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My life in a soap bubble

MedState (MED-PC): The worst language in the world?
Thursday 10th of April 2008 02:45:57 AM
For my psychology research project, one of my tasks is to write a program to control the 'cages'. The problem is that it is using a scientific package called MED-PC, which incorporates its own programming system (MedState) to control the associated hardware units (which it supplies), and so forth.

All that would be fine but for one thing. The programming language is the technological equivalent of a cat that died in your ceiling, half-decayed, but somehow never got any further. It is ugly to look at, it smells bad, but somehow it will not just fade away into nothing.

With so many languages available now - C, C#, D, Python, Perl, Lisp - hell, even Basic would make this crap look good - why would they persist in using this archaic pile-of-rancid-turd language. My bet: backward compatibility.

Just to give you a taste of what I'm suffering through, I'll give you a brief sample from their training documentation, and annotate it for your suffering

\ This is an FR schedule  (a singe \ denotes a comment.)
\ This section is for inputs
 ^RightLever = 1 (a ^ denotes a constant. They are integers between ~32k and ~-32k. Nothing else. Need a float? Sorry, too bad.
 ^Reward = 2 \ at output 2 is a pellet dispenser

\ Defined variables: (Note you don't actually declare variables as such. These are just comments to make you  a happy kitty. Not mandatory.
\ A = number of responses
\ B = number of rewards

S.S.1, \Main control for house  (Note that S.S.1 roughly equates to a thread - you can have *gasp* 32 of these suckers (I think). Yay!
S1, (This indicates a 'state' - you have have <32 of these in a single S.S. They are like 'goto and loop' in code. Kinda.
#START: ON ^Reward; --> S2 (this indicates this is the program entry-point (having the #START:). It tells the system to turn ON the output with number ^Reward; that is, the snack dispensor.

S2, (subsection of program 2. Remember, we are blessed with UP TO 32 of these little wonders. Maxmimum).
  #R^RightLever: ON ^Reward; Z1 --> SX (When the right lever is pressed once, give a reward, then do nothing much. You have to have the --> to tell it where to go next; SX is basically a 'go nowhere'.)

So anyway, after hundreds of lines of this garbage, one generally will want to kill oneself, and frankly, I think rightly so.

I'm actually pondering writing a translator so I can write in something that doesn't make me want to kill myself, and have it translate into nightmarish hell-code.

Keepass Autotype - OH MY GOD!
Monday 07th of April 2008 05:18:25 AM
Between my workplace and my personal accounts, I have an awful lot of logins and passwords. Hundreds. For a long while I've been using the software Keepass Password Safe to manage these details. By sheer chance, today I stumbled across the greatest feature ever in this software.
The software has a feature called 'autotype' which I have been aware of for a long while - when you select a log-in, it switches to the immediately previous window, types the user-name, tabs, types the password, and presses 'enter' (so to speak - it fakes keystrokes). This is pretty useful.
When I accidentally hit ALT+A at the same time in Firefox, it suddenly autotyped my password - for the current site. In Keepass, you enter the URL of the site, and can click the URL to open the site, but it turns out that when you are in a text box and trigger this 'autotype' feature it reads the current URL, selects the appropriate login details, and autotypes them. All magically in the background.

That is the coolest feature ever, and will save me absurd amounts of time. Hurrah for Keepass. I can not recommend this software enough (the 1.x series - not the 2.x alpha series).

Wild adventures in the world of... violin?
Sunday 06th of April 2008 05:00:49 AM
Last weekend the young lady, jilavre who is now my own personal godess, loaned me her violin. Admittedly, she does have a cello, of which I am very jealous, but I now have a violin. For days on end I have been sitting around scraping away with a tuner in front of me, trying to get those notes 'just right'. Frankly, I've been failing, but I'm telling myself that is just a question of practice.
Yay for new musical instruments.

Useful facebook pages - a list of common apps and their block link, and privacy settings
Thursday 07th of February 2008 09:30:53 PM
Two very useful pages I have come across.
1. A list of the most commonly distributed Facebook applications, and links to their 'block' pages so you can block the application.
2. A link to what appears to be among the most important privacy configurations on Facebook. These are, from what I can discern, the access that your friend's applications have to your profile. I may be misinterpreting this, but that is the impression I have.

Honestly, I am tempted, these days, to remove ALL applications that I have not written myself. Data harvesting is simply looking to be too risky, and too likely.

The two best facebook apps in the universe
Sunday 09th of December 2007 07:44:03 AM
I have found what I believe to be the two most truly useful facebook-related applications in existence:
Fonebook and the excitingly named Facebook EventSync for Outlook 2007.
Unlike most facebook apps, these are genuinely useful. They allow my outlook client to synchronise contact details and events with Facebook. Suddenly the event manager on facebook becomes truly useful, because the details make their way into your calendar.

8 down, 1 to go
Friday 07th of December 2007 03:52:25 AM
I have finished all eight of my psychology essays, coming to a total of 12.000 words, and will submit them later today. This leaves me but one essay, 3.000 words for politics, which I must have done by Monday noon. I'm making progress on it, but still have about 2.000 words to write.
Then, come the 15th, I am back on a plane heading to Australia. Exciting.

1 down - 7 to go.
Wednesday 14th of November 2007 11:22:45 AM
I have finished the first of my 1.500 word essays for psychology - Critically compare Spearman's theory of 'g' with alternative theories of intelligence - and I feel like my brain is bleeding. Still, it is on schedule for completion on time which is pleasant. What is less pleasant is that this is one of the easier essays I have to do.
Nonetheless, you've always got to start somewhere.

Essay hell
Monday 12th of November 2007 07:19:03 AM
Today, the nightmare of this semester begins. For those who are not aware, I am currently doing a semester study abroad at the University of Leicester, in the United Kingdom. So far, in most regards this has been a pleasurable experience involving meeting many new people from all around the world, some drinking, and regular study.
Unfortunately, the psychology department at the university feels that the appropriate way by which international students should be tested (rather than the standard examination process, which would normally take place in January, after a Christmas break) is to give such students two 1.500 word essays each, per psychology subject.
This would be fine, but for three points. First, the topics were not given to us until today. Second, the essays are due on the 7th of September. Third, I am enrolled in four psychology subjects. This means that in the next 24 days (that's including weekends) I must write 12.000 words in the form of eight separate essays.
That sucks. Especially since I also have a 3.000 word essay due on the 10th for Politics.

When selfish egoism ruled the world....
Sunday 04th of March 2007 06:49:44 AM
Nick Cohen, in a good little article, When will we stop penalising working mothers?, writes decrying business and industry for their poor behaviour permitting women with young children entering the workforce in part-time positions, or even full-time work. The fascinating part, though, is not the article but the comments.

To begin with, a smattering of individuals such as LaurainHK, suggesting that such an overall reduction in population growth is positive. This has long been a popular line, and not one I have ever found especially plausible. While it may be true that fewer people will consume less food, less resources, and so reduce the impact on the environment this is an overly simplistic view. To begin with, how many people only consume what they need? Even now, I remember that I left a light on in the next room that has been cheerfully wasting power for the last hour.  if I were more careful, the energy I saved would probably support another person or go a long way toward it. When I ate dinner, I consumed more than I really needed to, and those I dined with ate meat. Had they eaten vegetarian food, the water consumption required for the production of the meal would have been reduced by at least 20%, and that is only because the meat quantities were not large. One may argue that these refinements in lifestyle to reduce our overall impact could be applied to a reduced population also, and this is absolutely correct but comes with one significant penalty - an overall reduction in research output, discoveries, and the extension of human knowledge. Hence, the argument that we would be better off with a smaller population through a resulting reduced footprint, I believe, is weak.

The more important thread in the comments is this: Why should business pay to support women with children? This is mentioned in many veins - thte 'holiday' of paid maternity leave; mothers are more likely to show up on time and leave on time (or late) while others do long overtime. Each of these severely misses the point in their own way.
Businesses are not an entity themselves; they may be bought, sold, traded and they may buy, sell and trade, but if you take away the people then a business is a cluster of worthless and empty concepts. They depend on the successful perpetuation of a populace to whom their services may be sold. They depend on employees to carry out the functions essential to the operation of the business. As such, it is essential to the system in which business operates to support the continuation of the species in a functional and healthy way. Paid maternity leave, social financial support for childcare, free health care, free education; these are all essential parts of a functioning and healthy society. Without these things, pressure can too easily fall on a parent, then compromising the relationship with the child. Furthermore, education is a key stepping stone in a healthy and functional life. There are strong relationships between poor socioeconomic standing and shorter lifespan, not to mention domestic violence, suicide, and a range of other social and psychological disorders. All of these various support services seek (though insufficiently in my opinion) to support and foster the development of child with mother or other caregiver.
To try to deny that these services are essential to the mother is to seek to abscond responsibility for the society in which we exist. We can eat, because social structures exist that permit sufficient communication and coherence to manage food production and transport. We rely on drivers, mechanics, researchers, meteorologists, even just food our immediate food chain. If we don't breed, fewer people become available to manage these systems. If those who do have children are unable to form functional bonds with their children, and introduce them to a society in which they may operate, then we are worse of still.

Bite the bullet. Publicly funded support services are an essential part of our society's function, and those who would seek not to play their part in supporting the community need to think about where they fit, and how they would exist without others. 

Computer stores are the devil
Monday 05th of February 2007 07:48:40 PM
I've decided that (as everyone else has known for ages), computer stores are the devil.

On my list of places from which to never buy gets added:
Infinity Computer,
201 Clarendon St
South Melbourne
Victoria, Australia
(03) 9682 1238

I purchased a USB Bluetooth dongle from them which though it installed correctly, was unable to pick up any devices. That afternoon I returned to the store with the dongle, and explained to them (truthfully) that I had tested the dongle on two computers, and with four external devices trying to be detected.
They tried to make me feel incompetent, suggested that they would need to test it before they could change it for another, and when I waited for their tester to return, he tested it on 2 different computers and found it didn't work on either before trying a different one and changing it over. On the positive, they did eventually change it over. Sadly they didn't have any more in the same colour.
The colour comment is relevant, because I stuck my head in there the next day to get a price on something, and noticed that the same dongle I had returned, the only one they had in that colour, was part of an order awaiting pickup. No, they hadn't had more delivered, or if they had they hadn't restocked, adding to the one remaining dongle on the shelf.

This awful practice for me gets this store a 'never buy from here, ever' mark - especially since there is another computer store 2 doors down (although they may be just as bad - I have to return a faulty 2.5inch hard drive case today to that place).

LiveJournal, GizmoProject and SIP
Wednesday 03rd of January 2007 07:11:36 PM
I have finally, after a little screwing around, worked out how to connect a SIP phone other than the provided (and mind you, quite decent) LJ Talk client to the LiveJournal (well, GizmoProject sip network.
What this means is that for those of us who have multiple SIP accounts (I have one a voxalot, one at wengo, and I believe GoogleTalk uses sip now too), we can use a single client to connect to all of them.
It is a damn shame, though, that no decent cross-SIP-network unified phone+IM client exists (although WengoPhone NG (a.k.a. OpenWengo)
The sad bit of this story is that it seems there is no way to actually get your LiveJournal/GizmoProject number which you need without actually installing LJTalk to check it.
Still, if you are feeling very enthusiastic, here are the steps:

  • Download and install LJTalk
  • Log in using your LiveJournal details
  • Choose to 'edit your profile' and read off your number from in there (it will be something like 1-747-555-1212 or somesuch).
  • Uninstall LJTalk
  • Install your SIP client of choice
  • Set up the account with the following details:
    Username: The number without the hyphens
    Password: your livejournal password
    Domain: livejournal.gizmoproject.com
  • Profit!

There may be other details I am missing, but using this process I have been able to call between my various accounts, and have some very interesting conversations on philosophy and psychosis.

sweet, sweet blood
Monday 01st of January 2007 11:21:12 PM
Once again, I gave blood today. BP 119/79, Haemoglobin level 163. I'm a happy puppy.
Have you given blood lately? You should.

Mythbox hell
Monday 18th of December 2006 06:57:50 PM
In a desparate bid to reduce the number of systems running concurrently in my house, my housemate and I purchased parts for a new computer on the weekend and spent the better part of last night setting the beastie up. In this new box is:

  • AM2 X2 3800 processor
  • 2x512MB Corsair 5300 DDR2 units
  • 4x320GB SATA WD Caviar drives
  • Some PCI-E 16x nVidia video card with TV-out
  • ASUS M2N-E Motherboard
  • Antec SmartPower 2 450W power supply
  • Other parts we already owned
So we build the beastie, get it up and running, and after about four hours I hear a quiet *snap*. One of the hooks for the heat sink has snapped right off, leaving the heat sink hanging.
I have taken the motheboard in to where I purchased it (www.nexus.com.au), but am not sure how long it will take to be replaced - they seemed pretty hesitant about doing it under warranty
This crap pisses me off. You can't even put on one of those goddamn heat sinks incorrectly. How the hell could it possibly be something I did wrong (which is the implicit suggestion when they 'need to speak to the supplier'). Now I have no idea how long it will be before the motherboard is repaired/replaced and I have a bucketloat of hardware sitting at home devaluing quietly in the corner. It sucks.

Exam time again
Tuesday 31st of October 2006 02:18:50 AM
It is that time of year again, when what little life I may have during the semester disappears and is replaced by nothing but long days of study, and short nights of fitful sleep in preparation for the next day of study.
Joy of joys
On Friday, I have the first of five exams - Statistics for Psychology; slated to be the most straightforward of the exams. Then follows Psychology on the 13th, Existentialism on the 15th, Neuroscience on the 20th, and Philosophy on the 21st.
Then finally I can catch up on watching Battlestar Galactica. Hurrah!

Friday 20th of October 2006 11:05:26 PM
So my two housemates, a couple, today told me that they want to find a place with just the two of them. As you can imagine, this leaves me in a situation of needing to find a new place, and ideally new housemates, in the not too distant future. As such, I take this opportunity to present you my 'housemate resume'
Wanted: Housemates with house or to share house
Timeframe: ASAP after end of November
Desired areas: North Fitzroy, Northcote, or Preston
Rent willingness: up to ~$130 p/w
Additional requirements: Good public transport to Latrobe Uni, Bundoora (ideally #86 tram). Near train station would be a benefit. Not a fucking dive of a house. Housemates that do not steal, leave a great big mess, smoke inside, trash the house or yard, set fires in the house or yard (unless in the yard in a fire-suitable spot.... which I encourage).
Sure, they may seem like a steep list of requirements, but I come with advantages.

  • Reasonable music selection
  • Some technical know-how
  • Basic social skills
  • A full time uni course and part time job, so I won't be sitting around the house smoking crack and drinking methylated spirits all day.

If anyone knows anyone needing a place, looking, or so on and so forth - please let me know.

Adding journal posts from the messaging client
Thursday 19th of October 2006 04:54:41 AM
Turns out that using the LJ Messaging client, you can add posts; like this one. Seems a strange way to add posts though, I must say.

Live Journal Messenger
Wednesday 18th of October 2006 05:35:00 PM
In the fairly recent past, LiveJournal made the decision to form an alliance with Gizmo Project to make Gizmo for LJTalk, a softphone and messaging client using SIP (the standard protocol for voice-over-IP) and XMPP (A highly compatible messaging protocol - same as used by GoogleTalk and Jabber). Compared to the monkey-like decision by MySpace to create their own MySpaceIM, an entirely new messaging client, I personally think this is brilliant. For one, if it can't already, it will soon be able to communicate with GoogleTalk and GizmoProject users without needing to get separate GoogleTalk and Gizmo accounts. In addition, it can call other SIP accounts (like the ones a have... w00t), and make calls to actual real phones (though for a small cost).
Other nice things include:

  • Automatic synchronisation with your friends list.
  • You can use any other Jabber client (such as Gaim, which as usual I am encouraging everyone to download and use)
  • Available for Windows, Mac or Linux (though the linux client is old and a bit stinky - for Linux users I encourage checking out WengoPhone, which supports both VoIP and Jabber but not as nicely, or better yet - Gaim in combination with Twinkle which has proper ZRTP support - hurrah)
  • It isn't MySpace, and MySpace is like a smelly bucket-o-turd

The long and the short of it is that if you want to stick your nose into the world of VoIP, and want to be able to message your LiveJournal friends, this is the way to do it.
See you (or talk to you if you actually have a microphone, and feel conversational) on LJTalk. Or not.

Wednesday 18th of October 2006 05:14:03 PM
While writing an e-mail using my Gmail account, I noticed an interesting sponsored link appearing:
1cosmos.org   The verdict is in and intelligent design is right (ok, so that's paraphrased but that is the essence). Filled with curiosity, and more than a little indignation, I decided to see what this 1cosmos was all about - well, beyond the rantings of Intelligent Design advocates a.k.a. neo-creationists. What do I stumble upon but this fun little map from McAfee's siteadvisor.com.
With the help of Site Advisor, I came across such wonderful things as:
Information Theory and DNA (DNA is a code, code doesn't occur naturally, therefore there must have been an intelligent designer)
Abortion is bad mm'kay  (sure, an emotive outpouring from a nurse is a valid argument against abortion - oh no, that other thing, an indicator she shouldn't work in abortion)
Your baby is a human being (one it is a baby, sure... until then? well, that's questionable - I have a particular dislike of this one. Arbitrary lines are drawn all the time; if you have an IQ of 69, you are intellectually disabled, 71 you are not. Arbitrary lines are drawn for convenience and on the best information available ideally, get used to it.)

Damn crazies - how'd they get the money to run ads like this anyway.
On the internet, no-one knows you're a dog. Tragically, they do know you're a tool - yes, even if you are a dog.

Cronulla: the board game
Tuesday 17th of October 2006 03:18:20 AM
just in case our reputation as a country wasn't harmed enough by the clearly racist violence on Cronulla Beach last year, some fucking tool decided to make a board game based on it. I think that this game, the riots, and the clear and ongoing racist behaviour and attitudes prevalent throughout Australia. That said, much has been made of the legality of this. It can't be taken offline whether or not it is breach of Australian law because it is not hosted in Australia. Strange as this may sound... that is good in my opinion.
I am not saying i like the 'game'. I think it is offensive garbage created by a pitiful excuse for a human who is at best expressing their supportive attitude to racial disharmony, and  and at worst acting to perpetuate inter-racial ill-feeling. Still, they are not encouraging violence as such, to my eye, and I think it is fair for them to express their admittedly idiotic monkey-brained attitudes like the pathetic fuckwit shit-eating dropkicks they are.

I think that it is an important part of society to be able to express your opinions. If you are encouraging violence, then that must be considered, but still...

Note: The Age has picked up on the story.

Shoe shopping - anyone else need any?
Saturday 14th of October 2006 10:36:33 PM
After the all-too-rapid wearing-out demise of my current No Sweat sneakers, which have started to fall apart after only 6 months, I have been fishing around for an alternative ethical footwear source. On the recommendation of a friend of mine I looked up Blackspot Sneakers. Like the No Sweat brand, Blackspot does not use sweatshop labor but instead uses unionised labor, and giving a range of support to the workers and their families (in Blackspot's case, things like medical cover and such). Having found these shoes and decided they looked like the way to go, I went fishing for a place to buy.
Well, I found two:
Adbusters Culture Shop: $95 CDN + $14 shipping (total of ~ $128 AUD - ouch).
Vegetarian Shoes UK: GBP 64.95 + shipping ($161 excluding shipping).

(Actually, I found a third - Polyester Books in Melbourne, but at $160 AUD I don't think I'll go there.)
Note that this are the nifty big-arse boot-sneaker shoes - the Converse all-star style shoes are $65 CDN, so not badly priced.

This is pretty pricey for shoes, I have to say. Sure, they are probably fanstastic shoes (they sure look it) but it is still bloody costly.
At this point, I was planning to rant about how you shouldn't buy things from the UK because the prices are uncompetitive, and so on and so forth but I couldn't be bothered.

Anyway, I'm planning to buy some of these from the Adbusters Culture Shop. If anyone else wants some too we can pool the order and save on shipping.

Sex toys - is yours a safety risk? (none of this is work safe really)
Friday 22nd of September 2006 12:52:04 AM
Everyone who has a sex toy knows the wonders that is a great sex toy. Of course, anyone who has done a lot of shopping for sex toys has no doubt noticed that half of them seem to have a small sticker 'for novelty only' - and probably thought nothing of it.
Well, it is time to think about it. A range of articles (grist.org, greenpeace.org.uk) have described the risk of poor quality sex toys and the poisonous risks one takes.

I encourange anyone who is into sex toys to read this article by prominent sex writer Violet Blue. It probably wouldn't hurt to read this article too. Maybe even watch this.

Oh, and while I'm on the line, I'd just like to send a big FUCK YOU to Adobe, Google, YouTube, and a range of other sites.
Fuck you and your stupid idea that adobe fucking flash is a way to send video. It ain't. Especially when it is out of date on Linux.
Use fucking video streams like any sensible person does. Fuck.

'Listen' music player for Linux
Tuesday 05th of September 2006 06:40:15 AM
Since my preferred music player, Amarok, decided to die on the crapper the other day after an apt-get upgrade of my ubuntu laptop I found myself on a mission to find another music player to cover me in the meantime.

Having used Amarok, I've developed a pretty steep set of requirements for a music player, such as:

In my hunt, I came across the Listen music player. The only one of my requirements not satisfied by this player is global hotkeys, but apart from that it is a great player. Not only that, it has the bonus of being based on Gnome, the window manager I tend to use, rather than KDE,
As such, if you are a Linux dweeb and want to check out a nifty player, Listen is definately worth a look.

Why ticket inspectors are more stupid than shaven monkeys
Thursday 31st of August 2006 03:01:25 AM
So today I had a run in with some MET public transport ticket inspectors. I had gotten off a tram on Bourke St. and ticket inspectors were there, checking tickets - as they do.

Anyway, I waved my ticket at them, and one of them noticed that the date had not been printed across the top as it normally is when validated.
Fine so far - it doesn't look validated. I explain that I purchased the ticket on a bus this morning (which I had) and so it had clearly gone in the validator - otherwise the ticket would be entirely blank.
(for those who are not familiar with this, buses carry completely blank tickets - when someone purchases a ticket, they use their panel to select what kind of ticket it is and the validator prints the whole lot).

As one might expect, they don't believe me. They ask if I validated when I got on the tram. I had, and said so. Again, they looked somewhat disbelieving. I encouraged them to try to validate it on the tram, which they did. Lo and behold, it still didn't print the date, indicating shockingly enough that it had already been validated, and that it was in fact valid.
One might think that would be the end of it - their system had clearly failed and they should swallow their pride and move on. It seems that contrary to all logic, the evidence that the ticket was in fact validated was not convincing for them.
I explained very clearly to them:

A ticket is usually marked when validated.
Therefore, if a ticket has not been validated, when it placed into a validator it will be marked.
Therefore, if you place an unmarked ticket into a validator and it does not get marked, but the machine does not present an error then:
a) the ticket was already validated, but not marked by the first machine due to machine error
b) the validator just tested had an error and should be retried.

Despite this explanation, the inspectors persisted, and 'wrote me up'.

Given that, I am going to embark on a fresh argument:
1. When presented with clear evidence that I had committed no act of 'fare evasion', an intelligent human would take an appropriate course of action
2. I presented clear evidence that I had committed no act of 'fare evasion'
3. The inspectors did not take an appropriate course of action.
Therefore, said ticket inspectors were not intelligent humans.

Ok, maybe they are not more stupid than shaven monkeys, but I wouldn't place bets that they're not.

The Yes Men
Tuesday 29th of August 2006 07:29:45 AM
So, an imposter makes a speech on behalf of a housing organisation in the US to announce that demolition of public housing to be replaced with high-cost housing has been cancelled, as the organisation saw the error of its ways.
Comical, but not the only prank these guys,  The Yes Men have played.
The Yes Men describe themselves as carrying out 'identity correction', impersonating members of organisations to publicly humiliate them for their wrongdoings.

Some great examples were such things as Dow Ethics, a satirical site targeting the Dow organisation (unsurprisingly enough) for whom the yes men have appeared as 'representatives' on a number of occasions, including on the BBC.
(see http://www.theyesmen.org/hijinks/dow/)

It is definately worth a look.

I am Alice's screaming madness
Saturday 05th of August 2006 10:13:26 AM
So, after arishes mentioned the fantastic game American McGee's Alice, I foolishly decided to pull it out and play it once again. To those of you who have never placed the game, the story in brief is that Alice, after her return from wonderland, was in a fire. She escaped with her life, but her family perished in the blaze. In acute psychosis, Alice returns to wonderland to find it not quite the place she remembered. As happens in these circumstances, she cleans house, kills a bunch o' things, and so on.

Anyway, having sunk the better part of 20 hours into the game, I finally finished it. No more am I Alice's screaming madness, but rather Alice's stable and healthy sense of self.

Other key points about the game:
A movie seems to be in production
Chris Vrenna, once of Nine Inch Nails, was key in creation of the soundtrack

Anyone who played this game and enjoyed it should also check out Sanitarium - a much more point and click style game, but with a similarly (or moreso) twisted edge.
Clive Barker's Undying is also not bad, but like Alice is in the first-person shooter style. It is reasonably creepy, and not too dull. It also seems to have some rather insane fans.