4 dec. 2023

The Bookwalker : Thief of Tales (PC) — 8/10

I played all of The Bookwalker in one (long) sittting, and then I broke the game by quitting mid-dialogue after I clicked on a choice I didn’t mean to (and choices don't even matter much) 🤦

I’m frustrated to be watching the last 20 minutes on Youtube (played terribly), but that's as much my fault as the game’s. Still recommending it 100% — the books are varied and interesting, puzzles make sense and combat doesn't overstay its welcome. A fun concept, very well realized.

The Bookwalker: Thief of Tales on Steam

The Bookwalker is a narrative adventure in which you play as Etienne Quist, a writer-turned-thief with the ability to dive into books. Use your powers to journey between reality and book worlds, and steal legendary items like Thor’s Hammer and Excalibur to restore your ability to write.

3 dec. 2023

The thing about LLM dialogue in games is, a police investigation is the *very last* thing it will be able to do well, if it ever is.

But imagine an MMO where you can chat about the weather with every farmer you encounter. Or a procedurally generated space exploration game. Businessmen and engineers dream of replacing creatives, but this tech could be decent at supplementing them, providing endless incidental dialogue to populate the world in a way no team of writers ever could.

Ooh how cute is this thing 😍

Boox Palma review: a pint-sized e-ink reader made to go wherever you do

Boox Palma offers a vibrant HD Carta 1200 screen, extended battery life, and a robust user experience in a pocket-sized package for an exceptional e-reading experience.

Finally got around to playing this tech demo of LLM-powered NPC dialogue and it’s impressive — and hilarious — just how bad it is. They’re trying to sell their “tech” with this and I’d love to know if they sincerely think it’s good enough, or just had to release something to recoup their investment.

Of course the problem is I’m immediately tempted to go and prove that I could do better. Thankfully I have better things to do with my time.

Inworld Origins on Steam

Origins is a playable short created by the team at Inworld AI to showcase NPCs powered by artificial intelligence. After an explosion in Metropolis, you’ve arrived on the scene as the lead detective. Question witnesses, uncover the mystery, and solve the case. From the creator of The Matrix Awakens.

2 dec. 2023

So we’re going back to using stone tablets now …

Cerabyte has released a video showcasing the potential of its long-anticipated ceramics-based data storage system that promises to revolutionize how organizations store data on data centers in the future

“People spend one-third of their lives asleep. What if employees could work during that time … in their dreams?”

The first sentence of this article is like a Black Mirror episode pitch that got immediately shitcanned because nobody wants to watch heavy-handed Marxist social critique based on an utterly implausible premise.

Lucid dream startup says you can work in your sleep | Fortune

Persistence-of-vision volumetric candle 😍

POV Candle -

1 dec. 2023

The Atlantic has reached peak neoliberalism.

Good piece by Shaminder Dulai at DPReview about Sony’s new $150 add-on to add custom grid lines to the Sony a7 IV. This feature will make photographers roll their eyes, but that’s not the point: are camera companies going to parcel out features as separate one-time or subscription purchases?

“Following BMW’s announcement that it would charge $18 every month to unlock heated seats, consumers spoke up, and BMW backed off this idea, so use your voice.”

What Sony’s gridline update tells us about the future of cameras

Sony’s gridline update adds up to four customizable grids to which users can add color codes and apply transparency masks. It also raises questions about the future of cameras and what it means for feature updates.

I just bought both games (how would I not) and the first has minesweeper controls (click to reveal an empty box, right-click to mark it as full), which are the opposite of nonogram controls, and that is *fucking me up*. Thankfully the sequel as an “inverted controls” checkbox, though it’ll probably be too late for my brain by then.

Polimines 2 – Buried Treasure

Ooh that looks well made 😍

Toy Trains - Announcement Trailer | PS VR2 Games

Create your own railroads, relax and go back to your childhood. Are you ready? Hop on board!Toy Trains is a playful track-building game with a nostalgic yet …

I’m convinced Apple is gonna demand its share from all sales of third-party app stores in Europe, but Microsoft is in a unique situation here, with Game Pass.

They can agree to pay a share of game sales, no one goes to their store to buy them. They could even pay a share of subscriptions bought on-device, it’ll be a tiny minority.

But they’ll be able to freely install games for all Game Pass subscribers, and Apple can’t justify denying them.

Can’t wait to see them try.

Dare Obasanjo (

Microsoft wants to open a mobile gaming store to compete with Apple & Google. I’m sure they will find a willing audience among game developers if they come in with a lower take rate than the standard 30% cut. What remains to be seen is if and how Apple will support alternative app stores to comply with the DMA. If they can get away with their usual form of malicious compliance then this effort will be dead on arrival on iOS.

30 nov. 2023

Discord trying to sell me a $12 animation to display on top of my profile really feels like end times, doesn’t it.

There's so many great things to quote from this post, I don't know which one to pick. It's a quick read so you should:

Why We’re Dropping Basecamp - Duke University Libraries Blogs

We at Duke University Libraries have decided to stop using the project management platform, Basecamp, to which we have subscribed for almost a decade. We came to this decision after weighing the level of its use in our organization, which is considerable, against the harms that we see perpetuated by the leadership of Basecamp’s parent … Continue reading Why We’re Dropping Basecamp →

That’s a really interesting idea, but the screenshot midway through the page has an editing error (a missing “to”) on the very first line of rewritten AI text, which they probably failed to notice because of the color changes 😶

Arguably, you’d proof-read your text in a single color at the end, but proof-reading yourself is hard and you’re bound to miss something, so it’d be better for your text editor’s UI not to actively encourage mistakes.

iA (

iA Writer 7 dims the text you paste from AI tools. As you edit ChatGPT’s input and make it your own, iA Writer keeps track of what is yours and what isn’t.

Fascinating image from a smartphone camera. Upshot: a photo is no longer a snapshot in time. It's the perils of computational photography -

‘One in a Million’ iPhone Photo Shows Three Versions of the Same Woman

"I had a full panic attack in the street."

I just spent $2.50 sending a 1678 French book to ChatGPT so it could find a passage for me, only for it to tell me it can’t quote copyrighted material 😶

Well, the recent modifications to Instagram’s algorithm managed the impossible and sent me back to TikTok. I understand wanting to add some variation, but not by allotting every other post of my main feed to local randos spouting bullshit — when you know my interests are pets and crafts. (Edit: prob A/B testing.)

And I was wrong about the scrolling UX. Continuous scrolling is fine for skipping individual posts but, when your feed is *full* of crap you’re not interested in, paginated is better.

Old days: ?SYNTAX ERROR?

These days: <scratches head under cap> ya know, I’m not sure we can go any further with this thing, boss.

Hot new trend in AI generated art, the “more of this” meme.

This is so painful to watch 😣 Friends don't let friends go on an NYT Q&A high as a kite. But then, he doesn't have friends.

How long is Tesla gonna let itself be run by someone who does interviews in this state? (He can't be removed from SpaceX as he owns a majority stake, and I hope everyone who's forced to work with them because they're the only player in town is appropriately terrified by this.)

David Gerard (

twitter is terrible, but after watching this video i assure you that there is absolutely no way i am leaving that website until it augers into the ground and grinds into the mantle it’s two minutes. it’s worth it.

29 nov. 2023

Has anyone tried to ask ChatGPT a question — a factual question, with right and wrong answers — then feed the answer to a separate ChatGPT session, asking it to verify its accuracy? I’m curious if you’d get correct answers more often at the end of the process. I feel like you might.

(That can’t be what OpenAI does internally to improve accuracy, since it would prevent streaming answers word-by-word.)

28 nov. 2023

Real-life Wes Anderson moment:

You can use a ham radio to talk to the International Space Station. There are even official instructions. And an official club!

Contact the ISS

Contact the ISS

Not me asking ChatGPT for the Linux command to wipe a whole drive 🙈

(I know just enough to understand the command once it's given. Or I think I do…)

Ooh, Star Citizen has a tutorial now. With gamepad button prompts, too. They are broken, of course — you have to press RB + RB to interact with stuff. Oh well, there’s always next year.

Oh nooo Bethesda is responding to negative Starfield reviews on Steam 😱💀

They’re going at it with the absolute worst angle — you’re wrong to feel this way! — and the responses sound suspiciously GPT-like. How in the world did anyone think this would be a good idea 🤦🏻‍♂️

I’m getting so good at Really Bad Chess!

people who don’t understand computers 🤝 people who do understand computers

“sometimes computers just break for no reason”

27 nov. 2023

Haven’t seen this mentioned here, but it’s huge if it works (and it very well could): TikTok letting users customize their feed through a GPT bot.

They can’t run your feed through GPT, so this must just be accessing internal parameters and setting up rules, but it’s quite clear that users won’t pore through a complicated UI to customize their socials, whereas just *telling* the app what they want… this could be one of the smartest corporate GPT uses so far.

Mettez à jour votre navigateur | Facebook

It shouldn’t make that much of a difference to my mental load to open the to-do list and see a ranking of the 20 highest-priority tasks, instead of a two-column page that scrolls down for six full screens, filled with items competing for attention with color coding.

It shouldn’t make that much of a difference, if I didn’t have ADHD.

Meant to do it for a while, and I’ve finally reorganized my tasks list along two axes: how urgent it is, and how difficult or annoying it will be. That way I can either list them by most urgent, or easiest wins. I already feel so much lighter and more organized!

I’m not saying I’ve completed any task since I did that yesterday, but! So organized! And also it counts as a task in itself, so.

It’s ironic, because the iPhone notch and “dynamic island” are so thoughtfully designed with zero compromises regarding the functionality of iOS. In fact, they actually provide a better user experience.

Yet on the Mac, how the notch interacts with macOS is laughably incompetent. It is shockingly lazy regarding attention to detail, and outright disruptive to the user experience.

Critics of foldables: I would simple die if I had to use a phone with a creased screen.

Google: Oh yeah? And what if regular phones had bumps too now, huh?

Google says bumpy Pixel 8 screens are nothing to worry about

Display "bumps" are screw heads and other components pushing into the OLED panel.

I tried Plex a couple times and bounced off — in no small part because I didn’t like how much data collection it involved — but, wow, adding something like this after thirteen years of operation and making it opt-out, it’s just… amazing 😲

I can’t even see a clear profit motive here, just the most astonishing cluelessness.

Plex Users Fear New Feature Will Leak Porn Habits to Their Friends and Family

"I can see that one of my friends is apparently watching a ton of cheesy, soft porn stuff," a user said of Plex’s Week in Review email and Discover Together feature.

I don’t need “ai” in my terminal, I’m perfectly capable of typing something that looks plausible but does something completely unexpected myself thanks

Oddly blunt and honest phrasing in Game Informer ’s tracking banner. Someone involved must have had *opinions* about cookies.

🇫🇷 The French welfare agency uses an algorithm to detect potential fraudsters. Every month, it ranks the households of 32 million people, including 13 million children, with a “risk score”.

For the first time, @LaQuadrature obtained its source code and could run it.

The criteria that increase the risk score are
- being poor,
- living in a poor neighborhood,
- being a single mother,
- being unemployed,
- having a disability.

Notation des allocataires : l’indécence des pratiques de la CAF désormais indéniable

Après plus d’un an de mobilisation contre les pratiques de notation des allocataires de la CAF au côté des collectifs Stop Contrôles et Changer de Cap, et après avoir détaillé le fonctionnement de l’algorithme de la CAF et son cadre politique, nous publions aujourd’hui le code source de cet algorith

People and SEO Spam like this are ruining the internet. Fuck this shite.

TIL the camera module on iPhones isn't a square but a vertical rectangle

Oh, and there’s a multiplayer update that lets you see slices of other players 🫨

I Added Multiplayer to My 4D Game! (4D Miner Devlog #3)

Access the latest features by becoming a 4D HyperSupporter on Patreon! 4D Miner Discord:…

“I made Minecraft, but it’s 4D.” My poor, poor brain. Seriously though, very interesting, and absurdly well made, although it’s lacking a degree of freedom — translation through the fourth axis, in addition to rotation.

I Made Minecraft, but It’s 4D

Play the Demo: 4D Miner Discord: Subreddit: https://reddit…

25 nov. 2023

I’m five years late on this but I never saw any clear explanation of what RTX actually did (as in the original use of that brand, raytracing), and I’ve had a sudden illumination: was it mostly just that they added an optimized temporal denoising module? 😮

DLSS 3.5 - Better Pathtracing for Free

This video is a paid promotion for Nvidia. In it, I investigate Ray Reconstruction - which is DLSS 3.5’s trick to preserve more information from path-traced …

Since I’m never booting up that game again: All 10 secret alternate universes in Starfield. The ideas are all fun. And the dialogue is underdeveloped, what else is new.

Starfield - All 10 Secret Alternate Universes (NG+ Alternate Timelines)

Starfield All 10 Secret Alternate Universes (NG+ Alternate Timelines)After beating the game and going into unity, you have a 15% chance to spawn in a unique …

I’d forgotten the dark times of the $800 Mac mini

BasicAppleGuy (

Attached: 1 image Mac mini pricing across time. Yearly Mac mini base price (blue) compared with $499 base starting price when adjusted for inflation from 2005 (yellow).

is “just” a three-dimensional diaphragm but the pictures are still mind-bending

Edit: for some reason I thought the effect might be less impressive in proper motion but, nope, there's a video and it looks 🤯

Slide-glide cyclides

3D printing files: video: Kepert’s playlist on lune…

Slide-glide cyclides - a design discovered by Andrew Kepert when investigating ways to “see” why the area of a sphere is four times the area of a disk of the same radius. I added the gears and the base. Full video:

Slide-glide cyclides

3D printing files: video: Kepert’s playlist on lune…

They offer 1GB of free backup storage and hope “to evolve from an app into a digital cooperative in which you can pay to become a member,” all of which translates to “we got some investors and managed to invent a quixotic business model to sell them,” which would normally be bad news, but the app is open-source and locally hosted so… if the investors force them to change their tune, someone will just fork it 🤷

Ooh! AnyType is out! An open-source Notion clone, with no servers, that stores your data locally, encrypted, and syncs to your devices over wifi. From what I see in the tutorial videos (in Docs / Use Cases), the UI looks miraculously very well designed.

There’s an emphasis on creating custom object types that reminds me of Capacities, only with a lot more flexibility — as far as I can tell, you can use AnyType as a straight Notion replacement.

anytype — the everything app

for those who celebrate trust & autonomy.

This is a great example of how our minds are terrible at assessing risk because here it’s the same in both cases (until you get to the last platform).

24 nov. 2023

“The [automatic machine/artificial intelligence] is not frightening because of any danger that it may achieve autonomous control over humanity… Its real danger is the quite different one that such machines, though helpless by themselves, may be used by a human being or a block of human beings to increase their control over the rest of the human race.”
#NorbertWiener, The Human Use of Human Beings, 1950

Hey @web3isgreat think I found you a Christmas present.

#nft #DnD

TIL that photovoltaic cells have their contacts and wiring in the front, that it’s an issue, and that moving them to the back is/was a hard problem. I don’t have the energy to read more about this tonight so I’ll just pass it along.

Verdant Square (

ICYMI: Revolutionary breakthrough in the manufacture of photovoltaic cells #science #sustainability

I’m reminded of the naivety of early social media engineers assuming that if you connect the whole world then we’d live happily ever after. Instead we now know it’s just a thankless job fighting hate speech, election meddling, COVID misinformation, cyber bullying, etc.

The AI people are actively ignoring thinking through the harms LLMs can and are causing today to focus on fantasies inspired by books and movies they saw as kids.

I am still a bit upset that we’ve gone from cute robot vacuums to AI replacing artists instead of a larger, cuter robot that does more household chores

looking for something to do?

we made a thanksgiving print and play mini-puzzlebook

download it here:

p.s. if you solve it, you’ll get access to puzzmo!

Puzzmo is the (new) place for thoughtful puzzles

Access to Puzzmo is coming soon for everyone.

I know you guys like funny or weird source code comments. Here are interesting comments in the source code of SQLite

How long has Instagram had the main feed peppered with “Follow” buttons? My brain just registered them for the first time (but it simultaneously remembers having seen them there for a while) and now I understand why I sometimes have to unfollow accounts I don’t remember adding 🤦🏻‍♂️

Goddamn engagement metrics 😡

23 nov. 2023

Ooh I need these 😍

I just endured an audiobook about a space-faring human civilization in which the author describes some people as having “a drawling Martian accent” or some such.

All character voices were bad, but there was one in particular that seemed completely inexplicable until, several hours in, I realized the character was named Mark Wu, and the narrator had chosen to do a (slightly reined-in) Asian accent caricature.

And, sure, the book’s from 1994, but even then… oh, no… it was recorded in 2023 💀

Excuse me what the shit is this?
This is horrifying

Cw surveillance

22 nov. 2023

I remember the migration from Notion to Craft as being rather painless.

I’m moving all my data back to Notion (because I’ve had reliability issues with Craft, while Notion’s performance improved) and it’s a fucking nightmare. I basically have to do each page manually AND some images are TIFF 🤦

(Craft has this weird structure where folders and pages are completely different entities, which would be fine if it didn’t affect export, but a page and *all* its subpages end up in a single MD file 😡)

Assassin’s Creed VR reportedly has some of the most extensive comfort settings ever, all the way to a fixed virtual nose in the corner of the screen — has anyone done that before? I didn’t think I’d even consider trying this game, but I guess now I’m just waiting for it to come to PC.

Did another roundup of bring-your-own-key ChatGPT apps for Mac (because ADHD meds help you focus, but not necessarily on the right thing). Boy, are some of them ridiculously priced for what’s just UI glue over an API.

I’m quite sore that Raycast seems to have removed functionality from the free, user-contributed ChatGPT plugin in order to add value to their paid offering.

This is not an AI story. This is a “how is it fucking possible that the largest health insurance company in the country can deny people coverage without any further justification than ‘computer says no’ — and they built the computer themselves” story.

UnitedHealth uses AI model with 90% error rate to deny care, lawsuit alleges

For the largest health insurer in the US, AI’s error rate is like a feature, not a bug.

Oh wow, Techdirt digs the dirt on Dilbert Stark’s lawsuit against Media Matters. And they don’t think much of it!

” … kudos to Elon. This really takes stupid SLAPP suits to incredible new levels. I didn’t think you’d be able to find a lawyer who would file a lawsuit so stupid, that makes you look this ridiculous, but you did it.”

Congrats To Elon Musk: I Didn’t Think You Had It In You To File A Lawsuit This Stupid. But, You Crazy Bastard, You Did It!

So, yesterday we covered Elon Musk’s ridiculous censorial threat to sue Media Matters “the split second the court opens on Monday.” Of course, as we noted, you can file lawsuits 24/7. And yet, as t…

RT @danielahanley
The public should know which companies have secret and discriminatory deals with Apple and Google to obtain preferential pricing and terms on their app stores.

Google admits Spotify pays no Play Store fees because of a secret deal | TechCrunch

Google during a testimony in the Epic vs Google trial said that a deal with Spotify allows the audio company to completely bypass Play Store fees.

Map of the entire Internet on this day, 54 years ago.
Nov 21, 1969.

21 nov. 2023

I can’t help but feel like my 2018 iPad Pro losing charge while locked has been a very sudden change, too sudden for it to just be battery degradation 🤔

(Background App Refresh is off. The Battery Usage chart doesn't show anything suspect.)

We’ve been told for a whole year that ChatGPT’s secret sauce was extensive fine-tuning with “reinforcement learning from human feedback,” involving a lot of back-and-forth with testers (some of them underpaid Kenyans), and that made it much better than any competitor — which it was.

Now it turns out that the chatbot went from idea to launch in a couple of weeks, in a panic over Anthropic preparing to launch its own product? How is that even possible? 🙃

20 nov. 2023

Cheeky fuckers.

#Youtube have deployed Javascript that delays video load if the user is using #Firefox

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