Today I saw Reloaded. Great movie. The fight choreography and
special effects are simply amazing, and the plot hangs together surprisingly well given the subject matter. I'm
used to science fiction films being totally unrealistic, and computed-related films making no sense at all, but
the Matrix series falls into both categories and yet still works. Similarly, the "bullet time" effect has been
done by lots of people, especially since the release of the first Matrix film, but as GwieF pointed out, only the Matrix films manage to do it in such a way that it
adds to the story rather than distracting from it. (For an extreme example of this and similar effects being
abused to the point of jerking the viewer out of suspension of disbelief, see Die Another Day.)
If you haven't seen it yet: Don't forget to stay through to the end of the credits, or you'll miss the Matrix: Revolutions trailer (don't worry, it is spoiler-free).
I also finished the set missions in Vice City today. Woo! Great game. One of my favourites. It even supports
widescreen TVs. I wonder what I'll do with my PS2 now, though. I mean, I only bought it to play Vice City,
Actually, though, I'm still only at 59% completion. This game has so many sub-games it's just insane. I still
have 51 hidden packages to find and a large number of minigames to complete. Playing time: 308 hours. That's not
counting the times I failed a mission by dying or being caught and reloaded so I wouldn't lose my arsenal, of
course. People wasted: 3177. People wasted by others: 1401. That makes me over twice as deadly as everyone else
in Vice City put together!
Road Vehicles destroyed: 1106. Total number of wanted stars attained: 611. Evaded: 454. I assume it doesn't
count the stars I evaded by (ahem) saving and immediately reloading... Daily police spending: $72,544. Holy
mackrel. As I understand it, that's basically how much street damage I made while driving around like a maniac.
Multiplied by the number of in-game days, that's $62,823,104. "Oops". Bullets fired: 973,333. Hit accuracy: 1%.
Yes. Well. Moving on, I'm sad that the highest media attention I got was "National TV 4am" (aka 770). I even
stole a tank and went on rampages around the city, how can it be so low? Or rather, how do you get it higher? My
criminal rating is Fixer (4165).
Now, Kam has started working on the Pyoro client, so
I may have to start working on the Pyoro server soon; and GwieF has started
working on the Voidwars single-process server, so I may have to start working on a sample client implementation
soon; and I've been getting ideas on Void, so I may have to start working on both the client and server parts of
that. Plus there's all my CSSWG commitments, like the 2.1 test suite and other specs, and I'm trying to outline
a plan for reorganising Bugzilla in line with the new direction Mozilla is taking (should be out around the same
time we release 1.4), and I'm actually reading my bugmail these days so there's probably lots of bug
INVALIDating to do.
I was most amused by recent comments on bug 25537. I now think I've had every possible
argument put forward for showing alt attributes in tooltips: It helps authors and it hinders
authors, it helps users and it hinders users, it gives too much control to the author and it gives not enough
control to the author, it is presentation and it is semantic, it will encourage good behaviours and it will
encourage bad behaviours, it is against the spec and it is not against the spec, it is standard behaviour and it
is non-standard behaviour, we will never get any market share if this isn't fixed, we should display the
alt attribute only, the title attribute only, the alt and the
title attribute together, the alt and the title attribute at the same
time but in separate bubbles, the alt attribute if the title attribute is missing, the
title attribute if the alt attribute is missing, there should be a pref, there
shouldn't be a pref, it should be the default, it shouldn't be the default, add-on packs make this bug
irrelevant, add-on packs aren't enough and this bug is still relevant... All of which, of course, misses the
whole point of why we WONTFIXed this bug in the first place: Authors should use title attributes if
they want tooltips, and we don't want to encourage authors to use alt attributes instead, since
those should contain alternate text, not additional text as given in tooltips.
In all fairness to the person primarily leading the most recent request for this bug to be reopened, though,
he has been giving the most persuasive arguments so far.
Finally, good luck to anyone taking exams at the moment. I hope the results come back better than you hoped.
Saw the GwieF/Kamakaze/Xiven crew again this weekend, as we attended another BUNCS LAN party. It was a cool LAN, we played a bunch of games. I
even got some positive scores in Urban Terror 2, a great Quake III Arena total conversion.
On Friday I bought a copy of Command and Conquer: Generals, a pretty
nice real time strategy game, although missing some of the interface features I want from an RTS (I've never
seen one that does everything I want, although Red
Alert 2 and Total Annihilation came close). For various
technical reasons, I can't use my CD drive at the moment. Which meant that to install Generals I had to make
images of the two CDs (thanks GwieF), mount them using a virtual CD driver, install the game, patch it manually,
then use a no-CD crack! Software authentication is a pain in the neck. I'm not aware of any game whose
protection hasn't been cracked, and meanwhile legitimate customers like me are being forced to resort to reverse
engineering (by proxy, in this case) to play software for which we have full licenses.
I also bought the Diablo II expansion pack, since for some reason the aforementioned people have started
playing Diablo II again and to play with them I need the expansion. I wonder how long it'll take before I get
bored of it again. When I last played it, back in 2001, I got bored after about a month. Once you've completed
the plot, the game turns into pretty tedious point and click, point and click, press alt, point and click.
In other news, I hear, through the grapevine, that sky|one will be switching to full widescreen broadcast in
the coming months, following the lead of all BBC channels, ITV1 and ITV2, Channel 4, E4, and Channel 5. This is
great news! It'll be too late for any of the new (and final) Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes, but hopefully
they'll broadcast Stargate SG-1 season 7 in widescreen (as well as all the daily SG-1 repeats!). I'm still
amazed at how few US shows are filmed in 16:9 ratio. Literally everything from soaps to weather reports to
adverts to late night soft-core porn is filmed in 16:9 here in the UK.
The whole digital TV mess is very similar to the problems the Web has with new standards — for example,
only one Web browser supports MNG at the moment, so authors are unlikely
to use it... but because few authors use it, there is no incentive for UAs to implement it (and indeed, it is
possible that even Mozilla will drop support for MNG soon). The solution, of course, is for authors to start
using MNG, and other new standards, regardless of the level of support, thus forcing UAs to implement the
features in order to render the Web correctly. Unfortunately, few people are willing to make their sites less
than pixel-perfect in old (yet still widely used) browsers like WinIE6.
While I'm rambling on, I'll just quickly mention that another grapevine I sometimes listen to suggests that
there may soon be a Firebird™ release. Personally
I am eagerly awaiting for the first Firebird™ release with the Advanced User (<link>
since they're the last features that are keeping me using the current Mozilla Seamonkey builds.
Why not just name them... that's only like 4 people, and one of them already works for IBM...