A couple of weeks ago, I travelled to the USA for SxSW, or South By Southwest, to meet my new coworkers at Automattic as well as help out with the WordPress booth. After a week of SxSW, The Wife joined me as we travelled to San Francisco, to experience California. Here’s a brief travelog.
Exciting times at Automattic. We've just launched Jetpack, a brand new plugin for your WordPress blog. It brings you features that were previously WordPress.com only. A lot of features, actually — you should visit jetpack.me to find out all the nitty gritty details — but my favourite features are these:
- All new, iPad friendly WordPress.com Stats
- Some unannounced upcoming features!
I'm so completely proud to have played a part in the team-effort design of the Jetpack experience. We really, really hope you like it.
Delving into poster country once again, I wanted to start out from a previous base. Made me want to create this:
As humanity struggles to fight the Inhibitors, a moving cathedral circumnavigates the remote world of Hela in an effort to always keep the gas giant Haldora at its zenith at all times. The celestial body and it’s mysterious behavior has caused entire religions to emerge on the planet below.
As a ragtag band of survivors on board the lighthugger Nostalgia for Infinity travels to Hela in a desperate search for a weapon against the Inhibitors, a special girl from the badlands of Hela, Rashmika, seeks out to find her long lost brother — a journey that takes her to the largest of the moving cathedrals — as it prepares to cross the Absolution Gap.
Absolution Gap oozes cool. It’s brilliant, hard sci-fi on every level that matters and Alastair Reynolds grasp of the subject is masterful. Absolution Gap is, perhaps, even more cool than my previous favourite in the Revelation Space series — Chasm City (Absolution Gap is the chronological last book in the series).
Alright, it was a bit slow in places — these books are long — but this level of cool deserves no less than five hearts.
The ending of Lost was ambiguous and fairly hard to grasp, some would say disappointing. I think I’ve finally gotten it, and I’ve decided whether I liked it or not. Here’s what happened.
Spoilers. Stop reading if you haven’t seen every episode of Lost.
In 1982, Kevin Flynn succeeded in creating a virtual computer world which he could physically enter. In 1989, Flynn disappeared, leaving his 8 year old son, Sam Flynn, heir of his Encom computer empire. As adult Sam inadvertantently gets digitized into Flynn's "digital frontier", he finds things are no longer quite as rosy as the childhood stories he was told of The Grid.
Tron Legacy is a visual and musical get-together in your prefrontal lobe. Within the first five minutes, the remarkable Daft Punk soundtrack will be blasting at you as Sam rides his Ducati through the city. This is the soundtrack Daft Punk were born to make, and this is the perfect movie to go with it. Just a few days ago, I finished re-re-watching Interstella 5555, the Daft Punk anime musical that accompanied their fantastic Discovery record; I kept thinking I wanted another Daft Punk musical. As it turns out, you can consider Tron Legacy to be such a musical — a visual interpretation of the dark house tones of the tunes.
A nice point of note on the 3D — this is the best use of 3D I've seen; because most scenes aren't in 3D — it even says so before the movie.
While the music propels this movie to greatness, the film itself is a delight. Jeff Bridges is great as usual, and the director understands his mannerisms. There's even the occasional trademark Bridges "man" uttering thrown in for good measure, and it's all such a perfect fit. Jeff Bridges, gorgeous techno-world designs, booming sound-design. Light-cycles. Olivia Wilde. A reference to "Sweet dreams" by Eurythmics. Daft Punk in soundtrack and canonized in situ. This film has got it going. I was absolutely and exhileratingly entertained for two hours, more than I've been in years. I completely love this film.
Okay, so the story isn't over the top great. There are moments — most of them — when Clu, a.k.a. digital Flynn, looks mostly rubber. At a couple of points, the pace of the film grinds just a little bit, and let's face it the concept itself isn't terribly deep. In fact, if you didn't enjoy video games in the eighties or early nineties, you're probably — most likely — going to find Tron Legacy to be confusing.
If you did enjoy videogames in the eighties or early nineties — even if you just like Daft Punk — Tron Legacy is absolutely something you should watch.
I’ve done some consulting for Automattic in the previous months (most recently with regards to Stats), but the offer to join the company full-time came out of the blue. I wasn’t actually looking for fulltime employment, but the possibility of working with these supremely talented people on improving my favourite platform, while staying in Denmark which is near my favourite country (Sweden), was a combination offer that was simply too good to pass up.
I don’t have any more specifics at the moment, but feel free to question me up in the comments and I’ll try and answer if I can.
It's been barely six months since their last album, and here we go again. Kent's new album, "En Plats I Solen" (a spot in the sun), is absolutely awesome.
The dansable electro-synth-trend that started with their 2007 Tillbaka till Samtiden album has subtly continued towards the sound of New Order and as a whole towards a softer, polished summer-themed sound, which make the title all the more appropriate. As usual, the level of polish is astounding and the production value through the roof. If you like New Kent, you'll love this album. If you don't like New Kent, I'm here to inform you that Isola and Hagnesta Hill albums haven't disappeared and they're still as good as ever.
Unlike the last album Röd, it doesn't seem like Kent have tried making two songs in one, making this album far easier to listen to. Each song flows in to the next. If I were to pick out one song which is emblematic of the new album, it's Ensam Lång Väg Hem which you can listen to as long as it stays on Grooveshark. Incidentally, this is my favourite song at the moment.
I find it mindboggling that Kent, only six months after their last album, can pull this rabbit out of a hat. Either the band is on a roll, or the story that floated around the Isola/Hagnesta Hill era are true; as it was told, singer/songwriter Joakim Berg wrote 30+ songs per album, only picking out a third or half for the album, some being released as B-sides, the rest disappearing to the ether. Perhaps he did this for Röd, and instead of releasing the pieces that didn't make it to that album as B-sides, collected them and added them to this album. Good thing he did, because it's a masterpiece.
I was going through my images folder today, and found these posters I’ve made over the last couple of years. I was so proud, I decided they were worth showing here again.