23 June 2008

Free Gaming + taking a break

There's a lot of buzz, a lot of newsworthy events. But none of which I can talk about right now.

We must pack up all our stuff and move to our new apartment in Netherlands tomorrow.

So it's blogging on hold for a few weeks until we get internet at our new flat.

In the meantime, I wanna quickly mention the Free Gaming event in Netherlands recently.

It was absolutely awesome and I wish we could have spent more time there.

There were several stalls where you could hop over to check out X-Box, Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii games ... and so much more.

We are looking forward to getting a Wii-Fit soon. It was cool to check out the various games available on the Wii-Fit. It don't matter what the nay-sayers say, that device rocks. Hehe, literally.

Oooh and I must say I have a soft spot for the old nintendo games as well. Remeber Duck Hunt? It was old nintendo Snes, wasn't it?

I wanted to see if it would be easier to shoot to the damn ducks now that my aim has improved with the duck shooting games for the wii.

Sadly, I didn't get to play that; quite a few kids and young folk alike had thronged to the spot and I got a bit antsy waiting.

Good news is, the next day we found a small market which sells second hand SNES and its games. *cracks knuckles*

Cheerio for now, I will be back in a few weeks.

19 June 2008

Addons I love - Firefox 3 and others

Today is clean-up day; updating my add-ons, organizing my bookmarks and discovering something new.

I must admit, it ended up being more the third one and less of the first two.

It all started out after we updated my browser of choice, The one and only Fox, to it's latest version.

As it happened, whilst checking my mail, I found that you could not view anything on You Tube until the necessary plug-ins where installed.

I hate it when this happens so early in the morning. But then I should be working and not watching funny and somewhat terrifying videos on YT, should I?

Well, a day that started out wobbly turned into a bit of an adventure.

Somehow I found myself acquiring new add-ons to Firefox 3 - some have been there for previous versions and others are brand new to FF.

Whatever the case, it a journey of discovery for me. I think I shall deem evvry Thursday 'Recon Thr'. Nice!

Okay, so a little bit of what I discovered. And since I am a bit behind in setting up add-ons, I do not think most of these findings will be a surprise for regular net users out there.

Ad Blocker

I have been meaning to get this for a while and I have finally done it.

Moment of pause as I do the Rocky running up stairs to Queen song move.

Reason I was in two minds about this was due to ad-revenue.

I know a lot of sites depend on ads for added revenue and get sponsored by them. And I want to support some of these sites, especially those of good writers who depend on them for moolah.

After all, this is the best way for everyone to have a say in matters.

So here's the plan.

Yes, yes I got the ad blocker. But, it looks like I get a choice in what ads I get chop-chop. Correct me if I am wrong here.

In that case, I will only click the hand of justice for really really irritating ads. Like that damn floating ad on magicmail. Arrgh! I will get you yet.

So for now, Ad blocker is on a trial run.

I am hoping it is as useful as flashkiller. Flashkiller is for net use what penicillin was for the the flu. Zap zap zap - overlapping, annoying flashies are gone.

Mwaaahahahaha. Notice the word annoying.

Fast dial

Come on, this is new right. Ok, fine Opera's had it for a while (there I said it) but it is finally available for the Fox too, right?

Well, I've set up 9 out of the 12 available slots. Basically you get 12 slots where you can store the websites you access regularly. Or your fav sites. Whatever, it's all upto you.

So here's what I stored:


Not sure what to add to the last 3. I fear I am forgetting some sites. But for now, this is gonna be quite helpful when I have to refer to a site. Especially the dictionary.

Undo closed tabs

Oooh another Opera-ish feature.

If you are like me and you have jittery fingers, you will close tabs accidentally. Chances are it will be a site you had to search quite a bit for.

Sure, you can browse through your history toolbar or type in the url (haha, good luck remembering it) and hope it auto completes it.

But now, all you gotta do is click the left hand button and zoop! It's back.

That I readily welcome.


I am seriously not sure of this one.

It's got its merits and is quite interesting to use. Bet it comes in quite handy when you wanna check sources.

But you also wonder about privacy and how it will affect bloggers who wish to remain anonymous while making comments on politics, social trends or other such fields.

That's all for now. I will talk about other add ons, as I explore what I love, hate or apathize about FireFox extensions.

18 June 2008

Creationism rocks our boat

Two things I noted from this WikiNews article.

Gov. Bobby Jindal thinks creationism is awesome science

Same man might be a contender for VP under McCain

I would be absolutely mortified except for a few things.

I've graduated from school so what are the chances of me being taught pseudoscience again?

If we had kids, they would not be going to any of these schools.

And any other kids in our family is getting an earful of science from us at an early age.

On the other hand, it is a sad day for science in US. But it has been headed in that direction for a while now.

17 June 2008

Interview with Momoa: Atlantis 5 - Dreadlocks and Darkness

Gateworld has an interview with Jason Momoa about Season 5 of Stargate Atlantis.

It's about what Ronon can look forward to in the upcoming season.

Quite funny to read his comments about the love triangle with Mckay. I agree though; I always figured Ronon and Sheppard will fight it out man-to-man over Teyla.

Funny note: I just asked my better half to guess who would be in a love triangle with Ronon. Other than the obvious Sheppard, his second guess was Daniel Jackson.

That would have been interesting to see. The number of times Jackson as been pimped off to female characters does make him a likely candidate.

I also thought he was going to cut off his dreadlocks. Turns out he did BUT had to keep them. Read on for more.

16 June 2008

Get ready for more of 'That's awfully clever, Rodney'

Ooooh Oooh look what came up in my alerts!

An interview of Paul McGillion by Pop Culture.

It's a short,nifty piece but great for the fans nonetheless.

McGillion talks a little bit about new Atlantis episodes, A Dog's Breakfast and of course, a few notes about being a Trekkie.


I’ll tell you a funny story. One day we were filming a scene with David Hewlett laying naked in the mud, soap on his butt and me standing over him in my dress. It was pouring down rain and there was a short break as they were changing out a camera lens or repositioning the lights or something. I looked down at him and said “I hope this is funny.”(laughs) Once I put on the dress a few times I started feeling pretty good about it, but I think I wound up looking like a linebacker.

Read the full piece here.

13 June 2008

Comic: The 99

This is an interesting concept for a comic.

Washington Post has a feature article about Naif al-Mutawah, the brains behind an innovative comic called The 99.

Apparently the name is derived from the concept of God (in Islam) having 99 traits. Thus came about the notion of heroes with 99 different characteristics.

Mutawa's superheroes are modern, secular and spiritual, moving seamlessly between East and West. They come from 99 countries and are split between males and females.

The heroes include Darr the Afflicter, an American paraplegic named John Wheeler, who manipulates nerve endings to transmit or prevent pain. Noora the Light -- Dana Ibrahim, a university student from the United Arab Emirates -- shows people the light and dark inside themselves. Mumita the Destroyer, a ferocious fighter, is Catarina Barbarosa, a Portuguese bombshell in tight clothes.

Read the full article here.

This venture is fascinating on many levels.

First, let's face it, it's awesome to see comic books from various cultures and countries. Or with topics depicting different cultures.

As it is, I miss Bleach since I moved to NL. Will get around to it yet.

Secondly, how strange is it to see artistic work in the form of comics from a conservative group like Islamic groups?

Not strange bad but strange fantastic.

You get to see something more than the stereotypes touted in major media outlets. Saving people, women as heroes, world peace?

And how about the fact that it is secular?

Diplomatic grounds making it easy for all to read it, I suppose.

The comic creator's views are worth noting as well.

"We should not allow a very limited number of people to tell us how to practice our religion. An Islam where I can be an active participant is the only Islam I can belong to. I believe in Islam and I also believe in evolution."

12 June 2008

Internet makes me a slow reader

Is the internet changing the way we read?

I was talking about this to someone recently. I pointed out that you have to write differently for the web; lengthy academic style articles will not work.

This comment was met with disdain.

"Internet makes you lazy, is it?" was the curt reply.

Not really, it actually makes you more hyperactive and less focused.

And this is the very issue covered in detail by Nicholas Carr in the article: Is Google Making Us Stupid.

Extract from article:

I’m not the only one. When I mention my troubles with reading to friends and acquaintances—literary types, most of them—many say they’re having similar experiences. The more they use the Web, the more they have to fight to stay focused on long pieces of writing. Some of the bloggers I follow have also begun mentioning the phenomenon. Scott Karp, who writes a blog about online media, recently confessed that he has stopped reading books altogether. “I was a lit major in college, and used to be [a] voracious book reader,” he wrote. “What happened?” He speculates on the answer: “What if I do all my reading on the web not so much because the way I read has changed, i.e. I’m just seeking convenience, but because the way I THINK has changed?”

Read more ...

11 June 2008

Scorpious is evil evil Star Wars guy

Oooh the shame!

What kind of fan am I?

I had no clue that Grand Moff Tarkin in Revenge of the Sith was played by Wayne Pygram!

Well, to be fair, I did become a fan of Farscape way after I saw the Star Wars installment.

Anyway, news from io9 is that Wayne Pygram might be in the live-action Star Wars series that is n development.

Read full article here.

LOFAR helps out SETI research


ASTRON is building LOFAR (the Low Frequency Array) telescope that is going to take search for extraterrestrial life to the next level.

In a nutshell, LOFAR will be used to detect signals / messages from space to Earth.

It's not as simple as all that though.

LOFAR (the Low Frequency Array), a new telescope that is currently being built by ASTRON, consists of about 25,000 small antennas that will receive signals from space. Despite the huge distances between stars, the next generation of radio telescopes, such as LOFAR, begin to offer the possibility of detecting radio signals beamed towards the Earth by other intelligent beings. For the nearest stars, LOFAR might even be able to detect the leakage radiation associated with extraterrestrial radio and TV transmitters.

This is an initiative taken by Prof. Micheal Garrett at Leiden University in Netherlands.

It is great that contributions from various countries will help the SETI research now.

10 June 2008

A Crazy Copyright Protection Treaty

Don't do the victory dance just yet.

Graeme Philipson has written quite a disturbing article about new copyright laws that might crop up if a new creepy treaty is adopted.

The ACTA draft is a scary document. If a treaty based on its provisions were adopted, it would enable any border guard, in any treaty country, to check any electronic device for any content that they suspect infringes copyright laws. They need no proof, only suspicion.

They would be able to seize any device - laptop, iPod, DVD recorder, mobile phone, etc - and confiscate it or destroy anything on it, merely on suspicion. On the spot, no lawyers, no right of appeal, no nothing.

Oooh it gets better.

A wonderful governing body is proposed, a big brotherish group whose work and jurisdiction is outside the UN and WTO.

Oh for crying out aloud.

It would serve them right if open source groups come up with more and more digital material that becomes the preferred viewing choice.

As it is, Elephant Dreams was an absolute delight.

File sharing = public library

New developments in Sweden.

According to motion approved by the Swedish Left Party, peer to peer sharing of copyrighted material is A-ok. This applies for personal use of course.

In addition, the motion stated that the various measures taken for trying to stop file sharing, such as big brother-like surveillance, or arbitrary sentences against individuals, are unacceptable.

At least one country is moving forward and ushering in new laws regarding copyright laws.

Only way to grow and be more mature is by sharing.

06 June 2008

Canceled shows

What do you know, here's a subject close to my heart - Unfairly canceled shows.

Syfy Portal has a list of shows that were given the boot despite a strong fan following.

I'm just gonna browse the list and see what's mentioned.

I agree. That must have been the hate mail magnet move of that year. It was one of Joss Whedon's best.

I was a huge fan of the vampire with a soul. Granted, green horns with karoke bar was my favorite, but at least this was a fantasy genre show with wit and style.
And none of the female characters are prissy bimbos.

Wouldn't call myself a die-hard fan. But it had such an interesting theme - creating order out of the anarchy that followed a nuclear bomb.

Arrrgh! This show really grew on me. I thought it was cheesy when I first watched it but the characters with their own distinct flairs and weird humor created its own little niche in my scifi watching schedule.

I just started watching this. And now I find out this was canceled!

I've said this before and I will rant and rave again; maybe scifi shows should be streamed online, and viewed online. That way there is no competition for slots and prime time allocations. This way some big production out there is not going to cancel a fantastic show because they need to make way for some other 'brilliant ' idea.

Google lab features for Gmail

Oooh Gmail users out there ... there are some experimental features available.

Read the Gmail Blog for a list of the new features and try them out for yourself.

So far I have enabled random quotes, varied icons next to name and keyboard shortcuts.

The latter sounds like an awesome idea and I am keen to check it out.

On that note, I am having trouble accessing my gmail.... it's just taking longer than usual to access. Wonder why.

05 June 2008


How is this for irony?

Electronic Frontier Foundation has called Universal Music Group a Harry Potter-ish goblin.

Who, what, eh?

To start from the beginning, UMG was suing some poor guy for selling promotional music on Ebay.

And EFF took up arms to defend the poor fella, criticizing UMG's eternal ownership of intellectual property.

Their view of UMG:

"To a goblin, the rightful and true master of any object is the maker, not the purchaser. All goblin-made objects are, in goblin eyes, rightfully theirs," as Bill Weasley explains to Harry in the book.

"They consider our habit of keeping goblin-made objects, passing them from wizard to wizard without further payment, little more than theft."

That's right; the reference to goblins from wand-waving Potter series.

It's just ironic that Rowling's work is used to defend people's right of property when she is particularly iffy about copyright herself.

New Brooks Movie Sneaking up On You

Good to know there are more Mel Brooks fans out there.

Geeks of Doom mentions a potential Mel Brooks movie in the works. Funnily enough (and how appropriate for this instance), it is not a comedy.

Looks like the legendary comedian Mel Brooks is working on a horror movie with Ruby De Luca and Steve Haberman, both of whom have worked with Brooks before.

Well, well, horror huh? Should be interesting, wonder what his plans are.

Here's hoping it's nothing like the modern, cheesy slasher fests.

04 June 2008

Age restrictions for books? What a load of ...

Who comes up with nonsense like this?

Apparently some schmucks out there are going to put age restrictions on books.

The Golden Compass author Philip Pullman is leading a campaign to block publishers' plans to introduce age guidance limits on books - insisting the proposals would be "damaging" to young readers.

That is going to be absolutely detrimental to mental development of children.

What about children who are early bloomers, who will read books a little bit advanced for their age because they have outgrown material set for their ages?

How will kids learn lessons about life if all they can eventually read are dumbed down books? yes, we all know books that are deemed appropriate for kids usually talk down to them, assuming them to be stupid and unaware of the world they live in.

So many abridged versions of classics will not be accessible to younger generations; good luck trying to get them to read once they are 16.

Seriously, who came up with this brainstorm? Where have all the responsible parents gone? You can't expect law of the land to bring up your kids, you know.

03 June 2008

Date set for Stargate Atlantis Premiere

Update: If you are looking for info about the Stargate Atlantis movie, check out the latest post here.

Fifth season of Stargate Atlantis will premiere on July 11 on SciFi Channel. Yay!

I am curious about Richard Picardo's role as new leader. Watch old episodes of Sg-1 and you can imagine some big showdowns coming up. Will definitely add spice to the show.

For those who could not stand Geminny cricket/cultural rep. Dr Jackson, better get used to seeing him in some Atlantis episodes. If you think about it, he might help balance things out with new management. Or call in a few favors with his friends in high places.



Related Articles:

Date for Stargate Atlantis Movie Premiere

Potter prequel

Can't say I saw this coming .... J.K. Rowling wrote a prequel to the Boy who Will Kill Voldermort series for charity. And for the record, tis the charity bit I did not foresee, not the prequel bit.

I suppose claims by authors like Orson Scott Card is true; Rowling does want to be seen as a contributor to great literature and gain respect from her peers.

Extract from UPI

The BBC said the brief prequel, which will not be published, will go up for auction at Waterstone's Piccadilly store in London next month. Sotheby's will run the auction.