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Ugh, stop twitching
december microblog digest
minutiae Posted 2009-01-01 15:22:13 by Jim Crawford
Here is the up-to-the-minute news you could've been reading had you been into that sort of thing.


Dec 2nd, 2008

  • -- Train commute staring embarrassment simulator.
  • Oh good, the bread my roommate made tastes like soap. This'll make it much easier to meet my calorie quota today.
  • I love when Vista asks to escalate to admin twice in a row in order to perform a file operation, then says I don't have permission anyways.
  • -- this is nutty on every instrument, but the vocal part is perhaps most striking.

Dec 3rd, 2008

  • -- Side by side of Tool's "Parabola" on GH:WT drums and real drums. The author has recorded a bunch of these.

Dec 4th, 2008

  • @phetus It was his reenactment of the interrogation scene that convinced me to finally watch The Dark Knight.
  • -- This electrical component exists now. How long until we incorporate it into our IC infrastructure?
  • Hey, my mom works at HP. I bet she can just walk right into HP Labs and ask them any questions I have about the memristor.

Dec 5th, 2008

  • I never close editor tabs. If I haven't forgotten about a file, i.e. if I'm still thinking about it, I'll probably need it again shortly.
  • So, uh, does ActionScript not do closures? As far as I can tell, this callback can't see anything from its original scope.
  • Looks like locals still work; it's just confused about what "this" is. I think it just doesn't do delegates.
  • Me: "[uncontrollable coughing]" Megan: "You okay?" Me: "Be fine. [cough] Just choking." Megan: "What'd you choke on?" Me: "[cough] Saliva."
  • Keep getting database errors re: unsupported character sets. I didn't want all these charsets in the first place! Fuckin' rest of the world.
  • Looks like a race condition in the MySQL connector. Remind me why I ever use other people's code again?
  • -- Study findings in a nutshell: "A happy friend is worth about $20,000."
  • Hm, doesn't add up. Seven stacked "increase by 2%"s gives nearly "increase by 15%," but 7*$5k is $35k. Maybe he's adjusting for inflation?
  • Remember when you played Mario Sunshine and wished the whole game could be "secret" areas? Mirror's Edge listened:
  • Cliff Stoll's klein bottle shop:

Dec 6th, 2008

Dec 7th, 2008

  • Just gold-starred "Man in the Box" on drums. That makes six on-disc Rock Band 2 songs I've gold-starred on all four instruments!
  • Okay, how much does the elastic band between the goggle eyepieces hurt the aesthetic? Don't hold back.
  • In the picture there was a plastic strap there. But it came with one of those ball chain things that hold P.E. coach whistles instead!
  • "Your job as students, among other things, is to try and catch me in the Lie of the Day."
  • Just read *another* dozen or so Eliezer Yudkowsky posts -- from the past month -- on the Overcoming Bias blog that I've wanted to link to.
  • ... by which I mean I wanted to link to the individual posts. But here's a link to the blog for good measure:

Dec 8th, 2008

  • It's a trip, hearing this song in a live context. They look like they learned to dance in DDR, too!

Dec 9th, 2008

  • Socialism in action:
  • I'd forgotten how ambitious Click Clock Wood was. Or maybe I was just callow and unobservant when I last played Banjo Kazooie.
  • How to evolve a totally awesome bicycle:
  • -- Tom Chick's "10 most overrated games of 2008." The list itself is interesting, but the opening image sells it.
  • Largely due to the iPod, UI designers now favor pathological simplicity even when the result is worse than the old standard. Thanks, Apple!

Dec 10th, 2008

  • Elaborated on my admiration for Click Clock Wood here:
  • This just in: human circadian rhythms are 24 hours, not a sadistic 25+ hours as early investigations showed.
  • -- for when you *need* those extra 7 bytes over what tinyurl gives you.
  • Hot, the Penny Arcade guys are doing another D&D session podcast. With Wil Wheaton this time. (Can't link to it because it doesn't exist)
  • Been playing this freeware, Metroid-inspired platform shooter for about half an hour. It's good.
  • Oh, and to be clear, that last was *not* about Cave Story. Though it's awesome too. Play it first, in fact.
  • NBC's trying to keep Jay Leno. We could've been rid of him! He tried to leave! I hate myself for caring about this.

Dec 11th, 2008

  • @sugigrl I think it's settled that Conan gets the Tonight Show and the 11:30pm timeslot. But they're giving Leno a different show at 10pm.
  • Man, check out the diction on Young MC over here. "Neato" rhymed with "libido" and "tuxedo!"
  • -- Scrabble for Nintendo DS beats 8-year-old by playing "fuckers" on a triple score tile.
  • Odd to pay attention to Billy Joel since acquiring my own songwriting experience. His arrangement and use of harmony are particularly good.
  • I can't believe I was ever convinced by the synth helicopter in "Goodnight Saigon."
  • Okay, so he named the song after the boat in the song, and he named the boat in the song after his daughter, who he named after Ray Charles.

Dec 12th, 2008

  • "[You're] able to shape being from non-being at the subatomic level, and the first thing you decide to make is AIDS." --
  • -- Right now this is effectively an extremely expensive, heavy, and poor-quality camera. But it reads your mind!
  • Re Tycho's stance on Home: scarcity isn't bad per se. Scarcity is at the foundation of gaming. The catch is, they *weren't* making a game.
  • -- Retail version of Prince of Persia (2008) to have no DRM at all... but they seem to be down on the idea?
  • -- Ever felt like cracking open a bunch of crates from the warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark?
  • My favorites so far: "1994 and 1995 U.S. tax returns for the current Pope, showing a home address in Long Island." and "A fur sink."
  • I have new favorites now but they're too long to paste.

Dec 13th, 2008

  • -- The only indie game I can think of where the lack of a windowed mode didn't annoy the hell out of me.
  • As a big fan of both the platforming and writing in Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, I'm really disappointed with the new Prince of Persia.
  • "Blackbird is a web browser designed for the African-American community." -- Black people from Europe need not apply.
  • -- Cryonics is cheaper than you think.

Dec 14th, 2008

  • -- Insulated container for vitrified you. No need for electricity, just keep the liquid nitrogen tanks full.
  • (Yes, I'm taking this stuff seriously)

Dec 15th, 2008

  • -- Fair point: PoP for PC would be a more convincing no-DRM test if it weren't A) an archetypal console game and B) shit.
  • I just 5-starred "Won't Get Fooled Again" on drums. For the first time, I'm sad that you can't import "Run To The Hills" into Rock Band 2.
  • -- Alex, your sumo bot competition entrant's final boss.

Dec 16th, 2008

  • -- I wonder if the bot waving the flags about is doing so to confuse its opponent; they're the same color as the edge.
  • Would you let a transhuman AI out of its box, even if you'd resolved not to because it was unsafe? This just in: yes.
  • If I can't be a steampunk dwarf, I want to be Dancin' Voldo when I grow up.
  • -- It might just be worthwhile to go listen to a few 1up Network podcasts so you can enjoy this. Try and see!

Dec 17th, 2008

  • -- XKCD is particularly good today.
  • Corporate America wises up: "Employers specifically instruct [recruiters] not to send them World of Warcraft players."

Dec 18th, 2008

  • Free Radical shuts down. Tragic lesson: never sign up to do a platform exclusive before knowing the cost of the platform.
  • ... and by cost I mean both cost to consumer *and* development cost. How many more careers will the PS3 end before it's satisfied?
  • -- Posit: The NSA sucks at anticipating terrorists because it spent 50 years learning to anticipate the USSR instead.
  • -- Steven Spielberg in talks about Oldboy remake, starring Will Smith. Buh?

Dec 19th, 2008

  • Hups, I booked my flight to San Diego out of the wrong airport. Luckily, SFO isn't *that* much further away; I can deal.
  • Prototyping algorithms in Python is making me wonder why I ever chose Flash for my current project. Everything gets done so *fast*.

Dec 20th, 2008

  • New theory on self-improving AI: it destroys us all *by default*. Moore's Law is ticking, guys, solve these N very hard problems, will you?

Dec 21st, 2008

  • "Luigi is useful precisely because of who he isn't, [which] allowed Nintendo's EAD team to explore new types of gameplay"
  • -- "The ambush and galaxy-wide hangar theft [cost] upwards of 30 billion ISK -- $16,500 US dollars at's prices."
  • Hell, I forgot to bring a checkbook with me to San Diego, and I'm not going to get back to El Cerrito in time to mail off a rent check.
  • My bank just forced "security questions" on me. Now you don't need my password to empty my account, just my dog's name. Thanks, Wells Fargo!
  • -- Glorious Flash sendup of achievement systems.

Dec 22nd, 2008

  • Perusing the data files for Disney Interactive's ATV-racer "Pure," we find this NSFW gem: - Full list:
  • -- Braid is finally coming to PC, in February or March. If you have platforming and puzzle solving literacy, *play this*.
  • @blindjimmy I don't think the new podcast exists yet. They mentioned it a couple weeks ago as a project they were about to start on.

Dec 23rd, 2008

Dec 24th, 2008

  • -- Here I bemoan the state of game culture by positing an alternate universe in which the film industry makes only porn.
  • -- "Apes that write, start fires and play Pac-Man"
  • -- Your opportunity to support art-not-fun videogame culture. Play the PC version first if you like:
  • "You can develop for the iPhone on Windows but you need a Mac to compile the binary." -- I wonder if the Mac LC in my closet will work.
  • -- Washington Post infographic comparing slot machine security policy to electronic voting machine security policy.

Dec 25th, 2008

  • -- "In the end, the human species was simply marketed out of existence."
  • Actually, maybe I should hold off on the apocalypse treatises today.

Dec 26th, 2008

  • Someone should inform the ANSI committee governing the height of showerheads that the average human height has risen since the 19th century.

Dec 27th, 2008

Dec 28th, 2008

Dec 29th, 2008

  • -- Little drummer bot is growing up; he's a fair bit smarter and a lot less cute. Previously:
  • Magnet poetry on Elena's fridge: between serious shopping have that love child!
  • -- Someone more respectable than myself addresses the topic of why games repel the mainstream.
  • -- Financial corruption in the medical industry. Conclusion: you can't trust clinical research, or your doctor. Hunh.
  • -- Code Monkey played on a ukulele. The rock arrangements Coulton prefers never seemed appropriate for his songwriting.

Dec 30th, 2008

  • Magnetic poetry on Elena's fridge: apple cycle to the moon!
  • has been a top Google match for "earlobe cyst" for years, but not until today have I received personal mail about someone's boil
  • -- Leap second tomorrow at 4pm PST! I've been meaning to blink for a while now, but just couldn't find the time.

Dec 31st

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