the-inbetween yearly archives for: 2008

NoScript vs Popular Weblogs

Popular Weblogs As Seen By NoScript Javascript has been on my mind. I had a fairly large sized javascript project a month ago and I currently have something smaller going and I’ve been using NoScript plugin for Firefox for a couple of months now. Funny enough, I installed a javascript blocking extension mere weeks before getting a javascript-exclusive contract job. It always seems to work that way. It’s NoScript, though, that has made me more aware of javascript usage. Seeing…

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Visa Application

Like an unstoppable freight train, the date of my Canadian escape draws nearer and nearer. I had my Canadian passport done a month ago. Today I submitted my application for a Polish –European Union– passport at the Consulate. Yesterday I purchased my airfare and a week’s worth of accommodation in London. I fly out July 7th. I return November 3rd. The last item is the scary one. It makes the whole thing tangible. It’s no longer just an idea that…

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Revisionist Gaming History

I like this illustration showing the (incomplete) history of videogame console controllers. It’s part of MoMA’s Design and the Elastic Mind exhibit and it does a decent job of documenting console user input evolution. There are some understandable gaps in the history (where’s the TurboGrafx-16, with its two buttons and totally useless turbo switches? Or that Atari Jaguar monstrosity?) and some odd errors (the analog nub on the PSP is omitted) but the thing that stands out for me is…

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Crystal Castles vs Creative Commons

Remember that time I wrote about the then new Crystal Castles album? My semi-review came from the perspective of someone familiar with the chiptune sound and annoyed by all the Pitchforkerati buzz proclaiming it “innovative.” I objected to those proclamations but, essentially, raved about the music itself and, essentially, admired Crystal Castles‘ nonchalance to the scene. They weren’t of the scene but they were of the same pop-culture zeitgeist, having grown up with 8-bit videogames, that created that scene. Synchronicity…

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Team Fortress 2 Free Weekend

The Team Fortress 2 Free Weekend is nearing its end. I downloaded the game and played for an hour and a half on Friday evening. I do have The Orange Box, which contains Team Fortress 2, on the 360 but I never felt compelled to play it there. Partly because there were some serious lag issues when it first launched. I like the game — it’s a very well made shooter — and I love its art direction and design…

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Justice – “Stress”

French electro-hipsters Justice recently released a new video for their track “Stress”. [hi-res video link] It lives up to the title. The video follows a gang of banlieue thugs as they go on a rampage across the city. It’s violent and uncompromising, likely to never be seen on TV on this side of the Atlantic, and, to no one’s surprise, already quite controversial. In some ways, it’s a very condensed version of La Haine [trailer]. On a superficial level, the…

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IP Imperialism

It’s not a new development, but it is one that seems to resurface every few months. The US is, of course, trying to export US-style copyright reform to Canada. This is happening all around the world. Many new treaties and trade pacts between the United States and foreign countries include copyright stipulations. The US is exceedingly aggressive in this regard and, often times, very one sided. They complain when other nations don’t respect copyrights as strictly as they do, citing…

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FITC and Flash

FITC Toronto was in full swing over the last weekend and it struck me with a severe case of deja vu. Annual conferences like this, if you attend them frequently enough, are strange beasts. Forgotten names are brought up, faces that are seen once a year show up and all the lunch time (in)decisions and presentations feel awfully familiar. There are always interesting bits and pieces and insights to take away from some of the talks, though it’s often a…

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Sins of a Solar Empire’s UI Designer

As a long time web user it really bugs me when games have really poor user interface design and architecture. It’s one thing when it’s in-game, with all the engine and graphical and game data considerations, but when the menu interface is broken and/or archaic it’s downright annoying. Sins of a Solar Empire is one such title. I like the game — played a three-plus hour battle online yesterday — but my experience, on the whole, is lukewarm because of…

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Alternate Best Comedy Sketches

No doubt you’ve seen the list of 50 greatest comedy sketches that’s making the rounds. Lists like that make great weblog fodder. Unlike most lists, though, this one isn’t all bad. The top two (or three) are a little predictable and for all the Monty Python love that I have (I’d have filled half of that list with Python skits) I’m not entirely fond of the “Dead Parrot” bit. I’d have listed the Philosopher’s World Cup and the wartime joke…

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Pentax K20D

I have a penchant for overly expensive hobbies. When I’m not playing an over-priced game on an expensive console connected to an even more expensive HD television — like right now, with the XBox dead in the water — I like to go out and take pictures. Photography, even if you go digital and remove the film and processing costs, is not a cheap hobby if you want to pursue it seriously. It’s a relatively new interest for me but…

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Kudos to Microsoft

It’s back. I’ve bitched about the reliability of XBox hardware before. I’ve complained about the lousy call centre experience I had last time my XBox 360 died and the time it took to get my console fixed. This week, however, Microsoft has done right; I received my replacement 360 Friday afternoon. That’s a turn-around of six days. System broke and reported on Saturday, I received the box Monday afternoon, sent it Tuesday and I was delivered a replacement on Friday.…

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Chiptunes vs Crystal Castles

As a final addendum to my post on Crystal Castles, I present: Crystal Castles – Crimewave (8-bit cover) Yes, somebody did a pure chiptune remix of Crystal Castles. I love it; it’s so meta. A lo-fi 8-bit remix of a song that, itself, was a lo-fi remix of a song. At this point, I expect and hope that somebody brings down the bits even more and remixes the 8-bit version using Monotone.

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