Stuff I Say

10.5.3: Apple, Fix Exposé Keybindings!

Posted in Apple, gaming, World of Warcraft by 51future on March 30, 2008

Apple Seeds First 10.5.3 Build

Looks like Apple’s been busy. Really, to make me happy Apple would only have to fix one single thing: Exposé’s delicate preferences.

Since 10.5.1 WoW eats my Expose preferences if I run it full screen. I play a ‘lock so I switch between Full Screen and Windowed frequently. Basically, if I run WoW in full screen, it takes over my function keys and when it releases them back to the system Leopard totally forgets what I had bound to them. Like woah.

Apple hasn’t acknowledged the problem. I had hoped 10.5.2 would fix it, but it didn’t. Reading this thread leaves us with a few clues as to the back and forth between Blizzard and Apple.

Tigerclaw, a Blizzard Technical Support Rep says:

Every time we have tried to fix it, we have come away with the assessment that it is an OS bug.

Now this makes sense to me because Aperture 1.5.7 also causes my Exposé preferences to be erased if, and only if, I run it in Full Screen mode. This bug quietly disappeared from Aperture 2.0 which makes me wonder if Apple hacked in a kludge so that they could keep ignoring a more complicated underlying problem.

What’s even more interesting is that shadows of this bug seem to have been around even in the Tiger days. If we go back to WoW patch 1.6.1 (which was more than a year ago) we find a quick and dirty “workaround” under the “Macs” section:

Worked around an issue where you would lose your Expose/Dashboard preferences if you crashed or asserted while in fullscreen mode on Mac OS X 10.4.

Tigerclaw vents a little:

Radar 4180173, filed 13-Jul-2005

It should be pointed out that WoW makes exactly the calls needed, as documented by Apple, to restore keybindings on exit.

But, there is a bug. We filed a bug on it two years ago. It’s in the OS.

There’s an ugly workaround involving a new preferences pane and some Applescript in that post, but that doesn’t make it any better.

Fixing this problem: that’s my 10.5.3 wishlist in its entirety.

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Also: Blackout and New Call of Duty 4 Maps

Posted in gaming by 51future on March 29, 2008

I can’t believe I forgot to mention this but…

First off, Blackout is the new Lockout

This may just renew all of my interest in Halo 3 and make it a daily thing rather than something I sort of go back to sometimes after a bad Call of Duty 4 game. Seems Halo 3 isn’t the only game with new maps in the pipe though.

Four new Call of Duty 4 Maps go Live on Live for 800MS Points on April 3rd

Emerging From My Hole

Posted in Apple, gaming, Television by 51future on March 29, 2008

So a few tidbits:

Apple Released Aperture 2.1 w/ Plug-in Functionality

And here I was thinking that 2.0 had plug-in functionality. I tried Aperture 2.0 and I liked it. It was faster and more responsive than 1.5.7 but I’m just not sure it’s for me. I downloaded the 2.0 demo, but only got a few days to play with it, so I’m still not sure. As it stands, I’ll probably shell out the $200 for it at some point in the near future, just because I am still shooting RAW with my camera and will eventually need something to process my shots with. (Adobe also released PS Elements 6.0 (Universal Binary) recently, which sort of sweetens the deal.

What’s more exciting (besides the WoW 2.4 patch and the warlock I’m leveling) is this: David Eick, writer-producer of Battlestar Galactica is working on a Children of Man television series. Just hearing that Eick is working on it is enough for me. Also: BSG Season 4: April 4th 10/9c

Visions

Posted in internet, Uncategorized by 51future on March 25, 2008

It’s been a while. I’m still here, but for the next two weeks, I’ll lack internet access at work so updates will be a little more sparse.

With that in mind, here are two interesting sites to waste time on:

Twittervision

Basically, this site shows you all the latest tweets in semi-real time from around the world. It’s a fascinating glimpse at all the world’s little microcosms.

Flickrvision

And next comes Twittervision’s brother, Flickrvision. This shows you all the latest posts on Flickr, again in semi-real time. Usually it’s safe for work, but it doesn’t distinguish between appropriate or inappropriate, so take care nodding off to it at work.

Along Those Lines

Posted in internet by 51future on March 19, 2008

Add “Internet Addiction” to the DSM (V)

An editorial in the current American Journal of Psychiatry argues that Internet and gaming addiction should be added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) V, the handbook of mental disorders used by mental health workers in the US.

Slashdot Discussion

I’ll agree that in South Asia, especially Korea and the like, which has seen all sorts of unusual deaths linked to binge gaming and internet cafes (this Russian Lineage-related murder is even stranger,) this is probably more of a problem than it is in the US.

I think people find it easy to blame the games in these situations, because gaming is a rather new phenomenon (online gaming blew up in the 90s– before that, these problems still existed, but they took on other forms) and games are, for people who don’t play them, the ultimate unknown– the factor that could drive an otherwise normal person to do something ridiculous. I tend to agree with the Slashdot crowd on this one though. Behavioral addiction to these sorts of games, especially the deadly sort, is merely a symptom of a larger problem, whether it be loneliness or isolation or whatever. However, that doesn’t mean that a classification in the DSM (V) should be out of the question. If it leads to people with these sorts of addictions getting help, then good for everyone, I think.

The title is referencing this entry.

And Now For Something Completely Different: Japan’s Population Blues

Posted in Uncategorized by 51future on March 18, 2008

私の家の近くにあるコンビニで、私が行く時に猫がたいていいます。毎晩、そのかわいそうな猫は、コンビニの外で座って入りたい様子です。いつもドアの前に座っていて、コンビニに入る人は、だれでもその猫を見るでしょう。入りながら黙殺する人がいるけれど、猫がちょっと入ったら追い出す人もいるでしょう。驚いたことに、その問題を直す人がいないから、ずっと、その問題が続いています。

猫の解決は、簡単でしょう。それなのに、明けても暮れても誰も何もしません。

人口の問題に置き換えると、そんなに簡単ではないと思うんですが、私に言わせると、責任をとらないといけない人や見ているだけで黙殺している人など、猫の問題と同じだと思います。猫のほうは、確かに小さな問題です。誰かがコンビニで買い物を済ませて、家まで運転して帰ったら、猫のことは関係なくなります。だから、みんなが、他の人の問題だと感じやすいはずです。同じく、人口問題も同じ理由で、黙殺しやすいと思います。また人口問題は大きすぎるので、自分の問題じゃないと思う人も多いようです。

私は、島根県に住んでいて、人口問題がよくわかります。島根県が二番目に人口が少ない県です。若者にとっては未来の希望がなさそうな感じがすると思います。例えば、大学卒業後、何をしたいか考えたとき、島根県から出て行くことを簡単に答えるでしょう。

私の考えでは、日本人が、 若者に出身地に戻る理由を与えるために、同質を重要視するかわりに、日本の内部の経済を多様化すればどうでしょうか。現在の日本は、他の国の文化を多く取り入れています。若者は、日本の本来の文化がつまらないと思うかもしれないけれど、日本は物質主義だから、それを忘れて、自分の世代の文化的な独自性を見つけたほうが良いと思います。新しいことや本当の独自性を見つけて、自尊心が回復すれば、人口問題がなくなると思います。

“Why do all browsers suck?”

Posted in internet by 51future on March 17, 2008

I was having a discussion with someone recently about web browsing and we eventually came to the conclusion that there was no great web browser available. Which is strange, I think, considering our dependence on the web these days.

Safari

Safari is an interesting little browser. The current stable build in 10.5.2 is anything but, in my opinion. It takes forever for it to render anything– the Apple page especially and it crashes frequently. The last time it crashed (before I removed it from my dock entirely) was incredible. It crashed, automatically restarted, and then crashed on restart upon which it informed me that it needed to “reset” itself, whatever that means.

On the plus side, Safari has limited support of add-on’s through the much debated “Input Managers” (Chax, 1Password, etc.) that sort of hide out in your Library folder and make apps like iChat and Safari do useful things that Apple refuses to implement for whatever reason. You can block ads and autofill password forms in Safari, which makes it usable. I consider it an option. However, at the moment, it’s buggy as hell and not something I depend on.

Webkit

Next there is Webkit. Webkit is the framework behind Safari and Apple Mail and you can download nightly builds that run in a Safari-esque shell but utilize the newer framework components. There are a number of upsides to this. Webkit builds run in a Safari shell so they work with InputManagers! The latest builds of Webkit also tend to be more stable than Safari itself (in my experience) and much much faster. I personally feel like the newest Webkit builds are still a step ahead of the latest Firefox 3 betas as far as speed is concerned.

The downside to this is that there aren’t as many plugins for Safari and the like as there are for Firefox and that’s a real downer when you’re someone like me who can’t be bothered to utilize the goodness that is del.icio.us, Technorati, Stumbleupon, etc. without a button or toolbar in my browser.

Firefox 2

Then there’s Firefox 2. There are tons of extensions available for Firefox 2. The ones I can’t live without are: Stumbleupon (Toolbar), NoScript, Adblock Plus, Rikaichan, and of course, 1Password.

The problem with Firefox 2 is that it’s slow. As slow as the current stable Safari build. Perhaps slower. Which is fine until you’ve tried Firefox 3 or Opera (which I’m getting to).

Firefox 3

Not much to say here besides the fact that I’d like to see Firefox 3 Release come out sooner than later. Right now only a smattering of add-ons work with the Firefox 3 beta builds and even among the ones that do work there are a lot of bugs in them.

Firefox 3 is fast. Faster than Safari and Firefox 2, and neck and neck with the nightly builds of Webkit. The only faster browser is…

Opera

Opera’s speed is nothing short of amazing. You can block ads if you’re willing to put in the time to set up your filtering. See, Opera’s flaw is that they’re too pompous to support extensions, which means that all of those things I said I can’t live without above won’t run on Opera. Ultimately, for this reason alone, even though I believe Opera is the best choice on OS X right now, on my machine, Opera sees very little use.

So why is it that all browsers suck?

Biological Need for Information Makes the Web Irresistable

Posted in Blogs, News by 51future on March 13, 2008

Via BoingBoing: Why We’re Powerless To Resist Grazing On Endless Web Data

Blog comments have the power to hammerlock one’s attention. … We’d be impotent to resist looking over the rantings and counter-rantings.

What is it about a Web site that might make it literally irresistible? Clues are offered by research conducted by Irving Biederman, a neuroscientist at the University of Southern California, who is interested in the evolutionary and biological basis of the human need for information.

new and richly interpretable information triggers a chemical reaction that makes us feel good, which in turn causes us to seek out even more of it. The reverse is true as well: We want to avoid not getting those hits because, for one, we are so averse to boredom.

It is something we seem hard-wired to do, says Dr. Biederman. When you find new information, you get an opioid hit, and we are junkies for those. You might call us ‘infovores.’

McCain’s Toolbox: The Hillary Hammer

Posted in Uncategorized by 51future on March 13, 2008

Republican Votes Skew Democratic Primaries

Although Mrs Clinton is a hate figure for Right-wingers, Mr Limbaugh agrees with most opinion polls that she would be an easier opponent for Mr McCain. Even if Mr Obama eventually wins the nomination, the broadcaster hopes a prolonged struggle will weaken him and his party

So apparently Rush Limbaugh told Republicans to go out and vote in the Democratic primaries in order to skew the results enough to keep the Clinton campaign afloat. Whatever legitimacy Hillary had before, now she seems to be little more than a tool. Everyone realizes what the outcome of this battle is going to be, but it looks like Hillary is willing to betray her party if she doesn’t win. No, I’m not saying that she had anything to do with the record number of Republicans coming out to the Democratic primaries in Texas but I think it’s clear that she knows where she stands in this contest. That, coupled with the fact that she endorsed McCain over Obama, well, I think it’s easy enough to connect those dots.

Mr Limbaugh said: “I want Hillary to stay in this. We need Barack Obama bloodied up politically, they are in the midst of tearing themselves apart.”

Phillip K. Dick on Universe Construction

Posted in writing by 51future on March 11, 2008

How to build a universe that doesn’t fall apart | Phillip K. Dick

An EEG of a person watching TV shows that after about half an hour the brain decides that nothing is happening, and it goes into a hypnoidal twilight state, emitting alpha waves. This is because there is such little eye motion. In addition, much of the information is graphic and therefore passes into the right hemisphere of the brain, rather than being processed by the left, where the conscious personality is located. Recent experiments indicate that much of what we see on the TV screen is received on a subliminal basis. We only imagine that we consciously see what is there. The bulk of the messages elude our attention; literally, after a few hours of TV watching, we do not know what we have seen. Our memories are spurious, like our memories of dreams; the blank are filled in retrospectively. And falsified. We have participated unknowingly in the creation of a spurious reality, and then we have obligingly fed it to ourselves. We have colluded in our own doom.

Rather interesting. When he went off the deep end about living in A.D. 50 I sort of lost interest, but there’s still a lot here to ingest and internalize. It’s worth reading, in any case.