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The Onion

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Online Highlights 8

It’s been more than three months since I posted one of these small collections of useful and/or interesting links (click here to see all the previous posts). This time, it’s not because of a lack of interesting websites, but rather because I’ve had other things on my mind. One of those things (among many others) have been cubing, but since I don’t want to clutter this post with cube-related links, I created a links section on my Rubik’s Cube page instead.

Akinator, the Web Genius – I bet most people have played the game called Twenty Questions. This is a web version of the game and itt’s frankly amazing how often “Akinator” gets it right well within twenty questions, even if you think of really odd characters or persons.

Media Convert – free and on line – convert and split sound, ringtones, images, docs – This is simply a very handy online tool to convert any file format inte any other. Extremely useful since you can use it from any computer (I assume most people have decent tools for this on their own computer) and even have the converted file e-mailed to yourself when it’s done.

The Art of Non-Conformity – A promising blog I haven’t really had time to check out, but which looks really interesting.

Ultra-Realistic Modern Warfare Game Features Awaiting Orders, Repairing Trucks – Why realism is not good in gaming. Everybody who thinks that statement is wrong should have a look. Everybody else can have a look, too, because as usual, The Onion is quite funny.

Tony Fisher’s Rubik’s Cube Type Puzzles – If you’ve ever thought Rubik’s cube is tricky or special as a puzzle, you have to see this. Tony Fisher is one of the best known puzzle makers and it’s simply amazing what variety of puzzles he has created so far.

Being foreign: The others – An article from The Economist dealing with living abroad. This is spot on and extremely interesting reading. In fact, it’s so interesting I think I’ll write a post explicitly about this, but in the meantime, I’ll let you have a look at the original.

Let’s Enhance – Everybody with some grasp of technology knows that zooming on photo, catching the reflection in a persons eye and then “enhancing” the picture to show the murderer does’t work in reality. This is a tribute (or perhaps a mockery) of this phenomenon. Sometimes it’s downright stupid, but I think it’s a bit unfair to science-fiction films where they in fact could have absurdly high resolution videos and pictures.

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Online Highlights 6

It’s time for another round of Online Highlights. Since all things on the internet are found through linking or references by others (such as this post), thanks to those who, passively and actively, helped me out this time.

Blog Metrics – When I wrote the post celebrating post 1000 a couple of weeks ago, I said that I’d written about two million characters. Martin kindly pointed out that there is a WordPress plugin called Blog Metrics, which calculated such things. It only returns the number of words (461 530), but a checking my average character-per-word ration (around 6), that gives closer to 2.8 million characters. Using the same comparison as Martin, Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment consists of a mere one million characters.

Hi-Games.net – This site provides a free virtual Rubik’s cube (of various sizes), as well as some other games, such as Tetris, Minesweeper and a typing test.

Method of Loci – Learning to solve Rubik’s cube blindfolded, it’s essential to learn some basic memory techniques, and the loci method is probably one of the oldest in the game. It’s a bit crude, but the concepts used are extremely powerful and can be improved in many ways.

Mind Tools – I haven’t yet had time to explore this site in any greater datail, but it’s also the result of my blindfolded cubing. On this site, there are lots of techniques and tricks to improve mental capacity. So far, I’ve mostly been interested in memory, but there is much, much more.

Photographic memory – Not many people have photographic memory, but this guy certainly has (he has autism, too). After a viewing Rome, a city he’s never seen from the sky, from an aircraft for less than an hour, he spends three days drawing an almost perfect 360-degree panoramic picture of the city.

Google’s opt-out village – I always like people who can say something quite serious, but still make people laugh. This time it’s The Onion who’s done it again, aiming for the information gathering aspects of Google’s dominance. If you don’t like their monitoring you, perhaps you would like to move to the opt-out village?

BensonThe Economist is on average very well-written, but few sections are as good as the obituaries (they are even published in a best-of format separately for people do buy). Last weeks edition sported an obituary of a deceased fish, Benson, beautifully concluding with a parallel between Benson and wisdom: “And there she lay, like Wisdom drawn up from the deep: as golden, and as quiet.”

Personal Library Kit – I always say that I want to live in a library, and this $16 kit takes me a bit closer to my dream. Part of the reason to have a library is of course that you can lend books to your friends, so why not do it properly with this handy kit?

Last.fm Normalizer – I’ve been using Last.fm for more than three years to keep track of what I’m listening to. One complaint has always been that Last.fm only counts the number of times a track has been played, ignoring the length of the track. This should disrupt the stats, since some artists have on average very long tracks. This was confirmed by this handy website. On my top 50 artists list, the biggest winner was Shpongle, who rose from 34th to 16th place, and the biggest loser was Robyn Miller, who plumeted from 13th to 34th place.

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