.net programming, computers and assorted technology rants


Pic of the Day: This will Make You Feel Old

Courtesy Mike Bal, http://www.business2community.com

this-will-make-you-feel-old-infographic1 (1)


Happy Easter: The 100 Best Easter Eggs of All-Time

Courtesy Ryan Taljonick, Henry Gilbert, GamesRadar.com


Happy hunting

The tradition of hiding little secrets for gamers to find is as old as the medium itself. Sometimes, an Easter Egg is just a funny character moment or a memorable bit of absurdity; other times, you’ll get a few mind-bending plot secrets for your troubles. But all these Easter Eggs have something in common: they’re really hard to find. Unless, of course, you have the Internet pointing them out for you. *ahem*

We collected 100 of the greatest Easter Eggs that were ever secreted away in gaming history, and compiled them here for your easy browsing. Some are timeless classics; others were just discovered in the most recent games. We dug deep to unearth these gems, so we bet at least a few will be new to you. Such as…

Read More…http://www.gamesradar.com/100-best-easter-eggs-all-time/

Pic of the Day: Cardboard IronMan

Courtesy Ralphie Aversa, news.yahoo.com

Kai-Xiang Xhong

Kai-Xiang Xhong takes ordinary cardboard boxes and turns them into extraordinary pieces of art. The 20-year-old’s latest work is a full sculpture of Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit, and you would be hard-pressed to find words that can do it justice.

Xhong is a student in Taiwan and began turning sketches into sculptures when he was in high school.

"I have since produced lots of artwork with cardboard," Xhong told the Stan Winston School of Character Arts. "For example, Optimus Prime from TRANSFORMERS, skeletons of the T-Rex and a Pterodactyl, an IRON MAN suit, and so on. And the last three of them were all made full-size."

The detail in the costume is incredible. Xhong painstakingly carved out nearly every notch and indent in the "armor," along with creating the hinges and joints throughout the life-size suit.

View gallery

Kai-Xiang Xhong

"For my cardboard IRON MAN SUIT, I used pepakura technique," he explained, referencing a method that uses buildable and foldable 3D models. "But I did not add any special color on the surface. Keeping the cardboard color and texture was deliberate. That’s my style."

View gallery

Kai-Xiang Xhong

It took the Taiwanese student almost a year to complete the project, as he worked on it only in his free time. Xhong’s art is now receiving international recognition.

"Creating is the most important part of my life," he said. "I hope I can keep going in the future."

His newfound fanbase hopes for the same thing, and cannot wait to see what "out of the box" idea he comes up with next.

Pic of the Day: Worlds Largest Tetris Game

Courtesy Colleen Taylor, TechCrunch.com


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Mike Judge & Silicon Valley, Ya Gotta Love It

Courtesy Bryan Bishop, TheVerge


There’s no surer sign that a subculture has entered the mainstream than when it ends up on a TV show, and over the last few years the startup scene has crossed the threshold. We’ve seen a deplorable Bravo reality show and a comedy from Amazon, but nothing’s reached beyond easy jokes or lowest common denominator appeal. Given the track record, it’s easy to be wary of Mike Judge and HBO’s new show Silicon Valley — but the creator of Office Space and Beavis and Butt-headgets it completely right, resulting in an extremely funny show that will appeal both to broad audiences and the tech world insiders it’s so adept at mocking.

Richard (an awkwardly charming Thomas Middleditch) lives with several friends in a hacker hostel run by dotcom millionaire Erlich (T.J. Miller, in a hilarious breakout performance). Richard’s dream is to build a truly terrible music site named Pied Piper, but a pair of feuding tech billionaires discover that the compression algorithm he’s using is a potential goldmine. A bidding war ensues, and Richard has to decide whether to go for the $10 million acquisition or build his own company with his housemates.

Read More…http://www.theverge.com/2014/4/3/5578804/silicon-valley-review

Behold the Arscoin, Ars Technica’s Cryptocurrency






Photo : Aurich Lawson

Courtesy Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica

Recently, I became the first person in the history of Ars Technica to have a gold—rather than black—user name.

How did I get this blinged-out honor? I bought it for the low, low price of 500 Arscoins—the latest digital cryptocurrency to hit the Internet. Arscoin is one of around 100 or so “altcoins,” or alternative bitcoins, derived from the same source code as the original cryptocurrency.

Everything you need to know to mine Arscoins with your CPU or GPU.

The existing Bitcoin community has an inherent distrust of many altcoins. Bitcoin forums are replete with discussions of “pump and dump” scams, where the originators of a new altcoin might “pre-mine” coins, release their currency to the general public, and market their hot new cryptocurrency hard in order to drive the price up. Then the creators simply sell off their coins at a profit and walk away. It’s one of the oldest financial tricks in the book.

But other altcoin creators are true believers in anarcho-capitalism, or they simply find Bitcoin and its derivatives new and interesting. And not all altcoins are quite as ridiculous as they may seem; evenDogecoin, which was jokingly based on an image meme, has an on-paper market capitalization ofmore than $60 million.

As the new year began, I found myself writing about several new (and often ridiculous) altcoins: Coinye, Norris Coin, and yes, Koindashian. It got me thinking: if anyone can just up and create a new altcoin, how hard can it be? Arscoin is our attempt to find out. Here’s how we created our own digital currency, how you can do it too, and what it all means.

The Arscoin project is for those who want to experiment with digital currencies—and buy some fun hats and colored usernames along the way. In other words, it is for educational use only; we have centralized the system in order to prevent it from developing into a real-money economy.

Jesuscoin and Snoochyboochy

While the creator of Bitcoin remains a mystery is reluctant to talk about his creation, the currency’s digital underpinnings are open to anyone to learn about; it’s famously open source. One of its first major competitors, Litecoin, used the Bitcoin source code in late 2011, changing a few key parameters before releasing its own source code. That, in turn, has spawned more recent clones like BBQCoin and Dogecoin. According to Coinmarketcap.com, 75 mineable altcoins currently exist, with market capitalizations ranging from $38,000 (FedoraCoin) to $10.3 billion (Bitcoin). Even other journalists have started their own altcoins (see Joe Weisenthal’s Stalwartbucks).



To create an altcoin, enterprising developers generally take the Bitcoin (or Litecoin) source code found on Github, tweak it as they see fit, and then compile it into the files necessary to generate the blockchain and start mining. Not surprisingly, there’s an entire subreddit devoted to the practice, and helpful altcoin users have written up extensive guides with titles like “The altcoin explosion… and how to profit from it,” “Complete Guide on How to Create a New Alt Coin,” and “How To Clone Scrypt Based Altcoins for Fun and Profit.”

However, for non-coders, this approach often includes daunting instructions like:

Once all of the dependencies are built and installed, the next step is to clone the source from git. In this example, I will be cloning foocoin, rename it, re-git initialize it, and push the initial copy out to Github to ensure git is working:

 %git clone https://github.com/foocoin/foocoin.git
 cloning in to foocoin
 %mv foocoin barcoin
 %cd barcoin
 %rm -rf .git
 %git init
 initializing git repository in ~/barcoin
 %git add -A *
 %git commit -m "first commit"
 %git remote add origin https://github.com/barcoin/barcoin.git
 %git push -u origin master
 username for git@github.com: barcoin
 password for barcoin@github.com: **********

But for programming newbies (like me), altcoin creation is still possible. University of North Carolina student Matt Corallo’s Coingen.io debuted in early January 2014, and many sources told me that it is the easiest way to craft a new altcoin. It has already been used to create coins with names like “jesuscoin,” “snoochyboochy,” “supercalifragilisticexpialidociouscoin,” and my personal favorite, “wake_up_sheeples_banker_owned_federal_reserve_notes_equals_more_debt.”

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Cops Fail to Investigate Years of Corruption Due to Lost Password

Courtesy John Johnson, Newser

For the last eight years, a watchdog agency in India has diligently collected hundreds of corruption complaints about the Delhi police and forwarded them to the department. Not a single one has been acted upon. Conspiracy? Coverup? Nope, just good old-fashioned incompetence. Turns out, the police department didn’t know the computer password to access the complaints, reports the Indian Express.

The Central Vigilance Commission finally thought to ask the department why none of the 667 complaints it has forwarded since 2006 have been addressed, and the department chalked it up to a "technical issue," reports theBBC. And by that it meant that it didn’t know how to get into the appropriate online portal. Two officers have now received the proper training, passwords and all, presumably.