Avec sa pertinence habituelle, Emmanuelle nous propose...

Avec sa pertinence habituelle, Emmanuelle nous propose ce terrifiant article sur les pertes de mémoire des 20-35 ans à l’ère numérique. Evidemment qu’on s’y reconnaît tous.

A ce propos, Overwhelmed by the world est un article d’Utne Reader, où beaucoup d’entre nous se reconnaîtrons aussi [*] :
« …highly aroused by new or prolonged stimulation; strongly reactive to external stimuli such as noise and light; intolerant of pain, hunger, thirst, caffeine, and medication; susceptible to stress-related and psychosomatic illnesses; and deeply affected by other people’s moods and emotions … »

[*] j’exclus bien entendu mes collègues de travail ici, et la plupart des spécialistes en marketing.

Quand on est con, on est con. (itw w/ Michael Moore, WTO...

Quand on est con, on est con. (itw w/ Michael Moore, WTO Head)

« If you ever get the chance to follow a dream, or...

« If you ever get the chance to follow a dream, or take a big stupid risk on something that can help out a lot people, by all means do it. »
[Haughey's Blogger : Behind the Website essay].

Les Big Brother Awards français : les trophées...

Les Big Brother Awards français : les trophées des entreprises et organismes « qui nous fichent et nous espionnent ».
Un des rares bloggeurs français, Bug Brother (respect!), publie le Off, les nominés non retenus. Dont cette magnifique institution, dont j’ai pu admirer de l’intérieur les méthodes vichystes et dont les pièces à charges présentées ici forment un délicieux euphémisme.

« We guess you know the shit : no crowd-surfing, &...

Much much respect to At The Drive In :

« We guess you know the shit : no crowd-surfing, ’cause this is bullshit !
There are small people in the front, who are gonna be hurt. This is about the music, not about the fist !
Don’t do what the TV tells you. This is not MTV. Repeat after me :
THIS IS NOT M.T.V. »

Apart from that, the show was mind blowing, as expected, but way too short (even for the cheap entrance fee).
And the Trabendo’s sound is poor, with all the frequencies mixed up.
Good surprise : (Beastie Boy) Mike D. did the mix before ATDI came on stage. This man IS cool.

« His Word » (can be sung to the...

« His Word » (can be sung to the tune of « Hell’s Bells »)
His Word. Christ is calling to you.
His Word. He’s proclaiming His news.
His Word. You’ll sing and you’ll dance.
His Word. Satan don’t have a chance.(…)

This is NOT a joke ! [via metafilter]

I mean, we KNEW we were fucked in high school, and perhaps...

I mean, we KNEW we were fucked in high school, and perhaps even college, but the web came along, and gave us a bit of pause. That pause is, painfully, over.

Everyone’s favourite start-up is in trouble.

(Update)
Blogger is a great tool. It deserves to live, because it epitomizes what the web should be (should’ve been). Personnal expression, community, democracy, exchange.
So far, the dot-coms downfall has mainly affected useless companies, and poorly managed ones. It was a relief.
But now the great ideas, the responsible companies are on the brink of collapse, too.
I strongly support the idea of a mostly free Internet. But sometimes, when it’s worth the price, when I feel I’m considered like a responsible citizen of the world, I’m okay to pay. I wouldn’t mind giving away, say, $1 (or 1 euro) per month for Blogger. Micro-payments are a possible solution. For a web where every hyperlink doesn’t lead to BigCorporateTrust.com.
And, who knows ? we, the tenths of thousand webloggers, could make Blogger the first profitable company on the web.

And if any of you find the weight too heavy, if you feel...

And if any of you find the weight too heavy, if you feel yourself slipping, if you see no relief in sight, you know my e-mail address and should always feel free to articulate your concerns and remit them to me. Just make sure not to do so between 6 p.m. Wednesday and 6 a.m. Thursday, because the server will be down for maintenance.

Somehow, We’ll Middle-Manage [The Onion]

My neighborhood is THE place in Paris to buy cheap computer...

My neighborhood is THE place in Paris to buy cheap computer hardware. Dozens of Asiatics have been establishing their store in my street for half a decade (it turns out they are asiatics at 98%, go wonder…). We have the highest reseller/square-meter rate in this whole country, for sure.
I’m an old fart, right, but this is particularly annoying on saturdays, when the sidewalk is soooo crowded and the traffic unbearable (lots of horn noise etc…). It sometimes ruins my saturday afternoon.
Anyway, some young folks have made a website in order to compare the prices and exchange tips. Now my adress is an internet website. Hurrah.

A new song from dEUS : Luxury (Tom Barman by himself actually...

A new song from dEUS : Luxury (Tom Barman by himself actually), live at a belgian festival, plus a bunch of other songs (Supertramp’s Goodbye Stranger cover, great !!). Excellent audience sound recording. It will help me waiting for the next dEUS release, not before 2002 :(
Great great job Jyves !!

Whaddaya mean, you can’t find programmers ?

Whaddaya mean, you can’t find programmers ?

Take skullLately, I’ve been heavily interested in...

Take skull
Lately, I’ve been heavily interested in Interactive Fiction.
Remember the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy ? It’s a full text game, based upon the (in)famous Scott Adams SF novel, that I advised you to play at the office (no graphics, no sound, a small DOS window) a couple of days ago. It goes like this (what I typed is in red) :

You wake up. The room is spinning very gently round your head. Or at least it
would be if you could see it which you can’t.
It is pitch black.

>open eyes
They are.

>turn light on
Good start to the day. Pity it’s going to be the worst one of your life. The
light is now on.

Bedroom, in the bed
The bedroom is a mess.
It is a small bedroom with a faded carpet and old wallpaper. There is a
washbasin, a chair with a tatty dressing gown slung over it, and a window with
the curtains drawn. Near the exit leading south is a phone.
There is a flathead screwdriver here. (outside the bed)
There is a toothbrush here. (outside the bed)

>take screwdriver
You can’t reach it from the bed. The effort almost kills you.

>stand up
Very difficult, but you manage it. The room is still spinning. It dips and
sways a little.

Well, it’s what adventure games have been through the 80s with a lot of success, when computers couldn’t easily handle graphics and not everybody had a mouse.
I’m fascinated by these games. The power of imagination is enough to make you live wonderful adventures, solve tricky puzzles, travel very far geographically or chronogically. No restriction due to the cost of designing a 3D animation, for example. And the limitation of the text interface actually is an asset an author can play with (see all of Raymond Queneau’s works).
Moreover, by searching around on the web, I found that this type of games, called Interactive Fiction are still being played and created by a lot of passionate people around the world ! There’s even an annual competition where authors present their games (of an unbelievable quality), which are scored by players.

Actually, the main resource is this FTP site : ftp://ftp.gmd.de/if-archive (with this mirror for North-American folks : The IF Archive).
This german server archives exhaustively everything that has been done since the beginning of Interactive Fiction, and every serious author upload his game(s) here when it’s released (for free, obviously !)
Add some online newsletters with reviews and author interviews, and two active and civilized newsgroups : rec.games.int-fiction for players and rec.arts.int-fiction for writers, and you’ll get the current dynamism of the genre.

And the most seducing part of it, as far as I’m concerned, is that anybody can write his own IF games, and that the systems to do so are freely available on the net : TADS, Inform and a lot of others, along with free tutorials, extensions etc…
[I'm a bit technical here :] The wonderful thing with these systems is that they provide the parser, the part of the program that analyse and understand your sentence (« take screwdiver », « look under bed »), which would be a hell of a task to develop. These systems generally feature a compiler, to transform your scenario into a cross-platform playable game, and an interpreter, to play this generated game. The beauty underneath is that the game you design (what I call the « scenario ») is written in a dedicated object-oriented language, extremely easy to learn when you’ve already coded in Pascal or C/C++. Look at this TADS example, pretty self-eplanatory :

cave: room
   sdesc = « Cave »
   ldesc = « You’re inside a dark and musty cave. Sunlight pours in from a passage to the south. »
   south = startroom
;

goldSkull: item
   sdesc = « gold skull »
   noun = ‘skull’ ‘head’
   adjective = ‘gold’
   location = cave
;

With these few lines of code, we have created a cave where the player can go, that he can leave (« go south »), look at (the ldesc part), and refer to (« leave cave »), plus an object in this room the player can look, take, drop, and refer to in many ways (« take skull », « pick up gold head », etc…).
Now you just begin to see the offered possibilities.
[End of technical part ; Dad, you can read again from now]

What these people do is wonderful. Plenty of terrific games are released each year, I’ll keep you in touch.

From: « Manur » To: « ...

Cliquez pour l'acheter !From: « Manur »
To: « Carlier Richard »
Subject: =C’est quoi au juste ton métier ?
Date: Sat, 13 Jan 2001 18:56:28

Bonjour monsieur le webmaster,

J’ai récemment fait l’acquisition de votre précis intitulé « Profession : Webmaster », que j’ai trouvé fort utile pour caller les pieds de ma table de jardin (qui était auparavant branlante).
J’ai désormais toute l’utilité de ce meuble, et avec l’arrivée imminente des beaux jours, je me préoccupe de trouver quelques chaises de jardin afin d’en profiter réellement. Or, j’ai remarqué en quatrième de couverte de l’opuscule une magnifique prise de vue (agence Magnum ?) où l’on peut vous voir en compagnie de trois ou quatre sièges qui ont immédiatement attiré mon attention pour leur artisanat irréprochable. Seriez-vous prêt à me les céder ?
Mon prix sera le vôtre (euros, US dollars & pingouins en peluche acceptés).

Bien à vous,
Manur
———————————————————-
Blague à part, et je ne dis pas ça parce que c’est un ami, mais le bouquin est très bien fait et extrémement intéressant. Je vous en dirai plus lorsque je l’aurai entièrement lu.

I promise, next post will be in English.

Ma prophétie : « La Bourse est une institution...

Prophéties autoréalisatrices



Oncle Bernard, Charlie Hedbo (n°446, 03/01/2001)

Ma prophétie : « La Bourse est une institution inutile et néfaste. »

Faites suivre et prions le Ciel.

I’m taking a few days off. While I’m away,...

I’m taking a few days off. While I’m away, go reading Joel on Software and all the funky people linked on the sidebar.
Happy new year. Dropt the debt.