Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday Links!

8:33 a.m. and time for you to stop working for the day.

First off, the featured article of the week is from Julian Murdoch (who you will recognize as one of the many excellent writers over at Gamers With Jobs), who sent in an article titled "The Nerd Handbook." It's a guide for others--to explain us. I read it, immediately sent the link to Gloria, and said "This explains me better than I ever could." And you, too, probably. Read it here.

Jesse Leimkuehler sent in a link to a mind-blowing, HD image of Jupiter and Io. It's stunning, and you can see it here.

Matthew Teets sent in a link to Wired's "Saddest Cubicle Contest," and there are some real classics among the winners, which you can view here.

I've told this story before, but here's the short version. I was working at a computer company (no longer in business, which is good for everyone, believe me) in the early 1990s, and the founder/owner/president became obsessed about Japanese business efficiency, which was all the rage back then. So he installed what he said were "Japanese-style" cubicles, which were so narrow that there was less than a foot of space between my shoulders and the outside walls of the cubicle. And I was skinny. They were highly efficient in a space-saving sense, but they were so claustrophic that we never went into our cubicles anymore. So we doubled the number of people in that space and reduced our total work output by a factor of ten.

Jim Olson sent in a link to "The Alternative History of Public-Key Cryptography," which is about a hundred times more interesting than it sounds, and you can read it here.

From Josh Catania, a link to a video about something I never thought I'd see: a baloon pipe organ. It's brilliant, and the sound is completely haunting, and you can see it here.

Claudine Martin sent me a link to an article about "the tree man." The subject line of her e-mail? "A man who won't ever forget his roots." Comic genius. It's hard to describe what you're about to see, except that it's strangely riveting and you shouldn't be eating anything when you click on the link. See him here.

From Steven Kreuch (along with Matt, the Official Brothers of Dubious Quality), a link to a new music search engine called "Seeqpod." Here are two excerpts from the FAQ:
What is SeeqPod?
SeeqPod is the home for playable search results. SeeqPod's vertically targeted crawlers crawl the deepest parts of the web to enable internet-wide search & discovery of anything that can be played or shared with friends.

What is SeeqPod Music?
At SeeqPod Music, you can search for music, music videos & podcasts by artists you like, as well as discover other artists and songs you were not familiar with. You can generate countless playlists of songs and videos, save them for future enjoyment and share them with friends by e-mailing or embedding a player and playlist in a web page.

Very cool, and you can check it out here.

Steve Davis sent in a link to something I don't see very often (or ever)--archaeology comedy. It's titled " Zombie Attack at Hierakonpolis," it's very funny, and you can read it here.

From Edwin Garcia, a link to another segment of the brilliant Top Gear show. This time, it's a race between a Bugatti Veyron--and a Eurofighter Typhoon. It's fantastic, and you can watch it here.

David Gloier sent in two terrific links this week. The first is to a "trailer" for Italian Spiderman, a spoof of low budget foreign films from the 1970s, and it's absolutely hilarious. Watch it here.

Finally, here are a few gaming-related links.

First, from Jesse Leimkuehler, a link to an article at The Consumerist titled "28 Confessions of a GameStop Shift Supervisor." What really stook out like an exclamation point for me was his explanation of the "checkout" policy:
Gamestop policy is, for better or worse, that employees may check out new games that are more than two weeks past their original release so long as they are returned in mint condition.

Good grief, you've got to be kidding me. How exactly is that legal? Rev up the disgust engine and read it here.

N'Gai Croal has two interesting articles over at Level Up. The first is an interview with Ratchet & Clank Future Creative Director Brian Allgeier, who discusses the five critical features he looks for in an action/adventure game. I've groused about Ratchet & Clanks jumping insta-deaths and the location of the restore points (occasionally, "way the hell back there"), but the creative level of the game is absolutely stellar, and the article is an excellent read. See it here.

The second article is titled "Expansion Pack: Which Would You Rather Lose, a $60 Videogame Or a Save File?" In it, the personal value of game saves (high, obviously) is discussed, plus an ingenious idea for an "online storage locker" for saves. Read it here.

Here's a link to an article titled "The World's Most Expensive Games" over at Game Snipes. The article is here, and there are a ton of interesting articles and pictures about retro gaming at the site.

From Geoff Engelstein, a link to a remarkable demonstration of a "multi-touch" interface using the Wiimote. Very "Minority Report," very cool, and you can see it here.

Dave McLeod sent me a link to an article over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun about MMO design by Jim Rossignol. It proposes breaking down some of the conventional leveling mechanics, it's a good read, and it's here.

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