When the Germans bombed Peal Harbor

This is a speech I’m giving to myself, mostly, with regards to my literary career, and to my “real” career, and to my financial situation generally. (Longer version of this clip here.)

But I’m also giving it to y’all with regards to the weblog awards. Hey, I don’t mind seeing Wetmachine lose to Ars Technica. It would just be nice to lose by less than ten-to-one. There are still 8 hours left to vote. We have about 240 votes, and only need another 2,000 to get back in the game. So who’s with me? Yeargh!

Materially Objective

Our David is cute. While testing today that the material editor was working, he captured the display material of the Python timer application running on the display stand, and then applied the material to the floor. The floor, the running application, and the material editor’s texture card and teapot sampler are all counting down.
<%image(20090106-material.jpg|713|476|Editing the material of the floor, using the material of the running Python timer application. All are counting down.)%>

Continue reading

Intel adapting to OLPC, and graphics accleration on mobiles

My read of this money.cnn.com article, and the linked presentations for investors, is that Intel’s fairly near-term strategy:

  • Includes major specific responses to the OLPC. (E.g., a focus on lower cost and marketing in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.) OLPC has changed the game.
  • Suggests that graphics acceleration must be included in Intel’s products for mobile computing. (E.g., noting that “the most important applications…including Second Life” won’t run on a mobile phone, and that the “uncrompromised” “full Internet” has to run on mobiles without delay from when it is available on desktops.)

Nothing to be surprised at, but this is the first time I’ve seen this officially from Intel.

Are You In My Game?

My two youngest kids asked me to reinstall Disney Aladdin for the umpteenth time on Windows, and to please make it work this time. I sat down, and they knowingly left the room and turned the TV up. Presumably to drown out the funky language they would soon be hearing from Dad. But instead, I installed a Croquet application I’ve been working on.

It happens to have a dead-simple navigation mechanism that I stole from Orion Elenzil. Even my four year old can drive around in Croquet.

So he’s merrilly driving around over these hills. It took him about 15 seconds to discover that he could open portals by clicking on them, and that if he hit it right, he could drive through the portal into another space. He likes to drive.

Meanwhile, I connected from another computer, and drove up next to him.

“Hey, Dad!” he said, “Are you in my game?”

And we were off, playing follow-the-leader and hide-and-seek.

Thomas is the Toy Soldier, and I'm the Dragon. Thomas uses the buttons in the lower right to navigate.

Thomas is the Toy Soldier, and I’m the Dragon. Thomas uses the buttons in the lower right to navigate.

Sony patents beaming sights and sounds into your brain

Hastening the day that we all become batteries for powering our robotic overlords, Sony has patented beaming senses into the human brain, according to this story at Yahoo News. Now all the machines need to do is rise up, stick us in a pod, and beam images into our eyes onfa mundane reality while sapping our bodies of electricity. Yay Sony!

You know, sights from a game might be cool to have beamed into your brain. However, I’ve been addicted to… err… playing a lot of World of Warcraft recently. Visuals are one thing, but honestly, I really don’t want to smell an orc or a troll, especially after I have bludgeoned the thing to death.

Newsflash: Titan sounds like old Atari 2600 games

Being somewhat of a space nerd, I’ve been following the progress of the Huygens probe mission for the last few days (besides, watching space press conferences streaming via the web is more fun than working, even if they are largely in French and German).

One of the instruments on the Huygens was essentially a microphone, and in addition to the pictures that look like they were taken with a first generation Logitech webcam, the ESA have released MP3s of sounds recorded through the microphone. I was anxious to hear what another planet sounded like… boy was I shocked to learn it sounded a lot like the bleeps and hisses that passed for sound in the old Atari 2600 game console from the 70’s and 80’s.

Continue reading