brainwagon "There is much pleasure in useless knowledge." — Bertrand Russell


Cool Hack O’ Day: real pixel coding

The problem with working some place with lots of intelligent people is that it is increasingly hard to maintain one's sense of superiority. Today, I tip my hat to Inigo. He has a very cool demo here, where he creates a program by creating and editing a small image in photoshop, saving it as a raw image file, and then renaming it to a .COM file and running it. It's a testament to how clever, sneaky, and small programs can be.

Thanks to Jeri reposting this link on twitter, I'm getting lots of hits. Thanks Jeri. But be sure to visit Inigo's original post to read more about this cool hack:
el trastero » Blog Archive » real pixel coding.


Sony drops lawsuit against Geohot, but not really…

I was directed to a posting about the lawsuit between Geohot and Sony by a twitter from @adafruit.

Sony drops lawsuit against Geohot – a maker, hacker and innovator… « adafruit industries blog.

I think the article's title is rather misleading. Sony didn't drop the lawsuit: the lawsuit was settled. While Geohot admitted to no wrongdoing, he agreed to a permanent injunction barring him from distributing the information and code that he developed for the PS3. I don't actually view this as a victory for hackers: Sony knew full well that once this information was published, the cat was already out of the bag. They also likely knew that any monetary damages they could have conceivably extracted wouldn't pay for the costs of actually fighting the case. The only thing that they could really hope for was to use the threat of legal action so silence Geohot and any other PS3 hackers from further dissemination of their works.

Which is precisely what they did, and precisely what they got. The message from Sony wasn't that "if you hack our system and publish the results, we realize that's within your rights as an owner of Sony equipment", it was "you can expect us to have our lawyers call you, and threaten you with a lawsuit that could cost you your life's savings unless you capitulate."

I don't view this as a huge victory for owners of Sony products.


Announcing the “Soldering is Easy” Complete Comic Book!

Like many mechanical skills, soldering may seem fairly daunting if you've never done it before, but it's really not that hard. If you need a basic getting-started guide, you could try out the new Soldering is Easy comic book. I think the only thing it really could use is a better guide to buying a soldering iron (lots of beginners buy the cheapest ones they can from Radio Shack, which is a guaranteed road to burned fingers and frustration). Check it out.

MightyOhm » Blog Archive » Announcing the “Soldering is Easy” Complete Comic Book!.

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Cool Link on Maze Generation, with Minecraft Application

Josh read my earlier article on maze generation, and forwarded me to this cool link via Twitter. It's an article by Jamis Buck, and details all sorts of cool ways to generate mazes, with examples, applets, discussion... It's simply great. It even includes an online maze generator for constructing random mazes suitable for construction in Minecraft. Worth checking out:

the { buckblogs :here }: Maze Generation: Algorithm Recap.