Hi! Do you remember blogs? Well, this used to be one. Now it just serves as an archive for my multiple Twitter accounts.

4 August 2008

Je ne sais pas comment c’est possible, mais ce t-shirt sécrète des taches blanches toutes les dix secondes. Ce n’est PAS de la sueur !

Il faut aboslument que je trouve un autre nom de bar que l’Okawa à donner par habitude quand personne ne sait où aller, c’est plus possible.

6 August

George Orwell had no idea, writing 1984, how much easier it could become to rewrite history overnight on the internet. Wikipedia?

Ooooh. “VIREMENT DE TRESOR PUBLIC 75 REMB. EXCD. IMPOT 405,00 €.”

7 August

Qui veut béta-tester un hébergeur de webcomics tout neuf ?

8 August

“Colis retourné à l’expéditeur car le destinataire n’habite pas à l’adresse indiquée.” Poste Restante a déménagé depuis la dernière fois.

Oh FFS. Ca doit être parce que ce tronçon de la rue est en travaux et ils ont eu la flemme de faire un détour pour atteindre le dépôt.

Evidemment, mon paquet est arrivé à la Poste pendant que j’achetais en urgence un Dan Simmons à trois fois le prix chez WHSmith.

“In order to hold off the Forces of Darkness, you will need a #2 pencil and a calendar, preferably one without pictures of kitties on it.”

9 August

Dynolicious

An iPhone app measures your car’s speed, acceleration, horsepower, and the distance it has passed — all with the device’s accelerometer. I had no idea that was possible.

That single stubborn unibrow hair that’s always visible long before it’s tall enough for me to rip it out is going to drive me crazy.

I’ve got a diffuse feeling that there should be more than just food in my overnight bag, but I can’t remember what I’m forgetting.

The Great Mystery Of My Dozing Off Every Day Around Nine Pee Em.

10 August

I’m pretty sure it must have happened once, but I can’t for the life of me remember how it might be to make love.

This is so not an appropriate time to be awake.

Haaa schnnnnn mmmmfff grrrggnnnnnhhh.

“I wanna shoot the whole day down.”

Comment font tous ces gens qui arrivent à rester assis sans bouger trois heures dans le train ?

How cheap can you get a rudimentary hackintosh laptop?

11 August

R.I.P. LeChat. Aortic thrombosis, just as my train was approaching Smallville, and two days after I read A Dirty Job, where a girl kills a kitty dead by pointing at it and calling “Kitty!”

Brace yourselves for my train ride back to Paris tomorrow night.

12 August

Prince of Persia

Uh… no. The hair? Really?

Garoo Network — version 1880.1

How could I resist the temptation of buying another two domain names for my blog, which I already don’t update often enough to justify paying for a single name?

So I decided that “garoo.net” was more appropriate to stand for “garoo network” than as a blog, and I needed a new, more original name for my personal blog. And I also needed to merge the visual design and object design blogs, because I regularly had trouble deciding where a particular link would fit. And I, like, totally needed to buy a new domain for my TV/movie/book reviews — so that the personal blog one would be appropriately empty, I guess.

 

So here’s what’s new:

  • garoo.net (rss) publishes individually every article that I write on one of my blogs, plus daily digests of my Twitter postings and the occasional Flickr photo

  • underachievementunlocked.com (rss) is my personal blog, mostly devoid of content (and, yes, I’m super proud of a pun that one reader in a thousand will understand, even though it results in a domain name that my French readers will never be able to type)

  • regardelafin.com (rss) hosts my reviews for, basically, anything that has a story (I’m currently in the process of going back through ten years of archives to transfer the matching posts from my personal blog)

 

The rest of the network is still here:

 

When I get around to it, cedric-bozzi.com will be dedicated to my portfolio, and I’ll probably buy yet another domain name for my photo galleries. Because it would just make sense. Considering.

13 August

Multiwinia

I don’t know how interesting it is to play (don’t know anything about Darwinia either, actually), but I definitely like the art style. Of course — I’m a Tron-raised geek.

Star Trek Online

Hmm. Obviously, it’s a noteworthy event that the very first video showing the upcoming Star Trek MMO is available, but there isn’t that much to see. But then, I’m not a Star Trek fan, so maybe that’s why I’m not particularly excited.

No idea how it’s played, of course, but more importantly I don’t find the graphics very attractive — whether on the human scale (where MMOs are always trying to be accessible to low-end PCs anyway, so you don’t expect much graphical prowess) or for space fights, where it’s not so much a question of power but simply art style. There’s something wrong, and it doesn’t feel like a space scene at all; more like toys, actually — which maybe a deliberate homage to ST:TOS, but in any case I don’t think that’s a good choice if you want to attract a wide audience.

Fontpark 2.0

You’ve got to see the images animated, and you’ve got to play with it for yourself — this could actually be a useful tool for playing intuitively with typography, and it’s also a very impressively interactive Flash app that doesn’t even completely kill my CPU.

Argh, j’oublie toujours les risques qu’implique aller à Franprix sans mon casque sur les oreilles.

Miracle Fruit Tablets

Miracle fruit tablets, or “miracle berries” [cause] a protein reaction in your mouth which makes even the sourest, bitterest things, like a sharp lemon, taste sweet.

The geeks at ThinkGeek have tried the miracle fruit, and claim that it makes straight limes taste like the sweetest, most ambrosial limeade. Even better? Something already sweet, like ripe oranges, tasted like “they were plucked straight from the Garden of Eden”.

Am I the only one who thinks that description sounds scary?

According to Wikipedia, miraculin does exist, so it’s gotta be true:

The detailed mechanism of the taste-inducing behaviour is still unknown. It has been suggested that the miraculin protein can change the structure of taste cells on the tongue. As a result, the sweet receptors are activated by acids, which are sour in general. This effect remains until the taste buds return to normal. […]

Miraculin was denied approval for use as a sweetener by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Miraculin has no legal status in the European Union. However it is approved in Japan as a harmless additive.

There’s no way I’m putting that in my mouth. But I totally want to try it.

15 August

Ah, c’est donc pour ça que tout est fermé.

AdSense for Feeds

Requires going through the FeedBurner platform to insert ads into your feed — that means changing the feed URL you give your readers, transferring your existing readership (a simple redirect) and trusting an outside service with the entire future of your blog. Basically, it’s the same as if the only way to have AdSense on your blog was to syndicate your contents on a Blogger page, and having to give that address to all your readers. That’s not why I bought a domain name (or fifteen).

I never understood why so many blogs decided to rely on FeedBurner for some dubious additional functionality (I’ve never seen anyone attribute any reliability to the subscriber counts), even if the service is now managed by Google. And the possibility of inserting ads on my feeds won’t change my mind; it’s not like anyone clicks on ads in their aggregators anyway.

Still, the principle of the thing is lame; there’s got to be a way to do things more openly, with some kind of API.

16 August

Too tired to work. Gotta devise a plan to break into the post office and retrieve my next Amazon package. It’s that or iPhone solitaire.

That free solitaire game for the iPhone was commissionned by a society of evil proctologists, by the way.

To which you ask: Are there any non-evil proctologists? And I say: Who am I, the hemorroid fairy? Why are you talking back at me anyway?

17 August

Who’s the asshole who packaged the last season of Arrested Development with wrong episode numbers?

18 August

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

Seems like this game enjoys its hype rollercoaster. It started rather poorly with the pretty pointless tech demos and the storm trooper aerial ballet, but somehow the later news and gameplay videos had managed to turn things around. And here goes GameTrailers publishing a bunch of videos that take several points off the game’s cool factor.

First linked, an utterly abominable cutscene: the images are ugly, the voices aren’t right (the sound-alike seems to lose Vader’s voice in the middle of his sentences), and the character faces are just awful (which is a shame when they’ve been capturing the actor’s entire performances, unchanged). Second, an excerpt from a gameplay video in six short parts (if GameTrailers starts cutting their videos in pieces every time they’ve got an exclusivity, I’m gonna have to start linking to DailyMotion or something in protest) that shows a level we’d already seen, but in the hands of a regular player this time. And where it goes wrong is that I don’t feel like I’m watching a Star Wars game at all, but just some random, mediocre God of War clone.

I feel like I’ve already written about this, but didn’t come up with anything in a quick search through the archives: I’ve gotten used to the idea that, in almost all games, gunfire slowly chips away at your lifebar instead of doing any kind of real damage, but that just doesn’t work for me in the Star Wars universe. You don’t take a hit from a laser pistol without a scratch, and I’d like to remind you that a lightsaber is supposed to cut through any material like butter. This time it’s not Soul Calibur, and now that you’ve got all this fancy game engine technology it would be nice to use it for something more than just non-scripted deformation of blast doors… when AT-ST walkers resist everything but quick-time events.

Nevermind that you can’t properly chop up storm troopers — I didn’t expect LucasArts to release a mature game. There’s just one detail that bugs me, one tiny thing I can’t let go of: that moron Apprentice should deflect every laser blast with his lightsaber — it should be automatic, whenever the player isn’t doing something else. Just so that it would like those movies, you know? What’s the name? Oh, right: Star Wars.

Ah, the Google iPhone app is now available in Europe. And, yeah, pretty useless.

Un développeur bénévole dans la salle pour faire l’application iPhone d’un site web qui n’ouvrira jamais ?

Re-enabled iPhone backup before upgrading the firmware; it would be faster to copy all application data with a quill.

19 August

Les “masques” pour les cheveux, c’est juste de l’après-shampooing dans un packaging à la con, en fait, non ?

Damn, I completely forgot that I wanted to get drunk tonight.

20 August

Has iPhone 2.0.2 removed the “Update All” button from the App Store application?!

What Makes for a Good Blog?

Good writeup from Merlin Mann.

Good blogs are weird. Blogs make fart noises and occasionally vex readers with the degree to which the blogger’s obsession will inevitably diverge from the reader’s. If this isn’t happening every few weeks, the blogger is either bored, half-assing, or taking new medication.

WritingPad (iPhone)

So you see those weird screenshots of an iPhone app with a custom keyboard and you scoff — damn, they’ve got to be so stupid if they think they can make a third-party application that has a better input device than the system provides. (Nevermind that I wouldn’t scoff at all if someone decided to port Palm’s Graffiti to the iPhone.)

Well, actually, they can, and it’s really impressive. Instead of tapping each key, you just keep your finger on the screen for each word, and zip from letter to letter; once you’re used to the keyboard layout it definitely feels faster than the iPhone keyboard (I don’t care about measured speed; only perception really matters when it comes to those things), and as a bonus the list of alternative possibilities is much more convenient than the iPhone’s tap-here-to-refuse suggestion system.

The system needs a bit more polish, and I don’t see myself really using it (for one, there’s only an English dictionary, and I don’t want to get used to a different keyboard than what’s available in all other apps), but the application is free, so you ought to try it. I figure they intend it as a tech demo so that Apple would buy their code; it’s not too bad an idea.

Live from the iPhone factory

Guys flirts with colleague, is interrupted by supervisor…

Sony announces its own ChatPad

Just like Microsoft felt the need not to put the two sticks across from each other when they designed the Xbox pad (I’ve gotten used to it, but I’ll always cringe at the lack of symmetry), Sony has decided to place the keyboard on top of the pad rather than on the bottom. Because typing with your thumbs sounded too easy; now it looks like you’ll have to let go of one hand and let your fingertips flutter on the keys.

More interesting, according to Crave the keyboard “features a mode that converts the entire surface into a touch pad,” like a laptop. I doubt the surface is magical, so I suppose the keyboard simply interprets the fingers’ movement from key to key (which implies that the keys have to be small enough, but also soft and mushy enough, for it work — which aren’t really great qualities for a keyboard, even a miniature one), but it’s still a very interesting idea. And a limited gadget that won’t ever be used for much, but that’s another matter.

Of course, this is about Sony, and I’ve also eaten way too much tonight, so I’m in a foul mood and maybe not completely objective. But I guess I’m just disappointed that, once again, they’ve followed Microsoft’s footsteps one year later with what looks like an inferior proposition.

Sharpie Gallardo

I was ready to like it, but the rhinestone license plate pushes it way over the top.

GTA IV PC Details

He began by promising much improved visuals, saying they’ll be “polished well beyond what they were on the 360 and PS3.” […]

The visuals do indeed look more polished — lighting is more realistic and there’s a much higher level of detail on both characters and environments.

Just the thought of this makes me want a Crysis-grade PC so bad.

 

New features will include a replay editor. Whenever you’re playing the previous 30 seconds of gameplay will be recorded, so at any time you can stop and watch what you just did. You can also edit footage — chop it up, add filters, switch camera angles and so on.

There will also be a montage editor that lets you link together multiple 30-second clips. You’ll be able to share the movies you make via the internet and the Rockstar Social Club.

If it worked during online play, that would make GTA IV the Ultimate Machinima Application. But I’m not so sure it will, if it only records a 30-second buffer — multiplayer mode is unlikely to let you pause the game to rewind or save the video.

Damn. That would be such a horribly missed opportunity.

21 August

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (360 demo)

Okay, scratch what I wrote about how the Apprentice didn’t deflect pistol shots in the video — that was just a case of the player not using the block button (which is understandable, as blocking prevents you from moving, and the animation is a little silly anyway, with the character just twisting his saber like a cheerleader’s baton).

Still, I’m not impressed by the demo. I’m sure I’d get used to the controls if I played more, but I feel that Psi-Ops had the telekinesis controls down pat, and Force Unleashed is a step back (it uses the two sticks in a way that isn’t intuitive, and prevents you from moving while using your power), and it looks nearly impossible to accurately pick your target. As a bonus, the final AT-ST quick-time event is broken: you’re busy lightsabering the boss away, and suddenly you get a red cross in the middle of the screen instructing you that the QTE sequence had begun and you didn’t press the right button. Plus a final, more subjective gripe: I don’t like the idea of a jedi with such a rapidly depleting (and refilling) Force gauge. I know why the developers felt they needed it, but I don’t feel like that’s how it should work for jedis.

Bottomline is, it didn’t feel particularly fun, and the cutscenes look and sound too wrong for me to play the game for the story.

Midnight Club: Los Angeles

You can’t really judge a racing game from videos, but this still underwhelms me. I used to have high hopes for this game, because I have so much fun driving in GTA IV, but in this second gameplay/engine video the physics still look like they feel wrong. Still waiting to play a demo, but with no impatience at all.

Heavy Rain

They finally release a video, and… uh, is that it? The character animations aren’t very impressive, the faces aren’t so perfect (the shot of the heroine talking into her tape recorder is very weird), and it’s a little bit abusive calling this “gameplay footage” when there’s just a bit of QTE in the middle. Not a big surprise, rather a confirmation that it’s been way overhyped.

WoW: Wrath of the Lich King

Once again, a Blizzard CG trailer I can’t not link. I don’t know how they do it, or why there are so few CG studios as good as them.

23 August

EyePet

When I heard about a new EyeToy-based (yes, I know it’s supposed to be called “PlayStation Eye” or something now) virtual pet game where you could draw toys, I just assumed it would be the same kind of crap that’s bundled with the camera itself; well, it’s not.

Not that it’s going to be a fantastic game, or a system seller, but it looks really well made, the creature is a puzzling mixture of ugly and endearingly cute, and I could totally see someone buying a PS3 and a nice flat-screen to place in the entrance of their fancy loft as a cuddly conversation piece.

(Although you have to be cautious with videos of a game that’s going to be released in more than a year yet looks finished already — but there’s nothing in the video that looks too implausible, and I guess what they’ll need time perfecting is the system’s reaction to bad lighting and cluttered tables.)

Weird. Barrowman looks a lot better in Doctor Who than Torchwood.

24 August

There’s a British flag on top of my website and I never ever noticed it’s not symmetrical.

25 August

Robot Wars

The mecha’s chest as a giant, menacing face looks great, it should be used more — it occurs in nature, after all.

Damn, I came this close to scoring the lottery today.

26 August

Qui veut investir ses économies dans un garoosite pour tuer tous ces sites de rencontres gay mal foutus et radins ?

Trailer for Pushing Daisies season 2

I didn’t watch it all, and I don’t think you should; I’m just linking it to shut up the people who keep telling me they think the show isn’t coming back. October 1st it is.

Allez, quoi, un bon site pour débarrasser le monde de DialH et RezoG, ça vaut bien dix mille euros.

27 August

Yeah, there’s something seriously wrong with that gene pool.

28 August

Good heavens how many days can a Sex and the City movie last?

29 August

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