Dropping the shutters

Paul Raven @ 12-04-2011

OK, as some of you may already know, yours truly is about to go through the whole “moving house” nightmare again; in the next few days I’ll be decamping from the metaphorical banks of the Styx and crossing the 250-odd miles back to the south coast, and my old stamping grounds of Velcro City.

Regrettably – no thanks to the general uselessness of estate agents – I don’t actually have a new home to move into, so I’m going to be sofasurfing and prevailing upon the hospitality of friends until a more permanent abode becomes available. As such, the next seven days will see me largely detached from the internet’s life-giving (or is it life-draining?) flood of bits and bytes, and the few weeks immediately following may well be defined by limited access to such.

The TL;DR version: I ain’t gonna be blogging over the next week, and things will probably be slow to restart immediately after that.

I hope you’ll bear with me during this transitional period… and indeed the year ahead, which is shaping up to be full of interesting and exciting changes in my life. As a taster of such, perhaps you’d like to pop over to New Scientist‘s Culture Lab blog and read a write-up of the Transcendent Man discussion panel I went to last weekend, which has been penned by some bloke with a by-line that should be familiar to you? πŸ˜‰

Thanks for your patience, and your continued readership; we’ll be back to broadcast-as-usual as soon as circumstances permit. πŸ™‚


Snow day

Paul Raven @ 03-03-2011

I figure it’s snowing somewhere, anyway. But the point is this: I’m out of town seeing a client all day, so no bloggage.

Please spend upon some other deserving internet site howsoevermuch time you would have spent pondering the magnificent gems of interest I normally unearth for you, why not?

Indeed. Good day!


Welcome to the Sixth Millennium of Futurismic

Paul Raven @ 24-02-2011

Today’s earlier post about building your own “Watson Jr.” supercomputer was the 5,000th published post in the Futurismic database, of which – even more astonishing, at least to me – 3,205 bear my own byline.

(Stats junkies may be interested to know that approved comments outnumber the published posts quite considerably, as there are 7,515 of them at time of writing; furthermore, a selection of overworked and underpaid plugins fend off a back-of-the-envelope average of 2,500 spam comments every day.)

In theory, this landmark must have been passed long ago; we lost a whole lot of the archives when Moveable Type died on us a few years back and forced the migration to WordPress, and much of that missing legacy, sadly, consists of the posts by the people who started Futurismic and built it up from nothing: Jeremy, Brian, and Tobias. Without their work, I’d never have had this little soapbox to stand on; I’m quite shocked to see just how much standing upon it I have done in the last five years, and how many folk have stuck around to listen.

I hope you’ll stick around a little longer. I certainly intend to. πŸ™‚


Holiday time

Paul Raven @ 23-12-2010

OK, folks; for those of you who haven’t already done the same or similar, yours truly is trundling off to do the family thing for a few days, so Futurismic will be going into a short hibernation as a result. I’ll probably be popping in briefly between Xmas and New Year’s, but please don’t be surprised if content is minimal – I have some work projects to finish up, for a start, and I could do with a bit of brain-downtime. Hell, I think we all could, AMIRITEZ?

So have a great holiday, of whatever denominational flavour (or lack thereof) you prefer. But just before I go, here’s a note in my inbox from from new UK indie publisher called Fingerpress:

[We]Β  recently published Smallworld by Hugo-nominated author Dominic Green. The book’s available in paperback, and also can be downloaded under a Creative Commons license from here: http://genres.fingerpress.co.uk/smallworld.html

And the blurb from that page reads as follows:

Mount Ararat, a world the size of an asteroid yet with Earth-standard gravity, plays host to a strangely confident family whose children are protected by the Devil, a mechanical killing machine, from such passers-by as Mr von Trapp (an escapee from a penal colony), the Made (manufactured humans being hunted by the State), and the super-rich clients of a gravitational health spa established at Mount Ararat’s South Pole.

But as more and more visitors to the tiny rock are dispatched with cold efficiency by the faster-than-sight robot, the children (and their secretive parents) start to wonder who put the robot there, and who – or what – is really in need of protection.

Sounds like it has a Robert Sheckley kind of vibe to it… so if you fancy a free read, go download it, why don’t you?

Happy holidays, folks, and thanks for reading. πŸ™‚


Taking tomorrow off

Paul Raven @ 11-11-2010

I’ve got old friends visiting for a few days, and then a trip back to my old stomping grounds on the south coast over the weekend, so there’ll be no bloggitude from me until Monday. I guess you’ll need to find something else to read in my absence… so why not share some suggestions for good Futurismic alternatives in the comments below?

You kids play nice while I’m gone, OK? πŸ˜‰


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