2012 Mar 7, 8:08 2012 Jan 30, 8:47 2011 Jun 20, 2:25
I knew it was a game but still felt bad war-dialing and otherwise messing around in there. What if I accidentally find a way out? "Telehack is the most interesting game I've played in the last
year... a game that most users won't realize is a game at all. It's a tour de force hack — an interactive pastiche of 1980s computer history, tying together public archives of Usenet newsgroups, BBS
textfiles, software archives, and historical computer networks into a multiplayer adventure game." Also, see all the accounts of people finding their teenage selves in the game.
2011 Apr 30, 4:33
"The HTTP-based Memento framework bridges the present and past Web by interlinking current resources with resources that encapsulate their past. It facilitates obtaining representations of prior
states of a resource, available from archival resources in Web archives or version resources in content management systems, by leveraging the resource's URI and a preferred datetime. To this end, the
framework introduces datetime negotiation (a variation on content negotiation), and new Relation Types for the HTTP Link header aimed at interlinking resources with their archival/version resources.
It also introduces various discovery mechanisms that further support briding the present and past Web."
2009 Dec 4, 5:06
"If you want to watch videos from the National Archives today, they try to talk you into buying a DVD from the official government partner, Amazon.Com...To demonstrate to the Congress that if we
liberated this wonderful content people would really care, I forked over $251 for 20 DVDs and posted them on-line."
2009 Apr 20, 5:49
Some awesome quotes from this video. Really need to watch the whole thing through though to fully experience the humor. "This is the most impressive business card I've ever seen. Its mine." On the
topic of its non-standard size: "It doesn't fit in a rolodex because it doesn't belong in a rolodex." More from the comments:
2009 Apr 7, 11:58
This past week I finished Anathem and despite the intimidating physical size of the book (difficult to take and read on the bus) I became very engrossed and was able to finish it in several orders of
magnitude less time than what I spent on the Baroque
. Whereas reading the Baroque Cycle you can imagine Neal Stephenson sifting through giant economic tomes (or at least that's where my mind went whenever the characters began to explain
macro-economics to one another), in Anathem you can see Neal Stephenson staying up late pouring over philosophy of mathematics
. When not
exploring philosophy, Anathem has an appropriate amount of humor, love interests, nuclear bombs, etc. as you might hope from reading Snow Crash or Diamond Age. I thoroughly enjoyed Anathem.
On the topic of made up words: I get made up words for made up things, but there's already a name for cell-phone in English: its "cell-phone". The narrator notes that the book has been translated
into English so I guess I'll blame the fictional translator. Anyway, I wasn't bothered by the made up words nearly as much as some folk. Its a good thing I'm long
out of college because I can easily imagine confusing the names of actual concepts and people with those from the book, like Hemn space for Hamming distance. Towards the beginning, the description
of slines and the post-post-apocalyptic setting reminded me briefly of Idiocracy.
Recently, I've been reading everything of Charles Stross that I can, including about a month ago, The Jennifer Morgue from the surprisingly awesome amalgamation genre of spy thriller and Lovecraft
horror. Its the second in a series set in a universe in which magic exists as a form of mathematics and follows Bob Howard programmer/hacker, cube dweller, and begrudging spy who works for a
government agency tasked to suppress this knowledge and protect the world from its use. For a taste, try a short story from the series that's freely available on Tor's website, Down on the Farm.
Coincidentally, both Anathem and the Bob Howard series take an interest in the world of Platonic ideals. In the case of Anathem (without spoiling anything) the universe of Platonic ideals, under a
different name of course, is debated by the characters to be either just a concept or an actual separate universe and later becomes the underpinning of major events in the book. In the Bob Howard
series, magic is applied mathematics that through particular proofs or computations awakens/disturbs/provokes unnamed horrors in the universe of Platonic ideals to produce some desired effect in
2009 Jan 26, 3:18
As used in a sentence: "There are lots of audio codecs. Did I say there were lots of video codecs? Forget that. There are a metric fuck-ton of audio codecs." (via )
2008 Aug 25, 11:39
"The Seattle Municipal Archives documents the history, development, and activities of the agencies and elected officials of the City of Seattle. Strengths of the records include those documenting
engineering, parks, urban planning, the legislative process and elected officials. Holdings include over 6,000 cubic feet of textual records; 3,000 maps and drawings, 3,000 audiotapes; hundreds of
hours of motion picture film; and over 1.5 million photographic images of City projects and personnel."
2008 Aug 10, 3:33
Doctor Horrible's Sing Along Blog is an Internet only show you may have already watched and heard everything about. If you missed this
somehow, its a musical by Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly) staring Neil Patrick Harris as an aspiring super villian who can't get up the courage to talk to his laundromat crush. Its
very funny, fairly geeky, and on the Internet so of course I've enjoyed it thoroughly and have some links to share. It surprised me how many blogs that I don't usually see posting the same things
telling me about it: first on Eric's blog, then The Old New Thing,
and even Penny-Arcade.
Dr. Horrible's again available online via Hulu with commercial interruption.
Check out the official fan site. They link to such things as the owner of Dr. Horrible's house.
He had appeared on Monster House, a reality show about remaking people's homes like Monster Car or Pimp My Ride is about remaking folk's cars, and had his house turned into a evil scientist's lab.
Consequently its a perfect fit for Dr. Horrible and in return the owner appears in one of the final scenes and in the credits as the 'Purple Pimp'. Apparently the purple suit is his. Also on his
blog you can find out what's happened on that big chair that appears in the show. All I'll say about that is, good thing Neil Patrick
Harris wears a lab coat while sitting on it.
At the recent Comic Con some attendees took video of the Dr. Horrible
Comic Con panel (video clips contain spoilers) some of which I've grouped together. Besides the videos containing the creators and stars of the musical who are all hilarious (see Felicia Day's comment on twittering) there's also some excellent bits about a possible second installment and information on the impending DVD. To
finish off this series of Dr. Horrible links check out this Venn Diagram of Felicia Day's work.
2008 May 4, 10:35
Video archives of DEFCON presentations.
2008 Feb 18, 1:34
I got a FlickrMail from Emma J. Williams a bit ago saying that they wanted to
use two of my photos in their Schmap San Francisco Guide online travel guide. So now you can see two of my vacation photos on the Westfield San Francisco Shopping Center Schmap page and the Hotel Diva Schmap page.
I think its wonderful that digital cameras are at
the point where I really don't have to know much about their workings to produce a photo that's reasonable looking. And its thanks to Flickr and searchable tags that Schmap could find my photos.
Since my photos on Flickr are all licensed under a Creative Commons license named Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works
2.0 Generic which only applies to non-commercial uses, Schmap, which is advertisement supported, kindly asked me if they could use my photos. I agreed to their license which was human readable
and included wonderful stuff like I get in place attribution and the license is only applicable while Schmap makes their guide freely available online.
Previously I've only heard of folks having their flickr photos used without their permission so I'm glad to know that's not always the case. Or
perhaps this is just Schmap's clever method of getting me to blog about them.
2007 Oct 24, 10:14
The Daily Show archive. I was looking for this too.
2007 Sep 11, 2:55
There's been some news recently on some guy hating on FireFox
for its ad-blocking.
On a similar note here's a fun tip for IE7 users I got from Eric. You can get decent ad-blocking in IE7 by putting ad servers in the restricted zone. By default script inclusion is blocked between
different zones so you can put domains that serve up ads in your restricted zone after which, normal internet zone sites won't be able to include script from them. This covers most of the ads I run
into these days.
I use Fiddler
to figure out the domains that are serving up ads which incidentally also has an ad-blocking^H^H^H^H general purpose content blocking plugin. Here's
a screenshot of Slashdot and ArsTechnica from my browser. Notice the large blank areas in the screenshots:
2007 Sep 11, 12:01
Blog post about password security. A bit of a shot at:
2007 Aug 21, 4:04
I realized I could easily do a similar thing to the IE7 404 page using the same
technique I used for the XML view
and the feed view
So that's what I did: I made a new 404 page for IE7
. There's not much new here technically if you've read the previous blog
entries to which I linked. My 404 page change adds links to the Internet Archive
, the Coral Cache
, and Whois Tool
2007 Jul 11, 3:52
I realized that I have short list of chicken related things I find humorous and they're all available for the linking to via youtube.
Chicken: The Powerpoint Presentation
. This is a power point presentation of a research paper written in the
language chicken. (video
Bluth Family Chicken Dances
. From the show Arrested Development many Bluth family members had their own chicken
Peter Fights the Giant Chicken
. A man sized chicken fights Peter from Family Guy for multiple
minutes in several episodes mimicking famous action sequences. I must admire the writers dedication to the gag. (video1
2007 Jul 4, 10:58Hackdiary
I really enjoy reading Matt Biddulph's blog hackdiary
. An entry some time ago talked about his Second
Life flickr screen
which is a screen in Second Life that displays images from flickr.com based on viewers suggested tags. I'm a novice to the Second Life scripting API and so it was from this
blog post I became aware of the llHTTPRequest
. This is like the XMLHttpRequest for Second Life code in that it lets you make HTTP requests.
I decided that I too could do something cool with this.
I decided to make a translator object that a Second Life user would wear that would translate anything said near them. The details aren't too surprising: The translator object keeps an owner
modifiable list of translation instructions each consisting of who to listen to, the language they speak, who to tell the translation to, and into what language to translate. When the translator
hears someone, it runs through its list of translation instructions and when it finds a match for the speaker uses the llHTTPRequest to send off what was said to Google translate
. When the result comes back the translator simply says the response.
Unfortunately, the llHTTPRequest limits the response size to 2K and no translation site I can find has the translated text in the first 2K. There's a flag HTTP_BODY_MAXLENGTH provided but it defaults
to 2K and you can't change its value. So I decided to setup a PHP script on my site to act as a translating proxy and parse the translated text out of the HTML response from Google translate. Through
experimentation I found that their site can take parameters text and langpair queries in the query like so:
. On the topic of non US-ASCII characters (which is important for a translator) I
found that llHTTPRequest encodes non US-ASCII characters as percent-encoded UTF-8 when constructing the request URI. However, when Google translate takes parameters off the URI it only seems to
interpret it as percent-encoded UTF-8 when the user-agent is IE's. So after changing my PHP script to use IE7's user-agent
US-ASCII character input worked.
Actually using it in practice is rather difficult. Between typos, slang, abbreviations, and the current state of the free online translators its very difficult to carry on a conversation.
Additionally, I don't really like talking to random people on Second Life anyway. So... not too useful.
2005 Sep 9, 1:41