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January 31, 2009

Trying Out the YUI Toolkit

My first class project for Programming the Interactive Internet involves the use of the Yahoo! User Interface Library. I can't say too much about it yet as I am still just dipping my feet, but it seems to be a very useful library. We are basically working on a movie-oriented mashup that will bring in data from Flickr, Twitter, Technorati, and more. I'm currently in charge in my project team of getting that data and parsing it. I will use the YUI toolkit to access this information using Javascript and without having to refresh the page or redirect the user to a new page. That means that all this data will be fetched dinamically as the user interacts with the page. It is just awesome to be in a class that requires you to make a mashup!

January 27, 2009

Archiving Our Lives Vs. Living Them

Read/Write Web has a great article by Sarah Perez titled "Technology is Great, but Are We Forgetting to Live?". I think it is very important to understand that we do not have to take every picture, record every moment, instant message every occurrence. Sometimes we just have to enjoy the moment and forget about technology. If not, we may just end up looking at our own life through a "glass".

January 24, 2009

About Humility

A quick quote.

Humility doesn't mean you think less of yourself but that you think of yourself less.

Something to keep in mind in a world where pride seems to play such a big role.

January 21, 2009

Two Very Interesting Courses

I am happy to say that the two courses I'm taking this semester are nothing like the two courses I took last semester, which I disliked. This time, both courses are ones which I know I will enjoy thoroughly. I will be taking classes with all three professors from the research lab that I work at. And all three of them are excellent professors.

The first class I am taking is Collaborative and Social Computing. This one is closely related to my research project, which is a type of online social community and collaborative tool. There will be a lot of reading and some projects, but I'm sure they will all be very interesting.

The second class is called Developing the Interactive Web. This will be an awesome class. And I will be able to put a lot of stuff in my resume thanks to it too! We will be working with some of the most popular frameworks and tools for developing on the web, such as Yahoo! UI Toolkit, Google Web Toolkit, Microsoft Silverlight, and Facebook Apps. That really sounds exciting.

I know both of my classes will require a lot of work, but unlike the last semester, this time it will be work I enjoy. I will probably write later on about some of the interesting things I learn and do in these classes, which I am sure will be many.

January 18, 2009

A New Puzzle for the Year?

I am always looking for new puzzles to try out. Last semester I finished a book of Hidato puzzles. This semester I bought a book of Kenken puzzles of which I will write after I have solved a few more of the harder ones.

So far, that book is not so challenging. But a new type of "puzzle" has caught my eye. It's not a traditional puzzle because it is actually a board game. What is interesting about this board game is that they actually sell "puzzle" books with hundreds of game problems to solve.

The game I am talking about is called Go. It is a popular game in Asian countries, although it is played worldwide nowadays. It is also one of the few very popular board games remaining where a computer still can't beat the best human players.

The fact that they sell "puzzle" books about this game made it even more appealing for me. I am currently learning the rules and some simple strategy. My next step will be to buy a Go problem book. I will write more about it as I learn. Maybe I'll even explain some of the rules later on. I can't wait to try some Go puzzles!

January 14, 2009

A Geeky Love Song

I can't resist posting this video. It was a hit with my family during my Chirstmas vacation and judging by the number of views and responses on YouTube, it seems it's quite a hit in many other places too. I love the part about the blue shell. Enjoy!

January 10, 2009

Back From Vacation

I am back from vacation and sort of settled in again. That means that I will be returning to a more regular posting schedule. I'll kick it off with a video of the Ritcher Scales (the same guys from Here Comes Another Bubble) performing at The Crunchies. Enjoy!

January 1, 2009

Happy New Year From Superficial Intelligence

I hope all of you had fun during Christmas and New Years. I am certainly enjoying the hot weather before going back to Minnesota in one week. Last year was the first year that I blogged actively all the way through. And I plan to do the same this year. I could say that is my first blogging New Year's resolution. What could be others? Maybe I'll try to redesign the blog and increase readership. Drawing more comic strips certainly sounds like a good goal too. What are your New Year's resolutions, internet-wise?