Club Admiralty

v7.0 - moving along, a point increase at a time

Club Admiralty Blog

A blog about life in general, in as many languages as I can manage. Ενα ιστολόγιο περι ζωής, πολυγλωσσο - σε όσες γλωσσες εχω μεράκι να γράψω.

Assassin's Creed Brotherhood | done!

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This past weekend it happened, I completed the third installment of Assassin's Creed, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood!  I have to say that I played through this game trying to prolong my game play by taking on as many side missions as possible. I really did enjoy playing this game so much that I did not want it to end.  My plan of attack was to tackle side missions in-between the main memory sequences, but around sequence 7 I just went straight through the main missions without realizing that I came to the end!

In the end, I completed the game with fewer than half of the achievements of the game (darn!) Luckily after  the ending the other NPCs put me back in the Animus and I was able to go back and replay missions and play some more side missions, thus getting me to the 50% achievement mark.  There is one achievement in the game in which you can get 100 gamer points for completing everything with 100% synchronization.  Sounds like a touch challenge but since I don't have any cash for more games at the moment I guess I can try and tackle this end goal :-)

There were two things that I didn't like, and they are both plot related.  First, the end of the game solves nothing. It's like the end of a LOST episode where you are left wanting more.  I suppose this is a good thing, but I was really hoping for the end of one chapter in this Assassin's Creed universe with this game and the opening of another.  The second thing is that Desmond unwillingly stabs Lucy at the end with his assassin's blade.  I mean seriously? She got him out of Absergo, and was there for all three games, and now she may be dead? I was interested in seeing more non-Desmond assassin stories in the fold.

All things considered, I really liked the game (gonna go back and find and solve the Subject 16 puzzles at some point), and I am really looking forward to Assassin's Creed Revelations. Hopefully this will be the last one  in the Desmond/Ezio/Altair as protagonist line and we can see some more from other assassins. A whole order can't be hanging on the shoulders of one person!
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Dr. Who intro - SNES version

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Now THIS is cool! I never thought I'd ever become a Dr. Who fan, and now more Whogeeks are creating original retro art ;-)

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TMNT Pizza Taste Test

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Man, this looks pretty nasty, I don't know why anyone would do this (must be avid TMNT fans).

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Chromebook takes abuse

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You know... @cdetorres had sent me a youtube video of Google's Chromebook taking abuse, and I was going to post it here but I lost the link. Oh well. The idea was that your Chromebook might keep meeting doom, but all you need is another Chromebook to log into your Google account and you're all set, no work lost!

The concept of Chromebook seems interesting, but it's not new - it's just a rework, and improvement really, of the dumb terminal which many have tried and failed to launch after the personal computer took off. My problem is that the data is only in the cloud, and the apps are only in the cloud - which means you need ubiquitous connectivity, something that you won't always have, as anyone who travels by plane frequently knows, or someone who doesn't subscribe to mobile data plans.

The sweet spot for me lies somewhere between a conventional laptop and the Chromebook.  I want my full MacOS and apps, but I want some sort of live cloning on the web, so if my mac ever dies, I can put in my credentials and basic apps (stuff that comes with the OS for instance) is instantly available, so is my data, but additional apps, and documents I am not immediately using, just download in the background so my new laptop has reconstituted all of my data lost in the other laptop.


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Web 2.0 tools...as college students

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Another one in my "lost in the inbox" collection.

What would Web 2.0 services look like, if they were college students?


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Dr. Wily's blueprints...

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I came across this comic a long time ago...I meant to post it for you Mega Man fans out there, but it got lost in my inbox :-)  Click here for the original.


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updated to 4.3.3 and jailbroke too!

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This past weekend I opted to bite the bullet and update my iPhone, which was on 4.0.1. I had been waiting for Ultrasn0w to support the newer baseband, but I noticed that I could use pwnageTool and retain my baseband.  So I backed up my iPhone to retain my data (and my apps) and I started the pwnageTool process.  I successfully created an image that I could put on my iPhone. Then the fails started...

Fail #1: not enough hard drive space.
I did update my iPhone (and preserved my baseband!), but I did not have enough hard drive space on my mac mini to restore all of my data for some reason.  Oh Fail... I should have just stopped there and started the recoup process, at least I would have had a clean phone and an unlocked baseband.  But it was 3AM and I was wired, so I tried to reflash the firmware after I emptied out some hard drive space.

Fail #2: the firmware update wouldn't take
I guess pwnageTool saw that I had the most up-to-date firmware on it so it wouldn't let me reflash the phone and I couldn't find any way to just restore the data. Oh well, I started just restoring my 4.0.1 backup and then updating to the official 4.3.3, no jailbreak.  Phone was updated but and data restored! Woohoo!  but...

Fail #3: no apps!
Oh, major facepalm!  You see, since I don't generally use iTunes on my home mac for any syncing, I decided a long time ago to not sync my apps with the machine. I thought that backups took care of installed apps as well as data! But alas no, apps weren't part of my backup, so my updated iPhone was in a fresh state, kinda like how it was in step Fail 1....oy...all that work for nothing. Oh well. I downloaded RedSn0w and decided to call it a night.

Next morning I started downloading apps from scratch.  I noticed that  I had 4GB of "other" data on my phone.  These were videos that I had in VLC, before apple pulled it from the AppStore, and there was no way to delete this data...Fail #4!  I re-downloaded all the apps that I needed, and I discovered that this was an awesome opportunity to clean house on my phone.  Win#1! I also discovered that a number of apps were outdated, outmoded and the services has simply gone belly up, but since I had not used them in a while, I had never noticed.  So I cleaned out apps that were no longed even available (Win#2!)

There was still the issue of those "ghost" 4GB taking up space.  After a quick and painless jailbreak with RedSn0w. I downloaded a demo of iFile (a jailbreak app) and I looked around in my iPhone. Found the application storage for VLC and I went through I removed the videos I had on there - rather painless (Win#3).

So what's the lesson learned?  If you update your phone (whether you  jailbreak or not), you need to have your apps AND media synced on your mac, otherwise it goes buh bye!
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Δυσκολία με την Ελληνική; ή με κάτι άλλο;

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Την περασμένη εβδομάδα ξεσκόνισα το Βίο και Πολιτεία του Αλέξη Ζορμπά και άρχισα επιτέλους να το διαβάζω.  Το βιβλίο ήταν δώρο από το βαφτιστήρι μου  το 1998 για την ονομαστική γιορτή μου. Η αλήθεια είναι πως άρχισα να το διαβάζω το 2002 αλλά κάτι με την δουλειά και κάτι με τα μαθήματα το παράτησα.  Τώρα που δεν έχω μαθήματα, και με την αφορμή να επιστρέψω στα Ελληνικά (τόσα χρόνια διαβάζω και εκπαιδευτικά και λογοτεχνικά έργα στα Αγγλικά).  

Αυτό που έχω παρατηρήσει είναι πως είμαι αρκετά αργός στο να διαβάζω Ελληνικά που μάλλον είναι θέμα εξοικείωσης με την γραπτή γλώσσα παρά με την γλώσσα γενικός. Από την μία πλευρά μεν έχω διαβάσει άλλα κείμενα στα ελληνικά πρόσφατα, αλλά τα συγκεκριμένα κείμενα ήταν ακαδημαϊκού περιεχομένου και όχι λογοτεχνικού, ήξερα περί τίνος διάβαζα και δεν έπρεπε να προσέχω πολύ για την πλοκή της ιστορίας. Το άλλο που με κάνει πιο αργό, όσων αφορά τον Ζορμπά, είναι τα πολυτονικά. Τα πολυτονικά με αποσυντονίζουν και σταματάω το διάβασμα για να δώσω περισσότερη προσοχή σε κάθε μικρή λέξη, παρά στο να κοιτάω το γενικό νόημα. Όλο αυτό μου θυμίζει την αγγλική έκφραση «stop to smell the roses».

Τέλος πάντων, από ελληνική λογοτεχνία τι προτείνετε;  Τον Ζορμπά θα τον διαβάσω, αν και δεν μου φαίνεται να ως κάτι που με κεντρίζει το ενδιαφέρον,  αλλά ψάχνω να βρω άλλα λογοτεχνικά έργα που να είναι πιο ενδιαφέροντα. Συμβουλές ευπρόσδεκτες.
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Attribution, in the open web

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This past weekend I happened to see a post on twitter from a contact that I haven't seen in quite some time. This person is a photographer and earns a living from the photographs that she takes. It seemed to me that she was a bit annoyed that someone had used one of her photos on their blog, but had failed to give attribution.  My gut reaction to this was "how dare they!" When you borrow something from someone else (like a photo in this case) for your blog, then making sure that you give credit should be one of the things that you do in the process of blog writing. If the image is used for a commercial purpose (corporate website for example), then you should seek to make payment for the content that you have appropriated.

Then I took a step back, and I thought if my own creative behaviors on this, and other blogs that I maintain.  Truth be told: I don't give attribution to the original image creator.  I just hop on a google image search (or bing) and search for images with certain attributes. If I like something I will copy the URL and put it right in my blog. I think that attribution is something that is not second nature to most of us.  We do our thing, we remix content in every which way we like, and we republish.  In academia we have established style manuals for citation which direct us toward appropriate attribution, both carrots and sticks to ensure that we cite appropriately - this doesn't exist in the world of blogs. This citation process of course takes time and effort, and it takes you out of the creative process. Sure, you could go back to it after the fact, but most blog posts aren't essays that you go over ten times with a fine tooth comb to make sure that all the t's are crossed and all the i's are dotted.

In the end, what this thought process boiled down to is this: If you prefer to not have your work taken by others without attribution then throw in a giant watermark on the each image you have on your flickr account so people can't remove it even it they wanted to. Sure, it detracts from the beauty of your photo, but no one can use it without paying royalties.
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