Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How to Improve Your Luck (Reference - wikiHow.com)

Feeling a little unlucky lately? Want the secret to getting lucky? You have it already - it's you. The secret to improving luck is about perspective, self-belief and erring on the side of optimism. It isn't about winning huge pots of cash - it's about making the most of the wonderful blessings already surrounding you. Here are some thoughts for making your own luck grow... [more]

My favorite tip of all - Never stop learning.
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TF2 - Mass A.I. (YouTube video)

Game engine mods for Valve's TF2

Monday, November 24, 2008

Visualizing time elapsed is always interesting

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The extremely simple journal - Muji Chronotebook

Thanks to my dear friend Andy who shared one of Jack Cheng's article, which made me stumble upon this article - which mentioned an interesting diary / journal. It has an analog watch in the middle of the page and that basically is the genius behind it. A blank area around it lets you scratch and write whatever you want around it.

If you want to visualize the basic idea behind this notebook, check this link .

Use it as a planner, diary, journal, blah.
My primary use will be as a journal and place to jot down notes before transferring interesting ones to evernote .

Now if we can only search through this thing, easily - that is the only void I feel.

PS. It won a Muji design award. Dunno what is a Muji design award, but I was impressed by the Chronotebook for sure :) Lifehacker has an article  on it as well.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What's wrong with Sitemaps?

Why are sitemaps maps? They are more like site lists. It probably goes back to that special page many sites have that serves to present a map of the entire site. The thing that clicks however about this page is that the list can organized using nested lists.

AFAIK sitemaps, despite being a XML based format, can not support neseted urls or urlset's. That I think is a fundamental disadvantage and something I am not very impressed about. Sure the major search engines support the current spec, but it has *serious limitations* in presenting the link/web page structure.

PS. Actually you can even use a text file with a bunch of links (one per line) and call that page a sitemap. Boring. How is the crawler to identify parent-child heuristics ?

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Love this project - Wikipedia Miner wikifier - Good potential and very interesting

A research progress picked up my interest lately! It's the Wikipedia Miner wikifier.

"It automatically augments web pages with links to relevant Wikipedia topics."

Try it out!
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Sunday, November 02, 2008

Preordering Call of Duty - World at War (Special Edition) - Also a brief review of the multiplayer beta

I am excited about Call of Duty 5, and hence preordering Call of Duty - World at War (Special Edition) for the Xbox 360.

Unlike Call of Duty 4 (Modern Warfare) which was developed by InfinityWard, this version of the Activision franchise is developed by Treyarch.

I and the industry overall were excited by what InfinityWard was able to accomplish with CoD4. And a lot of us gamers were bummed out *a bit* about WW2 shooters and the announcement of CoD5. But after playing the multiplayer beta I was just about having as much fun as I had in CoD4 despite the WWII guns and environments. That was a joyful feeling. And Treyarch has taken CoD5 to the next level in various areas:

  • Better textures, lighting conditions
  • Gun Recoil feels to me, a bit more authentic than CoD4
  • More perks, levels and ways to achieve "XP" (stands for experience) points
  • Maps I feel are designed to allow a greater level of multiplayer action, I feel. Every nook, corner, area, post, open ground .. feel like they have been designed after putting a lot of thought into the process. CoD4 were awesome too. Yes, but CoD5 is everything CoD4 was, but a notch better

Concluding thoughts - CoD5 multiplayer beta seems intense and should be loads of fun for days or months, heck I can see myself playing it here and there even in late 2009, early 2010. It is no ground breaker in many areas. CoD4 is a tough nut to improve on. And WW2 settings are detailed, crisp and allow for intense action scenes. That just makes the game gritty and super fun. I don't think CoD5 will be able to rack up game of the year status by many editorial personalities, but it will rejuvenate the hearts of Call of Duty fans and multiplayer shooter fans in general. It's like that perfect sequel, which always the shadow of its ground breaking prequel.

I am "GooLagoon" btw on Xbox live. Feel free to add me to your Xbox Live friends list if you too plan to enjoy CoD5.

Oh, I almost forgot - Check this Treyarch webpage for inside scoop on how the flamethrower was modeled and brought to life by the game's designers.
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© 2008 Vishal V. Shah. All rights reserved. Contents of this web site reflect my personal work and is not representative of my employer.