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February 24, 2009

Filed under: random»linky

I Link... Again!

Remember Blood? Man, I used to love that game.

  • I've been trying to figure out what bothers me about this TNR article about The Politico. Finally, I figured it out: they're basically running on the "paved with good attentions" model that I worried about, driving their site traffic (and thus their revenue) with appeals to the least-credible, highest-traffic outlets (Drudge, cable TV) they can find, thus intentionally altering the news cycle for their own benefit. It's the kind of vicious, meta-media thinking I would normally reserve for Bond villains.
  • DOSBox has been ported to S60--you've probably seen this around as "Windows 95 on a Nokia N95," but that's someone taking credit for the work in this forum thread. Pretty cool, but I'm holding off on installing it until it's working off the most recent source version. The author says it still doesn't play X-Com. I guess theoretically you could solve the compatibility issues by running the x86 version inside this one, if you didn't care about frame rates. Or battery life. Or the space-time continuum.
  • Patrick Meier and Josh Goldstein are offering the full syllabus/reading material for their course on digital democracy here. There's some really good reading in there, and it sounds like a great class.

  • The Kindle 2 got here today! Initial impressions: like the first one, it looks much better in photographs than in person. I miss the old scroll wheel, but the new UI is definitely better. The screen is noticeably sharper, and I feel like it's a little faster, but that could just be the "new gadget" halo effect. More details in a few days.
  • Over on Making Light, Abi Sutherland discovers the reason why the Internet's zombie obsession refuses to die: zombies scale.
  • Since I picked up A Force More Powerful last week, I've also been thinking about Troy's review commentary (the review itself is, sadly, lost to a garbled content management system). It is a shame, as he notes, that the title got so little attention. I'm still trying to get a grip on it, frankly, and probably need to play a bit more before I make up my mind. It seems very "grognard"-ish.
  • Appfrica, the blog for a tech training and start-up incubation firm in Uganda, had an post the other day on the not-so-inclusive web and network failure. I thought it was particularly interesting, since I had just finished looking for more African blogs to read, and had found that a lot of the people writing on development tech seem to be, even in Africa, white males. The network effects tend toward homogeneity.
  • Another interesting post from Appfrica, which really is a great blog: Bit Torrent in Developing Countries.
  • Justin at Nostalgia for the Future used my January Round Table post as the basis for this month's challenge. His mutation of Iron Council: The Game retains the theme of revolutionary politics, but changes the rules to fit new, historical settings. It's very cool to see the idea continue this way (hey! you could make an Otpor board game!), and a great reminder that I need to get my own reinterpretation post in for this month.
  • Whenever things get a little slow at work, I find myself messing with the CSS here, aided by the addictive power of Firebug. At this point, I'm working by two rules that I've distilled from interactions with better designers: 1) use skinny lines, and 2) unless you have a good reason, keep colors desaturated. Slowly but surely, I think I'm reaching a design that could be safely classified as "not eye-bleedingly hideous." Aim high, I always say.

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