“Cryptocurrencies” have been around for over a decade now (with Bitcoin, the grandfather of them all, having launched in 2009), but even if you haven’t been involved up until this point, some of the events of the last few months have started bubbling over into other news coverage. Cryptocurrencies set out to be paradigm shifts for various aspects of the economy, and one of the areas that recently started seeing a lot of change brought on by this community is the art scene.

If you’re in that boat, you’re likely here because you saw a headline recently about some “crypto…

I’ve seen several different feedback videos/reviews shared about recent Magic products from Wizards, and many of them land on variants of the “it’s not for you” lament; that Wizards is releasing products for some sector of the market (primarily “those with a lot of money”), and other players are therefore feeling left out (e.g. Tolarian Community College’s review of VIP Booster Packs). So, I’ve been thinking about what could we as a community do about that. One key suggestion I’ve seen passed around is “just don’t buy them” as what we should do in reaction, but that is essentially sitting…

In many situations, it’s necessary to have a unique identifier for a person or thing, and such identifiers are really useful when we as humans can use them for verification and trust purposes. Many people can have the same name, and so things like social security numbers, phone numbers, drivers license numbers have been used to uniquely identify people. …

In the wake of the US Presidential election, I’ve had several conversations about population density, Electoral College, and what representation is “fair” for all voters. One conversation I had over Thanksgiving dinner with family (yes, we managed to keep it largely civil, and people were generally willing to learn from each other and wanting to hear why others felt that way) was whether it was “fair” that different states have different Electoral College votes.

The way the numbers are turning out from the Presidential election, Hillary Clinton is ahead in the popular vote by a significant margin, but most of…

The recent presidential election has stirred up concerns with the Electoral College system, as well as the influence of third-party candidates on the overall result. Here’s how it went down:

  • Of the 231 million eligible voters in the United States, only about 132 million (56.9%) actually voted.
  • A handful of states (at least four) had the difference between the two major-party candidates less than the amount of voters that voted for a third-party candidate (meaning, if those third-party voters had voted for a major-party candidate, it could have tipped the balance the other way).

So, a huge number of people…

America has spoken, and this is our new reality and new leadership, having all three branches of government focused on a Republican agenda. I am fairly moderate in political views, so agree with some of their political goals, one key piece that allows me to continue to provide for my family is the Affordable Care Act, and specifically its clauses on Pre-existing conditions.

That’s the piece that has me most worried about the future of my family, since right now, I can’t get life insurance for my daughter, because she has Cystic Fibrosis; all the companies take one look at…

I have lots of hobbies, and not a whole lot of extra room in my head, so I end up with notes and reminders written down outside my head. I’ve tried several note-taking services over the years, but none seemed to fill all my needs all of the time, so currently I have a soup of services for my various notes:

Asana

Hyper-powered task list. Good for things that eventually will be “marked complete” rather than “deleted”, and things that have a good one-line summary. Can have due dates and tags to keep them organized. …

June 2014 was my ten-year anniversary married to my high school sweetheart, Katrina. Shortly after our ninth anniversary, I realized that the next one would be a big First Decade event, so I knew that my husband-ly duty called for something a little more than the average anniversary gift. And indeed I went even beyond the usual ten-year gift of diamonds to something that caused several people to scoff and roll their eyes at me about.

The Hunt

Since Katrina loves puzzles and strategy computer games, I decided to make a scavenger hunt for her as a tenth-anniversary present. We have a…

One of my ongoing goals in my techno-lifestyle is to build myself an extension fo a PDA that’s even more like a full-fledged computer. Somewhat heading down the road of the MIThril project at MIT, and other such “cyborg” systems, but not so deep. The MIThril system has RFID and card scanning systems that would be a bit overkill for my daily use, but what I envision is a system that is optimized for note taking while seated at a small table/desk, as well as walking about. One of the main problems with a laptop is the ability to use…

So, I’m midway through playing through Final Fantasy X again (mostly because my wife is involved with getting a 100% completion on Final Fantasy X-2, and realized that she’s missing a lot of the previous storyline, so is watching me play that one through again; we each got good at one of the two, so just watch the other play the other), and got to a point where I was wanting to activate Lulu’s Celestial Weapon, and ran into this “if you give a mouse a cookie” scenario:

  1. In order to fully unlock the Onion Knight (Lulu’s Celestial weapon), I…

Brooks Boyd

Teaching computers / to make art with just some code. / It is what I do.

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