Saturday, April 30, 2011



Oh boy. This isn't getting any better. I hope most of this is bollocks. OK, it's not like Sony is short on doing things wrong, but still.
After getting its database hacked, the secret group behind this action offered Sony to buy "back" this data but they declined (which is understandable). It's unclear if the claims about personal info and credit card essential numbers are true. Still.... we're yet to hear any excuses.
The data of 75 million accounts has been taken (actually 77, from Sony), and there already are complaints about cc frauds.

Point being, not only breaking down on hackers with those stupid DRMs is not particularly useful, but being zealous about squishing some of them (for instance, graf_chokolo?) with all the might of your industrial power house can actually backfire pretty badly.

Not only Sony has really been a pain in the A with its customers for ages by trying to squeeze as much money as possible out their pockets with those "security" measures, but now, how will they ever be able to expect customers to trust them and their abominable securities that miserably failed?

The shame is boundless.

Monday, April 18, 2011

New Synaps joypad

Among many things, what I love about video games is the introduction of new controllers, ideas gone wild. Sometimes, there are failures, sometimes there are fads, and sometimes there are genuine breakthroughs that feel like they're perfectly balanced.

So I would strongly recommend reading this article about the Synaps splitable joypad. It's choke full of good ideas, although I'd have some cons to fill.
  • The  underside triggers don't really look like they'd be that comfortable to use.
  • The bumpers look like they're too close to the center of the pad.
  • The circular D-pad might not be such a good idea if it doesn't allow the precision of a cross D-pad. Even if it may allow for different pressures, a typical D-pad's advantage is that you know where you're going. It's 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock, plus the diagonal intermediaries. That's why I believe that nothing could be superior to a Click Wheel, for it may be THE most perfect D-pad ever built. Smooth, easy to move around, with a small recession in the middle to know where to put your thumb, it only needs to be enhanced so it gets eight axises like on any cross shaped D-pad. It has the ability to send input in any direction with the segmented circular touch pad, which is just ace. Again, just imagine playing Street Fighter IV with a Click Wheel developed for gaming.
Still, the Synaps is a good step in the right direction, and the introduction of the pads on each side is very interesting. That's a new and intuitive way to handle virtual objects. Now, it's hard to tell if both sides, once the joypad is split, will handle well. The presence of powerful magnets, the usual hardware plus two battery packs (no cables are mentioned or visible) will surely make each half quite heavy.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Microsoft Word - turd since 97-98

Simply put, Microsoft Word is a retarded application. No matter the iteration, since 97-98, it's been riddled with completely unintuitive automatic functions that decide to alter your damned document on a whim, without warning, and outside of any operable logic. And every single f***ing time you think you have understood the inner arcane secrets of the machine and seized its threads in order to know how to precede Word to prevent it from sadistically butchering your doc, you discover that what could be edited cannot be edited, and that what you wanted to do in order to make the automation useful is either impossible or even more nightmarish than what you thought could be changed by a few clicks.
Among other things, the styles sheets, bullet point and text levels management is a true catastrophe, and is only matched by another gem of fecesware that is the new art gizmos, which are a hell to edit, move around, rearrange and modulate.
It's truly that messed up.

A very old post found on internet cracked me up. I can only understand the frustration. The memories:

Microsoft Word Sucks

Original author unknown.

[Warning: Extreme language follows.]

For reasons which are completely beyond my control, I've spent half a week writing a document in Word 98.

I have never in my life seen, heard of, or even imagined a more malodorous piece of steaming shit than this little slice of Microsoft. Words fail me, and all that follows is the faintest Platonist shadow-on- a-wall of what is, in my heart, the Ideal Peeve, perfect in its sincerity, bottomless in its depth, and unassailable in its accuracy.

This bloated, pestilent gigabyte-swamping piece of ordure takes up enough computational resources to accurately model the world's weather for the next billion years, and what do you get for it? Something that will format and display text? Don't make me fucking laugh. What you do get is a profusion of bells and whistles thrown in a careless heap, each bauble lovingly designed to make the straight path crooked, the intuitive arcane, the simple impossible.

Take the ``Help'' for example. It's not just help, it's a new friend!

I don't want a new friend, you shit-slurping choad-munching bunch of retards; I've all too many as it is. What I want is something simple where I can find a technical detail with a minimum of fuss and interruption. I don't want animation. I don't want natural-language interpretation. I don't want to be led by the fucking nose. Give me a fucking index and get the hell out of my damn face. If I dismiss a window, I want it gone. I don't want it to wave goodbye, or hesitate, or sneeze. I want it gone.

The document I was working on was very simple. No images, no tables, no nothing. One font, one style, that's it. It would be perfectly simple in other system, even earlier versions of Word, but, oh no, not in this latest magnum opus of the word processing world.

This helpless, hapless, hopeless, buggy piece of offal insisted on changing my fonts every couple of minutes for no reason. Random chunks of text, at random times. And bullet points, don't talk to me about fucking bullet points. It's a little known fact that in the bullet-point mode of Word 98 every single button on every single toolbar is the ``Fuck Me Over Now'' button. I've got bullet points going left, I've got 'em going right, and down and up, I've got 'em changing indentation, and style, you name it.

You'd think in 20 or so megabytes of RAM there'd be room for one scenario in which it doesn't actively do anything wrong, but for that you'll have to wait for Word 2023, which will have a user interface like a retarded version of ``I have no mouth, and I must scream.''

And don't try telling me that one need only configure the options to avoid these problems; I'm not a fucking moron. I quickly configured the preferences so as to minimize all this bullshit, at which point Word promptly changed them back. Lather, rinse, repeat. If you don't want fast saves, then fuck off, you're gunna have 'em. Don't want your grammar constantly corrected by some shitty little subprogram that doesn't know the first goddamn thing about grammar? Tough shit. Empty your wallet and move off to the side.

How did this come about? It can't be incompetence, at least not the usual mundane sort one is constantly immersed in simply by having to share a planet with a bunch of fucking primates. This is either some transcendent type of incompetence, or active malevolence.

My money's on malevolence. This software was obviously created by a company who's motto is ``We're Microsoft, and you, the customer, aren't worth fuck to us.'' It matters not one iota what their official motto is, watch the hands, not the mouth. Well, Microsoft, your time will come. It may not be Linux that does you in, it may not be the DoJ, it may not be this decade, but you're going to go the way of the dodo, and I for one will cavort naked on your grave, pissing effusively on your memory, and screaming, ``Animate this, you bastards!'' to the sky.

But in the here-and-now, I shall finish this document with the quiet dignity with which I have always comported myself, and then I shall un-install Word, and swear a terrible oath that I would rather daub dung on paper with a stick than write a document using a Microsoft product.

It is that mediocre. I see no point keeping on using a software you constantly fight against.
The amount of time I LOSE because of this software is staggering!
But let's not stop here !

Microsoft Word sucks dirty donkey balls!!! (and its +90 nice comments)

Microsoft Word fucking sucks ass!! I am so sick and tired of trying to coax this fucking program to do simple word processing tasks. I cannot believe that microsoft word makes it so difficult to have different page number formats for different pages, and does not fucking allow the modification of footnote formats beyond a certain point!! There is simply now way to have different footnote formats. Period. You COULD break down your 200 page document into itty bitty (and buggy) sections to TRY to change the page numbering schema, but good luck when you do that (and save everything) because your document might suddenly become 400 pages long without any warning!!

I cannot believe that a billion dollar company like Microsoft, putting out “top of the line word processing software” makes such a shitty product and everyone continues to use the damn thing!!

I dont like Latex that much either and now that I have come this far in writing my thesis, I really cannot turn back. A word of advice to all that are trying to write some serious documentation (anything greater than 20 pages) using Microsoft Word, Fucking Forget It!!! Start using some other word processor right from the beginning and you will be saved a LOT of frustration later on!!

Things I hate about Microsoft Word (not listing everything, that would take up all day!):

      Page number formatting
      Lack of referencing schemas
      Lack of control over “automatic features”
      Twenty thousand temporary copies of your document
      Page break mechanism
      The built-in drawing package
      The lack of a good equation editor
      Lack of contemporary formatting ideologies
      The twenty thousand “viewing modes”
      Exceptionally bad inter-Microsoft Office collaboration
      HUGE file sizes (my 200 page thesis is 3 MB!!)
      I HATE the auto-correct feature!!
      Auto-page formatting is sucky!
      Heck, Auto-EVERYTHING is sucky!!!

Among other things…

I am SO getting rid of Word when I am done with my thesis!!!
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The only reason I'm stuck with that is because some people out there are obtusely using this software and its stupid format system.

God I hate that damn piece of shovelware.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

US people watch too much TV

That's basically what the Nielsen ratings are just too polite to say.
Here's some stuff I wrote about some flabbergasting figures briefly alluded to in a Gamasutra article.
My text deals with the daily consumption of TV in the USA, although the original article itself was not about that.

5 hours on the average, no matter how you spin that, is totally worrying.
I mean, if it's like 2 hours a day during the five usual "working" days of the week, then you have 22.5 hours in front of the TV for each day of the weekend.

Seems like we're missing some parameters here. First of all, it's Nielsen. They can only extrapolate from what they have, and what they have is numbers of people who accepted to be polled about their TV habits. This could dramatically skew the samples.
This figure echoes what we see here from 2009.

153 hours a month on TV does bring about 5 hours a day. But it is necessary to understand that those are the habits of people they could "scan". However, Nielsen also has numbers about the number of households with TVs, and around 2009 it was about 114.5 million households.

The most recent numbers are putting the extrapolated number of people capable of watching TV from such households to be about 294.65 millions. Not far from the 307 millions population of the entire country.

If the average TV consumption is based on this TV household data, then the averaged figure for TV consumption represents about 97.7% of the population.

And there's little way to get around this by fiddling with TV household numbers.

You cannot escape 'em!

. . .

Damn scary.
: (

The last link leads to an USAtoday page that reads:

Average home has more TVs than people

So the Nielsen figures are extremely worrying. Who the hell would think it's sane to consume so much TV??