Monday, June 30, 2008

Tweets for Today

  • 09:15 Just ate chocolate covered BACON! #
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Chocolate covered BACON!


One advantage of being several thousand miles from home is that you have the chance to sit down and work on things that you're normally too distracted to deal with.

As such, out here I've had the chance to work a bit more on Missing. I've re-written the http client stack I was using to use HttpClient 4.x instead of 3.x, with better abstraction and a multithread-but-threadsafe client. I've also gotten the LocationManager code working and the phone now supports a location update round trip. The server component needed a few tweaks to make this work but the majority of my time has been spent working on the Android client.

I became more enthused about this when jgib pointed me at where they're running with the whole play-a-game-but-in-real-life-and-get-levels-and-stuff.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Tweets for Today

  • 20:07 At barbounia #
  • 11:10 Sunday nap before I go and torture my feet again! #
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New York Day 6

Today was the day that Amy and Josh left, the day that I got some sleep and had some not so good BBQ. The highlight of the day was waking up at 9;45am, getting out the door by 10:30. We went to 72nd St Bagels and delivered our breakfast to Central Park where we sat near "The Lake" and ate for a while. We didn't have much time because they had a 3pm flight out of JFK (and wanted to see if they could standby on a direct flight back to Detroit) so we hung out there for an hour and a half then went back.

I got them to the train station, said good bye, walked back to the hotel and slept for 3 hours.

Having Josh and Amy in to visit has made this one of the best trips I've ever been on. I am so glad they visited and I can't wait to do this again. I've wanted to explore New York with my friends for many years and I finally had that chance. Thanks Josh and Amy for making this trip so wonderful!

New York Day 5

On Saturday we woke up at 10:30am and were out the door after figuring out what were were going to do by 11:30. After a subway fiasco because of construction work on the 1 train, we spent a good 45 minutes getting down to the bottom of Manhattan. We walked around a bit through Wall Street then ventured East to Battery Park to purchase a trip to the Statue of Liberty. It was, unfortunately, sold out for from-the-top viewing so after standing in line for 20 minutes we abandoned that mission. We walked to the World Trade Center site, saw the new construction and then walked through the Financial Center buildings for a few minutes for some AC. We walked over to the Brooklyn Bridge but then had to back track to actually get onto it. The bridge is really nice. I loved the cable work and the patterns it displayed and the view of Manhattan was excellent. We got to the other side intent on getting Pizza from Grimaldi's but the line had at least an hour wait so we abandoned that part too. Since none of are big fans of New York style pizza, we weren't too disappointed though, I do plan on going there someday this week just so I can say I tried a some definitive NY style pizza.

After our pizza failure (and little did we know, ice cream failure) we hopped on the subway back to 34th street where we walked around for a bit, found a place to grab some pizza, took a break with our not so tasty pizza then proceeded back to home base for a quick break. We returned to that general area and purchased admission to the Museum of Sex. It was an interesting exhibit but a bit lackluster as the main exhibition was on pornography and that doesn't go too far back into the past. After we left the museum it started raining so we ducked into the first bar we saw, Space Cafe 212 which rocked out the mid-nineties RandB hits (Seal anyone?) and charged extraordinary amounts of money for decent drinks. After one round we left and made our way to the Compleat Strategist but it was closed so we re-directed just one block away to Jim Hanley's Universe for a bit of comic book shopping.

After the shopping we again returned home, showered and made dinner plans at Barbounia. Dinner was incredible: the Hanger steak Amy got and the lamb skewers Josh got were so delicious but my dish was not very good compared to their's. We also shared a beat salad, hummus, baba ganoush and another fish-tasting spread. All were tasty though we thought the bread was too strongly flavored to go with the spreads. We also had a fantastic wine picked by Amy. "Spicy and dry" she told me and that was what I ordered and it was both.

After we had dinner we tried to go to a place called DBA but it was crowded, the bartender was a dufus (dancing instead of telling me they were out of both drinks I tried to order) and it was too loud. We rounded the corner and the block walked into Mars Bar for two shots of Makers. I finished my at-least-3-shots glass (Took me two gulps to complete), Amy abandoned her's and we left. I would have liked to stay longer but there was more to do on Sunday morning. It was only 1am but we headed home.

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New York Day 4, continued

It was quite a fantastic weekend I would have to say. The down sides included: Blisters, a sold out Statue of Liberty a terrible bartender, and Pizza lines. Beyoned that everything we did was fantastic. I have never had a better trip than this one.

I met Josh and Amy at LGA on Friday night, they had purchased their tickets about six hours prior to their arrival in NYC and the plane they were on was delayed so they ended up going to LGA instead of JFK. That meant a train then a taxi. The plane laned a few minutes late but we were back at the hotel by midnight. We left the hotel and proceeded to walk South to Times Square (Note to self, Times Square is North of the office not South.) Along the way we stopped at Grey's Papaya and Josh and Amy had some delicious looking hot dogs and fries. After 30 blocks or so we realized the folly of my directions, had a few shots, turned North and walked all the way to Times square! Along the way we said hello into a guy who had been walking in parallel with us for about 30 blocks. Turns out he is from Switzerland and gave me a few suggestions for what to do when I get to Zurich! We passed the Empire State Building and gave it a wave and then in Times Square we wandered around in a daze. It is like the intersection in Shibuya, but still has its own feel -- I was still quite impressed.

It was about 3am so we decided to head back to the place but we decided that we needed a drink so tried to go to a place called Cafeteria but they had a wait and we were not that desperate for a drink. We stopped at a store and picked up a six-pack of beer and headed in. We probably talked for an hour then at 4am crashed.

Where I've been in New York.

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Josh in cetral park

Friday, June 27, 2008

New York Day 4

Yay! Josh and Amy are visiting me this weekend in New York! We will be sure to paint the town some interesting shade of some color!

Since they don't arrive until 11:10pm, I went out to dinner with some work folk to a steakhouse that I've already forgotten the name of. It was not good. Bad service, expensive steaks and my medium rare was definatly on the darker side of medium as I'm confident it had been sitting under a heat lamp for a while.

We then went to a Hog something-or-another for a beer. Hung out there for 45 minutes, grabbed the E train to Queens Plaza, a taxi to LGA and here I am sitting at the airport waiting anxiously for them to arrive!

Tweets for Today

  • 23:49 Pretty inpressive city. I've never stayed in so central a location in any city. #
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Thursday, June 26, 2008

New York Day 3

Success! I had beer, then fries, then a gyro all in one block. Hung out with a few work people: Salim, trevor and mark among them. Salim has given me some great food suggestions, though, as trevor put it. There is only one good place for anything. I have recommendations for pizza, cuban, beer and ice cream though as Salim mentioned, "There is no good Itallian." I don't find it hard to believe -- The best Itallian food is my Mom's

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New York Day 2

I had New York style pizza from Patsy's Pizza. Tasty, not as good as Chicago style! I also purchased flights out of and into Dublin. See my calendar for my summer travel plans. Then, buy tickets and meet me some where.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New York Day 1

Utter failure. I just worked.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Agony and Irony (new alk3)

"Preview the new Alkaline Trio Album I hope you don't puke. I did.
This sounds like a mix between Eve 6 and a stick in my ear.
Love Love, Kiss Kiss sounded OK, but that was the best sounding song.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tweets for Today

  • 12:59 In sf #
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Monday, June 16, 2008

Tweets for Today

  • 13:18 7103602 #
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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tweets for Today

  • 22:36 Applied to 2 schools. Both said too late for fall admissions. #
  • 23:14 Distractng kevin from beer pon g . #
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Friday, June 13, 2008

Tweets for Today

  • 10:45 Showing my sister twitter! #
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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tweets for Today

  • 07:35 @dknowles2 I was almost able to het android running on my n800 ... Good enough for dev stuff I'm doing with the sdk. #
  • 12:45 Its nice here in Chicago! #
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tweets for Today

  • 20:49 @dknowles2 the iphone is even tempting for me. How easy is it to get jailbreaked... #
  • 20:51 Mmmm... Kk cafe bacon cheeseburger... #
  • 21:23 Watching alk3 goddamnit dvd, the 2006 occult tour. The one I had tickets for but ditched. #
  • 21:50 Watching the halloween show. That one I was at! #
  • 22:43 @ohiopyle where's it at? #
  • 22:56 That's all tonight folks thanks for coming we'll see ya'll next time. #
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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Tweets for Today

  • 22:20 The audiophiles are pretty good.. But damn ther're kids! #
  • 14:25 @uicukie flowbots are cool! They were one of two acts I wanted to see there. #
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Friday, June 6, 2008

Tweets for Today

  • 23:08 Car bombs at 10AM pst ... Inger back me up here. #
  • 23:17 The godfather has abandoned humanity for zombies!!!!!!! #
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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Tweets for Today

  • 20:28 @kevinreedy hungover graduation sounds fine to me! #
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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Tweets for Today

  • 10:14 "Mix master jamal was laying in a groove trance." From "Daemon." #
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How to run the hacking part of a cyberpunk game. Part I

This was taken from a recent email exchange I had with some friends in regards to running our own cyberpunk game.

First off, to dash Josh's hopes and dreams: This is a cool idea but of all the games we play, this is going to be one of the more expensive ones. Plastic tubes, foam and duct tape are cheap compared to any projectile driving device. Second, if you're going to represent technology, then it has to be to some degree realistic, what game are you playing if your "internets" is just a hand wavy alternate dimension/plane with the minor environmental effects? I think in both cases you'll require some sort of investment in enabling technology. GPS, airsoft guns, light or wireless access points. Something that will bring out the cyber part.

Making the interwebs is a very difficult prospect. I've tried games like "uplink" and have spent much time figuring out how to make "hacking" anything other than a drab and boring experience; mostly because its a drab boring experience. If life were more like the movie Hackers we'd be much better off but there would probably be more capsized oil tankers in the seas and far more dead artists threating the world for 25 million dollars. Row ... row ... row ...

I think one thing that could make this whole game more fun is distributed involvement. Because you have communication devices at your disposal, its possible to involve people who are not physically located at the game. For example. Joe schmoe is busy one weekend and cannot be onsite. He happens to be the puzzle solver sort of person so he knows a lot of what is going on. During game play something comes up, a player calls Joe schmoe and joe schmoe looks up on wikipedia the solution to the puzzle. Winner! Or, do you not want to consider the world wide web at your disposal?

I think another source of inspiration for this sort of game are ARGs. They do a good job of blending reality with gaming and since we're already in a derivative of the cyberpunk, dealing with real world tech in game would not be a bad thing. This game is also going to need much more preparation than another rpg because writing a website is not as easy as writing in script on a parchment.

Because we're not playing a tabletop game we can look at what shadowrun /current/ edition does with Decking. Because of the way networks have firewalled themselves from the internet a lot of decking is done inside. The running team gets the decker into the corp network, then they do their thing. Or they kidnap someone with approprate access and use their accounts. They did a good job of getting a character class that was essentially a solo gig and made it in integral part of the runner team. In otherwords even your hacker characters are going to have to get in there and be involved in modules. This also means that where people are in meatspace is relevant to where they are on the "interwebs."

Now, here is my pitch and Josh is in disagreement with me here. I think that you need a software framework to be easily able to build and interact with virtual puzzles. I think you'll need multiple gps enabled smart phones (iphone, android or s60) or wireless network + PCs, a server, wireless networking to get this game off the ground. Communications play a large part in the cyberpunk world -- especially when they go out and the players who have come to rely on their decker or their off-site drones lose some control. I also think you need some evolution of my software ( or something like it (hopefully there is something better than the crap I have put together) to build any sort of technological layer on top of your game. Now the problem is you need this stuff to be accessible which means, like I mentioned earlier smart phones and laptops for the game.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Tweets for Today

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Tweets for Today

  • 18:42 This would go better with milk... Or kaluha. So says kevin about brownies. #
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