Grrrr. I wanted some classic Dalek action. I feel cheated. Obviously UKTV gold just pull any old thing off the shelf. They ain't got no respect. The Barstarrrds.
In watching past episodes of classic Doctor Who I’ve long realised that there’s something I miss about this current incarnation. I really miss the fantastical costumes. I lament the loss of the ‘future fashions’. Yes, I know they now look very silly to modern eyes. But I think it says something about the times we’re living through (a period I dub - the ‘Beige Decade‘ where insipid blandness is being seen as supreme ‘good taste‘) that one of the most supposedly imaginative fantasy shows on TV at the moment can only envision people of the far-flung future and living on distant planets as wearing modern day business suits.
I find that profoundly depressing - I can’t help feeling that it’s as if collectively we’ve given up on the future. That we only cope with what’s going on around us now and are much too happy to wallow in the imagined glory days of the past. (Just think of the plague of reality shows and period dramas - which has been infesting mainstream airtime for so long now.)
I can only hope this is just a temporary blip restricted to this generation and will pass soon and once more people will be dreaming up impossible futures and outrageous clothing again.
I ought to do a follow up for the British side of this. One of the things that has really rankled my cage has been Blair's wholesale blind (and rather idiotic) support of Bush and everything he's done.
Just off the top of my head there was the attack on the BBC for telling what we all now know to be the indisputable truth that there were never any WMD in Iraq. So much for the Government's respect for the independence of the press. But I guess that went out of the window when Blair had to learn to kow-tow to Rupert Murdoch in order to get the public support he needed to win the Election in the first place...
...and on that note why is Bush STILL prattling on about his 'war on terror'? (when he first trotted out that phrase all those years years ago - I winced and cringed. How you possibly have 'a war on terror' it is complete and utter nonsense.) Mind you, what am I talking about - the man is an idiot and idiots say idiotic things. Duh.
Previous 'great' ideas -just off the top of my head:
Leaving things to the 'Free market'. ('Reaganomics') Closing long stay mental hospitals - in favour of 'care in the community'. Student loans replacing grants, top up fees.
It's all a bit ...um.... meta.
Now to round the circle off a bit more he needs to be given a role in the new series - and/or Torchwood. Maybe he could revive his QAF character and have a little fling with Captain Jack... that would be cool.
The Youtube video.
But all that fuss over being able to share music via wifi with your other Zune-owning friends. (Are they even available in the UK yet?) Er... if you really want to share music in that way - then don't get an iPod or a Zune. Get one of those new fangled phones that play mpgs and have bluetooth built in -which these days is most of them. Then you can send your tunes to anyone else with a similarly equipped phone. No 3 plays/ 3 days self-destructing there.
I fed one of the lines I got from one of the innumerable bounced spams I get everyday
..." But you Americans have it right. So history can help in understanding deception and being skeptical and not rushing to embrace whatever the government tells you"
and that lead me to this...
The Uses of History and the War on Terrorism.
Howard Zinn on The Uses of History and the War on Terrorism.
Has it not occurred to anyone that music sales might be collapsing all round because of the sorry state the music scene is in generally? For me there just seems so little 'good' music being produced anymore. Not compared to how it was in the 80s - and it started tailing off throughout the 90s. Everything has become too segmented - too diversified, there are too many categories, and any willingness to experiment musically and be interesting has been lost in the music companies playing it far too safe - (that's when they're not spending all their time and money suing people for imaginary lost sales). Instead we have way too many banal boy and girl bands and er... pop idol.
And as buying DRM music. Forget it. Who's going to buy an iPod (or a Zune) and fill it exclusively with stuff bought from the iStore (or whatever it's called)?
What this article misses out is all the stuff about the actual physical paper - and the huge bundles of unsold papers I've seen being piled together at the Newsagents at the end of every day, or the big heap of unread free local papers that gets pushed into the recycle bin every week. The paper - the ink - the resultant pollution - not to mention the advertising, the junk mail, the pamphlets, the leaflets. I see advertising as a part of that pollution, the toxic by-product of a crazed capitalist-consumerist society careering out of control.
..."But sexuality in general and homosexuality in particular are increasingly becoming concerns of the modern Arab state. Politicians, the police, government officials and much of the press are making homosexuality an “issue”: a way to display nationalist bona fides in the face of an encroaching Western sensibility; to reject a creeping globalization that brings with it what is perceived as the worst of the international market culture; to flash religious credentials and placate growing Islamist power. In recent years, there have been arrests, crackdowns and episodes of torture.
Y'see. The thing is... it's not even about religion. Not really. That's just an excuse. It's about cruelty. It's about bullying. It's about one group of human beings abusing their power over small groups or individuals. These things are always, but always inherently wrong. It's all part and parcel of that nasty primeval part of human nature which we all should be striving to overcome in the drive towards greater civilisation. Now you might think those who profess to follow a religion - any religion -would more clearly recognise that as what "evil" is. It's notable that instead of that - they actually pander to it, indeed, often encourage it, even sanction it.
That tells me a lot.
So today I bought myself a CAT5e Crossover patch cable - thinking it would be an easy thing to just link my laptop to my beige box 'puter from time to time. Easy thing? Oh no. That's not allowed. I just get a 'limited or no connectivity' message - and trying to puzzle out what I had imagined would be the proverbial piece of piss is in fact a bewildering load of gibberish. IP addresses? what? why? Why can't I just plug it in and the computer go 'oh you've plugged something in - what would you like me to do with this?' Like it does with USB things. Nah.
After trying to wade through all of this: I'm still no wiser.
In the world of computing I've noticed a few things. Techy computery people seem determined to keep things unnecessarily difficult and awkward for no very readily apparent reason. (I suspect a deep seated need to affect revenge upon the world.) Secondly - they can't write an coherent sentence for toffee. Hell, those help pages I've linked to have been translated from German. I haven't a hope in hell. *sigh*
Oh and before any Mac Zealot pipes up with their standard (braindead) 'get a mac' reply. The simple fact is macs are way too expensive - I can't afford one not even a mini mac - if you think I need one so desperately. Then either buy me one or just shut up. End of story.
Now erm, back to what actually started me off writing this. If this description of the preview to episode 10 (Combat) of Torchwood is anything to go by… I’m groaning already. Because this sounds all too like a plot idea I’ve seen used too many times already*. Two just off the top of my head:
1. Star Trek: Voyager. Tsunkatse
Seven gets kidnapped and forced to fight for her life (and a critically ill Tuvok) in a evil fight contest.
2. Angel: The Ring.
Angel gets forced to compete in an illegal fight club made up of kidnapped demons.
The plot goes like this a group of baddies kidnap fierce aggressive aliens/demons/monsters and force them to fight in a ring. Usually to the death. Always for betting.
I’ve already had a little moan about Torchwood nicking a few too many hackneyed clichés… so if this does turn out to be what I think it is -then I am just going to be soooooo disappointed.
[*I've just noticed it's been written by Noel (Mickey) Clarke. Um. I'm not sure about him as a writer. And I'll certainly never forgive him for misusing and misunderstanding the new word 'Kidult' for his ropey film.]
I must be immune to the scaremongering. I've never bothered much about Avian flu - reasoning that more people are killed crossing the road every week than have died of the flu so far. (Yet there's no call to ban cars - when maybe there should be. They're definitely part of the problem of global warming and pollution after all.) I also know that more people die of plain ordinary flu every year. Yet the newspapers for the past year or two have have been full to the brim of this oncoming 'threat'. Mmmmm, OK.
This weird mindset could also be seen when we had all those ridiculous over the top (in)security measures UK airports put everybody through AFTER an incredibly weird imaginary terrorist plot had been uncovered this summer.
So, it can all be put down to this primitive part of the brain -the amygdala can it? It figures.
But jeez, when is the human race going to start growing up properly? There's obviously a long, long way to go yet. I can't help thinking the human race might not live that long - it seems determined to die out through sheer stupidity let alone all these 'threats' -while being happy to ignore all the real long-term problems which we should be dealing with.
This is one of the things I love about photography. That it's able to capture things never normally seen - whether it's something that happens so quickly the human eye can never hope to see it - or as in this case something that's captured over such a long length of time. It helps to change how we perceive the world, and in theory help stop us take things for granted.
Read more at A pin hole Polaroid camera capturing meetings.
Seriously - too much padding and way too many flashback backstories. People have stopped caring already.
the Amazing Screwtop Head
The sex-starved mist alien. This reminded me way too much of an episode of new ’Outer Limits’ where a meteorite containing a alien crashed into a young woman’s bedroom then took over her body and turned her into a veracious sex monster nymphomaniac who absorbed men into her body as she was bonking them (much in the same way as the Absorbaloth did).
Seven of Nine in a hi-tech basement in Cardiff. Oh well, since Star Trek NG did sort of nick from the idea of Cybermen for the Borg - nicking part of the idea back again seems fair enough.
Oh. Meh. I wasn’t keen on this episode. You know what would’ve been more scary? That if they’ve kept the whole original fairy look as they went around killing people instead of making them into big ugly gangly demons. That was too easy, too cheap a shot. Written by Peter J. Hammond too - he of ‘Sapphire and Steel‘ fame. I expected better somehow.
The sci-fi channel showed the remake of ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ only last week not so long after Channel 4 had shown it a few weeks before. So y’know, already I was a bit burnt out on the whole cannibal family thang -especially as it was better done there. Not much made sense in this episode - why where bodies being left out in the open all other the place? Isn’t that going to call lots of outside attention to the village? A whole village gone cannibal? There seemed to be something missing from the plot there. It smacked of a quick re-write having been done on the fly.
I think another problem I’m having is that I’m just not warming to any of the characters so far. They’re all a bit monochromatic.
So now the big question is… are they building up to do a Doctor Who style big two part finale - or is it just going to plod on like this? I.E. A Cardiff based version of the X-files endlessly reworking old horror film clichés every week? If you ask me it needs a bit more Doctor Who and a lot less nicking from other shows.
Oh well - early days.
Then there was the time when my ISP merged with Yahoo (I’m guessing BT got too lazy and flustered trying to be the internet/content providers for it’s customers and so asked Yahoo to do it all for them. Mmmmmm. Great idea getting an American company to serve British people’s needs.) and just how wonderful the Yahoo toolbar was - it added lots of flash-ridden widgetty type things all over IE - which completely trashed all my personal settings that I’d spent years getting to how I liked them. Then to add insult to injury the wretched thing wouldn’t uninstall properly. It took going back to a restore point to get rid of it completely.
It’s not that I haven’t repeatedly tried to give them a fair go either- I’ve tried My Yahoo and 360 or whatever it’s called - their clumsy half-assed version of blogger. Their Yahoo photos section is just lamentable. Oh I could go on and on. It always seemed to be that Yahoo were trying to do too much and they were doing everything pretty badly. In effect trying to actually be the whole Internet like too many companies before them. Somehow they just don’t ’get it’. They come across as mired in a deeply uncool corporate culture - and everything they do is wrapped up in acres of lawyer-speak.
But I guess lots of people must like them. Or perhaps they don't know any better.
In fact the only good thing I can say for them is that I'm glad they have left Flickr relatively intact - although being made to sign up to yahoo and have a yahoo ID (hoping you'll wander on to their other services no doubt) is teh suck. If they do have a cull though - I wonder which will go - flickr or yahoo photos (I wouldn't be surprised if they make the stupid choice)
Oh. At last they've finally got around to making what would be my ideal computer
Seriously, for years I've had my own fantasy of what a computer should be like and -hey! this is a big step in the right direction. Not a stupid graphics tablet where you're drawing in one place and having it appear somewhere else. I remember mentioning in a comment to a review of the first tablet computers - on how I thought with a bit of tweaking they should sell well to graphics artists (whereas they're still being designed and marketed to ordinary folk who still need a keyboard because they mainly use their 'puters to input text. D'uh.) Of course the reviewer hadn't even thought of that - and said the graphics people at work didn't seem to mind the disconnect. But that says more about the adaptability of humans rather than computer designers. Anyway. I want one - but it's another one of thoe things I'll never be able to afford, much less be able to find one.*sighs*
In most ordinary people’s world music is (or used to be) something you shared - it was a social thing. In the old days people gathered around the piano, then the radio, then the record player. People still go to concerts and clubs together. There’s the business of following an artist or a band means you’re like part of a tribe - all with a common interest. Then along came the Sony Walkman and music became personalised - intimate. For your ears only, well, apart from the tsssst-tsssst-tsssst sound. But people are still up for joining together to share listening to music. Then came the walkman killer - the iPod and the mpg player. To the music industry music isn’t something to be shared - it’s to be locked into one device and one device only. Music isn’t owned - to these people it’s considered rented for a limited time only. It’s a comestible product that they need to squeeze every last penny out of you for.
America Moves Toward War with Iran.
Reading about Timothy McVeigh made me realise there's not much difference between him and any young fundamentalist Al-Qaeda supporting terrorist.
Then in England there's the completely surreal story of the woman who decides to wear the full veil - in order - I'm supposing that men can't look upon her and NOT have their carnal passions instantly inflamed or something like that... But who in wearing the veil gets everyone noticing her and inflames a few political passions.
I can't help but draw attention to the fact that she didn't wear the veil to her job interview. Funny that. It either shows a lack of real commitment to her faith on her part - or mmmmm, maybe just a leeeetle bit of hypocracy. I wouldn't be so cynical as to suggest there might've been the question of the potential of a rather large compensation payment to take into consideration either.
Nor would I suggest she now might like to take all that money and relocate to a country where that rather extreme manner of dress is seen as the norm and where as a result she would feel a lot more comfortable in her day to day life...
It's interesting how having the free choice to follow a strict dress code and the forced compulsion to do so --can make a world of difference.
Because as it happens in this country we don't even like our own natives wearing hoodies let alone anything that's purposely designed to cover the whole face...
I had 3 comments sitting here I had no idea where there. Sorry to R4kk4 and Michael. I'm dumb.
Mmmmm - Treemo's gone and cut off the end of the movie - the bit where the cheeky young seagull is pulling at my carrier bag.
And now here in Worthing there was a march protesting the proposed closure of the local Accident and Emergency hospital just to save money. Then I read of a similar protest march in Cornwall. There have been others in other parts of the country too. What the hell is going on?
Mmmm, by the by now who's bright idea was it to make individual Hospitals responsible for their own budgets? It wasn’t Thatcher was it?
from Charlie's Diary:
Dr Ruth Kelly, the Communities Secretary (new touchy-feely cabinet ministerial post) has just called for the closure of Islamic schools that promote isolationism or extremism.
She said the government had to 'stamp out' Muslim schools which were trying to change British society to fit Islamic values.
'They should be shut down,' she said. 'Different institutions are open to abuse and where we find abuse we have got to stamp it out and prevent that happening.'
Yes, indeed, she's quite right.
And while she's on the subject, perhaps she'd like to enhance her credibility by doing something about the overwhelmingly Christian fundamentalist faith schools that have been springing up like toadstools under the Blair government (42% of the City Academies trumpeted by Kelly and Blair are avowedly Christian Fundamentalist institutions which in some cases teach creationist nonsense in biology classes) and that two thirdsof the UK's population are opposed to?"
I don't get it. Why buy one of these things when surely you could buy an ordinary portable DVD player with aux inputs and use that - and have the opitical drive to boot.
Oh no, wait -I know exactly why - that maxim: "An iPod user and their money are soon parted.
It's really entertaining reading this blog entry two years later. It contains a quote where people are asking Steve Jobs about what's next for the iPod. Colour screen? Video? Oh no, says Mr Jobs -we're all about the music. You can have music as a background activity but video is just too distracting.Then not so long after Lo, they trot out the new colour screen iPods that um - er - play video. (With rumours abounding of a bigger screened iPod - even more designed around video playback to come). Then oooh, the iTunes store lets you download TV shows, with films promised later. Um. Also in the comments someone mentions an iPod phone. That came and went - and no doubt will be back again in some form, a very expensive form, once they've done a few licencing deals. I dunno - all in all it makes Jobs look like a very shifty geezer to me.Upodate: the motorola razr phone is being advertised as coming with iTunes.
From seeing a few arty black and white grainy photos by Violentz on flickr -I was reminded of PixelVision movies.
Here's a few of the links I found.
PixelVision mod: DIY: output baseband video from PXL2k
Here's some stuff about one of the PixelVisions most famous users:
A sense of cinema essay
Behind the mask.
So I'm wondering now - with the advent of cheap digital cameras most of which now come with a built-in movie function, and Woolworths had a cheap digital movie cam being sold for £50, oh and of course phone cams - if we'll soon see quite a few people making their own little arty films with these devices? Especially with the internet and the growth of movie sites like google video - youtube - etc.
Or am I going to have to do it?
Is your iPod one of the bad Apples? Apple's attitude seems to be no matter how much you paid for your iPod - it's designed to last only a year and then you're supposed to buy a new one.
UK's Sci-fi channel is currently showing 'Strange' - which was originally made by the BBC back in 2003 or so. I'd never heard of it before now. But as it was abandoned after the only one series and unfairly derided as a British Buffy/X files knock-off -it's hardly surprising it slipped under my radar. I'm finding it entertaining and interesting enough. Maybe slightly more so since one of the directors -Joe Ahearne, has moved on to direct a few episodes of the new Doctor Who. Then as a further related coincidence -Tom Baker plays a mad monk character in the last two episodes. I'm loving Samatha Janus in it too, but I've always liked her -ever since her role in 'Game On'.
*sighs* I've still not ever seen even one episode of Playhouse. It has an almost mystical significance for me now. Not that we get 'Adult Swim' in the UK. I think we did for a short time a few years ago -but I can't remember on what channel. But then most of the cable/satellite channels here - are fairly crappy, heavily repeat-laden pale shadows of their US counterparts. They're the same in name only.
Oh well, at least our home-grown channels: BBC three and Four, E4 and More 4, are pretty good.
Amiga OS 4 happened. Pity there aren't any actual machines you can buy to run it on. D'oh.
AmigaOne and Amiga OS4 Developer Prerelease.
The history - great site with a ton of info.
A shop for those bits 'n' bobs I might need one day.
AROS is a portable and free desktop operating system aiming at being compatible with AmigaOS 3.1, while improving on it in many areas.
Why are we doomed? Simple. A bunch of stupid ass morons are in control of everything.
President Bush's chief climate adviser, James Connaughton, said he did not believe anyone could forecast a safe level and cutting greenhouse gas emissions could harm the world economy.
(I think he really means just the US economy.)
I think he'll find catastrophic climate change the likes of which that will make the recent tsunami in Asia and the flooding of New Orleans disasters look like a wet weekend will do a hell of a lot more harm to the world economy.
And in the UK - they sure talk purty about wanting to do the right thing - but talk is one thing - action is another.
Yup, we're doomed.
But what is it with 'Merikans and their colour sense? Just what *is* this weird, utterly foul insipid greeny-grey colour Zeldman has chosen for this layout? Where on Earth did he find that? and he's supposed to be some sort of design guru is he? Then there's the blogger post interface in as equally grim colours - that ugly dark blue - with orange -(mmm sort of vaguely OK) but then there's that sickly beige colour. Actually, it is the colour of bile. It's not nice. It's vile. It makes me feel queasy every time I write a post. So why can't we choose the colours we want for that?
a photoset of someone's home in New Mexico - it makes such a change from home decorating in the UK where we're currently obsessed with - beige, creams, and other bland - soul destroying 'neutral' colours. In the UK it's a middle-class taste thing - anything colourful is seen as working-class and vulgar. It's all nonsense of course.
Now this is weird. The Daily Telegraph here is one of those rabid Right-wing papers. During the Eighties it was a fervent supporter of Margaret Thatcher and her policies. Amongst which where discrimination against Gay and Lesbian people (the infamous Clause 28), a demonisation of single-parent mothers -and a general hatred of all immigrants. So it’s ironic that the free DVD today (and the only reason I bought this paper) is a 1960s kitchen-sink drama classic of a single-parent mother who’s having a child by an Afro-Caribbean and whose best friend is a gay man -pretty much a grab bag of all the things the Telegraph has staunchly been against for years.
But I have one question:
just where the hell are all these millions of jobs going to magically appear from?
Because if there is so much easily available work around then why isn’t there zero% unemployment now? With masses of vacancies still begging to be filled? And if there are so many people in work -presumably all paying taxes and their NI contributions - how is there this ‘pensions crisis’ they keep banging on about? The plain fact of the matter is - there isn't.
In case you don't know any recent history - one of our most beloved *choke* *cough* *spit* leaders - Mrs Thatcher in the mid 1980s had the fantastic idea of closing down hundreds of coal mines - and in doing so devastated whole towns of mining communities leaving absolutely nothing in their place. Whole generations where simply left to rot -struggling by on the dole. For years and years the Tory Government sneakily allowed more and more people to go onto Incapacity Benefit - because they then slipped off the official Unemployment figures (which they were always fiddling with anyway - always downwards, downwards, downwards.)
Not only that -but in all these years the larger corporations have been increasingly outsourcing much of their workforce offshore to places like India and China -you know, the whole globalisation thing. For a long time I’ve thought the only thing the British did to make any money is to go around selling each other their houses and run up huge credit card bills, or else work in call centres selling loans and mortgages to each other. Especially since we don’t seem to actually make or produce anything to sell to the rest of the world. So I ask again - where are all these millions of new jobs that these older men and women who’ve been out of work for a long time going to come from? If the Government was making a case that the hours of the working week were going to be reduced by law (instead of being flaunted - isn‘t it the case we work the longest hours in Europe?) - then maybe there might be more work to go around? (I'll wager most business leaders/employers will insist that this couldn't possibly work. Not that any of them have ever bothered to try it or anything.)
I can’t help thinking this is another blatant case of our Government reacting to ‘public opinion’ (which really in essence amounts to what the news media decides to conjure up) without ever actually thinking things through properly. Another PR exercise that’s being made into what will prove to be an unworkable policy. There’s been an awful lot of those recently.
and at the moment I am so glad I didn't bother looking at the iPod shuffle. Which I've never liked the look of. It's lucky Apple have managed to keep this latest debacle out of the press -after all the teething problems tthey had with the easily scratchable and breakable nano.
Good on the Lords for wanting to know what the real proper costing of the card and it's database are likely to be, and for wanting to keep it voluntary. But it's only a small start on a whole range of questions that need to be asked about the scheme. Questions the Government keeps dodging every inch of the way. For instance the Government still hasn't said just how it's supposed to help stop terrorists in their tracks or prevent identity theft or even make the lives of UK citizens more secure and the running of their day to day lives in any way easier. I'm guessing that Tony Blair and his supporters in this scheme have somehow confused technology with out and out voodoo magic.
A Titanic project waiting for its iceberg.
IT industry prepares for the worst over ID cards
(In all this time I haven't read a single article anywhere by anyone who works in IT who thinks that ID cards are either a good idea or that they'll work. Which begs the question -just who is our Government talking to that makes them think the whole scheme is such a good idea? My paranoid fantasy is that President Bush has told Blair to bring in ID cards in the UK to see how it will pan out before the US government inflicts them upon it's own citizens.)
I was led to believe that the biggest selling point of the wretched things was that they were easy to use by even the most brain-dead fashion victim.
Selfridges charging £65 for iPod lessons. They've obviously cottoned on to how easily a mac or iPod user can be parted from their money.