• "What this magazine requires," he said, "is red-blooded, one-hundred-per-cent dynamic stuff, palpitating with warm human interest and containing a strong, poignant love-motive." "That," we replied, "is us all over, Mabel." "What I need at the moment, however, is a golf story." "By a singular coincidence, ours is a golf story." Lovely short Wodehouse about the coming of Gowf to a far-off land.
  • "Perhaps we should be turning up at the cinema expecting more stories about resilience, or reports from the future where the problems are what to do with limitless energy, or Japanese consciousness multipliers, rather than dustbowls and gasmask hipsters. Authors: is that nihilism really what you want to leave behind? Your silhouette a stoop, rather than a hurrah?" Jim, quite rightly, likes his "shiny retro shit".
  • "Here’s my notes for the talk Streaming Massive Environments from 0 to 200 MPH presented by Chris Tector from Turn 10 Studios. He’s listed as a Software Architect there, and obviously has a deep understanding of the streaming system they used on Forza 3. This talk was nice and deep technically, and touches all parts of the spectrum." Very technical. But: if you can grok what's going on (and this is about at the limits of my simple understanding – could barely start to recreate what's described), it's very interesting about the challenge of rendering beautiful, high detail environments at a solid 60fps, mainly by pre-preparing a lot, and maximising streaming performance both from disk and from memory.
  • "A computer mystery/romance set five minutes into the future of 1988." Looks jolly good.
  • Ben Heck made his own pinball table. And it's not some half-baked pinball table running off a connected PC, with off the shelf components; it's largely built from scratch, from the cabinet to the LED matrix (!). All running off a single microcontroller. He's a smart guy.
  • "In five years, the coolest stuff on the iPad shouldn’t be Spider-Man 5, Ke$ha’s third album, or the ePub ver sion of Annabel Scheme. If that’s all we’ve got, it will mean that Apple suc ceeded at invent ing a new class of device… but we failed at invent ing a new class of content. In five years, the coolest stuff on the iPad should be… jeez, you know, I think it should be art."
  • Gorgeous retro-styled, genuinely-3D space combat strategy game for PC and (hurrah!) Xbox 360 Indie Games. Love the jaunty, Jetsons-y typefaces, the gentle piano music as combat plays out, the turn structure, and the hints at what's to come in the preview video. (Although: why anyone would make ships with weak bottoms (as opposed to bottoms & tops) in a genuinely 3D game seems strange. Gravity Bone was delightful, so this could be great; will buy it as soon as it's out.
  • "Everyone seems to be compiling lists of the best games of the decade, so here, with minimal special pleading or argumentation, is mine." Steven Poole's list is good, though two entries for the MGS series is one too many, IMHO. I'd swap one of them for something Harmonix-flavoured.
  • "This is a list of old game releases. These games were priced at nearly $50 a year ago, now probably a lot less. Why buy a new game when there are plenty of fun games out there worth renting or buying for less?" Games released twelve months ago this week, by Andre Torrez. He's right, you know – games don't have to be about nowness all the time.
  • "It’s pretty difficult to talk about what you’ve got wrong. When you’ve been working on something like School of Everything very intensely for two years you can’t really blame the mistakes on anybody else. But the truth is that we need to rethink because we haven’t managed to make the idea financially sustainable yet." And so they're doing out loud. It's a big move; I hope it works out OK for them, because they're definitely Good People.
  • "In the desert 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles is a suburb abandoned in advance of itself—the unfinished extension of a place called California City. Visible from above now are a series of badly paved streets carved into the dust and gravel, like some peculiarly American response to the Nazca Lines (or even the labyrinth at Chartres cathedral). The uninhabited street plan has become an abstract geoglyph—unintentional land art visible from airplanes—not a thriving community at all."
  • "On the contrary, the quick wins of some big ticket consulting sessions sell our discipline short by pretending that design is some magical elixir that can be poured into a situation and zammo everything is fixed up. Like accounting, medicine, and just about every other profession, design is a practice which is persistently useful at regular intervals. If anything, during this transitional period where business and government are slowly coming to terms with the potential yield of having design as an integral part of the conversation it behooves us to collectively seek longer engagements, not shorter." Some excellent stuff from Bryan Boyer.
  • "As a real-life pro skater, you might spend three hours out of every day practicing. Three hours trying new tricks, screwing up and the ground abruptly slipping out from under you. Imagine living your life in that fog of frustration, embarrassment, adrenaline and pride. Now let's imagine you got really sick, swallowed, like, nine Paracetamols and passed out in bed. THPS2 is what you'd dream." Quinns goes misty-eyed over THPS2, and he is right to do so. It was wonderful.
  • "It’s pretty common to want SQL queries against a particular table to always be sorted the same way, and is one of the reasons why I added the ordered scope to the utility scopes gem… Well now you can specify default ordering, and other scopes, in edge rails directly in your ActiveRecord model." Hurrah!
  • "With the recent addition of dynamic scopes, however, you now have a way to both quickly specify query logic and chain further conditions. The naming works in the same manner as dynamic finders and the chaining works in the same fashion as conventional named scopes." Ooh. New in Rails 2.3, and passed me by a little.
  • Really rather good series of tutorials on the FCE4 basics.
  • "So here's my theory: WoW doesn't resemble a film. It resembles, rather, a medieval cathedral. And a magnificent one: it is the Chartres of the video-game world. Like a cathedral, it is a supreme work of art that is, on a brick-by-brick basis, the creation of hundreds of artisans and craftsmen, many of whom will be long gone by the time it comes to completion; indeed, since WoW is in a state of permanent expansion, it may not ever be "complete". All those programmers are the modern-day equivalent of stonemasons, foundation-diggers and structural engineers."
  • "This December, the Eisner-winning artists behind such acclaimed projects as "Sugar Shock," "Umbrella Academy," and "BPRD: 1947" will present "Daytripper," their first original title from DC Comics' Vertigo imprint… The comic, which jumps around moments in the life of Brazilian aspiring novelist and newspaper obituary writer Brás de Oliva Domingos, will follow the main character as he explores and evaluates his own existence and attempts to discover the answer behind the mystery of the meaning of life itself." Oh. This sounds good!