Monday, March 31, 2008


Japanese scientists have found a way to reverse liver cirrhosis. By using a man-made molecule encased in vitamin A, the cells absorb the molecule and block the formation of collagen. Once the fibrosis is gone, the liver repairs itself.

A Tennessee courthouse is going to have a statue of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. :)

ABC has set their schedule for returning shows in April/May. Women's Murder Club is moving to Tuesdays, and Men in Trees will be taking a few weeks off again.

Supernatural has been renewed. The article at SciFi wire has some teasing, but no real spoilers.

DVR for tonight:
5pm Greek
8pm Big Bang Theory
830 How I Met Your Mother
9pm New Amsterdam & 2.5 Men
10p Medium

Friday, March 28, 2008


Popular Mechanics lists the 10 Most Prophetic Science Fiction Movies Ever. Another list to argue about (especially since I don't think some of their choices were even trying to predict the future, just look cool), but I like their #1 pick (Gattaca). I also find it interesting that 2 of the 10 have the same author (Andrew Niccol).

CNet's Crave today discusses the Top 10 Obsolete Ports. Of these, I still use 2 (parallel and PS2) on a regular basis, and they left off the serial port (probably because most computers don't even have them now, even though I want to use old hardware that requires it). I do like their page 10 joke.

Since Firefox 3 is just about ready for public (non-beta) download, they have started to plan what will be in Firefox 4. Two features planned are application launches that will work offline and synchronizing browser settings between different computers you log on to. Read more at the Webware article.

2 articles this week on the silicon chip: ITnews thinks the chip is dead and will be replaced by carbon nanotubes and superconductors, and BBC news has an article about silicon bonded with rubber to make stretchable chips for flexible applications.

A French sound recording made nearly 2 decades before Edison ever recorded sound has been found and played. (The original technology could record but not play back sounds, but researchers have found a way to play it back.)

A columnist for Earth & Sky has proposed that a Gamma Ray Blast that occurred on the same morning as Arthur C. Clarke's death be renamed as the "Clarke event". He urges people to contact planetariums to put more support behind the request.

Eos is giving away copies of their Hugo nominated books (The Yiddish Policeman's Union and The New Space Opera) as well as putting excerpts online.

SF Awards watch has a reminder that the Locus Poll submissions need to be in by April 15th. If you want to vote, the ballot is here.

DVR for tonight:
Battlestar Galactica specials

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Weird Tales is listing the 85 Weirdest Storytellers of the Past 85 Years. Weird is good. There are some great authors, artists, and creative visionaries on the list.

Bar codes that can be read by cell phones link window shoppers to web content for a business (ex. a Citysearch page). The technology has been used in Europe, but today in SF is the first US rollout.

The actor who plays Helo on Battlestar Galactica (Tahmoh Penikett) is joining Joss Whedon's new show, Dollhouse.

The release for the Robot Chicken: Star Wars dvd has been delayed until July.

DVR for tonight:
9pm Reaper (Season? finale)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


You've seen concept car photos, but today Computerworld has concept laptops. They show concept art and discuss how (they think) laptops will be used in 7 years. I like the Canova.

The List Universe has posted the Top 15 Science Fiction Book Series (note this means no fantasy). Despite a few omissions, I think the list is really good. I've read at least part of 8 (Vorkosigan, Dune, Hitchhiker's Guide, Ringworld, Ender, Heinlein's Future History, Barsoom, and Foundation) and others have been on my TBR pile for years. Check out the actual list for artwork, the ones I've missed, and reasons for placement (as well as the comments arguments about what is missing).

In 1968, Modern Mechanix had an article predicting what the world would be like in 40 years. We're here now, but the world isn't quite like they pictured (although there is more accuracy than you would expect). Read the original article here.

Want an Indy marathon prior to watching the new movie? SciFi will air all 3 movies on May 18th prior to their special Mystery of the Crystal Skulls.

Speaking of SciFi, SF Signal takes a look at their upcoming scripted programming. They offer more detailed descriptions, and there might be 1 or 2 more that are worth watching than I gave them credit for originally. I was planning to check out Alice and Caprica, but may now also look at Stranded and Deputized, depending on how they look once we get closer.

Rob Thomas has just been hired to write the pilot for a 3rd show. Five Year Plan, for ABC, is based on a New Zealand show called Outrageous Fortune. He's going to be very busy.

Subterranean Magazine is selling preorders for their final print issue. It has a Scalzi story that takes place between Old Man's War and Ghost Brigades.

DVR for tonight:
10pm Men in Trees

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Numb3rs will be losing another lead actress. Diane Farr is leaving the show at the end of this season.

Stephen King and his son (bestselling author Joe Hill) are collaborating on a novella which will appear in an anthology honoring Richard Matheson.

Microsoft has released a timeline for the phasing out of XP. Considering it will be years before any software requiring FDA approval could ever be approved for use on Vista, I see that we are going to be screaming for them to extend their support timeframe. Just because they want people to switch doesn't mean we all can. This report from CNet implies the deadline may continue to shift.

The compiler of the Classics of Science Fiction lists is considering new lists with slightly different criteria (for SF books that even a non-genre reader has heard about).

The original drawing of Ada Byron (later known as Countess Lovelace, the world's first programmer) has been sold on eBay to a computer programmer. How appropriate.

DVR for tonight:
10pm Jericho (series finale)

Monday, March 24, 2008


SF Signal has reviews of all the Nebula short fiction nominees (as well as links to the online versions). I read a few of these over the weekend, and will be reading more over the next few days, so I'm curious to see where we agree and disagree.

Surveillance technology meant to catch the transport of dirty bombs instead detected a cat who had cancer treatment.

DVRs for tonight:
5pm Greek (season premier)
8pm Big Bang Theory
830 How I Met Your Mother
9pm New Amsterdam & 2.5 Men
10pm Medium

Friday, March 21, 2008


Hugo Nominations have been announced. A few things I voted for even made the list (YAY!), but I'll have some reading to do. John Scalzi comments on his nominations. The nominee list at SF Signal has links to free online versions (more to come soon).

Jericho has officially been canceled again.

Nanochip Inc. has developed a new flash memory technology that stores memory in a different way, so it won't be limited by the Moore's Law trend. We may see 1TB storage on a chip in only a few years.

A math puzzle that has been unsolved for 38 years is now solved. An Israeli-Russian mathematician has solved the Road Coloring Problem.

Studies warn that the east bay is due for a magnitude 7 earthquake on the Hayward fault at any time now, and we are not even remotely ready for it (only 5-15% of buildings are even insured compared to 30-40% for Katrina-damaged).

It sounds like Apple may be contemplating selling an iPod that comes with all the (legal) free music downloads you want from iTunes if you pay a higher price upfront for the iPod. (Basically different methods for doing a subscription music service instead of a pay-per-song method.)

It looks like The Sarah Connor Chronicles will be renewed. While it hasn't been officially announced, they have been given permission to add staff.

The TV Guide guy reports from the Buffy Reunion panel this week, but it is for curiosity only. There was nothing exciting announced.

DVR for tonight:
830p Return of Jezebel James (Fox)

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Gerald McRaney will be joining Women's Murder Club as the estranged father of the main character. I wonder if this is a sign that it will be renewed.

Researchers have developed artificial muscles that heal themselves and generate energy.

Cool tech for the day: Researchers have made a microchip-sized "fan" that operates silently, has no moving parts, and generates enough wind to cool a laptop. (It generates 3 times more wind than a traditional fan 4 times its size.) They picture being able to incorporate it into the silicon and make self-cooling chips.

Researchers have developed a room temperature superconductor.

Blue light LEDs may be incorporated into vehicles and truck stops to keep people awake when driving at night. The blue light apparently changes the circadian rhythms and helps them stay awake.

More links for Arthur C. Clarke appreciations can be found here. (And if you didn't follow the link from the first post to the LA Times story, you should read it. It was very good.) Still more new links and appreciations available from and Locus.

Barry Hughart has written an introduction to the upcoming omnibus release of his series from Subterranean Press. They put it up on the preorder page.

Bionic Woman producer David Eick confirms that the show has been canceled.

Eick and Ronald Moore describe the new BSG spinoff, Caprica, as a totally different type of show.

The future doesn't look very good for Men In Trees. ABC still hasn't indicated if they will renew it, and the producers tried to shop it around to Lifetime, but they won't pick it up.

DVRs for tonight:
9pm Lost & Reaper

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


RIP Sir Arthur C. Clarke. The Grand Master of SF died yesterday at 90. The world has lost a true visionary. There are a bunch of good eulogies online. SF Signal links to several. Locus has more. Or if you want to remember him through his works, SF Signal also has a link to free written and audio fiction available, as well as an excerpt from his birthday statement about how he wants to be remembered.

The Guardian has an interview with Terry Pratchett.

SciFi has announced their upcoming slate of event movies and web programming. Also announced, they have greenlit the Caprica spinoff for Battlestar Galactica.

TV Guide has interview/spoiler comments about Chuck.

DVR for tonight:
10pm Men in Trees

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


It appears that Io is causing the spots on Jupiter.

RIP Anthony Minghella. The writer and director of such things as Jim Henson's Storyteller, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Truly Madly Deeply, and The English Patient has died at 54.

Rumors are that Pixar is contemplating doing John Carter of Mars as live action movies instead of animation.

Joel Gretsch (4400's Tom Baldwin) is going to appear on all of the remaining Women's Murder Club episodes this season as a new love interest for Angie Harmon's character. I just hope they aren't planning to make him the killer.

DVR for tonight:
10pm Jericho

Monday, March 17, 2008


Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Comments and minor spoilers for Pushing Daisies can be found here.

MGM has announced some of the movies they are developing and it looks like everything is a remake or sequel: Robocop, Outer Limits (which I'm not even sure fits in a movie format), Thomas Crown Affair, and even Fame. Why can't they make original stories anymore?

DVRs for tonight:
5pm Kyle XY
8pm Big Bang Theory
830 How I Met Your Mother
9pm New Amsterdam & 2.5 Men
10pm Medium

Friday, March 14, 2008


Terry Pratchett is donating $1 million to Alzheimer's research. Let's hope they find a cure in time to help him.

Christian Slater is going to star in a series being developed for NBC which is described as The Bourne Identity meets Jekyll & Hyde.

Someone found a 1936 issue of Popular Mechanics and posted what they call "Quite Possibly the Worst Invention Ever". I'm not sure whether to laugh or be horrified, but I'm not arguing with them.

StarShipSofa has audio versions of the 2007 BSFA Best Short Story nominees.

The Liad side story, Fledgling, that was being serialized online is done (and has been for a few months, that will show me for losing patience with reading one chapter at a time). If you want a hard copy of the final edited version of the book, tomorrow (3-15-08) is the deadline for sending your donation. (I sent mine over a year ago, now I'm just debating a 2nd copy.) Sharon Lee and Steve Miller have also started a 2nd story, Saltation, since they found there was more of Theo's story that they wanted to tell than would fit comfortably in one book.

Rob Thomas is about to be very busy. ABC gave a green light to the updated revival of his show Cupid. This will take priority over the earlier announced writing position for the new 90210 show on CW, although he will probably still write their pilot episode.

TV for tonight: At 8pm on Fox is the pilot for The Return of Jezebel James, which is the new show from Amy Sherman-Palladino (creator of Gilmore Girls). The reviews have been fairly bad, but I figure she's earned a pilot viewing.
DVR for the weekend:
Sat: Torchwood (BBCA)
Sun: John Adams (HBO - beginning of the miniseries)

Thursday, March 13, 2008


SF Signal has the final trailer for Wall E today.

Digital Spy has an interview with Peter Davison about returning to Doctor Who in the 4th season episode "Time Crash". Apparently his daughter will also appear in an upcoming episode.

Rob Thomas (creator of Veronica Mars) may be coming back to the CW, but writing for a show I don't really want to see - they are developing a new version of Beverly Hills 90210.

CNet has a slideshow of Saturn's moon Enceladus today.

CNet also has a report that Apple as applied for a patent for a device that can play rented movies downloaded from iTunes, function as a DVR for live TV, and be remote controlled by an iPod.

A reason to watch David Letterman's top 10 list next Wednesday: it will be presented by the 10 main cast members from Battlestar Galactica, which premieres its 4th season on March 28th.

A neckband has been developed that can pick up nerve signals to the vocal cords and translate them into speech without the user ever making a sound. The device was demonstrated by making a voiceless phone call. You have to think about which words to transmit, but it is possible to think one set while saying another out loud. They plan to market this for people who have lost the ability to speak due to neurological diseases such as ALS.

CNet's Crave this week covered Vapourware, tech that is talked about but never actually released.

Several TV shows are still on the bubble: not yet renewed or canceled. Here is an article which breaks down the renewal chances of each. The verdict: although most shows we care about will probably be back, Jericho and Reaper are unlikely to return.

There may only be 7 Harry Potter books, but there will be 8 movies. Warner Brothers has announced they will split the final novel into 2 movies, to be released in November 2010 and May 2011. Day

DVRs for tonight:
9pm Lost & Reaper

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Subterranean Press is bringing out a new omnibus of the Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox books by Barry Hughart. New edition, new cover, and it will cost substantially less than the old book club version would, assuming you could even find a copy now. is going public today with hundreds of ad-supported TV episodes and movies available for viewing.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden discusses the changes at Tor that have them giving out free e-books.

DVR for tonight:
10pm Men in Trees

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Nortel has developed new optical networking gear that can quadruple network capacity and bring speeds up to 100Gbps. They are going to begin implementation in Denmark and the UK.

Publishers are removing DRM from audio book downloads. They found the DRM wasn't actually protecting the files from those who would illegally distribute them, but it was limiting their legal distribution.

CNet has some great photos of Saturn and Mars today.

Firefox has released their 4th beta version of 3.0 for download.

Cord blood advances: An injection of stem cells from his own cord blood seems to be curing a 2-year-old of Cerebral Palsy. UC Davis plans to store cord blood for race horses to be used for orthopedic injury treatment.

How I Met Your Mother is going through some crazy guest cast shuffling. They had scheduled Alicia Silverstone to play a multiple-episode arc, possibly playing the mother. Now, they've added Brittney Spears as a cameo in what was to be the first ep of the arc. (Why? Don't they know I would be happier if I never have to see her face or hear her name?) Alicia bowed out of the episode (they still plan to bring her in later as another character) and has been replaced by Sarah Chalke (Elliott from Scrubs) who can only do the one episode due to scheduling constraints.

DVR for tonight:
10pm Jericho

Monday, March 10, 2008


Representative Tim Crouch of Kentucky wants to make anonymous online posting illegal. He wants to prevent cyber-bullying, but it would have the effect of killing free speech.

The WB is going to be resurrected online. There will be free streaming video of all WB-produced shows that aired on the network. It is still unknown if shows produced by outside studios (like Buffy) would also be shown.

SF Signal has a video recap of Battlestar Galactica in their Tube Bits section today (there is other news that you might find interesting on the same page). 3 seasons in 8.5 minutes.

A new study shows that having a cat in the home reduces your chance of a heart attack by 30%.

Ben Browder is co-writing a miniseries called Going Homer, which brings to life characters from Greek and Roman mythology. A modern 12-year old can see the gods walking among us. No word on when this may eventually be seen on TV.

Roger Moore is teaming with the producers of Homicide to make a TV movie of The Saint. If successful it could turn into a new series. James Purefoy (of A Knight's Tale, Rome, etc.) will play Templar.

DVR for tonight:
5pm Kyle XY
9pm New Amsterdam
10pm Medium

Friday, March 7, 2008


The makers of Hogfather have made a movie of The Colour of Magic based on the 1st 2 Terry Pratchett Discworld novels. It will air in the UK over Easter weekend and later this year on Ion TV in the US. The cast includes Sean Astin, Tim Curry, Christopher Lee, and a cameo by Jeremy Irons. The next adaptation will be his newest book, Going Postal, which will have a larger role for Jeremy Iron's character. Check out the official website for more info.

Is it wrong that I am tempted to go to Dragon*Con? I've never been, but I've heard good things about it and the guest list looks really good. But I'm already doing 2 non-business trips out of state this year, so 3 would be pushing it.

Saturn's second largest moon appears to also have rings.

A new computer controller is being developed that is a magnetically levitated joystick. It tracks movement in 6 directions: forward/back, left/right, and up/down, and can simulate resistance to weight by magnetic force.

DVR for tonight:
Stargate Atlantis (season finale)
The 2-hour version of the Dresden Files pilot "Storm Front" is scheduled to air on SciFi at 3am tomorrow (which is probably midnight tonight for DishNetwork).

Upcoming TV:
Stargate: Ark of Truth comes to dvd next Tuesday (3/11)
SciFi Friday will be airing 4-hour blocks of Jericho for the next few weeks. Then Battlestar Galactica will premier on 4/4, The Sarah Jane Adventures on 4/11, and Doctor Who season 4 on 4/18 (starting with the Christmas episode).

Thursday, March 6, 2008


TNT will be making a 3rd Librarian movie.

The artist who made "Wake Up Cat" has struck again. I think this will seem familiar to dog servants too.

NASA is ready to test their new space capsule.

A study by Gladstone & UCSF has made a breakthrough in getting stem cells to form specialized cells.

DVRs for tonight:
9pm Lost & New Amsterdam (Fox is moving this around before putting it into a final time slot next week)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


The Sookie Stackhouse TV show "True Blood" has added a new cast member. I've been hearing about this show for nearly a year - when are they actually going to air it?

Jim Henson Co. announced that Dark Crystal and Labyrinth are now available on iTunes. Fraggle Rock and Farscape will be coming soon.

DVR for tonight:
10pm Men in Trees

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


RIP Gary Gygax. The father of the role-playing game and co-creator of D&D died this morning at the age of 69. Reactions from gamers and former gamers can be found all over, but I first saw it at slashdot, where they are asking people (as a memoriam) to tell how roleplaying touched their lives. There is also a eulogy at CNet.

CNet's Crave article from yesterday discusses "Tech that is just wrong". Some I agree with, some I don't, but it is an interesting article.

It looks like we'll soon be getting more than dairy products from California's "happy cows". PG&E is planning to use cow manure to generate methane, and then refine it into bio-gas and use it for all natural gas uses.

Microsoft has changed their plan for IE8. Unlike previously announced, it will conform to standards by default and have different modes available for the user if they don't want the default mode.

DVR for tonight:
9pm New Amsterdam (pilot)
10pm Jericho

Monday, March 3, 2008


Popular Mechanics has been visiting MIT and looking at their efforts to power hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars with ultracapacitors instead of batteries. There are two articles about the technology and predictions for use.

CW has officially renewed Supernatural.

SciFi Wire has announced the top 10 SF movies of all time according to the poll they were running. Did you vote? The top spot went to Star Wars.

The courts upheld the ban on high-frequency sonar used by the Navy off the shores of California and Hawaii.

Now that I have my membership and hotel room booked for Worldcon in Denver this August, I have started to think about the trip. I found this proposal for making the trip into a site-seeing tour, and I want to do something similar. Which sites would be the most interesting to see and how long should I extend the trip to make the tour?

DVR for tonight:
5pm Kyle XY
8pm Sarah Connor Chronicles (2-hour season finale)
10pm Medium