Concordia University's new website | Saturday, November 3rd, 2007

I'm feeling it's not much of a step up from what they had before.

First of all, no one uses "text size selectors" anymore.

Second of all, if you're going to use one anyways, the least you could do is make sure sure that it doesn't completely break your design when a user selects a larger font:

Podcast: Guitar Hero II mix I | Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

Now that Guitar Hero III is out - and my friend got it even before it was officially released, somehow - we've been playing that (and the obligatory Halo 3).

Guitar Hero II was the first one that I played and bought. For those who don't know it, it's a musical rhythm game that has you "playing" a toy guitar to match the music / frets going by on the screen. It's an awesome party game, and the soundtrack and art are great.

It also introduced me to / reminded me of some bands and genres that I hadn't listened to in a while. Classic American and British Rock and Metal are up there as some of my favorite kinds of music to listen to these days. In this mixtape, you'll find:

- Motorhead: Ace of Spades
- Danzig: Mother
- Kiss: Strutter
Lynyrd Skynyrd: Free Bird

Microsoft buys small share of Facebook | Thursday, October 25th, 2007

Microsoft acquires chapter of Facebook

Microsoft Corp. found a friend in Facebook on Wednesday, paying $240 million for a small slice of the rapidly growing social networking Web site.

The deal, for which Microsoft reportedly beat archrival Google, expands the Redmond company's advertising relationship with Facebook and gives it an ownership stake in one of the hottest online properties.

But the companies were immediately questioned about the $15 billion value that the deal places on Facebook, which puts Microsoft's ownership interest at 1.6 percent. Earlier reports of that figure raised concerns about possible overvaluation of Facebook and other "Web 2.0" sites.

"Obviously, $15 billion is a pretty big number for Facebook," said analyst Brad Reback of CIBC World Markets, in the first question of a conference call in which the companies discussed the agreement. He noted that Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer was recently quoted commenting on the "faddish nature" of social networking Web sites.


"You can sit back and watch how this partnership is going to develop," the Microsoft executive said during the conference call. "There's a lot more we're going to be doing together."

Emphasis mine. Not incredibly newsworthy, but an interesting move and play out (Microsoft beating out Google). The idea that there will be further cooperation between the Redmond giant and Facebook is intriguing as well.

NITWISPS, 23-10-07 | Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

Now that I got my camera back, I'm going to start posting more photos, and one neat way I've found to encourage myself to do so is by committing to a weekly-ish posting schedule.

I give you the first edition of NITWISPS - New Images This Week In Superb Photos by Steven!

My dad and my nephew Matthew, Matthew, Matthew, My Sisters, Marianne and Matthew, Marianne's apt., Marianne and Joseph, Joseph and Donut, Dominic and Donut, Kids, Vahe and his Mom, Vahe's sister and her friend, Rose's cake, playing Halo 3, I'm owning as usual.

Portal - Best End Credit Song Ever | Saturday, October 20th, 2007

/*Spoiler Disclaimer

If you are planning to buy / play portal on either the PC or the Xbox 360, then don't play the audio file or follow the link to the lyrics.

Spoiler Disclaimer*/

Valve's latest offering in The Orange Box has been hailed as one of the most innovative ever. But perhaps the most innovative thing about it is Portal, a devious - and devilishly hilarious - mind-twister puzzle / 3D platform game that is probably the first game I'd recommend to my non-gamer friends. The premise is simple, the graphics are attractive, the game is [somewhat...] non-violent, and it poses some fascinating questions. Any game that tests your understanding of physics, geometry, momentum and puzzle-solving while being taunted by a deranged AI entity is a winner in my book.

From Wikipedia:

The game consists primarily of a series of puzzles which must be solved by teleporting the player's character and other simple objects using the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device. The goal of each puzzle is to reach an exit point. The "portal gun" and the unusual physics it creates are the emphasis of this game.

The song attached to this post is the credit song that plays at the end of the game, and like the rest of the game, the tone is completely deadpan. The song's so much funnier when you understand the references in it after playing the game, but even without them, it's a riot. Lyrics are here.

Whether you're into PC games or not, I wholeheartedly recommend picking up a copy of The Orange Box even if it's just for Portal and not the other 4 games that are included in the package. The puzzles are thorny, the gameplay is addictive, and the comedy alone is worth the price of admission.

We do what me must
because we can.

I'd like to end by saying that I will never forgive myself for what they made me do to you, weighted companion cube. :(

Paint it black, please | Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

As noted, an all white web page uses about 74 watts to display, while an all black page uses only 59 watts.

- The energy lowdown on black vs. white webpages.

While the debate rages on about whether how much more energy-efficient it is for web pages to be served on a black background instead of a white one (eg, "Black Google would save 3000 megawatts"), there is still little doubt that some energy savings would occur across the board.

Harbinger of free time | Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

Oh my God is Halo 3 ever fun. I recently finished the awesome single player campaign, and am toying around in mutliplayer.

Those 14 year old kids on the west coast are, like, crazy good.