Remember to Be Afraid!

Terrorists are planning to kill you using only a cup of coffee and a jar of acne cream. If someone approaches you in what appears to be an aggressive manner, simply slap the cup of coffee out of their hand.

Google starting to suck

Google’s value as a search engine has really taken a nosedive. You search for something and you get dozens of pages that are nothing but linkfarms. Now you may say that it isn’t Google that is the problem, the problem is with the people who create linkfarms, but Google is the company that has encouraged this behavior with their increasingly annoying text ads everywhere.
What to do?
I’m looking for a printer’s drawer, sometimes called a shadow box, that IKEA used to sell but has now discontinued. There are probably thousands of these in a warehouse somewhere.

Nero fiddles

White House announces new head chef. Let’s hope she has a fondness for pretzels.

Quel idiot!

“In terms of the detainees, we’ve had thousands of people detained. We’ve investigated every single complaint against the detainees. It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on the word of — and the allegations — by people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to disassemblethat means not tell the truth. And so it was an absurd report. It just is. And, you know — yes, sir.” – George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States. (emphasis mine)


Dear Electronic Book Review,
Please make your site usable.

Notes from Self-Organizing Systems

Self-Organizing Systems: rEvolutionary Art, Science, and Literature was held on April 30, 2004 at UCLA.
First, some contrast with last week’s UCLA conference, also organized in part by Katherine Hayles. This was a much larger crowd, helped no doubt by the association with the Electonic Literature Organization. The audience at Narr@tive consisted almost entirely of panelists.
An audience of 100-120 endured four sessions in the UCLA Design | Media Arts department’s EDA space. I don’t know why, but they configured the space so that the entrance was stage left of the projection screen, which discourages people from wandering in and out of a presentation in progress.
Despite being held in the Design | Media Arts space, there was a notable lack of DMA faculty in both the audience and on the panels. Well, nothing to be too concerned about.

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Andrew@GTxA promises to write more about the controversy surrounding the Independent Games Festival last week.
While the concept of /independent games/ seems relatively straightforward, I’m having a hard time finding something to compare it to. Independent games aren’t independent in the way that independent film is independent — at least in terms of subject matter and audience. Independent film is free to deal with less popular subjects, like, say, drug addiction, while “mainstream” cinema brings us Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.
A small handful of exceptions aside, there’s no distinction to be made in regards to subject matter or audience in the computer games industry. Here’s a mainstream FPS, here’s an independent FPS. Here’s a mainstream puzzle game, here’s an independent puzzle game, same subject, same audience. What, exactly, is “independent” about the independent sector of the mushrooming computer games industry?

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