Category: commentary

  • The Joys and Guilt of Servitude

    After I got off the plane in Bangalore on May 3rd, 2010, I followed emailed instructions to look for a certain “Mr. Manas” at the gate. Exiting from the air-conditioned airport into the outside world was the usual tropical shock. It’s as if you are remembering again what hot is really like. When I recovered […]

  • Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead and life has no meaning

    One of the dozen or so books I brought with me to India was the script of Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead. To really simplify it, its an absurdist play which follows the play Hamlet from the minor characters Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’s point of view. I had seen the play before at Theatre Five in […]

  • Journeying (inspired by The City and The City)

    I finished reading China Miéville’s The City and The City recently. If you have read the book, you can skip down to Reactions. The book takes place in two separate cities, Besźel and Ul Qoma, that are in the same place geographically, while legally being in two different countries. A murder mystery is used as […]

  • Distributed Disc Tossing: The Value of Jerks

    My department had a BBQ on Toronto Centre Island last Sunday. I am a frequent Ultimate Frisbee player, so I brought my disc to toss around. Some others did too, so we had an M tossers and N discs situation. I had just started the last course of my Master’s the week before, Distributed Computing, […]

  • People Suck at Computers.

    Most people are afraid of computers. Even something as gloriously inviting as the Microsoft Surface, which I worked on during my internship at Microsoft Research, has people interacting with it cautiously. At least this is what I saw in my user studies. My participants were mostly professional adults (read: the people who actually make the […]

  • Playing your part

    One of the problem with video games that have a story component is that the player you represent can behave inconsistently with the “story of the game”. Games that do not have a story component, such as most Will Wright-style games, are the exception. An example of this problem is the very detailed story and […]

  • A conversation with the Google Earth API

    Dustin: Oh hey there, Google Earth, it looks like you have an API so that we can actually talk to each other.GE: Yeah, hello! It’s really useful.Dustin: Well, we’ll see about that. So, I’ve turned you on. Can you tell me what layers you have?GE: Of course! I’ve got the Geographic Web, Roads, 3D Buildings, […]

  • Wierd times on the internet

    Keywords: advertising, user-generated content. So I just got an email from youtube about a music video I made a long time ago. Here it is below: ——————————————————————————————– YouTube | Broadcast Yourself™ Dear YouTube Member: UMG has claimed some or all audio content in your video Golden Videotape (part 1). This claim was made as part […]

  • Meta-blogging

    My friend and fellow improvisor Monica Heisey interviewed me about blogging for the Queen’s Unversity Journal (student-run paper). Link!

  • Can you copyright a brain?

    I just got back from an interesting (although limited) session on Canadian copyright for artists at Kingston’s Artel, which got some mental juices going from something I heard about when I was visiting the Dynamic Graphics Project (where I’m doing my Master’s) There is currently ongoing research in augmenting participant’s memory and other cognitive abilities […]