Marcus Rowland

Marcus Rowland

  • Commented on The internet of decay
    A lot of home cinema stuff is wifi controlled now (none of mine, I promise you) and it would not astonish me if (for example) someone uploaded a program to switch video projectors on at 2 AM, or otherwise do...
  • Commented on And the Rabid Nazi Raccoons shall inherit the Earth
    2018: the Flying Spaghetti Monster twiddles His Noodly Appendages and wonders why it's gone so quiet down there......
  • Commented on Ever Young?
    There's nothing wrong in not wanting to do "adult" things - I structured my entire working life around the goals of never wearing a suit or a tie and never needing to shave, and never working more than 15 minutes...
  • Commented on Sometimes I don't know why I bother!
    And I nearly forgot one of my favourites, E. W. Barton-Wright, an engineer who went to Japan in the late 19th century, saw demonstrations of judo and other martial arts, and ended up creating "Bartitsu," the first mixed martial art...
  • Commented on Sometimes I don't know why I bother!
    By coincidence I played Julie d'Aubigny in a Doctor Who RPG someone ran at a games con earlier this month. She's a fantastic character and a joy to role-play - though I must admit that I based my version of...
  • Commented on What are you reading this summer?
    Most recently several books by Robert Louis Stevenson, because of a book club thing coming up, all available from Gutenberg etc.: Treasure Island - the definitive "Arr, matey" pirate story, it still holds up pretty well if you ignore the...
  • Commented on Competition Time!
    NOT AN ENTRY (since I've already done one), just for fun: Codename: BAT SIGNAL Classification: Summoning Ritual (failed) Description: An attempt to summon entities powerful enough to change the fundamental constants of the universe and thus forestall all of the...
  • Commented on Competition Time!
    Yep. BMW got stupid with their bikes around the time they introduced electronics. I was short of cash in 2011 and my R80 needed a repair I couldn't afford, so I sold it and bought a K75 to tide me...
  • Commented on Competition Time!
    Sorry - small clarification - the tubes produce UV, not the power supply!...
  • Commented on Competition Time!
    Cheating a little, since I designed this for my RPG in the nineties... Name: Carnacki Mk III Electric Pentacle (1903) Description: A pentacle-shaped array of mercury discharge tubes with a lead-acid accumulator as power supply - unfortunately the DC voltage...
  • Commented on Updating a classic
    Performance management is vital; performance management meetings are infinitely postpone-able, even if it means that employees can't show they've met their targets in a timely manner. Funding for performance goals (e.g. training) is even more postpone-able. And the ultimate one:...
  • Commented on A purely theoretical dilemma
    As usual the aliens are phrasing things badly - what they should be saying is something like "We're really sorry, there's currently a 2800 year waiting list for sentient species to be considered for membership in Club Borg. You could...
  • Commented on The unavoidable discussion
    "The EU is the current incarnation of an institution established in 1947 to ensure that never again would the nations of western Europe go to war with one another. And it has been staggeringly successful." I've been pointing this one...
  • Commented on Deploying the monomyth in Space Opera
    Actually, that'd make a cracking space opera "Cracking space opera, Gromit!" Reminds me that there aren't enough crazy gadgeteers and canine beautiful assistants in space opera these days, it seems to have gone out of fashion around the time that...
  • Commented on Second childhood?
    Forgot to say, thanks for reccing Strong Female Protagonist, I hadn't seen it before and I'm enjoying it a lot....
  • Commented on Second childhood?
    I liked Second Empire - the story of the first Dalek civil war. Very pretty CGI graphics, lots of in-jokes, and the Doctor doesn't appear in it at all, which I seem to recall is a plus for you. http://www.mechmaster.co.uk/cg-lair/daleks/secemp-index.htm...
  • Commented on The Evil Business Plan of Evil (and misery for all)
    Where is Iain Banks' Unethical Investment Fund when I need it...? By a weird coincidence I was thinking of Google's cars today and realised how useful they'd be for e.g. market research - does the market share of people going...
  • Commented on Thoughtcrime
    The moment I saw that I thought of Judge Dredd; welcome to Megacity One, where everything that isn't forbidden is mandatory. Cameron is probably going to have a hard time learning that a majority really doesn't guarantee he'll get everything...
  • Commented on Aftermath
    Apologies - you're right, I was remembering it wrong....
  • Commented on Aftermath
    Just heard that Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP (right-wing anti-Europe nutters) has not won the seat he tried for. VERY relieved. He claimed he would resign from his party if not elected, I wonder how he'll weasel out of it....
  • Commented on Update
    Trouble is you'd never have it handy when the politicians or Jehovah's Witnesses called, it'd be tucked away somewhere or out of fuel, and that would defeat the whole object of owning it....
  • Commented on Why we're not going to see sub-orbital airliners
    Assuming that the technology actually came together somehow, another limit might well be the puke factor. A lot of passengers are going to have psychological or physiological reactions to free fall, some of them so drastic that they will never...
  • Commented on Things I would make if I had a 3D printer ...
    And thinking about this some more, a steady supply of keytops for the more common letters would probably be a VERY useful thing for our more prolific authors. Better yet, have designs that can be made in metal as well...
  • Commented on Things I would make if I had a 3D printer ...
    Not sure that current tech is quite up to it, the plastic isn't quite smooth enough, but eventually replacement key-tops for computer keyboards. There seems to be a huge market in them for some reason, judging by the numbers sold...
  • Commented on Things I would make if I had a 3D printer ...
    My mouth contains a dental bridge made by milling some sort of ceramic - took about 20 minutes. They used some sort of scanner to get an image of the gap where it was to fit, modeled it in 3D,...
  • Commented on Things I would make if I had a 3D printer ...
    Things I might make for myself... Bodies for model dragons (print the wings on acetate sheet or something, since there will be large flat areas that are stupidly expensive to make by 3D printing) Structural elements for micro model aircraft...
  • Commented on Things I would make if I had a 3D printer ...
    There are actually strange exceptions to the usual Euro copyright laws protecting Lego and other brick systems - I'm not sure how they would apply for rolling your own, but Simon Bradshaw can probably tell you. See his paper on...
  • Commented on Let's put the future behind us
    That looks awesome from above, but of course like most resorts the big problem is presumably having to share it with several thousand other tourists. A picture from ground level shows what that might be like, as well as giving...
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