I have to say that I admire companies like iD for staying private despite enormous success. IPO fever in tech companies is almost constant, undoubtedly because VCs love it as an exit strategy, but it’s a sure-fire way to turn a great company with solid direction, principles and a long-term strategy into a nervous, twitchy being with one eye firmly on a quarterly earnings report and ever-eager to scrabble frantically at any short-term technique to shore up a stock price.

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VG Cats is a pretty amusing comic (although it can be quite variable and is updated infrequently), and one of my favorites is this one. On spotting it in the archives it made me think about what shortlist of people I’d most like to meet. I haven’t met a lot of high profile people in my lifetime; up until recently claim to fame was meeting Jimmy Saville when I was about 6.

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“Holy Spandex Batman, it’s suddenly February! What nefarious villain stole January away from under us? And what insane genius made this month several days shorter than the others?” “It’s clearly a conspiracy, Robin. Now, you draw the enemy’s fire with your conspicuous, brightly coloured outfit while I sneak about in the shadows for a while.” Yes, time flies when you’re havi-, well in my case working my arse off. In the last few days I’ve been tackling a few random things.

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Some of you may have noticed I’ve committed a facial animation demo to Dagon now. The demo shows the prescripted animation sequence I’ve posted a movie of before on this blog, and also allows you to play with blending the various poses in realtime, to show how it’s done. Now, I’m clearing some patches, then I plan to move on to some of the remaining Dagon features. Because we’re short-handed now, some of the less important features may get pushed out to Eihort (1.

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Welcome back, spammers

Well, the comment spammers appear to have finally worked out that I’ve changed blogging software. It took them a while, I think they should review their procedures because really, 2 months to figure this out wasn’t very impressive. The frequency of comment spam being posted has now returned to previous levels (13 today), happily ensuring that I always know where to get my cheap Viagra, fake Rolex watches, and 2-day diplomas.

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Including some form of online play is turning into something of a must-have for many games these days. Once, it was the domain of a few PC first-person shooters, now it’s literally everywhere. I used to enjoy a good bout of networked Quake / Unreal Tournament a number of years ago, but my interest in testing my metal against online opponents has waned over the years. It’s mostly because, whilst I still enjoy playing games, I do it now just for the enjoyment of the experience, not because I have a need to utterly master every game I come across.

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This article made me initially have a double-take. Nintendo in a Saga magazine? The whole idea sounded bonkers, half their readership would probably have no idea what the DS was, never mind what you did with it (“it sort of looks like a spectacle case, dear”). Then I thought about it a little more. I had an eye-opening experience last year - my parents have now retired to a sleepy village in Cornwall, and I gave them my old Sega Dreamcast to play with since my Dad showed an interest in games but wasn’t sure if he’d really get into them so didn’t want to spend any major cash without knowing.

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I often want to kill web designers. Ok, perhaps not kill. More like, strap them to a chair, lock their head in a vice, prop their eyelids open and then make them watch one of their poxy flash animations over, and over, and over again until it is burned deep into their visual cortex. Flash animations have always been the anathema of a pleasant web experience. From incredibly irritating flashing / scrolling, pulsing adverts that make you susceptible to frequent seizures, to ‘cool’ popping-out, sliding about, fading / sparkling user interfaces that only an art graduate with his head firmly wedged up his own arse could love.

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Well, it appears that Ninty were fibbing to everyone when they denied the rumours over the last few weeks, and they do in fact have a new version of the DS in the wings, called the DS Lite, so named not because it has less features than the regular DS (as the misspelling of ‘Light’ would usually imply), but because it’s, well, lighter. Both in hue and mass - it’s ‘iPod white’ and 21% lighter at 215g.

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Good news, I’ve had permission from Avid / Softimage to use content from the XSI tutorials, so I’ll be able to distribute the facial animation demo with Dagon. This is great, since I’m truly rubbish at modelling anyway, and my attempt would have no doubt resulted in a supremely disfigured face contorting in some freakish way, which rather than suggesting speech, would have hinted at some sort of high-voltage genital torture.

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