Went to see Avatar in 3D tonight. Typical story, but the animation was amazing. The 3D was also better than what has been out there. But darn, for the past 4 hours after exiting the theatre I have been having my vision still be in stereoscopic mode or something. I see everything beyond 1-2 meters as blurry, as if watching the movie without glasses. Hope a good night's rest will cure that.
itojun passed away
I found out yesterday on IRC that there was a rumour floating around that itojun had passed away. We finally found a Japanese text online by the younger brother (おとうと) stating that he has passed away. Undeadly also has more about it.
I want to use this space to express my wishes of support towards his family that he leaves behind.
Science Fiction and Space Battles
Something I never understand between various science fiction movies and series is the difference in how space battles are conducted. Take for example Star Trek, you see all kinds of ships in fights, but contrast this to Battlestar Galactica, Space: Above and Beyond or Star Wars and there's one striking difference: the absence of fighter and bomber ships fighting alongside capital ships. In Star Trek you will see, for example, the Enterprise in direct battle with various other ships, but aside from some shuttles they have no fighter ships or otherwise. In Star Wars next to the Imperial Star Destroyers, Corellian Corvettes and Dreadnaughts, Mon Calamari cruisers, and Nebulon-B frigates you have a multitude of TIE fighters, TIE interceptors, TIE bombers, X-Wings, Y-Wings, A-Wings, B-Wings, and YT-1300 like the Millennium Falcon. Battlestar Galactica had its Vipers and other ships. I wonder what this, in my opinion, fundamental difference signifies and where it comes from.
Dark Age of Camelot
Currently I am playtesting a lot of MMORPGs and today I tried out Dark Age of Camelot (DAoC). It just didn't work for me. The entire moving feels sluggish, the interface feels clumsy and the non-player character (NPC) interaction reminds me of dealing with old-style MUDs. The setting seems promising though, especially the inter-realm warfare, but to me the pleasure was quickly drained due to the highly annoying user interface (UI).
There's no easy way by default to get to the option screen. I mean, people nowadays almost expect the escape key to be bound to the game menu or options menu. Nearly every game has this. The entire UI handling is slow that it feels like trying to maneuver through syrup or something. Not to mention that the talking with NPCs is grating, you get a window with some text, some word is underlined, you click on it, you get more text and it goes a few times like this, and you wind up with some quest.
The graphics do not look too bad or dated, but didn't really inspire much. And the weird thing is that I already experienced some strange glitches where one moment I saw a bunch of enemies standing around and next they just disappeared only to rematerialize a few seconds later.
Perhaps the game gets better later but it just couldn't keep me enticed. The slugginess is compared to World of Warcraft, Ryzom, and EverQuest II.
Hitting the high notes - harmony with the choir
Very interesting article by Eric Sink about comparing teams of programmers to choirs (extension of Joel Spolsky's earlier essay).
We collectively lost our marbles...
OK, my country has officially lost its marbles.
NL, as leader of the EU now, has given priority in the resolution queue to this proposal issued in April 2004 (see: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2004/apr/8958-04-dataret.pdf). On top of that they are also 'positively receptive'
Statewatch.org reported back in April the following legal analysis.
Best excerpts from that page:
- "This is a proposal so intrusive that Ashcroft, Ridge and company can only dream about it, exceeding even the US Patriot Act"
- It will put in place the compulsory retention of all communications traffic and location data - land and mobile telephones, faxes, e-mails, internet histories and any future communications technology.
Did you notice the any future communications technology part? Are you the type of person that signs a contract with any company which basically is a blanket contract where the company can change your contract at will without you having to sign it again to agree to it?
Are we now so collectively brainwashed about the prospect of an impending terror attack that we are willing to sacrifice our basic freedoms? What is next? Registration of religion and sexual preference? I know, let's start up the Schutzstaffel again!