This is so outrageously wrong that it seems like a joke...but I think it may be real.
Here is a thread of where people uncover more lifted content from other games and movies.
And let the parodies of "Limbo of the Lost" begin!
My favorite is Zork...
Shortly after I saw this video, someone posted this video. It should help you forget the terrible things done to poor Pleo. Skip ahead to the 1 minute mark to get to the good stuff.
This is amazing.
Their *other* product line blows me away...robots! REALLY CREEPY ROBOTS!!!
Check out "BigDog"...a robot that can carry heavy equipment across almost any type of terrain.
Next up is RHex, which can traverse difficult terrain *and* swim underwater...
Finally, RiSE can climb up any surface...
Dallas only gets snow about once every 5 years...and it rarely lasts for more than a day. So how are they going to make a ski resort? They are using Snowflex.
Opens in the Fall of 2009.
Definitely check out the video above to appreciate the scale of this project. Amazing.
First, some background.
I walked past the PDI/Dreamworks SIGGRAPH party at 9pm and there was a line two blocks long to get in. The party was at Stingaree in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter. I was meeting up with some friends for dinner and then we were going to drop by the PDI/Dreamworks party.
We arrived at Stingaree around 10pm. There was no line, but they were at capacity. The party was on the roof and they were not letting anybody in until people left the party. Surprisingly, not very many people were leaving (go figure, free booze and sushi).
So myself and several co-workers were the first in line to get let in once other people left the party.
As the line formed behind us, it was fun watching people walk up to the bouncer and say the equivalent of "I'm with the DJ," only to be shot down and sent back to the line.
Then a blond girl from HP showed up.
The HP girl spoke with the Dreamworks recruiting manger about getting into the party without waiting in line. She said HP is a partner of Dreamworks and that means she should not have to wait in line.
I listened as the recruiting manager explained that nobody is more important than anyone else and that the reason for this party is to get potential candidates inside. Without the candidates, there is no party.
The HP girl refused to accept this...she was from HP and she should be let in NOW!
She was denied and sent back in line.
The recruiting manager apologized to us all about the wait and said she really wanted us all inside.
Then a second blond girl from HP arrived. She looked like an older woman that was trying to relive her glorious clubbing days. She had the same "we don't wait in lines"-attitude about her, except she was more hard-core about it. I'll call her PHP (Past Her Prime).
The first blond explained why they were waiting in line to PHP. PHP was outraged and brought the first blond with her to demand they be let in NOW!
The bouncer explained the situation again, but PHP wanted to talk to a manager. A rep from Dreamworks began to talk the blond girls.
Now mind you, all this is happening outside with a line of potential Dreamworks candidates listening to every word.
Then I heard the magically line that made me start recording...
"If Dreamworks values its relationship with HP..."
Oh no you didn't! You did not just claim that the corporate relationship between Dreamworks and Hewlett-Packard is contingent on you getting into this party without waiting in line!
The conversation went on for about 10 minutes before she was finally let in. It really didn't matter...enough people had left that they began letting us in anyway.
I don't know who this girl is...but in my experience, people that claim they are really important...aren't.
So the net result: There is a line of industry people that got to watch HP tarnish its image. Well done!
The video doesn't capture the best parts of the conversation, but it does give you a feel for what happened. You can see the two blond girls talking to a Dreamworks representative.
Brought to you by Windows Media Player 11 (WMP).
I started trying to rip some CD's I recently purchased. When I put the CD in, it was labeled as "Unknown Album". If I right-clicked on the blank CD album art, I had the option of "Find Album Info". I tried this option out and it worked as expected...it found the correct album. Clicking "Finish" adds all the album information to the CD....except my CD information stayed blank.
I tried doing this using my guest account and it worked right: I inserted the CD and it immediately had the right song names, album name, artist, album art, etc.
I couldn't find any help online. I did find a solution when I was trying to find where WMP was attempting to store the CD information. I found (on Vista) that WMP stores information in C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Media Player. I moved this folder to "Media Player.old" and tried again and everything worked as expected.
WMP does a great job of getting CD information. It also has the same feature for files in your music library. In WMP, if you right-click on an album in your music library, you have the option to "Find Album Info." Even though the album had all the information correct that I care about, I thought it would be interesting to see if it filled in all the missing pieces.
It asked me how I wanted to search, so I gave it the artist name ".38 Special."
Next it gave me a list of albums by .38 Special and I picked the correct one. The final screen shows you all the details of the album it found. Just click "Finish" and your information will be up to date...right?
WRONG! DON'T PRESS "FINISH"!!!
If you do, WMP will start searching your music library for music files that are about the right size to match the music file sizes for the songs on the album (Special Forces). I actually only had one song from that album (which it found correctly), but after I was done I had 6 other songs. It took a few Bee Gees songs, a Banannarama song, a .38 Special song from another album, and a Father MC song and relabeled them as songs from "Special Forces." It changed...
I can understand software getting this wrong, it is not a perfect science. But *if* there is a chance it is going to do the wrong thing, shouldn't it show me it's proposed changes and allow me to decide if I want my beloved music collection mutilated?!?!?!?!?!
Also, I figured it would limit its search to just the album folder that I did "Find Album Info" for, but it looks like my entire music collection was fair game. That is scary! Getting those songs labeled correctly took a lot of time...but just a fraction of a second for WMP to turn it to garbage.
Luckily, I have my system backed up and I just deleted the bad files and restored them from the backup. I use Vista's excellent "Backup and Restore Center" and an external hard drive to back up changes to my system daily.
So everything is back to normal...or so I thought.
I had my Bee Gees folder open to verify the files were replaced correctly by the restore. I went on to doing something else when I noticed one by one the Bee Gees songs disappeared! Where did they go?
They went right back in the "38 Special/Special Forces" folder...and all their information was again changed back to a 38 Special information.
WTF? How did that happen?
It turns out that WMP stores the album information it used to update files...in case a file needs to be "fixed" again.
To get WMP to stop changing file names, locations, and song information, I had to disable a few options. These are the options to *avoid*:
I figured I was safe, since I used "Only add missing information" with #2 and #3 (I never had #1 on). But I definitely had my information overwritten even though #1 was off!
I'm not sure if it is necessary, but I'd recommend deleting the WMP data folder (C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Media Player) if you ever use "Find Album Info" or "Update Album Info" so it won't even think about renaming your files ever again.
After disabling those options, erasing WMP's memory, and restoring my old music files again...all is well.
I just finished watching my Aggies lose (again) to Tech in the final 30 seconds of the game. Since I'm in a pissy mood, please allow me to bitch.
I arrived at the sports bar 30 minutes early so I could get a table for the game. The only table I could find had a single barstool. I looked around and I was surrounded by three tables, each one had an extra, unused barstool.
I should clarify...as far as I was concerned, the barstools were unused.
The table nearest me had a young woman and an older couple. Three people and 4 barstools. I asked if I could use one of the barstools for my friend. The guy immediately said "sure," but his wife said, "I'm using it to hold my purse."
At that point it looked as if the lady felt she had given a compelling argument for why she needed the barstool.
I just stood there in disbelief. Are you kidding me? We are in a packed sports bar in the middle of college football and women's purses are supposed to be treated like people?
The guy realized how ridiculous his wife sounded so he gestured to me to go ahead and take it. I said "thank-you" and I moved the barstool over to my table. As I moved the barstool, I caught a glimpse of the lady giving me an eye-roll, something she obviously does a lot.
The husband then quickly found another barstool at another table and put it near his wife so she could again have a place to put her purse.
The other two tables near me with unused barstools...the same situation...they were used to hold purses.
I was greeted by a letter from the IRS about 3 weeks ago. It claimed I did not pay enough taxes in 2004. I owed an additional $4,000. I had three options:
I was shocked when I received the letter. My taxes are usually pretty simple and I do them myself. It took some research to find out what exactly happened. The IRS said I did not report my wages from my W-2 from Computer Associates (CA). They are correct...I quit CA in 2003, so I did not have any wages for 2004 from CA.
I called CA and asked for a copy of the W-2 form that the IRS had used as the basis for the taxes I owed. I asked CA why I never received the W-2 from them and they said I did not give them an updated address once I moved, so they had no way to get me the W-2. They faxed me a copy of my W-2. I noticed three strange things on the W-2:
Now things were starting to make sense. My name is fairly unique. The first time I met somebody with my same last name I was 20 years old. I never met anybody with my first name *and* last name...until I worked at CA. I guy in sales in Boston had my name. I used to get all his email and he got my paychecks for a month. I thought after I got the paycheck issue resolved, I would be done with mistaken identities! (Other than this time, which was actually really fun!).
This *other* David Lenihan was involved with a lawsuit against CA when he was required to improperly pay 40% of his commissions to his boss. His boss got in trouble with the IRS for not reporting income from commissions shared with subordinates.
So that explains why I didn't get my W-2 and why the IRS is monitoring me...but where did the money go? I never got it...or so I thought.
The money is from when I sold my shares of Computer Associates stock I purchased through the Employee Stock Purchase Program (ESPP). I got the shares at a 15% discount. That discount counts as income. The income from the discount is not reported until you sell the shares. I sold the shares at the beginning of 2004, so that is how I had wages from CA in 2004 even though I did not work there.
The last issue was the amount I owed. The IRS knows what you sold your stock for. They don't have documentation about what the purchase price was. You pay taxes on the profit (capital gains) you make from selling the stock. The IRS assumes you bought your stock for $0, which means my stock sale was all profit. I wish I could buy my stock for $0...but in this case, I didn't. I contacted my broker and got documentation about how much I paid for my stock.
I downloaded a new 1040 form from the IRS web site and did my taxes again with the extra income from the sale of my ESPP shares (15% discount plus capital gains).
I called the IRS to make sure I had everything correct. I was on hold 45 minutes before I got through to a live person. The lady was very helpful and patient. Her numbers did not agree with mine. I explained how I came up with my numbers. I found the difference between my numbers and her numbers were that her numbers also included the interest and the original tax refund I had already received...which I was going to get to *after* I had my correct taxes figured. Once we were on the same page and she agreed with what I owed, I told her when I would be mailing the check for the full amount. She figured out the interest owed since taxes were due in April of 2005. I did not have to pay a penalty other than the interest.
I am certainly to blame for this, because the IRS does not accept ignorance as a valid excuse. CA messed up, too, but I ultimately should have chased CA down and asked about my W-2. I'm just glad to be done with it...it was very time-consuming and stressful.
So now that I have cleared my good name (again!)...let me do a little preemptive work. I do not have a surprised expression, have a birthmark in the shape of monaghan on my left buttock, and I have NEVER ABUSED SHEEP!!!
I had a company training class recently about workplace violence. It reminded me of a situation I was in a few years ago (January 2002)...
I was in an engineering meeting on the 2nd floor. The meeting room had windows overlooking the lobby of the building. Because we were so close to the lobby, we always had a steady stream of background noise from the conversations of people coming and going. Midway through the meeting I remember hearing a "pop" and then a high pitched shriek. It sounded like someone popped a balloon and it scared someone enough to make them scream.
We finished our meeting and I went back to my office. An announcement was made by our receptionist over the intercom, "Building management has requested everybody return to their offices and lock the doors."
Never heard that one before!
Then I noticed the flashing lights outside my window...several police cars and some ambulances had pulled up around the building.
Overhead I could hear the sound of multiple helicopters flying around. I saw one go past my window. It was a local news helicopter. I called my girlfriend who was working at home. I asked her to turn on the news to tell me what was going on.
She said local news was showing the view from the news helicopter. They were reporting a gunman was on the loose in the building. CNN was covering the story live.
I saw that a SWAT truck had arrived. The SWAT guys had bullet proof vests and helmets.
I saw the SWAT guys enter the lobby. Then there was a long period where there were no events. Next I saw the paramedics go in and come out with a stretcher with a body cover by a blanket.
Apparently the shooter was upset with his girlfriend. He came to where she works and walked up to her and shot her in the face (hence the "pop" and scream I heard in my meeting). He stayed with his girlfriend until the police arrived. The police shot the gunman because he still was holding a gun. The girlfriend died later that day. The gunman survived.
Here is CNN's coverage of the story.
This series blew me away. I don't know how we could play so poorly after playing so well for the entire regular season and first 3 rounds of the playoffs.
I've gotten into a lot of arguments with Mavs fans here over the past few days about the refs. I DON'T CARE ABOUT THE REFS. My view on the refs is this: if you are going to let a game come down to a single call by the refs, that is your fault. To win, you need to play better than that. We can't fix the ref'ing. We didn't lose because of the refs. We lost because we missed choice free throws. We lost because we missed open shots we normally make. We lost because we thought we won the championship when we beat the Suns.
I get *REALLY* pissed off when I hear people bitch about the refs. And guess what...every team that loses blames the refs. I know the Heat fans believe that the refs helped take Shaq out of game 1 & 2. So spare me...if we play an *average* game, we would have beat the Heat regardless of how the refs called the game.
We played sub-par the entire series. I believe Memphis could have beat us in the Finals playing the way we did. I believe that the Suns, Spurs, and Mavs are all better teams than the Heat. Unfortunately, we couldn't prove it in the Finals, when it counts the most.
Congratulations to the Heat. D. Wade was awesome. Shaq is a monster with a great attitude. It is hard not to like these guys.
Enough with my rant. I had a lot of fun following the Mavs this year. I really like our team. We have great players. We have a great owner. We have a great coach. We are young and were taught something in the Finals. Hopefully we are a better team for it.
Next season will be interesting. I hope we can keep our team together. I think time will improve our team. I expect the Suns will be stronger and the Spurs will be as tough as ever. I like our future.
I've seen this in movies before, but never in person. I was at the Idle Rich Pub in Uptown last night. I was hanging out on the patio watching the expensive cars (two Lamborghini Murcielago's!) and trolley's go by on McKinney Avenue. Then I noticed a small black women walking towards my general direction on the sidewalk next to the patio. She walked past where I was sitting and grabbed a girl's purse that was placed on the divider between the patio and the sidewalk. She held the purse tight to her chest with both arms and took off running. At first I thought it was a joke. The girl whose purse was swiped just 5 inches from where she was sitting frantically told the two guys she was with that her purse was stolen. The guys jumped over the divider and chased after the thief. A black Mercedes was waiting around the corner for the purse snatcher. The guys caught up just as the Mercedes was pulling away. All they could do was kick the back of the car as it left the scene. The girl that lost her purse was obviously shaken. Unbelievable.