Tag Archive for com

The Only Constant Is Change

So, I just started doing this Drawing of the Day thing where I was doing a drawing based on the word of the day as posted by either reference.com or Webster’s. I did four of them and stopped. I haven’t given up, but I had a thought.

First off, doing something daily is a bit hard and actually detracts from my ability to do other things. Also, some of the words of the day are just odd to think of alone. It’s just a word with a definition, no direction, and what I wanted was actually a bit more of a directed exercise.

You see, I can always sit down and just make shit up. My problem has always been that when I return later to the work from the “make shit up” session, I find it hard to continue the work. So, what I’m really looking for is more like the writing prompts you can find all over the place where they give you a subject and a direction and you are supposed to write on it. But with drawing.

To that end, I’m changing the project from Drawing of the Day to something like A Picture is Worth a Week of Words. Instead of using just a single word, I’m going to take seven words, still using the reference.com and Webster’s sources (I’ll choose all 7 from one source, and either I’ll do one, the other or both), and I’m going to do a drawing. I may also do some writing to go with it. They’ll go up on Sundays and use the words from the previous week (Sunday to Saturday).

I’m excited. I was excited before but quickly became drained. This less intensive version should be exciting without the exhaustion.

DotD: remora

Utilizing dictionary.reference.com‘s Word of the Day, I’ll be doing a drawing of the day (or at least trying, we’ll see how long this lasts).

remora, \REM-er-uh\, noun:
An obstacle, hindrance, or obstruction.

remora

Help me design: Part II – the Fontinating

So, after browsing through the many fonts on dafont.com, I have select 14 possible fonts.  Which do you think looks best?

I’ll also take suggestions on other fonts, except for a couple outliers I think this selection gives an idea of where I’m leaning…

What I Read

I don’t maintain a blogroll here, or even links of any kind to other sites unless they are within posts.  However, in a fit of narcissism I decided that I would post a list of links to all the sites that are contained within my Google Reader.  So without further ado, presented here in alphabetical order, and in one giant ugly paragraph, is what I read:

.: Cedarstreet :., < witty title >, A Next-Gen-MMORPG, A Softer World, A Tree Falling in the Forest, Anyway Games, Applied Game Design, Basic Instructions, bbPress Blog, Bio Break, Brass Goggles, Brea Grant, Broken Toys, Clients From Hell, Coding Horror, Corvus & the IGDA, Crabapple Cove, Critical Distance, crowdSPRING Blog, Daily Dragon Online, daspetey, David Wellington, DESIGNER NOTES, Digital Diary Detailing Datamancer’s Deeds, Digital Gaming@Dragon*Con, Dinosaur Comics, DOGHOUSE, Don’t Fear the Mutant, Dragon*Con MMO, Dragon*ConTV, DragonCon, DreamHost Status, Eating Bees, Elder Game, Epic Slant, Ethos Incarnate, Experience Curve, Felicia Day, Fidgit, Fullbright, Fun in Games, Fun in Real Life, Game Design Concepts, Game Design Reviews, GARY WHITTA, Geek Girl in Training, Grim News, Grumpy Gamer, Hark, A Vagrant!, Heartless_ Gamer, I HAS PC, ihobo, indexed, International Game Developers Association Board, into survival., James Van Der Memes, Karnatos, Kieron Gillen’s Workblog, Kill Ten Rats, Killed in a Smiling Accident., Kung Fu Monkey, LevelCapped, Lost Garden, Man Bytes Blog, Middle and Up, MMOData.net, Mobhunter.com, Moo Tang Clan, Mumble, My Name Is Michael, National Novel Writing Month – Breaking News, Nerdist, Nerfbat, Netflix – New choices to watch instantly, Netflix Community Blog, Not Always Right | Funny & Stupid Customer Quotes, not much’a nothin’, On Beyond Zebra, One Of A Crowd, Online Games Are a Niche Market, Only a Game, Over00, PARA ABNORMAL – the comic, paulietoons, paulneuhaus.com, Penny Arcade, Picture’s Up, Play Like a Girl, Popnarcotic, PostSecret, Psychochild’s Blog, PvPonline, Quarter to Three, Radioactive State, Rands In Repose, Raph’s Website, Real Life Comics, Running With My Eyes Closed, Scott Hartsman – Off the Record, screen play, Script Frenzy – The Beat, Sexy Videogameland, Shakefire.com blogs, ShrinkGeek, ShutterDreams, Smed’s Blog, Stylish Corpse, Surviving The World, Symptom of a Greater Cure, T=Machine, Tami Baribeau, Teaching Game Design, Terra Nova, Texas State Word, That’s a Terrible Idea, The Ancient Gaming Noob, The Banstick, The Brainy Gamer, The Celtx Blog, The Common Sense Gamer, The GameDev Project, The Grouchy Gamer, The HoneyComb Engine, The Internet Crashed, The Mod Squad. Blog., The Oakstout, The Oatmeal – Comics, Quizzes, & Stories, The Office of Letters and Light, The Official DreamHost Blog!, The Psychology of Video Games, The Word of Notch, This Side… Down, Tish Tosh Tesh, Tobold’s MMORPG Blog, Twitter Blog, Undead Labs – News, Van Hemlock, We Fly Spitfires – MMORPG Blog, Welcome to Spinksville!, West Karana, WIL WHEATON dot NET: in exile, Wolfshead Online, WordPress Development Blog, Words from Ward, WorldIV, xkcd.com, You Got Red On You, You Might As Well Be Unemployed, zen habits, Zen of Design, Zombie Reporting Center

Make of this what you will.

Blog Named

I finally got around to picking a name for the blog besides “weblog.probablynot.com” … it is now titled “Aim for the Head”.  There could be many meanings or significance to this name, but I will leave it up to you all to decide what you want it to mean.

You may have also noticed, if you aren’t reading this with an RSS feed reader, that I have changed the theme as well.  It started off as a theme called Desert Grass that I have made a few changes to, most obviously are the rotating header image, the logo display in general, and the sizing of certain page elements.  And more changes are to come as I’m not 100% sold on the color scheme and a few other odds and ends.

As always… enjoy!

Name This Blog

For a long time now I have been content with calling this place “weblog.probablynot.com” and leaving it at that.  But while I begin considering expanding my empire, I figured it was time to give this blog a name of its own.

In all likelihood, I will ignore every single suggestion made here… but I may not.

So, keeping in mind that I ultimately plan to spin the movie reviews (and perhaps the book reviews) off into their own corner of my domain, what name would you suggest for this blog?

If you want more info about me to go on, just ask questions and I’ll answer them as best as I can…

Ten

In 1998 I was playing Team Fortress with people I’d known and a larger group that had grown from my earliest days “online” dialing in to BBSs. At the time, I was hanging out in IRC chat on the GamesNet servers, mostly in the Disciples of Syrinx room. I had moved back home with my parents at the end of the previous year after successfully (in my mind) living “on my own” for a few years so that I could focus on school, doubling up my classes, and finish my four year degree in six years (maybe I hadn’t been so successful on my own). I spent my free time, and since I wasn’t working there was quite a bit of it, playing games and reading the .plan files of developers. Mostly it was the id software crew, but there were others. Blogging wasn’t so popular back then, but people did have websites, and game developers, especially in the first person shooter arena, kept up with .plan files. With college nearing its end and loving computer games, I had this idea that I would get into the gaming industry. Months later and many unreturned phone calls and rejection letters, I would set aside that dream, but at that moment, I decided to start maintaining my own .plan.

I did it in IRC at first, so the only people who could read it were people who knew to look and only when I was online with my mIRC client. Soon enough I moved it to Geocities. June 17th, 1998 marked my first post on the internet, and because I’m a pack rat and paranoid about computer crashes, I always kept spare copies of everything, so if you want, you can dig through the archives here and actually read everything from the beginning. After Geocities, I moved to my own domain, loadfix.com. If you try to go there now, it redirects to a .de domain that gives back a 403 Forbidden error. A year later I would move on to squadleader.com with dreams of eventually running an online magazine for first person shooters. I never did, and now that domain is a squatter’s hope for cash (a crap website placeholder of links doing nothing but praying someone wants to buy it). I would have kept squadleader but for one, I wasn’t playing shooters anymore after EverQuest took over my life, and the other reason is it turned out I didn’t own it. Sure, I registered it, paid for it, but my hosting company put everything in their name, so when I tried to switch providers, they kept the name. Thus begins the probablynot.com era.

To be perfectly honest, when I put my first ever posting on the internet, I never thought I’d still be doing it ten years later. In fact it didn’t even cross my mind to consider it. In one respect, its like keeping a diary, and now and then I’ll go back and root around through the old posts and laugh at myself, or shake my head, smile, or nod knowingly. However, unlike a diary, its out there for other people to read. There are times I’ve considered going back and deleting some of the old posts. When I migrated from Coranto to WordPress, I had the perfect opportunity to just lose all the old content, or pick and choose what to put back in, but I ended up importing all of it. Good or bad, I wrote it, its me, or at least was me at the time, and as I’ve written before, if you are happy with who you are, you can’t really regret your past because your past has made you who you are.

However, ultimately, my decision to import all the old posts came down to one thing, that I’ve been doing this, emptying my brain onto the Internet since 1998, for me. When people comment, or send emails, about what I’ve put out there, it feels good, but I’ve never done it for that. I always just wanted to put my thoughts down on “paper” but I didn’t want to hide it under my mattress or in a closet or behind other books on the book shelves where no one would ever see it, because maybe, just maybe, my words might affect someone else, or someone’s reading of my words might affect me. Do I sound emo? I think I sound emo…

Anyway… ten years… some times it just kind of blows my mind a little… well… here’s to the next ten years.

My Domain

The truth is, I chose Probablynot.com after a couple of hours of randomly picking cool sounding words and phrases and finding them all to be taken already.  In the end, it came down to Probablynot.com and Definitelymaybe.com.  I went with this one, obviously.

When I picked it, I never considered the side effects of having this domain name.  The first is that I constantly have to assure people that it is a real domain when I give out my email address.  The second is that tons of other people in the world use this domain as a fake domain name for email addresses.

The second effect is really the more interesting one.  I’m sure it is partly the reason why my domain gets some of the spam that it does, and why I’ve found my domain blocked on more than one corporate network.  But a weird facet of this is that occasionally, randomly, I get people’s passwords.  For example, a few of my more recent ones were logins and passwords for photobucket accounts.  Unfortunately these are never people with cool pictures, just guys selling stuff on eBay who want to host some photos of their crap.

Its a minor ethical dilemma.  They use an email address on my domain as their address… the system emails me a copy of the login and password… does that make it alright for me to log in to their accounts?  I didn’t hack it.  I didn’t steal it.  In fact, the person out there specifically designated me to get email from the website.

Ultimately, it makes me really appreciate sites that require email validation, since they’ll never present me with this problem.

Part of the Problem

The other day I happened to notice that the main probablynot.com page had gotten a couple of new incoming links. Its odd because, honestly, no one really reads that site, they come here to the blog. But I suppose if you were Googling, since the most recent posts are RSS fed to the probablynot.com root site a person might get directed there.

As always, I like to know why people are linking to me, and what they have to say.

The first link was actually from back in July, so I’m not sure why it took so long to show itself, or perhaps I haven’t looked at my own root site since July 23rd. The site appears to be a collection of book reviews. I’ve seen these kinds of aggregation sites before, and I actually think its kind of neat to be scraped for it. Cool.

The second link looked funny. While the first site was a blog called “Crime Always Pays” and the post with my link was “The Monday Review”, the second site was called “Crime Review: The Monday Critical review”. It had nearly the same information. I say “nearly” because it was the same info, but it had been passed through two filters: the first changed some words to synonyms, and the second inserted some ad keywords. In fact, the entire site is just rife with Google Ads, and looking at the profile of the blogger, he has a bunch of similar sites all designed to draw traffic, collect clicks, and (he hopes) generate money.

Looking deeper, the second site copies nearly every post from the first site, up until August 1st at least… which lead me to examining the first site a little closer and noticing the review of mine wasn’t the only review of that same book to be tapped. In fact, page by page digging through the archives shows that it really is just repeating the same books over and over, slightly randomized. The site is chaotic enough to suggest it is hand made, but repetitious enough to belie that and show its true colors of most likely being a bot generated site.

I hate these kinds of sites. An aggregation post or site doesn’t bother me too much, but these automated Google Ad factories piss me off. And now I’m on one. Worse, in their quotes of me, they quoted my link to the book I reviewed with my Amazon Associates ID, so I may actually make money from this abomination.

The thing that irks me most however is that their link uses one quoted line of my book review and the link back to me does not go to the full review, but to the root site. Even now, that post has already scrolled off the RSS and doesn’t show there. Searching the root site you’ll never find that review, its on the weblog subdomain. My ill gotten traffic is being directed to the wrong place.

*sigh*

Oh well… its the Internet. There isn’t much I can do about it.

Ethan Haas Revealed

A while back people were scouring the Internet looking for information on Cloverfield, the secret movie project by J.J. Abrams. I’ve blogged about the movie myself once or twice. During the hunt, people stumbled upon a site called www.ethanhaaswasright.com and a blog at ethanhaaswaswrong.blogspot.com. The first had a flash puzzle game, each level played a small video clip. The second was a blog that had just a couple entries speaking about something coming and then turning into script that had to be deciphered. Lots of people thought this was for Cloverfield, many people insisted it, and then J.J. Abrams came out at Comic Con and said the Ethan Haas stuff had nothing to do with his movie.

So what was all this Ethan Haas stuff about?

Turns out it was all hype for Alpha Omega, a new table top RPG. Of course, many of the people who’d been trying to figure it out were disappointed, table top games just aren’t exciting to lots of people, they’d have preferred it be a new TV show or a movie, or at the very least a video game. But me, I like table top games, and this one looks fairly interesting, especially since it doesn’t appear to be based on the d20 system. As nice as I think d20 is, its not the only way to play, so I applaud anyone who goes down another road.

I also applaud the effort made here. I can’t remember the last time a table top RPG managed to garner so much attention. No wait… yes I can.

If you want more out of your MMORPGs than levels and loot and grinding experience points, I recommend trying to get some folks together to sit around the table and play. If you are nervous about it because you’ve never done it before, I recommend Dungeons & Dragons for Dummies and Dungeon Master for Dummies to give you a nice overview and a little depth on both sides of table top game play.

Besides, if you love Science Fiction setting games, the MMOs have never really gotten it right, but table top games have been doing it right for a long time.