ST:XP Shutting Down

Star Trek: The Experience is shutting down September First? Geeks don’t make the annual pilgrimage to pray at the alter of the captain’s chair. Maybe Vegas is too expensive. Between dropping hundreds monthly on movie tickets, DVDs, comics, and video games, spending three months rent to see ST:XP doesn’t have the right magic.

Zemanta Pixie

Guess Movies By Keyword Game

Saw this at

and thought I would give it a shot….

  • Go to IMDB.com and look up 10 of your favorite movies.
  • Post three official IMDB “Plot Keywords” for these 10 picks.
  • Have your friends guess the movie titles.

Here is the keyword list:

  1. Little People, Self Discovery, Sword And Sorcery – Willow
  2. Post Apocalypse, Human Race, Giant Insect
  3. Dismemberment, Fifth Part, Outer Space
  4. Shakespearean Quote, Terraforming, Cheating
  5. Voodoo, Archeology, Mine Car
  6. Cult Cartoon, Ghost Town, Parallel World
  7. The Return of the King – Tolkien, Ancient Sword, King
  8. Intentionally Misspelled Title, Financial Problem, Rubik’s Cube
  9. Crime, Choice, Flash Forward
  10. Giving Birth, Reluctant Hero, Post Apocalyptic

Leave a comment with your guess(es). I recommend something like “#1 Return of the Jedi” (no that is not right). 🙂

D&D for Dummies

Maybe kids these days are not that bright. D&D for Dummies says it all. (I thought it was an April Fols type prank.) I suspect some marketing researcher found lots of people felt intimidated? Even worse than being less intelligent. Its… a… game… Have fun! Who cares if its “right”?

Between high school and college, I taught a good 30-40 people to play. Most were of less than average IQ. All it takes is patient players and DM for a couple hours.

Public Performance and Universities

Since restaurants get sued for not paying royalties for public performances of copyrighted music, it seems likely playing a song at an athletic event is a public performance. I wonder how much the UGA Athletics or just UGA pays ASCAP for the ability to do this? Certainly, its not academic use.
🙂

Youuuuuuu – Red & Black Sports

In a craze that has swept much of the nation, the “Soulja Boy” dance has caught on in a big way with Georgia football. During home games against Ole Miss and Auburn when the Bulldogs were down, the song has cranked through the speakers and pumped up the players on the sideline, to the delight of the fans.

In an unrelated note: if the RIAA gets its way through a US House bill, then universities will have to pay millions for monthly subscription fees whether or not individual students are or are not downloading music. Plus, they have to prove they are stopping students from downloading illegally. The repercussions of not doing these being the loss of federal financial aid.

tag: , , , ASCAP,

RE 2007: Top Ten Disruptive Trends

Rock Eagle 2007

Keynote – David Cearley, Gartner

Way too many unfamiliar acronyms an terminology. It moved really fast without spending much time to explain anything.

Disruptive trends selected by timing, speed, and likelihood.

  1. Multricore to fabric – Core on processors will double every two years through 2015. Applications will have to adapt to multi-cores. Software licensing around cores, influences purchasing. Sets the stage for hybrid systems where power core and cell processor cores integrated. 3D chip (cube of cores) is coming. Next evolution in blade technology is to have shared memory. Fabric allows dynamic allocation and partioning of memory and processors and I/O for servers.
  2. Tera-Archicture Compute Element – Self-assembling and self-managing applications.
  3. Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) – Developers will create modularized applications for a dynamic, flexible environment. They will need new tools, training, vizualization. Way platforms are built change. Vendors will not off the components, instead, we will need to create these ourselves. Pervasive… It will hit every level of the enterprise.
  4. Open Source – Development tools, Application Servers, Security, Operating Systems currently hold the most maturity. It will have viable alternatives for 80% of software choices.
  5. Web 2.0 – Biggest disruption over next 10 years as it has been the last 10 years. Web 2-.0 – applications built on web tech and design prin that may exploit community based development and social networking and/or new web-based business models. Long-term journey for increasing community, business involvement. Web Oriented Architecture = SOA + WWW+ REST. WOA replaces complex public API calls in current SOA model in favor in simple interfaces.
    1. Mashups – Composite applications on the web. Classic portal model built complex APIs. Mashups use WOA using RSS and Atom to provide feeds of info. Typically used in simple, high value applications.
    2. Web Platform – Everything as a service. Service providers offering infrastructure. Google and IBM offering a service to universities to build applications using the Googleplex infrastructure and IBM support.
    3. Symantic Web – Microformats – Simple way offering metadata.
  6. Social software – RS, podcasts, folksonomies, blogs, wiki, social bookmarks, content rating, prediction parket, taste sharing, social networks. The Participatory Web. Threadless makes user designed teeshirts sold back to users. How can we create communities and harness the power of the collective. Start with a purpose. Nuture the community. Open socially mediated spaces work better than technically managed systems. Have a tipping point plan.
  7. Netowrk Virtual Worlds – Games – People are 3D, have a profound impact on people.
  8. Displays – UIs are changing.
  9. Video – Counterfeit reality – how are you sure video has not changed?

Obscurity Obsolescence

Along the same lines as Lacey’s Travel and Usability post, libraries are not really designed to be very usable. Well… unless you think like a librarian. Who gets a MLIS degree in order to use a library. Okay… I would… bad example.

The below article’s Digital Natives are kids who have played video games all their lives. Its reporting on a talk given at an ALA conference that librarians should redesign libraries to be friendlier to these Digital Natives (aka more like video games). The strawman argument:

When ‘Digital Natives’ Go to the Library :: Inside Higher Ed:

“The librarian as information priest is as dead as Elvis,” Needham said. The whole “gestalt” of the academic library has been set up like a church, he said, with various parts of a reading room acting like “the stations of the cross,” all leading up to the “altar of the reference desk,” where “you make supplication and if you are found worthy, you will be helped.”

This similie is warped in my experience. When I worked the reference desk, I didn’t so much bestow books upon supplicants and demonstrate how to use the tools. In essence, it was like explaining to a friend who is stuck how to play the game. I had heard of libraries in which non-library employees are not allowed access to the stacks, but I thought them rare.

Maybe instead of librarians playing more video games, students who play video games should actually use those skills when they go to the library? They can master a university library by spending a couple hours a week for a month browsing, identifying patterns, and enjoying the fruits of their efforts: interesting books. For me, “research” meant skimming all books and articles on a topic and tangents to the topic. I could spend a year absorbing knowledge in a good library. Working in the library explosed me to such an enormous wealth of knowledge free for the asking.

Instead, students typically go into a library to find a list of books or articles. They want to spend the minimum amount of effort to accomplish the goal. This certainly is not how they approach video games.

Humans 51,749,484,784,784 v. Computers 4

The Chronicle: Wired Campus Blog: A Computer Program Wins Its First Scrabble Tournament

When Deep Blue first defeated chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov, the computer program’s victory was hailed as a watershed moment for artificial intelligence, and rightfully so. But in November, another program reached a gaming milestone of its own, and no one seemed to notice. The Wired Campus intends to fix that.

At a Scrabble tournament in Toronto, a piece of software called Quackle triumphed in a best-of-five series over David Boys, a computer programmer who won the world Scrabble championship in 1995. The open-source program’s chief designers include Jason Katz-Brown, a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who also happens to be one of the top-ranked Scrabble players in the world.

Quackle’s win did not come easily. Mr. Boys leapt out to a quick lead against the software, winning the first two games thanks to words like “pithead” and “redyeing.” But the computer program roared back and took the final three tilts, making a couple of outstanding plays — like “deviating,” placed through two disconnected I’s that were already on the board — that even top-level human players would be hard-pressed to spot.

Quackle earned the right to play Mr. Boys by edging out another Scrabble-playing program, Maven, in a series of games against expert human players. (Quackle finished the Toronto Computer vs. Human Showdown, as the event was called, with a gaudy 32-4 record, while Maven could only muster a 30-6 showing.)

Mr. Boys seemed to have no trouble keeping a sense of perspective after the loss: “It’s still better to be a human than to be a computer,” he said. And as the former world champion undoubtedly realizes, luck plays a much greater role in a Scrabble duel than in a chess match. About a decade ago, Mr. Boys played a perfect game against a more primitive computer program — and he still lost.