Monday, June 30, 2008
Blizzard reports: [edited]
Two decades have passed since the demonic denizens, Diablo, Mephisto, and Baal, wandered the world of Sanctuary in a vicious rampage to shackle humanity into unholy slavery. Yet for those who battled the Prime Evils directly, the memory fades slowly and the wounds of the soul still burn.
When Deckard Cain returns to the ruins of Tristram's Cathedral seeking clues to new stirrings of evil, a comet from the heavens strikes the very ground where Diablo once entered the world. The comet carries a dark omen in its fiery being and it calls the heroes of Sanctuary to defend the mortal world against the rising powers of the Burning Hells – and even the failing luminaries of the High Heavens itself.
- - - - -
Brett's 2p'orth: Diablo was one of the earliest decent action role-playing games available on the Mac. As with all Blizzard games, Diablo III will ship for both Windows and Mac simultaneously. No firm release date yet however.
Thanks to Sky for the link
I saw this on IMDB a while ago, and was struck by the range of reactions to it. Some loved it, some hated it, some were plain indifferent. So, I put it in the middle of my Amazon/LoveFilm rental list and forgot about it.
It arrived in the post last week. I'm not sure why, as it was still WAY down the list, but I decided to watch it with the kidz after a Saturday outing to Brent Cross.
Jamie Foxx plays a FBI agent leading a strike team (Jennifer Garner, Chris Cooper and Jason Bateman) into Saudi Arabia to find a gang of terrorists who have attacked American employees working in the Middle East.
The film alternates between an almost documentary style, complete with grainy images and wobbly hand-held camera work, and blistering, full-on battles that owe more to computer game cut-scenes than real-life.
The acting is good, Garner is particularly adept at demonstrating the mixture of emotions that the situations demand. And there is one particularly messy (and prolonged) fight sequence that had us all jumping, squirming and 'arrghh-ing'.
The strength and weakness of the film is that it tries to be sympathetic to everyone. The good side to this is that you are made aware of the 'grey-ness' of the situation. The downside is that with no real questions being asked or answered, you are left with an unsatisfying vagueness, an ellipsis rather than a full stop or a question mark.
Friday, June 27, 2008
It finally arrived in the UK. I drove into Harrow this afternoon to pick up my reserved copy from Game. My children arrived from Lincoln around 8pm. They started playing it around 8.10pm. It's 10pm and they're still playing it. It is as mad as its predecessors, and just as much fun. It's the kind of game only Nintendo makes, impossible to describe, only making sense when you play or watch it.
Microsoft reports: [edited]
Last year you told us you weren't quite ready to say goodbye to Windows XP. We listened. That's why we delayed our plan to stop selling it until June 30, 2008.
We love that you love Windows XP. We've seen it on our website, in e-mails, and through independent online petition drives. Our engineers work hard to build innovative software that empowers our customers. It's nice when you tell us we've made a difference.
But our commitment to innovation sometimes means making tough choices. This is one of them. After careful consultation with our customers and industry partners, we've decided to proceed with our plan to phase out Windows XP in June. It'll be a long goodbye. We plan to provide support for Windows XP until 2014.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Onomatopoeia is a late Latin word, formed from the Greek 'onomatopoios' meaning 'coiner of names', (onomat-, name + poiein, to make). In English it is used to describe the group of words like 'buzz' and 'bang' that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to.
When my children didn't know everything I used to enjoy teaching them 'big words'. When this word's turn arrived the discussion quickly moved to which words were (and weren't) onomatopoeic. What about 'murmur'? Or 'rustle'?
And then there are words that definitely aren't onomatopoeic, but somehow 'sound right', like 'hug' and 'squeeze'.
And there is also a (tiny) group of words that don't sound right at all. Like the word 'pulchritudinous', which means 'beautiful', but sounds like it should mean 'butt ugly'. (Proud Dad Moment: my eldest daughter once submitted 'regurgitudinous' to her English teacher as part of a neologism assignment. It means 'to be beautifully brought up'.)
I created a couple of new words for these categories, 'appronym' and 'contranym'. However, a quick Google showed that they were already taken ('appronym' was originally a generic term for surnames describing the profession of an individual, and has now come to mean an acronym that is composed of words that are appropriate to the meaning of the acronym itself, and 'contranym' is a word that can mean the opposite of itself, such as 'clip' or 'cleave').
So, here are my suggestions. For words that sound appropriate, 'paramatopoeic', and for words that don't, 'anamatopoeic'.
BBC reports [edited]
The world's first moving building, a 80-storey tower with revolving floors giving an shifting shape, will be built in Dubai, its architect says. The Dynamic Tower design is made up of 80 pre-fabricated apartments which will spin independently of one another.
The 420-metre building's apartments would spin a full 360 degrees, at voice command, around a central column by means of 79 giant power-generating wind turbines located between each floor.
The slender building would be energy self-sufficient as the turbines would produce enough electricity to power the entire building and even feed extra power back into the grid, said the Italian architect at the unveiling of the project in New York.
The apartments, which will take between one and three hours to make a complete rotation, will cost from $3.7m to $36m.
The skyscraper will cost an estimated $700m to build and should be up and running in Dubai in 2010.
Thanks to Tim Roberts for the link
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
"a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends."
Thanks to Antony for bringing this to my attention, and for the image, which is a 'Wordle' of his PhD thesis.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
zerega reports: [edited]
In Perú from Huánuco to Tingo Maria, where the road from the Pacific coast across the Andes finds its way towards the Amazon lowlands, near the top of the last mountain pass. From there, soapbox rider can enjoy a vertical 1000 meters of gravity-assisted ride.
As these kids help stranded truck drivers along the road, they're called bomberos (firemen). They transport drinks, food and spare parts.
ZU from Perú adds:
"I use that highway to get to work, I saw a lot of those children. They have had many fatal accidents.
Yahoo! reports: [edited]
The owner of a tiny island in off Scotland has declared its independence from the United Kingdom, saying he wanted the territory, population one, to be a crown dependency like the Channel Islands.
In a declaration on his Web site, Stuart Hill, who owns the 2.5 acre island of Forvik in the Shetland Islands in the North Sea, said he no longer recognised the authority of the government or the European Union, and cited a centuries-old royal marriage dowry deal as the basis for his claim.
Hill, 65, has lived in the Shetland Islands on the edge of the Atlantic since 2001, when his boat capsized there during an unsuccessful attempted to circumnavigate Britain.
He is Forvik's only resident, and his home is a tent on the storm-battered island. He says on his website that he plans to create Forvik's own currency, print his own stamps and raise his own flag.
"There will be no income tax, VAT, council tax, corporation tax, or any of the other taxes instituted by the British government," Hill wrote.
New Scientist reports: [edited]
When Olympic sprinters dash down the track in Beijing this August, the fastest athlete may not take home the gold medal. Current start-gun technology gives athletes on the inside lanes an unfair advantage right off the blocks.
Sound from the starter gun is known to take longer to reach athletes who start from the outside lanes than their competitors on the inside. Now a new study suggests that competitors nearest the gun have another advantage – the loudness of the bang shocks them into starting more quickly.
Together, these extra boosts may amount to more than a tenth of a second in some races, which is easily enough to make the difference between gold and silver.
Monday, June 23, 2008
The best way to watch this film is to know as little about it as possible before watching it. Like 'Being John Malkovich', it is a surreal and involving film that (if you give it time) will draw you in to its fascinating, confusing and illuminating world.
If you love literature (and especially if you love analysing literature) this film is a must. If you hate literature (especially the analysis of it) grit your teeth and stick with it, you may learn something.
Actors-wise, Will Ferrel is at his most engaging and appealing. Emma Thompson is awesomely damaged and fragile. Queen Latifa is intelligent and sympathetic. Dustin Hoffman is uncharacteristically self-effacing and vulnerable. And Maggie Gyllenhal is going to marry me. No. Really. She is.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Jesus Gonna Make Up My Dying Bed - Josh White
Are You A Souljah? - Alabama 3 (feat Nam and Rev. B Atwell)
John William Gordon - John William Gordon
Wisconsin - Bon Iver
Paper and Glue - Emma Pollock
Sleep [Instrumental] - Kimya Dawson
Under The Night - Sam Phillips
Do the Strand - Roxy Music
Into The Sunshine - El Perro Del Mar
Fly - Alabama 3 (feat. Devlin Love)
So Far - feat. LT - Miguel Migs
Trouble Everywhere I Roam - Sippie Wallace (with Little Brother Montgomery, Roosevel Sykes)
The Sun Is An Old Friend - El Perro Del Mar
Sally, Don't You Cry - Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan
Piano 2 - Kristin Hersh
Who Built The Road - Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan
The Raven - Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan
Throwing In - Thea Gilmore
Madrid - Johnny Irion
I.O.U. (7" Version) - Freeez
Take My Heart - Soko
Ballantines - Aimee Mann
Anyone Else But You - Michael Cera & Ellen Page
Sugar Baby - Kristin Hersh
In The Mirror - Nada Surf
Fall Of The Pigs - COLISEUM
Loose Lips - Kimya Dawson
Take Care - Johnny Irion
Somebody's Baby - El Perro Del Mar
Contagious - Gangstagrass
I Wanna Go Home (Live) - Van Morrison, Lonnie Donegan & Chris Barber
How She Could Sing The Wildwood Flower - Emmylou Harris
Somewhere Along the Way - Nat King Cole
Someday I'll Understand (Love Will Be My Mirror) - El Perro Del Mar
Old Five And Dimers Like Me - Emmylou Harris
Jorge Regula - The Moldy Peaches
Steels Gonna Be The Death Of Me - Gangstagrass
Need Your Needs - Georgie James
Sea Of Love [Remastered Version] - Cat Power
Take That Ride - Emmylou Harris
Blue Badger Abuser - Half Man Half Biscuit
Sing for Your Supper - Cathy Davey
Know What You Mean - Chungking
To be lonely - Joan As Police Woman
Good Voodoo - The Teenage Prayers
The Airways - Castle Project
All I Want Is You - Barry Louis Polisar
Love Thing - Dee Carstensen
Watching Out Of This World - Sam Phillips
Shake It Down - Sam Phillips
A Well Respected Man - The Kinks
My Pyramid - Gangstagrass
Grey Shallows - Neptune
Black Flag - Duchess Says
Ballad Of Helenkeller And Rip Van Winkle - The Moldy Peaches
Trouble - Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan
Things ain't like they used to be - The Black Keys
Piano 1 - Kristin Hersh
Baby, Lets Play House - Elvis Presley
Mina do condominio - Pierre Aderne
Broken Afternoon - The Helio Sequence
Mentirosos - Pistolera
I'm Mighty Tight Woman - Sippie Wallace (with Little Brother Montgomery, Roosevel Sykes)
Good Cry - Johnny Irion
Forgotten - Neil Diamond
The Middle Of The Road - Alabama 3
Awkward Game - Gabriella Cilmi
Inside The Golden Egg - El Perro Del Mar
Lucky Number Nine - The Moldy Peaches
Kid Fears - Indigo Girls
I Know What I'm Looking For Now - Tift Merritt
Leafy Mysteries - Paul Weller
Under the Gun - Kristin Hersh
This Time Around - Dee Carstensen
Twisted Nerve - Be Your Own Pet
Hopes Too High - Tift Merritt
The Klan - Alabama 3 (feat. Brian Jackson and MC Pablo)
White Winter Hymnal - Fleet Foxes
Nothing Gold - Faux Fox
Tell Me Something True - Tift Merritt
Dearest - Buddy Holly
Fashion Crisis Hits New York - The Frank & Walters
You Can't Steal A Gift - El Perro Del Mar
Kids Now - Sonny Rollins
Bedroom Blues - Sippie Wallace (with Little Brother Montgomery, Roosevel Sykes)
Greenwood Laddie/Mrs. Capron’s Reel/Tune - Eliza Carthy
Lucky - Robert Palmer
Winter - Kristin Hersh
What a Wonderful Man - My Morning Jacket
True Believer - Aimee Mann
Not Enough - Emmylou Harris
Halfway To Paradise - Nick Lowe
Rich Kid Blues - The Raconteurs
The Wolves (Act I and II) - Bon Iver
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
If you love type, then the new Font Bureau Catalogue has just been released, featuring one line settings of their typefaces. If you live in the United States, you can get a printed copy sent to you for free. For the rest of the world, a 5MB 78-page PDF is available for download.
Register Hardware have posted a positive review of Nokia's latest high-end candybar. Excerpts follow:
The keypad looks lovely, but takes a bit of getting used to, it is far from the best for rapid or prolonged texting.
The face of the phone oozes minimalist class, but the back feels like it's made from low-grade material and creaks in your hand, which detracts from the cool image.
There’s another surprise hidden in the square navpad. Rubbing your thumb around the edge activates what Nokia calls the 'navi-wheel', which moves the cursor around the screen without the need to press the pad.
Navi-wheel is a small innovation perhaps, but it's one that makes the navpad very intuitive to use and you end up using it without realising what a good job it’s doing.
You can access the menus via the usual Symbian menu button or a dedicated Applications button which stands out asymmetrically next to the navpad. This calls up an iPod touch-style interface that allows you to flick through your applications the way the Touch lets you flick through your album covers.
The 3.2-megapixel camera's pictures are clear and generally sharp, with rich colours and a good sense of scale. It has a proper LED flash too, rather than a photo light, though you’ll still need to be fairly close to your subject for it to be effective.
Tap in an address and the N78 will show it on a clearly laid-out, simplified map that’s ideal for navigating. It can also plot routes between addresses and landmarks, and turn-by-turn voice guidance is available, for a fee.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
ABC News has a poorly-edited article on the effect of letting computers tell us where to go. To save you pain, here are some excerpts:
For most people... GPS has become a lifeline, giving directions to the nearest pizza joint or the shortest route to the office. But like the spell-checker before it, some experts believe that the guiding device gives less than what it takes away. The price we pay for the convenience, they say, could be our sense of direction.
Jeff Han, a consulting research scientist for New York University's department of computer science, who developed an interactive multi-touch screen that includes GPS functions, foresees a decline in GPS popularity due to privacy issues, after an initial surge in use.
"What does it mean when everyone can potentially point out where all their friends are?" he said. "Instead of actively calling all of your friends, you can say, 'Oh yeah, a few of them are over here.' So, that brings in social issues, and those are the things not yet worked out by cell phone companies.
Of course, use of GPS isn't all negative. One potential - and perhaps obvious - beneficial change will be cutting down on travel time. People will not spend long hours walking around looking for a hidden street if their cell phones can show them the way. Travelers will most likely feel more confident in new locations. Parents may give their children more freedom to walk by themselves at younger ages; their phones will take them home.
One effect of an increased dependence on GPS will be that people's ability to read maps will decay... but what will grow will be better geographic imagination and awareness. People will see the connections between places more clearly - not quite as accurately - but will better imagine how to get from one place to another.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
If you're a UK resident considering purchasing a 3G iPhone visit Desmond Elliot's blog, where he has taken a look at the real costs of the various O2 contracts. And if you think he's over-analytical, take a look at some of the comments!
SXSW 2008 posted 764 songs for free download in February. I've listened to 521 of them. Here's five that are worth a listen:
Balboa - Cruiserweight: Likeable, throwaway power-pop-rock. Just longing to be the final song in a teen-movie about an aspiring rock band.
I Can't Rescue You - Lindsay Jane: Simple tune, sensitive lyrics and a beautiful voice.
Only Me To Trust - Ghosthustler: 80s basslines and inconsequential lyrics. Calvin Harris meets Daft Punk. Agreeably superficial stuff.
Fall Bicycle - Lymbyc Systym: Meandering, beat-strewn instrumental electronica. Just the right side of bland.
Mean Son of a Gun - Kitty, Daisy & Lewis: They're barely into their teens. They play 50s-style songs with verve and conviction. Marmite-music, you'll either love 'em or hate 'em.
The full version of Spore is due to be released in September. But for those who are impatient to get started, a trial version (Mac & PC) of the Creature Creator is available for download from the official Spore site.
Word to the wise: check the system requirements before you download. Mac users need to be running Leopard on an Intel-based machine. (Yes, that means Zak and Sky can use it. And, yes, that means Cyan, Brook and I can't.)
Thanks to Conrad for the link, and for bringing division and misery to the Jordan family.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Expansys have announced that the Sony Ericsson C905i Cyber-Shot is available for pre-order.
It is a medium-size, full-featured slider phone (104 x 49 x 18 mm, 136g), the main feature that distinguishes it from its rivals is the high pixel count. It will be interesting to see whether the pixel increase provides better quality pictures, or merely bigger file sizes and more image-noise.
I don't usually blog about bad films, but because this has just come out on DVD there is a chance you might be tempted to rent or (worse) purchase it. Don't.
This is an awful movie. The story is predictable. The dialogue is trite. The actors look like they've lost the will to live (Helen Mirren wears an expression that indicates she is composing a 'you're fired' letter to her agent).
That's it. Nothing to see here. Move along...
Mobile Burn reports: [edited]
Measuring a mere 10mm thin, this handset has a QWERTY keyboard and landscape QVGA resolution display. The Nokia E71 also features a 3.2 megapixel camera with autofocus and video recording, and a microSD card slot.
114 x 57 x 10mm. 126g. Quad-band GSM/EDGE, HSDPA, WiFi and A-GPS. Available Q3, 2008.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Register Hardware reports: [edited]
LG has launched a sliderphone handset with an integrated Bluetooth earpiece - a world first, the company claimed.
The handset's dubbed the 'Decoy' - or, more formally, the LG-VX8610. As you can see from the pics, the headset slips into a bay on the back, where it's kept charged and ready to be released at the push of a spring-loaded button.
LG said the Decoy will come to the US on 16 July through a deal with Verizon. But it expects to bring the handset and its 'hidden' headset to other countries in due course.
- - - - -
Brett's 2p'orth: I'm attracted to anything that makes keeping batteries topped-up more easierer. However although the two priddy laydeez seem overjoyed with their cameras, to my eyes LG's implementation is cludgy and unattractive.
PC World reports: [edited]
Sharp has begun offering a monitor based on the 108-inch LCD panel that it unveiled over a year ago. The panel, which is the largest by any LCD maker, was first unveiled in January 2007 at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Now it's available to customers worldwide for US$102,000.
The 1,920 by 1,080 pixel monitor meausures 2.2 by 2.5 metres, weighs 195 kilograms and consumes 1.1 kilowatts.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
LONDON to LINCOLN
I'll Kill Her - Soko
Kiss With A Fist - Florence & The Machine
Tongue Twisters - Danny Kaye
The Race - Cajun Dance Party
I'm Good. I'm Gone. - Lykke Li
Handsfree (If You Hold My Hand) [Radio Edit] - Sonny J
You're Moving Out Today - Carole Bayer Sager
Skinny (Radio Edit) - Lo Rider
Doctor My Eyes - Jackson Browne
Slow Talkers of America - Bob & Ray
Whiskey In The Jar - Metallica
Fluorescent Adolescent - Arctic Monkeys
Holiday - Madonna
Be My Baby - The Ronettes
Primo Victproa - Sabaton
Song 4 Lovers - Liberty X (feat. Rev Run)
I Only Have Good Days - Chris Gray
I Got You Babe - Sonny & Cher
Backfire At the Disco - The Wombats
Pretty Fly For A White Guy - The OffSpring (Dikkendoof, Slimphat remix)
Juicebox - The Strokes
Giddy Stratospheres - The Long Blondes
Take A Chance - The Magic Numbers
Freak Scene - Dinosaur Jr.
The Boys Are Back In Town - Thin Lizzy
Michael (Jump In) - No More Kings
Same Jeans - The View
Get It On - T.Rex
Moi Lolita (Single Version) - Alizee
Stop - Spice Girls
Mansard Roof - Vampire Weekend
Love On A Mountain Top - Robert Knight
Make Mistakes (Radio Edit) - Infadels
Searching My Soul - Vonda Shepard
1234 - Feist
The Monkeys Are Breaking Out The Zoo - Belle & Sebastian
Somebody Slap Me - John Anderson
Ain't No Other Man Til You Get Enough - Christina Aguilera v. Michael Jackson
I'll Think of a Reason Later (I Really Hate Her) - Lee Ann Womack
I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You - Black Kids
Boyfriend - Ashlee Simpson
Keep Your Hands To Yourself - The Georgia Satellites
Change Your Mind - The All-American Rejects
Let Me Entertain You - Robbie Williams
Balboa - Cruiserweight
I Like the Way (Radio Edit) - Bodyrockers
Kookie, Kookie Lend Me Your Comb - Edd Byrnes (w. Connie Francis)
LINCOLN to LONDON
Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad - Tammy Wynette
Jill - Riptones
Window - Fiona Apple
Rise Up With Fists!!! - Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins
A Woman Like Me - Bettye Lavette
Johnny Cash - Sons and Daughters
Johnny B. Goode - Jimi Hendrix
In The Final Hour, There Was A Frying Pan - The Bran Flakes
The Devil Had A Hold Of Me - Gillian Welch
Taking On Water - Vigilantes Of Love
Movement - S.L. Troopers
Song For Guy (instrumental) - Elton John
Sugar - Ladytron
All My Tears (live) - Emmylou Harris
Private Life - Grace Jones
Finer (Orchestral Version) - Horse
Shake me, wake me (when it's over) - The Four Tops
Wimoweh - Karl Denver
Just Another - Pete Yorn
Ruby don't take your love to town - Kenny Rogers
New York - U2
Hot Blood - Lucinda Williams
I'm The Man (That You Are Not) - Crash Test Dummies
Glory Glory - Pops Staples
And Then Patterns - Four Tet
I Like It Like That - Them
Goldmine - The Violet Burning
Freedom Park - Marah
If You Come Back - Blue
No Sleep Till Brooklyn - Beastie Boys
(Waiting For The) Ghost Train - Madness
Rhythm Of My Heart - Rod Stewart
Sunny - Bobby Hebb
Song for lovers - Richard Ashcroft
Atomic Beat Boy - Helen Love
The Crystal Lake - Grandaddy
Lorraine Today - Caitlin Cary
Joyriders - Pulp
Though The Window Pane - Guillemots
Cherokee Boogie - Hank Williams
I'm Still In Love With You - Al Green
Come On In My Kitchen - Robert Johnson
First Day Of My Life - The Rasmus
After All - Delerium (feat. Jael Of Lunik)
Saturday, June 14, 2008
LONDON to LINCOLN
Your Shirt - Chely Wright
Miss Alissa - Eagles of Death Metal
Boom - P.O.D.
A New Heart - Malcolm Middleton
Valley Stream - Joy Zipper
I'll Keep It With Mine - Bob Dylan
How Can You Say That Ain't Love - The Patterson Singers
A ballad to forget - Soulwax
Ring Of Fire - Johnny Cash
As Serious As Your Life - Four Tet
Reasons To Be Beautiful - Hole
Love Is You - Carol Williams
Dear John - Aimee Mann
My Love Is Your Love (Forever) - The Isley Brothers
Tomorrow Never Knows - The Beatles
Suddenly - Billy Ocean
Theme From Mission Impossible - Billy May & His Orchestra
Wonder Woman - Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint
Sugar Never Tasted So Good - The White Stripes
It's A Miracle - Boy George & Culture Club
Habib - Riton
Anne - Josh Ritter
Here Comes Trouble - Evangelicals
The Trouble with Humans - Chip Taylor and Carrie Rogriguez
Public Service Announcement - The Bravery
Nothing's Burning - Télépopmusik
What Do You Want Me To Do - Mike Scott
The Hope Edition - My Latest Novel
Nadisco - Depeche Mode
Do It Like You Like - The Stands
For The Price Of A Cup Of Tea - Belle & Sebastian
Down There By The Train - Johnny Cash
Joey Ramoney - Helen Love
Oh, Yesterday - Steve Forbert
How Could Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel? - Morrissey
Rock Hard - Alex Chilton
Mother's Ruin - Kirsty MacColl
We Come up Shining - Chip Taylor and Carrie Rogriguez
Arnica Montana - Kristin Hersh
Nightswimming - R.E.M.
Dont Be Cruel - Elvis Presley
Marie's Wedding - Van Morrison & The Chieftains
LINCOLN to LONDON
The Only One (Mix 13) - The Cure
Terra Firma (Album/Single Version) - The Young Knives
When You Wasn't Famous - Bromheads Jacket
Shut Up and Drive - Rihanna
Doing It Right - The Go! Team
DVNO (Radio Edit) - Justice
Delivery - Babyshambles
Sugar Baby Love - The Rubettes
Do Ya - Electric Light Orchestra
Off the Hook - CSS
I kissed a girl - Jill Sobule
Louie - Ida Maria
Chick Lit - We Are Scientists
She's So Modern - Boomtown Rats
Freakin' Out - Graham Coxon
Little Darlin' - The Diamonds
Toxic (Radio Edit) - Mark Ronson
Real Girl - Mutya Buena
Underground - Ben Folds Five
We're Not Alone - Dinosaur Jr.
Should I Stay Or Should I Go - The Clash
Those Dancing Days - Those Dancing Days
Put A Penny In The Slot - Fionn Regan
Electric Feel - MGMT
Poison Arrow - ABC
I Can't Go Back To Savoury Now - John Shuttleworth
Don't Phunk With My Heart - The Black Eyed Peas
We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off - Jermaine Stewart
Hold On - KT Tunstall
You and Me Song - Wannadies
Saturday Superhouse - Biffy Clyro
Touchdown Turnaround (Don't Give Up On Me) - Hellogoodbye
Foundations - Kate Nash
Can't Stop Movin' (Radio Edit) - Sonny J
Don't Bring Me Down - Electric Light Orchestra
The Way You Move (Radio Mix) - OutKast & Sleepy Brown
Seven Little Girls (Sitting In The Back Seat) - Paul Evans
Girlfriend (profanity) - Avril Lavigne
Picture to Burn - Taylor Swift
Wonderful World - James Morrison
It Feels Good - Miko Marks
Boulevard of Broken Songs - Greenday vs Oasis vs Travis
Buffalo Stance - Neneh Cherry
Two Doors Down - Mystery Jets
That's Not My Name - The Ting Tings
Friday, June 13, 2008
Pixar's latest movie is released at the end of the month. From the trailers, the film appears to follow the romance between two robots. Most of the characters will communicate (R2-D2-style) with sounds rather than voices.
Visit the official site for trailers, and a recently uploaded set of vignettes.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
New Scientist reports: [edited]
ASIMO just got a new superpower – it can understand three humans shouting at once. For now the modified Asimo's new ability are being used to judge rock-paper-scissors contests. But the number of voices and the complexity of the sentences the software can deal with should grow in future.
Hiroshi Okuno at Kyoto University, and Kazuhiro Nakadai at the Honda Research Institute in Saitama have designed the new software which they call HARK.
HARK uses an array of eight microphones to work out where each voice is coming from and isolate it from other sound sources. The software then works out how reliably it has extracted an individual voice, before passing it onto speech-recognition software to decode.
The HARK system actually goes beyond normal human listening capabilities, Okuno told New Scientist. "It can listen to several things at once, and not just focus on a particular single sound source."
Animals on the Underground reports: [edited]
The animals, created using the tube lines, stations and junctions of the London Underground map were first spotted by Paul Middlewick in 1988.
The original animal, an elephant was discovered while Paul was staring at the tube map during his daily journey home from work.
Since then, the elephant has been joined by many others from bats to bottlenose whales. To see these and many more click on link.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
autoblog reports: [edited]
Created by Japanese tuner ASI, the Tetsu GTR takes one Bentley Continental GT and adds a new front and rear apron; exposed carbon fiber hood, trunk and spoiler; a set of oversized wheels and a custom paint job that plasters said carbon fiber hood with... flowers.
Stardust is one of those films that makes you wonder why there aren't more films like Stardust.
At the beginning of the film, we are introduced to Tristan (Charlie Cox) who lives in a small village called The Wall that borders a mystical and forbidden kingdom ruled by King Stormhold (Peter O'Toole). Tristan falls in love with the beautiful (but deeply superficial) Victoria (Sienna Miller) and promises to retrieve a falling star they've seen. Soon after this we are introduced to the lovely Yvaine (Claire Danes) who turns out to be the falling star.
And this is just the beginning of a sprawling, wonderful fairy tale that includes the deliciously evil witch Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer) and cross-dressing pirate, Captain Shakespeare (Robert De Niro).
If you have watched, and enjoyed, the Princess Bride, find the time to watch this. If you haven't watched the Princess Bride, why not? And if you have watched and didn't enjoy the Princess Bride, shame on you, I say, shame on you!
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
O2 reports: [edited]
iPhone is coming soon for Pay & Go
Customers will soon be able to enjoy the great features of iPhone without a monthly contract. Register your interest and we'll drop you a line in early July to tell you what you need to do to be one of the first to get your hands on the new 3G iPhone.
Thanks to Conrad for the link
Apple are also rebranding and updating their .Mac services. Aimed at making the 'mobile experience' more intuitive and painless (while encouraging you to part with your cash for the privilege) this looks like a very positive development.
For more information click here.
Monday, June 09, 2008
These are two films that explain why I rent DVDs. I am pleased that I have experienced them, but I have no desire to watch them again.
Flags of our Fathers is the story surrounding the iconic photograph of the raising of the US flag on Mt Suribachi, Iwo Jima in the closing stages of the Second World War. It follows the lives of the three surviving flag-raisers, and how the American government employed them in helping to sell war bonds.
The film adopts a 'flashback' narrative, switching between the flag-raisers' tours of arenas and speaking engagements and detailed, horrific scenes of the invasion of Iwo Jima.
It is a good film, but not a great one. The photography is superb, shot primarily in a 'desaturate all colours except red' format. The acting is competent and involving. But it comes across more as a documentary interspersed with action scenes than a movie proper.
Letters from Iwo Jima is told from the perspective of the Japanese defenders of Iwo Jima. Also shot in 'desaturated, except for red', I found it to be an altogether more satisfying and involving film, in spite of my dislike of subtitles.
Ken Watanabe's performance as the conflicted but patriotic commander is one of the best I have ever witnessed (random thought: I found his facial expressions reminding me of Jean Reno) and his supporting cast brilliantly display the desperation of an almost defeated nation.
If you're up for 4 hours of difficult but rewarding cinema, these two films make an extremely rewarding micro-series.
Friday, June 06, 2008
vnu.net reports: [edited]
Medical scientists have developed tiny cameras that can be swallowed by a patient and steered around the body to deliver images of the oesophagus.
The first-ever control system for the 'camera pill' is a joint development by manufacturer Given Imaging, the Israelite Hospital in Hamburg, Royal Imperial College in London and the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering (IBMT).
Dr Volke explained that the team developed a magnetic device roughly the size of a bar of chocolate which the doctor can hold in his hand during the examination and move up and down the patient's body.
The steerable camera pill consists of a camera, a transmitter that sends the images to the receiver, a battery and several cold-light diodes which briefly flare up like a torch every time a picture is taken.
1up.com reports: [edited]
Activision's Guitar Hero series makes its way to the DS featuring songs from Nirvana, OK Go, and No Doubt. Guitar Hero: On Tour will utilize the Guitar Grip peripheral and is developed by Vicarious Visions and published by Activision.
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Brett's 2p'orth: The idea of watching someone playing this on a crowded train is making me alternate between smiling and grimacing.
Jawbone make elegant, high-quality headsets with state-of-the-art noise cancelling technology. They claim that their latest offering is able to separate your speech from the noise around you better than any other headset on the market.