Archive for August, 2007

RoboCup Soccer Simulator

August 31, 2007 By: erik Category: Funny, Geeky, Soccer, Videos

I have long been fascinated by the field of Artificial Intelligence. Everything about making computers more human is interesting to me. One particular challenge put forth to the AI community particularly intrigues me. It’s called RoboCup. The challenge is:

By the year 2050, develop a team of fully autonomous humanoid robots that can win against the human world soccer champion team.

This one challenge has fueled years of research into robotics and robotic vision and intelligent reasoning and planning algorithms.

Spain Invaded My Hometown

August 31, 2007 By: erik Category: Photos, Spain, Stuff I Found, USA

Apparently there’s an archaeological dig going on in my hometown of Morganton, North Carolina, excavating an old Spanish fort from the 16th century.

Even Google Has Bad PageRank

August 30, 2007 By: erik Category: Geeky, Internet, Musings

The enigma that is the PageRank algorithm is the beast battled by thousands of SEO and e-commerce experts every day. It’s the complex system of weighting web pages that makes Google the best search engine in the world. But you would think that if any one corporation could comprehend and utilize SEO techniques to maximize their PageRank, it would be Google itself.

US Americans

August 30, 2007 By: erik Category: Complaining, Geeky, Internet, Media, USA

In the instantly ubiquitous video of Miss Teen South Carolina’s response to a fairly simple beauty contest question, she uses the phrase “US Americans”. If you’re in the minority that haven’t seen the video yet, go watch it, cry a little bit, and come back.

Spanish Current Events

August 29, 2007 By: erik Category: News, Soccer, Spain

A few interesting things happening in Spain lately. Last Saturday, Marga and I decided to try the local pizza parlor for which we’ve said “We should try that place some time” every time we walk by it since we moved here two years ago. It was as expected: mediocre. While we were there, there was a soccer match on a muted television, as normal.

Tocino – Espresso Bacon

August 27, 2007 By: erik Category: Food, Spain, Weird

Today we will continue the series of “Strange things to eat in Spain”. You may recall such delicacies as pig snout, octopus, blood sausage, and cow tongue. Tocino is the layer of fat under a pig’s skin. It’s served salted and grilled.

Russian Owls

August 25, 2007 By: erik Category: Photos, Weird

Someone at Marga’s work gave her these Matryoshka owls. It’s some sort of corporate propaganda from some company that does business with Marga’s. Each owl has some meaningless (in this metaphor) corporate word like management, control, organization, sanitation, etc. She only accepted it to give to a friend’s kid. Anyway, I figured it was worth playing with and taking a few photos.

I'm Scrobbling With Last.FM

August 24, 2007 By: erik Category: Geeky, Internet, Music, Reviews, Stuff I Found

I was prodded into trying Last.FM again yesterday. As some of you may recall, I tried it last year and reviewed it in passing on my way to another conclusion:

The absolute simplest way to blog your current song is to use Last.FM. They give you an application that you run on your computer (it stays on the dock), and it will “scrobble” (upload to their website) your currently playing song. They use this information to offer you other music and streaming radio to your tastes. There’s a whole community aspect of their website that fits in with the new “social networking” internet fad. You can meet people that like the same music you do, for example. All in all, Last.FM is a pretty cool service, and I think they will be a huge success (the YouTube of 2007?). But I don’t want another app open all the time.


Fox attacks Iran

August 23, 2007 By: erik Category: Media, Politics, USA, Videos, Voting

Learn from our mistakes? What mistakes?

Design your own merchandise

August 23, 2007 By: erik Category: Reviews, Weird

CafePress has been around for several years now. The idea is really ingenious: it’s a website that will allow you to upload images and then sell t-shirts, coffee mugs, mousepads, magnets, etc. with your image to the public. Just having a site that lets you upload images and have them send you a t-shirt with that image printed would be pretty cool. But CafePress’ success has definitely been in taking it that extra step and allowing people to set up online stores.