tablesaw: -- (Real1)
Hello, Google Profiles Team Member, and others!

There's not a whole lot I can do to talk to you as you go through this appeal, so I'm making this public post as the first informational link on my appeal, to help you get some context about what's going on here.

See, I was suspended on August 3rd. I appealed and was summarily rejected, but you asked me to send an e-mail for further review. The ticket number for that appeal was apparently #845437331. I sent an e-mail on August 4th. A public copy is here: Over the weekend, I waited to see if you'd respond or simply let it fall into the black hole of non-responses. But something different happened. My account went from having failed its appeal to having never had an appeal. At least, that's what it looked like from my profile page. I'm not sure; it's possible that my profile was reinstated and then re-rejected before anyone could see it. But I'm a little concerned that my last appeal, and the carefully considered words I sent you have been wiped clean from the last time.

But before we dicsuss theory, let's get to the links, shall we?

Dreamwidth is essentially my current base of operations on the Internet, where I am Tablesaw. This is a social network, where I am connected to hundreds of people who know me as Tablesaw. As you can see, I have archives for this name going back to 2002. Of course, many of those earlier entries are actually transferred from the previous iteration of this blog.

It was at Livejournal that I started the blog in 2002, and started to be known as Tablesaw to a wider web audience. Again, as a social network, LiveJournal introduced me to many people whom I now associate with offline as Tablesaw.

Before that, I joined the National Puzzlers' League, an organization with over a century of experience using chosen names in "real life," as Tablesaw. Now, I know what you're thinking, Google Person. That website looks terrible and doesn't itself, vouch for my identity much. I'll admit, I don't use the website much either. But then, you've kind of placed yourself in a bind, asking me to prove things that happen in "real life" with links on the internet. You see, most of the NPL events happen off of the internet (where all of my friends call me Tablesaw), so the web presence is naturally still a bit sketchy. Of course, it's there where I met the woman who would become my fiancée as Tablesaw.

And before the NPL, I was on IFmud as Tablesaw. Again, an online space that translated into "real life" friends who call me Tablesaw. There was, for example, the time when a dozen or so of us got together and rented a house on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, something that we managed without ever having to use anything but the handles from the MUD.

I don't know if you can see my own posts on G+ while I'm suspended, because I know the technology is still new. The second link is a backup. This link tells the story of the history of being recoginzed as Tablesaw by a small company that you might have heard of called "Google." See, it's hard to document my seven years of using Tablesaw Tablesawsen on my Gmail account as a link, so the best I can do is to tell you about it and assume that you can look up the information on your own. As they say in the legal profession, the documents responsive to your request are already in your custody and control. I can't tell you how to look into the history of my e-mail account, or my web history account (which I've also used since it was brought online).

Though I can show you the place where I've been using a Google social service under the name Tablesaw for four years. (Though, of course, I can't leave comments on most of my friends' pages like I could last month, because they're on Google Plus, and I'm suspended.)

And a further assortment of links to places where I'm known by Tablesaw on line, and where I interact with people who call me Tablesaw offline. Some of those represent places I don't visit much anymore. In fact, one person I encircled was someone from one of those fora with whom I hadn't really had contact in years, and I was so glad that using the name Tablesaw on Google Plus allowed us to find each other. Of course, that connection's gone now.

Finally, one more post from Google Plus, where one of the people I meet with weekly tells someone mocking my name, in no uncertain terms, that Tablesaw's the name they know me by.

Ok, links done, let's talk about your policy.

See, as I mentioned in that letter I sent to you guys last week, despite suspending me a bunch of times and linking me to your progressively updated Names Policy, nobody's actually told me what it is that's wrong with my name.

I understand that you don't want my legal or government-recognized name. That's good, because I don't really want to give it to you. (Though it does raise the question of why you'd asked for a But you do want "the name your friends, family or co-workers usually call you", and I've already given it to you—you've had it for over seven years.

Let's back up. Because, to be honest, there's a problem with your "Common Name" request, which is that I don't have just one common name. I've really got two. One of them I listed as my main profile name (in fact, as I said, I listed it as my main profile name seven years ago), the other I've listed as a nickname under privacy lock. I'm assuming that you can see that, with Google Profile powers, but I'm not going to mention it in this post, because it is, still, an open letter.

You're not really clear on what the difference is between a "common name" and a "nickname" really is. As far as I can tell, my two common names are also nicknames (since neither is, obviously, the name that my local government rigorously identifies me as). Now, I can see how helpful it is to have that other name in my nickname field, locked down under security so that only people whom I choose can see it, but beyond that, I don't see what your problem is with which common name I've placed where.

There's lots of reasons I don't want my other common name up in the big fancy spot on my profile. One reason is that the other nickname is rather close to the name by which the government rigorously identifies me. As you should be aware by now, what with the My Name Is Me campaign and other e-mails I know you're getting, is that making a name like that public opens one up to a lot of different forms of danger. And a lot of that ties into the circumstances I have two common names in the first place. Many people I know are aware of both names, and which they use at any given time is their business (and can switch in the same conversation sometimes). But the people who know me as Tablesaw (which includes a lot of people like my family (Hi, mom!)) have something in common: they are the people with whom I am more willing to share information about my life. And the people who know me only by my other common name are people whom I want to know as little about me as possible.

In other words, the social network that revolves around me as Tablesaw is far more valuable than the one that revolves around me as my other common name. More valuable to me, personally and emotionally, and more valuable to you because I'll be active in sharing with them.

And of course, there's the simple fact that I was here with this name long before Google Plus. When I went to initiate this appeal, the dialogue box that now appears eager to usher in a new name, wiping away years of history informs me that the name I change to is going to be changed in all Google products. Really? When just a month ago, it was perfectly fine for me to use all (and boy, do I mean all) Google products as Tablesaw, now you tell me that name's no good?

Well, maybe you do.

But you know—I know there's a lot of entitlement issues going around with Google Plus—but I do feel, after all this time, that I do deserve to be told why my name's not good enough for you anymore, if for no other reason than so that I can decide if I can change it for you.

Ok. I think that's it.

I hope you read all this, because I guarantee you, someone's going to.

And you know what? Depending on when you read this in relation to when other people read this, you can probably keep going down this page to see a bunch of my friends, friends in "real life"—and I guess I didn't even get to the part where somehow, "offline" is "real life," as though everything that happens on the Internet is somehow fictional (because, really, if online isn't "real life," then what does that make a web-based company like Google?)—tell you how they call me Tablesaw offline too.

I don't know if it even matters anymore.

After seven years, I'm starting to figure out what the cost will be of moving me e-mail address, simply because you think my name's not good enough for you and you won't tell me why.

Okay, it's late and I'm getting maudlin about this.

Best of luck with all this, Google Profiles Team Member. If you've read this far down, you deserve it.

And hell, you know what, I'm going to turn off IP logging, on the off chance that you want to leave a message. Anons get screened, and I won't reveal if you ask me not to.

Bed now. For reals.

Tablesaw out.
tablesaw: The pixelated dog from Duck Hunt, emerging from a real field of tall green grass beneath a clear blue sky. (Duck Hunt)
I follow Live Granades because, although I don't go to the IFMud much anymore, I spent a lot of time there, and really liked Stephen, and even spent some time on vacation with him and Misty. Mostly, I like looking at the pictures of their kids and Misty's craftwork.

But this is a seriously great post:
So to recap: a game intended to be religious was changed by its first disciple so that access to the religion involved either money or being famous. Possible responses include subverting it within or declaring a reformation and forking the project. Sound familiar?
Seriously go read it.

Stephen says later:
You want to know why I care about games? This is why. Chain World has spawned arguments about the greater meaning of games and how they reflect the wider world. Leave aside arguments about whether games are art or not. Games like Chain World have something to say about our lives.
Of the people I read talking about videogames, I really do think that Auntie Pixelante is the most insightful and radical. At a time when the "industry" is obsessed with making sure that videogames are "mature" while remaining juvenile, Anna Anthropy steps up to show what you can do when you're really at peace with the role of sex (even supposedly deviant sex) in a functioning human's life. Recently, Craft and Punishment closely examined the relationship between game maker and game player and the BDSM participants. And
Beyond Indie, presented at this year's Game Developers Conference proclaims:
the promise of tools like game maker—that let anyone make a game with no professional or programming experience—and the cheap broadband internet that allows them to distribute their games without a publisher is GAMES MADE BY EVERYONE FOR EVERYONE, not games by the same small handful of nerds for the same nerds to play.
Geek Feminism points out that the father of the first true videogame console, one that used a microprocessor specifically to play games, was Jerry Lawson, a black engineer. I knew about the Fairchild Channel F from my Encyclopedia of Game Machines, but while the importance of the machine is mentioned, Lawson isn't. (The space is saved for the head of Fairchild, Gordon Moore.)

Just a few cool things in videogames recently.
tablesaw: -- (Default)
And now it's time for everyone's favorite game: Internet Headline or Random Nouns?
Crash Mars Iran Quake Rescue Bid
(pointed out by [ profile] jrw)

Also, I am claiming creation of the words "philosotheory" and "commassacre". A commassacre is a flood or drought of punctuation that completely kills the meaning of a printed text. I don't know what the other one means, but it's mine. MINE!
tablesaw: -- (Default)
Two days ago, I put up a poll to look at differences between British English ("BrE") and American English ("AmE"). My Thoughts . . . )

If you have any thoughts or insights on the questions, the answers, or the poll results, feel free to post them. I'm certainly interested in them.

FriNYTX: 26.
tablesaw: -- (Default)
The following poll was inspired by some conversation on [ profile] ifmud about questions on the Cambridge exam for the Certificate of Proficiency in English.

Please don't look at the answers of others before you submit your own. Also, do not use any references. if you don't know an answer, just make your best guess or write "I don't know" as appropriate.

[Poll #299625]

Too Late.

Apr. 17th, 2004 01:30 pm
tablesaw: -- (Default)
It's too late now to write any more, and I'm not completely done making Step Two remote-solvable. Instead, I present a link to another hunt run by my friend [ profile] duchez for her newlywed husband [ profile] katre50. This was a trail of clues leading to the location of a birthday gift. Duchez reports that she was inspired to put it together by my tales of The Eggs Files. Follow along, from the perspective of the birthday boy.

Also, play Kingdom of Loathing.

SatNYTX: 13:30. Wow, a Saturday BEQ where I didn't get horribly stuck on a crossing.
tablesaw: "The Accurate Tablesaw" (Accurate)

The [ profile] npl conversation drifted to dead guys named John, I was reminded of a session of the unusual guessing game French Toast in which the ultimate answer was "Dead Guys Named Buddy." Well, the Mud has never been one to pass up an interesting game, and soon we were playing. After one very simple session, and one rather confusing one, we really hit our stride. Behind the cut is a transcript of the round (with the mud names removed to protect the . . . well, them) which traveled a marvelous route. (I urge you to read over the rules to French Toast first, so that you understand what's going on. Because we were working in a text environment, sometimes questions that had backed up were answered simultaneously.)

It Ain't Freedom Toast. )

There was one other interesting session, but I don't have time to format it. Puzzle Party today, don't you know.

SatNYTX: 15:15.

tablesaw: "Tablesaw Techniques" (Techniques)
Yesterday, I didn't get to bed early like I'd planned because I got obsessed with writing a cryptic crossword for [ profile] ifmud. A few days ago, there was some group-solving of the current Atlantic Puzzler. Only one clue, actually. I logged on after the group had solved it, and they challenged me to solve it on my own. I did, eventually, then discovered that they were so ashamed of their prolonged inability to solve that they'd wiped the memory of the conversation from the @recap commands. Silly.

The next day, I enlisted their aid in finishing up some cryptics from the NPL convention by [ profile] saxikath and Mr. E, with much more time dedicated to the latter. Mr. E's Jumble cryptic, with clues that may or may not have wordplay missing or adding a letter, was hard on its own, and explaining it was killer. I still have a few left on that one, which I may need to foist upon the Mud again.

Later, unable to sleep, I foolishly decided to whip up a simple puzzle specific to the Mud audience. The grid was completed rather quickly, which I later found out was a problem. See, I filled the cryptic grid the way I fill a standard grid, trying to add words which were unusual or which looked pretty. I forgot, of course, that later I would have to come up with clever wordplay involving each of them. This led to some headaches later on.

Eventually I unleashed the puzzle, and gleefully watched as a group of four had at the clues. There were many tweaks to be made, as things went on, but I was sad that my faulty memory of one IF game forced me to tank one clue completely. That's what I get for not rechecking the source.

Anyway, if you'd like, you can try the final version of the puzzle. Be forewarned, though, that several clues require knowledge of Interactive Fiction, or the denizens of the ifMUD. Also, you should probably know how to solve cryptic crosswords.


Jul. 27th, 2003 06:53 am
tablesaw: -- (Default)
A big congratulations to [ profile] shadesong for making it through twenty-four hours of blogging madness.

Also, happy birthday to [ profile] thedan.

For that matter, happy birthday to [ profile] storme.

tablesaw: -- (Default)
On Monday, I saw my friend Veek online. She's in town helping to take care of family and, although she's busy, I wanted to connect with her before the summer went ahead to far. So I asked if I we could go for a meal together. "What a coincidence," she said. "My friend Jon is in town visiting, and I'd love for you to meet him." So, a plan was set to go out Monday night. )

WedNYTX: 7:30. I have absolutely no idea what 34A is supposed to mean. WedLATX: 7.
tablesaw: -- (Default)
"Yes, the gods still walk among us.
And look, we can even flame them for how they made the world!"

tablesaw: Sketch of an antique tablesaw (Antigua)
My days are not your days; my times are not your times. When I say late night, you say early afternoon. When you say prime time, I say breakfast. When you say weekend, I say Monday Morning.

I still am never quite sure when a day is supposed to begin. At work, for example, I will work 88% of my eight-hour shift on June 13, but the time will be logged for June 12. And even though the calendar says it's Friday and the company says it's Thursday, for me, since it's my third working day of the week, it's Wednesday.

It's complications like this that lead me into trouble with things like deadlines when I tell IF-Review that, yes, of course I'll have my Anchorhead review finished by Friday, since Friday is the end of the week and the end of the week is Sunday.

Sigh. Back to writing, I guess.

FriNYTX: 20:21. Felt stupid for not getting 17A right away. ThuLATX: 11. FriLATX: 12.
tablesaw: -- (Default)
Savoir-Faire, by Emily Short claims to have been published under the aegis of Textfire, which arose five years ago as part of a middle-scale April Fools' Day hoax. The first public announcement of Savoir-Faire was also made on April First, and its inclusion of some rather suspect feelie packages (including a Babbage-esque non-virtual Z machine) led many (myself included) to believe that the game was a joke. Obviously, it was not, and a few weeks later, the game emerged, with a not-so-extravagant feelie package.

But Short draws on the Textfire name for something other than a cheap gag. Since the death of Infocom, there have been a few scattered groups on the rec.*.int-fiction newsgroups and similar venues who try to launch a glorious new fleet of commercial IF. They don't, really, and many become jokes in the process. Textfire, starting as a joke, made outlandish promises and gained a certain cachet among those following IF as the most respected nonexistent Interactive Fiction company around.

That ironic respect is critical to creating the atmosphere of the game. Infocom games are usually referred to as such, not as Meretzky games or Lebling games. As a "Textfire Classic" title, Savoir-Faire is distanced slightly from Short, known for simulationism and complex character interaction, and is situated more closely with what it wants to be: a text adventure (not so much a "work of Interactive Fiction"), generic in structure but engaging in execution, where the story, though interesting, is secondary to solving the puzzles that are present throughout. "Old-school," as Short says.

Old School Is in Session... )

Savoir-Faire doesn't miss a trick and stays enjoyable from beginning to end. Driven by creative puzzles with memorable puzzles. Just as memorable is the story arc, which has, at its centerpiece, two vivid reimaginings of common IF tropes, the acquisitive rogue and the absent inventor. Pierre's sense of entitlement blossoms effortlessly from troubled class issues of his background. Glimpses of Marie's meticulous creation of magical clockwork add a further patina of loneliness to the already abandoned building. And for me, perhaps, both characters live so delightfully because they seem to reflect so strongly the personality of their creatrix, Ms. Short, who roguishly wrote a game containing many of the aspects of IF that many commentators have declared as dead and who meticulously toils over each period-accurate, wax-sealed letter sent out as a feelie. (Also, she wears dashing hats, when available.)

Game Specifications, a la SPAG )
tablesaw: -- (Default)
Current poll is: Tablesaw dearlier than ever.
tablesaw: -- (Default)
"Where were you when you heard . . . ?" questions are arise with many major events.

For two of the most recent events, the attack on the World Trade Center and now the explosion of the Space Shuttle Columbia, my answer would be the same: ifMUD. I expect I'll be there for many more.
tablesaw: -- (Default)
I've been writing this slowly, so I thought I'd post the beginning:

In recounting the tale of my vacation, I begin with the last day, which took about sixty hours.

On Friday morning, I awoke in Providence and packed my bag with toiletries, extra clothes and some warm-up puzzles to work on as I rode into Boston. [ profile] veek drove me to the Providence Commuter Rail Station and I boarded the train into the city. It was a calm ride. Once there, I switched to the T and exited at Kendall Square, near MIT. [ profile] davidglasser had provided me with some rather convoluted directions ("Turn right onto the street whose name I can never remember . . ."), but I was running out of time and followed them to the best of my ability. Although I went off track about half-way through, I still managed to end up in Building 4, my destination, and I quickly found ACRONYM headquarters.

It was about 11:50 a.m. and the entire team was heading off to Lobby 7 for the opening of the Hunt. I barely had time to drop off my things before I ran outside to follow Codex out the door. It wasn't until we were all gathered in the large main entrance of MIT that I got to stop and introduce myself to some of the team members who had assembled. This was the beginning of what was to be, for me, a weekend of many NPL introductions. It began with finally coming face to face with [ profile] bookishfellow, [ profile] thedan and [ profile] saxikath, our team leader. I also got to finally meet [ profile] davidglasser, whom I'd known from [ profile] ifmud, and NPL member [ profile] jangler, who happened to wander over to our camp (for values of "camp" equal to "pillar we were huddled around"). This was only a small corner of the huge room, packed full with people, all waiting for the puzzling to start. I distinctly remember on person holding up a large turnip. (I later learned that this was Team Turnips. Should've guessed, eh?)

This, by the way, at noon on Friday, is when the sixty hours began. All chronology henceforth is subject to being slightly muddled.

Introduction )

Round One )

Round Two )

By now, I was very tired. I went into the sleeping room and took a nap. By the time I woke up, the Hunt had exploded.

To be continued . . .
tablesaw: -- (Default)
Still barely making it through work. Lots of labels. Yum.

Played a few rounds of a game of Scr(a)bble against Doe from [ profile] ifmud, but she resigned to go to bed. I got some really lucky breaks, too, and after seven rounds I had a two-hundred-point lead, thanks mostly to two very opportune bingos (L(I)NNETS and DECODI(N)G) that netted seventy-eight points each. (You can also look at the board for yourself.) Anyway, it's time to go to sleep labeling again. Let's see how long I last.

FriNYTX: 10.


Jan. 13th, 2003 12:06 pm
tablesaw: -- (Default)
I hate: traveling, airports, airlines, airplanes, lines, and not sleeping when dealing with all or any of the above.

I'm finally safe in Providence with my wardrobe and sanity intact. Thanks to my parents, my friends [ profile] wjukknibs and K, my aunt and uncle, [ profile] ifmud, and very especially [ profile] veek for allowing this to be so.

I'm at veek's right now, and I just realized that this little thing down here is to warm one's feet up. It's amazing how people have come up with these New Englanders have developed ways to live outside the ideal climate.

I doubt I'll post again until Hunt, so have a good week.

tablesaw: -- (Default)
Or, really, at the ankle, right now.

As part of my trip to visit [ profile] veek in Providence come January, I've also been planning on involving myself in the MIT Mystery Hunt. This is something I've wanted to do for a while, ever since I read an article in Games Magazine over a decade ago. The Hunt is a weekend-long puzzle competition, with several mind benders leading up to one solution, the location of a single coin. Back then, I thought it was the coolest idea ever. Today, having been exposed to many other cool ideas, I still think it ranks high up in the top ten. For the past few years, I've been downloading the puzzles as they get posted, without actually taking part. This year I intend to be in the thick of things.

I just got confirmation from [ profile] saxikath, the team leader of ACRONYM, that, despite worries about size, there was space for me on the team. I'd been hoping for this. ACRONYM has some members from the National Puzzlers' League on it, which I thought would be fun. Initially, Sax said I probably wasn't going to be let on and that I should find another team. But I didn't do this right away, because I am lazy. Then, as I was about to ask another team, I learned that [ profile] davidglasser was on ACRONYM. Suddenly, getting on to that team meant more than just getting onto a team with lots of people in the same group as I, it meant spending a weekend with someone I had known via the internet for quite a while. I decided to hold out and see if I could get on. I did. Woo, followed by Hoo.

Together, DG and I shall focus the awesome monkey power of [ profile] ifmud and propel ACRONYM to victory. It will be so. Oh yes, it will be so.

FriNYTX: 51:15. Wow, that kicked my @$$. SatNYTX: 25:30. Saturday took half the time of Friday? All is not right with the world. SunNYTX: about 19 (screwed up the timer). SunLATX: 16:45.


tablesaw: -- (Default)
Tablesaw Tablesawsen

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