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march 2010 microblog digest
minutiae Posted 2010-04-07 01:21:29 by Jim Crawford
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(Two in a row, uh oh.)

Mar 1st

  • Checked in code for patch selection, output logging, plus limiter, rectifier, clipper, stereo field rotate and slew limiter modules.
  • Sony says: don't turn on your PS3.
  • -- "In 2002, Coverity commercialized a research static bug-finding tool." And then wrote about the pitfalls for CACM.
  • Super Monkey Ball branding on these bananas. Somehow that's weirder than the Dole branding on the in-game bananas.
  • The PS3 clock bug prevents users from connecting to PSN. Um. I hope you can flash the firmware from a thumb drive or a disc then.
  • I so want to play this nonexistent Metroid-themed Dwarf Fortress clone for the DS:

Mar 2nd

  • Activision sends thugs to put the fear of God into Infinity Ward employees:
  • (And just as Kotick was rehabilitating his image by publicly shit-talking Neversoft, too:
  • The Arcadia map from Bioshock, made into a Doom map by the designer of the Arcadia map from Bioshock:
  • @sugigrl -- You get what you ask for!
  • What's up with maximum password lengths? Your hash output has a fixed length, and if you're storing the password in plaintext, you lose.

Mar 3rd

  • I've been half-heartedly looking for a good IRC client for a long time. Unexpectedly,'s browser-based client is the best so far.
  • (Yes, that means if you keep a browser window open, you don't need to install an IRC client to join us on #w6.)
  • Why do people put musical instruments in my suitcase before going to sleep next to my suitcase? It's like a prank, except on themselves.
  • Remember the bit from Batman Whatsit, "If you're good at something, never do it for free"? People at Black's Beach are no good at nakedness.

Mar 4th

  • Tim Rogers enumerates every single thing that sucks about Japan, culturally:
  • Oh, hey, they updated Portal's ending, too:
  • -- "Most of Activision's revenue comes from 3 games." And the more money you make for them, the more trouble you're in.
  • Neversoft: public humiliation. Infinity Ward: fired. Blizzard: firing squad?
  • What went right: "firing squad" evokes dictatorship effectively. What went wrong: too similar to "fired." Also considered "the five pains."
  • -- "2 a.m. to 4 a.m.: Learn Spanish. (Note: Not 'Elf Spanish' like last time.)"

Mar 5th

  • If you make egg salad with vegenaise it's totally vegan egg salad, right?
  • 1. Govt is explicitly for important things that Capitalism sucks at. 2. Keeping rampant Capitalism in check is important. 3. ??? 4. Profit!
  • Portal 2 announced. Certain letters underlined in the announcement. The game is afoot *again*.
  • Switching 2D for first-person in Metroid Other M, does Samus yell "I've had it with this motherfucking combat on this motherfucking plane"?
  • Portal 2 is going to have co-op; be $50. Can't think of a time I've been so pleased to hear that a product was more expensive than expected.
  • Back from the crossover waltz session. So there's *another* awesome hobby I need to somehow fit into my life.

Mar 6th

  • Checked in .wav reader and sample playback module. With parameterized loop points for exciting phase-shifting opportunities!
  • -- "Robot Unicorn Attack." Canabalt clones don't usually need a life system, but this one does because of the music.
  • Any invention apparently enabled by a new tool was probably invented half a century ago on that tool's precursor:
  • -- I hope to see these in every conference room.
  • Synth binary of the latest revision: Bad piano sample included to demonstrate sampler module.
  • Jason makes a good point: Bioshock asks you to care about "children," but Bioshock 2 asks you to care about *your* child.
  • The grapple and parachute mechanics in the Just Cause 2 demo are pretty amazing.

Mar 7th

  • With the vibrant indie community we have nowadays I don't know why corporations are still paying ad agencies to make bad Flash games.
  • Ubisoft's DRM server is down. You know what they say: when you Assassin's Creed 2 pirates, only pirates will play Assassin's Creed 2.
  • Number sequences performed as music: -- Can't be less interesting than serial composition, amirite?
  • Yep, Anton Webern totally could've written this. I recommend listening with the instrument set to "orchestra hit."
  • If I'd been in charge of Just Cause 2's QA, when a sweet jump was ruined by a tree or rock, the tree or rock would be gone by the next build
  • -- Make sure you upgrade to IE7 (5 on Mac) before adding this to your dining room set.

Mar 8th

  • How the British Empire misplaced the cure to scurvy for 50 years:
  • First commercially-available brain-computer interface:
  • Just *think* about needing a picture of the human scrotum, and Ritchiex will magically appear:
  • The Nintendo DS's kinda-sorta better-than-nothing answer to the Kindle and the Nook:
  • -- The ST-01 sample set is still going to be resonating in my skull a thousand years from now.

Mar 9th

  • -- I'm pretty sure the question respondents are *actually* answering here is "Who would I rather have sex with?"
  • Effort shock: "Accomplishing worthwhile things isn't just a little harder than people think; it?s 10 or 20 times harder."
  • Back from San Diego, if anyone wants to make plans. Come on, guys, are you going to let the San Diego plan-makers get the best of you?

Mar 10th

  • Aw man, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand only has *online* co-op. That diminishes its coffee-table game value considerably.
  • Why we can't just expect existing software to play well with 3D glasses:
  • PB Winterbottom's developers should've paid less attention to Braid's menu aesthetics and more to Braid's utter lack of loading or UI bloat.
  • Anna Anthropy's "Redder" is the game I wish Monuments of Mars had been:

Mar 11th

  • Monkey Island 2 Special Edition announced. Looks like maybe they're backing down on changing the protagonist's name to "Forehead Boy."
  • A reminder for those of you dismissing Prince of Persia as another inevitably terrible video game movie: Jordan Mechner wrote this one.
  • No wonder the dryer didn't take this quarter: it's actually a 10 franc coin. I guess coming in a roll of quarters doesn't qualify it.
  • *Whoa*. 422k 360s sold in February, and 397k Wiis. What happened?

Mar 12th

  • Chip music requires precision that MIDI doesn't provide. If you make chip with a traditional MIDI sequencer, you're asking for punishment.
  • The customer "liking it" is no justification for doing harm, especially when you know better than they do. Take some fucking responsibility.
  • Maybe cheap, manipulative game mechanics like rare drops will go the way of cheesy chord progressions. (I.e. the backbone of most pop hits.)
  • On the other hand, cheesy chord progressions don't compel Koreans to listen nonstop until they die of exhaustion. That's the E, right?
  • "Mosquito" means "little mosque," right?

Mar 14th

Mar 15th

  • Agnostic doesn't mean "can't prove no gods exist." Remember, if a probability dips below the probability you're sane, it's effectively zero.
  • Humanton on QT3 breaks down what's going to happen in social games over the next year:
  • I love wordplay, but I hate puns. Shit, I'd do a drive-by from here to Brooklyn.
  • Hey, my IP is banned from editing Wikipedia! Pretty sure my IP's changed since I added the picture of Cthulhu to "Dyatlov Pass Incident."
  • Yep, that was totally a different IP. I'm innocent of these charges!
  • Well, Wikipedia, you can go marry your typos if you love them so much.

Mar 16th

  • I owe $500 this year. I *should* be ecstatic about this, because it means I didn't give the IRS an interest-free loan all year.
  • Ulli's Roy Orbison In Clingfilm Website:
  • -- So is this traditional ghost garb in China or what?
  • -- "The relationship of player to game is like that of the archaeologist to the ruin. When we play, we excavate."
  • Really enjoying this: -- "Digital: A Love Story. A computer mystery/romance set five minutes into the future of 1988."

Mar 17th

  • Sorry Bandcamp, I don't care what awesome, paradigm-shifty upload technology you're using; I'm not disabling my antivirus software for you.
  • I'm surprised this file-transfer thing wasn't solved decades ago. Shouldn't there be some sort of standard "file transfer protocol" by now?
  • Reading digits from a hex dump over the phone would work too. I could just set up a text to speech deal to send them this 29mb .wav file.

Mar 18th

Mar 19th

  • Omega Five is one of those infuriating lifebar shmups: getting hit is no big deal, so they didn't bother to ensure you aren't hit unfairly.
  • Also, the protagonist is wearing lingerie *and* a cyborg monocle. Dudes, don't cross the streams!
  • -- Wonder how hard it'd be to find a YM2413 emulator. I bet SMS emulators just use OPL2 emulation with proper mixing.
  • -- "... an adder is not used to mix the channels; instead, the chip's DAC plays each channel one after the other."
  • Hey, remember the Milgram experiments? This French documentary establishes that Reality TV is equivalent to Fascism:
  • Today's bouldering session was fuck yes. I'm about ready to graduate to V1, which... is where the actual grading system starts, I think.

Mar 20th

  • Don't go bouldering two days in a row, no matter how awesome the first day was. At least not if you plan on holding anything soon after.
  • totally needs achievements. "Robbed ten houses." "Robbed houses in ten cities." "Robbed the same house ten times."

Mar 21st

  • Spent ~4 hours debugging with Indy today, figuring out why the synth was making sound on the iPhone simulator but not the actual hardware.
  • Stepped on a drinking glass while wearing socks. Glass destroyed; foot pristine. (If you don't count the blisters from climbing.)
  • If you're the person I was talking to about Shepard tones: "Lonesome Tears" is the Beck song that ends with a Shepard tone effect.
  • The "Sleep is Death" promo plays like that riddle where you're only confused because you assume all surgeons are male:
  • Interesting take from David Frum, blaming the health care bill on the Conservative Entertainment Industry:
  • -- You know how grandparents are at picking gifts.

Mar 22nd

  • 10 people named Hirokazu Tanaka sing about being named Hirokazu Tanaka: -- Written by the great Hirokazu Tanaka!
  • If I wrote a song about my name it'd probably be about when I Googled myself and found porn starring a gay lumberjack before my own blog.
  • --"For years, Viacom secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there."
  • The tone deaf really shouldn't be permitted to make novelty car horns:

Mar 23rd

  • -- Nintendo announces handheld with 3D display. No glasses. Huh. And analog sticks? Seems like a win?
  • -- TL;DR: It's much healthier to grow up surrounded by porn made by your peers rather than by heroin-addicted performers.
  • Added a bitcrusher to the synth. It sounds like shit! But in a bad way. Do bitcrushers tend to do anything hi-fi like dithering?

Mar 24th

  • -- The name says it all: "Twist and Shout in Swamp"
  • I loved this back in the day: All the abstraction and randomness of a ZZT map, but everything is custom, not ZZT parts.
  • "Insanity" also shows that you can get a wide range of interesting timbre out of the PC speaker, it's just nobody wanted to hear that shit.

Mar 25th

  • Ship a co-op mode, and including a quality game in the box is gravy.

Mar 26th

  • "The Laptop Gun will not bear close inspection; it will boot up, but the memory is a quarter of what it is ought to be."
  • @halsted Nice that we're at the stage where that's the major complaint rather than not being able to play together at all. Progress!
  • Added phase modulation to the sine oscillator. Turns out FM sound design is hard! (Pretty decent bass patch on my first try, though.)
  • Most of my FM experiments sound like every terrible OPL2 General MIDI patch ever. "Yeah, just call that sound 'steel drum' and ship it."

Mar 27th

  • -- Peter Molyneux: "Most of the designers I've worked with are now on heavy [psychiatric] medication."
  • -- Spy Party: asymmetrical two-player inverted Turing test, and exercise in extreme meta-gaming.

Mar 28th

  • Synth progress: Danny committed a working Droid build. I should really get a smartphone so I can start using this code as intended, huh?
  • "The kind of 50s-era first-contact story that Jonathan Swift might have written, if he'd had a background in game theory"
  • Wow. Photoshop CS5 is looking like a SIGGRAPH presentation:
  • Committed three drum patches: one synth-based with a distinct drum in each corner, one sample-based with same, one for tom fills.
  • I'm a total sucker for an interesting one-man band:
  • How do you make a hijab look totally hot? [NSFW domain name. I.e.: the picture's safe but the domain name isn't.]
  • -- "You have 10 seconds to redeem the humanity. Arrow keys: Run. Space: Do Jesus Things."

Mar 29th

  • I've been poking at this site for half an hour and it's still yielding new riches:
  • New weeks are nice. That fresh-start feeling without the downer of being a year closer to death.
  • -- Ninja Theory lost money on Heavenly Sword. What? If Sony wasn't making with the money hats, why was it PS3-exclusive?
  • Sony's remotely deleting the Linux partition from your PS3 come next patch:

Mar 30th

  • Sneak peek at the 3D technology behind the Nintendo 3DS:
  • What happens when you try to apply systems engineering principles to everyday life:
  • One day you too will be out of touch:
  • OkCupid's data mining team explains why Republicans are more ideologically cohesive than Democrats:
  • "The need to be observed and understood was once satisfied by God. Now we can implement the same functionality with data-mining algorithms."

Mar 31st

Mar 31st

  • Just a friendly reminder, tomorrow is asshole day; prepare to deal with assholes.
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