Thursday, December 30, 2004

In Stores Now!

It felt great to find my DVD in the Magma shop today.

It's exactly why I wanted to get away from the web and into a product-based business. No matter how great a website might be, there's nothing like being able to touch and feel something you've created.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Hmmm -- upgrades

So, I'm boarding the flight back to London, when a stewardess stops me and snatches my ticket stub away, and starts moving me in the opposite direction of my seat. After having spent 3 hours travelling to the airport and waiting to board, and looking forward to another 7 hours of flying -- I was about to cop a serious attitude.

Luckily I didn't, because I soon realised that she was trying to slip me into business class without attracting a lot of attention.

That made my day. I spent most of the flight feeling like a king, until it occurred to me what a head-game the airlines have going.

Compared to being wedged into unnaturally small seats and eating cardboard meals -- my mind was fooled into thinking that I was in a position of luxury. But as I thought about it objectively -- the seats were just normal sized, and if I had been served the same meal at a restaurant I would have rejected it.

But it's all about context. When used to deprivation, all of a sudden things like fresh bread and hot towels seem great.

Maybe there is a lesson in this. Maybe instead of going to nice and luxurious places on holiday -- I should go to some cold, damp, miserable place and then I'd be grateful to return to the amenities of home.

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Thursday, December 16, 2004

Some addictive japanese Flash games

Found here...

Check out ZipBear Town and Zookeeper

It takes a minute to figure out how to play, but once you do, they are pretty addictive.

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Friday, December 03, 2004

Distorion to Static

Everything should be designed.

I've gotten into the habit of watching FreeView (Broadcast digital TV) at night before I fall asleep. Broadcast digital has the advantage of perfect image and stereo sound, without the analogue artefacts such as snow and ghosting. However, broadcast signals are still subject to the same rules, so at times the signal degrades.

When that happens, the audio suddenly sounds like experimental electro music gone wrong. It's choppy, grating, and not exactly what I want to hear when I'm trying to approach sleep.

While static noise is not ideal either, a half-second of static is a smoother transition over the loss of signal than no sound at all.

The creators of Freeview boxes don't seem to have thought of this -- because I'm sure the elimination of static noise was the goal. But I think they should have programmed it back in. Perhaps more gracefully -- you can imagine the sound of the ocean replacing the random white noise, but it would have the same effect of handling the loss of signal and giving the viewer a better experience rather than making them feel like the receiving end of a modem.

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