Playing Any PC game on your Phone? Coming Sooner than you think…

The application is called Kainy and was brought to our attention in a comment on the Minecraft: Pocket Edition update article we wrote yesterday. This application is a 2 part program, one part being the actual application for your Android device (the client), and the other being for your PC which streams your games to you as it runs them (the server). Essentially this is your own OnLive network for your own PC games to play on your Android devices.

via Meet Kainy, the application that lets you play PC games on your Android device anywhere.

This is pretty dang awesome.  Letting your phone act as a simple terminal means mostly what it wants is bandwidth, which wifi and/or 4g can bring in spades.

Testing report coming soon…

This is how “they” are taking over (the last 49% they don’t already have)

Gizmodo, the Gadget Guide

Should be “how lawyers and marketing are making a killing by killing innovation and competition.”

BTW, I loved how I got three warnings how it wouldnt work in pop-UPS, but my palmtop computer (like the laptops of old) kept acting like “hey, I got this”.

And it does.  Other flash based video works just fine, thank you.  No lawyers or exclusive distribution deals necessary.

Bringing an Asteroid back to Earth

Here’s the sciency goodness…

Just in case you thought the re-entry of the Japanese Hayabusa spacecraft couldn’t get any better, NASA has just released an aerial video of the speeding sample return capsule followed by the break-up of the rest of the probe as the whole lot tumbled through the Earth’s atmosphere.

And, of course, the YouTube moment…

And just to be thorough…the sciency badness.  When your experiment has to deal with the Sun exploding in ways it never has before, right before trying to catch up to an asteroid and land on it (using ion engines no less), to get *any* results is a feat of super-human intelligence and ingenuity.  Oh, and if space-zombies start showing up in your neighborhood, this is a likely culprit.

In 2003, Hayabusa was launched from Uchinoura Launch Center, Kagoshima, Kyushu, Japan. Hayabusa means “peregrine falcon” in Japanese.

Using its ion engines, the space probe gave chase to Itokawa, an asteroid measuring 500 meters in length.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before the first problem struck the probe; it was hit by one of those annoying solar flares. But this wasn’t an average solar flare, it was the biggest solar flare in recorded history! If you ever wanted a space mission to get off to a bad start, this would be it.

The probe sustained damage to its solar panels, which reduced the spacecraft’s power-producing efficiency. As Hayabusa’s means of getting around space was by using ion engines, the reduction in power delivered by the solar array meant the thrust of the engines suffered, causing a delay in Hayabusa reaching Itokawa.

Despite this early set-back, the probe reached Itokawa in 2005 and took some stunning imagery of the space rock. It was obvious from the photographs that the asteroid was formed of smaller chunks of rock held together by a mutual gravity (known as a “rubble pile”). These observations revealed that Itokawa has a surprisingly low density.

This is when things started to go even worse for the solar flare-battered probe. There was an attempt to get a closer look at the asteroid, but in doing so, the spacecraft overheated and switched into “safe mode” when accidentally making contact with the sun-baked side of Itokawa.

After regaining control, JAXA scientists made an attempt to grab samples of the asteroid to bring back to Earth. Unfortunately, that didn’t go smoothly either. The sampling device intended to kick pieces of asteroid from the surface into a collector didn’t work as it was supposed to. However, there is hope that some disturbed particles of asteroid dust made it on board during these maneuvers.

After a delayed limp back to Earth (the mission was supposed to return in 2007), Hayabusa is finally on its final straight, aimed right at the Australian outback.

Shortly before Sunday’s re-entry, the return capsule — hopefully containing the invaluable particles of asteroid dust — will separate from the main spacecraft, leaving the majority of the probe to burn up high in the atmosphere.

And that’s what we saw there, the spaceprobe burning up (and killing the zeno-bacteria zombie pod, hopefully) and the capsule heading down.  I’ve heard the chute deployed, and they should have the results in hand before too long.  Good stuff, chaps.  Err,…senseis?

UPDATE:  This post has a lot more info regarding some of the difficulties with the science.

In Defense of Love : Summation

You can begin to catch up here.

I would HIGHLY recommend you catch up before joining in, this is a conversation that had been going on for a while, and it would behoove one to read up before joining in.


The White Russian, The Dude’s Favorite Drink

The following is a conversation about a girl I met in the final moments of 2008 {the white “Russian”.  She mentioned a passion for Russian literature, and that’s how I remember her.}.  I gave her my card, but I’m not sure if she’ll call.  She is a quiet girl.

I’ll be playing the role of “the Dude.”  A friend of mine will be playing a dead queen,  Queen Elizabeth of England.  [I “talk” to dead people some times, and yes, I can “see” them too.]

To continue…

[Roy lamenting about the girl who won’t call.  The white “Russian”.  The Dude’s favorite drink. We pick up the conversation, already in progress… ]

Continue reading

What to Expect in the Coming Year

I just ran across a nice rant about what needs to change if we want to fix our “economy.”

It’s what I call our “efficiency” but looking at it like a clusterfuck is a good way to go…

This guy gets it.

The minority reality (let’s call it The Long Emergency) says that it is necessary to make radically new arrangements for daily life and rather soon. It says that a campaign to sustain the unsustainable will amount to a tragic squandering of our dwindling resources. It says that the “consumer” era of economics is over, that suburbia will lose its value, that the automobile will be a diminishing presence in daily life, that the major systems we’ve come to rely on will founder, and that the transition between where we are now and where we are going is apt to be tumultuous.

My own view is obviously the one called The Long Emergency.

Since the change it proposes is so severe, it naturally generates exactly the kind of cognitive dissonance that paradoxically reinforces the Status Quo view, especially the deep wishes associated with saving all the familiar, comfortable trappings of life as we have known it. The dialectic between the two realities can’t be sorted out between the stupid and the bright, or even the altruistic and the selfish. The various tech industries are full of MIT-certified, high-achiever Status Quo techno-triumphalists who are convinced that electric cars or diesel-flavored algae excreta will save suburbia, the three thousand mile Caesar salad, and the theme park vacation. The environmental movement, especially at the elite levels found in places like Aspen, is full of Harvard graduates who believe that all the drive-in espresso stations in America can be run on a combination of solar and wind power. I quarrel with these people incessantly. It seems especially tragic to me that some of the brightest people I meet are bent on mounting the tragic campaign to sustain the unsustainable in one way or another. But I have long maintained that life is essentially tragic in the sense that history won’t care if we succeed or fail at carrying on the project of civilization.

[see this post for the “majority” view, which needs to change soon.]

And the guy is write, “history” doesn’t care about us.  If we leave this planet, we’ll be nothing but a footnote for someone else to read.

I do, however, disagree with his “Dow 4000” prediction.  Although I could be wrong about that.

I’m Still Trying to Come Up With a Title for My Book

I just thought of another good one, “Philosophy is an Action.”

If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.  I’ve already written down some predictions of what people will think of it, and I want to check my work.

Joel, you first.  🙂

Fake World Sales Skyrocket As Real World Goes to Shit

October/November 2008 was an absolute WATERSHED in gaming.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – U.S. sales of videogame hardware and software rose 18 percent in October from a year earlier, after falling 7 percent in September, as Nintendo Co Ltd’s Wii console sold over 800,000 units, market researcher NPD reported on Thursday.

Video machine makers said the results boded well for the holiday season.

“We feel cautiously optimistic (going into the holidays), we don’t see anything in this (NPD) data that leads us to believe there’s a pullback,” said Microsoft spokesman David Dennis.

Dennis said the release of the Microsoft-produced “Fable II” and Bethesda Networks’ “Fallout 3,” which ranked as the first and third best-selling games in October, helped increase the Xbox 360’s consumer attach rate. Xbox sales will get an even greater boost in December by “Gears of War 2” sales, as the game has already sold over 2 million copies since its release on November 7, Dennis added.

[full story]

This is happening for a couple reasons, one of which is good, one to watch out for.

First up…the bad part. Gaming is an industry now. A big one. An important one, that moves a lot of money. The timing of releases with sales cycles is very important. A movie might have a shelf life of a year or two before it hits big, games don’t work like that. Yes, there are gems and indies that make good, even great, games…but the economic of the situation are pushing toward the high end.

This means fall releases. These are the Christmas games. So all the AAA titles are going to generally come out around my birthday (Halloween)…probably from here on out for the next 10 years or so. And largely because of the linked story, strangely enough. It turns a lot of heads when you show big growth during a downturn. A lot of heads.

Now, that’s the downside. The upside….

Think for a second about your history as a gamer. My own started on the 2600 about the age of 5. It’s been somewhat consistent since then, ranging from consoles to PCs to handhelds and back to to fully realized Console/PC/Mobile situation where I can pretty much have a solid platform to play on anywhere, for anywhen.

There is a whole generation like me. Some of you even posted in this thread. Many of us followed different paths in life, usually with a PC around somewhere. Some of us ended up in that place….making those games we dreamed about.

This is the generation of game designers and artists and industry that is *just now hitting its stride*. This is my generation of game-makers, and we’re farking awesome at it.

Mainly because if we suck at it, we’re not afraid to register our frustrations on the internet within seconds.

And since we just elected a President who collects comic books and plans to do a weekly YouTube address to the world….we’re in charge now. The geeks done took control.

Yea, the real world might suck some time, but we’ve learned we have the power of gods to create worlds of our own. The power of gods to decide that our world is a good one.

And after having wandered around a few of the ones my compatriots have created, may I say, and say solemnly…good show, sirs.

Good shows, indeed.

Legal Origins of Terms (good /. comment re: Anglos and Saxon)

I used to read /. a lot.  Waaay too much when I was doing some admin work for a marketing company.  I would do some fairly intensive (for the day) information joins which left me with lots of time to surf the net and read good comment threads.  BTW, Credit Card Companies have every piece of data on every thing you’ve ever bought in your life.  They crunch this data and sell it to people…who then use it to sell you more stuff.  Just a quick, FYI.  And it’s more a science than an art.   So in my spare time, as the numbers were crunching, I would do “technology research” by reading /. threads (which does, to be honest, cover a lot of technology stuff).

/. is famous, and infamous, for some wide-ranging comment threads.  It is really the birth of a well-designed comment system.  And by that I mean one that maximizes the ability for anonymous speech (a very big concern in computer security and other sensitive industries) while maintaining the ability to promote good speech and keep the trolls and chatter at bay.  This is not such an easy thing to do, as many have found when they wonder into an anonymous, unmoderated, forum (4chan B, I’m looking at you…and wincing NOTE: DO NOT CLICK ON THAT LINK FROM WORK.  IT IS *ONE* (of many) OF THE EASILY AVAILABLE INTERNET CESSPOOLS.  IF YOU CLICK ON THAT LINK FROM WORK AT A REPUTABLE COMPANY **ALARMS** WILL SOUND).  Anonymous human interactions can become very nasty things, very quickly.

There is a lesson here on human nature.  An important one. When no one is watching and no one knows who we are, our range of acceptable action increases dramatically.  Watch me play Fallout 3 for another example.

Or go online and play some FPS’s against sexually frustrated teenagers…

With no coherent system of enforceable rules, chaos reigns supreme.  All tit and no tat makes Homer go something something.

This aspect of the human condition (i.e. that some all of us are assholes, sometimes) is a big part of why we ended up having to have series of laws and guidelines in order to function as a society.

Which brings us to the bit of trivia that inspired the post.

Two of the great western powers of the pre-Obama era (hehe) were the Normans and the Saxons.  They came together on some island east of here and had to figure out how to get along.  As some of them spoke ye Olde Englishe and the others spoke French they had to make sure the laws they wrote could be understood by all.

Which brings us to the reason why we have some of the following terms that show up so much in the legal system…

If the door’s unlocked, it’s hardly “breaking in,” is it?

Yes it is.

The “Breaking” part of “Breaking & Entering” refers to breaking the plane of entry, not physically damaging anything.

“Breaking” is not actually a separate action from “Entering”. The reason they are used together is for clarity…one word derives from Old English, and the other word derives from French. Writing laws this way was useful when the Normans and Saxons were trying to cohabitate on the same island.

There are many legal terms constructed the same way:
Null and void
Cease and desist
Last Will and Testament
Aid and Abet
Goods and Chattels
Terms and Conditions

What I always thought was a simple tool of repetitive emphasis, turns out to be bilingual communication.

This comment is, of course, from a /. article on how to “root” (gain complete control of) Android (Linux)-based cell phones. The G1 to be specific.

And that’s why I liked reading those threads.   Now let’s go check on those queries…