Terminal Phase: side-scrolling shooter in the terminal

Terminal Phase is a side-scrolling shoot-em-up in the Gradius and R-Type tradition, but in text mode. In the terminal! It's free software created by Christopher Lemmer Webber [Patreon].

The game is completely playable and is a fun game (well, at least a number of playtesters told me they thought it was fun). It includes two levels (one of which is more balanced than the other), and more content is on its way (1.0 isn't the end!). You can see it being played above in cool-retro-term but it works in all sorts of terminals, including gnome-terminal and etc.

I also released a video recently (archive.org mirror) of me doing a live playtest of the game and also showing off how to make new levels and program new enemies (which serves as kind of an introduction, but probably not the best one, to Spritely Goblins).

One of the first games I had as a youngster was Harrier Attack, which was essentially the same idea of a textmode side-scrolling shooter, albeit with redefined characters to try and get it looking "better". It was not great.

Police called on man for attempting to deposit checks while black

Air Force veteran Sauntore Thomas was "humiliated" when a teller at TCF Bank in Livonia, Michigan decided, without any rational cause, that three large checks Thomas brought for deposit were fraudulent. Rather than easily confirm the checks, the teller called the cops!

Thomas is now suing TCF Bank. I hope he receives some new large checks to deposit his new bank.


Thomas' attorney, Deborah Gordon, said he was able to deposit the checks at another bank without a problem and they cleared less than 24 hours later. She said bank employees could have easily verified the check before calling law enforcement.

"My client had very legitimate checks and he had a bank account at this bank," Gordon told ABC News Thursday. "Right away they told him there was an issue with verifying the checks, which makes zero sense because these checks were from a large corporate entity."

"They kept telling him there was an issue of fraud and that's what caused them to call the police. So then I have to ask, 'What is the reason you think there's fraud?'" she added.

Gordon said her client called her as he was being interrogated by two police officers, while others stood guard outside of the bank. She said she called the bank, but the employees were extremely dismissive and denied her request to speak with a manager.

"There's no explanation for that other than the fact that my client is African American and that is my firm belief. They never offered an explanation as to why the police were called and they never offered an explanation that made any sense as to why they thought the checks were fraudulent," Gordon said.

Planters Peanuts is killing off their cannibal capitalist mascot in the most capitalist way possible

Today, the Planters' Peanut brand announced the "death" of Mr. Peanut, the jingoistic mascot-in-a-monocle who sold his own people down the gullets of Americans for more than a century.

Lest you thought this was supposed to be an indictment of cannibalistic capitalism, it's actually just a PR scheme to tie in with a Super Bowl commercial. Like a true race traitor, the anthropomorphic man died while saving the life of his human friends, Wesley Snipes and Matt Walsh (the actor, not the idiot blogger).

His peanut friends, meanwhile, continue to die en masse to satisfy our (read: my) taste buds.

There will surely be another Mr. Peanut announced in the coming days to shamble forth like the zombie of corporate exploitation. In the meantime, at least we have this little gem from the delightfully under-rated Clone High USA, which I spend way too much time thinking about on a daily basis.

Planters really has killed off Mr. Peanut, with a funeral planned for the Super Bowl. [Jessica Wohl / Ad Age]

Image via InOttawa/Flickr

Save up to 50% on these best-selling kitchen gadgets from Gourmia

When it comes to top-quality kitchen gadgets that won’t break the bank, nothing beats Gourmia. These eight best-selling Gourmia tools will help you take your culinary prowesses to the next level, and each one is available for an additional 15% off when you enter the coupon code COOKSAVE15 at checkout.

1. Gourmia GTF7350 6-in-1 Multi-Function Stainless Steel Air Fryer Oven

MSRP: $95 | Sale Price: $90 | Price w/ code COOKSAVE15: $77

This multi-function air fryer makes cooking fast, healthy, and easy—thanks to patented 360-degree cooking technology that ensures your food cooks evenly every time.

2. Gourmia GPC965 6-Qt Pressure Cooker with Auto Release

MSRP: $200 | Sale Price: $100 | Price w/ code COOKSAVE15: $85

This simple appliance makes cooking 70% faster while maintaining maximum flavor, and you’ll be able to create up to 13 presets for your go-to meals.

3. Gourmia GAF575 5-Qt Digital Air Fryer

MSRP: $100 | Sale Price: $80 | Price w/ code COOKSAVE15: $68

Enjoy all of your favorite savory food without the unwanted calories with this digital air fryer, which eliminates most of the needless fatty oils and grease from your favorite fried foods.

4. Gourmia GAF688 11 Qt Digital Air Fryer Oven, Rotisserie & Dehydrator

MSRP: $190 | Sale Price: $150 | Price w/ code COOKSAVE15: $128

Prepare healthy, delicious meals for the entire family with this 360-degree multi-function cooker that also acts as a rotisserie and dehydrator.

5. Gourmia GCG205 14-Oz Automatic 4-Mode Digital Conical Burr Grinder

MSRP: $100 | Sale Price: $100 | Price w/ code COOKSAVE15: $85

This digital grinder makes it easy to enjoy the perfect cup of coffee every morning, by allowing you to fine-tune your grind with 39 different grind sizes from extremely coarse to extra-fine.

6. Gourmia GMF668BL 6-Can Mini Fridge & Wireless Speaker Combo

MSRP: $65 | Sale Price: $60 | Price w/ code COOKSAVE15: $51

With an insulated interior and an integrated Bluetooth speaker, this cooler will help you sip your favorite drinks while listening to your favorite tunes in any environment.

7. Gourmia GTF7450 17-in-1 Digital Air Fryer Oven

MSRP: $135 | Sale Price: $129 | Price w/ code COOKSAVE15: $109

Prepare crispy, delicious meals while eliminating many of the harmful oils with this oven’s patented express heat system.

8. Gourmia GAF735 7-Qt Stainless Steel Digital Air Fryer

MSRP: $200 | Sale Price: $100 | Price w/ code COOKSAVE15: $85

This air fryer will help you indulge in all of your fried favorites, and you’ll be able to cook 30% faster than with competing ovens thanks to a 1,700-watt Express Heat system.

Prices are subject to change.

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Is an updated Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic in the works?

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic isn't just the best Star Wars game of all time, it is one of the best video games of all time! I still play it today and I would play the hell out of a remake.

The recent Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order is the first game to come close to this wonderful playstyle and storytelling. They could almost port the story into this the Fallen Order platform.

Fallen Order is well worth playing and is just beautiful. This is in stark contrast to every other recent videogame in the Star Wars universe except maybe Beat Saber.


According to a new report, Electronic Arts is planning on bringing back a classic Star Wars game in the remake form. More specifically, a remake of BioWare's Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is currently and allegedly in development. The report comes way of Cinelinx, which claims that it as been told by two independent sources -- one of which has been reliable in the past -- that EA is currently working on reviving the classic game. Now, one source claims it's a straight up a remake, while the other says it's more of a sequel that would take elements from the game and its follow-up and combine then into one single game. Meanwhile, it would also make the game canon. In other words, it would be more of a reboot or reimagining than a straight remake.

I am ready to pre-order!

Racist remark about Sikh soldiers leads to apology from suddenly-famous English actor

English actor Laurence Fox told an interviewer that it was "oddness" to see a Sikh soldier in World War I epic 1917, agreeing that shoehorning people of different ethnicities into dramas "is kind of racist - if you talk about institutional racism, which is what everyone loves to go on about, which I'm not a believer in, there is something institutionally racist about forcing diversity on people in that way."

The problem for Fox, of course, is that Sikhs fought in World War I, for the British, in the trenches where 1917 was set.

He soon "apologized", but only for being "clumsy."

Fellow humans who are #Sikhs

I am as moved by the sacrifices your relatives made as I am by the loss of all those who die in war, whatever creed or colour.

Please accept my apology for being clumsy in the way I have expressed myself over this matter in recent days.

— LAURENCE FOX (@LozzaFox) January 23, 2020

Here's what you should understand about this apology: he still thinks that he's right. Just because it's true Sikhs fought for Britain in World War I, it still "feels incongruous", as he put it in another interview. Crow all you like about the forced half-apologies, but the only thing that's moved for this guy is the goalposts.

You are looking at 84 million stars in the heart of the Milky Way -- how small do you feel now?

My God, it's full of stars!

To create this unprecedented view of the Milky Way, ESO combined thousands of individual images from VISTA, taken through three different infrared filters, into a single monumental mosaic. These data form part of the VVV public survey and have been used to study a much larger number of individual stars in the central parts of the Milky Way than ever before. Because VISTA has a camera sensitive to infrared light it can see through much of the dust blocking the view for optical telescopes. The results are truly mesmerizing!

More info here. See a zoomable version of the image here.

Image: ESO/VVV Survey/D. Minniti (CC BY 4.0)

Gmail's "Smart Compose" feature is terrible at helping freelancers negotiate

I'm a musician. I'm Irish-American, and play Irish music (among other things). And I live in Boston. Naturally, St. Patrick's Day presents me with some potentially lucrative opportunities.

Unfortunately, Gmail is not a very good negotiator:

In case you can't quite tell what's going on in this screenshot: someone asked how much money I wanted in exchange for providing music. Google's "Smart Compose" feature recommended three possible responses I might want give — the first of which was "Free!"

For all the concerns that people might have about machines stealing our jobs, I certainly never expected them to try and trick me into giving my labor away for free as well.

According to Gmail, Smart Compose is "powered by machine learning and will offer suggestions as you type." While I don't typically use the responses that it recommends, the suggestions usually aren't that bad. I have occasionally found them helpful for quick, short responses. I even let Google try its personalization feature on me, which means it should be giving me suggestions that "are tailored to the way [I] normally write, to maintain [my] writing style." In other words, this machine learning mechanism should be based at least somewhat on the actual emails that I send.

But I can assure you: I have never received an email about money or a freelance job of any kind and then immediately replied with, "Free!" (For what it's worth, I have almost certainly answered with "What's your budget?")

Anyway, if you should find yourself in the Boston area on St. Patrick's Day this year, you can hear me sing some Dominic Behan tunes at Turtle Swamp Brewery in Jamaica Plain. But no, I will not be playing for free.

David Lynch's bizarre new Netflix short is a perfect companion to this quinoa recipe

David Lynch celebrated his 20th birthday by dropping a delightfully bizarre new short film on Netflix called WHAT DID JACK DO? The 17-minute-long murder mystery, which originally premiered at the Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain in Paris in November 2017, stars Lynch as a grizzled detective interrogating a capuchin monkey named Jack.

It's weird, and wonderful, and totally worth watching. After all, it's only a 17-minute investment.

But the black-and-white footage and incongruous tonality of hard-boiled grit and strange comedic circumstances also reminded me of one of my favorite Lynchian gems: this 20-minute video of Lynch cooking quinoa.

That's it. That's the whole movie. A surreal, moody, atmospheric cooking show for something as simple as quinoa, in a way that only David Lynch could do.

WHAT DID JACK DO? [David Lynch / Netflix]

Thumbnail Image via JVoves/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

This Bluetooth speaker creates a unique listening experience based on where its placed

Traditional headphones are overrated, especially now that this HumBird Bone-Conducting Speaker allows you to enjoy a rich and completely unique listening experience depending on where you place it.

A must-have item for true audiophiles looking to switch up their usual listening routine, this compact speaker uses cutting-edge bone conduction technology in order to deliver a high-volume sound that’s completely customizable based on your individual preferences.

It delivers your favorite tunes by turning them into mechanic vibrations of different frequencies—leveraging the effects of the different materials you place it near.

You’ll be able to listen to music for up to three hours on a single charge, and it’s easy to take this tiny-yet-mighty speaker with you on the go thanks to its small size and lightweight design.

Ditch the boring speakers and transform your listening experience with a HumBird Bone-Conducting Speaker, currently available for over 35% off at $26.99.

Prices are subject to change.

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Get this 7-piece cutlery set from Schmidt Brothers for 30% off

You don’t need to be a professional chef in order to enjoy a great set of knives in your kitchen, yet far too many would-be culinary pros settle for subpar blades that lose their edge after a few months.

This Schmidt Brothers® Cutlery Carbon 6 7-Pc Knife Block Set will bring a new level of quality and style to your kitchen, and they’re available for just $181.99.

Crafted with the home chef in mind, these knives are made from 100% German stainless steel that offers incredible strength and durability, and you’ll never have to worry about the edges going dull even after repeated uses.

They feature an ergonomic Schmidt Brothers Curve for a comfortable grip, and the included magnetic knife block makes it easy to stylishly store the knives when you’re not using them.

Embrace your inner chef by ditching the underwhelming knives and landing a Schmidt Brothers® Cutlery Carbon 6 7-Pc Knife Block Set while it’s available for $181.99—30% off its usual price.

Prices are subject to change.

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