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Month: May 2022

Ore no Ryomi

Ore no Ryomi

Ore no Ryomi was one of the earliest cooking games that I ever saw for the PC. David Galindo was inspired years ago by a Japanese import game on a demo disk that came in the old Playstation Magazine. He made a fan game using the original sprits of Ore no Ryomi.

Fast forward to today, and there are countless cooking games of all sorts out there – and it’s a very popular genre. But Ore no Ryomi is still one of my favorites. I recommend going and downloading a copy from Vertigo Gaming. It’s freeware, so you have nothing to lose – and it’s a lot of fun!

Fast forward again, and I recently discovered that the calm background soundtrack in Ore no Ryomi 2 is actually the ‘Neighborhood 4’ track from The Sims.

You are a CIA agent!

You are a CIA agent!

Back in the day, people learned programming by typing in BASIC programs from books and magazines. Besides the books that came with my TSR-80, if there was one book that got my programming bug off the ground, it had to be this one: Basic Fun with Adventure Games. A book I bought for $0.75 at an school book sale when I was around 5th grade.

Basic Fun with Adventure Games by Susan Drake Lipscomb and Margaret Ann Zuanich

What made this book so amazing is that it not only contains a full text adventure game you can type in, but it also teaches you how to write your own adventure game – from concept to implementation. I remember being blown away at how good this book was. Even today it holds up to teach the requirements and skills needed to program your first game. It certainly worked well enough for me as a 10-12 year old to completely write my own game about finding the deed to a castle after your rich uncle died. Highly recommend checking it out.

It was the most amazing 75 cents I spent in my entire childhood and still holds a special place in my heart. My copy still sits on my bookshelf next to the college programming textbooks.

Resources:

Links:

More Oregon Hike recommendations

More Oregon Hike recommendations

  1. No Name Lake and Bend Glacier via Broken Top Trail – considered one of the best hikes in the state.
  2. Tamanawas Falls – Mt Hood
  3. Tom, Dick, and Harry – Mt Hood
  4. Hamilton Mountain Trail – Gorge
  5. Maxwell Lake – Wallowas
  6. God’s Thumb via The Knoll – Oregon coast near Lincoln City
  7. Clatsop Loop Trail – Ecola Park – easy but good views. Great intro trail.
  8. John Dellenback Dunes Trail – Oregon coast near Reedsport
  9. Natural Bridges Viewpoint Trail – South Oregon Coast – probably most amazing views of multiple natural rock bridges and coastal rock formations.
  10. Trail of Ten Falls – Silver Creek State Park
  11. Misery Ridge Hike – Central Oregon
  12. Tumalo Falls Trail – Bend
  13. Green Lakes/Soda Creek trail – Bend –
  14. Cleetwood Cove Trail – from rim to water at Crater Lake

Major multi-day hikes:

  1. Three Sister’s Loop – 46 miles
  2. Steens Mountain Gorges Loop – 28 miles
  3. Paulina Peak trail – gorgeous sunrises, rent a snowmobile in winter
  4. South Sister Trail to summit – 12 miles

More information and some of them taken from here.

Tools for wildflower season in the Gorge

Tools for wildflower season in the Gorge

Purple and golden wildflowers cover a landscape

It’s springtime, and that means wildflowers are blooming in the gorge! Knowing when to go and what trails you want to take can be overwhelming. Here’s two good resources.

  •  Oregonwildflowers.org, is created and maintained by flower superfan and photographer Greg Lief. The exhaustive site collates recent trip reports from wildflower wanderers. Follow links to discussion groups and “up to the minute bloom conditions” as well as links to further information including handy wildflower databases and local plant lists.
  • ReadySetGOrge.com, a clearinghouse maintained by local partner agencies. ReadySetGOrge offers complete information — maps and directions; trail lengths, elevations and difficulty levels; facilities and required passes — for all 181 recreation sites in the Gorge.
  • OregonLive list of some popular trails (where I stole most of the above info from)

With the increased popularity of the gorge, you now need permits more than ever before to hike trails and see the flowers. Here’s some links for that:

Read Your Body Language—Without Cameras

Read Your Body Language—Without Cameras

More and more of our devices have cameras that watch you and microphones that listen to you – and in many cases, all the time. This data almost never stays in your house nor in your device, it gets sent across the internet where it is collected, saved, monitored, and used to improve the product’s AI and pattern matching. Under many of those license agreements we blindly click through, those recordings can be kept and used for a wide variety of purposes.

This has led to disturbing problems like voice records from our devices being subpeonaed and used in criminal trials. Recordings from Alexa devices are regularly listened too by Amazon workers. It doesn’t stop there: outside vendors are often allowed access to your Google data (which can include recordings/messaging/email data). Facebook uses humans to read and train data from the Messenger app. Voice messaging services can use overseas human labor to listen to and transcribe messages. There are whole 3rd party services such as Scale that sell human labor that is allowed access to the primary company’s collected data to identify video, photo, audio, and any recorded data from their services into machine training data.

It sounds futuristic and perhaps more than a little invasive—computers watching your every move, devices listening to everything you say. There are already privacy and consumer protection groups raising these issues, and growing lack of trust of companies to use the data in the safest way. To combat that increasing lack of trust, Google’s Advanced Technology and Products division (ATAP) is exploring technologies that don’t have to rely on a camera to see where you are and what you’re doing. Instead, they can use radar and radar-like mechanisms that don’t need direct image data. ATAP spent the past year exploring cool new radar-based methods to understand our intentions and then react to us appropriately.

I for one welcome advancements that keep the privacy of our homes private.