o · tac · ra · cy [oh-tok-ruh-see]
1. government by otaku; a form of government in which supreme power is vested in ardent enthusiasts of video games, music, anime, photography, food, cars, sports radio, printing, plush toys, judo, kites, and Roland AX-7 keytars.
2. the personal blog of Vincent Diamante.


Latest Articles

Anime LA 2011 in Slow Motion

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Cosplay photography kinda bugs me. Yeah, I've been doing it for a while, whether it be for friends at co... [More]

Review: The Olympus E-3

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After nearly two years with the Olympus E-3, it's time to put this DSLR back out on the

301 Moved Permanently

market and into ... [More]

Review: The Horipad EX2 Turbo

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The Horipad EX2 Turbo is a good pad for Xbox 360 gamers needing a pad for fighting games.  After al... [More]



Ace Combat 6 with ACE-EDGE for $99 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vincent Diamante   
Monday, 22 December 2008 23:33
Just a quick post to say: you should get this game, and you should get it with the Hori ACE-EDGE stick, now that it's $50 dollars off the original asking price.  Over at Best Buy, they show the game + HOTAS flight stick bundle as $99.  No online ordering, but you can grab it at most stores.  This absolutely gets my vote over the $50 Aviator stick bundle I posted earlier.
Anime Effects in Augmented Reality PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vincent Diamante   
Sunday, 21 December 2008 11:56

ARToolKit has been around for a while, enabling professionals and amateurs around the world to composite properly scaled and oriented 3d models on top of real world video feeds through glyph tracking.  A few years back it was mostly found in the hands of interactive artists and new media guys, searching for problems that can be solved with this particular augmented reality solution.  Nowadays, you might see it in relatively mainstream commercial stuff like this Mini Cabrio ad.

In Japan, they've already done the obvious (see: Dennou Figure ARis), but I personally find the effects done by this z8halt76 dude far more interesting.  Basically, he's using ARToolKit to pull off some of the cool visual effects one sees when magic is performed in the anime series Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha.  Things like obscenely huge magic hammers and stuff are done easily by putting some glyphs on a cube on the end of a rod.  Even cooler things happen when he decides to put a glyph on himself...



I'm usually not much for combining augmented reality with anime (well, barring Dennou Coil, which I think is an extremely worthwhile show, one of the few that has been broadcast in the last few years, and VERY substantial for anyone interested in interactive media and virtual reality, regardless of disposition towards anime) but this is just cool.
Some Flower Previews Arrive PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vincent Diamante   
Sunday, 14 December 2008 21:43

Looks like some more previews of Flower are hitting the net now that the preview build has been in the hands of the various media folk out there.  For the most part, they're pretty positive.  Even better, you can hear some of the music I've been writing in the various videos that have been popping up.

I guess I'll just end this post by saying that there's a lot of music in this game.  Way, way, WAY more than in the soundtrack I wrote for Cloud.  Also, the music goes through some really interesting changes that the press haven't yet experienced... really can't wait for you guys to hear it.

(Edit 12/22: New links added.)

Ace Combat 6, Saitek, and You PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vincent Diamante   
Friday, 12 December 2008 08:25

(edit: Certain things detailed below are bit different, namely the availability of an ACE-EDGE bundle for $99.  Check out this more recent post.)

Right now, Fry's has a fine deal on Ace Combat 6 bundled with a Madcatz Aviator flight stick.  Gotta admit, $50 dollars makes for a pretty cool alternative to the original AC6 bundle with the Hori ACE-EDGE HOTAS (read: hot ass) system that's rarely discounted from its initial $150 dollar asking price.  I personally love the HOTAS setup, but I understand that for some people out there, a stick is a stick; as long as the functionality is the same, it's all cool.  So besides the design (and basically throwaway faceplate and DVD in that big old Namco packaging), what makes the $100 dollar difference?

Supersonic Hurricane Suppression PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vincent Diamante   
Thursday, 11 December 2008 09:18

Earlier this month, NewScientist put out word that a scientist from the University of Akron applied for a patent describing the suppression of hurricanes via sonic booms...

The present invention generally relates to tropical cyclones or hurricanes (typhoons). In one embodiment, the present invention relates to the method of suppressing, mitigating and/or completely eliminating hurricane structures via the destabilizing effect of supersonic booms generated by one or more airplanes capable of supersonic flight (e.g., supersonic-capable fighter planes).

Pretty darn cool stuff, but tell me: I wasn't the only one who saw the concept translating into some 1 AM anime featuring teenage girl pilots in fanservicey flight suits flying jets to avert natural disaster, was I?

Recent Bad Electronics Luck PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vincent Diamante   
Thursday, 11 December 2008 00:12

I've been having bad luck with electronics lately.

In the last three months, I've had: a defective camera lens, a crashed hard drive, a new hard drive DOA, a broken computer monitor, an Xbox 360 red ring of death, a faulty cell phone d-stick, a broken flash card reader, a damaged sound card ouput, and a bad point and shoot camera sensor.

Edit: And how could I have forgotten about my DSL modem, which broke on the same day that there was a wide area cable internet outage?  (I have both for the redundancy... *sigh*)

Have I done something to offend the electronics gods?

Writing Music and McDonald's (08/12/1) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vincent Diamante   
Monday, 01 December 2008 09:37

I haven't been writing here as much as I'd like because: I've been trying to write insanely awesome music for various things.  I've been succeeding less than I'd like.  Long story short, I enjoy writing music that brings out the beauty in individual notes.  Most of the music I've written for this game I'm working on sticks to that.  This very last bit of music I'm writing, though, doesn't follow that.  And it's giving me fits.

On a semi-related note, here is an amazing patent entitled METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR MAKING A SANDWICH from those lovable inventors at McDonald's Corporation.  Reminds me that there are some things I need to do with my surroundshape project, including branching off in an exciting non-sound-specific direction...


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