Monday, January 17, 2005

The Geek shall inherit the Earth

I found a gamer's sweatshop two blogposts ago. My random surfs on the net through the StumbleUpon Firefox extension led me to this gem of a site. This week's special is a one time limited 100 gold on a World of Warcraft server (beta, I might add!) for a measly $27.99! Don't you just HAVE to add this to your cart?
Now, I'm not particularly philanthropic or even heavily socialist, but it seems that in a world in which thousands of babies are starving in Africa, that is just plain sad.

Fire it up

Very impressed with the Mozilla Firefox browser. Unless Microsoft comes up with something extraordinary, this browser is going to hog the market soon.
It's easy to install - just needs exposure.

The greatest thing is the extensions property, that effectively gives the community the chance of customizing their browser purposefully. And sharing that customization. I don't see Microsoft offering this flexibility in the future, unless they have realized that modders are infinitely more ressourceful than internal development departments. Creatively, that is - not economically.

Right now I'm sporting the ForecastFox extension, that gives my statusbar real time indications of the local weather. It also lets me know what the weather's going to be tomorrow. Information that you only need rarely, but when you do it's really neat not to have to spend time acquiring it.

I also installed the StumbleUpon extension which is really just a variant of Google's "I feel lucky" push button. It does, however, ensure quality hits, because of an integrated rating and preference system that seems to work well. Whenever I feel bored, I hit the "Stumble" and suddenly I've found a new part of the Internet to potentially interest me. So far, I've already known about 50% of the hits - guess that indicates my sense of quality isn't too bad..! Of course, I set that up a bit by defining my interests in the first place. Guess the challenge is to have people ask for information they didn't know they wanted.

Firefox extensions also include real-time GMail hacks that notify you of incoming mail, tons of developer tools that e.g. let you evaluate JavaScript, decode color values of specific websites, and generally extend the usefullness of the browser. I tried out some of the gesture tools, but I cannot get into the habit. My wrists are sore as it is with all my graphic work and gaming (some might call these bad excuses hiding a far more deviant pastime).

In short, go get this browser. It won't make you a better person, but it will probably make you time on the web more enjoyable.
Oh, by the way - if you feel the urge to customize the internal workings of Firefox, just type "about:config" in the address field. Access to all the cogs and springs. You almost certainly won't get this level of control in any future Explorer.
I should urge you to see the Mozilla forums to get proper advice on those settings...;)

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Inherently pointless

Still laughing.
You can actually get little chinese people to play your online games for you while you are at work. A chieve it!

I'm not sure why I find this so ridiculously funny - maybe it has to do with the extremely spin-off'ish nature of such an enterprise. I mean, this company serves no societal purpose whatsoever. They only feed off laziness and some obscure game-induced hunt for status. We're really down to scavenging for nickels here. I'm sure they earn a healthy buck, however.
I wonder what an advanced alien race would think of a civilisation that has spawned such a concept. My guess is, they'll carefully ignore the "Earth" road sign and endure that extra half hour before pulling up for a whizz...

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Future plans

I have a sinister plot to take my little brother to see the UEFA Champion's Leugue final in Istanbul, Turkey, this year. Never been to such a huge event, so it is really tempting. I searched the Internet for tickets but the market value outside Turkey is $700-1000 - can you believe that?
Luckily we have good friends in Istanbul, so my dad has arranged for a couple of tickets to be picked up. I also found the Turkish Football Federation homepage where there is a Turkish interface for purchasing tickets. Those pricings are completely different. Most expensive seats are 150 euros. More up our ally.

Of course, we have no clue which teams will be in the final but regardless I think the venue at Atatürk stadium will be spectacular. 80,000 seats and the Turkish soccer spirit will surely make things interesting..! I almost hope that Galatasaray doesn't reach the final because that might compromise security! Some years ago they celebrated a victory and I think 8 or 9 people were killed after the game because of dropping bullets.