Flipboard embraces Mastodon: subhead “The news reading app is going all in on the Fediverse.” so I don’t have to say “don’t forget fediverse”!
Wow. Early days of the iPad, Flipboard was the best news-reading app for a while. My 2010-11-11 review:
Perhaps the best app isn’t a newspaper at all, though. Flipboard is an aggregator for items from Twitter accounts and lists, your own or various public ones. Since many blog writers now tweet about every new entry, they all show up in Flipboard. Navigation is trivially easy and obvious, and little space is wasted on anything but information.
I’m not entirely pleased by how it shows articles, though: You see the first few paragraphs, then a link to the original site, so they can collect their ad revenue. While I sympathize with the need for ads, I just want everything collected. However, it does have a “Read Later” action which sends an article to Instapaper, the ONLY one of these newspaper apps which does.
Still, I think this is pretty close to the ideal for a newspaper. If it had RSS support, and a clearer separation of old from new content, I’d be happy to junk all of the “newspapers” and RSS readers I use.
It did later get RSS, and for years it replaced newspapers. They kind of bit-rotted, and my use of social media changed, so I lost touch with them.
So today’s announcement’s a “OH YEAH, THOSE GUYS”. They still had my old login but my password’s gone, recovered & set a real password, and I’m back in. Looks just like it always did. Remove some junk sources, and it’s a pretty normal newspaper again.
… There’s an option to connect my Mastodon account, but right now it fails at Authorize! So far Mastodon doesn’t show up in hashtag searches and such. They have their own Masto server at flipboard.social but I don’t need that.
Troll (2022): Roar Uthaug, Norwegian director of generally mediocre fantasies, a disaster movie, a comedy-ish cop show, and the bad remake Tomb Raider, has turned in his kaiju movie! And… it’s much much better than I expected. It’s fairly linear, dumb miners wake up a massive mountain Troll, literally the King of Edvar Grieg’s song In the Hall of the Mountain King as the use of a couple versions of the music and Dovrefjell location indicate. Paleontologist Nora Tidemann (Ine Marie Wilmann) is scooped up as a civilian expert, and she coincidentally has the most adorably insane father (Gard B. Eidsvold) who taught her about Trolls. The government is in total denial about the nature of the beast, and only considers military action, except for one wacky plan. Nerd heroes like Siggi the very cute military hacker (Karoline Viktoria Sletteng Garvang), and friendly soldier (Mads Sjøgård Pettersen) figure out the solution half-assed, lot of running around antics and people dying underfoot, world is saved.
The romance subplot I expected doesn’t go anywhere, Roar really misses a lot of conventional story beats, and often leaves us staring at conference or mess hall tables. The father is great, he’s like a Dwarf driven mad by knowledge, and eventually we find out just how mad he has reason to be. The Troll itself is sad and pining for the fjords, with again really good motivation and mythical backstory. Hoo-wa soldiers do their jobs despite obvious court-martial ignoring of orders.
Moral of the story: Don’t be a Christian, because Trolls can smell Christian blood.
Fluff, but a pretty good kaiju movie.
Trollhunter (2010): By André Øvredal, who also made The Autopsy of Jane Doe. Halfway between Blair Witch and X-Files, student filmmakers follow around a creepy man (Otto Jespersen) in a van, who turns out to be a professional Troll hunter, learn horrible realities their government does not want them to know.
The Trolls, plural, here are managed wildlife, with fairly wide-scale knowledge and consequences in the Norwegian government. Much more thought has been put into how they live and function, and each one has its own style. No boring office work here, just dark woods with something much worse than bears.
Cheaply made, and really the kids are all kind of indistinguishable, but the writing, plot, and cinema verité style carry it.
Moral of the story: Don’t be a Christian, because Trolls can smell Christian blood.
Stand Still Stay Silent aka SSSS (webcomic): wiki Trolls here are not giant monsters, but a plague that infects any animal life. Very small animals keep some original form and maybe a monster personality, but can be eaten by cats, which are immune to the plague; larger animals like people just turn into horrible gribbly masses of tentacles and parts, Shoggoths basically. Scandinavian old-timey pagan religion is the only real weapon against the Trolls.
90 years after the apocalypse, a crew of immune soldiers, psychic pagan wizards, cat, and a straggler or two get in a van and go scouting the old city. It’s just non-stop horrors, with occasional beauty of nature (but inherently violent, evil nature) reclaiming civilization. Just a charming comic. Zero punches are pulled.
The “second adventure” of the webcomic contradicts this with tainted bears that have personalities, the main characters lose their personalities, and then COVID happened, the author went insane and became a Christian with apocalyptic Mark of the Beast paranoia “oh no they’re gonna ban MY BIBLE” (says Christians just before banning every book except their Bible), and stopped the comic with Christianity saving everyone even tho it was explicitly useless nonsense before.
Moral of the story: Don’t be a Christian, because Christians are Trolls.
★★★★☆ for the first adventure, ☆☆☆☆☆ for the second.
Trollies Radio Show Sing-A-Long (1992): This was on FORGOTTEN_VCR the other day, and it is nightmarish. Ripoff “troll” doll puppets sing bad covers of pop rock songs. The DJ Trollie [sic] isn’t the worst thing ever, and the saxophone rock crab is great, amazing, but everything else is 30 minutes of child entertainment hell. Man has sinned against all the gods and this is our punishment.
Moral of the story: Don’t have ears, because the Trollies will kill you with them.
★☆☆☆☆ yes is actually preferable to SSSS adventure 2.
I’ve so far on iOS bought “Myst (Legacy) for Mobile”, “Riven (Legacy) for Mobile”, “The Manhole: Masterpiece”, and “realMyst” [sic capitalization]. On Mac, I played the original CDROM Mac Classic Myst, Riven, URU, and “realMyst Masterpiece” [sic capitalization], Obduction off Steam. Cyan got their pound o’ flesh.
Myst (Legacy) & Riven (Legacy) has screen-by-screen tapping, it’s extremely obscure what’s going to happen when you do, and the low-rez screens compressed into the teeny OG iPhone size aren’t great. But it’s also the only version that has Riven! And it’s basically playable. These are fine. Adequate. ★★★☆☆
The Manhole is super weird. It’s for kids (“V is for VOID”), but you’ll like it. Go experience it, it’s $1.99 and maybe the best if most amateur, almost outsider art thing Cyan’s ever done. You think Myst is perplexing, Manhole is 100x weirder and harder to navigate. ★★★★½ (down ½ for the tiny window & unlabelled tap areas; the content is ★★★★★)
realMyst has a pretty reasonable modern interface. You’ll want to “invert look” (I just started it up for a screenshot, and couldn’t get up the stairs until I flicked that switch). The graphics are fine for an early-00s 3D game, and honestly you don’t need more than that. I’m not going to re-solve it, but I did so without cheats last time (sweet Cthulhu I hate the subway puzzle, and should’ve cheated that). ★★★★☆
Myst Mobile now, needs a pretty modern iPad, my Air works fine but got very hot. The graphics textures & grass and such are much better, early ’10s quality but still not peak AAA quality. I can get better views from MineTest with shaders. I think realMyst has better lighting, or at least more consistent. Indoors in Myst Mobile I often couldn’t see much of anything, at the same brightness settings that were usable in realMyst.
I picked the “randomize puzzles” option, and sure enough the puzzles are different from standard, but all solved the same way as OG, go read books and look up values in the library, planetarium, click buttons and do a little math, etc.
Movement is with a soft joystick, and drag the screen to rotate camera. realMyst’s movement was much better.
The problem is the controls are all over the place. Doors are still sliders, rather than swinging open; 3D budget doesn’t go that far, I guess. Some buttons you just tap (there’s a new button to open the imager cave). Some switches you tap and they flip to the opposite state, some you have to pull all the way into position. Doors you tap on the handle… sometimes that works. The log cabin door was difficult to tap on, which you need to do at speed to reach SPOILER REDACTED. Knobs don’t turn linearly, but sort of randomly spinning to a new value as you move your finger. The clock tower puzzle is an unbelievable pain in the ass, getting the levers to move all the way down and not release is very fussy, I bet most new players cannot get them to work. I hate literally every control that isn’t a button.
The letter from Atrus to Catherine is missing, so you have no idea what the switches are for. If you know, the new CGI heads for Atrus, Cirrus, Achenar are super cheesy and plastic, like bobbleheads floating in space.
They have a camera, and as usual it only makes square, kinda shitty Polaroid photos even tho Polaroid’s been dead for 20 years, but there’s no journal, and they don’t save in order!!! THE FUCK. I actually miss the shitty grainy, wrong-gamma, square photos & journal in URU’s KI system.
They only give you access to the island first. So I opened all the Ages, and… can’t go to them. It’s $9.99 IAP, soon going up to $14.99. If you don’t own any version of Myst, that’s a good deal; if you’ve bought a new one every decade or so for the last 30 years, it’s kind of bullshit, and I’m probably not inclined to pay for it.
What I want is for them to remake Riven, maybe make peace with Ubisoft and remake Exile, Revelations, End of Ages, and URU? There’s a fan-made “real URU” in progress, so at least that’ll be playable again soon. Instead Cyan has Skyrim Disease, every new platform needs a new adaptation, but they never move forward. (Yes I’ve played Obduction; pain in the ass most tedious train simulator ever).
Screenshots are SPOILERS! (Soylent Green is PEOPLE!)