Thursday, August 31, 2023

The Writer's Guild had a special RPG-themed picket

Here's a write-up and photo gallery.

New Humble Bundle features Red Sonja, Wheel of Time, and other fantasy comics

Starting at three volumes for $1

"Scientologists Ask Federal Government to Restrict Right to Repair"

404 Media:

The letter doesn’t refer to any single device, but experts say the petition covers Scientology’s “E-Meter,” a “religious artifact” and electronic that is core to Scientology.


“I read it as being related to E-Meters and E-Meter repair,” [a DMCA expert] added. “There’s YouTube channels of people who collect E-Meters and ephemera. I guess they’re worried about people trying to repair them. How you would tell if it’s functioning properly, I don’t know.”

Today's news and jokes

Turgle and Skoova Stev 3d-printed figures (Jedi Survivor)

Webstore offers painted and unpainted options.

*See more custom toys.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ultimate Splinter by NECA up for preorder

Includes baby turtles, mouser, and more.

Mars Attack Ultimates figures by Super 7 up for preorder

Regular and grievously injured.

Seizure of jet filled with gold bars might lead to unraveling of massive money laundering operation in the middle east

The details are confusing (and reporters are getting arrested), so the articles are a little tough to follow. Some details from the articles by NYT, Al Jazeera, and BBC:

In Egypt, despite a near blackout on state news media, independent journalists set out to uncover the identities of the Egyptians detained on the plane.

A few independent media organizations published the names of the Egyptian defendants. Then an independent investigative outlet called Matsada2sh, which is Arabic slang for Don’t Believe It, reported that three of them appeared to be former or current security officials, including a police officer, a military general and a former military attaché at Egypt’s embassy in the United States.


Through open-source data and online flight trackers, matsada2sh was able to reveal a trail of suspicious flight paths in which the plane, a high-speed corporate Bombardier, appeared to fly unfettered across multiple locations.

The plane appears to have made 361 round trips in two years, usually in and out of Cairo, to various destinations.

It even made flights to Tripoli and Benghazi, two cities on either side of the ongoing conflict in Libya, within days of each other.

On another occasion, it took off from Cairo and stopped over in Tel Aviv, and Doha, Qatar, before returning to the Egyptian capital.


at first police said they had found $11m in cash. This, he went on, was later downgraded to around $7m before finally settling on the sum of $5.7m.


The gold bars were particularly puzzling.

It turned out that, as well as gold, they were made from a mixture of copper, nickel, tin and zinc. All that glitters is clearly not gold.


A think-tank called the Egypt Technocrats, made up of independent Egyptian professionals living around the globe, claims there are more than 300 secret companies inside Egypt involved in money laundering operations.

Today's news and jokes

Lego Spider-Gwen

Monday, August 28, 2023

Excellent anime packaging for a mosquito-killing racket

Mosquito Killing Bat, very powerful.

The “cyberattack” on Poland's railway "doesn't seem to have involved any cyber at all"


On Friday and Saturday, August 25 and 26, more than 20 of Poland's trains carrying both freight and passengers were brought to a halt across the country through what Polish media and the BBC have described as a “cyberattack.” Polish intelligence services are investigating the sabotage incidents, which appear to have been carried out in support of Russia. The saboteurs reportedly interspersed the commands they used to stop the trains with the Russian national anthem and parts of a speech by Russian president Vladimir Putin.


Because the trains use a radio system that lacks encryption or authentication for those commands, Olejnik says, anyone with as little as $30 of off-the-shelf radio equipment can broadcast the command to a Polish train—sending a series of three acoustic tones at a 150.100 megahertz frequency—and trigger their emergency stop function.


the ability to send the command has been described in Polish radio and train forums and on YouTube for years

Texas high school team working on healing after seniors quit the team to protest the coach naming his son as the starting QB

"exactly a week after a number of the team’s leaders walked away, all returned when the coach backed down from his previous decision that his son would serve as starting quarterback without allowing another potential quarterback compete for the position"

From the protesters' (effective) statement:

I, along with all eight of my brothers, who are standing against a corrupt system


We can't be silent anymore

Wild allegations about the Royal Spanish Football Federation

First, here's Daily Mail's write-up today of proposed self-sabotage to deter anyone from speaking out against the president:

In a shocking development on Monday, the Spanish FA have urged European governing body UEFA to consider expelling them due to the Spanish government's intervention over the ongoing World Cup 'kiss-gate' saga which saw £214,000-a-year official Rubiales kiss Spain star Jennifer Hermoso on the lips without her consent.

If this request is granted, it would mean all Spanish clubs - including global giants Real and Barcelona - would be excluded from UEFA competitions like the Champions League (also affecting Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad), Europa League (Villarreal and Real Betis) and the Europa Conference League (Osasuna).


Onda Cero's sources claim the reason UEFA have not yet spoken out on the scandal is because their president Aleksander Ceferin is personal friends with Rubiales. 

And just a small portion from ESPN's timeline:

May 2022: Accused of illicit recordings

El Confidencial accused Rubiales of recording compromising conversations and telephone calls with members of government, dating back to his election in 2018. "We want to make it clear that the president never made any recordings of the president, any minister or any member of [the political party] Podemos," the RFEF said at the time.

June 2022: Battles with LaLiga chief

Rubiales' tenure has also seen him in regular conflict with LaLiga president Javier Tebas. Rubiales criticised Tebas for wanting to take LaLiga games to the U.S., though Tebas later pointed out how the RFEF had taken the Super Cup to Morocco and Saudi Arabia.

Things came to a head last year when Tebas said an RFEF official had recorded a private conversation with him. The vice secretary of the RFEF, Miguel García Caba, admitted to the recording, although he said the meeting was set up because LaLiga wanted to "poach" him and he was protecting himself.


September 2022: Allegations of misusing RFEF money for private parties

Juan Rubiales, Rubiales' uncle and former chief of staff, told prosecutors that private parties, often of a sexual nature, were organised by the RFEF chief with money from the federation. The RFEF denied the allegations and took legal action against Juan Rubiales, which it won.

Today's news and jokes

Chair looks like melting ice


This decorative luxury armchair is dripping with style and sophistication. Made of sleek and lustrous crystal mixed with acrylic that has been enhanced with real wooden branches, this piece is museum quality and screams elegance and sophistication. This magnificent chair will wow guests when visiting your home or office.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Star Wars parody on the Price is Right (from 1978)

The terrific Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is on Prime


(Also, Threezero is making deluxe figures.)

When a Price Is Right contestant was overwhelmed by the rules (stick around for the ending)

New Humble Bundle features novels by Seanan McGuire

Starts at two novels for $1.
Immerse yourself in the intricate and imaginative worlds of renowned urban fantasy author Seanan McGuire, winner of multiple Hugo, Nebula, and Alex Awards! You’ll discover two of the author's most-loved worlds through this carefully curated bundle of over 25 books.

Governing bodies disagree as to whether warnings were issued before deadly Ironman event in Ireland

The weather was severe enough that the event was altered:

Ironman said the race had been pushed back one day from Saturday because severe weather created safety issues. Organizers also decided to shorten the swim portion.

Two people then died while swimming;

National governing body Triathlon Ireland (TI) on Tuesday night said its decision not to sanction the race because of safety issues was communicated to Ironman before the race began. That statement contradicted Ironman’s assertion that it was informed of the Triathlon Ireland decision not to sanction the race only hours after the swim finished.

Today's news and jokes

This week's best Warhammer 40k miniatures, custom action figures, and other hobby creations

Friday, August 25, 2023

Some well-written reviews of vintage videos games at this site, including one of an Alien game so old it was distributed on a cassette

A few I enjoyed:

Racing Lagoon: Fast and furious: Yokohama drifting

Before we get started on this astonishingly slick looking game I need to issue a little warning to potential players: The title splashed across this page isn’t a racing game. Racing Lagoon calls itself a “high speed driving RPG” and it’s really important to take that to heart when giving it a go because this is not “Gran Turismo with spiky hair” or “Metropolis Street Racer with lots of dialogue”: The story is as integral to the game as the racing, to the point where there are whole nights (as the game refers to its chapter divisions) where you’ll do no racing at all and are instead expected to take an interest in leading man Sho’s life as well as those of his friends and racing rivals. 

Septentrion: Found at sea:

Septentrion is so unashamedly eager to ape ’70s disaster movie The Poseidon Adventure it doesn’t just broadly copy the setting and flow of its memorable inspiration, the game even makes the effort to lead with a movie-like opening sequence and later end with a fake cast roll, complete with legally-distinct actors (such as “Jean Hickman“) for every part.

But unlike many games that choose to base themselves on something else, this SNES exclusive is far more than a hollow Hollywood imitator: This is a truly pioneering survival game, and one that still stands out as a unique, high quality, experience in every sense almost three decades later.

Alien: The perfect organism:

This Spectrum/C64/Amstrad CPC Alien game (Spectrum version shown and played) debuted all the way back in 1984, making it perhaps the only official Alien game old enough to predate Aliens original cinema release. As if to help transport us back to those simpler times the manual opens with a nine page retelling of the first (or as it was then, only) movie up to the infamous “chestburster” scene, using stylishly grainy and deeply oversaturated monochrome photos as a visual aid. The game takes over where the text left off, beginning with the alien scuttling out of an arbitrarily-decided crewmember’s chest.

Although the game’s goal is broadly the same as Ridley Scott’s horror classic – try to either kill the alien or escape it (preferably both) – the way this creepy scenario plays out differs greatly from one game to the next as anyone could start the game infected, anyone (and everyone) could die at any time along the way, and anyone could be the devious alien-admiring corporate android saboteur.

Today's news and jokes

Hacker paintings

Print shop.

*Previously: Adversarial fashion