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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

11:10 PM - 5 become 1

Mugenbine fan-mode

A Mugenbine fan-mode brought to you by the letters I, J, L, X and Z.

(Click on the thumbnail for a larger version.)

Link  | 

11:10 PM - Elsewhere on the web

The Death of AcroPhantom.
Another Microman bites the dust. Superarticulation is nice but figures need to be durable as well. While it must be pointed out these snap, crack and pop problems aren't common, this is scant consolation when it happens to one of your figures.

Thai-Toku's Hyper Hobby 3/05 scans.
The Microman MagneForce design is compared to its Micro Action Series predecessor.

Keep the beat, keep your ... B'tx.
The episode 10 preview depicts Hibiki commandeering Ibuki's Honda Shadow 400 but the demon rider will apparently get a DiskAnimal that transforms into a bike.

Lego Doraemon. [via]
Looks like it's 1:1 scale.

Sh15uya fansub out.
Hero Legend's tracker hasn't disabled NAT checking so the download/upload rates ought to be excellent even for those behind a transparent web proxy.

Re: Adobe Photoshop.
Zinger!

"This looks like a fraternal twin of the December 26 earthquake ..."
"Monday's event marked the first time in recorded seismic history -- nearly a century -- that two quakes of such size have happened so close together..."

8.7 quake devastates Indonesian island.
"Indonesia's disaster relief center said at least 1,000 people were killed on Nias, a desolate island famous among surfers worldwide for its fabled right-hand break. Vice President Jusuf Kalla said up to 2,000 may have died."

Link  | 

2:35 AM - Shaken

In retrospect, this earth tremor was probably something folks in Japan or California would pooh-pooh but it was a big deal for someone who had never experienced anything like it (e.g. yours truly). I mean, the greatest natural disasters I experienced prior to this were during my younger years when I couldn't go out to play because it was raining.

According to CNN and online reports, a tsunami is expected. I very much doubt anything would occur in my area because we're shielded by Sumatera. Still, I don't think I'll be sleeping much tonight. There could be aftershocks for one thing and besides, I'd like to keep myself updated on the situation.

Anyway, here are some quake-related links ...

Link  | 

1:21 AM - The earth moves for me

I experienced an earth tremor for the first time in my life earlier. Minor shakes aren't uncommon in northern Malaysian states but this was a first for my area.

I thought I was imagining things when I started swaying and almost attributed it to a bout of dizziness but upon getting up from a chair, I was taken aback to see the pillow on the chair shaking. My family members confirmed they felt it too.

We got out of the house and started comparing notes with our neighbours. The whole neighbourhood was out and excitingly chattering. Nobody here had felt anything during the Indian Ocean quake so folks concluded this was either closer or bigger. A local blog aggregator is filling up with reports from local bloggers and apparently, some precautionary evacuations have taken place.

It appears there's been a 8.2 near Western Sumatera. Oh, those poor, poor people over there. I hope they're all right.

Link  | 

Sunday, March 27, 2005

9:25 PM - Elsewhere on the web

A Galaxy Convoy fan-repaint.
The silver is superior to the soul-crushing blandness of the original grey.

An unlikely Kamen Rider 555-Magiranger crossover.

M-TRAN: self-reconfigurable modular robots. [via]
They move cool. They sound cool. They even have gattai action. I never imagined there would be a development this fantastic in robotics in my lifetime. You have to see the videos to fully appreciate this.

Ask the Oxford Word and Language Service experts.

Link  | 

9:25 PM - Kneel before Zord

Kneel before Zord

Click on the thumbnail for a photo of Mugenbine's ZordElephant.

Link  | 

Friday, March 25, 2005

11:42 PM - Elsewhere on the web

Mugen fleet.
Fan-created Mugenbine vehicles.

Firefox 1.0.2 released.

A counterpoint to that New Games Journalism piece. [via]
"Games journalism is about saying if a game is worth £40 or not. It is not about referencing the works of Jean-Paul Satre when reviewing Need for Speed Underground 2."

Wing: From New Zealand with love. [via]
The song samples are brief. Whether this is good or bad, I'll leave it to you to decide.

Mother kills self to donate eyes for sons. [via]
Let's hope and pray the sons don't see goatse.cx and claw their new eyes out.

Link  | 

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

11:11 PM - No comments

You might have noticed Enetation-powered comment system on this site was MIA these past few days which resulted in delays loading the site. I had assumed the comment system had died of shock after the site received its first comment in a few months but apparently, that wasn't the reason. The problem is due to a bug on Enetation's end and if your Enetation comments section is similarly missing, you need to see this thread and visit this link.

Link  | 

12:41 AM - Elsewhere on the web

Custom Microman with Afros.

Pix from the Argungu Fishing Festival in Nigeria.
"They have just one hour to catch the biggest fish ... This year's winning fish weighed 75kg. Four men were needed to hoist it onto the scales."

NNDB: an aggregator tracking noteworthy individuals.
Among other things, it tracks the level of fame of said individuals. John Tesh is "Famous," Tara Reid is "Somewhat" and the Emir of Qatar is "Niche." There's just something very wrong about that.

Link  | 

12:40 AM - Star Wars kids

From Internet meme to prime-time TV:

Arrested Development: Buster move

"He also liked Star Wars."

Link  | 

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

1:00 AM - Elsewhere on the web

Hibiki Microman.
A fan-creation that's a tad ... underdressed.

Latest unsubbed episodes of Kamen Rider Hibiki.
Episode 8 has just been released.

Internet urinal (with female adaptor).
For that special someone in your life.

Net censorship in the Middle East.
"The ignorant admins at these ISPs used a list of keywords to censor URLs due to the exponential increase in pornography. In fact, because of its very name, Hotmail.com was banned in 3 of those countrie for almost 2 months until they realized its innocence."

Cats vs. dogs, dog vs. parrot.

Link  | 

Monday, March 21, 2005

1:20 AM - Elsewhere on the web

Kamen Rider Blade gets a massage.

So this is how HLJ's staff relieve stress.
I'm guessing those "tourists" represent troublesome customers.

"Aren't you a little short for a Dekamaster?"

"We." "Love." "Sports." [via]
An "Eh?"-inducing beverage advertisement. (Flash-powered.)

Link  | 

Friday, March 18, 2005

11:45 PM - Elsewhere on the web

An unlikely Transformers-Hibiki crossover.

SIC vol 29: Kamen Rider Faiz. [via]
The set includes the Faiz gear and parts to change the figure from Faiz to Takumi's Wolf Orphenoch form. A nod to 555's "man or monster" theme or an attempt to gouge more money out of fans by selling a separate Accel/Blaster combo set later? You decide.

Spore.
A multigenre game with smart tools for creating custom content. Finally, a Will Wright design I'm actually keen on.

A Lost convention report. [via]
One non-specific spoiler so avoid the link if you're wary of that sort of thing.

Scientists fear another Indian Ocean tsunami.
"... when a major earthquake occurs it changes the stress in adjacent areas. Sometimes this can serve to lock the fault, but sometimes it can make another failure more likely."

Hero. [via]
"His valour is worthy of the highest recognition." Hopefully, they won't demean his heroism by making an awful TV movie.

Link  | 

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

11:49 PM - Elsewhere on the web

Takara expects profits this year, stock up.
The toymaker's been successful in its cost-cutting measures.

Takara's remote controlled Loch Ness monster.
Looks fake.

Toys for kids you hate. [via]

Link  | 

11:48 PM - X to the max

Xenonbine

Click on the thumbnail for the full photo of Super Xenonbine.

Link  | 

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

10:12 PM - Elsewhere on the web

Condi Rice action figure.
So where's the Rumsfeld figure with kung-fu action feature?

Somebody really, really likes Drill Robo.
22, in case you were wondering.

A Don Figueroa interview.
On Masterpiece Convoy: "I helped a bit. The head was based on my drawings as well as the details all over his body. The engineering's all Hasbro/Takara though."

Link  | 

10:11 PM - Categorically

I've come to the realisation I'm going to be spending a week or so modifying WordPress 1.5's default theme to reflect my personal tastes.

This isn't my idea of a super-happy fun time.

Anyway, today's default theme fix: listing categories hierarchically. The default theme merely lists categories according to category ID i.e. first created, first listed. I prefer to list categories alphabetically and hierarchically. This would place the "WordPress" subcategory in fuyoh.net under the "Software" category where it belongs.

To do this, first replace the template-functions-category.php file in your wordpress/wp_includes subdirectory with an updated version.

Next, edit the sidebar.php file in the default theme subdirectory (specifically, change the list_cats template tag) according to the instructions in the Support forums.

This should do the trick. As usual, make backups before you edit a file.

Link  | 

10:10 PM - An earful

Colin Mochrie has to be awarded a special Emmy for enduring this.

Link  | 

Monday, March 14, 2005

10:40 PM - Elsewhere on the web

Tom's updated Microknight. [via]
Be sure to check out the toiletbot as well.

Handphone nostalgia. [via]
Is there still any doubt handphones cause brain damage?

A plan for revamping the UN Security Council.

Link  | 

10:40 PM - Mugenroid

The basic building block of the Mugenbine line is a 9cm tall action figure dubbed a Mugenroid. It's a tough little plastic figure and sturdy enough to withstand a few hits and falls.

Easily distinguished by the letter of the alphabet sculpted on the side of the head, most Mugenroid also have custom head sculpts and unique colour schemes. The colour schemes tend to be in the kiddie-bright range and large creations made of several Mugenroid are usually garish (if not flat out offensive) due to the riot of colours.

There are few interesting details on the figure but foil stickers have been provided to decorate the Mugenroid (and Bine parts). There aren't any instructions for sticker placement but the photos on the back of the box make a decent guide if you're observant enough.

Each Mugenroid is reasonably posable for a building block action figure but from what I can tell, the articulation points are mainly there to allow the figure to transform into cube mode (as well as other configurations) for the various modes.

The joints:

  • Head: hinges down for that "hanging head in shame" pose
  • Shoulders: swivel joints as well as joints to allow them to swing forward.
  • Hips: swivels and hinge combo joints that allow the legs to move forwards and backwards and perform the splits.
  • Knees: hinge joints

Most joints are of the detent variety with stops at 45 degrees to ensure parts stay in place when positioned.

In terms of connectivity, each Mugenroid has 14 pegs (two on each arm, two on the back and four on each leg) with three peg-holes (one on each foot and one on the back). The pegs on the shoulders hinge up/down 90 degrees while the pegs (and peg holes) on each foot rotate back/forward 180 degrees to allow additional connectivity options.

Link  | 

Sunday, March 13, 2005

10:31 PM - Mugensectadouble

Mugensectadouble

MugenSectaDouble, a Mugenbine combiner formed from IronBeetle and JunkStag.

Mugensectadouble

I found it neat the elegant head sculpt incorporates elements from the kabutomushi (helmet beetle) and the kuwagatamushi (stag beetle), the insects which inspired the component robots.

Link  | 

10:30 PM - Elsewhere on the web

Sh15uya to be fansubbed.
It will be fascinating to see a tokusatsu show which isn't compromised by having to constantly push action figures.

Gundam SEED Destiny combiner. [via]
A fan-creation.

Origami dinosaurs.

Link  | 

10:30 PM - Theme wrangling

Here are some tips for editing the default theme for WordPress 1.5:

  • Instructions for removing the blog name and description from the default theme's header are on the Kubrick theme site but they're outdated. The changes should be made to the style.css file in your wordpress>wp-content>themes>default subdirectory.
  • Similarly, instructions on the Kubrick theme site for making the default theme's header image linkable are outdated. The actual instructions can be found in the Support forums.

Link  | 

Saturday, March 12, 2005

10:28 PM - Strayhorn

I updated the WordPress installation on fuyoh.net from 1.22 to 1.5 earlier so you might have seen some strange sights and experienced slight nausea if you were browsing the site during that period.

(This is slightly different from the strange sights you see and the nausea you experience when you usually browse fuyoh.net.)

The upgrade process was a little more complicated than I was led to believe and it took much more work than I expected. Admittedly, this was down to my personal preferences about the look and feel of that blog.

For instance, I ran a slight problem because my blog isn't located in my WordPress directory. There are instructions for this scenario but these aren't linked in the 1.5 upgrade instructions.

Dash it all

The Dashboard is a nice idea. I like having a single page with links to the most recent posts and comments as well as simple stats. I also appreciate being notified of important WordPress updates and I could see how the Dashboard could be important when disseminating WordPress-related security advisories.

However, I'm less keen on the "Other WordPress News" section. These are updates on the Planet WordPress site and while there certainly are relevant WordPress-related entries on that site, there are some unnecessary updates as well. Does every WordPress 1.5 user really need to know the founding developer misses Texas food? I would prefer it if the Planet WordPress updates on the Dashboard are made optional.

The "Get Firefox" promotion in the WordPress admin section is odd. Who is the target exactly? Are there really any users who are savvy enough to use WordPress but haven't heard of Firefox? My feeling is that if there are WordPress users out there who aren't using Firefox it's because they prefer their non-Firefox browsers. ("Non-Firefox" doesn't necessarily have to mean IE as there are other robust Open Source browsers.) I'm a fan of Firefox and have been using it since the Phoenix 0.5 days so seeing that "Get Firefox" exhortation in my Firefox browser is redundant.

Kubrick

The default theme bundled with WordPress is a slick piece of work and a vast improvement over the previous default WordPress theme.

There are some quirks, though. For instance, by default, Kubrick's archives display excerpts which strip the HTML from entries. There are instructions to remedy this but the instructions contain a typo. You should be editing archive.php instead of index.php. You might also want to perform the same edit in search.php because Kubrick search results are HTML-stripped as well.

More on WordPress 1.5 later and hopefully, I'll be able to run through all the things that make WordPress 1.5 super-cool after complaining about its minor quirks in this entry.

Link  | 

Friday, March 11, 2005

10:08 PM - Mugenbine: definitions

MRR joint -- fan-term for octagonal pegs and corresponding peg-holes found in figures from Machine Robo Rescue and Mugenbine as well as vehicles from Ultraman Nexus and giant robots from recent sentai lines.

Mugenbine -- the name of the line; possibly derived from "mugen combine" i.e. "infinite combinations."

Mugenroid -- the basic building block of the line is a 9cm tall action figure.

Bine parts -- parts which attach to the Mugenroid to form mecha beasts, vehicles and super robots.

ST -- standard Mugenbine sets.

DX -- deluxe Mugenbine sets with bulkier Bine parts suitable for creating super robots.

Obsession -- what quickly takes hold of Mugenbine fans causing them to acquire additional Mugenbine sets.

OMG -- exclamation used upon realising the total spent acquiring Mugenbine sets.

Foil stickers -- decorative stickers applied to the Mugenroid and Bine parts.

****ing hell! -- expletive used upon realising one has misaligned foil stickers during application.

Plex -- the designers of the line.

Everybine -- Plex's showcase for fan-created designs.

WTF -- common exclamation used when some of the more unusual fan-creations are viewed for the first time.

Link  | 

10:08 PM - Elsewhere on the web

Great moments in tokusatsu # 1359.
Ultraman, did we catch you at, uh, a bad time?

Thai-Toku's Hibiki site.

Reimagined Looney Tunes characters draw flak. [via]
"These characters don't look like they belong on a cartoon. They look like they belong on stage with Kiss."

Little-known Spyware EULA provisions.

999 dollar consumer Tasers superior to police tasers. [via]
"The civilian model unveiled last fall ... is remarkably similar to the version carried by agencies ... But the civilian version shoots for up to 30 seconds straight, while the police model shoots only five seconds at a time."

Becoming a bouncer.

Link  | 

Thursday, March 10, 2005

9:09 PM - X

Xenonbine

A photo of Mugenroid Xenonbine from Bandai's Machine Robo Mugenbine line.

I received my first Mugenbine sets today with a couple more on order. Expect a lot of coverage of this cool line on this site over the next few weeks.

Link  | 

9:09 PM - Elsewhere on the web

China, Mexico get cheaper original DVDs.
Lesson: bootleg enough and you too will be thus rewarded.

BitTorrent 4.0 released. [via]
The official client is still a bit lacking, feature-wise.

Saint Seiya mailaway campaign. [via]
That Myth Series Gold Saints display looks spectacular.

Link  | 

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

8:51 PM - Elsewhere on the web

What has 3 heads, 4 legs, 2 arms, wings and a sword?
It's not the best example of the interchangeability in Plex's burgeoning toy universe but you get the idea.

Toys from Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors.
"... one of the last series to feature heroes that wear neckties." The Armed Force was one of the racers in Robot Chicken episode 3.

Kawaii-fied super robot illustrations.
Megatron like you've never seen him before.

MPAA not targeting BitTorrent per se. [via]

Link  | 

Monday, March 07, 2005

7:28 AM - Elsewhere on the web

eBay's most successful action figure categories.
"Transformers G1" at number 7 in January. The Pepsi Promo Prime went for over 2.5K.

Newsflash! Transformers not terribly realistic!

Rare Machine Robo Mugenbine variant: LunchSaurus.
Mmm, rye.

Henshin Hero. [via]
Another tokusatsu fan site from Thailand.

The 2006 World Cup mascot: GOLEO VI.
"He combines the looks of Lothar Matthäus, the elegance of Diego Maradona and the all-round ability of Oliver Bierhoff" and he presumably got his aversion to pants from Donald Duck.

Banned from TV.
"... all television advertising aimed at children under 12 is banned in Sweden (except if the programme is on so late that no children are likely to be watching)." I'm confused. How do the Swedes expect to train their kids to become slavish consumers of inessential merchandise?

The 14 words never to use.
The F-word on this list is "foreign."

Link  | 

Saturday, March 05, 2005

7:18 AM - Elsewhere on the web

"... the coolest action figure since G.I. Joe." [via]
Disclaimer: Does not turn water into wine. Does not put itself together after being pulled apart. Incompatible with most McFarlane action figures.

Television Without Pity's Lost forums. [via]
I hadn't realised I missed so many details.

Kamen Rider Ibuki pix and data. [via]

Googling for MP3s. [via]
For "evaluation purposes," naturally.

"Monkey steals peach." [via]
It certainly sounds classier than "ninja rips balls off."

Link  | 

Thursday, March 03, 2005

8:45 PM - Your moment of Zen

Jon Stewart:

I also want to begin with some kudos for the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court of the United States. They've taken a lot of hits over the past couple of years.

Obviously, I've had a bit of chequered history with the Supreme Court. Words have been exchanged. Naked photographs of them have been printed.

But today they did themselves proud. The court ruled that it was illegal for states to execute 16- and 17-year-old criminals. Now you recall three years ago they also deemed it unconstitutional to execute the retarded.

So, I just want to take this opportunity to thank the United States Supreme Court for everything that it's doing to keep our show's core fanbase alive.

Link  | 

8:45 PM - Elsewhere on the web

Football Manager patch 5.03 released.
With or without data updates. Torrent available.

Suggested solution for that Yellow Light.
Unfortunately, it did nothing for me.

Star Wars Episode III: A Lost Hope. [via]
A fan trailer.

Japanese words for gaijin-specific situations.
"Sometimes it’s hard to express what you want to say in Japanese. ... To save you from saying 'Nandakke…' while searching for the right word, we've created these new words to help you ..."

Link  | 

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

6:18 AM - Elsewhere on the web

It's Tool Time!
It's nice to see some original robot designs from China. The current designs may still lack polish and panache but they're slowly getting there.

Kamen Rider Hibiki sees red.

"Yahoo! makes more money and has more patents, services, and users than Google."
"... Yahoo! increased its share of the search market from 27 percent to 32 percent, while Google dropped from 37 percent to 35 percent ..." and yet, "(o)f the stories that mentioned both companies, 95 percent were focused on Google."

Court clears Roy Keane of assault charges.
"I basically said I was not a wanker ..."

The lioness which adopted five antelopes. [via]
They call her Kamuniak, "the Blessed One." The baby antelopes which ultimately ended up dead ... not so blessed.

"IBM is the Vegeta of tech companies."

Link  | 

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

9:40 PM - Yellow, yellow ...

If you've used Bittorrent for some time, you might have encountered the annoyance of the torrent status indicator that perpetually stays yellow. What happens is you can't quite connect cleanly to the torrent tracker thus the status indicator never turns green.

The upshot of this is that your download rates take a massive hit. I've been in numerous situations where seeders outnumbered peers by 6 to 1 yet I'd still be getting piddling download rates of 6kB/s on my 1Mbps/384kbps connection.

This was especially frustrating since it was initially not apparent to me why some trackers were okay while others were not.

It's important to note there isn't a single cause for this which means you can expect to get a lot of inapplicable advice when you ask around about this.

I initially suspected the problem was with my client (Bittornado) or my firewall (ZoneAlarm) but I now think it's a combination of my ISP and some tracker configurations.

Some ISPs (including TM Net, my own) use a transparent proxy and this means the IP being reported to the tracker isn't the actual client IP.

To check if this is true in your case, head over to the NatCheck site and determine whether the IP being reported is the same as the one in your connection details. If it's different, your ISP is using a transparent proxy.

This ordinarily wouldn't be a problem except some trackers disable NAT checking and are therefore unable to determine the actual client IP. Hence, that Perpetual Yellow Light of Wretched Download Rates.

(A transparent proxy can cause other problems as well. I currently can't log in to Slashdot because TM Net's transparent proxy IP address has been banned.)

Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be any workaround on the client side. You could try requesting NAT checking be enabled on the tracker concerned but apart from that, the best thing to do is to simply exercise patience.

If you're extremely lucky, you might occasionally establish a connection with a seed or a peer who can send you bits at a primo rate. Most of the time, though, you should expect your fat net pipe to be effectively reduced to dial-up speeds.

Link  | 

9:39 PM - Elsewhere on the web

Diablock Faiz and Tetsujin-28.

Optimus Prime's death exploited. [via]
“Being a Tractor Truck, Optimus should have known the importance of check-ups – oil, anti-freeze, spark plugs – the works. It comes as such a surprise – my kids loved that guy.”

Romaji to kana convertor.

Link  | 

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