Jun 23, 2005

The economic prediction

With my background in economics, I find The Economist predictions are usually right on spot. It's the only print magazine I read - if you don't, my advice is to get one and try to get hooked up. Oh, the current online edition is always free.

Still, the today's subject is not how good TE is, but what is it saying. And it's predicting a bubble
is about to burst on the housing market.

The worldwide rise in house prices is the biggest bubble in history. Prepare for the economic pain when it pops.

Soaring house prices have given a huge boost to the world economy. What happens when they drop?

In many countries the stockmarket bubble has been replaced by a property-price bubble. Sooner or later it will burst, says Pam Woodall, our economics editor.

You have been warned...

Jun 19, 2005

The Good Old Quard

When I was younger, I thought they were hilarious. I still think that now. The Quard Corners, 1995-1999 are a piece of history - mine, net and MTG (what's that? read the Corners to find out). I loved them, and they are still funny.

The QCs in today's post serve dual purposes: an illustration to two points. A good and a bad one.

Good one: the tool I used to find the Quard Corners, which I presumed lost few years ago when thedojo.com portal went down (now is a spam ad site) was the Internet Archive (aka the Wayback Machine). A very nifty tool to search for sites you presumed lost - give it a try. It may come in handy one day. The point is that even if you are looking for something far from serious, you may discover a tool useful for scientific purposes. I have already used it to get access to some articles I thought were gone.

Bad news is that Quard, while great in the past, seems to have lost 'the touch'. He has a site now, with a blog and thing...but it is no longer funny. Poor jokes and 3%#5-like obscenities aplenty. Point being this time - 'how the mighty have fallen'. There is funny and there is sad. If I ever start sounding like that, kill me on spot.

Tommorow is my 25th birthday. Here's wishing that Quard's regains his touch that made me once ROTFLOL.

Jun 11, 2005


Apparently, I don't have a single 3,5" floppy left. Workable, that is. I have quite a lot of old, broken and unreadable floppies. In the day of nets and CDRWs, floppies are required only by some old bureaucrats :>

Anyway, what I wanted to write today is Scorch. I found it on one floppy I tested - or should I say I found it with a label 'Scorch', since the floppy contents were unreadable. But all the memories of my high school time spent playing Scorch with my friends came back.

So, what is Scorch? How can you ask - it's the 1mb hit of 1995 :) Wiki sais: Scorched Earth is a popular shareware computer game from the PC-DOS era, originally written by Wendell Hicken, in which tanks do turn-based battle in two-dimensional terrain, adjusting the angle and power of their tank turrets before each shot. Despite the simple premise (and very simple graphics, by modern standards) the game is still playable, and some find it quite addictive. Scorched Earth is considered the archetype of its format, on which the popular Worms and GunBound games are based.

If you want more info, just go dowload it :) Visit BugMeNot.com for pass/login (unless you feel like receiving more spam :>), and if you have java problems (like me), the direct link to download is 'http://xfer13.fileplanet.com/classicgaming/scorch/scorch15.zip'. I can never understand why ppl waste time designing sites that try to mess with java and don't work half the time.

And after you check the classic, do try the open source Scorch 3D as well :) Oh, and there is a Java-based Scorch 2000 as well. Not a bad remake. Glad to see old game alive :)

Anyway, enjoy the games :)

Jun 6, 2005

A self-improving computer?

An experimental supercomputer made
from hardware that can reconfigure
itself to tackle different software
problems is being built by Edinburgh
University researchers. It will use
Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA)
chips instead of conventional fixed,
general-purpose processing devices.
The researchers say it could usher
in a new...


Interesting. It reminds me of what I. J. Good once said
"Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man however clever. Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultraintelligent machine could design even better machines; there would then unquestionably be an 'intelligence explosion,' and the intelligence of man would be left far behind. Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make."
Can you hear the singularity getting closer?

Jun 4, 2005

Wish it existed in Poland

Just today I found a very interesting page: http://www.ratemyprofessor.com. I have to say it is an excellent idea: a webpage where one can rate all his lectures. One can only whish that in the future the student's opinion will be the most imporant factor determining wheter a given person should be employed as a lecturer. One has to remember that universities primary goal is to spread knowledge, and thus they are made for the students, not the other way around. And remember: being a great scientist does not make one a great techer (or vice versa).

Listed on BlogShares Creative Commons License
Voice of the Prokonsul by Piotr Konieczny is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.