Brid-Aine Parnell

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Rachel in Blade Runner

Sex, androids and violence in Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Page File It all sounds like a beautiful love story. A man in forbidden love with an android robot sets out on a quest to find and reassemble her after she’s kidnapped and stripped down for parts. But Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction is a gruesome, grotesque noir story of a dismal future, where half of the world is considered …
British Library reading room

The Invisible Library – a playful, timey wimey, spook adventure tale

Page File The Invisible Library has been billed by the publishers as a sort of Doctor Who meets spy thriller, where a secret society of spooks skip through alternate worlds and times looking to collect books on behalf of the eponymous library. Irene is the librarian in question, part spy, part thief, who uses her wits and the Language …
Foxcatcher still

Power, patriotism, paranoia and envy wrestle for attention in Foxcatcher

Film review Foxcatcher is not really a sports story, it’s a dark epic of power, patriotism, paranoia and envy that just so happens to include professional wrestling. The story begins with the working class brothers and wrestling champions David (Mark Ruffalo) and Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum). While both have won gold at the Olympics, it …
Jack Gyllenhaal in Enemy

Enemy – Eerie double trouble from indie doppelganger chiller

Film review Although Enemy, the small indie take on Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago’s The Double, was made in 2013, it’s only just getting a limited UK release now. Which is a shame, as Jake Gyllenhaal plays both downtrodden everyman and charming lecher with understated grace in this psychologically thrilling tale of a man who …
Raphael's School of Athens

The Just City: A brilliant, if puzzling, philosophical dialogue

Page File At first glance, Jo Walton’s novel The Just City doesn’t seem to fit into the category of science fiction at all. We open with the god Apollo, who is confused about why Daphne the nymph chose to pray to the gods to be turned into a tree rather than sleep with him. Pleading with the goddess Athene for understanding, she …
Artist's impression of Philae on Comet 67P

Ground control to 2014: A year in SPAAAAAAAAAACE

Review of 2014 The year 2014 belonged, without question, to the comet-chasing Rosetta mission, which moved humanity’s space exploration programme forward by landing on a moving space rock out in the depths of the cosmos for the first time ever. The first step in the epic journey this year was accomplished in January, when boffins at the …
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything

The Theory of Everything: Stephen Hawking biopic is immensely moving

Film review “I think I just used science to trick you into watching a movie about feelings!” I apologised to my fellow science-loving film-goer after leaving The Theory of Everything. Although, to be fair, the posters make it clear that this is not the big screen depiction of Stephen Hawking writing A Brief History of Time, this is the true …
Artist’s impression of sunset on the newly discovered super-Earth world Gliese 667 Cc. Credit: ESO

Proxima and Ultima: AI, hard sci-fi and multiverse – ALL GOOD. Romans – not so much

Page File Fresh from his multiverse world-building with Terry Pratchett in The Long Earth series, Stephen Baxter turns to his own multiverse in the two-book set Proxima and Ultima – a very different hard sci-fi tale. Proxima starts in the far-flung future, when Earthlings have started making their way out into the immediate galactic …
James Franco and Seth Rogen in The Interview

'Google catches us in an invisible web of our personal data without telling us'

QuoTW The Sony Pictures hack dragged on and on this week, as the studio was forced to pull the release of North Korea comedy The Interview following hacker threats against the film while cyber attackers continued to dump files stolen from Sony online. The studio kicked off the week by sending a strongly-worded letter to media …
Regina Egbert, El Reg's virtual news anchor

TRAGEDY STRIKES Vulture News Central but details remain scrambled

A sad day as Vulture News Central loses its lead anchor, Regina Eggbert, in a horrific misunderstanding ... no, I can't go on. I simply can't describe it. You'll have to see for yourself! ® Youtube Video Regina Egbert, El Reg's virtual news anchor
Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything

Why the chemistry between Hollywood, physics and maths is so hot right now

Interview Folks in the scientific know like to pick apart movies about science and science fiction, pointing out all the ways in which they don’t embrace real facts and theories. They also love to complain about how nerds are so often portrayed on film the same way, as socially inept weirdos, sweet maybe, but not really taken seriously. …
Amy Adams in Big Eyes

Big Eyes falls short on the big question of popular art

Film review The ingredients are all there for an Oscar-winning film in Big Eyes. Multiple Academy Award nominee Amy Adams and one-time winner Christoph Waltz play Walter and Margaret Keane in a flick based on a true story about pop culture and high art in the 1960s. Margaret ships up in San Francisco in the late 1950s, a single mother and …
Angry old man

Hackney council leaked thousands of locals' data in FoI blunder

Thousands of Hackney residents are fuming after their personal information was leaked by the council online in a bungled Freedom of Information request. Details including addresses, rental accounts and sexuality of 15,000 Hackney Homes tenants and leaseholders were available in full from the website What Do They Know for …
Space Cowboys movie still

LEGS IN 2015: SpaceX Falcon's landing PUT ON HOLD

NASA and SpaceX have announced that the firm’s fifth ISS resupply mission - which was also the first test of its ground-breaking leggy landing on a floating platform - will be postponed until next year. The Falcon 9 rocket that boosts the Dragon cargo-craft to the International Space Station was supposed to test its X-wing- …
SpaceX' autonomous spaceport drone ship

Friday: SpaceX will attempt to land rocket on floating, robotic 'spaceport drone ship'

Upstart start-up rocketry firm SpaceX is planning to try out its new upgraded rocket landing legs on its next trip to the International Space Station (ISS) tomorrow. Youtube Video The private space firm has been trying to make the game-changing dream of a precise soft-landing, reusable rocket come true with its Falcon 9 …
Mobile phone no service

UK.gov binds mobe operators to £5bn not-spot deal

Blighty’s government has announced a new deal with the top four mobe operators in the country to improve the state of so-called mobile roaming "not-spots". Culture secretary Sajid Javid announced a binding agreement with EE, O2, Three and Vodafone, meaning they will tackle poor signal issues in certain areas by investing £5bn …
James Franco and Seth Rogen in The Interview

NY premiere of The Interview cancelled after hackers' terrorist threats

The New York premiere of Sony Pictures’ movie about a fictional assassination attempt on Kim Jong-Un has been cancelled in the wake of hacker threats invoking 9/11. The Interview was due to debut on Thursday at Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema in Manhattan, but a spokesperson confirmed to Variety that the screening was off late on …
CGI image of Lunar Mission One on the Moon

HUMAN HAIR will soon be FOUND on MOON: Brit 'nauts aim for SPAAAACE

Blighty-backed moonshot Lunar Mission One has managed to hit its Kickstarter goal of £600,000 in crowdfunding, just a day and a half ahead of the cut-off point. After a fast-paced start, helped by media coverage and endorsements from the likes of celebrity rockstar physicist Brian Cox, raised £200,000 in three days, things …
Parcels

Amazon workers in Germany stage CHRISTMAS STRIKE

Amazon workers are striking yet again in Germany, hoping to put pressure on the etailer over the Christmas shopping period. Trade union Verdi called on employees last week to start a three-day strike at warehouses in Bad Hersfeld, Leipzig, Graben, Rheinberg and Werne, starting yesterday. Yet the union has now added a sixth …
Monty Python Wafer Thin Mints

Secretive Chinese smartmobe colossus Xiaomi is on WAFER thin margins

Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi is operating on the thinnest of margins to keep its handset prices low, according to a filing with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. The Chinese phone-maker, that’s creeping up on Western manufacturers, made a profit of $56.2m on $4.3bn in revenue last year. That gives the firm operating margins of …
Candy Crush Saga

Hooker beating: What if you read the Bible AND play GTA5?

QuoTW Angry Aussie gamers were up in arms this week after Target and Kmart pulled Grand Theft Auto V from sale in the country. The shops dumped the game after a petition on Change.org claimed that GTA5 “encourages players to murder women for entertainment”: The incentive is to commit sexual violence against women, then abuse or …
Graph search

Get the EGGSPERT ANGLE on the news with ovoid anchorbeing Regina

Youtube Video This week on Reg Vulture news, Facebook's creepy graph search is coming to mobile iOS, the Pirate Bay is briefly sunk, and Bernie Madoff's IT guys go down for their part in his huge Ponzi scam. Didn't hear enough from Regina? Check out the full stories here, here and here. ® Graph search
Water World at Universal Studios Los Angeles Credit: Universal Studios

Tides of Maritinia: The spy who jumped into a sci-fi water world

Page File When Tides of Maritinia first kicks off, it’s a bumbling-Brit-abroad, Evelyn Waugh-style tale of a stuffed-shirt bureaucrat literally moulded into a secret agent, but it evolves into quite a tragic story of the misdeeds of war and one man’s struggle to find his moral compass. Jakob Bryce is the lead for Warren Hammond’s first …

BLAM! Max Sound flings vid codec sueball Number FOUR at Google

Tech firm Max Sound has filed a new lawsuit against Google and YouTube over a video-streaming patent used in new Nexus devices. The firm has added a suit in Mannheim in Germany to two other patent suits filed earlier this year in Delaware and California and a fourth suit filed in Berlin’s district court. Max Sound claims that …
Gloved hand reaches into victim's pocket to steal mobile phone

UK.gov STILL won't pop a cap on stolen mobile bills

Brits who have their mobes stolen are still facing shock bills, despite government promises that charges would be capped in a similar way to stolen credit cards. The Citizens Advice watchdog said that as many as 160,000 victims of phone crime were forking out up to £4m a year to pay for thieves’ texting and calls, although …