June 30, 2006
links for 2006-06-30
Monkey Island's Maker
Publishers today, if you look at any of the mainstream publishers, they get so fixated on these very large budgets. It's kind of amazing. For instance, the budget for my game is actually quite modest compared to most, and that's actually a red flag for them. If you don't come in wanting to spend $10 or $15 million, it's like they don't take you seriously at some level, and I think that's a real problem.
It's Like a Slow Internet for Cars!
Gems of the U.S. interstate from NPR. The highways just turned 50!
June 29, 2006
There's Oil in the Water
Google's Chris Sacca posts a brilliant visual representation of the energy cost of shipping in bottled water from abroad. Ick.
The Giantess Pinocchia
June 28, 2006
Avian Android Warriors from 1986
So, um, did anybody else watch Silverhawks back in the mid-80s? Because I did and it is AMAZING to see it again.
It is actually somewhat better-animated than some other old favorites (ahem). I make no such claims for the writing, though.
P.S. Scope the space-squid at 9:30. It turns into a space-bike.
Strategic Advice from Grand Moff Tarkin
Current U.S. foreign policy straight out of Star Wars, sez Yglesias. Truth-value of claim irrelevant as it is appealing mix of policy and pop culture.
links for 2006-06-28
Waterfall vs. Scrum
The "scrum" is an interesting approach to working with teams, discussed here in the context of game development but certainly more broadly applicable.
No project-management philosophy works exactly as advertised, of course -- but different approaches do make a difference.
Wired has a roundup of mistakes that nearly led to nuclear war. Notable:
October 25, 1962 A guard at an Air Force base in Duluth, Minnesota, shoots someone climbing a fence (not knowing itís a bear), which triggers a miswired alarm at an Air National Guard base in Wisconsin. Nuclear-armed F-106 fighter jets scramble.
I can't decide if these are grimly funny or just grim.
June 27, 2006
On the heels of Half-Life 2 I downloaded and played Half-Life 2: Episode One, the first in a series of Half-Life episodes that Valve is releasing: $19.95, a solid four hours of fun, big cliffhanger at the end, next episode in a couple of months. Done and done.
Once Snacksby gets off the ground it's going to be the. coolest. thing.
I just added beans.
links for 2006-06-27
What a Weenie World
Science Press Release of the Week
From the always-interesting EurekAlert! feed.
Um, Who's Been Using My Computer?
I know it is self-indulgent to post a screenshot of your Firefox tabs, but this made me laugh, so permit me: Ha!
Indie digital cinema story of the moment. Pretty cool.
P.S. I can't help it: Every time I see Adam Penenberg's byline all I can do is think of Steve Zahn in Shattered Glass.
June 26, 2006
Reviews of the New Slate.com
From across the Web:
Yeah, pretty much sums it up for me. (By the way, I didn't cherry-pick; those are the top mentions on Technorati right now.) Generally, I don't mind redesigns; I think I'm usually pretty good about detaching from my nostalgia for familiar layouts. But the new Slate aches my kidneys. It is so bad.
June 22, 2006
Summer in St. Pete
Poynter Summer Fellowship in effect!
June 21, 2006
Massively Multimaker ...
links for 2006-06-21
June 20, 2006
A House Depleted
The best article in the brand-new Democracy: A Journal of Ideas is Brad Carson's review (reg. req'd) of a book called The House: The History of the House of Representatives by Robert Remini. And it is so good because it is so sad:
The distance from [Henry] Clay to [Dennis] Hastert can only be measured along a steep descent. It is for this reason that Reminiís new history of the House of Representatives reads like a chronicle of degeneration, a well-wrought record of the decay of American politics and, perhaps, of American character, too. The House once was the very heart of democracy; such was its prestige that Clay himself left the Senate to seek election to what he called the "peopleís chamber."
Carson is particularly well-suited to write this review because... he was a congressman! As he says, he reads Remini's book as the tale of an institution that was really good and interesting for a while -- the first half of the 19th century, Clay's time -- but has been sliding into the sea ever since.... Read more ....
Come On, Make Me Work
Encouraged by Matt's post, I saw Brick on Saturday night. Man oh man. What a perfect movie. Everything about it is great: the acting, the look, the mood, the style... even the shocking post-theater reminder that it was all done on a shoestring. The movie has a gravity and wholeness that suggests it will still be totally watchable in five years, or fifty.
But my favorite thing about Brick is the fact that it makes you work. Not work in a kind of loopy art-school way, but rather, you've simply got to keep your brain spinning as you watch it. No cinema-induced coma here. You've got to constantly process what's going on -- from the super-fast, super-stylized patter to the byzantine plotting -- to keep in step with the movie. Revelations don't thud into your lap; they sneak in the back door.
And the laughs are all so well-constructed and well-earned: There is not a single cheap one in this entire movie.
I think so many critics read it as a film-geek stunt (e.g.) because, well, they're film geeks. My non-film-geek verdict is A++ would watch again. In five years or fifty.... Read more ....
I am about to rain down a mighty torrent of blog entries.
No recently-consumed media artifact is safe.
June 19, 2006
links for 2006-06-19
June 17, 2006
Open Peer Review
Chris Anderson links to an interesting experiment:
The scientific journal Nature is conducting a fascinating experiment in "open peer review", which it describes this way:In Nature's peer review trial, lasting for three months, authors can choose to have their submissions posted on a preprint server for open comments, in parallel with the conventional peer review process. Anyone in the field may then post comments, provided they are prepared to identify themselves. Once the usual confidential peer review process is complete, the public 'open peer review' process will be closed. Nature will report on the results after the trial period is over.
June 15, 2006
Noted: The best brainstorming happens outside of groups. Thus, if you want good ideas, don't rope everybody into a 60-minute whiteboard session. Instead, send them all off to their own little hidey-holes, and then re-convene later -- with instructions to bring your best ideas.
June 13, 2006
Rocketboom at the Webbys
Now this is how you cover an event.
June 12, 2006
Amnesty Int'l Ad Campaign
June 11, 2006
More Commencement Speech Goodness
Whitney Houston's commencement speech at East Southern University. Hee.
links for 2006-06-11
June 10, 2006
links for 2006-06-10
June 9, 2006
links for 2006-06-09
June 8, 2006
links for 2006-06-08
The Press' New Paradigm
Ask any veteran reporter or editor what journalism looks (looked?) like when it was at its best, and chances are you'll get the same answer: Watergate. Our finest hour. Cynical, tough-minded, cigar-chewing editors have teared up at the sight of Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford knocking on door after door, never giving up.
Woodward and Bernstein changed the game of journalism. Exposing cover-ups became the highest calling of the press. Since the fall of Nixon, reporters have dreamed of putting their byline on the story that told you what they didn't want you to know.
But Watergate also changed America, in ways that journalism hasn't evolved to handle. In the three-and-a-half decades since Woodstein's stories first began appearing in The Washington Post, while journalists have been busy honing their ability to uncover hidden information, the world has become a place where the scarcity of info isn't the biggest problem. Its proliferation is. And by and large, journalism organizations don't have the skills or tools to sort through all the data.
Whether journalists know it or not, we've entered a new paradigm while we've been clinging to our old ideals. Like Watergate, this paradigm is founded on a national scandal. Unlike Watergate, historians will judge our performance during this scandal to be a failure, not a success.
Welcome to the age of Enron.... Read more ....
June 7, 2006
If Your Comments Don't Auto-Publish ....
... this might be a reason. We've set up Snarkmarket so comments on posts older than 5 days ago automatically head to moderation before they're published. This has cut waaaay back on the amount of spam that's published (unpublishing spam after it already goes through is a pain, requiring copious rebuilding of templates). I just junked about 500 messages on old posts, 99.5% of which were spam. Four of those comments, however, were legit, and I'm calling 'em out here, 'cause Recent Holla won't get 'em.
June 6, 2006
links for 2006-06-06
Apartment Hunting for Nerds
June 5, 2006
Ambush in Iraq
WaPo journalist Nelson Hernandez, traveling with a convoy of water trucks in Iraq, gets ambushed by insurgents -- and gets it on tape. It's scary, in part because it's so chaotic and confusing. Definitely not a movie, and definitely not a video game. (Via.)
links for 2006-06-05
June 3, 2006
links for 2006-06-03
June 1, 2006