I Read Stuff!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Honeypot

Let's play pretend. You're a criminal, and there is a warrant out for your arrest. You were a bad man, who is being charged with dealing drugs, illegal entry, battery, not paying your parking tickets... etc.

You have successfully evaded capture for the entire year! Nice work.

One day, you receive a piece of junk mail that proclaims:

"Congratulations!! You've won a free Xbox 360!!! Please bring this voucher and claim your prize!!"

What do you do?

Well, 115 other criminals just like you went to claim their prize and got arrested. The El Paso police cleared 129 warrants and collected $25,686 in outstanding traffic fines between Nov. 5th and the 9th.

Seriously, if you win a prize for a contest you didn't enter, a warning light should go off in your head. If you are also a wanted criminal, one word:

Klaxon

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Powered Armor

And we are that much closer to Starship Troopers! Uh, that would be the book, not the movie. Don't watch the movie. Just don't do it.

Read the book...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Water Landing

"Emergency water landing, 600 miles per hour. Blank faces -- calm as Hindu cows." -- Tyler Durden (Fight Club)

This quote started me thinking about how ridiculous it is that the seat cushions can be used as flotation devices. Ralph Nader commissioned a study of wide body jet water landings. Such a landing has never happened, so no practical proof exists. Their research seemed to indicate the jet would "shatter like a raw egg" killing most passengers on impact. I guess 'most' indicates someone might survive, and that someone would want floating seat cushions if they managed to escape the wreckage. I basically took this to confirm my suspicions that it was a huge amount of effort for the off chance that one guy is going to make it.

There are a few things that I did not consider. A number of plane accidents include jets that roll off the runway into the water. Everyone basically survives, and the flotation devices are super handy for making it the 100 ft to shore. I guess the Velcro seat is warranted.

I then discovered that 90% of the planes I fly on are not 'wide body' jets. A wide body jet is a plane that contains more than 6 seats to a row or two or more walking aisles. Most jets are narrow-body planes with 4 or 5 seats to a row. There have been a number of water landings, or ditching, with these smaller planes. The most notable is Ethiopian flight 961, because it was caught on tape.



52 people survived out of 175. It's important to note that a number of passengers inflated their life vests before exiting the plane and became trapped. While the seat cushion can be useful, in at least this one case, those foam seats wouldn't help you at all.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Mr. T - Still Awesome

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Statistics

It's time for this month's dose of statistics! (Brought to you by Zogby International) This is a fun poll because it targets people's choices about entertainment and how that correlates to their political leaning. What to know what the 'other side' is doing for fun?

Of course you do! And you can read all about it here. However, I'll summarize to save you the trouble.

Conservatives

  • They don't like TV, but they will watch Fox News.

  • They really enjoy sports, because sports cannot be liberally skewed.

  • They don't enjoy books, but the books they do read are non-fiction.

  • They listen to country and gospel, but their favorite is classical.

Liberals

  • They will watch most things on TV, even if it has a conservative bias. They do try to avoid reality programming and game shows.

  • They find sports less interesting, but football is the favorite.

  • They read more books than any other group. They prefer fiction, but they will read non-fiction if it's political or about current events.

  • They listen to every type of music, but country is the least favorite.

Moderates

  • They mainly watch reality TV and crime shows such as CSI.

  • Their sports appeal falls between Conservatives and Liberals.

  • They read self-help books and biographies, but mysteries and thrillers are their favorite.

  • They listen to Rock, and they avoid everything else.

Zogby does talk about video games as entertainment, but it's obvious they don't know how to poll about them. They just don't have the vocabulary, and there is a distinct differential from their treatment of other media.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Dance Monkey

A little perspective as you start your week.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Gaming the Game

Video games can be a lot of fun, but even the best games get old. This is generally when a player's objectives no longer line up with what the designers originally intended. Sandbox games such as Roller Coaster Tycoon are especially useful for this kind of 'replayability'.

Thanks goes to The Texan for today's example:

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Dog Wash

Continuing with what appears to be an 'over industrialization' theme, I give you the dog washing machine. It's capable of washing and drying your dog in 4 minutes.

My dog doesn't particularly like baths. I'm not really sure why since she is clearly willing to get wet in lakes and rain. However, I am sure that sticking her in this box would fall under something she would HATE. However it only takes 4 minutes as opposed to 15 minutes in the tub. Is short term trama better than longer discomfort?

How do you take off Band-Aids?

The video is in French, but you'll get the general idea.

Monday, November 05, 2007

A Better Breakfast Faster

The Batter Blaster is awesome. It's organic too!! I just stare at their homepage and my brain shuts down. I just can't fathom the sheer genius necessary to come up with such a ridiculous product.

BatterBlaster

Visit them here, and watch their retro style commercial!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Base Jumping + Hang Gliding

A buddy dropped me this video of the new direction of base jumping. Basically these crazies don a webbed suit that works like wings. Once terminal velocity is reached they fall at what looks to be about 30 degrees away from straight down. What they do when they reach that point is nothing short of amazing.


Games
GameInterestRelease Date
Civilization IV1
C&C 31
Company of Heroes1
Half Life 21
Half Life 2: Episode One1
Supreme Commander1
Call of Duty 22
Darwinia2
Dungeon Runners2
Dungeon Siege II2
Far Cry2
Galactic Civilization II2
Hitman: Blood Money2
Jade Empire2
Neverwinter Nights 22
Prey2
Psychonauts2
Sam & Max: Episode 12
Titan Quest2
Dark Messiah Might and Magic3
Defcon3
Heroes of Might and Magic V3
Indigo Prophecy3
KOTOR II3
LEGO Star Wars3
Marvel Ultimate Alliance3
Space Rangers 2: The Rise of the Dominators3
STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl3
Stubbs the Zombie3
War Front3
Warhammer: Mark of Chaos3
Infernal35/8/2007
Shadowrun25/9/07
Pirates of the Burning SeaM6/1/2007
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars?6/5/2007
Two Worlds?6/26/07
Sins of A Solar Empire?8/1/2007
BioShock18/21/2007
Mass Effect19/7/07
Age of ConanM10/30/07
Crysis1Fall 2007
Elveon?Fall 2007
Half-Life 2: Episode Two1Fall 2007
Portals1Fall 2007
Spore1Fall 2007
Stranglehold?Fall 2007
Tabula RasaMFall 2007
Team Fortress 22Fall 2007
Dragon Age?Winter 2007
Fable 2?Winter 2007
Field Ops?Winter 2007
Halo Wars?Winter 2007
Gods & Heroes: Rome RisingMWinter 2007
Haze?Winter 2007
Hellgate: London1Winter 2007
HuxleyMWinter 2007
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men?Winter 2007
Left 4 Dead?Winter 2007
The AgencyMSpring 2008
Empire Earth III?Spring 2008
Guild Wars 2 MSpring 2008
Jericho?Spring 2008
Sacred 2?Spring 2008
Savage 2?Spring 2008
Time Shift2Spring 2008
Universe at War: Earth Assault3Spring 2008
The Witcher?Spring 2008
CellFactor?2008
Darkest of Days?2008
On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkeness: Episode 122008
Warhammer OnlineM2008
Alliance: The Silent War??
Alone in the Dark??
Assassin's Creed??
BioWare MMO??
The Crossing??
Dungeon Hero??
Fallout 3??
Lego Batman??
Mythos??
Overloard??
Space Seige??
Culdcept SagaPC??
Gears of WarPC??
God of WarPC??
Beautiful KatamariPC??
OkamiPC??
Resistance: Fall of ManPC??
Odin's SpherePC??
Castle CrashersPC??

1 - I will buy it
2 - I'll buy it at discount
3 - Other people think it's good, but I wasn't interested when I first heard about it
M - Mainly Multiplayer. See if friends get interested.
? - Find out more about this game
PC? - Will it be released on the PC?