Compare Fantasy Consoles

(nerdyteachers.com)

Joseph White ("zep") of Lexaloffle, the creators of Voxatron and PICO-8, coined the term "fantasy console" and describes it as:

"A fantasy console is like a regular console, but without the inconvenience of actual hardware. … It is similar to a retro game emulator, but for a machine that never existed."

Here, we want to highlight the best Fantasy Consoles for learning code and game development and help you choose which one is right for you!

Really thorough comparison of the three most popular fantasy consoles right now: PICO-8, TIC-80, and Pixel Vision 8. I've fiddled around with all three and really like them all, but have the most experience with PICO-8.

Not Like the Flu, Not Like Car Crashes, Not Like…

(www.thenewatlantis.com)

covidweeklydeathsusv2

The best chart and explanation I've seen for why COVID-19 is nothing like the flu and why we had to shut the country down.

Washington, Oregon and California announce Western States Pact | Governor Jay Inslee

(www.governor.wa.gov)

Joint statement from the governors:

COVID-19 has preyed upon our interconnectedness. In the coming weeks, the West Coast will flip the script on COVID-19 – with our states acting in close coordination and collaboration to ensure the virus can never spread wildly in our communities.

We are announcing that California, Oregon and Washington have agreed to work together on a shared approach for reopening our economies – one that identifies clear indicators for communities to restart public life and business.

It's mind boggling that states on the west and east coast have had to do this because of the unchecked incompetence in the executive branch, but here we are.

Marked Custom Styles

(marked2app.com)

A collection of custom styles available for Marked 2. Have your own and want to share? Use the Custom Style Uploader to submit for review.

I've been using Marked for years, but this is a really cool source of custom style sheets that I only just became aware of.

The Kids Are Playing Basketball Through a Pandemic

(www.wsj.com)

In the three weeks since March 20, the shot-tracking app HomeCourt recorded 5 times more shots and 25 times more dribbles than in the prior month, according to the company’s data. At this time last year, the app had logged a total of 10 million dribbles. Now it’s seeing more than 12 million dribbles per day.

I haven't had a chance to try one of the various basketball training apps like HomeCourt yet, but I've been fascinated by the demos I've seen. It's cool to see that enterprising young players are taking advantage of the social distancing situation to work on their individual skills in the meantime.

Spokane man continues hiking Pacific Crest Trail despite pleas to stop

(www.spokesman.com)

His decision to keep trekking flies in the face of public health experts and the pleas of trail organizers and communities along the way.

Johnston is neither apologetic nor alone in his decision to hike. On March 15, he started a Facebook page “Still Hiking PCT.” As of Friday, it had 1,200 members.

“I’m finally unplugging from the mainstream,” he said in a phone interview Wednesday near Idyllwild, California. “I’m going to live my life for me. And then coronavirus popped out. Well, sorry, I am going to be a little bit selfish.”

The question I have in all this is why he chose to publicize his choice and make an issue out of it by creating a Facebook Page. I think if all he wanted to do was complete through hiking the PCT, he could have kept to himself and done it relatively safely in obscurity. If he masks up every time he resupplies in one of the towns along the way so he's minimizing his potential to spread disease, that's not much different than staying at home and getting groceries once a week. One person doing this unobtrusively is fine, one person doing it and actively promoting it to others- not okay.

Bill Gates is funding new factories for 7 potential coronavirus vaccines, even though it will waste billions of dollars

(www.businessinsider.com)

Gates said he was picking the top seven from the available vaccine candidates and building manufacturing capacity for them. "Even though we'll end up picking at most two of them, we're going to fund factories for all seven just so we don't waste time in serially saying 'ok which vaccine works' and then building the factory," he said.

Twenty five years ago I thought of Bill Gates as a villainous figure because of the whole Windows vs Mac/Open Source angle, but I haven't felt that way for a long time. At this point I'm just really glad to have someone with his resources and intellect doing everything he can to help the world.

United States COVID-19 Tracking Dashboard

(www.us-covid-tracker.com)

Probably the most elegant state by state tracking dashboard and numerically efficient view of COVID-19 for the United States I've seen yet. I continue to be impressed by the visualization capabilities of the modern web even though this kind of thing is pretty ubiquitous. Source is available on Github as well.

Coronavirus Deaths by U.S. State and Country Over Time: Daily Tracker

(www.nytimes.com)

Deaths are not a perfect proxy for total infections, since the fatality rate from the disease depends on the underlying age and health of populations; the availability of various treatments; and the capacity of different health systems themselves. But they remain one of the best available measurements to compare places right now.

This is one of the more useful graph/data combos I've seen yet for figuring out the current Covid-19 situation in a given state1 because it shows deaths to date and current doubling rate. Projecting out a week from today (3/31/20) based on starting point and doubling rate I'm most concerned about New York (17,536), Michigan (2274), and Illinois (950) because they're all looking at an order of magnitude jump in deaths based on current trends. I'm really encouraged to see Washington has a doubling rate of 7 days currently- hopefully we're going to see clear signs in the next week of the doubling rates slowing down further throughout the country.


  1. Or country, although I'm just focusing on the U.S. in this post.

Pixel Vision 8

(www.pixelvision8.com)

Out of the box, Pixel Vision 8 is ready to play games, but why stop there? You can use the built-in tools to create 8-bit games with custom resolutions, sprites, sounds, and more. There is nothing quite like PV8 because it can be anything you want.

Pixel Vision 8, a fully customizable fantasy console that allows you to create, play, and share 8-bit games, is now free for the next few months thanks to the generosity of its creator. I've had my eye on this project for a while and I'm happy to get a chance to play with it further.