Show of 3-25-2007

  • Computer Games to Smithsonian
    • When Henry Lowood, curator of the History of Science and Technology Collections at Stanford University, started preserving video games and video game artifacts in 1998.
    • Proposal to archive computer games was submitted to the Library of Congress in September 2006 by a consortium made up of Stanford, the University of Maryland and the University of Illinois.
    • Announced at Annual Game Developments Convention
    • Ten most important video games of all time: Spacewar (1962), Star Raiders (1979), Zork (1980), Tetris (1985), SimCity (1989), Super Mario Bros. 3 (1990), Civilization I/II (1991), Doom (1993), the Warcraft series (beginning 1994) and Sensible World of Soccer (1994).
    • Almost all of the games on the list represent the beginning of a genre still vital in the video game industry.
      • Spacewar , for example, created by a group of early computer programmers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was the first multiplayer, competitive game, and the first action game too.
      • The first three Warcraft games represent the introduction of real-time strategy overlaid on a narrative
      • Zork introduced the world to the adventure game.
      • SimCity helped establish the genre known as god games
      • Super Mario Bros. 3 , said the game was important for its nonlinear play and new features like the ability to move both backward and forward.
    • The hardware that games are played on changes so frequently that there are already thousands that can be played only through computer programs called emulators.
  • Action Plan for Killer Asteroid
    • Paper presented at AIAA Planetary Defense Conference, GW, March 7-9, 2007
    • Presented by Russell L. Schweickart , Chairman, Committee on NEOs, Association of Space Explorers, a professional body for astronauts and cosmonauts.
    • Association of Space Explorers web site (www.space-explorers.org)
    • Proposed draft UN treaty to determine what would have to be done if a giant asteroid was on a collision course with Earth is to be drawn up this year.
    • The NEO treaty group will have its first meeting in Strasbourg in May this year. It is hoped the final document will be presented to the UN in 2009.
    • The UN draft treaty would establish who should be in charge in the event of an asteroid heading towards Earth, who would pay for relief efforts and the policies that should be adopted.
    • The threat of an asteroid hitting the Earth is being taken more and more seriously.
      • NASA tracks all objects greater than 700m (2,300ft) in diameter.
      • NASA is monitoring 127 near-Earth objects (NEO) that have a possibility of hitting the Earth.
      • The agency’s new goal is to track all objects greater than 70m (230ft) in diameter.
      • NASA estimates that there are about 20,000 potentially threatening asteroids yet to be discovered.
    • How could we deflect the asteroid?
      • Hitting the asteroid with a spacecraft or rocket to deflect its orbit.
      • Other less destructive proposals include a "gravity tug" that would simply hover over the asteroid and use gravity as a "towline" to change its path.
      • Any decision to deflect an NEO could come with its own set of conundrums for the UN, as changing its path may simply alter its final target.
  • My All-Time Favorite Games — The Myst Franchise
    • Myst – Innovative Mystery puzzle game
    • Riven – Sequel to Myst
    • Myst III Exile – A Perfect Place for Revenge
    • Myst IV — Revelation
    • Myst V — End of Ages
    • Myst Uru – Ages Beyond Myst
    • The Myst creative team consisted of the brothers Rand and Robyn Miller, with sound designer Chris Brandkamp and graphical artist Chuck Carter.
    • Robyn Miller designed the Ages of Myst Island, Stoneship and Channelwood, while Carter was responsible for the Selenitic and Mechanical Ages, as well as D’ni (K’veer).
  • Twittervision
    • Web site address: www.twittervision.com
    • Blogging combined with google maps.
    • A real-time geographic visualization of posts
    • Fun to watch. A great mash up of technology
    • Users post stream of consciously thoughts to the site.
    • These comments pop up on a Google map of the world.
    • Now up to 769,000 hits on Google
    • Not bad for something that didn’t exist until last Sunday at 13:30 EDT
    • How do I get on Twittervision?
      • Join Twitter and post.
      • Must have a location and an image defined to appear on public feed
  • Network Neutrality
    • What is it and does it matter to me?
      • Voice over IP competes with conventional telecoms
      • Telecoms are now delivering video content over the Internet
      • A now have a true convergence of voice, data, and video on the same network.
      • Network neutrality refers to a principle applied to residential broadband networks, and potentially to all broadband networks.
      • A broadband network free of restrictions on the kinds of equipment attached and the modes of communication allowed would be considered neutral by most advocates
    • The term was coined in European telecommunications law around 2003 and imported to the US as the FCC commenced consideration of re-classifying residential DSL as an Information Service, consistent with Cable Internet.
    • In early 2005 the FCC enforced network neutrality principles in a documented case of abuse involving Madison River Communications, a small DSL provider that briefly blocked VoIP service.
    • In order to compete with Broadband Cable TV’s Triple Play service, telecoms have begun using Quality of service mechanisms to prioritize non-Internet telephone and IPTV television traffic,
    • Since a similar practice is widely used in Cable TV networks, its prohibition on DSL, Fiber to the Home (FTTH) and other telephone company-provided networks is seen by net neutrality critics as arbitrary.
    • Bob Kahn, the Internet Protocol’s co-inventor, says the term net neutrality is a regulatory slogan, which he opposes: "If the goal is to encourage people to build new capabilities, then the party that takes the lead in building that new capability, is probably only going to have it on their net to start with and its probably not going to be on anybody else’s net"
    • Kahn’s view is shared by most senior internetworking engineers, with the notable exception of Google employee Vint Cerf.