RogerBW's Blog

Doctor Who Re-Watch, series 13 30 April 2014 - 3 comments

As always, spoilers abound. See Wikipedia for production details

Doctor Who - Tom Baker
Sarah Jane Smith - Elisabeth Sladen

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The Last Days on Mars 29 April 2014

2013, dir. Ruairi Robinson, Liev Schreiber, Elias Koteas: IMDb / allmovie

Towards the end of a manned mission to Mars, things start to go wrong.

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Tales from Tech Support 28 April 2014

My first tech job was doing tech support by phone for a certain large ISP. (It's still around, but it's just a brand name now.)

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Northrop Flying Wings 27 April 2014

The YB-35 and YB-49 were flying-wing bomber prototypes built during and in the wake of the Second World War.

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Alternate Generals 26 April 2014 - 2 comments

Anthology from 1998 of alternate histories based on different decisions by military leaders; edited by Harry Turtledove, Roland Green and Martin H. Greenberg.

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One for the Brow part 3: weapons 25 April 2014

Many designers of fantasy fleets like to come up with all sorts of plausible-sounding technological developments. I'm mostly going to borrow ideas which historically worked for the Americans, and transfer them to the British with appropriate modifications.

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The Machine 24 April 2014 - 1 comment

2013, dir. Caradog W. James, Caity Lotz, Toby Stephens: IMDb / allmovie

Some time in the nearish future, researchers try to build a self-directed robot soldier/assassin. It doesn't go well.

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Reading Boardgames Social 22 April 2014 23 April 2014 - 3 comments

This time it was just Firefly.

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Ping My Finger 22 April 2014

In my first serious ISP job, we sold leased lines (among many other things).

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Martin P6M SeaMaster 21 April 2014 - 2 comments

The SeaMaster was to be a flying-boat strategic bomber for the U.S. Navy.

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Mild Day 2014 20 April 2014 - 2 comments

Things heard, and links, from the Mild Day on Saturday. In no particular order.

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Castle Gay, John Buchan 19 April 2014

Second of the Dickson McCunn novels, though he has only a minor part in most of it. Two of the former Gorbals Die-Hards, Dougie and (no longer Wee) Jaikie, go off on a walking holiday, and get involved with a kidnapped press baron and two separate lots of Sinister Foreigners.

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One for the Brow part 2: France 18 April 2014

I'll come back to what the British are up to, but the historical enemy has to be considered.

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Apollo 18 17 April 2014 - 7 comments

2011, dir. Gonzalo López-Gallego, Warren Christie, Lloyd Owen: IMDb / allmovie

The found-footage story of the secret final Apollo mission in 1974.

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Getting into Telehouse 16 April 2014

This was late in 1999. I had to get into Telehouse.

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North American XB-70 Valkyrie 15 April 2014 - 2 comments

Yeah, I pretty much have to do this one, don't I? The Valkyrie was to be a Mach 3 high-altitude nuclear bomber.

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Exit Plan, Larry Bond and Chris Carlson 14 April 2014 - 2 comments

Jerry Mitchell, aboard an Ohio SSGN, goes on a mission to extract two Iranians with knowledge of the nuclear weapons programme from that country. Mild spoilers will follow.

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Bookmonth, March 2014 14 April 2014

Here's what I've read in March.

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Salute 2014 13 April 2014

Salute is the UK's biggest wargaming show of the year. For me this one was frustrating in some ways, rewarding in others.

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One for the Brow part 1: history 12 April 2014 - 4 comments

I often come up with alternate histories. The usual way of doing this is to change some historical detail and then speculate about what might have gone differently. In this case, I have a specific goal in mind, so I'm trying various divergences to try to get to the state I want.

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The Poisoning in the Pub, Simon Brett 11 April 2014

Tenth in Brett's Fethering Mysteries series. Several pubgoers go down with food poisoning, and other events start to make it look like a concerted campaign against the pub. But who's doing it? And why?

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Safety Not Guaranteed 10 April 2014 - 1 comment

2012, dir. Colin Trevorrow, Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass: IMDb / allmovie

A journalist and two interns, trying for a human-interest story, interview a man who's placed an advertisement for a companion in time travel.

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The Voice of God Camera 09 April 2014 - 7 comments

You tell it to the kids these days, they won't believe you. This happened some time late in 2000, when I was working for a medium-sized consumer ISP (that's now a forgotten asset owned by a brand name of a business-only ISP).

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Concealed in Death, J. D. Robb 08 April 2014 - 2 comments

Concealed in Death is the forty-eighth story of J. D. Robb's In Death series, and a huge improvement on its immediate predecessor Thankless in Death. It drops many of the science-fictional trappings of the setting to deliver a powerful and well-told story.

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North American A-5 Vigilante 07 April 2014

The Vigilante was a carrier-borne supersonic bomber.

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TringCon 5 April 2014 06 April 2014

This small one-day boardgaming event happens twice a year in a village hall in Deepest Buckinghamshire, and has been going for quite a few years. This was my first visit.

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Armageddon Mode, Keith Douglass 05 April 2014 - 3 comments

Third in the Carrier series. "Tombstone" Magruder is a naval aviator aboard a Nimitz-class carrier, as the USA gets involved in a major conflict with India.

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Painfully Realistic Vector Movement 04 April 2014

Lots of wargames, particularly those simulating space combat, have some sort of acceleration value for their units: you were going at speed 5, you accelerate by 5, you're now going at speed 10, so you move 10 units this turn.

This is wrong.

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BAC TSR-2 03 April 2014 - 8 comments

The TSR-2 was to be a highly capable low-and-fast bomber and reconnaissance aircraft. It was famously cancelled in 1965.

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High Water, Douglas Reeman 02 April 2014 - 2 comments

In the 1950s, retired MTB commander Philip Vivian gets into trouble while struggling to run a small yacht charter business.

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Doctor Who Re-Watch, series 12 01 April 2014 - 4 comments

As always, spoilers abound. See Wikipedia for production details

Doctor Who - Tom Baker
Sarah Jane Smith - Elisabeth Sladen

[more]
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