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Sonic The Hedgehog Series Bible

The Sonic Bible was an internal document created by SOA to provide a localised history and overall philosophy for Sonic and the Sonic universe. It is apparently not based on the Japanese history.

The series bible for Sonic The Hedgehog from Sega’s launch of the first Sonic game in the US.

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Sam Ruby on Rev Canonical

The short list of grievances: Twitter doesn’t support it, and may never. HTML5 omits rev entirely. Atom uses the self attribute for the very purposes that rev="canonical" might be used for.

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4chan’s Precision Hack of the Time 100

Not only is moot #1 with 12 times the votes of anyone else, but they spelled out a message with the first letter of each person’s name.

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Mike Tyson’s Intergalactic Power Punch ROM Released

The unreleased sequel to Punch Out!!, now available for download or purchase in the form of a reproduction cart.

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iTunes Price Changes Hurt Some Rankings

Glenn Peoples, writing for Billboard:

On Wednesday, one day after the price increase, the iTunes Top 100 chart had 40 songs priced at $1.29 and 60 with the original $0.99 price point. The $1.29 songs lost an average of 5.3 places on the chart while the $0.99 songs gained an average of 2.5 chart positions.

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Birdhouse — A notepad for Twitter

Birdhouse, co-created by Adam Lisagor of You Look Nice Today, is a great example of an application made for a niche audience, with the application’s authors being a part of that niche.

Birdhouse is for twitter writing what MarsEdit is to blog writing.

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Hacker-Troll “Weev” Taking Credit For the #amazonfail Controversy

I don’t know if I buy it, but it makes about as much sense as Amazon being suddenly homophobic.

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The LA Times on Amazon’s “De-Ranking” of Books Deemed Too Adult

This is quickly turning into a PR coup for Amazon. The gist of this is that most of the books labeled as “adult” and made hard to find on Amazon’s site are lesbian, gay, transgender or bisexual-themed, or even just LGBT-friendly. This is extremely bad form on the part of Amazon, as not showing up on best-seller lists or search pages can cripple the sales of a book. One of the books affected is “Unfriendly Fire” by Nathaniel Frank, which now doesn’t show up on bestseller lists on Amazon.com despite it’s selling of more copies than the entire Twilight series.

The #amazonfail tag on Twitter is spreading very quickly in response to this, and I encourage the use of it.

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Presenting Software Features and Understanding User Unrest

Adding features to applications is a constant trade-off between opposing forces. Sometimes adding to or changing software can be a hinderance both to the user and the developer in several ways.

Ego, Garrett Murray’s excellent iPhone application, was blocked by Google Analytics yesterday. Since support for GA is one of Ego’s advertised features, paying users are understandably upset. Garrett is a good developer, and I’ve been using his software for years (his application xPad was one of the first non-Apple bits of Mac software I ever purchased) but I think much of the user reaction to this issue was predictable and preventable.

Unlike many of the other stat-tracking widgets used in Ego, Google Analytics does not have an official API with which developers can retrieve data for use in applications. This means that to get the data at all, Ego has to use what I’d (not at all disdainfully) classify as a “hack”; Getting at useful information in an unsupported way. The problem with this is that the average user has no reason to suspect that Google Analytics portion of his $2 iPhone application may stop working without any prior warning. This is a case of the classic “stopped working for no reason” that developers hear all the time. There is a reason, and it’s a pretty simple one, but the user has no frame of reference for it. What’s more,the user has absolutely no reason to know the reason. It’s not their job. They just saw a feature list and clicked buy.

Here’s a screen shot of the features section of the Ego application page on the iTunes store:

ego-features

You can see here that the Google Analytics feature is listed right next to services with officially supported APIs, such as Feedburner and Twitter.

What this says to the user is “these features are equal, and just as likely to work” which we now know isn’t the case. A lot of applications do things like this, and the intent isn’t malicious- the average user just genuinely doesn’t know and doesn’t need to know what an API is, or what has one and what doesn’t.

Since there is no “official” way to include Google Analytics data, the GA widget is a trade-off between feature set and usability. Unofficial means that it’s more likely to stop working “for no reason.” Unofficial means that Google can change whatever they like whenever they like, and you just have to eat it, like Garrett is doing now.

He’s is obviously a smart guy, and I’m sure he weighed the pros and cons of including support for Google Analytics in the first place, but I’m also pretty sure he’s second guessing that decision at least a little bit today. This isn’t to say that he made the wrong one- I don’t think he did- but that the way in which application features are presented to users create expectations for those features that may have unintended consequences for developers.

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The Old Rickrolling

Apparently, the co-writer of “Never Gonna Give You Up” has made a total of about 16 dollars from YouTube views of the song’s video. The article doesn’t say how much he’s made from other revenue streams. I find it impossible to believe that the Rickroll meme didn’t make him plenty of money from things like increased radio play, sales on iTunes, and so forth.

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Good HTTP citizenship for DiggBar protesters

Aristotle Pagaltzis suggests some changes to John (and my) implementation of the DiggBar block.

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Introducing Diggbarred, a WordPress Plugin for Blocking the DiggBar

As a big fan of telling people when they’re Doing It Wrong, I’m happy to announce Diggbarred. Diggbarred is a new plugin from myself and Shawn Medero, using John Gruber’s original blocking code in an easy-to-activate form. You can fork, modify, or otherwise mutilate the code on Github.

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How to Block the DiggBar

John Gruber has a decent solution for blocking the DiggBar on his site, Daring Fireball, if you’d like to completely block all Digg traffic.

I’m going to whip up a WordPress Plugin for this today.

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The Associated Press Follies Continue With YouTube

The AP threatens an AP affiliate for embedding videos from the AP’s own YouTube account. It’s like watching a drunk vomit on himself.

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Popular URL Shortener tr.im Is Down

Thousand of Twitter links are now broken, and nobody knows for how long. This is exactly the kind of thing I talked about earlier this week, and I hope it will spur adoption of short_url auto-discovery, even though I’m not crazy about the name.

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Fair Use for Fair People

Anil Dash on the AllThingsD kerfuffle:

The Associated Press announcement addresses pricing, licensing, and legal threats. There is no statement made about the credibility of the information being published through these online channels, nor whether the act of aggregating and disseminating news this way has an impact on its accuracy or accountability.

I agree, entirely. What is at issue here is the attitude. My favorite writers right now (such as John Gruber, Merlin Mann, Andy Baio) are my favorites precisely because they care about one thing: creditability. They want their opinions and ideas to be credible not due to their stature as people, but due to the strength of their ideas and words themselves. This matters.

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Did The Cubs Win Today?

My single-serving site, didthecubswintoday.com, is covering the Chicago Cubs 2009 season with all-new guts. Game results are not easily tweetable, and navigation has been much improved.

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Teaser Trailer for Mike Judge’s New Film: “Extract”

General release on September 4th. Starring Jason Bateman, Mila Kunis and Ben Affleck. Let’s hope it doesn’t get stuck in Movie Hell like Idiocracy.

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Roger Ebert on Bill O’Reilly and Squeaky the Chicago Mouse

“Raise the bridge! I have an erection!”

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Doc Hammer fills in for Dana Snyder On Snyde-Cast

Ken Plume and Doc Hammer bullshitting for 80 minutes is far more entertaining than you might think.