Telephone or megaphone?

typed for your pleasure on 26 February 2007, at 2.35 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Alice in Boogie Wonderland’ by Noise/Girl

Recently, I’ve discovered something about myself: unlike 90% of cellphone owners, I don’t really like being on my phone when out in public. Errm, correction: I don’t like being on my cellphone when out in public around people.

Every single one of us has come across some self-important gobshite on their cell, loudly speaking about nothing at all, at great length. It’s almost as bad as being at someplace such as the optometrists, or an auto repair place, where a television is constantly blaring crap that you can’t really get away from. There’s a solution for that, if you’re so inclined, but unfortunately, you can’t do the same thing to Loud Cellphone Fuckwit. And believe me, I’ve tried! But unfortunately, it seems you can’t bring a hammer with you everywhere you go, which is really a shame.

My thing is, I get self-conscious — well, moreso than usual — when engaged in telephonic conversation, and it’s due to two reasons: one, like pretty much everyone else, I really can’t perceive how loud I sound to the surrounding area, so even if I’m not intentionally being loud, in my mind, I’m bellowing like Brian Blessed; two, whether I’m genuinely being loud or speaking at a normal volume, there’s always gonna be someone eavesdropping nearby — it’s unavoidable. People don’t need to be listening to my feckin’ business. Although there have been a few times when Penda and I were enjoying our semi-monthly dinner, and being perfectly aware of our conversation being within another diner’s earshot, we’d deliberately say things to take the piss — usually centred round babies, and the proper way to prepare one for dinner. But that’s talking shite deliberately, as opposed to an actual conversation.

If I’m out and about, it’s not unusual at all for me to be on my phone — I should probably mention at this point that I always use my headset, so I have use of both hands, plus I don’t get facial schmutz on my screen that way — but usually I’ll end the call before I get out of my car. I suppose I’m simply not a typical cellphone user, as I like to keep my private conversations exactly that — private

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Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Feb 2007)

typed for your pleasure on 23 February 2007, at 12.55 am

Sdtrk: ‘Why you never became a dancer’ by whitehouse

So I’d mentioned that I’d found a couple of additional scraps of info about the Chinese Gynoid known as Dion, right? I quite literally happened to luck into them, as the thought of navigating sites in Chinese fills me with an unescapable dread. The company that built her — with the fantastically-lysergic name of Beijing Yuanda Super Robot Technology Co., Ltd. — has some facts about her on their home page. In English, yet! Well, as good as they can get it.


Lovely choice of top

Characteristics of the simulated intelligent robot developed by Beijing Yuanda Super Robot Technology Co., Ltd. are as follows:

His (her) figure and body height are same as that of actual person;

He (she) has the facial features and hair just like that of actual person;

He (she) can have all kinds of rich expressions on face, such as happiness, anger, sadness, pleasure, sorrow, naughtiness, shyness and displeasure, etc.;

His (her) degree of lip-rounding is the same as actual person’s when speaking, he (she) can use different tone, manner of speaking and languages to talk with people;

He (she) has the artificial skin, dermatoglyph and elasticity just like that of actual person;

He (she) is the same as us, has body temperature, pulse, breath and heartbeat.

His (her) main parts of body like head, neck, waist, arm, hand and leg, etc. can hold various postures and any actions just like that of actual person.
the rest of the article is here

The ‘his (her)’ bits indicate that they’re referring to their Androids as well. The one Android bloke I saw footage of was rather funny. He’s dressed in a military uniform, and he doesn’t so much speak, as tersely shout. That’s his schtick, I suppose — the cranky, shouting Android from mainland China. Cranky as Geminoid looks, at least he doesn’t shout. Indoor voice, sir; indoor voice.

And The Korea Times comes through again, with an update on everyone’s favourite (completely) Synthetik pop star, KiTECH’s EveR-2 Muse.

Android to Get Plastic Surgery
By Kim Tae-gyu, Staff Reporter | The Korea Times, 02-12-2007

Korean “female” android, dubbed the EveR-2 Muse, undergoes a plastic surgery for more attractive looks, according to its creator Baeg Moon-hong at the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology on Monday.

As the country’s second female android (technically gynoid), the EveR-2 Muse gained prominence late last year with its ability to sing a song.

In response to opinions that it looks homely in comparison to its predecessor EveR-1, however, EveR-2 has not appeared in public events for the past couple of months.

“Originally, I thought that EveR-2 is prettier than EveR-1 because the former looks like a real, flesh and blood human being while the latter looks like a doll,” Baeg said.

“But the public seems to disagree with me and has favored EveR-1. So we decided to conduct the facelift of EveR-2 while making its hands smaller,” said Baeg, who also crafted EveR-1.

Baeg said his team may change the facial skeleton of EveR-2 and the skin will be replaced with a better one. Then he predicts EveR-2 will be a “beauty.”

“Unlike humanoids geared mainly toward developing a variety of functionalities, androids need to look good since they meet people face-to-face,” Baeg said.

“Through the ongoing surgeries, EveR-2 will give a better impression. Good appearances will help its various expressions and good shapes stand out,” the 48-year-old said.
the rest of the article is here

Now see, this is the thing I don’t fully understand. During my image searchings for EveR-2 Muse, I’ve seen three different versions of what she’s supposed to look like.


Three faces of Eve(R-2 Muse)

The far left was, I suppose, some prototype sculpt; the middle was the one that made her ill-fated singing debut; and the last was the version that was featured recently. It might well be a case of the second and third are the same, just with different hairstyles; I always thought the middle one was the least attractive, but if she’s the same as the third pic, it just goes to show you how stage lights can make anyone look horrible. In any case, a facelift wouldn’t go amiss. But I like the last one!…

And since it’s once again that time again, Shi-chan’s got some more videos up at her Dailymotion.com site; as always, the link is at the top of this blog. Happy 23rd!

Finally, surprise upswing regarding voting on spending quality time with a modern-day Gynoid, thanks to blurbs on both tiny nibbles and Shake Well Before Use. Seems like Actroid DER2 was chosen Most Likely To Be The Populace’s Favourite Sexy Gynoid Overlord. Now how do I go about showing the results to Hiroshi Ishiguro?
Coincidentally enough, one of the new videoclips uploaded is her nattering on about whatever. Enjoy it responsibly, and thanks to all that voted!

Technorati tags: Android, Gynoid, Synthetik, Actroid, Hiroshi Ishiguro, EveR-2 Muse, KITECH

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Worth leaving the house for

typed for your pleasure on 17 February 2007, at 11.58 am

Sdtrk: ‘Big foot (Mix 2)’ by Merzbow

As far as feature films, 2007 is lookin’ sharp, I’d say! At least, as far as films I want to see — your mileage may vary.

Recently I’d picked up the latest issue of MOJO magazine, as Zip Gun tipped me off that they had a sizable article on my favourite band of all feckin’ time, Joy division. I’d made mention last year about ‘Control’, the film about Ian Curtis and Joy division, but according to both the article and the film’s website, apparently it’s due in the theatres sometime this year, which has me five kinds of excited.

Control – part-financed by Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore – has, it seems won some important fans. The surviving members of Joy Division saw a preview on November 28th, reporting to Mojo that they “very much approve of it and will be backing it 100%”. “Initially the group were disinterested in the film, but at the same time were intrigued and wanted to get involved,” says [producer Orian] Williams. “When we first met them backstage at a gig in Liverpool in 2005, Bernard said ‘Just have some fun with it.’ We did and the finished movie is amazing.”
quoted from this article

Another rather nice aesthetic touch is that director Anton Corbijn has filmed ‘Control’ in black and white, which is entirely appropriate. You can check out a segment from a Dutch news programme (it’s subtitled) where they interview Corbijn here on the Tube of You.
Hearing that not only is Corbijn creating this — with the blessing of the other 3/4ths of Joy division — but it’s based off of the book ‘Touching from a distance‘, which was written by Ian’s wife, Deborah, is quite reassuring, as letting Hollywood getting its grubby little hands on a story like Ian’s would be sacrilege. But then, a band like Joy division wouldn’t even register on Hollywood’s radar, thankfully…

The other one that has my interest level at Maximum Pique would be ‘Factory girl’. I think it was a little over a year ago when I’d first heard mention of this; it’s a movie based on Andy Warhol’s most beautiful and doomed superstar, Edie Sedgwick. Supposedly, production was held back for a bit due to various factors; one of them being that Bob Dylan was miffed about Hayden Christensen’s character (who’s based on Dylan and named either ‘the Musician’ or ‘Folk singer’, depending on what you read) as he and his lawyers believe the film infers that he was responsible for Edie’s death. Not only that, David Weisman, the director of her fictional-but-not-really film ‘Ciao! Manhattan’, apparently has issues with the film, and interestingly enough, Lou Reed, Edie’s friend during the Silver Dream Factory years, is quoted as saying that the screenplay is ‘one of the most disgusting, foul things I’ve seen – by any illiterate retard – in a long time‘. Lou is often cranky. Hard to imagine, but it’s true!
It’s pretty well established that among other reasons, Dylan was one of the presiding factors in causing Edie to leave the Factory crowd. Edie was repeatedly cast in several of Warhol’s films, but she — along with other Factory members — would often have to chase Andy down in order to get paid for their time, and Edie thought she’d be better off in the non-underground film circuit. Dylan just happened to visit the Factory at the right time, and persuaded her to leave.
I’ve never liked Dylan. He’s a mutterer, and I don’t like mutterers.

Personally, I was hoping they’d cast that luscious wee Keira Knightley as Edie, but going by the pictures, Sienna Miller makes a rather good Dopplegänger. Surprisingly enough, Guy Pearce seems to make for a good Warhol as well. As long as it reasonably sticks to her life and history, I’ll be happy…
Interestingly enough, Edie died of a barbiturate overdose exactly one year before and one day after my birthday. ‘Factory girl‘ is also due in the theatres sometime this year

Technorati tags: Joy division, Ian Curtis, Anton Corbijn, Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol, Factory girl

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This will be the best thing you’ve ever voted for (2007 edition)

typed for your pleasure on 10 February 2007, at 2.13 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Dead womb’ by Death from above 1979

In the interest of promoting a wee bit more interactivity from readers of ‘Shouting etc etc’ — the ratio of people that visit to people that actually leave comments is probably about 10:1 — I came up with this after finding new info and pics concerning China’s first Gynoid, Dion. Yes, that’s forthcoming as well.
So I thought: in the meantime, why not whip up a poll? Why not, indeed?

Which modern-day Gynoid would you most love to spend a dirty week-end with?
Actroid
Actroid DER
Actroid DER2
Ando-san
Dion
EveR-1
EveR-2 Muse
Android SAYA
pollcode.com free polls

And here are the nominees!


Actroid


Actroid DER


Actroid DER2


Ando-san


Dion


EveR-1


EveR-2 Muse


Android SAYA

If you’re so inclined, you can indicate who you voted for and why in the comments. And anyone who pipes up with any bobbins along the lines of ‘well, they can’t even walk, let alone fu…’ or worse, gets the back of my hand. This poll is for Amusement Purposes Only. That also means you won’t actually win a date with the lass that receives the most votes, either. But don’t let that prevent you from voting, by god!

The poll will run for a week, so vote with vigour

ADDENDUM (17 Feb): Well, it’s been a week! I kinda lied; you can still vote after today, but I just wanted to see what results would occur within a seven-day period.
Unfortunately, very few people commented, but a handful did at least vote. Glancing at the stats right now, it seems Actroid DER2-chan has taken most peoples’ hearts, with 58% of the vote; EveR-2 Muse came in second with 26%; and a couple of people were drawn by Ando-san’s MILFiness, at 11%. Sadly, everyone else received nul points, with the exception of poor Actroid DER-chan, who got a single vote, as I voted for her. 🙂

Remember, you can keep voting if you like! I’m sure the other lasses would love some appreciation as well! Just think: dirty week-end

Technorati tags: Gynoid, Actroid, EveR-1, EveR-2 Muse, Synthetik

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‘Hello, sir? Bring me your head, please’

typed for your pleasure on 8 February 2007, at 5.44 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before’ by the Smiths

Saw this on my monitor at work, and as it references one of my favourite films, I couldn’t stop giggling.

Strangely enough, he didn’t answer the phone

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First Major Tom’s a junkie, now this

typed for your pleasure on 7 February 2007, at 12.01 am

Sdtrk: ‘Just can’t get enough’ by Nouvelle vague

Attention J.G Ballard: here’s your latest work of short fiction just waiting to be written. Just throw in a couple of carcrashes, a few clinker rocks, and some high-profile personalities from the Sixties, and BAM! They’ll herald it as ‘a return to form’.

Astronaut in murder plot charge
BBC News | Tuesday, 6 February 2007, 17:52 GMT

A US astronaut accused of attacking a woman she considered competition for the affection of a shuttle pilot has been charged with attempted murder.

Earlier a Florida court had ordered that Navy Capt Lisa Nowak, 43, who was facing charges of attempted kidnapping and battery, could be freed on bail.

However, the introduction of the more serious charge that she intended to murder Colleen Shipman reverses that. A mother of three, Capt Nowak flew on the space shuttle Discovery last July.

Airport interception

The man at the centre of the love triangle was said to be Navy Cmdr William Oefelein, who was a pilot on the Discovery’s mission to the space station in December.

Though he and Capt Nowak never flew on the same mission, they did train together.

According to her written police statement, Capt Nowak described her attachment to Cmdr Oefelein as “more than a working relationship but less than a romantic relationship”.

Capt Nowak is understood to have thought that Ms Shipman was romantically involved with Cmdr Oefelein.

So, when she heard that her rival was due to fly from Texas to Florida, she decided to drive the 1,000 miles (1,600km) from her home in Houston to Orlando International Airport to intercept and confront her. (emphasis mine)

Capt Nowak told police she had not wanted to harm Ms Shipman, just wanting to scare her rival into talking about her relationship with Cmdr Oefelein.

To avoid toilet breaks during the long drive to Orlando, Capt Nowak wore an adult nappy – such as astronauts wear during shuttle launches and landings – and she disguised herself with a wig, dark glasses and a trench coat.
the rest of the article is here

The thing that really gets me, apart from Captain Nowak driving virtually non-stop from Texas to Florida fuelled by Pure Jealousy, is the part where ‘an officer followed Capt Nowak and she was stopped allegedly carrying the wig, an air rifle, a steel mallet, rubber tubing, dustbin bags, black gloves and a knife.’ She obviously meant business!
There’s a footnote in ‘The Atrocity exhibition’, one of my favourite books of J.G Ballard’s, that sprung to mind when I’d read this report:

Little information has been released about the psychological effects of space travel, both on the astronauts and the the public at large. Over the years NASA spokesmen have even denied that the astronauts dream at all during their space flights. But it is clear from the subsequently troubled careers of many of the astronauts (Armstrong, probably the only man for whom the 20th century will be remembered 50,000 years from now, refuses to discuss the moon-landing) that they suffered severe psychological damage.

Perhaps this is partially why Dave Bowman went mad?

EDIT: Damnit, someone at Ballardian already knew about this. Hardly a surprise, really… I’d love to know what James Graham himself thinks about the whole affair

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Yes, ubernyms

typed for your pleasure on 3 February 2007, at 5.57 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Waterman’ by Hearts of soul

Casual readers of this blogue might well drop in and wonder what the living hell I’m crapping on about, having been assaulted with a new and unfamiliar lexicon of ‘Sidore’ this and ‘Gynoid’ that, and the like. Enter… Ubernyms. Thanks to having seen them in action over on the Duck, I’m totally abusing them. Merely hover that so-called mouse pointer of yours over a word with dashed lines beneath it, and check out the brief explanation that pops up! Short of distilling ‘Shouting etc etc’ into liquid form and injecting it straight into your frontal lobes, what could be simpler? Besides, doing that is unfortunately more time-consuming and less cost-effective than it sounds. But it sure is fun.

Kudos to Huddled Masses, for doing coding work that I’d never in a million years be arsed to do myself!
More ubernyms to follow shortly, of course

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