Federated Architecture

Tonight on GeekNights, we discuss Federated Architecture in light of the collapse of Twitter. Federation is how most of the Internet works, and you should understand the ramifications of it before you dive into platforms like Mastodon. From XMPP (formerly Jabber) to ActivityPub, even the nature of an email address, federation is how the Internet was intended to be used.

In the news, the FCC has a more accurate broadband map, and the rail unions are (rightly) threatening to strike over intolerable working conditions.

Chinese Food

Tonight on GeekNights, similar to our episode on Indian food, we consider Chinese food including American Chinese food. We're big fans, but we are not experts, so don't expect to learn anything from two white guys in New York. In the news, snow's a-comin', Democrats defied history, and Ticketmaster is as evil now as it was in the 90s.

Comms in Games

Tonight on GeekNights, we discuss comms in games. Text chat, voice chat, open versus restricted, and the like. In the news, Pentiment is available, and Rym is obsessed with Disco Elysium.

The POSSE Model and The End of Twitter

Tonight on GeekNights, in the shadow of Twitter's collapse at the hands of a narcissistic failure of a man, we discuss the best way to protect yourself from the inevitable collapse of every platform: the POSSE model. Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere.

Live at PAX Unplugged 2022

GeekNights will be live at PAX Unplugged 2022!

Why is this game taking four hours to play?!
Sunday, Dec 4th
11:30am ET
Crab God Theatre (Room 113B)

We’ve all played the '30-60 minute' board game that seems to always take exactly four hours. Your definition of 'a quick game' always seems to be far from what your friends think. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Join us for a lively discussion of what factors, from game design decisions to players’ interactions, cause games to take too long. We’ll then teach you, in detail, how to take your #@*$ turn!

Posted: Thursday November 17, 2022

Losing
PAX West 2022

Winning is good, and losing is bad. We strive to win, and this is the basis for most of the games we play. Challenges are binary: we either overcome them, advancing the story, or fail, and must try again. But, what if we were to toss this conventional wisdom aside? Do we really only have fun when we win? Have you ever had that moment in a game where epic and total failure was the most memorable part? What kinds of games would arise if we strove to make losing, instead of winning, the point?

Book Club - Alif the Unseen

When making this selection I checked my wish list and noticed two separate books were coincidentally by the same author. And at that time I had never heard of G. Willow Wilson. She rose to prominence writing Marvel comics, most notably the Kamala Khan Ms. Marvel series that was later adapted for television. Clearly this was a sign. I presented both of her novels "The Bird King" and "Alif the Unseen" as options, and Rym selected the latter.

"Alif the Unseen" is a Middle Eastern cyberpunk adventure. That description alone is enough to convince me to read it. Did I also mention it won a ton of awards? The description of the novel on the publisher's web site reads:

Alif the Unseen is a masterful debut novel, an enchanting, incredibly timely adventure tale worthy of Neil Gaiman. In an unnamed Middle Eastern security state, a young Arab-Indian hacker protects watched groups from surveillance and tries to stay out of trouble—until he falls in love with the wrong woman and unleashes a forbidden text thought to be written by the jinn.

I would be very surprised if somehow this book doesn't go over well.

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