The Longest Now


Gaming, rockstars, etc
Tuesday November 29th 2005, 8:33 pm
Filed under: poetic justice

Thanks to Dave’s fabulous new game-industry blog
(now that he’s the associate dir @ MIT’s gaming lab, it’s about time he
got one up), I’ve been following some of the recent scandals and events
in the latest generation of games, something I haven’t done since
E3.   And today I was lucky enough to spend an hour with Cory Ondrejka at Berkman, someone I haven’t seen since Accelerating Change this time last year.

So I was reading up on the latest changes in Second Life, and ran
across this insightful take on Rockstar, from the cybersex-oriented Black Love Interactive:

[I]f they think “hot coffee” was explicit, it’s woefully juvenile and tame
compared to the real AO titles- which typically have the balls to go AO
and not try to be “cool and dangerous” in a mainstream game marketed to
teens and sold through Wal-Mart… a rather *sleazy* market to try to
be “edgy” in. Their brand image reminds me of the rebellious teenager
who hangs out with younger kids so that he can be a badass and get
respect even though all of his peers think he’s a huge loser. If they
want to make adult games, by all means do it and don’t water it down
just so some 17 year olds can get it for their Christmas present from
Grandma ;p It would be cool if Rockstar actually did make AO games with
sex etc. but that would take backbone and is a suggestion beyond the
scope of this rant[…]

Next time I see one of the developers of “Bully”, I’ll be thinking of Xmas prezzies from grandma.



ETs phone in
Friday November 25th 2005, 12:50 am
Filed under: %a la mod

Even the Onion knew this was coming. 

ETs phone in …



HDD : D for “D”eath
Friday November 25th 2005, 12:10 am
Filed under: chain-gang

Both hcs and I have had disk troubles a little more often than one
might like over the past few years.  I’m on my fourth drive now in
3 years.  Is this oiverheating?  Shared karma?  that
beantown vibe?  I don’t overclock, play 52-part pickup, or do
other extravagant things, on bluesky or metamorph.  I do regularly
give thanks for my Lacie backup drive, and have even purchased
commercial Win-partition rescue software, which was useful on more than
one occasion.  I’ve looked around to see if this is a common
Thinkpad problem, but it doesn’t seem to be.  At any rate, I live
my computerized life lightly, expecting to leave it at any
time…  For a moment I even considered shifting to ‘online
storage’ systems before regaining my presence of mind.

Then today I realized that the drive in my desktop machine has been the
same for six years.  Six.  With a noisy, balky fan that’s
been replaced at least once.  Funny, that… and I’d better make
extra sure to have spares for that baby on hand.



Welcome to the wrong version
Thursday November 24th 2005, 11:15 pm
Filed under: %a la mod

via the warninglabelgenerator...

Most people think they have a local monopoly on truth in observation,
analysis, judgment.  Those who do not deserve praise and support,
as it is easy for others (more sure of themselves) to bias scientific
decisions and other analyses.  And in the end, almost all versions of truth or analysis are wrong.

Welcome to the wrong version …



Panos puts it well
Saturday November 19th 2005, 8:50 pm
Filed under: chain-gang

Through their fine reporting on the media bazaar.  
I have many posts to make and images to upload myself; for the moment
you will have to be content with theirs. 

Today I scoured the city for internet cafes (les publinets). 
I found two, of varying quality and elegance; charging $1-2/hr. 
both suffered from a “lack of resource” over the course of two hours —
the satellite connections through which their landline providers
connect to the internet were down.  Apparently this happens
often… I had heard rumors of it, but most telling was the acceptance
of others in the cafe who simply hung around waiting for the connection
to return.

I ended up finding access at a 4-star hotel with its own private
connection to the rest of the world.  Unfortunately, I don’t have
a room here, and have to leave the comfort of their lobby presently…

Panos puts it well …



Notes from WSIS
Friday November 18th 2005, 2:03 pm
Filed under: %a la mod

WSIS welcome packets should have included a few extra notices.

1) bring your own toilet paper.
2) if you can’t do this, use one of the good restrooms upon arrival,
and steal a small roll for the day.  just in case.  it’s not
that there is a shortage of paper, just a shortage of active people to
replace it.
3) use the restrooms off of the Expo, not the ones off of the main
conference area.  they actually have hooks for jackets, paper, and
never run out of soap.
4) if you can’t reach your favorite website from one wifi spot, look
for another one in the Expo; some of them apparently pass through UN
routers, and others through Tunisian routers. 



`SMSI – beginning with a bang
Wednesday November 16th 2005, 3:03 am
Filed under: international

First trial : see how many people can fit into 4,000 seats… the
opening session was quiet, packed, and not at all sensational. 
The audience was too large for them to carry out their desired
badge-check (getting thousands of people in and out of a two-door
badge-checking bottleneck in half an hour : difficult in New York with
a little planning; impossible in Tunis on a moment’s notice), so
despite not having found the place to pick up my pass, I was able to
stay for it.

The
presentation by Tunisia’s President Ben Ali would be replayed over the
course of the week, on national television, and on the TVs embedded in
buses to and from the Kram Palexpo hosting SMSI/WSIS, hundreds of
times. By the time I had been in Tunis four days, I was so used to the
inclusion of Ben Ali’s face in every publication and many
establishments, I no longer noticed it. 

The most sensational content was understated and between the lines;
presenters commenting on how ‘certain countries’ attending the summit
disrespect the rights of their citizens – particularly those who disagree with the administration; and on the
holding of strawman elections
in countries where political expression is censored.  Noone from
Tunisia responded to any of these comments, and it is the kind of
subject that one enters into with local residents at great social peril
(I feel certain that this is a social nuance exaggerated by proximity to
central Tunis).  I almost ended up at a gathering of the local
human rights group today, which would have been fascinating — if only
because I might have gotten sincere responses to simple questions about
life here.

`SMSI – beginning with a bang …



Frank
Saturday November 12th 2005, 1:10 am
Filed under: %a la mod

Thanks, Apple.  Thanks, 1989.  And thanks, Mr. Miller.  One small slither in sand, one giant leap for animation.

Frank …



Wikimania footage coming to a photoshop near you
Tuesday November 08th 2005, 6:43 pm
Filed under: chain-gang

Rory O’Connor, of Hole in the Wall fame, posts today on pbs.org about the wiki footage he shot at Wikimania,
his take on wiki media, and ideas for a wikmientary mashing together
his 13 hours of raw footage (soon to be compressed and posted to
 archive.org for public delectation). 

Wikimania footage coming to a photoshop near you …



New Orleans damage..
Tuesday November 08th 2005, 6:19 am
Filed under: %a la mod

You can see it here, thanks to the quick eye of Ray in Austin.

New Orleans damage.. …



Red scare
Tuesday November 08th 2005, 6:16 am
Filed under: Too weird for fiction

The “Polit Bureau” of the Communist Party*
of a billion-person nuclear government took aim at Washington last
month, claiming the UN-organized Volcker committee was a product
of “the
US and its allies
,” pausing to note “the pressure of vicious attacks by
the rightwing circles in the United States against the United
Nations
”   The Apocamon are knocking at the door…

* Not China; rather the “Communist Party of India (Marxist)”, the largest of around ten similarly-named parties in the country.

Red scare …




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