cyclomedia writes: The Decibel Kid — the "AudioVisual Artist" responsible for last summer's Ipswich Zelda Map — has unveiled his new website. Modelled on Amiga OS it supports chaning the wallpaper, window dragging, resizing, minimising and that z-index shuffle button too. The mobile site is a completely different beast, modelling itself as a low-res LCD display.
cyclomedia writes: The Decibel Kid — The artist responsible for this summer's Ipswich Zelda Map — has released a music video comprised of elements of the 1992 film Sneakers, combing electronic dance music with film geekery AND computer geekery: The software used is a MIDI controlled "video sampler" he coded himself using (brace yourselves) C#.Net and DirectX, allowing on the fly triggering and looping. A little info on the inner workings of the software can be gleamed from this early demo video on YouTube
cyclomedia writes: Over a number of years my company has managed to slowly shift from a free for all (pick a developer at random and get them to do what you want) to something resembling Agile development with weekly builds. But we still have to deal with constant incoming feature changes and requests that are expected to be included in this week's package. The upshot is that builds are usually late, not properly tested and developers get the flak when things go wrong. I suspect the answer is political but how do we make things better? One idea I had was that every time a new request comes in — no matter how small — the build gets pushed back by 24 or even 48 hours. I'd love to hear your ideas or success stories. (Unfortunately quitting is not an option)
cyclomedia writes: Switch Fringe is a relatively new not-for-profit annual music and arts festival in the UK town of Ipswich, and this year's programme features a full page map of the town with details about each venue. Unlike most other maps this one is in the form of a Zelda level. This is in part due to this year's theme "Reimagining Ipswich", that PixelH8 is coming out of semi-retirement to play a gig during the preceedings and possibly due to the fact that the map's designer — The Decibel Kid — spent too much time playing Zelda on a Gameboy Color during the first Web bubble.
cyclomedia writes: After what seems like an age the BBC Trust — the semi-independent body that decides what the Beeb is and isn't allowed to splash cash on — has finally given the thumbs up to the Project Canvas, er, Project. Naturally the Murdoch Empire is not too keen on an open, level playing field for internet TV as it has the potential to remove the need for the middlemen content distributors, and therefore cash from his pockets. No one is entirely sure what it is, even wikipedia only knows the rough outline. Essentially it's going to be an open IPTV standard that set top boxes and digital TVs are expected to support. Though I'm not sure what they need £120,000,000 for when we already have Media RSS.
cyclomedia writes: "Fifty years ago today Christopher Cockerell created the first prototype of a practical hovercraft on a sunday afternoon in his kitchen using two tins, some kitchen scales and an air blower. The hovercraft went on to be the trendy new mode of transport through the sixties but remains in little use today except in military and coastguard applications, where being able to cross marshes, ice and boggy terrain is needed. Indeed the US military still maintains a fleet of some 80 tank carrying hovercraft for just this purpopse."
cyclomedia writes: "I've got a new laptop and so have the old one spare, which combined with a pair of new hard drives (main + backup) means I finally have the hardware I need to run a home server with a nice low power, heat and noise footprint. I'd like it to run LDAP so I can centralise user accounts and Fetchmail tied into an IMAP + webmail server so our email is centralised too (IMAP when home, webmail when out). The OSs on my LAN include Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, XBMC, Win XP, Win 2000 and Windows Mobile and I would love them to all work with the LDAP. I've done minimal research and am thinking OpenSUSE running OpenLDAP and Open Xchange — though I have no clue about each OS's compatibility with the former and would prefere something lightweight like Bongo for the latter (but it's far from stable). Before I end up installing a massive enterprise solution for a 4 person LAN I'd like to ask slashdotters to share their experience and advice on this sort of set up. So, slashdotters, could you share any experiences or advice you have on this sort of set up?"
cyclomedia writes: "At the moment my idea of a NAS box at home is a Win 2000 machine with a single share named "media", and i only switch it on whenever i plan to consume any of it. But like many slashdotters i dream of a "box under the stairs" that is always on and automatically, er, "acquires" TV shows as needed. However my evil plan keeps growing. Firstly i'd like it to do LDAP, so that i dont have to set up identical user+pass combos and permissions on each and every device that might want to play on my LAN. Secondly i'd also (at least the wife would) like it to somehow host our POP mailboxes, presumably by some cunning auto-pulldown from the external POP mailservers into its own IMAP setup. Is there anything that even does the latter? Hardware is not a problem, aside from needing it all to play along on one box, so standalone FreeNAS and OpenLDAP boxen are out of the picture. Clients are a mix of Windows 2k+XP, Ubuntu and OpenSuse Thoughts?"
cyclomedia writes: "I'm looking to buy a subnotebook. For those who think that this form factor was created by the Asus EEE (As seemingly does wikipedia) it might interest you that the current forerunner in my search is a 190MHz,64MB,640x480 256 colour beastie known as the Psion Netbook circa 2001-ish. Basically i have a desktop, a server and an xbox and so truly only want it for surfing, email and the odd bit of SSHing home on weekends away. The aforementioned Psion is, however, of the StrongArm processor variety, which nudges it down on the desireability meter, but the fact that there exist wifi cards for it's 16-bit PCMCIA slot does score it extra points. So, anyone here got any suggestions of what to look out for on ebay? So long as I can play Doom II on it too... that is."
cyclomedia writes: "Seems that over the past couple of years more and more software is found to be phoning home on it's users, whether it's the innocent looking "checking for new versions" thread now found in most apps or good ole MS WGA. So, having a NATing router between me and the interweb what ports and addresses could/should I be blocking? Googling has so far brought up few clues but ultimately I'm not shy of killing *.microsoft.com to every windows box if absolutely necessary."
cyclomedia writes: "I've been dedicating a little of my Nerd Time to devising a strategy board game, pitched somewhere between Checkers and Chess but probably not as deceptively complex as Go. The next step in my plan is to see if I can actually create a prototype made of coins, stickers and cardboard and to attempt to teach the rules to my wife (Trek fan, hence the marriage). If I get past that stage ok then what do i do? Presumably I can't just show up at Hasbro with my jerry rigged setup and expect an enthusiastic response. Without giving too much away I can tell you that there's a nerd factor within the game itself, possibly leaning the possibility of marketing towards the Games Workshop end of the spectrum, but without the 80-sided dice and Orcs."
cyclomedia writes: "One blogger who recently visited MS (including many others, all of whom had mac laptops) for a Q&A session with Bill Gates quotes his apparent stance on DRM. Gate's apparently agreed that DRM "causes too much pain for legitmate buyers" and suggested that "People should just buy a cd and rip it.".
Gates has previously gone on record stating that the presence of DRM in windows is actually out of consumer interest, saying that "if there's content that can only be there if it's rights protected, we want to be able to have that content available to you.". Which is a variation on the please-don't-shoot-the-messenger theme."
cyclomedia writes: This has been thrown around occasionaly on slashdot in the past and here's my fleshing out of the idea.
- first, start pre production soonish but hold off a few years, bring it out on the 25th anniversary of TNG.
- second, give them a decent ship that looks mean and doesnt have a barber shop onboard. preferably something akin to the sleek and fast-as-a-bastard Exelsior class
- third, show some of the dark side of the federation, TNG and DS9 occasionally allowed us a peek into dimly lit bars, spaceports and mercenary cargo ships, sure you don't need to go all the way to firefly extremes, we want it to be trek afterall
- fourth, give them a proper mission, or three over the course of the series' run, sure have monster-of-the-week episodes to get people interested but also expand on the DS9 theory of an overall plot (but at least decide in the first place what it is).
- finally, install a now older, wiser, and not at all anoying: Captain Wesley Crusher
Here's how i see it playing out in my geek brain, it just needs a few, er, important blanks filling in. the first half of the double-length pilot will see a retiring admiral picard meet up with Crusher at his ben kenobe style hut on some rocky planet somewhere. For $REASON (to do with his experiences gained whilst off with The Traveller perhaps?) starfleet have sent picard to get Crusher on board for $MISSION. They go off somewhere and get stuck up a mountain and after a reversal of fortune on TNG's "Final Mission" with picard helping him out crusher realises he now owes the old boy a favour. so he agrees to go along back to starfleet to check it out. Picard cheekily flies by the shiney new ship to bait Crusher along. and after having dinner with his mum, probably, Crusher takes on the job under certain conditions, especially that he wants a couple of his own guys on the crew (who specialise in Tactical and $SOMETHINGELSE), but not in a Maquis-on-Voyager-oh-dont-we-all-get-along-nicely- after-all way, more like Garak-and-Odo-on-Defiant way, not in uniform, not technically starfleet but under Crusher's command nontheless. For the hell of it you could throw in a bunch of rowdy often drunk klingons, instead of bloody vulcans. Crusher, being a kick ass pilot and engineering wizz will also not be entirely liked by the crew: the sexy assed Youngish ensign girl who he keeps supplanting so he can steer the ship himself (though they end up finally getting it on eventually, probably), his first officer, who's pissed that this guy just got handed a captaincy and he was overlooked despite years of butt licking and the Chief Engineer, because crusher's not only always interfering but also crashing into things.
Set them off on their $Mission, and let battle commence!
cyclomedia writes: "TheOneRing.Net has a new scoop on the ongoing Hobbit Movie saga, sourced from elbenwald.de. Apparently the rights to make the Hobbit film fall back to Saul Zaentz "next year". He claims that, under their stewardship, The Hobbit will "definitely be shot by Peter Jackson".
For the whippersnappers amongst you: Mr. Zaentz is the head honcho of Tolkein Enterprises, which originally acquired exclusive rights to productions of the LOTR and Hobbit material in 1976, prior to overseeing the Bakshi animated version of LOTR."