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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Link Dump
Just a few links to stuff I've enjoyed recently:
  • What If Greedo Really Shot First?: It doesn't get much geekier than the Star Wars fan outrage over Greedo shooting first in the special edition Star Wars films, but somehow this IO9 post manages that feat with no problems (via Batrock).
  • The Farewell Dossier: I'm always fascinated by those Cold War espionage stories, and this one's a doozy. Essentially, the Soviet Union needed some software to run their newly procured oil pipeline hardware. The US had such software, but wouldn't sell it to their rivals, so the Soviets simply stole it... not realizing that the US had sabotaged the code.
    The orchestrated subterfuge was one of the most successful US inter-agency efforts ever undertaken, and it was executed with such skill that it was never detected. Some condemn the deliberate explosion as thinly veiled terrorism given the lack of an open war with the Soviet Union, while others insist that ill-gotten goods are the plunderer’s problem. In any case, it clearly demonstrates that software piracy can have very serious consequences.
  • A little while ago, Yahtzee reviewed inFamous and Prototype, two similar games, by comparing them to one another. In the end, the two games ended in a tie, so Yahtzee suggested a humorous and presumably rhetorical tie-breaker: "which of the two studios could produce the best image of the rival game's main character wearing women's lingerie." Amazingly, the two game studios in question complied. The results are... funny. Take a gander.
  • Speaking of inFamous, the developers apparently released a series of interesting statistics and fun facts about the development cycle for the game. A couple examples:
    • Number of babies born: 10
    • Number of diet Coke cans consumed: 17,472
    • Number of diet Pepsi cans consumed: 13,104
    • Number of trips to Starbucks: approximately 18,200
    Once again, Coke beats Pepsi. Score. There are some other interesting stats included as well
  • How to Hack Your Brain: This is apparently part 1 in a longer series... this one focuses on sleep and how inefficient our standard schedules are (most of the time spent in a standard 8 hour sleeping session is not spent in REM sleep, which is the most important part). I would love to try the extreme Uberman polyphasic schedule, which calls for a total of only 2 hours of sleep a day (but evenly spaced in 20 minute increments throughout the day), but it does not seem feasible in a normal working schedule. I suspect there's something more to this subject though and it probably warrants closer examination.
  • Asian Poses: I'm not sure a lot of these are uniquely Asian, but then, some probably are. I particularly enjoyed Nyan Nyan. (via Kottke)
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2 Comments

That final crazy sleep schedule, where you only do the 20-minute naps, is something I've been curious to try but can't really figure out how it would work with any kind of social life. Assuming I could convince my employer that a couple of naps are for the better (and I actually think I could do this if I really pushed it and told them why - although they'd still think I was crazy), I can only imagine it all going to hell after a couple drinks one night.

That said, I have noticed at times when I'm getting considerably less sleep that I'll go into REM sleep almost immediately. Especially if I'm so drained that I'll actually take a quick nap at some point in the day. My body knows I need to get up soon so I'm dreaming right away.

Asian Poses: Hilarious.

Even if I did somehow figure out a way to work the Uberman polyphasic schedule into my schedule, I think the tough thing would be falling asleep on command. I'm not sure that would be so easy. Especially considering other factors like, say, caffeine.

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