Sunday, August 26


Dem Bones

This is nuts:

Massively effective, though.  I mean, I want to give them money, and I have no earthly use for nor desire to own miniatures.

It's how it is with Kickstarter, though.  Some projects ask for $30k and get a big raspberry, others find themselves spending the next month trying to dig their way out of an avalanche of cash.

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Saturday, August 25


Nexus 7 Wishlist 7

  1. 32GB or more of Flash storage. My 16GB model is filling up all too quickly. The current models are 8GB for $199 and 16GB for $249 (US). The 16GB model sold out. A 32GB model at $299 looks like it would pick up a lot of customers.
  2. MicroSD slot. Really. Even if only in the new "pro" 32GB model.
  3. See if you can tweak the colours on the screen a bit. The screen is very sharp, but the colours are a bit dark.


  4. Make the screen even sharper - go to 1920x1200. Yes, at 7". Typography at 1280x800 is good, but not quite there.
  5. Micro-HDMI out.
  6. Stylus.  Don't let the Galaxy Note have it all!


  7. Help Kairosoft get Game Dev Story fixed on Jelly Bean.  Done!
Update: Asus (who make the Nexus 7 for Google) have a 7" tablet which matches most of my needs.  Still 1280x800 and 16GB, but it has micro-SD, micro-HDMI, and a stylus.  Loses points only because it's funny-looking.  If they can make it a bit more Nexusy, I'll buy it.

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Friday, August 24


Gentlemen Prefer Dodecahedrons

A Kickstarter project aimed at producing those missing dice - i.e. d14 and d18. (And now d22.)

I've signed up for a full set: d3, d4, d6, d8, d10, d% (d10 but numbered 10, 20, 30...), d12, d14, d16, d18, d20, d22, d24, and d30.

And they're talking about a followup project to offer d5, d7, d9, d11, d13, d15, d17, and d19. For hit dice for your demi-barbarians (d11), and damage rolls for your two-and-three-quarter-handed sword (d13).

Unfortunately, no-one has discovered any new Platonic solids in the past couple of years, so some of the new designs are a little outré. d14 and d18 look simple enough, and d16 is similar to the well-known d10 design, just with more sides. But that d22 is... Funny-looking. Computer modelling has been applied to make sure all the designs are fair, however odd they may look.

And if you're looking for a game to play with your fancy new dice* why not try Numenera, from P&P RPG industry veteran Monte Cook?

Monte, you had me at "Gene Wolfe, Michael Moorcock, [and] Jack Vance".  A weird-out far-far-future science-fantasy setting like Vance's Dying Earth or Wolfe's Shadow of the Torturer** would make a welcome change from the approximately-medieval standard we've fallen into.

Both campaigns have already exceeded their modest goals, so all is right with the world.

* I have no actual idea if Numenera does or can use d14 and d18.
** Both are set billions of years from now.

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Thursday, August 16


Apple Gallop

So, a court case has broken out between Apple and Samsung.  Apple asserts that Samsung phones and tablets are too much like Apple's phones and tablets which are completely sui generis; Samsung says bollocks - and have been presenting lots and lots of prior art to prove it.

Attempting to avert a months-long jury trial, Judge Lucy Koh set time limits for the presentation of evidence on both sides, giving both plaintiff and defendent 25 hours to present their case.

I just realised why this is completely wrong and a perversion of justice.

There is a tactic in debates - originally, evolution vs. creatonism debates - known as the Gish Gallop.  It's pretty simple: You make whatever claims you like, rapidly and with certainty.

Then it's up to your opponent to answer each point, which necessarily takes far longer than it did to make the claim in the first place.

So if Apple gets 25 hours to make their case, Samsung should reasonably have 25 days.

This case is certain to go to appeal, and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see it declared a mistrial.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 02:46 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Wednesday, August 08



So, Crea is safely funded, and it's time for another block-based strategy/RPG thingy on Kickstarter. This time, it's Castle Story:

So, you build your castle by gathering 2x1 bricks in various colours and stacking them up, and then defend it with a horde of identical little yellow dudes....

No-one say the L-word!

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A Week With A Nexus 7

Shiny.  Works.  Comfortable for extended reading, even with lousy forty-something eyesight.  Recommended.

Also, Triple Town has unexpected strategic depth.

Update: Oh, and Angry Birds is non-Newtonian.  In particular, the eggs are inertialess.  What sort of lesson is that teaching to our children?!

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 10:36 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Wednesday, August 01


Nexus 7

So I picked up my Nexus 7 from where it's been sitting at my office.

In short: It's good.  Doesn't feel like a cheap device at all; it's fast, responsive, solidly constructed, and the screen is very sharp and clear.  Colours are a little muted; they certainly don't pop the way they do on my notebook (which is great in that respect, but is just a TFT, not IPS like the Nexus).

It came with $25 credit on Google's Play store, which allowed me to pick up the latest Laundry novel by Charlie Stross, Angry Birds Space HD, Wolfram Alpha (worst interface ever) and a bunch of 99¢ quicky second-string JRPG ports.

The Google Reader app is very nice, but shows that "retina" resolution (the Nexus 7 is about the same resolution as the new Macbook and just short of the iPad-without-a-name) is not good enough.  I can't speak for other versions of Android or other devices, but Jelly Bean on the Nexus 7 doesn't use heavy font hinting or anti-aliasing, relying on raw DPI, and you can see the effects in the varying weights of the verticals of different characters as you adjust the font size.  

(Windows goes for consistency at a given size over accurately representing the font weight, so you don't get that effect.  Instead, if you scale up a font on Windows, at some point it will pop all at once to what looks like a heavier weight, so that it goes regular, regular, regular, demibold.)

I'd like to see at least 1920x1200 at 7", and 2560x1600 at 10".  But it is possible even for a fussbudget like me to find a font size that is small enough to display a sensible page but still clear and highly readable.

Problem is, Google Reader can only read books bought from the Google Play store, and their selection is pathetic compared to Amazon.  I have about 40 books in Kindle format, most of them from Baen Books so they're DRM-free (and available in alternate formats), but Google Reader doesn't want to know.

The Kindle App is free of course, and it works, but it won't scale the font size nearly as small as I'd like.  I'll have to look at other e-reader apps.

Other than that...  Battery life seems fine; it just takes forever to charge the first time.  Networking was a little fiddly to set up because my router doesn't route, but you can enter a static IP and default gateway, and once I did that it worked just fine.

All in all, well worth the money even just as an e-reader, and capable of a lot more.  Tomorrow (later today, anyway) I'm going to install Python.  Suck it, iOS!

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 04:49 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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