Monday, February 18, 2013

Linktopia and Various Other Bits

  • Two links I'll need to share with Dan'l.  Axis and Allies is now open source as a project called Triple A.  As is Master of Orion as a project called Free Orion.  A bit different than the original, but once you start to play a round, you get where the differences are.  For A&A I made the mistake of starting with the big map: that's a bit overwhelming.  I'd start smaller and work my way up if I were doing it again.  You can find FreeCol and FreeCiv out there as well.  Lots of cheap gaming fun.
  • Yesterday I saw Wired promoted Compounded, a Kickstarter funded game about chemistry.  Currently at about $139,000 out of their $15,000 goal.  Seriously.  I gave them some money a while ago because it seemed like such a great idea, particularly if you have a kid who's into both science and board gaming.
  • I always wondered what those long Indian robes for men were called, the traditional looking vestments.  It's a Sherwani.  It's the national dress of Pakistan and associated with aristocracy.  Not surprising - it always gives off the same vibe as a tuxedo to me.
  • The official name for what the cable and dish/direct tv companies are doing to you is called "drip pricing".  It's why your cable (or satellite) went up 3.3% last year and you didn't notice.  I noticed my change in billing.  It went down 100%.
  • I've entered 15,392 Coke Rewards points for charity so far this year, after I do today's entry.  That's 5,130 caps.  I'll admit, there were a few box tops in there, but not many.  I try to focus on caps and leave the boxes to other folks entering.
  • I heard Wye Oak's Civilian yesterday and really liked it: I'll be adding it to my Spotify list.  Apparently, I should have heard it on The Walking Dead, but that's not the case.  See bullet Number 4 about dropping cable and satellite: I don't catch Walking Dead until full seasons are out.  Of course I didn't catch it before either, because my satellite company didn't give me AMC.  Rather, I was streaming Safety Not Guaranteed on Netflix.  I really liked the movie: much more than my wife I suspect as she gave it three stars and I'd have given it a solid four.  Rottentomatoes backs me up, giving it a 91%.
  • Kotaku's amusing stories about game shop incidents.  Obviously, the comments are 90% of the article.
  • io9's list of creepy ghost towns of the world.  My first thought was, "I wonder if there are geocaches hidden in those towns?"  Followed by, "I wonder if Chernobyl doesn't count as a town?"  Certainly looks like one, and equally creepy.
  • How Etsy Increased It's Number of Engineers by a Multiple of Four in One Year over at, one of my favorite places to go for day-to-day geek lately.  Given one of my externally imposed goals this year is to hire more diversely (I should be up front, it's never been an issue for me, I think diversity of developers creates diversity of ideas, creates better code), these are good ideas to share, although I worry my company will have an issue with initial layout expenses like scholarships.
  • I missed the pancake breakfast for the Women's Prison Book Project.  I've decided I like the idea and I (we) should donate there.  We tend to find one place to donate to monthly, beyond the corporate annual donations that are deducted from my check each month for the Family Tree Clinic and Eagan/Dakota County food shelf.  They're having a movie night for the documentary Cruel and Unusual about transgender prisoners in men's prisons.  I don't plan on going, but I've often thought "movie day" might be a really good idea for the Community Volunteer Committee at work.  We could show that and Dudey Free and some other movies for folks to watch every other month over lunch.  Did I ever mention I'm now the cochair (subchair?) for the corporate CVC?  More through inertia of other folks I suspect, but sometimes that defines whole aspects/opportunities of one's life.
  • Erik sent me this XKCD comic generator.  It's done with d3.js which I was looking at for a work project not so long ago.  It'd make even more sense for making comics for sites like  We didn't use it for my project, although we all got a good laugh out of the thought of dropping a spermatozoa demo out there for the business.  

1 comment:

Kyle said...

The Women's Prison Book Project was the organization to which I donated a bunch of Shannon's old books - with her approval, of course. A neat program and a neat bookstore (Boneshaker Books) serving as the base of operations for the organization.