when brain not work, google count on
So it’s been about three years of standing deskage now, but there’s been some major changes of late.
Firstly is the purchase this summer of a cheap Windows 8 tablet [amazon], which lets me watch low-expectation non-HDTV-worthy movies and Half-in-the-Bag/Best of the Worst episodes [rlm] on the couch without the kids seeing/hearing. It’s also become how I do 90% of my reading and web browsing now.
Secondly is my growing disinterest in gaming this year — I just don’t enjoy it any longer.
So I’m at my standing desk using my main PC less and less… it’s mostly for video editing and photoshopping now.
So I’m sitting a bunch again. [sadtrombone]
Top Four Podcasts of 2013
I used to listen to a lot of 5by5 and TWiT — no more.
Now it’s just:
Accidental Tech Podcast
Marco Arment & John Siracusa talk smartly about the world of technology. Some nameless third wheel dullard interrupts them regularly but that’s what the 30-sec skip button is for.
Talk Show w/ John Gruber
He’s letting internet-fame go to his head a bit, says the same things each week, and doesn’t seem too prepared anymore, and he does FIVE MINUTE AD SPOTS, but for now he remains in my queue if nothing else comes up.
Four friends banter about movies but unlike most “bantering friends” podcasts, these guys keep it brisk and entertaining, with a decent balance of knowledgeability and humor. And it’s not all film-schooly elitist like a lot of movie podcasts, it’s much more populist.
Slate’s Culture Gabfest
Professional, professorial pop-culture analysis. Always at least one cool thing I’m interested in and one thing I’m not (but eager to learn about). Stephen Metcalf is a brilliant vocabularist, teaches me a new turn of phrase every week. But he hasn’t been on for a couple weeks now. :(
Astonishingly real Audrey Hepburn shills chocolate in new commercial
According to the company, Hepburn’s feline eyes and trademark smile proved most difficult to recreate, largely because they’re her most instantly recognizable features. Although Framestore originally chose the double because of her eyes and planned constructing Hepburn’s face around them, the team soon realized that “full CG was the only way to get it right.”
Via The Verge
For all of the trouble they went through to revive Audrey and to set the entire cm in the 1960s, it feels incredibly jarring to see that the brand name and packaging of the chocolate being so contemporary or even so mid-2000s. The name ‘Galaxy’ conveys no sense of history and the design of the wrapper lacks anything artisanry in terms of the chocolate maker’s heritage or even old Europe really. So why didn’t the Mars company go all the way on the branding is a mystery.
What we did get was a beautiful tech demo which was a great improvement on Tron: Legacy's recreation of the young Kevin Flynn. The skin tone and texture felt a lot more lifelike and natural verses the plastic-waxiness of Kevin Flynn's face. Still there was a bit of creepiness in seeing Audrey “brought back to life” and hearing a rendition of “Moon River” that added no extra sense of romanticism.
Arctic Combat | Webzen (2012)
- Doesn’t automatically save your login, doesn’t autodetect your country region: you have to enter a password and select North America, East every single time you play.
- Disorienting “BUY SHIT NOW NOW NOW!” screens supercrammed full of unclear selections.
- Loading screens… is the game loading? Is it not? Did I click the right button? IS THIS A BUTTON? Did I do something wrong, did the internet fail me again? No indicator that something is loading, or registering, or HAPPE-FUCKING-NING at all. Good design work there.
- Misspellings on most pages.
- Oh you want to use your mousewheel to switch weapons? We don’t acknowledge the existence of mousewheels. We built this game in 1996.
- Have to switch from Dvorak to Qwerty keyboard in Windows OOPS BUT WE WONT LET YOU ALT-TAB OUT OF THE GAME TO DO THAT. Quit game, switch keyboard input layouts (in Windows, literally two easy clicks), RELOAD STUPID GAME.
- Ugh I see this WZLauncher.exe screen every time I load the game up!? How virusy!
- Aaaaaaaand: once in an actual game, the suckitude continues. I don’t know the gaming term for it (FOV maybe), but being in-game, it’s like changing from a lifelike 55mm lens to a 18mm lens. Distances are out out of whack, movement is like you’re dangling on a robot arm, visuals are plain and uninspired.
- Also, the first level was in THE DESERT. Next level? New York. “Arctic combat”!
You get what you pay for.