I received an interesting email today. A Beta invite for the upcoming Lord Of The Rings MMORPG.
Awesome. Is it a chance to test and give the creators an idea how their servers can handle more players, or an attempt to pull me away from World Of Warcraft?
“Ready to get involved in the most exciting Beta of 2007? You have been chosen to join us for this weekend’s The Lord of the Rings Online(tm): Shadows of Angmar(tm) Stress Test Event! This is your chance to try the most recent Beta version of the game for a weekend, and possibly win great prizes. Please read this entire e-mail and visit http://www.lotro.com/stresstest for full details about the Stress Test Event and how to get started.”
If you’ve ever seen the flicks–and at this point who hasn’t–you can imagine how cool it would be to play an rpg type game with thousands of real players.
I’ll keep you guys updated as I play with some screenshots and first impressions. An mgroves.com exclusive, if you will.
This one promises solderless connections (which still void the warranty) and stealth mode features.
Personally, I’ll hold off until there’s a softmod that isn’t going to brick my Wii or get me blacklisted. Unlike Tweeder, I’m not motivated completely by piracy to get a mod chip, but mostly by homebrew and other interesting hacks.
The Offer: “Get Windows Vista and receive complimentary T-Mobile HotSpot service until April 30, 2007.”
The Problem: You don’t want to buy Vista right now.
The Solution: You want free Hotspot!
Here’s how to trick your browser, and T-Mobile into thinking you took the plunge and upgraded to Vista, thus allowing you access to free Hotspot service.
- Download the firefox extension for spoofing user-agents: User Agent Switcher
- Restart firefox and goto: Tools > User Agent Switcher > Options > Options…
- Click “User Agents” and then “Add”
- Fill out the window with following info:
Description: Internet Explorer 7 (Windows Vista)
User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0)
App Name: Microsoft Internet Explorer
App Version: 4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0)
- Save it, goto Tools > User Agent Switcher > Then click the newly added one. Browse over to http://hotspot.t-mobile.com/vista/ and you should be redirected to a trial sign-up page.
If you’ve ever seen the original Willy Wonka you no doubt saw the part where Mike Teevee was sent across the television waves and put back together. How far are we from this in real life?
(Notice: I don’t want to get in a nerd war with you guys over the logistics of this post, just take it in stride.)
I have a Wireless B router that can send a XBox game to any computer in the house in a matter of minutes. Wireless G and N is even faster.
Are we close to sending man across a wireless signal to any computer connected to our network? Could this totally change travel making transportation meaningless?
Alright, give me the facts, nerds. I look foward to some quality comments.
I found some very interesting Advice to New Programmers that I found to be very insightful.
I don’t know if I consider myself to be a “new” programmer or not, but the advice given wasn’t the normal cynical “blame everyone else” crap that’s spewed out at Slashdot and the like. Probably because the guy is a proud Microsoft employee, which is equivalent to a some sort of demon-witch in the minds of many Slashdot readers.
I’ve used Akismet for some time now, and it has worked great. It still has one important downside: it requires interaction with a third party service.
This means that it can go down, the API can change, they can start charging me, etc. Additionally, I need to be using PHP or some 3rd party blog software in order to use it. While none of these reasons really keep me up at night, it would be very useful to have an equally easy to use spam detector that does not depend on a third-party.
So. I did some research on Bayesian filters, which is an application of artificial intelligence that’s used to distiguish between 2 or more categories. The way it works is by using Bayes’s Theorum to provide a probability that some text is in each category. Typically, it’s used to tell if an email/comment is spam or not spam (2 categories). But as I discovered at this site (shaunwagner.com), it could also be used to tell if a text string is a name, address, or city/state/zip, or any amount of arbitrary categories.
The disadvantage to running my own Bayesian filter is that I have to teach and store all the “learning” myself. This is actually Akismet’s strength: leveraging a network of thousands of blog comments to provide the most accurate filter.
I may or may not have time to fiddle around with writing my own Bayesian filter, but here is how I would go about it if I were to do it in the context of blog comments:
- Get a whole bunch of comments and spam comments. (Spam is easy enough, I get close to 100 spam comments a day. Also, I have a large database of non-spam comments that should be a good starting point).
- Mark each of these comments “Y” for spam, “N” for not spam.
- For each incoming comment, apply the Bayesian theorum to it to get a probability. (This is the most important part). This might be simple enough to accomplish with a SQL query (or two) and a couple calculations, but my guess is that it would be non-trivial to write without a big performance hit.
- If the Bayes probability yields a false positive or a false negative, I’ll have to manually put it into the appropriate category. In this way, it “learns” as I “teach” it.
- If the Bayes probability is true, then two things could happen:
- If it’s not spam, leave it alone.
- If it is spam, delete it (manually).
The only problem I can see with this is that the more the routine “learns,” the more spam I’ll be storing indefinitely.
Part 3 is the hardest part though, so let me expand on that a little bit. Here is the equation:
Looks a little tricky, but it’s not so bad. Here’s the general idea: For each word in the comment, find out how many times it’s in every stored spam comment and also how many times it’s in every stored legit comment. Use that to create three fractions.
For instance, “viagra”. Let’s say it was in 50/100 (X) of the spam messages, 1/100 (Y) of the legit messages, and 51/200 (Z) of all messages.
Assuming that’s the only word in the comment, let’s calculate the probability that it was each category. We’get X*Z (0.1275) and Y*Z (0.00255). This means that the message is 12% likely to be a spam and only 0.2% likely to be legit. (Another way to do it would to be just comparing the X*Z percentage to some arbitrary threshold).
You can see that this isn’t particularly difficult, but remember that this calculation would need to performed on every word in the comment. That’s where the processing time can become real trouble.
It’s time to buy a Nintendo Wii if you haven’t already. A modchip is here, and it works.
Easy to install, easy to use. The WiiNinja has been released to most online shops and offers an easy to install method for modding your Wii to play copied games that hit the net last week.
Back in early December, I commented on Xbox live and what is has meant to online gaming and gaming in general.
I speculated that Nintendo would be wise to follow along in a simlar path.
And it looks like they are doing just that.
First, Hudson has made comments to the effect that Wii will eventually have a way to download original games and content, seperate from the Virtual Console. This would be great for game demos and Xbox Arcade type of games.
Second, a rumor has just been floated that Nintendo will be releasing programming tools for homebrew game developers. Just like XNA.
January 29th is the birthday your favorite person. No, not Oprah. Me! Feel free to send your gifts now, I won’t complain if they are a little late in shipping.
Anyway, it turns out that January 29th has also become national Milton Friedman day.
I actually thought it was his birthday, but that’s July 31. So it’s just a completely arbitrary day picked to honor the recently deceased economist.
Now, when do we get a G. K. Chesterton day?
Who exactly is the worst quarterback ever to get the honor to play in the Super Bowl? Is it Rex Grossman (who will get the honor this year?) You tell me.
I’m sure I could comb through 40 years of boxscores and come up with some great, or not-so-great players to win this honor. What’s the fun in that though, I want to hear the readers respond.
Your job: think back to any Super Bowl, give me the starting QB that didn’t deserve to be there.
I’ll get you started.
- 2003 – Brad Johnson – Tampa Bay
- 2001 – Trent Dilfer – Baltimore
- 1992 – Mark Rypien – Washington (Won Game MVP)