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'Almost Human' Recaps: The Pilot
Posted on 11.29.13 by Wolven @ 8:09 pm
Comments on this: 5 so far. Add your own.

Almost Human: Karl Urban and Michael Ealy

Remember that time when I watched the first three episodes of the American remake of Being Human, in order to give it a chance and try my hardest not to vomit? No? Well it's a thing I did. Now, in the effort of moving up and through the alphabet, I'm going to do the same with the new show from JJ Abrams and series creator J.H. Wyman, on FOX: Almost Human.

Why? Because, as I said elsewhere, I'm more than a little wary about this show, not least because of the title which is, in itself, indicative of network's perception of the audience as unable and unwilling to attempt to understand the position, motivations, and desires of a non-human agent. We want our AI to either already be somewhat humanesque (see J.A.R.V.I.S.), or to seek to be human but maybe never achieve it (see Star Trek's Data, and below), but we really don't do well with AI which have not only instances of, but even their own Types of goals and desires.

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Categorized as: Stimuli
Comments: 5 Comments



In Praise of the Clicky Keyboard
Posted on 11.18.13 by Bailey @ 9:46 pm
Comments on this: just one. Add your own.

Old Style PS2 Keyboard

I have a minor philosophy in life that basically says: make small corrections. There are major philosophies as well (like never start a land war in Asia) but the minor ones tend to come into play more often. The small corrections are about change and how we implement it. Some people tend to overreact. It's like when you're driving and become distracted, then look up and realize you've drifted into the other lane. Some people simply ease the car back to where it needs to be--while others freak out and swerve all over the road. I'm more of the ease back over guy.

So it is with my workspace. I work from home. I'm kind of "eh" on the idea...but we make do. So I've got my work machine, my personal machine, and dual monitors that I can use with either machine individually or both at the same time--and of course a mouse and keyboard that I use on both. I've had virtually every type of keyboard you can imagine. Big and small, ones with built in touchpads and even a built in trackpoint like the Lenovo Thinkpads use. Gaming keyboards with eighty-seven extra buttons, etc. But what I've missed, really missed--but didn't realize it until now--is the old "clicky" IBM PS/2 style keyboards.

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Categorized as: Stimuli
Comments: 1 Comment




Yet Another Article About Why iOS 7 is Rubbish. Sorry.
Posted on 11.12.13 by Widge @ 12:50 pm
Comments on this: 2 so far. Add your own.

Donald Duck Applecore

Note: Before I begin, I'd like to state for the record that I understand that no one has died, no one is on fire and no one is trapped in a car that is rapidly sinking into a lake. I am about to rant about a smartphone, which is the epitome of a "First World Problem." There are many other problems in the world that are a bigger priority than this one. In fact, most of them are bigger. However, this is a pop culture site that considered The Last Airbender a war crime. So perspective is something we are well aware of yet choose to brush aside for entertainment purposes. You know that, I know that, and so...let's begin.

It is well documented on this site and on podcasts that my previous phone was a Samsung Captivate running Android. I have a personal rule. Understanding that I would be, if left to my own devices (no pun intended), one of those people who buys every single new and shiny device that came out, my rule is that I can't buy the next X until the current X dies. So I am very careful about what device I buy, knowing that I am stuck with it for a while.

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Categorized as: Stimuli
Comments: 2 Comments



Rufus Hound on Life, Spasms of Joy & Facial Hair
Posted on 11.11.13 by Widge @ 3:29 pm
Comments on this: none yet. Add your own.

Rufus Hound points

This man is going to beep your nose.

To help you through the Monday Blues, here's your friend and ours, Rufus Hound. Star of stage and screen, Doctor Who aficionado and blow job advocate, here he appears in a 2009 episode of Argumental, the debate improv comedy show. This iteration of the show was hosted by John Sergeant, and the opposing team captain to Hound was Marcus Brigstocke.

My favorite thing about Mr. Hound is this: have you ever played a sit down arcade racing game and decided to explore what happens if you veer right through the hedgerows and see if there's a shortcut or some wild hidden off-track area? Hound often does that with improv comedy shows. Enjoy.

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Categorized as: Stimuli
Comments: None



The Short Film That Should Be the Trailer for a New Wonder Woman Feature
Posted on 10.03.13 by Wolven @ 7:39 pm
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Wonder Woman short film by Rainfall

Just the other day, Rainfall Films and director Sam Balcomb proved they could do what DC Entertainment has so often said was impossible: they've made what looks like it should be the trailer for a feature-length Wonder Woman movie.

This is an amazing piece of proof-of-concept fan-art, made more amazing by the quality of the effects done by a smaller studio, and the amount of narrative layering they do in such a short space. the story moves from present day to Themyscira and back, showing Diana acting alone and as a part of a tactical force.

But I've talked it up, enough; take a look after the jump...

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Categorized as: Stimuli
Comments: None



Honestly, You Should Live Every Day Like It's National Coffee Day.
Posted on 09.29.13 by Widge @ 5:42 am
Comments on this: none yet. Add your own.

Maxwell House: Out of Coffee

Yes, it's National Coffee Day. But we never like the whole "national" moniker anyway, especially when we're dealing with something as universally loved as coffee. So we hereby invite all of our many international readers to celebrate the day with us.

First Things First: if you want a run-down of where to get free coffee, here's your agenda. Once you have your free coffee (which is one of my favorite types of coffee, incidentally), come back here to disturb yourself.

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Categorized as: Stimuli
Comments: None



From Roomba to Boardable Robot in Just Eleven Years
Posted on 09.24.13 by Widge @ 6:59 am
Comments on this: none yet. Add your own.

Kuratas pilot salute

In a video that has quite possibly the most awesome warning in the history of translated warnings, Suidobashi Heavy Industry brings you Kuratas, a robot you can climb inside and pilot. I know, I know--like me, you won't be satisfied until it can transform into a jet fighter so we can fully address the impending Zentraedi threat. But still, I'll need you to protect Earth--I have a feeling that, based on the glimpse I saw of the cockpit in the following video, the controls are more Xbox than Battlezone. Which means I'm screwed.
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Categorized as: Stimuli
Comments: None



Dewey Finn, Gothic Black Courtesy Phone Please. Dewey Finn, Gothic Black Courtesy Phone.
Posted on 09.24.13 by Widge @ 5:45 am
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Kids from Music Academies cover Forty-Six and Two by Tool

So here I was, sitting and minding my own business and thinking, "Man, you know what? There aren't enough videos of kids covering songs about Jungian angles on the potential evolution of mankind." Then, without warning, I came across this video, with "Rock Angel" (dig the shirt) singing about picking scabs and stepping through the shadow--and I found myself torn between admiring the band for totally killing it and feeling vaguely uncomfortable that a kid that young is singing Maynard.

Make up your own mind. That all being said, I'd love to see this crew tackle "Third Eye." Because as long as we're going deep into Tool territory, let's take the submersible to crushing depths, yes?

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Categorized as: Stimuli
Comments: None



The Walking Dead Spinoff: Expanding the Apocalypse
Posted on 09.16.13 by Widge @ 11:18 pm
Comments on this: 6 so far. Add your own.

Night of the Living Dead: London

Night of the Living Dead: London art by Carlos Kastro

I've mentioned more than once my amusement at a successful film suddenly becoming a trilogy and the creative teams' reactions. "We always thought of it as a trilogy," they would say, when on a lot of these things, we know damn well they're amazed they wound up as successful as they were. I'm looking at you, Blade. I don't think we're surprised anymore at the Hair Trigger Franchise effect. And now we're looking at Walking Dead getting a spinoff.

But I imagine going back in time fifteen years and telling my younger self, "Seriously, don't go to Bolivia." Then after that was taken care of, I would say, "Not only is there going to be a zombie TV series, but it's going to launch a spinoff. More CSI: New York than The Jeffersons, but you get what I mean." To which Younger Widge would say, "What the hell's a CSI?" But by that point, I would have run out of quarters to put in the timeporter and wound up back in the present.

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Categorized as: Stimuli
Comments: 6 Comments



Why Slay Dragons and Conquer Universes When You Can Sell Bagels?
Posted on 09.07.13 by PhantomV48 @ 5:00 am
Comments on this: none yet. Add your own.

Desert Bus

The utterly mad Desert Bus game by Penn and Teller from 1995, one of the mundanest of the mundane. God help us, it was released for iOS and Android a while ago.

Irish comedian and geek extraordinaire Dara O'Briain once said of the video game Grand Theft Auto 4, "I've a day off work, and I'm in a commute. I cannot believe that I've taken the time of my own to sit in fake traffic, when I could be out in London driving somewhere nice in actual traffic." Certainly a sentiment that makes sense. How many of us play games, watch films, or read books for a healthy dose of escapism? And this is how it's been, probably since one caveman read the comics his buddy drew on the wall.

But there's a weird phenomenon happening in the indie video games scene at the moment. People are making games about the mundanity of everyday life. Something that goes beyond the "Playing God" sort of games like The Sims. Games that simulate paperwork, cash transactions, and running errands. Here are some examples that you might want to look into, each a bit more soul-crushing than the last.

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Categorized as: Stimuli
Comments: None



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