31 January 2010

Progressive video games, part 2: E-rated PS3 games

LittleBigPlanet (PS3 only) If you’re looking for a kid-friendly game for the PS3, this should be top of your list. Rated E, it provides classic 2D platform game action rendered with state-of-the-art 3D graphics. The ragdoll physics and ability to grab objects are interesting game tweaks, though the automatic switching between layers on the Z axis can be a little frustrating at times. Mostly it’s not a problem with the story levels, because of careful level design. ... Read more

30 January 2010

Progressive video games, part 1

A friend recently commented on the imperialist narrative of most video games: travel to exotic places, meet interesting people, kill them, and exploit their resources. Well, yes, there are a lot of video games like that, ranging from the hundreds of first-person shooters that only an enthusiast could tell apart, to the cerebrally imperialist Civilization series. However, there are also video games which manage to have a more progressive message. ... Read more

30 January 2010

Macmillan vs Amazon, Round One

According to Huffington Post, after the iPad launch Walter Mossberg cornered Steve Jobs to ask a pertinent question: Mossberg asks why users would want to shell out $14.99 for an ebook on the iPad, when they can buy ebooks for Amazon’s Kindle for $9.99. Steve Jobs’ retort: ‘Well, that won’t be the case.’ Mossberg presses him on whether that means Apple’s prices will go down, or Amazon’s will go up, to which Jobs offers a cryptic, non-committal, ‘The prices will be the same. ... Read more

28 January 2010

Why the iPad is awesome

The world has been crying out for a $500 e-book reader and the chance to read books on an LCD. Nobody reads books outdoors, so a screen I can’t read outdoors is perfect. Nobody listens to music or has IM running while browsing the web, or edits documents with a web browser open. The lack of multi-tasking brings back the joys of the authentic 1984 Macintosh experience. Look, if I really want to listen to music while I’m working, I’ll use my iPod. ... Read more

21 January 2010

Reflections on a Macless month

On December 23rd, my MacBook Pro died. The screen started flickering, and the entire graphical layer died. The underlying Unix system was still responsive, and I could SSH in, but that was it. Rebooting the machine, it would run for a while, then die with the same fault. I used rsync to create a full backup–I already had a Time Machine backup, but better safe than sorry. After a couple more reboot cycles it stopped booting entirely. ... Read more

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