TV: Childhood's End

(Showcase, December 2015) Coming to it without any familiarity with the source material, I found the story rather slow, like it was trying to move deliberately and gracefully in some direction towards a specific, and then it just... ended. The trip back to the homeworld was, ultimately, pointless. The fact that the whole point of the exercise was to harvest humanity's potential before curiosity could place the future of that potential risk (although to what further end is unclear) -- was muddled and only clear to me on reflection. Overall it was a disappointment.


Review: Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens

Solidly OK, especially if you don't think about it too much. So don't think about it too much. Not really having the urge to see it again, though.


Review: In The Heart Of The Sea

A fictional story inspired by the same true story that inspired another piece of fiction you may be familiar with, or, Thor chases whales. Overall pretty good, has the same sort of petering-out ending that real life does.


What Happens When Automated Pricing Algorithms Go Insane

Sooo.... cruising around looking for cute Christmas gifts, and I stumble on this:

Heh, that's funny. Jenn and I are sort of accumulating Lego Minifigures at the moment, so this might be worth it as a laugher for a stocking stuffer... $16 is a bit stiff for one minifig, but it is Darth Vader and we're not likely to see another one, right? Sure, let's click on it...

That's right, kids, the $16 minifig can be yours for the low, low price of $59.46... PLUS the $5 shipping fee.
Now clearly what's happened is that some automated supply-and-demand algorithm has noticed that there is suddenly a lot of interest in this item, with an increased number of executed sales, and increased pricing accordingly. What's interesting to me is that when I caught it the first time, the offered price was $64.95 -- although the shipping was freely included. So I'm not sure what the algorithm is trying to do to me.
But $60 for a $16 toy?