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On Friday I mentioned that I had some really bad news, but I couldn’t talk about it publicly.  I was asked not to and I didn’t.  Today, I got the go-ahead to talk about it, and I’m going to.

Let me make it clear that this isn’t a cry for sympathy or anything of the sort.  I’m hiding this behind a break on Tumblr, and I’m trying to make it pretty clear what’s in this post on Twitter.  This is something about me as a person, and if you don’t care, hey, that’s fine.  You aren’t obligated.

I’m also well aware that a lot of this has to do with my own personal hangups and issues.  There are certain things I don’t do well, and one of them is setting a course.  Give me a light to steer by and I’m capable; on my good days I’d even say I’m skilled.  But without a direction, I’m bad at giving myself a new one.  So I’m sure that if I were better at trying to be an adult I wouldn’t be nearly as unsteady right now.

There’s your salt to munch on.  Let’s talk about Massively.

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Don’t get me wrong, the new iPhones look interesting. But this is an excellent idea for the future of cellphones. 

(by Dave Hakkens)

Completely agree with the OP. This is a very democratic, sustainable, and innovative path forward for cell phones. I hope such an idea can catch on.

I support this 100%.

This is a really, really neat idea and I would totally love to see if it worked as well in practice as it does in theory. 

I tend to facepalm every time I see this crop up. Consumer electronics doesn’t work like this, and mobile phones in particular. The connections themselves wouldn’t be able to stand the stresses and degradation of daily use. While it’s a pretty little video, it over-simplifies the principles involved in producing a complex piece of kit.

Source: degree, ten years of industry experience.

Looking to trade for an art commission!

Here’s the deal: Molotovchicken and I are looking to commission someone to draw a few pictures of our Asuran characters for us. You can probably see a couple of screenshots in our tumblrs, and we’ll happily provide more!

In return, we’d like to propose a trade. I have a code for a Mister Sparkles Mini that’s currently unused and looking for a good home. Ideally I’d like to hand it to a fellow Asura player, but it all depends on who’s interested.

So, if you’d like a crack at it, send me an ask with your details. Depending on the responses I get, we’ll make a decision in about a week. And we’re happy to discuss fair terms that work for everyone involved!

How to make an Iced Latte with Instant Coffee

Since I discovered a similar version of this recipe, my life has been changed completely. No longer am I beholden to going outside for my beverage fix! It’s also really quick and easy to make.

You can also mix this up a little, reducing the amount of milk and adding more ice to taste. If you have a blender that will work with ice cubes, you can even make a convincing frapp with it.

Here’s how to do the basic one, but you can modify the amounts really easily to suit your own taste.

  1. Take a pint glass or half-litre drinking glass. If you’re using a smaller glass, don’t forget to reduce the amount of coffee and sugar you use.
  2. Add two teaspoons of good quality instant ground coffee. ‘Gold’ or good quality blends work best.
  3. Add the same amount in white granulated sugar.
  4. Pour a little bit (about an inch in the bottom of the glass) of warm water. Not hot or boiling, or your glass might crack. You just want to help the coffee and sugar dissolve. Stir gently.
  5. Add milk till the glass is half full. I prefer whole milk, but as long as it’s not that miserable 1% fat stuff you should be fine. Stir again
  6. Add some ice - I usually use four cubes per glass, but it’s up to you.
  7. Top up with milk till the glass is full. Stir one final time.
  8. Hand to a thirsty friend, who will now think you’ve performed some kind of witchcraft.

Hope this helps, and let me know if you make any delicious variations!

Recording video is hard…

So, I recently decided that I’d like to try my hand at maybe doing a video show on MMOs. After all, I’d been successful at a podcast and was good at writing, so maybe this could work.

After two weeks of trying, messing and fiddling, I’ve come to one conclusion: No.

It started simple enough - I’d arranged a space in my living room as a small set, with shelves of interesting MMO stuff and so on. I had a lamp to ensure adequate lighting, and moved the furniture around to suit. Now all I needed was the technology, and the scene would be set.

I was planning on using a spare iMac that had been given to me a while back, and bought a Logitech c920 webcam. Unfortunately the mac wasn’t powerful enough to record in HD from the camera, and I wasn’t about to spend money on possibly-maybe software fixes.

So I hauled my own PC out of my study - it’s a huge thing - to get a better result. After spending an age setting things up and tinkering, I got better results. I just needed to sort the audio - my G930 headset was fine for livestreams, but not so good for video.

I remembered that I had a Behringer C-1u condenser mic from my podcasting days, and gave it another go. Bang - huge amounts of interference from the PC. Not fan noise, but actual electrical interference. I tried using a powered hub to fix the problem, with no change in result.

I could use my headset mic, but the audio isn’t great. I could use the webcam mic, but the audio is even worse. The only thing that worked was to plug the USB condenser mic into a laptop and run it from a battery, but it hasn’t got sufficient processing grunt to handle a HD webcam at 30fps as well.

So now, I’m stuck. I’ve lugged my PC back into the study so I can get some actual work done, and I’ve got no way of making use of the mac or the laptop. At present, my video project is dead in the water.

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