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Games Buddha Wouldn’t Play!

April 7th, 2007 · No Comments

Buddha games list – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Buddha games list is a list of games which it is reputed that Gautama Buddha said that he would not play. As such it dates back to the 6th or 5th century BC and is the earliest known list of games.

There is some debate about the translation of some of the games mentioned, and the list given here is based on the translation by T.W. Rhys Davids of the Brahmajāla Sutta (Digha Nikaya 1, translated in Dialogues of the Buddha) and is in the same order given in the original. It is also given in a number of other Buddhist works, including the Vinaya Pitaka.

What’s with the Buddha, Jesus and other religious figures? They don’t seem to have had a sense of humor, or joy in them. For those wondering why I included Jesus, please recollect the last time you saw a painting or sculpture with a Laughing Jesus in it.

The list of Buddha games includes the pick-up-sticks game which seems to be universal — the one where you take turns to pull out sticks from a heap without disturbing the other sticks.

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How $315 Million Can Ruin Your Life – Entirely!

April 6th, 2007 · No Comments

ABC News: Powerball Winner Says He’s Cursed by His Jackpot

On Christmas morning in 2002, Jack Whittaker woke up to perhaps the biggest gift imaginable. Whittaker had won the Powerball lottery jackpot — a whopping $315 million.

Read on to learn how $315 million can leave you much, much the worse. Amazing story!

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CleanUp! for Windows – Restore Speed to Sluggish Computers

April 5th, 2007 · No Comments

CleanUp! is a powerful and easy-to-use application that removes temporary files created while surfing the web, empties the Recycle Bin, deletes files from your temporary folders and more.

CleanUp! frees disk space and reduces the “clutter” on your computer helping it to run more efficiently. It also can be used as a way to protect your privacy on the Internet. You can even instruct CleanUp! to securely delete files making it impossible to retrieve their contents using lower-level disk tools – just another way of protecting your privacy.

I tried it, it works – often I stumble upon files in my computer that I don’t know the purpose for, and I let them be, lest my computer crash on me at random some day in the future. I rand CleanUp! on this computer a month ago, and nothing bad has happened, so I guess I can vouch for its safety. It gave me an extra 3.5 GB of free space by deleting a lot of unnecessary crud, and this goes beyond just emptying the recycle bin and the temporary internet files. The options are simple and easy to follow, and I loved the experience of using it, in general. Highly recommended to spring clean your Windows machine.

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How Channel 9 Got Its Name

April 3rd, 2007 · No Comments

Channel 9 got its name from the channel on airplanes where travellers can hear to the communications the pilots have over the radio.

For those not in the know, Channel 9 is a Microsoft discussion forum used to promote conversations among Microsoft’s customers targeted at Microsoft Windows users. Robert Scoble was a huge reason for the popularity of Channel 9 – he was behind many of the videos produced for Channel 9.

Microsoft can be creative too. What a surprise!

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Online Outliner – To Do List Manager: Todoist

April 2nd, 2007 · 4 Comments

I am in love with Todoist, the simple todo list manager.

Todoist is a new kind of todo list, that’s useful and easy to use.


So what is it that makes Todoist better than the other to-do list managers out there?
Off the top of my head, the following features impress me the most:

  1. A dead simple, but dropdead gorgeous design.
  2. Create an infinite number of “projects”
  3. Create nested to-do lists. Ctrl+Right moves a to-do list item to the right, and that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using keyboard shortcuts
  4. Easy to use formatting
  5. Easy to enter dates/times and to create recurring items: Write “every day at 1 PM” to schedule an item to recur every day at 13:00 hrs!
  6. Create items with or without checkboxes
  7. Prioritize items
  8. Get a list of items due today, this week etc, even create custom queries for different lookups of items on your to-do list. You don’t have to search for the links to do these – there are a minimal number of links and all of them are placed in just the perfect place.

All of it reminds me of the Vim Outliner. This is like a Web 2.0 incarnation of the Vim Outliner, just a lot trimmed down.

I would love to have a Vim outliner style task/project completion estimate, based on the number of checkboxes (and their “depth”) that have been completed.

Also the the todoist homepage could make do with a list of features. Heck, even this article of mine does a better job of “selling” todoist than the homepage!

Todoist is brought to the world by the talented Amir Salihefendic, who also brought us the simple and beautiful Skeletonz, which is a Python powered CMS.


This American Life on TV

April 1st, 2007 · No Comments

What sold me on NPR was the addictive stories pitched by shows like This American Life, and All things considered.

Imagine my joy when I found that This American Life was now on TV! It is! It’s on Showtime at 10:30 PM on Thursdays. The real downer was that we don’t get Showtime at home. I know we’re dumb – the only two channels we get at home are the aptly named Channel 9 and then ABC. Two channels – enough to watch dinner to, not enough to spend hours glued to the telly. I so wish I had showtime at 10:30 on Thursdays though!

Ira Glass

But worry not, you still can view some shows on Showtime’s website, and Ira Glass – pictured in the pic above – puts a face to a voice I have known. I can’t exactly say I love the voice. I hate the staccato nature of his diction, and he sounds pompous at times, patronizing at other times. I expected him to be much, much older, paunchy, gray hair, with glasses. I only got the glasses part right.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to catch up with the show. Of course you don’t need a genius like me to figure out that you can find the high resolution videos on bittorrent!

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Distributed Proofreaders Completes 10,000th Book

March 30th, 2007 · No Comments

O’Reilly Radar > Distributed Proofreaders Completes 10,000th Book

Today Distributed Proofreaders (DP) posted a package of texts that takes us over 10,000 completed titles. I’m very proud of our community of volunteers who have accomplished this beautiful number. The 10K package (listed below) showcases the wide range of our volunteers’ interests and talents. For those of you who may not know, DP makes accurate e-text transcriptions of public domain printed material. The results of our efforts are available in html and plain text formats, primarily through Project Gutenberg (PG). Scanning and raw OCR are the first step in digitizing printed material. DP takes the next step to make accurate versions that can be reflowed, re-sized, cut and pasted, accurately searched, analyzed and so on.

For those who like numbers, the 10,000 titles represent around 3 million pages. We have produced books in over 20 languages and just under 15% of our production is in languages other than English. About 700 volunteers login each day, and about 3000 different volunteers login over a 30 day period. We have approximately 5600 projects in some stage of preparation.

Okay, “Today” was the 11th of March – I am late in reporting this to you, but I was a distributed proofreader myself for a few days, before that dropped off the edge of my attention span, like everything else. Read some free books at Project Gutenberg. The distributed proofreading effort is a fun way to read a little each day – you basically read the output of a scanner to detect spellos, typos and uh-ohs. Contribute a little of your time, and, more importantly, spread the freedom!

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Eradicating Ski Mask Discrimination

March 29th, 2007 · No Comments

File this under “weird dudes”!

From ABC News, we hear of the man who is out to restore ski masks to their pristine crime-free glory!

Kevin Lambert, 31, got the idea in 2005 after he walked out of a local package store and slipped on a ski mask for an impromptu photograph. A passer-by, fearing the store had been robbed, called police. Lambert was charged with breach of peace and had to perform 15 hours of community service. Since then, he and his friends have worn ski masks in public places in an attempt to dispel the stereotype. Lambert has even launched a Web site dedicated to “Striving to keep America Warm By Combating Ski Mask Discrimination.”

Visit Kevin’s anti-anti-ski-mask website

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Google Answers Reborn as UClue

March 27th, 2007 · 3 Comments

Some of the people who were researchers for the defunct Google Answers service have now banded together to offer the world UClue.

Like Google Answers, Uclue is a paid service – you pay an amount and you get the answer. Only folks who were researchers for Google Answers can be UClue researchers – which is quite unfortunate since that means they can’t use my services :)

Learn more about how UClue is different from Google Answers in this UClue answer, or read the FAQ.


ASUS EcoBook – Bamboo/Wood Laptops

March 25th, 2007 · 1 Comment

ASUS Ecobook Bamboo Laptop

Isn’t that hotness itself? I can’t wait for these bamboo-ed notebooks to be available – to hold one, feel one – wow! I am tired of the plastic and metal beast I use. The ecobooks are made partly of bamboo. There is an led indicator that goes from green to red if you are running in an energy-inefficient mode. There is no stated price, or specifications yet. The tentative release date is Q1, 2008. I can hardly wait!

Via Trusted Reviews

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