Archive for the ‘gaming’ Category

Minecraft pixelart explained

I’ve had so many people ask me if these pixelart images I’ve made are “legit” or really made block by block, or what have you. So to save myself from having to type in this explanation yet another time, I’ll put it all down here in one place to set the record straight. Read more

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Sapientia Delecti, s01e11

Nomnomnom… food for the mind.

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Sapientia Delecti, s01e10

I read, you read, we all read for…. ok, that didn’t work as well as I might have liked. Here are some links:

  • Mario for AI research! (vice)
  • Now we’re talking. Smartwatch that doesn’t break the aesthetic. (fossil) and review (arstechnica)
  • This is pretty hilarious. Command line bullshittery. (blog)
  • I loves me some meteors. One in Bangkok and one in Poland (guardian)
  • Naturally occuring nuclear reactor. (medium)
  • Data Scientist interview. Interesting views on data science. (blog)
  • This has interesting potential. “Superman fends off alien invasion” game. (polygon)
  • Great discussion in “near layman” terms about quantum/classical physics. (guardian)
  • Coordination Avoidance in Distributed Databases (thesis)
  • A love letter to science (nytimes)
  • Do I hate Quicken enough to go CLI? (ledger)
  • Maybe when I am a gojillionnaire. (arstechnica)
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Sapientia Delecti, s01e09

Some new links for the week. Let James Brown be your guide!

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Sapientia Delecti, s01e08

This week’s links, courtesy of yo momma’s tasty fried chicken…

  • An Amazon response to the Times piece. (medium)
  • Technology failure impacts visualized. (ieee)
  • Good thing this new fangled thing is more secure. (arstechnica)
  • Home automation tinkering (wsj)
  • Identity online (about.me)
  • I have no idea what to think about this. (bbc)
  • Some thoughts on crytography (blog)
  • Maybe we are mermaids. (nautil.us)
  • $100M in controller design research. Yessssssss. (polygon)
  • Finally, the LUCK video from Bethesda. (polygon)
  • Drone disabling guns. (popularmechanics)
  • Einstein and non-locality. (scientificamerican)
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Sapientia Delecti, s01e06

And here we go again with another week’s worth of fun reading…

  • International border visible from space (nasa)
  • Hilarious generic tech recruiter letter (blog)
  • TWO player bomb defusing game. Lovely idea. (arstechnica)
  • Math is hard, mmmm’kay? (nature)
  • Fallout4 S.P.E.C.I.A.L. videos (youtube)
  • I’m afraid I don’t have anything to say about this. (guardian)
  • Elephant genetics! (discover)
  • Gene patents (arstechnica)
  • View the Milky Way in many wavelengths! (chromoscope)
  • Android TV from nVidia (arstechnica)
  • Vulnerabilities in bitcoin (motherboard)
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Sapientia Delecti, ep.05

Aaaannnnddd…. another week of links!

  • Fallout 4 is getting a lot of pre-release press. *drool* (polygon)
  • Inventing languages for a living (npr)
  • Neat map of RDBMS evolution over time (hpi.de)
  • Yummy mechanical keyboard love. (polygon)
  • RIP, Alex King (poststatus)
  • And I don’t even drink coffee. More fool me, it seems. (harvard)
  • Whoa. worms eating plastic. (stanford)
  • Some of the things on this wishlist are AWESOME. (nautilus)
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Sapientia Delecti, ep04

This week’s links!

I should mention, though perhaps for some it goes without saying, that I don’t necessarily agree with all of the things I’m pointing to here. In fact, I’d go so far as to say some of them are just blatantly wrong. However, I point them out because they are interesting reading. Your own brain is going to have to reach its own conclusions about the veracity of the article, its source(s) and whether what they purport should influence your own thinking or opinions. I’m not an expert on (ok, most of) these topics. You may be. If you want heated debate, we can take that up over a beer. In the meantime, I’m just going to throw stuff out there for your amusement, and leave it up to you whether you elect to consume this fare or not. Enjoy…
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Sapientia Delecti ep.03

Links from this week:

  • Robotic legs on helicopters! (alphr)
  • Ah, Infocom. You were my first love. (mit.edu)
  • And, hilarity ensues around Burning Man (sfist blog)
  • Thoughts on AI, brought to you by Google (bbc.com)
  • Rubik’s cube solver, *cries* (blog)
  • Oh my goodness. Thanks for the link Tom. (chocolatey)
  • Ok, this is just weird. Cool, but weird. (guardian)
  • The blockchain is mesmerizing to watch (blockchain)
  • List of bitcoin/blockchain white papers (startup management)
  • Jonathan Blow, creator of Braid, has a new game coming out (ars technica)
  • Staggering. scale model of the solar system (universe today)

Enjoy!

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EC2 Costs

I started this post nearly two years ago, and it has been sitting in my “Drafts” folder since then, untouched.

I recently came up against a need for which Amazon’s cloud was once against the hand’s down most cost effective way to meet my needs, and I figured it was worth documenting the use case. If you don’t know already, I play minecraft. I have a realm. I’ve hosted my own server in the past, and have done a whole mess of stuff with it over the years, including some pixelart (which I will link once I’m not at work anymore). Realms don’t support any kind of mods or plugins, or maps, etc. And so I’ve had to do some manual work to get a map of our realm available online. When I was using fragnet (had great experience with them, btw … our use case just changed is all), they had basically one click install options for using dynmap, a popular dynamic mapping system for minecraft, and it basically auto-magically maintained the map for me, no maintenance or anything necessary. It would update reasonably quickly after you explored more of your world, and all was well in the world.
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Obsess much?

So for … basically ever, I’ve been playing a simple logic “solitaire” game called Sherlock. Its pretty simple, has only a few rules to understand, and it is in a class of game that I have just basically always had in my life in one form or another. I have read a few studies over the years that indicate that keeping your brain engaged and active can either prevent or delay the onset of some of the cognitive disoders, like Alzheimer’s. Not that I originally considered that in my choice to play these sorts of things, I just liked them. And still do… but it has certainly reinforced my decision to continue playing them. They are a sort of litmus test for whether or not I’m “slipping” mentally, or losing my ability to solve those sorts of problems. There are certainly lots of arguments that I’m not doing a very scientific test. Yes, sure… granted. But that also isn’t my primary goal. Its just a happy side effect.
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Thank you, brain

So I have a peculiar brain. I say this because it has managed to take four completely unrelated, seemingly innocent facts about the current state of my life, and turn this into insomnia. Note the time of the post. I’ve been up for about an hour now, and here is the reason:

  1. I’m currently reading Sherlock Holmes Complete Works. This isn’t really notable, except in that if you’ve read it, you might recall the precision with which the main character goes through crime scenes and observes things. Watson’s descriptions for his methods, and the narratives describing those examinations borders on the pathological. A minor nod must also go out to the style of language involved in the dialog. This is certainly a function of the era and perhaps also the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s command of it.
  2. I’m playing a game called XCOM: Enemy Unknown at the moment. This is an odd sort of game that you don’t often see these days. The relevant point here is that it is a turn-based, squad combat game. For those not familiar with computer gaming parlance, what this means is that, during at least the action-heavy parts of the game, combat is slowed down into turns. In each turn, you get to choose an action for each of the 4-6 squad members in your strike team. Things like “move over to this spot”, “fire your gun at that enemy” or “use your special blow things up especially well ability” might be example actions. At the end of every round, each enemy unit on the field likewise chooses its own action and tries to foil your well laid plans. If you think about how this plays out, it makes what would otherwise be a very quick SEAL-team-like combat sequence play out in very long carefully scripted action sequences, broken into little chunks of action only several seconds long, mixed in with long pauses of your own strategic decision-making about what each member of your team should do to end the combat with minimum losses.
  3. I am capable of lucid dreaming. For those of you unfamiliar, I will link to the wikipedia page, and steal its first line here to explain: “A lucid dream is any dream in which one is aware that one is dreaming. The term was coined by the Dutch psychiatrist and writer Frederik (Willem) van Eeden (1860–1932). In a lucid dream, the dreamer may be able to exert some degree of control over their participation within the dream or be able to manipulate their imaginary experiences in the dream environment.”
  4. I wear a CPAP at night. Again, I link you to wikipedia if you happen to be unfamiliar. It is basically like going to bed wearing an oxygen mask, prescribed to help with my sleep apnea.

Ok, I’m going pause here briefly to give you a chance to read stuff at those links if needed, and maybe think about how these things might all play in concert with one another. Go ahead, I’ve got all night. Take a few minutes…

Alright, so here’s what my brain has done with all of that. I end up dreaming about Sherlock Holmes crime scenes and gunfights. Except that those gunfights and crime scene investigations end up playing out like XCOM combat sequences, with each character getting to move in little time-sliced chunks, after each move, taking a moment to have a soliloquy in Sherlockian dialog, with exactingly long sequences of observations about what is going on and with whom. If you’ve seen the recent couple of movies with Robert Downey, Jr, you might recall the sequences where you can see him planning out a method of attacking an opponent, in each moment observing how to best disable them, and then seeing it play out in real time exactly as he had surmised. That is how it happens in the dream. Now add to this the fact that I begin lucid dreaming, and I can, in fact, influence the course of the action, and it becomes exactly like playing XCOM-style in a Sherlockian novel. And then, of course, becoming aware of the sounds of my CPAP machine, adding that into my dream, and then slowly falling out of the dream state because moving through Sherlockian combat scenes in slow motion while listening to the augmented sounds of your own machine-assisted breathing is, in fact, quite disturbing and mind-numbingly boring.

So yeah, thanks brain! I owe you one. I’m going to just go in to work early and try and get some work done.

Brain? By the way? Pull this shit again, and I’m pulling out the ambien and taking your ass down. Just sayin’.

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Fantasy Hockey League Post

If you’re not participating in the fantasy hockey league, feel free to ignore this… Read more

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Fantasy Hockey, 2010

Howdy folks. I’m not sure who all reads this with any regularity, but I’m cross posting this everywhere to drum up interest, so there you have it. Read more

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Sindragosa

First time in ICC. Read more

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