August 18th, 2006 | researchmaterial
August 17th, 2006 | Uncategorized
August 17th, 2006 | Work
“Each issue is self-contained (and) is a clinic in comic-book writing. Ellis is doing some of his best work on Fell, whose main character lacks the cynicism that often permeates Ellis’ lead characters. In fact, you could say Snowtown is representation of everything negative in Warren Ellis’ head and Fell is that one bit of hope in struggling to survive in Ellis’ soul.”
August 17th, 2006 | researchmaterial
Why on earth would anyone in Second Life need a simulated suitcase nuke? There are areas in SL designated for combat simulation, it’s true. But a suitcase nuke? (Along with a note asking you not to detonate it in one of the creepy Gor sims? I envision a pile of burnt collars and singed, disturbingly stained loincloths.)
(People have been roleplaying Gor pretty much as long as there’s been message-boards on the Web. There used to be an AOL chatroom full of housewives sitting around waiting to “serve” men who entered the chatroom and spoke in top Gorean tones.)
Some of the stuff in this armory — one of dozens in SL — looks like a collection of old CIA wet dreams given form. Take this: inducing a bad acid trip.
In Transylvania, the One Blood group are selling an SL-readable magazine. I’m in Goun, looking through a digital art gallery. I mean, why not? I use the web to read magazines and look at art all the time. Though I have a feeling the erotic art I’m looking at is actually the artist’s SL avatar with no clothes on. The Klimt-inspired work by Erin Talamasca, though, I’d be as happy to see on a webpage as I am to see in here in this gallery (with the unfortunately-located teleport point that has you materialise knee-deep in a pond).
Fabbing — personal fabrication, rapid prototyping, 3D-printing — has reportedly recently attached itself to Second Life. Which is very interesting to me from the perspective of SL-as-germ-of-future-OS. Many of you will doubtless recall fabbing being touted as a leak from the future over the last couple of years. According to the Second Thoughts blog, there’s a guy out there using three-dimensional printing to output avatars, with a high level of detail, in styrofoam. The guy apparently said “everything in SL is copyable.” Which is a deceptively huge statement, really. It means that, in theory, anything in an entire 3D-simulation virtual space can be output back into the physical world. It’s the reverse of scanning.
Outputting an avatar is essentially not very useful, of course. But as an experiment, it points out huge potential. As fabbing gets cheaper and more sophisticated (and uses better output materials), people can spin more practical and clever objects into SL — and a virtual world becomes a traffic conduit and searchable storage space for literally millions of Useful Objects You Need Right Now. And that right there is a piece of Future.
Of course, right now, the best you could do is a plastic version of a Gor loincloth with simulated semen stains. But you have to start somewhere, right?
Warrenelliscom official meeting place on SL is Integral Castle, at http://slurl.com/secondlife/Rogla/174/120/124/ — which is to say, Integral Castle, Rogla (174, 120, 124). Switch your music control on if you go in, I’ve got an old Apparat Programme podcast streaming to that location at the moment.
I didn’t want to have to do this, but I’ve now received something over 600 submissions, which is more than double what I expected. It’s insane. Twenty more appear every time I open Gmail. And it’s now preventing me from getting on with the business of opening the site.
So I’m declaring a temporary but open-ended closure on submissions. I’ll open submissions again in a few months, probably, but I’m in danger right now of losing crucial work time to sorting through submissions, and, with half a dozen comics projects and two tv projects of my own, I can’t afford to do that.
This doesn’t apply to people I’ve already spoken to individually about work. Everyone else, I’m afraid, is going to have to wait until I’ve got the place up and running.
I’m aware there are a few hundred people still waiting for responses from me — I’ll get to you eventually, I swear. In at least ten cases, it’s your own fault for sending me 15-meg zipfiles. But now I need to get on with the process of assembling the site and proceeding towards launch. Which is the point, after all.
Please spread this far and wide.
August 16th, 2006 | Uncategorized
August 16th, 2006 | people I know
Don’t mess me about here. My old friend Marie Javins (not coincidentally, the first person at Marvel to get me work) finally has the book of her bizarre world travels released at the end of this month. Just go and buy the bloody thing. I command you. You will not regret it.
August 16th, 2006 | researchmaterial
Jeff Lanctot, vice president of Seattle-based ad agency Avenue A/Razorfish, said Shaiâ€™s Web strategy shows that advertisers are no longer looking for hit shows like â€œFriends,â€ to sell their products. They are now looking to replace A-list actors like the sitcomâ€™s Jennifer Aniston with a porn star…
(Which would make sense in some instances, as I don’t see Ms Aniston wanting to publicly model things like Miko Exoticwear’s new steel buttplugs, for example…)
August 16th, 2006 | people I know
Jean Snow has a friend who is, I swear to god, bottle blogging.
Gillen shows off Jamie McKelvie’s new art print for sale.
Jeffrey Rowland does not understand the suit.
Melissa has instructions for Bay Area readers.
August 15th, 2006 | researchmaterial
What’s the worst that can happen? If you often ask yourself that question, then you’re probably an emergency planner. And perhaps you should note the maxim of Mike Granatt, the former head of the Civil Contingencies Secretariat: “Believe it might happen.”
The centre of Britain’s emergency preparations is the Civil Contigencies Secretariat, based in the Cabinet Office. This employs ten civil servants to look for trouble. They monitor the waxing and waning of about 120 potential threats, from terrorism to extreme weather, from security of gas supply to industrial fires like the one at the Buncefield oil depot.
“The key thing we learnt was that we live in a very connected world, a network society,” says Mike Granatt. “Nothing happens on a big scale that doesn’t affect lots of other things. What caught us out was a lack of understanding of how the UK functions.”
Granatt says that while lesssons have been learnt, the thing which still worries him most is “indecision in government”. He adds: “The worst thing that can happen is that a danger manifests itself, it starts to grow and the people who are aware of it do not move fast enough to take the steps to deal with it.”
…While Whitehall’s doomwatchers are mainly focused on the near term, a longer term perspective is taken by Rear Admiral Chris Parry. He runs the Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre at the Defence Academy in Wiltshire, and sees himself as the MoD’s horizon-scanner. He tries to look a long way ahead.
“Al-Qaeda is a passing phase,” says Admiral Parry. “It’s an expression of grievance. It will either mutate into something else, be part of a bigger political process or just fade into the light of common day.”
Admiral Parry seems to take a rather bleak view of matters. “If peace breaks out tomorrow I’d be very happy to be an archaeologist,” he says, “but in my experience war is the normal nature of mankind…”
August 15th, 2006 | Work
August 15th, 2006 | Uncategorized