I haz a bookmarkz…

Boris hums along, when Rufus warbles “There is a river running underground / Underneath the town, towards the sea…” // Closer to home, a more intractable waterway is set for yet another makeover attempt // How to subvert a bus-stop with a child’s swing // Two different approaches to grot-free new urban centres: Leon Krier’s new towns vs. Singapore-style instant mega-cities // Iain Sinclair watches as the runaway Olympics juggernaut plays havok with the East End of London // Stoke-on-Trent has just secured £10-million of funding, for 2009-2011, to further boost the 100+ miles of superb off-road bicycle paths that run around the city. Also in the West Midlands, Shrewsbury gets a share of the £100 million cycling pot, to become a ‘Cycling Demonstration Town’. // London’s designer-solutions to bicycle theft // No off-road cycle-paths near you? You could always turn your rusty old bike into a working grandfather-clock //

PricewaterhouseCoopers’ weighty Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2008-2012 reports that the global videogame industry will be worth $68.4 billion by 2012, overtaking all other forms of entertainment media // A large set of widescreen PC screen-captures from the hard-SF videogame Mass Effect — although beaten in visual quality by pictures from real spaceflight, and in alien weirdness by the creatures of our own oceans // the anti-piracy measures for the PC version of Mass Effect held up quite well. Pirate crews took 21 days, after the game’s U.S. release, to collectively scrape together an ugly set of kludges that together would adequately crack the game // As Edge magazine confirms that Brits are still the world’s no.2 videogame content producers, behind the U.S., the British game industry launches the ‘Games Up?’ campaign. It’s headed by David Braben (Elite, LostWinds), and aims to try to prise some support out of the UK government. But since the government is severely strapped for cash, I’d imagine it’s likely that subsidies would have to be taken from existing film industry subsidies? // This coming Autumn/Winter sees the 15th anniversary of ‘recognisably modern’ desktop gaming — Return to Zork (Aug 93), Day of the Tentacle (Summer? 93), Myst (Sept 93), Frontier: Elite II (Oct 93), SimCity 2000, (Nov 93), and Doom (Dec 93) // The New York Times profiles the Emotiv gaming headset, a device that lets you control videogames just by thinking (it reads your brainwaves) or raising an eyebrow (it’s also a consumer-level motion-capture rig for your face) // British videogame production degrees “a waste of time for all involved”, an opinion echoed by the round-table interview published in the latest Edge magazine //

Birmingham City University rises to the No.71 slot in the The Times Good University Guide 2009 — the BCU profile in the TGU Guide 2009 is here. Seems fair, although there’s a huge howler:— “A new city-centre campus in the Eastside district, near Millennium Point, will open in 2008”. More like 2012 // The Birmingham Mail‘s new ‘Speech Balloons’ comics blog profiles Birmingham’s Hunt Emerson // CAAN do // Introduction to Second Life event (10th July 08, Wolverhampton Science Park, £30) // The new Handsworth music/media technology centre (video) // Advance news of a major retrospective at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery — Sun, Wind, and Rain: The Art of David Cox (1783-1859) will open 31st January 2009, showcasing the life’s work of a Birmingham artist who was one of the finest painters of our ever-changing British weather. Cox on Wikipedia // Wolverhampton’s DeafFest (Deaf Film and Television Festival) bags £50,000 development funding from the UK Film Council //

“The Internet will overtake television as the biggest advertising medium in Britain this year” // Two hundred years of archives from The Times newspaper, for free, for a limited time only // OFFART? “The Arts Council has announced that it will be sending teams of ‘inspectors’ into the organisations it funds, every three years” // The instant shared work-table // 14 x ‘3D’ printers profiled // 16 x latest digital audio recorders profiled // Jonathan Meese, meet Mad World (video) // Death by coffee, or not. Probably not. //