Friday, June 29, 2007

The Day of iPhone Has Come!

Yes, finally!!!! Finally, that little shiny thing called iPhone, that smacked the hell out of everyone when it was introduced (if you don't know about this... where on Earth have you been..?!), came out today. I wonder if anyone I know got one yet. I wanna see how sleek and easy it is to play around with!!

Just a funny clip on iPhone.

iPhone review by David Pogue

EVE Online's Greenspan

Blog Post by Dr. Eyjólfur Guðmundsson, EVE Online's economist

Recently, I have been very interested in trying out EVE Online once again, drawn to its sandbox design and complex and diverse structure of its universe.

One of its strength, according to the website, is that, unlike other traditional RPGs like World of Warcraft, it boasts freedom. Freedom to do whatever you want, with only one goal: Power. (Acutally, I think there's freedom in goal as well. Not everyone's out there to become the number one overlord.) You can pursue the goal by whatever method suits you; you can mine for vital ores for the universe, you can trade goods in various regions, manufacture necessary components for others, or if you are more of violent person--most of us are--you can even pirate other players for goods; this creates another opportunity for others who can get hired for protection or escort missions. Players can also form alliances or corporations to bring their efforts together to make much more profit and form a noticable presence.

This diverse activities are possible in the world of EVE because it maintains a real, complex, and breathing economy, dynamically evolving by players, along with huge (and I really do me huge) universe to provide abundance of market to run it. There are countless regions with different recourses, and needs for other resources it lacks. There are secure zones, or insecure ones. There are so many that I can go on for hours. This diverse setting is vast enough to grab attention from academia (as explained in the blog entry linked to this post) on how economic researchers may use it to study economic dyanmics, and much more.

As such complex economy keeps growing and evolving, EVE Online's creator, CCP Games, has brought in a real economist into their development team. As can be seen in the blog entry linked to this article, he will be making quarterly reports on EVE Online's economy, and providing vital feedbacks to the core development team for future development of the community. In essence, he will be Greenspan of EVE.

I am both awed and amazed by this news. It is another indicator how advanced EVE community is. Unlike other MMO games, which most of them claims that the future of [INSERT A WORLD HERE] depends on your hand.....except it really doesn't. (I can talk about this in length, but it's a whole different topic. Maybe later.) On the other hand, EVE Online really lets players have impact in the world. They never say players are heroes, or that they're destined to be saviors of the world. Instead, they say that players are citizens. People live in that world and can band together and make changes...just like the world we live in!

Blog Post by Dr. Eyjólfur Guðmundsson, EVE Online's economist

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

To Live One's Life to the Fullest...

I was flipping through this week's Newsweek when I came across a short column about a sighting of Paris Hilton holding Bible in her arms. She claims that she has found Jesus, and that He has given her a second chance. Only three days before going into jail, that is.

While it kind of made me to think how shallow her action must be, that column talks about how there's a "long tradition of jailhouse conversions," from Malcolm X (to Islam, in this case) to Terry Nichols, the Oklahoma-bombing conspirator who claimed to have worn out four Bibles, and such. Why do people suddenly become religious behind bars? To impress judges in order to avoid, or shorten, jail sentence may be one reason for some. But for others, it's because, according to Chuck Colson, a special counsel to President Nixon, "...everything else is stripped away, so you think about what really matters in life." Well, if that is true, it in turn tells us how almost all people in this world are distracted by worldly affair, away from "what really matters."

Then, how do we live life like as it is meant to be? Should we all start going to church, pray everyday, and bow before the Almighty, who is so invisible and becoming more and more distant as time goes? Well, it may help living a calmer, soothing life, but I don't think it won't work for everyone. Instead, I think finding your true calling, and working towards it is what matters the most. For deeply religious people, it's by devoting their whole life to church activities, doing charity work, or even becoming priests, monks, and so on. For others, it means do what you are good at, or what you think you are born to Paul Potts! When you find the right one, everyone around you will be cheering for you and be glad to see you succeed. Like Paul Potts!

As for Ms. Hilton, I hope she keeps going to church on weekends, so that going to church will be da shiz. That way, more people will go to church, be more educated (hopefully) and help bringing naughty-ness of our teens down a bit.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Mr. Lee's CatCam

While listening to CNET's wonderful podcast, Buzz Out Loud, Episode 487, Veronica, one of the host, read a reader's letter about this very interesting site.

Mr. Lee CatCam is a site built by someone in Germany, who modified a small, durable digital camera, and attached it to his cat, Mr. Lee. He made it to take pictures every few minutes or so, so he'd know what his cat was up to the whole day. It's like cat's daily picture journal or some reality show!

I always wondered what cats were up to the whole day, and now my curiousity received its answer. At least a bit.

Woo! Instant Freeze!

When I saw that instant freeze...thingy in an old, 1993 movie, Demolition Man, I thought it was a big bogus. How can something so small freeze the whole room, including the bad guy, a living person? Well, although it is bit stretched, freezing water at an instant is ... apparently possible?!

If you could tell me how this is done, let me know please.

UPDATE: I guess this is pretty popular now; to cool pure water (water with low amount of impurities) to below its freezing point, then giving it a disturbance to start the freezing process. There are several YouTube videos that explore this very interesting characteristics of water...

Supercooling Experiment 2

Friday, June 22, 2007

Making of the Band

To my own surprise, I was given a link to this video. It's a clip from season 4 of Making the Band, showing an Asian guy trying out with R&B/Soul performance. It was a surprise not because he's an Asian, but because he's from my church, who always dreamed of becoming a singer.

Here's the clip:

Pretty cool? He's gonna start working on his first album soon, so we should be hearing songs he sings in near future.

Good job!! Hope you do an examplary work for all of us! :D

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Robot Slavery is Here!

I'm a lazy guy. Yet, I like my room clean and tidy all the time. And those two things doesn't go so well... I'm constantly annoyed by dirt that piles up on my desk, furnitures, etc.

Some people like me, with means and brains to make robots, came up with a great answer: iRobot's Roomba. It's a round shaped robot that once activated, it finds its way around the room and vacuums the floor. It looks like it takes a while, but it can work while you're off to work, so who cares?

The follwoing is a introductory video to Roomba:

MMmm, I need to get myself one of this.

Some funny videos related to this cute thing:
Roomba attacks a dog!
Dog attacks a Roomba!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Hidden Jewel

The following is a clib from U.K. version of talent seeking program, showing Paul Potts, a mobile phone salesman, singing an opera in front of Simon Cowell!

Honestly, when I saw the goofy-ness of this guy, I was getting ready to laugh. And.... No more spoilers. See it for yourself.

Did you feel that chill running through your body? I didn't. At first. Not because I am stuck up bastard, but because of disbelief. I just thought it was a recording or something... But hell no! He really is a diamond hidden among mundane stones! Second time I watched, I couldn't bear the chill.

God, he is amazing!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Odin Sphere

Some time ago (probably when 3D was still new and fresh that most of them sucked big time), I read an article reviewing a 2D game that claimed (roughly translated) "Detailed and well-made 2D animation based games are far better than clunky and crappy 3D games." And since then, everyone have been favoring 3D games for some obvious reasons, and 2D games has been kind of pushed into a shadow by flashy, and flamboyant advance of 3D technology, lead by companies like Squeare (now Square-Enix) and Epic Game.

Although 2D has become something of the past, I still think great 2D games beat many of good 3D games. Case in point, recently released Odin Sphere.

Being one of the many games still basing on now-being-replaced-yet-makes-more-money-than-its-successor PlayStation 2, Odin Sphere doesn't employ killer 3D graphics, but if you take a quick look at its beautiful 2D animation, you'll realize there's absolutely no need of 3D stuff here. The quality of animation this game has is so sleek, smooth, detailed, and really well directed that everything--from visual to gameplay to sound--conforms so well that you can't help but fall in love with it instantly. (At least I did.)

Seeing is better than a thousand words; here is the intro to the game:

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Matrix in the Real World

I've known that there are researches on interacting with computers using brain waves going on, but I didn't know it was this advanced.

Apparently, there are some cases where people have been playing games using brains! This means that they're playing games--controlling characters, initiating motions, and so on--without using hands, sitting on their couch and just using telepathy (or, more accurately, artificial telepathy)! How cool is that!

Of course, this goes far more than just playing games. It'll be like The Ghost In The Shell coming true. Or The Matrix, if you're more familiar with it (but Wachowski brothers got that idea from that anime, among other sources).

This will open an era where ESP is the main means to communication, either with computer or among people, and people with disabilities will no longer stay disabled, since it can be fixed (if they'd like) with such technology. Think about it; if the technique of translating your thoughts into words on computer develops that it types in real time, then nothing will surpass that ability! For me, I'd like to code with my thoughts... I think that'll make it so much easier, and faster... and also draw and paint stuff. Hell, there can be a program that brings my thoughts into 3D environment! Mmmmm, talk about Web 103402532435.0....

Controlling Computers With the Brain

Monday, June 4, 2007

Alizée - J'en Ai Marre!

Live Version

This is the song that World of Warcraft's female Night Elf character's dance came from, as I've learned from this video.

Alizée Jacotey, born in 1984, is a very attractive, French singer who prefers dancing over singing. As such, her songs are more appropriate for dancing than singing, but the fancy and upbeat mix of pop and electronic tunes was more than enough to grab my attention. So, even though I don't like dancing, I've been listening to this song for awhile now.

I have to confess, until now, I haven't thought about listening to French songs at all. All my music world derived from Korea, Japan, and the States. But listening to this song makes me think how much I am missing. To be honest, I seem to like European songs over the American songs, mostly because here, Hip-hop is da shiz, where as electronic is more popular in Europe. And I like electronic way more than hip-hop.

So, how do you like it?

World of Warcraft Dances: Real vs Game

I have always wondered what all those moves World of Warcraft characters burst out when you type in "/dance" command, and this video answers them all. (Except female Blood Elf's dance move. Whose song is that?)

The Most Powerful Person in the World

"A love letter to video games" - Australian machinima artist, Thuyen Nguyen

Money Printing Machine

I just had an epiphany : "Third installment of most of highly anticipated movies sucks." You will agree with me if you have seen movies like Pirates of Caribbean: At World's End, The Matrix: Revolution, and Spider-Man 3 and was deeply disappointed that you have watched it, and now you dislike those very series you loved before you watched that three.

But at that right moment, I realized something; Even when I was disappointed by all those titles, I am still eager to watch same type of franchises (meaning they're created to make money, not a valuable movie as a literature-art work), such as The Bourne Ultimatum, Ocean's Thirteen (with some sprinkle of doubt on this one), Live Free or Die Hard, Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix, and so on.

Yes, I am also a victim of marketing and am one of the contributors who fuel the movie publishers' thirst for never-ending, boring but rich-making series and deprive humanity of creative and unique, truly artistic motion pictures.

I just hope those upcoming movies are worthwhile...

The Next Big Title from Blizzard Entertainment

If you haven't heard this news, you've been obviously living in a no-man's island with no internet connection.

Yes, Blizzard has announced the next big title, the sequel to extremely successful (especially in Korea) Starcraft.

The following is the announcement trailer Blizzad showed at their big party event in Seoul, Korea:

Are we excited yet?

Gamespot Preview

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Eternity Begins

We do not know how it began. We just know it is. We don't know how it will end.

Go back to the time when it began. We are not allowed there, because we are weak beings bound to time. Only the privileged can see the creation. It is when eternity begins.

Welcome. Watch closely. Enter the realm of immortals.