One Minute Movie

One Minute Movies Winner

This is a short (well, one minute!) film about eggs that are about to be eaten.

This is something that couldn't have been done before digital media. I guess it could have been done as a film school assignment, but not as something with this kind of reach.


Guild Wars sells 2 million - PC News at GameSpot

Guild Wars sells 2 million - PC News at GameSpot:
'ArenaNet continues to take chances in both game design and business model, and it's great to have the fans respond so enthusiastically right out of the gate with Guild Wars Factions,' said Patrick Wyatt, cofounder of ArenaNet.



ABC News: NASA, Despite Dissent, Sets Shuttle Date

ABC News: NASA, Despite Dissent, Sets Shuttle Date:
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. Jun 17, 2006 (AP)� NASA managers on Saturday picked July 1 to launch the first space shuttle in almost a year, despite recommendations against a liftoff attempt by the space agency's chief engineer and safety offices.

The decision to launch Discovery on a trip to the international space station was made after two days of meetings by NASA's top managers and engineers at the Kennedy Space Center. The flight would be only the second shuttle mission since the Columbia disaster in 2003.

During a poll of top managers, representatives from NASA's Office of Safety and Mission Assurance and the Office of the Chief Engineer recommended against flying until further design changes are made to the external fuel tank. Despite their recommendations, the dissenting managers didn't object to making a launch, NASA officials said.

This is the kind of crap that happens when CEOs and "top managers" don't fucking listen to the underlings.

Both times that the shuttle blew up, it took off with people on the ground who knew about the problems.

If you're managing any kind of technology at all, it is highly likely that the 'underlings' know more about their job than you do. Especially where the technology is really complex and integrates a lot of different skills.

What really pisses me off is when the "managers" ignore the "specialists" accusing them of "analysis paralysis" and then have the balls to blame those same specialists when things don't work out.

Because you can't bet that a manager who doesn't listen probably has a highly evolved blame-avoidness system. And you can bet it will be called into action when the shit hits the fan.


Joel on Software - Bill Gates Reviews Joel's Excel Spec

Joel on Software:
Watching non-programmers trying to run software companies is like watching someone who doesn't know how to surf trying to surf.

"It's ok! I have great advisors standing on the shore telling me what to do!" they say, and then fall off the board, again and again.

Joel on Software ... he says it all for me.


Hiding in Plain Sight, Google Seeks More Power - New York Times

Hiding in Plain Sight, Google Seeks More Power - New York Times:
"The rate at which the Google computing system has grown is as remarkable as its size. In March 2001, when the company was serving about 70 million Web pages daily, it had 8,000 computers, according to a Microsoft researcher granted anonymity to talk about a detailed tour he was given at one of Google's Silicon Valley computing centers. By 2003 the number had grown to 100,000.

Today even the closest Google watchers have lost precise count of how big the system is. The best guess is that Google now has more than 450,000 servers spread over at least 25 locations around the world. The company has major operations in Ireland, and a big computing center has recently been completed in Atlanta. Connecting these centers is a high-capacity fiber optic network that the company has assembled over the last few years."

This is so awesome. And now, my favorite joke (or perhaps amusing insight is a better term) that I myself made up.

Suppose that Google, with its enormous network of computers, becomes, as many suspect it will, the origin of the global computer brain, known as SkyNet from The Terminator series of movies.

Now this new computer network intelligence would get all of its knowledge by surfing the web which now includes video clips, audio clips, newspapers clips from around the world, 50 million blogs, and most importantly, a huge collection of porn of all imaginable kinds.

I shudder to think what conclusions about humanity such a computer would draw.

Although I suspect those conclusions would be pretty accurate...

© Stephen Clarke-Willson, 2006 - All Rights Reserved


Where do bad games come from?

Servant of Two Masters #4: That Game Sucks!!
It’s like these people think that all bad games are the result of the people who make them not knowing or caring about what they are doing. While this is surely the case in some instances, it isn’t always how it goes down. I’ve been involved with or have watched other games that were on a track to possibly be a good game, slowly get churned into a giant steaming piece of crap through no fault of the people directly working on it. Developers, for the most part, all want to make a great game and will work themselves to death to get it done. But sometimes no matter how hard you work, someone more powerful than you is going to come in and stick their d!^* in your peanut butter.

And fortunately or unfortunately, the customer is always right. That means that no matter how bad I think an idea is. That means no matter how unreasonable the request or how STUPID the last thing they said was, in the end they write the check, so they get to decide. I can voice my opinion. I can tell them what I think because that’s what they are paying me for, but ultimately, if they decide that something must be in the game…then you can bet your sweet ass it’s gonna be in the game.

I think, in general, the publisher gets the game that matches (1) what they were willing to pay for it and (2) what they tell the developer to make.

Obviously there are exceptions - in spite of the best efforts of the publisher to turn a game into "a giant steaming pile of crap" sometimes it comes out okay. It's these rare instances that inspire independent development houses to try, try again.

© 2006 Stephen Clarke-Willson - All Rights Reserved.