Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2010

"let us postulate..."

In case you, gentle reader, are not British but, perhaps, American, I have one big beef with the royal family:I didn't get to vote for them.Let me unpack that for you.There is no democratic accountability in monarchy. As a system of government, in undiluted form it most resembles a hereditary dictatorship — current poster-child: Kim Jong-Il. The form we have in the UK is not undiluted: Parliament asserted its supremacy with extreme prejudice in 1649, and again in 1688, and ever since then the British monarchy has been a constitutional, rather than an absolute one — a situation that leaves odd constitutional echoes, such as the fact that we have a Royal Navy but we a British Army (loyal to Parliament, and not under royal command).Nevertheless ...To use a metaphor: let us postulate the existence in the ante-bellum Deep South of benevolent, morally righteous slaveowners who did not flog or rape or oppress their slaves. (I know, I know ... it's a thought experiment, okay?) Would t…

xbox 360 kinect scenario

charlie stross' mind on a bad day appears better than mine on a good one

Books I will not write, #1 (of an ongoing series) - Charlie's Diary: "(This is all rooted in a vision I had, of William S. Burroughs as a CIA agent, and Philip K. Dick as his young henchman, going head-to-head with notorious gangster and pervert Adolf Hitler somewhere in Hamburg to find out where Hitler is shipping all the computers he can get his hands on.)"

damn it: xmark'd the spot

For four years we have offered the synchronization service for no charge, predicated on the hypothesis that a business model would emerge to support the free service. With that investment thesis thwarted, there is no way to pay expenses, primarily salary and hosting costs. Without the resources to keep the service going, we must shut it down.This is something of a shock; it has been legacy common sense in the "web 2.0" world that, if there is a need you can address competently, the business model will eventually become evident. In the case of Xmarks, one of my favorite services, it never did. It isn't too surprising that they couldn't convince a buyer to try and turn a profit on them, but I'm a little surprised that Yahoo, despite owning an somewhat abandoning, didn't bite on this simpler and more elegant implementation.

darker, gritter, welcome to 2005. Or 2000. When was this last bit mandatory?

EA's "grittier, darker" 2010/11 | News:
Publisher Electronic Arts has revealed a clutch of new titles for the next year and beyond, putting an emphasis on dark and edgy themes.

Darkspore redeploys the procedural generation systems of Maxis strategy title Spore, but in an action-RPG with more mass appeal, while Alice: Madness Returns is the horror-adventure sequel to 2000 PC game American McGee's Alice.

The Sims 3 will also head down more sinister paths, with Autumn's vampire-starring expansion Late Night, while even the Fight Night boxing series is to be taken in a 'grittier, darker direction' with next year's Champion.

More levity can be found in Wii exercise title EA Sports Active NFL Training Camp, plus EA Sports Active 2 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii and iPod Touch.
I'm not sure when "darker and grittier" became the default position for "improving" games, but I wish we could move past it. Nintendo doesn't need to own the…

quoted for truth: "Midway’s management never seemed to move fast enough with the trends"

Troughton resurrects Pitbull name
Robert Troughton, co-founder of UK developer Pitbull Syndicate, has opened a new studio in Newcastle and already secured a development project.

Pitbull Studio opens a year after Midway liquidated the Pitbull Syndicate team, which were renamed Midway Newcastle after an acquisition in 2007 for more than £3 million.

"The North East has a lot of games development talent. It was a very sad day when the old studio closed and it’s really been my dream to revive it, said Troughton, managing director of the new business.

"The industry has changed a lot since the day that we sold the original Pitbull – it was a real shame that Midway’s management never seemed to move fast enough with the trends. We won’t be making the mistakes of the past with the new studio – what happened there has actually strengthened us, I would say, we’ve learnt a lot from the experience of being part of a large publisher."

As Pitbull Syndicate the studio created numerous T…

Music Piracy

Music PiracyBy 1882, Edison had a dynamo that operated at 82 percent efficiency. In September, 1882, he had opened a central station on Pearl Street in Manhattan and was eventually supplying electricity to a one-mile square section of New York.

Enter Alexander Graham Bell and his cousin, Chichester Bell. The Bells got together with an instrument maker named Charles Sumner Tainter and they set out to make a better version of Edison's phonograph design. The new design was called the Graphophone and the main improvement was that their version, using recorded cylinders, gave a longer life to the recordings. They could simply be played more times than Edison's tinfoil phonograph design. The intent was to market it as an office aid, much the same as we view tape recorders today, as a dictation machine.

Of course, Edison was irate when he found out about this. He felt that Graphophone had basically stolen his idea. So much so that when Graphophone asked him to pool their patents, Edi…


, originally uploaded by maggot.

cat. bag. out of.

one for your nightmares. you're welcome.

let's be honest in reviewing our options


iPad May Be ‘Black Ship’ That Shakes Up Japan’s Book Industry - BusinessWeek:
The maker of the iPhone may challenge Japan’s publishing establishment in a market where e-book sales -- estimated by Nomura Holdings Inc. to be four times those of the U.S. -- come mostly from comics on mobile phones. Sony Corp. and Panasonic Corp., Japan’s two biggest consumer electronics makers, have scrapped their e-reader business in the country and Inc. has yet to offer its Kindle. “There’s a strong chance that a device like the iPad will allow authors to cut out the publishers as middlemen,” said Jun Hasebe, a Tokyo-based analyst at Daiwa Securities Group Inc. “Japanese printing, publishing and distribution industries are strongly interconnected and all three face that threat.” (Brave New World)
With ubiquitous cell network coverage in Japan, every day I see many commuters on the train reading mail, watching TV on OneSeg viewers (phones and PSP support this as well as dedicated viewers), but …


savage, originally uploaded by Foxtongue.

“The first transport is away!”

bertie wooster = bruce wayne

What if Bertie Wooster, rather than being a mere layabout, was also Batman?
“Good morning, sir. I have prepared a breakfast of scrambled egg, kippers and bacon, as per your request.”
“Fantastic, Jeeves! I tell you truly, I’ve worked up a massive appetite and that’s no mistake.”
“Am I to assume that tonight’s excursion went well, sir?”
“Well, it started off a bit sticky. My cape got all tangled when I went to punch this one hooligan in the face.”
“Ah, yes. The cape.”
“Jeeves, we’ve had this discussion twice now. The cape is part of the ensemble.”
“We have had this discussion twice, sir, because your cape has gotten tangled up in your legs twice.”

topped by thorns

, originally uploaded by maggot.

i'm just GlaD, OStensibly this means something wicked this way comes

Shacknews - Portal Patch Adds Morse Code, Achievement - Portal 2 Speculation Begins:Interior transmission active
External data line active
Message digest active
The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog
System data dump active
User back up active
Password back up active
Beep beep beep beep lol(Thanks to AndrewV for the heads-up.)

clever marketing for Japanese version of Dante's Inferno

Though if it's that hot, I'm also worried about "the tenth ring of hell" a little later on in the day. (andriasang)

more on "project ten dollar"

'Project Ten Dollar' will alienate consumers, warns retail | News: "According to Chipsworld MD Don McCabe, the only people that will be affected directly by these moves will be consumers, who will find the resale value of their games is suddenly much lower than they're used to.

'The person you're pissing off the most is the consumer,' McCabe told 'This affects [them] directly - they pay the same amount of money and yet the resale value is much reduced. From a retailer's point of view, they'll just readjust [the price] bearing in mind you have to buy the voucher"

that would be good in a hot pot.

fascinating new stunt for dlc implementation: project ten dollar

Downloading the Future | Editorial: "Downloadable content is, beyond a doubt, the burning issue of the year so far. On every major gaming news site, a story about DLC is bound to attract hundreds of comments, many of them brimming with outrage from consumers with strongly held views. Within the industry, conversations are (usually) more civil, but the question of what it's appropriate to release as DLC and how to integrate it into a business model is hotly debated.

This week, another log has been thrown on the fire, with EA boss John Riccitiello telling BusinessWeek that the company's inclusion of premium DLC codes in new copies of Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Origins were no coincidences. This is the vanguard of something EA calls 'Project Ten Dollar', it seems - an attempt both to limit the appeal of the second hand market, and to claw back some revenue from those consumers who continue to buy used games."I've been expecting this for the past two or thr…

our game getting “face time” in USA Today is a sign

New features for next 'UFC' game unveiled - Game Hunters: In search of video games and interactive awesomeness: Developers will update moves for its Sway and Posture Systems to help with dodging standing strikes and deliver stronger attacks from varying positions.
Online, players will be able to form fight camps and leagues as well as train with human opponents to prepare for online matches for fights in Career Mode.
During Career Mode, the game will track each player's action and use data for in-fight commentary and opponent intelligence.

Binary, with tea

Binary, with tea, originally uploaded by monamerique.