Robin Catling

Writer; performer; project manager; sports coach; all-round eccentric.
Robin Catling has written 778 posts for Everything Express

Review: Lightbeam Addon for Mozilla Firefox

Lightbeam: see who’s tracking you online “Lightbeam is a Firefox add-on that uses interactive visualizations to show you the first and third party sites you interact with on the Web. As you browse, Lightbeam reveals the full depth of the Web today, including parts that are not transparent to the average user.” Mozilla’s free Lightbeam … Continue reading

Movie Catchup: Columbiana (2011)

Zoe Saldana is a latterday Columbian ninja, executing La Femme Nikita killings in this exploitation action-flick of slim girls, big guns, revenge and Missions Impossible. In a tense opening fifteen minutes, nine year old Cataleya (Amandla Stenberg) sees her parents murdered by drug barons, before making a thrilling but improbable escape on foot worthy of … Continue reading

Movie Catch-up: The Guard (2011)

Move over Don Cheadle, it’s Irish whimsy and Brendan Gleeson all the way in this black comedy replay of High Noon; a violent, profane tale of drug trafficking, casual murder and police corruption amid the Paddy stereotypes of the Emerald Isle . Beginning as a fish-out-of-water comedy with the arrival of black FBI agent Wendell … Continue reading

Movie Catch-Up: Looper (2012)

In 2077, time travel is invented and immediately banned; not that it stops criminal syndicates using it to ‘disappear’ their victims back to 2044 where contract killers – loopers – dispose of them, until the day their older selves are sent back for disposal to ‘close the loop’. Rhian Johnson’s Looper is smart, tense, suspenseful … Continue reading

Review: John Newman – Tribute (2013)

What could have been just another white soul retro album is lifted by Newman’s big voice and some heartfelt songs. But can he do more than just re-interpret? Tribute, the début album from Northern Soul boy John Newman, wears its heart very prominently on its sleeve. Beginning with a roll call in Newman’s Yorkshire accent … Continue reading

Movie Catch-up: Disconnect (2013)

The admirable ensemble cast of Disconnect does for the Internet what Crash did for the multi-cultural urban landscape. Trash it. If you can ignore its unrelentingly bleak outlook, didactic tone and occasional melodrama, this worthy drama turns our connected on-line world on its head in a tidal wave of suspicion, distrust, paranoia and personal betrayal. … Continue reading

Review: The Tomorrow People Season 1

Those of a certain age will remember a small British kids’ TV series from the 1970′s called The Tomorrow People. Big on ideas, low on budget, it was tea-time sci-fi with fish-fingers for the under 12′s. Well, like most TV, it’s been re-invented as one of those identi-kit American sci-fi shows; a middle-budget, flat-pack adventure … Continue reading

How-to: Optimising animated GIFs using GIMP

Previously, I ran through preparing an animated GIF for use as a web banner ad. What I neglected to mention was the part of the brief that restricted the file size. While animated GIFs for banner ads come in standard size, trying to get these images all under a certain file size can involve a … Continue reading

How-to: Animated GIFs using GIMP

I was asked to produce a couple of banner ads for cross-site promotion recently. What does that mean? Good old animated GIFs. Since the Open Source GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is my graphics program of choice, I went straight to its facility for producing animated GIFs; simple layered graphics that can cycle through a … Continue reading

Movie Catch-up: Europa Report (2011)

Despite a title that sounds like an EU treaty from Brussels, the Europa Report is a ‘found-footage’ sci-fi thriller that crosses Blair Witch with The Abyss. In space.  With the challenges of deep space exploration coming to the fore in factual shows such as the BBC’s Horizon, and in fiction with the aborted Defying Gravity … Continue reading

Review: Gravity (2013)

Alfonso Cuarón’s Oscar-winning technical tour-de-force is a thriller come adventure come survival story, yet, with a cast of only two, remains epic in every sense. Sandra Bullock is entirely sympathetic (if not entirely believable) as civilian astronaut Dr Ryan Stone, a technical specialist in orbit to upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope. George Clooney is barely, … Continue reading

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