guitarist > writer > coder

June 24, 2015
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  • 8 archetypes for break-testing your game
    Random Rick plays randomly. Take a look at all the actions available and roll a die. That’s it. Random play. If Random Rick wins your deep strategy game then there’s some major flaw you haven’t seen. Works best with simpler games. Note that Random Rick can be a way to test for age dependency in a game. If Random Rick can win then the game is better suited to be played by small kids.

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June 23, 2015
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  • Stop Telling Me to Turn My Brain Off During Movies
    I’m willing to accept almost any argument in favor of a movie; I may not agree with it, but I’d never deny someone their right to express themselves. The only argument I automatically reject on principle is “turn off your brain.” If the only way to enjoy something is to turn your brain off, then it probably isn’t very good.

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June 19, 2015
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Way to throw someone under a bus, Wil

Up Front Wheaton

Game Boxes Made Better with Wil Wheaton

“We had a producer whose primary job was to make sure we knew the rules to the games, and played correctly. I trusted this producer to be on top of these things, and I trusted this producer to ensure that we played the games properly.”


Reading Wil’s apology for screwing up the rules for a few games on Table Top I was waiting for the “…and that producer was me.” It never comes. Shame. It feels like a bit of a dick move blaming someone else.


Update: See also – Fuck the Internet Shame Spiral


“So the next time somebody sucks you into an internet shame spiral, remember that it’s a form of policing. To stop the cycle, we need to get back to the bedrock of what started this fight in the first place, and decide which side is right based on the substance of their arguments — not on tone.”


Yup, guilty…


June 19, 2015
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  • Call it terrorism in Charleston – CNN.com
    [D]eadly acts of terrorism by virulent racists and anti-government extremists have been more common in the United States than deadly acts of jihadist terrorism since 9/11.
  • Burying the Dinosaurs: Why Blockbuster Directors Need to Change
    Why is one indie film deemed a good enough reason to get handed the keys to a major franchise if you’re a white man, but a CV of several films or several seasons of some of the most prestige cable TV series leaves you ill-prepared to handle dinosaurs and superheroes? Going back to MacLaren: she’s only in the running for the “Star Wars” job after the first director, Josh Trank, got the boot. Allegedly, Trank was dropped over his “erratic” behavior during filming of the upcoming “Fantastic Four.” In Alex Pappademas’ enlightening and eyebrow-raising Grantland piece about Trank and Trevorrow, he writes how Trank was another quantum leaper to a blockbuster’s control panel having only helmed another indie, “Chronicle,” before getting the “Fantastic Four” reboot. Pappademas writes about Hollywood’s love affair with giving breaks to greenhorn male directors archly: “Sometimes it’s just that easy. You get a phone call one day, which leads to a meeting with Spielberg, and poof – you’re a T. Rex wrangler. Directorially speaking, this is Schwab’s Pharmacy stuff.”
  • German Autobahn – Album on Imgur
    “Is it true that there is no speed limit on german highways?”
    [Original content on imgur! I don’t understand the reddit need to re-post content from the web as imgur content to link to, or gifying YouTube videos instead of just linking to a YouTube video. But this German pov on the history of the autobahn is great]
  • I Do Not Agree To Your Terms
    Let me get this straight, Apple: you send me an e-mail outlining the terms under which you will redistribute my content, and you will just assume that I agree to your terms unless I opt out? This makes typical clickwrap EULA nonsense look downright reasonable by comparison. You’re going to consider me bound to terms you just declared to me in an e-mail as long as I don’t respond? That’s completely crazy. You don’t even know if I received the e-mail!
  • Crown rules out inquiry into mysterious death of SNP activist
    Reads like a David Peace “Red Riding” novel: McRae was known to be investigating alleged establishment paedophilia and alleged nuclear waste dumping at the time of his death … He was known to have been watched by secret services in the weeks before he was found next to his crashed car with a gunshot wound to his right ear in a remote part of the Scottish Highlands. The official verdict after an investigation into McRae’s death was that it was suicide.

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June 16, 2015
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Spyfall online game

Spyfall is a party deduction game where one person is a spy at a mystery location that the rest of the group knows. The spy tries to determine the location while the group tries to root them out by asking each other questions without giving the location away. If the spy guesses the location they win.


So Julie, knowing the location is a Casino might ask Jane “Did you bring any money with you?” If Jane isn’t the spy and knows the location she’ll try and indicate this to Julie with an answer that doesn’t give the location away, such as “Yes, but I bet I didn’t bring as much as you.” If Jane is the spy, she’ll have to try and bluff the answer, perhaps answering “No, but I’m hoping to borrow some”. And then Jane gets to ask someone else a question.


Anyways, just as I was thinking it would make a great node.js project I discover there’s an online version – worth a try next time you’re with a bunch of people with mobiles/tablets/etc.


June 16, 2015
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  • The Ciphers of the Monks
    Numeral system that was commonly used by European monks in the Middle Ages. That number system allowed one to write numbers from 1 to 9999 with minimum of strokes.

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June 12, 2015
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  • tota11y – an a11y visualization toolkit
    The process of testing for accessibility (a11y) is often tedious and confusing. In many cases, developers must have some prior accessibility knowledge in order to make sense of the results. Instead, tota11y aims to reduce this barrier of entry by helping visualize accessibility violations (and successes), while educating on best practices.

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June 10, 2015
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James Last

I’ve never listened to James Last (till now), but thirty plus years ago sat outside college in a car with a drummer messing around with a tape recorder we recorded a tribute song to James Last as Simon Last, because that’s what you do when you’re a teenager in a band but don’t have the whole band there. Still have that tape somewhere, pen drumming and vocal guitar effects and fake crowd noises and all.


If we’d become famous that song could have been re-released today as a tribute to James Last.