Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Anarchy Online Revival

Anarchy Online is again free until the new year! I'm Brethlor, a humble level 3 Solitus Militiaman who has yet to sign with a side.

I beta-tested this in junior year of high school and think lobbied hard for broadband because of it. was my favorite fan-site until it collapsed.

Friday, April 15, 2005

11th hour post

So, with only 10 minutes before 12:00, I need to type something up as my daily post. How about this: I'm about to begin writing my candidate statement for President of the RUTTC. The funny thing is that I never got elected for the previous two years I was "in office," as the first year I helped start the club and the next we only had a handful of people attend elections, much less run. I had to convince all the members of our current executive board to take their positions. Even though this year, I doubt there's anyone running against me (I kinda hoped there would be), it'll be nice to finally be elected. The current top player of our team felt it was too early for him to take the responsibility, only being a freshman, but I think we'd make a good team with him as a Vice-President.

My main reservation is that so much is expected of a president. To be able to [help members improve](Added 4/17/05) lead in tough times, to motivate people to do the work that's necessary for the success of the club, and raise spirits in the face of tough competition. The thing I'll try hardest to do in my senior year is to try to get more people involved, because instead of being able to delegate many tasks, I mostly end up doing stuff that I may not be the best at doing. I did get tons of help this year ,though, and for that I'm grateful.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

US Team Places 17th in ACM World Programming Competition

I've toned down the more disappointed (or derogatory) headlines:
The San Francisco Chronicle: "American universities fall way behind in programming; Weakest result for U.S. in 29-year history of international technology competition"

The Inquirer: "American universities produce pants programmers"
The nerve for the British to call us pants programmers. Their excuse?
We should point out that the UK didn't make the top 12 either, but we never expect to, it is part of being British.

Let me just say that I greatly admire the team from Rutgers who competed at the Worlds. They consisted of Bin Tian (Coach), Christopher Ross, Jun Dai, and Robert Renaud. Why did we get beat by Canada? I think it's because we didn't take it seriously enough.

I barely heard anything around campus about them competing on behalf of the STATE, the COUNTRY, and heck the CONTINENT among the best schools in the world. What did the winning team do before winning? Their city/university/country decided to freaking host the World Finals.

Anyhow, congratulations to the team from the University of Illinois for solving the most problems (PDF) among US teams and of course Shanghai Jiaotong University for winning. See the full standings.

SOURCE: The Inquirer

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Doubly bad news

Well, the OS Design project is over (on with the next one!), but AAPL is down even before they announced their earnings due to some bad economic data about retail sales for March. Even though profits ended up being, 5 times more than last year, I guess that was expected. The biggest reason for the drop, according to Reuters is that they didn't raise their expectations for nextcurrent quarter. It'll probably drop even more when everyone else hears this news tomorrow, but I'm optimistic.

In other news of the same flavor, those big ionic breeze air purifiers that we got a couple of months ago can be quite bad for all the ozone they generate. And it seems they don't move as much air as everyone else. But, hey they're the quietest and easiest to clean (read, if we could return them we would).

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

I officially give up

I don't actually, but I admit that there is little hope for me as far as continuing on my current path of doing things. I've been throwing around the idea of designing and implementing a "scheduling policy" for my life, but throwing around isn't what I do. I threw the idea and kinda never caught it. What is my current path? Delaying the things I think are most challenging/important and doing those least so first. It's ugly, I know. Oh, wait... I'm not the only one in the world who procrastinates?

Way to go for my first daily post, eh?

Here's a committment

Because I suggested that Umar could try to blog about stuff that happened in his own life, I figured at least I should try to do the same instead of making this just a bi-weekly ordeal (j/k). Let's try this: I'll try to post once a day to make my sub-header ("a hit a day...") hold some clout. If you never read my longer posts, they won't be complete summaries of the day's events, but rather just short updates that will be bearable.

Today's post is forthcoming. Three cheers to not making promises you can't keep.

Friday, April 08, 2005

A belated post on the success of the iPod

Today, I observed that the color of the tag that you're assigned at the computer lab not only gives you the number of the assigned computer, but that the color of it denotes the area in the lab where it's located. I made a similar common sense observation when I saw someone holding an iPod shuffle today. The reason Apple gets away with selling such simplicity in all its products is not that they make the best computer, but that they show people why need computers.

The reason the iPod sells so well against its competitors is that the iPod makes you want to listen to music and get in that zone that those silhouettes are in during iPod commercials. Not just in your car, or in your room when it happens to be on, but all the time. I'm guessing that the majority of iPod owners listen to music a whole lot more than before they owned an iPod (supported by a web anecdote). It would be especially interesting if people didn't really listen a whole lot to music before they bought into Apple's marketing and got an iPod.

It seems so obvious, because we know that in order to sell a crazy new product, you don't convince people why it's better than your competitor's product and need to do more than add a bunch of cool features like FM radios and stopwatches (something Apple's done little of, see iPod shuffle). You need to convince people that they have an unmet need that iPod can fill. Now, the conclusion is that although anyone who actually wanted to have tons of music at their fingertips before Apple let them know they did, already had ways to listen to their music. These people care about what device has the best battery life or the best sound quality. They buy the Sony MD players or more affordable Creative Zens. They, however, aren't most people.

Yes, another post on Apple by a shareholder.

An original recursive acronym

Here's some competition for Splenda ©:
Who needs Splenda when you've got:

        SINS: Sins Is Not Sugar.

        Got Sins?