The alphabet according to Google Suggest

a = amazon
b = bbc
c = currency converter
d = dictionary
e = ebay
f = firefox
g = gmail
h = hotmail
i = ikea
j = jokes
k = kelly blue book
l = lyrics
m = mapquest
n = news
o = orbitz
p = paris hilton
q = quotes
r = ryanair
s = spybot
t = target
u = ups
v = valentines day
w = weather
x = xbox
y = yahoo
z = zip codes

Paris bloody Hilton. In the long-distant future, people will examine the internet archive, and pore over every link, and look for an answer as to why she ever came to prominence. Then, as now, they will fail.

EA pulls a Sony


Battlefield 2142 shows in-game ads when the game is played on an internet-connected machine. But the latest patch suggests something sneakier is going on. The readme for the latest patch contains the following:

“Players who have the Windows security update KB917422 installed may
suffer from an application error when running Battlefield 2142. This
error can be solved by uninstalling the KB917422 update.”

That security update was designed to secure a hole in the Windows kernel that would allow ‘an attacker to compromise a Windows-based system and gain control over it.’ So your friendly BF2142 player not only has to see Nike ads while playing the game, he has to do so while operating a less-than-maximally secure version of his OS.

Way to go EA!

The future of news


From Northwestern University’s Infolab comes the possible/probable future of news. News at Seven automatically generates a 3 minute news bulletin by first gathering news, images and comments from the web. These are then fed through Text-to-Speech tech before being rendered in the HalfLife2 engine.

Someday soon we’ll each have our own news broadcast, read by whoever we want, living or dead, with whatever cocktail of news we want. And our culture will fragment even further. Which is going to be handy when the climate crisis really starts to bite and we find we’ve forgotten what it means to be a good neighbour. But I tell you what, get in a region-based WoW clan or local football team or something team-based and local. Because at some point in the future you’re going to need people around you who you can trust, and who work well together. And that’s not most offices. And that’s not most families.

My, I’m an optimistic powdermonkey today.

Oooeee that’s big.


If I were a billionaire, what would I do with the cash?
Move somewhere warm and idyllic, obviously.
Teach, for, ooh, at least 4 hours a week.
Pay someone to make a great 21st century sci-fi-GTA/Elite game.
Secure the rights to Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy, and never let anyone film them.

These books are probably the only thing I’d be terrified seeing adaptations of. The thought of having a Geoff-meets-UltimateSpiderman moment is hideous. But…
It’d be grand if someone could annotate Google Mars with the locations from the book.
Like Olympus Mons , which is 3 times the height of Everest, and so wide that were you to stand on the summit, all you could see in any direction would be Olympus itself.

How big is Olympus Mons?
This big:

Big enough we could drop it on Uwe Boll’s head and have a fair chance of taking out Bush, thereby lessening the chances of happy-clappy global thermo-nuclear war by the end of the decade.

Anyone know a friendly super-hero with time to spare?

You can’t make an omlette…


While Sony have put all their shiny eggs in one big Blu basket, Square/Enix have listened to their grandmothers – this excerpt comes from a Wall Street Journal Online article that’s kind of a background to the PS3 launch.


Square Enix Co. used to make showcase games like Kingdom Hearts and the latest installment in the Final Fantasy series only for the PlayStation 2. This time it is planning to be more evenhanded, and it has announced two games for each of the three new-generation consoles. It still plans to develop the most advanced Final Fantasy game for the PlayStation 3. But it hasn’t yet decided which console will get Kingdom Hearts, a popular game involving Disney characters.

“We don’t want the PlayStation 3 to be the overwhelming loser, so we want to support them,” says Michihiro Sasaki, senior vice president of Square Enix. ” But we don’t want them to be the overwhelming winner either, so we can’t support them too much.”


Square have swapped allegiances before, but the manner in which they are hedging their bets at this time doesn’t indicate to me that they’ve simply lost faith in Sony, but that their ideal situation would be for the Wii, 360 and PS3 each to have a fair share of the market, with different consumers attracted to each on its merits. That way they could design their games to take best advantage of each system, and to appeal to each fanbase [customer-base sounds a bit too materialistic for gamers, doesn’t it? we prefer to think of ourselves as fans so we can ignore our addiction-fuelled consumption] – Square’s being smart here, but it’s still a blow for Sony.


But then, Final Fantasy VIII was the game that convinced me to buy a Playstation, and Final Fantasy X was the first game I bought for my PS2. Neither of those games were launch titles, btw. But the Wii60 combo platter has Oblivion & Zelda, which is a hellish tasty treat.

linklog for 2006-09-21


because sometimes we all need a healthy dose of perspective…