edg: (<3)
Spring has rolled around again, and with it the sight of happy couples poking their heads out of their burrows, not being scared off by their shadows, and coming out to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Forget Valentine's Day - Spring is the lord of love, and now that the depredations of March have fallen by the wayside, you can see affection blooming all over. Why, the season is enough to make even the most chronically dateless out there wish that they had someone's hand to hold, someone's cheek to caress, someone's ear into which to whisper sweet nothings.

Those who are perennial bachelors, watching and wishing and remaining dateless year after year, might pray for guidance - "how can I, too, get a date?". In the past, even the best options for finding a partner have been scattershot, using unscientific methods to generate poor matches, and these solitary men and women have sunk farther and farther into despair. Is there no hope? Can no one help these brave, lonely, unlucky men and women?

Google™ can help.

Introducing the new Google Romance™. With Google Romance, you can:

  • Upload your profile – tell the world who you are, or, more to the point, who you’d like to think you are, or, even more to the point, who you want others to think you are.

  • Search for love in all (or at least a statistically significant majority of) the right places with Soulmate Search, our eerily effective psychographic matchmaking software.

  • Endure, via our Contextual Dating option, thematically appropriate multimedia advertising throughout the entirety of your free date.

Google Romance™. Because, when you think about it, love is just another search problem.

(Hat tip: [livejournal.com profile] archangelbeth. Some text from http://www.google.com/romance/.)


Jan. 17th, 2006 06:51 pm
edg: (Silly)
I encourage you all to read today's Irregular Webcomic!, if you haven't already.

Not only is the ur-lightbulb joke probably the funniest thing I've seen all week (YES I AM A GEEK WHY DO YOU ASK), but David Morgan-Mar is, I think, the undisputed grand-master of the beat panel, and this is an excellent example of his supremacy.
edg: (A-ha!)
It's really weird to have a breakthrough in a dream. Not just "I let my mind mull it over, and knew the answer when I woke up"; I specifically remember the part of the dream during which I had the breakthrough, and why I had the breakthrough, and - most importantly - what the breakthrough was.

See, I've had a project in my head since Christmas. Alex loves playing old Nintendo games - Mega Man in particular is right up his alley - but he has a lot of trouble figuring out the keyboard controls for an emulator. So I've been thinking about reworking an original Nintendo controller so that it was essentially a self-contained emulator, but I've been having problems with the logistics. In particular, how do you get the system to just go to the emulator?

The dream involved a government search of a private school to determine which teacher had helped a student steal a professional music video for a school project, and featured scenes like Penn Jillette (playing the part of a government agent) interviewing Susan Wise (one of the classics professors at Earlham), and Wallace Shawn (playing a teacher), Mary Lacey (an English professor), and Bob Southard (a history professor) building a concealed microphone out of an alarm clock and an electric typewriter so that they could listen in on Shawn's conversation with the Feds, and it was during this last scene that the answer hit me. (I'm still not sure why.)

See, I've been thinking of this project as requiring Windows - but it doesn't. The emulator I prefer is actually a DOS program! Which almost certainly means that I can just put a rudimentary DOS, the emulator, and all of the ROMs on a "thumb drive" - one of the keychain-style flash-memory drives - and set AUTOEXEC.BAT to just load the emulator when the system starts up.

Now I just have to figure out the hardware aspect. It might be easier to work with a NES Advantage, thinking about it, than a standard controller; I don't know how much room the control board takes up, but it can't take up that much more room in an Advantage, which is several times the size...

(Before you comment: there are almost certainly existing controller-to-game-player ports out there. I'm not really that interested in hearing about them; I'd like to figure this out myself.)
edg: (Silly)
In the dark future of Hollywood parodies, there is only Shatner.

Warning: video file.
edg: (Silly)
From World of Warcraft:


Dec. 19th, 2005 03:46 pm
edg: (Bad math)
When I was working for Prometric (Thomson Learning) in 2000, designing their intranet, for whatever reason, we were told that we had to standardize on Web Development Software. I don't mean what language we1 would be programming in; we'd already had the fight over ASP vs. PHP vs. ColdFusion2. Rather, this was the program in which we would be writing the code.

Now, to me, this was a silly debate, because my automatic answer was "Notepad". Notepad was easy to use, it had nothing to distract the user from what he was doing, it didn't try to do anything for you, and - best of all - it came with the operating system (we were all using Windows 98 at the time), so it was completely free to the company. Every computer had Notepad on it.

The company, and specifically my manager, didn't see it that way. To them, you weren't really programming - you couldn't - unless you had a programming tool, like Dreamweaver or FrontPage or NetObjects Fusion. And so we were made to decide what programming tool we would be using.

There was great debate over this. Some of the folks wanted Dreamweaver because it was easy to use; some wanted FrontPage because it interfaced well with the IIS server; some wanted NetObjects Fusion because it was what they'd used on previous projects and they were used to it. (I sided with the Dreamweaver camp, if I was forced to side at all; the reason being that I could get Dreamweaver to a state where it was basically Notepad with line numbers.3)

Along the way, while we were testing the various platforms to see which we preferred, I noticed something odd: Frontpage was adding code to my markup and ASP. That seemed pretty strange to me, but I asked around, and it turned out that yes, that really was the case. So as a benchmark, I wrote a sample page of HTML and ASP4 that took up exactly one printed page, and then opened and saved it using each of the programs we were considering using.

Then I printed out each of the raw-code/markup documents, stapled each document together top-to-bottom if it was more than one page, and hung them on the bulletin board outside our shared cubicle. The end result:

Notepad: 1 page.
Dreamweaver: 1 page5.
Frontpage: 9 pages.
NetObjects Fusion: 43 pages.

No, that isn't a typo. NOF literally added 42 pages of unnecessary cruft to a 1-page document.

We went with Dreamweaver.

1: Really just me; our team consisted of two content guys, a user interface guy, a design guy, and a back-end guy, and I was the back-end guy. Nobody else actually had to deal with programming the site; even the UI and design guys did all their work in Illustrator, Photoshop, and Powerpoint, and then left me with the CSS implementation.

2: None of us wanted to deal with Perl, ColdFusion - at the time - not only required its own server software but practically required its own client, and PHP required installing extra extensions on the IIS server, so we went with ASP. It was the least work and outlay on the server guy's part, but the most on mine, since I already knew PHP and was only familiar with ASP.)

3: NetObjects Fusion, on the other hand, I opposed to the point of telling its proponent (my manager, of course) that I would not be working on the project if it was used. The reason for this was that NOF, at the time, didn't actually let you work with the HTML without opening NOF itself: the program bundled all of the code into an "application", and only released it when you "published" your website. In the meantime, you had to open NOF to make a one-character change (such as replacing a < with a >, if you'd made a typo), which to me seemed like an absurd amount of overhead.

4: In Notepad, naturally.

5: Dreamweaver did make two small adjustments, but they changed neither the actual meaning of the code itself nor the length of the document, and to be honest I don't remember at this point what they were.
edg: (Writing II)
Any essay in which I get to reference Greek myth, Star Wars, and Dracula in the course of discussing free-verse poetry is a good essay.
edg: (<3)
The sheer volume of search engines hits on combinations of gabe/piro/tycho/largo and various hentai acts of man on man sex have lead me to the inescapable conclusion that no power in the 'verse can stop a teenage girl once she's got her mind set on the task of masturbating.

-- Ghastly, in a Websnark discussion
edg: (Annoyed)
Dear Lazyweb,

Yesterday I upgraded to Firefox 1.5 for the Mac. I am seriously regretting having done so.

I'm sure that there are a lot of fancy features that I'm not using at all (because, well, I don't really do any hardcore web browsing). It's nice to have Bookmark All Tabs as an actual menu option. I do like the ability to tab-select a browser tab and then navigate through the tabs with the arrow keys.


Firefox 1.5 breaks the two browser features that I used most often in 1.0.7: Ctrl-Tab to switch browser tabs, and automatically selecting the full current URL when the address bar receives a left-click. Instead, Ctrl-Tab moves between the document and the address bar (and does not address the browser tabs at all, which is strange given that unmodified Tab does), and clicking in the address bar puts the cursor at the click point instead of selecting the URL. (Strangely, I've discovered that both of these actions produce the results that I expect and desire in Windows Firefox 1.5.

As far as I am concerned, this is a broken browser. I don't care if that's how Safari does it. I don't like Safari for exactly these reasons.

Is there any way for me to fix this - a preference I haven't found, an extension I'm not seeing, what have you - or do I have to uninstall 1.5 and reinstall 1.0.7 to get Firefox to work the way I want it to?

EDIT: Okay, after some prowling, I've figured out how to move between tabs; they've changed it from Ctrl-Tab to Cmd-Option-Right/Left Arrow. Also, Ctrl-Tab - when I'm focused on the document - does select the entire URL in the address bar, so that I can type over rather than typing into.

But, seriously, guys. This is a major change in the way the user interacts with the browser. You could at least mention it in the damn release notes.

EDIT 2: On occasion, open source software is useful. In this case, having followed instructions from another irritated Firefox-Mac user, I've successfully re-enabled Ctrl-Tab tab switching. For those of you playing the home game, here are the instructions:

1) Quit Firefox
2) Go to Macintosh HD:Applications:Firefox.app, right-click, and choose Show Package Contents
3) Go to :Contents:MacOS:chrome
4) Duplicate toolkit.jar (so you have a backup)
5) Rename toolkit.jar to toolkit.zip
6) Right-click toolkit.zip and unpack it (which will create a folder called content)
7) Go to :content:global:bindings
8) Open tabbrowser.xml
9) Replace
this.mTabBox.handleCtrlTab = !/Mac/.test(navigator.platform);
this.mTabBox.handleCtrlTab = true;
10) Go back out to :chrome
11) Right-click :content and create an archive
12) Rename it to toolkit.jar
13) You can now use ctrl+tab again
edg: (I can't stop talking!)
I am informed via the forums that the latest release of Safari (2.0.2, included with the OS X 10.4.3 update) is now compatible with Writely.

Writely uses browser detection to block off the browsers they know to not work, which still includes older versions of Safari; if you want to use Safari 2.0.2 to check out Writely, you can use this link to bypass the browser detection. (Omniweb and older versions of Safari still do not work with Writely, due to certain strange bugs in their handling of iFrames, CSS, and text selection.)
edg: (Dyna)
All In Nomine people, take note: they are among us, yea, even unto the still lives.

(By [livejournal.com profile] ursulav.)

Oh well

Nov. 6th, 2005 09:55 am
edg: (...right.)
I guess it was too good to last...


Nov. 6th, 2005 12:21 am
edg: (Robot)
I'm posting an awful lot for someone who's spending time away from LiveJournal. But that's not the point of this post.

I'm looking for an RSS aggregator that will compile a list of recent titles into a plain-text file, newest to oldest. What I'd like to do is use GeekTool to use curl to grab that file from the server it lives on and display it on my desktop, so I can see with a press of F11 whether any of the RSS feeds I'm subscribed to have updated (rather than having to load LiveJournal or Bloglines). Any thoughts?

(Hm. Generating one of those on my own would be harder than I think it is.)

Also, I see that Weblog Licentiae Moeticae is having some trouble. Everything okay over there? (Not that Moe reads this journal, or that Jamie will see this post for a week or two, but...) EDIT: Not anymore. Apparently it was just a temporary glitch, but for a few minutes it was giving me a "this journal has been suspended" notice when I tried to load the page.

Also also, [livejournal.com profile] gehn, you should post to Nil Retain more often.

That is all.
edg: (Dice)
On November 4, the Superior writeup for Lilith will be released as a PDF on e23. Sometime in November (the post is not specific), the In Nomine Core Rules will be released as a PDF on e23.

The news post is here.
edg: (I can't stop talking!)
[livejournal.com profile] followyourfish (and other super sekrit photo aficionados reading my journal), have you seen Riya? It looks like the alpha phase just started (like, yesterday), and so according to the CEO's weblog they may be limiting the number of users who can sign up at once just so that they don't kill the servers; nevertheless, I think it's worthwhile to look around the site, at least.


Oct. 27th, 2005 07:43 am
edg: (I'm With Stupid)
Reflecting that it was on these monotonous performances [the rote rhetoric based on fantastic premises by which Roman students learned to speak], these far-fetched and wilful exaggerations, these false and unwholesome data, that the whole edifice of higher education in Rome was reared, it is easy to understand that toward the middle of the second century Latin letters began to perish from such an abuse of literature. The decay of a civilisation is heralded by these laborious eccentricities, by the mental malnutrition to which the pick of Rome's youth was doomed, having no other intellectual sustenance than this thin soup. For fear of being accused of ignorance, the ambitious youth who wished to dazzle and astonish his audience substituted memory for thought, affectation for sincerity, grimaces and contortions for natural expression, and for a natural voice forced outbursts and calculated roars practised in advance.

-- Jérôme Carcopino, Daily Life in Ancient Rome
Trans. E.O. Lorimer

omg ru seroius????// lol ^__________^ stfu noob
edg: (Jackassery)
I have spent a solid hour trying to work out one sentence, because one word didn't make sense in context and I couldn't make the sentence work without it.

...[dicens] omnium eundem esse exitum et idem domicilium, et cetera quibus exulceratae mentes ad sanitatem revocantur.

It was quibus that I couldn't fit. (Dicens is in brackets because it's implied.) And I bashed my head against it, and I tried rearranging the sentence to make revocantur the verb for the whole thing, and I squished it and squashed it every way I could think of (thanks, [livejournal.com profile] melpomenes_mask!), and then it dawned on me, like I was hit over the head with an iron bar:

Only the first half of that sentence is indirect statement.

And now it makes sense.

...[saying] "the death of all is the same, and the dwelling the same", and the rest by which sore minds are called back to health.
edg: (This just doesn't add up.)
Gaming geekery of a mild sort:

Within the space of a week, I've seen three different people use "gamist" to mean, respectively, "a synonym for 'narrativist'", "a happy medium between narrativist and simulationist", and "a synonym for 'simulationist'".

So, honestly, does the term "gamist" actually have a valid definition? Or does it really mean "following whichever style of play I favor most"? (That's not meant as a condemnation; there are plenty of terms, like "moral" and "up", that depend on the viewpoint of the speaker. I'm just wondering whether "gamist" has an absolute meaning.)
edg: (Writing)
[livejournal.com profile] jhyanmar wanted to know why Jaegers are obsessed with hats, and why General Khrizian doesn't have one.

My response:

General Khrizian doesn't need one.

The hats obsession goes back to when Jaegers were first being completed, you see - rather than putting the tops of the Jaegers' skulls on, the Heterodynes just affixed steel caps to the tops of their heads, with hinges or screw-threads, so that the Jaegers' creators could fiddle with their minds at will.

Of course, being as they were Sparks, a plain steel cap was worthy only of the lowliest, most insignificant Jaeger. The Jaegers who were worth more received decoration - plumes or prongs, or chasing or filigree. And the most important Jaegers had such enormous, elaborate caps that they were things of wonder - although not so ornate that they couldn't be opened! (Except for poor Algar, whose mistress, Nadezhda Heterodyne, got a little carried away with the welding and accidentally attached his head to one of the giant gears of her Walking Dreadnaught - but, of course, that story is told in The Clockwork That Ate Cluj-Napoca.)

Now, clearly this practice had stopped before the Heterodynes vanished; there are contemporary pictures of Jaegers without hats, of far too large a number to be considered merely an artist's fancy. Nobody knows for certain what caused the change in practice; it might have been Dorina Heterodyne's unfortunate tendency to use lead instead of steel, or the multiple concussions and head wounds suffered by little Liviu from collisions with the ersatz skull of his Jaeger playmate. Perhaps the Heterodynes simply felt that being able to do work in the field wasn't worth the trouble. In any event, the steel caps went out of vogue, and Jaegers were made (or repaired) with full skulls.

But they remember. Jaegers have long memories, especially when they're relatively young and are actually making their memories up based on stories they've heard elsewhere, and so even the Jaegers who never actually had a steel cap remember the days, long ago, when having something gaudy and ornate on your head meant that you were important - and when having something protective on your head meant that your brain wasn't going to fall out if you bent over to tie your boot. And the hats are their way of syncretizing this, since with the memory comes the impulse: DO NOT LOSE THE CAP. THE CAP IS YOUR FRIEND.

Those Jaegers who are most intelligent and cunning, however - the Generals - understand that it is not about the hat, per se; it is about the hat-nature. Instead of actually wearing the ornate hats, they embody them - Khrizian so much that he doesn't even need to wear a hat at all!
edg: (Dice)
(It's not a trick, anyway, as far as I know...)

Anyone who's interested in the new World of Darkness material, but who hasn't bought the core rules yet, should check out DriveThruRPG's Halloween special. (That offer seems to be valid through 11/14/2005, from what I can tell. It might be watermarked, but it's printable, has chapter bookmarks, can be searched, and seems to be completely transferable from one computer to another.)

Link courtesy JackShadow over on the SJGames Forums.

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