Tag

April 8th, 2003

This Honda ad showing a collection of car parts playing tag is quite, quite amazing.

[Via ext|circ]

Comments Off

PR-English

April 8th, 2003

John Gruber provides an entertainingly snarky translation of a recent Quark press release into plain English.

The new features in QuarkXPress 6 will continue to drive production efficiencies in the face of tight budgets and increasingly tight deadlines.

People love to think that deadlines today are tighter than they were "back in the day". This isn't true, of course, but we'll assume you're kind of dumb, and that you're holding out hope that QuarkXPress 6 will miraculously reduce your work week to 15 hours.

Comments Off

Agent Smith is back, and he's pissed

April 8th, 2003

Steve Silberman has written a tremendous article for Wired about the special effects work for The Matrix: Reloaded.

The showdown is set in a dingy courtyard in the vast cityscape of the Matrix. A sign on a pole says NO BRAWLING. It will not be a good day for that sign.

Neo and Agent Smith face off as crows flutter into the air. Words are exchanged. Things do not go well. The agent makes a bold attempt to load himself into Neo's body, but Neo's powers are too strong now. What Smith needs is reinforcements, a cavalry. Being a virus, there are potential recruits everywhere.

If the dojo fight in The Matrix was a kung fu sonata, the Burly Brawl is a symphony. Neo tears the sign from the ground and wields it as a kendo sword, vaulting pole, and battering ram. A woman walking by can't believe what she's seeing; suddenly her body is hijacked, she drops her grocery bag, and another Smith charges into the fray. Whole battalions of Smiths arrive, mount assaults, attack in waves, scatter, regroup, and head back for more. (At ESC, one massive pile-on was dubbed the "Did someone drop a quarter?" shot.) In the thick of it, Neo is dancing, chucking black-tied bodies skyward, pivoting around the signpost, and using shoulders as stepping-stones over the raging river of whup-ass.

Fans will wear out their remotes replaying the scene on DVD, but what they won't see, even riding the Pause button, is a transition that happens early on. When Neo and Agent Smith walk into the courtyard, they are the real Reeves and Weaving. But by the time the melee is in full effect, everyone and everything on the screen is computer-generated – including the perspective of the camera itself, steering at 2,000 miles per hour and screaming through arcs that would tear any physical camera apart.

This is virtual cinematography, but the most impressive thing about the Burly Brawl is that it doesn't look virtual at all. The digital faces of Reeves and Weaving could get past a flank of security guards, and the buildings surrounding the courtyard look dreary and lived-in – the grimy, unmistakable patina of the real.

We'll get the chance to judge for ourselves how real the virtual cinematography is in a few weeks, but it certainly looks as if the Wachowski Brothers are thinking big.

Not that SFX work is by any means the only thing they need to get right to live up to the standards of the first film, but it's not a bad starting point. Next, let's see them come up with a creative retcon for that ludicrous "people being used as batteries" backstory.

2 Comments »

Starship Dimensions

April 7th, 2003

Jeff Russell's Starship Dimensions is quite wonderful. If you've ever wondered whether the Babylon 5 station was bigger than Deep Space Nine, or how a Super Star Destroyer measures up to the Lexx, this is the site for you. Beautifully illustrated, nicely designed and very obviously the product of a true geek. My hat's off to you, Sir!

[John inserts tongue firmly in cheek]

Now if he'd just add a section clearing up once and for all whether the Enterprise-A could take the Death Star out in a clean fight, the site would be perfect…

[Via Anita's LOL]

1 Comment »

Oliver

April 7th, 2003

Thanks to Kris for pointing out this wonderful picture of Oliver, Dean Allen's dog.

[Via Krisalis]

2 Comments »

Rout routed

April 7th, 2003

Mr Theodore J Rout is an authentic net.kook, complete with wacky theories and a web site full of copies of letters to eminent Australians protesting that he's been silenced by a conspiracy.

Mr Rout's latest attempt to gain recognition of his plight foundered when he applied the Australian High Court for leave to appeal against a refusal by a lower court to negate an electoral result. I think Justice Kirby was remarkably restrained in the face of Rout's tirade of utter gibberish:

KIRBY J: Mr Rout, the document you have tendered to be filed in the Court is called an electoral petition.

MR ROUT: Yes.

KIRBY J: It appears to challenge the election to the Australian Capital Territory seat of Fraser.

MR ROUT: Yes.

KIRBY J: It makes statements concerning the former Chief Justice and said that he is off with the late Mr Skase in Majorca in Spain, which is simply not the case.

MR ROUT: Yes, a little humour added there.

KIRBY J: It just has nothing to do with the case. We are very busy people, I am afraid, and you seem to be wasting our time.

MR ROUT: No, because you are called upon to apply the law.

KIRBY J: Exactly.

MR ROUT: And the law is their set of dividing and multiplying by zero. As long as they maintain their incorrect dividing and multiplying by zero, then they enable me to cause things to cease to exist, and that is why I have the power to do so. These people must move to the correct dividing and multiplying by zero and install it in their computers and that is the money which, the copyright dollars, et cetera, is to fund this major fusion project in this country, which the public are denied to know. Why is it freedom of speech as such that the media, the criminal media, are able to censor out what they do not want the public to know, you are able to dump news and information that is in the Australian and world's public interest into the garbage and they are free to black-list a citizen. So the situation is that you have this conspiracy between the media who will publish data and steal from me the recognition and give it to others regarding the altering of the speed of light. I have proven it is alterable and controllable in 1998, but yet they publish this rubbish in the – Paul Davies and others in the New South Wales University that are stealing my work and violating the copyright. So you see, there is no peer review out there. To ask them, it is the responsibility for the Education Department and these people.

KIRBY J: If you have a claim in copyright, you may have some legal foundation. I do not say you do, but you might, but it would not be brought on the basis of an electoral petition challenging the election to the seat of Fraser in the Australian Capital Territory. It has nothing to do with it.

MR ROUT: No, it does because the dividing and multiplying by zero, the set that they are adhering to, enables me – it causes things to cease to exist. Now, I have proven everything is on nothing so if everything is on nothing and you multiply it by zero, then the entire universe and the world does not exist. I have proven it conclusively. I am not hiding. I am not hiding, it is them in there in the universities, they hide behind their…..labels and they hide behind their status and they hide behind protected by the media who will not expose them. So I have proven it.
[...]

Can someone please explain to me what the hell that "dividing by zero" stuff is all about? Anyone…?

[Via MetaFilter]

1 Comment »

Ugly Dress

April 6th, 2003

Ugly Dress.com – Bridesmaid Dresses From Hell demonstrates conclusively that all brides are sadists. What other explanation could there be for this, or this, or this?

[Via MetaFilter]

2 Comments »

Floppy RAID

April 6th, 2003

Creating a USB Floppy Disk Striped RAID under OS X is precisely the sort of tremendously geeky task that you've just got to salute. It may be pointless, but it's pretty damn cool too.

[Via Boing Boing]

4 Comments »

Hesitant Nanny Baby Service

April 6th, 2003

Pamie brings us The Hesitant Nanny Diaries.

Mothers and Fathers! Need a few hours to get away? Would you like an evening to yourselves? Well, look no further than the fabulous Hesitant Nanny Baby Service.

Two women in their mid to late twenties to early thirties (It's a range. It's a real range. Shut up.) will come to your door with looks on their faces that clearly read, "I hear there's a baby in here." They will walk around pretending to understand bottles and diapers and crib doors. When you hold the baby up and say, "Who wants to take her first?" pay no attention to the quick look they give each other, wondering which one is brave enough to hold the baby in front of the mother. Oh, it's fun when they joke about giving your baby daughter her first martini, or promising they'll clean her up before you get home. They're just fun, single girls. They mean no harm.

Comments Off

Cool!

April 4th, 2003

According to LG Electronics, one day I'll be posting my weblog entries via my fridge. (NB/- New York Times link – free registration required.)

"In the future, everything in the house will be tied together through the refrigerator, since it's the only appliance on 24 hours a day," predicts Sonny Marak of LG Electronics, which in 2000 introduced the first Internet-enabled cyberfridge.

One advantage of this approach would be that it'll help cool my computer's 1.5THz CPU. Either that, or I'll use the excess heat from my CPU to drive my oven…

[Via Ditherati - see entry for 1 April 2003]

2 Comments »

Tom Da Man!

April 3rd, 2003

Labour MP Tom Watson's web site includes a Teens Page so awful I have to assume it's a joke:

So, cut it with the bling bling and do something for the community, man. Join in and take action with any of the groovy sites we've listed, or just drop Tom a line for a quiet rap by the electronic e-mail. Tom's well-up on the Interwebnet, and he won't harsh your buzz or dis you down the line.

[Via Boing Boing]

1 Comment »

Who's at the wheel?

April 3rd, 2003

Simon Hoggart offers a succinct account of Tony Blair's present position:

Tony Blair arrived for prime minister's questions looking quite unflustered. This is something of a feat for a man who must feel he's in the back of a truck which is hurtling up a mountain side at 70mph, through a dozen hairpin bends, a dizzying drop first on the right, then to the left – and who is at the wheel? Donald Rumsfeld! Aaargh!

[Via linkmachinego]

Comments Off

Threesomes

April 3rd, 2003

The Morning News Non-Expert on Threesomes.

Question: What would it take for you to have a three-way with me?

Answer: First, allow me a moment to admire your subtlety. You are a man who knows how to woo a woman with sweet nothings, ply her with charm. The Don-Juan quality of your, 'What would it take?' query rivals only that of the frat-party classic, 'So, are we gonna screw, or what?'

Purrrrrrr.

I wish I could give you a one-size-fits-all answer, but this is a question that every woman must answer for herself. Therefore, you should be asking a girl who is going at it with some other chick when you open the bathroom door at a party hosted by people you've never officially met.

Instead, you're asking me.

Fortunately for you, I'm rather drunk. (Threesome Criteria Numero Uno? Check). In this fictional advice-column world, I'm not yet 25 (Criteria 2), and find myself conveniently single (Criteria 3)

[...].

As you might imagine, there are a lot more "Threesome Criteria" after that. Plus a little surprise.

Good stuff.

Comments Off

Safari to Drop Table Support

April 2nd, 2003

I know it's 24 hours too late to be talking about April Fool jokes, but I only came across this one today, from Safari developer Dave Hyatt: Safari to Drop Table Support:

The next release of Safari will be fully embracing Web standards by dropping all support for tables. From now on, any pages that use tables will cause Safari to play a very loud raspberry sound and refuse to display the page.

Auto width tables will actually cause Safari to crash, accompanied by a loud explosion. Safari will then search your hard drive for all files that contain the word "table" and it will replace them with Egyptian hieroglyphics.
[...]

Class.

Comments Off

Landscapes

April 2nd, 2003

Here are a couple of striking photos I came across today: Mt Etna Lava Plumes, and Vanua Levu island, Fiji.

Comments Off

The Internet ABCs

April 2nd, 2003

The Internet ABCs spell out what Google says is the most popular search item under each letter.

It's no surprise that "Y is for Yahoo!", but would you have guessed that "G is for The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation"? Why not "G is for Google"?

[Via Boing Boing]

Comments Off

Cut to ribbons

April 1st, 2003

Buffy vs. the BBC: Moral Questions and How to Avoid Them is a thoughtful essay detailing all the myriad ways in which the BBC's cuts to their 6.45pm broadcasts of Buffy distort the meaning of the episodes.

At least BBC2 did eventually come up with the compromise of a second uncut broadcast, albeit in a poor timeslot. Channel 4 have been even worse in dealing with shows like Angel and Alias, to the point where I wonder why they bother.

<rant>
What'll it take for UK terrestrial broadcasters to actually watch the shows they buy in and schedule them appropriately? How do the executives who keep purchasing the rights to shows which are mis-scheduled and subsequently underperform keep their jobs? Is it just that the executives move on to other posts before it becomes obvious that showing The West Wing at 11pm isn't going to help it build an audience? How hard can it be to figure out that you're wasting your employer's money and pissing off your audience when you buy a show and show it at the wrong time?
</rant>

[FX: sound of steam emerging from John's ears]

[Via feeling listless]

11 Comments »

READ ALL ABOUT IT

April 1st, 2003

BREAKING NEWS!

[Via Haddock.org]

Comments Off

Complicated

March 31st, 2003

Dan Hon has a confession he'd like to share with us.

OK, so he may have lost several million indie cred points, but at least a combination of the stupidity of the recording industry and the wonders of OS X allowed him to indulge in his nasty little habit via iTunes and – it goes without saying – on his iPod. So that's OK then.

Besides, as long as you don't buy that whole "she's totally real, not at all marketed" line what's wrong with Ms Lavigne's catchy little pop-punk numbers? It's not the music, it's the awful spelling that gets me. "Sk8er Boi", indeed! (Yes, I am over 40. Why do you ask?)

3 Comments »

Icy beauty

March 31st, 2003

Hirmes is home to an exquisite collection of ice photographs. This one is my favourite, but they're all striking, beautifully lit pieces of art.

Sadly, I can't justify paying US$150 plus shipping for a print, so I'll just have to settle for admiring them on-screen.

[Via Boing Boing]

Comments Off

Page 337 of 356« First...102030...335336337338339...350...Last »