Just what is implied in the title. My thoughts and ramblings on pretty much everything. That is, if you care about any of that.

Anne Rice petition: why you shouldn’t sign it

I haven’t written an opinion or an article for a long time – and just browsing through my daily feed of stuff casually during a lull, I stumbled across this article from The Guardian: “it’s an obsession with them, a sport, a full time hobby”. ”I think the anti-author gangster bully culture is made up of individuals who desperately want a place at the table in the world of books and readers,” she said. This is being attributed to Anne Rice, the popular vampire literature (am I allowed to call it that?) author. Well, welcome to the internet. We should have by now be pretty aware as creatures that roam the internet that the trolls’ natural habitat is not bridges, but rather, the internet. Regarding that, I also recently had a look at a study about the personality traits of the average internet troll. I don’t know the details of the research into this (I’m not about to peer review it though it should) and we keep forgetting how easy it is to let loose some numbers and some stats – although I do believe trolls are nasty folks that generally ought to have something better to do, I also thing it’s quite possible they just trolled the relevant study to “prove” that trolls are infamous for a reason. Before we start entering the weird territory of the Millikan experiment type-stuff or the infamous Sokal affair about power trips, authority, and the scientific method in the modern peer-review process, let me put a stop to this before my […]

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Steam on Linux – A review (sort of) I never thought I’d do

Let me tell you a bit about Linux, Steam, gaming and me. I’ve been a long time user of Linux. Started back in 1999 with Red Hat 5.2, got into Slackware 7 and learned a lot from that experience. Then in the last few years I turned to Debian and never looked back, though I must admit I’ve fooled around on occasion. I remember in those days the games available on Linux were ATC, rogue, generally the old BSD games suite. I’m not sure Loki was on the horizon yet, I think it was, but in any case everything was a hit-or-miss experience. For instance, Starcraft worked out of the box like a charm with WINE, but mostly games were a longshot on Linux, at best. Slowly, Loki got too early in the gaming game and began porting games that sold little and the whole venture seemed destined to fail. Id released some code, open source projects began making up for the lack of professional studio games (freecol and freeciv come to mind – Side Meier’s Colonization and Civilization clones – two of my favourites). Generally some talented people wanted to play the games they loved in a platform they loved (like OpenTTD for the Transport Tycoon game). But still, Linux was cranky, you needed some experience and technical knowledge especially if you had to get some odd piece of hardware, especially graphics cards going. The proprietary drivers were still unholy artifacts – with the possible exception of Nvidia – which very quickly got the […]

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Full Steam Ahead!

I was catching up with the various news around the world as well as those little things that I find interesting.Never mind about what’s going on in Syria, or more recently in Mali (though both have a long history about them – things, as always, don’t usually happen out of the blue). I was scanning the news items over at ElReg, when a strange title caught my eye: “IBM brains ponder universe, say kids will go nuts for STEAMPUNK“. At first, I was baffled. I thought I misread something. Then I saw the text was pretty persistent: it really read IBM and STEAMPUNK, both words in capitals. Then I did some search and I found out similar articles all over the place – it’s all because of an IBM press release from a couple of days earlier. Great infographics too. First of all, steampunk is really cool, probably not as cool as flying sharks shooting lasers and such, but still, pretty cool. Now I’m really curious to know who paid for that analysis (probably these guys), an analysis that’s based on what IBM calls the Social Sentiment Index. That is supposedly a metric derived from following trends in the social media. Basically, it’s statistics. I didn’t delve too deep into the technology,software or techniques used to measure all that up – the nitty-gritty of it over at IBM’s website is hidden under corporate lingo – after all, they sell it as a service. What bugs me, or better yet what intrigues me about all this […]

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Android Market/Google Play! Psyched? Not much.

Which in and of itself isn’t much of achange as far as developers (like me?) are concerned. It’s pretty much the same backend. The difference for the users of the service, is you can store your purchased items over in Google’s cloud. But that’s only valid for people in the US, where you’ll be able to store your purchased music,books, movies and apps. In Canada and the UK, you can’t store music (RIAA perhaps?), and in Australia it will be just books and apps (the MPAA called as well). Japan has perhaps the unique privilege of being able to store movies and apps, but nothing else. And everywhere else in the world, they just renamed the Android Market into Google Play. Probably betting on the Android’s market percentage they’re trying to get people to watch movies in a 3″ inch display, or dish out some real money for a tablet. Then perhaps soon they might be thinking of turning it into an Amazon competitor for digital goods. Or a Steam-like service. We’ll just have to wait and see. SummaryArticle NameAndroid Market turns into Google PlayAuthorVasileios KalampakasDescriptionA short critique on the renaming of Android Market into Google Play Last updated by Vasileios at 5 March, 2014.

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