I am lucky enough to be in both the (soft-)launch of Google Stadia and the beta of project xCloud from Microsoft. Some thoughts on the differences between the two:

  • Stadia works a bit like Xbox Live. You pay a monthly fee, and get a couple games added to your library each month. You lose access if you lapse the subscription, but regain them if you renew again. Xbox costs half as much if you pay annually – not sure Stadia offers that yet.
  • xCloud has 2 options at the moment – stream games from their servers (similar to Stadia), or stream your own games from your own console (this requires opt-in for beta testing the OS on your console).
  • While both work best on 5 GHz band wifi, Stadia gives a more general “you’re good!” connection status, while xCloud will specifically tell you to get on 5 GHz for the best performance. The difference here is you can keep going on Stadia, and xCloud will generally lag and shutdown the stream to change the connection.
  • Playing a console game on a phone isn’t terrible, but is not yet ideal. As it becomes more widespread, I would guess games would adapt their display settings for this, but right now, it’s a lot of tiny text menus.

Of course the biggest difference is the platform buy-in (and I suspect this will be the case with Nvidia GeForce Now as well, if they can stop hemorrhaging games). I have nearly 15 years of game saves and purchases and achievements on one of these platforms. One of the best reasons to set that aside would be ubiquity – if I can pick up a game and play on any screen1, it would be hard to beat the convenience.2

Google has that opportunity, if it wants. The next play is for your triple-A game library to follow you wherever you go. They’ve just got to move quickly, before someone else beats them to it.

  1. Unless it is an Apple screen
  2. Not that I can get to to many other screens right now, given we can’t leave the house.

Yesterday was my last day at Delphi Technologies. It was my first real job out of college.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. It was challenging and fulfilling, starting in test automation for embedded systems, and ending as a product owner on a cross-functional development team. As with any rewarding endeavor, I constantly went back and forth between “I need to leave this place” and “I’m going to retire here.” Ended up going with the first one, but I got nine years of experience and friendships to show for it.

It was bittersweet. I am simultaneously excited for the future, and sad to leave my coworkers (if any of you find this – Hi! I have a blog). I wish them all the best – they are well equipped for the challenges ahead.

I accepted a job offer to return to software testing – this time on web and consumer-facing applications. That was two weeks ago, and now there is a high possibility that my onboarding Monday will be remote. Pandemics move fast. Still extremely excited, with that twinge of apprehension that comes with speeding toward the unknown.

To new beginnings.

Our kid is in imaginary friend stage. The thing is, his imaginary friend is named Pappy. Pappy is his other dad.

Pappy is constantly one-upping us, his actual parents. Pappy lives on a lake with his pet shark, Hammy. Pappy’s house is a little bigger than our new house, but “not as big as a building. It’s like 68 meters tall.”

Very matter-of-fact, as I was walking out of his room after saying goodnight, he called me back to tell me something. “I need you to go tell Mommy this: Pappy robbed a bank and then he had to go to jail. Ok, goodnight Dad.”

Anyway, watch this space for further Pappy updates, to find out how he has humiliated us this time.

In late December 2009 I was playing Elder Scrolls: Oblivion in my college apartment, and got into a spat with my girlfriend, who was disappointed that I was spending money on games and not thinking about the future. That capped off the previous decade.

From there, I got a ring proposed in March, graduated college the next December, got a job and got married in 2011, got Charlie in 2012, bought a house in 2013, had a kid in 2015, moved and helped Jessie start law school also in 2015. Most of the rest can be pieced together from previous years-in-review. Basically, we have all come a long way, and it has been a great decade.

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One of the first RSS feeds I added to Google Reader (RIP) was Deadspin (also RIP). It was always a bright spot in the day, opening the Funbag or Dadspin or the latest goofy/dumb/weird sports blog.1

I will miss Deadspin. It’s voice was funny, irreverent, and genuine, and it was home to several fantastic writers. Others will eulogize the site better, but I will say I started my blog around the time I started reading Deadspin regularly.

Here are my favorites, in no particular order. Read them with several ad blockers on, if you don’t want your RAM to melt.

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This was our third Hold Steady show. First one was the Pitchfork Music Festival in 2008, and second was in Indianapolis in 2014.

The Hold Steady has been my go-to since early college, and it has aged much better than other favorites from that time. I maintain that had I not been listening to their first 3 albums on continuous loop for the last 72 hours before finals, I would not have completed my microcontrollers class project and would have failed out of college. Same went the next semester with compilers class. Saved by Barfruit Blues and A Multitude of Casualties.

My only note was that I was looking forward to hearing “Chicago Seemed Tired Last Night”, and did not, maybe because it was their first of 3 nights in Chicago and they hadn’t been in Chicago last night. I did enjoy their cover of the opening band’s song “Fresh Pope.”

Raising toasts to Saint Joe Strummer
What the hell, I’ll tell my story again
The setlist

(I have published this far, far after the fact because I am a busy person, but this needed to be logged at the correct time for posterity.)

Getting into bad habits with the bookmarks again. Here are all the open links on my mobile browsers.

In mobile Chrome, a collection of reference material and biting essays:

In mobile Firefox, an aspirational reading list and unread items from my micro.blog feed:

(and 2017 as well)

What a year(s) it has been. Even if I had written a year in review post for 2017, 2018 still felt like it was five and a half years. But, like 2017, I do not feel like writing one of these posts this year. Maybe it is because it is not as fun as it used to be. Maybe it is because all the things I would put here are already posted, categorized neatly without the need for an EOY summary.

The major theme for me of the past 1-2 years is that I feel like I could not keep up. Everything moved fast, and seemed to constantly accelerate. Professional responsibilities changed, which was exciting and harrowing. Our toddler is a big kid, to the point where he wants to do everything but can’t just yet. The world at large seems to hurdle between inspiration and death spiral, practically minute to minute.

So I’m going to use some of the scrum training we got this year for a full-blown retrospective.1

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I need to start keeping a list of these, since it feels like every time I come back to the blog, there is something else to try.

  • IndieWeb WordPress plugin – encompasses several, including Webmention, Post Kinds, Syndication Links, and Micropub
  • Functionality plugin, to add date/time to posts that do not have a title (titles are frowned upon for micro.blog syndication).
  • Indiebookclub, an IndieWeb friendly version of Goodreads
  • Aperture plugin, to enable Microsub support for aperture.p3k.io
  • Together, a Microsub reader
  • Indigineous, a Microsub reader for mobile

Over the years I’ve become wary about new services and silos. But I’ve made an exception for Letterboxd, a social network for sharing your taste in movies. I joined a few months ago, and I am really enjoying the singular focus on a medium that everyone participating really likes.

From a social media standpoint, it seems like a good idea to focus the interactions through a specific lens, to start from a common ground1. I am also a sucker for cataloging things and life-logging. You can follow and heckle my taste here.

  1. There are always exceptions.