Links for April 7, 2019

‘No console required’: Google unveils streaming game platform, ‘Stadia’

At GDC 2019 this morning, Google detailed its long-awaited streaming game platform, dubbed Stadia.

The Unexpected Philosophical Depths of the Clicker Game Universal Paperclips

Neima Jahromi writes about Universal Paperclips, created by Frank Lantz, and other clicker games, like Cookie Clicker and Candy Box!, which represent how our actions are constantly mediated by screens.

The James Bond Corkscrew Jump Was The First Computer-Modeled Stunt

I’m a little surprised that we haven’t covered this in detail before, because it’s so crammed full of Jalop-bait: jumping and flipping cars, AMCs, James Bond, frustrated backwoods law enforcement, and lots of secret math and early computers. The jump is the famous corkscrew from The Man with the Golden Gun.

Links for March 28, 2019

Project SPHINX - When the USSR tried to change the computer forever

The legendary SPHINX, the high-tech system designed by Dmitry Azrikan in 1986 with which the Soviet Union tried to subvert the computer world

Forum 1985 - Russian Synthpop (𝐒𝐎𝐕𝐈𝐄𝐓 𝐖𝐀𝐕𝐄) Part 1

80s Soviet Synthpop. Alliance - Na Zare (At dawn) USSR, 1987 HD

Links for March 5, 2019

What “Peanuts” Taught Me About Queer Identity

Of all the characters in “Peanuts,” Pigpen seems most at peace with the life he has been given. Sure, he’s immersed in filth—he can “raise a cloud of dust in a snowstorm,” as Charlie Brown puts it—and Patty and Violet seek constantly to humiliate him. But Pigpen will have none of it. “Aren’t you ashamed?” Violet says to him, after making him look in the mirror. “On the contrary,” he replies. “I didn’t think I looked this good.”

A starter pack for those new to interactive fiction

I had a list like this before which I deleted, but I noticed it had a lot of views on intfiction, so I thought I’d make a new one to help people out. It has 10 web-based games, 10 parser games for beginners and 10 parser games of medium to easy difficulty.

Tape Recording of Star Wars In The Theater From 1977 With My Mother

Links for February 28, 2019

Better Language Models and Their Implications

Due to concerns about large language models being used to generate deceptive, biased, or abusive language at scale, we are only releasing a much smaller version of GPT-2 along with sampling code. We are not releasing the dataset, training code, or GPT-2 model weights. Nearly a year ago we wrote in the OpenAI Charter: “we expect that safety and security concerns will reduce our traditional publishing in the future, while increasing the importance of sharing safety, policy, and standards research,” and we see this current work as potentially representing the early beginnings of such concerns, which we expect may grow over time.

The birth of obscenicons

But when it comes to obscenicons, he may have been beaten to the punch by his colleague Gene Carr, as he was developing the character of Lady Bountiful — described by the Lambiek Comiclopedia as “a rich, well-mannered woman who used her wealth to help and adopt poor street children”… He discovered the following “Lady Bountiful” strip, published in the Examiner on Nov. 1, 1901.

The World’s Writing Systems

This web site presents one glyph for each of the world’s writing systems. It is the first step of the Missing Scripts Project, a long-term initiative that aims to identify writing systems which are not yet encoded in the Unicode standard. As of today, there are still 146 scripts not yet encoded in Unicode.

Sesame Street Pinball Number Count – Playable “1-2-3 4 5 6-7-8 9 10 11-12!”

Links for February 25, 2019

How Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey Scored a Rezoning Win

The ambitious Minneapolis 2040 plan will encourage more dense housing development in single-family neighborhoods.

How a Rose Blooms: Its Genome Reveals the Traits for Scent and Color

Now, to develop a new type of rose, breeders typically make thousands of hybrid offspring, looking for the combination of traits they want. Then, they have to select and identify the offspring that have the desirable trait. It’s a process that can take up to 10 years and require lots of greenhouse space and land, as well as water… With data from the more detailed sequence of the rose genome, this process should be significantly shortened, reducing the cost and energy consumption needed to introduce new species.

Here’s Some Future Synth Music From Niger

Nigerién keyboardist Hama transforms Saharan folk songs into psychedelic electronic gems in his new album, Houmeissa.

Links for February 11, 2019

Video games to play if you liked Netflix’s Bandersnatch

Now Black Mirror’s two least interesting episodes share the plot of “video games exist”. What’s Bandersnatch’s larger point? That you should be more careful who you take LSD with? Anyway. Video games. Luckily there’s a big list of personal computer doodads which cover similar topics to Bandersnatch and have a little more to say.


A little text placeholder generator of Jeff Goldblum awesomeness.

HTTBey Status Codes

Beyoncé-inspired HTTP Status Codes

Links for January 21, 2019

Introducing Scratch 3.0: Expanding the Creative Possibilities of Coding

Today, we’re launching Scratch 3.0, a new generation of Scratch that expands how, what, and where kids can create with code. As we’ve tested prototypes of Scratch 3.0, we’ve been amazed by the projects that kids have made — like a hedgehog that speaks French, a hippopotamus that dances to hip-hop, and a soccer game you control with your shoe.

The Embroidered Computer

The Embroidered Computer uses historic gold embroidery materials to craft a programmable 8 bit computer.

blank vhs covers were kinda beautiful

Links for January 14, 2019

My Dad’s Friendship With Charles Barkley

Shirley Wang’s father, Lin, was on a business trip when he ran into NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley. It was the beginning of a friendship.

Trail Blazers’ Game-Day Posters Are Often First Shot Against Opponents

Sometimes playful, sometimes poignant, the posters drawn by local artists take aim at opponents and play up Portland’s aesthetic.

444 (Yes, 444) New Autechre Videos

The British electronic duo Autechre appears to have uploaded some 444 videos to YouTube over the course of 2018, beginning in January.... The full playing time is in excess of 13 hours.

Links for January 11, 2019

Project Horseshoe 2018: Group Report: Constructing Emergence

In practical game development, constructing systems that show emergence can also seem risky, since few understand what emergence is, and since such systems often look incomplete and broken until suddenly they’re not.... A system being designed with emergence in mind might be on the threshold of working spectacularly well, or it may never come together; it can be nearly impossible to tell the difference.... Given the importance, benefits, and difficulties of creating emergent systems, we are looking for tools and methods to more reliably construct emergence in games, rather than just hoping for it and stumbling over it.

The problem with adding a famous Cree chief to ‘Civilization’

To many, the game-makers’ decision to depict Chief Poundmaker without first seeking permission from the chief and elders seems like history repeating itself.... Milton Tootoosis, a headman at Poundmaker Cree Nation and cousin of Clyde, says custom requires that “if you’re going to borrow from another culture you must get approval.” He is angry no one asked permission to use the image of Chief Poundmaker in the game or sought input about the narrative from his First Nation.

sigur rós - liminal

liminal is much more than an ambient sigur rós mixtape curated by jónsi, alex somers and paul corley. liminal views sigur rós as an eco-system. it identifies the connections and blurs the boundaries between work done and work to come; between brand new music and ideas barely yet nascent; between songs written 20 years ago and collaborations to be made tomorrow.

Links for January 9, 2019

Doctor Who fan spin-offs

An oral history of the franchise’s unlicensed spin-offs with Sylvester McCoy, Nick Briggs and those at the heart of Who’s fan-made films


Turtletoy allows you to create generative art using a minimalistic javascript Turtle graphics API. You can only create black-and-white line drawings on a square canvas. By offering a very restrictive environment we not only hope to stimulate creativity, we also make sure that the turtles can (at least theoretically) be plotted using a simple plotter.

Very Slow Movie Player

A film watched at 1/3,600th of the original speed is not just a very slow movie, it helps you see yourself against the smear of time.