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November 24, 2008

The big lie in Warhammer

Wizards & Wenches - A Warhammer Online Blog -- Contribution is dead, long live the dice

One of the promises in the Warhammer MMO was that the rewards would go those who deserved them. Healers who healed more, tanks who tanked more, etc. This is called your Contribution Score. At the end of a keep siege or a public quest (PQ), a screen pops up listing all the players and their contributions. A random is added to these, and then rewards are dished out to the top 3 or 5 or whatever.

Cool idea, right? Try harder and your chance at reward will be higher. Except the whole thing is a lie. They don't track or measure anything, the server just assigns everyone a random contribution rating when they zone in and that's it.

Continue reading "The big lie in Warhammer" »

How to: Make a 20-Sided Pie

modular pie-cosahedron

November 21, 2008

Bay Area to get $1 Billion electric car grid

Better Place's $1 billion electric vehicle grid headed to Bay Area - Engadget

Need another reason to live in America's other bastion of social liberalism and homelessness? How about a $1 billion electric vehicle re-charging infrastructure in the Bay Area? Palo Alto's Better Place is finally bringing its ambitious, city-wide electrical grid and battery exchange service home after staking plans to do the same in Israel, Denmark, and Australia. The plan just endorsed by the San Jose, Oakland, and San Francisco Mayors (without coughing up any money), is expected to result in 250,000 charging ports (for topping off charges), 200 battery-swap stations (for trips over 100 miles), and a driver service center by 2012 -- network planing and permitting will begin in 2009 with infrastructure deployment set to kickoff in 2010. Here's how it works, customers will receive a discounted price on electric vehicles when they subscribe to drive a certain number of miles -- Better Place will own the batteries. Besides clearing the way of government bureaucracy, the mayors have agreed to offer incentives for companies that install the plug-in stations. Now get this, Better Place expects to lure electric vehicles from the usual suspects like Toyota, Renault-Nissan, and GM in addition to, get this, Tesla Motors. Oh yes. Almost makes us want to hug an Upper Haight, teenage, poser hippie. Almost.

Start-Up Plans Electric-Car Network

Start-Up Plans Electric-Car Network - WSJ.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Better Place, a start-up company developing technology to support electric cars, Thursday announced plans for a $1 billion network to charge electric cars in the San Francisco Bay Area as part of a broad push into the U.S. The stations are critical because existing electric-car batteries go only about 40 miles on a single charge. Better Place also is promoting the idea of removable car batteries that could be swapped for charged ones at centers akin to service stations, sending drivers on their way without waiting to recharge. Mr. Agassi, who predicts mass-market production of electric cars in the U.S. by 2012, said operations in the San Francisco area would serve as a precursor for deployment of electric-car networks across the U.S.

November 20, 2008

NASA successfully tests interplanetary internet

'Interplanetary internet' passes first test - space - 19 November 2008 - New Scientist

NASA has finished its first deep-space test of what could become an 'interplanetary internet'. The new networking commands could one day be used to automatically relay information between Earth, spacecraft, and astronauts, without the need for humans to schedule transmissions at each point.

Spacecraft usually communicate directly with Earth - the first to do so through an intermediary were the Mars Explorations Rovers, which launched in 2003. The Spirit and Opportunity rovers transmit data to orbiters, which then send the data back to Earth.

99 Bricks -- a terribly fun time waster

Play 99 Bricks, a free online game on Kongregate

The interface for this game is simple: you're given 99 Tetris-style bricks that slowly plummet onto a lone platform. You have to stack these bricks to make the tallest tower possible. Your only enemy is physics.

Highly recommended for 15 minutes of relaxation.

November 17, 2008

Only in Japan -- the bite-counter

Kami Kami bite counter keeps your kid masticating - Engadget

From the wide, wacky and utterly bizarre world that is Japanese gadgetry comes this: a bite counter from Nitto Kagaku. As you'd expect, the headgear keeps track of how many bites your kid takes, and it even plays a little jingle every 1,000 chews in order to celebrate the occasion.

Atari's Adventure now available free for the iPhone

Peter Hirschberg's Journal: 'Adventure' for iPhone / iPod Touch!

Seriously, fuck that bat for stealing my keys.