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Posted by Les Chappell

TwinPeaks_S01E08_Fire

Twin Peaks, Season 1, Episode 8, “The Last Evening”
Written by Mark Frost
Directed by Mark Frost
Aired May 23, 1990 on ABC

Oh, I’ve been going over this in my mind and… see if you can follow my thinking. We’re all born into life and we have a certain number of years to move and breathe and have our vein. That’s from a book on Oriental philosophy I read when I was in the joint. And maybe somebody, somewhere, knows how much time we have. I don’t, do you?” – Hank Jennings

It’s interesting to consider how Twin Peaks would have been received if it aired today. The viewing culture of the 2010s is one that’s been bred for the ad infinitum dissection of television shows: episodes are picked apart in real-time on Twitter, reviewers dig for greater analysis in the days between installments, and cliffhangers and twist endings can spark wars in comment sections. One wonders how the first eight episodes of Twin Peaks—loaded with symbolism, often emotionally extreme, at times determined to frustrate the viewer—would survive in an environment made so contentious by endless discussion of its spiritual successors LOST and The Sopranos. How many interpretations of the Log Lady’s words would there be? Would Cooper’s love of coffee launch a thousand memes immediately? And would James and Donna be more loathed than Nikki and Paolo?

It’s something of a chicken/egg question to ask, given how important Twin Peaks was to creating this culture in the first place, but it’s reasonable to assume that it would survive, and even thrive, in a modern-day setting. That assumption comes from just how well the show continues to hold up under scrutiny 25 years later, brushing off its more dated attributes by virtue of its distinctive weirdness and solid construction. Episodes of Twin Peaks aren’t convoluted for the sake of being convoluted, nor are they hours of television that force reveals on viewers. Indeed, the impression a viewer gets from the very beginning is that this is a path that has been expertly charted, and even when a curve ball comes up—i.e. a dream sequence full of backwards talk and vague symbolism—it’s all part of the plan. One may quibble with certain parts of the series, but there’s no question they’re parts of a whole.

“The Last Evening,” the first season finale of Twin Peaks, is an episode that feeds into that conviction, but one that would almost certainly blow up the Internet if it aired today, given how much it leaves on the table. It doesn’t provide the definitive answer to the question of who killed Laura Palmer (even though Cooper and Truman feel they’ve identified the guilty party), places the survival of a half-dozen characters in doubt, and introduces new threads of conspiracy through the show’s already tangled web. Yet, at the same time, it’s a supremely rewarding finale for those who have been paying close attention, one where knowledge of the connections and history between characters give better payoffs than the murder investigation.

TwinPeaks_S01E08_AndyTruman

It’s telling for Twin Peaks that of these payoffs, the most viscerally and emotionally satisfying is that of Deputy Andy. All season long he’s been poor, hapless Andy, caught between the roles of well-meaning but clumsy and outright comic relief. But when Jacques Renault walks into the trap Cooper set for him and he manages to get his hands on a gun, it’s Andy who’s quickest on the draw, and thus the one who saves Truman’s life—not Bookhouse Boys Hawk or Big Ed, but the deputy who dropped his gun back in “The One-Armed Man.” It’s almost ridiculous how triumphant a minor character’s victory can feel, and how stunning it can feel when Lucy’s reveal lets the wind out of his sails. The entire scene is spectacularly played by Harry Goaz and Kimmy Robertson, who have been acting out this seemingly minor domestic dispute for eight episodes. Her reassurances to him in “Northwest Passage,” his attempts to figure out what’s wrong, and now the knowledge they’re going to be parents—it’s a story far more fleshed out than its limited screen time should allow

If Deputy Andy proves himself possessed of unexpected virtue, Josie Packard proves herself sorely lacking. Hints that Josie isn’t what she seems have been creeping in for the last few episodes, but the eventual reveal—that she orchestrated the accident that killed her husband and paid Hank to go to prison on a lesser charge to avoid suspicion—is far heavier than expected. Hank’s allowed to do most of the heavy lifting in this scene, in an excellent blend of threat and exposition, coming across as the malevolent entity dragging Josie’s secrets out of the shadows. (Episode writer/director Mark Frost heightens that feeling with the scene’s framing, with the antlers on the wall of the Packard home giving Hank a near-demonic set of horns.) While it makes her seem passive, that’s a feeling entirely in keeping with our understanding of Josie. All of her behaviors indicate she’s a step removed from events, acting through proxies like Hank or Truman, content to move past any ramifications of her actions.

TwinPeaks_S01E08_HankJosie

Hank’s influence is felt in other parts of the narrative too, which also illustrate the depth of the stories being played out, one brief scene at a time. While Big Ed and Norma don’t share any scenes together in “The Last Evening”, the episode provides a lot of evidence of why they didn’t leave their spouses years ago to be with each other. Norma’s a sharp woman, and her reticence to let Hank close proves she can see parts of his darker nature, but Hank in the moment can project enough charm and sincerity that it’s entirely believable Norma wouldn’t want to give up this marriage entirely. And Big Ed’s genuine grief at finding Nadine post-suicide attempt indicates a deeper affection for her than their previous awkward engagements have felt. Norma stated in “Cooper’s Dreams” that their desire not to hurt anyone kept them apart, but the interactions here give the feeling they didn’t want to hurt themselves either.

As far as dysfunctional relationships go though, the prize for self-awareness goes to Pete and Catherine Martell, the latter of whom, out of desperation, finally comes out and calls their marriage “a living train wreck.” It’s almost certain that Catherine is manipulating Pete—witness Piper Laurie’s glorious eye-roll once he tearfully embraces her—yet the interaction is one that feels grounded in some form of truth. Both Laurie and Jack Nance give terrific weight to small phrases as they go back and forth with each other, musing about the circumstances that brought their lives to this point (“I never should have taken you to that house on the hill.” “Oh, I have no complaints about the house”). When Pete declares that Catherine is his wife, regardless of what else has transpired, and storms into the burning mill, it’s a moment as loaded as Andy’s successful disarming of Jacques.

TwinPeaks_S01E08_Pete

All of these resonant personal moves happen in this episode—and in a sign of how rich the world of Twin Peaks is, that’s not even counting everything tied up with Laura’s murder. Events have the feeling of being tied up nicely here, with Jacques Renault in police custody filling in the gaps about the night at the cabin, and James supplying the missing Laura tape that alludes to a “mystery man” and a red Corvette. Leo Johnson appears to be the man of the hour, and Cooper and Truman are heading for a badly needed win. What could possibly go wrong?

The short answer to that is everything: James’s delivery of the tape is tainted by the discovery of a bag of cocaine in his trunk, planted by Bobby and found due to his “anonymous” tip, and Jacques has the life smothered out of him by the vengeful Leland Palmer. The former has been clearly implied through the last few episodes, but it’s the latter that truly grips the attention. Much like Andy, Leland has walked a fine line as a character, moving between shattered emotional wreck and uncomfortable comic relief as necessary. Now with a suspect in custody, his features take on a focus unseen up to this point, and his look is that of a man possessed. Even in the final moments of strangling Jacques, the cadence of his sobbing is different, almost bordering on determined grief.

As for Leo Johnson himself, he’s busy stalking through Twin Peaks as an arsonist axe murderer. The vibe of a horror movie runs through a lot of “The Last Evening”—Hank’s threats to Josie, Leland stalking down the hospital hallway—and Leo personifies the most terrifying moments in the ominous way he pulls the towel out of Shelly’s reach, and the way he surprises Bobby from behind the door. Leo hasn’t had much in the way of characterization throughout the series, introduced to the audience as an unrepentant wife-beater with bad hair and rarely moving past that degree, so accelerating him to stock villain is entirely in keeping with the heightened emotion of the series. The unexpected speed with which Hank’s bullet takes him out of action feels similarly in keeping, given Hank’s previously asserted superiority over Leo—and makes for an amusing bit of serendipity, given that it was Bobby’s call to the police about James that allows Hank to get close enough in the first place.

TwinPeaks_S01E08_Leo

But even if Leo is Laura’s murderer, and even if Hank’s bullet takes him out of action, that doesn’t come close to eradicating the darkness that continues to swirl about the town. Ben Horne’s been pulling the strings since the season started, and now his machinations have all come to fruition: Catherine lured to the mill, the Icelanders’ signature on the Ghostwood contract, and his hired goon bleeding out on the couch. Much of Twin Peaks has relied on the darkness that lurks behind a seemingly benign facade, and Ben’s evil grin of victory hints that there’s no need for facade anymore. What will he do now that his plots have turned out for the best? And more importantly, what reaction will he have to seeing Audrey decked out as the Queen of Diamonds?

Finally, there’s the most distressing of cliffhangers, as Cooper returns to his hotel room expecting to finally get a good night’s sleep, only to be greeted by a figure in black who puts three bullets into his chest. As far as twist endings go, this is one of the oldest in the book—so much so that it’s foreshadowed by Invitation To Love this very episode—but its existence doesn’t feel contrived, because of the mindset Twin Peaks places the viewer in. No sooner has the shock of the event worn off than the viewers are busy asking who could have done this: Did Hank make it from the Johnson home to the Great Northern? Has Leland snapped entirely after strangling Jacques? Is the Log Lady taking revenge for some imagined slight? It’s simply the latest mystery to be introduced, and the fact that it happens to a character as beloved and competent as Cooper only heightens the intensity.

TwinPeaks_S01E08_Gun

Twin Peaks will have a lot to prove in 2016 when its Showtime debut places it before the trial by fire of the modern TV audience, yet its greatest hurdle will be the bar set in the show’s debut. More than two decades later, season one of Twin Peaks remains a monumental achievement in television, a show that simultaneously works because and in spite of its tonal weirdness. It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination—the James/Donna relationship is a narrative dead end, the idea of the “evil” in the woods is introduced and largely abandoned—but so much of its construction and imagery is so marvelously defined that it earns its place in the pantheon of television.

Pie crusts and coffee grounds:

  • Log Lady intro: “A drunken man walks in a way that is quite impossible for a sober man to imitate, and vice versa. An evil man has a way, no matter how clever—to the trained eye, his way will show itself. Am I being too secretive? No. One can never answer questions at the wrong moment. Life, like music, has a rhythm. This particular song will end with three sharp notes, like deathly drumbeats.”
  • Who Killed Laura Palmer? Between Jacoby’s tape, Jacques’s confession, and his own axe murderer tendencies, Leo Johnson appears to have soared past all competition and validated Cooper’s certainty in his guilt. But without a direct confession—and the heavy implication that Hank’s bullet may keep him from ever seeing trial—it’s by no means an slam-dunk identification. Particularly given the unknown identity of whoever put Jacoby in the hospital.
  • This Week On Invitation To Love: Montana’s shot again with Chet and Jared as horrified onlookers, and this time it looks to be for good. Was it Emerald or Jade who fired the final shots? Judging by the look on Leo’s face, he’s hoping that if he doesn’t know who shot him, he can at least learn that fact before he expires.
  • It’s surprising how much of a red herring the half-heart necklace turned out to be, given how much buildup it received in the pilot. Jacoby’s possession of it is secondary to the tape implicating Leo as Laura’s “mystery man,” and questions of how he got it are much less important than whether or not he’ll survive his attack.
  • Speaking of Jacoby, Frost’s choice to open the episode with the tropical backdrop and wave sound effects of the good doctor’s apartment goes a long way towards establishing a sense of otherworldliness right away.
  • The connections between the various characters are so knotted at this point, it’s almost surprising to see Catherine see a trussed-up Shelly and have no idea who she is. Though it’s not surprising, given that Catherine Martell wouldn’t be caught dead eating at the Double R.
  • “I first lay eyes on Mimsy.” “Weird.”
  • “Hey, remember that mystery man I told you about? Well, if I tell you his name then you’re gonna be in trouble. He wouldn’t be such a mystery man any more but you might be history man. I think, a couple of times, he’s tried to kill me. But guess what, as you know, I sure got off on it. Hmm, isn’t sex weird? This guy can really light my f – i – r – e as in red corvette. Uh-oh, here comes mom with milk and cookies.”
  • “So, I’ve been asking myself, what does that do to the market value of 18 months?”
  • “I can’t understand a word you’re saying. You have a thing in your mouth.”
  • “This is such stuff as dreams are made of.”

Next time: Sound On Sight begins its coverage of the oft-controversial season two of Twin Peaks, and Jake Pitre takes over reviewing duties with the premiere, “May The Giant Be With You.”

The post Twin Peaks, Ep. 1.08, “The Last Evening”: A fire fueled by gasoline and personal histories appeared first on Sound On Sight.

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Posted by The Spoony One

I’m doing something a little different! I’m uploading these episodes out of order.

This is an unplanned video shot in the middle of watching the Raw the day after TLC. As such, it was filmed on a small digital camera on automatic settings and so the focus for the entire video is abysmally bad. Even so, it’s about as good as this episode of Raw deserves.

I think it’s worth seeing this episode first, at least for comedy purposes. Watching this, and going back to see my furious, and yet comparatively zen and composed reaction to the TLC show the night before is wild. Once again, the stark contrast between NXT and the Raw shows is wrapped around a steel chair and slammed against my head in what could be the worst episode I’ve ever seen.

Remembering John Buscema

Dec. 19th, 2014 11:00 am
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Posted by Peter David

digresssmlOriginally published February 15, 2002, in Comics Buyer’s Guide #1474

I’d never been to a viewing.

You know: A viewing. Where the body of the recently deceased lies in a coffin while people gather, one at a time, and stare. It always seemed grotesque to me, an exercise in morbidity. Why gather in large numbers to stare at a shell? The body… the body isn’t the person. Whatever it was that made up the person, whether you believe that its purely biological neurons, personality traits hardwired into DNA, or a soul… whatever it is, it’s gone. To me it would be like appreciating a fine wine by gazing at an empty bottle. The whole notion just kind of creeped me out. It probably doesn’t help that I’m a regular viewer of HBO’s Six Feet Under where they show corpses being prepared for viewings while the ghost of the deceased chats with the morticians.

And there’s always people looking around saying, “(The deceased) would have liked that,” be it the flower arrangements or the suit chosen to be dressed in or the number of mourners showing up. Except I always think that what the deceased would really have liked is to not die, and everything else is just beside the point.

I’m sorry. I know it sounds like I’m making light of a topic that’s all too serious. I do that; I make jokes when I’m uncomfortable talking about something.

Like the death of John Buscema.

I can’t pretend I knew him particularly well. That we were best buds, that he’d call me up all the time and we’d chat the afternoon away, or we’d go out for drinks or roll a few frames or hit the links or whatever. I didn’t really know him.

What I do know is that some years back, when I was writing Spectacular Spider-Man, we were falling behind on deadlines and editor Jim Owsley wanted me to come up with a stand-alone issue that could be done by four different artists simultaneously without looking like a mishmash. And I said, “Well, let’s riff Rashomon.” Owsley stared at me blankly. I explained, “It’s a famous Kurosawa film. It focuses on the nature of reality, by showing how different people have different perceptions of the same event. (As an aside, it’s out on DVD end of March.) So we can have some event that Spider-Man is involved in, and different characters, like JJ and Mary Jane and Peter, all have different takes on what happened. And each of the sequences, including a framing sequence that sets everything up, would then be done by a different art team.”

Owsley immediately loved the idea, and that’s what we did. I wrote the story while he started lining up art teams. And then one day he came to my office (I was still working in sales during the day at the time) and said, “Who’s your best friend in the world? Who cares about how your stories look?”

“What happened?” I asked. “What’d you do?”

Grinning, he said, “Guess who I got to draw the framing sequence.”

I wasn’t in the mood for guessing games. “Who?” I said.

“John Buscema pencils, John Romita Sr. inks.”

I was stunned. Excited, elated. You have to understand, I grew up reading the work these guys produced. I was something of a latecomer to Marvel; I wasn’t in there at the very beginning. I didn’t cut my teeth on Ditko and Kirby. Instead I started slow and played catch-up. The first Spider-Man issues I bought were drawn by John Romita, Sr. (before he was a senior). And my first exposure to the Silver Surfer was not in the pages of Fantastic Four, but instead in the first issue of his comic book (which I bought ‘cause the cover looked so weird. Imagine seeing the Surfer for the first time with no background on him and all and thinking, “What’s up with this guy?”) And it was penciled by an artist of such power and strength that it made most other comics I’d been reading up until then look sick in comparison. Those issues of Surfer remain, to me, an absolute pinnacle of comic book storytelling.

Spec Spidey was the first time I had the honor of working with either of the gentlemen, and the excitement I felt when those first Buscema pencil pages came in, I can’t even begin to express. I worked with him on one or two other occasions, and it was a joy to see the stories produced in that clear, unmistakable style, but nothing can possibly compare to that first rush of enthusiasm that comes with having the opportunity to collaborate with someone whose work you’ve always admired.

John Buscema, as you know, passed away on January 10. I learned that services were going to be held at a funeral home that was barely a half hour away from me. I didn’t feel I should go to the funeral; I’d always felt that such things should be reserved for close friends and family, while I was just an occasional co-worker and long-time fan. I would have felt intrusive. But I felt that, at the very least, I should pay my respects to the man and his family by attending the viewing to be held the day before, despite my reservations. So with Kathleen at my side, I went to the viewing which was being held from 2 to 4 Sunday afternoon.

Upon arrival, we were handed a little card which I was told is traditional at such things. It had John’s name, date of birth and passing on it. Usually such cards have a picture of Jesus or a saint on them. Not John’s; his (at the suggestion, I believe, of his son) had a lovely Buscema rendering of Conan roaring into action alongside a fierce lion.

Familiar faces were in the viewing room. Tom DeFalco and Al Milgrom, Marie Severin, Bob Larkin, John Romita Sr. and his wife, Virginia. Saying “It’s good to see you” always seems so odd in those situations, because the reason you’re seeing each other is such a damned depressing one. But what else can you say?

Tom reminisced about little things, such as an ongoing debate he would have with Buscema over who was the better storyteller, Edgar Rice Burroughs or Robert E. Howard. Tom solidly believed the former (for the record, I concur), but he remembered laughingly how sometimes out of the blue he’d get a phone call from Buscema who, without even bothering to identify himself, would start busting on him about how Howard was far superior to ERB.

People spoke of how Buscema was always dismissive of his work. That he acted as if his career choice was a waste of time, how it was disposable and meaningless. But no one believed that he truly believed that. Because John Buscema’s obvious love for the medium in which he plied his trade for decades was evident in every line, in every brushstroke.

At the far end of the room lay John Buscema, which was more than enough reason for me to remain at the opposite side. But his widow, Dolores was near the coffin, as were his grown children, John Jr. and Dianne. It was only right that I go talk to them, even though somehow I irrationally felt as if I was invading John’s privacy by going so near his body. So grasping Kathleen’s hand firmly, we approached. We extended our condolences to the family, and inquired as to brother Sal’s whereabouts. Dolores informed us that, as if things weren’t bad enough, Sal never made it up. Instead he’d been taken to the hospital with chest pains. Fortunately enough he was back home at that point and resting comfortably, his condition probably due more to stress than anything else. How horrific, though, would that have been? If Sal Buscema had made it up for the funeral and collapsed upon arrival?

Other people were waiting to speak to the family, and Kathleen and I stepped aside. It brought us within such close range of the coffin that I found myself yielding to—please pardon the expression—morbid curiosity. I took several steps closer, looked at what appeared to be the sleeping form of John Buscema, nattily attired in jacket and tie.

And there, neatly tucked between his fingers… was a drawing pen.

I do not lie. I am not making an extremely poor joke. It had been carefully placed there, presumably at the request of the family.

Big John Buscema, one of the greatest artists in the history of Marvel Comics, went to his final reward with a pen in his hand.

I think he would have liked it that way.

(Peter David can be written to at Second Age, Inc., PO Box 239, Bayport, NY 11705.)

 

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Posted by Richard Eisenbeis

M3’s Second Half Lacks What Made the Show Great: Endless Despair

A few months back, I reviewed the first half of M3: The Dark Metal and was impressed at the mecha anime’s neverending conga line of despair. And if there is one major flaw in the second half of the series, it’s that the conga line did, in fact, end.

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Posted by CloneRanger



UACMe - Defeating Windows User Account Control

Cell Phone hack flaws

Dec. 19th, 2014 11:01 am
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Posted by CloneRanger

Cell Phone hack flaws
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Posted by Mike Williams

temple

Copying files to a USB storage device is generally very easy. Plug it in, the drive appears in Explorer, drag/ drop, go do something else until the transfer is complete. Simple.

If you’re moving a lot of files, though, you might want to know more. Like, does your device support USB 3.0? And if so, have you connected it to a USB 3.0 hub, to ensure you’ll get the best possible performance?

Device Manager can often help out. Expand "USB Serial Bus controllers" and you might find a controller is labeled as USB 3.0. Click View > Devices by connection, then browse to ACPI… PC > Microsoft ACPI-Compliant System > PCI Express Root Complex, and expand the various hubs to see what’s connected where.

This isn’t exactly straightforward, though, and drilling down to the relevant details may take some time, if it’s possible at all. And so it might be simpler to run Temple, a free USB system information tool which displays everything you need immediately.

The program is a single 393KB executable. Run it wherever you like and it immediately provides details on all your current system’s controllers, hubs and their connected devices.

Controller information is fairly basic, but enough to be helpful. For example, Temple told us that our test system had a "USB xHCI Compliant Host Controller – Super Speed – USB 3.0 [5Gb/s] – 21 Ports".

Device information is more detailed, including manufacturer, product name, maximum speed (whether it’s a USB 2.0 or 3.0 device), power consumption, device type (does your external hard drive support BOT mode?), power consumption, and device address.

This data is displayed conveniently, too. There’s no hard-to-read ultra-wide table, forcing lots of horizontal scrolling to find the key information. Instead the details are wrapped around one or two lines, with no unnecessary white space, making them much easier to read.

The report can be saved as a file, too, although only in XML for some reason (no TXT option). If you’re trying to help a technically clueless long-distance friend with some USB issue then this is an easy way to find out more about their system.

Temple is still very basic. Something like USB Device Tree Viewer is far more capable, displaying many more details and allowing you to control your USB setup as well (remove or restart your hardware).

Temple’s value comes in its simplicity, though, giving you useful details immediately and with no hassle at all. If you occasionally work with USB devices on other people’s PCs then it’s worth keeping a copy around.

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Posted by Fadil Pašić

moto-360-watch_contentfullwidth

Anyone using an Android powered smartwatch no longer needs to worry about actually having to pick up their smartphone in order to see what’s going on back home, or in the office while they’re gone.

Now they can do it through the smartwatch.

What am I talking about? The Android app IP Cam Viewer of course, an application that lets users remotely access their video camera, digital video recorder, network recorder and webcam, now supports Android Wear.

IP Cam Viewer is reportedly one of the best IP camera apps on Android, and this functionality only makes it better.

The updated version also added drivers for more cameras, support for Chromecast, added Dropbox support for imports and exports and fixed a few known bugs for some existing drivers.

The app has a built-in web server that enables remote control of the app to change the record mode settings away from home or for use as a video wall, or function as a transcoder to fetch frames from devices with proprietary protocols.

It has a built in motion detection, that works with all cameras and plays a sound when motion is detected.

The app has various uses. It can be used as a security camera for homes, garages and cars, as well as a baby monitor.

It also includes various video formats and features like matrix view, pan, tilt and zoom.

Published under license from ITProPortal.com, a Net Communities Ltd Publication. All rights reserved.

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Posted by Katharine Trendacosta

We love Krampus, the dark side of Santa, who punishes the naughty while Santa rewards the nice. But not everyone is aware of this Germanic folktale, leaving Christoph Waltz to act as an ambassador for the creature. He's right: the Elf on a Shelf just does not compare.

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Elementary 3.08.

Dec. 19th, 2014 12:19 pm
selenak: (Holmes and Watson by Emme86)
[personal profile] selenak
Spoilers need to go with the programm )
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Posted by Jamie Condliffe

Around Christmast, a lot of food comes laced with alcohol. But while the commonly held view is that much of it gets burned off in the cooking process, this video demonstrates that there's plenty left in there to see you exceed the safe limits for driving.

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Posted by Heidi Anne Heiner



The Wolf Among Us was released last month and appeared in the SurLaLune Fairy Tales Giveaway as the wishlist item of Sarah.


I had missed this release so I am sharing it today. The reviews for the game are all over the place depending on the platform it is played on--some platforms play the game well, apparently, and some not well at all.

There are some videos of the game for viewing on Amazon. They require age verification since this has a mature rating, so I decided to not share here.

The game is inspired by Bill Willingham's Fables series, so if you are a Fables fan and a video game fan, this is probably on your wishlist this season, too!

Game description:

The Wolf Among Us is a 5-episode series set before the events seen in the first Fables (DC Comics/Vertigo), an award-winning comic book series, it is an often violent, mature and hard-boiled thriller where the characters and creatures of myth, lore and legend are real and exist in our world.


  • Episodic Game - All 5 Episodes Included
  • Based on Fables (DC Comics/Vertigo), an award-winning comic book series by Bill Willingham.
  • Play as Bigby Wolf: formerly the most feared monster among the Fables, now Sheriff of Fabletown and protector of those he used to hunt. He must restrain the beast within if he is to earn the trust of those around him.
  • The characters of myth, lore and legend are real, and exist in our world. Your choices matter and will change and define the story you experience.
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Posted by Charlie Jane Anders

As far as I know, we still haven't gotten the new Space Battleship Yamato 2199 TV/movie series in the United States, even after it aired a whole season in Japan. But now, there's a follow-up movie, Star-Voyaging Ark, in which the Yamato gets hit with a weapon called the Flame Direct Attack Cannon, that can "transcend space."

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Posted by Heidi Anne Heiner



Hispanic Against Drunk Driving: Three Little Pigs
Monsters do exist. If you drink, don't drive.

Wow. I am fascinated by the level of serious messages that fairy tales have been used for in advertising in recent years. Please, someone, write a paper on that and share. I imagine words like "innocence," "juxtaposition," and others would make an appearance in such a paper. There are more to come in some future posts, too, but themes I have seen include drunk driving, child abuse, homelessness, AIDS, childhood illnesses, smoking, environmental protection, general car safety, and more.

We at SurLaLune know fairy tales aren't all fun and frivolity but I guess some ad agencies know it, too.

Campaign info from Ads of the World:

Advertising Agency: Concept Café, Miami, USA
Creative Director: Salvador Veloso
Associate Creative Director: Sebastian Moltedo
Art Director: Pablo Del Fabbro
Copywriter: Sebastian Moltedo
Illustrator: Bob Dob
Published: December 2012


Hispanic Against Drunk Driving: Little Red Riding Hood
Monsters do exist. If you drink, don't drive.


Hispanic Against Drunk Driving: Peter and the Wolf
Monsters do exist. If you drink, don't drive.
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Posted by Martin Brinkmann

Bittorrent has not one but two Achilles' heels: torrent indexing services and a lack of anonymity. While it is possible to overcome the latter through the use of virtual private networks or proxies, there is no viable alternative available yet for indexing services.

Tribler, which I reviewed back in September 2014, attempts to change that. It is developed by researchers at Delft University of Technology who wanted to create a system that is anonymous and impossible to shut down at the same time.

Tribler integrates torrent indexing and anonymity in the client directly which means that it does not rely on third-party services or websites for that.

While it is still possible to use these services to download or stream torrent files using the client, the idea is to move slowly but steadily away from requiring torrent indexing websites at all.

tribler

The second big feature of Tribler, anonymity, landed in the most recent version. It uses a system similar to what the Tor network offers but uses its own network which is not compatible with Tor.

Detailed information about the implementation are available on Github. If you break it down to its core, it is routing requests through several user systems automatically. Instead of downloading files directly from the seeder, they are downloaded and redirected by other users first.

This means in turn that every user of the Tribler network is a node that is being used to transfer data to other users which in turn may impact the overall download speed and your ability to seed files.

The packets received this way are encrypted with the exception of the header which consists only of an identifier used to determine where to send the packet to.

Tribler ships with search options built in that you can use to find torrents directly in the client. It is also supporting channels, collections of torrents offered by other users, which users can vote for to improve their visibility in search.

When you download a torrent file using the service you get to select the number of hops for that download. These hops, from zero to five, determine the number of computers that the encrypted packets are sent through on their way from the seeder to your computer.

The more hops you select the better the anonymity but the lower the speed.

tribler anonymity

It is interesting to note that you can specify the hops for all files you download regardless of whether you found them using the service's own search or through other services. Since you can load torrent files into Tribler, it works for them equally well.

Closing Words

The idea behind Tribler makes sense but it is too early to tell if it will take off. The security and anonymity of the service needs to be vetted by third-parties first, and on top of that, it needs to be distributed to a wider user base as it is one limiting factor when it comes to downloads.

The post Tribler: Bittorrent client with integrated Tor-like anonymity appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

[syndicated profile] torrentfreak_feed

Posted by Andy

mpaa-logoEven after running for weeks, the fallout from the Sony hacking fiasco is showing no signs of waning. In fact in some areas it appears that matters are only getting worse.

Earlier this month a TF report revealed how the MPAA (with a SOPA defeat still ringing loudly in its ears) is still intent on bringing website blocking to the United States.

The notion that Hollywood was intent on reintroducing something so unpopular didn’t sit well with critics, but that was only the beginning. A subsequent article in The Verge revealed a campaign by the MPAA to attack “Goliath” – a codeword for Google – by “convincing state prosecutors to take up the fight” against the search giant.

The MPAA budgeted $500,000 for the project with costs potentially rising to $1.175 million. The Hollywood group subsequently called on SOPA-supporting Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood to attack Google, which he did.

The New York times has a copy of the letter he sent to the search giant – worryingly it was almost entirely drafted by the MPAA’s lawfirm Jenner and Block.

After a week of “no comment” from Google, the company has just broken its silence. In a statement from SVP and General Counsel Kent Walker, Google questions the MPAA’s judgment over its SOPA-like aims and apparent manipulation of an Attorney General.

“Almost three years ago, millions of Americans helped stop a piece of congressional legislation—supported by the MPAA—called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). If passed, SOPA would have led to censorship across the web. No wonder that 115,000 websites—including Google—participated in a protest, and over the course of a single day, Congress received more than 8 million phone calls and 4 million emails, as well as getting 10 million petition signatures,” Walker writes.

“We are deeply concerned about recent reports that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) led a secret, coordinated campaign to revive the failed SOPA legislation through other means, and helped manufacture legal arguments in connection with an investigation by Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood.”

Then, in what can only be a huge embarrassment for the MPAA and the Attorney General, Walker turns to the letter AG Hood sent to him in 2013.

“The MPAA did the legal legwork for the Mississippi State Attorney General.
The MPAA then pitched Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood, an admitted SOPA supporter, and Attorney General Hood sent Google a letter making numerous accusations about the company,” Walker explains.

“The letter was signed by General Hood but was actually drafted by an attorney at Jenner & Block — the MPAA’s law firm. As the New York Times has reported, the letter was only minimally edited by the state Attorney General before he signed it.”

The Google SVP ends with a shot at the MPAA and questions its self-professed position as an upholder of the right to free speech.

“While we of course have serious legal concerns about all of this, one disappointing part of this story is what this all means for the MPAA itself, an organization founded in part ‘to promote and defend the First Amendment and artists’ right to free expression.’ Why, then, is it trying to secretly censor the Internet?” Walker concludes.

Without delay, Google’s public comments were pounced upon by the MPAA who quickly published a statement of their own. It pulls no punches.

“Google’s effort to position itself as a defender of free speech is shameful. Freedom of speech should never be used as a shield for unlawful activities and the internet is not a license to steal,” the statement begins.

“Google’s blog post today is a transparent attempt to deflect focus from its own conduct and to shift attention from legitimate and important ongoing investigations by state attorneys general into the role of Google Search in enabling and facilitating illegal conduct – including illicit drug purchases, human trafficking and fraudulent documents as well as theft of intellectual property.”

And, in a clear indication that the MPAA feels it acted appropriately, the Hollywood group lets Google know that nothing will change.

“We will seek the assistance of any and all government agencies, whether federal, state or local, to protect the rights of all involved in creative activities,” the MPAA concludes.

The statements by both Google and the MPAA indicate that in this fight the gloves are now well and truly off. Will ‘David’ slay ‘Goliath’? Who will get hurt in the crossfire?

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

In other news

Dec. 19th, 2014 12:43 am
sholio: (Avatar-upbeat attitude)
[personal profile] sholio
Steam is having a holiday game sale, so I treated myself to Sunless Sea, and started playing it tonight.

So how is it going, [personal profile] sholio, you ask?

HAHAHAHAHA *cries*

Let me put it this way: I've stopped naming my captains and picking out backstories for them, because it's like naming feeder mice.

My biggest problem thus far is that my weapons don't seem to do anything to sea monsters. What are you supposed to DO once a sea monster gets after you? Because it seems like all I can do at that point is get attacked until I sink.

I was delighted with myself for figuring out how to dock on Hunter's Keep, after helplessly running into a number of smaller islands because I couldn't figure out that you need, y'know, docks.

But then I set sail and a sea monster ate me, so it was back to square one.
[syndicated profile] gizmodo_feed

Posted by Jamie Condliffe

The system of democracy is built on the rather more humble system of voting. And voting is built on the two fundamentals of anonymity and trust. This video explains why, right now, digital voting doesn't provide over of those two things well enough.

Read more...








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