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

1 May 2014

I can’t wait to find out how Act 2 resolves Broken Age’s plot twists — it could go very wrong or very right.

As for Act 1, Shay’s part is pretty frustrating. I hope it’s meta commentary that the girl character has all the agency, and the boy none.

Snapchat’s ‘Here’ indicator strikes me as the first IM feature that really takes advantage of the fact it doesn’t run on desktop computers.

RT @jasonsantamaria: This drop of seawater magnified 25 times won’t give you nightmares. Nope. [thisiscolossal.com]

Vectoraster 6

I’ve always been fascinated by line engravings for some reason. So when the developer of Vectoraster emailed me about its new version because I had blogged about the app in 2009 (remember my blog? remember when I took time to write more than 140 characters about any given subject? madness! just writing this here post has taken, like, dozens of minutes — who has the time?) of course I wanted to play with it.

What has happened in five years? The app has more options, a nice interface and all that but, more importantly, my iPhone, iPad, and Mac all have a Retina screen. I had been thinking lately about how good line engravings should look on Retina screens — and yes, they do. I remade my iPhone’s background with the free demo and played a bit with my latest photos, and it looks as awesome as ever.

I’m lobbying the developer for an iOS version, because I’d really love to post stuff like this on Instagram — take advantage of both the Retina screen and the oversized A7 processor.

Sorry for the seven-megabyte post. Or is that even something that still requires an apology in this day and age?

RT @Melhael: Today we celebrate our ongoing efforts to improve society through struggle. Basic income for all is our new struggle. [thndr.it]

2 May

Great start with Dark Souls — I’ve killed the first quest giver (it’s all you taught me!), and it looks like I have to restart the game.

And I’m fine with the principle; what bothers me is, I would have no idea why I’m stuck if I hadn’t read a walkthrough.

RT @Beavs: Yeah the mosquito one is flashy because it’s big but can we all talk about murderous fresh water snails for a second? [pic.twitter.com]

We used to complain that OS X was neglected; now reached a point where the “OS X 10.10 emphasis planned for WWDC” title is scary as hell.

Finally got the new Snapchat. So weird how much thought they can devote to innovating UX while making the interface ever more impenetrable.

Would iTunes kindly stop autofilling app category labels every time I edit the genre of a song?

“Programming Sucks”

Imagine joining an engineering team. You’re excited and full of ideas, probably just out of school and a world of clean, beautiful designs, awe-inspiring in their aesthetic unity of purpose, economy, and strength. You start by meeting Mary, project leader for a bridge in a major metropolitan area. Mary introduces you to Fred, after you get through the fifteen security checks installed by Dave because Dave had his sweater stolen off his desk once and Never Again. Fred only works with wood, so you ask why he’s involved because this bridge is supposed to allow rush-hour traffic full of cars full of mortal humans to cross a 200-foot drop over rapids. Don’t worry, says Mary, Fred’s going to handle the walkways. What walkways? Well Fred made a good case for walkways and they’re going to add to the bridge’s appeal. Of course, they’ll have to be built without railings, because there’s a strict no railings rule enforced by Phil, who’s not an engineer. Nobody’s sure what Phil does, but it’s definitely full of synergy and has to do with upper management, whom none of the engineers want to deal with so they just let Phil do what he wants. Sara, meanwhile, has found several hemorrhaging-edge paving techniques, and worked them all into the bridge design, so you’ll have to build around each one as the bridge progresses, since each one means different underlying support and safety concerns. Tom and Harry have been working together for years, but have an ongoing feud over whether to use metric or imperial measurements, and it’s become a case of “whoever got to that part of the design first.” This has been such a headache for the people actually screwing things together, they’ve given up and just forced, hammered, or welded their way through the day with whatever parts were handy. Also, the bridge was designed as a suspension bridge, but nobody actually knew how to build a suspension bridge, so they got halfway through it and then just added extra support columns to keep the thing standing, but they left the suspension cables because they’re still sort of holding up parts of the bridge. Nobody knows which parts, but everybody’s pretty sure they’re important parts. After the introductions are made, you are invited to come up with some new ideas, but you don’t have any because you’re a propulsion engineer and don’t know anything about bridges.

Would you drive across this bridge? No. If it somehow got built, everybody involved would be executed. Yet some version of this dynamic wrote every single program you have ever used, banking software, websites, and a ubiquitously used program that was supposed to protect information on the internet but didn’t.

I’m allowing myself to post an extra-long quote because that’s still only the introduction to the article, and the rest is just as good.

3 May

Can’t believe I’d never bothered to set up an SSH client on my iPad. There’s something thrilling about talking to my servers on a tablet.

RT @commanda: It’s not even the sound of the leaf blower keeping me awake, it’s the adrenaline from imagining myself going outside and being assertive.

J’ai ressorti l’écharpe et il y a des gens qui font leurs courses en T-shirt. Damn my respiratory tract.

4 May

I have seven days’ worth of unplayed This American Life episodes. It’s a little daunting and discourages me from even getting started.

5 May

I’m reduced to two isolated cities in 1980 A.D. yet I can’t help but want to see it all through. Damn game. #civilization

6 May

Hannibal’s first season had highs and lows, but I don’t think there’s been a single misstep in the second. Damn. #icantbelieveitsnetworktv

CLEARLY, all the biologists who tried it before have either turned into evil mad scientists, or been disappeared by those who did.

CLEARLY, the rich and powerful have been stealing and draining third-world babies for centuries. WOULD YOU NOT?

RT @RomainBurrel: Comment rendre un garçon gay complètement dingue :

Étape 1: prenez une photo de lui.

Étape 2: ne lui montrez pas la photo.

7 May

RT @wilshipley: I feel like Quora and LinkedIn have forgotten they are websites and are just going with being mailing lists.

Just ruined a SuperDuper disk cloning (at 99% completion, mind you) by locking the computer’s screen. You’d think it could detect activity!

8 May

Elder Scrolls Online for console delayed six months means shift to free-to-play will happen that much later. It’s fine, I’m not in a hurry.

Je me sens productif, mes quinze idées de nouvelle app me semblent réalisables, alors je n’en commence aucune, car comment choisir ?

The xNT implantable NFC chip

I already wanted a magnetic implant, now I want that too.

9 May

RT @reckless: You guys remember when Apple bought Siri and then the flagship feature of the iPhone 4S was still called Siri?

Slicy the PSD slicer

Didn’t think I wanted it, but only had to run the demo once to know I definitely needed it.

10 May

I keep closing and reopening Photoshop as I’m working, and it takes less than half a second each time. This computer is fucking weird.

RT @Gotham3: Cross Section of Undersea Cable [pic.twitter.com]

RT @rataboom: Sorcellerie ! “@SciencePorn: Hydrophobic sand. [vine.co]

Just paid for a year of Feedly because RSS is an essential tool in my life. What web service have you supported recently?

11 May

Launching a Snapchat clone is hardly the most original idea in the world, but I really like what Taptalk brings to UX.

Sometimes I try to imagine the kind of relationship that 2014-me could stay in, and I’m a little bit stumped.

12 May

There. Tried Dark Souls. Don’t have the patience to try and get used to the obnoxious UI and controls. Uninstalled.

13 May

Can someone explain why the hybrid car has all but disappeared in favor of less practical plug-in electrics? It makes no sense to me.

C’est épuisant d’habiter dans un immeuble, obligé de dire bonjour à DEUX personnes en sortant faire des courses.

<3 à la boutique Nike qui a la bonne idée de ne pas me faire essayer les chaussures sur de la moquette (et n’est pas plus cher qu’ailleurs).

Exceptionnellement je sors sans mes écouteurs et, paf, une mère de famille chante “la la la schtroumpf la la” à sa fille dans la rue.

Ordered a PS4 on Sunday, Microsoft lowers the Xbox’s price today. No regrets, I still don’t want one.

14 May

The Hunger Games’ premise doesn’t improve, but we’re used to it now, and that does make the second movie more watchable—or it’s just better.

Have I said it already? This season of Nurse Jackie is a return to form I would never have thought possible.

I really need to uninstall Steam so I stop buying cheap indie games that end up being unplayable because they never went through any QA.

What was wrong with the 1990s that we believed Keanu Reeves was fit to play in movies?

RT @ryan: Given this some thought. My only conclusion is that buying Beats would be a huge red flag signaling something is very wrong inside Apple.

On the doubleplus side, I may not even “need” to upgrade my iPhone this year.

It just irks me that 44-pixel toolbars are the same size on iPhone 5 and iPad mini yet will be bigger on the iPhone that fits between them.

It should’ve been obvious the iPhone 6 would keep the same logical resolution when iOS 7 introduced a systemwide text-size setting.

Replace earlier tweet with: “On the doubleplus side, as a developer I’ll have no reason not to resell my 5s after I upgrade to an iPhone 6.”

The Witness screenshot gallery

Gorgeous. The puzzles will frustrate me and I’ll never finish it, but I can’t wait.

15 May

Now my Mac is ready for a 4K/Retina monitor. My eyes are ready. It’s just my wallet which isn’t.

“Adds the ability to sync contacts and calendars between a Mac and iOS device using a USB connection.” Or, you could not have taken it out.

16 May

Of all the many mistakes Microsoft made in launching the Xbox One, not having a Halo game for the first two years will have to be the worst.

Ce moment de tristesse où tu as envie de redesigner ton blog mais à quoi bon, plus personne ne va sur les sites.

Vider le filtre du sèche-linge avec les mains humides #thatwasstupid

Passer six commandes séparées en une semaine sur Amazon pour que ce soit un petit peu Noël tous les jours.

17 May

Nikon Df

I’m a Canon guy now but I want this so much, for nostalgia’s sake. Just like my very first camera!

Nike is a Greek goddess. Achilles is a Greek hero. Why then are my new Nikes trying to cut through my Achilles tendons?

I received my PS4 yesterday so I just turned on my PS3 to give The Last of Us a second chance. I know.

At least I’m hating the game a little less on easy, with zombies dropping molotovs when they die.

Everyone who loves The Last of Us is just wrong. Stealth is frustrating, combat is frustrating, and good acting doesn’t make a good game.

18 May

I’ll grant you that one thing The Last of Us does really well is the environments are depressingly realistic.

Where The Walking Dead relies entirely on its characters, Last of Us really makes you feel like those buildings were all lived in, until.

There’s just no excuse for a mostly single-player game choosing not to pause the action while you select a weapon.

To be fair, The Last of Us is spectacularly front-loaded on annoyances and there may be sequences I kind of enjoyed in the second half.

Shocked by people defending how TLoU’s end forces you to act against your will. Does gaming have to renounce interactivity to become art?

An essential component of gaming is to pretend you care about player agency: nudging them vs. dragging them by the hair through your story.

19 May

Preparing dinner right after the end of this week’s Hannibal, I’m particularly glad I hadn’t planned to cook meat.

I’d love to know why everything I’ve added to iTunes in the past month was copied onto my computer instead of the external drive.

So far (at level 4.2) Thomas Was Alone feels less like a puzzle-platformer and more like a list of chores I have to work through — charming as it is. Puzzle games are supposed to make you feel clever for solving them.

20 May

Playing Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry is making me lose confidence in AC: Unity and Watch Dogs. Old open world formula is showing its seams.

I’ve just bought a Twitter app on the Mac App Store to force myself to write (slightly) longer posts.

It’s funny that I just listened yesterday to the Radiolab episode about Ulysses contracts yet didn’t intend it as a direct, conscious connection.

(The app seems fine.)

Come on, Apple, it’s time to release an iPad with a pressure-sensitive pen already.

RT @harrymccracken: Tidbit: Surface Pro 3’s pen doesn’t use Wacom’s technology. Microsoft switched to N-trig, a Wacom competitor, for this one.

I haven’t played Transistor but I’ve got the biggest crush on his voice. I’m listening to gameplay videos, swooning hard and trying to figure out why — can’t place it. Does he sound like someone? Is it a regional accent? What the hell is it? (Related: this podcasts’s host.)

21 May

Secret est disponible en France (et sur Android)

C’est bon, vous n’allez pas vous faire prier pour langue-de-puter.

Can anyone suggest a couple of Engadget / The Verge-caliber blogs that don’t publish one-paragraph “Developing…” posts just so they get the first page views on any breaking news topic?

If I want a ten-word headline with zero useful information behind it, I’ll read you on Twitter. That’s not what blogs are for — I’ll give you page views in exchange for content.

♥ le bruit des voitures qui roulent sur la chaussée mouillée sous mes fenêtres.

22 May

Did you know that Lightroom is actually pretty fucking good? (It’s my first time.)

John Hodgman is discussing “Flight or Invisiblity?” on American Life and I’m not super proud of how I immediately imagine using my power.

Drôle de voir que je n’ai pas juste fait des progrès en dix ans, mais la mode a aussi changé en matière de retouche photo. (Hello, HDR.)

23 May

RT @ironicaccount: This amuses me, but it’s also interesting how perceptions of what people want in the mobile space have shifted [pic.twitter.com]

Je viens de m’étaler par terre aprés avoir accroché mes écouteurs dans une moto. Karma pour ne pas avoir ramassé la fille tombée en rollers.

A chaque fois que je sors faire du shopping je chope la crève. Dieu est devenu anticapitaliste ou quoi ?

J’avais juste balancé mon écharpe dans la panière de linge sale ce matin. Twelve-hour rule?

En fait je n’ai vraiment envie de couple que quand je suis faible et malade. On pourrait pas mettre en place un système de timesharing ?

Disabled “nearby” in Secret yet I’m still swamped with hello-worlds from French strangers. Not making the app very enjoyable right now.

24 May

RT @parislemon: Breaking: There still aren’t, as of yet, any hip hop billionaires. [techmeme.com]

Euh… ça fait longtemps qu’il y a un # au-dessus du @ sur le clavier ? Depuis dix ans je me fais chier à composer ctrl-shift-`.

I’ve managed to refactor and simplify the code for my blog’s back-office so much, I’m retroactively quite ashamed of myself.

25 May

From Ars’ review of the Surface Pro 3:

The previous models included a Wacom digitizer in the screen and used a passive stylus. This time around, it’s an N-Trig digitizer and an active—which is to say battery-powered—pen. I’m not entirely sure what motivated the switch from Wacom to N-Trig; I would guess that it’s because N-Trig’s “DuoSense” sensor, which combines a capacitive multitouch sensor with an active pen digitizer, allowed the screen unit to be made thinner. Making the screen thinner is of course important for the overall dimensions of the tablet, but it’s also specifically valuable for pen-driven applications: the thinner screen means that digital ink appear closer to the pen tip, reducing the parallax effect that otherwise exists.


Les dix minutes où tu contemples ta mortalité avant de te rappeler que tu t’es cogné ce matin et cette tumeur est juste un hématome.

RT @cabel: This is the only use of emoji. This is my legacy. If you’re not building these guys you’re throwing away your life. [pic.twitter.com]

26 May

Every time I want to type “box-sizing: border-box;” it comes out as a dyslexic jumble of words.

Redesign du blog, ou “Je me rends finalement à l’esthétique iOS 7 pile à temps pour que l’annonce d’iOS 8 la rende obsolète d’un coup.”

De l’extérieur, mon site n’a pas beaucoup changé, mais si vous saviez comme le code derrière est plus beau.

Je savais que dès que j’aurais fini je regretterais de ne pas être sorti, mais le timing est si parfait qu’on pourrait croire à un acte manqué.

Parfois je croise une fille dans la rue et je me demande si on ne devrait pas relancer la mode du parfum chez les mecs.

When a serial killer uses the same knife to murder several people in a movie, my mind always jumps to “Watch out! That’s unsanitary!”

21-inch Garrus statue

Dayum. And I’m not even as madly in love with Garrus as most of the internet is.

The Art of Screenwriting: Matthew Weiner

People would point to great movies like Chinatown as examples of how structure generates great works. But I always felt that these structures were derived from great works. The individual stories are organic, they come out of people’s heads. To say that the story of Jesus and the story of Moses are the same story is a horrible mistake. Are they both heroic? Yes. Do they both have inauspicious beginnings and unmarked graves? Yes. That does not make them the same story. But the studios were trying to consolidate films into a bulletproof system, they were trying to reverse engineer a hit—which, of course, is insane. In entertainment you’re a fool to try that. […]

They were uncomfortable with a movie like The Godfather or a story like the Odyssey, where the only thing holding the events together is the characters. Now, there’s this monster, this obstacle, but there’s no real progression—the hero just keeps trying to get home. Sure, Michael Corleone starts off as a young war hero and ends up as the godfather, but the wedding takes up the first half hour of the movie. People liked to talk about “act breaks” and “rising action” leading to a climax, but what about Apocalypse Now? Someone’s on a journey, and sure, we’re heading toward a climax, but there are so many digressions. To me, those digressions are the story.

Great interview.

27 May

I hope 10.10 is when UIKit comes to OS X, becomes my urges to make Mac apps are getting stronger and I was never that good with AppKit.

RT @piercedavid: “50 Cent says: Make a vision board. Do it tonight, when you get home.” Yes sir, Mr. Cent [gq.com]

Hackers use ‘Find my iPhone’ to ransom Mac and iOS device owners in Australia

Filed under ‘duh’. Anyone’s normal first reaction would be to tell you to make sure your password is secure, but then you remember how poorly Apple handled password recovery quite recently and wonder — how likely is it that they became much better since then?

So I followed the article’s recommendation and just enabled two-factor authentication, with the hope that its implementation isn’t too stupid. The process places extra emphasis on the fact that you can’t expect Apple to help you at all if you lose both your password and the recovery key, and that’s the way it should be.

Of course, that means no recourse if brain damage makes me forget the passwords to both my Apple ID and my 1Password archive, but it’s potentially better than the alternative. I don’t think amnesia is as common in real life as in TV shows anyway. Right?

Apple is teasing the keynote livestream a full week in advance, and promises “exciting announcements.” Better deliver then.

Seems to me the last WWDC keynotes kept a slight developer focus; intriguing to see this one promoted on Apple’s front page for a week.

Between the heavily promoted keynote, and betas open to the public… how big exactly could the changes to OS X be, despite no major leaks?

28 May

RT @ironicsans: Before Facebook, MySpace, or Friendster, there was SixDegrees. Here’s how to easily add a friend. #relationshipnumber [pic.twitter.com]

So the driving is awful and the overall tone is… ugh. Way to make a first impression, Watch Dogs.

“Apple confirms Beats acquisition, neglects to give a reason, any reason.”

RT @BenedictEvans: As before, Beats deal is a Rorschach Blot: people’s reactions slot into their existing view of whether Apple still has ‘it’

You’ve got to wonder how much better Watch Dogs might be if Aiden Pearce simply didn’t know how to drive. Not just because the driving is bad (which it is), but nothing makes an open world feel more limited and artificial than running red lights through the entire city in the very first mission. Of course, it’s pretty much impossible to imagine selling a present-day sandbox game that doesn’t allow players to drive.

29 May

I don’t care about the NSA accessing my data. What annoys me is, adding backdoors makes everything inherently more hackable by others.

RT @dmoren: Reminder for those wondering about Beats as a separate brand under Apple: FileMaker.

Le futur, c’est aussi se faire fouiller à l’entrée de la Foire du Trône.

Difficile à croire que, petit, je réclamais chaque année d’aller à la Foire du Trône. Pourquoi pas les matches du PSG tant qu’on y est ?

RT @jamesthomson: Comparison of the new Lego Movie LL 929 spaceship with the original Classic Space ships: [s3.amazonaws.com] [s3.amazonaws.com]

Ca fait terriblement bizarre de réutiliser un 24x36 après s’être habitué au 16/9 de l’iPhone.

The Lensbaby’s worst and most unexpected drawback is how narrow it is. Keep turning the camera on and going “Fuck, I can’t frame that shot.”

Oh, right, for a moment there I forgot you can swap out optics. So I guess buying the additional 35mm lens would only just double the price.

Spotted une Tesla Model S rue de Rivoli, inattendue.

A compenser tout l’après-midi par ma démarche les chaussures qui me font mal aux pieds, j’en ai mal au dos. Quel bon investissement.

Ma partition Windows ne boote plus. J’ai passé l’âge d’essayer de réparer ça, tant pis pour l’épisode 4 de Wolf Among Us.

30 May

It’s a shame, really. If it weren’t for the terrible lead voice actor and the unpleasant driving, Watch Dogs could be quite good. But there’s a lot of driving, and a lot of talking — boy does he like to hear the sound of his own inner voice.

The more troubling aspect, though, and the reason I’m not optimistic about the franchise’s future, is that both the acting and the driving are clearly matters of artistic direction, not technical incompetence.

Yay, I’m now among the people for whom Mail randomly decides to stop fetching mail until you restart the app.

Would it be sacrilege to say I enjoy Watch Dogs’ gunplay better than GTA IV or V’s?

31 May

Web 3.0: Return of the Newsletter

Is it Twitter’s fault? No one reads web pages anymore, so mailing lists are back?

I find the new Twitter profiles’ variable font size much less garish in Gotham. Possibly just because thin Helvetica Neue was too thin.

Les chansons dont tu tombes amoureux à quinze ans et dont tu te rends compte vingt ans plus tard qu’elles prédisaient ta vie.


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