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Ugh, stop twitching
september microblog digest
minutiae Posted 2009-10-02 13:37:21 by Jim Crawford
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Sep 1st

  • Reverse-engineering H1N1:
  • I like how FishBot has a confirmation on the opt out request. "Are you *sure* you want me to stop smashing your face with a hammer?"
  • Waxen Kurt Cobain stars in Bizarro-world League of Extraordinary Gentlemen:
  • Leafing through April 1997 Nintendo Power I grabbed from a box marked "free." Hey, here's a 6-page Super Metroid speed run guide!

Sep 2nd

  • Trying to do sound design; need to fix this headphone buzz. Maybe I could mix to complement the buzz and finalize by micing the headphones.
  • 455 products tagged "WTF" on Amazon: -- Inflatable toast! Tempting, but I'll wait for the jar of spreadable Nanobees.
  • Groove quantize is really playing hell with my sextuplets.

Sep 3rd

  • Viacom losing money on Rock Band due to the expense of peripherals: So why do they keep selling new hardware versions?
  • @pnewnan Can't just be any stripe, though. You have to calibrate the width and color saturation, or the albedo will screw with your airflow.
  • -- Yoshi's Island is an amazingly happy game. How did the SNES hardware render this much happiness at full framerate?

Sep 4th

  • -- A week of information on Ron Gilbert's "DeathSpank." There's a nice LucasArts developer reunion video in there.
  • -- No natural force of evolution could've produced this. The whole time, he has to be thinking "I shouldn't be!"

Sep 5th

  • Woman in front of me shifted her head and my reptile brain interpreted it as a falling object. Almost tried to reach out and grab her.
  • -- Oh, they're sliding a new piece of the Bay Bridge this weekend. No wonder BART was so crowded on Friday.

Sep 6th

  • Rereading Alan W. Pollack's "Notes On" series in anticipation of The Beatles: Rock Band. My music theory is much more robust than last time.
  • Hah, "This Boy" shares a chord progression with "Yoshi's Island Athletic Theme."
  • Oh, not quite. I vi ii V vs. I V/ii ii V. For reference: and
  • -- I think the solution here is clearly to use a globe.
  • -- Oh man, if you look at the sheet music for this, he's actually improvising heavily even on sight-read.

Sep 7th

  • "Would not all this attention to salt be inexplicable, unless [...]" MARK KURLANSKY PLEASE LERN 2 RITE.
  • I wonder whether Mr. Rickenbocker knew that his name was so similar to an existing guitar brand when he named the company after himself.
  • The Beatles: Rock Band nicked the unpause countdown from Guitar Hero. High-fives to Neversoft for a nick going in that direction!

Sep 8th

Sep 9th

Sep 10th

  • @thealawson It's this delicately-balanced set of values I fear losing most via the inevitable cognition-enhancing drugs and/or surgery.
  • Braid is $5 on Steam. This is one of those game that even lapsed gamers should still play. (Never-gamers will have a hard time with it.)
  • @thealawson I wouldn't call it your innards specifically. The balance is part of the human experience. Have you read A Deepness in the Sky?
  • Hups! My name shows up as "Jim Jrawford" on the backers list in the "Kind of Bloop" liner notes.
  • @thealawson I got your metaphor. Re ADITS, it's a big book and I don't know if you'd be into all of it, but life balance is a strong theme.
  • 55 years after his death, Alan Turing gets an apology:
  • $260 for The Beatles Remastered? $300 for the mono boxed set? I bet the mono set wasn't even remastered. I bet it was only mastered once!
  • Also, here's something they don't want you to know: the redbook audio format doesn't support mono, so that mono boxed set? Actually stereo.

Sep 11th

  • @thealawson I know what you mean. In my case, being productive and relaxing are both very interior, and being social is a third leg of sorts
  • @thealawson Also, if I spill past even one tweet I feel I like I'm abusing the medium. But I don't usually go elsewhere until I hit three.
  • @fistfulofsand Didn't you get my link to "The 2009-2014 World Outlook for Frozen Meat Lasagna"?
  • @thealawson Man, Twitter sucks at discussion. Looking back at our conversation, I feel like I could only hint at the edges of what I meant.
  • How do you advertise low-budget 1980s sci-fi and horror movies to residents of Ghana?
  • Placebos are getting more effective, and pharmaceutical companies are struggling to keep up:
  • "The durndest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and then return and love some more and get a little lovin' right back."

Sep 12th

  • What's your morning ritual? Mine: roll out of bed, check email, make coffee, check RSS feeds, check work email.
  • Craig Timpany has been doing some fascinating game design prototypes based around spheres and gravity:
  • post: "The Psychological Ramifications of Sampling a Friend."
  • In case you needed convincing to take advantage of the $5 Braid deal this weekend: -- "Forever is Composed of Nows."
  • Drawings of everybody in New York:

Sep 13th

  • Beatles outtakes/bootlegs always come in FLAC. Because you so need bit-perfect duplication on a recording that's 12 analog generations old.

Sep 14th

Sep 15th

  • -- "An American flying hunter-killer robot assassin rebelled against its human controllers above Afghanistan on Sunday"
  • -- Man, remember when Activision was a brand associated with quality and innovation? (Hint: it was the early 1980s.)

Sep 16th

  • If you are making a game employing variable reinforcement schedules to reward compulsive play, you are doing evil. Yes, every CRPG counts.
  • Printing handcuff keys:

Sep 17th

  • Was I actually getting phantom stabbing pains simultaneously in my right ear and shoulder last night, keeping me awake, or did I dream that?
  • Ow! Nope, they were real. Unless this is still a dream, and you'd know that better than me.
  • Wonder if it's a spatial thing, like my proprioception is merging these body parts for purposes of pain because they're close to each other.
  • Telltale is giving away the first episode of Tales of Monkey Island on Talk Like a Pirate Day:

Sep 18th

Sep 19th

  • The sporadic shooting pain in my ear and shoulder has pretty much stopped, and I didn't have to do anything at all. Checkmate, medicine!
  • Sony is rebranding The Beatles Rock Band as a Singstar product: That's *weird*! Like playing a Sonic game on a Nintendo.

Sep 20th

  • Hm. No more shooting pains in ear/shoulder, but now I'm getting them in the pinky that's been slightly crooked since a rat bit it in 2001.
  • @alyankovic Damn it, I had popcorn ready and everything.
  • The state of video game journalism circa 2009:
  • @pnewnan Try plotting a chart from before that article existed to now. I've been running linear regressions all day, and the trend is clear.

Sep 21st

  • -- Great marketing campaign. Might as well put up a sign: "You must be [this] pathetic to enjoy Ninja Gaiden Sigma."
  • Team Ninja's done this before. One of the DOA3 ads was of guys on a couch scrambling for pillows to hide their erections. This could be you!
  • Inferring friendship from mobile phone location data:
  • Man, my roommate keeps baking delicious treats and offering them to me. I'm trying to meet a calorie quota here!
  • - My analog synth tropism is flaring up again. I have software that's way more powerful; why do I need something tactile?
  • "The G?mb?c logo (2cm high) is engraved on both sides." -- Hey, this thing was supposed to be convex!

Sep 22nd

  • The Korg Kaossilator is only $150 on Amazon. Sold! One of these days I *am* just gonna have to get something with a bunch of knobs, though.
  • I say lots of UIs are the worst ever, but the Xbox 360 Media Center might actually be it. Can't even suss out how cursor manipulation works.
  • Ogg Vorbis files show up as videos, and error out when you hit play. Try to close the error, and it opens an unlabeled text input box.
  • And I could've used text input when trying to search! You can't use search with a controller; *that* interface explicitly requires a numpad.
  • The "pictures" section claims to contain 226 items, but all I can find is the empty directory structure of my MP3 folder and no pictures.
  • Oh, it *can* see the shared folders on my desktop PC. It just made me set up the Media Center service anyway, to prove to me who's boss.
  • Good thing I don't have Natal, or I'm sure it would've asked me to do the truffle shuffle too.
  • -- "Don?t leave unused code around because it might be useful someday. Even just sitting there, it?s costing you."
  • No surprise, retailers have a problem with the PSPgo. Why help sell the razors when you aren't in on the blades?

Sep 23rd

Sep 24th

  • Homemade ice cream is delicious. The inside of my mouth feels like I just ate a stick of butter.
  • It's looking more and more like the C++0x standardization team might have to change the preliminary name of their project.

Sep 25th

  • -- "Shipping is a feature. A really important feature. Your product must have it."
  • So I told my doctor about the ear/shoulder pain thing, and my proxy pain theory, and he said he had no fucking idea. In about as many words.
  • -- Latest fMRI results: the salmon is judging your social interactions as you grill it.

Sep 26th

  • Blowing up your one-line ASCII art, with Figlet:
  • Carl Sagan in song form: -- Can't decide whether this being awesome adds life to the overt-autotune meme or shortens it.
  • I haven't seen the film, but this may be the finest documentary poster ever:
  • Bear Armor Guy is now designing a Halo suit for the Canadian military: (Does the Canadian military know about this?)
  • You know how synths have show floor presets, awesome sounds, fun to play, but impossible to mix into music? The Kaossilator is *just* those.
  • New Smush tune, inspired by Monkey Island: I don't feel like it's actually done, but I'm not sure where to go with it.
  • @thealawson It's not technically impossible, and I intend to do it. But they're designed to dominate the sonic space, not fit into a mix.

Sep 27th

  • -- Theory: the Half-Life 2 G-Man is metaphor for the game designer, guiding events while maintaining the facade for you.
  • Back from Folsom St. Fair. Tamer than led to believe. Awesome like Comic-Con is: subculture allowed to go wild because the normals are away.
  • All that bare skin meant lots of exposed pimples. I kept wanting to run up and say "hey, can I get that for you?"

Sep 28th

  • @RareLtd I got Blast Corps used, couldn't figure out how to reset the save. Long story short: Diamond Sands was the first level I finished.
  • "For years, I have made the joke about Richard Reid: 'Just be glad that he wasn't the underwear bomber.'" Joke's over:
  • -- If you're unfamiliar, The Protomen make albums that are essentially rock operas set in the Mega Man universe.
  • There's a guy on a walkie-talkie right outside my bedroom window. Nobody's ever back there, what's going on here?
  • I remember back when I lived on the second floor, a repair man knocking on the window while I was napping and asking me to close the blinds.
  • Walkie-talkie guy has gone into stealth mode. I still hear footsteps. I'm sure he's trying desperately to stifle a sneeze as we speak.
  • There aren't enough single-screen platformers around. After 1985, every platformer had to scroll the same way every game has to be 3D now.

Sep 29th

  • Bats don't have time to stop and drink:
  • Me: "svn revert shares-behind" SVN: "Skipped 'shares-behind'" Okay, um. But I didn't want you to skip it. I wanted you to not skip it.

Sep 30th

  • My 360 suicided, but it's *not* a red ring. Take that, Sony Defense Force!
  • Stuck in Zork? Like prog rock? It's your lucky day:
  • Decided to play Left 4 Dead twenty minutes ago. Steam is still updating. This is why people don't do PC gaming any more.
  • Hooray, the launcher finally launched. Now all I have to do is wait another 20 minutes for the game itself to update.
  • The high point of owning a Kaossilator has been watching my friends lose respect for lame techno acts. So worth it!
  • post on the parallel between BDSM and game design, awkwardly segued into experiential design decisions:
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