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october microblog digest
minutiae Posted 2009-11-02 18:02:03 by Jim Crawford
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Oct 1st

  • -- It's like Wario Ware, except after each microgame all of civilization is obliterated.
  • This just sounds like asking for trouble, when your line of code gets optimized away or factored out somewhere:
  • I think for "House of Leaves" I may have to find another occasion to read than in bed right before I go to sleep.
  • How do you play Rachmaninoff if your hands aren't big enough? You invent.

Oct 2nd

  • More by the "I Will Survive" and the "Rachmaninoff Had Big Hands" guys. Consistently brilliant musical comedy:
  • As we improve, as a race, at manipulating emotions and senses, it becomes our responsibility, as a race, to not manipulate in harmful ways.
  • One day I hope we start to address how video games produce infantilized adults, instead of how they [don't actually] produce violent kids.
  • (And I do mean specifically "how" -- you can't make a new medium go away. Wasteful if you succeed, and stupid because you won't succeed.)
  • Starting point: the most fun games are the worst offenders. Something "the most" of anything got there at the expense of every other virtue.
  • "[In the midst of the Mexican drug war] over a dozen prominent Mexican musicians connected to the narcocorrido genre were murdered."
  • Narco-corrido is for serious: -- Looking at this history, I'm surprised it took so long for gangsta rap to emerge.
  • Gonna be in San Diego from Friday the 23rd to Sunday the 1st. Plan accordingly!
  • Pov cam of skier buried in avalanche, then rescued:

Oct 3rd

Oct 4th

  • Hm, after discovering how to set and restore the undo point, the Kaossilator loop function is suddenly a lot more functional.
  • Hm. The math allows for *subtracting* the undo buffer from the loop buffer, which would allow evolution instead of just endless layering.
  • This feature is so obvious that I'm certain it must exist, and yet I can't find evidence of it anywhere.
  • Tim Schafer was on Tonight With Jimmy Fallon to promote Brutal Legend, paving the way for other game designers:

Oct 5th

  • -- Wait, so the Disney game Warren Spector is working on is *called* "Epic Mickey"? That's not just a working title?

Oct 6th

  • If there's only one dish I like at a particular restaurant, sometimes I order something else just so they don't start to guess what I want.
  • -- Even if I didn't enjoy this, there'd still be something majestic about each band member hitting their marks properly.
  • -- "Soderbergh?s commentary with Lem Dobbs on The Limey is something special, a heated feature-length argument."

Oct 7th

  • On my jog I developed a craving for Del Taco a hamburger. Del Taco specifically. What is happening? Could it be a bovine hormone deficiency?
  • @westquote They're actually the best thing on the menu. Better than the microwave quesadillas and gravel-filled tacos, anyways.
  • Chimerism in apples:

Oct 8th

  • In Mike Uyama's commentary track for his Castle Crashers speed run, he sings the entirety of "Ol' Man River" during the river level.
  • "Emergence" is simple rules leading to interesting behavior. "Interesting" means extending the human mind's internal model of the universe.
  • Emergent rule sets are then similar to the rules of reality -- as judged by unconscious pattern matching that the human brain has evolved.
  • Classic Doom maps in the Doom 3 engine:
  • @westquote Compelling. So long as you don't end up trying to sell a game that people can effectively play on MAME for free.
  • Randall Munroe knows what true horror is:

Oct 9th

  • OkCupid's data mining blog is pretty fascinating:
  • -- "This is not that Jack Black. This is the Jack Black you remember wanting to see more of in High Fidelity."

Oct 10th

  • @pnewnan !
  • Some information is expressed in dilation of the pupil, but when people say "the eyes are the window to the soul," they mean the eye-*lids*.
  • If one of the symptoms of Korsakoff's syndrome is wanting to write an angry email to the level designer, Korsakovia totally nailed it.
  • -- If you don't have control of your data, you have no idea how susceptible it is to single point of failure.

Oct 11th

  • Found the unprocessed classical guitar part from "wud" lying around on my drive. That's going on the next album for sure. "Smush Unplugged!"
  • -- "Which is easier to understand: Google Wave or The Health Care Reform Bill?" "Wave or Combinatorial Game Theory?"
  • Pathologic developer Icepick Lodge's follow-up might be good as well as important! That would be nice.
  • -- "Weather Geeks Champion New Armageddon-Worthy Cloud"
  • @westquote Google already has an IM client.

Oct 12th

  • "Wargamers strive to capture the experience of commanding a real, historical army while wearing a T-shirt printed in 1982"
  • Oh mans, Borland made a Turbo C#. The name itself is almost enough to get me to use it.
  • Talking with Elena about forming a book club of sorts to re-read "A Fire Upon the Deep." Any takers? (Still gathering data, no promises.)
  • @chrisjhampton I'd hit it.
  • @chrisjhampton That only works if nobody already knew your neighbor's crib existed.
  • This is what the future was like:

Oct 13th

  • Awesome birthday gift idea: "I wrote this song to play at your funeral." That should work for everybody, right?
  • At first I was thinking "wedding," but that's not as good because the recipient might not ever get married.
  • Brutal Legend is out today: I can't play it, due to a busted 360, but *you* can. For me? For your old buddy Jim?
  • -- How'd we get from "possible perception [e.g. photon bouncing off] alters state" to "perception per se alters state"?
  • Sometimes additional difference in degree is how you *get* a difference in kind. Sometimes there are fuzzy in-between states. Sorry!
  • Oh frabjous day, Twitter finally has a button for marking one of your followers as a spammer.

Oct 14th

  • -- Can you really call this "rape" when you have to click through a 22-foot EULA to consent to it?
  • "Yes" means "yes." People are complicated, but the rules have to be simple, or we can't expect anybody to understand enough to follow them.
  • -- I've heard higher, from an adult male even, but never with enough control to be usable in a musical context.

Oct 16th

  • -- This explains everything!
  • -- "Futurist composer Luigi Russolo constructed special hand-cranked instruments ..." This is tonight. Anybody want to go?
  • Aw man, I thought I had something, but Googling for "MC Wren" gets 2400 hits. "W-R-E-N spells Wren but I'm raw"
  • I love Jon Stewart as much as the next post-libertarian, but when the audience cheers at a joke instead of laughing, I die a little inside.
  • Just found a ridiculous glitch in Schism Tracker: when your sample is tuned to 7033hz, J07 plays an augmented 5th for some root notes.
  • -- *Five days* to learn how to play "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"? That's like 1.6 days per note!
  • Milestone hit: by certain standards, the new Smush album is ready. By mine, I'm going to sit on it and polish for another few months.

Oct 17th

  • Everyone knows Elvis was killed by fan blades. Facts are emerging, however, suggesting a more complicated cause of death:
  • New old Smush tune; second completed VI.ONE project:
  • -- Yeah? Looked more like a B-movie-caliber excuse to imply rape, to me. (Because literal rape isn't permitted under M.)
  • "An honorable attempt, nub McCarthy is daunting got film." Halp, Roger Ebert has been replaced by MegaHal.
  • Nobody really loves golf, right? If they did, they'd run excitedly after the ball instead of just ambling.

Oct 18th

  • Huh, I thought Homestar Runner was dead, but it turns out only the RSS feed was dead!
  • Taking pretty much every combat mechanic but movement from Dead Space, DS: Extraction is the most tactically-involved rail shooter I've met.
  • If you watch TV, I blame you personally for this:
  • The rise of the animated gif:

Oct 19th

  • Schism Tracker still hasn't fixed the bug that swaps the meaning of "vibrato speed" and "vibrato rate." (Yes, I reported this bug. In 2007.)
  • -- The tables are turned!
  • -- "Fugitive caught after updating his status on Facebook." Nothing you put on the Internet is private or temporary.
  • -- Hrm. Maybe I won't bother with Superfreakonomics after all.
  • Remember when Activision reps were claiming Guitar Hero 5 was outselling The Beatles Rock Band two to one? Not so much:
  • I wonder whether my phone was deliberately designed to dissipate the shock of impact by letting the battery pop loose.
  • Being short is now a medical condition:
  • Easily-scannable list of of TED talks:

Oct 20th

  • Photographs of very small things:
  • -- Ten years from now I bet the Korg DS-10 will have a full symphony orchestra and still just a 16-step loop sequencer.
  • Question for those of you who remember being cognizant of music in 1969: what would you have thought of this?
  • Context: Switched-On Bach was released in 1968; The Chipmunk Song (possibly the first instance of Musique Concrete on the Hot 100) in 1958.
  • Synesthesia:
  • If I send you links, I've likely sent you awesome Jason Scott links. Help Jason Scott make more awesome Jason Scott links:

Oct 21st

  • Election night testosterone infographic:
  • On a regular basis now, Google asks me if I meant X, gives me a full page of results for X, and doesn't even mention my actual request.
  • 360 is back. Time from breakage to fixed and back in my hands: three weeks. Minus three or four days I was too lazy to ship it out.

Oct 22nd

  • Alice Cooper's guitarist got his tuning pegs caught on onstage netting, couldn't work it loose. Finished the song playing like that.
  • Rock Band and Rock Band 2 with all instruments for $80, shipping included:
  • I wonder if there are old school telecom employees still designing modem handshake tones in their free time. They'd be pretty epic by now.
  • -- "Kids never sell enough seeds to win guns. So we still have them all. Think about that."

Oct 23rd

  • I'm looking at Google Wave. Who are all these people I don't know in my contact list, and how do I tell them to go away? Wave is confusing.
  • "Settings" is a conversation? Do I set individual options by replying to it, like it's a command line? Wave is confusing.
  • I have an unread message I can't find anywhere, even in the "all" folder. Maybe there's a "really all" folder somewhere? Wave is confusing.
  • Once upon a time there was a setting to not send text as I type. Now the settings are "under construction." And that's how legends are born!
  • Dog restrainer, 1940:

Oct 24th

  • Atari 2600 demo by Trilobit:
  • "Certified Pre-Owned!" That's a relief. You know, half of these places, the stuff they sell you was never owned by *anyone*.

Oct 26th

  • -- What's the worst-case outcome for the future of humanity? (Hint: not death.) What costs must we pay to prevent it?
  • I'm especially fascinated by this idea: "Indifferent AIs could create enormous suffering by simulating all possible universes, for example."
  • If I wrote a program to iterate through all possible images (or videos), could I be prosecuted under child pornography laws?
  • More generally, if you do all possible things, then you haven't made any decisions. So can your actions truly be judged as moral or immoral?
  • The new Facebook news feed has the stench of elegantly adhering to data models that nobody but the developers understands.
  • Found my flosser; it was wrapped up inside my twisted headphone cord.
  • Programming is much less like math and much more like science than it was 20 years ago:
  • Girls Only:

Oct 27th

  • I just realized, I'm grabbing this PC remake of Pitfall 2 off of a Geocities site. Geocities shuts down in six minutes PST.
  • The secret truth about the dungeons in The Legend of Zelda:
  • "I got a perfect score, took a picture, and the photo only shoed the sun reflection on the screen" -- I think that's how King Lear ended :(
  • @fistfulofsand You can't afford NOT TO!

Oct 28th

  • -- I'd love to talk to a Facebook app developer to determine exactly what sort of privacy violations the API allows.
  • You need two free hands to put trash in a trash can with a lid, but only one free hand to drop trash on the floor next to it.
  • This almost certainly qualifies as NSFW:
  • David Shute's "Small Worlds" has to be the distilled essence of the exploration/mystery reward cycle:
  • A Boy And His Blob (2009) is a charming puzzle platformer. It's no A Boy And His Blob (1989), which is both good and bad.
  • The original evoked a childlike sense of wonder and exploration, starting by revealing a network of treasure-filled caverns below your home.
  • The new A Boy And His Blob has a level-based metastructure, with minimal exploration and world-building. But it's still the better *game*.
  • Can the US media report responsibly on game narrative involving soldiers massacring civilians? We'll soon find out:
  • I hate to break it to you, but your game would probably be way better without boss fights.
  • Yes, you, the one making a shmup or old-school platformer, I *do* mean you. If you're making a boss rush game, I'm open to negotiation.

Oct 30th

  • Had my new phone for a couple days and it hasn't fucked me over yet, which is more than I can say for most new tech I try.
  • [Insert lazy meta-joke here.]
  • I think someone dipped my beard in sugar water while I was sleeping.
  • Making a list of smart-hacker-kid keywords for Michael-Ann to scan resumes for. (Yes, that's her real name.) BSD, Haskell, Scheme, GDB...
  • So far the candidate resumes she's sent me have been corporate types with military backgrounds and keywords like CORBA, SOAP and Enterprise.
  • I dropped a plastic sword in a costume shop and tried to catch it with my foot. I would make a terrible medieval infantryman.
  • I'm surprised, with the mainstreaming of WoW and Lord of the Rings, at the lack of high-fantasy-themed costumes available. No elves or orcs.
  • They were also selling bags of rubber "broken glass." Now I want some gummi broken glass.
  • Dog pirate costume: "Yo ho ho and a bottle of aspirin." Amusing, but is there something I don't know about dogs and painkillers?
  • Huh, milk glands are specialized sweat glands. I wonder how unlikely a mutation it would take for one to sweat milk all over one's body.

Oct 31st

  • Disappointing dearth of vampire imagery at the blood bank today.
  • Jesus, did I just see Dr. Dre in a soda commercial? I stop watching TV for a few years and the whole world goes to hell in a handbasket.
  • Booting up "Ju-on: Haunted House Simulator." Hoping beyond hope that the subtitle is literal and it's not just another survival horror game.
  • Unfortunately, it has a mechanic where your flashlight batteries run out and you have to replace them or, presumably, you die in the dark.
  • Then you have to go replay all the scary surprises that were only surprising once. On a scale from one to fruit, I give it an artichoke.
  • Never saw the movie, but do people keep re-opening doors that the anemic kids pop from behind? Because that's what I keep having to do here.
  • I think I'm losing my conviction that knowing any given fact is good per se.
  • It always bugged me that drugs on Wikipedia have whole sections with respect to human biology. As if the entire site were secretly about us.
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