Pixel Scroll 9/5/18 With This Simple Trick You Can Scroll Wild Pixels From Home

(1) DOCTOR WHO AIRDATE SET. The BBC has announced “Doctor Who to land on Sunday 7 October 2018” (in Great Britain).

The Woman Who Fell to Earth

The last time viewers saw the Doctor, she was falling from her TARDIS so it’s about time for the Doctor to land. This time it’s all change, as Doctor Who is moving to Sunday nights, launching on Sunday 7 October….

Never before in the show’s history has an entire series descended to earth on a Sunday. This year marks a brand new era with a new Showrunner, a new Doctor, new friends and a whole host of new monsters – so it’s only fitting that the new Time Lord will land in a new time zone on BBC One.

And BBC America will air Doctor Who in a parallel time slot.

BBC AMERICA’s Doctor Who is blazing a global trail to match Jodie Whittaker’s revolutionary first season as the Doctor. The network’s US premiere will start at the same time as the UK debut on-air on Sunday, October 7th (time to be announced), followed by a special encore in its new regular primetime evening slot. For the run of the season, Doctor Who will premiere regularly on BBC AMERICA on its new marquee night on Sundays.

(2) BBC’S HORIZON. SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie spotted this video, just put up on BC iPlayer for a month: “The Horizon Guide to AI”. He says, “It’s a historical-to-present perspective.  Great to see SF and old voices and faces from the past like Arthur Clarke and Isaac Asimov.”

The BBC’s Horizon programme began in 1964, and since then has produced films looking at computer technology and the emergence of ‘artificial intelligence’.

Our dreams always begin with ideology and optimism, only for this optimism to be replaced with suspicion that AI machines will take over. However, as the Horizon archive shows, throughout each decade once we have learnt to live with the new emerging technology of the time, the pattern begins again. We become once more optimistic, before becoming fearful of it. The dream for decades had been for a computer with AI to be embedded within a humanoid robot, but just as scientists began to perfect machines with these qualities, something happened nobody expected.

Today, AI systems power our daily lives through smart technology. We are currently experiencing a level of fear about the power of AI, but will we enter the next decade optimistic about all that AI can deliver – or fearful of its ability to control vast areas of our lives?

(3) SPACE AND TIME COMING TO AN END. Hildy Silverman announced the long-lived magazine will fold: “The Future: An Update on Space and Time”.

This is a difficult post, but one that must be made. After 52 years of continuous publication, first under founder Gordon Linzner and over the past 12 years me, Space and Time will cease publication in 2019. I haven’t made this decision lightly, but after looking at all possible alternatives, there is simply no path forward. I cannot afford to keep the magazine going financially or make the time commitment necessary to keep it running….

For now, the current plan is to produce two more issues — one before the end of 2018 (#132)  and one final in 2019 (#133), which will use up our stock of accepted fiction and most of our accepted poetry. Any poets whose work we don’t ultimately use will be notified so they can resubmit their work elsewhere.

(4) BIGFOOT GETS THE BOOT. You couldn’t make this up: “Bigfoot researcher’s lawsuit tossed out by Canada court”.

A Canadian court has dismissed a Bigfoot-believer’s lawsuit claiming British Columbia failed in its duty to recognise that sasquatches exist.

Todd Standing tried to get the province to acknowledge that the giant, ape-like figure was “an indigenous mammal living within British Columbia”.

He also claimed the province infringed on his fundamental rights regarding his concern for the creature.

The province argued the civil claim lacked “an air of reality”.

(5) PRATHER OBIT. Washington Science Fiction Association frequenter Rebecca Prather died August 24 at her nursing home in Vienna, Virginia.

Samuel Lubell said, “She loved traveling the world, photography, and Mensa. Prather celebrated her 80th birthday on August 16.”


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born September 5, 1912  — Frank Thomas. Author of The Disney Villain. Given that it was printed by Hyperion Books which is owned by Disney, I’m not expecting it to be very terribly critically written.
  • Born September 5, 1942 — Nancy A Walker. Author of Feminist Alternatives: Irony and Fantasy in the Contemporary Novel by Women.
  • Born September 5 — Frank Cioffi, 67. Author of Formula Fiction? An Anatomy of American Science Fiction, 1930-1940.
  • Born September 5 — Carolyne Larrington, 59. Author of The Land of the Green Man: A Journey Through the Supernatural Landscapes of the British Isles and Winter is Coming: The Medieval World of Game of Thrones.


(8) THE CONSPIRACY. It’s happening in the Denver Airport.

(9) FREEDOM OF CHOICE. Adri Joy is worried about spoilers for the first book in this review of book two in Tim Pratt’s series – if you’re not worried, read the review! At Nerds of a Feather — “Microreview [Book]: The Dreaming Stars by Tim Pratt”.

There’s probably enough background in The Dreaming Stars to make it accessible to anyone who hasn’t already read the first book. We are re-introduced to the Liars and the now-expanded White Raven gang, who have spent the months since the end of The Wrong Stars getting progressively more bored in close confinement with each other. The book fills us in very effectively on the rest of the backstory too – the now not-so-mysterious (but still quite mysterious) Axiom, the fate of Meditreme Station, the relationships among the main characters and their respective histories with sociopathy-inducing brain spiders, and the other events that have led to our multi-temporal heroes hanging out on their cool but limited zero-g asteroid base.

(10) SERIES LAUNCHER. And Adri Joy has high praise for the new Robert Jackson Bennett book: “Microreview [Book]: Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett”.

Rarely does a book instil such a sense of excitement in me as the first ten percent of Foundryside, the first in a new trilogy by Robert Jackson Bennett. The book wastes no time throwing us right into the action with Sancia, a mysterious thief in the middle of a job that appears to be going terribly wrong. Sure enough, within pages, Sancia has accidentally burned down the docks of Tevanne and has most of the city’s authorities out looking for her. More importantly, however, she has discovered that the mysterious object she has been asked to locate is a magical key that can open any lock, and which she is able to have direct conversations with thanks to her own mysterious and unique abilities. By the time Sancia and her buddy Clef (who is a boy key, a fact which is actually questioned and has an in-universe justification beyond “of course this inanimate object is of the default gender!”) are making their way through magical doors that <SPEAK IN OSTENTATIOUS CAPITALS ABOUT THEIR LIFE MISSIONS>, I was absolutely hooked, and while Foundryside certainly gets darker from this point, I never lost sight of that initial hit of wonder from the world Bennett has developed….

(11) THOSE WERE THE DAYS. John Scalzi’s twenty-year blogging anniversary marathon continues with “1998/2018: Whatever 20/20, Day Five: Social Media”.

Was it fun in 1998? I think it was, but in regard to blogs in particular, it was more that it was exciting. There was a sense of being on a frontier of sorts — a place not yet colonized and so a place of invention, or reinvention, if you wanted that instead. We were doing things that were never done before! (In fact they had been done before, many times, in many other media, but they were never done on the Web, in html, so.) There was status conferred just for being out there in the wild, with your online journal the only signpost around for figurative miles. The blogosphere was still (barely) small enough in 1998 that you could read everyone and keep up with their doings. The full blossoming and influence of the blogosphere was still most of a decade away at least, but it seemed like something could happen there.

(12) CONGRATULATIONS, THAT’S HORRIBLE. Alex Doyle’s “Groan Up Comedy” details his efforts to win the “Punday” competition at Callahan’s Place during Worldcon 76.

…What they tell me is that the rules for this sort of thing vary, but in this case, a topic will be given and the participants have 30 seconds to start delivery of the pun. If somebody already used that pun, reusing it disqualifies you. Everybody will line up and the mic gets passed down the line. If you’re at the start of the line the field is wide open, but you’ve got to think fast. If you’re at the end, you’ve got time to work your material, but somebody ahead might snipe it out from under you. As topics change, the mic starts at the other end of the line and the last participant becomes the first so the abuse averages out. Pro tip: sit in the middle.

As a bonus, should any pun be awful enough, the author will get awarded a Spider Robinson trading card by a judge dressed as the character Callahan. A number of these will get handed out, and for suitably terrible puns, but honestly I was too preoccupied to remember all but one of them. Later, I would recall that it was:

Contestant: “Hey Callahan – get me a beer and a hot dog!”
Callahan: “Why?”
Contestant: “It’s the 200th anniversary of Frank-n-stein.”

(13) CAPTAIN MARVEL. Entertainment Weekly brings a first look of Brie Larson as Captain Marvel (“Brie Larson takes flight as Captain Marvel on this week’s EW cover”).

There’s a bright new star in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Captain Marvel leads the cover of Entertainment Weekly’s new issue, with an exclusive first look at Brie Larson’s Air-Force-pilot-turned-intergalactic-hero.
Film fans know Carol Danvers only as the mysterious person paged by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) in the last scene of Avengers: Infinity War, and she’ll appear in the still-untitled Avengers 4, presumably to help beat up on Thanos. But before that, she’s got her own story to tell — and EW has all the exclusive intel on her upcoming solo film.
When Captain Marvel hits theaters March 8, 2019, it’ll be the 21st entry in the MCU — and the first to star a solo female superhero. In the past decade, the MCU has assembled a diverse lineup of female heroes, from witches and warriors to widows and wasps. But never before has a woman headlined her own story — until Captain Marvel, the part-Kree, part-human pilot who made her comics debut back in 1968.

(14) COMICSGATE INFIGHTING. Jon Del Arroz’ website was down for a couple of days. The reason? — “Hit By A Hacker Attack”. [Internet Archive link.]

What happened was, someone hacked into my hosting account. They purposefully took down the website and tried to lock me out. I had to go through a number of hoops yesterday to restore the account, and I believe we are safe again with precautions I’ve now put into place, but it’s very disconcerting, especially given the timing of the attack.

If you look at last week, I wrote a blog calling out a certain “game designer” and on the other front, the comic book movement I’ve been integral in getting going both took more heat than ever before — with a bunch of randos coming out and blasting me and others personally– and blew up internally with an outrage mob which isn’t healthy at all.

I don’t know who the culprit is, but it’s likely from one of those groups, and I know the attack means I’m very well over the target, and what I’m doing here is VERY effective.

(15) AND IF YOU CUT ME. “The tree that bleeds… metal?”. The colored sap is eye-catching. Absorbing some metal may protect against insects.

Heavy metals like nickel and zinc are usually the last thing that plants want to grow next to in high concentrations.

But a specialised group, known as hyperaccumulators, have evolved to take up the normally toxic metals into their stems, leaves and even seeds.

Researchers have been studying Pycnandra acuminata in particular – a tree that grows on the island of New Caledonia in the south Pacific.

(16) ALL ASHORE THAT’S GOING ASHORE: “Monster iceberg’s pivot and turn” — it’s finally starting to head out to sea.

The monster Antarctic iceberg A-68 looks finally to be on the move.

For 13 months after breaking away from the White Continent’s long peninsula, the trillion-tonne block did little more than shuffle back and forth on the spot.

But now its southern end has swung round almost 90 degrees, indicating the berg has been caught in ocean currents.

The approaching southern summer should only assist its anticipated slow drift northwards, experts say.

(17) THE ANSWER MY FRIEND. BBC reports “Urban wind turbine wins UK James Dyson award”. It can capture wind from any direction — which is where wind usually comes from around buildings….

The O-Wind Turbine aims to capture inner-city wind and turn it into electricity in cities struggling to produce enough renewable energy for increasing populations.

The portable, low-cost device can be attached to the sides of buildings.

The two inventors said they hoped the energy produced could be plugged into the home or the electricity grid.

(18) IT’S ALL IN THE WRIST. JJ is giving odds: “10 to 1 says that there’s already cat martial arts fanfic.”

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Mike Kennedy, JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, Carl Slaughter, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, Rich Lynch, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Peer.]

63 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/5/18 With This Simple Trick You Can Scroll Wild Pixels From Home

  1. 14) Ok he’s even dumber than I thought he was. Every reputable hosting company I’ve ever dealt with has a hosting option where no one, and I mean no one, can do anything with your hosting as it’s completely locked down. All the sites I have anything to with are set up this way including supportpeterbeagle.com for obvious reasons.

    He provides a password, preferably something obscure to the host, and that must be provided before he can access the admin functions. No one else can do anything at all. Hell given how paranoid he is I’m surprised that he didn’t do this! Awesomely dumb.

  2. 9) In the middle of reading The Dreaming Stars, excellent so far. I highly recommend Tim Pratt as a somewhat undersung author.

    14) As his first commentor said LOL, I figure you just forgot to pay the bill.

  3. Wild Pixels couldn’t scroll me away!

    14) occam’s razor says that he did forget to pay the bills.

    1) I will be on vacation (actually at Scintillation that weekend). Drat.

  4. Paul Weimer says that occam’s razor says that he did forget to pay the bills.

    And Occam’s Razor is why every bit of web business I do is billed automatically to my bank account. Name registration, domain hosting and so forth all are paid automatically so that I can’t forget to pay the bills. I strongly suspect that it wasn’t that he forgot to pay the bills but that he didn’t have the funds to them.

    I was doing this long before dying repeatedly cost me my short term memory as it’s just a Good Business Practice.

  5. Cora Buhlert saysHis Happy Frogs site also went down and the domain currently seems to be for sale, so he probably did forget to pay the bills.

    Actually Internic says that happyfrogs.org is registered through June of next year so it’s not for sale unless JDA put it on the market. Now hosting is separate so it’s quitebposdible that he didn’t pay that bill.

    Seller190 which has that site shows up elsewhere so they may well be a parasite that takes over sites via faulty security. Not that I’d accuse JDA of being sloppy at security…

  6. @Camestros Felapton

    I shall faint with you. Monday is swimming day in my house, and now I have to decide if I’m going to get up early and watch before I go, or wait until I get back. Sunday morning iView was far more convenient. How dare the BBC disrupt my routine?!

  7. @12: I looked in on (one of?) the first Pundays, at Boskone in 1977. The topic was electronics; the first thing I heard was “n genafvfgbe vf fbzrbar jub hfrq gb or lbhe oebgure” (rotated as it may be politically incorrect). There was a reason the beer smell was still there the next day. (This was back when cons could give attendees beer.)

  8. 5) I’m reasonably certain that the WSFAn who reported Rebecca Prather’s death is Samuel LUBELL (not “Lubdell”).

  9. Chip Hitchcock, Windycon still gives attendees beer. (Suitably carded, of course.)

    Anyone know if the Beeb will re-broadcast the Dr. Who Christmas Special in the US? My DVR didn’t record it.

  10. @ Chip: Chattacon still has both beer and liquor in the consuite — with a draconian set of rules prominently displayed and rigorously enforced. Chambanacon used to have both alcohol and no-alcohol consuite rooms, but since they lost the Chancellor I don’t think they do that any more.

  11. Chip Hitchcock-As others have pointed out, several Midwest and Southern conventions still provide beer in the con suite. I’ll add Confusion (Michigan), Midwestcon (Cincinnati) and Concave (Bowling Green, KY.) to those previously mentioned, with Midwestcon and Concave also having hard liquor in addition to beer and wine.

  12. Yay Title credit!
    Im down with something, and that after reading (17) headline It took me 2 minutes to relaize that it was not about Karl Urban having invented a wind machine, tells you enough about my state of mind. Back to bed.

  13. According to WhoIs his domain will expire in Aug 2020 (if I’m reading it right) so yeah it looks a LOT like he straight forgot to pay his bills, the grace period ran out and GoDaddy killed his site until he ponied up the cash. I mean, that’s a lot more likely than hackers taking down his Alexa rank 1.7mil website for… ~reasons…?

  14. UK cons provide beers for participants, which goes a long way towards making the ones I’ve been on more enjoyable (for me at least).

  15. A few reading reports on novellas, none of which really really rise to Hugo rec level so I guess I’ll drop them in here.

    The first two novellas have a little theme in that they revolve around Big Ideas with YA protags, and then don’t quite finish their stories off.

    A Glimmer of Silver by Juliet Kemp (from The Book Smugglers Novella Initiative) is set on an ocean world where Ocean is actually some sort of sentient being. Some erstwhile human colonists are scratching out a living on the very surface, afraid to anger Ocean by contact. A small number of people can talk to Ocean to some extent, which ought to be a great honour for young protag Jennery except that xe really really wants to be a musician instead. It’s all nicely done as the nature of Ocean and how humans can live with it gets explored, but although it sets up the possibility of big changes it doesn’t actually take us to see them, which is a bit frustrating.

    The Million by Karl Schroeder (tor.com) turns out in the end notes to be set in the same universe as his novel Lockstep, and I’m a bit confused why they wouldn’t make that clear at the start. The Big Idea is that many civilisations in the universe are heading into the future via coldsleep, waking themselves up briefly at regular intervals in lockstep with each other to see what’s going on. Of course, they need some people to stick to regular time to look after them, and so the Earth has been inherited by The Million – they have all the world’s resources to share a mere million ways between them, just so long as they don’t muck the place up or overpopulate it. So the Million come over as like the gauchest possibly version of today’s billionaires, taking entire cities for one family, and they themselves need keeping under control by The Auditors in case the billions of sleepers wake up very angry with the state of the place.
    It’s a pretty good Big Idea but the actual plot – several young people joining Auditor academy with ulterior motives, who Audits the Auditors eh? – wasn’t the best way to explore it. I was convinced it was going to run out of space to finish the plot, but instead it rushes to some sort of conclusion that probably needed a full novel to explore instead. Again, rather frustrating, and no doubt the exploration of that Big Idea actually comes in the novel I wouldn’t have known existed until I finished this novella.

    Lastly another novella from tor.com, War Cry by Brian McClellan. I’ve got his Powder Mage series on the tbr but thought a novella would be a good intro to him as a writer. I don’t think it’s really moved his novels up or down the tbr – I’d got the impression he wrote competent action fantasy, and I’ve still got that impression. This setting is somewhere in the region of military science fantasy, which I felt could get quite interesting with looking at how magic and tech go together in a war, but events stick tightly to a battleground in the middle of nowhere so you don’t really get much detail. It’s the endgame of an unending, exhausting war, there’s a ragtag unit sheltering in the badlands from a superior enemy with illusions and magic while their remaining plane goes back for supplies and orders. Desperate, they decide to raid the enemy both to fulfil their duty and steal vital supplies, and then Shenanigans occur. The action is competent but with an ultra-deadly protagonist who you don’t really feel is under threat, which rather takes the tension out.

  16. Anne Goldsmith on September 5, 2018 at 6:52 pm said:

    I shall faint with you. Monday is swimming day in my house, and now I have to decide if I’m going to get up early and watch before I go, or wait until I get back. Sunday morning iView was far more convenient. How dare the BBC disrupt my routine?!

    “Their way of life is wholely different from our own. For example, they watch Coronation Street on Tuesdays.”
    – Michael Flanders

  17. Oneiros saysAccording to WhoIs his domain will expire in Aug 2020 (if I’m reading it right) so yeah it looks a LOT like he straight forgot to pay his bills, the grace period ran out and GoDaddy killed his site until he ponied up the cash. I mean, that’s a lot more likely than hackers taking down his Alexa rank 1.7mil website for… ~reasons…?

    I’d say that he’s flat out lying that hackers took it down. It’s far more likely that the worlds leading Hispanic sf writer simply has cash flow problems and didn’t have the funds to pay GoDadfy though that itself is surprising as their hosting rates are really cheap.

  18. (4) Anyone claiming Bigfoot exists will have to explain to me why we have never seen Bigfoot roadkill. There’s no other animal in the United States, including human beings who know what cars and roadways are and the harm they can do, that has not been involved in at least one fatal collision with a motor vehicle, but apparently Bigfoot just knows how to avoid cars instinctively.

    @Cassy B: If previous seasons are any guide, BBC America will run a marathon leading up to the premiere to catch up any new viewers. I don’t know if they’ll go all the way back to “Rose” (although it wouldn’t surprise me if they did) but they’ll almost certainly show the regeneration special.

  19. Just finished reading Retrograde by Peter Cawdron. I’ve always thought I didn’t mind infodumps, I didn’t have a problem with Seveneves for example, but Retrograde pushed me beyond my tolerance. The plot and characters were interesting, I just don’t think a paean to the colors of Mars belongs in the middle of scene where people are fleeing for their lives.

    Before that was The Power by Naomi Alderman. The first half of this book was really good, describing a lot of the consequences of the power with a variety of great characterization. The second half meandered a bit before coming to a conclusion I had a big moral problem with.

    Exit West by Mohsin Hamid was a contrast to The Power. Equally well written, but it totally ignored the possible impact of the doors on the world beyond refugees. And it provided a positive spin vs The Power’s negative one, emphasizing the essential goodness of humanity.

  20. Related to (14):

    I’m really enjoying watching the comicsgate shits trying to flush one another. Very few groups go from “movement” to comedic infighting quite so quickly.

  21. (10) Foundryside looks very interesting. I still haven’t finished the previous series, yet. I’m terribly irresponsible Hugo voter, or maybe I’ll spin it as I don’t like the series category. Yeah, that’s the ticket!

    (14) JDA apparently uses WordPress, which is PHP-based, ie the files behind the site are executable. This is inherently insecure (as well as being the case for likely well over 99% of websites, and yes, the fact that I still harp on that implies the amount of gray in my hair). It’s not uncommon for WP sites to be compromised. It seems likely to me that someone personally hostile toward JDA would have modified the content to mock him, not just taken the site down. Perhaps he was counting on the millions and millions of dollars from his yugely successful lawsuit to pay bigly for his hosting?

  22. @ John S: My partner says that the woo answer to this would be that Bigfoot, in addition to having human-level intelligence, is both not numerous and known to avoid humans and their artifacts. He suggests that another question might be why there have never been any Bigfoot corpses left in the wake of major floods. There are probably several more, any of which can be argued against individually, but the combination of “complete lack of evidence” in every one of those cases builds up.

    Of course, eventually you’re going to run into the Ultimate Woo Defense: that the complete lack of any evidence whatsoever to support their assertion is merely proof of how deep and wide-ranging the cover-up is.

    @ Darren: From your linked article:
    In May, an anonymous White House leaker explained to Axios that it’s common practice for sources to keep their ears tuned to the verbal tics of their co-workers. That way, when their own words appear in the media, they can lay a false trail for leak-hunters.

    That makes a lot of sense.

  23. Totally off any topic on the scroll, but this place has a better proportion of tech savvy folk than my facebook list (or at least the part of it that actually gets to see my posts):

    I am considering a new electronic device. While I did talk it over with the friend who works at one of the best places to buy such a device in my town, I am looking for other general suggestions.


    My phone is nice, but it’s basically internet and games and something to take photos and video on (and for my elder son to do the same), and there is no way to turn bus time or away-from-home time into writing time (and only sometimes into reading books time). The question of useable word processing apps aside, I also HATE typing on a screen, especially a tiny screen, for any length.

    I have a Dana, but it is all but obsolete, requiring some overly insane workarounds to transfer writing files on and off my PC, which is also somewhat behind current. Besides, the small screen size always frustrated me for editing; the sequels to it seem to have smaller screens.

    These are my criteria:

    – Roughly tablet size (bigger than a phone/smaller than a trad laptop) but with a physical keyboard.
    – sturdy enough to use typing on a bus if necessary, and to survive the occasional drop.
    – **can work offline**.
    – good battery duration with usage per below.

    Main uses:
    – Word processing/writing/editing
    – e-book reading (must be able to support apps for both kindle and epub, but pretty much everything does).
    – occasional internet use in places with wifi access. No interest in data access.
    – maybe MAYBE photo taking. (only because it might be handier than also whipping out my phone)
    – if it uses a stylus, I might consider trying another sketching app.
    – the point is to NOT put any games on it, nor do videos/streaming.

    Budget: nothing crazy. Prefer cheaper because everyone does but am fairly comfortable with a small splurge.

    I don’t care too much whether it uses a touch screen or a mouse — aside from that potential usage for sketching — as long as it has reasonable navigation and text-selecting options.

    I don’t care about graphics or high memory storage.

    It could even be a black and white screen for all I am likely to be concerned, again with the very faint possible exception of for sketching. (And even sketching can be a monochrome activity.)

    Wildest dreams extra: an e-ink paperlike screen (ie, internal lighting as a use-only-when-in-the-dark option) instead of a standard backlit and eye-strainy thing would be awesome but may not be feasible with everything else I want more, especially as I don’t believe those can be touch screens.

  24. @Lenora Rose – My wife uses her Kindle Fire for writing. It doesn’t include a keyboard, but she has a (very nice) Bluetooth keyboard for it.

    Since the KB is Bluetooth, I’d wager there are dozens of tablets that’d work with it, too – the KB will work with my phone and our television at home (we’ve tested both).

  25. Lenora Rose, I don’t have suggestions for your tablet, but just as a point of information, my Kobo Aura has a paperwhite screen (black and white eInk) and it’s a touch screen. So the two are not mutually exclusive. (However, the refresh rate on eInk is slow enough that I think that using it for word processing or sketching might be annoying; there’d be a noticeable lag.)

  26. I am not totally happy with my Kindle Fire, it takes forever to charge and drains fast, but it’s cheap (I got mine with credit from a class action settlement, hehe) and would definitely do what you want if you stick a bluetooth keyboard on it. I’ve seen carrying cases for them with built in keyboards. There are also a bunch of under-$100 tablets I just glanced at on New Egg that all seem like they’d do the job too.

  27. Lenora – re your quest for the perfect mostly-for writing device… depending on how much you will/won’t compromise. (I’ve got some of each for my own use.)
    – size: screen, keyboard, total
    – “done in one,” keyboard-doubling-as-cover, third-party keyboard
    A lot depends on whether by “writing” you mean “creating text and entering it” or (also) some editing, perhaps including cut’n’pasting. Also, is there a prefered program/app you want to use?

    – Roughly tablet size (bigger than a phone/smaller than a trad laptop) but with a physical keyboard.

    OS and software are among the deciders. If you want a ‘desktop OS’ experience (multiple sizeable windows, works with a mouse, etc.), that’s Windows or MacOS. Also, is your editing/WP program of choice available on the OS you’re looking for?

    If you use Windows and aren’t looking for the tablet-as-media (book, video) player, Asus, Lenovo and others make some good-enough 2-lb sub-$300 11″-screen notebooks. My current one is an Asus X305T, replacing my Asus 200HA — I love the keyboard, among other things (which is what kept me from some of HP’s bargain devices). Lenovo had a Labor Day sale on a tempting alternative, but I don’t need a new one.

    If you’re open to mobile (tablet/smartphone) UI devices, then perhaps an iPad mini or something the size of an iPad 2 (which I still have tho don’t use as much). These are thin, some are cheap. For physical keyboard, either get one that doubles as a protective case – I like the Zagg for my iPhone 2 (I reviewed a bunch of these years ago). Or get a third-party one… see my ComputerWorld review from a few years ago. Main take-away here: If you are a touch-typist, look for one that preserves the key positions across the ‘fold,’ for a folding keyboard.

    (A keyboard-that’s-also-a-case has the benefit of being more likely to always be with you…)

    At the low price end, an Amazon 8″ Fire might do it, plus a bluetooth keyboard… but the app offerings are fewer, since the Fire isn’t a “full Android device” nor will it run regular Android apps.
    Also watch the (refurb) sales at Tanga.com, DailySteals.com, etc.
    Lastly, if possible, try the keyboard before you buy.

    Hope this helps. Happy to offer more datapoints.

  28. @Lenore: I have been using my Chromebook as my one and only machine for several years. However long it’s been out, though I’m onto a newer model. Might be larger than you want, but the 11″ ones fit into a manila envelope and have a real keyboard and do everything you require. Depending on what you wanna spend and features, you can get it from $179 to $999. (Mine’s cheap so no touch screen.)

  29. Thanks everyone so far for datapoints.

    Cassy B: The refresh rate is a valid point (More for the sketching… enough people have used e-book readers for bare bones word processing to leave me some confidence it can be done. But I’d want to see the lag for myself.)

    Daniel Dern: That’s going into a lot of detail.

    I don’t care whether the interface feels like a tablet or like a desktop or something else, as long as I can find stuff. I’m not so much anti-Apple as I am not comfortable with something that won’t be able to speak to the Windows PC, but I’m otherwise pretty adaptable.

    Writing: While I’d rather be able to do all the formatting and page layout, I’d be willing to make do on anything where i can write and edit (including cut and paste) and have basic functions like creating a paragraph or hitting a tab key available to me. Should be able to have multiple docs open if needed, with some way to switch between (an F-key system, tabs, icons on a main page, an index that can be pulled up…) including c/p from one to the next.

    I’ve mostly used Word (full, starter, various iterations) and Google docs, mostly because they were what was available – but both have several points of severe annoyance. So I have no objection to a different word processor, but don’t have a specific program in mind. As long as the files can be opened across formats (.rtf)

  30. @various: I guess I’ve just been going to the wrong conventions (not that I’ve been going to many at all recently…).

    @Suzdal: what’s done for panelists (my guess what you mean by “participants”) is different from what’s done for all attendees. And I wouldn’t dare take a drink on a panel, even a half pint of ordinary; after what happened with a US serving of Bulmer’s when I was still in my 20’s, I figure the tongue-oil of hooch is just what I don’t need. ISTM that UK fans are more habituated.

    @Lee (to John S): intelligence enough not to be spooked into the path of a car was my guess; OTOH, I was also wondering whether ursus horribilis has ever been roadkill, because sasquatch is supposed to be somewhere around that size — might destroy the car rather than the other way around.

  31. Lenora:

    While I’d rather be able to do all the formatting and page layout, I’d be willing to make do on anything where i can write and edit (including cut and paste) and have basic functions like creating a paragraph or hitting a tab key available to me. Should be able to have multiple docs open if needed, with some way to switch between (an F-key system, tabs, icons on a main page, an index that can be pulled up…) including c/p from one to the next.

    I don’t know enough about iOS or Android editing/WP apps to know whether any have those multi-file features.
    I think that if you want to do heavier-lifting writing tasks (e.g. pre-production formatting), a small, lightweight, inexpensive machine won’t be up to it.

    I’ve mostly used Word (full, starter, various iterations) and Google docs, mostly because they were what was available – but both have several points of severe annoyance. So I have no objection to a different word processor, but don’t have a specific program in mind.

    I think you are trying to resolve several different working-tools problems in parallel, or something like that.

    Possibly Microsoft’s new Surface Go (which I haven’t yet seen or tried) is a match, albeit perhaps a little more $ than your druthers. These should be relatively easy to find and try (at Staples, Best Buy, etc.).

    It sounds like you’ve got some research — and decisions — ahead of you.

  32. @Lenora: Whoever told you that was wrong. Obviously they can’t do the streaming video and the social medias offline, b/c duh, but the word processing, note-taking, spread-sheets, and viewing of any media you have saved on the machine works fine.

    (Then when it gets a wi-fi, it syncs everything back up.)

    I gots books on mine to read (like, this year’s Hugo Packet), and have writ things as well. Obviously it doesn’t run any Windows thingums, but the word processor is more than fancy enough, and you can save the files into various formats.

    Anything that doesn’t come standard, you can download a free program that will do what you want.

    I drop it pretty regularly, and the only time I lost one was when the credential dumped an entire glass of liquid right onto the hard drive. Whoops. Upgrade time!

    I tend to type up the grocery and to-do lists on mine and then share them with the husband so he can consult his phone while he’s out.

    I just looked at the word processor and it’s got tabs and font sizes and italics/underline and tables and bullets and columns and paint features and many other things I wot not of.

  33. It will save things in .docx and .rtf, along with a bunch of other styles. Toolbar across the top looks like every word processor since practically ever.

    You could even do a PowerPoint deck if you were insane enough.

    The Dread Scalzi wrote part of one of his books on a Chromebook when he was on a plane once.

  34. Daniel: no interest in.pre production levels of formatting, just in basics like font, size, line spacing, to my own tolerances. The heavy lifting also requires the sort of graphics care I said I don’t need.

    I literally want something i can use on the bus or while my kids are at play in one of the indoor playgrounds. (There is, equally literally, nothing safe or feasible about using any such device outdoors with them, lest anyone think I am crazy. A. is *very* 3, which includes not understanding stuff like not running into traffic or down riverbanks.)

    I do definitely have research ahead of me but I was hoping for something that would narrow the search to specific options, which to some degree this has been doing.

  35. And you’re right that my wish list includes some incompatibles. That’s why it’s a wish list. If I can’t do a single specific thing, or have to choose between one or two of my less desired features because they don’t happen on one machine, so be it. What I most want is a machine where I won’t be tempted to load a few games or open Facebook, where when I open it, I am either reading or creating, or at a stretch, doing research enough to help the creation work, nothing much else

    My husband had a Surface for a prior job. Very nice but really focused in the wrong direction.

  36. @ Chip H – Moose are sometimes roadkill (and yes, they tend to do serious damage to the vehicles that hit them), so I don’t think Old Ephraim would be immune. Particularly not if the bear has a disagreement with an 18 wheeler.

  37. Regarding grizzly bears, Mountain West News reports

    About 1,000 grizzly bears live in the 8-million-acre Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem in northwest Montana. The average NCDE vehicle collision toll for grizzlies is three a year. In 2015, there were six, and the previous high was seven in 2007. 2018 has recorded 13 NCDE grizzly road-related mortalities before August.

    So the complete lack of any Bigfoot roadkill implies a very small population. Like 0.

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