details.
Link to the court’s opinion on the EFF’s website.
Mmmmmmm… Color iPods with photo syncing. And you can finally view all the album art you’ve been setting in iTunes. Included is an A/V cable for viewing slideshows (with music!) directly from the iPod. All this and updated battery life. Me want.
The only thing .. iPod Photo is a dumb name.
Update: Oh, yeah. They released a U2-branded version with a $50 iTunes store credit for the whole U2 catalog, soon to be available. Plus it’s signed on the back. I don’t know about the red and black color scheme, though.
I know this is becoming the 24 hour Jon Stewart love fest channel, but from Boing Boing, Jon Stewart on CSPAN:
“If you like Jon Stewart, you MUST watch this “American Perspectives” interview with him that is now available at the CSPAN site. It was recorded within 24 hours of the recent Crossfile incident. MUST-see television.”