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September 2014
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Deadpool release date announced

Earlier today the Hollywood Reporter announced a date has finally been set for the X-Men spinoff Deadpool, with a target date of 12Feb16. The main rumor is Ryan Reynolds will reprise the Wade Wilson roll he had in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and I do believe that is him in the leaked test footage included here. Because scheduling is everything to large projects that all need to draw on the same resources, the Fantastic Four reboot moves to 7Aug15, and Assassin’s Creed, which previously held that date, gets pushed back almost a year, to some time in 2016.

Hatsune Miku US tour, October

Hatsune Miku will be playing a Live Concert in LA on October 11th and 12th at the Nokia Theater. Then again in New York at the Hammerstein Ballroom on October 17th and 18th. But to kick off her North American tour, first she will be at The Late Show with David Letterman October 8th, so if you can’t make either city you can still see how her technology works. Thanks to Crunchyroll for the heads up on this one.

MAVEN on Planetary Radio Live

This Sunday, 21Sep14, The Planetary Society will be doing a special live broadcast to welcome MAVEN to Mars: Planetary Radio Live: MAVEN Arrives at Mars. It starts at 6PM on the west coast, 9PM on the east, and I have no idea what time it will be on Mars. If you happen to be in California for the event, you can attend free if you RSVP, but I suspect most folks will be attending online. They will be tuning into NASA TV for the landing itself, here are the list of folks doing the show:

Moderator:

Mat Kaplan: host and producer, Planetary Radio for The Planetary Society

Guests:

Bruce Betts: Director of Science and Technology, The Planetary Society
Emily Lakdawalla: Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist, The Planetary Society
Bill Nye the Science Guy: CEO, The Planetary Society
Richard Zurek Ph.D: Chief Scientist for the Mars Program Office and Project Scientist for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)

It does seem just a little strange to me that a bunch of engineers would be calling a video presentation a radio show, they usually tend to be more accurate with their nomenclature than that. It should be pretty exciting, I for one will be enjoying the program, I hope you will be too.

Something to Do: Movies

This week we get several interesting choices, starting with The Maze Runner based on the great YA novel by James Dashner. I expect this one to pull the best numbers at the box office because of the popularity of the book, so it got the first mention. In limited release we have the new Terry Gilliam film The Zero Theorem, about a computer hacker trying to figure out the reason humans exist. While this one might be the hardest to find on a local screen, it could be the most interesting film out of the group. Space Station 76 definitely gets my vote for silliest movie this time around, with the tag line A 1970s version of the future, where personalities and asteroids collide. I have seen more than one review saying it is the best sci-Fi comedy since Galaxy Quest, which I dearly love. It isn’t the only comedy choice, since we also have Simon Pegg’s rendition of a psychiatrist searching the world in Hector and the Search for Happiness.

Something to Watch: DVDs

The Movie top pick this week is the 2014 reboot of Godzilla. It comes out on disc this week, but it actually came out as a digital download about a month ago. Digital download-to-own before the disc release rather than at the same time is something we are seeing more and more often these days, driven by more and more people watching on their personal devices rather than on a traditional TV.

Where we really make out this week is TV shows, because they want you to rewatch them before the next season starts and get all excited about it again. So this week we get Arrow: The Complete Second Season from the CW, Grimm: Season Three from NBC, and Sleepy Hollow: The Complete First Season from Fox. While it is not genre, it is fun, so I will also mention Castle: The Complete Sixth Season from ABC. In the interest of completeness, I ahould also mention From Dusk Till Dawn: Season One.

In Anime, Fairy Tail – Part 12 brings us episodes 132 through 142, and trust me when I say the wizard guild’s collateral damage track record is just as bad as ever. Meanwhile, in Majestic Prince: Collection 2, the Mecha combat is getting more dangerous with every round of fighting.

K-Jazz

Not an aspect of Korean pop music you usually hear much from on this side of the Pacific, K-Jazz has some quite tasty examples, and I thought I would share a few this week. The first track is Bank by Puer Kim from her new mini-album Purifier. She isn’t singing about money here, but how to save up good deeds in your spiritual bank account, so you end up making a positive difference in the world with your life. The second track is the Girls Generation 2013 hit Twinkle, a jazz/rock fusion K-Pop masterpiece. There are a lot more where these came from, be sure to explore this musical category when you have a chance.

Aurora Tonight

The Solar storm slamming into the upper atmosphere is creating some amazing aurora viewing conditions tonight. These displays will be visible as far south as Virginia according to Accuweather. They put together a very nice map showing what kind of viewing conditions you will have in the US and Canada which you can see at that link. Of course, it may also disrupt the power grid and interfere with satellite communications, but the solar flare is causing an amazing visual display across the northern sky. If you live in any of the places marked as fair or good viewing, head outside and look to the sky.

Portable Apps Updated

Portable Apps has updated themselves to version 12.0.5, which has some minor bug fixes, but Portable Apps 12 has a huge array of new features and functionality. This program suite is a lot like the Live Disc Linux builds I love, which allow you to launch a full OS from a disc with a huge range of software. If you don’t already use it, Portable Apps is a platform that runs like a program in any Windows computer off of a thumb drive, external hard drive, cloud drive, smart phone, iPod, or anything else the computer recognizes as a storage device. I actually installed it to a MicroSD chip which I use in my camera to save photos and video to, and when I plug the camera into the computer I can run it off of that. It doesn’t have its own OS like the Live Discs do, but it certainly has the huge range of software. Also like a Live Disc, you never install any software on the computer you are using, it all runs straight from the media source.

When you launch Portable Apps, it opens a menu with whatever collection of software you installed on the device, ready to run on the computer you plugged it into. All the software has your settings included, so Firefox (or Chrome, or Lynx, or Opera, or SeaMonkey; I am not going to go through the list for each kind of program mentioned, but you get the idea) remembers your homepage and has all your bookmarks, Thunderbird has your mail server config and downloaded messages for offline reading/responding, Filezilla has all the connectivity info for uploading to your web servers or downloading from file repositories you like to visit, and so forth. They have over 300 programs organized in 10 categories, each of which has 5 to 10 subcategories covering anything from graphics/audio/video creation and processing to a portable web server with Apache, PHP, MySQL, and CGI-BIN, and a lot more besides. And yes, you can install WordPress to that server, or anything else you would want to have as part of a XAMP/LAMP installation. And the list of apps goes on.

The other way it resembles a Live Disc is that when you are through using your software on whatever computer you walked up to, you shut the computer down, unplug your media source, and when the computer is rebooted it has no trace of your personal settings or information, everything was saved to the Portable Apps media source. That means whatever new bookmarks you saved, files you downloaded, etc, all goes with you; you never lose it. If you are not already a major fan, download it and install it on something and try it out. I am betting you become a big fan of the project once you have seen just how powerful it is. All of the software is free, legal, and open source, and if you enjoy the freedom of never having to leave your favorite software behind, you might consider offering them a donation.

Maven Arrives September 21st

Maven is the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN spacecraft, and it arrives in Mars orbit in just a few weeks. It’s purpose is to collect data that will allow researchers to figure out how Mars went from a warm wet world just like Earth to the cold, dry globe it is today. This could be very useful knowledge if we want to keep the same thing from happening to our planet. The non-NASA home page for this project is the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Watch new TMNT episode before it airs

You can jump over to Nickelodeon if you want to watch the next episode of the new animated version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles before it airs on Friday on their cable channel. I don’t know if they plan on doing this on a regular basis, or if it is just the A Chinatown Ghost Story episode that gets to be seen early on their site. Thanks to the folks at Comic Book Movies for the heads up on this one.