...'s Journal [entries|friends|calendar]

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ calendar | livejournal calendar ]

XO-1 give-one, get-one program extended to the 31st [26 Nov 2007|12:07pm]
According to their home page, the OLPC give-one, get-one program has been extended out to the end of the year, because of increasing demand.

Part of me thinks that this will be extended again till "end of Q1", etc. ad infinitum - the rest of me thinks that if you want one of these little widgets, better scarf one up while they're still available.
post comment

Thanksgiving! [22 Nov 2007|12:37pm]
[ mood | giddy ]

So, I'm undoubtedly going to be grousing about it tomorrow, given my dislike for snow except in the abstract.

But today, it's snowing! (warning - big piccie!) and since I don't have to go anywhere today - it's all abstract, and I can revel in the fact that snow has come to Rochester.

Happy Thanksgiving to kith, kin, and all who celebrate it today.

post comment

Stargate by Ikea. P90s and camo not included. [14 Nov 2007|07:00am]
[ mood | amused ]


post comment

Remembrance Day [11 Nov 2007|09:46pm]
[ mood | sad ]

And on the 11th Hour, of the Eleventh Day, of the Eleventh Month, the War to end all Wars ended.

Australia lost nearly sixty-two thousand, with a further hundred-fifty thousand injured, many of them crippled. Over one in eight of those killed or injured were lost in one battle - Gallipoli, a battle memorialized every ANZAC day. Three percent of the Australian population were killed, or injured, in WWI.

The French lost 1.4 million soldiers, with another 4.3 million injured. The flower of French chivalry - and peasantry, and everyone else - bled out in the Somme, Ypres, and the Marne. It got so bad there were mutinies amongst the French infantry, who refused to make yet another futile assault on German trenches. France lost almost fifteen percent of their able-bodied population to the war - all adult males of fighting age.

The United Kingdom got off easier than the French - but not by much. Nearly a million died. Almost two were injured. All told, almost six percent of the population, injured or killed.

And so it goes. We Americans got off (comparatively) lightly - less than four hundred thousand injured or killed, not even a percent of the US's (comparatively) vast population at the time - of all the combatants, only India and Russia had larger populations.

All told, almost two percent of the populations of the nations taking part in WWI died - but the numbers are misleading, as they include the US, India, and Russia, all of whom had relatively small parts of their (very large) civilian populations involved in the fighting (and nonetheless, Russia lost over a million and a half civilian casualties). Exempting those three nation's civilian populations, and the number is closer to six percent.

Over one in twenty.

And rolling right up on top of that was the Spanish Flu, which may have killed as many as one hundred million more - with more than half of fatalities being between the age of 20 to 40, and 99% being under the age of 65.

Small wonder, then, that WWI strikes so deep in the minds of those nations most intimately familiar with it.

Their grandfathers, great-grandfathers, and an entire generation of their brethren, lie in Flanders Field, where the poppies blow.

And the War to End Wars? The peace lasted just long enough for another generation to grow into adulthood - twenty years and nine months later, Germany invaded Poland, sparking a war that would kill an additional sixty million or so people.

post comment

5th of November [05 Nov 2007|06:58am]
Remember, Remember...
post comment

OLPC - limited availability window [30 Sep 2007|08:37pm]
For a brief period in November - November 12 - November , the One Laptop Per Child program is offering their XO-1 laptop for sale to the general public.

There's a catch. But it's a good one.

It's a give-one, get-one program. You buy one for yourself, and one for some kid in a developing nation (please don't try the strawman about how it would be better to buy them food - the term is developing, not "so fucking poor we eat straw mixed with pig shit"). The cost is $399 - for which you get a pretty rugged little laptop/tablet/book reader. How expandable is it? Not a heck of a lot - the RAM is soldered down, it's got a gig of flash RAM on board for storage - there is an SD card slot, and three USB ports - but it comes with a built-in camera, built in wireless networking, a 1200x900 display (200dpi) with a dual-mode screen - a standard color display, and a monochrome high-reflective display designed to be readable in bright sunlight.

It is rugged by any reasonable definition of the term, can be powered by several alternate methods (and gets 3.5 hours on its own battery), and swaps from laptop to tablet to ebook reader modes. It was designed to be used by children.

Sounds pretty good as a hyper-rugged, low-demand (don't try running Halo, folks) system to act as a backup, as a field computer for those who don't want to spend $3k on a full-fledged Toughbook (USB connectivity = GPS software? uplink to a radio? hmm...), or a system to take a long on journeys where you're going to want a computer - but don't want to risk losing the way-expensive Sony ultralight or MacBook Pro.

More details about the unit are available at the OLPC wiki. I know some folks have been following this project at some distance, so I wanted to make sure they knew about this in time to get ahold of one, if they wanted to.
2 comments|post comment

Halo 3: Arms Race and others [24 Sep 2007|11:44pm]
So, the hype for Halo 3 has reached near-fever pitch (and don't even begin to believe it will end tonite when the game is released in the US...), with two concurrent campaigns running - Believe, and Arms Race. (of course, Halo 3 was announced in pretty epic style.)

Arms Race is done by Neill Blomkamp, who has previously directed other video shorts like Tempbot, Tetra Vaal, Yellow, and Alive in Joberg, and these ads for Citroen* and Nike , using a combination of live action and CGI. Arms Race is a three-part series designed in conjunction with the effects and props wizards at WETA - who, among other things, built a fully-functional Warthog, because they could. These are apparently intended as proof of concept (for the movie), as well as advertising for the game.

Arms Race
Last One Standing

* I don't know if this ad for Citroen is by Neill as well, but I wouldn't be surprised.

Halo 3: Believe is done by an ad agency for Microsoft. There are a number of releases for it so far (and apparently more forthcoming) - These are the most interesting.
Interview - Major Pawel Czernak
Making of the Believe Monument
Enemy Weapon
Being Hunted

Oh yeah, and just for the lolz - the inevitable outcome of the Halo franchise, handed to us direct from the future. (it's a little long, but entertaining - from kindofstrange among others)
post comment

Finish The Fight - Halo Actionclix [15 Sep 2007|08:55pm]
I don't know if some stores broke a release date, or if they are actually supposed to be hitting the shelves already, but Target and the various EB-alikes in the area have Halo Actionclix packs out. Naturally (being a solid fan of the Haloverse and all things Bungie), I picked up a few. Some observations -

Under the cutCollapse )
1 comment|post comment

Funniest comparison in a while. [11 Sep 2007|03:56pm]
[ mood | amused ]

"Well, *no, not really, ma'am. Y'see, you're sort of comparing apples to guacamole...."

post comment

Questionable Content [06 Sep 2007|06:16am]
[ mood | amused ]

Okay, so, sometimes Questionable Content is merely amusing, and sometimes it's a little too caught up in its whole "hipper than thou indie music scene" thing.

On the other hand, sometimes it's just flipping brilliant.

(What you need to know. The robot is named Pint-Sized. He's kinda precocious for a robot. A little goofy. And had a laser cannon for a belly button, once upon a time.)

1 comment|post comment

No Colorado [05 Sep 2007|01:03pm]
[ mood | disappointed ]

So, yeah, the Colorado trip I was talking about, with the train stopovers in Chicago?

Not so much with the happening.

I hate not having money.

post comment

Too Funny [03 Sep 2007|09:16pm]
[ mood | amused ]

Million Dollars Out of My Butt dot com...

The FAQ is pretty funny...

post comment

Grillin [03 Sep 2007|02:54pm]
So, being as it is Labor Day (not that I'm not laboring - just not at work), I decided it was time to haul out the Round Red Charcoal Eating Device and do some grilling. I had a pair of pre-marinated (teriyaki) turkey breasts (for lunches over the next week), and a couple of lemon-garlic marinated chicken breasts.

(More foodism behind the CUT)Collapse )
2 comments|post comment

Memetically Challenged [03 Sep 2007|02:40pm]
[ mood | amused ]

Apparently I fail to rise to the level of King Dorkitude...

NerdTests.com says I'm a Light-Weight Nerd.  What are you?  Click here!

post comment

In Ur Chicagoz, Stealin' Ur Elekshuns [13 Aug 2007|08:31pm]
[ mood | amused ]

So, if everything goes according to plan, I will be in Chicago on layover (at Union Station) - on September 15th and again on the 23rd - morning-afternoon on Saturday the 15th, and afternoon-evening on the 23rd, for approximately 4 - 6 hours each day, as I Amtrak my way to Denver, CO, there to grab a car and drive down to Mesa Verde to see my parental units, and then back up to Boulder, CO to see one of my best friends for a couple of days. (Itinerary may be reversed) - and use time on the train to basically decompress, do some Thinking of Deep Thoughts, and sing "City of New Orleans"* about Ten Thousand Times until they throw me off the train and I have to hobo it to somewhere that has an airport...

I plan to be relatively hungry both times I hit Chicago (especially if they throw me off somewhere around Buffalo). Not, you know, implying anything, just sayin...

*Yes, I know I won't be riding the City of New Orleans - I'll be riding the California Zephyr most of the way, and the Lakeshore Limited to/from Chicago/Rochester

post comment

The Laugh Out Loud Cats [12 Aug 2007|01:27pm]
[ mood | amused ]

Bet you didn't know that much of the humor of the Internet started out as a series of cartoon strips from the 19-teens?

It's True! I know this because I reads it on the internets!

Some of these are really seriously funny. Especially this one.

post comment

Soo.... [29 Jul 2007|05:48pm]
[ mood | bouncy ]

...I'm not a big fan of what Marvel's been doing over in the 616verse with Tony Stark. And I've sorta soured on the character altogether.

So on May 2, 2008, I'm just gonna pretend that this is the Ultimateverse Tony Stark, sit back, and enjoy the fucking ride, cause...


2 comments|post comment

Bastille Day [14 Jul 2007|10:59pm]
On this day, 218 years ago, Parisians stormed La Bastille, following the dismissal of the current finance minister. Reinforced with mutinying members of the French Guard, and believing themselves under threat of imminent attack by Swiss and German mercenaries, they sought to free political prisoners (who were often warehoused in this ancient fortress - although at the time of the storming, it held just seven prisoners) - and more importantly seize the large store of arms and munitions stored there, including cannons and over 30 thousand pounds of gunpowder. A handful of defenders, and nearly 100 attackers lost their lives in the fighting, but by the end of the day the fortress was in the hands of the Parisian people, and the French Revolution was truly begun.

There's no bread, let them eat cake
There's no end to what they'll take
Flaunt the fruits of noble birth
Wash the salt into the earth

But they're marching to Bastille Day
La Guillotine will claim her bloody prize
free the dungeons of the innocent
the king will kneel, and let his kingdom rise

Bloodstained velvet, dirty lace
Naked fear on every face
See them bow their heads to die
As we would bow as they rode by

And were marching to Bastille Day
La Guillotine will claim her bloody prize
sing, o choirs of cacophony
the king has kneeled, to let his kingdom rise

Lessons taught but never learned
All around us anger burns
Guide the future by the past
Long ago the mould was cast

For they marched up to Bastille Day
La Guillotine claimed her bloody prize
hear the echoes of the centuries
power isn't All that money buys
post comment

In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776. [04 Jul 2007|08:58am]
[ mood | contemplative ]

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands, which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

All ye of American stock, go thou and watch this. On this day, of all, you can afford fifteen minutes to reflect on the Words that created your nation. Ignore whatever opinions you may have of the speakers, and focus on the words - it is the message that matters, not the messenger.

Consider, reflect, and seek ye understanding.

(the rest of you can go and watch too, of course. But on this day, it is important for Americans to reflect on why we are Americans, and not some other nation).

post comment

Halp! [02 Jul 2007|06:55am]
[ mood | amused ]

Upside-down Kitteh sez - ¡zuʍopısdn zı ı ¡d1ɐɥ

post comment

[ viewing | most recent entries ]
[ go | earlier ]