Well, hello there

typed for your pleasure on 23 October 2008, at 10.25 am

Sdtrk: ‘Not a gun’ by Prince and Pearl

Some breaking news — dig what I spotted on some Japanese person’s blog this morning:

So far, no release date or additional information has been put out on either Robot Watch, or Kokoro Co. Ltd‘s sites, so as you suspect, I’ll be watching those like a hawk. Probably won’t be long now, though…
I could’ve saved this for November’s ‘Any Synthetik/Doll-related news, Davecat?’ series, but that instalment will already be brimful of info as it is. At least, I think so… I might’ve lost a link somewhere.

Happy 23rd!

EDIT (30 OCT): Swapped out the pic for the one found on the English version of Kokoro’s site, durr hey. And shame on you, translators, for using ‘it’ instead of ‘her’ — that’s contra-productive

Technorati tags: Android, Gynoid, robots, Kokoro Co. Ltd., Actroid

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typed for your pleasure on 22 October 2008, at 1.31 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Action for green 3’ by Merzbow

Many of you under the age of, say, twenty-five, won’t remember this, but back in the olden days, television didn’t always broadcast a relentless twenty-four hours a day. Stations would actually shut down and go off the air at certain times, usually after midnight. As I live in the metro Detroit area, within gazing distance of Canada, I grew up watching a lot of Canadian television, which undoubtedly explains a lot. But I remember, particularly after the foreign films that CBET, CBC’s station for Windsor, Ontario, would show on late Saturday nights, that they’d shut down for the eve. This was followed by their national anthem, invariably played over footage of their flag in the breeze, some elk, and Don Cherry shouting at a puppy.

O, Canada
Our home and native land
Hm hm hmm hmm
Hm hmm hmm hmmmmm hm hm hmmm
And the rocket’s red glare

Or something of that nature. As I found myself staring out the rear window of goshou and Steph’s van, watching the cornfields and cows go by, and listening to Zip Gun and SafeT play their PSP and DS (respectively), that anthem played subtly in my head. Then it was replaced by ‘Princes of the Universe’ by Queen. But I’m getting a wee bit ahead of myself!

Click here for the rest of the post, bunky »

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typed for your pleasure on 15 October 2008, at 1.22 am

Sdtrk: ‘Ford Mustang’ by Serge Gainsbourg

Besides being two of my favourite telly shows that I rabidly watched during my formative years — which really explains a lot — what common thread joins Ultraman and Space: 1999? Is it the kitsch factor? Is it the fact that the production crew did a lot with a little? Well, it’s simpler than that, as you’ll see:

The Jet Beetle seats five ‘comfortably’

Space: only $19.99 (while supplies last)

That’s right — orange suits. Although I have to say that I’ll take the Science Patrol’s uniform over the Alpha Moonbase spacesuits any day. I mean, that’s attire you can pretty much wear anywhere

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Twitter: verdict pending

typed for your pleasure on 10 October 2008, at 12.40 am

Sdtrk: ‘Lotto’ by Fantastic plastic machine

As is our wont, back on the 27th of last month, Monti and I met up for another dinner — we put away a tidy amount of Japanese food while catching up on each others’ lives — and somehow or other, we got on the topic of Twitter. Now Twitter, if you’re not familiar with it, is a hot & sassy new Internet service that lies somewhere between a chat programme and a blog. Its optimum use is probably in a mobile context; you can use it to basically provide real-time updates to your subscribers (aka, your ‘followers’) as to what shenanigans you’re up at any given moment from your cellphone, and as you’re limited to 140 characters, you’re forced to adhere to the ‘brevity is wit’ ethos. Pretty interesting, all told.
I’d actually known about Twitter for a couple of months — web-savvy sex columnist Violet Blue uses it frequently, as well as R.Stevens of the online comic strip Diesel Sweeties, William Bennett of caustic Noise merchants whitehouse, and countless others. Abe Vigoda periodically sends out a couple of updates a day (known as ‘tweets’) to let people know he’s alive and kicking, which I think is a riot, although I’ve seen a couple of the same messages twice, I’m beginning to think that either he’s a malfunctioning Android, or just extremely forgetful.

When I initially learned of Twitter, it sounded kinda fab, but the one thing that really stopped me from hopping on that train would be the fact that my cellphone plan has a limit on texts, so sending and receiving Tweets would definitely enlarge my phone bill to Biblical proportions. But when Monti mentioned that you can post updates from your browser, I started thinking it was a viable option. So I signed up!
As a social networking site, it’s actually not too offensive… personally, I’d say it’s better than Facebook, and roughly one thousand times better than Myspace, but then, so is being punched in the sternum. But it’s straightforward, which is what I like about it. No flashing .gifs to slow load time, no external applications you have to download; you just write up to 140 characters, hit your Update button, and move on with your life. And then write about that, and hit Update again. However, for my personal use, I see two drawbacks. One: as I can’t use it from my phone, it kinda throws cold water over the ideal situations I’d be using it in. I was having visions of me using it at work (‘In the midst of another pointless monthly meeting, and considering a messy suicide’), or whilst out and about (‘A homeless bloke asked me if I liked Coldplay, so I kicked him. It was no more than he deserved’), or in other contexts (‘The Missus is horny again! Unfortunately, I think we’ve run out of lube’), but unless I want a ten-page phone bill, that’s not an option. Two: so far, I’ve been posting Tweets from my computer proper, but I often wonder if I’m sliding into the realm of the inane. Cos to be honest, it’s either that, or TMI-territory (see the lube reference above). There is, after all, such a thing as too much disclosure. ‘Shouting etc etc’ covers a considerable bit of ground as it is, so how much more does a person need to know? It’s not as if I do a tremendous amount, really — I get together with my friends, I play videogames, I read, I curse my job, I stare at the InfoBahn, I sleep, I have it off with Sidore-chan. Err, sorry, I did it again. Ignore that!

As it is, Twitter’s not a bad application, but is it really necessary for someone like me? I’m not entirely sure. In the meantime, though, it’s not hurting me to have it up there on the sidebar, and if I get sick of it, I’ll simply press the Eject on it. There are worse ways to interact on the Internet, after all

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typed for your pleasure on 4 October 2008, at 8.09 pm

Sdtrk: ‘De Toowey a Gutemberg’ by Mecánica popular

In doing my daily stats and referrals check for ‘Shouting etc etc’, I’d noticed there was a link to Fembot Central, which is a forum I quite frankly should’ve joined years ago. Really, the only reason why I haven’t done so is the same reason why I’ve not been on TDF in a while — namely, time constraints. I need to become independently wealthy, so I can do Other Things apart from wasting my life away at work. Ahh, Wilde; reading your fantastic essay ‘The Soul of Man under Socialism‘ has ruined me. Anyway, bouncing between some of the posts there, I spotted this gem found on the Tube of You: a recent advert for Tokyo Gas.

A forum member by the name of andoroido was kind enough to give an overview:

It’s an ad for a home gas-cogeneration system. [Generate your own electricity using natural gas, and the generator’s waste heat can be used to make hot water, etc.]

She’s slumped on the sidewalk and asks him for a recharge.
She thanks him for the charge and offers to pay for the electricity.
He says it’s she doesn’t have to, and explains the system.
Then he talks about a home sauna, then kinda says “Robots and saunas don’t mix, do they?”
She robo-blushes, and he says “You’re blushing!”

I guess it’s as suggestive as the gas company wants to get.

Cute? Yes. There’s something I like about you, Japan, but I can’t quite put my finger on it…

Speaking of cute, have you met Phoenix Studios’ Miss October?

At least she comes with her own transportation

O goodness. I like how she’s wearing some kinda French maid… Gothic Lolita… Hogwarts student-type outfit; that’s a little insane. But it’s not over-the-top, which is important. Besides, how long will she really be wearing it? *sly wink to camera*
Now, my question is: what will Phoenix Studios do come December of this year? Cos Miss November will be the last Boy Toy they make, and then there are the other three lasses in the Boy Toy Seasons line. Unless, of course, they have a secret agenda that I’m not privy to… This year went by quickly!

Also, there’s a new Doll manufacturer from the States that’s making their debut this month; their girl is called Ruby13.

This is the only G-rated photo I could find

Visually, she reminds me of a cross between the late-lamented SuperBabe 2000, and the main character from ‘Doll’, an Eighties-era underground comic series from illustrator Guy Colwell. Ruby13 has been in development for the past couple of years, and she boasts having a skeleton composed of thick-walled PVC pipes, flexible aluminum rods, nylon cord, and chain steel elbow and knee joints. She has only one face, but you can buy up to seven different heads, each with a differing expression, that can be swapped out like a 4woods Doll. They don’t mention her height or weight on the site, so I’ll have to do some investigation as far as that goes. In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t know if I’m completely sold on her face, but she’s by no means revolting. Believe me, I’ve seen much, much, worse.
Overall though, not bad! Definitely looking forward to seeing more of her in future…

And finally, last Sunday, Shi-chan and I watched our DVD copy of ‘Lars and the Real Girl’. She made me promise not to watch it until we could do so together, and so we did. Before that, however, we also viewed ‘Rubberheart‘, an indie film directed by Brian Crano, and we also found that to be really entertaining. The case for my promo copy came with a number of postcards, one of which Brian autographed, which was pretty ace. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I was surprised to discover that the film was only about 15 minutes long, including the credits.
Hrrm, how to review this… See, as it’s only fifteen minutes long, I don’t want to give too much away, as the synopsis pretty much details the plot, but I can say this: iDollators will love it, and I think viewers who may not be into Dolls but have open minds will enjoy it as well. It’s a bit like ‘Lars’, but without the phobias, and the ending is a lot more satisfying. Not to say that the ending of ‘Lars etc etc’ was rubbish, but the ending for ‘Rubberheart’ definitely put a smile on my face. Having said that, Sidore and I give it four thumbs up, in the Siskel & Ebert tradition, and think you should give the film a look-in, should it get played in or near your town. The man’s constantly on tour with his work! He’s like the Ramones in that respect. Nice one, Mr Crano!

Technorati tags: Fembot Central, Oscar Wilde, Tokyo Gas, 東京ガス, Android, Gynoid, robots, Phoenix Studios, Boy Toy, Ruby13, SuperBabe 2000, Guy Colwell, 4woods, Lars and the Real Girl, Rubberheart, Brian Crano, RealDolls

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