Monday, February 22, 2010

Universal Controllers Don't Work (CS 404)

So it turns out that Sony filed a patent application for a universal gaming controller back in 2008. I can see why such a controller would be appealing: why keep around ten different controllers when you can just have one? Sure, it sounds good in theory, but universal controllers just don't work in practice. Just take laptops for example: to have both a keyboard and a mouse, most laptops have a keyboard and a touchpad. I hate the touchpad! Running your finger across the pad just isn't the same as holding a mouse in your hand. The same problem goes for Sony's universal controller. If all the buttons and controls are done through a touchscreen, how can you know whether or not you actually have your finger on the A button? And how would it incorporate the Nintendo 64 controller with its Z button on the back and the port for connecting a memory card? How would the controller actually connect to the system? The only way they could is by also having a universal connector that has an end to plug into each and every system's controller port. That sounds rather clunky. Perhaps these problems are the reason why there's no word of Sony actually building the universal controller.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Strange Taste in Music

My brother once asked me, "So, have you, like, started listening to normal music yet?" My answer was, and still is, no. When he asked this question he was referring to my playlist that's composed mostly of music from OverClocked Remix (You can visit the sight from my list of links on the right). While this music may not be considered normal by many people, I see it as wonderful, well created music. My strangeness doesn't stop there, however, oh no. Throughout the day I've had a song stuck in my head that most people would probably find strange, annoying, or maybe even down right scary. The song I'm referring to is the following:

 The Tiger-Patterned Ronald

For some reason I really like music that is made from non-musical sounds, like creating a beat from machine guns, producing a melody from windows sound effects, or the sound of Mario's voice played to Kriby's theme song. Sure, occasionally I'll buy a song that's made by a professional artist, but those songs are old, like U Can't Touch This old. I guess the popular and mainsteam music these days just don't interest me much. At least I can say I'm unique!

Note: If per chance you like this stuff too, you can see more on my favorites list on my Youtube profile.

Hacking is Lame (CS 404)

After reading The Cuckoo's Egg, I gained some insights into what hacking is like, and I've come to a conclusion: hacking is lame. Why is it lame, you ask? Because it doesn't take a genius and superior technology, just a few facts and dull persistence. For instance, some users choose simple passwords, like "12345," "password," or their username. If a hacker can find a list of users, he could just go through that list and enter a common password until he gets in. It's not much different than someone walking down a street to see who left their homes unlocked. Where's the glory in that?

Unless someone is hacking to gain something of value, like money or company secrets, hacking doesn't even provide a meaningful reward. For example, some of my roommates and their friends got into a "Facebook War" not long ago. Dude A would leave a computer while still logged on to Facebook, so dude B would edit A's Facebook account, like changing their picture to something lame, give a lame status update, and join groups that dude A would never join. Once dude A sees that his Facebook account was hacked, he would find the opportunity to take the same advantage of dude B. And what's to gain from this? To be able to say, "Ha ha, I made you like gay!" Oh, yeah, real mature.

But what if a hacker tries to do something worse, like steal money from my bank account or give my computer a virus? While it's problems like these that give serious concerns about hackers, password protection isn't difficult. As long as you don't choose a password that's a word in the dictionary, don't write down the password, and don't pick something simple, the chances of being hacked are greatly diminished. There are, however, other ways for hackers to get into things, and this often comes from bugs in a program. Sadly, the current model of software programming isn't perfect, and bugs are inevitable. Bugs can be fixed though, preventing the same problem from happening again.

Hackers will probably disagree with me, but I find no glory in taking advantage of people. It's just lame.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Spirit of Elijah (CS 404)

There were no dedicated organizations of genealogy before 1836, but only a year after Elijah's return, England and Wales began mandatory recording of births, deaths, and marriages of their citizens. Since then, more and more people have made efforts in identifying their ancestors. Before computers, searching for ancestors was difficult, and sometimes involved a lot of traveling. With computers and the Internet, however, there are many resources for genealogy, such as,, and now the With databases holding billions of names and climbing, it's doubtless that more people will become interested in genealogy, and more technology will be developed to aid this great task. All of this is a testimony to me of the truthfulness of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.