The Null Device
Game and puzzle designer Bob Abbott on why video games have become incredibly stupid; mainly due to advances in technology, the fallacy that graphic realism makes for a good game and/or the Big Yellow Shorts factor:
Not only are they incredibly stupid, they arent even game designers. They are computer programmers and graphic artists. Video game companies cant even comprehend the concept of a game inventor. To them, a game or a puzzle is of no consequence.
I think the main reason for the failure of the new video games is simply this switch from the top-down view to the 3-D view. The top-down view just gives you more information. You see where all the monsters are, you see what is travelling into your area, you see where the barriers are, and you can plan ahead. In the 3-D view, you only see what is directly ahead of you. And about all youre given to do is shoot at what you see.
Damn right. IMHO, some of the most interesting computer games were developed on ancient 8-bit computers and the like back in the distant past before the invention of the first-person shooter genre, and the confinement of the market to the carefully researched demographic of overweight teenage boys with 15-second attention spans. (via Plastic)
This is cool: Gadfly, a reasonably efficient SQL database module for Python, written entirely in Python (with optional C extensions) and using portable data files. I think Zope might make some use of it too. Mind you, I can't help but think that they could have made it more lightweight by getting rid of SQL text parsing and having a procedural interface for queries. (via gimbo)
The EFF has argued that if file-sharing software is illegal, then so is the Internet, at least in its present incarnation as an unregulated peer-to-peer network where any machine can connect to any other and transfer any bits. Interesting argument, though it could backfire; one can imagine a judge ruling that the anarchy of the Internet is actually a form of racketeering, and mandate that carriers and ISPs do something about it (such as introduce mandatory traceability and/or copy-denial technologies at the protocol level).
Massive taxpayer-funded bailout of Victoria's floundering public transport system, with hundreds of millions of dollars being given to multinational corporations to keep the system, hobbled by a problematic ticketing system and a privatisation regime seemingly designed to help the road lobby and euthanase the unfashionably socialistic institution of public transport, from collapsing. Wouldn't it just be cheaper to just tear up the tracks, replace them with roads, sell off overhead wiring for copper and stations to real-estate developers (you could build lots of car parks), and give every Victorian a car-buyer's grant or credit towards taxi fares?
Here's a new scam for you, Lev: Who Knew It Would Be So Easy To Impersonate A Priest?
The thing you have to realize is, when you dress up like a priest, people want to believe you're a priest. I recently visited a small town in Missouri where no one knew me and started walking around in my priest outfit. Within a few hours, I was invited to a week's worth of home-cooked meals. Man, did I eat good! And you know what? Not a single person asked me to show my priest ID card before serving up the roast turkey and mashed potatoes.
And in the same Onion:
BREMERTON, WA-- A head of genetically modified broccoli shrieked its numerous benefits at shoppers Monday in a Seattle-area Safeway. "I contain 40 percent more vitamin A than non-modified broccoli!" the head screeched at terrified produce-aisle customers. "I can fight off insects and disease without the use of pesticides!" Monsanto, makers of the vegetable, stressed that genetic-modification technology is still in its infancy, and that more pleasantly voiced broccoli should hit store shelves by 2003.
Obituary: Comedic legend Spike Milligan has died, aged 83. Milligan was the last surviving member of the Goon Show team (the others were Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Michael Bentine), and founded that very English strain of surrealistic, alternative comedy, paving the way for the likes of Monty Python, the Goodies and Eddie Izzard. Like many great comedians, Milligan suffered from manic depression and struggled with mental illness.