Friday, 23 January 2009

Gravity Bone

Loathe as I am to mix work and this (there'll be no link to my professional opinion for sure), I can't not mention Gravity Bone. It's a 20 odd minute art-game for PCs, and it's one of the coolest pieces of videogame culture I've ever seen. It's unusual, funny, enigmatic and has a great ending. The instructions are in-game and make playing no trouble. Sno excuses.

The joys of horribly pretentious writing are being celebrated once more in the anals (sic) of This review... gahhh!

Friday, 16 January 2009

party like it's 1991

Dj Shadow, in his wisdom released a bunch of old good stuff, limited edition, through his website, and I missed it all. The internet's a mo-fo, tho, and minimal searching will cough up the downloadable goods. (for example)

I wouldn't be that bothered about a bunch of old unreleased stuff, as there's usually a good reason for stuff to be unreleased. This is pretty cool though - the KMEL mixes made when he was 19 are ace: The mixing is fantastic and exciting, the hiphop's great and the second has a little interview with him, which is pretty rare in itself. Of the original and remixed bits, they're interesting even if they don't all work.

Something that reminded me a little of Shadow, recently was Mophono, although he seems to be more about reworking tracks than making new ones, his stuff is nice. The Edge remix is great, and although to be honest the original is fantastic too, I have enough experience to recognise it's hard to remix a great track without making it worse.

All this made me go searching for more stuff of this ilk, but all I found was stuff that was pretty regressive. For a once future obsessed genre, the turntable-as-instrument crowd seem to have lost their course somewhat... I read about then listened to an Austrian group called Phonsapiens, but it was just dull, and they were the best of my discoveries. Damn.

Talking of Damn, what the hell are Google up to? That new icon makes me sick.

baby birds are called...

Thursday, 15 January 2009

browse like it's 1985

This was the first computer we had at home. It was colour! Green! Unlike later computers, this was quite difficult to get used to, as all the controls were from the keyboard. Using it efficiently required memorising a lot of commands. It worked, but wasn't exactly user friendly.
So what a relief, you can imagine, when computers came with mice. All of a sudden everthing was easy, and the whole experience better.

Lots of people - like me - work all day on computers, and we think we're great and know all the shortcuts and hot keys that speed up work. Some people think the coolest thing would be to control everthing from the keyboard, as it would combine not having to move you arm, speed, and an air of superiority that IT snobs love. Some idiot has tried to do this, with "Mouseless Browsing", an extension for Firefox that's pretty self explanatory.

Some sites I won't mention have praised this as a great tool, speeding up efficiency and finally freeing IT folk from the labours of having to push a mouse around. I am not in this club. Do I control + t for a new tab, yes. Do I want to type control + 125 to open a link on a page. No. A mouse click or track pad tap will do fine, and won't necessitate having web pages covered in numbers.

Mouseless Browsing is a horrible combination of geeky inaccessibility and ugliness. I remember old computers. They were a marvel at the time, but I would never want to go back. And I wouldn't want websites to look like this: