Archive for December, 2006

Nintendo Wii


And the Coolest Game Console Ever Award goes to… The Nintendo Wii!

I’ve never actually used one (arg!!!), but from all the reviews, demos, etc. about it….

This thing is amazing. The controller (dubbed the Wiimote by fans) is motion-sensitive. For example, in the Wii Bowling game, you bowl by holding down the “B” button and you well…bowl. Just like real bowling (which I do by the way). In some games, you just point the Wiimote at the TV. LIke in 3d-shooter games, you’d just point the Wiimote where you want to aim and push one of the buttons.

The Wii is totally spectacular. It’s going to revolutionize the game console industry (it plays your old GameCube games too). Nintendo’s suggested retail price is $250. That’s almost cheep enough for me to want to get one. But, unfortunately, there’s a catch. As I write this, most stores (online and off) are either out of stock or charging $550 or more for the Wii.

Oh, and the 5th Harry Potter game (which will be out next summer) will use the Wiimote as a wand. You’ll cast spells by waving the controller in the air.

Hopefully it’ll come down to around $180 in a year or so. $250 isn’t too bad (still rather high though), but $550-$600 is outrageous.

Project Phoenix: Something New Coming Soon

The next installment in the Project Phoenix is coming soon. There are a few bugs to stomp out, some features that need finishing, and a small holdup. Currently we’re having problems with our user authentication system. We’re working on finding a way to work around this annoying “feature” (A.K.A. bug, for non-programmers). We hope to have our latest update available to you all by the start of the new year, but it may be longer than that.

Eldest

Just a quick post here. I finished Eldest (the sequel to Eragon) last night. Pretty good. A little better than the first one. Still doesn’t have anything on Harry Potter, though. I wonder how the movie is. I most definitely won’t see it until it’s available on DVD (all hail Netflix!).

Harry Potter Book 7’s Title Revealed!

JK Rowling has updated her website to give (with some difficulty) the title to book 7. Mugglenet has instructions to get it here. Or if you don’t want to go through all that, the title is between the following two brackets: [Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows]. Highlight the space between the previous two brackets to view the title. Interesting…. I wonder what that could refer to. That gives me some theories…

AT&T Text-to-Speech Demo

Want to have some fun when your bored? Try out AT&T’s experimental Text-To-Speech page. It’s kind of cool and it’s easy to spend half and hour playing with it. There are actually some practical uses for it too (that fall with in their terms). You can use it in your podcast for example.

Eragon


All right, I admit it, I’m finally reading Eragon. Id thought it sounded like a simultaneous rip-off of Lord of the Rings (which I’m not a big fan of) and Dragonriders of Pern along with a few others. It’s actually pretty good, and not really a knock-off. I’ve read most of it, but I didn’t have much time to read yesterday. Normally I read books pretty quick, but I’ve been short on time. It’s pretty good, and the movie’s coming up soon. too. People (online and off) have bothered me about reading it for about 8 months now (including my younger brother). At some points the story isn’t right. It’s kind of… I don’t know. Just weird. It kind of goes back and forth about something, contradicting what happened previously. Like the character known as Brom kind of causes that. It’s hard to explain.

What’s up with the forum?

You may wonder what’s going on with the Forum of Requirement. Okay you know that the forum is a very important part of Project Phoenix (the authentication system). The Sorting Hat and House Points are not a relevant part of the project, just a cool addition to the forum. Well, time to get back on topic here. There have been some problems with the forum. The big one being that the board’s being spammed by some dorks. In an effort to combat the spamming, we’re upgrading some of the forum’s code to the latest version. This is causing some problems with the board (some of the files aren’t correct). We’re working on fixing the board and updating to the new system. Hopefully the board will be working by the end of the day.

PotterCast #66 + What Happenned to the blog challenge?

Who besides me was laughing during the ending of PotterCast #66? John is hilarious. And what happened to the Blog Challenge? They read the shout out for stupid myspace but they haven’t done a blog challenge in a long time.

BookAdvice.net


www.bookadvice.net is an interesting website with a ton of book reviews (I’ve read a lot of the books featured). If you take a look at the site, you’ll notice two things about the site’s management.

  1. It’s run entirely by minerva66 from the Forum of Requirement.
  2. I’ve been involved a little with it.

I’ve developed some of the underlying PHP for BookAdvice. I did the database engine that powers the site and the accompanying search engine that was just added.

The site’s pretty good. The reviews are well written and everything’s organized pretty well (the organization of the links has improved since the navigation was redone recently). The ads aren’t too intrusive either.

I designed the new, smaller, banner at the top (isn’t glass text cool?).

One of my favorite parts of the site is the new random quote at the top of the main page. I believe it has close to 50 quotes stored in it. Admit it, random quotes are cool — especially if the quotes are funny. Several of the stored quotes are humorous. I especially like the one by Groucho Marx: “From the moment I picked up your book until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it.”

If you’re looking for some stuff to read until Harry Potter 7 is out, try this site. The forums are a little short on users, too. Registering is quick and easy. Got a book you like? You could recommend it there. Or you could take part in the general discussion of the reviews on the site.

VeriSign and U.S. Government Retain Control the Dot-com Registry

http://blog.wired.com/monkeybites/2006/12/verisign_and_us.html
What the heck? BAD idea. A corporation should NOT be in control of the world’s domain names.