Mark Damon Hughes Topic: News [Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics] [about]
Poetic Justice
Mon, 2006Jan23 21:50:18 PST
in Mac by kamikaze

Hahahaha! There is a little justice in the world, after all: Mac-abusing Windoze fanboys kill their iMac Duo Cores by putting Windoze on them.

If you're stupid or desperate enough to want to run Windoze apps on your Mac and you're too poor to buy some piece-of-crap beige box and a KVM switch, there's Virtual PC, and when the universal binary version of that comes out, it'll be nearly native speed.

It's simply retarded to try to do this, even aside from being disrespectful and disgusting, like taking a shit on the table at a high-class restaurant. Didn't their parents teach them any manners? Filthy Windoze users have to eat out in the alley with all the other crazy people. They shouldn't be allowed to use nice hardware, because they won't treat it well.

I'm just disappointed that all it does is destroy the firmware. Anyone trying to put Windoze or Linux on shiny Mac hardware deserves to have their computer erupt in a fiery explosion and burn their house down, hopefully killing them in the process.

Think of it as evolution in action.

iTunes Video Store
Mon, 2006Jan23 07:33:54 PST
in Mac by kamikaze

The pricing on iTunes for TV shows is preposterous. $1.99 per 44-minute episode (if you're lucky! Many are 22-minute!)? A DVD box set with good resolution and commentary typically costs $30 for 22 eps, and has no DRM. Why would anyone ever buy a TV show from iTunes? At $0.99, they'd be reasonably-priced; I'd pay $22 for a season of Law & Order that I didn't have to manually rip for play on the pod, but at $44, I'm just going to rent the DVD sets instead.

Music videos are even more insane. $1.99 for 4 minutes of music video. Now, maybe I'm spoiled, since I grew up in a mythical era called "The '80s", when MTV played a dozen music videos almost every hour of the day, every day, for FREE. No, really! They'd have a few "specials" every year (so they were special!), and the only game show was Remote Control (which was to modern game shows as James Brown was to Milli Vanilli). Then back to music videos. Then Headbanger's Ball at night. Yes, I know this seems like an impossible fantasy world to kids these days who've never known an MTV that played music. I guess it doesn't really matter for them, because all modern pop music is crap; Gwen Stefani isn't worthy to lick the fanboy bukkake off Cyndi Lauper's feet. I've noticed that BET does play some hip-hop videos, so music video isn't completely dead.

I'd be willing to go $1.99 for an hour of music videos. Hell, gimme a Best Of MTV Back When They Didn't Suck (all videos, nothing else), and I'll pony up the $1.99 an episode without whining. But an hour of BOMTVBWTDS would cost $24 on iTunes. A "season" of 22 eps would cost $528. Fuck. That. Noise.

This weekend, I grabbed HandBrake Lite to start ripping more videos for my iPod. Movies went perfectly. Naturally, I ripped Blade Runner first, then Serenity [0]. A quick Add to Library in iTunes, update the pod, and I'm watching Blade Runner on a 2.5" screen.

Next I started ripping my Firefly TV series DVDs. No problems ripping the episodes... But I can't find them on my pod. They show up in the All Videos playlist, but not under TV Shows. I've set the Video Kind to "TV Show", but they still don't show up.

In fact, all I can see under TV Shows is a free download from iTunes of the Lazy Sunday video. Its Video Kind is set to "TV Show", but I can't edit it because it's DRM'd. <sigh>

So, either the "TV Shows" listing doesn't work right, or the song settings don't work right.

[0] Track 17 is the Fruity Oaty Bars commercial that sets River off! Watch it over and over again! I did, and it hasn't affected me at all!

← Previous: What's wrong with the Internet? (Personal) Next: iTunes Video Store (Mac) →
What's wrong with the Internet?
Sun, 2006Jan15 02:12:28 PST
in Personal by kamikaze

These are the most glaringly weird or ironic searches that have hit my site recently. I suppose a few dozen freaks out of thousands of sane searchs is okay, but... No, who am I kidding, this is just weird:

  • ace or delusional parasitic
  • anime where they reload their guns with their breasts
    (Okay, I know what this is talking about... But still, WTF?)
  • bird personality based on birthday
    (Who has time to remember their bird's birthday?)
  • chimps matingcinis rpg -elementi -pulvisque -rpg chat -hic
    (Chimps mating? RPG but not RPG chat? WTF?)
  • clear liquid with red specks that burns to a grey metallic metal
  • cross dressing and role playing as a sexual fantasy
    (Not so much of the cross-dressing in my RPGs...)
  • description of different type of fetishes: /~kamikaze/DUDE/Hack.html
    (You're gonna get a hell of a fetish from that...)
  • differentiate geocentric theory and heliocentric with its meaning
  • free online adventure sex games
  • free online adventure teen drama games
    (At least it wasn't teen sex games...)
  • free online dragon role playing games where u can make your own dragon and play the role playing game with him
  • free online sex role playing games
  • free role playing games teenage girl
  • girl hot rpg game roleplay
    (Yeah, those elf chicks are totally hot. If they weren't fictional, I'd do 'em.)
  • how did mark hughes die
    (Rumors of my demise have been slightly exaggerated. I'm just really tired.)
  • how to seduce your sister
    (You! Get off my goddamn web site right now!)
  • how to make ninja poisons
  • i havent seen my friend for ages jane hughes i have not seen my friend jane hughes liverpool for ages
    (And I'm sure this is best possible place to start.)
  • killer pussy maneater
    (I... really hope that's about tigers or something.)
  • lawnmower pulling game
    (No game's gonna make that fun.)
  • list of odorless tasteless liquid poison causing heart attack
  • mail to mail sex wab sights: /~kamikaze/RPG/wrong_adnd.php
    (More like chain mail to banded mail!)
  • mark is stupid
    (Your wife is ugly.)
  • merchant fat rich or rich fat or fat and rich or rich and fat
    (That should pretty much cover it...)
  • play a online rpg with like warrior and bow and magic
    (And they shoot guns PEWPEWPEW!!!)
  • quickest acting poison
  • reed is a grotesquely ugly podiatrist who drinks a poison to commit suicide
    (Poor Reed. He's just misunderstood.)
  • renouncing science: /~kamikaze/Cyberpunk/Text.php
  • seduce sister
    (I told you to get the hell out, sisterfucker!)
  • short free indian exotic story: /~kamikaze/Text/beginning_cli.html
  • sodium benzoate enlist the functions
  • sorority role playing games
  • transportation trucking sherry hughes fucking
  • truth and technology dog pissing
  • underworld kill all the monsters painkillers
  • usually nude in front of my dad
  • what are explosives

It's not bad enough that they send thousands of our troops off to die in the desert. It's not bad enough that they trashed our economy--going from one of the best economies in history under Clinton to disaster under Bush. It's not enough that Bush's incompetent crony appointed to FEMA allowed an entire city to be destroyed. It's not bad enough that they promote this Flat Earth, Intelligent Design, and Jesus Died For You nonsense. It's not bad enough that Bush is the most incompetent and actively malicious President this country has ever had in 220 years, and that every day he commits crimes that ought to have him impeached and convicted of High Treason.

No, on top of that, they must show their true hatred for all that is good and decent in this country... By spamming me. Fuck you, Republican National Committee. Fuck. You. Better dead than red (state).

From: "Chairman Ken Mehlman" <>
To: <<>>
Subject: Join President Bush on January 31st
Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 18:37:11 -0500 (EST)

On January 31, President Bush will deliver his State of the Union Address, laying
To Unsubscribe:

Paid for by the Republican National Committee.
  Not Authorized by Any Candidate or Candidate Committee.

#1. The unsubscribe link doesn't work (the "http://www." at the start is extraneous), showing that they're technically incompetent.

#2. The fact that they're spamming shows what they think of you: that stealing your resources and wasting your time by spamming you is an effective political technique.

← Previous: Fluorescent Lights (Personal) Next: What's wrong with the Internet? (Personal) →
Fluorescent Lights
Thu, 2006Jan12 14:42:09 PST
in Personal by kamikaze

Like many developers, I'm bothered by fluorescent lights (see also LordOfTheFlies). They flicker and throb and cause me a horrible headache. About half the people in my office hate them, the other half don't have fast enough vision to see the flicker.

My theory about fluorescents is that people who grew up with modern "crisp" TVs (no blurring between frames) and videogames have the high-speed optic nerves needed to see the flicker, while people who didn't, don't. This is based on seeing older people and foreign workers almost never have a problem with the lights, but American geeks in their 20s-30s almost always do.

← Previous: Perilar! (Software) Next: Filthy Fucking Republican Scumbag SPAMMERS. (Society) →
Wed, 2006Jan11 03:45:05 PST
in Software by kamikaze

So, now I have something presentable to show of what I've been working on for the last weekend or so [1]: Perilar!

There's a Java4K Game Contest, which inspired me to think about very small games. 4K is too small to do the kinds of games I like, even at the most minimalist; I might be able to make a maze game for it, but I'm not really interested.

Instead, I thought about Warren Robinett's Adventure for the Atari VCS and Shigeru Miyamoto's Legend of Zelda for NES. What's the bare minimum I can strip a roguelike CRPG down to and still have a real game? What's the bare minimum user interface?

Memory and processing power is cheap, so I made the world a single contiguous space, though for game balance reasons, I don't currently let monsters leave their sectors; I may have to change that. The user interface is down to almost nothing--8 directions and an item key. It could be played with a VCS joystick.

The quest isn't in place yet... All you can do is kill things and take their stuff. But I've found a way of putting a couple of plot twists in without making the game huge and bloated.

If you're in the mood to kill things, help me beta-test it, and send me feedback as to what you think. Thanks, and have fun!


[1] Yes, that's why I've been neglecting bug reports in GameScroll and Aiee!, and haven't been real communicative. I'll be taking care of those ASAP now that I've got the main burst of code done.

← Previous: The Perils of Old SchemeFogies (Software) Next: Fluorescent Lights (Personal) →
The Perils of Old SchemeFogies
Fri, 2005Dec30 11:55:21 PST
in Software by kamikaze

Apparently, Joel is unaware that prior to Java, most universities used to teach with Pascal or Lisp, which also kept students from having to learn pointers before doing anything useful... The students might actually learn something about algorithms and data structures in their Algorithms and Data Structures class, and put off learning about pointers and manually managing memory until taking a specialized C class, or Operating Systems in junior year. Only a handful of universities were ever so incompetent as to use C as a teaching language.

Java does not keep you from learning pointers when they become appropriate and relevant, whether as part of JNI (usually using C) or with standalone C/C++. C/C++, on the other hand, is a blight when used for anything except operating system and device driver programming. C is a menace to the world, the spreader of viruses, and causes brain damage in those who use it (proof: they continue to use it). C is pernicious toxic waste in cyberlinguistic form.

Joel's premise of using C, pointers, and memory leaks to weed out half the students, who might otherwise be good programmers, only makes sense as deliberate sabotage of future software engineers.

Java does not keep you from learning functional programming, whether in Java or in a good functional language like Haskell or ML. Almost all real Java applications make heavy use of functional techniques, as well as more advanced object-oriented techniques.

The problem with suggesting Lisp/Scheme as a replacement is that essentially nobody likes to program in them. They're some of the least popular languages that have ever been invented, and one glance at the spaghetti of parens in a Lisp program shows why. They all but destroyed an entire field of the software industry ("Artificial Intelligence"); the survivors of this catastrophe like to blame the failure on hostility from C programmers, as if they were somehow sending out evil psychic waves, but as any objective postmortem reveals, it's because they chose the wrong language to implement their systems in. Only a tiny fraction of lunatics work in these "great" languages on their own time. It doesn't help that there are no good free implementations of any of them; if you want enough libraries to get anything done, you're out hundreds or thousands of dollars, and then have code that only works on one incompatible implementation. Yes, the use of Lisp/Scheme is traditional; at one time, FORTRAN and COBOL (languages equally as old) were traditional, as well, but some people learn from their mistakes. Suggesting Lisp/Scheme use in academia, inflicting them on innocent students, again only makes sense as deliberate sabotage.

What's Joel's real agenda? What does he have to gain from America decaying and then completely ceasing to produce software?

← Previous: Post-Postscript (Software) Next: Perilar! (Software) →
Mon, 2005Dec12 11:30:34 PST
in Software by kamikaze

Postscript used to be the dominant way to distribute articles, before PDF made it irrelevant (ps is uncompressed, and has a giant security hole since it's essentially just a general-purpose programming language). I keep running into ps files I need to read, Ghostscript's gsview GUI is unpleasant to use, and converting by hand's annoying after a while. So here's my utility bash script to convert them:

ext=`expr $len - 3`
if [ "${psfile:$ext:3}" == ".gz" ]; then
    gunzip "$psfile"
    ext=`expr $ext - 3`
gs -q -dNOPAUSE -dBATCH -sDEVICE=pdfwrite "-sOutputFile=$pdffile" -c save pop -f "$psfile"
acroread "${pdffile}" &

You'll need to be using some kind of Unix (Linux, Mac, whatever) and have ghostscript installed.

Edit 2005Dec13: Previous version didn't properly handle spaces in filenames.

← Previous: Microsoft Live. Follow the Money. (Media) Next: The Perils of Old SchemeFogies (Software) →
Microsoft Live. Follow the Money.
Fri, 2005Nov11 11:30:14 PST
in Media by kamikaze

Dave Winer is vectoring MS's latest pseudo-leaked propaganda memos, but nobody's mentioning the important element of what this "Microsoft Live" thing is all about.

"You can follow the action, which gets you good pictures. You can follow your instincts, which'll probably get you in trouble. Or, you can follow the money, which nine times out of ten will get you closer to the truth."
-Jake Gittes, The Two Jakes

It's about the MONEY, of course. They're hoping to rent software. To end "software piracy" (in MS terms, that means "running any software of any kind without paying MS) by holding all the software on their servers, and charging you for the privilege of using it.

They've tried subscription models before, but it never worked because people didn't want to buy Office over and over again every year. They've tried making their OS so crappy you have to buy an upgrade every year--they even had the cojones to openly name it "Windows 95", "Windows 2000", etc., but people kept using older versions for years instead of "upgrading" like they planned. The "software cloud"/Web 2.0 has finally given them the weapon they wanted.

Now they can keep your credit card and charge you on schedule, year after year, for software you "already bought".

If you're stupid enough to let them, that is. Are you?

← Previous: Don't Let Anyone Lick Your Keyboard (Society) Next: Post-Postscript (Software) →
Don't Let Anyone Lick Your Keyboard
Wed, 2005Nov09 11:43:40 PST
in Society by kamikaze

MSN never ceases to amaze me with their useful, real-world information. For instance, in The Flu Goes to Work, they give this great piece of advice:

During flu season, never let anyone lick your keyboard.

Heck, I'm gonna take that advice year-round!

← Previous: Sun's Improbable Advertising (Media) Next: Microsoft Live. Follow the Money. (Media) →
Sun's Improbable Advertising
Mon, 2005Nov07 10:54:38 PST
in Media by kamikaze

On the front page of, there's this overdramatic shot:

Four scruffy, generically but unthreateningly multi-ethnic young people, possibly survivors of a post-holocaust society, look up in the sky awed by... Sun's data management tools.

If it was a bunch of soulless middle management droids or some IT geeks, okay, this wouldn't be comical, at least, it'd just be melodramatic. But now I can't help but come up with new blurbs for these people.

"Look, up in the sky! Alien death machines come to put us out of our misery!" "Hooray! No more tape backups!"

← Previous: Darwin Fanboy (Atheism) Next: Don't Let Anyone Lick Your Keyboard (Society) →
Darwin Fanboy
Mon, 2005Oct31 16:02:25 PST
in Atheism by kamikaze

More in my Darwin fanboydom: Intelligent Design from the National Center for Science Education, and The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins.

← Previous: Help Buy KUOI Mugs! (Personal) Next: Sun's Improbable Advertising (Media) →
Help Buy KUOI Mugs!
Fri, 2005Oct21 09:49:16 PDT
in Personal by kamikaze

If you're a fan of KUOI-FM Moscow, KUOI needs help to buy mugs. For your generous donation, you get a mug and help keep KUOI product on the (virtual) shelves!

← Previous: "EPIC" 2014 (Media) Next: Darwin Fanboy (Atheism) →
"EPIC" 2014
Fri, 2005Sep30 11:12:40 PDT
in Media by kamikaze

Okay, this is old, but apparently some people still find this piece plausible.

The problem with it is that it's making some assumptions which aren't merely wrong, but completely and utterly contradicted by reality, and make me wonder if the New York Times paid the creators to make it. The creators think that web-based information sources are unreliable, and that print-based, editor-and-advertising-censored news is the only "legitimate" information source.

In reality, newspapers are not now and have never been any more trustworthy than they were under yellow journalist scum like Hearst and Pulitzer, who caused the Spanish-American war and the deaths of thousands in order to sell more papers. Pulitzer creating a prize for good journalism is one of the most brazen ironies of all time. Print is not authority, it's just stale lies from people whose agenda is not telling the truth, but selling more papers. The only reason anyone tolerated them this long is that they had nothing better.

The only people you can trust to break the truth to you are the people on the scene. Who did you trust in the Katarina disaster? The New York Times? Or Interdictor, who was blogging and shooting pictures directly from his ISP in Nawlens?

The entire point of the 'Net is that it's decentralized. There's no editors choosing what you see, unless you choose to subscribe to someone's RSS feed. You control the aggregator. You don't have to use Google or anyone else to find other feeds, you can make your own, and spread them at zero barrier to entry. "Epic 2014" shows a remarkable lack of comprehension of everything that's happened in the last 15 years, and the nature of print and video news for the last 100+.

← Previous: The Posse (Atheism) Next: Help Buy KUOI Mugs! (Personal) →
The Posse
Thu, 2005Sep08 13:46:43 PDT
in Atheism by kamikaze
← Previous: The Perfect Serenity of Firefly (Media) Next: "EPIC" 2014 (Media) →
The Perfect Serenity of Firefly
Fri, 2005Sep02 08:11:38 PDT
in Media by kamikaze

Last night, at the last minute, I got free passes to Serenity. A month before the rest of the world.

Wow. What a lovely lovely movie. You must go see it. And all your friends. Rent some if you don't have any. See it over and over again.

I won't spoil nothin', since you've got a ways to go before you can see it. But two main characters die, someone has sex (and not just the Reavers), and we find out where SPOILER comes from. Little Summer Glau really grew up.

There's only three things I didn't like, and they're all very minor fanboy issues. 1) The TV show theme song isn't sung in either the start or end credits; there's an instrumental version at the end, which the fans clapped at, but really, I want the song. o/` Take me out, to the black, tell 'em I ain't comin' back. Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me... o/`

2) There's a line at the end delivered by one of the survivors, which is too cheesy for words... It's actually a quote from the show, from "Home", but still cheesy.

3) River's a little too powerful to be plausible, but she's consistent with Firefly.

Again, when it comes out, go see it. And, you know, feel free to spend the next month hating me for having seen what you haven't.

o/` I don't care, I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me... o/`

← Previous: The Curse of Knowing Too Much (Software) Next: The Posse (Atheism) →
The Curse of Knowing Too Much
Thu, 2005Sep01 15:06:35 PDT
in Software by kamikaze

I don't dare leave my desk, because people ambush me in the breakroom to ask me technical questions.

I don't dare stay at my desk, because people come up to ask me technical questions.

And my cubicle has no door.

← Previous: On Java and Python (Software) Next: The Perfect Serenity of Firefly (Media) →
On Java and Python
Fri, 2005Aug26 12:38:54 PDT
in Software by kamikaze

I routinely see casual Python users who "hate Java". And yet you almost never see a Java programmer who dislikes Python (some might prefer another scripting language, but they don't hate). There's a reason for this: the casual programmers have never written a large program, and therefore haven't run into Python's limitations, which are the areas where Java shines. Each has its proper place.

Java is best suited to building large programs and frameworks which can be customized in some other language (usually XML documents). On any project over a few thousand lines of code, you absolutely want the compiler to do type-checking, verify method and field names, and you need a good IDE (like Eclipse). For cross-platform GUIs and graphics, there is nothing else that has even decent performance.

Python is best suited to writing small- to medium-sized programs, often doing something slightly OS-specific. Tkinter is an abysmally slow GUI, and all of the other GUI/graphics libraries are difficult to install and use cross-platform (yes, I've already tried your favorite library, no matter what it is). I have written a 10,000-line Python program, Umbra, so if anyone knows this from hard experience, it's me. Until you've done that, you have no idea what it's like.

Java does things that Python simply cannot comfortably do: Writing a large videogame in pure Python (as opposed to Python-scripting something written in another language) is insane, and I wish I had never tried it. Any large app is going to have the same problems. Python does things that Java simply cannot comfortably do: Writing a Java version of Randpod would be stupid--Randpod took me a couple hours to write and test, a Java version would have taken a couple days. But if I was going to write a new iTunes, the Python version would be impossible, while the Java version would take a few weeks. Chandler has proven this point--it's a mess, and has taken three years to reach the point where it runs at all (and still doesn't do much), while a Java equivalent would be an easy month or two project. They simply made the wrong choice.

There's a reason why Guido van Rossum keeps adapting Java APIs and concepts into Python--because it's useful to have semantically equivalent concepts in both languages.

← Previous: Back from GenCon (Roleplaying) Next: The Curse of Knowing Too Much (Software) →
Back from GenCon
Tue, 2005Aug23 13:09:42 PDT
in Roleplaying by kamikaze

I came, I saw, I shopped.

I have returned from GenCon, bearing many new things. I bought the Rifts Ultimate limited edition, Tunnels & Trolls 30th Anniversary Edition in a tin box, Aces & Eights: Showdown wild west skirmish rules (the RPG isn't out yet), a bunch of old RoleAids supplements (with writing by Roger Zelazny, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and Robert Asprin!), and more.

Best Product: Tie between Rifts and T+T. They both do exactly the right update of the product, fix the necessary flaws, and keep the style and tone of the originals.

Shiniest Product: A Game of Thrones RPG. I hadn't read the novels, so I didn't buy it. I started reading the first novel on the flight back. Seems okay for no-magic fantasy, but I have no empathy at all for aristocrats and their political machinations, which is what it's about. What's the difference between a bad aristocrat and a good aristocrat? Twelve inches off the top.

Worst-Designed Product: Tie between the new Mage and the new Shadowrun. The new Mage is apocalyptically bad; I can't believe they perpetrated that piece of crap. I had major ethical issues with the previous game, even considering that it's in a line of games where you always play inhuman and anti-humanity monsters, but the new setting is completely unappealing, and they've almost completely abandoned the only good thing about the original: the freeform magic system. The new Shadowrun is only mediocre by itself, but the change in system breaks all compatibility with previous-edition supplements. Screw you, Fanpro.

Worst-Marketed Product: Adventures in Fantasy (Infamous Games). AiF has a cheesy D+D-like game in white cardstock covers with a tiny picture pasted in the center, photocopy-quality pages, spiral-bound, overpriced, and no setting. Why did they even bother coming? I spent much of the con in the booth next to them (an expensive booth, too!), and I didn't see them make one sale in 4 days. It's just sad.

What was I doing there? I was at the Eos Press booth, with the Weapons of the Gods game I've been playtesting and writing for (the Furious River Gang demo adventure, for instance). And watch this space for news of my board, card, and roleplaying games being published!

Despite The Evil (see previous post), I had a good time at the con. I will only ever go back to Indiana if I stay in a hotel in the air-conditioned/filtered skywalk system, though. Ugh. My lungs still feel like they're coated with felt.

← Previous: Indiana Has Taught Me How To Hate (Personal) Next: On Java and Python (Software) →
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