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Alden Bates' Weblog

Feigning normality since 1973

July 3, 2011

Doctor Who: And the rest!

Filed in: Doctor Who.

Because I was lazy last weekend, and because we're only getting half a season, because the BBC hates us, here's my coverage of the remaining episodes of this half season!

Continue reading "Doctor Who: And the rest!"

Posted at 5:00 PM | Comments (0)

June 12, 2011

Doctor Who: The Curse of the Black Spot/The Doctor's Wife

Filed in: Doctor Who.

Following on from the season opener are two self-contained stories: The One with the Pirates and The One Written by Neil Gaiman.

"The Curse of the Black Spot", or "Doctor Who in a Bit of Running About on a Boat" lacks a bit of something in that the pirates don't really feel very piratey. It's possible we've been spoiled by Disney and Hollywood in general, but it seems like there should have been a lot more yo ho hoing. Henry Avery, played by Hugh Bonneville, is supposed to be a fearsome pirate captain, and we're told he's killed many men, but he just seems too nice. More about this story and "The Doctor's Wife" under the cut...

Continue reading "Doctor Who: The Curse of the Black Spot/The Doctor's Wife"

Posted at 6:57 PM | Comments (0)

May 29, 2011

Doctor Who: The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon

Filed in: Doctor Who.

Before I begin, and on a related note, Paul Scoones sent me some updates a while back for Another Time and Space, which are now online.

So, "The Impossible Astronaut" and "Day of the Moon" is the two-parter opening series 6, and they screened on Prime here in the last couple of weeks. Steven Moffat appears to have decided to do away with the Russell T. Davies series plan, and is now doing his own thing, which is good. However as a season opening, I thought the story lacked something. It seemed to spend half its time busily setting things up for later in the series, so the story had less time to develop its own plot. The first ten minutes of "The Impossible Astronaut" are taken up with a diversion which fails to be resolved by the rest of the story, and in the end we're left with far more questions than answers.

But I guess that's how we get hooked. Spoilers beyond the cut.

Continue reading "Doctor Who: The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon"

Posted at 11:18 AM | Comments (0)

May 4, 2011

Why NZ's new internet law sucks

Filed in: Internet, Tetrap.Local.

Recently John Key took some time off from flying around the country in helicopters so he could organise the NZ government to, well, basically bend over and take it from US copyright trolls. Starting in September, we'll have a law whereby the entertainment industry can accuse someone of copyright violation and have them cut off from the internet, guilty until proven innocent.

But don't take my word for it, Christopher Wood goes into it in more detail in 13 reasons why the Infringing File Sharing Act is bad for you.

I'm so glad the New Zealand government is spending its time on important things.

Posted at 6:45 PM | Comments (5)

April 23, 2011

It's election year!

Filed in: Tetrap.Local.

At least here in New Zealand it is. So what are the political polls saying at the moment as regards the political mood?

"Well, sure, under National our troops hand Afghan prisoners over to known torturers, our economy is on the verge of collapse, and John Key takes personal rides in Air Force helicopters at the taxpayers expense, but that Phil Goff fellow is a bit boring, so I'm voting National!"

I note that Labour have done little to capitalise on the situation, what with their own petty infighting and midnight antics. If NZ wasn't so set into the 2-party system and we had a third party which wasn't just a one-man party or one-issue party, we might have an alternative.

Posted at 12:37 PM | Comments (2)

December 31, 2010

Trace Hodgson's Shafts of Strife

Filed in: Links.

Back in the 80s, when Trace Hodgson was doing a weekly strip for The Listener, somehow it all went terribly strange and twisted, and we got "Shafts of Strife", a comic strip that felt more like a drug trip than anything. Like many things, it's now available to read on the Internets, courtesy Roger Langridge:

Read 'Shafts of Strife'.

Peter Jackson should adapt that into a movie.

Posted at 11:17 AM | Comments (0)

December 10, 2010

Dark of the Moon trailer

Filed in: Transformers.

The first Transformers: Dark of the Moon trailer's hit the net.

Sort of an Alien meets Transformer vibe to it...

Posted at 6:10 PM | Comments (4)

November 13, 2010

Cat versus various sized boxes

Filed in: Links.

Via Boing Boing: Maru the cat and his love for boxes:

Which makes me wonder how oddly-shaped a box would have to be before he failed to recognise it as a box.

PS: OK, you know? Screw fixed-width layouts.

Posted at 8:06 AM | Comments (1)

November 4, 2010

Transformers: Prime is coming!

Filed in: Transformers.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the next movie, is still half a year away, but screw that, because Transformers: Prime is starting at the end of the month!

The Hub has just released another commercial for it, and it looks very good. If the writing's as good as it was on Transformers Animated, this should be a great series!

Posted at 10:20 PM | Comments (0)

October 25, 2010

Wikia: A Case Study in Keeping Your Users Happy

Filed in: Internet.


Some two years ago, when Wikia introduced their new Monaco site skin, the Transformers Wiki moved to independent hosting citing a number of complaints, such as misleading the community, and ignoring dissent and forging ahead with changes.

Wikia are now introducing an even newer skin. Have Wikia learned from TFWiki's departure? Well, from what I can tell from the Community Central blogs, they haven't changed a heck of a lot. Though they said that the skin was going to be mandatory for all Wiki, and that individual Wiki were not going to be allowed to modify the skin beyond a background image and colours, there were a couple of notable exceptions. One particular "shot themselves in the foot" moment was when Wikia offered to let the World of Warcraft Wikia widen the skin, apparently in an attempt to prevent them moving to independent hosting.

There have been many vocal protests on Wikia's staff blog entries, but despite those Wikia are forging ahead with little change to the skin, which has caused a bunch of Wiki to head for independent hosting. The aforementioned World of Warcraft wiki can now be found at, and Halopedia seems to be the latest Wikia to move. The skin change has even resulted in a movement calling itself the Anti-Wikia Alliance.

How much will this affect Wikia? Probably not much in the short term, as they get to keep copies of all of the wiki that leave, but in the long term...

Posted at 5:20 PM | Comments (0)


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