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January 1, 2019
[funny] Richard Scarry’s 21st Century Busy Town Jobs / More Busy Town Jobs … both from Ruben Bolling.

January 2, 2019
[retro] Building a Spotify player for my Mac SE/30 … a pretty astounding use for an old Mac!
January 3, 2019
[blogs] Go click: jwz’s 50 most popular blog posts from 2018
January 4, 2019
[books] Who Are the Forgotten Greats of Science Fiction? … interesting list of overlooked science fiction authors and their books of note. ‘Leigh Brackett (December 7, 1915–March 18, 1978) was lauded for her planetary adventures (she moved her Eric John Stark adventures to the extra-solar world Skaith when space probes rendered her pulp-era Solar System implausible) but that was only one aspect of her work. In addition to writing SF and mysteries, she was a successful script writer. Her credits include The Big Sleep, Rio Bravo, The Long Goodbye, and an obscure little film called The Empire Strikes Back. Her planetary adventures tended to be long on action and short on clear moral boundaries. I am particularly fond of her post-apocalyptic The Long Tomorrow.’
January 7, 2019
[moore] Alan Moore Interview from June 1988 … A scan of an interview from the British fanzine FA. Moore is interviewed by Martin Skidmore. It’s contains some interesting comments on how he feels about Killing Joke just after it’s release and also why he stopped doing conventions and his dsyfunctional relationship with fandom at the time. ‘It’s a forty-page Batman story, a forty-page Joker story, that I wrote two or three years ago, around the time I was writing the first couple of issues of Watchmen. Sometimes stories work, sometimes they’re good, sometimes they’re not so good. You can put a lot of effort into a thing and it just doesn’t work sometimes. You can’t write perfect stories every time. With that particular one, I worked at it as hard as I could, there was something at the end of it that seemed a bit heavy, a bit depressing, but at the same time there were some bits of it I really did like. In terms of Batman stories it wasn’t as good as the story I wrote about Clayface. It wasn’t as good as the story I did with Batman in Swamp Thing. My feeling on it is that if you came across that in a normal, floppy, forty-page DC Batman Annual, I’m sure it’d seem okay.’
January 8, 2019
[games] Bandersnatch: the game that killed a company and inspired a Black Mirror episode … The true story of the never-released ZX Spectrum game Bandersnatch. ‘In fact, according to programmer John Gibson in a 2001 interview, it was looking likely that even with 176K, “[Bandersnatch] was around half finished and we’d already used up all the ROM so a major design rethink would have been necessary to get it finished.” As such, the final package was more likely to cost around £60 – ten times what a normal game would cost. Would you drop £450 on a Switch game? With every passing week, Bandersnatch was growing more arms and legs and was turning into something much bigger than anyone could have anticipated. This was no longer a simple game release: it was suddenly part game, part hardware launch, part box full of merchandise and other tat.’
January 9, 2019
[comics] Tintin in Neo-Tokyo … Tintin and Akira Mashed Up.

January 10, 2019
[books] Twenty Rules for Writing Detective Stories … Written in 1928 by S.S. Van Dine. ‘A professional criminal must never be shouldered with the guilt of a crime in a detective story. Crimes by house-breakers and bandits are the province of the police department–not of authors and brilliant amateur detectives. Such crimes belong to the routine work of the Homicide Bureaus. A really fascinating crime is one committed by a pillar of a church, or a spinster noted for her charities.’
January 11, 2019
[life] How Not to Be Stupid … A look at avoiding situational stupidity. ‘When it comes to overloading our cognitive brains, the seven factors are: being outside of your circle of competence, stress, rushing or urgency, fixation on an outcome, information overload, being in a group where social cohesion comes into play, and being in the presence of an “authority.” Acting alone any of these are powerful enough, but together they dramatically increase the odds you are unaware that you’ve been cognitively compromised.’
January 14, 2019
[crime] What’s the single, best piece of true crime writing you’ve read? … Great list of must-read True Crime stories from Reddit.
January 15, 2019
[life] Urinal protocol vulnerability … The maths behind Urinal Protocol from xkcd. ‘This leads us to a question: what is the general formula for the number of guys who will fill in N urinals if they all come in one at a time and follow the urinal protocol?’
January 16, 2019
[comics] Grant Morrison’s Captain Clyde [Part One | Part Two | Part Three] … scans of Grant Morrison’s earliest published work – a Scottish Superhero – appear online.

January 17, 2019
[comics] Interview with Katsuhiro Otomo … The creator of Akira interviewed. ‘I wanted to draw this story set in a Japan similar to how it was after the end of World War II—rebelling governmental factions; a rebuilding world; foreign political influence, an uncertain future; a bored and reckless younger generation racing each other on bikes. Akira is the story of my own teenage years, rewritten to take place in the future. I never thought too deeply about the two main characters as I made them; I just projected how I was like when I was younger. The ideas naturally flowed out from my own memories.’
January 18, 2019
[internet] The secret rules of the internet … Fascinating look at the moderation of content on social networks. ‘Joi Podgorny is former vice president at ModSquad, which provides content moderation to a range of marquee clients, from the State Department to the NFL. Now a digital media consultant, she says founders and developers not only resist seeing the toxic content, they resist even understanding the practice of moderation. Typically cast off as “customer-service,” moderation and related work remains a relatively low-wage, low-status sector, often managed and staffed by women, which stands apart from the higher-status, higher-paid, more powerful sectors of engineering and finance, which are overwhelmingly male. “I need you to look at what my people are looking at on a regular basis,” she said. “I want you to go through my training and see this stuff [and] you’re not going to think it’s free speech. You’re going to think it’s damaging to culture, not only for our brand, but in general.” Brian Pontarelli, CEO of the moderation software company Inversoft, echoes the observation. Many companies, he told us, will not engage in robust moderation until it will cost them not to.’