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December 17, 2007

Filed under: random»linky

We Link What We Must

...because we can.

  • Angry Asian Man links to 9500 Liberty's guest editorials in the Washington Post, plus a video essay that they've put together. Parts of the "interactive documentary" project are fascinating, and parts of it become tedious. It will be interesting to see what emerges when (if?) they take a more editorial approach to this footage and package it all together.
  • In the 1950's, information theorist Claude Shannon builds a robot mouse capable of learning its way through a maze. He used what he learned from this to build more intelligent telephone switching devices. The details make it sound very "steampunk," in a way.
  • Buy Strike Swag! Support the Writer's Guild!
  • I don't have a piece for Corvus's Round Table on gender yet (I'd like to do one on Tomb Raiders Legend and Anniversary, respectively, but would have to finish a game and a half before I could do so), but I'd like to toss this out there: here's a rule about movies and feminism that asks whether a film has two women in it whose conversation does not involve talking about a man. I like it because it expresses a problem of sexism in a pithy way. But to what extent is this useful for gaming? It certainly says something about Half-Life's Alyx Vance, who's a tremendously positive character in terms of being a smart and reasonably realistic female, but who still exists primarily to praise the player and flirt with Gordon Freeman.
  • We had our router go out on us this week. It started to repeatedly crash, and we'd have to pull the plug and reload it. Also, it wouldn't let us change any of the settings. So we went out and got the new Linksys model, for lack of better immediate options, and then I sat down with the old one and looked at replacement firmwares for a little while. See, you can load a new operating system on these things, due to some crazy GPL licensing reason. Which is great and all, but I couldn't get it to work--and more importantly, I couldn't think of a single good reason why I would want my router to do anything other than route, which is after all the reason that I bought it.
  • Line 6 has a new Pod out now: Pod X3. I didn't see a lot of fanfare about this when it was first released, but it's got some nice features. USB 2.0 is a plus (although the direct monitoring on the Pod tends to make that less important), but I think there are two more interesting draws. First, they've added an XLR port and models for vocal preamps, so you could theoretically record just with a Pod as your main interface. And second, they've added a dual-pathway signal chain, so that you can route two separate amps and sets of effects and mix between the two. That's a big deal for bassists, and the extra flexibility in routing is a welcome addition to the Pod. It's not enough for me to replace my Pod XT Live (at least until they add a looper), but it definitely addresses the weak spots of the last version.

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