Monday, February 18, 2008

Links To Cool Stuff!

So, I decided I'm not going to weekly post cool things, because that's kind of a little bit lame. I'll just post a bunch of cool stuff when I build up a big list. I won't try to set myself to a time schedule or anything. I have quite a list right now, because I've found lots of cool things since last time. Here goes:

-The Landlord: This is a clip about Will Ferrell and troubles with his landlord. Watch out for language. This clip would be rated PG-13 if it were a movie (for language and alcohol abuse by a minor), but it's still really funny.

-My music page: I've been working on composing some music for quite a while, and I've just finished getting a music website up for them. I plan on filling an Indie album with about fourteen songs (right now I have music for four) and releasing it for free on iTunes, but until then I'll upload demos, samples, and "singles" to my website for sampling before the final project is finished. Right now, you can listen to my first finished song from the album, as well as an early demo of another song I'm working on. You can also listen to covers and other garbage that I didn't compose, but that I did originally record. Watch out for my music on iTunes in the next few months (it'll be under the artist name poojalooba_cow).

-Anti-Phishing Phil: This little game is actually almost fun, but it's more aimed at being educational. It's about a fish named Phil, and his dad is teaching him about phishing websites. Created by professors at Carnegie-Mellon University, it was designed to teach people about how to recognize a phishing site based on its URL and several other factors. It's an effective tool, because people are much more likely to want to play a game (even if it is a game that's trying to teach them things) than read a bunch of text on a website. Studies reported that after playing Anti-Phishing Phil for fifteen minutes, people were much better able to recognize phishing websites. It's a really clever way to educate people, and it really does work, too. A few days ago I encountered a phishing website and I would have had no clue that it was one if I hadn't played Anti-Phishing Phil before. Thanks to Phil the Phish (ha), I wasn't scammed into giving out personal information or money! Give it a try, it just might save you a lot of grief in the future.

-Pandora: This is a music site that lets you listen to artists and songs similar to songs or artists you give it. It bills itself as the "Music Genome Project" because it categorizes songs into an immense number of sub-categories (such as "Major Key Tonality" or "Dynamic Male Vocalist" or "Subtle Vocal Harmonies") and creates a listening experience entirely catered to your likes. The more artists and songs you feed it, the more accurate it'll be at choosing other songs and artists that are similar to that. It's great for finding new songs and artists, as well as rediscovering old favorites.

-Desktop Tower Defense: An incredibly addicting little game. Swarms of "creeps" come crawling across your desktop, so what do you do? Create little towers to destroy them, of course! It's a mix of strategy, speed, creativity, and trial-and-error. Try it. You won't be able to stop.

-Dwarf Fortress: This game is a real-time strategy game where you make and manage a fortress filled with dwarfs (hence the name...). It's really hard to learn (I've just barely started getting the hang of things after a week), but it's hilarious and has a really detailed engine behind it. The game art is less-than-commendable (it's an entirely ASCII-art game, so it looks like your screen barfed out a bunch of punctuation marks), but it's still really fun.

-N: "N" is an incredibly cool game about a ninja and his thirst for gold. You have ninety seconds to complete five levels within an "episode". In order to be able to advance to the next episode, you have to complete the five levels in the previous episode. It's got a totally sweet physics engine, so when you die, you'll bounce all over the place and your limbs flop independently. It comes with a built-in custom level generator, so you can create your own awesome levels. It's coming to the XBox Live Arcade and the DS and the PSP, also. I'll most definitely be getting it for my DS.

-Orbiter: This is a flight simulator with a little extra to it: Besides just flying around on Earth, you can take to the stars and fly to virtually any planet (and any of that planet's moons) in our solar system. It features real physics equations (you can't just take off and fly straight up into the sky), so the learning curve is steep because there are all kinds of weird forces acting on you that you've never even heard of before (especially when you're in outer space), but it's strangely addictive, and it's even got some educational value to it!

Yeah, that should keep anyone busy for a while. I'll be back whenever with more.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your mention of Pandora -- I'm glad you're finding it useful!

    Lucia from Pandora