• "EON has a full-time staff of six, headed up by editor Zapatero (known to his grandma as Richie Shoemaker), who told Wired.co.uk that around two-thirds of the content of the magazine is written by EVE players, who are paid in in-game currency for their work. It acquires the reserves of in-game cash to pay its writers by selling ads to in-game organisations, like banks or insurance companies, which pay their ad bills in the game's currency too. The setup means that gamers who play EVE have more ways to make in-game cash than just mining or trading in the game universe. They can also be a journalist, reporting on galactic events." This is completely brilliant/nuts. Also: I love the idea that people want to collect the historiography of the universe.
  • This is beyond brilliant. Not because it's More Hard Fun From The Maker Of QWOP, but because it's actually easier than QWOP, and it tickles exactly the same part of my brain that bouldering itself tickled, and it makes brilliant use of finger-gymnastics and the keyboard, and it's marvellous, really. I just want to go home and play it all night.
  • "Deep craft is more than knowledge. It is a set of knowings. Knowing what is likely to work and what not to work. Knowing what methods to use, what principles are likely to succeed, what parameter values to use in a given technique. Knowing whom to talk to down the corridor to get things working, how to fix things that go wrong, what to ignore, what theories to look to. This sort of craft-knowing takes science for granted and mere knowledge for granted. And it derives collectively from a shared culture of beliefs, an unspoken culture of common experience." Craft / scenius / place / knowledge. The W Brian Arthur sounds great, and Matt's point – that building strength in a sector is building culture, and that requires investment in something that won't see immediate returns (rather than "five-year plans" and "strategies") is acute. Very good stuff.
  • "So there's a cosmonaut up in space, circling the globe, convinced he will never make it back to Earth; he's on the phone with Alexei Kosygin — then a high official of the Soviet Union — who is crying because he, too, thinks the cosmonaut will die.

    The space vehicle is shoddily constructed, running dangerously low on fuel; its parachutes — though no one knows this — won't work and the cosmonaut, Vladimir Komarov, is about to, literally, crash full speed into Earth, his body turning molten on impact. As he heads to his doom, U.S. listening posts in Turkey hear him crying in rage, "cursing the people who had put him inside a botched spaceship.""

    The terrible, sad cost of the space race. Warning: contains a graphic image of human remains in an open casket. Also: is, in many ways, very upsetting. But this is history, and it must be documented.

  • Totally lovely montage of arcade-game death/loss animations. Watching this: I really forgot how beautiful Afterburner looked in the arcade.
  • "Robert Downey Jr really sells the idea of being a design engineer. To be fair, the Iron Man script does him the great service of having him have to build himself a new heart in a cave in Afghanistan, thus having to make imperfect things and fettle them to fit. That feeling gets slightly lost later in his super-engineer pad where apparently nothing needs filing when it comes back from the rapid prototyping machine. But he still manages to exude a kind of mad joy at making things, a fundamental character trait in the way that having nice breasts is not." Sophie on the emotional truths of storytelling.
  • "I'm not going to lie to you; fugitive.vim may very well be the best Git wrapper of all time."
  • "Where does this go from here? DVD boxes that have screens on them, that are players too. Or perhaps simply projectors. Player and media combined as a single usage item. Experiments like this have been around for ages but are mainly novelty items. I think we need more of this silliness, relating to what I said recently about dreaming and being experimental. We need seemingly crazy ideas like stickers that are screens. That's how we create the new stuff, from the random throw-away ideas." More hopeful monsters.
  • "I would separate out the true independent developer vs. the hobbyist," says Fils-Aime. "We are absolutely reaching out to the independent developer. Where we've drawn the line is we are not looking to do business today with the garage developer. In our view, that’s not a business we want to pursue." Sustainable, maybe, but sad at the same time.

Links & notes for this month