Monthly Archives: April 2014

Joke – Seeking an Authoritative Opinion

If you think of another way to tell this joke, please post in the comments

Imagine… you’ve somehow managed to go back in time with your friend, you’re talking to George Washington (your childhood hero), thinking this is the most exciting moment of your life, and suddenly your friend pulls out two bottles of soft drink and hands them to your idle, saying, “Let’s settle this once and for all. Which is better, Mr. Washington, Coke, or Pepsi?”

~ George

A Buggy Game

(The first paragraph describes what would probably be a child’s game, meanwhile the second would more likely be a teen/adult game. Both could be used either way, though)

I think it would be interesting to have a game which starts out extremely “buggy”, and the goal is to fix the bugs, so that you can play the “real” game. This can involve quests to do something like “Plug-in so and so’s computer” or “Battle the villain until he gives you the code you need to fix the bug”.  Another possibility would be to have the bugs be real monsters, like ants or beetle, which you have to fight. Then, when you destroy the boss bug, you’ll stop glitching.

Or, perhaps you can have the reverse: you start with a bug free game, and through ‘hacking” (real or fake) you make the game more buggy, in ways that allow you to continue the game. For instance, you might create a “bug” which makes you to glitch through walls, enabling you to be able to get through a locked door and continue the quest. Maybe you need two coins to bribe a guard with, but you’ve only got one. So you create a “bug” which if you use it right lets you duplicate the coins. A possible concept is that you could have a room with a bunch of buttons which turn on and off “bugs”, and the player has to figure out how to use the bugs.

~ George

Time-Based Game (Tag?)

What if you had a game which you could only play at certain times a day? Like a game of tag in which you can only tag someone when the last digit of the digital clock (you’d need an official clock) is 7, or perhaps have the game go on for days and you can only tag someone if it’s 8 o’clock (not too early or too late). Or, maybe you don’t even need it to be time based. Perhaps you can only tag someone if you’re outside, or if you’re in the shade, or maybe you can only be tagged if someone around you is wearing a blue shirt! Other games you might be able to play could be the Dart Game, Ninja, or any other similar game.

~ George

Interesting Observations – “Proven Beyond Doubt”

It’s possible for something to be “proven beyond doubt” without actually being true. After all, for a long time entire countries believed that the Earth was the center of the solar system, and it didn’t even occur to them to doubt. This is obviously false today, but in that time and in that place an Earth-centered universe was “proven beyond doubt”. Along similar lines is the phrase “That many people can’t be wrong!”, which, when you think about it and how often that isn’t true, sounds too foolish even to argue against.

~ George

Quotable – The Best Ideas are Rarely Finished

I was reading my description of Idea Polish Level: 3 when I noticed the last sentence. To quote the description, “This is for ideas which I’ve thought a lot about, and might only need a bit more work to get them fully polished. This is probably where some of the more interesting posts will be because often the best ideas are rarely finished.” After rereading the phrase I realized how true it was.

What are some of the best ideas that you can think of? Some that come to my mind are the computer, Einstein’s relativity, the automobile, medicine, etc. Imagine if one of these “best” ideas somehow was finished, done, never going to be improved upon again. If the computer was finished when it was invented we would never have gotten the internet. If relativity was finished when it was invented we would still not understand gravity. If the automobile was finished when it was invented we’d still be “crawling” around at < 10 mph. If any of those were finished now, how much would we miss out in the future?

The best ideas are never finished, but that doesn’t mean they always start. While the first thinker of a truly “best” idea may fail, the idea will continue.

What are some of the “best” ideas that we couldn’t live without, and what would happen if they stopped?

~ George

IFTTT screen shot

Discovering If This Then That (IFTTT)

I really like this IFTTT thing.  I’ve created some “recipes” to play with and they work pretty well.  I created one that allows me to send a SMS with a #r hashtag to IFTTT and the contents are then used to create a reminder note in Microsoft OneNote.  I found a couple others of interest including one that monitors for new WordPress posts, and if it contains a specific category or tag, it will post a link to it to my Twitter account.  I’ll have to see how well that works.

Learning about Home Automation

I started looking at Home automation today and found some great stuff out there.  I’m thinking that it would be a could home improvement that won’t break the bank if I’m careful.  I really like the idea of thermostat that can be controlled remotely.  That would be good when we’re away and we want to adjust it per a unexpected weather change or for our pets if left home (but still watched by our neighbors of course!).

I started looking around and found that Amazon has a great resource page that has tons of information and cool products.  I like the Wemo and Nest products but they are very pricy.

The Nest has a very nice looking but somewhat skeuomorphic thermostat that learns and can be controlled remotely.  It runs about $250.  They also have a very cool smoke/CO2  detector which speaks from all the units in the house which unit has registered smoke or CO2.  It has a wave feature to silence the one in the kitchen for those who might burn some toast.  These guys run about $120.  Pretty pricey for the number I would need.

The Wemo doesn’t appear to have the thermostat, but it does have wall mounted light switches, plugs, and wireless cameras.  The light switches pair by acting as a access point to which to connect your phone’s Wemo app, then tell it how to connect to your house access point, then its in business.  The app instantly turns the light on and off when in the house and within a half second when elsewhere.

I also learned about a really cool service call If This Then That or IFTTT.  It allows you to program just about anything.  For example, if I get an email from my wife, I can have it send me an SMS message.  But more relevant to home automation, if my favorite team is playing a game, it can change my media room’s lights change colors to my teams colors.  Or, if I long-press my Wemo light switch, it can turn on the TV, etc.

I’ll post more later.  This is all I have so far!