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Desperate public announcement

Do not obstruct the dooooooooor! Yes!! You!! At the rear!! I’m speaking to you!! sigh! There’s always one behind obstructing the doors even when there’s another train coming in a minute! sigh! SIGH!

He should have just thrown his microphone or PA device or however it is called and shout I GIVE UP!! I FUCKING GIVE UP!. That would have been more dramatic – I personally was laughing at him.

Well, if the idea was to be dramatic, of course.

Why are mobile phones such a piece of crap?

I mean, you have a look at any catalogue and it’s plainly disgusting. Instead of making more attractive phones, they are just more horrible with each new generation, while maintaining the same ultra-abusive tariffs which could also be referred to as complete rip-off, honestly.

We started with the Brick generation. Those phones were ugly as hell but we had faith in them. We could speak from (almost) anywhere with our friends. Hey!!! I’m in the beach!!! I’m not calling you from a cabin! I’m calling you from MY OWN MOBILE PHONE!! Isn’t it amazing YAY!

Then the WAP shit began. With WAP you’ll be able to access an infinite world of possibilities, they said. Bollocks! I always deactivated it (set the server to 0.0.0.0). What’s the point of browsing a slow connection in a 4 line screen, when there wasn’t anything interesting to browse. Unless you’re interested in 20 word descriptions of horoscopes, weather, lottery and irrelevant stuff like that, which can be checked in just 1 minute with your local free newspaper. Instead, the phone companies used to charge something like 1 euro just for the connection. God knows what else would follow, should you continue connected1.

As WAP wasn’t attractive at all -even if they tried to promote it until our ears poured blood in agony, they decided to spend insane amounts of money into getting licenses which would allow us to watch crap videoclips in small minuscule screens with a terrible sound system. This has only led to those stupid chavs in the buses and tubes listening to their pathethic black and bling music2, while us the rest of the passengers try to decide between leaving the bus/tube in the next stop, stamping their damn phone on their self-complacent faces, killing them or killing ourselves instead.

In the meantime, how’s the design gone? In a disastrous way. My third phone reached the best mark. It was a samsung which just weighed 96g, was small and handy. But one day it decided to act awkwardly and add strange noises to my conversations. But only when sending voice, so I heard the others perfectly, but they might think I was using one of those devices for altering voices so that it isn’t recognized.

Then I got another samsung which is slightly smaller but heavier. But hey, it has camera and can record sounds. But no Bluetooth or normal cable. Because you know, vendors love to create incompatible interfaces and their own standards, and don’t even dream of connecting it with a Mac, which is not using a normal operating system such as Windows.

Not that I bought it because it had camera or voice recorder. I bought it because it was the less ugly of the catalogue. And I wanted to try a shell phone; with regards to that, I would say that’s the worst idea since the creation of 3G. Mobile phone designers seem slightly retarded on this: while any other microdevices vendor is aiming at reducing the number of mobile parts, they go and add a cover to a phone, so that you need to open the cover each time you need to use the phone. That might be a lot of times a day (unless you’re me, obviously3). Maybe they thought it was fashionable to emulate laptops’ design.

Who knows! Who can understand people which think is a good idea to do offer entire line ranges in shiny pale pink, even with fake jewelery to imitate high end devices like those which feature real diamonds (and why would you want to have diamonds in a phone!!!? aaah!!). They could stick a (Bling) Barbie lifestyle on them and it would feel very appropriate, certainly.

And then they extortionate consumers which want to use mobile phones for their very purpose – mobility. Have you looked at the prices for internet connectivity? I just had a look at the prices for Spain. I felt outraged. The cheapest option is to sign up for a monthly flat rate of €39. But it’s not that flat. For those €39 you are just allowed to download ONE GIGABYTE. Should you exceed that, you will be charged 20€ per extra Gb.

That’s for the monthly option, which feels like been robbed already. But don’t get angry yet. If you happen to be an occasional visitor in Spain like me you would choose a per volume plan. Are you ready? 0.5€ per session. “Session” means 256kb of transmitted data (not sure if they mean up or downloaded data). So it means paying 2€ per Megabyte. I don’t want to think of downloading a Gigabyte.

I really doubt it is that expensive for them to provide that service. Obviously they are making their customers pay for all the inversions they did on those super 3G networks. But the worst is that kind of super-artificial marketing powered insane necessity they create. Just have a look at their imagery – it’s all about connecting with your friends, your family, your loved ones. Because obviously you need to have one zillion friends and send them one hundred messages per hour to demonstrate them how much you love them, chat with them in real time describing the most anodyne and insignificant events of your life (twitter anyone4?), and even more, have 0.5fps videocalls which sound worse than 2-bit synthesized sounds.

So when you approach this whole business looking for a normal solution to a normal problem (a mobile phone which also allows you to connect your mobile computer if you happen to need to check your email etc) and find this house of robbers, you end up as frustrated as me each time I have the feeling my phone is not working as it should5 and I might need to replace it.

I am so terrified.

I mean it.

1 I have no idea. Just know about the euro because the designers of my phone decided it would be a very good idea to have a one-click-connect button, and I clicked it accidentally, until I discovered how to deactivate WAP using brute force.

2 And what about the ohm ohm yo yo brotha ooooooooh yeah yeah yeah ohm ohm embarrassing lack of musical/vocal resources? I wouldn’t be so annoyed at this style if it hadn’t been brought to my attention. Otherwise, I would just have ignored it.

3 I can spend several days without turning the phone on, and even more, without noticing it’s off.

4 Maybe the reason twitter is not that famous here in Europe (for mobile phone) is because of these data rates!

5 I didn’t tell you about its tendency to get hung. You turn it on and expect it to be ok after you enter the pin. Instead it freezes there… and I have to disconnect the battery so that it really turns off. And more funnily, it shoots pictures by itself. A pity it just happens when it’s on my bag, so they are really dark and boring pics. In other case I would use it as the source for a daily photolog. Well, if only I could find a cable which worked with mac. HA HA HA. Mobile phones suck.

Tragamonedas Exóticas

¡Disfruten de un nuevo nivel en correo basura, déjense llevar por las ensoñaciones que provoca la descripción de este maravilloso producto conocido como Tragamonedas Exóticas, mejoren su estado de ánimo y ganen pasta rápidamente!

Hola, Acabo de descubrir un excelente sitio que me gustaría que conocieras. Si te gustan los lugares exóticos y emocionantes – ¡tienes que probar las nuevas Tragamonedas Exóticas! Yo las probé hace una semana y es lo mejor que he visto – ¡hay abundantes juegos, son hermosos y la atmósfera me puso de muy buen humor! Tienen una excelente oferta de bonos de 1000$… y cuando fui, gané $2000 y vi el dinero rápidamente. Sólo presiona aquí y verás por qué tuve que contarles a todos sobre esto.

(El link me lo quedo yo para enriquecerme vilmente y darles envidia a todos ustedes cual Tío Gilito nadando en la piscina de monedas)

Assembly 2007 videos & bonus gift

Since posting simple 4:3 pictures is so 90’s I’ve decided to post my videos and one panorama :-D

Part of the party place, with the famous rotating lights

Side screens

There were several of them in each side of the Areena. Good thing is that they were connected, so the letters appeared on the next screen when they disappeared from the one you were looking at.

And I’m not sure if somebody noticed, but there were different animations.

A funny detail, nevertheless :-)

Conga like

While we were waiting for the demo compo to begin, some people decided to dance around the place… and it was a good amount of people, just take a look at the video. They were going in and out the ground floor, going up the stairs and then appearing again from an unpredictable door far away.

All of that while singing an strange child song. At the end they even convinced someone to put the lyrics on the screen and everybody sang and clapped. Crazy!

Sokuseki

The screen looks minuscule from here! But the idea was to gather the ambience i.e. people reaction to the demo.

Trace has done a video version, with more details than the party version one. See Sokuseki at xplsv.tv

Party panorama

Since I discovered that my new camera had a panorama-made-easy function, I can’t stop trying to get the Best Panorama Ever. Unfortunately that’s not the case of this one, but at least allows you to get a grasp of the feeling in the party place.

There’s an extra image to the right which I haven’t been able to merge with the others. For some reason I took it excessively separated from the rest and it’s impossible to get it to work. So that’s why there’s more detail to the left than to the right.

Also it is terribly skewed. I’ll have to get a tripod or something one day if I want to do the Best Panorama Ever!

It’s interesting to note how they place people in the stands, whereas that’s very odd in Spanish parties. I just saw that once (at Euskal party 10) and I think they just added some extra seatings at the bottom of the stands as an emergency solution because they got fully booked or something.


Assembly 2007 Summer panorama

Click the image for a bigger version, but not the biggest version… the original one is something like 7398×2000 pixels, ask me if you really want it :-)

Impressions on Assembly 2007

Blimey!! Page 1 of 6, in the Assembly survey. What do they think, that I have the whole day for filling in forms? Like if this was some kind of psychological test or something. I think I’ll post here what I think instead.

Bad Points:

Too much Eau d’underarm

In addition to showing those slides which read Sleep! The party is more fun like that! the organisers should show also another slide which reads Have a shower! The party is more fun like that!. Specially on Saturday night – the whole place stank.

Outdated slides

Talking about slides, it would be cool if they showed always current information, i.e. outdated slides were removed. At one point they were announcing the party t-shirts and later on saying they had all been sold out.

Too many home stereos and rotating lights.

I think they should really either ban all the stereos or just kick out the attendants which insist on letting everybody know how bad their musical preferences are. At certain moments it was necessary to use earplugs to be able to listen to my thoughts. It’s fine if they want to play music, I can bear with that. Abusing it is a completely different concept.

Same goes for the useless rotating lights, I understand modding lovers like to create their own environment and that includes the light surrounding them etc, but at certain moments it was quite annoying to have all those lights flashing around yourself and everywhere where you looked at.

And what’s the purpose of bringing those lights to a party? Pinpointing yourself in a map? Saying Look mum!! I’m where the third rotating light is!!! just in case she sees the special tv1 program about Assembly?

Stand up comedy

It’s pretty much hopeless to make jokes in English when it’s not your native tongue and/or you’re not fluent in it. I have experience in that, so trust me in this one. Most of the times I didn’t even notice it was supposed to be a joke, and so I kept listening to the presenter, my facial expression completely unmoved.

At the end it just makes presentations tedious.

Messages and announcements in Finnish only

They should really take notes from Breakpoint in this one. All the public announcements in Breakpoint are in english, so that everybody in the public gets informed. I thought that was the point of public announcements.

Lots of announcements, instead, were in Finnish. Leaving us in a very confused state of mind.

Prizegiving ceremonies

There’s something more cumbersome than forced jokes. It is somebody reading numbers and enumerating the points differences between each competitor. And there’s a solution for that: Prizegiving ceremonies software! Featuring amazing and exciting growing bars which can show the rank and the total amount of points, while playing nice music which induces the crowd to clap altogether and gives a very old-school finishing touch to the party.

Website and PMS

The website needs serious information reorganising. It was hard to find elemental things such as the compo deadlines, and then there were lots of sections dedicated to rules rules rules rules rules and more rules. Did I say rules? RULES!

PMS (Party Management System?) needs little things to be more explanative. For example, when I tried to upload an entry, I was asked for The ticket. What was the ticket? In fact, they wanted to say the paper stripe with a long string of numbers and letters which you got when you paid for the tickets. It would have been enough with showing an example, such as: Hint! the ticket looks like AS2007JSD78FSDFHKSDJHFWU4YGSDJF1. Luckily there was Gargaj around to help!

Oldschool area name

It’s quite misleading. It feels a bit out of place to be there with a shiny mac. I suggest it to be renamed to the more simple and obvious name of demoscene area. That would prevent people from expecting living computing dinosaurs sitting in that area and punching cards. Ah no, that’s too ancient – let’s just leave it in using a floppy disk.

Sound system was crap

Enough said.

Good points:

Good demoscene exposure to non sceners.

The Scenebooth was a very good idea. People which was in the booth said there had been lots of people coming there and asking questions, so with some luck some of them will get into the scene.

I’m not too sure about the location of the Oldskool area… if you move them away they look like if they are laboratory rats and nobody will want to touch them, but at least they do not have to put up with the crazy Finnish and their person-sized home stereos and freak music.

And if they are inside it’s better because in theory a curious non-scener could go to one of the scene places and ask them about the demoscene and all that. If only half of the people sitting in the oldskool area weren’t playing games all day long. Oldskool games like Bubble Bobble and Prince of Persia, actually. I saw it with my own eyes o_o!!

I think every generalist party should have a delegation of Scenebooth. With subwoofer.

Respect

In contrast to other parties (I’m looking at you, Euskal!) where gamers are just waiting for the smallest chance to create a revolution or ruin the scene events, here they turn off (most) of the equipment and pay attention to the scene compos.

Also, sceners are not moaning constantly about how evil gamers are. Given that I had done my homework, I even considered joining some game compo – if only I wasn’t so untrained :-)

I’m not sure if it’s just a convenient way of getting along or the difference between north and south Europe. But anyway it’s nice. It should be imitated.

Happy attitude

Don’t have the slightest idea of what the name of that children song was, but the moment when so many people began to dance/run/sing forming a long column around the party was very funny. Same for the final of that dancing game (wasn’t it Dance Revolution or something like that?), these guys are so amazing. How can they move their legs so fast!!

AssemblyTV

Every party should do that too. I’m not asking for the Assembly Demos in High Definition thing but a nice stream would be very cool. Euskal! I’m looking at you again!

Alive

It was a good idea since generally technorati does not work very well with these massive but not that massive events. A pity so few people used it.

Lives (raves)

Although I was just a bit in Lackluster’s live. But it’s cool to have lives, nevertheless.

Wireless connection

Even if it was a bit crappy due to the party location itself it was great to have some connectivity at every place I tried to connect. Also it seems that the wired network ran always properly so it’s something very remarkable too.

The rocks

It was funny until the police came! :-D

The weather

Sun for the first time in 1 month. In Helsinki – 60º10’N. Oh well! That’s what happens when you live in The Big Smoke, I suppose.

Conclusion

So will I go back to Assembly2? I’m not too sure. If I lived nearly maybe yes. But faced with the decision I would choose Breakpoint rather than Assembly. Bingen feels a bit claustrophobic after having gone there twice but they have currywurst. And a massive screen with also massive speakers.

Anyway, I checked another item on my list – I have been to Assembly!!

Next one… bcnparty!

1 And why did they have to use such a long code? I felt the urge to copy and paste it – even if I just had a piece of paper to copy from. Even youtube id codes are shorter.

2 And release the same song