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August 1, 2013
OAuth of Fealty
Resignation beyond sorrow on the Facebook Platform and beyond
In recent weeks, Facebook has been sending emails imploring me to complete a survey about how they might improve their development platform. I'd been deleting the messages, but after the third request or so, I decided to click through. For those lucky enough to have avoided it, the Facebook Platform ...
January 28, 2012
Speculative Realism Aggregator Update
New blogs, optimized, mobile version, etc.
As promised, I've cleaned up and updated the Speculative Realism blog aggregator. Thanks to those of you who made suggestions in the comments or by contacting me directly. A few quick notes: I've added a link to the aggregator in the right sidebar, under "resources." Not sure why I never ...
August 6, 2011
1,000,000 of Anything
On startups and small businesses
A recent article asks whether apps are just a feature, or if they are a business. Should individual creators or very small teams try to make a decent living from an app (a "lifestyle business") or should they raise venture capital and expand (a "startup"). The article cites Buffer, an ...
June 21, 2011
Kazemi Parses Harman's Objects
If you liked my Latour Litanizer, a tool for creating lists of objects, then you'll also like Darius Kazemi's new little gizmo, Objects that are enumerated in Graham Harman's "Prince of Networks". Here's what he did: I wrote a script to parse the original text [Prince of Networks] for things ...
May 3, 2011
On the rhetoric of gamification. From my "Persuasive Games" column at Gamasutra.
April 16, 2011
A terminal of yore
As someone who has worked on simulated television effects for Atari games, I was happy to learn about Cathode, a "vintage terminal emulator" for Mac. It simulates phosphor burn, screen curvature, glare, refresh rates, beam desyncrhonization, jitter, and other effects common to mini-computer terminals of yore. It's a functioning terminal ...
February 17, 2011
Mission Uncritical
Facebook and Software Architecture
I've been thinking about software architecture lately, mostly as a result of continuing to suffer at the hands of Facebook's horrific platform and API. For those who haven't tried to use it, Facebook's platform is notoriously atrocious. It's badly documented and doesn't always do what the documentation says. It breaks ...
June 28, 2010
I felt a little like Oppenheimer
Gary Yost on Videogames
Gary Yost, creator of 3D Studio Max, on videogames in San Francisco Magazine: Several years later, Autodesk saw Yost's work and gave him a contract to start developing three-dimensional design software. That got Yost jazzed up; his father was an architect, and he loved the idea of helping to build ...
December 16, 2009
Latour Litanizer
Generate your own Latour Litanies
Recently, Harman has adopted my name "Latour Litany" for the lists of things that appear in various writing. I coin this term in the chapter on ontography in my OOO book in progress, Alien Phenomenology, a preview of which I delivered as a keynote at SLSA in November. There are ...
December 9, 2009
Panic for Atari
Broken dreams and cool boxes
Panic Software, who makes Mac utilities like Transmit (an FTP client) and Unison (a USENET client), has created a set of hypothetical boxes and watercolor box art, as if their apps had been made for the Atari 2600. You can buy them online. They are insanely awesome. ...
October 1, 2009
Presentation Software Sucks
Here are some features that would make it better.
I do a lot of presentations. They come in various forms: class lectures, conference papers, keynote talks, corporate presentations, and business pitches, to name a few. Often I use slides and visuals in these talks, and I do so in various ways. In my class lectures I try to use ...
April 22, 2009
Texture, Bleed, Afterimage
CRT Emulation for the Atari VCS
This spring, I had the pleasure of advising a Georgia Tech Computer Science capstone group. The capstone is a requirement for the degree that is meant to draw on all aspects of the students' experience in the program. Each project requires an advisor and a customer. In my case, I ...
April 9, 2009
Atari VCS Programming in Xcode, Revisited
I've finally updated my Xcode Tools for Atari VCS Development, such that syntax coloring works in Xcode 3.1. Apple keeps changing the specifications for it, so every version I have to figure out how it works again and retool. This is just a pointer post for those of you who ...
June 30, 2008
My Platform Studies Talk
from the Software Studies Workshop
I attended the Software Studies Workshop at UCSD back in May, where I gave a talk on platform studies, the subject of a new book series co-edited by Nick Montfort and me. The first title in the series will be our book on the Atari VCS. The UCSD crew has ...
June 9, 2008
Resisting the Membership Economy
Photography, Flickr, and Me
As regular readers may have noticed, I have an interest in photography. I've started a photography section on this website, where you can view some of the photographs I have taken. Right now I've added galleries for Objects, Places, and People, as well as a photo project I'm slowly working ...
May 24, 2008
Three things I hate about Apple Mail
I use Apple Mail instead of competing products like Microsoft Entourage or Google Gmail. I don't use Entourage because I try not to use Microsoft products if I can help it, not just as conscientious objection but also because they are bloated. I refuse to use Gmail because I try ...
October 29, 2007
Chumby and the Rhetoric of Openness
Small, cute, insidious
Note: Chumby representative Andrew "Bunnie" Huang has replied to this thread, and I have in turn replied to his response with more questions. I encourage you to read through all the comments for more detail. Finally, I should point out that I am not an attorney and nothing herein should ...
September 11, 2007
Operating Systems Prohibit Film Still Fair Use
Built-in DVD players forbid screen captures with software constraint
Recently, I had the need to capture a still from a DVD a Persuasive Games client had sent over as guidelines for some game assets. I didn't want to rip the whole DVD, so I went to use the built-in screen capture facility in Apple OS X: the old standby ...
August 19, 2007
A Professor's Impressions of Facebook
Musings after several months of use, as I prepare to start the semester
This spring, I created an account on Facebook. I'm a web 2.0 cynic (and a cynic in general), so this surprised some of my friends and colleagues. But I was encouraged by so many of them, I wanted to give it a try. For example, Ian McCarthy just wanted an ...
July 16, 2007
On the iPhone: The Anxiety of Openness
The openness of web applications demonstrates the real treachery of the iPhone's closed platform
This is the first in a series of short editorials on the iPhone, which I'll be writing occasionally. Now that the geekqueues of iDay have come and gone, perhaps we can start talking more seriously about the device without all the fanboy ardor. For some of us who have not ...