Chinese MMORPG’s Attempt to Solve the “Crying Game” Problem

A hot avatar and the fat nerd behind her.

Wired News reports that the vendor behind the Chinese MMORPG King of the World is cracking down on male players who choose to use female avatars in-game. None of the reports on the web state what the rationale behind this policy is, but I suspect that it’s meant to prevent incidents like the following one, taken from a Family Guy episode:

Peter: If you could be stranded on a desert island with any woman in the world, who would it be?
Quagmire: Taylor Hanson.
Joe Swanson: Taylor Hanson is a guy.
Quagmire: [Laughs] You guys are yankin’ me. “Hey, let’s put one over on Quagmire.”
Peter: No, he’s actually a guy, Quagmire.
Quagmire: What? That’s insane. That’s impossible.
Quagmire: Oh God. Oh my God. I’ve got all these magazines. Oh God.

According to Wired, anyone who wants to play a female character in King of the World must now confirm that they are female via webcam. The article points out that such a system is easy to work around: just ask anyone who’s ever asked an older friend to buy beer for them.


Have You Seen This Guy? He Might Have Taken Bill’s Laptop. [Updated]

Update: I posted the story on MetaFilter, and it has since shown up on Boing Boing. By the end of the day, this guy’s going to be the best-known computer thief in the nerdsphere.

Tris Hussey reports:

It seems that this gentleman stole a friend’s laptop…well then decided to take pictures of himself, but then uploaded them to the laptop owner’s Flickr account. With all the caveats about allegedly, and innocence preceding guilt, if you know this person, etc … please e-mail Bill MacEwan at info AT workspace DOT com.

Photo of alleged laptop thief, caption “I’M IN UR FLICKR ACCOUNT, INCRIMINATING MYSELF”
Click the photo to see it on its Flickr page.

Richard writes:

Technically it wasn’t Bill’s laptop, but rather one of the iMacs at Workspace, a shared office space in Gastown, Vancouver. This particular iMac (the one used to post the photo) was setup at the coffee bar with Flickrbooth installed and Workspace’s account as the default account, so that anybody who came in for a coffee could, while waiting for their favourite caffeinated beverage, also take a photo of themselves. Whoever that is didn’t know to change the Flickr account or, more likely, not to click the upload button after having taken the photo.


The Perfect Accessory for “Sorting Out Sorting”

In response to my post on the film Sorting Out Sorting, I’ve already received three email suggestions that someone hold a movie night for geeks where we watch the film and “smoke a bowl“, as the expression goes.

Should anyone decide to hold such a movie night, may I suggest this bong, made from the shell of a Nintendo 64 controller?

N64 controller being used as a bong
Random MySpace photo, found via Miss Fipi Lele.


Sorting Out Sorting

Here’s a gem from over a quarter-century ago: Sorting Out Sorting (running time 31:15), a film produced by the University of Toronto that uses then-impressive graphics to visually explain sorting algorithms:

The film is divided into three sections, each devoted to a category of sorting algorithm. These sections are:

  1. Insertion sorts: Linear insertion, Binary insertion, Shellsort
  2. Exchange sorts: Bubble sort, Shaker sort, Quicksort
  3. Selection sorts: Straight selection, Tree selection, Heapsort

In case you’re not interested in sitting through 30-odd minutes of film and ice-cold ’70’s sci-fi synth music (which I found sort of mesmerizing), here’s the spoiler: Quicksort wins!*. I think this calls for a LOL-computer-scientist image of Quicksort’s creator, Tony Hoare:



* In most cases. If you want to sort data in an in-memory array or array-like structure that allows for constant speed random access, Quicksort is generally your best option, and it’s probably the algorithm used by your programming language’s built-in sort function.

Cross-posted to the Tucows Developer Blog.


Acer Taking a Break from Acquiring Crappy Computer Vendors

Scene from “Family Guy”: Tony Robbins eating Peter Griffin.
Acer acquiring Gateway and Packard Bell (artist’s conception).
Click the image to see the Family Guy scene.

The Reg reports that “Acer has pulled itself off the acquisition trail for the foreseeable future and will spend the next couple of years digesting Gateway and Packard Bell.”

I suspect that the real reason for this break is that there aren’t any large vendors of crappy computers left for them to buy.


Sign Up for PHP Training, Get an iPod touch (or Two!)

iPod Touch displaying the PHP logoHere’s a sweet deal from php | architect magazine, to which I am a subscriber: sign up for online PHP training before the end of November and they’ll give you an iPod Touch…or maybe two! Click here for details about this offer.

Cross-posted to the Tucows Developer Blog.


Tucows’ Bill Sweetman Talks to Amber Mac About Domain Names

Amber Mac on “Homepage” with Tucows squishy cows
Click on the photo to see the video.

The lovely, talented and geeky Amber Mac took some time to invite my co-worker Bill Sweetman over to her TV show, Homepage, to talk about domain names. We’ve got all the details on the Tucows Blog.