Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Poker Bots - Who Is Your Opponent?

Interesting article on the increased use of poker 'bots' to gain the competitive (and financial) edge when playing online poker.

From a tiny start, they're creeping into games everywhere. Of course, the whole point is that it is impossible to quantify exactly how widespread they are, but those in the know say you could quite easily expect all the other 'players' at a typical table to be computers - in which case, if you are anything other than a very capable player you can surely only lose.

The problem being that, unlike a real casino, the online casinos have no way of monitoring what the player is doing 'behind the scenes' and despite best efforts to control cheating, it's not unlikely that the table a player sits at may consist of only one human player.

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Friday, November 25, 2005

Xbox 360: Reality Or Hype?

Bizjournals.com reports that Ebay is buzzing with activity both for buyers seeking a missed opening day opportunity as well as sellers who are looking to take advantage of the hype to get in on what is probably the biggest gaming news of the year.

There were over 14,000 listings at midday Friday with prices that pushed the bounds of supply and demand. Three would-be sellers listed asking prices above the $1 million and prices in excess of $10,000 were common. One seller was asking $2 million, but offered to bundle the Xbox 360 with 1950s-era vacation home in central Pennsylvania. Another promised the proceeds would go into his baby daughter's college fund and included a picture of the tot.

With prices as stupid as that, it really begs the question why would someone pay such a premium for a gaming console that is also receiving bad press about possible hardware and software bugs.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Apple To Offer Instant Turn On?

Interesting idea tossed forward by fool.com on Apple's plan for the massive investment into flash RAM over the recent months and the deal that they've signed through 2010.

Apple's going to be offering instant-on computers in the very near future. Make that near-instant. Faster than normal, anyway. And some of these may just be the integrated music and video home-media boxes people have been predicting ever since the iPod redefined Apple's game.

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Monday, November 21, 2005

Zero-Day IE Exploit Takes Control of PCs

There's nothing better to start your Monday off than to hear about a zero-day exploit on IE which, believe it or not, affects even fully patched machines up to last night.

Just another day that I'm more than happy to be on Apple's Safari or Firefox.

Exploit code for a critical flaw in fully patched versions of Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer browser has been released on the Internet, putting millions of Web surfers at risk of computer hijack attacks.

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Even Smaller iPod shuffle on Its Way?

Speculation is running high that MacWorld in January 2006 will also bring about new iPod shuffles in smaller form factors and more colors.

"We are hearing of an even smaller form factor (smaller than a pack of gum) and the potential for the re-introduction of multiple colors," said American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu.

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Getting the Video out of Your New iPod--for Cheap!

Creative user figures out that a standard AV cable works wonder for getting the video signal out of the new iPod onto a TV without having to fork out for the costlier Apple video cable.

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Apple Plans Cut-price iBook To Widen Market

Rumors that Apple will be releasing entry-level iBooks based centered around the new Intel-base Mac motherboard designs in January 2006. Original rumors that the Mac mini was to be the starting point but perhaps Apple has more than just one model up its sleeve?

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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Online Tangram Game

A nice distraction to chase those post-lunch cobwebs away from the dark corners of your brain. Revisit the classic tangram game with this great, online Flash-driven tangram website.

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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Jared Tarbell: Gallery of Computation

Jared Tarbell is a programmer who uses algorithims to produce some pretty spectacular, seemingly random, works of art. He writes:

I believe all code is dead unless executing within the computer. For this reason I distribute the source code of my programs in modifiable form to encourage life and spread love. Opening one's code is a beneficial practice for both the programmer and the community. I appreciate modifications and extensions of these algorithms. Please send me your experiences.

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Cruel Hoax At McDonald's

Covered on ABC's Primetime this evening, this is the most bizarre story about a total lack of common sense (extreme idiocy, really) that took place in a 5 hour incident at McDonald's. In a nutshell, Louise Ogborn, 19, was practically imprisoned by assistant store manager, Donna Summers, 51, based on orders given by a voice on the other end of a phone line.

Without even giving it a second thought, Donna subjected Louise to over 4 hours of abuse, humiliation, and pretty much perverse torture. Not only did Donna herself follow absolutely asinine orders without thinking about what she was telling Louise to do, she enlisted the help of store staff and her own (ex)fiance, Walter Nix, to continue to subject Louise to physical and sexual abuse.

Truly a mind-blowing read...

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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Enabling Postfix with SASL & TSL Support

This guy writes a good post about setting up Postfix with SASL/TSL support for those of you who have been wanting to know how or why...

I finally got around to documenting my notes on configuring a Trustix server as mail gateway with support for SASL (Simple Authentication and Security Layer) for user authentication and with TSL (Transport Security Layer) for encrypting the login and subsequent mail traffic.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Apple Prepares Multi-OS Capable Hardware

As much as it has been not explicity discussed by Apple, it's pretty clear that the intention is toward having the new Intel-based Macs support more than just the OS X operating system as evidenced in this news article.

the patent describes a process whereby users would be able to load one of three operating systems as their primary OS and then load a secondary operating system as their secondary OS.

January 2006 should bring some pretty exciting announcements with the real homer being nailed around early June!

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Monday, November 07, 2005

Podtropolis - Bittorrent for iPod

As predicted on the day that the new iPod (5G a.k.a. "Video") was released, a Bittorrent site targeted specifically for providing content for iPods is now open for service.

Welcome to Podtropolis, we are the first, best, and only tracker for iPod content. Our streets are filled with loads of high quality content for your iPod including movies, television programs, music videos and of course music. All video is encoded in iPod compatible formats (H.264, MP4, M4V) so you do not need to bother with conversion.

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Sunday, November 06, 2005

MacIntel Patent Supports Multiple Operating Systems

It's been public knowledge but a recent patent application indicates this being even more so...

Apple's U.S. patent application 0050246554 ("System and method for creating tamper-resistant code") describes scenarios in which the user would choose a "first operating system" and a "second operating system" from a set that includes Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, and Linux.

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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Zombie Killer

The real world online equivalent of 24's CTU with a plot line that would be almost perfect for a movie.

When the monitors’ graphs begin to spike, indicating that an attack is under way, she said, “it’s like looking at the ocean and seeing a wall of water three hundred feet high coming toward you.”

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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Canon Announces Fuel Cell Powered Camera

Canon has showed an EOS KISS Digital N camera powered by a hydrogen fuel cell that is supposed to hold up to three to five times the capacity of the existing lithium ion battery, yet only taking minutes to recharge. While several years away from becoming a consumer item, the future bodes well for portable power.

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Hands On Review Of Aperture

Rob Galbraith gives a very in-depth review of Apple's latest "Pro" application: Aperture. While I don't have the hardware necessary other than a dated Canon D30 which can shoot in RAW format, I'm excited to see what changes in the way people work with this application can bring.

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Second Generation iTunes Phone Revealed

Engadget shows sneak pics of the second generation iTunes phone. The phone include Bluetooth, a VGA digital camera, and a TransFlash memory card slot for storing up to 100 iTunes tracks.

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