I have a 4 year old Dell Studio 1555 laptop. It is still running perfectly smoothly. However, whoever designed this thing didn’t think about longevity and stupidly put the power button on the screen’s hinge. The most moved part on the entire computer.
Anyways, a few weeks ago I dropped my laptop and everything seemed fine except for the lost connection in the power button. It would take me 3-4 attempts to turn the computer back on and I avoided turning it off since then. The past few days I was bringing the laptop outside to work and today on my way out bumped the battery and it turned off. It wouldn’t turn back on after about 100 attempts at fidgeting with the hinge. My warranty has been up for almost a year and I knew a repair was going to be costly for something that probably took 10 minutes.
So I Youtubed my problem, took my laptop apart and 10 minutes later I am writing this blog post to you about it. It’s amazing how much of our life problems can be Googled, and how much you can learn from Youtube. No need to “call the guy” when you can “be the guy”.
As a kid growing up in the 90s, I was really excited when the Tamagotchi L.i.f.e app came out. I had a million virtual pets when I was little including the nano sumo fighters, babies, pikachu pet and of course the original Tamagotchi.
When I first got the app, I had all the notifications turned on and took care of the virtual pet’s every need. I even played games instead of feeding it candy to increase its happiness. I ended up with this guy:
The infamous Spermagotchi. My least favourite one of the pets. So I killed him.
This time I opted for a more neglectful approach. I fed him candy instead of played games and did not heed to it right away. I GOT THIS GUY IN ANOTHER COLOUR. I killed it again.
The third time I had no strategy, but I switched it over to classic mode.
The later half philosophises artificial intelligence. It questions and eloquently investigates the ethics behind the artificial mind. If a computer had the same power as human brain, should it be considered conscious? Kurzweil thinks it should be and makes many references to the Jeopardy winning robot, Watson.
He also questions free will, making allusions to the fact that not all human decisions are done of free will. Often we confabulate to make it seem like something was done on our free will. For example, our decisions are often made based on our past experiences. Therefore our past is influencing our decision and free will is one devoid of influences. It thought this was a quite perplexing thought.
Kurzweil explained that Watson (and even iPhone’s) Siri is able to learn from the environment and as technology grows they will be able to learn things the same ways as humans do. If that happens, would we treat computers like humans? Only in time can we truly answer that question.
For anybody who’s interested, here is a lecture Kurzweil did at Google on the topic:
Yesterday Nash, my cousin William and I went to the Ontario Science Centre to check out the Game On 2.0 video game exhibition. The exhibit, located on the level 6 of the Science Centre featured vintage game art, pinball machines and of course playable games.
One of my favourites was Space War. The premise of the game was there were two space ships controlled by two players. I really liked the sounds and the shiny lights that the ships used as bullets. The three of us also spent a great deal of time playing Gauntlet (which I forgot to photograph), a hilarious 1985 hack and slash where we could play as a warrior, wizard, valkyrie or elf. The most entertaining part of the game was the game voice that announced things such as “Your wizard is about to die” or “Don’t Shoot the Food”. All the games in the exhibit were free to play so we continued the game until we got stuck in a maze. Tron had the coolest music, but we had no idea how to play the game. Most of our lives were lost in less than five seconds. Thank god we weren’t wasting quarters!
I forgot that in Donkey Kong if you fall down the holes, you die.
They had this Virtusphere thing that sadly wasn’t opened to public yet. We talked to the staff and they said it was a virtual gaming simulation that was to open in April. The sphere was to simulate walking in a game.
Here are some other games and things we saw in the exhibit:
Egg Head Pinball Machine
Donkey Kong Concept Art
NBA Jam. Will creamed me and Nash
A Slow Year- The Explanation
A Slow Year- The Box
A Slow Year. A game where you watch landscapes. Seriously.
After we were all gamed out we ventured through the rest of the Science Centre in no particular order. Here are some photos:
Evolution of Rocks
I’m driving a Space thing
All the needles point north
The Impossible Ladder
This room makes me look taller than Nash
Some hot, some cold
I thought this would electrocute me
William has 45L of water in him
We’re all in our 20s and probably a bit too old to be there, but we still had a ton of fun walking around.
In the past, I have tried so many different to-list programs and apps, but none of those ever worked or I’d forget about them and just resort to the traditional pen and paper. That was until I discovered HabitRPG. I’ve been using them since the beginning of their Kickstarter campaign (which is now more than fully funded) and my productivity has certainly increased.
What’s cool about this to-do list and habit list is that it is like a game. There are a few game-like applications out there, but they are too much game. This one is simple, you gain experience points and gold and silver. These can be used to buy weapons and armour as well as any guilty pleasures you can custom define. For example, you can make that Game of Thrones episode cost 5 gold so you can feel like you earned it.
It runs on an honor system. You check off all the things you do right and take off points for what you do wrong. If you cheat, you’re just cheating yourself anyway. There’s also a Chrome Extension you can use to gain and lose points for vice and productive sites.
The site is still in it’s infancy with more upcoming features and a promised iPhone/Android app. They’ve just introduced a “party” feature so you can compete with your friends and perhaps do group challenges and boss battles in the future.