May 12, 2007

F1 Quals: Barcelona (the abbreviated version)

Wow, prepare yourself for a shock here... THERE'S A FERRARI ON POLE!

Oh, wait, that's not a shock at all. That's four for four for the red team, three of four for Felipe Massa. Fernando Alonso missed pole in his home race by +.030 of a second... three HUNDREDTH of a second. That's absolutlely nothing: touching the brakes an instant too early at the first turn. Turning a smidge late at the final chicane. Running a bit wide of the line thru a turn... ANY of those things could account for 3/100th of a second. Amazing. And, considering the history of this track, one of those two is your likely winner.

Raikkonen was less than .300 behind Alonso, and Hamilton was .062 behind Kimi. Look, lets face it: these four cars have the same performance levels, and the drivers are all about equal to boot... and one of them will win the Driver's Championship. Choose one, and I won't disagree. I suppose Alonso has got to have a slightly better chance, since he's won the championship twice and knows what it takes, but what's that worth? One championship point, maybe?

Unless something happens (McLaren's nose wing gets them DQ'd, Ferrari suddenly discovers that their gearbox likes to jump from 7th gear to reverse), this is what we'll be looking at all season long.

The rest of the bunch:
5. Robert Kubica BMW 1:22.253
6. Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:22.324
7. Nick Heidfeld BMW 1:22.389
8. Heikki Kovalainen Renault 1:22.568
9. David Coulthard's Chin Red Bull-Renault 1:22.749
10. Giancarlo Fisichella Renault 1:22.881
11. Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:21.968
12. Rubens Barrichello Honda 1:22.097
13. Takuma Sato Super Aguri-Honda 1:22.115 (note: SuperSato had a malfunction of some sort in Q2, and turned ONE hot lap... and still outqualified both factory Hondas)
14. Jenson Button Honda 1:22.120
15. Anthony Davidson Super Aguri-Honda No Time
16. Vitantonio Liuzzi Toro Rosso-Ferrari No Time
17. Ralf Schumacher Toyota 1:22.666
18. Alexander Wurz Williams-Toyota 1:22.769
19. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:23.398
20. Adrian Sutil Spyker-Ferrari 1:23.811
21. Christijan Albers Spyker-Ferrari 1:23.990
22. American Scott Speed Toro Rosso-Ferrari No Time

See ya post-race!

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May 11, 2007

F1 Practice: Spain!

Wow... even for a Friday practice, this wasn't exciting stuff. There were three interesting things that occurred or were revealed today:

1) The track at ("Don't mind him, he's from...") Barcelona has had a change to it's layout. They've added a bloody tight chicane (or "chicken" as one of the Legendary Announce Team members was calling it, for reasons unknown) prior to the final turn. Originally, said final turn could be taken at speed; now, however, drivers have to stand on the brake (and drag their feet, not to mention throw an anchor out of the cockpit) to make it through. Still, all it managed to do was add about 10 seconds to the laptimes. Cars still hit right around 200mph by the time they reach turn 1. THANKS, FIA!

2) Now that the teams are back in Europe, there's a lot of new aerobits showing up, particularly on the nose elements. McLaren has a new top wing that flies OVER the nose of the car, "which doesn't move at all under load, oh no."

SPEEDchannel, of course, showed pictures of the thing flexing. Expect wails of protest from the teams that didn't think of it first.

3) We might get one of those spectacularly frightening accidents this weekend. Amongst the new aerobits was a three-element tail on the Toyotas. Within 10 minutes of the start of practice, Ralfy-boy was back in the garage; his engineers went on the radio saying "We're going to go back to the old tail for now. One of the elements on the new one broke."

I'm not fond of using smileys and the like, but one suspects that Ralf's expression under his visor was this: o_O

So. Quals in about 8 hours from now. I'm doing Mother's Day early, taking me mum out to India Hut for lunch, so I'll get to watch quals after that, and the report will be up immediately afterwards. Talk to you then!

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The Kanon Project: Update #5

The AMV has gone to the betatesters. I've already gotten one fast response back, and the reaction was favorable... and I'm relieved. I've been staring at the thing for so long, I may have lost track if it's good or not.

So far, so good...

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May 09, 2007

F1 on SPEED!

We're back, and we're better than ever!* After a solid friggin' month of time-off, F1 gets back on the track, this time for the Spanish Grand Prix, and our friends at SPEEDchannel have live coverage all over the place!

Friday, May 11th, Practice comes our way from 7am to 830am. Sure, it's not the most exciting thing ever, but considering that they've been sitting in the garage for a month, we're going to have to get used to them all over again, so why not now? Unfortunately, there is no replay.

Saturday, May 12th, kicks off at 630am with Inside Grand Prix, brought to you by Allianz: we've got a guy who sounds like Bertie Wooster, so we must be good!
Immediately thereafter comes LIVE coverage of Quals from 7am to 830am. I'm going to take a guess and say that there's either going to be a Ferrari or a McLaren on the pole...

Sunday, May 13th, has a replay of the Quals from 130am to 3am. I'm going to take a guess and say that there's either going to be a Ferrari or a McLaren on the pole...
Finally, at 630am, all our waiting and boredom will come to an end, with LIVE coverage of the Spanish Grand Prix! Unfortunately, I'm working on Sunday, as it's Graduation Day at Duck U. The F1 UPDATE! will, therefore, be delayed until much later in the day, but never fear! We will be here! Or something like that.
There's a replay of the race at 9pm, to boot.

So there you have it! F1 has returned to the radar screens, finally! All times are Central, so subtract two hours for the west coast (Steven), add one hour for the east coast ('Muppet), and add four if you're in the middle of the Atlantic ocean... more...

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May 06, 2007

The Kanon Project: Update #4

Big McLargeHuge breakthroughs recently! For some reason, I've found myself working backwards from the end, and that worked well enough that I managed to finish the entire second half, and the first quarter, of the thing.

That's right, I've only about one minute or so of video left to do... and that (I hope) will be done tonight.

Then I need to render it, watch the resulting video (with all the transitions and filters in place and active; you can't do that with the version of Premiere I've got), go back in and make any changes to obvious problems. Then it's re-render, DivX encode, and off to the beta-victims!!!

Just in time, too: it's buyback week at Duck U. and busy will be my middle name for the next seven days...

UPDATE: First draft is DONE. Betavictims, prepare yourself, you should be getting a DivX version in a few days...

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May 04, 2007


So 'Muppet found this and sent it to me (warning: not safe for sanity).

I couldn't resist:

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Hold Onto Your Hats...

... The Agent Aika prequel fansub is out. I took a quick glance at it, just to make sure the d/l was good... and boy, does it look BAD.

I'll be reviewing it later. Gleefully!

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May 01, 2007


(UPDATE: Hardly 'outraged', as Steven puts it. If you don't like the story, you don't like the story... it's a personal thing. I'm more amused by his relying on the same old tropes as reasons to dislike the strip... the biggest of which hasn't been valid for years. Read on and see!)

Steven's complaining about Megatoyko again, and rolling out all the old saws to boot: "It's too slow, all the characters look the same, it jumps around too much."

Each chapter of Megatokyo comprises a day of strip time. Chapter 8 took about 8 months to complete, running from 6/28/06 to 2/14/07 (Chapter 9 began earlier this month). That's roughly 90 pages of hand-drawn artwork, many with insane amounts of detail. Considering that Fred Gallagher, the man behind MT, also runs his own merchandising company and has his fifth book coming out in a few weeks, I'd say he's doing well to get one strip out every 3 days. If that's too slow, then so be it.

As far as 'jumping around too much' goes, I'm guessing that the story moves storyline threads every two weeks (six strips) or so on average. I don't think I've ever thought that Gallagher changes p.o.v. too quickly; the comic moves at it's own pace. Yes, we could just follow Piro or Kimiko around all day, but then you'd be missing the other character's stories.

The complaint that I read the most often is that there are TOO many characters, and that I won't disagree with. There are a bunch, and there's no offical guide to MT to help the beginner. Fortunately, there ARE a few fan guides (like this one, or this one) that are excellent.

Steven says "I have a hard time telling the girls apart. The only distinguishing feature is hair style, and even those aren't all that distinctive."
Miho, Ping, Erika, Kimiko, Yuki.
At one time this was a valid complaint. I don't think it is anymore.

A couple of things I'll agree with Steven about, though. It IS a soap opera with an otaku setting. Actually, Gallagher would probably say it's a comic strip with a dating-sim setting; same thing, really.

And nobody knows what's the story behind Miho. We have learned quite a lot, but it's still a mystery, probably the biggest one in MT.

Largo isn't the psychotic one, though. That'd be Dom.

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