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Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. Co-op Oculus Rift + Razer Hydra

2014 Jan 28, 6:17PermalinkCommentshumor game videogame bomb

fontBomb - Stylishly destroy the web

2012 Jul 6, 6:20

Bookmarklet that lets you drop cartoon style black spherical bombs that send the text on any page flying.

PermalinkCommentshumor web bookmarklet bomb

Boom Box by Alex Solis

2010 Mar 3, 4:08PermalinkCommentshumor shirt bomb

(Pics) “Knit Graffiti Crew” Bombs the Standard NYC - PSFK

2009 Sep 18, 5:52"We recently came across a series of colorfully decorated safety posts at the Standard Hotel in New York." The Knit Graffiti Crew strikes again.
PermalinkCommentshumor knit graffiti new-york nyc cultural-disobediance photo

Platonic Ideals in Anathem and The Atrocity Archives

2009 Apr 7, 11:58
The Atrocity ArchivesThe Jennifer MorgueAnathem

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 Cycle. 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 Bob's universe.

PermalinkCommentsatrocity archives neal stephenson jennifer morgue plato bob howard anathem

Remixes of the paranoid London police "anti-terror"/suspect your neighbours posters - Boing Boing

2009 Mar 26, 2:24"Yesterday's remix challenge -- to mock the ridiculous new "anti-terrorism" posters the London police have put up that tell you to spy on your neighbors -- was a smashing success. I've collected the 25 or so that came in to date below". I enjoyed: "A bomb won't go off here because people tend to be quite nice really." "Terribly convenient, isn't it? Incriminating evidence left right out where you'll spot it and call it in..." "A bomb won't go off here because the true likelihood of you being the victim of a terror attack is really very low, especially when compared to other causes of death or injury."PermalinkCommentshumor politics poster paranoia security via:boingboing.comments photoshop privacy

Royal Pingdom - The world's most super-designed data center - fit for a James Bond villain

2009 Jan 8, 5:45"It is a newly opened high-security data center run by one of Sweden's largest ISPs, located in an old nuclear bunker deep below the bedrock of Stockholm city... The bunker was designed to be able to withstand a near hit by a hydrogen bomb." Wait, you mean it can't take a direct hit? Lame.PermalinkCommentssweden photos design datacenter underground bomb technology

A Reporter at Large: Atomic John: Reporting and Essays: The New Yorker

2008 Dec 29, 2:20"But the most accurate account of the bomb's inner workings-an unnervingly detailed reconstruction, based on old photographs and documents-has been written by a sixty-one-year-old truck driver from Waukesha, Wisconsin, named John Coster-Mullen, who was once a commercial photographer, and has never received a college degree."PermalinkCommentsvia:swannman bomb atom-bomb atomic-bomb history goverment nuclear physics security research science

World of Warcraft - English (NA) Forums -> I played WoW, I became a terrorist (story!)

2008 Dec 29, 12:22"This wasn't my fault. Anyone could have dropped his stupid iPod in the toilet. It's really the government here. I mean, at this point the building contained six customs officials, an army of policemen, people from various security agencies, a bomb squad, and a couple of detectives."PermalinkCommentsipod toilet humor airplane plane security terrorism wow

Tom Ricks's Inbox - washingtonpost.com

2008 Oct 13, 2:40Watch out for too good to be true washing services (or free network traffic anonymization): "The laundry would then send out "color coded" special discount tickets, to the effect of "get two loads for the price of one," etc. The color coding was matched to specific streets and thus when someone brought in their laundry, it was easy to determine the general location from which a city map was coded. While the laundry was indeed being washed, pressed and dry cleaned, it had one additional cycle -- every garment, sheet, glove, pair of pants, was first sent through an analyzer, located in the basement, that checked for bomb-making residue." From the comment section of Schneier on Security on this topic: "Yet another example of how inexpensive, reliable home washers and dryers help terrorists. When will we learn?"PermalinkCommentssecurity history laundromat ira terrorism bomb

Knitt

2008 Sep 30, 10:46A rogue group of knitters 'tag' public objects and places with knit pieces. See thier gallery. "tag crew of knitters, bombing the inner city with vibrant, stitched works of art, wrapped around everything from beer bottles on easy nights to public monuments and utility poles on more ambitious outings."PermalinkCommentshumor art graffiti streetart knit cultural-disobediance

Braid Recommendation

2008 Aug 14, 9:38

Braid screen shot. By gamerscoreblogI recently finished Braid, the Xbox Live game, and a comparison with Portal is helpful. From a screen shot Braid looks like a normal 2D platformer, but that's like looking at a screen shot of Portal and saying its a first person shooter. While the scaffolding of the game-play may sort of fall into that category, the games are actually about exploring the character's ability and solving puzzles. In Portal the ability is bending space and in Braid its bending time. However, whereas in Portal there is one space bending mechanism, the portal gun, Braid's protagonist explores several different time bending techniques including, most prominently, reversing time, but also time dilation, multiple time-lines, and other odd things.

Similar to the difference in game-play, while Portal has a strict simplicity to its visual style, Braid is much more ornate, like you're playing in an oil painting. Without seeing video of the game, or playing the demo (which is available for free on Xbox Live) its difficult to convey, but it is quite lovely and the animation adds quite a bit. Both games too are rather short leaving you just a bit hungry for more and have an interesting plot and an ending that I'd hate to spoil although Braid replaces Portal's humor with melancholy. If you enjoyed Portal and Twelve Monkeys then I'd recommend Braid.

PermalinkCommentsbraid game videogame portal nontechnical

Bomb Or Not? Training For Government Agents!

2008 Jul 30, 1:59Training website to determine what's a bomb. E.g. Catwoman movie poster: "While the movie was bad, and therefore in a way "a bomb", the poster does not pose a threat to anything, not even air travel."PermalinkCommentshumor security bomb government satire travel airport

Solving the Enigma - History of the Cryptanalytic Bombe

2008 Apr 9, 2:36History of Enigma in WW2: "One particular German code clerk continually used his girlfriend's name, Cillie, for his messages, and so these easy-to-guess indicators became known as "Cillies.""PermalinkCommentshistory encryption cryptography article security nsa enigma
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