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Ugh, stop twitching
may 2010 microblog digest
minutiae Posted 2010-06-01 18:50:54 by Jim Crawford
Archived from http://twitter.com/mogwai_poet:

May 1st

  • http://j.mp/b1uvyB -- 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*.
  • http://j.mp/9ZJ8Fq "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: http://bit.ly/djMvPU
  • "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: http://j.mp/aZrYDG
  • 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. :)
  • http://bit.ly/9wBkPF -- 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: http://bit.ly/56cR
  • http://j.mp/a9KdjM "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: http://bit.ly/tjRnF -- Still an awesome story.
  • http://bit.ly/aU7HkY -- "Amazing photos of the Gulf Coast oil rig exploding, sinking."
  • http://j.mp/9BDnHZ -- "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: http://j.mp/GitV
  • http://bit.ly/8ZkzJH "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.
  • http://j.mp/4LSyfR 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.
  • http://bit.ly/9lF7SS -- "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.
  • http://bit.ly/afJiNp -- "These are men and women who saved millions of lives and whose names likely never came up in your history class."

May 7th

  • http://bit.ly/bMfsaD -- "Many people alive today possess some Neanderthal ancestry, according to a landmark scientific study."
  • The Cognitive Bias Song: http://bit.ly/aaTpvD
  • Needs N more verses: http://bit.ly/8QuUf6 -- 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: http://bit.ly/dyq1G9 -- "Yes, they really call them 'insertable art.'"
  • Another for the Facebook privacy violation bin: post notification emails contain the poster's IP address. http://bit.ly/94nsR3
  • So-called "disfluencies" (e.g. "um," "uh") aren't just noise; they seem to provide meaningful information to listeners: http://j.mp/dclPQ4

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

  • http://bit.ly/95hJNk -- "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.
  • http://j.mp/aXhQUs -- 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: http://bit.ly/dv7XQO 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

  • http://j.mp/csSCbR -- 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
  • http://j.mp/czi9OF 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?
  • http://j.mp/b64fpX 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.
  • http://bit.ly/19qg9R -- "Alternate Duck Tales Intro." Not safe for, uh, duck-work.
  • Hal's wedding cake topper: http://j.mp/c4fDxH I can't afford another PA trip. Asked him to get married in Berkeley, but he was all "no way."

May 13th

  • http://bit.ly/cFELJI -- "Magnetically Induced Hallucinations Explain Ball Lightning, Say Physicists."
  • http://bit.ly/dv3tWk -- 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: http://j.mp/VTssj 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

  • http://bit.ly/bYpDJe -- "I am the most powerful practitioner of psychokinesis and telepathy in the world! Put your controller on the floor."
  • Shifting landscapes: http://bit.ly/9mcKOU
  • http://bit.ly/aVDMTo -- 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: http://bit.ly/9nSZYH

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.
  • http://bit.ly/95aLOI -- "60 Minutes: Deepwater Horizon survivor Mike Williams"
  • Is Woodtick in Monkey Island 2 still the high water mark for interactive musical scores in games?
  • http://j.mp/9AMToU -- 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.
  • http://bit.ly/drbGnX -- "Show us your papers."
  • Goombas.org post, "A Practical Guide to Electronic Music": http://j.mp/dCWEWt [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: http://j.mp/85yBL

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: http://bit.ly/7znej
  • http://bit.ly/9KSapu -- "Police Say Anti-Piracy Law Makes Catching Criminals Harder"
  • http://bit.ly/cYI1hV -- 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: http://bit.ly/bsZ44l
  • 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.
  • http://bit.ly/cG0lfB -- 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: http://bit.ly/aPcgfv -- Remember, A-cups are illegal there.
  • Here's a good sample of the interactive musical scoring in Monkey Island 2 I was talking about: http://bit.ly/aVuzIg
  • 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.
  • http://j.mp/9QjfvZ "Messages about environmental change are delivered in a manner guaranteed to encourage anti-environmentalist backlash."

May 21st

  • http://j.mp/aAarHX -- 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: http://bit.ly/9iuRiA
  • 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: http://bit.ly/US6G

May 23rd

  • Mario Marathon 2010 is in a month. They're playing Galaxy 2 right now in some sort of pre-marathon event: http://bit.ly/CIXMb
  • 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: http://j.mp/xraz
  • Related: I'm convinced Charles Petzold's "Code" is the best book to discover/ignite a latent interest in programming: http://j.mp/3dC3OL
  • (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: http://bit.ly/9PkHMV

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: http://bit.ly/9EyNk9
  • The story of the scientist hired in 1996 by a class-action lawyer to create the vaccine-autism-link scare from thin air: http://j.mp/94yBBg
  • 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: http://bit.ly/cyhMW2
  • http://bit.ly/b9XPi2 -- No one will be admitted during the chilling final minute of "Tiny Russian Sailor Dances on Piano!"

May 28th

  • http://bit.ly/9loJI3 -- 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: http://bit.ly/cxgXaI
  • http://j.mp/3On6HK -- 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" http://j.mp/6d1pB
  • 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!
  • http://bit.ly/dcsUc1 -- "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: http://j.mp/d9mcqJ
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