January 20, 2004

Scenes from the science fiction convention

January 20, 2004 - Categories: conference

In painstakingly constructed armor made of styrofoam and satin
airbrushed into forbidding darkness, Sauron (Lord of the Ring and
full-time evil overlord of the Land of Mordor) obligingly posed for
pictures at the science fiction convention. Sauron towered over the
crowd, stark comparison with Frodo (part-time savior of the world,
complete with elven cloak and grubby feet). The speakers blared,
“Kids! Come have your pictures taken with Sauron, the Dark Lord!” A
constant stream of convention-goers talked to him briefly and then had
their pictures taken with him. Occasionally, Nazguls joined the scene.

To one side, a girl stood by, ready to adjust Sauron’s outfit for best
effect. She wore no costume, but had with her a small bag with tape
and pins. From time to time Sauron would bend down and exchange a few
words with her. I wondered if Tolkien’s Sauron ever had such an aide –
rushing forward to polish his mace or mend his cloak, asking him
periodically if he found his armor too hot or he’d like a glass of
water. I can’t imagine an orc being so attentive. It sucks to be a
real overlord, I suppose – an enormous army, sure, but no pampering.

The day was hot. Fortunately Sauron had the foresight to make his
costume jointed enough to sit in comfortably, and I saw him now remove
his helmet and enjoy the breeze. A shock of blond hair and pale skin
formed an incongruously friendly face that seemed to float above the
forbidding armor. His smile was not menacing or grim, but light and
almost goofy. He tucked his spiked helmet under his arm and leaned
back, stretching armored legs tired from a day of posing.


January 20, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

– Project 2: swap projects from last time
– improve the design
– make it networked and multiplayer


pool of projects

First deliverables:
– bug report
– design analysis of current game
– proposed improvements

Second deliverable:
– progress report with new design

Final deliverables:
– description of design changes
– the new game

“Lines Blurring Between Handhelds and Wearables”

January 20, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Though there is a clear boundary between portable and wearable
computers—wearables allow for entirely hands-free operations, for
instance—experts such as Gartner’s Jackie Fenn expect that boundary to
erode as wearable technology moves out of niche markets such as the …

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“Transforming Thoughts Into Deeds”

January 20, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Companies such as Cyberkinetics in Foxboro, Mass., are working on
brain-computer interfaces that allow people to control devices by thought.
Cyberkinetics’ effort, BrainGate, involves a computer chip outfitted with
electrodes surgically plugged into neurons in the user’s motor cortex; …

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“Wireless for the Disabled”

January 20, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

A team led by Georgia Institute of Technology computer scientist John
Peifer wants to enhance the lives of disabled people by designing wireless
assistive technologies out of affordable off-the-shelf components. The
prototype system devised by Georgia Tech researcher Jack Wood is a wearable


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Script adoption

January 20, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Looks like someone’s been trying out my comment script on his/her own
site. =) Yes, it works – although you might want to change the mailto
address and the title…

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