Shared posts

27 Jul 01:52

Steampunk Slave I

by Nannan

Jonas (Legopard) built a steampunk version of Boba Fett’s Slave I. The caged appearance of various parts of the ship is fascinating, and the introduction of dark green adds a nice touch of color.

Slave 1885

27 Jul 11:53

Forum Post: RE: Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed......

by midnightprowler

Holy cruiser, Batman! It's the Batmobile!

24 Jul 16:50

Gratuitous Space Battles 2 is officially announced…now

by cliffski

I know blog reader regulars know this already but… I’m working on this:

Oh yes indeed.

I guess not many people will be surprised, the original game sold very well, was very popular and seemed to have an endless lifespan thanks in no small part to an excellent community of modders. The reason for doing a sequel isn’t financial though (I’d be doing Democracy 4 if it was), but driven more by a desire to do the job properly.

Gratuitous Space Battles was the first time I ever tried to do a game that looked impressive. I mean it. Kudos and Democracy are not designed to be a feast for the eye, they are interesting simulations covering topics not covered before. Those games are about choices and mechanics. The GUI was there because it had to be. Nobody looks at those ‘happiness’ sliders in kudos or those bar charts in Democracy and says ‘I gotta get me some of that!’.


I love space battles. I love em to bits. I could sit and watch them on and endless loop. There is so much to them, the feeling of scale, the sound effects, the particles, the cool lasers, the amazing nebula backdrops and the vast vast fleets of ships doing amazing acrobatics. As a kid I grew up watching the original star wars movies and playing Elite. Space Battles are in my blood and I love them. Game-wise, I *want* to liked Eve online, but I’m sick of being ganked by some teenage boy and his pals for their amusement. I don’t want the lowliest of the low mining ships that gets one-shot killed. I want a huge fuck-off spacefleet. I want to be ackbar.


GSB2 is a continuation of my fantasy of making this come to life. There are various questions answered on the placeholder website here, but let me summarize. GSB2 will be bigger, bolder, better and have more cool effects than you can shake a laser gun at. It will have a truly gratuitous user-interface. it will lovingly embrace the possibilities of twin 2560 res monitors. It will have a super-cool feature I haven’t announced yet. It will be a PC-first game, pure and simple, and it will be in your hands either late 2014 or early 2015. And you can play it in London at the Eurogamer Expo in September. If you are press and looking for presskit logos etc, clicky here.

Videos to come in due course. You are going to *really* like the videos.

23 Jul 19:34

Family kicked off Denver Southwest flight because Dad tweeted about the rude gate-agent

by Cory Doctorow

They only let them back on again after he deleted his tweet. Read the rest

22 Jul 10:00

Wii U update adds system-to-system transfers

by Sinan Kubba

Erm... I thought that moving your data from Wii to WiiU was (or should have been) there from the release? :o

Wii U owners can proverbially move home from one system to another using a new feature introduced in the latest system update. The 5.1.0 U firmware adds "Transfer Between Wii U Systems," allowing you to take all system data - user data, games and...
18 Jul 14:43

TSA employee to security theater skeptics: "You don't have shit for rights"

by Cory Doctorow

Surprised by this ruling attitude? I don't think anybody should or *could* be.

A person who "works for the TSA" accidentally posted a public comment to Facebook excoriating Rebecca Hains for expressing skepticism about the TSA's efficacy. Read the rest

18 Jul 12:51

Malaysia Airlines crash kills AIDS researchers

by Maggie Koerth-Baker

A particularly depressing addendum to the story of a passenger jet shot down in Ukrainian air space: Of the 298 people on board, roughly 100 were people flying to an international conference on AIDS research.

Read the rest
17 Jul 14:14

French blogger fined €1,500 for writing negative restaurant review

by Eric Bangeman

A French blogger has been fined €1,500 ($2,434) after being sued for writing a negative blog post about a restaurant.

Caroline Doudet was sued by the restaurant's owner because her blog post featured highly on Google searches for the restaurant, Il Giardino in Cap-Ferret, southwest France.

"I was really stunned and disgusted, and of course I will worry now [whenever I] write a negative review," Doudet said of the effect of the case in an e-mail to "I regret the article, because it's so much noise for nothing."

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

20 Jul 15:10

The "Gods Win" point

by Francois Launet

I really like the awesomely drawn Wehrmacht weapons!

Ah! Cthulhoo and the Nazis. I always wanted to make this strip, but it took forever to be completed. There are less WWII/Mythos stories than we could expect (there are games settings such as Achtung! Cthulhu, or Delta Greens stories, and some novels), maybe because it's difficult to avoid a disturbing imaginary/reel horror clash. Anyway, thanks to Jeremsoft JunkyJoe, who draw the accurate warmachines here, and Bobby D. for the clever corrrections.


17 Jul 00:50

Maniac Mansion Design Notes


"I'm still amazed Gary and I didn't get fired."

While cleaning out my storage unit in Seattle, I came across a treasure trove of original documents and backup disks from the early days of Lucasfilm Games and Humongous Entertainment. I hadn't been to the unit in over 10 years and had no idea what was waiting for me.

Here is the first batch... get ready for a week of retro... Grumpy Gamer style...

First up...

A early mock-up of the Maniac Mansion UI. Gary had done a lot of art long before we had a running game, hence the near finished screen without the verbs.

A map of the mansion right after Gary and I did a big pass at cutting the design down.  Disk space was a bigger concern than production time. We had 320K. That's right. K.

Gary and I were trying to make sense of the mansion and how the puzzles flowed together. It wouldn't be until Monkey Island that the "puzzle dependency chart" would solve most of our adventure game design issues.

More design flow and ideas. The entire concept of getting characters to like you never really made it into the final game. Bobby, Joey and Greg would grow up and become Dave, Syd, Wendy, Bernard, etc..

A really early brainstorm of puzzle ideas. NASA O-ring was probably "too soon" and twenty-five years later the dumb waiter would finally make it into The Cave.

I'm still amazed Gary and I didn't get fired.

16 Jul 16:06

Google+ social network no longer requires you to use your real name

by Andre Yoskowitz

"many commentators, especially on YouTube, just stopped commenting" considering the quality of the comments, that is generally only a damn good thing.

Google+ social network no longer requires you to use your real nameIn 2011, when Google launched its Google+ social network, the search giant angered many users by requiring that the page include their real name.

Google had the novel idea that if your real name was attached to a comment you were making, you were less likely to be belligerent (or violent). It turns out, more than a few people are still willing to make awful comments, even with their real name attached.

The restriction hurt users that had to use other names for safety reasons, and many commentators, especially on YouTube, just stopped commenting. Google has heard the complaints for years and has now decided to drop any name restrictions for Google+.

Reads the Google+ post:

When we launched Google+ over three years ago, we had a lot of restrictions on what name you could use on your profile. This helped create a community made up of real people, but it also excluded a number of people who wanted to be part of it without using their real names.

Over the years, as Google+ grew and its community became established, we steadily opened up this policy, from allowing +Page owners to use any name of their choosing to letting YouTube users bring their usernames into Google+. Today, we are taking the last step: there are no more restrictions on what name you can use.

We know you've been calling for this change for a while. We know that our names policy has been unclear, and this has led to some unnecessarily difficult experiences for some of our users. For this we apologize, and we hope that today's change is a step toward making Google+ the welcoming and inclusive place that we want it to be. Thank you for expressing your opinions so passionately, and thanks for continuing to make Google+ the thoughtful community that it is.

Permalink | Comments

16 Jul 17:23

FCC Net Neutrality deadline extended to Friday

by Cory Doctorow
The FCC's site has been so hammered by comments from people angry about its plans to enact Cable Company Fuckery that many haven't been able to get through. Read the rest
16 Jul 16:57

Congress wants to shut down broadband competition - ACT NOW!

by Cory Doctorow

An amendment introduced by Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) will block the FCC's plan to allow cities to set up their own broadband connections, competing with Comcast and other monopoly/duopolies. Read the rest

16 Jul 15:14

Ku Klux Klan recruiting with bags of candy tossed on doorsteps

by Xeni Jardin

Kandy Krush Klan


In Oconee County, South Carolina, some residents report to have encountered bags tossed at their homes containing candy and a flyer inviting them join the KKK. Ku Klux Klandy? Read the rest

16 Jul 12:50

Cookie Monster seen in pasta pot

by Rob Beschizza

"Touched by his noodly appendage"?

Animal pasta.jpg

Where is your god now? [CaliG831 via Reddit]

15 Jul 22:07

Google+ kills off “real names” policy

by Casey Johnston

For quite a few people this comes way too late. To me it's all the same, though. I use g+ the way I do and I'm fine with that.

Google has decided to reverse its long-standing policy requiring users to use their real names to make profiles on the service as of Tuesday, according to a post shared on the official account. The move comes after Google+ head Vic Gundotra suddenly departed in April, marking the beginning of a shift for the service.

"When we launched Google+ over three years ago, we had a lot of restrictions on what name you could use on your profile," the post begins. As time went on, that rule softened to allow "established" pseudonyms and let YouTube users to bring their usernames over from the service.

Google+ has been criticized not only for preventing users from protecting their real identities, but causing confusion among them. In January, one transgender woman tried to send a text message to a colleague but sent a Hangout from her Google+ profile instead, outing her.

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

14 Jul 06:00


by Ryan Pagelow
12 Jul 15:37

Kids' Boba Fett minifig cosplay

by Cory Doctorow

Toronto awesomedad CGS1 created an amazing Lego minifig costume for his son, documenting it on The Dented Helmet. Read the rest

12 Jul 21:51

Robot Can Build a LEGO Tower All the Way to Space!

by Chris

Well, OK, just in theory. But this amazing NXT-controlled LEGO robot by Hknssn can build its own tower, and since the robot rides up the tower with each new piece it places, there’s theoretically no limit to how high it can build as long as it continues to be fed pieces.

11 Jul 21:30

Crawl devs devise a better way to announce a delay

by Jessica Conditt
Just like Mother always said: "If you have to deliver bad news, use a gif." Crawl, the monster-infested multiplayer dungeon crawler from Powerhoof, won't launch on its promised July 17 date. Powerhoof is an independent studio in Melbourne,...
11 Jul 19:53

Last of the coffee.

by Ryan

In my workplace that's called the "marketing trick" :p

Last of the coffee.

I worked at a place where it actually was a rule that you refilled the coffee machine if you took the last drop of coffee. That shit was serious biz.

08 Jul 19:40

Time-lapse video of wood being shaved down one layer at a time

by Rob Beschizza
Keith Skretch combined Ennio Morricone, a sander, a camera, and infinite patience to create this incredible video.
To create this strata-cut animation, I planed down a block of wood one layer at a time, photographing it at each pass. The painstaking process revealed a hidden life and motion in the seemingly static grain of the wood, even as the wood itself was reduced to a mound of sawdust.

Yep, it's called "Waves of Grain."

09 Jul 00:57

Forum Post: RE: Takom Objekt 279...Having a BLAST! (Update!).

by the doog

That nukeblast effect is looking pretty nifty, actually!

Hi guys,

I'm back from Barcelona and at the bench again---yay!

Got into some weathering now....lets see, what have I done?./...OK, I did some metallic sponge-chipping all over the tank. Secondly, I added pin washes in black-brown, and in some dark rust tones in different places for variety's sake.

I added some "Bright Green filter" from Adam Wilder's Nitro Line to alter the inner parts of the green patches. I also added some Gray Brown filters over the sand and gray colors.

I also used the "Spatter method"--loading up a stiff brush with paint and then flicking it to transfer the paint in small drops against the model--to ad some rusty micro-chips to the hull and to tint the tracks.

The wheels got hair-spray treatment first, a wash of gray-brown and then rust, and then flicked with rust. Still quite a bit to do here....

It's starting to look grimier.The rear is going to be a BIT cleaner, obviously.

SStill much to do in terms of adding actual dust, dirt, etc.  I'm hoping to make good progress tomorrow and with a little luck get the track on. Stay tuned!!!  Big Smile

07 Jul 18:55

A beautiful photo of the Moon and Mars, close together on July 5

by Xeni Jardin
Photo: Jerry Lodriguss

Photo: Jerry Lodriguss

Jerry Lodriguss, digital astrophotographer, captured this stunning image of our Moon passing close to the planet Mars on July 5, 2014. Read the rest

07 Jul 15:00

Pimennysmatkaaja-blogi täyttää 5 vuotta!

by Jari Juutilainen

Joko tuostakin on 5 vuotta? Himmel...


Tasan viisi vuotta sitten kirjoitettiin ensimmäinen merkintä Kiinan auringonpimennysmatkaan liittyen. Silloin blogin oli tarkoitus toimia ainoastaan pari viikkoa ja niin se tekikin. Reissukertomus talteen ja se oli siinä. Sitten saatiin ajatus lähteä Pohjois-Norjaan kuvaamaan Venuksen ylikulkua. Blogi heräteltiin henkiin jo reissuun valmistautuessa ja suunnitelmia laatiessa. Taas, kun matka oli ohi, alkoi hiljaiselo.

Viime kesänä Harri Haukka esitti ajatuksen, jos alkaisin koostamaan tänne havaintoja ja mietteitä tähtiharrastuksesta – siitä se sitten lähti. Nyt viisi vuotta Kiinan reissun jälkeen kasassa on 277 artikkelia, joista suurin osa havaintoja ilmakehän ilmöistä tai tähtitaivaan kohteista. Näiden lisäksi pilvisinä päivinä olen kirjoitellut artikkeleita kokoelmassani olevista meteoriiteista, ihan vain niistä itsekin lisää oppiakseni. Ei niiden kaikkien taustoja muuten tulisi kuitenkaan niin tarkkaan selvitettyä.

Pilvisten iltojen ratoksi aionkin jatkossa kirjoitella myös esittelyjä tähti- ja avaruusharrastukseen liittyvistä vierailukohteista, kuten jo tuossa reilu viikko sitten kirjoitinkin käynnistäni Archenholdin Observatoriolla. Esiteltävät kohteet tulevat olemaan sellaisia, joissa olen itse käynyt.

Muistutetaan tässä yhteydessä tulevasta Kassiopeian Aurinkopäivästä Härkämäen Observatoriolla 27. päivä kuluvaa kuukautta. Tapahtuma on ilmainen ja kaikille avoin, joten tervetuloa! Mielenkiintoisten luentojen lisäksi nähtävillä tulee olemaan ainakin allekirjoittaneen meteoriittikokoelma ja toivottavasti myös parin muun keräilijän kokoelma. Taivaalta tippuneita avaruuskiviä on siis luvassa hyvän kokoinen kasa nähtäväksi.

07 Jul 12:49

TSA tells UK airport security: confiscate broken and out-of-battery gadgets

by Cory Doctorow

I'm pretty sure that 100% of the TSA people are officially brainless.

The TSA has demanded that overseas airports, like London's Heathrow, should require travellers to turn on their electronics before flying to the USA, and ban any broken or out-of-power devices. Read the rest

20 Jun 11:41

Bender: Bite my shiny LEGO ass.

by Simon


Good news everyone!
Adrian Drake (BrickFrenzy) is back with another MEGA awesome build for Brickworld this year. This time, it’s a life-sized Bender from Futurama:

At 6 feet tall (including antenna) and built with approximately 20,000 pieces – it may surprise you that this build only took about Adrian a month to build. I think this was the single most photographed build at Brickworld, and earned Adrian the Judge’s Choice Award and nomination for Best Mega Creation.

Of course no life sized bender would be complete without a functional chest cavity (featuring one of Brickworld’s finest traditional drinks).

Bender's opening torso

As a huge Futurama fan, I couldn’t help but get caught up in life-sized-Bender Fever, and decided to build Nixon’s head (minus jar) to put on Bender’s body (ARROOOOO!).

Richard Nixon in a Bender Suit

Oh and Adrian totally trusted me enough to let me put on Bender’s Head.

A special thanks to Adam Myers for letting me build Nixon from his collection in Chicago, and for loaning out Nixon head to Adrian to display at BrickFair VA.

16 Jun 16:19

valerie’s french chocolate cake

by deb

Sounds and looks awesome!

valerie's french chocolate cake

My friend Valerie makes one chocolate cake. No, I don’t mean one chocolate cake for school birthday cupcakes and one for grown-up dinner parties, one for wedding cakes and one for really decadent layer cakes, one for roulades and one for a Thursday afternoon, just because. I mean just one recipe. She serves it plain to guests after dinner, she makes it when she hears it’s your birthday and she stacks, and coats it hypercolored frosting and studs it with superheroes for her kids’ birthdays.

what you'll need
melted chocolate and butter

It’s incredibly simple, just butter (she’s French, so bien sûr), dark chocolate, sugar, flour, a bit of baking powder and her secret ingredient: water. A spoonful or two here and another there creates a decadent crumb you won’t read about in any cookbook. Sure, you could use milk or maybe replace a spoonful with some kirsch but she does not so I do not. The whole thing, save some hand-whisked egg yolks and machine-whipped egg whites (which gives it an airy lift and almost crackly meringue of a lid), is mixed in the pot where you melt the chocolate. It bakes in 30 minutes, which is convenient when your afternoon is rerouted, and tastes amazing. And I bet she regrets ever giving me the recipe.

stir the flour right in

... Read the rest of valerie’s french chocolate cake on

© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to valerie’s french chocolate cake | 166 comments to date | see more: Cake, Chocolate, French, Photo

16 Jun 00:00

Chinese gov’t reveals Microsoft’s secret list of Android-killer patents

by Joe Mullin

I just love the MS way of declaring that "you're breaching hundreds of our patents - but we won't tell which ones because then you'd stop breaching them and we couldn't sue you anymore!"
Patents. Bleh!

Aurich Lawson / Thinkstock

For more than three years now, Microsoft has held to the line that it has loads of patents that are infringed by Google's Android operating system. "Licensing is the solution," wrote the company's head IP honcho in 2011, explaining Microsoft's decision to sue Barnes & Noble's Android-powered Nook reader.

Microsoft has revealed a few of those patents since as it has unleashed litigation against Android device makers. But for the most part, they've remained secret. That's led to a kind of parlor game where industry observers have speculated about what patents Microsoft might be holding over Android.

That long guessing game is now over. A list of hundreds of patents that Microsoft believes entitle it to royalties over Android phones, and perhaps smartphones in general, has been published on a Chinese language website.

Read 17 remaining paragraphs | Comments

13 Jun 01:25

Mini Mini Cooper

by Iain

It’s been barely a week since LEGO’s announcement about the new Mini Cooper creator set. Inspired by the pictures of that set, Miro Dudas built a mini-fig scaled version:

I haven’t decided yet whether this super little build is going to temporarily satisfy my craving for the real set, or just make waiting until August even that more hard to do!