Monthly Archives: February 2011

Watson Isn’t the Future of the Interactive Fiction Parser

Watson, the IBM program that beat two top Jeopardy! champions, is an eye-catching advance in natural language and reason-engine-style processing. It crushed its two human competitors at reading answers, teasing out the clues in those answers, and responding with the appropriate question.

It’s also not where text-based interactive fiction parsers should be going.

Interactive fiction, at least […]

Share

Why the Dead Island Trailer is Exploitative

The trailer for the game Dead Island is striking both in content and presentation. The trailer’s focus on a young girl turned into a zombie has sparked debate, so of course I have to weigh in!

Be warned: the trailer is gory and disturbing.

The trailer is for a game but it functions like a film […]

Share

What These Adventure Games Need is a Jonathan Blow

Jonathan Blow’s new game The Witness is going to modernize adventure games. The creator of the hit indie platformer Braid claims that his new game will avoid what killed off adventure games in the 1990s.

As you might imagine, his comments have raised hackles in the adventure game community. Some of that is a reaction to […]

Share

To Eli On His Seventh Birthday

Yesterday you were born; today you are seven. For your birthday we got you tubes in your ears. Hope you like them! You’ve always been prone to winter ear infections, and this year you’ve been on antibiotics almost continuously since December. The surgery center where they installed your tubes has a hall with fourteen curtained […]

Share

A Quick Business Presentation Tip

Let’s say that you’re making a PowerPoint presentation on improving businesses.

Let’s further say that you want to illustrate how the members of your business’s management team must work together. You decide to use a picture of gears to show how the team interlocks and turns as one.

You go to iStockPhoto and grab this picture:

(source)

If you […]

Share

White House Fashion

Yesterday, Marketplace ran a fascinating report talking to author Kate Betts about how the White House is influencing fashion.

Ryssdal: [Y]ou call it “approachable” at one point in this book. And I’m going to quote a friend of yours, you got an exchange from her at one point. Mr. Obama had been seen in a sort […]

Share

Octopus Cake

Several folks have asked me today about Eli’s birthday cake from the photo in the previous post.

I made the cake Thursday afternoon from our favorite chocolate cake recipe.

Then my mom and I decorated it Friday morning. It is a retired Williams-Sonoma cake pan that I bought on a whim when they were closing it […]

Share

Make a Wish

Today Eli is seven.

Share

Help Me Pick Topics for Dragon*Con 2011

I’m starting to mull topics to talk about at Dragon*Con this year, so now’s your chance to help me decide!

How do we know where we are? Do you remember the route you took to get to your desk earlier? If so, how? In the last five years scientists have found all kinds of crazy neurons […]

Share