Friday, 18 February 2011

Star Trek women

I found a list of the ten most sexually attractive women in Star Trek. Several, in fact, and a list of the 26 most attractive, and the 50, the 19, some odd numbers. Always odd, odd numbers. It does seem like Star Trek has the prettiest women. The original series more than the rest, of course, although the guest stars in TNG may have been harmed by the ephemeral duration of 80s fashions, both in the women and the clothes they wore. Yes, Trek wins on the pretty actresses, as in many other things. But lists of the sexiest Trek women are idiotic. Not for some stupid PC reason, but because there can be no competition, there is only one.

Mirror versions are always sexier. Mirror Hoshi, mirror T'Pol. Not sure if the DS9 mirror universe is the same mirror universe, or just a parralel universe. Plenty of those about, but only one Mirror Universe. Or two, if the DS9 one is different. Anyway, if it's different, it's not the sexy one. Possibly because indentured servitude isn't sexy and Kira isn't Servolan, it's difficult to say.

10 O'Clock Live

In the radio adverts for 10 o clock live Lauren Laverne quite rightly pointed out that no decent series, I think the word she used was "ground-breaking", has ever been made with four leads. Quite right. Also probably her greatest contribution to the programme. Admittedly I do, and always have, found her extremely annoying due to her poor "comedy" delivery, but nonetheless she has very little to do.

Could say the same of Jimmy Carr, mind you. Does a bit of standup, nothing much. Brooker and Mitchell would be obvious choices for this sort of programme, no doubt. Mitchell is normally thought of as quite intelligent, a sort of poor man's, or middle-class man's, Stephen Fry. Brooker has previously mostly done satire and documentary on TV and the news, therefore making him well-suited to it all. They also went well together on the Big Fat Quiz of the Year a couple of years ago.

The big weakness though is that it's a soft-centred liberal little channel four programme, despite Mitchell saying in one of the other adverts that "the great thing is we're not on the BBC so we don't have to pretend to be unbiased".

Good talk, bad walk. Much too respectful, especially as most of the Tory guests have been total loonatics, the beliefs of the most fanatical Thatcherite and the mannerisms of a plummy country squire who resents not being allowed to hunt peasants now foxes are protected by those evil townies.

In short an uncomfortable compromise between a vanilla news programme and a sketch comedy programme. Can't decide if it wants to be Newsnight or Bremner, Bird and Fortune. And, as you can see from the representatives sitting on both sides of Mitchell during his panel discussions, they are in fact being unbiased.

Mitchell does dominate the whole thing. He does most of the interviews with the guest of the week, runs the panel show, has his own monologue. Brooker gets a monologue, as does Carr (placed at the start of the show so as to be forgotten by the end, in my experience, after which he does little or nothing, although they've recently introduced a very poor Children in Need parody to use him a bit more). Laverne does the links, badly, and occasionally does a VT. Comes across like one of the women on the Daily Show. That's not good, for those who've never seen it.

Also loses points for inviting the idiot who wrote Freakonomics on, going so far as to call him a revolutionary thinker and "genius". It even took two fo them to interview him, although that could be because Laverne fancied him, certainly she was the main proponent of the flattery. Who'd have thought writing a book based on a demonstrably untrue explanation of the economics of drink container shapes would be so profitable. Earned a lot of money of it. And, should he ever meet me, a kick up the arse.

Outcasts review

I don't really like Outcasts, although sci-fi is my sort of thing. In fact my sci-fi knowledge allows me to refer to a very similar programme, Earth 2. American in that case, of course.

Very similar indeed. Both have a relatively close future where the earth has been more or less destroyed, by pollution in Earth 2 by, probably, nuclear war in Earth 2, they haven't been very clear about it. In both there is a small group of humans in a mysterious and dreamy landscape. Of course Outcasts supposedly has tens of thousands of humans in a settlement, not just a few dozen wandering around, but you'd never know. Only a few characters appear, and they don't seem to have much of a budget for extras. Whereas Babylon 5, for example, always managed to make main areas crowded with heavily made up Pakmara extras and Minbari and so on, and nBSG always remained conscious of the remainders of humanity through the fleet Outcasts is more like a bad episode of Voyager, where the whole crew seems to be made up of just the main characters. Star Trek is often like that. Although we see the original Enterprise able to stun whole cities with the rarely used stun setting on the ship's phasers and has hundreds of crew, including a large security contingent, every problem has to be personally handled by Kirk, or maybe Spock. In TNG little Wes Crusher gets put in charge of a geological survey, despite having no expertise or experience on that matter and the Enterprise-D being full of scientists and other we're-not-a-military-organisation Starfleet types. It's like that in Outcasts, a few main characters with a mass of invisible peasants I suppose we're meant to assume to be there and who apparently live in disused shipping containers and have no places of work, and so on.

Outcasts, like Earth 2, has a threatening band of engineered semi-humans beyond the walls, although in Earth 2 the walls aren't physical ones. Earth 2 had both criminals sent before the colonists and murderous, criminal eating, cyborgs wandering around, Outcasts goes with GM Humans, who have a personal grudge against the president of the, mostly English, colony. I like seeing Englishmen monopolising sci-fi programmes, it's all too often just Americans.

An interesting choice: the first episode centred entirely around two characters, an explorer and his domestic wife, who were both dead by the end, the wife killed by the husband who then opted for "suicide by cop". Turns out he'd also allowed the GM people to escape when appointed to kill them all. Meanwhile in the B plot a new ship was arriving from earth, probably the last one, which crashed killing almost everyone on board, with the survivors mostly killed by the GM people, called ACs.

Something else similar to Earth 2: problems with human breeding. Turns out the ACs can breed, having been engineered not too, while the human birth rate is collapsing. As in Earth 2 the leader's son's illness was the main motive for settlement.

I'll have more to say.

Edit: No doubt all low quality as I'm half asleep, but something else I noticed was the improbable frequency with which they walk along a corridor which seemingly goes around the outside of a circular room and which they need to walk all the way around on a regular basis. Bad architecture.

Dreamscape stuff and that.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Boothby Graffoe - Jeffrey's Song


Glad to see Anonymous putting the fear of God into some spook fools. Arrogant bunch of cunts by the sounds of them, but nonetheless nothing more than a satisfying target of opportunity. The talents of Anonymous could be put to much better use, as they have been in defence of Wikileaks and against Scientologie.

Particularly, they could be used in Jersey. Terrible stuff going on there, no-one strong enough to do anything about it.

I think they're missing a few tricks, too. I hear about gang-stalking, remotely changing people's ring tones to play messages, that sort of thing. Perhaps they think that's a bad guy sort of thing.

Installing Ubuntu

One of the first things first time linux users will find most intimidating will be the installation. Most people never install an operating system, but it's really not that difficult.

The first thing to do is to download an iso from the website of the distribution of your choice, then burn it to CD, DVD or USB using something like unetbootin, all of which can be done in Windows although not using windows I'm not sure how. In a Linux system you just right click the iso and click "Burn to disc", probably something similar under windows. There are countless Linux distributions but Ubuntu is, for good reason, the most popular and the one I recommend to new users.

The first problem you might come across is whether to download the 32 or 64-bit iso. Most processors from the last couple of years, and almost all new ones, are 64-bit, but a 32-bit iso will work on a 64-bit computer, while a 64-bit iso won't work on a 32-bit computer. You might also notice the ubuntu website has the 32-bit tagged as "recommended", but don't take that bit of over-caution too seriously. 64-bit is marginally, but noticeably, superior on 64-bit architecture.

Once you've got a CD burned restart the computer with the CD in the drive. If it's ignored restart again and access the BIOS, which is done by pushing a button when the manufacturer's logo comes up as the computer first powers on. Which button depends on manufacturer, but should be displayed on the boot screen with the logo, but you'll have to be quick to see the button to push and push it at the same attempt.

Once in the BIOS it should be easy enough, on my laptop there is a series of tabs at the top and a list of which keys do what at the side, simply follow instructions to get to somewhere labelled "Boot Order", or something similar. Then move your CD/DVD drive or USB HDD to the top of the list, using the keys indicated. Then exit the BIOS and it should boot from CD.

That last bit it particularly intimidating, but as simple as I've made out.

Once you boot from the CD select Try Ubuntu from the graphical box than comes up. Test all your hardware, specifically not if there are any graphical problems during boot and make sure some of the other problematic pieces of hardware work, such as ethernet cards, wireless cards, headphone sockets. On my computer everything besides the headphones worked out of the box, but this isn't always the case, just normally. If you use the suspend and hibernate functions to may also want to check them. In my experience those functions are the weakest part of the linux kernel, and are quite unreliable under Windows too. However some people never have any problems with them.

Assuming everything's alright (if it's not ask at the ubuntu forums) you can start to install. There should be something to double click on the Desktop, labelled Install Ubuntu.

The install process pretty much does itself, you only really need to be careful with the partitioning process. The installer will offer three options, Erase the entire hard drive, Install alongside other operating systems, and Specify partitions manually (advanced). Link

This is where things can go wrong. If you have all your stuff backed up and don't want to keep windows, fine. Worst case scenario, just try again. All's well that ends well. Do what you like. The automatic "use entire disc" option tends to set up an excessively large swap partition, but if you don't mind losing half a dozen gigs or so it doesn't matter. But let's assume you want to keep windows, for some unknown reason.

If you're installing Ubuntu 10.04, go for the second option, install alongside. That'll be fine and set up a sufficient but small Linux partition. So let's assume you're installing Ubuntu 10.10 which has an error in the installer which won't allow that to work.

Firstly make sure you've backed up all your information!

Select manual, if you have a free and empty partition, tell the installer to use it as / and to format as "Ext4 journalling filesystem". You might want to resize it first to make room for a small swap partition, 1.5 times the size of your RAM if you intend to use Hibernate or have less than 3 gigs of RAM, otherwise a gig ought to be fine.

Otherwise resize the windows partition, using the GUI and the buttons at the top. Make a new ext4 partition in the empty space created, using all except that which you want to use as swap. Make another small partition to act as swap.

of course it's easier if you already had a spare partition, as some do. Also, it's sometimes the case that you already have three primary partitions, especially as many manufacturers include a Windows restore partition at the start of the hard drive. In that case make sure to specify that you are creating an "extended" rather than primary partition, taking up all your free space, then create "logical" partitions for linux and swap, within the "extended" partition.

After that you simply wait for the installation to complete. Bob's your uncle, Fanny's your aunt, and so forth.

Next time what to do next, how to install DVD-capability, codec support, how to encrypt your home folder, and so on.

Last Move

I'm staying here, honest.

If you want to look at the old blogs, then here:


Habakuk of Ice

Dick Shaver and the Hollow Earth Insider


Dole Scum

Bon Accordian