American sf convention costumers of the 1980s

Here's a great gallery of Dik Daniels's photos of science fiction costumers from the conventions of the 1980s, when I was a teenaged con-goer. If only I'd had a little more forward planning nous, I'd have been one of those costumed folken!

Dik Daniels photos: 1980 Westercon (Thanks, Jukevox!) Read the rest

Reboot Page: "unlimited rebooting experience from vintage operating systems"

The Reboot Page features the reboot dialogs, shutdown sequences, and even the magical floppy-disc grinding SFX from a variety of vintage OSes. Rebooting the Amiga was just like being there. I got shivers.

The Restart Page - Free unlimited rebooting experience from vintage operating systems (via JWZ) Read the rest

Air France's 1947 sleeper service

There's loads to love about this 1947 ad for Air France's sleeper service -- just look at that cutaway diagram! -- but the chart-topping eye-grabber is that awesome sleeper-service bed. Man, if Air France was still flying planes with that interior, I'd never fly anything else.

Loads more mouth-watering vintage aviation luxury ads here.

CONTEST ENTRY: Air France is FIRST... Read the rest

The Economist publishes pathetic advertorial for the City, London's financial district

The cover story on this week's The Economist is Save the City, a love-note to London's legendarily corrupt, self-governing financial district, ground zero of the global financial collapse, and home to some of the world's top-compensated crooks, whose pay is totally disconnected from their performance.

Naked Capitalism rounds up a ton of online reaction to this puff-piece:

Yes, the City did once fulfil the function of efficiently allocating capital, but that stopped some ten to 20 years ago when the ‘zero sum’ game of financial speculation for the self-enrichment of the participants took over.

As I have said before the City has, with a few exceptions, become the cuckoo in the nest of the UK economy.

It has become gigantic skimming machine/casino. In addition to making taxpayer-underwritten bets, however absurd, it largely serves to diminish the savings and pensions of UK citizens, though outrageous fees, spurious and unwarranted trading and an intermediated structure that favours the interests of the people that work in its own, often-conflicted institutions (plus the people in their various suppliers including brokerages, law firms, accountancy firms, investment and actuarial consultancies, etc, etc) over and above the long-term interests of savers and the needs of the wider economy.

Ian Fraser: The Economist Loses the Plot With This Shallow, Pro-City Propaganda Read the rest

Critics rave for Windows Phone -- but who's buying?

Nick Wingfield, writing at The New York Times, looks into why Microsoft's excellent Windows Phone 7 mobile OS failed to take off. To the technorati, as he puts it, the reasons are obvious: Microsoft is late, everyone has an iPhone or Android already, the handsets are plastic tat, and the Windows branding is a counterproductive symbol of the bad old days: "Entering the market so late with this experience has created some special challenges for us," says a spokesman. Read the rest

3D printed TARDIS gingerbread cookies

Steve D's friend Maggie 3D-printed TARDIS cookie-cutters and he used them to make scrumptious gingerbread cookies.

Gingerbread TARDIS Cookies (Thanks, mistercliff!) Read the rest

US Army game gear

CTA Digital is producing a United States Army-branded line of video game peripherals, including rifles, a backpack, and headsets. Start the training early! According to The Verge though, "It's not quite as tawdry an affair as it may first seem — all licensing revenues from the products will go to US Army Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs. "US Army-branded gaming peripherals on the way"

 "America's Army": 3D shoot-em-up game from US Army - Boing Boing Read the rest

Lamar Smith Can't Hear You

Here's ChadRocco's Lamar Smith anti-election poster, in honor of the congressman's advocacy for the net-killing Stop Online Piracy Act and his blithe dismissal of the bill's critics.

Meet Lamar Smith, representative from Texas, and Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary. As Chairman he can kill any bill he doesn't like by denying it a hearing while giving priority to the bills he wants to pass, Like SOPA. While addressing the massive outcry over SOPA he stated that:

“It’s a vocal minority. Because they’re strident doesn’t mean they’re either legitimate or large in number. One, they need to read the language. Show me the language. There’s nothing they can point to that does what they say it does do. I think their fears are unfounded.”

Above is a list of people that have pointed at the language, including law professors and computer experts. You have a civil war among video game companies, and the successful boycott of a company. How do you ignore that? It's an election year. This November. Whatever happens, Texas, please kick this guy out of office.

SOPA- I CAN'T HEAR YOU (Thanks, Melted Crayons!) Read the rest

If Randy Newman did a themesong for "We Need to Talk About Kevin"

Zack sez, "Remember how a hyper-earnest Randy Newman song used to play the opening/ending of just about every Hollywood flick? Well, here's one creative person's take on the song Newman would do for the acclaimed Tilda Swinton school shooter drama WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN. The parody is absolutely dead on (spoiling the book and film, mind you), but accurately captures Newman's rhyme style and piano beat. Now someone just needs do do Randy Newman's MELANCHOLIA..."

Randy Newman's Theme Song from 'We Need to Talk About Kevin'.m4v (Thanks, Zack!) Read the rest