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May 15, 2011

Links of the Week: April 8th-14th, 2011

Before I chuck myself in the shower and get psyched up for the Halo: Reach party I'm throwing for some friends on Xbox Live in half an hour (don't worry, folks; I'll do some serious work in the garden this afternoon), I thought I'd direct your Internet consciousnesses toward some articles I found interesting useful and inspiring this week.

Continue reading "Links of the Week: April 8th-14th, 2011" »

March 19, 2010

Predators

And I thought I was getting another Christmas in December with TRON Legacy. Turns out I'm also getting one hell of a birthday present two days before my birthday!

Teaser Trailer

Continue reading "Predators" »

March 10, 2010

Rez Up for Pursuit

TRON Legacy trailer.

Looks... gloriously weird. Especially that guy with the cane. Does he remind anyone else of Luke Steel from Empire of the Sun?

I'm not sure whether I'm down with the idea of Recognizers with thrusters, though. Still, that's a quibble.

Bring on December!

March 03, 2010

Piracy Numbers

Continuing on from my link to Tycho's summation of the issue of computer game piracy, here's another well-reasoned article that tries to shine some light on the actual extent of PC game piracy and the effectiveness of measures, such as Digital Rights Management (DRM) software, in stopping it.

February 18, 2010

A Paean to Bond Girls

Although I disagree with his reviews of Transformers and Revenge of the Fallen, I certainly don't argue the intelligence of Bob Chipman of the Escapist's Escape to the Movies review section. His most recent video is more opinion piece than review; a look at the rise and fall of that unique movie role, "the Bond Girl", and the James Bond movie franchise as a whole.

I'm tempted to argue that for all the talk of empowerment, it's hard to escape the point that their characters were interchangeable guests in a franchise whose only constant character is the male lead.

Still, does that necessarily devalue them?

January 21, 2010

Getting Sexiness Right in Videogames

While I'm on the subject of Bayonetta, I thought I'd offer a couple of links about the game's most talked-about aspect: its sexy lead character, Bayonetta herself.

Continue reading "Getting Sexiness Right in Videogames" »

January 09, 2010

Flattery Gets You Nowhere

The community radio station I volunteer for is going through some turbulent times at the moment, and a local blogger has been investigating. I can't comment as to the accuracy of his articles, but I will draw your attention to this one, where he mentions my show, Radio for the Print Handicapped:

To be absolutely honest, the only valuable programming I've been able to find on Cairns community radio 89.1FM is a daily "service" where local news is read...

This is a service designed for those that can't read the Cairns Post, God help them, or other newspapers for that matter. We call them visually-impaired these days. Remember when you grew up, it was "blind." We then turfed out that word. I recall when we stopped saying "handicapped" and replaced it with "disabled."

...

Rob Farquhar is my fav readers on community radio, with a voice so smooth you'd think he'd be a gay flight attendant, or at least help out when they're busy. His other half Vickie assures me he's not. I'll take her word for it.

I'd like to make two comments with regard to this:

  1. "Print Handicapped" doesn't refer to just blind people or folks with other visual impairments, it also means folks whose eyesight is fine but can't read (probably a needless comment, as Mike Moore is a born stirrer).
  2. Honey, you only wish!

July 28, 2009

ReBoot Up Your Arse

If you can't wait for Tron Legacy, let me direct you to the work of a couple of utterly insane fans of the first film, who've put together a pair of very short films that... er... pay homage, I suppose, to Tron. Two more are on the way.

Seriously, go watch. You'll laugh so hard you'll de-rez!

July 20, 2008

We totally had sex.

Be warned. Act III of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is live.

I tell you what - The Dark Knight last night, now this. Ooof.

July 17, 2008

She called him sweet, how is he sweet? ... Right. Freeze Ray.

It's a brand new day, and Act II of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is presented for your enjoyment!

July 16, 2008

The Day needs my Saving expertise...

Act I of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is up.

Go and watch.

July 01, 2008

Joss is the Boss

In case you didn't already know - and I didn't, I only just found out about this today via the SCIFI Channel - Joss Whedon (yes, him) is experimenting a little with alternate modes of broadcasting after the writer's strike. His effort, starring Neil Patrick Harris (yes, him) and Nathan Fillion (yes, him too), will be webcast for but a few days from July 15th to 19th.

It's called Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.

Support it. Or know the taste of DOOOOOOOMAH!

May 28, 2008

I feel like... pwn1ng n00bs...

I know I'm behind the eight-ball here by about four years, but this deserves the word-spreading to even those already pwnz0red. With thanks to The Escapist, here's a web-comedy called Pure Pwnage; the story of a gamer named Jeremy and his ongoing battle to pwn all the n00bs.

And maybe get a girl.

If he's extremely lucky.

May 14, 2008

The Best Article on Gears of War I've Ever Read

Hot off the virtual press, The Escapist dedicates an issue to Epic Games, the makers of the Unreal series of games and, naturally, Gears of War - and the last article is "I've Got To Be A Macho Man", dissecting the broad critical agreement that the latter game is adolescent homoerotic trash that shouldn't have been the success it was.

Maybe I'll pick the sequel up after all...

May 02, 2008

Fan Controversy Over Adaptation of Trailer

Before I get stuck back into renovating the bedroom, I just thought I'd let you know about a news story broken by online agency The Onion, detailing fan concerns that the feature film adaptation of the Iron Man trailer might ruin the much-beloved ninety-second action-fest with almost an hour and a half of extended scenes and additional dialogue. I'll be going to see the adaptation this evening, so I'll make my on call then, but I'm heartened by blogger Mr. Teuflel's comment that the film does indeed do the trailer justice.

Another hot story also broken by The Onion is veteran NASCAR coach Dan Amon's revelation of the strategy for success used by every race winner: Drive fast.

April 26, 2008

36 Rounds - 2 Grenades - 25 Kills - HIKE!

Okay, here’s some unusual linkage of the moment. Now, as should be obvious from the last post, I’ve been playing a lot of the Halo 3 lately, enough that Vickie’s been feeling a bit slighted, so I know I need to put the brakes on some. Still, at the moment, she’s watching A Touch of Frost on Seven, so I nipped upstairs to bask in the glory of my Halo 3 Service Record, all the more radiant tonight as I achieved a Team Slayer Skill of 20 earlier this evening and got promoted straight from Lieutenant Grade 3 to Captain Grade 3! Yay!

Anyway, I also checked the Bungie.net news feed, and at the top of the list was “MLG ESPN Saturday Night Rebroadcast Available Now”. For those of you who, like me, don’t live in the US, the acronyms might need a little explaining. ESPN is, as I understand it, North America’s largest pay-TV sports provider (if the URL is an indicator, they're part of Disney's media conglomerate). While I don’t think I’ve ever known exactly what ESPN stands for (I think I’m safe in assuming the S is for “sport” and the N is for “network”), I do know what MLG stands for: Major League Gaming. That’s right, a major media outlet has dedicated a portion of its resources to covering (and hosting) video game tournaments.

Continue reading "36 Rounds - 2 Grenades - 25 Kills - HIKE!" »

March 15, 2008

Order 66

Just thought I'd hip you all to a neat little podcast by a pair of fans (and GMs) of the Star Wars Saga Edition roleplaying game. The hosts talk about general Saga Ed. system matters (the second show has an interesting discussion on why it's better to multiclass into Jedi than take it at level 1), particular issues (is the Ithorian bellow too overpowered? did the Gamorrean get boned in Saga?) and general silliness (including guest spots from good-ole-Stormtrooper TK-421 and postcards from Commander Cody).

The home page is here, and you can subscribe via your favourite podcast manager here.

February 14, 2008

Spider on the Web

Those of you who know Vickie and I pretty well know that we’re both fans of a science fiction author called Spider Robinson, mainly because his works are almost always (a) fun and (b) filled with honest to god hope for the future of our species. We’re not sure whether we’ve managed to successfully hip others to his work, but I’m hoping that those we’ve not managed to snare the interest of so far will get hooked on his weekly podcast called “Spider on the Web”. It’s a combination of readings from his books – Spider has a great, mellow speaking voice, and he even puts up several chapters of his professional audio recording of his latest book, Variable Star, a posthumous collaboration with Robert A. Heinlein – and some excellent music; he’s already hipped me to New Orleans sax player Breeze Cayolle, given me my first taste of John Coltrane and introduced his in-laws, who are bloody great musos too.

Continue reading "Spider on the Web" »

November 04, 2007

If I Can't Play, I Can Get Motivated

Although I am 360-less at the moment, I can still find ways to itch my scratch. With thanks to the fine ladies and gentlemen of Bungie, here's one of them: Halotivational Posters, a site set up (as may be obvious from the title) for the publication of motivational posters created using screengrabs from Halo 3. I nearly wet my pants several times reading it. I've learned that all a poster needs is an incoming rocket to set me off.

September 20, 2007

Dangerous Toys

Now you might be thinking, "Mattel lead-paint scare", but this isn't some consumer-advocacy site. See, every now and again I catch myself looking at my small collection of Optimus Primes, thinking how a repaint and a drybrush would really bring out all that detail on the bland grey plastic bits (especially movie Optimus). Considering the amount of disassembly and reassembly the effort would require is enough to put me off, though.

Continue reading "Dangerous Toys" »

August 25, 2007

But Can It Somersault A Land Bridge?

I used to think that the Peugeot Hoggar was the closest we'd ever get to an actual, working Warthog. Then the Bungie lads not-so-subtly hinted in their most recent podcast that those talented lads and lasses in the Land of the Long White Cloud - by which I mean, the Oscar-winning Weta Workshop - had put together something man-size and probably driveable for a series of Halo-based short films being directed by the man pegged by Peter Jackson to helm the aborted film version of the video game.

Now, there is proof. Click the link and scroll to the bottom of the page. Yes, that's a real dude manning the AA cannon in back.

August 23, 2007

Wagging School

As you may be able to imagine, being the owner of two largish, wilful dogs isn't the eaiest of experiences, especailly when they need to be walked regularly to stay healthy and fit. We have a couple of books on the care and training of dogs, but they've been a little initmidating in terms of all the stuff they seem to reckon I need to know to do the job properly.

Thankfully, Vickie found a website for a five-minute ABC TV show called Wagging School (our overseas audience mightn't realise that the title's actually a pun on some local slang). It contains each episode of the show, which centres on training your dog a particular command. It emphasises repetition and regularity in training, something I've not quite been able to nail down yet, but we've bought some dog treats and I'll start getting stuck in on Friday evening.

August 10, 2007

NearbyGamers

A year and a half ago I submitted my information to a tool called "FindPlay", which was intended to help people in the RPG hobby find hobbyists of similar interest. Recently, after a period of downtime, FindPlay was superseded by NearbyGamers, a site with improved functionality and a viewable map (using Google Maps).

So far I'm the only gamer in the Cairns region to put a pin into the map, so I'm hoping that by getting the word out to others the local gamer density will manifest itself.

August 08, 2007

Podcast Preferences

I’ve been sampling the wonderment that is an iPod nano for the past couple of months now. Young Brook’s hand-me-down is now full of Steely Dan, Def Leppard, The War of the Worlds, Flogging Molly and assorted other musics (yeah, okay, fine, including John Farnham). Bu the really great thing about it, especially combined with its iTunes master application, is podcasts. The iTunes service will track podcast feeds via XML and RSS and will automatically download the latest shows of any podcasts I subscribe to. I can take them with me in the iPod and catch up on subjects of interest during my lunch hour, all without bothering Vickie with any annoying voices or accents.

So what am I subscribed to?

Continue reading "Podcast Preferences" »

July 19, 2007

Flogging Molly

Curse you and your evil birthday presentness, Gavin Lucan.

Curse you to... I dunno. Boils or something.

Everyone else: Irish folk pub rock. It's good.

June 27, 2007

A Deeper Examination of the Prime-al Urge

At the less than one day (bare hours, even) and counting mark, it was probably inevitable that I trip over the Internet Movie Database's main page and fall upon a link to an article on the Wired magazine website. With a title like, "The Rebirth of Optimus Prime: Behind the Scenes with Director Michael Bay" it naturally grabbed my attention. It's a neat little three-page examination of fandom in general (I keep having flashbacks to the forum outrage when Battlestar Galactica was being re-imagined by the SciFi Channel) and the interest in Transformers - well, in one red-and-blue Transformer - in particular. I think it puts across a lot of what I was trying to do in this article, but a lot better.

Continue reading "A Deeper Examination of the Prime-al Urge" »

June 25, 2007

Roll Out Down Under

With less than three days to go until the nationwide premiere (four days ahead of the US! Woo!), a link to the official Australian website of the Transformers movie is long overdue - probably because I only just discovered it. It looks as though I'll see it twice this weekend - first on Saturday, as part of the "Help Rob Frantically Cling To His Youth While It Lasts" pre-birthday party, then again on Sunday with my young mentee.

While I'm on the topic, here's a review of the movie written by the lads at computer magazine Atomic. Now, if this film needed savaging, I was fully expecting that the performance-happy nerds at Atomic would provide. Their review, however, manages to ably critique the film whilst giving very little away, and their verdict is "Michael Bay shows the doubters it was in safe hands all along", giving the film a heartening 8.5 out of 10.

April 13, 2007

It Lurks In My Entertainment Unit And Hates Me

Here's a neat little toy for everyone with an Xbox 360 and a Live gamertag: 360voice.com. It uses your Xbox Live profile to generate a web log which appears as if it was written by your Xbox. Mine's here, although as of this writing I've not done enough gaming for it to write about (it seems my Xbox is a classic SF fan, though). In the meantime, check out the blog of the Xbox of evilhayama, the man who hipped me to this site.

March 09, 2007

Action! Thrills! Stunts! Modifiers!

Here's the latest DM of the Rings, with a very, very true commentary on RPG combats.

If there's one thing I always worry about as a GM, it's making combats interesting, and it's probably my prime worry with the somewhat stat-heavy tactical combat system in Heavy Gear. I have some ideas about that, though, which I will detail later.

March 04, 2007

The DM Of The Rings

Here's another linky by way of The Gavmeister (yes, I know, "Gavmeister" means "master of Gav", and he is Gav, but my old school motto was "vincit qui se vincit" which translates to "he conquers who conquers himself", so it's my way of saying don't mess with Gavin or he'll, you know, go all conquest on yo' ass).

Anyway, it's a sorta-webcomic, using screengrabs from the Lord of the Rings films as individual frames. It's also a wonderful satire of the type of social interactions that arise whenever a group of geeks sit down around a table and play Dungeons & Dragons. It starts here, but frankly, episode number thirty-seven (and it's just caught up with the end of the first film) is the best summary of why many find the Grandfather of Roleplaying Games pretty damned frustrating.

February 04, 2007

Trainers and Coaches

A couple of links from the mentor training Vickie and I underwent over the last couple of days:

  • Jeanette Harvey, our principal trainer for the whole course. She was warm, welcoming, fantastically focused and kept the whole group endeavour ticking over at a good, smooth pace. I'm sure she'd make a brilliant game master.
  • Megan Bayliss, who spoke to us for an hour about the tasks of adolescence - where a person needs to be at the end of it and how they get there - and how to listen actively. Megan's personal web log focuses on child support but also touches on broader community affairs.

December 23, 2006

Bring on Independence Day, 2007...

I'm going to be writing a longer, Christmas-related post later on today, but in the meantime I hope you'll forgive my nerdish enthusiasm as I point you toward the new teaser trailer for the TransFormers movie.

Yeah, I wanna see this film. Probably gonna have about as much plot as Independence Day (interesting choice of release dates, there), but considering I saw that film at the cinema four times I doubt I'll care.

December 05, 2006

Portforward.com

I think I might be making some headway in getting the Battlefield 2142 demo to work. After discovering a couple of threads that mentioned disabling your router’s firewall (not likely, chum), I decided to have a look at my router’s settings this morning in the hope of finding an alternative solution. When I saw the “port forwarding” settings, a lightbulb went on over my head. I ran a search for “’Battlefield 2142’ port forwarding” and this little gem of a website came up. I’ve followed its instructions, but didn’t have a chance to try BF2142 before I dashed off to work. I’ll give it a quick whirl this evening, though.

I’m also wondering whether there are any settings that will allow me to Direct Host a game of Dawn of War. Question answered: It does. And I just realised I set up all the port forwards for BF2142 wrong as well - the IP address has to be the static-IP address for my PC, not the router! Duh! Better get that fixed tonight...

September 21, 2006

Yo Homeboy.

The Bronze Chef dug this up on YouTube, and I'd claim it as my theme song had he not already claimed it as his:

"Weird Al" Yankovic's "White and Nerdy"

UPDATE: On Weird Al's MySpace, I have discovered another theme song, one for Karl and Vickie both: "Hardware Store"!

UPDATE AGAIN (2 Oct 06): Okay, so maybe it's not my theme song:

September 11, 2006

The Da Vinci Code? Pah! Here's Journey To The East!

From the BBC News Service:

To reach the Grave of Christ or Kristo no Hakka as it is known locally, you need to head deep into the northern countryside of Japan, a place of paddy fields and apple orchards. Halfway up a remote mountain surrounded by a thicket of bamboo lies a mound of bare earth marked with a large wooden cross... according to the local legend, Jesus did not die at Calvary.

His place was taken by one of his brothers, who for some reason is now buried by his side in Japan.

The story goes that after escaping Jerusalem, Jesus made his way across Russia and Siberia to Aomori in the far north of Japan where he became a rice farmer, married, had a family and died peacefully at the age of 114.

Read more.

August 31, 2006

Gone With the Blastwave

Found out about this webcomic via the RPGnet Roleplaying Open thread with the motivational posters (yep, it's still going). It's a grand epic of passion, romance and old-time civilisation swept away in the harsh light of a nuclear explosion, with -

Oh, who am I kidding? It's the closest you'll ever get to Red Vs. Blue, the Webcomic. Which means it's funny.

Go. Read. Better yet, start where I started.

July 10, 2006

Only Softer and More Conductive

You may remember that a couple of years ago I was a regular browser of Doc's Blog. It was run by a gent named Mitch, and in the midst of the usual personal updates and ponderings he posted what he called Game Dreams (based on Ginger Stampley's Game WISHes), topics on roleplay gaming (and gaming in general) intended to spark discussion. In late 2004, Mitch decided to shut the blog down, mainly due to lack of time to work on it.

I e-mailed Mitch a little while ago to see how he was doing, and he gave me a link to his next web log, The Bronze Chef. At the time, though, it was pretty much a placeholder while he fiddled with the back-end. Nonetheless, I put a link up (with a "Coming Soon" rider) in my "Web Logs" links section.

Just today, Mitch sent me an e-mail notifying me that The Bronze Chef has now gone live, and quite frankly, it looks great! I've taken the "Coming Soon" sign down and will be browsing there again regularly.

July 07, 2006

Toy Crazy!

Two Links of the Moment for you today. The first is Shortpacked!, a nigh-on daily webcomic about the staff of a non-chain toy store. If, like me, you never quite grew out of all those cool toys you collected as a kid (or never grew out of them at all), you'll find a lot to like here, including one man's quest across the toy stores of his city to find an Alternators Prowl. If not, you'll likely enjoy the silly, risque and at times rude humour of a bunch of disparate characters working at dead-end jobs - sorta like Clerks at the toy store. I like it so much that I've added it to my "Fun" links!

Speaking of Toys, here's your second Link of the Moment: Teletraan-1, the unofficial Transformers Wiki. As you've probably guessed, I've already made a contribution or two, mainly around the IDW Publishing comic series Infiltration (which is the awesome).

June 26, 2006

Simmering, But Almost Ready to Serve

The RPG situation has cooled to a simmer for the moment. Everyone’s pretty much got busy lately; us with renovations, Rhys’ mate Kev with work and Simon and Cristel juggling keeping the bills paid and four youngsters busy. So there’s been no more InSpectres since that last time. It looks as though Kev is heading off South; he’s keen on the idea of being able to manage an office of the sales business he’s working for, and that might take him south of the border.

Still, things are looking up again. I’m revisiting the idea of playing some Primetime Adventures online. Vickie’s interested, as are a couple of friends down South, so fingers crossed I’ll be able to tell you how that goes – and, frankly, I reckon it’ll go better than last time. I have a more concrete idea of how the Pitch session should go; put simply, everyone has to be keen on the show idea we come up with or else the game will crash and burn (as the last one did). I’ve been listening to the audio recordings of the “Life on Mars” sessions, which are pretty awesome examples of how PtA actually works, as well as the Sons of Kryos’ eighteenth podcast which features some hints and tips.

Continue reading "Simmering, But Almost Ready to Serve" »

June 11, 2006

Alien Versus Predator. ...versus Stormtroopers.

You thought Batman: Dead End was freaky? You ain't seen nothing yet. Check out the first chapter of IMPS: The Relentless, the sequel to TROOPS. The production values are... well, let's just say you'll be amazed what an entirely volunteer effort can come up with. The intro sequence alone looks like something the guys at Industrial Light & Magic whacked together when they had some excess rendering time on their hands.

The first chapter is a hair over 200 megabytes, though, so you may want to do an overnight download. But it's worth it. Why? 'Cos it's the sequel to TROOPS.

Which means funny.

(Mucho belated thanks to Gav for this, who burned Chapter 1 onto a CD-ROM for me.)

Okay, like, Batman, like, versus Robocop versus, like, Jackie Chan - who'd win?

Find out in The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny, an hilarious paean to a youth saturated in Eighties pop-culture.

Yes, you are surrounded by Assholes.

(Thanks to the Wil to Power.)

June 02, 2006

Okay, look, one more. Just one.

The picture alone is worth it.

But if you've GMed a lot of RPGs, the context is even better.

Okay, so it's two more.

Three.

Yeah, four, five, and six.

And if you've ever, ever owned a dog: Seven.

May 23, 2006

I Have Failed To Motivate Pvt. Gamer Pyle!

Well, one might've been enough for me, but it certainly wasn't for some people. Check these chuckle-worthy motivational lithographs out:

UPDATE 25 May 06 5:00PM:

May 20, 2006

What I Learned from Roleplaying Games

Okay, so there's this thread on RPGnet asking people to Photoshop their own RPG-related motivational poster. You know those motivational posters - ahem, sorry, lithographs, right? You've probably seen them at work, even if only in the overbearing, power-slogan-spouting boss' office. They've been sent up left, right and centre, and now it's the RPG crowd's turn.

Of course, I had to weigh in (thanks to a neat little tool found here) with one of my own.

May 17, 2006

Transform and Roll Out!

Thanks to Gav, who sent me an e-mail with this link this very day, IMAGinES is proud to link you to a (purported) CGI test reel made for the TransFormers film. Now, if rumour is correct, this reel was for a rejected bid.

So hopefully the computer generated TransFormers in the film (which is apparently due to start principal photography soonish) will somehow look even better.

April 29, 2006

Game Circle

With all of this RPG-related activity lately, it's about time I posted another PG-related Link of the Moment. Game Circle is a new web site dedicated to making connections between Australian players. The aim is to set up local "pools" of hobbyists who get together for short campaigns and are thus likely to stay in the pool, as opposed to Finding A Group and Never Coming Back.

The concept is based around substantial anecdotal evidence that the short, six-to-ten session campaign is much more common than the almost-mythical "One Campaign with One Group that Goes For Years" that Dungeons & Dragons and its ilk try to sell to adult hobbyists who have to juggle work and time commitments. I first came across the idea when RPGnet member Jim Bob presented it in this thread, and it seems like just the thing Simon and I have discussed in the past.

It's still aimed at the "alredy a gamer" crowd, and I'm seriously thinking about garnering interest among those who've never participated in a game before. Still, it'd be nice to establish a pool like that which gamecircle.org suggests. Fingers crossed we can get one going...

April 02, 2006

"Apparently, the human mind is not unlike cookie dough."

Remember a while back, I posted about the untimely and unfortunate death of Vincent Schiavelli? Well, thanks to Ben Stiller, he's left us a legacy easily worthy of his memory.

Or should that be the other way around?

Anyway, with thanks to SteveD for hipping his reading public to this, I highly recommend you watch Heat Vision and Jack, starring Jack Black, the Voice of Owen Wilson and Ron Silver as Himself.

You know, there must be some sort of secret vault of stuff that resulted after stars got their friends and industry contacts on a conference call and said, "Hey, guys, I'm feeling kinda loopy and have a spare coupla hundred grand burning a hole in my pocket. Wanna hook up and do stuff?" I mean, if Ben Stiller did, right?

March 11, 2006

A Whole Gorram Saleyard

I've been browsing the Waves in the Black forums (for fans of the Serenity RPG) a bit this morning; as I wrote earlier, I've been contemplating a Serenity campaign for Vickie, Simon and Cristel. One of my favourite sub-forums of Waves in the Black is the Shipyards, where players post ship designs they've come up with. When I was last browsing it, a few had gone as far as firing up 3D design programs and done up some natty renders of their ships.

Sine that time, though, a few people have discovered a freeware rendering program called DoGA, and the number - and quality - of computer generated images has, if you'll pardon the pun, skyrocketed.

Continue reading "A Whole Gorram Saleyard" »

March 05, 2006

Canon Solo

If a label hasn't signed this kid already, something is wrong with the world.

Major thanks to SimLauren for IMing this to me.

Satriani, eat your fucking heart out.

February 28, 2006

A Scanner Darkly

And while I'm on the topic of movies: All you broadband-enabled folks owe it to yourselves to take a look at the trailer for the upcoming film, A Scanner Darkly. Seriously. Don't let the fact that it has Keanu Reeves in it put you off (assuming you don't like Keanu Reeves). Just go watch it, then come back.

Continue reading "A Scanner Darkly" »

Movie Recommendation: Mrs. Henderson Presents

In lieu of a full review (which may or may not be coming later on), I'd just like to recommend that you all take some time out of your day and some money out of your bank to go and see Mrs. Henderson Presents as soon as you can. It is laden with wit and cheek - cheeky wit, if you will - and great performances from everyone involved, especially the two leads.

Heck, if Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins aren't enough to get you to go and watch it, you do not deserve to have taste of any kind!

February 25, 2006

Global Integration

While I'm on the subject of friends, I'd like to direct you all to the website of Global Integration, a new company founded by Colin Richardson and John Østerberg. If you recognise that last name, it's probably because he's a good friend of ours from gaming circles. He and his friend Colin have gotten out of the rat race and gone into business for themselves, turning hodge-podges of legacy systems and new technology into unified, streamlined operating environments for businesses.

So, moving from a Ghostbusters analogy to one with another fixture of the eighties: If you have a systems problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire: The J Team.

February 20, 2006

Steve Darlington and the Curse of Castle Amber

Okay, RPG-related news item the first: Steve Darlington, he who loves Firefly, runs awesome games of Buffy and is currently writing under contract for the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay line (bastard), has set himself up a LiveJournal, which he's called D-Fuses (to which I've now created a link in the "Web Logs" box). That in and of itself is noteworthy, but the reason you should absolutely positively get your arse over there and start reading is this post about a very recent game of D&D he played in. Hy-fucking-larious, I tell you. I'm already reconsidering my views on D&D. Steve sums it up perfectly thus:

It's not just that we're silly people. It's that a high magic world like D&D is INHERENTLY silly. I mean, we live in a world where spiderclimb potions are a dime a dozen. I can't be the only one who doesn't imagine calvary riding their horses up castle walls.

Oh, and if that post doesn't make much sense, Steve provides some historical perspective here.

February 18, 2006

Eat Your Heart Out, Tom Cruise...

Remember the funky, holographic display that the Precrime Department used in Minority Report?

Check this out.

January 28, 2006

Now, Why Does This Look Familiar?

Just checked out the tailer for an upcoming SF film, UltraViolet, starring Milla Jovovich. Watching it, I couldn't help but feel like I'd seen this somewhere before.

You know what? The same man wrote and directed both films.

January 25, 2006

Out of Victoria by Barbarossa

Those of you who admire Tyr Anasazi as much as Vickie does will be pleased to learn that Keith Hamilton Cobb has his own website. It seems he's between gigs at the moment, but fingers crossed not for long.

December 14, 2005

And For My Next Trick...

With thanks to the keen browsing skills of Lauren: The same website that brought you the crazy fold brings you - the amazing glass table trick...

December 13, 2005

This'll Halve My Tidying Time!

From the nation that brought you origami comes an insane, reality-warping method that'll give you tidy t-shirts in the blink of an eye!

Witness - The Crazy Fold...

Hayama, is this something the Japanese have been sitting on for years? You know, laughing at us stupid gaijin and our untidy drawers?

(With thanks to Vickie and the folks at Callahan's Saloon.)

December 09, 2005

The Christmas Present For The Drinker Who Has Everything

So, Rog: Expect one of these in the mail, okay?

(You and Claire have a big enough backyard, right?)

Full credit to Vickie for finding this.

(Oh, click on "Projects" and scroll to the bottom page. As you can see, this mob have all a drinker's needs covered - they've even got the place to go after a hard night!)

October 14, 2005

Numa numa iei, Numa GOD DAMN IT!!!

I blame Vickie. Thanks to her and Gary Brolsma, I can't get that fucking tune out of my head!

No idea what I'm talking about? Well, I give you two ways of finding out:

  1. The original, compete with Euro prettyboys dancing on the wing of a plane.
  2. The webcam clip which became an Internet meme.

You do know what I'm talking about? I pity you. You've been stuck with it for longer than I have.

In all honesty, Gary looks as though he's having more fun than O-Zone. Of course, that may not be the case now.

Either way, I feel the need to share the pain.

July 21, 2005

Some Better Geek News

Thanks to my man Gav, here are a couple of sites that might cheer you up:

  • As Gav already reported on the IMAGinewS list, a new trailer for the upcoming SF movie Serenity has been made available. Also, there's an Australian official web site for the film.
  • The official web site for the TransFormers live action film, slated for release on July the fourth, 2007, has gone live, complete with a quick introductory video clip featuring none other than producer Steven Spielberg!

Speaking of TransFormers: I know I already have a Prime, but I want one!

May 17, 2005

Horizon: Virtual WikiProject is Live

Check it out here!

May 07, 2005

About Bloody Time, Jeff!

On, a whim, I decided just now to see whether that damned annoying placeholder over on Jeff Wayne's The War of the Worlds site had been taken off and an actual website been put up in its place. The bastard has had us hanging for at least half a year.

The good news is that an all-new Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds website is now up. It even includes some test footage of CGI Martian Fighting and Flying Machines for the touted fully-CGI film they're working on - which, it seems, won't actually be ready until 2008, not 2005 after all. (Not necessarily a bad thing, I suppose, as Spielberg's version will be out of the way by then.)

They're also re-releasing the CDs in a big way this year, both the 2-disc setand a collector's edition seven-disc set. (Vickie and I both wonder what the hell they can pack on seven discs? The computer game as well?)

(The answer, as it turns out, is here.)

(Yes, I've let Vickie know what I'd like for my birthday. :-D )

Wonder if my Dad will be able to flog his original vinyls for a few quid?

April 30, 2005

We Missed You, Johnny!

A while ago, back in the heyday of the Feng Shui roleplaying game, there was a fan website named the Fortress of Shadow, ran by a guy named David Eber. I'd go in there on a regular basis, not only to see whether there was anything new, but also just to check out the existing stuff again.

Probably may favourite article was on a bunch of secret warriors and jazzmen named Johnny Keys and the Swing Killers. It consists of an interview with the titular band, followed by game statistics and history for each band-member. There was even a little WAV-file that'd play a MIDI-style jazz number.

Then, a few years ago, the Fortress of Shadow, as well as the rest of David's site, suddenly vanished into the Netherworld, leaving behind a bunch of dead links on the web pages of other Feng Shui fans. No-one seemed to know where the Fortress had gone, or whether anything was up with David. And this was before the grand days of Google caching, so none of it existed where it could be easily found.

Just recently, though, someone on RPGnet posted a link to a website named fortressofshadow.org. When I first tried to have a look, BigPond ADSL was giving me its usual grief, and I couldn't get in. But this morning I tried the URL again, and sure enough, a new site with all the old goodness sprang up in my browser window - and the first thing I did was to check whether the band was back as well.

They are. Thanks to the labour of Kevin J. Chase and the permission of David Eber, the goodness behind the Fortress' walls are availabe to anyone with a Net connection once again!

Let's face it; I'm going ga-ga over a faux interview bunch of stats. But I still think that the world was a lot poorer when even just that single page about Johnny and the Killers wasn't available.

April 24, 2005

Warhammer 40,000: Eldar Miniatures

After playing a little more Dawn of War with Boots today, I started trying to remember some of the elements of the paper game; specifically, which of the Eldar Aspect Warriors don't appear in Dawn of War. I readily remembered the Dire Avengers, a souped-up version of the basic Guardian foot trooper, but couldn't remember whether there were more.

This afternoon, the name "Striking Scorpion" came to me, something to do with close combat. I did a Google search and turned up Peter Kofler's wonderful web page with pictures of almost all the miniatures available to the Eldar. I realised that, not only had I forgotten the Scorpions, but also the Fire Dragons and the Swooping Hawks. Also, it seems that another Aspect has been added since I stopped paying attention to the Warhammer 40,000 army lists some years ago: a vehicle-based Aspect known as the Shining Spear.

Actually, forget all the above blathering; just go and have a look. The paint jobs on these miniatures are fantastic (I have the feeling the pics are scans from Games Workshop books and magazines). While you're at it, check out the other sides from Dawn of War; specifically, the Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines and (it now belongs to da) Orks. (Not to mention all the other sides available in 40K!)

You can see why I was contemplating getting back into 40K before I decided moving to Cairns would be the better idea...

April 01, 2005

So what's this Armour Class thingy?

I can think of a few people who could use a copy of Dungeons & Dragons for Dummies.

Myself included.

February 27, 2005

33 Minutes

You're not going to believe this - I didn't - but the SciFi Channel has posted the entire first episode of the new Battlestar Galactica series - plus four deleted scenes - as a streaming Real video over on their website.

So if you missed out last week, and you have a nice, fat broadband connection, here's your chance to catch up! (If you don't have a nice, fat broadband connection, just head over a friend's place and borrow theirs!)

It also looks as though they've started including deleted scenes for some of their other episodes as well!

January 10, 2005

A Miracle of Science

Anyone who checks Steve Jackson Games' Daily Illuminator on a regular basis probably knows about this web comic already, but if you don't I heartily encourage you to go and have a read. Hell, why not begin at the beginning? I did, and enjoyed every page of it.

What is it? Oh, just your average boy-meets-girl story. Well, except it's the future. And boy is a hard-bitten cop. And girl is a rather perky, super-powered representative of a planetwide group mind. And they're both on the case of a victim of a memetic disorder who's threatening to take over the world...

Just go read it. Trust me. Hell, I enjoyed it so much, I added it to my web site's links list.

November 19, 2004

The Metrosexual Tarot

Speaking of Mitch Evans' StumbleUpon photoblog, I found this while reading through it. I think it's hilarious (especially the Major Arcana), as will probably anyone who's a serious socialite (or at the very least regularly watches Queer Eye). It's by the same guy who created the Silicon Valley Tarot.

October 30, 2004

The Strangerhood

Ever wondered whether the Rooster Teeth guys could put something other than Red Vs. Blue together? Well, guess what? They have. It's called The Strangerhood, and it's made using The Sims 2. The first episode, "Why Are You Here?", is now available for download. It gets off to an ever-so-slightly slow start, but you'll find the Rooster Teeth humour there in spades (although without any swearing). Nico Audy-Roland, the composer of the RvB theme tune and incidental music, is also back, providing an up-tempo pop-rock soundtrack for this teen-soap-opera-styled series.

Furthermore, the Rooster Teeth guys have re-established the sponsorship system under the new website design. You can only donate $10 at the moment, but that gives you access to the Hi-Res versions of the episodes (when they become available). I suppose Super Sponsorship is going to be available later; either that, or you'll just have to pay for the DVD at the end of the season like everyone else (which is cool; I like the idea that my donation is going straight into defraying server costs). You'll need to create a login for their new website, if you haven't already.

September 14, 2004

OMG WWDN WTF?!?

If you have any illusions as to the impartiality of the media, read this.

Okay, this is something of a knee-jerk post. I've not read Wil's book, although I'd like to, and even though Wil's a pretty darned good writer, and has never in my opinion "whined" in his web log posts that I've read (a good chunk of 'em). I also, as much as I and many other WWdN readers like to think so, don't really know the guy. So maybe the writer was just calling it as he saw it. Then again, something like "Whiner of the Week" is pretty inflammatory.

At least it looks as though Wil's decided to let it go.

July 12, 2004

Not quite as tongue in cheek as Star Wars in 30 Seconds...

With thanks to The After Hours Pub for passing it on, here's ALIEN in 30 Seconds - Re-Enacted By Bunnies.

If you like ALIEN... you'll be wondering what these guys were on.

June 27, 2004

octaNe Inspirado

Last night could well have been one of the perfect movie nights for octaNe. Gav came over to drop the power supply I'd loaned him off (I was hoping he'd be able to use it to get his PC working again), and brought with him his newly-purchased DVD of The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the 8th Dimension (not the special edition you'll find by clicking the link, unfortunately; it doesn't seem to be available in Australia). It must be eight or ten years since I last saw that film, and it was as bad and as fun as I remembered! Vickie rolled her eyes through the whole thing, of course, but I'd recommended it as inspirational stuff for octaNe, and afterwards she remarked that, "Now I know that I can get away with doing anything in octaNe!"

Gav wandered off a while later, and after the two-hour JAG episode that introduced the crew from NCIS (which was doubly interesting, as the first series of NCIS has already aired its first several episodes on another channel), Seven screened the Sergio Leone epic For A Few Dollars More. It was half past eleven or so by then, and unfortunately I was having trouble staying awake. But I'll definitely have to snag it from the video store sometime - that, A Fistful of Dollars and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. (I'd also like to note that Dizzy went to an Ennio Morricone retrospective at the opera house last night. Gringo.)

But seriously, Buckaroo Banzai and For A Few Dollars More in one sitting would be perfect setting-of-mood for octaNe. Those, and maybe an El Santo film.

And while we're on the topic of octaNe, check this out.

Continue reading "octaNe Inspirado" »

May 12, 2004

If the Shirt Fits...

I keep forgetting to mention that I reckon I've found the ultimate T-shirt for Boots.

April 19, 2004

Orion's Arm

I'd like to direct your attention to an amazing site called Orion's Arm. It's a huge, collaborative online work of writing, fiction and graphics. Its goal is the creation of a hard science space opera setting that allows for grand human drama and strange happenings while remaining thoroughly grounded in science fact and plausibility. The amount of work that has been done in the (I think) four years since it first went up is incredible - they even have an Encyclopaedia Galactica filled with histories, relevant facts and extensive topical coverage. It's all throrughly hyperlinked so you can explore to your heart's content. Frankly, if you have an hour or two to spare and like science fiction, I heartily recommend you have a read - and if you find your creative muscles itching, why not put something together and send it along?

If you're a gamer, you'll probably want to check out the Orion's Arm message boards, where they discuss assembling a pen and paper roleplaying game and a space-trader style computer game.

Thanks again to The 20' By 20' Room for stumbling across this site and linking to it.

April 03, 2004

Atomic Batteries to Power, Turbines to Speed.

Check it out.

Me, I'm ambivalent. I mean, it looks sort of cool... and yet a little too ugly, if you know what I mean. The Aliens APC was ugly, but cool. This... I think it's that front end. It's hard to see, of course, but - for my taste, I think the front end needs a little more covering. I don't like those exposed wheels; it looks like someone took the nose of an F1 racer and bolted it on. Just doesn't look quite right. Heck, those levered plates on the back could almost be a mutated rear airfoil from an F1, too.

UPDATE: The back end doesn't help either. You'd think the Batmobile, being a street vehicle, ought to move fast and handle well. Not with those four huge tyres, it won't. And come now, does the studio think it needs to establish its hip retro cred by tacking the jet exhaust on in a nod to the TV series? It looked appropriate on the Michael Keaton "Stingray/Salt Flats Racer" Batmobile, but it just looks extraneous on this brick.

Actually, you know where this design ought to be seen? In a movie based on Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash. Seriously - you folks who've read the novel, isn't this damned close to how Stephenson described the Deliverator's car, massive tyres and all?

March 10, 2004

Game over, man.

Teaser 2

While you're there, have a look at this one. I think it's hilarious.

And - well, I know it's directed by Roland Emmerich, but - Dennis Quaid and Ian Holm in the same film? I just have to see it.

February 29, 2004

The Josef K Memorial Glee Club

Sounds like the name of a dodgy movie, doesn't it? If you agreed with me, you'd be close; in fact, it's the name of a site for a bunch of USyd lit-cinema students who enjoyed the experience so much, they watch and critique movies on their own, without any external incentive (like tests and gradings)!

It's a little sparse at the moment, but very professionally laid out. Boots is hosting it on his OptusNet web space, much as the Cazman is his. In fact, the reason I'm posting this is because Boots razzed me out last night for putting a post up for Cazman's site and not his. Well here it is, Boots! Happy now?

Oh, I suppose you want me to actually link to it, don't you? Well, fine! Here you go! We'll see who's laughing when your little site crashes from sheer volume of traffic, won't we?

February 10, 2004

Hubble, Hubble, Toil and Trouble

Okay, okay, I'm sorry, I couldn't resist - well, actually, I'm not sorry, and I could've resisted, but I didn't. I have a good excuse, though: an interesting article on the potential death of the Hubble Space Telescope, written by Wil McCarthy, author of such SF titles as Bloom (which I've read, and it's very funky) and The Collapsium (which I've not read). Is Hubble really worth the trouble of saving, or do existing alternatives allow us to ditch it in favour of new Moon and Mars initiatives?

February 02, 2004

Scientific Exploration, My Arse (... actually, Church's)

This evening, I direct you to the newest Public Service Announcement from the gentlemen at Red Vs. Blue - actually, it's more of a cry for help.

We didn't wind up going to Ned & Joe's yesterday, as they weren't home from Crescent Head yet. Instead, I nipped out to pick up some supplies, then dropped over Mum & Dad's for a while, where I introduced them to the wonderment that is Red Vs. Blue. Strangely, they didn't seem impressed, alhtough it was the first episode and things had yet to really warm up (it also helps if you're familiar with those odd little gaming paradoxes known as first-person shooter multiplayer arenas).

Or perhaps they're just Philistines. (And in case you read this, Mum: ;-D )

I also nipped out to Dan and Lesley's to grab my Revised Edition Star Wars D20 rulebook. Gav's working on his Jedi Academy campaign, and is keen to kick off as soon as some details get ironed out - like characters and where we're going to play. While I was there, Dan showed me this amazing Excel spreadsheet that some German lunatic has come up with; it's a character sheet generator that outputs its results in a form surprisingly similar to the official Star Wars character sheet. You can download it in .zip form from here.

And not only does it give you a character sheet, it also gives you a supplement-style stat block, in either plain text or HTML. Here's my character so far, and all I had to do was select the "Stat Block" worksheet after putting the figures in.

Dessen Tass: Male Gungan Soldier 1; Init +2 (+2 Dex); Defense +15 (+3 class, +2 Dex); Spd 10 m; VP/WP 13/16; Atk+3 ranged (3d8/19-20 or DC 15 stun, Blaster carbine, range 20 m) or -1/-1 ranged (3d8/19-20, Blaster carbine with Multifire, range 20 m); SQ Hold Breath, Low-Light Vision; SV Fort +5, Ref +3, Will -1; SZ M; FP 2; Rep 0; Str 13, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 11, Wis 9, Cha 10, Challenge Code A.

Equipment: Blast helmet, vest (DR 2).

Skills: Computer Use +1, Demolitions +2, Knowledge (tactics) +1, Knowledge (world lore) +1, Pilot +4, Repair +2, Ride +4, Treat Injury +2.

Feats: Armor Proficiency (light), Force Sensitive, Weapon Group Proficiency (blaster pistols), Weapon Group Proficiency (blaster rifles), Weapon Group Proficiency (heavy weapons), Weapon Group Proficiency (simple weapons), Weapon Group Proficiency (vibro weapons).

That's just bloody excellent!

Oh, and while we're on the topic of Games, Vickie's gone and got herself hooked on a new web game from our old friends at Popcap (who've just recently revamped their site, too). It's called Zuma, and right now, she's trying to get me hooked on it as well!

Continue reading "Scientific Exploration, My Arse (... actually, Church's)" »

January 16, 2004

I Mean, You Need The Lung.

The pimpin' continues over on IMAGinES, and today I'm gonna hip you all to a neat little two-minute nerdcore hiphop number by the frontinest MC ever, MC Frontalot. It'll have you in stitches (you'll be laughing with it, not at it), and it's called Gonna Be Your Man. As with all of the Front's mad raps (which is all his raps) you can download it for free, but I highly and heartily recommend you chuck this duck a coupla bucks. The entertainment value is well worth it.

January 02, 2004

War of the Worlds Article Live on Cylon.org!

In my last Editorial, I mentioned I was on a War of the Worlds kick, and now I can tell you why: I was doing research for an article for the Cylon Alliance web site. I submitted the finished article to the Two-Brained Cylon, owner and administrator of the site, on Tuesday, and he's just recently posted "version 1.0", complete with pictures. It's much less opinionated than the first draft (which, if you're interested, can be found as a Microsoft Word document here - if you get asked for a password, just keep clicking "Cancel", it'll let you see it), and is better formatted for its multi-web page layout.

It feels great to have something published!

December 15, 2003

It Looks Like The CGI Cat Actually Works...

I was going to put up a news post about the capture of Saddam Hussein last night - Vickie stayed up and watched the full live webcast of the conference - but I reckon it's old news by now.

Instead, I'd just like to direct your attention to the latest trailer on QuickTime, for a movie about a fat marmalade cat, and just say that although I didn't think a live action/CGI movie would work, the end result is surprisingly good...

December 09, 2003

A Brief Moment of Fame...

The transcript of the Ron D. Moore chat over on SciFi has gone up. If you scroll down a ways, you can see the brief question asked by my humble self.

But if you're going to follow that link, why not read the whole thing? It's pretty informative.

The Religion of Environmentalism

I went, I read, I thought "Oof."

Granted, the author is Michael Crichton, who has been known to be alarmist in the past. But I think it's worthwhile reading nonetheless.

Continue reading "The Religion of Environmentalism" »

November 26, 2003

As if one wasn't enough...

I had a wander into Tron-Sector.com to see whether anyone there had picked up on the TRON Rock Opera. They had, of course - and someone had come across this: Insurgo Theatre's A Very TRON Thanksgiving.

I evny you Californians...

Well, if it worked for Freddy and Rod...

Wil Wheaton reported on his website that a friend of his has just written, and is performing, a twelve-minute opus entitled TRON: The Rock Opera.

This is one of those times I wish we were so filthy rich that we could just jet over to LA whenever we wanted.

November 23, 2003

Absurdistan

Okay, blog-spam again, I know, but I just had to post this. One of the blogs I came across via MT's website this morning is Absurdistan. I like the two most recent posts. This one, for some odd reason, tickled my funny-bone, maybe just because of the sheer, pared-down simplicity of it. And I can surely empathise with the last paragraph in this posting.

Shame the blog doesn't use TrackBack; I'd love to set up a ping to both those posts.

October 17, 2003

This was worthy of its own post.

Thanks again be to Wil Wheaton, who linked to this on his website. It's an Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine article where they got pre-teen kids to play some classic video games. It's funny, but tust me; if you're not even out of your twenties, you will feel so very old when you read this.

Whatever Will They Think Of Next?

John T just bought the latest issue of Atomic Magazine, and in the Gearbox section, they had this little gem: a USB cup warmer.

I think this is the gift you ought to get for those people who think that a CD-ROM drive's tray is actually a cup holder.

October 11, 2003

Red Vs. Blue

I've been meaning to mention these guys for a while. Red Vs. Blue are this pack of utter loonies in the States who, as they so eloquently describe it in their FAQ, "just write scripts and then use videogames to act them out." Actually, they've been using just one game - Halo.

Continue reading "Red Vs. Blue" »