Case Khor

Brio Logo

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I don’t recall owning any Brio as a child, but I do fondly remember the classic beechwood track pieces, and the satisfying click of the magnets that held the train carriages together.

The current modernist take is far less iconic than the classic 3D Brio logo, but it’s just so refreshing next to most toy companies. I don’t think I’ll ever purchase a toy for a toddler that’s not Brio. Shopping for kids is hell.

Painstakingly traced this logo, then of course found it embedded as a vector in a PDF catalogue online. Presented here boldly on black, and available to download ‘till I get told off.

The Creator Of Doom Is Now A Facebook Employee

Facebook just announced its plan to buy Oculus VR for around $2 billion in cash and stock. The company will operate independently within Facebook with a focus on gaming. Facebook communications confirmed to TechCrunch that everyone stays the same at Oculus and John Carmack will remain Oculus’ CTO.

Why might Facebook be interested in the future of virtual reality? Here’s a little something Carmack wrote 14 years ago on Slashdot:

Making Snow Crash into a reality feels like a sort of moral imperative to a lot of programmers, but the efforts that have been made so far leave a lot to be desired. It is almost painful for me to watch some of the VRML initiatives. It just seems so obviously the wrong way to do something. All of this debating, committee forming, and spec writing, and in the end, there isn't anything to show for it. Make something really cool first, and worry about the spec after you are sure it's worth it!

Bring on the Metaverse, with Carmack in tow we might actually see a Second Life that does’t suck. Or maybe not. In the short-term, I hope the acquisition does’t derail any of Occulus’ efforts with regard to virtual reality beyond social-networking.

Resource Guru is equal parts awesome and ugly

One of those scratch my own itch apps I wish I had built years ago. Resource Guru looks a hell lot better than maintaining a resource spreadsheet, and I'm glad I don't have to deal with either of them (at the moment).

Honestly though it could do with a major facelift. I remember hating the design when the app first popped up and I think it looks worse today. Feature wise it does seems pretty solid, so props to them for that.

True Facts About The Armadillo

Zefrank’s True Facts are consistently awesome.

Just remember, if you spend all of your life hiding behind your armour, you’ll most likely spend a lot of time sniffing your own butt.

Stray Fucking Bullets

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David Lapham’s Stray Bullets returns after a nearly decade long hiatus through Image Comics with Issue #41 finally completing the “Hijinks And Derring-Do” story arc and Stray Bullets: Killers #1 kicking off a new series. The Uber Alles Edition TP collects all 41 issues as 1200 pages of hardboiled pulpy goodness.

AV Club has a great writeup and the first four issues are available for free on Comixology.

The moments of violence may be life-altering (or life-ending) for the characters Lapham spotlights, but after they occur, the world keeps on spinning just like it always does. And that violence isn’t rare. It’s a part of the natural rhythm of life, and every person is a target vulnerable to a stray bullet.

I picked up this series as a teen, never get tired of re-reading it, and I’m pretty excited to do it all over again. Pretty pleased with Image’s digital comics policy.

We keep the other bad men from the door

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Cute little graphic tribute to True Detective by Nigel Evan Dennis provides a visual overview and some insight into the series. I dug the aerial view of the path that Rust & Ginger took through the Hoston Projects to get to Marty during the 6-minute single shot sequence at the end of episode 4.

Just under 4 days before the season finale.

Just pre-ordered the Lumo Lift

Having been trying to correct my posture since forever without much luck, I decided to go ahead and fork out cash for one of the last Lumo Lifts available for pre-order. Although I’m not entirely convinced about the device, I figured it was worth a shot. Not big on the idea of something tugging down on my t-shirt but I guess I’ll have to wait and see how light the device is.

I’ve been pretty happy with simply using Pedometer++ with my iPhone 5S to encourage me to walk more, so I imagine I’ll be using the Lumo Lift solely to get me to stand/sit straight. One thing that’s bugging me is the supplied charger: really hoping for a USB plug as opposed to yet another wall mounted plug I have to carry around.

Update: Lift comes with a docking station that plugs into a USB port.

Supreme × Playboy Vans S/S 2014

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The App Store economy: Take the money and run

Jon Bell of UX Launchpad wrote a little piece on his time at Real Networks a decade ago and John Gruber chimed in:

Once you’re backed into a corner like this, where your users’ happiness and satisfaction are no longer aligned with your revenue, you’ve already lost.

Which reminded me about this post by David Barnard back in January:

While the current wave of free-to-play games are doing incredibly well financially, I worry that they are undermining the long-term strength of the iOS platform.

If the apps Apple brags about and features aren’t financially viable, we will inevitably see less of those apps being built over time.

And quotes within his post, a link to a tweet from Justin Williams

The post-PC revolution won't happen without the software that the current App Store economy makes it nearly impossible to build and sustain.

From the Android camp there‘s been a tonne of criticism dished out over Apple heavy-handed control of the App Store. To the dissenters it’s not “open” enough and too restrictive.

To me, and a few others it would seem, Apple does‘t apply enough control, and the App Store is filled to the brim with crapware, to the point where I‘ve completely stopped browsing the App Store in search of new apps.

Over a 24 hour period, Flappy Bird clones made up a third of newly released iOS games. But at the end of the day that’s how the App Store gold rush works now: get in, go viral, take the money and run. (Am I just kidding myself here, has it been that way from the start?) iOS devices create an economy that targets the lowest common denominator (a more profitable one compared to that for Android devices where users drop less dollars on apps) and just like with any other mass media, the appeal of making a quick buck triumphs over crafting quality.

How True Detective will end.

Andrew Romano in his roundup of episode 7 “After You’ve gone”:

So far a lot of the geekier discussions about True Detective have revolved around the show’s more “supernatural” elements. Robert Chambers’ 1895 horror classic The King in Yellow. The word “Carcosa,” which Chambers borrowed from Ambrose Bierce, and which later showed up in the works of H.P. Lovecraft. The spiral symbol on Dora Lange’s back. The flock of birds that formed into the same spiral in an early episode. Cohle’s synesthesia. Reddit boards are full of readings that would impress Talmudic scholars, or perhaps CIA cryptographers, with their ontological complexity: what this represents, what that means, and how it’s all leading up to some sort of otherworldly finale.

I don’t buy it. Why? Because that’s not what Pizzolatto is up to—according to Pizzolatto himself.

I understand why the Boing Boing and io9 crowd frothed over the supernatural angle, but it reminds me of fans of the Matrix getting all excited back in the 90s. The Matrix trilogy ultimately couldn’t live up to all the fan hype and theories, and Nic Pizzolatto has personally shot down any speculation of the plot diving further into the occult, but here’s hoping to hell that True Detective does’t fall on it’s face in next week’s season finale.

Don’t push me

David Smith writes:

First run experiences are important. They set the tone for your customer’s experience with your app. I know lots of developers who spend days and weeks carefully crafting every detail of the first time you open their app. It should invite you in and make you feel at home.

The opposite of a great first run experience is a trend I’ve started seeing more and more within the App Store. Upon first run of the app I’m immediately greeted with [a request to allow the app to send push notifications to the user].

“[App name] would like to send you push you push notifications” and similar prompts are the iOS equivalent of User Account Control (UAC). An arguably necessary evil? Incredibly annoying nonetheless.

C’mon Case, look at the camera.

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Headed out 3 hours south of Sydney to Jervis Bay for a little getaway over the Mardi Gras parade weekend. Weather was brilliant on the Sunday, tasty eats were conjured up in the kitchen, and chilled out drinks were served throughout the evenings. We saw dolphins frolicking near the shore, conspired to hijack a catamaran, lamented having to return to civilisation, and I got sunburnt.

The phone line at the Airbnb pad we shacked up at wasn’t playing along, and as a result it was nice to have some down time away from the internets. Fortunately a couple of us were signed up to Telstra mobile and had pretty decent reception: hotspots were set up and we were able to get back to our iPhones and MacBooks and ignore each other as per usual get some hot-desking / study group action happening.

Photo taken by Anna Yamaji features my first/last trip to the beach this summer. I got my feet wet, stared at the seaweed drifting out with the tide, and wondered whether I’d miss beach life at all once I’ve left Sydney. (Short answer: no)

Hover being a tiny bit naugthy?

Decided to go ahead and register titanfall.io and went to my favourite domain domain registrar to make it so. Joy, .io top-level domains are on sale!

What customers might not pick up on is that the annual fee for .ios domains are significantly higher than the average .com domains. They also don't allow you to pay for more than a year at the discounted price. Fair enough, I'm happy to save $50 off my first year, but I’m wondering how many people will suffer from bill shock in 12 months time.

To their credit, Hover does outline the sale alongside the regular prices on their blog. I did however, have to go poking it for that info.

Side note: .io TLDs don’t support whois privacy, which makes me a little sad/afraid. Not sure if this is a Hover specific thing or whether it applies to .io in general.

Update: Hover’s canned reply: “We include WHOIS Privacy on all TLDs that support it.”

Dark Souls II might be the second best game in the world

After Dark Souls, according to Peter Serafinowivz, who I don’t think I’ve heard of. And my friend Peter, who keeps interrupting our conversations about Titanfall to talk about Dark Souls.

You’re this poor wretched person … you’re just trying to get by you know? It’s like life.

First time I’ve been interested in giving Dark Souls a go, but I’m not entirely sure I’m willing to give up a chunk of my life for it …

Remember the Milk.dk

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I remember swooning over the classic Milk desk when it launched 7 years ago in 2007. Once described as “like a giant iPod desk”, the design hasn't aged one bit and I’d still love to have one today, or any member of the Milk family for that matter.