Archive for the ‘Fandom’ Category

Come With Me If You Want to Live

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Over the past few weeks, people have been growing increasingly nervous about the Conficker worm. All anyone’s knew about it until now is that it was going to start looking for a message on April 1.

It appears that Conficker has received its message, and it doesn’t look good for us.

Google has announced their new Artificial Intelligence, CADIE (Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity).

I’ve already taken a look at CADIE’s homepage and YouTube channel and as far as I can tell, it’s indistinguishable from what most humans put on line. And if you can’t reliably tell an A.I. apart from a human, then the A.I. has passed the Turing Test.

Now we know what the Conficker worm is: It’s Google’s A.I. Or rather, it’s Skynet.

If you need me for anything, I’ll be hanging out with Sarah Conner.

How Will It End?

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

Battlestar Galactica ended last week. The final episode isn’t available on Hulu yet — so I haven’t seen past Daybreak part I — but I’m left wondering about a massive knot of loose threads. (How did Kara get resurrected? What’s with Baltar’s visions? Are they representatives of a third type of cylons?)

I expect they’re going to rescue Hera and defeat the “bad” cylons. And I strongly suspect the Galactica will be destroyed in the process. But doing all that in a satisfactory way, and finding a place for humanity to live (even if it’s just going back to the colonies) — all in a single hour….

That’s really tough to swallow.

I can’t help thinking they’re either setting up for a (made for TV) movie, or else the final scene will be Zack stepping out of the shower and the last four years have all been Kara’s dream.

Galactica meets the U.N.

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

I’ve been watching the final season of Battlestar Galactica on Hulu. I’m a week or two behind right now*, but when I saw a Washington Post article about a Battlestar Galactica event at the United Nations, I decided to risk the potential for spoilers and dive right in.

Along with obligatory praise between the BSG people and the UN representatives, the article (and the UN event) also delved into some of the real-world ethical concerns the show raised. (e.g. Waterboarding a cylon as a proxy for a suspected terrorist.) I was also quite amused by the mention that Edward James Olmos apparently had a tendency to refer to the character of Admiral Adama in the first person.

All in all, it’s probably one of the best bits of news coverage I’ve seen for a Science Fiction related event.

*The last episode I saw was the one where it turns out Ellen Tigh is an utter bitch regardless of whether she’s a human or a cylon.

Netflix Streaming Doctor Who

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

I seem to be on another of my Doctor Who kicks. 🙂

Working my way through Season 4 of Doctor Who, I paused after watching “The Stolen Earth.” Time to take a break and savor the show rather than rush through the final episodes and then wait indefinitely for Season Five to come out.

So in the meantime, I went digging through the Netflix list of episodes and discovered that seasons two and three are now available for streaming. (Season one has been available for at least six months.)

Since I’m in midst of watching Rose return, it seemed only natural to go back to the end of season two when she left. While I’m going back and watching the previous seasons, I’ve also made a point of watching the great chase scene from “The Runaway Bride” and Sarah Jane’s life-altering discovery of the T.A.R.D.I.S. in the closet in “School Reunion.”

I haven’t seen “Blink” since before it won the Hugo. So tonight, along with possibly updating the convention list, this may be a good time to remedy that. (Am I alone in thinking “Silence in the Library”/”Forest of the Dead” would be a good candidate for another Hugo? I just love the portrayal of The Doctor’s future relationship with Professor Song and how that’s impacted by his time travel. I wouldn’t mind seeing future seasons touch on that thread.)

Broadband is wonderful.

Doctor’s Visit – Season Four

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

It took a while, but Netflix has at long last delivered the third through fifth disks from the fourth season of Doctor Who. They’ve been in my queue for a while, but even when the status changed from “Long Wait” to “Now” it still took a while. Even Wall-E arrived faster! (As much as I’d like to believe this is because of Doctor Who’s popularity, I suspect it has more to do Netflix buying many more copies of the Wall-E DVD.)

What I’ve seen so far from the first two disks of Season 4 has been enticing. The Doctor seems to be getting edgier, and perhaps a bit more bitter about being the last of his race. I’m not sure how I feel about Donna as the companion (she reminds me of a particularly bossy ex-girlfriend), but I suppose there’s room for the character to grow.

And speaking of companions… I’m more than a little intrigued by Rose’s brief appearance at the end of “Partners in Crime”. I’ve been trying to avoid finding out about the show before I watch it, but clips I’ve stumbled across on YouTube make it clear that she’s coming back. And I can’t overlook that The Doctor is still carrying Martha’s mobile.

It may have taken a while for the Season 4 disks to arrive, but I’m quite willing to believe it was worth the wait.

A Cappella Tribute to John Williams

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

When this a cappella performance was first described to me as “a tribute to Star Wars using the music of John Williams,” I have to admit, the first thing to go through my mind was Bill Murray’s performance as Nick, the Lounge Singer singing the Star Wars theme.

After watching it though, I’m quite impressed. Coordinating the singing between four takes of the same person can’t possibly be easy. And on top of that, the lyrics fit the various movie themes without sacrificing any clarity from the themes.

The Demise of Sudden Death

Friday, November 7th, 2008

I’ve been confused by “Sudden Death” for a while now. It’s only been in the past year that I’ve understood how the term applies to football. Until this evening however, I could never tell you whether Sudden Death the musical comedy act was one person or several.

It turns out that the answer has evolved over time, but it no longer matters. Apparently I’m not the only one who’s been confused and as of October 21, the name Sudden Death has been retired. Devo Spice, who’s been performing solo as Sudden Death will now be performing as himself.

The announcement doesn’t mention whether he’ll ever team up with Scary, Baby, Ginger, Posh and Sporty.

Remember the Games People Play

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

Thanks to Netflix, I’ve been enjoying the second season of Eureka. The general premise is that there’s a town of geniuses living in a secluded part of the Cascade mountains, working on a variety of experimental research. Each episode is a mystery, generally centered on something going astray with one of the experiments.

So far I’ve enjoyed every episode I’ve seen. “The Games People Play” was no exception, though I did find it a little predictable. The first time someone disappeared, it seemed properly mysterious, but by the time they were re-examining the medical results I was expecting Carter to conclude, “If there’s nothing wrong with me, maybe there’s something wrong with the universe,” as Beverly Crusher did in ST:TNG’s “Remember Me.” (Add in a touch of “Better than Life” and the parallel seems pretty solid.)

I still enjoyed the episode, but I hope there aren’t parallels with too many other shows I’ve seen.

Evil League of Evil Now Recruiting

Monday, September 29th, 2008

It would appear that Dr. Horrible is currently recruiting for his new Evil League of Evil.

Interested evil-doers have been invited to submit video applications. An assortment of sample applications can be found on Dr. Horrible’s site.

By Google’s Command

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

I’m a bit embarrassed I hadn’t noticed this before.

The icon for Google’s new Chrome web browser features a sort of beach-ball thing with a circle in the middle. It looks a little like a robotic eye.

Chrome eye.

They’ve included that eye in the logo on the download page.

Chrome eye.

On the new Battlestar Galactica, the human-appearing cylons are frequently referred to as “skin jobs.” The more classically robotic centurions are occasionally referred to as “chrome jobs.” These so called “chrome jobs” have only one eye.

One eye. Robotic. Chrome.

Do you suppose Google is being run by Cylons?