Saturday, December 13, 2008
Video Game Design Between 1990-2008: "The 1990s became the golden age of computer video games and gave birth to a large number of game developers and publishers such as Activision, Electronic Arts, Blizzard and id Software
From design and graphics point of view, video games greatly evolved and continue to do so. Writing about 90s computer games in 2008 is somewhat nostalgic and in the same time it’s funny, because what can you expect from a 16 bit graphic display and a 100 MHz machine, but remembering that in those days these configs were king just as 3,6 GHz and Nvidia GeForce 9400 nowdays.
So, let’s look at how the graphics and design evolved starting from 1990."
Some kid in his bedroom can make a million bucks just by writing a little application for the Apple phone.
There’s Gold In Them iPhones: "There's a virtual lighter, a virtual firecracker, a voice changer that can make you sound like anything from Darth Vader or an elf on helium, and the big winner of the bunch—a program called Ocarina that turns the iPhone into an electronic wind instrument. Released in November, Ocarina racked up 400,000 downloads in less than a month. Smule, which originally set a goal of taking in $100,000 in revenue this year, instead will end up making closer to $1 million. 'It's amazing,' Smith says. 'The business is already profitable.'"
Watch 101 Classic Christmas Videos Online: "The list is in no particular order, though the first section, 'essentials', are (in my humble opinion) the cream of the crop. I should also note that I've only included programs for which I was able to find online videos so you'll notice some glaring omissions (like 'A Christmas Story' and 'Miracle on 34th Street).
In any event, here's wishing you a great Christmas. Now sit back and dig into some of the best Christmas content on the web..."
NumberSpiral.com: "Number spirals are very simple. To make one, we just write the non-negative integers on a ribbon and roll it up with zero at the center.
The trick is to arrange the spiral so all the perfect squares (1, 4, 9, 16, etc.) line up in a row on the right side:"
Friday, December 12, 2008
8 Truly Strange Christmas Customs: "Customs such as bringing evergreens inside, eating fat-laden foods, and hanging lights are universal responses to the cold, dark winter season. Some of the stranger Christmas traditions are remnants of those older pagan holidays, and some have been changed over the centuries until their origins are hard to discern. Others were just made up to boost business!"
The 25 Meanest Things Ever Said by Men: "1. 'Michael Jackson's album was only called Bad because there wasn't enough room on the sleeve for Pathetic.' —Prince
2. 'He looks like a dwarf who's been dipped in a bucket of pubic hair.' —Boy George, on Prince
3. 'He couldn't ad-lib a fart after a baked-bean dinner.' —Johnny Carson, on Chevy Chase
4. 'All that Hubert needs over there is a gal to answer the phone and a pencil with an eraser on it.' —Lyndon Johnson, on Hubert Humphrey, his vice president
5. 'The only reason so many people attended his funeral was they wanted to make sure he was dead.' —Samuel Goldwyn, on Louis B. Mayer
6. 'People shouldn't be treated like objects. They aren't that valuable.' —P.J. O'Rourke
7. 'Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence--those are the three pillars of Western prosperity.' —Aldous Huxley
8. 'The only thing dumber than a pitcher is two pitchers.' —Ted Williams
9. 'I saw a woman wearing a sweatshirt with 'Guess' on it. I said, 'Thyroid problem?' ' —Emo Philips"
Beer 101: "Lager is the most common, base level of beer against which all other brews are judged. Characterized by a smooth but crisp bite, it's brewed over a four- to 12-week period in very cool temperatures using a yeast that ferments at the top of the barrel."
Thursday, December 11, 2008
The 10 Greatest Fast Food Sides: "Because three pounds of processed meat won’t tide you over until dinner."
Speed Bumps That Flatten for Slow Speeds: "These speed bumps can be configured so that if a car is going below 30km/h, the speed bump flattens; over 30km/h, the force causes the retractor to stay closed, keeping the speed bump active."
Aspiring scientists from the Zurich School of Applied Sciences have built a video simulation that displays the flight path of every commercial flight in the world over a 24-hour period. There isn't much of an application for it, but it sure is cool to look at.
How Cereal Transformed American Culture: "During the early 19th century, most Americans subsisted on a diet of pork, whiskey, and coffee. It was hell on the bowels, and to many Christian fundamentalists, hell on the soul, too. They believed that constipation was God’s punishment for eating meat. The diet was also blamed for fueling lust and laziness. To rid America of these vices, religious zealots spearheaded the country’s first vegetarian movement. In 1863, one member of this group, Dr. James Jackson, invented Granula, America’s first ready-to-eat, grain-based breakfast product. Better known as cereal, Jackson’s rock-hard breakfast bricks offered consumers a sin-free meat alternative that aimed to clear both conscience and bowels."
Complete List - The 50 Worst Cars of All Time - TIME: "On the 50th anniversary of the Ford Edsel, TIME and Dan Neil, Pulitzer Prize-winning automotive critic and syndicated columnist for the Los Angeles Times, look at the greatest lemons of the automotive industry"
12 Things You Might Not Know About A Christmas Story (even though you’ve seen it 90 times): "Today’s installment of the “obscure facts about my favorite Christmas movies” series covers A Christmas Story. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I don’t own this one on DVD, but I guess I don’t need to when TBS runs it for 24 hours straight on Christmas Eve. Here are a few tidbits to tide you over until the marathon."
If u cn rd this quickly, gd 4 u : "Mobile phone text-message abbreviations and simplifications are not ruining our spelling, but they do take much longer to read and understand than conventional English, a small Australian study has shown.
University of Tasmania lecturer Nenagh Kemp asked 55 undergraduate students to compose, and then to read aloud, text messages in English and in 'textese.'
While students were significantly faster using textese, it took almost half the number of students twice as long to read these messages aloud than messages written in proper English."
Woman returns $100K found at restaurant : "A Murfreesboro, Tenn., woman chose not to follow the old saying 'Finders keepers, losers weepers' when she discovered nearly $100,000 in a bag at a local Cracker Barrel restaurant. But it wasn't that the thought didn't cross her mind.
'Satan will tempt you,' said Billie Watts, 75. 'I have been having real bad teeth problems. I thought, 'I'll get my teeth fixed.' '
She ultimately decided to return the money she found in a bag in the women's restroom to its rightful owner."
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Found by Pat Classic
Scary Santa: "A frightening collection of the best scary Santa photos."
Wind farm in the middle of the ocean: "20 km from the coast of Denmark, you will find 'Horns Rev', the biggest wind farm in the world. 80 turbines 110 m tall, capable of 160 MW. The fins are 30 m long."
Old computer ads: "Sometimes funny, sometimes fascinating, other times shocking!"
In a SongFacts interview with the Asteroids Galaxy Tour, beatmaker Lars Iversen explains how his band's hyperkinetic track 'Around The Bend' was selected as the jingle for Apple's second-generation iPod touch television ad.
The Danish band is represented in the United States by a little-known company called Synch, which managed to get in touch with Apple and arrange for a sit down meeting with Jobs himself.
While listening to some of the songs suggested by Synch, the Apple co-founder reportedly slammed on the brakes during a sample of 'Around The Bend,' declaring, 'This is it, this is the new track for the iPod Touch.'"
So instead we've compiled a list of our 101 favorite apps. Most are high quality apps that we've found indispensable. Some are frivolous fun and while they aren't groundbreaking, or even necessary, they have special place in our hearts and on our devices."
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Dogs Can Feel Envy, Study Suggests: "The first scientific study to find envy in non-primates affirms what many already know: dogs can get jealous.
'Everybody who has a dog at home probably [suspects] that dogs can be very jealous of other dogs and also of people,' said lead author Friederike Range of the University of Vienna, Austria."
Top 7 Addictive Video Games: "Gaming is great. Many people love it. But what about those games you just can't keep your hands off of. The ones that keep you glued to the screen. The ones that you stay up all night just trying to get in one more level, or one more kill. You know what ones I mean. The addictive games, the ones you just can't wait to get home to play. Here is a list of the Top 7 Addictive Video Games:"
Wine Bottle Plant Nannies: "Simply refill a wine bottle with water, push the hollow terracotta stake into the soil, flip the bottle in place, and natural absorption will take care of the rest. They are durable, reusable, drip-free. Imported. 7�' high."
NFL upholds 3-game suspension of WR Jones: "Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Matt Jones will serve a three-game suspension for violation the NFL's substance-abuse policy after his appeal was denied Wednesday.
The league handed down the suspension in October, but it was delayed while Jones appealed.
His appeal was heard last week.
Jones, the team's leading receiver, was charged with cocaine possession in July when a police officer in Fayetteville, Ark., saw him inside a parked car allegedly cutting up cocaine with a credit card. In September, Jones agreed to enter a drug treatment program that could erase the felony charge against him."
NBC gives late-night star Jay Leno a prime-time role: "NBC has turned an economic crisis into a win for the network and for fans of Andover native Jay Leno.
Fans of scripted dramas are going to be banging that remote in frustration.
The network announced today that Leno will headline a 10 p.m. talk show five nights a week starting next year.
The move could mark a seismic shift that will forever alter the way the commercial networks program prime time."
Women feel they are sexiest at 34: "Being sexy is often perceived to be a key essence of femininity. And, now a new study has found that women feel most sexy at the age of
Researchers have based their findings on a survey of over 1,000 women who were questioned about their sex lives - the majority of respondents said that it was at the age of 34 when they had felt more sexy."
The Great Sphinx of Giza reborn as a lion in the desert: "The Sphinx in Egypt might have originally had the face of a lion, it is claimed.
And it could be much older than previously thought, investigations led by a British geologist suggest.
Egyptologists have long argued the monument outside Cairo, which has the head of a pharaoh and the body of a lion, was built soon after the first pyramid - around 4,500 years ago."
The decision, made earlier this year by the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service, will adjust coordinated universal time (UTC), which is used to calibrate national and regional clocks around the world."
Dr. Olivier Ameisen, 55, a French physician who practiced for a time at New York's Weill-Cornell Medical Center claims in his new book 'Le Derner Verre' ('The Last Glass') that since he started taking the drug baclofen, he has lost his desire to consume alcohol."
Monday, December 8, 2008
The highest echelon of geeks will be able to do everything in this list, and this is by no means a full categorization of the complete geek skillset – only what we consider to be the most indispensable abilities
read more | digg story
US F-18 jet crashes in San Diego: "A US military F-18 fighter jet has crashed into a residential area of San Diego, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has said."
The San Diego Fire Department described the scene of the crash as "a heavily populated area" near Interstate 805.
TV footage showed plumes of white smoke rising from several houses. It is not clear if there are any casualties.
The jet crashed as it prepared to land at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and the pilot had ejected, the FAA said.
The crash occurred two miles (3.2km) from the base, it added.
Donny James, who was visiting his mother in the area, said the supersonic fighter had been flying at very low altitude.
"It spiralled out of control, just like out of Top Gun, and then it came down," he told CNN.
Top Five WiiWare games of 2008: "Launching in May, Nintendo’s service has provided a steady stream of content - not all of it good, but there have been plenty of crackers on there. Here are the five titles which I think represent the best WiiWare has to offer so far."
Macenstein’s Top 20 iPhone games of 2008: "Most people will tell you that video games are too subjective a thing to rate – after all, one man’s Halo 3 is another’s Dance Dance Revolution. However, those people are WRONG. Not only CAN you rate videos games, I have done it. Here are they are… The top 20 iPhone/iPod touch games of 2008."
H. M., an Unforgettable Amnesiac, Dies at 82: "In 1953, he underwent an experimental brain operation in Hartford to correct a seizure disorder, only to emerge from it fundamentally and irreparably changed. He developed a syndrome neurologists call profound amnesia. He had lost the ability to form new memories.
For the next 55 years, each time he met a friend, each time he ate a meal, each time he walked in the woods, it was as if for the first time."
So why DOES the world love Homer Simpson?: "The Simpsons is actually a very moral show. That's why intellectuals of the stature of Sir Stephen Hawking have been seduced by the underlying philosophy of the programme.
Hawking, who appeared on the show in 1999, said: 'I think The Simpsons is one of the cleverest shows on television, and it always has a moral.'
Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, revealed in 2004 that he, too, would love to appear alongside Homer and co.
'Goodness is taken very seriously in The Simpsons,' he says.
'The values of honesty and generosity and forgiveness are ones that, quite clearly, the programme endorses.'"
Flashing Girls Prompt Disneyland to Can 'Jack Sparrow' Actors: "Disneyland management has fired the four actors who played pirate Jack Sparrow because officials were worried about young female park-goers flashing the swashbuckling actors late at night, according to one former cast member."
Tiny teenager from India is smallest girl in the world: "A teenager from India who stands at a tiny 1ft 11in (58cm) tall is the smallest girl in the world.
Jyoti Amge, 14, is shorter than the average two-year-old child and only weighs 11lb (5kg)."
Saved by the Bell: Before modern medicine, it was hard to determine if a person was really dead or simply in a really, really deep sleep. As a precaution, the presumed dead were buried with a string that ran from the corpse's finger to a bell. If there was a mistake, the person could twitch the finger and thus be saved from being buried alive.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
What's Old Is New: 12 Living Fossils: "To navigate the currents of ecological fate, most creatures adapt — but a few have stuck to their evolutionary guns.
Known as living fossils, they lasted for millions of years with barely a change, even as their relatives went extinct or took different paths across the tree of life.
Many are now threatened or endangered. But with some luck and a little help, living fossils will be able to survive the age of humans, too."
Apollo 11 Spacesuit Replica: "Step into the boots of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin — literally — as you donn this museum-quality replica of their iconic spacesuit, the same they wore to make mankind's first small steps and giant leaps across the Moon's Tranquility Base!
The design and molds for this spacesuit replica were taken from an authentic NASA Apollo-era A7L garments. They are built to our exact specifications with the highest attention paid to every detail."
Kotaro Yoshimura, a surgeon at the Tokyo University medical school, first tested this procedure in 2003. He started with a liposuction to obtain fat from the woman’s thigh. Half of the fat was centrifuged to yield a concentrated stem-cell mixture, and this was recombined with the other half, and was then injected through a needle at four sites on the breast. The entire surgery took three to four hours."
Computer games inspire children to learn musical instruments: "bout 2.5 million British youngsters have been inspired to progress into 'real' music-making after playing musical console games like Guitar Hero, Singstar and Rock Band.
The new report by the UK's largest music charity Youth Music states that these games are having a dramatic effect on children taking up a instrument for the first time."
Is it true that no two snowflakes are alike?: "Over the next few decades, Bentley continued to study snowflakes, taking 5,381 photographs of them and developing a system to categorize over 80 different flake types and shapes. In 1920, he became a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society
and was awarded the Society’s first research grant ($25). Bentley sometimes told people that he had never seen two snowflakes that looked alike and published several magazine articles arguing that no two flakes are identical. That idea stuck in the public imagination, which brings us to today’s question: was he right?"
Intelligent men have better quality sperm, research finds: "Scientists have shown that bright men have better sperm.
They produce more of it and it is of higher quality, suggesting they are better-equipped to start a family than their intellectually inferior friends and colleagues."
College students are already illegally taking prescription stimulants like Ritalin to help them study, and demand for such drugs is likely to grow elsewhere, they say.
'We should welcome new methods of improving our brain function,' and doing it with pills is no more morally objectionable than eating right or getting a good night's sleep, these experts wrote in an opinion piece published online Sunday by the journal Nature."
The best films of 2008... rogerebert.com: "Look at my 20 titles, and you tell me which 10 you would cut. Nor can I select one to stand above the others, or decide which should be No. 7 and which No. 8. I can't evaluate films that way. Nobody can, although we all pretend to. A 'best films' list, certainly. But of exactly 10, in marching order?"