Sunday, December 26, 2010

Come to think of it...

Exposé is pretty much Strategic Zoom for my operating system.

We all know how much I love Exposé.

Strategic Zoom

After playing Supreme Commander, it's evident that Strategic Zoom is pretty much the best function in gaming ever. Now I can't live without it.

Civilization: Strategic Zoom
Homeworld: Strategic Zoom
Starcraft: No Strategic Zoom

I'll never be able to play it again. Like what the fuck, I can only see like 8 units on my screen at a time? I'll send my wraith to scout and it'll get lost and I'll never be able to find it again.

I bet after Advanced Warfighter, I won't be able to play even first-person shooters without Strategic Zoom.

Monday, December 20, 2010

D-NY, represent

First Responders bill:

Bill delayed, for the record.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Check out this concept:

It's fresh, friendly, good looking and absolutely useless.

I can only imagine trying to find my 2% in an aisle stocked with nearly identical yellow boxes typefaced with difficult to distinguish text. You know, of all the things she decided to emphasize on the box, it's the words "Drink ME I AM MILK". Thanks. This is not helpful from a consumer's perspective. Someone will be sorely disappointed when they walk home with a box of cheese instead of a stick of butter.

These things can be fixed; there are simple fixes. That's not the point.

These issues are things that should've been at the forefront of consideration but wholly overlooked. So many designers are preoccupied with making something distinct and beautiful that they forget about the importance of function of form.

It's worthwhile to make something aesthetically pleasing, but products are made to be used, not to be displayed in a museum.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I had foie gras once

It was underwhelming.

Somehow it looks a lot more appealing in pictures.

Anyways, here's an interesting article.

Windows 7 First Impressions

I'm finally running a modern Windows system on one of my own boxes now.

Hey, I am a Mac user after all.

First off, it looks very nice. Straight up one of the best looking operating systems around, though I do believe KDE has had that style for a long time now.

The problem with 7 is that there is never a new feature there that makes me think, "I wish I had that before" or "that's a really great idea". I got that feeling all the time with OS X. Or even with major revisions of Firefox.

I don't care about how much they've changed under the hood; I don't have lasting virus issues (which can be about 80% attributed to "not being a retard") and it just doesn't affect me as an end user.

What does affect me is their silly pop-ups that come up anytime I want to do anything. I understand the reasoning behind it, but (a) once some average user sees it come up a million times a minute, they'll just ignore it and click affirm to everything and (b) doesn't ask for your admin password to make modifications so while it might protect you from random internet programs, it doesn't prevent some guy from just screwing around with your computer. The Windows convention of always running as admin is dangerous, SUDO is a very good idea.

The new taskbar looks nice, but the latency from me hovering over an icon to it showing me what windows are open is aggravating. The worst part is, this is actually a good idea; just let me change the timings.

The new Start menu is stupid. I can't rely on the Search function to find what I need since it selectively indexes and I have no clue how it chooses to either. Then when it inevitably fails, I am forced to dig through all my folders to find what I need because it apparently never occurred to Microsoft that there are files I use often enough to want to keep in a location that is easily accessible while not often enough to be on the Desktop or Taskbar. Argue about indexing optimization all you want, all I know is that Spotlight never fails to turn up what I want (even if it's some text file in an obscure directory) while Search comes up empty quite often.

I could talk more, but my feeling has been conveyed. I think what Microsoft did was hire a lot of graphical designers in recent years, but neglected interface designers. Because Windows Phone 7 looks quite good. Bing looks quite good. Windows 7 looks quite good. But they all have tons of shortcomings in their functionality. This is why Google and Apple are running circles around, because at the end of the day Google's page-rankings give me what I want and Bing's doesn't.

Bonus story: This morning I wanted to check something in another browser so I literally opened IE 8, typed something into Bing search and pressed enter. This naturally caused Windows to come collapsing down around me as IE failed, and Explorer, and Task Manager, and every other possible program except (ironically) Firefox. Fresh install, brand new computer; should not be happening, Microsoft. No excuse.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I dimension the die!

What's the functional difference between rolling a 12 sided die and two 6 sided die? Well, for one you can't roll a 1 with two dice. More importantly though, you'll see a stronger regression to the mean with more dice.

Let's say theoretically we have a 10-sided die numbered [0,9]. Your probability of rolling a 5 is 10%.

If you have three 4-sided dice numbered [0,3], the probability of rolling a 5 suddenly becomes 19%.

If you flip 9 coins, the probability of landing 5 heads is now 25%. Moreover, the probability of rolling either 5 or 6 (the expected value is 5.5) is 49%. Of the 10 possible numbers, half the time you'll only get 2 of them!

I assume this is why a lot of boardgames roll two dice, because it normalizes the probabilities; you're 6 times more likely to roll a middle value like 7 over something extraordinary like 2 or 12.

With Betrayal, the rolls consist of up to eight 6-sided dice with two faces each numbered 0, 1 and 2. Basically 3-sided dice. Therefore we should see some strong regressions to the mean; for instance, if we were to roll five such dice the probability of getting at least a 4 is 79%. To roll 3 or lower and be beaten by a roll with 3 dice has a probability of 11%. To do so twice in a roll is literally a 1 in 100 proposition.

So basically Michael really sucks at rolling.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Plausible campaign platform?

No tax raises!

In order to pay for everything...

...we'll hire more auditors!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Irregardless, Penny Arcade is objectively good. Literally.

I was reminded of this comic today. It is one of the most profound series of web comics I've ever seen:

Gabe usually hits homeruns when he's on a fatherhood theme.

Much better than miscarriage comics.


I believe that the existence of a systematic problem with "welfare queens" has always been a myth perpetuated by Conservatives to channel money away from programs that don't involve oil or missiles.

...and hell, they're doing a terrible job with the missile things too; what good are they?

Saturday, December 04, 2010


Our disability claims system intentionally rejects the majority of claimants for their first application because they believe this deters fraudsters?

This is stupid!

Absolutely stupid!

Hey, government, guess what group of people have the most dedication and time to jump through your stupid hoops?

Hey, guess what group of people get fucked over the most?

Who was the fucker that came up with this brilliant idea?