Archive for March, 2010

ALF magnets

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

ALF magnets

One of the birthday gifts I received was an unopened package of ALF trading cards a friend had picked up at a thrift store. It was a funny gift, but after opening them—ingesting the gum, YEARGH—I wondered what to do with them. I searched around for some magnetic sheets and found this package of 12 8.5×11″ sheets to be the best deal. They’re $10 (unfortunately $17 after shipping). I stuck the cards to the adhesive backing and trimmed them out with a hobby knife. It was really easy to work with and I think they’ll hold up great. I’m now looking around the apartment for other things to make fridge magnets out of; I found my Nevada license, old business cards, and maybe I’ll pick out some Magic cards.

Nintendo DSi headtracking and the 3DS

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

The video above shows a clever use of the Nintendo DSi’s front-facing camera. It tracks the user’s eyes and redraws the scene accordingly. This is the same trick used in Johnny Chung Lee’s Wii display hack. He was using IR instead of facial recognition though. (more…)

StarCraft 2’s e-Sports future

Monday, March 15th, 2010

With the arrival of StarCraft 2, one of the major staples of professional gaming is in for a shake up. It won’t just be the way the game is played though. The way tournaments are handled and broadcast is going to change.

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Birthday Hacker Drinkup

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Last night we celebrated my birthday at Hacker Drinkup. It was a massive turnout with a lot of fun surprises. I quipped on Twitter, “Things that should be denim: jeans. Things that shouldn’t: everything else. #denimbustiersrsly?!” Pictured above is the denim hat Pinguino made me in response (my mannequin is wearing it now). You may remember that this isn’t the first time a tweet has generated an unexpected gift. Erin and Pinguino decorated cupcakes with fondant so they looked like our crew (they’ve made hacker cookies before). The final treat was a pair of functional frosted laser boobs inspired by my flyer. In addition, I got a new tshirt, some ALF trading cards, and some sweet socks.

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Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

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Like last year, I recorded a short podcast for my birthday. I’ve been sick lately so there’s a lot of weird breathyness from me trying not to cough.

retweet.py 10 billion bug

Monday, March 8th, 2010

This weekend @SanMo (original post) started freaking out and reposting the same tweets over and over again. Code superstar Chris Finke wasn’t available to help me track down the issue so I reanimated Chris Nelson for assistance. My initial thought was that Twitter had changed the way it served mentions. retweet.py stores the status_id of each status it retweets in a sqlite database so it doesn’t repeat itself. Browsing the database, I noticed that the two tweets it was repeating were the first with ids above 10 billion (a recent milestone). Chris pointed out that running sqlite> SELECT MAX(status_id) FROM retweets; Returned the id ‘9663742534’ and not the true maximum. The table that retweet.py creates has two text columns, one for status_id and one for the timestamp. Changing the status_id column to integer causes MAX() to work properly (I’m not sure what the technical reason behind this failure is). To get retweet.py running again, I did the following (via Chris) from the command line:

# sqlite3 sanmo.sqlite
sqlite> CREATE TABLE retweets2 (status_id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY, timestamp TEXT);
sqlite> INSERT INTO retweets2 SELECT * FROM retweets;
sqlite> DROP TABLE retweets;
sqlite> ALTER TABLE retweets2 RENAME TO retweets;
sqlite> .quit

That will shift all the old data into a new table. The initial database creation routine needs to be fixed in retweet.py and will probably be in version 1.3. The fix above works for me but your mileage may vary.