Month: September 2020

People expect technology to suck

A few jobs ago, I was helping someone with a small tech issue, standing over their shoulder at their computer. The screen was unbelievably dark; I’m not exaggerating when I say it looked to be near 0% brightness.

For all I knew, this person had some vision sensitivity or just a basic personal preference that caused them to set it like this, but just in case, I cautiously asked, “By the way, I noticed your screen seems dark; do you prefer it like that, or would you like it to be brighter?”

I guess it is kind of dark,” they said. I tried some of the buttons on the side of the monitor and found that it had been set to like 5 or 10% brightness. I turned it up to 50% or whatever and they were shocked at how much more easily they were able to see things on it.

It had just never occurred to them that it could be better.

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Game Center switching on tvOS 14: Who’s doing this?

Here’s a small thing that nobody cares about but me, because nobody “games” on the Apple TV:

tvOS 14 promised Game Center switching for when you have multiple Apple TV users, so different users’ progress can be saved and loaded separately. What I didn’t know until running the beta is that games have to opt in to this, so games don’t have it by default.

I would expect that Apple Arcade games would all support this flagship feature of tvOS 14 (insofar as tvOS can have “flagship features”), but none of them that I have seems to support it yet. Are they all just going to drop updates today to support Game Center switching?

If so, that’s kind of crazy and weird last-minute timing. If not, that means Apple’s subscription gaming service won’t support one of the most important gaming features on Apple TV.

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How to correctly internationalize WordPress child themes

Internationalization (i18n) and localization (l10n) are important and often overlooked aspects of WordPress development. Themes should give developers and administrators the ability to add translations for users from among the roughly 95% of the world whose first language isn’t English.

There are plenty of articles written about how to provide i18n and l10n for a single theme, but what about child themes? When building a child theme, assuming the parent theme is properly internationalized, developers may want to do any or all of the following:

  1. Provide localizations that aren’t provided by the parent theme, either in different languages or in gaps in existing localizations.
  2. Modify existing localizations in the parent theme, for instance if the developer of the child theme wants to change the wording of some area of the site.
  3. Provide new internationalizations unique to the child theme, using the child theme’s text domain.

Let’s start by looking at a simple example of i18n in a WordPress theme. For the purposes of this article, the parent theme will be called “Parent Theme” with the text domain parenttheme, and the child theme will be called “Child Theme” with the text domain childtheme.

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Airplane Mode

Genius title for this anti-game in the vein of Penn & Teller’s “Desert Bus” and Will Brierly’s Soda Drinker Pro.

Notably, from the screenshots it seems that the in-flight entertainment is public domain (Le Voyage dans la Lune and Merrie Melodies), including the book, À rebours, considered part of the Decadent movement, which may or may not be significant? I ain’t no fancy art feller.

Bizarrely, this is being distributed by AMC Games (yes, the AMC of “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad”), and this is their first game.

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Nintendo know what they’re doing

On why the Nintendo Switch doesn’t need 4K:

How many people are really looking at the Animal Crossing on their TV and thinking “no thank you, it’s not in 4K” or Paper Mario: The Origami King and dismissing the Switch because the graphics don’t have ray tracing? Literally nobody. Players come to Nintendo for quality IP, innovative titles, and long-lasting gameplay, not graphics.

Raymond Wong, Input

This reminds me of the things Android zealots are always insisting the iPhone has to do, things that no iPhone user actually cares about, because Android zealots are “spec-heads.”

I do wish Nintendo would come out with a “Switch Ultra Lite,” which was similarly inexpensive to the Switch Lite but didn’t have a screen at all and was just a TV console.

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Sacred Bones “Reissuing” the “full” “LP” from “Jeremiah Sand”

Last Spring I got a flyer included with an order from Sacred Bones advertising a “Gathering of the Children”:

Today I got an email from them with the subject line “Uncovering a maniacal cult leader’s lost psych folk gem!,” which got me really excited. But it turns out to be a full album of music from the fictional Jeremiah Sand from Mandy.

It’s even available as an 8-track!

The Children of the New Dawn have also created a website, “last updated September 21, 1999” (the autumnal equinox, I assume?)

Also check out this sweet Boris Vallejo-like painting of Jeremiah Sand from the Bandcamp page:

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