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I’m heading down to Australia solo, well, not really solo but certainly without Mike.  There is certainly an entourage associated with the journey, to say nothing of the dutiful constellation of technology I am bringing to mediate my experience of the world.  I’ll be chronicling the entirely factual, fact-based journey here on the site.  Join me, won’t you?

Speaking of Technology, I’ve been living with the Pixel 3.  That makes it sound like an illness.  Let’s try again: I’m suffering from… No, that’s worse.  In truth, I love this fucking thing.  It has a few little edges but I spent the weekend fixing the wifi on my laptop’s Linux Mint.  I live on the edge - as Aerosmith was once said to do.

It’s a little JV in some places compared to the Apple offering; I’ll give you an example.  The app I use to order Pizza from Zeeks - Forager for motherfuckin’ life - doesn’t have an icon.  It has the default icon, I assume, from the development kit.  There is a little Robot there, and he also seems confused.  Exposed, in a way.  One gets the sense that this is a very private robot, and would prefer to operate primarily behind the scenes.

I had to learn a few things faster than others.  I was looking over their Digital Wellbeing initiative, thinking that this was, hm, sort of a novel construction.  Essentially, they’ve made a little imp that lives in your house and steals the vitamins out of your blood.  It eats your sleep.  In the vein of Rumpelstiltskin, it can spin the straw of our attention into money.  Not for us.  They get the money.  But still, cool trick.

But holy shit, man, this thing will not shut up.  Imp may not be sufficient.  It’s like a vampire endeavoring to learn if their cursed, immortal body can still process meth - and discovering that it can.  Whatever else is going on with Digital Wellbeing, it’s almost certainly designed on some level to attempt inoculation against a disease they are actively giving you.  I had to manage “hella” notifications, but its very easy to erect these bulwarks: even when one gets in, like when YouTube just told me about some fucking horseshit my son is into, you can go to Apps & Notifications and there’s a list of the most recent offenders right there.  It’s said that capitalism sows the seeds of its own destruction, and we can see that in action here.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 4 days ago

PAX Aus 2018 Pinny Arcade Pin Quest!

The task has fallen to me yet again, as Mork is in a plane or something.  But I know my way around these now - I’ve developed techniques.  There’s some really fun inside jokes being made in pin form here, and I love it.


PAX AUS 2018 Partner Pins

Margarita and Popper Pins [Giant Margarita]
There will be daily giveaways with our “Beat the Devs Challenge” from 1pm - 2pm and the pins will also be available for purchase at the Giant Margarita booth PR31.

Pixel Pin [Checkpoint]
Available for sale at the CheckPoint table in the Diversity Lounge or alongside becoming a CheckPoint Patron of the $15 tier or above. All funds raised help continue our efforts to connect mental health resources with video games and technology.

Nimbus Pin [Queerly Represent Me]
Available for purchase at the Queerly Represent Me table in the Diversity Lounge.

SC Piñata Pin [Samurai Punk]
Available for purchase at the Samurai Punk booth PR08.

Golden Acorn Pin [Kris Straub]
Available for purchase at the Kris Staub table in Bandland.

Kaiju Stomp Pin [Dime Studios]
Available for purchase at the Dime Studios booth PR28.

Elder Scrolls Sweet Roll Pin [Bethesda]
Trade pins for the Holy Sweet Roll pin with some of the members of the Bethesda ANZ team and ‘Pin Trading with Pete. Pins will also be randomly given away from the First Church of the Holy Sweet Roll via special blessings and to the first 100 attendees at the Bethesda in Conversation and Bethesda Trivia panels.

The Adventure Pals Cupcake Pin [Armor Games]
Available for purchase at the Massive Monster booth PR09.

Arbitrix Pin [Tin Man Games]
Available for purchase at the Tin Man Games booth PR10.

Dragon Friends Pin [Dragon Friends]
Available for purchase at the Good Games RPG booth TT130.

“Lil” Ronin Pin [Green Ronin]
Available for purchase at the Green Ronin booth TT664.

Dark Room Pin [Stirfire Studios]
Available for purchase at the Surprise Attack Booth PR16.

Subtle Boom Pin [Subtle Boom]
Available at the Subtle Boom booth PR46 with the completion of a single activity from several options including a game demo, design an in-game collectible skin, or achieving a top score of an endless level. The pin will also be available for purchase.

Fellow Traveller Pin [Surprise Attack]
Available for purchase at the Surprise Attack booth PR12.

Drop Dice Bear Pin [Level Up Dice]
Available for purchase at the Level Up Dice booth TT220.

BOOgan Spoopifer Pin [LoadingReadyRun]
Available for purchase at the LoadingReadyRun table in Bandland.


PAX AUS 2017 Show Pins

PAX AUS 2018 Pin Set
Available at both PAX Merch Booths which are located in the Exhibition Centre.

Limited Edition PAX AUS 2018 Pin
ONLY available at the PAX Merch Lite Booth located in the Exhibition Centre Concourse Foyer.


Get your Pin Quest here.


Tycho / 4 days ago

Gabe oscillates at two to three times my rate when it comes to a hunger for technological novelty.  I’m not without the hunger entirely, it’s just that I don’t…  Hm.  I don’t see it?  I can read a comic book without ever looking at the pictures.  It drives him nuts.  I don’t need them, though, and they’re not why I was reading it.  It’s like this with tech also: I have a purpose, and the device enables the purpose, but the middle section is like the second step of a sequence that culminates in Profit.  There are a lot of question marks and unless the process is truly excellent - the work of Panic comes to mind - I don’t perceive it.

The strip gives the Gabriel review of his Android experiences, which seemed “perfectly whatever.”  I’ve mostly been waiting for Android to get just this side of okay to try it out for a bit, and I think I might have been too cautious actually, because I’ve had my filthy paws on a couple Android phones that felt as though they had arisen from genuine consideration of the form already.  Most of my experience with them has been trying largely in vain to make my in-laws’ relatively shitty budget phones less of what they were.

Also, I just… really need there to be viable alternatives in every context, and I’m the sort of person who is willing to own, use, and even repair second or third choice offerings purely to forestall a diminishment of choice.  I’m aware that purely by the numbers Android - which may even be a naughty word - stands astride the earth, its dominion absolute.  But, like any tyrant, I don’t know that it’s well loved.  I’ll try.

I have a Pixel 3 showing up at the house by “end of day;” I could refine the range, but I don’t have any entrails handy.  Or I do have them handy, but I prefer that they remain wherever they might be currently.  I’m also trying to rely less on dark wisdom, earned at the shining tip of a blade?  I want to end 2018 strong.

But, yeah; the true poles I’m travelling between are something like “constraint” and “inscrutability” with this move, and I don’t have any affection for the iPhone as a device, but maybe it’s only because I’ve never given another phone the opportunity to abuse me at length.  In truth, I’m running away from Apple.  But who knows.  Maybe I’ll come to understand that Daddy only had so many rules because he loves me so much.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 6 days ago

Once, when we were streaming the creation of the strip on The Tweatch, it came up that beaver assholes are a prized font of delicious vanilla flavor.  Which is sort of true.  Let’s break it down:

1. It’s not the asshole.  It’s some other holes right by the asshole.  Is that better?  Who knows. 
2. Squeezing beaver ass every time you want something to taste like vanilla is super inefficient, which is why it’s almost never used for this purpose anyway.  Is that better? Who knows.

In any event, the rigid, fragrant anal rods we excrete from beavers are utterly natural.  It’s important to note this, because when people talk about the compounds leveraged to manufacture a can of refreshing LaCroix and whether or not they’re “natural” that’s how porous and situational the concept can be.  Ultimately it’s a lexical overlap between Natural and Pure and it has ramifications for how we understand what we pour into our craws.  I understand that LaCroix is also made with Linalool and Limonene, which I think are Pokemon.  Drinking liquid Pokemon seems like the real story, here.

Oh, when I was talking about how many people were completing Call of Duty campaigns yesterday - ultimately choosing to rely on my own personal experiences for a total sample size of 1 - I should have realized that Kyle Orland had already done this legwork over at Ars Technica.  Of particular note, I think, is that as bad as it might look on Steam it’s even worse on consoles.  Arguably, since Black Ops III, engagement with the campaign has been on the upswing - but look at what that means.  It means that eight percent of players completed Blops3 and twenty two percent completed WWII.  It’s a competition to see who can be king of a very small hill.  And it’s not even a hill, I wouldn’t say.  It’s a picture of a hill that encloses a gradeschool diorama, meant to lend an air of scale and majesty to something that is small enough to stuff under your bed and forget about.

    So!  Our second round of Lexcaliburs went fast, maybe faster than the first time, which is the sort of thing you want to hear when you’ve forced all your friends help you with the least sensible business excursion of all time.  We still have the digital version and the rad youth shirts, but I understand if you’re more in the market for an artifact.  The main thing I can tell you is that our merchandise manager Lidija, in her infinite wisdom, has already solved this problem in a way that will result in Lexcalibur being back on our shelves soon.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 1 week ago

I keep meaning to check what the percentages are of people who played through the Call of Duty campaigns, but I don’t really have to, because I’ve bought a few of these and interacted with them in precisely the way Black Ops 4 suggests I did:
by going directly to the multiplayer mode.  Or pehaps more appropriately, “modes.”

I was hanging out with Acquisitions Intoxicated brewmaster Eric Benson over the weekend, and he hadn’t played a “cod” in a minute so I made sure to remedy this fact.  If you’ve been away, as he had been, this is a seismic event content-wise.  Any one of the three full games offered on this platter could sustain an obsession.  We just hopped back and forth, mode to mode, wondering how you could possibly exhaust it.

I wish there was something like a “battle pass” that could rest atop the entire offering, a reward schedule that encouraged me to flit between activities and might act as a force for unification.  I told my rich, supremely life-giving great idea to Gabe, and he said that he would mostly come to resent such a framework manipulating him into sinking time into modes he had no authentic interest in.  I’m open to the idea that my level of dilletantery is not the sort of thing a company should spend millions of dollars trying to court.

Join Josh, Ryan, and myself for Dadfuckerz, Inc: The Denoument today on the stream - I think we’re gonna crack through a few more of the endings to wring some more satisfaction out of the game.  Technically it starts at 2pm PT, but the truth is that you won’t need to make note of the time at all: when you look out your window see a stampede of hot-ass, tactically hairy dads, the hour has arrived.

(CW)TB out.

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