Thursday, January 26, 2012

I want to scream for everything to stop, 'cos I'm not in charge of anything

Came across a bright blue fellow in Wentworth's Consignments, in City of Heroes. He had a very steampunk-esque backpack on, spitting blue steam, and was a level 35 technology controller. I pulled up his profile:
It is not uncommon for Spirit Masters to go on earthly adventures for wisdom and courage. This particular Stormbearer went into an unknown cave filled with sapphire, one of the rarest gems in the world because it is created using just oxygen which gives the blue. Storm bearer was amazed at the amount of gem the cave had. A stream of sapphire also took place and so he followed it deeper in to the blue cave. He came upon this clanking machine creating the crystal cave, and the sapphire water and took it. He has lived to this day with the machine on his back still producing stormy weather but also bringing greed seekers to their demise.
And I could not let that go. So, I dropped a note his way:

[Tell] -->Sapphire Stormbearer: Just as an aside, sapphire gets its blue color from titanium and iron, not oxygen. Otherwise very cool hero.
[Tell] Sapphire Stormbearer: i am not a scientist im a weather controller otherwise ppl love me for my backpack


At which point I smiled, complimented his backpack--because it was a nifty thing of gears and dials and aged blue steel--and backed away. Because really, there's just no further talking possible.

"The Zombie-X rifle was created by DoubleStar as a more effective tool for dealing with the imaginary apocalypse of the undead that's never going to happen." Okay then.

Also, almost a year ago there was speculation about a UFO on the ocean floor. Did they ever find out what that was?

From the Department of WTF Happened, a Hollywood-based lobbying group announced it needed SOPA to shut down Megaupload...five days after Megaupload was shut down, and a couple days after SOPA was stalled in the shallows (maybe permanently; Senator Lamar Smith has withdrawn the bill on the list of bills he's now sponsoring).

And you thought SOPA, PIPA, and now ACTA were bad? And your head is still reeling from PCIPA? Well, meet TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. What's involved in that one? And I quote from the relevant section regarding intellectual property provisions:
"TPP countries have agreed to reinforce and develop existing World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) rights and obligations to ensure an effective and balanced approach to intellectual property rights among the TPP countries. Proposals are under discussion on many forms of intellectual property, including trademarks, geographical indications, copyright and related rights, patents, trade secrets, data required for the approval of certain regulated products, as well as intellectual property enforcement and genetic resources and traditional knowledge. TPP countries have agreed to reflect in the text a shared commitment to the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health."
To break that down, the United States, along with Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, and Vietnam (and possibly Japan and Canada, should they wish to join in, but intriguingly enough, not Mexico) will all be agreeing to support intellectual property rights on trademarks, geographical locations, copyright issues, patents, preservation of trade secrets, internal testing and regulation, including scientific study, empirical findings, and genetically-modified seed crops (and/or clones)--at least within those seven (to possibly nine) countries, and will be fighting back against non-member countries who try to dilute those copyrights, studies, findings, genetic modifications, and chosen locales.

Even worse?
"The Obama Administration has developed a policy on transparency for the TPP negotiations which apparently does not involve any commitments to sharing the text with the general public, even after it has been given to all member countries in the negotiation and to hundreds of corporate insiders on the USTR advisory board system."
Well, wonderful. And yes, that means what you think it does--information on the TPP is very sketchy, and it's highly likely that the (leaked) documents we have of the phrasing may be several drafts back from the final form to be passed.

Meanwhile, the folks now running Minecraft have decided that, in addition to the utterly useless addition of wolves, we're now going to be able to tame so-called "ocelots", which, when tamed (with fish, not pork), turn into...housecats. Not kidding. All ocelots start off spotted, and when they are tamed, they turn into striped orange tabbies, Siamese, or black and white cats.

Let me repeat that, because it sounds vaguely important. The new ocelot "mob" type looks like a blocky, spotted ocelot-like thing when untamed, and when tamed--with a fish--they spontaneously transform into three different potential varieties of squared-off, blocky housecats completely randomly. Because that's what feral animals do when domesticated, you see.

I realize it's Cubeworld, and I'm getting hung up on the transformation of a pixel thing into another pixel thing, when I don't bat an eye that you can dye two sheep, breed them, and have the baby sheep show up with that color of dyed wool. I can't explain it, but my brain is going nononono, the hell, that's not even POSSIBLE.

(from the Minecrafting album. Seriously. Not possible.)

(And yes, there are cat toys in Minecraft 1.2. The gods help us all.)

In news from a different direction, H&M apparently thinks that being inspired to copy someone else's design is radically different from actually copying it, which amuses me greatly. People, it's the same design, just give in already.

I'm a backer for Mother Henriot's Elixir, an actual, herbal-derived, absinthe tea. They need to raise slightly under ten thousand dollars in just slightly over a month. I have faith in them. Consider a donation if you have folding green; their benefits are generous and most come with at least a sample of the tea, if not enough for a full pot!

Paula Deen's developed diabetes (no surprise there); a circuit court says it's okay for cops to discriminate based on intelligence (that explains a lot); Tor Books offers up a lovely little run-down of speculative fiction takes on works of art; Echo Bazaar develops the Radical Okapi; and Anina Bennett and Paul Guinan seem to have done it again, debuting an 'autobiography' of famed steampunk explorer Frank Reade...who, like Boilerplate before him, never existed.

Goodness, I think that's everything, and I still have too many windows open! No wonder Chrome keeps crashing on me.

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