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Ludum Dare 23 submitted

After one day and a half, I finally submitted my game to Ludum Dare 23. Theme was "Tiny World". I guess this was number one in "abstraction". Lots of people said bad words in the IRC chat when it came out. Playing other entries, I saw a lot of people gone for "tiny" or "world", but rarely both. My game (that I hopefully joined both "tiny" and "world") was about molecules. You build them in either a sandbox level or in "challenges" I made. And I put a funny tutorial, too.

You can play it at Ludum Dare (and know other contestants), or click here.


Ludum Dare 23

Ludum Dare 23 starts today, 21 o'clock BRT. I'll dig in, but, due to a miscalculation (thanks God I do not work launching satellites) I did not prepare myself for the battle. If you don't know, Ludum Dare is a game development competition. You have 48 hours to make a game from scratch (including sounds, graphics, etc). The theme is something abstract (ex: LD 22 was "alone") and you make something based on it.

Markus "Notch" Persson took his chances with a "minicraft", but didn't hit top 20 - and he got a lot of fans! I'm going like a marathon. This means "if I finish it, I'm happy".

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Why I love to be a nerd

I love my "nerdy" condition, because I can find this example in a Node.JS lib and laugh:

  if( !err ) {
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iPad 2 – My opinion

I bought an iPad 2 couple weeks ago and I'm really enjoying it. All my basic Internet needs are fulfilled by it. Not all iOS applications are designed for iPad, but some of them are really cool, with more details when you run them on iPad.

I'm deleting my daily spam and playing OGame on it, among other things. It's integrated with my iPod Touch and my MacBook, all data synchronized. I can't wait for iOS 5, with its WiFi sync.

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Using the moon as a power source

Best idea ever: using the moon as our main (and only) power source. If it receives 13 petawatts of energy, why not send 1% of that to our Earth? Perfect! And seems like Shimizu Corporation has the plans. It will be great to not depend on oil, coal, nuke and fellows. All clean and available.

My only concern is: how will it cost to me? Or: will it suffice? I'm afraid that, with more power, we will need more energy. We currently need something with planetary proportions. What will come next?

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Our Solar System

Kudos, NASA. I'm already a big fan of Astronomy Picture of the Day, main source of all my wallpapers. I was looking for a Milky Way picture when I found Eyes on the Solar System. It's the most gorgeous and perfect thing that current technology can provide to the masses, like me.

After installing a plugin, you gain access to an amazing database provided by NASA. It contains the exact position and speed of all planets, satellites, comets, all in real-scale 3D models! Just perfect! I spent a couple of hours traveling in our solar system. The proportions of the planets and their orbits is not even close to what you see in the books.

First example. When we think about the planet's orbits, we learn that they are something like this:

Just take a look at the real stuff:

Our Earth vanished! Jupiter, the giant, is now a little dot, visible only because of that unnatural glow! What about its orbit? Compare it to its neighbors, Mars and Saturn! Now, that first drawing seems to came out of kindergarden!

And our planet and its moon? We always have the feel that it's "in the next block"! This GIF tells what we usually think:

Oh, the humanity! They would collapse if this is the real proportion! Let's play "where's Waldo" (or "where's Wally/Charlie/Willy/etc"). Try to find our blue marble in this picture, taken behind the moon:

This huge water ball we live became a little circle when we are in the dark side of the moon. And what about the craters of its surface! I knew that there was a lot, but the texture of moon's surface is really something!

And what about the light speed? Using EotSS's "fast forward", I adjusted the speed to travel at light speed, but everything was almost stall! No "flashing stars" like Star Trek! The fastest possible speed in our know Universe and I got an still image with dot-planets approaching really slow! Is it cool or what?

Two more things to consider. Phobos and Deimos, Mars' moons, are not round like our moon! They look more like beans! And Mercury, our hot friend near the Sun, is not red like the books in my school. It's grey and textured, just like our moon! BTW, the view of the Sun from Mercury is the same as we have here: just a small, yellow ball in the sky. The colossal distance between Mercury and Earth is still small compared to the distance of the Sun! And, even this is the line between life and burning death!

Last note. This is the view of Voyager 2 at the exact date and time I was born:

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Converting YouTube’s FLC into iMovie’s MP4

If you try to google this, you will surely regret: lots of plugins, sharewares, malwares...But the solution can be much more simple.

First we need to download YouTube's videos. We can use one of many Firefox plugins, or use an evil Safari trick. Open the video you want, then go to "Window > Activity", look for a file greater than 1MB, select it, Cmd-C, go to "Window > Downloads", and Cmd-V. Simple as that! Now you have a FLV.

If you want to play it only, you can install Perian, a nice QuickTime plugin with a lot of useful AV codecs. It will allow opening various files (including FLC) in your QT and fellows (like iDVD). But you will not open it with iMovie (since it needs to edit files, too).

Let's use a nice multiplatform trick that will work on Mac, Windows and Linux: install VLC. You can use it to play the FLC or you can go to "File > Stream/Transcoding Wizard > Transcode/Save to file", select the FLC, unmark both "transcode" (if you installed Perian), select destination, and we are done. Without transcoding, it will only copy the streams, making it a really fast operation.

The result is an MP4 that can be used on every Apple software. I guess this includes iPod/iPhone, but I didn't test this theory.

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