Archive for January, 2008
The other day I was browsing around the web as I do, when I came across an image of an old windows game I used to play some time ago (1994/1995) – it was then that I once again found out the name of it, that being “Slay” by Sean O’Connor. Happy that I had found this game again, I bought two copies of it so I could play the multiplayer option via lan, though it does have the option to join and create hosted public games.
Can’t beat classic games that you had hours of fun playing with as a kid!
Slay is a simple to learn game of strategy and cunning set in medieval times. The island is divided up between the six players, and you must try to capture your enemies’ land and link up your own territories to create larger and stronger ones. You begin capturing land by attacking with your peasants. Once your territories become richer you can combine peasants to make stronger and stronger people (Spearmen, Knights and then Barons) who can kill weaker enemy troops, or knock down their castles. Just be careful that you don’t create too many expensive men or the territory will go bankrupt!
The latest version of Slay for Windows allows you to design your own islands and to play network games. There is also a built-in lobby system to find opponents on the Internet.
Check out Slay here: http://www.windowsgames.co.uk/slay.html
Microsoft has announced that the Microsoft Startup Accelerator Program is experiencing strong growth and is now supporting over 50 emerging businesses. Launched in October 2007, the Microsoft Startup Accelerator Program is designed to help startups accelerate both software development and market visibility through customized engagement plans consisting of access to premier support staff, software licenses and subscriptions, new technologies, and/or access to Microsoft Technology Centers for software testing and architecture guidance.
In only four months since the program’s launch, over 30 companies have joined the initial 20 participants, including new entrants StoreXperience, Earth Class Mail and Me.dium. The growth of this program underscores Microsoft’s investment in the startup and entrepreneurial community worldwide and commitment to accelerating the business success of its partners by providing technical and market resources.
When we launched the Microsoft Startup Accelerator Program last fall, our goal was to identify innovative early-stage startups that were a strategic fit for Microsoft and to create an exceptional opportunity for them to work with us and our global customer base for mutual success, said Dan’l Lewin, corporate vice president of Strategic and Emerging Business Development at Microsoft. We are very pleased with the excitement and momentum behind the program from the entrepreneurial community, and we will continue to focus on expanding the program to support the success of an even broader set of startups worldwide.
For more information:
The structure covers 538 square feet and travels 26 feet into the earth. In it’s construction, the colony moved 40 tons of soil. Billions of ant loads of soil were brought to the surface. Each load weighed four times as much as the worker ant, and in human terms, was carried over 1/2 mile to the surface. It is the equivalent of building the great wall of china. It is truly a wonder of the worldâ€¦
Labour-saving machines save us labour, that’s the point. They transport us from the ground floor to the fifth floor. They take us from A to B. They wash and dry and cook and clean for us.
But these machines use energy which produces CO2. It would help if we could use them less or use them more efficiently.
Take lifts. Or rather don’t. If you work on the 25th floor of a skyscraper, fair enough. But lifts are like vertical taxis – you wouldn’t hail a cab to go 100 feet down the road so why summon one to take you a few floors up?
So use less machine power and more of your own steam power. And if you take the stairs or find a way to resist other labour-saving machines, please come back and click DONE IT so we can count how much CO2 we’ve all saved.
Touching the stairs
Stair-climbers James, Jo and Pete risk their lives by trying to reach the third floor. It’s a story of guts and sacrifice; a story of genuine heroes who don’t know the meaning of the word ‘lift’ – or do they?
Lifts Are Not F.A.B
By Michael Wright To illustrate the considerable dangers of lifts, Michael Wright not only reused some old bits of polyboard and silver spray to make a skyscraper, lift shaft and lift, he reused some old bits of airfix for the props, two old marionettes to be the lift victims and one of those victims to be the evil lift-cord cutter. The result: a tremendous piece of psychological insight about lifts and why you should doubt them big time. Music by the very talented Aaron Paul Low of Sacred noise, produced by the very kind London Partizan.
It is with great sadness that the Computing Laboratory mourns the death of David Shrimpton, who died on Saturday 29 December 2007 in the Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Canterbury. David was diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas and bile duct in January 2007, and throughout his illness was remarkably positive about his condition and his circumstances, and was very much helped in this by his wife Terry and his children Ian and Hannah.
After a first career in mental health nursing, David studied Computer Science at Oxford Brookes University, remaining there to complete his PhD and subsequently to stay on as a member of staff. In 1998 David joined the Computing Laboratory as a Lecturer, and in his nine years in the department he contributed hugely to its life and work.
In his most recent role as Head of Teaching, it was David’s role to negotiate and agree staff teaching loads, and he always accomplished this onerous task smoothly and with great good humour. The reason that it ran so well – and this was something that he brought to all his interactions with students and staff – was his uncanny ability to understand other people, and what made them tick. This empathy made David an excellent teacher, on both undergraduate and postgraduate courses, as well as an outstanding PhD supervisor, who will be very much missed by his present and past research students.
When David joined the Lab his main research interests were in distributed systems and support for multimedia applications, particularly the convergence of digital television and Internet technologies. This led more recently to interest in many aspects of the World Wide Web. David played a key role as evangelist for new web technologies, and had taught a number of tutorials for the World Organization of Webmasters. Its Executive Director, Bill Cullifer, said “David was an amazing man and he’ll be missed.” David was also the Computing Lab’s representative on the World Wide Web Consortium; the Chief Executive of the W3C, Steve Bratt, also extended his condolences to David’s friends and family.
In tribute to David’s life and work, the Computing Laboratory will be planting a tree on the campus later in the spring.
Authored by Simon Thompson
Published 14 January 2008
University of Kent
The Library of Congress has published over 3,000 historical photographs from two of its most popular collections on Flickr in “The Commons,” a project aimed at creating a rich database of photos from public collections and civic institutions.Photos from the George Grantham Bain Collection and the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information were chosen for display online due to their popularity on the Library of Congress site, and their freedom from copyright restrictions.
By posting these photos, the Library hopes to not only increase their visibility, but also increase their value through social tagging and community input. The Bain collection has minimal identifying information, and the FSA/OWI collection has only some subject indexing, so comments and tags are encouraged.
The Library is also open to suggestions for which future collections to post, and according to the FAQ, many already have photos of the American Civil War in mind.
You can check the photos out at:
The USB MSN Missile Launcher, as the product is called, from Dream Cheeky has been co-developed with Microsoft to create an added user experience.
This launcher comes with a detachable video camera and a software that allows you to communicate via Microsoft’s MSN Messenger (Windows Live Messenger) instant messaging client. Simply invite your buddies to play and they can control your launcher remotely from any location in the world. Great fun if you both have one! Now if only it was wireless too – that would be even cooler!
- Built-in webcam, aim your targets using MSN messenger!
- Powered by USB with 4 feet of cable
- Contains 3 foam missiles and a Target
- Includes 3 feet of USB cable
- Moves left right up and down
- Prerecorded sound effects
- Shoots up to 15 feet at a extremely fast rate
- Compatible with Windows XP/2000/Vista
- USB MSN Missile Launcher
- Software CD
- 3 Foam missiles
- User guide
- Online support link
Just signed into Windows Live Messenger for Mobile this morning and recieved the following prompt:
Image courtesy of Paul (MVP) from MoDaCo.
Is this message being sent out in error, or is this for real and Microsoft is really going to start charging us to use Windows Live Messenger for Mobile? After all when you use Windows Live Messseger for Mobile for the first time (e.g. after a hard reset of your device) you’ll get the following message:
Interesting enough the Windows Live ID terms and conditions does contain a clause to cover this:
7.4 Trial Period Offers. You may have received a limited time of free service or some other trial period offer. Unless we notify you otherwise, if you are participating in any trial period offer, you must cancel the service by the end of the trial period to avoid incurring charges. If you do not cancel your service, and we have informed you that the service will automatically be converted into a paid subscription at the end of the trial period, then you authorize us to charge your payment method for the service.
Though before jumping to any conclusions, I think its best that we wait for an official confirmation from Microsoft as to whether this is true or not, or if it was just an error.
Update: Great news – it was an error:
Here’s what Jeff McKean a Senior Product Manager at Microsoft had to say:
Hi folks, Jeff from Microsoft here (any Mobians on the thread will know me from Amsterdam and a few other events) first of all, sorry for taking so long to get back to you; we needed to do some investigation as Windows Mobile users were not supposed to get that message.
Here’s what happened: This week we rolled out a direct-to-consumer billing service for the Windows Live client on Nokia S60 in the UK and Sweden. Although we are considering doing the same at a future time for Windows Mobile, this has not been implemented however, something happened and many of you saw a trial message on Windows Mobile devices. Windows Mobile customers shouldn’t have received any notifications of a 30-day trial and we are working as quickly as possible to correct this.
As you may know, we offer Messenger services through mobile operators on lots of handsets, not just Windows Mobile. Traditionally, customers have been billed by their mobile operators for many of these services, either directly or through their data package.
The Great Escape has announced the first tranche of bands booked to perform at the annual festival in May 2008. An exciting combination of new and rising artists will play in one of the 25+ venues in Brighton over the three days. First out of the blocks are Young Knives, Tunng, Peter Von Poehl, Lightspeed Champion, Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong, Fujiya & Miyagi and School Of Language.
The 2007 Mercury Prize nominated trio Young Knives have been perpetually building a firm reputation for themselves with two albums under their belt and a potential chart breaker record for March 2008- just in time for their Great Escape appearance. This year’s bright new young things Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong are out on the NME tour in the early part of 2008 so will be ready for a blistering performance on arrival at The Great Escape.
The Great Escape have been booking in the bands for their Mojo sponsored stage which will feature acts like Black Mountain from British Columbia, Tunng who will be bringing their electronic folk sound hot off the back of shows in Australia and France and talented young Paris based artist Peter Von Poehl.
Other artists confirmed to play include Brighton’s best kept secret Fujiya & Miyagi who Mojo heralds as “Exhilarating” and “Impressively Melodic”, Lightspeed Champion Devonte Hynes’ new venture of charming country folk pop and David Brewis of Field Music fame will also be showcasing his new project School of Language.