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january 2011 microblog digest
minutiae Posted 2012-02-01 20:58:22 by Jim Crawford
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Jan 01

  • Over 11 years in the making for a 54 second improvement, "Quake Done Quickest" is now out.
  • I think what I like most about Speed Running is that it turns every game into a platformer.
  • @textfiles @Eliot_L I'm trying to read a friend's backup tapes from 1996. Mostly personal stuff, our music, but his old BBS might be there.
  • @textfiles @Eliot_L I have a drive with an apparent FDD connector. Worried I'll need crazy drivers since it's not a random-access device.

Jan 02

  • @textfiles @Eliot_L Yep, they go together.
  • @textfiles @Eliot_L That'd be amazing! I guess we should take this to DM.
  • @textfiles @Eliot_L I've following your work since the 90s, so I'm pretty confident re legitimacy :) Sent an email from
  • Too smart to be a cop.
  • On how voice acting is killing immersion in RPGs by precluding good AI.

Jan 03

  • "2011's biggest science stories, and why they'll be back in 2012"
  • "The coming war on general computation"
  • Psychopaths deliberately recruited by investment banks, because they're perfect for the job.
  • "We used psychometric testing to recruit psychopaths because their characteristics exactly suited them to senior corporate finance roles."
  • Inverted ice-fishing with wheelbarrows full of air.
  • "Sony Electronics, Nintendo And EA Have NOT Publicly Changed Their Position On SOPA"
  • Identify these road signs. Now these toad spot patterns. Oh NO! The ones explicitly designed to be recognizable are more recognizable!
  • "Rather than have the violin returned to me, PayPal made the buyer destroy the violin in order to get his money back."

Jan 04

Jan 05

  • Rocksmith is really good. I'm shocked at how well they can extract what you're playing from a raw guitar signal.
  • Rocksmith takes latency seriously. Instead of lag calibration, there's a screen saying "No, seriously, don't run the audio through an HDTV."
  • @mrasmus Yeah, my experience trying to play through an HDTV was something like 400ms from when I played a note to when I heard it. Nasty.
  • @mrasmus How effective is "game mode," generally?
  • "Forgetting is Key to a Healthy Mind" scientificamerica...
  • So weird to see this level of video production attached to someone's fuck-around-for-an-evening FL Studio session.
  • (That's not a diss. Some of my favorite music sounds like it was made fucking around for an evening in FL Studio. Just weird is all.)
  • (Though I *don't* particularly like this song. That's incidental.)
  • @Satchamobob He's competent, but I'm not a fan either. (In general the appeal of dubstep as a "pop" genre is the sound design in the bass.)
  • Oh, good. @DuckDuckGo now silently autocorrects non-normative words. Overcorrection was 90% of the reason I switched away from Google.
  • Here I am, thinking of witty retorts left and right, but with no Sharpie handy. They should really stock them next to the toilet paper.

Jan 06

  • RT @holman I think programming riddles, games, and brain teasers are a great way to hire. First one to say "fuck this" and walk out gets the job.
  • ‎"Adjusted for inflation, the price of gas dropped 30% between 1980 and 2004."
  • Can't-fail startup idea of the day: tethers to attach game controllers to their consoles, so they're harder to lose.
  • Hm, maybe they can provide power too, so you don't have to keep replacing the batteries!
  • @Vanther Man, it's either that or sending power wirelessly, and I think that's been established as a hard problem!
  • RT @waxpancake The first jazz recording ever was sued over copyright twice, for both songs on the album:
  • RT @idontlikewords "You have 30 minutes to move your car" "You have 10 minutes" "Your car has been impounded" "Your car has been crushed into a cube" #paypal
  • So, what, six Zelda, five Mario, five Metroid games in the past *two decades* is too many for you snarky motherfuckers?
  • Multimedia! Andrew Plotkin's newest text adventure features printable 3D feelies. Presuming you have a 3D printer.

Jan 07

  • South Bay Game Jam at Daniel's place. Been a while since I properly worked on a game.

Jan 08

  • Skyrim modder replaces dragons with Macho Man Randy Savage.
  • I'm reluctant to attribute bad visual design to the uncanny valley, but "The Adventures of Tintin" falls right in the eye-stabbing valley.
  • Hypercritical #49 podcast includes a great discussion of the history of game controller design.

Jan 09

  • I mentioned this over the holidays, but I'll say it again now that people are actually online and paying attention:
  • Our retrospective album, "Songs in the Key of S: 10 Years of Smush" is out, for pay-what-you-want.
  • We'll also accept "barter what you want," e.g. put "$0" in the price field and then email me an epic poem.
  • Audience member spontaneously joins Dave Brubeck's improvisational performance.
  • Sampling vinyl with a laser-cutter.
  • Hourglass adds time-manipulation controls to arbitrary PC games.
  • @Eliot_L Becoming more forgiving is exactly what a lot of NES games need to be playable in this day and age, so that works out.

Jan 10

  • RT @Switchbreak I've never understood the IGF and I never will. Judging non-existant games against real ones feels like an exercise in applied absurdity.
  • Everyone's favorite optical illusions. optillusions.tumb...
  • My quality of life would improve so fucking much if my MP3 player and my ears weren't stored on opposite sides of doorknob-height.
  • "For seven years, I was held in America?s detention camp at Guant?namo Bay without explanation or charge."
  • John Carpenter's "The Thing" as short-form claymation.
  • The price people you'll never meet pay for your iPhone and Xbox 360. theatlanticwire.c...
  • @EdmundMcMillen I don't have either, but I'd be all over a 3DS version. (And I'm for any ports that make a native code PC build likelier.)

Jan 11

  • Mega Man 3 speed-run plus live soundtrack, on stage at Magfest X.
  • Hey, Souleye's new album is out. souleyedigitalmus...
  • I'm pretty sure if I were as stupid as the Pushmo tutorial thinks I am, I wouldn't know how to read.
  • Throwable panoramic camera hovers you in the air above the camera operator.

Jan 12

  • Fast food advertising vs. reality.
  • Pushmo actually is based around a pretty great puzzle mechanic. Certainly one of the best games available on the 3DS.
  • I'd link you to a gameplay video but you'd "get it" in 30 seconds and the tutorial would be even more excruciating.
  • Bike chain art:
  • "A potentially expensive panic based on a wild aspirational scheme? That sounds a lot like al-Qaida. And the TSA."

Jan 13

  • "Wikipedia is considering 'going black' to protest Internet censorship legislation pending." Help make it happen. wikipediablackout...
  • "The Restart Page - Free unlimited rebooting experience from vintage operating systems"
  • Book publishers lament the antitrust laws preventing them from meeting to discuss how to shut down the library system.
  • "Overheard on the Goldman Sachs Elevator"

Jan 14

  • Saints Row 3 just keeps getting better.

Jan 15

  • It's okay to eat peppermint-flavored things after brushing your teeth, right? My mouth tastes the same.
  • @mrasmus That was in immediate response to the player-character's reaction to meeting the mayor.
  • @Eliot_L I can't tell you how reassuring it is to hear that confirmed by an evident scientist!
  • Corvids love going sledding.
  • Google Native Client seems about as good an idea now as it was 15 years ago, when it was called ActiveX.
  • The smarter your compiler/language is, the harder it is to learn to deal with the cases it fails at.
  • Finally, incontrovertible proof that piracy is a net win for humanity:
  • @Laroquod Even "until people stop asking about it" probably won't happen.

Jan 17

  • "The green movement tends to employ guilt as its primary tactic. That shit doesn?t work."
  • This is what dubstep used to sound like; the shift was inevitable since FL Studio's default tempo is 130.
  • RT @textfiles I just helped rescue a text adventure from 20 years ago.
  • Spent much of today at the Internet Archive with @textfiles. Brought some Commodore 128 disks with my old code on.!/textf...
  • @Satchamobob Evidently if you hit stop before the page fully loads, you don't get the blackout page.

Jan 18

  • RT @jef_poskanzer Looks like the Wikipedia Deletionists won - the whole thing is gone!
  • Self-described "worshipper in the cult of Mac" travels to China to meet the workers who assemble iPhones and iPads. thisamericanlife....
  • RT @tabacco Oh no, even is censored in protest of SOPA.
  • 1983: Urologist invents the first erectile dysfunction drug; demonstrates findings in the most direct, compelling way. onlinelibrary.wil...
  • The difference isn't that romance movies are dumber than action movies. It's that nobody drags his girlfriend to see Noose Hanger 4.
  • But going to see a romance movie together is supposed to be a romantic activity. Unfortunately, the receptors don't exist in his brain.
  • "'Morning people' and 'night owls' show different brain function"
  • Visual Studio is jumping on the gamification bandwagon, but it's futile; all the cool kids are into "ludification" now.
  • What's the best modern example of the Thrust+Deathmatch idea? (Thrust being Asteroids+Platforming.)
  • @Satchamobob How is thing coming?

Jan 19

  • @Satchamobob Yeah, ideally in some other way than in 140 character chunks.
  • Man, I'd forgotten just how goddamn good "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" is.
  • Supreme court: "Congress may take works out of the public domain." How is this different from an ex post facto law?
  • RT @neiltyson In 5-billion yrs the Sun will expand & engulf our orbit as the charred ember that was once Earth vaporizes. Have a nice day.
  • RT @ZenPsycho Copying is not only ok, it is the ethical thing to do to preserve culture. Promiscuous copying is why we know about Shakespeare
  • Bioshock Infinite's "1999 mode" as difficult and cruel as System Shock 2. irrationalgames.c...
  • RT @psychicparrot Buy a kid a game & he's entertained for hours. Teach a kid to make games and he's in your basement until he's 35.
  • To all the kids waiting for the "drop" in Aphex Twin's "Flim," it's in the previous track on the album:

Jan 20

  • Game screenshots as an art form.
  • RT @dave_revell ?@ketralnis ?@icculus The more I push code through static analysis, the more I'm amazed that computers boot at all.??
  • I think I've finally found the way to get the Smush name out there to today's youth. Billboard Hot 100 here we come! app.sponsoredtwee...

Jan 21

  • @aeroThopter
  • Who needs SOPA when this shit is happening right now, under the DMCA?
  • STRIP Act would force TSA workers to stop dressing and acting like cops "unless they receive law enforcement training." latimesblogs.lati...
  • Please nobody do the research to tell me this isn't the story of a real band.
  • "Remix culture is the new Prohibition, with massive media companies as the lone voices calling for temperance."

Jan 22

  • In case Super Mario Bros. Crossover didn't have enough playable characters for you:
  • RT @UtilityLimb a genie trying to explain to jay-z why he can't use his 99th problem to wish for infinite problems
  • HBO buys Indie Game: The Movie at Sundance; plans to turn it into a half-hour sitcom.
  • Parkour in the Toribash engine.
  • Star Wars, remade by fans in 15-second chunks. Just skip around in this for a while to get a sense of it.
  • There are too many highlights to link to individually, so I'll just leave this here.
  • I'm pretty sure that at least one of @WomensHumor and @HumorForWomens is a satire, but possibly both are. It's hard to tell.

Jan 23

  • "Apple is sabotaging an open standard for digital books." Home-cooked embrace-and-extend, like Microsoft used to make.
  • @KayinNasaki Apple's bigger than Microsoft now, and arguably more evil than Microsoft ever was.
  • @KayinNasaki And also far more entrenched in people's lives -- it's hard to expect those people to just sit up and recognize the change.
  • @KayinNasaki Yeah, Google's a good example. They're not exactly "entrenched" in my life, but I'd never have jumped on *this* Google's Gmail.
  • @KayinNasaki I didn't even notice the typo. The whole "autocorrect" thing is training my eyes in a way that ruins me for puns, too.
  • @KayinNasaki Good question! Trying to think of comparable examples, e.g. The Beatles, but none quite apply. We'll find out soon enough.
  • "MPAA Directly & Publicly Threatens Politicians Who Aren't Corrupt Enough To Stay Bought"
  • RT @fullbright "Hey, wanna skip through this text while I go get a drink?" -- co-op Zelda
  • Working with legacy Perl code today. Remember when it was the only language on its abstraction level, so nobody noticed it was garbage?
  • RT @ZenPsycho The greatest irony is that google is so bad at SEO directed at their own search engine that they resort to insider black hat practices.
  • Roger Ebert: "Who would have dreamed film would die so quickly? The victory of video was quick and merciless."
  • Unexpectedly out of butter. Berkeley Bowl is closed by now. Vision quest tiem!
  • Just wrote latency calibration code for a Flash rhythm game. Zero visual and zero audial lag on my machine. Well within user-error, anyway.
  • Does that hold true for other machines? It would've been less work to just do the work than to do the work to see if i have to do the work.

Jan 24

  • Everyone else has on the order of 50ms audio latency. Duh -- I'm listening through a USB sound box intended for guitar signal processing.
  • "Why Hypercard Had to Die." The bicycle metaphor was a lie.
  • "50 Cent is granted a tangible symbol of his humanity. He recognizes it as worth ending untold numbers of lives over." killscreendaily.c...

Jan 25

  • Quite frankly, if your game is Zynga-like enough for Zynga to rip you off, you don't have a moral leg to stand on.
  • "Next Xbox's 32nm CPU enters production"
  • I've just written five measures of rhythm game level data directly in JSON, and, yep, time to code up that MIDI importer.
  • RT @dwineman Google, 1998: We don't break eggs. 2005: Well, we make omelettes, so you do the math. 2012: WHY ARE SOME OF THESE EGGS STILL NOT BROKEN
  • Maurice Sendak on the Colbert Report.
  • @Johnicholas I've thought about it. This particular use case is so simple that MIDI actually is easier to work with than MOD data.

Jan 26

  • The Reverse Bucket List. "Look Back Before Looking Forward."
  • Google figures out how to support nicknames but still sell your identity to advertisers and authoritarian regimes.
  • Dogs in cars: Cats in cars:
  • Who do I know who's going to the Global Game Jam in SF this weekend?
  • @Triplefox The way they were talking about it they have limited space. Hopefully you can still stop by.

Jan 27

  • @aeroThopter Pretty much all weekend. There's limited space, so you might not fit, but show up and we can grab dinner or something.
  • Professor Genki's Super-Ethical Reality Climax really just reminded me of how much I loved The Club.
  • So I just picked up The Club for like $4, popped it in, and it's like my pleasure center is rubbing up directly against the scoring system.
  • (My pleasure center is a cat in this metaphor.)
  • @samuelcole I'd say so. Do you like combo-based scoring systems? How did you feel about Tony Hawk's Pro Skater?
  • @samuelcole Very different. I liked it better. You're doing timed score-attack runs, pacing your kills to maintain a streak. Very gamey.
  • One of the earliest and still one of the best examples of one-shot web-comics, "The Guy I Almost Was." electricsheepcomi...
  • RT @nothings If your text edit will only accept as input the characters "l", "n", and "u", perhaps TextField.restrict is promoting null to string "null".
  • Was worried about the nebulous state of my GGJ team's project until I looked around at what everyone else was doing.

Jan 28

  • Less than a day left in Global Game Jam, and I've finally got Git almost working on this machine.

Jan 29

  • RT @petermolydeux You are a small girl flying a talking kite. The kite seems to know about a upcoming major terrorist attack and floats towards clues.
  • #ggj12 postmortem: don't target a platform none of your programmers are really familiar with or excited about.
  • When I purged my G+ account on principle, I forgot that Hangouts are arbitrarily placed under the G+ umbrella. So that's inconvenient.
  • @mrasmus Yes, I'm *sure* that's why they put it there.

Jan 30

  • Sweat bees sound awesome. I should get a roomful of angry ones and charge admission.
  • Ice Cube's "Good Day" narrowed down to to January 20th, 1992. murkavenue.tumblr...
  • "AT&T claimed copyright on 3 blank lines. If you use blank lines in any of your files, you are in blatant violation."
  • So I've gone through my old Commodore 128 disks and have written about the most interesting programs. Now: how do I turn this into a story?
  • Do I just sort them from most to least interesting? Group by a category system? Should I try to find a 1991-Jim character development arc?

Jan 31

  • "Judge Orders Defendant to Decrypt Laptop" How many of the Bill of Rights amendments are left, now? Three, four?
  • "Iran's nuclear scientists are not being 'assassinated.' They are being murdered."
  • "'On occasion, scientists working on the nuclear program in Iran turn up dead,' bragged Rick Santorum. 'I think that's a wonderful thing.'"
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