all items
rss feed

/ \
Ugh, stop twitching
may 2010 microblog digest
minutiae Posted 2010-06-01 18:50:54 by Jim Crawford
Archived from

May 1st

  • -- Game devs are finally paying attention to player behavior, and their conclusion: games are too long and too difficult.
  • If storytelling in game form is going to go mainstream, it'll be in the form of movie-length games that never make you repeat *anything*.
  • "The real reason why Steve Jobs hates Flash." (Right, to discourage cross-platform apps. But a bit more birds-eye-view.)
  • 360-degree pannable video from inside stadium implosion:
  • "Later on, you beat the living shit out of a black politician in front of the Lincoln Memorial. I guess I pressed a button to do that."
  • For serious, if you didn't want to push the "I'm a racist" button you should've popped the disc out and returned it to the place of purchase
  • Take note: I'm not making a fashion statement; the symmetrical medical tape is because I have symmetrical injuries.

May 2nd

  • Android API guys are planning ahead, so that games using the accelerometer to find tilt still work on the sun's surface:
  • For those who live at a Lagrange point, Google has agreed to provide a centrifuge so that you may enjoy their product in comfort and safety.
  • @westquote Yeah, but tilting on the sun is more amusing to me because it's even more fantastical. :)
  • -- Verse: G:I V/V IV V; bridge: G:IV iv iii vii^o ii V I. ... I should give that Super Mario World tune a go-round too.

May 3rd

  • It's not just Facebook; any ad-supported business faces the same conflict of interest between users and advertisers.

May 4th

  • List of inventors killed by their own inventions:
  • "If you build games that foster tribalism and hatred, you are doing evil. There is no such thing as artificial hatred."
  • Speaking of artificial hatred, "Bow, Nigger" by always_black: -- Still an awesome story.
  • -- "Amazing photos of the Gulf Coast oil rig exploding, sinking."
  • -- "Comics Igudesman & Joo Explain Their Take on Classical Music" I've already linked the fuck out of these guys, right?

May 5th

  • "He plans to be the first person to connect people via their gastric system." -- Oh great, another Mary Sue lead.
  • Learning Dvorak was my excuse to learn proper typing. To this day, when faced with QWERTY I revert to my old hand-cramping 3-finger style.
  • @Laroquod @JmacDotOrg Doesn't solve it for anyone else, but I've been snapping pointers with this when archiving my twits:
  • "At the end of March 2010, I found out that I was apparently a central figure in a conspiracy theory regarding aliens."

May 6th

  • @ibogost It's interesting that you're painting Apple's move as pro-diversity when it's explicitly about limiting what languages you may use.
  • The best reason yet to quit Facebook. But do so for your own benefit. Don't tell yourself that you're sending a message.
  • If everyone savvy about privacy quits Facebook, that leaves 350 million people who aren't, and no vocal minority left to complain.
  • @Laroquod Fair enough. My take on it is that Facebook is itself the best, most targeted way for me to get the message out about Facebook.
  • @Laroquod ... and if I *just* post about Facebook, I'm a crank. Must first establish a valid stream. Also I like interacting with friends.
  • @ibogost It's not obvious where you stop talking about Apple, because I'm sure *thinking* about Apple the whole essay. Maybe that's just me.
  • -- "Lego Harry Potter Cuts Back On Collectibles" might have been an even more eye-catching headline.
  • Here's the thing about targeting Javascript/HTML5: it's been possible to write DHTML apps for a decade. Have you ever tried to maintain one?
  • Oh no, Replay gave up on games and is after the Java EE market. After consoles went multi-core, I guess the alternative was targeting Lua.
  • -- "These are men and women who saved millions of lives and whose names likely never came up in your history class."

May 7th

  • -- "Many people alive today possess some Neanderthal ancestry, according to a landmark scientific study."
  • The Cognitive Bias Song:
  • Needs N more verses: -- Also: "Remember that you [aren't] immune to a bias because you have a nice word for it."
  • Thank Goodness it's Scary Sextoy Friday: -- "Yes, they really call them 'insertable art.'"
  • Another for the Facebook privacy violation bin: post notification emails contain the poster's IP address.
  • So-called "disfluencies" (e.g. "um," "uh") aren't just noise; they seem to provide meaningful information to listeners:

May 8th

  • Clicking "like" on a status update is the online analogue of smiling and making small talk. Reaching out when you have no content to offer.
  • It took 10 years of hearing "the air is off" for me to realize the dashboard vent control is for something. I just like fiddling with stuff!
  • Illicit iPhone app idea: Arkham Horror card dealer. Would probably save half an hour of setup/breakdown per game.
  • Hunh, the Arkham Horror wiki has images of every card, but some have the text blanked out. Probably to discourage illicit card dealer apps.
  • People sometimes act out-of-character when I first meet them. Stop that you guys, how am I supposed to trust my snap judgements?

May 9th

  • -- "If the edit is cinema's core feature, then Heavy Rain does the opposite: it lengthens rather than abridges."
  • I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the idea that Ubisoft got a do-over attempt to follow up on Sands of Time.
  • -- The musical vocabulary of Cardiacs. Tim Smith is all about the whole tones. And rhythmic confusion, but you knew that.

May 10th

  • @Laroquod Is there a justification for "quoth" besides "RT" being ugly?
  • Just realized why my Arkham Horror time-saving scheme won't work: sometimes the players keep the cards. Is there a printer for the iPhone?
  • @Laroquod Yeah, that's pretty much what I meant by "ugly." It's as good a reason as any.
  • @westquote I was thinking about serving up cards on a phone app, probably a web app, to save time shuffling.
  • Synth update: support for modules running at lower sample rates. Rewrote envelope generator to work consistently at any sample rate.
  • It's slower than the one that only works properly at 44.1khz, but should be net faster at e.g. 200hz. But it steps audibly at 200hz. Mrgle.
  • Trent Reznor's new project sounds really good: Reminds me of "Ghosts."
  • Brains aren't that fast. Conversation would be impossible if we had to form every individual sentence from raw vocabulary and thought-stuff.
  • We take shortcuts, thoughts we've thought before and stored. It's necessary, but it takes effort to not just mindlessly pull from the cache.
  • @Laroquod Twitter is a little tight for this conversation, but: why prefer sentences over tags? Aesthetics, I'd argue.
  • @Laroquod I also don't think you're impinging on anyone else's sense of aesthetics merely by adhering to, or even advocating, your own.

May 11th

  • Billion dollar idea: machinima sitcom a la Red vs. Blue, starring Shinra and Kagari of Ikaruga. Each boss is a different marriage counselor.
  • @Laroquod Yeah, that's actually the exact reason I don't RT; my own twits are being mirrored on Facebook, Buzz, and (periodically) my blog.

May 12th

  • -- Diaspora: distributed, in-development alternative to Facebook. Lots of ways to screw this up. Need more competition.
  • Whoa, hey, Chris is attending Assembly 2010 in August. Time for us to start cranking on Foolish 2, for serious.
  • Oh no: "64k intro competition: Intro may not last longer than 5 min." If I'm following guidelines correctly, this script is 20 minutes long.
  • Maybe we can submit multiple intros, Foolishes 2 through 5, and say "Make sure you play these back to back."
  • Or put a timer in the corner. Y'know, to make it easier on the judges! It'd start normally but slow down, reaching 5 minutes just at the end
  • It's all wacky silliness over here, but in Japan, Phoenix Wright is recognizable satire of the legal system. Scared yet?
  • @Johnicholas That only gives us 3 more minutes, and with 64 megs I'd feel obligated to get legit voice acting in there rather than just TTS.
  • So, um, is it me, or is Firefox maintaining session cookies between sessions?
  • Portal is free for the next 12 days. It is a masterwork. If money was the obstacle between you and it, now is your time.
  • -- "Alternate Duck Tales Intro." Not safe for, uh, duck-work.
  • Hal's wedding cake topper: I can't afford another PA trip. Asked him to get married in Berkeley, but he was all "no way."

May 13th

  • -- "Magnetically Induced Hallucinations Explain Ball Lightning, Say Physicists."
  • -- Once robot drivers are robust enough, it would be extremely irresponsible to permit humans to continue driving.
  • Once the utility of driving isn't a factor, only fun is left. How much fun to offset an automotive death? There *is* a crossover point.
  • Citizen's Guide to Surviving Police Encounters: Should be part of every kid's education, like sex-ed or learning to read.

May 15th

  • Replaying Max Payne 2 in anticipation of Alan Wake. Even the story isn't all that great; I love Max Payne 2 for the individual sentences.

May 16th

  • -- "I am the most powerful practitioner of psychokinesis and telepathy in the world! Put your controller on the floor."
  • Shifting landscapes:
  • -- Improper spelling and punctuation getting you down? The Alot is here to help!
  • Hm, midnight launch for Alan Wake on Tuesday. I plan to sleep that night, but maybe I'll drop by to meet local Remedy fans in line outside.
  • Stupid Linear Interpolation Tricks:

May 17th

  • @Johnicholas In my case at least, I'm probably too quick to refactor; reluctance to do so would come from the amount of work involved.
  • @Johnicholas I tend to refactor as soon as I've noticed an interface issue, often before I have enough data to do a good job.
  • @Johnicholas Iterated early refactoring is basically what I do instead of design.
  • Iterated early refactoring is probably not as diligent as doing actual up-front design, but it's way more fun.
  • @westquote Yeah. I'm for it.
  • -- "60 Minutes: Deepwater Horizon survivor Mike Williams"
  • Is Woodtick in Monkey Island 2 still the high water mark for interactive musical scores in games?
  • -- Am I reading this right? Sex offenders no longer need be determined mentally ill before being involuntarily committed?
  • ... the Supreme Court "upheld" the law, but didn't rule on "whether the law violated any rights guaranteed by the Constitution." Great jorb!

May 18th

  • Is the new Trauma Center game still way too difficult? That series could go mainstream so hard if they tuned it to within human capability.
  • -- "Show us your papers."
  • post, "A Practical Guide to Electronic Music": [Not actually a guide to electronic music. -ed]
  • Alan Wake: moodier fog than in Silent Hill 2. That's a feat.
  • Alan Wake: QTE to whack a jukebox to get it play Harry Nilsson's "Coconut." Writing does not disappoint so far.
  • Alan Wake: exact same "locked door" sound as Max Payne. I bet every door in Finland sounds like that.
  • Alan Wake: In-game TV is back! "Night Springs," a Twilight Zone-esque show. First episode uses a quantum suicide conceit:

May 19th

  • I used to buy any old brand of conditioner until Tim expressed surprise that I didn't have a preferred brand, and I realized I totally did.
  • How to bake cookies on your dashboard:
  • -- "Police Say Anti-Piracy Law Makes Catching Criminals Harder"
  • -- Man, could someone who knows Japanese tell her those aren't drumming shoes?
  • @grumpygamer I was actually wondering whether this zip quine would crash Gmail's virus scanner:
  • Alan Wake: interesting combat system. Very tactical, as opposed to twitch-aim centric. Good match for console controller.
  • Aiming dominates the skill-space so heavily in mouse-controlled shooters that they can never be about anything other than aiming.
  • -- Tom Francis on implementing collision detection for the first time.

May 20th

  • "Freedom" isn't good per se. The far end of freedom is chaos. Life (i.e. the physical phenomenon) is a compromise between order and chaos.
  • Australia customs officials cracking down on porn imported on tourist's laptops: -- Remember, A-cups are illegal there.
  • Here's a good sample of the interactive musical scoring in Monkey Island 2 I was talking about:
  • Alan Wake: amazing real-time lighting code. Great volumetric light, and great implementation of dithering to smooth the shadow maps.
  • Alan Wake: collectibles kill the pacing. Can't help but scan the vicinity for them when I should be forging ahead. (Or running for my life.)
  • Alan Wake: found the equivalent of May Payne 2's trapped-costume level. Remedy do love to go for the nearly-mood-breaking bravura moments.
  • (In Max Payne they *did* break the mood. Hard for me to fault a creator for aiming high, but "good try" is the best I can say for it.)
  • I get why they closed off the open world and went linear: horror needs tight control over pacing and timing. But I do wish I could explore.
  • "Messages about environmental change are delivered in a manner guaranteed to encourage anti-environmentalist backlash."

May 21st

  • -- RPG Minesweeper! The number is the sum of the levels of surrounding enemies. Uncover lower level enemies to level up.
  • I know what you're thinking: "Jim, that's not an RPG, it doesn't have fetch quests!"
  • Click twice on "insert coin" in Google Pac-Man and there's a co-op mode.
  • @xobs What's the deal with United, then? Does this affect Maker Faire plans?

May 22nd

  • Adding a swing beat to pop songs in post-processing:
  • Ugh, Forgotten Sands' protagonist has the same selective ability to fly for certain moves that made me hate Prince of Persia (2008) so hard.
  • E.g.: you can jump towards a wall, clearly be arcing down when you hit it, and somehow start a wall-run straight up the wall anyways.
  • Realism is not the issue. The 3D Prince of Persia games have always had exaggerated physics, but they've also always been *self-consistent*.
  • Echo Nest Remix (the API that Swinger used) looks pretty amazing. Supports video, too:

May 23rd

  • Mario Marathon 2010 is in a month. They're playing Galaxy 2 right now in some sort of pre-marathon event:
  • Singing arc light / automated drum kit duet at Maker Faire.
  • "Engineering help: 5 cents." I should ask him about IIR filter design.
  • Remote-controlled neon-wireframe shark rushing through the crowd.
  • No surprise, people are giving the enormous spidermech wide berth.
  • Just occurred to me to be surprised that the spidermech doesn't sound like a motorcycle. Must be electric.
  • Life-sized R2D2 bots are freakin' me out. I must have seen them next to actors for scale, but they're still unexpectedly large.
  • The dude playing drums and digeridoo simultaneously has played 3 songs but hasn't touched the fretless bass mounted to his kit. No sale!
  • Too many awesome music toys in the same place; can't hear a goddamn thing.

May 24th

  • Cory Doctorow's "Little Brother" looks like the perfect book to turn a surly teenager into a surly linux geek:
  • Related: I'm convinced Charles Petzold's "Code" is the best book to discover/ignite a latent interest in programming:
  • (Yeah, I'm making a list of teenage relatives.)
  • "The Brevard County doctor arrested for groping a woman while dressed as Captain America with a burrito in his pants will not go to jail."
  • Details on the Brevard County Captain America Burrito-in-Pants Gropist:

May 25th

  • Insomniac wises up and goes multiplatform. Don't get excited; Sony still owns Ratchet and Clank.
  • Super Columbine Massacre RPG creator Danny Ledonne's documentary about his game and the role of games in culture:
  • The story of the scientist hired in 1996 by a class-action lawyer to create the vaccine-autism-link scare from thin air:
  • Benjamin Moore Paint is right across the street from Kelly Moore Paint. Must be a divorced couple.
  • The move is done! To a first approximation, anyways. Thanks to Doyle for owning a truck!

May 26th

  • Hope I figure out what box I packed my phone charger in soon.
  • @Laroquod Move yourself, one neuron at a time, keeping the whole simulation running, to maintain a single consciousness through the process.
  • @Laroquod (They call it "The Moravec Transfer.")
  • "Creepy Child Robot" might be understating it:
  • -- No one will be admitted during the chilling final minute of "Tiny Russian Sailor Dances on Piano!"

May 28th

  • -- The non-euclidean portal to R'lyeh, awoken from its slumber. The stars are right again, evidently.
  • "Parker was swallowed up by an angle of masonry which shouldn't have been there; an angle which was acute but behaved as if it were obtuse."
  • New series of the Penny Arcade D&D podcast is happening:
  • -- Written for *two* player pianos. I wonder if that's because with so many holes in one sheet of paper it'd tear apart.
  • "Some aspiring sumo athletes have silicone implants added to the tops of their heads to reach the minimum required height"
  • Love when the climbing gym has fresh routes up on the wall. I do all the easy ones immediately and feel like I've made a lot of progress.
  • The warning sign is nice and all, but even better would be an automatic gate that doesn't kill people.

May 29th

  • Street vagrant to passer-by: "I like your shirt. I know where you got it. On your torso. You got it on your torso! On your torso!"
  • @Johnicholas Only if you can prove the tests are bug-free

May 30th

  • Even when I'm only using one machine, I'm annoyed it doesn't know what app I'm looking at. Obviously that's the one keystrokes should go to!
  • -- "Innsmouse no Yakata," first-person shooter for the Virtual Boy based on H.P. Lovecraft's "Shadow Over Innsmouth."

May 31st

  • Latest Retronauts is about the history of fake 3D. Fascinating as usual, but it would've been a lot better if they'd had a coder as a guest.
  • @Johnicholas I find that autocomplete and Intellisense and lint-style warnings eliminate the dumbest. What alternatives do you see, though?
  • Reading about the green stars in Mario Galaxy 2, my heart started racing with anticipation. Evidently I'm still not too old for video games.
  • The better your black levels are, the more likely it is that a portal to Hell just opened under Guatemala:
[link to this] [See more on “minutiae”]

add a comment
Only anonymous comments are available for now until I get the user system up and running again. Not many people were logging in anyway, so enh.
Permitted HTML tags: <b>, <i>, <u>, <tt>. Also permitted is the <q> pseudo-tag which is meant to delimit quotes from other messages.
To prove you are sentient, please type "sentient" into this box

what's this?
This is Jim Crawford's blog. Details and contact information.

On Twitter: @mogwai_poet

recent comments
Overview (Anonymous on may 2014 microblog digest)
no subject (Anonymous on troboclops - hate edge)
no subject (Anonymous on troboclops - hate edge)
hp printer support phone number (Anonymous on troboclops - hate edge)
great (Anonymous on take a key for coming in)
Thank you very much (Anonymous on take a key for coming in)
Astrologer for Love Problems (Anonymous on troboclops - hate edge)
Hp Printer Support Phone Number (Anonymous on troboclops - hate edge)
Please visit site (Anonymous on troboclops - hate edge)
Please visit site (Anonymous on troboclops - hate edge)
Please visit site (Anonymous on troboclops - hate edge)
Please visit site (Anonymous on troboclops - hate edge)
Job Astrology (Anonymous on may 2014 microblog digest)
Finance Astrologer (Anonymous on may 2014 microblog digest)
SOURABH (Anonymous on troboclops - hate edge)
Comments RSS