A little bit of link salad:
- The Daddening of Video Games — article about how video games are starting to focus on the experience of parents, which I hypothesize has a lot to do with the aging of the hardcore gamer populace. It's interesting from a media studies perspective to watch gaming quite literally growing up (via Penny Arcade).
- SCE_HeavyRain, the blog of the writer-director of Heavy Rain, a new video game that looks to be pushing the form-as-art vastly further than anything before. It's fascinating reading. He sounds as stressed as I feel (also via Penny Arcade).
- This post on what happens when Google stops sending "I'm Feeling Lucky" searches for 'facebook login' to the Facebook login page (answer: hilarity ensues) led me to this excellent post on designing to counter learned helplessness, which in turn led me to this post on designing web forms to be spam-proof without CAPTCHAs.
- As a coder, these kinds of things — cf. the recent Google Buzz privacy debacle (link sadly down right now) — frankly terrify me. If code I wrote fucked up and exposed personal information in a way that got them killed by a vengeful ex, which is not unfathomable, I'd feel just as responsible as if I'd been more directly at fault. Considering how interconnected modern services, especially social networking sites, are, how many unintended side effects you have to be watching for constantly, to say nothing of actively hostile users, it's almost a wonder this stuff doesn't happen more often. I don't know that there's a good way to mitigate these kinds of privacy leaks — not putting any information on the Internet, even privately, doesn't help when other people or organizations put it up for you. I'm well aware that it's in many ways a privilege of being white and male that I can be as public as I am.
- Google Buzz actually looks really cool — the closest thing to MIT's Zephyr for the web I've seen yet. It's a shame many people's introduction to it was so frought with problems.
- Annoyingly, Blogger has decided to discontinue FTP support on their service, which is how I've been publishing this blog (though thankfully they've pushed back their original March 26 deadline to May 1). This amounts to an ultimatum — switch to hosting my blog on Blogspot, or find another software package I can host myself. I haven't yet found a piece of blog software that I like, but I'd love to hear suggestions.
(I've got two interlocked problems, really. One is the problem of finding blog software I like. WordPress is out, because I don't want to deal with the upgrade treadmill. Hosted by me is really important, because I want to own my data, and ideally I could port the entire site to whatever software I switch to. The other problem is that most of the HTML for this site hails from about ten years ago, tables and embedded formatting and all, but I like the look and don't want to lose that. Migrating the bad old HTML to a new piece of blog software isn't an idea I find appealing. So I can either spend the time (which I don't have) to port it to CSS and modern HTML, or I can spend the money (which I don't have) to get a freelancer somewhere to port it for me. My CSS is somewhere between rusty and nonexistent, so I've mostly just tried to ignore this problem, but unfortunately it doesn't see to be going away very fast.)