Jan 182013

Library Thing 75I’ve been a generally happy, but very passive member of Librarything for years.

Their annual reading challenge nicely coincides with my “list the books that I read”-goal.

But… it’s hosted on their creaky forum, and I don’t really feel like jumping in. And the listing provides nice proper material for this blog that’s been on the anorectic side of meaningful content lately.

Dec 032011

Gowalla logoGowalla, my favorite location location-based social network, changed its form significantly this fall.

Significantly enough that I pretty much dropped it when it turned from user-generated content to “stories” and curated travel guides. I did use it in Prague, where a guide was available, but thought it was a much lesser experience than what I had previously got on earlier trips.

The new direction seems to have not been enough for the company to keep it afloat independently, and they were acquired by Facebook yesterday, leaving its future even more unclear.

Sep 252011

1milliongamerscore charts Stallion83′s progress towards a seven figure gamerscore on XBox Live. I’m hovering somewhere around 12K, and thus only 640K points behind.

Thus far I’ve reached a full score in exactly one game, and that was the Doritos advertisement masquerading as a game. Not a bad game, by any means, it’s got quite a mileage in the hands of kids.

Sep 082011

Social Network posterSocial Network had very good parentage, and it ended up being one of the best films seen in 2011. It’s based on Aaron Sorkin’s script and directed by David Fincher – both authors that I gladly confess being a spineless fanboy of. Added to the mix were unknown actors that turned out to be excellently cast and a fabulous soundtrack by Trent Reznor. Like I said, one of the best movies in a long while.

The subject is obviously Facebook, the current top dog amongst social networks. But as the film shows, its success was by no means guaranteed, and Mark Zuckerberg had to cut a few corners to even get started. I haven’t read any histories of the subject, so cannot vouch on the veracity level of the plot. The company has remained silent on the subject, so it’s impossible to tell how much creative spin has been injected.

Jesse Eisenberg leads the movie as passionate, yet almost clinically cold future CEO. His take on Mark Zuckerberg seems spot on as a fundamentally driven person learning the ways to be always one step ahead of the competition. Andrew Garfield plays Eduardo Saverin, the straight man investor who gets cheated out of a sizable chunk of the future – his is the most sympathetic character of the bunch. Justin Timberlake’s take on Sean Parker proves the acting chops of the singer – too bad the role is too much of an over-scripted douchebag, he comes off a bit too one-dimensional in the end.

The plot concerns the rise of Facebook – and the main plotline is intercut with scenes from scenes from lawsuit depositions made by yet another wronger party.

The pacing is excellent, script brimming with scathing sarcasm coupled with eagerness. The believable dialogue contains hidden oneliners. The biggest technical achievement – having one actor portray twins who are always on screen together went unnoticed, the face is digitally mapped onto the other actor seamlessly.

And as a further bonus, the planning/implementation stages of the social network are not glossed over. The vocabulary rings true. In a mainstream Hollywood movie that has to be calculated to be a major victory for realism.

Nov 032010

Kickstarter logoFollowing the entry into Kiva, I began a career as nano-level angel investor at Kickstarter.

Kickstarter is a ransom-model incubator – a way of attracting funding for “creative ideas and ambitious endeavors”. The funds are allocated through the Amazon payment system, and unless the target set by the fundee is set, the money is returned to the funders.

The extra spice in the equation is the concept of rewards – the fundees can provide incentives, such as adding the names of the people providing more than 100$ into the credit roll of a film.

I started with two projects, both well over the target figure, but laden with prospects of access to things normally not available: Lockpicks is supposed to bring in a set of locks and tools to open them and Gameful enabled the investors to access the website on world-changing games well ahead of the schedule.

Aug 282010

Diaspora logoDiaspora, the open source alternative to Facebook is three weeks away from release.

I’ll give it a shot.

Not that I’m violently opposed to Facebook or its disputed privacy/ownership policies.

Nope, I just want to try out an alternative implementation.

Then again, the blog entry only promises that the code will be available on September 15th, a full-fledged competitor to Facebook won’t be ready.

Aug 162010
  • Books catalogued in LibraryThing: 362 (still going through the living room).
  • Stars discovered in Super Mario Galaxy: 23 / 120 (getting back to an old classic).
  • Crew members recruited and made loyal in Mass Effect 2: 10 / 12, 4 / 12 (with the intention of ALL/ALL before going through the Omega relay).
  • Pending movie review articles: 5.
  • Pending game of the week articles: 6.