Review: Audiosurf | Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Long before they got busy making their Guitar Heroes and their Rock Bands, Harmonix was already busy making innovative games based around music. I have fond memories of spending late nights - when I had work the next day - at my ex-girlfriend's house on her brother's Playstation 2 playing Frequency, almost 6 years ago, getting high and trying to beat each other's score on "Control Your Body" (which also introduced me to the New Wave band Freezepop).

COTD - Chat Of The Day: Jetpacks | Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

[12:17:33] Steven: I think i may have slightly hurt my back at the gym last night.
[12:17:43] mir: uh oh Steven...
[12:17:59] … you are going to need a bed on wheels to get around soon.
[12:18:08] Steven: Just a bit sore, not a pull or a disk or anything.
[12:18:20] … Bed on wheels? No, I want a jetpack.
[12:18:30] mir: Well they only give jetpacks to the able bodied.
[12:18:35] … sooo
[12:18:46] Steven: That's discrimination.

Why white people riot... | Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Here, though, we riot when our local sports team beats a rival team, not in the finals, or the semifinals, but in the quarterfinals.

Whether it's actual hockey fans or anarchists using the crowd as a cover is anyone's guess, although the image gallery over at Fagstein's blog has an image of a hockey-flag waving fan next to a marijuana-tshirt-wearing delinquent, so maybe they're in cahoots! ;)


Write what you want. | Thursday, April 17th, 2008

Sometimes, you have lots you want to say, but no real way to say it. I'm not going to go into detail about 'why I haven't been writing as much lately'; I'll leave stuff that to the sensitive egos who think that the world stops when they're not blogging.

My work, meanwhile, is as interesting and as challenging as ever. I can't remember the last time I didn't like what I was doing, and the folks I'm working with are all people that I would also consider to be good friends. On the other hand, things are coming in faster than they're going out, and the to-do list keeps getting thicker no matter how fast I manage to thin it out. I have a couple of important tasks to finish that I should've done a couple months ago, and that's not a great feeling at all.

Nobody blogs about what they want to; this medium is not conducive to that. We all write about everything through the prism of how we want to be perceived. It's too easy to be misleading or dishonest about our intentions; there's no real reason to be straightforward about ourselves and our thoughts. I've met SUV owners who blog passionately about the environment, Apple users who act like experts about open source issues, Net Neutrality advocates who call Facebook a (gasp!) 'platform for social change', and other blatant examples of sheer lack of integrity. It's what I like to call "opinion roulette"; everyone has what they think is a 'winning' opinion and keeps throwing it out onto the table, until they get some kind of acknowledgement that their entire hypothetical construct is not completely retarded, or until they're intellectually bankrupt and just STFU.

The house usually wins.

Upcoming events section | Monday, April 7th, 2008

This is pretty long overdue, but I've finally put up a calendar section in the sidebar for my upcoming talks, events and conferences.

While I'm not yet quite hipster enough to post something like this, I've been enjoying the opportunity to discuss work-related topics with people other than techies and web gurus. It's far more gratifying to talk about policy, ethics and technology to students and community leaders than to people who already have a narrowly-defined view of the subject matter (academics / developers / UI folk).

I still have lots to add, but the next couple of upcoming publics events / appearances are listed here.

Tonight, I'm giving a small informal talk at University of the Streets. It's at the Atwater library (1200 Atwater).

World Day for Cultural Diversity... | Friday, April 4th, 2008

Further to the adoption of the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity by UNESCO on November 2001, the General Assembly, in Resolution 57/249, welcomed the Declaration and the main lines of an Action Plan for its implementation, and proclaimed 21 May the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. [...] Steven Mansour, well-known expert on cyberinfrastructure, cyberactivism, Internet privacy policy, and web-based knowledge transfer methods, will give us a short introductory presentation about Open Source technologies that facilitate communications between cultures and are made available for cultural and literary advocates, as well as artists and society in general. 535 Viger Street East, Montréal Centre d'archives de Montréal