Science Fiction Brewed Fresh Daily


Bloody Disgusting reports that 20th Century Fox has a remake of Alien planned.

Join me, won’t you please, in a bit of boggling over why anybody thinks this is a good idea. And then let’s get some torches and pitchforks.

(via Topless Robot)

Posted in Movies & TV May 29th, 2009 by Chip

AI is Upon Us


Wolfram|Alpha has come online.

It looks a bit like a search engine, but its stated purpose is “making the world’s knowledge computable.”

Wolfram|Alpha’s long-term goal is to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable and accessible to everyone. We aim to collect and curate all objective data; implement every known model, method, and algorithm; and make it possible to compute whatever can be computed about anything. Our goal is to build on the achievements of science and other systematizations of knowledge to provide a single source that can be relied on by everyone for definitive answers to factual queries.

There are gaps in its “knowledge” right now, but the expectation is that over time its abilities will grow enormously. Its goals are very science-fictiony and make it sound like a nascent TechnoCore.

Bonus points for a vaguely sinister name; extremely powerful AIs should always be called something like Wintermute or GLaDOS or Mycroft.

Posted in Computers & Internet May 28th, 2009 by Chip
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How it Should Have Ended

“Sometimes movies don’t finish the way we’d like.” These guys rectify that.

Here’s a sample:

Link (via The Crotchety Old Fan)

Posted in Ephemera May 27th, 2009 by Chip
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Klingon Anti-Virus

I know nothing of Sophos Labs and the efficacy of their anti-virus software. But I may buy it just because they have a Klingon version. (And I’d sort of like to work for them, because clearly their management has the right attitude.)

Why did we translate it into Klingon?

Our routine monitoring of sub-space transmissions alerted Sophos that the loss of the Klingon battlecruiser Klothos was not due to Romulan incursion into the Khitomer system, but a result of trying to remove VBS/PeachyPDF-A from the battle computer using M’swoN’kar after Commander Kor opened an attachment from the system S’cam-419.

They’ve also put together a promotional video for their target audience:


Link (via The Presurfer)

Posted in Ephemera May 26th, 2009 by Chip
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Photographer Thierry Legault took this image of the Atlantis shuttle in front of the sun. There’s a larger version and several more photos at his site.

The shuttle looks so teeny against that big ball of gas, and realizing that it’s millions of miles closer really overwhelms you with size. It’s a very poetic image, humans in their fragile little ship trying to deal with the vastness of space.

(via io9)

Posted in Space May 25th, 2009 by Chip
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Link Dump

Strange Animals – YouTube clip. It’s plainly a hoax, but it’s neat.

Science Fiction Drinking Games – Rules for various SF-related drinking games, such as: The Star Trek Drinking Game: A newly discovered planet is “Much like Earth”

Star Wars TV – With lightsaber remote!

Stargate Wedding Cake – Lovely cake design.

The Economics of Star Trek – I’d kind of wondered about the replicator thing myself.

Real Life Mad Scientists – Profiles of real “diabolical madmen.”

The Museum of the Mad, the Macabre, and the Marvelous – Strange and unsettling images by artist C.D. Richardson.

7 Reasons the 21st Century is Making You Miserable – This depends on your point of view. I think several of these are reasons the 21st Century is Frakking Wonderful.

The Definitive Guide to Steampunk Gadgets – I especially like the brass USB memory stick.

Tiger and Issa – Photos from a Star Wars-themed wedding, including a custom-made Stormtrooper wedding dress.

Hijinks Ensue – I have long suspected exactly this.

Posted in Ephemera May 22nd, 2009 by Chip
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Meet “The Link”

IdaIda is a darling of the news right now, with a shiny new Website, an upcoming special on The History Channel, and enough coverage in the blogosphere to choke a cybernetic horse. It’s not without reason; she’s the most perfect primate fossil ever found:

Her skeleton is almost 100% complete. Around the skeleton is a shadow of the fur, and among the bones, where the intestines would have been, are the fossilised remains of her last meal. Studying all these features allows us to reconstruct her life history, the way she moved and her diet. There is no primate fossil from the Eocene from which we can learn so much – in fact, there is no primate so well preserved until we get to human burial…

There’s some concern, however, that the discovery is being oversensationalized, and even perhaps that the placement of Ida on the primate family tree is the result of less-than-diligent science.

It is, at the very least, an extremely impressive fossil, and I don’t know if a little sensationalism is a bad thing if it gets more people interested in science.

Posted in News, Science May 21st, 2009 by Chip
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The Robot Song

I know that posting two YouTube clips in a row is kind of a cop-out. I don’t care. This makes me giggle.

Posted in Humor May 20th, 2009 by Chip
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David Lynch Does “Jedi”

Apparently, David Lynch was given the opportunity to direct Return of the Jedi. He turned it down, but Frank Schalk has given us a trailer from the alternate universe where Spock has a beard and Lynch took the job.

(via Topless Robot)

Posted in Ephemera May 19th, 2009 by Chip
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“Flow My Tears” Movie Optioned

PKD CoverPhilip K. Dick’s work has been mined heavily for movie adaptations, and the latest work to be optioned is Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said.

Halcyon Pictures, whose founders Victor Kubicek and Derek Anderson produced Terminator Salvation, has announced plans to film the 1974 work about a minor celebrity who awakens after an assassination attempt to find that no one has ever heard of him. It’ll be interesting to see how the book’s heavy drug use and incestuous central couple will be translated to something a big studio doesn’t get heartburn over.

Link (via Slice of SciFi)

Posted in Books & Authors, Movies & TV May 18th, 2009 by Chip
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