April 22nd, 2013
A telling vignette from Businessweek's article about Eve Online:
[A number of prominent Eve Online players...] were in Iceland's capital to meet with executives from CCP Games, the company that created Eve. The seven make up the Council of Stellar Management (CSM), a group elected by other Eve players and flown by CCP to Iceland every six months or so to discuss how the game should evolve. It's a kind of super-user focus group, but also a channel for players' complaints. In 2011, when CCP rolled out some controversial changes, the company summoned the CSM members to Reykjavík for an emergency meeting in an effort to stem a user backlash. "At the time, I had been dating a girl for only three weeks and was terrified," says Joshua Goldshlag (Eve name: Two Step), a 35-year-old CSM member and computer programmer from Massachusetts. "I certainly did not want to mention that I had been elected as an Internet space politician."
April 20th, 2013
April 19th, 2013
The Most Deranged Sorority Girl Email You Will Ever Read:
If you just opened this like I told you to, tie yourself down to whatever chair you're sitting in, because this email is going to be a rough fucking ride.
For those of you that have your heads stuck under rocks, which apparently is the majority of this chapter, we have been FUCKING UP in terms of night time events and general social interactions with Sigma Nu. I've been getting texts on texts about people LITERALLY being so fucking AWKWARD and so fucking BORING. If you're reading this right now and saying to yourself "But oh em gee Julia, I've been having so much fun with my sisters this week!", then punch yourself in the face right now so that I don't have to fucking find you on campus to do it myself. [...]
That was just her getting warmed up. It gets so much better once she gets into her stride.
(I'm moderately sure that the whole thing was written tongue in cheek, but it's so entertainingly batty that I don't particularly care.)
[Via The Morning News]
April 19th, 2013
April 18th, 2013
If the folks behind Leviathan: Warships are as good at writing turn-based strategy games as they are at making trailers for said games then I may have to seriously consider buying Leviathan: Warships when it comes out:
[Via Pop Loser]
April 17th, 2013
The latest trailer for Man of Steel looks pretty damned good.
Trouble is, Zack Snyder's films often have impressive-looking trailers; it's only when you get into cinema that you find out how badly the plot falls short of the visuals. Then again, David S Goyer is pretty good at writing comic book movies, and goodness knows they've had enough examples of what not to do. Eventually they have to get Superman right on the big screen again. Why not in 2013?
[Via Mightygodking dot com]
April 17th, 2013
Mr. Dalliard: Time travel in movies. Nice work.
I can't help but notice that the chart's title says "… in movies" but a couple of TV series are included. And yet no Doctor Who. Odd, that.
[Via The Great Escapism]
April 14th, 2013
Jan Chipchase's You Lookin' At Me? Reflections on Google Glass. urges us to take advantage of the opportunity we have now that Google Glass is on the verge of escaping into the wild to think about how Glass (or something like it) is going to transform privacy expectations over the next decade or two:
One could argue that the form taken by Glass offers up a lazy futurist's vision of what might be – take the trajectory of one product (displays becoming smaller/cheaper/more efficient over time) and integrate it with another (eyeglasses), sprinkle in connectivity and real-time access to content and big-data-analytics. Our expectations of what it could be are raised in part because this join-the-dots vision of the future fits neatly into Western un/popular young-male culture, from "The Terminator" through to Halo. Glass has a certain inevitability about it, like the weight of expectation on of child born to a great composer or, if you will, to a middle-aged suicide. As any visitor to Yodobashi camera over the past decade will tell you, the hardware technologies that make Glass hardly feel novel (and for recent competitors, see Sony, Golden-i, or this Telepathy device prototype) but neither do they need to be, because this is all about how they are brought together into a holistic experience.
I have a feeling that the prospect of walking round wearing a device that requires an eyeglass-mounted interface is going to be a lot less popular among the ordinary, smartphone-carrying public than Google hope. I can't help but think that if Google/Apple/whoever just pushes speech-driven interfaces a bit further along then a fair number of ordinary people will find that the ability to tell their phone to show them maps and directions, pull up details of the person they're speaking to and so on will suffice for now.
Still, even in that scenario we'll have people walking round our towns and cities and homes and workplaces carrying permanently-on devices that default to capturing and storing sound and video, so almost all the issues Chipchase raises will still apply.
[Via The Browser]
April 13th, 2013
Emily Lakdawalla has posted a fascinating account, translated from the Russian original, of how a group of space enthusiasts combed images of the surface of Mars. Their aim: to find the Mars 3 lander that managed to transmit radio signals for 14 seconds back on 2 December 1971 before falling silent.
April 12th, 2013
A lovely little story of how Real Madrid's superstar manager José Mourinho lived up to his nickname recently when he encountered a fan far away from home:
Abel Rodríguez is a 41-year-old Mexican-American who waxes floors in Los Angeles for Metro Transportation. Real Madrid's José Mourinho is one of the world's most famous managers. On the face of things, the two men have nothing in common. Yet recently they became the central figures in a surreal but true buddy story that took Rodríguez behind the scenes as a member of Real Madrid's team in the biggest games of world soccer against Barcelona and Manchester United. [...]
You can argue that Mourinho and/or Real Madrid could afford to foot the bill for Rodríguez's little European tour, but that's really not the point.
April 10th, 2013
Following on from this comment, finally we have a trailer for Neill Blomkamp's Elysium.
Looks reasonably promising: you don't sign up Matt Damon and Jodie Foster if you're just looking to do a mildly futuristic shoot-em-up.
I'm not sure whether Elysium is going to end up being the best science fiction action film of the year, but given the talent involved it's got to be in with a shot.
April 8th, 2013
Doctor Puppet promises to be one of the very best fannish celebrations of the Doctor's 50th anniversary year.
I do hope the BBC's lawyers don't squash it like a bug.
April 6th, 2013
April 6th, 2013
April 6th, 2013
Comment of the day, from a MetaFilter thread about Facebook Home:
Android allows Facebook to do whatever it wants on the platform, and that means accessing the hardware as well.
So this why when I came downstairs this morning, my wife's Android phone was dancing, dancing around a pot of water boiling on the stove, my iPhone slowly lowering into its roiling depths at the end of some sort of crude winch made from butcher's twine and an eggbeater. In the living room, the Chromebook and Kindle Fire had chased the iPad up a bookshelf, it having seen what the pair did to the Xbox.
And through it all the blue light on the Wii kept blinking, blinking, finally glad nobody has thought about it in years.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:19 PM on April 5
April 3rd, 2013
Twenty Awesome Covers From The US Space Program. My favourite is the cover for the manual for the NASA/Grumman Apollo Lunar Module: nothing else looks like the LM.
[Via Extenuating Circumstances]
April 2nd, 2013
How People Sit in Meetings and What it Really Means. So accurate.
Unicorn 1030s Pupil Posture
I'm facing you, sitting straight, with no internet, and I'm actually paying attention to you. Nobody has sat this way in a meeting in 20 years.
I promise you it's not just the words. The illustrations of each type are pretty wonderful too. Go see.
[Via Pop Loser]
April 1st, 2013
Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox: April 1, 2013 Mobile Usability for Cats: Essential Design Principles for Felines…
- Rapid double and triple taps are common among felines, especially kittens; any response from a multi-tap should be even faster/louder/blinkier than from a single tap.
- Swiping is expected to work from any and every direction, so ensure that your targets are extra responsive and include corresponding sounds.
- Animation is especially important, including blinking. In fact, if your site or app doesn't animate, it's pretty much useless.
- This is a revolutionary finding, considering that blinking has been contraindicated in web design ever since it was #3 on the list of top-10 design mistakes of 1996.
- A sensory-activated "pause mode" is highly suggested, as nearly half the cats randomly stopped what they were doing to lie down on their devices and stretch, nap, or self-groom for extended periods before resuming their tasks.