Top 20 Geek Novels

I’m sad to say that I’ve only read 4 of the Top 20. (Specifically, numbers 1, 2, 3, and 6). I guess that I’ll have to get on top of my geek literature. Also interesting are the comments from the original post (/., of course); “Reader’s advisory for nerds, books that matter.” 🙂

Geographic Location Resolution

I’ve been thinking about using Google Maps for a couple of projects that I’ve had kicking around in the back of my mind. One of the things that I want to do will require the ability to resolve an IP address to its approximate latitude/longitude. So, I fired up Google and found GeoBytes, which is powered by the same company’s GeoSelect. This tool has the ability to provide quite a bit of useful geographic information about an IP address, including the latitude/longitude, country, state, city, and even the local currency. It also gives the level of certainty with which it is providing that information.

Perhaps the best part about the whole thing is the demo, complete with cheesy superhero and impossibly-proportioned cartoon females randomly bursting out of your browser – whose location we are able to determine using this service, natch…in addition to the city names written across the front of their ample bosoms. To sum up: a useful and simple-to-use tool that’s only $49 (for a developer’s license)…with a hilarious demo video. I might just have to sign up!

Bread and Circuses

Throughout the course of history, the entertainment industry been responsible for driving a significant portion of the technological advances made by man. Architectural feats such as the Roman Colosseum and its modern-day equivalent – the football stadium – are constructed for watching “gladiators” do battle. More powerful (and less traceable) drugs are created so that athletes can be bigger, stronger, faster.

Why does PC video card technology increase at such an alarming rate? Because the video game industry puts so much effort into creating monstrously huge textures and complex algorithms to make their games more visually stunning. How did DVDs and DVD players become commodity items within a few years of their introduction to the public? In large part because the porn industry saw the potential for a cheaper medium on which to distribute a better product to their customers. (“You mean, I can jump to any point without waiting for the fast-forward/rewind? No blurring when you pause? SOLD!”)

Essentially what I’m getting at here is that the instant a new technology is created, the first reaction is something like, “Sweet! Now how can I use this for games or get and watch porn on it?”

Enter Google Maps. While the porn industry has yet to find a way to use geolocation and satellite imagery for their purposes (I’m sure they’re working on it, though), one enterprising young man has realized – correctly! – that Google Maps provides an excellent platform for bringing an element of realism to the classic board game RISK. That’s right, folks: Google Maps Risk.

Aside: I feel for this guy’s server…he’s already been dugg, slashdotted, and BoingBoinged . (Has that last term been coined?)

WorldMap Gains Publicity

There was a bit of lag between WorldMap being published to the Internet, presented at ASIS&T, and, finally, blogged (by people other than me), but it looks like it’s gaining a bit of publicity.

(Thanks for the screenshot, Lorcan!)

More Late Halloween Goodness

Kate finally got some pictures online. The first gallery: Halloween!

Belated Halloween Content

I meant to post the above on (or at least before) Halloween, but with everything that was going on I ended up not being able to. Thanks, Monster Name Decoder!

WorldMap Presentation

In all the rush of the conference (and the rather unkind homework assignment that I was attempting to complete) I completely forgot to post the project that we were presenting! The name of the project is WorldMap, and it is

“…a prototype system that provides an interactive visual tool for selecting and displaying geographically coded data about libraries and collections.”

Even if you’re not in the library biz, you should check it out!