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Showing posts from June, 2004

2b or not b: w00t!

On a dark winter night, a ghost walks the ramparts of Elsinore Castle in Denmark. Discovered first by a pair of watchmen, then by the scholar Horatio, the ghost resembles the recently deceased King Hamlet, whose brother Claudius has inherited the throne and married the king’s widow, Queen Gertrude. When Horatio and the watchmen bring Prince Hamlet, the son of Gertrude and the dead king, to see the ghost, it speaks to him, declaring ominously that it is indeed his father’s spirit, and that he was murdered by none other than Claudius. Ordering Hamlet to seek revenge on the man who usurped his throne and married his wife, the ghost disappears with the dawn. Entirely in leet (exceptional, juvenile Flash movie; I believe there are more toilet jokes and impolitic name-calling than The Bard had in the original)

tumiki Fighters

Control your ship and destroy enemies. The ship is destroyed when it is hit by a bullet. The body of the enemy has no collision damage.
You can catch the enemy's broken piece. Pieces are stuck to your ship and counterattack to enemies. You can also earn the bonus score by keeping many pieces stuck. Stuck pieces are destroyed when they touch a enemy's bullet.
While holding a slow key, the ship becomes slow and the ship direction is fixed. Stuck pieces are pulled in and you can prevent a crash of them, but the bonus score reduces to one fifth. Enemy's pieces are not stuck while holding this key. (via joystiq)

herve villachez

lift your skinny fists...

(via engadget)

music (a soundtrack)

Mystery and Misery: Soundtrack19 Song Soundtrack To A Movie About A Boy And A Girl Riding In A Car With The Top Down Through The Countryside And Small Town Main Streets While Looking For Places To Stop To Take Photographs And To Lay In Soft Tall Grass While Looking At The Clouds And Crawling With The Crickets But End Up Taking A Wrong Turn Only To Get Lost And Find Ways To Narrowly Escape Death And Fall In Love But Not With Eachother.I posted about Misery and Mystery before, but I've enjoyed Bethany Curve's 4AD-ish I'm Tired Gone (mp3) enough to clarify.

poxy boggards new album

My friends Bill and Stu are in Poxy Boggards, "a drinking group with a singing problem." They've just released their new album, Liver, Let Die, through CD Baby. It will make you want to roleplay or go to a Renaissance Faire. Or drink beer. If you already want to drink beer, it's probably unsafe to listen to it. It's probably unsafe to listen to Hey Nonny Nonny (low bitrate mp3) no matter what, though.

p-a store

As much as I love Penny-Arcade, they have a long history of serious lameness in the "store" category. Seriously, hordes, HORDES of hungry fans were left trying to buy their P-A goods from something put together from chickenwire and the oddly deformed import jewelcases of Japanese PlayStation games. It looks like they've finally wised up and put up a storefront at ThinkGeek.

induced vomiting

Antipiracy bill targets technologyThe Induce Act stands for 'Inducement Devolves into Unlawful Child Exploitation Act,' a reference to Capitol Hill's frequently stated concern that file-trading networks are a source of unlawful pornography. Hatch is a conservative Mormon who has denounced pornography in the past and who suggested last year that copyright holders should be allowed to remotely destroy the computers of music pirates.(via Waxy)

not so funny

Watch the Comedians: The Daily Show (Aaron Swartz: The Weblog): The Daily Show’s staff consists mostly of comedians, not journalists. Yet they were able to give this story the coverage that, as far as I can tell, only one other news source (UPI) did. This is no one-time occurance. The Daily Show is routinely the most on-top-of-things source for news, while also being extremely entertaining. The show is far more fair and accurate than most major media and they do in-depth political analysis of the Bush administration that New York Times readers can only dream of.

The show is good, to be sure, but perhaps the more interesting question is: Why are all the other mainstream news source so unspeakably bad?


Your request for Express Transfer from your Citi account to your bank account ending in (number), has been received and is in process. This process usually takes 6-8 working hours to complete but is dependent on your account preferences. See, Change or Cancel this Transfer at: (URL) If there is a problem with your request, it may take up to one week for your bank to notify us. We will notify you immediately by email if we learn of any problems in processing your request. Yours sincerely, The Citibank TeamI look through my cards. All but one is in my wallet, with one at home safely with my passport. None of the current cards have a (number) ending). I scratch my head, go to the (URL) from the mail, making sure it doesn't have some strange address spoofing bits in it, and load it in FireFox browser in case it wants to play ActiveX games. CitiBank's site loads with an unsuspiciously short URL, no redirects, no weirdness. It wants me to log in using my credit card number and PIN. …

gmail invitational parte the seconde

I've got two more gmail account invitations, which will go to the first two people who post a Comment. Because I am a cruel demiurge, the comment must meaningfully include the world "immolate" or "pudding." Or both. Don't forget to put in a contact addy.

release the ninjas

Videogames are not just for kids. The average age of players grows older each year, as people continue to play games into their adulthood. As such, almost none of this makes a lick of legitimate sense:
Washington Times Commentary: Video game nudity trend
"Playboy: The Mansion" could be in stores before the kids crack a book again. You, too, can be a sleazy pornographer like Hugh Hefner, who in this game's vision is about 30 years younger and resembles Superman more than the dirty old man he is. The electronic "playmates" strip for you to photograph. (They're considering putting real Playboy photographs into the software, too.) Who says pornography isn't for children?
The decadent sex-game makers are frantically lobbying the industry's toothless ratings regulator, the Electronic Software Ratings Board, to go easy on handing out the "adults only" rating, which means you can't buy them at Wal-Mart and other more parent-friendly mass retail…

a rogues' gallery

no patients

Dark Passage, a site devoted to urban ruins, has its own page on one of my personal favorite scary environments: abandoned hospitals. "After the patients have been evacuated, the hospital is free to succumb to its own mortality. In the throes of its disintegration it makes a mockery of the order and hygiene formerly attempted within. The buildings themselves give in to their contamination. Behind closed curtains, the hospital changes into its own funeral parlor."

"get a life!" - w. shatner - Qapla'! Hospital seeks Klingon speaker - May. 10, 2003Although created for works of fiction, Klingon was designed to have a consistent grammar, syntax and vocabulary.
And now Multnomah County research has found that many people -- and not just fans -- consider it a complete language.
'There are some cases where we've had mental health patients where this was all they would speak,' said the county's purchasing administrator, Franna Hathaway.

fair use?

The company that makes the backup utility gamesXcopy is being sued by an assortment of major publishers. I'm very interested to see how this turns out, since the application appears to take significant pains to prevent piracy, though ESA president Doug Lowenstein says, What's at stake here is a rather important legal principle--that products with no purpose other than to circumvent copyright protection are illegal." I wonder if this is a misquote, or if he mispoke. The application copies games, and circumvents copy protection to that end, but not specifically copyrights, which have already been held to be legally open to backup for personal use under the fair use doctrine.

musical alternatives

DPH is doing another music things this week -- YAY~! Zox is neat, and I'm thinking of buying. OTOH, nulldevice seems like it would be right up my alley, except they're not offering any complete songs for download, only samples. The samples are good though!

Here's a good site with information about why we should support alternatives to mainstream music. Aside from the fact that there's good stuff with no chance to get airplay on a monopolized radio system, there is also the matter of supporting an oppressive and hypocritical agency.

Update: Unrelated to DPH, if you've never had enough 4AD music in your diet, Mystery and Misery is your hookup for echoing, vast, and sad music.

you've got (more space for mail)

Ah, competition is good. With the appearnace of Gmail, both Yahoo's and Hotmail's piddly 6MB suddenly felt like trying to conduct an orchestra with a toothpick. Apparently Yahooo isn't living in a vacuum though, because Yahoo Mail just bumped all basic accounts to 100MB.Great news – Yahoo! Mail is new and improved!
Thanks for being a loyal Yahoo! Mail user. To ensure that Yahoo! Mail continues to be the easiest, most enjoyable way for you to stay in touch, we've made several great improvements to your service! In addition to all the features you currently enjoy, we've made these upgrades:Streamlined interface
Makes using your mail even easier100MB of email storage
Keep more of the things that are important to you – without worrying about bumping up against your storage limit.Message size up to 10MB
Send monster-sized files – photos, presentations, whatever!So thanks again for choosing Yahoo! Mail to keep in touch, and we hope you enjoy the additional services now at y…

drm (dead-on rant: mandatory)

Boing Boing: New Beasties disc has DRM -- Fight! For your right! To cooo-oopy!: "I always hear record execs whining that they 'can't compete with free' -- but maybe the real competitive disadvantage is that they're selling a product that's less useful than the one being served up on P2P nets"

I've seen several discs at various Japanese record shops that have the "Copy-Protected" label on them, and have passed them up for exactly this reason. What's weird is that the US and UK versions do not have copy protection; yay, way to encourage international piracy. I'm happy to pay money for something I want, but not for something that I can't use as I choose. Record companies that won't let me add music I've bought to my iTunes are missing the whole point. They're only costing themselves sales.


Too Much of Nothing, Michael Scott Moore's first book is an accomplished and stunningly inspiring work. When I wrote to Mike with my initial thoughts about Too Much of Nothing, I was on the bullet train on my way to Yokohama from Osaka. It seems appropriate that as I sit down to form further, publicly consumable thoughts about the book, that I am again on a train, this time returning from Yokohama to Osaka.

Too Much of Nothing is an oddly detached, but somehow warm recounting of the narrator, Eric Sperling's, last few months alive. The story is told by his ghost, shade, or as the Eric is convinced, his "nefesh" which still haunts the small and nominally fictional town of Calaveras Beach some 15 years after his death. The awful truth behind Eric's passing has not come out, over which Eric is still fretting, wondering, and occasionally angry or melancholy. Eric's parents, his ex-best-friend, and the town itself have entered a holding pattern as well; they are …


Four times now, with no luck, I've gone to Osaka's analog for Akihabara, Den-Den Town in search of a Microman Batman figure for my pal, Boneyard. While fruitless and frustrating, there are always gems of local culture that remind me that I'm living abroad, and that Things Here Are Strange, Different, and Weirdly Beautiful.

This time the reminder was in a model/hobbyshop. In one of the shelves, among the custom-painted Gundam models and grotesquely expensive Five Star Stories resin models, were two collage objects -- creations frankensteined together out of other parts. Coming out of two Ma.K Chronicle (Maschinen Krieger (SF3D) -- quasi-WW II mecha) were the sultry forms of Evangelion's Rei Ayanami and Asuka Langley. --Except that their heads were not on their plugsuit or student uniforms, but the overdeveloped bodies of bikini-clad G-Taste gachapon. To top it off, they were holding to-scale baseball bats for the underdog team, the Hanshin Tigers. In one fell otaku-sw…

"papers, please... papers, frau 'journalist'"

Guardian Unlimited: American homeland security"Since September 11 2001, any traveller to the US is treated as a potential security risk. The Patriot Act, introduced 45 days after 9/11, contains a chapter on Protecting The Border, with a detailed section on Enhanced Immigration Provision, in which the paragraph on Visa Security And Integrity follows those relating to protection against terrorism. In this spirit, the immigration and naturalisation service has been placed, since March 2003, under the jurisdiction of the new department of homeland security. One of its innovations was to revive a law that had been dormant since 1952, requiring journalists to apply for a special visa, known as I-visa, when visiting the US for professional reasons. Somewhere along the way, in the process of trying to develop a foolproof system of protecting itself against genuine threats, the US has lost the ability to distinguish between friend and foe. The price this powerful country is paying for liv…

k.i.t.t. v.2.0 to come with breathalizer

LOS ANGELES - David Hasselhoff was arrested over the weekend on suspicion on driving while intoxicated, police said Monday. The former "Baywatch" star was arrested late Saturday night on Ventura Boulevard in the Encino section of the San Fernando Valley, said Officer Sara Faden, a police spokeswoman. He was released the next morning.
No further details were immediately available.
In 2002, Hasselhoff checked himself into the Betty Ford Center for treatment of alcoholism.
The 51-year-old actor is best known for portraying lifeguard Mitch Buchannon in the long-running "Baywatch" TV series. He also starred in the 1980s television show "Knight Rider."

my a-team episode synopsis

The Plumber's Sink
by Brian

On tonight's A-Team, Murdock has an old friend who's a plumber. But his friend has a big problem. A rival plumber is trying to drive the friend out of business. The rival has already disemboweled his friend's cousin, and tried to steal a sink.The rest of the team arrives to help. Face, is tremendously attracted to the pretty girl who works with the plumber, but she prefers Hannibal. To further complicate matters the team is being chased by the Homeland Security Agency. The A-Team has a fight with the men of the rival plumber. Hannibal says, ''You never know the Rubicon until you've crossed it.'' Murdock throws two guys through a window. Face gets a black eye and Hannibal doesn't even break a sweat.But the A-Team is captured when the rival's boss, Victor Von Doom, shows up with twelve guys carrying uzis. The A-Team is locked in a granary. Face says, ''This is as ugly as that waitress on I-5''. Hanniba…

bang bang bang

Jerome links to a lengthy but insightful and disturbing article on the physical sensations involved in being shot. Reading first person accounts of people who were grievously injured in public places, doing no more than going about their daily life, made me nauseous -- and those are the stories of survivors. Good grief, it makes me want to never go outside again. (via futurismic)

how to get ahead in the fast paced world of game development

A conference on How to Break Into Videogames will be held in Maryland. Hopefully the first bit of advice will be "Don't be in Maryland." Looking at their list of speakers, I see a majority of Texas companies, a couple speakers from Korea's NCSoft, and a representative from the supposedly defunct Origin Systems (EA). Color me boggled.


Ruby Rhod: Korben, sweetheart, what was that? It was bad! It had nothing, no fire, no energy, no nothing! You know I have a show to run here, you know? And, it must pop, pop, pop! So, tomorrow, from five to seven, will you please act like you have move than a two word vocabulary! It must be green, okay? Okay?

Korben Dallas: Can I talk to you for a second? I didn't come here to play poom-ba on the radio. So, tomorrow, from five to seven, your gonna give yourself a hand, green?

Ruby Rhod: Supergreen.

(Today's weather is hotter than hot.)

the japanese are 'turning japanese'

"A few years ago, Tokyo Gakugei University sociologist Masahiro Yamada coined the phrase ''parasite singles'' to describe young people who sponge off their parents and use their rent-free incomes to splurge on designer goodies, expensive dinners and trips abroad. It came from the 1997 Japanese horror movie Parasite Eve and applies to young, live-at-home men and women alike, though Yamada says the most carefree of the parasite singles tend to be women; the men are more serious about establishing careers and moving out on their own one day.
The phrase caught on. Some single women even printed up business cards defiantly describing themselves as 'parasite singles.'"

book review

From Heather's Book List The Bastard on the Couch : 27 Men Try Really Hard to Explain Their Feelings About Love, Loss, Fatherhood, and Freedom (by Jones, Daniel and a cast of men)"I rapidly adapted to the cat's temperament by treating her just the way I treat my wife: letting her go off on her own, and not forcing my attentions on her, waiting for her to come to me. It's a working strategy for cat and woman alike, though in my wife's case I get a little lonely from the waiting."
- Sean Elder, The Lock Box

Anger, justified or not- if acted mostly as a release without the clear-cut agenda of provoking change- is selfish and juvenile, obnoxious and unattractive, and it got you nowhere. No matter how determinedly this guy sought the empathy of others for the bullshit he was enduring, he wasn't going to get it- at least not this way… which is not to say I never lose my temper. But it becomes clearer to me every day that our reactions to circumstances are exact…