Saturday, July 14, 2007


My pick of the week's top 5 events, articles, or stories:
  1. The CACM has several excellent articles on the science of gaming. Once of the articles discusses Carnegie Mellon's masters degree in video games which sounds like something I would leap at in a heartbeat if I was a graduating senior. I also enjoyed Kelleher and Pausch's article on Storytelling Alice which I would seriously like to investigate using at Harding in the near future.

  2. While on the subject of gaming, who is preserving our video games for future generations? An interesting article in the Guardian laments the fact that, besides a few game archives (like the new one at Univ of Texas), there is no industry initiative to preserve video games and consoles like the Amiga CD32, Pioneer LaserActive, and Bandai Playdia. The article concludes with a statement that may have been tongue-in-cheek, but there's some truth to it:
    The Virtual PC thing is worthy, but are you really telling me that the preservation of obscure census data is more important than saving the software catalogue of the Sega Dreamcast?
  3. I stumbled across a link to Pagefactor while scanning the Wikipedia article on link rot this week. Pagefactor is attempting to use humans to locate pages that disappear. I'm not sure if the approach is going to work (hmmm... I can't find the web page I'm looking for, oh now I found it, and now I'll go do some work to let others know the new location), but it's interesting nonetheless.

  4. Six months into Vista, and users are still griping. So am I. I got a new PC in June loaded with Vista, and although I have enjoyed the much improved graphics and speed, I've been annoyed by two blue screens of death, video that won't play smoothly in QuickTime, and constant pop-ups asking if I really meant to do what I asked the computer to do. So why don't I give up and buy a Mac? To quote For Your Consideration:
    You can't throw the baby out with the bathwater because then all you have is a wet, critically injured baby.
    Actually there are two main reasons: 1) I've invested an incredible amount of time learning Windows and don't want to start over, and 2) I want to be running what most people are running. It's embarrassing be asked a computer question (by family, friends, or students) that I know nothing about. And as a CS faculty member, I should be very familiar with how the majority of the world is interacting with their computer.

  5. This week some masked bandits cracked a safe and stole $12,000 with the help of Google. After struggling with opening a safe for over an hour, the buglers went to a nearby PC and Googled "safe-cracking" which led them to an article on "How to Open Safes". Soon they were in and left with $12,000.