Uncharted 2 Glitch

I was playing Uncharted 2 a while back and while I was in the Monastery level, this happened;

Uncharted 2 glitch 1
These things are so freaky. I was busy minding my own business and these guys threw a grenade at me. I hid behind a nearby shield and I suspect that caused the problem. I must have been forced back and instead of hitting a wall I fell over an “edge”.

Uncharted 2 glitch 2
Something like the happened earlier in the same area. I’d just finished the car chase scene, beat the guards and I noticed the doors to the road were open. There are loads of “treasures” in the game so I though this would be a likely place. Instead I “fell” down a hole. I could climb up or down too safely. I didn’t take any photos of this as I thought it was a solid glitch, but it turns out that door is never supposed to be left open!

Uncharted 2 glitch 3
On a positive note, I did learn something. While I was hanging I watched the fight for a while. Elena (one of the co-stars) kept shooting and the guys kept throwing grenades, but no one died. Darn. I could swear that she seemed to help…

Uncharted 2 glitch 4
After I no longer found it amusing I tried to climb up, but I found I couldn’t, leaving me with the only option of falling to my doom.

Uncharted 2 glitch 5
Even so, it’s a great game; I’ve played it 1.95 times… (I’m playing it on hard this time and I’m stuck on the last stage.)

Killing the Dead

Back in 2007 there was a vig contest on Eurobricks where you needed to do MOC about how to kill skeletons. Here’s my entry!

Sinner was walking home to his Paddle Steamer one night after a long night of AD&D when he was attacked by four skeletons. Was he worried? Not a chance! He simply pulled out his AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide (1979), turned to page 211, and started to explain to them the way it was. But he had barely started when they screamed and threw themselves over a nearby cliff, where they shattered into a thousand pieces. “But I haven’t even started telling you about what’s in the Monster Manual…” sighed the disappointed walrus.

Killing the Dead Pic 1

Killing the Dead Pic 2

Killing the Dead Pic 3

Shuttle Birthday

Today (depending on perspective) is the anniversary of the completion of the first Space Shuttle launch, 29 years ago. Sadly this is the last one she’ll have as the last flight is planned for the September 16, this year. Aside from the massive loss of capability that the retirement will bring, this (combined with other cuts at NASA) will result in 10,000 jobs being lost. This works out as roughly of their staff. Will the grand plan of outsourcing work? Many doubt that it will.

As Larry Niven once said, “The dinosaurs became extinct because they didn’t have a space program. And if we become extinct because we don’t have a space program, it’ll serve us right!” yet here goes the USA going down that path in the name of budget cuts. Obviously they don’t agree with the sentiment.

Right now US Astronauts are doing great work in orbit; even the loss of their Ku band antenna didn’t stop them. They just docked without radar! Could a robot do this? No. Could a commercial company do this? It’s hard to be sure, but I doubt it.

USB; Unlikely Special Bus?

I was reading news on ZDNet and I ran into this concept.

InfiniteUSB

It’s an idea by a designer, Gonglue Jiang, and I must confess that it annoys me. Why? Well because it’s one of the classic things that “Ideas” people do; think of a concept but don’t look into if it’ll work or not… and in this case it won’t.

Why? For one, USB doesn’t work like that. The connection requirements of USB is very similar to the way that Ethernet over twisted pair works in that you can’t just link from one cable to another, a device called a hub or a switch is needed to do that. The space inside the plugs illustrated are not big enough to contain much at all; even the wiring would be tight. One could say (as they often do) that he’s a design guy not an engineer, but surely he’s noticed that hubs/switches are needed.

But that’s not all. While the plug is too small to fit a hub/switch, it’s too big to be a plug. This design would block other ports and thus would waste ports while creating new ones. Also, the weight of all these plugs would add more stress to the socket than it’s probably designed for.

This is the problem with many “Sci-Fi” shows… and Sci-Fi LEGO MOCs. Priority 1; appearance and coolness, Priority 99999; functionality and believability.

Single-stage-to-orbit light fighters? Not a problem!
Infinite range? Why not?
Species from different planets interbreeding? Sure!
Maneuvering in space just the same as in an atmosphere? Yep!

The funny thing is one of the more believable Sci-Fi TV shows in (relatively) recent times was Firefly, a space western! Anyway, getting back to USB, what really annoys me the most though is he won an award for this. Maybe it’s attitudes like this that make “Sci-Fi” like Star Wars so popular?

Fusion in my lifetime?

The 4th last Shuttle Mission (and the second last for Discovery) is in orbit leaving me feeling rather down about the future of the US space program. But today I read about a bright new possibility; fusion! I’ve been feeling down about that that too; all of the science seems to be pointing towards it not being possible due to the world supply of tritium being insufficient.

Count Gregory, The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne

But this method is different. Instead of a deuterium–tritium reaction, this method uses hydrogen (not a rare isotope!) and boron-11 ignited by a laser. The end result is far more controllable than fission or deuterium–tritium fusion and produces virtually no radiation. The best thing is that the researchers feel that this could be “close at hand”. At this stage they only have computer models, but maybe in 5 years they’ll be able to demonstrate this; the lasers needed are being built right now.

(I’ll be using this as the “official” fusion method for De-Classic-Space from now on! It’s a far more practical method than what I envisioned and better still the research is being led from Australia!)

852759 LEGO Ruler, How does it measure up?

Believe it or not, this has been a dream part of mine for a while, and thus I bought one of these at my earliest opportunities. As it turns out that was about six months after release and by then it was half price. (It still is.) In any case, on with the review!

Ruler, top
Here it is. The red colour is a good one as it allows black printing to be easily readable.

Ruler, bottom
The reverse side is a bit of a letdown. I think they should have found some use for it… but I must confess that I can’t think of anything aside from technic ratio formulas.

Ruler Mini-fig comparison
Here it is compared to a mini-fig so you can get an idea of its size.

Ruler usage
In use. It works well for measuring axels and beams of both varieties.

Ruler, height measurement
It’s less effective when using it to measure height as you can’t sit it flush with the bricks. (The leading edge should have been a half-stud-gap width.)

Ruler, other applications
But the uses don’t stop with LEGO; you can use it to measure anything you want!

In summary this is a great tool for measuring LEGO… but it really is at it’s most useful when building technic models from PDF files. (Which is mostly why I wanted it.) In most other cases TLG either have 1:1 comparisons or have colour differences to avoid confusion. Thus I think this has very limited appeal.

Ed Roberts, PC Pioneer

The creator of the Altair 8800 died on this day. There’s a nice post by Bill Gates and Paul Allen paying respect to his legacy. As they say, he wasn’t as well known or respected as he should have been, but he was the one who proved that a home PC was possible, and I suspect his efforts gave us all the computers we (for the most part) enjoy 5 years earlier. Certainly without him there’s a good chance that Microsoft would have never existed.

His history is quite interesting; his starting point was a his model rocket hobby. He formed the company MITS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems) initially making guidance systems, then calculators when they sold badly. These were a vast success until TI (Texas Instruments) started muscling in forcing him to think of a new product. The Altair was it. Such small beginnings resulted in such a important creation.

Thus it should be hardly surprising, yet still interesting, to note that when MITS was at probably it’s most successful he grew tired of it all, sold up and after a few years he retrained (at 41) and became a doctor in a small town.