Please note: the viewport design is copied from Steve Den Beste's excellent blog, USS Clueless. Used with permission.

Saturday, September 17, 2005  

via The Register

Nintendo shows 'Revolutionary' console controller
Will consumers see the point and click?

By Tony Smith
Published Friday 16th September 2005 15:01 GMT

Games console developers devote as much time to the launching of the controllers their machines will be played with as the game-hosting hardware itself. The latest company to do so is Nintendo. Today it told the world what the gamepad that will ship with its Revolution console will look like.

Nintendo Revolution Controller

Frankly, it's ugly and looks more like something you'd use to adjust the height of a dentist's chair, but it does at least have some interesting internals.

One of which is motion detection, so we can expect to see players gesturing grandiosely at their TV screens in a bid to make Mario jump over rocks and hazards.

The look, incidentally, is derived from TV remote controls. Since ordinary consumers are more familiar with them than they are with traditional console controllers, non-gamers will find Revolution easier to use, Nintendo reckons.

Revolution is due to ship next year, and is likely to target non-gamers as much as folk who have grown up playing a variety of consoles. Nintendo executives have consistently touted a return to more basic games that win fans through clever gameplay rather than expensive-to-create imagery. As such, it's moving away from Sony and Microsoft whose PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 are likely to be pitched heavily toward hard-core gamers.

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata also said today he hopes to help smaller developers break into the console software arena, something many of them have found too expensive to achieve in the past. 'Small developers can compete on creativity not on scale or staff size,' he said. 'Nintendo is willing to help bring these ideas to life.'

posted by Gary Williams at 12:15 AM | link |

Friday, September 16, 2005  

via -- Japanese Craft Takes Close-up Photos of Asteroid

Japanese Craft Takes Close-up Photos of Asteroid

By Leonard David
Senior Space Writer
posted: 15 September 2005
12:46 pm ET
Japan's Hayabusa spacecraft is returning imagery and data after successfully arriving at its target, asteroid Itokawa, earlier this week.

'The Hayabusa spacecraft is in good health and all its scientific instruments -- consisting of a visible imager, a near infra-red and X-ray spectrometer and a laser altimeter -- are functioning normally and have started their calibration observations,' reads a mission update from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

Hayabusa is slated to stay at the asteroid until the end of November. The spacecraft is to perform detailed remote sensing and mapping of the asteroid, followed by an attempt to collect a surface sample of asteroid Itokawa for return to Earth in 2007.

Hayabusa is a project of Japan's Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), a research arm of JAXA.

During Hayabusa's approach to Itokawa, the probe's visible imager succeeded in producing a color composite photograph of Itokawa by taking three individual pictures using red, green, and blue filters. It also created a series of images showing the rock's rotation.

The images show sunlight illuminating the asteroid from behind the camera, making the terrain features of the object appear more subdued, said ISAS scientists. The rotation period of the irregularly-shaped Itokawa is about 12 hours.

Hayabusa is almost still in relation to Itokawa, ISAS scientists explain. The spacecraft's residual relative speed toward the asteroid means that Hayabusa 'stays within the sphere of influence of Itokawa,' they noted.

posted by Gary Williams at 3:54 PM | link |

Tuesday, September 13, 2005  

via Sirotablog

GOP says 'confirm first, ask questions never'

CBS News' legal analyst Andrew Cohen asks two good questions about the hearings to confirm Supreme Court nominee John Roberts: 'What's the point of having a Committee confirmation hearing if a majority on the Committee don't want the nominee to say too much about the issues that are relevant to his role? What's the point of having a hearing if it isn't meaningful?'

Republicans spent most of the first day of the hearings telling the public that there really is no need for Roberts to answer any questions at all. As Cohen put it, ' one of the clearest and most ironic themes to emerge from an otherwise drowsy day of tired rhetoric was the consistent push by GOP Committee members to offer Roberts all sorts of legal and political justifications that would allow him to effectively thwart the very purposes behind the hearing itself.'

Sure, Roberts has been a judge for all of three years. And yes, he is being nominated to the most powerful legal position in America. But according to the GOP, the public shouldn't ask any questions before giving him a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. Incredible.

posted by Gary Williams at 3:52 PM | link |

Monday, September 12, 2005  

[Doctorow] My novel-in-progress syndicated on Salon for next 10weeks

[Doctorow] My novel-in-progress syndicated on Salon for next 10weeks

I've been working on a new novel since last December, working title
"Themepunks." The first third is in the can, and it is a short novel
unto itself. The book is about a post-dotcom boom and bust, built on
the ready availability of commodity hardware and open source code,
and concerns itself with the lives of a gang of visionary tech
entrepreneurs, journalists, bloggers, as well as Florida squatters,
students in the midwest, and Brazilian geek activists. I've read
aloud from it on a number of occasions, most recently at the Worldcon
in Glasgow in August, and always to enthusiastic responses.

Salon magazine has begun to serialize the book, and they will publish
a section every Monday for ten weeks. By that time, I hope act two
will be done and Salon will be interested in it, though of course
there's no guarantee of either (but act one is self-contained and
stands on its own). When the whole thing is done, Tor will publish it
between covers and I'll be doing my normal Creative Commons release,
but I relish the opportunity to do what Dickens did -- write a novel
in serial form just a few weeks ahead of my readers.

Hope you enjoy it!

> Andrea Fleeks almost never had to bother with the blue blazer these
> days. Back at the height of the dot-boom, she'd put on her business
> journalist drag -- blazer, blue sailcloth shirt, khaki trousers,
> loafers -- just about every day, putting in her obligatory
> appearances at splashy press conferences for high-flying IPOs and
> mergers. These days, it was mostly work at home or one day a week
> at the San Jose Mercury's office, in comfortable light sweaters
> with loose necks and loose cotton pants that she could wear
> straight to yoga after shutting her PowerBook's lid.
> Blue blazer today, and she wasn't the only one. There was Morrow
> from the NYT's Silicon Valley office, and Spetzer from the WSJ, and
> that despicable rat-toothed jumped-up gossip columnist from one of
> the U.K. tech-rags, and many others besides. Old home week, blue
> blazers fresh from the dry-cleaning bags that had guarded them
> since the last time the NASDAQ broke 4000.
> The man of the hour was Landon Kettlewell -- the kind of outlandish
> prep-school name that always seemed a little made up to her -- the
> new CEO and front for the majority owners of Kodak/Duracell. The
> despicable rat-toothed Brit had already started calling them
> Kodacell. Buying the company was pure Kettlewell: shrewd, weird and
> ethical in a twisted way.
> "Why the hell have you done this, Landon?" Kettlewell asked himself
> into his tie-mic. Ties and suits for the new Kodacell execs in the
> room, like surfers playing dress-up. "Why buy two dinosaurs and
> stick 'em together? Will they mate and give birth to a new
> generation of less-endangered dinosaurs?"

Part 1 on Salon: themepunks_1/index.html target=corrydoctorowcraphound>


Cory Doctorow

latest novel:


posted by Gary Williams at 1:38 PM | link |

[BAD SIGNAL]Slice Of Life

From Warren Ellis's Bad Signal

[BAD SIGNAL]Slice Of Life

bad signal

I'm sitting here in the pub watching
a fight. One bloke with bad
highlighted hair has taken a 20-foot
running punch at some other
geezer. Chairs upended, about
twelve people into it as I write. And,
I swear to God, playing over the
pub's speakers is "I'd Like To Teach
The World To Sing."

You have to admit, it doesn't often
get more perfectly timed than

Sent via mobile device
probably in the pub

BAD SIGNAL mailing list
Archived at BAD SIGNAL mailing list
Moderated by Warren Ellis (probably in a pub) (

posted by Gary Williams at 12:24 PM | link |

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