"I watched every avenue of social media suddenly blow up with messages of abject hatred from thousands of strangers. For the first five days, I couldn't sleep. Every time I would start to doze off, I'd be shocked awake from half-asleep nightmares about everyone I love buying into the mob's bullshit and abandoning me. The ceaseless barrage of random people sending you disgusting shit is initially impossible to drown out — it was constant, loud, and it became my life."
"By calling these people “trolls,” we are basically letting them off the hook. It’s a lot like the “boys will be boys” mentality that helps to keep rape culture thriving, but it’s also different, because boys are expected to be human. By calling these people “trolls,” we relegate them to non-human status, and we make it clear that we don’t expect them to live up to the same behavioral standards as human beings." Keep reading >>
If you want to exclude your own visits to your site from Google Analytics on a per-computer or per-session basis, searching will land you on Google’s help page: How do I exclude internal traffic from reports?. Problem is, the code there doesn’t work with Google’s new-ish asynchronous tracking code. There is no “pageTracker” object any longer, so that’ll throw a nice little error.
The replacement for “pageTracker” is to push the custom variable onto the _gaq object, per the new standards.
To get this working, make a new, simple HTML page, just including the basics to make the page validate. Include your standard-issue Google tracking code in the head, like so: Keep reading >>
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.
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."
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.
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.).
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.