Tuesday, January 31, 2006

More YubNubs

Added alexa2 and reddit

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Maukie - Virtual Kitty from Japan

I found this virtual Kitty Maukie (Japanese).

You can download it from my mirror:
maukie2.swf (58k) - right-click and save.

Maukie Fanclub

[Update: Much of the following is Japanese, but Maukie was created by Anneke Hut]

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Monday, January 30, 2006

LazyWeb 2.0

There should be a site where you can suggest software or hardware inventions and then donate funds to create a bounty for the eventual creation of that invention.

So, you fire off an idea, the bounty reaches, say $1000, and it's worth it to a developer who makes it, posts it, and claims the reward.

Ironically, I'd build a site like this if I had the time.

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P2P TV Multicast

I've been playing with SopCast, a P2P streaming TV channel -- with mainly Chinese content at the moment.

Wouldn't it be great if there were a program that took my TV-in and shared it on a P2P network? For instance, if I were watching BBC1 through my PC, via cable, it would join a stream of everyone else who is watching BBC1, and then someone who was in China could watch the collective stream.

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SiteAdvisor - tracking web risk

SiteAdvisor is a tool that registers with various sites and tracks how dangerous they are in terms of spyware, spam, viruses.

It would be nice if they took it a step further and allowed user comments.

(via gHacks)

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visualcomplexity.com | A visual exploration on mapping complex networks

visualcomplexity.com | A visual exploration on mapping complex networks

... I think I just wet myself.

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Google Earth - Time slider wanted!

Google Earth needs a Time slider.

Not only could it be used to track changes (building developments, etc.), but they could also import historical maps and have artist renditions of past times.

How amazing would it be to scroll back through a view of London deconstructed back to the Roman era?

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Sunday, January 29, 2006


DiggNation is a weekly vidcast presenting the highlights from Digg.com

It's pretty good ... but still I couldn't resist doing this parody (5mb, .mp4)

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Is Yahoo! mail dirty dealing?

I've noticed on more than one occasion that account activation emails sent to my Yahoo! mail account have been filtered into the Bulk folder for Junk mail.

It's happened with YouTube and Blogger to name two.

I wonder, is Yahoo! deliberately sabotaging their competitors?

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TalkMan PSP

TalkMan seems to be flying below the radar of most game sites I've been reading, but I think it's possibly the most innovative thing I've seen in mobile 'gaming'... and could push me over the precipice in wanting to buy a PSP.

It's the first step towards a Star Trek style translator (although it doesn't directly translate) -- it takes your English phrase, forms it into an appropriate phrase (in Japanese, Chinese -- cantonese?, or Korean) and speaks it aloud. The person can then respond to it their language, and it will again tell you the meaning.

This is revolutionary. I could have used one of these on my trip around the world.

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The Billion Dollar Webpage

I'm not missing out on this... buy your voxels now!

Bombard your customers in a virtual reality cube of pure advertising bliss!

Help me become the first web billionnaire!

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Million Dollar HomePage - take 2

The Web2.0 Million Dollar HomePage is a repeat by of the same rediculous idea that worked for Alex Tew.

So crazy -- it might get hype just for doing the same thing.

I bought a 10x10 plot for SemacodeShop.com ... foolish or smart -- only time will tell.

All I can say is if they make an additional million, we'll all be kicking ourselves.

Well, doing a bit of homework revealed that this is one of many who quickly jumped on the bandwagon. I guess the lesson is -- don't make business decisions at 3am.

Still-- my money is on the Indian guys to do another version of this that succeeds.

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Sony loses Aibo, QRio ... and the plot

No one ever expected Sony to sell lots of robots, but it was part of what made Sony cool and exciting. The Aibo captured our hearts, the QRio captured our minds and that opened the door for the Playstation to capture our wallets.

Plus, they could use a little robotic song-and-dance about now to distract us from their DRM PR disaster.

If Sony wanted to be truly visionary, they'd publish the specs for the Aibo and QRio and allow a cottage industry of robomodders to spring up and continue development. Or turn it over to MIT media lab... do anything, but don't just kill it!

Blog round-up:
Sony Confirms Robot Shutdown, QUALIA Axed?(Gizmodo UK)
Sony discontinued the development of AIBO and QRIO (Garbagenews.com)
Waves Goodbye To Aibo(electro^plankton)

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My first YubNubs

I created a few YubNub commands:

ezn - does an Easynews.com search
godaddy - checks the availability of a domain name on GoDaddy.com

I'm loving this thing.

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Saturday, January 28, 2006

Impact Lab - Messing with the Optical Mind

A good way to give your clients flashbacks...
Impact Lab - Messing with the Optical Mind

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What Is Your Reaction Time? » SpikedHumor.com

What Is Your Reaction Time? » SpikedHumor.com

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Old School Game Nostalgia

Game Revolution's Game Endings site shows a handful of classic 8-bit and 16-bit video game endings.
(via Kotaku)

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Google Mapspotting

The mapspotting trend continues to rise as thousands pour over the detail of their Google Earth and Google Maps satellite images.

Uncovering this rooftop airstrip in New York. (Close the push-pin to see the airplane). And this aerial hack where a farmer has written his name on his land.

If this trend continues, it won't be long until the aerial view of the Earth looks like a billboard.

How long, I wonder, until some crafty company leases out land for selling banner ads by the square mile?

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

God's LEGO set

Olivo Barbieri takes aerialphotographs that look like detailed miniatures of cities.

Imagine if Google Earth looked like that!

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I often miss the old Studio Archetype setup of multiple machines we kept to test websites on different browser platforms.

BrowserCam does that on a massive scale -- testing dozens of platforms and putting screenshots in an online folder.

Fun while its free...

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Support FeverishMind -- Buy a SEMACODE Shirt!

I've launched the SemacodeShop as the first of multiple projects planned for 2006.

In part, I'm hoping to dedicate more time to writing, and to create a blogging network on par with Gawker Media, or BoingBoing.

Hence, the donation panel I'm launching from today. Shirts purchased through the shop will bring me closer to this goal.

Even better, post the button above to your site using this code:

<a href="http://semacodeshop.com/"><img src="http://semacodeshop.com/images/semacodeshop_164x52.png" border="0" alt="SemacodeShop.com" /></a>

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Zero to eCommerce in 5 days...

My obsession with Semacodes led me to build a complete shop in the past five days.


Check it out.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Yahoo! -- We're Number Two!

Yahoo! gives up quest for search dominance

Apparently Yahoo! has conceded that Google search will always have a greater market share.

12 years on since its launch, is this the sign of what happens to a young, upstart web company when it reaches its middle age and says "ahh ... I can't be bothered." ?

The reason Google has been so successful, in my opinion, is that it doesn't mash its services -- including search -- into a confusing portal, but keeps them distinct and separate. Google is search. Google Video is video hosting. Google Earth is a map.


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Discovered this via Jones: YubNub a 'command line scripting' tool for the web.

One step closer to realising the vision of the web-as-services rather than as pages. (I should mention that according to Sapient circa 1999, this was 'just about to happen')

Of course, I've always held the belief that the Web should have been converted to XML should have replaced HTML long ago as the lingua franca of the Web.

So, for instance, a YubNub GIM command should retrieve an array of Image references that you can work with. Perhaps someone will implement a HTML-to-XML site parser to plug into YubNub and we'll be that much closer.

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Monday, January 23, 2006

3D Screenshot

3D screenshot for an XBox360 game.

Genius. Here's an idea- why don't all games feature an in-game 3D screenshot tool?

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Yahoo! vs. Google - search visualisation

Langreiter.com has a tool that allows you to compare the top 100 search results for a given keyword on Yahoo! against those on Google.

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Newsflash: Reality differs from Playstation2

In this video from Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson tries to beat the time he scored on Gran Turismo, using the same car on the same track in real life.

Includes quotes such as "Whoa! That wasn't there on the Playstation"

I'm quite interested in how closely simulations can prepare people for the real thing. I experiences this when I got a strange sense of Deja Vu when I was in Japan crossing an elevated walkway. I thought "why does it feel like I've done this before?" -- only to realise it was from playing too much Jet Set Radio on the Dreamcast.

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Friday, January 20, 2006

Semacode mapping

Semacode mapping
Semacode mapping, originally uploaded by kaioshin.
Another concept for the use of semacodes.

Paint them on top of a building and the next update of Google maps might feature your url.

(Not possible yet, however, this would need about one more zoom-level on the satellite photograph to get the right detail)

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Given the video game and film industry habit of recycling franchises instead of original plots -- many films are converted to video games, and video games such as Resident Evil and Silent Hill have been converted to movies.

I reckon it's a matter of time before we see a video game based on a movie that was based on a video game.

(You could argue that the Resident Evil film is fairly close to a Film-as-Game-as-Film, considering the similarity between the first game and the George Romero zombie flicks.)

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Semacode Hacking

Semacode Hacking
Semacode Hacking, originally uploaded by kaioshin.
Damn that Jones for introducing me to semacodes!

As if I don't have enough obsessions, I'm now interested in hacking semacodes to create art.

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Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner

I've noticed that I get a few hits on a previous post for this title, so I figured I'd give the people what they must be looking for

Lyrics - Hubert Gregg
Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner,
That I love London so.
Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner
That I think of her wherever I go.
I get a funny feeling inside of me
Just walking up and down.
Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner
That I love London Town.

maybe_its_because_im_a_londoner.mp3 (4.8 MB) - As sung by Davy Jones of the Monkees.

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Google Freedom Fighters

Google Freedom Fighters
Google seems to be fighting the power lately.

First by resisting the subpoena to give their search data over to the Feds. (Yahoo! and MSN did)

Next, they're fighting Bell South and Verizon who are trying to impose fees on big websites.

Stick it to the man, Google!

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Thursday, January 19, 2006


Birds, a new video by Pleix. Who would think a music video starring dogs could be so captivating.

(via k10k)

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Pimp My Blog

I've been digging into web tools -- thinking about future projects and planning for when I finally get around to relaunching this blog, which I've outgrown.

My main criteria were, ease of completely customising the design without much coding, and intuitive editing features for non-technical users.

Here's what I've narrowed it down to:

A good CMS: Limbo CMS
A light-weight version of Mambo/Joomla, which I've played with before. Still, I've yet to see a CMS design that is immediately intuitive. They are still designed using a back-to-front model, rather than front-to-back. I should mention that Textpattern is slightly more intuitive, but it still needs quite a bit of hacking to make it robust enough to power a full feature site.

A good Wiki: DokuWiki
Seems to be flexible, and has a large developer community supporting it with plug-ins. My only concern is the lack of WYSIWYG text editing. For example, FCKeditor or WikiWyg. Although the dev community is working to integrate the FCKeditor.

A good blog: WordPress
I've noted that a lot of the blogs I visited were using this, but I've been burned before by tools that have to run on a remote mySQL database. I finally decided to try and install it, and all I can say is that it was unbelievably simple. One simple edit to a text file, creating a new database, and one install web form and it was up and running. No messing about with CHMOD or tweaking loads of config files.

The verdict? I'm going to relaunch Feverish Mind with WordPress, and for my projects I will be using some sort of CMS/Wiki fusion.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006


As part of my blogotistical research, I discovered a cool site by Carrie.

LadyKickz -- all about cool trainers for women.

I admire people who can write single focus blogs. I think they're much more useful than the sort of rambling mish-mash of thoughts I put on this blog.

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Who is reading my mind?

I've started going through the referrer logs for this blog, just out of curiosity.

Recently, I discovered a hit on a previous post linking from someone who did a Google search on massive phallus.

I don't know which is more disturbing... that someone clicked my site after such a search, or that my site is currently ranked 5th on Google for that search.

Ah... what you write may come back to haunt you.

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Monday, January 16, 2006

Machinima - the future of Indie DTV?

I've been paying attention to the whole Machinima phenomenon. Machinima are short videos recorded in-game from popular video games that support it.

More recently, Activision has released The Movies -- a game about making movies, with the ability to create and view the movie itself.

This led me to think that perhaps the future of vidCasts will come from virtual studios like this. It's more economical and you can achieve better production quality, so it seems like the most practical video analogue of podCasts.

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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Poor & Innovative vs. Rich & Stagnant

I'm worried about the tendency of new tools to emerge and then be bought by Yahoo!, Google or Microsoft.

On the surface, it seems like a good thing. A small, smart team like Ludicorp can develop Flickr and get rewarded for their effort by selling it to Yahoo! Good on them.

However, take Blogger for example. They started up, and sure they were a bit buggy and went down from time to time, but there was a new feature every so often improving the service. Since they've been purchased by Google, the service is a lot more stable, but I haven't seen a notable change in two years.

As I've mentioned in a previous post, I'm about to outgrow blogger, as many other long-time bloggers have, because it has not kept up with my growth and evolving needs (such as tagging, navigational categories).

I can't help but to think that if it had remained in the hands of the small hungry team that created it, they would have turned it into the mini, easy-to-use, CMS I've been longing for.

Instead, someone like WikiSpaces will develop a more robust service, outshine Blogger, and be bought out by Yahoo! or Google.

I think the reason for this is the organisational distance between the developers and the end-user. In the early days of Flickr, you could name drop them in a blog, and you'd get a personal note from Stewart, the company president.

I highly doubt that Google management takes any notice of your average Joe Bloggs, and if I got a personal note from Larry Page it would blow my mind.

The difference is, I say something sarky on my blog about a service run by a team of 5, they might take it personally and be motivated to change it. If I say something about a company with 5,000 employees -- I might, just might, catch the attention of a random employee, who, if motivated enough, might log this as a 'change request' which gets filled into a list with 1,000s of others, prioritised and forgotten.

If companies like Google and Yahoo! are going to continue to innovate as they did in the early years, they have to somehow maintain the spirit of a small, hungry team. And they should remember that small teams like that are always tweaking, and never satisfied with a 'stable' product.

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Do transgenic pigs breed fluorescent flu?

Given the problems we have already with Asian livestock breeding pandemic flu viruses... do we really need Taiwanese scientists inventing strange new animals?

Or maybe they're on to something-- when Pig Flu spreads, at least we'll know to keep away from the people who glow in the dark.

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Saturday, January 14, 2006

7 Billion Channels

I've been thinking about better ways to organise my blogger content -- considering I'm approaching 300 posts, and only a chronological means of navigation. Big IA no-no.

But that got me to thinking about the future of blogging in general. If everyone has a blog in the future, it will be the equivalent of 7 billion channels broadcasting at you. What are we meant to do with that much content being generated, and even more to the point -- what sort of legacy is this?

Assuming I continue to blog like this for the rest of my life, there will be roughly 4000 posts by the time I'm in my 60's. This is roughly 800,000 words, which is about 1,600 typewritten pages -- or the size of 3-4 Harry Potter books.

Now-- I of course would like to see this as a digital legacy for my children, grand-children, etc. etc. But who in their right mind would sort through all the broken links, trivial fluff and just-plain-nonsense to find the occasional original idea?

Considering I'm Generation Zero, when it comes to blogging, you take that and multiply it exponentially by the future generations and you'll need a lifetime to read what your ancestors wrote.

So, here's my solution. Blogging needs to converge with Chatbot technology. The sum total of your blogging can form the basis of an expert system.

The scenario is this... my great-grandkid wants to know more about me, so he pulls up my avatar and chats with it. The avatars responses are based on all the digital artefacts I've left over the years, including blogs, commentary... all incorporated into a representation of my knowledge, voice, tone, and sense of humour.

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Friday, January 13, 2006

The Complete Gervais

The Ricky Gervais podcast got me thirsty for more of his early radio show.

Unfortunately, the Xfm site has segmented the shows into 10-12 clips an episode, so instead of listening to an episode, you have to click a link every 5 minutes.

So I whipped up a little hack so you can listen to the whole of any of the three series in the Xfm browser...

Early days - Series 1 - Series 2

Of course, an entire series is over 10 hrs long, so you can download the .ASX file by right-clicking the links below, saving it locally, and opening it as a playlist in the Windows Media Player.

Early days (.asx) - Series 1 (.asx) - Series 2 (.asx)

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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Sex vs. Video Games

Check out this comedy bit

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Ultra-violent, for your protection

I just don't get these road safety TV ads.

Showing everything from a woman getting smashed across the room, to dead, broken kids becoming re-animated -- these ads are thoroughly disturbing.

And I suppose that's the point, but if I were a kid they would really upset me.

After all, I freaked out when Tim Curry's Bill Sykes bashed up Nancy in Oliver Twist.

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More reports of problems with the XBox360.

First it was about how the console scratches its discs. Now there is a glitch erasing all saved data for the game DOA3.

Not surprisingly, Microsoft has released their console in the same way that they release their software -- rushed to deadline and buggy.

I, for one, would gladly see Microsoft fail and disappear from the games industry. They've never been in the hardware business anyhow.

This was Apple's ball to run with, but they dropped it -- having, and continuing to ignore gamers.

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Doumo arigatou, Mr. Ross

You would think that given my obsession with anime and all things Japanese, I would have a fair understanding of Japanese cinema.

You'd be wrong. Somehow I'd fallen into the trap of thinking that all Japanese cinema fell into one of three categories: Godzilla, Samurai or Yakuza.

However thanks to Jonathan Ross' BBC4 special, Asian Invasion -- my obsession has been broadened.

Fire up BitTorrent!

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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The end of the remake?

I've been wondering if there is a future in remaking films. For instance, would there be any reason for the filmmaker of 2030 to remake King Kong after Peter Jackson's version?

Right now, the films of the past were using a new technology. Films in black-and-white, grainy-prints, or unrealistic imagery (animatronics) can be improved upon.

However with digital film and photorealistic CGI, is there any room for improvement?

Aside from some unknown future way of viewing film (3D virtual cinema?), will it be compelling enough for cinema-goers to watch a new Matrix with the Hollywood star of the time, rather than watching the old Keanu Reeves version?

I hope not. I hope this will force filmmakers to innovation instead of reproduction. After all, you don't see novelists deciding to rewrite Moby Dick.

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Massively Multiplayer Peer-to-Peer

I've been playing a few Massively-Multiplayer Online (MMO) games, and they all seem, to some extent, limited by the client-server model.

The current game I'm playing, Flyff is plagued by lagging, disconnects and full servers.

It seems like the holy grail of MMO is peer-to-peer. However it comes with an inherent problem -- how can the game maintain a singular, persistent view of the "world", and yet distribute the management of that world to different computers.

Well, it seems to me that this could be accomplished using a concept of localised reality. For instance, if 50 people are in virtual London, those 50 people agree on the events that take place, and then communicate that back to the server.

Of course the big fear is cheating. If I can fool the server into thinking I've made £100 when I haven't -- I can print money.

But I think if there was an intelligent way for peers to confirm the events of peers (I don't make £100 unless the person to the left and right of me agree I've made £100) then you can have a peer-validated world that doesn't cheat the rules of the game.

Easier said than done.

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Monday, January 09, 2006

Ricky Gervais podcast

I know I'm late to the party with this, but check out the Ricky Gervais podcast.

...if you haven't already.

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Saturday, January 07, 2006

via Slashdot

Realising that not everyone has the patience to read through the ultra-techie discussions on Slashdot, I thought I'd pick out a few choice links I've found there...

Wal-mart recommendations go wrong
Apparently searching for the 'Planet of the Apes' DVD results in 'Similar titles' listing a number of Martin Luther King Jr. documentaries.

Microbes from Space
Did microbes from outer-space fall in Kerala 2001? This was roughly around when Matia, Nico, Alain and I were over there -- so maybe we've actually been replaced by pod-people and no one is the wiser.

Amazon profiling
A big-brother-esque cautionary tale of how a detailed profile can be made from the public footprint created with Amazon wishlists and other sites.

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Freaky video

Rubber Johnny video by Aphex Twin.

A quick Google-ing reveals that it's part of some bizarre project by Chris Cunningham.

Not sure if it was released as planned. Not sure if I want to know.

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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Google Earth

I finally got around to playing with Google Earth

Really cool!

I wish they had more detail on the models of major cities though. Most of them are just boxes, without texture mapping.

I'm sure it's on their to-do list.

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3D Modelling for Dummies

I've been frustrated for some time due to the fact that 3D modelling tools blow my mind!

I was good in high school geometry, I can program in 3D (OpenGL, VRML) -- but when it comes to the tools... the construction metaphor just escapes me. I get the primitives, sphere, cylinder, metablob -- but putting them together and creating something that looks more sophisticated than a snowman is beyond me for some reason.

I'm not alone in this. I was chatting with Loz and he finds the tools equally perplexing even though he's been a 2D designer for ages.

I was thinking if only there were something that was along the lines of Adobe Illustrator but extended into the 3rd dimension.

Finally, I found something (thanks to the magic google keywords of 'simple' and 'powerful') -- Sketchup.

It's exactly what I need. Not something that will produce photorealistic 3D scenes, but rather something I can quickly use to put down some ideas and animate them.

I recommend everyone give it a try -- there's a free trial download and tutorials on the site.

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Tuesday, January 03, 2006


I just discovered Mutant-X a blatant X-Men ripoff on Sky.

It's sad that with all the comic books out there that could have been adapted for TV, the genius TV producers did something as unoriginal as this.

Not surprisingly, the series in no longer in production.

Don't fear, however, I hear that Sky has commissioned the production of "Webby Hero", "Big Green Man" and "Bat-like Vigilante"

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Some people think the internet is a Bad Thing

AOL's latest campaign /discuss is an attempt for them to establish the discussion forums (which worked very well on the proprietary service) on the Web.

It's not a bad idea -- launching a forum with an ad campaign -- but why, pray tell, would you have a discussion topic about the internet being bad or good on the internet!

AOL needs to stop treating its audience like everyone is a computer novice, picking up the mouse and trying to speak into it.

Maybe if they gave us a controversial topic, with some meat on it, I might consider using the forum.

Instead they say: "Some people think the internet is a Bad Thing. What do you think?"

I think AOL is a bunch of muppets.

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Monday, January 02, 2006

French and Saunders

With all the hype that Little Britain has been getting, I was starting to have my doubts about British comedy. Sure, it's much edgier and controversial, but the formula seems to be: write 5 sketches and repeat them over and over with slight variation.

It's like comedy for Rainman ('I really like that sketch. Have them do that sketch. Do that sketch.')

However I saw the French and Saunders Christmas special, and it was hilarious.

I'd missed the French and Saunders wave. Their regular shows had ended by the time I was in the UK. That's the kind of originality that all sketch shows should measure up to.

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Games Round-up

GameTunnel lists their Top 10 Indie Games of 2005

I tried out the only two which caught my attentionDarwinia, a kind of poor-man's Pikmin. The graphics were neat, but I found the camera control confusing and quickly lost interest.

However I really enjoyed Weird Worlds 2. In part, because I had the exact same idea in my Apple IIgs programming days when I was 10. Of course, I wasn't blogging then, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

There was also a reference to the old NES game, River City Ransom -- a game I had been trying to remember the name of. I used to love this game and played it to death.

Noticeably absent from the list was RagDoll Kung Fu -- I wonder if the GameTunnel editors equate Indie with Amateur?

Indie games, the last shred of hope for truly unique games.

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Sunday, January 01, 2006

Me no speak-a your language...

I don't know where I left my email address when I was in Hong Kong, 2001, but I continue to receive strange emails.

This is the first line of one such email...

Toptamo 您好:


If anyone could translate this for me, I'd much appreciated.

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Happy New Year!

Future Vision
Future Vision, originally uploaded by kaioshin.
The future is here, and I've got big plans for 2006.

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