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No Shooting Adama (Broken link)

Battlestar Galactica Online is now available for play. It’s playable in-browser thanks to its Unity Engine. It’s quite slow however, and incredibly dull. It leaves my desire for space combat so un-sated that I’m seriously contemplating giving Eve Online another go.

Pew, Pew, and More Pew (

Peculiar wording in one of its licensing agreements aside, I am finally a legitimate owner of Freespace 2 thanks to they-of-the-horribly-misguided-marketing-department, Good Old Games. Even before installing the open source enhancements, it remains a remarkably pretty game but perhaps that’s just me. Unfortunately my old USB joystick no longer even registers as a USB device, so I’m relegated to control via the mouse. It would be heresy I know, but I’d love to see a new X-Wing/Freespace 2 style game with the option for Freelancer-style mouse controls.

If there are naked pictures of Charlie Brooker, I’m leaving the Internet (

As I fumbled with menus, trying not to betray my embarrassment, I glimpsed at the man and something in his eyes told me that he knew, somehow, what had happened, but couldn’t snatch the phone off me for fear of embarrassing his girlfriend, who remained oblivious. Eventually I took the photo. His smile was fixed and unconvincing. I handed the device back. She thanked me. He stared at the ground. We went our separate ways in silence. Somehow, it was as if we’d all taken part in a terrible threesome.

This kind of acute personal embarrassment simply wouldn’t have been possible 10 years ago. But with our every folly entered into an electronic ledger somewhere, it’s becoming commonplace. Scarcely a week goes by without a leaked nudey phone photo of some hapless celebrity doing the online rounds. Paris, Britney, Rihanna, Miley … eventually we’ll be treated to raunchy snaps of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Vince Cable. Don’t pretend you’ll turn away. You’ll stand and stare like the rest of us.

Charlie Brooker.

Holographic Bracelets (

Power bands, magic pendants, they’re all bullshit. Your body doesn’t have a frequency. I mean perhaps it does if you’re bashing your head against a wall in agony hearing about this frequency nonsense. Maybe then.

Roger Ebert on the TSA (

Once, some time ago, during another time of economic downturn, a president named Roosevelt created a federal program called the Works Progress Administration. It hired unemployed people to construct buildings, dams, roads, river works, ports, bridges and schools. Is there any possibility of a program like that today? Not a dream. That would be “socialism.” You can’t have the federal government spending our tax dollars to fund public works. But spending them to grope our genitals? Why, that’s different. It’s a matter of principle.

The Battle for Starcraft 2 (

Even so, the numbers playing in PC baangs (net cafes) have been lower than expected, with only two to three per cent of Korean gamers playing SCII in the month after it was released. It’s a tiny number given that Korea is perceived as StarCraft’s home market, that the game was released in time for the school holidays, and that it launched with a $30m ad campaign. In fact, StarCraft II’s three-million-plus sales have been mainly in the west.

Astounding picture of the day (

Astronaut Tracy Dyson aboard the International Space Station in late September, 2010. She returned to Earth with her Russian crewmates Alexander Skvortsov and Mikhail Kornienko on 25th September.

We see this sort of image all the time now, but typically released as a promotional still for a film, or as some other demonstration of artistic exploit. And to be fair, they often look even better than this. More perfect, more pristine. Crisper. One of my film lecturers spoke a few times about the 9/11 attacks in New York, and the impression they left upon us as viewers. As modern film-goers we regularly see destruction on an even grander scale than that, and far more beautifully. One of the strangest experiences of those attacks was seeing the violence in the comparatively mundane setting of TV news.

So looking at this photo here with its softness, and other artefacts, I’m reminded of that comparison. An astounding sight (this time at least, a positive sight), cloaked in delightful, comforting mundanity.

Tim Krieder “The Referendum” (

Yes: the Referendum gets unattractively self-righteous and judgmental. Quite a lot of what passes itself off as a dialogue about our society consists of people trying to justify their own choices as the only right or natural ones by denouncing others’ as selfish or pathological or wrong. So it’s easy to overlook that hidden beneath all this smug certainty is a poignant insecurity, and thenaked 3 A.M. terror of regret.

Kurt Vonnegut on Drama (

“But because we grew up surrounded by big dramatic story arcs in books and movies, we think are lives are supposed to be filled with huge ups and downs! So people pretend there is drama where there is none.”

Daniel Rutter on Wombats (

Wombats feel exactly as anybody who’s looked at one would think that they would. They’re an ovoid block of muscle, covered with short, coarse fur.

Larry Jordan explains video scopes (

Larry Jordan explains just what the four scopes in Final Cut Pro mean, in his video “What are Scopes?”

I usually phrase that question as “What the fuck are these scope things? They look cool but I have no fucking idea what they do.”