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Interviews: Ask Jonathan Coulton What You Will

para_droid Now I Am An Arsonist (48 comments)

Can you tell us what the song Now I Am An Arsonist is about? It's not as obvious as the title might suggest. It talks about astronauts and acrobats while arson is hardly mentioned. Did you have the backstory of some particular arsonist, real or imagined, in mind when you wrote it?

about 10 months ago

Google Glass User Fights Speeding Ticket, Saying She's Defending the Future

para_droid Re:Like 100 years ago... (464 comments)

Isn't that like saying a pilot is distracted by having his HUD turned on?

1 year,8 days

Doom Is Twenty Years Old

para_droid Re:"legends John Carmack and John Romero"? (225 comments)

This is the opposoite of how Carmack tells it in his recent interview:

That was a decade-long fight inside id, really, about how open we should be with the technology and with the modifiability. The two things people were concerned about were, as you say: won’t people be able to make levels and sell them in competition to us? And there were certainly some specific cases, like the whole D-Zone game that came out with the package of a million or whatever different levels somebody could find scraped off the BBSes and put out there. We know some of those things sold really large numbers. So there was definitely an element of bitterness inside some corners of the company about that. I don’t think that they ever took anything from us; it’s not like we had a competing package.

But then the other side of it was the technological evolution question, where people said, aren’t we giving away some of our secrets? When we released our source code to the builder and those different aspects. And certainly tons of people learned from that, and did go on to build things, and you know, there’s an argument to be made that the company could have perhaps held onto a lead and an edge in the market better without doing that. But I think we came out net positive.

I was really happy a decade later when Kevin Cloud, one of my partners, said that I had been right to be pushing for doing that. Because he had been looking at it not so much from the community and technological openness standpoint, but as a business risk. Coolly looked back at over the years, I think we benefited more than it might have hurt us. But in truth, I was just doing that at the time because it was something that felt really right to me.

I still remember, at the time I was commenting about how I remembered being a teenager sector-editing Ultima II on my Apple II, to go ahead and hack things in to turn trees into chests or modify my gold or whatever, and I loved that. The ability to go several steps further and release actual source code, make it easy to modify things, to let future generations get what I wished I had had a decade earlier—I think that’s been a really good thing.

about a year ago

Erasing Details Of Bad Memories

para_droid Re:Both good for the individual & bad for soci (135 comments)

Only psychopaths can kill without emotional consequences.

Are you still a psychopath if you don't feel anything for killing someone who threatened your life, as I had to?


What if you're against killing except in self-defense, still feel empathy for those who don't threaten your life, but don't feel empathy for those who do threaten your life?


more than 2 years ago

Microsoft Finalizes Skype Acquisition

para_droid Re:Any good alternatives? (111 comments)

Not if any of those 10 people are Mac users. The Google video plugin only works on the new Intel macs, not the older PPC kind.

more than 3 years ago

Google+ Registers 25 Million Visitors

para_droid Re:So...google apps folks? (213 comments)

There are two sorts of Google Apps accounts. If you had an old account and had never chosen to upgrade to the newer kind, it worked. However a couple of weeks ago Google forcibly upgraded everyone to the newer kind. Apparently it is still possible to login to the old account using a username like this: user%domain.com@gtempaccount.com but I haven't tried it.

more than 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Facebook Archiving?

para_droid Re:Export? Its already there! (368 comments)

It doesn't work if you have more than a gig of data. The download just stops leaving you with a corrupt file.

more than 3 years ago

Oracle Claims Google 'Directly Copied' Our Java Code

para_droid Re:Here we go again (SCO) (675 comments)

All right. I'll probably cheat and hit google before I'm done writing this.

                  Mac OS X

Not any more it doesn't.



Two versions of the same OS

Windows NT

                  Windows Vista

                  Windows NT

Three versions of the same OS


Dalvik is Java-like but it aint Java.

more than 4 years ago

75 Comics That Are Being Made Into Films

para_droid Re:good grief (256 comments)

just not by the BBC. They completely butchered Neverwhere, turning a fantastic novel into a complete piece of crap (as they often do).

Erm they made the TV series first. The novel was written later, based on the series. So I don't see how the BBC can be blamed for butchering a novel that didn't yet exist. And aside from the lack of budget, the series was pretty good.

more than 6 years ago



Growl goes closed source

para_droid para_droid writes  |  more than 3 years ago

para_droid (92566) writes "Version 1.3 of the popular open source notification system for Mac OS X, Growl has surprised its users by going closed-source and only available for purchase on the Mac App Store. Any users who provide links to bugfixes and source for the previous version 1.2 are being banned from the discussion group, and their messages deleted. Could it be time for the community to create an OpenGrowl fork?"
Link to Original Source


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