Dan Luu’s Keyboard Latency Tests

23 October 2017

Apparently, keyboard latency has gotten measurably worse over time– computers in the 1970s had faster keyboard input that we do today. The post does a good job of debunking several of the most common BS claims made by “gaming” keyboard manufacturers, too. They aren’t any faster than regular ‘ol consumer-grade keyboards, and in some cases slower!

Most keyboards add enough latency to make the user experience noticeably worse, and keyboards that advertise speed aren’t necessarily faster. The two gaming keyboards we measured weren’t faster than non-gaming keyboards, and the fastest keyboard measured was a minimalist keyboard from Apple that’s marketed more on design than speed.

Introducing TapMeasure – Occipital’s new measurement / room CAD generation tool

19 September 2017

TapMeasure is a whole new way to build a 3D model of any room in a few seconds. It works with Apple’s new ARKit framework, and adds Occipital’s special sauce to provide artwork alignment, quick measurements, and the aforementioned generation of (SketchUp-compatible) CAD files. It’s free, and will ship as soon as iOS 11 drops later today.

See the website at tapmeasure.io.

For my part, I got to push some iOS code to this one! As well as helping out with some of the graphic design and UX, I was also able to design and edit the tutorial videos and the launch trailer embedded above. We have the luxury of one of the most seasoned computer vision teams in the world here, and I think it shows.

Rassler Release 8 AKA Random Events Part II

17 September 2017

Just pushed a new release of my free retro pro wrestling RPG, Rassler. This one contains some small updates and an interesting, complicated, unintended consequence:

The last bullet point, explaining the changes to the activity system, is essentially a naive implementation of drug dependency. The player needs their health to be above 0 in order to work or go out. If the player has $40 they can buy some pain killers to get them through the next match, but pain killers only provide a +6 to short-term health (and a -6 to max health, affecting their future prospects and longevity) so it is not a sustainable solution. Either the player gets lucky, and their next several matches are relatively easy and they aren’t further injured, or something bad happens and they’re rendered immobile and bankrupt in the end.

More in the Devlog.

A List Apart going ad-free, patron-supported

07 September 2017

ALA was instrumental to my start in this business. I both bless and curse them for this. Here’s the Patreon. It’s a move I am fully in favor of. Death to ads.

We’re getting rid of advertisers and digging back to our roots: community-based, community-built, and determinedly non-commercial. If you want to highlight local events or innovations, expand your skills, give back, or explore any other goal or idea, we’re here to support you with networking and backing from the community.

June Foray, RIP (1917-2017)

27 July 2017

We have lost a titan. She almost made it to an even 100.

It’s hard to put into words how big of an effect on my personality Rocky and Bullwinkle had, even though it was cancelled decades before I was born. My mom loved it, and it would come on one of the local stations my grandparents picked up via antenna (no cable tv was even available where they lived in those days) and it’s the first thing I have a memory of laughing at with my mom and my brothers.

Aside from the Simpsons I don’t think any single bit of popular media was more important to my development as a person.

Adobe Announces Plans To Discontinue Flash, Will Stop Supporting Entirely in 2020

25 July 2017

Ding, dong, the witch is dead:

But as open standards like HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly have matured over the past several years, most now provide many of the capabilities and functionalities that plugins pioneered and have become a viable alternative for content on the web. Over time, we’ve seen helper apps evolve to become plugins, and more recently, have seen many of these plugin capabilities get incorporated into open web standards. Today, most browser vendors are integrating capabilities once provided by plugins directly into browsers and deprecating plugins.

Given this progress, and in collaboration with several of our technology partners – including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla – Adobe is planning to end-of-life Flash. Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats.

My own experience with Flash was mostly terrible, and it really did tear your battery life to shreds, but without it we wouldn’t have Homestar Runner, and for that I am thankful.

The Bone Mother

10 July 2017

Amazon’s shipping robot has informed me that David Demchuk’s book, The Bone Mother, has shipped. I’m looking forward to it:

Three neighboring villages on the Ukrainian/Romanian border are the final refuge for the last of the mythical creatures of Eastern Europe. Now, on the eve of the war that may eradicate their kind—and with the ruthless Night Police descending upon their sanctuary—they tell their stories and confront their destinies.

Eerie and unsettling like the best fairy tales, these incisor-sharp portraits of ghosts, witches, sirens, and seers—and the mortals who live at their side and in their thrall—will chill your marrow and tear at your heart.

Sounds spooky. Buy it on Amazon.

TransProse

10 July 2017

Creating music from text:

Using natural language processing, TransProse reads in text and determines densities of eight different emotions (joy, sadness, anger, disgust, anticipation, surprise, trust, and fear) and two different states (positive or negative) throughout the novel. The musical piece chronologically follows the novel. It uses the emotion density data to determine the tempo, key, notes, octaves, etc. for the piece depending on different rules and parameters.

via Steen’s newsletter. You can buy the first album of generated music on Bandcamp.

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My name is Phil Nelson and I make beautiful objects for a troubled world. I'm a designer / developer / writer / director / editor / narrator at Occipital.

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