October 26th, 2010



When I got Kylie, I was testing different Linux distros on her.  Before I could get to Fedora, Ubuntu worked.  Spotted the wifi, everything.  Wasn't thrilled with the GNOME desktop, but figured I could work with it (I prefer KDE myself).  I wasn't expecting Kylie to get super use.

Since then, Ubuntu has done some very questionable things.  Canonical, the company behind them, claims they are trying to make the experience as seamless as possible for people unfamiliar with Linux.  Noble goal.  Puppy Linux is the same.  However, no one complains about Puppy, and everyone complains about Ubuntu.  Why?  First, Ubuntu started incorporating Mono into things and didn't blink as the GNOME desktop started leaning on it more and more.  Their insistence at embracing Mono was bad enough.  Then, Ubuntu changed its community agreement to enable what is called "open core".  For the uninitiated, open core is a bastardization of Open Source.  You can look at and tinker with it, but all rights revert to the copyright holder, meaning they can stop you from doing something they don't like.  M$ came up with open core, hoping to get Open Source nuts without surrendering anything.  No one's buying it.  Canonical has yet to do anything with it, but the fact that the agreement includes a provision covering open core...lawyers don't draft something if they don't intend to use it.  Lots of people have become very leery of Ubuntu.

With tablets and phones getting Android, Ubuntu has decided to make a change.  With the 11.04 release of Ubuntu, the desktop will change to UNITY.  UNITY is a rework of GNOME, intended for tablets.  It's obvious where this is going -- people get used to the interface on tablets and have no trouble transitioning to a desktop environment.  Dell is helping back the work to make UNITY (cell phone environment, meaning one foreground app at a time, that won't work in today's desktop environment) ready for the desktop.\

So it's not completely abandoning Mono.  And I'm sorry, but the desktop under Linux isn't actually that tough.  They are hoping for association.  I see a company more interested in carving its own identity than upholding the community.
Worms Ready For Battle

The Ultimate First Edition!

Files are verified by CreateSpace, I have ordered a proof copy.

Cost for shipping?

Economy (about 2-3 weeks):  $3
Standard (about 1-2 weeks):  $6
Get it by this Friday?  $23

Which one did I pick?  I'll give you a hint -- the only thing more certain about me than my as-yet-unabated hatred of the world is my notorious impatience.

The book should be here by Friday.  I'll check it over.  If everything looks good, Hannah Singer, Celestial Advocate goes on sale this weekend.

Get ready, this is going to be very interesting....
Lorne The Friend For Life

Mornblade's Gonna Flip His Shit....

Given how I will write about anything that strikes my fancy, I find it interesting that I've kept the fandom wank to a minimum, nearly non-existent level.  No, I don't count the Linux stuff as fandom wank, that's important and the wave of the future.  Sez who?  Sez me!

Back when I was a Whovian, I had long since figured that Time Lords on Doctor Who were capable of more than twelve regenerations.  My proof came in the episode The Five Doctors, where the Master, having used up his regenerations and roaming around in a stolen body, was offered a whole new regeneration for helping the Doctor.  So, as the series revived and the Doctor began slouching towards his thirteenth incarnation (Matt Smith is saying this is his last season as the Doctor), I figured the limit wouldn't hold, there was some way around it, and whoever was the producer at the time would come up with it.

Now, keep in mind that the revival of Doctor Who has its own built-in Superboy Punch.  Because of the Time War, there is no such thing as a single timeline.  This is why the series has four Atlantises.  Although, it does seem a bit confusing now.  I'm still not entirely clear how the ending of last season worked, but whatever.

So, is this clip from last night's The Sarah Jane Chronicles just the Doctor being a goof, or is this a hint of what's to come?

Sure explains why Romana blew off a bunch of regenerations until she found one that looked right.

So, Time Lords, in general, have twelve regenerations, although that number can clearly go up.  Does the Doctor have access to whatever it is, or has something about him altered so fundamentally that he can do this?

No, I'm not going with joke.  After all, the Doctor will run out of his original twelve before long....

"Do You Know Me? I'm The Greatest Superhero Ever. But People Don't Recognize Me. That's Why...."

Step up, here's me discussing art and writing again.

I'm all up for new twists on old ideas.  I enjoy seeing people try to update things.  When Sherlock Holmes was updated for then modern cinema with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, the result was great stories.  Granted, a lot of these twists fail, but at least there's some imagination.

Well, for the most part.

One of the things you need to keep in mind as a creator is how the whole package "works".  There comes a point when you are so focused on your goals, you lose track of keeping things consistent.  Sound Waves is a personal example.  The series cannot survive with my typical cynical outlook, so I have to engineer the stories to not go that way.  Likewise, Stress Puppy needs its unique angle.  The characters are too smart to embrace the defeatism of the world of Dilbert, but there is enough awareness that a happy ending set-up (The Secret Of My Success) doesn't work, either.

Mornblade and I had discussed the Superman animated series that ran after Batman The Animated Series wrapped up.  He didn't think the dark deco look for BTAS worked for Superman.  I didn't have as much of a problem with it.  However, I flipped my shit over the Mission Impossible movies because I know Mission Impossible, I was a fan from when I was a kid.  James Bond stuff is not how it's supposed to go.

You know, I used to think J. Michael Straczynski was the shit.  I loved Babylon 5.  His work on The Real Ghostbusters was great.  The guy can be amazingly funny.  I didn't think much when he "redid" Wonder Woman, giving her the leggings and jacket.  If anything, I thought that was a more appropriate outfit than the star spangled swimsuit she was probably glued into.  But now comes a graphic novel from DC, Superman:  Earth One.  It is a reinterpretation of the character.  Check this shit out.  -->

Part of the reason I objected to the idea of Jennifer Love Hewitt as Wonder Woman was because the character is Wonder WOMAN.  Hewitt is just too girlish and pixie-ish for the role.  Same thing with Superman.  He's SuperMAN.  That means everything is exaggerated and enhanced.  This looks like a cosplayer trying not to be noticed outside the convention.

Every time I see someone with a hoodie who thinks it's cool, I want to slap them.  When M$ launched the XBox 360, the guy presenting (pushing 40 and built like Michael Chiklis from The Commish, not The Shield) wore a hoodie under his business suit, with the hood sticking out from the back.  It was the classic "Kids think this is cool, so they'll think I'm cool" when he looked like a pandering idiot.

Here's the problem with this version of Superman based on the sketch alone.  And I'm going to contrast it with Sherlock Holmes.  See, the Holmes movies, it was still Sherlock Holmes.  The character was transplanted, not changed.  There comes a point where, if you change something so much, why bother saying it's the same thing?  This isn't Superman, why pretend he is?  This is how bad mash-up comics like those by Bleedman happen.  The characters don't resemble the originals in any way other than the superficial.  Why not just make original characters and build the story around them?

Change isn't good.  Good change is good.  Change just for the sake of change?  That's a laugh.
Peter G

Alexander Anderson Jr., Rest In Peace

Alexander Anderson Jr. is one of the pioneers of animation.  He started off apprenticing for his uncle, Paul Terry.  Yes, of Terrytoons fame.  Anderson worked on Mighty Mouse cartoons for a while.  He worked there before and after WWII (he was an intelligence officer for the Navy during the war).  Seeing that cartoons for theaters were going to decline, he approached his uncle about making cartoons for television.  Terry thought the idea was insane.

So, Anderson teamed up with a former frat brother.  They started their own animation studio, working out of a garage behind Anderson's home in Berkley.

Who was the frat brother?

Jay Ward.

Their first creation was the classic Crusader Rabbit.  The animation may have been crude, but the stories were inventive, clever, and funny.  Crusader Rabbit became one of the first animated cartoons on television, running on NBC.  Among the other characters to come out of that garage were Dudley Do-Right, Rocky, and Bullwinkle.

The inspiration for Bullwinkle came from a dream Anderson had where he was playing poker with his friends, and a moose sat next to him and did "silly card things."  He told the San Francisco Chronicle in 1991 that he found "something majestic" about moose.  "They're macho, but they have a comic aspect with that schnozzola of theirs. There are few creatures begging to be caricatured."  Bullwinkle's name came from a Berkley car dealership called "Bullwinkel Motors."  Rocky was sort of a response to super heroes.  He couldn't figure out how a mouse or Superman could fly, but some squirrels could.  "That gave (Rocky) the mantle of superness without having to stretch the truth."

Anderson went into advertising.  Ward, meanwhile, got Rocky and Bullwinkle on the air in 1959.  Anderson felt Ward didn't give him proper credit for the creation of the characters and sued.  In 1993, he won, and was recognized as the creator of those early versions of Rocky, Bullwinkle, and Dudley.

Anderson died Friday in an assisted living facility in Carmel, CA.  He was suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

Thank you, Anderson, for the joy your creations gave us.