The Questionable Observer Detector

Also good for spotting time travelers.

Their Questionable Observer Detector (QuOD) can process any available video clips of groups of people present at the scene of event, spanning different times and locations to pick out any person who appears frequently in them. “The idea is that the person showing up unusually often as part of the crowd at these events may be someone that the police would want to talk to,” says Bowyer.
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Why yes, that is a quail egg.

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DNA Lounge: Wherein regime change is in the air. Also Pop Roxx!

Don't forget, this Saturday is the one-time-only return of Pop Roxx, featuring My First Earthquake! The RSVPs on the Facebook invite suggest that it will be a good turnout. Do remind your younger friends that it's 18+ now -- the last time we did Pop Roxx we were still a 21+-only venue...

You may be interested to know that Steve Hardy is no longer the director of California ABC. The new director, appointed by incoming Governor Jerry Brown, is Jacob Appelsmith.

However, the above-linked article is wrong to say that Hardy was "ousted". Hardy was elected Mayor of Vacaville in the November election, so he would have had to step down as Director of ABC anyway.

Our first three photo sets of 2011 have arrived: Hubba Hubba Soviet Union, Trannyshack Star Search (some Trannyshack press: "Rotissary Ethnicity Jackson-Houston Ross named Miss Trannyshack 2011", and "Looking for drag that turns spectacle into art in S.F.") and also Six Apart's farewell party (Six Apart is the company that used to own Livejournal before selling it to the Russians. They were recently acquired by someone else, and now are, from what I can gather, an online ad network. Their current and former employees threw a farewell party here.)

Last week we also had a press event for the release of EA's Crysis 2 video game. They must have brought in at least 50 screens for that; it was an impressive array. I saw lots of people taking photos, but I haven't seen any of the galleries. Just a couple of blog posts with fleeting mentions of DNA: GamePro and Examiner.


Anteater of Broken Dreams

Source unclear.
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Why Texting Failed Among the Victorians.

Ironically, it is only the uncharacteristic brevity that makes this McSweeney's article work:

21st Century: Hey sexy! 2nite Ima sex u

Victorian: O fair nymph so lithe and so lively! O Naiad with the sedgeless bank! A ring of amethyst I could not wear here plainer to my sight, than that first kiss. The s

But really, @_hp_lovecraft_ did it better:

_hp_lovecraft_ H. P. Lovecraft
Greetings, oh Internet, of which I have heard so much about. I am but a humble author, experimenting with a new medium and casting my words

_hp_lovecraft_ H. P. Lovecraft
Oh, what horror is this? What fiendish eldritch magick would impose a 140 character limit on simple human communication? What unholy device
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Previously, previously.


How to tie a necktie, Skynet edition.

Previously, previously.

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Now that's just uncivilized.

Critical Melt?

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Bottom of cultural barrel dangerously overscraped: Suicide Girls the Comic Book.

No, really:

The SuicideGirls Bring Unique "Lifestyle Brand" to Comics:

Now a full service entertainment company, SuicideGirls have produced a series of longform documentaries that have topped ratings charts on cable TV, and have been featured in numerous TV show and specials (including CSI: NY). The company's fourth feature film is currently airing on cable television. Additionally, they have a clothing line, a magazine, an iPhone app and now an upcoming comic book.

My mind reels at how bad this will be, even within the set of "really horrible ideas for comic books", which is not a small set.

I honestly don't think it's possible for a comic to capture the Unique Experience of this Lifestyle Brand. I did watch a little bit of the car-crash that was their "documentary" when it was on TV, and I believe that no comic book will be able to adequately re-create the experience of watching a bunch of badly-tattooed shrieking harpies fighting over a bottle of whiskey.

Can you imagine trying to describe, using only text and pictures, the pain of hearing Chloe Webb's continuous squeals of "Sid! Siiiiiid!" in Sid and Nancy? Or any line of Courtney Love's dialog in Straight to Hell? You can't successfully commit chalkboard-nails like that to paper.

This is what a Suicide Girls comic would have looked like in 1990 (Peter Bagge's Hate, #2). This picture is only slightly dated! See if you can spot the anachronisms!

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Cathode: Vintage Terminal Emulator.

This is fantastic.

Bask in the glow of over-bright phosphors that flash on and slowly fade away. Customize the screen's curvature, colors, and transparency. Slow the bit-rate to a crawl.

Watch the strange dance of beam desyncs and shifting colors. Turn up the noise, jitter, and flicker to add a realistic warmth.

Disregard thirty years of GUI advancement by immersing yourself in full-screen mode. Impress curious onlookers at internet cafes.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.


Getting a lot of hits on this one... For those of you tuning in late, or who don't click my "previously" links, back in 2006 there was an earlier program of similar concept called "GLTerminal". This new "Cathode" program works a lot better, though.

For those of you on Linux (or using X11 on a Mac), you can accomplish a very similar thing by using the "apple2" module of my xscreensaver package, as detailed here (and also here and here). The underlying display module shared by the apple2, pong, m6502, and xanalogtv screen savers is actually simulating the hardware of an old CRT, rather than just doing an effect that kinda-sorta looks like it. Reading all of the comments in hacks/analogtv.c is well worth your time.

Update 2, 2012: Hey, as of release 5.19 in late 2011, the MacOS release of XScreenSaver includes stand-alone application versions of the Apple2 and Phosphor screen savers that are pre-configured to work as terminal emulators. Check them out.

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Market Street: Needs More Elephants.

This appears to be a parade by the Ringling Brothers Circus in September 1900.

Note the elephants in the lower left. Regular cable car service is mixed right in with the pachyderms and circus wagons and crowds line the streets. We're looking out a window of what would today be the San Francisco Shopping Centre, opposite the foot of Powell Street. The vacant lot would later become the Flood Building, still there today.

Previously, previously.

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