Here’s an amazing video about why the patent system is so badly broken, how it’s strangling the public domain, and radically stifling progress. Well worth watching – trust me, you need to see this.
First – So exciting! Doublefine (Tim Schafer – the name behind a slew of great games including Monkey Island, Full Throttle, Psychonauts, Brutal Legend) has started a Kickstart fundraiser for a new game. This is a great idea – bypassing publishers all together and putting the funding for the game in the hands of the audience. I LOVE this idea – I just wish I had 10k to give in order to qualify for the lunch with Tim!
Next, this list underlines why a game developer would want to go the above route. There are a number of incredible games on that list, many of which I have purchased from Steam or GOG. Sadly, and unbeknownst to me at the time, none of the proceeds of my purchase actually help the developer in the slightest. Many of them are out of business. This is a huge problem in the gaming industry. Publishers like EA (who haven’t actually developed a good game since the 90s!) pay a flat rate to the developers for the rights, and then pass nothing further on if the game actually does well. And the big-name publishers wonder why people no longer buy their formulaic overpriced and overproduced piles of crap. I basically read heading of that list as “You now have the right to pirate any of the following games.” Which is not to say that I condone piracy – I do everything I can to support game devs, but that doesn’t include giving any of my limited budget to a greedy publisher just to fill their coffers while the folks that actually DID THE WORK have to find new jobs since their studio was closed down. Grrrrr! Ars Technica has a great article on the list that I highly suggest you read.
Lots of changes to the site:
- I moved it from Godaddy to Amazon EC2. For about the same price (and free for the first year!) I get a VM all to myself.
- I’m flipping back to WordPress from Drupal. Drupal 7.x’s bloggy XMLRPC interface just sucks too much ass.
That means that all of the remote management tools (e.g. to manage your site from Android) have failed to work since Drupal 6.x. Windows Live Writer, Ecto, and all other offline blog editing software no longer worked either. I’m giving up a bit of power in the site, but gaining a tonne of flexibility.
It’s a pain in the ass to move back to WordPress – I had to manually copy-paste my posts from the old Drupal site. Sorry to everyone, but the comments will be a casualty of the move.
- I’m using a new theme – much cleaner. I hope you enjoy!
Hope you all enjoy!
My wife and I got tired of living in an overpriced piece of crap apt, so we’ve moved to a better one. In the process we’ve cut our rent by 1/3 and gained a dishwasher and ensuite laundry! W00t!
We also switched over to Telus’ Optik internet and increased our intertube speed by 50% while cutting the price by $10/month! Sweet!
Oh! And! We get a free XBox360 for switching. W00t!
Anyone have any suggestions for 360 games? The package comes with Alan Wake and Forza3, and I’m planning on getting Shadow Complex and Limbo pdq… Anything else I should get?
Ok, I think that’s it – the site should be back to normal now.
If anyone notices anything that isn’t back to normal then please let me know.
Also, I hope you enjoy the new theme!
I’m upgrading my CMS from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7 today. Please excuse any downtime and site-weirdness while I get things sorted in the new CMS.
Users should keep all the same rights and settings (e.g. donating users will continue to be ad-free) and all the posts+comments should remain in place.
Update – Site is sort of back. Still a lot of work to do with regards to formatting, but the info is all here so I’ve brought it back online. Let me know if y’all have any issues.
Update 2 – Site is mostly back. Rough format is back, though the theme still needs some work. I’m done for the day though. I’ll finish up the rest of the tweaks tomorrow.
Note: InternetExplorer formatting is badly broken, but does anyone use that piece of shit browser anymore? If you do, upgrade to Chrome/Firefox/Opera/Safari or any other standards compliant browser and save yourself a tonne of headaches – not to mention all the viruses/trojans/exploits you won’t be susceptible to anymore.
Seriously? This just underlines how badly the US patent system is broken.
How did a Microsoft cofounder get a patent on “Browser use for navigating through information?” I suppose he thinks IE was the first browser too.
“Managing a users peripheral attention” is patentable? I guess notes in the margin of textbooks all get to pay royalties to him too… Or the little TV station watermarks in the corners of TV broadcasts, or even the blinky light on cell phones that tell you that you missed a call.
The patent system was created to protect intellectual property, not stifle innovation or try to reap profits from an idea that is either obvious or has existed in other works for decades or even centuries.
Hell, maybe I should get a patent on “Character combination displayed on a medium in order to symbolize language and express information” and see if I can get royalties every time anyone writes anything down!
Paul Allen (and every other patent troll) is a total and utter shitbag.
My wife has started a new blog revolving around drawing requests from her readers. Check it out at WhatShallIDraw.tumblr.com. Her drawings are great, so head over and submit a request for something you’d like to see her draw.
As some of you may have noticed Drupal took a dump when I updated it. The site was offline for almost a day while I tried to get the errors resolved. It only took a few hours to fix, but I’ve been insanely busy with work and life for the past few moths so it took the day to scrape together the few hours it took to fix. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Yay! Google released the Android 2.2 source today! I’ll poke around at it over the next few days – maybe I’ll have better luck getting it to compile!
Update: I downgraded to gcc4.3 and Java SDK5, and Froyo is compiling fine. I’m still unable to boot the result though. I’ll try again tomorrow.
Update2: The kernel is booting, but /system isn’t mounting, so ‘sh’ isn’t available, and logcat can’t run. Putting sh on the initrd changes the error – but it just quits directly after launching. Grrrr. Not sure why /system isn’t mounting – the init.rc looks ok… I may try getting it to mount by it’s device name instead of it’s mtd name. I’m off to work – I’ll poke at this some more when I get home.
Update 3: LiBe (in the comments below) managed to get 2.2 booting using Routehero’s 2.0 boot.img. I just played around a little on my lunch break and was able to duplicate his results. Same issues as before – e.g. No sound, no radio, no wifi. The boot.img was still using the old 2.6.27 kernel. Replacing the 2.6.27 kernel with the 2.6.29 from V10T resulted in a non-booting boot.img, and as before logcat doesn’t work so I can’t even see why it’s not booting. Grrrr.
However – 2.2 did seem to run ok. Once I turned off Animations it even ran fairly fast.
Quick note: I made a few more changes to the site.
- The mobile theme is MUCH better now. Have a look at m.zacpod.com from your android. Very simple and clean.
- Added a Docs section (see the menu up there ^^^) that will be a repository for all sorts of instructions. Enjoy!
Update 3: Made a few more changes:
- QR codes on the right for ease of Android access
- Mobile site is now live, but the theme isn’t so hot. Trying to find an AJAX theme that rocked as much as the wordpress mobile theme
- Donate button is back, plus if you’re logged in when you donate the site will stop showing you the button and hide the ads, and shows a “Thank you” message instead.
- Front page changed – now it shows the full text of the first story, teasers (with “more” links) for the next 10, and text links for the remainder
- Killed the titles from the comments
- Removed my Gravatar from all the posts, but left it on the comments
I think I’m now quite happy with the site! Woohoo! Now if only getting Eclair running was this easy!
Update2: Made a bunch of changes now that I’m live on Drupal:
- Anonymous comments and Polls are now allowed.
- I’m still not happy with the fact that each comment’s subject is a full-on title.
- All the old comments are flat and unsorted. The threading was lost on the import. (All new comments should be threaded nicely though.)
- I’m still working on the mobile theme. Should have m.zacpod.com available for mobile devices soon
- Ads are back.
Update: The site is now live on Drupal. All the content should be in place – and you shouldn’t notice much difference for now. The move to Drupal will allow me to better maintain and organize the site in the future – the first things I’ll be setting up is some nice HowTos and some forum-type commenting. As always, let me know if you have any questions.
I’ve been messing around with the Drupal CMS all evening, and I’m seriously considering switching my site over to it. It’s not as easy to use at WordPress is, but it’s far more flexible and WAY more powerful and easy to manage. WordPress is/was great for a blog and a light site, but as I get more and more info on here I’m finding it harder to manage and therefore harder for y’all to find it.
I’m going to play with it for another day or so, and if I’m still liking it then I may switch over this weekend.
Quick note – I just changed my webhost from Sunwave over to GoDaddy. For the same price I get 30x the storage and 60x the transfer/bandwidth, plus 24/7 support! Crazy!
There may have been some service disruption yesterday as the DNS records propagated, but it looks like it’s all good now.
The extra storage on the new host should allow me to host more than 1 firmware image at a time – Woohoo!
I’m in Toronto for work + visits till the 23rd, and the internet at my hotel is REALLY slow. Excuse my slow updates.
A few of you have donated to my site in the past week – Thank you!
I wanted some way to publicly thank donators, so I’ve changed the donation system to optionally show your name and link to a site of your choice. Unfortunately, the folks that have already donated previously aren’t included in the list but I’m looking for a way to get their usernames in there.
Also, I’ll be including a list of any non-anonymous donators in a small “Thanks!” app on each firmware I release.
Your support is very appreciated, and keeps me hacking away!
It’s just been a VERY busy few weeks. Lots of travel to new clients, and so much work that I’ve not had the energy to do anything ‘cept relax in my free time.
I have done a few fun things though:
- Built a 2-node MythTV/Mythbuntu based media center. Post about that is coming soon. I didn’t get the new core i3 based media server I was planning on, but have rebuilt my existing server using mythbuntu and added a nVidia ION based box for the bedroom.
- Upgraded my GW620 to firmware 1.0f. It’s still android 1.5, but seems a little snappier. The root method still works, so I’m going to port my apps2sd changes on to the new image this week. I should have an updated firmware for y’all soon. Maybe even today if I don’t get sidetracked.
I’ve decided to spend my tax return on a pair of new media systems and a projector. Here’s what I’m looking at so far: Projector: Epson 705HD.
- It’s a nice inexpensive projector that has been getting rave reviews. It will be perfect for our living room.
Media Server: For the living room – running the projector
- Mythbuntu front and back ends
- Will also run rtorrent, rtgui, file services, and the MPD music server.
- Core i3 530 @ 2.93GHZ
- 2gb DDR3 1600 RAM
- Gigabyte GA-H57M-USB3 micro atx motherboard. It is tiny and has HDMI output from the i3 AND raid5 onboard. Shwing!
- 4 x Seagate Barracuda LP 5900.12 1.5 TB drives in a RAID 5 for a total of 4.5 TB of storage
- nMEDIAPC Red Wood HTPC 8000 ATX Media Center Case (simply beautiful!)
- Should use ~100 watts total power.
Media Client: For the bedroom – running a 22” monitor (eventually replaced with a 37” TV)
- Mythbuntu front-end only
- Zotac IONITX F-E – Dual core Atom/NVidia ION platform
- 2 GB DDR2 800 RAM
- Whatever 2.5” drive I have laying around. Probably a 40 or 80gb from a broken laptop I have laying around.
- Antec ISK 300-65 case. About the size of an old-school external CD drive.
- Should use ~25 watts total power.
I’ll document the build as I progress – I should be starting in about 3 weeks. The machines that these are replacing are currently VERY dated and I expect I’ll end up almost eliminating ambient noise in the living room, and should reduce our power usage to about 1/4. Woo-hoo!!!
CyrilLD over at XDA found the serial console header on the GW620! It’s the 5 contacts in a row underneath the SIM card. The center one is the TX pin. This is a 3.3v serial port, so you’ll need a level converter of some sort to connect it directly to a PC’s serial port, but most USB-Serial adapters already operate at 3.3v so they should work fine.
I’m now trying to build a kernel (based on the default LG sources) that will output to that port during boot. If I can get boot messages on that serial port, then I should be able to duplicate the settings on the 2.6.29 kernel and hopefully get enough info to figure out where it’s crashing. Finger’s crossed!
Ok. So, I finished bringing the LG mods in to the 2.6.29 kernel and the beasty still won’t boot. it just sits there taunting me with a “Booting linux” prompt.
No error message, no console activity, no nothing. Just nothing.
Worse, another hacker on XDA tried the same thing with the CodeAura tree (the one it looks like the orig LG code is based on) and he’s getting the same result.
Baffling. I gotta step away from this for a day or two or I may go nutty.
Ok – nuttier.
Gonna play some Torchlight.