December 24th, 2004


Fringe benefits

Yeah, working on Christmas Eve isn't so great, but on the other hand, it only took me 20 minutes to drive in to work this morning - and that's counting a swing through the drive-through at McD's. I also got the normally unenviable job of testing a bunch of spare keyboards & mice to see if they still worked, and swapped out my crappy Evo keyboard for a nice generic Compaq kibo that feels better and doesn't have to be de-scunged the way the Evo kibo did. I could have had an ergonomic kibo, but testing it was clumsy enough that I didn't want to bother. When you've been using the standard 101-key model for 20+ years, anything different is just stress I don't need.

Extra bonus cool thing: We're getting out of here at 1:30 instead of the previously announced 2:30. I therefore repent of 5% of the evil I have desired for management. ~_^
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Guest of honor candidate for 2006?

This guy's not waiting for the Japanese or DARPA, he's building his own damn mecha. Otherwise good article is ruined by the obvious gaffe regarding Verhoeven's hideous movie version of Starship Troopers: there was no powered armor in the flick, which is about 30% of the reason it sucked, the other 90% being Paul Verhoeven's screenplay. Clancy Brown gets a 10% credit, imao, for keeping it merely sucky as opposed to inordinately sucky, as does Gruppenfuehrer Doogie Howser.

I say we invite the guy to AD 2006, especially if he's got the mecha going by then. Let's hear it for American ingenuity!

Tip o' the wombat's helmet to Vodkapundit.

Ideas whose time has come...if anyone's paying attention.

The late Scott Imes and others often complained about publishing companies' drive to get rid of the mid-list authors - the guys who didn't automatically sell like Tom Wolfe, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, and who often wind up doing movie & TV novelizations or doing chunks of novel series. Maybe the market's getting ready to give the mid-list authors a break. Chris Anderson's essay takes a look at how Netflix and are making obscure films, TV series and books popular again thanks to the power of market aggregation through the Internet, and how that might work out for the music business.

On a similar topic, a British company is looking at the possibility of blending mobile phones with smart cards to put a new spin on cashless buying. The article also talks about Simpay's tackling of the micropayment problem, which is also addressed glancingly in Anderson's essay.

The latter kind of hooks in with Cobb's post on gearheads which I linked earlier in the month. The demand is out there, and it looks like someone's workin' on how much you want to bet somebody has it on the market in a year or two at the outside?


I get a little annoyed with reviews like this that bitch about the poor quality of the art in anime series, since I for one don't watch anime for the art - it's something that I appreciate as an incidental benefit of the form, but as long as the story is good and the characters are interesting, I'm not too picky about the art. Heck, I have a poster from Nuku Nuku DASH! on my wall, and I think most fans would agree that it has the worst art of the three Nuku^2 series...but I don't care. It's a nice picture of Akiko Natsume, who reminds me of Saeko Shimazu (her voice actress) so it's all good.

This is all because I rented the first disc of Legend of Black Heaven (retitled from the Japanese Kacho Oji, "Section Chief Oji"), a rock n' roll space opera which opens in the most depressing way possible. Spoilers follow.
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This series certainly hasn't gotten the kind of attention I think it deserves, probably because it deals with subjects a lot of young anime fans tend to shy away from. I like it a lot, though, and am looking forward to seeing the rest of it. Thanks to stuckintraffik for raving about this series, and I hope he manages to finish his "Testing, 1,2,3" AMV for it soon.
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