My Bleeding Brains

April 17, 2011

weekend ramblings re: Nintendo’s tba HD Wii-successor

Filed under: Uncategorized — eeplebert @ 11:51 pm

I usually hit up a few site aggregators to catch up on news.

Among the usual internet flotsam of people bitching about windoze in one breath and how they can’t wait for the next version with their next words…has been a decent amount of buzz from many different sources that Nintendo has a new console coming soon.

I know it’s almost pointless to speculate about something that’s surely less than a fortnight from certain clarity. But that’s what we here on the internet with our blogs do best.

I just can’t really believe that it’s more than an HD Wii. The idea of the controller being a DS-like thing with a screen of its own? Why the hell would we want a controller that costs more than they already do? Every time I’ve been in a store and seen $40-60 prices on controllers I cannot help but think “are all these people around me stupid as a bucket of dirt? How in hell can this sell at that insultingly inflated price? I’ll laugh all the way to the bank when I find it for half that!”

The whole idea that any controller could be worth the $60 pricetag that Macrohard shoved down our throats with the X360 should have led to angry mobs with pitchforks. The same process that broke that company for anti-competitiveness in the browser market should grind them into bones and dust for their absurd prices. Instead the sheep line up and throw their money at Xbox360 products like they’re iPhones er something. It’s this kind of mindless behavior that makes me ashamed of my fellow Americans.

Games are literally never worth more than $20, and the controller should never cost more than that either. And that $20 includes wireless, cordless, bluetooth, the fan inside for sweaty hands, blinking lights, and it NEVER takes more than 2 AA batteries that will work at a MINIMUM of 60 days regular use. Get it through your heads, industry, these are minimal requirements and they NEVER cost more than a Jackson.

If the nintendo system controller for the post-Wii deck has a screen of its own, it will undoubtedly cost some asinine amount. Which therefore means the console itself has to be that much CHEAPER to allow for the bloated fee required to have more than the one that comes with the console.

I’m all for a refresh of the Wii to HD, but it does NOT need to be reinvented or saddled with a DS-like appendage that’s tethered to a console deck. The news leaking out ahead of the announcement of Ninty’s new console hints at a total convergence of their handheld and console markets with nothing but further price, battery use and inconvenience passed onto the end user.

Offering nothing other than HD and increased third-party support is a slim reward for subsidizing Nintendo’s new console, and same as I did with the Wii over there on my shelf, I’ll be waiting at a minimum 24 months to enter the userbase of their newest toy. (And this is speaking as a Wii fan and DS fan who is utterly disinterested in the 3DS and still wants a DSiXL.)

Who knows? Now that the PS3 is getting old enough, I might have one of THOSE by the time I get around to whatever comes after the Wii.

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April 7, 2011

the decline of the desktop GUI

Filed under: Uncategorized — eeplebert @ 7:50 pm

I smacked open my text editor and started punishing the keyboard this time to write about how subtle changes have been made to browsers in general and Apple’s Mac Os X operating system that bother me.

I know it’s because of the iPhone. Touch-displays have changed things that once worked, say like clicking anywhere on the screen during playback of videos to pause them in itunes, but now must be done with the GUI pause button, far clumsier than they were for traditional desktop mouse-and-keyboard users.

[And please, if I’m being pedantic or incorrect with this example, think of a similar example. YouTube doesn’t work the way it did two years ago either, GUI-wise. Everything’s drifting toward mobile use and not all the changes are good for the rest of us. This is the point I’m attempting to make.]

I don’t really hate the iPhone as much as how it’s destroying the user experience of other Apple products. Now Apple attempt to make everything else friendly to the iPhone user-base. Those who had the iPod or iPhone as their first Apple experience.

So everything else now, from iTunes to browser and the Finder itself has to mimic the iPhone experience for the chumps who’d never used a Mac before and might get scared of something unfamiliar outside their expensive little sandbox. Everything about the drift of Apple’s Mac Os X since the iPhone exploded has drifted toward spoon-feeding and coddling non-computer users.

If I could extract one lesson above all others for computer users everywhere from this rather disturbing trend of developments? It would be that you MUST learn a CLI, a unix, a linux, an Ubuntu, a DSLinux, puppy, mint, redhat, yellowdog, any open-source Operating System available out there today. Whatever your decrepit old hardware can take.

To survive in the future, you’re gonna have to find what corporations can’t f–k up, utterly mis-market, neglect into oblivion, or try to shoehorn into an ill-suited new paradigm. (If you don’t agree the iPhone is ill-suited, please see the imitations, or any mobile variant of windows.)

I’m confident that the touch-screen interface will evolve into something everyone everywhere can be proud of – given enough time and hobbyist/hacker/tinkterer style independent development. But the iOs will be looked back on as a fascist thimble compared to what we’re bound to do with the touch-screen experience once it becomes truly open to everyone. Not just a premium-priced luxury item as it is today.

Forcing, or even attempting to converge all other products into mobile-esque forms familiar to mobile users is a strangely backward way to develop for ever-increasingly capable and powerful hardware. When considering what might be done to forestall this evolutionary U-turn in GUI development, I can only suggest one thing.

Go get whatever you’ve got (or can download,) find an OSS OS and put it on a USB stick, burn a CD/DVD, install it, kick the tyres. Give it a whirl. But get outside your comfort zone by seeing just how much the OSS world has caught up to the corporate bloatware out there today.

It will be to your benefit in the future even if you don’t like it and never use it again. Seeing any other OS than Mac/Win will instill a sense of how others get the same things done. Wandering and discovery is how most power-users got that way. It comes highly recommended as a learning and self-teaching method.

I just begin to think of it as evolutionarily necessary, that’s all. It has been made, the comparison that following the path of least resistance is what makes a river crooked. Therefore it’s not always the best way to get things done, but capitalism sure does like it. So step outside that paradigm for your own good. I dare you. Go on. Evolve.

March 18, 2011

plowing through the review pile

Filed under: Uncategorized — eeplebert @ 11:19 pm

Writing about other things, writing for other reasons and purposes…I never stop to think that I’ve left one page unposted to. More coffee, that helps.

The new Radiohead seemed to be the first thing everybody wanted to talk about in 2011. I noticed new Cake and word of new Foo Fighters. Blueprint had teased his April release and dropped a 2nd single. I love that remix of So Alive (X144) and then the new Strokes came around.

Mr Lif’s shared some rare new Perceptionists tracks. I can’t stop playing Sak Pase and can imagine that Ak and Lif might kick out some similarly insta-classic jam for Japan whenever they have a chance. Lif did a session at a radio station with the Brass Menazeri if I recall, that also dropped through his bandcamp and deserves your attention.

I grabbed an album from a chiptune artist called Chipocrite and tweeted about it. The special edition of HitNRun is great background music for gaming sessions and I think I’ll take it rollerblading with me whenever this rain lets up. Melodic upbeat energy music is good for the soul.

I heard the new Radiohead soon as everybody else did. I just don’t know what’s wrong. Something has made both In Rainbows and the new one seem like blended radiohead or a radiohead smoothy. All the great gritty goodness on Kid A is swept under some sonic rug, behind a curtain of blah. I like it, but I want more National Anthem, more Idioteque. Sue me.

Hank III wails and shrieks away in the background, and it’s good shit. I just wonder if he’s doing what Ryan Adams did as Werewolph on some of these tracks. That’s no slam.

Ryan Adams is doing some live dates in Europe. I wish I could go, but I imagine I’ll have a chance to see the man play someday, maybe even at the Catalyst up in SC. I still play the III/IV from RATC and wonder how much stuff that good still remains in some vault somewhere.

Similarly, Nellie McKay’s tremendous Home Sweet Mobile Home, Knaan’s Troubadour, Spearhead’s latest, and the new Mason Jennings have been recurrents in the household, stuff we play in the car. Bad Religion, too.

Same time as I was getting to play the new Cake, I heard about new Mighty Mighty Bosstones and then NPR previewed a song from the new R.E.M. And bam, less than a month later, it’s here. Decent stuff, a couple tracks that recall the stronger rock songs on their last album that themselves called back to their strong Monster album in the 90s.

The Bosstones is great. Several classics for them, centerpieces of future live sets, on this disc. Cake I’m still getting used to, but Federal Funding, the first cut, assures their singular wit remains intact. Also, they bring the funk.

In the vein of the Bosstones also new stuff from the Dropkick Murphys and Social Distortion, both of which I can hardly comment on, aside from enjoying my first impressions on the first play through. Like Hank III, there are early favorite tracks already and more to say later, for sure.

I heard about new Lucinda Williams and new Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion on the same day from a No Depression email. Soon enough they were waiting for me to listen to, and I can’t seem to get Lucinda’s “Seeing Black” out of my head. She’s as sharp as ever.

A solo album from the leader of Cracker and CVB? David Lowery hustled out “The Palace Guards” and I’ve hardly had a chance to hear it more than once, but it reminds me why Cracker will remain a band I’ll check in with every time they release an album. The man has a way with the melodies and has a singular way with words.

The Jayhawks have released extended and bonus editions of their classic records Tomorrow The Green Grass and Hollywood Town Hall, both of which take me back to the dorm. I look forward to their new album with the players from those albums immensely.

January 4, 2011

mixing up the variables

Filed under: Uncategorized — eeplebert @ 10:12 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Another year. Meh. After you’ve lived 10 or 20 of ’em, the moments when one blinks into another cease to be as thrilling as many expect you to believe. Anticlimactic doesn’t begin to cover watching 11:59 turn into 12:00. It happens every frakking day.

Couldn’t sleep, so lemming’d up to the internet to read a spell.

Found two stories tickling my brain from the start.

I’d like to attempt to force alchemy to occur here, mute reality to my whims and force these two stories to cross-pollinate each other despite the fact that little is common among them aside from my wacky perspective.

First, the notion that video gaming pushes innovation faster than the military industrial complex…playing out before your very eyes in the fact that tech from the popular handhelds, the GBA, DS, psp, ended up in the iphone and the droid.

See more here:
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110103/00172012495/has-video-game-industry-surpassed-military-driving-next-wave-technological-change.shtml

Second, an open source clone of the old BeOs called Haiku. I’d love to see this become a template for OS design, or at least the high-end capabilities paired with low-end hardware requirements screams at a former poor boy who wants to do the most with whatever he’s got. Also shouts to the third world peoples who need a network and multimedia ready OS that runs on whatever hardware can be obtained.

I know it’s a moon-eyed, laudatory, dreamy piece, but the concepts are dead-on.

http://razvancoloja.com/2010/haiku-could-change-the-world/

If I had a wish, it would be making easier, simpler, less-complex and confusing software much more easily available to people with the hardware that refuses to run that expensive new version of Windows7 corporate bloatware.

Maybe we need a homebrew software disc burning club at every major library. Try to reach out to the end users with the least means, keep them part of the online conversation and experience, crafting the interfaces of the future through everyday use, along with their marginally-wealthier brethren.

Maybe I’m just waxing hippy in the odd new year. But I can hope, can’t I?

December 1, 2010

plus five percent

Filed under: Uncategorized — eeplebert @ 4:41 pm

I bet you thought I was gonna go ‘five percent nation of blahblahblah’ or something like that.

Nope. I’m in the free-fall that comes after my second NaNoWriMo. I’d written several novellas in high school, tried my hand at a sci-fi epic and failed fantastically. Short stories mostly since. Everyone has a period of poetry at college, but with my Uncle not around to prod me to Ogden Nash-isms, I’ve retired as any sort of poet. (Unless you get me drunk and hand me a microphone.)

Last November I passed fifty thousand words and heaved a sigh, pushed the printed pages toward the back of my desktop. I’m still not sure whatever that was is “done”, it’s just “over there.”

This year I dropped five thousand words on the last day of the contest and put most of them after the finish line. I guess I taught myself that I can do 2000 words a day without breaking a sweat (unless I try to do it in under an hour, then sweat might occur.)

I’m not attempting to show off any more so than any words written down are, but defining one’s abilities is a routine after a while. Being sure of some means it’s time to learn new ones, methinks. More on that as it unfolds…

Strange thing about this year’s NaNoWriMo story/novel/whatever. It’s still going. I’m trying to keep from epilogue-ing the remainder of what I envisioned for the story. But it may have some legs left in it, as they say. Then I can either move on to last year’s and properly compose an ending, or sidestep into another idea that came to me during the last week or two. So thanks to OLL and NaNoWriMo for the momentum, if nothing else…

Meanwhile the holidaze approach and I put the netflix on hold and amuse myself with The Walking Dead instead. Also Dexter and Lie to Me. Look forward to Ryan and the Cardinals in a few short days, so much I had to pre-order it. Had to.

Heard about new Jayhawks reissues and a new album in the coming year, and thought I’d felt anticipation like I did as a giddy teenager about the new stuff from Weezer this year, the Cardinals new double album, half of the new double from the Old 97s, but hearing about the new Jayhawks album with the incredible Karen Grotberg back in the fold…the new year brings many great things, loud nights around the record player.

/now about that best of list everybody always dumps right about this time o year…

November 2, 2010

the iron aint getting any hotter

Filed under: Uncategorized — eeplebert @ 3:35 am
Tags: , , , ,

I lol’d myself to sleep thinking how I’d write a short skit about Ralph Garman on one of Kevin Smith’s new podcasts. People kept getting his name wrong. I giggled about Roger Frank or Frank Roger having misadventures he could react to with Ralph’s iconic howdareyousir? and I turned over and fell asleep.

I wake up to the new ep and of course the fellows have tread this very easy target themselves. I can’t stop smiling that I was only a few days behind them, in realtime, and only a few hours ahead of the podcast taped a couple nights ago. (That I’ve just begun listening to now. H-Bo episode 11.)

In related news, I’ve undertaken to crank out whatever near 2000 words a day I can get for the next 30 as a participant in 2010 NaNoWriMo.

I participated last year and “won” by passing 50,000 words with a “novel” composed entirely on my mac with a free text editor called Bean. A novel that sits in a bright orange folder with a large warning label on the cover, that nobody has ever read.

So yeah. Striking while the iron is hot. Last year I posted blogs and reviews during NaNoWriMo, taking my total words per day well over 3000 on many and 5000 on several. Coffee is essential, as is either music or good talk.

Some people can’t write to talk, and I can admit that sometimes it’s not right for the work, but I learned to type to rap music tapes, and spoken word has a rhythm all its own even if -perhaps especially when- you’re not listening for comprehension.

Really, aside from the election, thanksgiving with or without extended family, and the encroaching holiday shopping season, what else u gonna do with a November?

September 16, 2010

post

Filed under: Uncategorized — eeplebert @ 9:06 am

Michael Moore can always make me laugh. It was amusing to read his open letter about the recent controversy surrounding a community center that’s been in the process of being built for more than three years. Some began calling it a mosque and fanned the flames of the craziest fringe Americans, and suddenly it’s news.

I am still paying attention to the world of politics. I have been amused all year long by the entire media establishment carrying water for the opposition and making it sound like there’s some chance the GOP will have anything approaching a normal season. They may pick up a few here and there, but this will be a slim season for the fringe party no matter how the talking heads paint it.

I’m still reeling from the oil spill, wondering how the cleanup really goes, and how easy it is to manipulate the news cycle to avoid mention of any plumes of oil still present or pooling in their own new dead zones. Nah…instead it’s all predicated on making the GOP’s dead-weight approach to progress seem like a balanced strategy even in the absence of results.

I keep my eye on the projects in front of me, and luckily lately there have been a few more. So I’ll keep my subtle form of psychosis trickle-charging a text file to dump again here soon.

June 12, 2010

the end of pre-release leaks is nigh

Filed under: Uncategorized — eeplebert @ 8:14 pm

No I’m not talking about music, although once I explain my title, it could well apply to any type of content.

I noticed the other day something I’m sure tech types have been noticing for a while now. I’m just slow enough I feel the need to reel out some brain about it here.

I look forward to a new title on one of the current consoles, but it isn’t sold in stores. At least not yet anyway, it’s available via the manufacturer’s branded store linked to the online experience provided by the console and the manufacturer’s web presence and digital distribution network.

I remember years ago lightly “hacking” partially obfuscated URLs to download the trailers Apple’s website seemed to only want to let me view in a browser. In the course of my investigations, I found Akamai to be the central domain of this distribution network Apple helped build, test, and expand. This first began with them hosting movie trailers in proto-YouTube fashion going back to the wee beginning days of the internet.

I wonder how many of the Fony Playstation Online, the XBLA, and the Nintendo Wii store or whatever it’s called, run on the Akamai distribution channel Apple, among others, helped bring to life.

I came here to remark that in a world where there are still physical disc pressing plants, distribution and handling months ahead of release date to provide customers with something to buy on that big day…there’s always some degree of pre-release leaking. Even if it’s just blurry shots snapped with a phone camera.

This is slowly becoming a thing of the past when the content provider, in this case the big three, Fony, Macrohard, and Nintendo, can control the content completely. WiiWare titles, XBLA titles, and whatever Fony’s peddling on their similar service – they all don’t leak unintentionally before they go up for sale on their respective servers.

I can see where there would be some benefit to the surety that before you decide to sell a title, it’s not live and available from your servers. Simple as that. Try doing that with thousands of copies on a production plant or warehouse floor.

May 21, 2010

monumentally unimpressed

Filed under: Uncategorized — eeplebert @ 6:52 pm

One could suppose, if the previous post here is any indication, that this subject line could be about bee pee. Alas, it’s about another, far more shrouded source of probable immense pollution. I refer of course to the eyephone.

I’ve noticed that since the mac got even mini-er than the mere mini, and became pocket sized…the revolution didn’t go as planned this time, either.

Everyone who once rhapsodized about the Newton and how they wished that something smarter and simpler than the palm or crackberry platforms could come along.

We wanted the Newton 2 or 3.0 and we got the eyephone instead. Like a couch-potato and a myspace/youtube addict designed a phone centered around texting and shit. I’m not sure I’m meant to understand.

I’m six months past my expiration date and should be out with the compost on the hillside waiting to roll down to the river and die already. Right? Isn’t that the text-mess amerikan idull generation’s message to the over 30 crowd??

I wouldn’t even bother whingeing about it. I don’t consider my whiny-est positions on any old thing worth posting to the goddam net. I’m a pissant, but I’m not a troll most of the time, dammit.

But somewhere between six and eighteen months ago I began noticing most websites seemed formatted for something OTHER than a desktop computer.

I had, have to, and continue to do this very day, ZOOM the size of any dam site I visit because their designers, in complete zombie lockstep with their advertisers or the “market” or some shit like that, designed their page for the eyephone. Not for my browser, not for me, not for anyone but the pocket-computer zombie class.

I had to zoom yet ANOTHEr dam website just now, and came here to tell you that when web design centers around the eyephone, it leaves this oldskool bbs dialup modem geek monumentally unimpressed. Now get off my lawn…

May 19, 2010

and the ocean shall bleed

Filed under: Uncategorized — eeplebert @ 1:04 am

If I felt particularly entertaining, I could tell you a story about a young and impressionable boy. He watched the news one night, saw a volunteer attempting to clean the crude oil from a pelican.

This intrepid individual painted a canvas depicting this scene, and despite the eventual accolades causing him to hide the painting, caught attention from just about everyone.

All because the world presented him with a disgusting spectacle, a stunning and clear example of how nothing matters except money, and how capitalism is a virus. Presented with the mental equivalent of the cold-war mutual-destruction scenario, boy creates art.

Flash forward twenty some years and once more, oil spews into the ocean. This time with no signs of slowing down for over a month already. Nobody’s seriously tried to stop it thusfar, just stood idly by and facilitated this disaster.

Permit us a moment of silence, hoping that open-ended capitalism of this insidious variety, that can pollute on such an unprecedented scale with little more than an aw-shucks … that this form of ignorance will CEASE to exist.

[One might suppose that if the boy once turned to art – like turning the other cheek – when first met with such manifest stupidity…perhaps this time he might turn to some form of respite with far more heft than mere art…]

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