Irrsinn.net: taking joy in human unreason

career tag

Weekly linkage

This week’s internet cruising:

  • Living Like a Millionaire on Pennies a Day – "Now, I’m not talking about racking up thousands of dollars in consumer debt, or buying fancy cars and houses. I’m talking about something more valuable than that: having time. The only pre-requisite to living like a millionaire is being able to overcome your fear of uncertainty."
  • Google: Google Street View Cars Sniffed Wi-Fi Networks | News & Opinion | PCMag.com – "Google Inc said its fleet of cars responsible for photographing streets around the world have for several years accidentally collected personal information that consumers send over wireless networks." Good job, Google. I'd completely slept on this until I saw this article about Canada ripping Google a new one.
  • SEO for Bing Versus Google – Nice overview of differences. Unfortunately, of course, the differences are all described from an end-user perspective; I've love to see what's really under the hood of both Bing and Google.
  • Apple Mac App Store Review Guidelines Hints “No Java” In Lion’s – Oh, boy. The potential for wrong-doing here is immense, if not managed properly. I'd also seen something about non-app store apps not getting full OS access, although I can't find a source for that anymore, so it was possibly (hopefully) just a rumor.
  • The Keyboard Cult – For those who love their mechanical keyboards, here you go: an ode to keyboards. Plus, a good dig on developers who can't type (quickly). I know one full-day developer who doesn't type quickly or well. I take him "seriously", certainly, but I wonder at how much better and more productive he could be if he typed faster.
  • Hawthorne Cottage – Chunky Yarns – Pretty…
  • flash.utils.Proxy (ActionScript 3.0) – Um, this is really cool. Just sayin'.

Weekly linkage

Everything’s a day behind this week. I wanted these out yesterday. Anyway, here’s this week’s internet cruising:

  • The Little Easy – OMG, can I move into this house, please? Please?
  • White Bean and Onion Confit (recipe) – I'm totally going to try this. Healthy and yummy-sounding (although that's quite a bit of oil).
  • Graphic Designer’s Journey: Freelance to Freedom (Infographic) – Apparently I'm on a freelance kick today. This totally resonated with me. As much as I like people, client work can be rough. It's hard to maintain the cheerful and patient "service industry" outlook 40 hours a week. It feels much more satisfying to do your own work or select volunteer work, especially if you think your work has redeeming social value.
  • Aggressive Expansion: 8 Tips for Finding More Clients Now – I saw a lot of these techniques (sans the job boards) used to good effect at Skookum. Were I to go into freelancing, this would be an awesome guide. It's good anyway.
  • Winning a User Experience Debate – "To bring UX to the heart of the business, you must persuade colleagues to trust your opinion and expertise. Handling critique well is an important way to earn trust. It’s easy to undo your hard work with rash disagreement. Never dismiss stakeholder feedback out of hand."
  • YouTube – Speed Up Your Iphone backup with Itunes – Easily done. I was having 1+ hour syncs. Here I was (apparently) trying to be nice, sending in diagnostic info.
  • Reader Story: How I Purchased Private Health Insurance – I've thought about going independent myself with health insurance, just so that I won't be shackled by a job. That said, some companies offer better benefits than I'd want to pay for out of pocket, especially since I do need more than just preventative care on a regular basis… This article explores a couple of good options.
  • 22 seconds of joy – A confused puppy.
  • POD is Bad Business – An interesting perspective on publish-on-demand. It hinges on writers wanting their books on bookstore shelves. I'm not sure the argument holds as much water if you care more about online sales through Amazon (etc.).
  • Buttersafe – The Portrait – I almost peed my pants on this one.
  • Keep reading >>

Weekly linkage

This week’s internet cruising:

  • How to keep someone with you forever – "You create a sick system." I wanted to cry when I read this.
  • Looking Back — Discord&Rhyme – "To be successful at bootstrapping, you have to cut every feature except those you think are absolutely necessary. Then you cut some that you thought that you absolutely had to have. You compromise your design because you need to get the product to market. You ignore automated testing and documentation because your code is too unstable to be held back by rigorous processes."
  • Launching beta, or “How to decide when and where to cut corners”
  • 200+ Seamless Patterns Perfect for Website Backgrounds – Pretty! They're a bit busy, but I think they could be used tastefully.
  • Statement by Apple on App Store Review Guidelines – Courtesy of Greg. Apple seems to be getting off their high horse with regards to development tools. I'm not sure yet if this means I'll be springing for Plants vs. Zombies on the iPhone.
  • These Dance Moves Are Irresistible – ScienceNOW – Courtesy of Michael. "The most important factor to the women was how much the man moved his head, neck, and torso, the researchers will report online tomorrow in Biology Letters." This is a really cool-sounding study. Thinking about the types of dancing I like to watch and see done well–hip-hop, even bellydance–I like fancy foot-work, but tight (pop and lock) torso and head movements do draw my eye more. Flailing arms are just hilarious.
  • Action Not Words: The Difference Between Talkers and Doers – Wonderfully (and miserably) timely for me. The last few weeks for me have been very slothful (as evidenced by the lack of posts here), with correspondence and projects piling up while I squander my time. I've taken to returning to my 3 Most Important Things per day. If I get nothing else done in a day, I will get whatever those three things are done. I know from experience that having the 3 MITs builds momentum so that I'll rarely only ever get those three things done.
  • We’re Not Paid To Write Code – This is a really well-written article on how we're paid to deliver a product, not sling code. This is a hard-won lesson for every comp sci major worth their weight I've ever met in their first 2 years out of college, myself included. I'm still not great at balancing quality vs. out-the-doorness on personal projects, but I've learned a lot more about what's acceptable business-wise.

Two weeks’ linkage, ah, ah, ah

For two weeks’ worth of links, there aren’t very many. Then again, I do still have 173 unread items in Google Reader.

Quasi-daily linkage


Recent Posts

Exploit: Zero Day “Headless Swarm” Landing December 1

So we’ve been working on Exploit: Zero Day for a couple of years now, but I haven’t talked nearly enough about it here. It’s a web-based cyberthriller puzzle game where you play as a hacktivist, uncovering and battling against oppression and exploitation.

*innocent whistle* Totally not the sort of game I’d want to make or play, no…

It’s been in closed alpha for a while, but we’re ready to offer a prelude season of paid story: “Headless Swarm”. For details on the plotline and how it relates to the continued free alpha access, check out the announcement blog post over at FPG.

Keep reading >>

Attending a Charlottean Protest

I visited uptown Charlotte tonight, amidst the current protests and unrest after Keith Scott’s death. My friend and I had a few tidbits of info on where people were meeting, but nothing concrete, so we wandered along several streets.

In areas where people weren’t protesting, businesses were closed, and the streets were unusually silent for 20:30 on a Friday night. Troops stood in clumps of three on corners, waving or saying hello when you passed them. The occasional humvee or police SUV drove by.

Things were more lively at the Omni Hotel, where folks had covered the sidewalk in chalk. There were lots of media there: it was clearly an “allowed”, acceptable, media-consumable gathering. I’d maybe characterize it as a space for quieter expression of grief, although it was criticized by another gathering as essentially being for the white people. The writings were names of people killed and sayings that many of us are familiar with: “hands up don’t shoot”, “when will we have justice?”, etc. Religious figures were around, praying with people.

Further down Trade St., past the bus station, a group had gathered in front of some government building. My friend and I stayed there for a while. They were chanting “I am my brother’s’ keeper!” and folks were stepping up to share their perspectives. Four National Guards and a cop stood between the crowd and the building (with the aid of crowd control barriers), utterly stoic when the crowd shouted questions at them.

Keep reading >>

Remastering “The Majesty of Colors”

Folks probably know that I make video games as part of Future Proof Games, but¬†maybe not what we’re doing at the moment. Many, many (many)¬†years ago, Gregory¬†made “(I Fell in Love With) The Majesty of Colors”, a very sweet Flash game about balloons and drowning.

As the site stats geek for FPG, I can tell you “Majesty” remains pretty damned popular. (Hell, it just got linked by Buzzfeed a few days ago.) It’s an evocative game that continues to appeal to folks wanting to explore the soft feelings of a big, weird, sessile alien.¬†Problem¬†is, Flash is finally¬†actually dying — no phone/tablet can run¬†it, and some browser configurations require¬†user action before it’ll run Flash.

So we’re bringing “Majesty” to modern devices: Android, iOS, and¬†Windows/OSX/Linux. And holy crap, this game feels great on a phone;¬†moving the tentacle with your finger just feels real in a way that the tiny, mouse-controlled Flash version doesn’t. I’m excited to test it on tablets.

Keep reading >>

July 3rd 2016
Tags: On Life and Love, , No Comments

First Hair Highlights

The first time I dyed my locs.

One of the first pictures taken of my newly-dyed locs.

I did it! I’ve had locs twice now, for a total of almost five years, and each time I’ve gone, “I should be bold and dye my hair!”

But it’s very permanent, especially since my natural hair color likely needs to be lightened for color to show much. Plus, lightening hair can be damaging. Last thing I want is to have my locs falling out. I’ve literally spent years growing these things; I’m not ashamed to say I’m a little attached to them, even if I don’t name them or count them.

But finally, with the aid of recommendations from friends and family on a beautician, I got my hair did.

Keep reading >>

Ossuary 25% Off on Steam!

Steam Summer Sale 2016 Offer

Ossuary—Future Proof’s first commercial game release—is part of the Steam Summer Sale and will be 25% off until July 4. If you haven’t had a chance to play yet, it’s only $7.50 (USD). If you’re on the fence, the demo, “The Hodge-Podge Transformer,” is also on Steam.

It’s been on Steam for a year and a month now, and it’s been a fascinating experience. After watching a few Let’s Plays of Ossuary and “Hodge-Podge,” we released an update in December to improve the tutorial experience and solve some colorblindness issues.

EZD Logo Color Our current work in progress is Exploit: Zero Day, a cyberthriller where you roleplay a hacktivist by making and solving puzzles. It’s pretty cool, and our alpha players are making really friggin’ awesome puzzles and stories. If you want in, hop on the monthly mailing list and you’ll get a key in the next newsletter.

When a Nasal Polyp Isn’t a Nasal Polyp

I had a pretty gross thing happen to me today.

It started with a long, thin scope being poked into my nose — deep into my nose. They need to see where this mass in my nose was attached before they removed it.
Keep reading >>

Questionable Decisions: Hot Yoga

I made a questionable decision this afternoon.

After coffee with a yogi friend, I was inspired to start climbing back on the yoga horse. Most yoga studios in my area only have Saturday morning classes, so I had very few options for something in the afternoon.

Whatever. I was feeling brave. I signed up for an all-levels Vinyasa hot class at a studio I’d never been to. Ninety minutes.

Keep reading >>