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Archive for March, 2007

Synthespian


Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

A synthespian is any synthetic actor. A portmanteau of the words synthetic, meaning not of natural origin, and thespian, meaning dramatic actor. The dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, for instance, were animatronic synthespians created by Stan Winston Studios. Aki Ross from the movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was an entirely computer-generated synthespian.

The term “synthespian” was created by Jeff Kleiser and Diana Walczak of Kleiser-Walczak Construction Company.[1] When they were assembling a synthetic thespian for their project, “Nestor Sextone for President”, they coined the term “synthespian”. Kleiser and Walczak have gone on to form Synthespian Studios (www.synthespians.net), dedicated to the creation of computer generated characters for entertainment and educational media.

Hack the Atari 2600


Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

Huge archive of free fun, and easy hacks for atari 2600 game console.

from their website.

“What is a Hack you might ask? In the realm of classic video games and the definition we’re using here, a hack is taking an existing game and modifying it in some fashion so that it differs from the original. Almost always this involves just changing the graphics, which is pretty easily done in many games. Some changes are done to make a game more faithful to the original (Space Invaders and Pac-Man seem to get the most attention here), others are done to give a game a different theme entirely and still other hacks, well, we haven’t got a clue. And then there are controller hacks that allow you to play games with a different control scheme, or perhaps even using a different controller entirely.

If you’d like to learn more about hacks and how you can hack Atari 2600 games yourself, please visit our Hacks Forum. If you’ve created a hack and would like it listed here, please feel free to drop us a line. We also have an entire page of 2600 TV Format Conversions.”

Link

Koji Kondo


Monday, March 19th, 2007

Koji Kondo (近藤 浩治, Kondō Kōji?, b. August 13, 1960) is a Japanese composer and musician best known for his scores for various video games produced by Nintendo.

Kondo was born in Nagoya, Japan. He took to music at an early age, writing simple tunes for fun even when young. At seventeen years of age, he decided to pursue music professionally[citation needed]. He undertook classical training, and he learned to play several instruments[citation needed].

In the 1980s, Kondo learned that a company called Nintendo was seeking musicians to compose music for its new video game system, the Famicom (Nintendo Entertainment System outside Japan). Kondo had never considered writing video game music before, but he decided to give the company a chance. He was hired in 1983.

Kondo found himself in a totally different environment at Nintendo. Suddenly, he was limited to only four “instruments” (two monophonic pulse channels, a monophonic triangle wave channel which could be used as a bass, and a noise channel used for percussion) due to limitations of the system’s sound chip. Though he and Nintendo’s technicians eventually discovered a way to add a fifth channel (normally reserved for sound effects), his music was still severely limited on the system.

Kondo has stayed with Nintendo through various consoles, including the Super Famicom (Super Nintendo outside Japan), the Nintendo 64, the Nintendo GameCube, the Nintendo DS and most recently the Wii. These latter systems have vastly improved Nintendo’s audio capabilities, and Kondo today composes music with CD quality sound.

Koji Kondo attended the world-premiere of PLAY! A Video Game Symphony at the Rosemont Theater in Rosemont, Illinois in May of 2006. His music from the Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda series was performed by a full symphony orchestra. This event drew nearly four thousand attendees.

Ill Clan


Sunday, March 18th, 2007


The ILL Clan is a machinima production team based in Brooklyn, New York City. The clan has produced a number of machinima shorts, as well as several live performances at film festivals, often interacting with the audience. Their work often makes heavy use of improvised dialogue. The team has featured in numerous articles in various media (mainly print. Perhaps their best known works are the films featuring their characters Lenny and Larry Lumberjack. More recently they have been commissioned to do short works for cable television channels, such as MTV2 and Spike TV. Their latest production is a series called Trash Talk with ILL Will.

The current members of the ILL Clan have recently joined the Electric Sheep Company, the world’s largest builder of virtual worlds, serving as their machinima division recording mostly in the virtual world of Second Life. Since joining ESC, the ILL Clan has produced a television promo for CBS’ “Two and a Half Men” which appeared on CBS during the Super Bowl XLI pre-game show. The company will retain their brand and IP, and continue producing original content including bringing their machinima talk-show, Tra5hTa1k to Second Life.

link

LOL______


Saturday, March 17th, 2007

Lolling, a compound of lol and a word (generally a noun), are photos with humorous captions. They are a type of image macro, and are thus also referred to as cat macros. Lol_______ are created for the purpose of sharing them with others on imageboards (particularly 4chan) and other internet forums, especially on Saturdays (”Caturdays”).

Lol______ images consist of a photo with a caption characteristically formatted in a sans serif font such as Impact or Arial Black. The image is, on occasion, photoshopped for effect. The caption generally acts as a speech balloon encompassing a comment, or is a simple description of the depicted scene. The caption is intentionally written with deviations from standard English spelling and syntax featuring “strangely-conjugated verbs, but [a tendency] to converge to a new set of rules in spelling and grammar.” These altered rules of English have been referred to as a type of pidgin or baby talk. The text is frequently in the form of a snowclone parodying the grammar-poor slang stereotypically attributed to users of the America Online service.

Lol_____ are similar to other animal-based image macros, such as the O RLY? owl and captioned pictures of walruses (lolruses), elephant seals, dogs, hamsters, birds, and rabbits. Various deviations of Lol______ have appeared as well, such as Rofl_____. The format is popular enough to have spread to United States Presidents, spawning sites such as LOLPresidents.com and loltapirs.com.

While lolcat language is very difficult to place absolute rules on, some language patterns seem to be constant:

* “Have” becomes “has”
* Any soft U becomes “oo”
* “O”s can be changed to Zeros
* “You” becomes “U”
* “Are” becomes “R” or “Be” or “Is”
* Words that are or could be abbreviated in some circumstances become one misspelled word. (”We are” is changed to “We is” then finally becomes “Weez”)

Lolcat language is largely based on phonetically spelling words as incorrectly as possible while leaving them readable


lolpr0n


lolburners


lolthenews


lolmaps


lolpresident


lolgeeks


loltrek


LolCat


LOLBOT

Papercraft Millenium Falcon


Friday, March 16th, 2007

Papercraft is so cool. Download the plans for this millenium falcon and make it as a weekend project. The site is in Japanese, but the downloadable plans are great, and better yet, FREE!
Link

Nerdcore Podcast


Thursday, March 15th, 2007

Northwest Nerdcore was founded in December 2006 by Nerdcore Hip Hop Artists MC Tanuki & TG_2005.

Our Mission is to promote Nerdcore artists from or in the Pacific Northwest through our podcast, shows, and evil things we dare not speak of, lest a genetically modified monkey try to kidnap our children as payment for unsaid evil deeds.

We have, since inception, managed to hold at least one show a month, with a goal of one show a week. Also covered by us have been shows by Optimus Rhyme, Beefy, The Goondocks, and even MC Frontalot. Harnessing the power of the internet we have managed to offer nerdcore related content when we arent bookin/promoting/performing shows.

Feel free to contact us by leaving a comment with your name and email address, or hit us up on myspace.

Umm, why are you still reading this.

Oh, contact us via our myspace: http://www.myspace.com/nwnerdcore/

You good now? NO CANOLA OIL FOR YOU, now leave me be. I have class in 5 hours.
Link to Podcast

Live action role-playing game : LARP


Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

A live action role-playing game (LARP or LRP) is a form of role-playing game where the participants perform some or all of the physical actions of the characters they are playing within a pre-determined space for a pre-determined span of time. LARP may be considered a form of improvisational theatre.

The two most common ways of simulating combat in LARP are through either physical representation or symbolic determination. Physical combat occurs without interruption in role-play, using “boffer” or latex representations of edged weapons, airsoft or laser tag guns, and similar. A variety of physical combat uses relatively harmless versions of real weapons (blunt steel swords, firearms loaded with blanks) rather than representations. Games using physical combat are often known as “Boffer” or “Live Combat” LARPs.

Symbolic determination relies on players momentarily suspending role-playing in order to determine the outcome of combat, for example by rolling dice, playing rock-paper-scissors or comparing character attributes. In symbolic combat systems, weapons may be represented as cards or inaccurate replicas. A “no-touch” rule, prohibiting physical contact between players, is often enforced. LARPs which feature symbolic combat may be known as free-form role-playing games or theatre-style games.

All symbolic combat systems, and most physical combat systems, use game rules governing attributes such as character strength, fighting skills and ability to endure physical pain in order to determine the outcome of a combat situation. An exception is honour system LARPs, where players are trusted to determine the outcomes of combat through free improvisation.

Physical representation is most common in, but not exclusive to, LARP styles where combat is seen as central to game-play. Conversely, symbolic determination and honour system LARPs tend to place less emphasis on combat.

Combat resolution is usually indicative of the design philosophy behind a specific LARP system. The same approaches as are taken to combat will often be used for other elements of LARP simulation such as magic, political power, character sexuality, scenery and propping. For this reason, combat resolution is the most widely used criterion for distinguishing between LARP styles.

Some LARP games involve heavy combat with boffers. Although some games have a “No-touch” policy, some other games are wildly violent in terms of weapons combat. Players of these LARP games must learn the old styles of combat in order to stand a chance in the “real” combat they intend to engage in. Practicing is often encouraged when engaging in these games due to the fact that if you don’t practice, you will be beaten fairly regularly. This aspect draws many people to combat intensive LARP games because the idea of taking on a persona that is well versed in the art of sword fighting is very attractive.
Link

Donna Haraway


Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

The following table is taken from Simians, Cyborgs and Women and illustrates various facets of society, concrete and abstract, that Haraway believes will eventually change. The left column lists the old components of hierarchical dominance; the right column lists the alternatives that will be supplied by a network of equally-valued individuals.

Representation vs. Simulation..
Bourgeois novel, realism vs. Science fiction, postmodernism…
Organism vs. Biotic component….
Depth, integrity vs Surface, boundary….
Heat vs. Noise….
Biology as clinical practice vs. Biology as inscription….
Physiology vs. Communications engineering….
Small group vs. Subsystem….
Perfection vs. Optimization….
Eugenics vs. Population control….
Decadence, Magic Mountain vs. Obsolescence, Future Shock….
Hygiene vs. Stress Management….
Microbiology, tuberculosis vs. Immunology, AIDS….
Organic division of labour vs. Ergonomics/cybernetics of labour….
Functional specialization vs. Modular construction….
Reproduction vs. Replication….
Organic sex role specialization vs. Optimal genetic strategies….
Biological determinism vs. Evolutionary inertia, constraints….
Community ecology vs. Ecosystem….
Racial chain of being vs. Neo-imperialism, United Nations humanism….
Scientific management in home vs. Global factory / electronic cottage….
/factory
Home / market / factory vs. Women in the Integrated Circuit….
Family wage vs. Comparable worth….
Public / Private vs. Cyborg citizenship….
Nature / Culture vs. Fields of difference….
Co-operation vs. Communications enhancement….
Freud vs. Lacan….
Sex vs. Genetic engineering….
Labour vs. Robotics….
Mind vs. Artificial Intelligence….
Second World War vs. Star Wars….
White Capitalist Patriarchy vs. Informatics of Domination….

Make Controller


Monday, March 12th, 2007


The MAKE Controller Kit

Last year, MAKE magazine approached MakingThings to create the MAKE Controller Kit, a next-generation family of modular, programmable controller boards. We were delighted, and we’re even more delighted to announce that the kit is now available.

Since 1998, MakingThings has been producing and selling a range of controller boards to an even wider range of customers. Before our partnership with MAKE, we had been thinking about how to take advantage of the latest 32-bit microcontrollers. Once we got the go-ahead, we immediately began making laundry lists of desirable features, and collecting suggestions from people using existing products.

We are very pleased with the way the MAKE Controller Kit has turned out. It is an absolute delight to program, and connecting real devices to it is very simple. For the future we look forward to programming more and more functionality into the platform, and seeing what others think of to do with it. Further, we hope the kit attracts a whole new audience to microcontroller programming, and to an overall greater understanding of electronics and engineering.
via makezine
Link to buy