Archive for May, 2007

Mission Success: xkcd Tickets

Sunday, May 13th, 2007

The Prize On Friday I succeeded in my mission to get an xkcd ticket. The ticket has one of my favorite comics on it. The talk is on Monday so I’ll let you all know how awesome it was then. On a side note, I just learned my HDTV will arrive tomorrow (Monday) morning.

Zombie Walk

Sunday, May 13th, 2007

Yesterday, after gaming Jed dressed up as a zombie for the apparently annual zombie walk through Somerville and Cambridge. It seems like a lot of fun, if only I had planned ahead to join in. There were lots of good costumes, and there were even some protesters with signs like “Life for the Living” and “No Brains for You.” Apparently there was even a Stephan Colbert impersonator there to rail against the zombies for being unAmerican, but I didn’t see him. The pictures from my camera phone didn’t turn out too bad so here ya go:

Zombie Jed Zombie Protesters Zombie Walk

Wits and Wagers

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

Wits and Wagers I got this game for Christmas last year and played it a little, but not a lot. My room mates found it in my pile of games last night and played it instead of watching Lost. We played it again tonight; it’s pretty fun with a good group of people. I am yet to play it for money, as it lends it self to — having poker chips. But without money it is kind of mindless, a good thing on a hot spring night. They sold it on ThinkGeek for a short time, but as it no longer appears to be there, here is the board game geek link.

Unto the Breach

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

I was told by two people today that Bill Clinton will be devlivering OSU’s 2007 Spring Commencement Address. How funny then that Richard Gilmore would remark in tonight’s episode:

Bill Clinton, thats a speaker I would have enjoyed. Can’t stand his politics, but he has a commanding presence and a nice voice. I wonder if he records books on tape.

Oh man, such a good episode of GG. It really may be the best episode in the 7th season so far, and 1 more to go!

Spiderman 3 Review

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

This is partially a rebuttal of Chris’ Spiderman 3 Review so you may want to read that. First let me spare you your $10 and your time reading the rest of this:

Spiderman 3 is a mediocre film with a disappointing ending; it does too little with too much.

Chris liked the film a lot more than I did. I saw all 3 Spiderman movies on opening night, I love the first two and have watched my DVDs of them many times. The action was good overall, but I must complain about the subway fight with Sandman; the part where they fall down through endless depths of running subway trains. I know its NYC, but that was straight of of a comic book. Ok, ok, that is probably what they were going for, given this is a comic book movie, but the rest of it is set so matter of factly in an almost real world (save the random super powers), it felt out of place.

Let me address my second issue with Spiderman 3, “it does too little with too much.” Spiderman 2 had one villain, which was plenty. We got lots of good back story on him. Spiderman 2 also had a lot of plot, the back and forth between Parker and Mary Jane and Harry, it seemed like we never got to the action. That was fine by me, sure the action is amazing but all that plot really got me into the world, and well I’m a sucker for a predictable love story, especially if done well.

Spiderman 3 used roughly the same love story as 2, except, first, it had to break up the lovers before it could reunite them. This time, however, the love story was given only lip service, no depth, just a device for the plot, not the point of it all. The love story was not the only part to be short changed, the development of Sandman was all of 5 minutes on screen. Never did they describe what was being done with whatever made him the Sandman. They could have made a nice connection back to that competing company that bought Oscorp in the first movie. Venom’s back story was adequate, but could have been more flushed out. Venom should have been the only villain in this one, hes villainous enough. They could have continued to build up the Harry, Parker fervor, and spent the 4th installment entirely on that, or on that + Sandman. I guess what I’m saying is that in the end it was all too nice and tidy. Also, things got really cheesy getting there, forget the “wonder years” in the jazz club, how about the cheesy cliches in the ending battle sequence.

Overall I felt the movie was fun, but its in a different league than the previous two movies. It is not a must own, its like the odd numbered Star Trek Films, you want to own it, to own all of them, but you realize you’re never going to want to watch it. If they are going to make 3 more films, I really wish they would have taken the hard road, and kept the bigger longer story arch, rather than fixing it all with a bump on the head and a butler giving advice. If they aren’t going to make 3 more, you’re going to end it with a bump on the head and….!

Mission Failure: xkcd Tickets

Monday, May 7th, 2007

XKCD SandwichFor those of you who don’t know xkcd is a webcomic. Now I know I have been known to proclaim that webcomics, with the possible exception of exception of Penny Arcade are the devil, but that was before xkcd. Anyways, its great and amazingly popular. I’ve definitely had random people at parties, gaming, and even work bring it up unprompted. This is of course not withstanding the Online Communities poster thats been making the rounds. Amazingly enough if you write the name of a certain social networking site really large on an image and put it online, n00bs will link to it. I can’t say as I’ve introduced many people to xkcd as, most people I know had already learned of it and had failed to introduce me to it.

Anyways, the author of xkcd, is giving a talk at MIT soon, and I ventured to campus yesterday to purchase tickets well in advance, as I totally expect it to sell out. I got there too early and had to wait around (damn quick efficient public transport). Eventually someone showed up indicating tickets would be coming. This is par for the course for student organized events, so no big deal. In the end the student in physical possession of the tickets was described as having “fallen off the face of the Earth.” Not much you can do about that; Hopefully said student will return to the Earth by next weekend.

Microsoft Streets and Trips 2006

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

Microsoft Streets and Trips 2006 Box I bought this during a woot off at I normally wouldn’t be super excited about a Microsoft product, but this happens to be one of the cheapest ways to acquire a GPS receiver. Checking online it even appears that this little USB GPS receiver works in Linux as well. This was my first purchase from after more than a year of checking nearly daily. I have a lot of restraint when it comes to spending money. I had told myself a week or so before the woot off that I would buy this the next time woot had it; I lucked out. Anyways I got this because the laptop I got from work came with a car power adapter, what else am I going to do with that than use my laptop on long trips? what better way to do that than this? I am still looking to go for a road trip with my new car, and now even more so!

Gilmore Girls Canceled

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

Its Official. Chris was kind enough to IM me the link so I’d know asap. Of course with <SPOILER> Logan asking for permission to marry Rory </SPOILER> the show couldn’t end soon enough. This was echoed by Lauhren Grahmn:

“I care very much how the story ends,” Graham said told the AP. “… It would be my worst nightmare if we end the show with a wedding. To me, the premise of the show was, ‘What if your parent was your best friend?”

The bright spots of season 7: Marty’s return, and his art girl girlfriend were few and far between. The Lane and Lorelai story lines, oh so awful. It was time to end it. But this is a big win for NBC, once Gilmore Girls is gone, Lost will be the only normal fall-winter-spring show I care about which does not air on NBC (or cable).

The Most Amazing Thing to Ever Happen on the Internet

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007
  • What: Censorship of a number which is approximatly 1.32562789×10^37.
  • Why: The number in question is a processing key for most existing HD-DVD movies, and is helpful in breaking the DRM contained on the discs.
  • When: May 1st 2007.
  • Where:
  • Who: The staff and well, the AACS Consortium.
  • How: Banning users and burrying stories, the usual suspects in censorship.

The Amazing Part:
In a Revolt against the censorship of our poor unsuspecting number friend, diggnation (as they like to be called), used the site’s democratic system to flood the front page with stories containing the censored number. For many hours every front page story was about the number or the controversy (see the image below). In a matter of hours Digg was forced to stop the censorship of its users and stand up for the right of free people to talk about a number (a big win for Mathematicians everywhere).

From my original post:

This is how viral an idea, a numerical constant, can be, there are even You Tube Songs about it. According to cwo655321, on Digg, “all you have to do is point the number towards any hd dvd and it will automatically play.”… Here is an image (censored to protect you) of’s front page for posterity: on 5/01/2007

Ok, so really, its just a number, you can’t copyright a number. Numbers have exactly infinite meanings, no more, no less, well save maybe zero. The number in question is an IPv6 address by virtue that it is exactly 128 bits long (all 128 bit numbers are IPv6 addresses). What else is the number? I wonder how many of my files have this number in them by random chance. I’ll set to work on that.

Update: I was unable to find any files on my system that randomly contained the 128 bits in question in order, I did not complete the search but instead gave up for now because I needed my cpu cycles for more important things like video compression.