Many traffic researchers now view transportation systems as what complexity theorists call "self-organizing systems"--entities that manifest a cohesive behavior even though they lack a central controller. According to Rasmussen, traffic can be looked at a s a system of diverse elements widely distributed over space. "The elements that interact with one another are like biological systems. They are dynamical hierarchies with controls at many different levels, like organelles, cells, tissues, humans," he say s. The challenge for designers of transportation simulations is isolating and modeling the different elements, then bringing them together to operate as a whole.(I'm remembering one that discusses a math problem of traffic that goes around a park from one corner to another, in both the clockwise and counter-clockwise directions, and how putting another street that cuts through the park connecting the two corners actually slows down traffic...)
January 2000 Archives
[update] Many thanks to those who have bothered with the survey below. I didn't realize when I put it up how desperate the thing sounded, so I'd like to pre-empt further pleas for me to just be myself (thanks again) and explain what motivated the survey in the first place.
I posted the survey because I'm starting to get frustrated with my own weblog, and I'm not sure why. Something seems to be missing, and I hoped asking y'all what you thought might help me spice it up for my own interest.
I certainly did not intend to imply that I want to be more like other more popular weblogs so readers would like me. Such efforts spoil a weblog, as it is the editor's individuality that makes this (otherwise rather hollow) medium interesting.
[The survey is ancient history. The results were uninteresting, so I won't bother to post them.]
TravLang's Foreign Languages for Travellers, with sound files.
Student guide to languages, including English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
How to express pain in languages from around the world, with sound files.
A good idea for those of us who opted for a DVD-ROM drive instead of a DVD player.
Many thanks to Strange Brew for reminding me of Small Wonder. And here I thought I remembered all the cheezy geek-like stuff I liked when I was young!Was anyone else really into the movie D.A.R.Y.L. at the age of 7?
Not sure I understand the comment, but thanks MetaGrrrl for the mention. :)
Coca-Cola announces major layoffs. I told them to get more aggressive in TV advertising and restaraunt placement, but nooooo...
Found two clicks away from the above: Richard Stallman singing the free software song. I made it to 0:17. How far did you get? (The first of the two clicks went to t he NCSA Mosaic multimedia demo page.)
I'm also glad to see the Strawberry Pop-Tart Blow-Torch Page is still around. Ah, memories...
Now supposedly Streambox allows you to save streamed RealAudio. While the downloadable demo version seems to want a RealAudio file, I'm not entirely su re how to do this with a URL (let alone a live stream). The ability to rip streams (or just RA stream-protected media) was supposedly why RA imposed an injunction in the first place. Does anyone know what the deal is with this thing? (I don't think man y RA servers will allow transfer of an RA file without using the rtst:// protocol URL found in the *.ram file, and Streambox doesn't like the *.ram file by itself...)
Among the great brain books, these three received the most points from the scientists: first, Drugs and the Brain by Solomon Snyder, published by W. H. Freeman & Co; second, An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison, published by Random House; and third, The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Lif e by Joseph LeDoux, published by Touchstone Books.I couldn't find a web page with the whole list, so I put one up (until someone tells me to take it down): The Dana Foundation's Great Brain Books List.
Found while looking for the above: Great Law Books.
The Simpsons DVD petition site has word from Fox, via DVDFile, that the Simpsons will get a DVD release of some kind. Fox was more specific about The X-Files and Ally McBea l getting full-season DVD releases in expensive boxed sets. No word if the Simpsons will get a similar treatment.
Be in an Adam Sandler movie. Check out the IMDb entry. Harvey Keitel as Satan, Adam Sandler as his son. Dana Carvey, Jon Lovitz, Kevin Nealon, Rodney Dangerfiel d, and Ozzy Osborn as himself. Sounds like a winner!
Beat the Devil, starring Humphrey Bogart. The full thing. Streamed. Free.
The Third Man. The full thing. Streamed. Free.
Detour. The full thing. Streamed. Free.
Nike has continued its multiple ending ad campaign with a new set including Mark McGuire and other sports people I don't know. Is it me, or do the on-the-web endings seem like they'd be too violent to air on TV?
When will _________ be released on video? It's worth noting that many studios are now releasing DVD alongside VHS. Watch for rental-priced VHS tapes; most are immediately available at consumer prices for DVD (fo r now; someday soon we'll be renting more DVDs--or will we?).
Do you think you know movies? CBS needs you for their new version of the $64,000 Question. Get compensated for testing out their questions, and if they pro ceed with creating the show you can be one of the experts that challenges the contestant (and get "real money").
I made it through 1:33 of Bathory's Car Horn Symphony No. 1 (mp3.com blocks deep linking, scroll down). How far did you get?
I was impressed and rather delighted to see www.womengamers.com, let alone their article on PC gaming magazine ads. It coulda been a better ar ticle, if only because it makes the magazines' content (heavily and narrowly targeted toward 12-16 year old boys) a secondary point. We're talking small photos of bikini-clad women inset into articles and sidebars for no reason, with no captions. (Or does only one mag do this?)
The article cites the Interactive Digital Software Association's annual Video and PC Game Industry Trends Survey, claiming PC game purchasers are 49 percent fem ale (a suspicious and poorly worded statistic, but perhaps a hint that the actual figure is greater than 5 percent magazine content seems to imply).
Kevin Smith's web site greatly exceeds my expectations. (That is to say, I never expected a web site, and it's pretty cool, to boot.) According to the site, t he Criterion Chasing Amy DVD will come out in April. And the special edition Dogma DVD in May.
Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash (the official Kevin Smith merchandise outlet) will supposedly soon feature J&SB action figures. It currently has an autographed special edition Clerks DVD, an autographed special edition Mallrats DVD (featuring over an hour of deleted scenes), J&SB: Chasing Dogma trade paperback comic collection (also a limited edition hardback), and bunches of t-shirts and posters.
Kevin posted to his own bulletin board about protesting Dogma (dated Nov 13).
affleck.com, the official site of Ben Affleck. (What's with the 3D plot? Is Ben really into math?) Check out the bulletin board which Ben actually reads a nd posts to. Ben recently posted how much he liked his preview of the Clerks animated series, due to release in March.
According to the site, the short film Ben directed, I Killed my Lesbian Wife, Hung her on a Meathook, and Now I have a Three-Picture Deal at Disney ( IMDb link), is now being distributed by Atom Films. And here it is.
$20 free cash for opening a free checking account from X.com. Even better: $10 for every friend you refer. No joke. Viral marketing at its finest, but a lso a reputable Visa-backed FDIC-insured bank account! Takes 2 seconds to register, please use this link and support a starving college student.
I, too, must post this NYTimes story on ineptitude, as it has been on my mind lately. My recent awakening to my limitations certainly seems to be the crux of much of my unhappiness. Unless...
Unlike their unskilled counterparts, the most able subjects in the study, Dr. Kruger and Dr. Dunning found, were likely to underestimate their own competence. The researchers attributed this to the fact that, in the absence of information about how others were doing, highly competent subjects assumed that others were performing as well as they were -- a phenomenon psychologists term the "false consensus effect."(Thanks to Brig, ev, Jason, and Dave.)
The Peeps Fan Club only costs $9.95 to join, and you get a bunch of cool stuff. Premium membership is only $13.95, and includes a T-shirt and cap. And Peeps, too!
That Usenet crypto export case has taken something of a turn--but for the better? While concessions are being made, to the delight of businesses who wish to export crypto software, the precedents being set are not the ones we're looking for.
Another domain-name-fuck-up not-our-responsibility story, this time not involving NSI directly. The problem here is not what the registration company that made the error is doing about it, but the lack of recourse for those that "rightfully" "own" the domains (that is, those that got there first).
Some guy calculated the 10 billionth digit of the hexadecimal expansion of pi using a new digit extraction method. The digit is $9. Thank goodness! Now I can... uh... rotate my... uh. .. Well, I figure out something.
Steal Ben Stein's Money, at gunpoint.
I knew Spike Jonze directed music videos before Being John Malkovich, so it shouldn't have surprised me to learn he also did commercials. It turns out he directed the Nike Y2k joggers commercial, as well as the Sprite Sun Fizz commercial from a while ago. IMDb has a la rge list of his music video work.
Congrats, memepool, my second-favorite weblog, on their appearance on the POV 100 list (#100). A very predictable list, but it did inspire me to visit simcity.com. Play the classic version over the web! And The Sims releases Feb 4...
I saw a RealNames keyword attached to a Google search result today. It's bad enough they want an unregulated universal corporate-controlled namespace, and that it's just too damn difficult to create a competing namespace service, what with all of RN's existing partners. But Google was so cool, so pure, and now they're mucking it up by tr ying to make money (?!?). Could sponsored links be next?
Mermaniac tells a tale of GeoCities (see the January 16 entry).
Many bloggers took away different things from Michael Moore's final web memoir. One of my favorite points: "[G]ive a lie a 24-hour head start, and the truth will never catch up with it..."
Michael throws in brief comments on my favorite film of last year, Election (for which Michael presented the New York Film Critics Circle Award last week). I always knew Election was about many things, bu t had originally felt that what I perceived as its central themes were prominent. It eventually became clear that everyone took away something different from it as well...
We all blogged it months ago, but The Simpsons got their star on the Walk of Fame on Friday. When Fox aired the promo for it, I began to think how they really needed to cancel the show a few years ago. Then this week's new episode started with the chalkboard line, "We will stop phoning it in." ...followed by an episode typical for season 11. (And it starts with a continuation on one of my least favorite episodes, to boot.)
For the first time in over 15 years, Saturday Night Live will begin airing at 11:35pm in Seattle next week, a half hour earlier than its usual time. SNL had been postponed a half hour each week for our acclaimed local equivalent, Almost Live. KING-5 decided to cancel the show last September, and had been showing classic episodes unt il yesterday.
Internet is slllooowwww today in Seattle, and it's not nameserver related. What gives?
I gotta issue a public thanks to the Kids in the Hall for daring to do three shows on one day (yesterday) i n Vancouver, only to do two more days of shows (today and tomorrow) in San Fransisco--including three on that second day. Quite a sacrifice for their fans, one which I especially appreciate because I would not have been able to go if it weren't for the r ecently added third show. They seem to be adding third shows on a bunch of other dates, so scramble to get those tickets! I know they all read my blog, so: Thanks, guys.
RegisterFREE.com offers com/net/org domain registration for $19.95/year, 1 year minimum. NSI is updating critical software that affects all registrars as I type this, but they should be ready to register stuf f soon. (Thanks TBTF.) Of course, joker.com is about $18/year, but with a two-year minimum. And RegisterFREE is in the States, so we can sue 'em if they act up. (joker.com is in G ermany.)
Is your bus service going to be cut by I-695? Check it out. Aw heck, I just found out about the 74 U-district to--<WHAP!>oo! <WHAP!>ow! <WHAP!>hey! <WHAP!>stop it! It was <WHAP!>just a joke! <WHAP!>stop! <WHAP!>ow! (Teehee! <WHAP!>ooph...)
Amazon invests in Kozmo. My first Kozmo experience was a good one, it'll be fun to see it take off.
The Men of Sieg Hall. (OK, this is of no interest to non-UW non-CS students, I'm sure, but it's making the rounds here on campus. :)
Vote in the Puddlys, enter to win the top 10 books.
BlogIRC chat tomorrow 8pm EST. Too bad I probably won't be able to attend...
Bloggers named Dan:
- Dan Budiac of dandot
- Dan Bricklin of Dan Bricklin's Log
- Dan Fitch of Apathy
- Dan Gillmor of eJournal
- Dan Hartnung of Lake Effect
- Dan Hon of The Daily Doozer
- Dan Lyke of Flutterby (to whom most bloggers are referring when they say "Dan")
- Dan Sanderson of BrainLog
"If you think in space no one can hear you scream... think again!" -- Supernova. (Sometimes you can tell how good a movie is just from its tagline.)
Seattle Metro questionnaire on possible service cuts due to I-695. Route 66 may be cut entirely. Send more detailed comments to ba firstname.lastname@example.org.
Melty's draggable pals are back!
Well, it had to happen sometime: I'm now enjoying a new DVD-ROM drive with hardware MPEG decoding. The card has video out, which I've hooked to my VCR and stereo with a long shielded cable. The pict ure on my TV is excellent. (I can also watch on my VGA monitor with a VGA passthrough.) I didn't realize the lack of a remote control would be as annoying as it is for use as a DVD player, but it's nice to be able to access DVD-ROM content when I want t o. (It's also a much needed replacement for my flaky CD-ROM drive.)
I'm having a hard time getting too excited, however. My computer freezes after 40-60 minutes of viewing a movie. I don't wanna hassle with returning this thing, but if Utobia's tech support doesn't give me good advice, back it goes. I'm hoping it's a software conflict of some kind, or at least limited to the decoder card, so I can at least replace the decoder with one of these babies, which I'm hoping to do eventually anyway. It coul d also be my IDE controller, as the CD-ROM it replaced had problems. I hate hardware troubleshooting.
People are really hot on the region coding issue. The DVD Trade Federation (or whatever they're called) built into the hardware standard a system where players must be set to be o f one of six (well, eight) geographical regions. Once set, the player will only be able to play DVDs printed for that region. For example, a player set to region 1 (U.S./Canada) would not be able to play a disc meant for release in China (region 6). To ease manufacturing players for global distribution, many players/drives can be firmware upgraded to set their region code--but only up to 5 times before locking out all further changes.
www.dvdutils.com to the rescue, an entire community dedicated to hacking the crap out of region encoding firmware for DVD-ROM drives. Be careful; if something goes wrong with your firmware hack, you could bust yo ur drive. (Also note that many EPROMs in these drives have a physical limit of about 100 recycles.) Of course the general advice is to get a slightly older drive--new enough to do what you want it to, but old enough to not have a locked region setting.< /p>
Code Free DVD modifies and resells players to be code-switchable. This is not illegal, though it probably voids manufacturers' waranties (Code Free offers their own lifetime guarantee).
PlanetDVD has resources on modifying your player yourself for disabling region coding. They also have MacroVision copy protection hacks for a couple of players.
Perhaps opendvd.org will come to the rescue someday, too.
And speaking of ATI (the comapny that makes that video card I want), their trade-up program looks like a rip-off. KillerApp lists several places with the ATI All -in-Wonder 128 16MB cheaper than the trade-up cost. (That $120 listing is incorrect, but there are others.)
It turns out the ATI All-in-Wonder 128 32MB version is not just the same thing as the 16MB version with more memory. Check out Firing Squad's article. I dunno what Rage Theater i s, but I want it!
Time to spend those gift certificates I got for Christmas on DVDs. Whee!
Nora Ephron opens a new web-based film studio. Make 'em and Watch 'em.
I landed on Metropolis pages while looking for an available release--any available release--with a good review attached. I found that awful DVD of Metropolis I mentioned a while ago on Amazon. Check out the anger in those reviews! Facets mentions a $25 VHS version, though doesn't offer much of a review (or mention which version they're talking about). Anyone have an edition to recommend?
IMDb has info on the various versions of Metropolis. It mentions the 115 minute Madacy version, which is the version on that crappy DVD. See the thing is, I've seen better prints than this Ma dacy thing in festivals, so I know there are prints out there. Maybe we can talk the Black Cat Orchestra into doing a DVD with their score (not that it's the best score, but they have access to a decent pr int, IIRC...).
BrainLog mentioned in a Salon article. I love attention!
Supposedly you can get a $15 Amazon.com gift certificate for completing a 45 minute "test" from Excite.com. So far I can only see you can sign up for potential future participation. Can also select etoys.com (boo hiss) certificate instead.
Very nice Gamasutra article on video sequences (FMV) in computer games. (Thanks Robot Wisdom.) Includes interesting information and practic al advice on digital video, the differences between producing for traditional video and for a computer monitor, filmmaking things gamemakers overlook--and gamemaking things filmmakers overlook.
I recently finished Grim Fandango, a fantastic game. A voice actor sounded familiar, and sure enough, the voices of the children (Pugsy and Carla) were done by Pamela Segall, voice of Bobby from King of the Hill. (Kinda obvious, but fun anyway.) And Tony Plana, voice of Manny (the main character), played Jefe in Three Amigos, and Ray in Sayles' Lone Star. (You don't care, and there's no rea son you should. :)
Sarah Polley is busy! Three films a year since 1997, four planned for this year. She made her directorial debut last year with the short Don't Think Twice< /a>. Northwestern Stars has a bio that mentions the short:
Seemingly not content to stay on just one side of the camera, Sarah recently completed work on a short film and will make her directorial debut at the 1999 Toronto Film Festival. Don't Think Twice is a dark comedy about a man caught between love and famil y. According to a number of sources, this eight-minute first effort has the Toronto Film Festival programmers buzzing.
Canoe ("Canada's Internet Network") hosts a selection of articles/interviews with Sarah.
The Toronto Star has yet another article/interview that mentions she actually did two shorts:
She became interested in directing, too. She took a few months off from acting earlier this year to make two movie shorts, one a quickie for Toronto's On The Fly festival and the other a polished 35mm short film, titled Don't Think Twice, featuring her Sw eet Hereafter co-star Tom MacManus as a heartless philanderer.The Star also has this quote from Polley on Go:
"I thought Go was a good movie. But in a weird way, I was glad it didn't do well, because it's an indication people are tired of looking at what 17-year-olds have to offer - and they should be. Quite honestly, this fixation with 17- and 18-year-old girls has had its time. Hopefully people now are more interested in seeing real stories."Um, yeah sure, whatever.
Apparently, Sarah Polley is Canadian.
Anamorphic DVD-Video Explained. Yeah, more aspect ratio stuff, but this time specific to special features of some DVDs and players.
I'm sure I've linked the DVD FAQ before. I'm learning bunches about all the different ways DVDs can be good or crappy. A few selections:
- [1.3] on the video quality, compression, artifacting
- [2.7] how DVD compares to laserdisc
- [2.6] Will DVD replace laserdisc? (Pioneer abandoned LD in June of 1999.)
- [1.15] on scratching a DVD (e.g. too fragile to be rented?)
- [1.21] on discs with material on both sides
- [1.11] on copy protection features (including info on Macrovision, which I've always wondered about with rented videotapes). (I like how the FAQ considers copy protection and reg ional lockout to be disadvantages.)
- [3.5] technical details on how films of different aspect ratios are stored
- [2.9] on DVD and HDTV (was my last question before deciding to get excited about DVDs)
"So when are you gonna get a DVD player, already?" I'm working on it.
10 DVDs to Share With Someone You Hate, from Home Theater magazine. He speaks of bad DVD transfers, lack of features, etc., but I'd like to see warnings of poor DVDs of better titles (you know, the ones I'm likely to order over the Internet without knowing enough about them). For contrast, here's another article from Home Theat er; "Five discs that live up to the potential of DVD."
MGM's explanation of letterboxing in layman's terms, with pictures from real movies. Includes some neat info on how letterboxi ng is done, involving how the "Academy" frame is cropped for widescreen, with examples.
Few (if any) online stores are up front about the publishers of the DVDs they are selling (very important!). DVD Express has box shots, which is a start. (I was looking at this one to confirm that this is not the Criterion version.)
"bloody students..." heheheh!
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