Neat astronomical clock

Emerald Observatory for iPad

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.


Dissection of the Pac-Man AI

Understanding Pac-Man Ghost Behavior

Inky actually uses both Pac-Man’s position/facing as well as Blinky’s (the red ghost’s) position in his calculation. To locate Inky’s target, we first start by selecting the position two tiles in front of Pac-Man in his current direction of travel, similar to Pinky’s targeting method. From there, imagine drawing a vector from Blinky’s position to this tile, and then doubling the length of the vector. The tile that this new, extended vector ends on will be Inky’s actual target.

As a result, Inky’s target can vary wildly when Blinky is not near Pac-Man, but if Blinky is in close pursuit, Inky generally will be as well. Note that Inky’s “two tiles in front of Pac-Man” calculation suffers from exactly the same overflow error as Pinky’s four-tile equivalent, so if Pac-Man is heading upwards, the endpoint of the initial vector from Blinky (before doubling) will actually be two tiles up and two tiles left of Pac-Man.

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UAV buzzes Statue of Liberty

"Points proven: 1. Arrests: 0."


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QR on business cards?

I thought it might be cute to put a QR code on the back of our business cards, but from what I can see, that's just totally impractical...

There is some suggestion out there in teh googles that if you stuff vCard data into a QR code, it will work, but it sure doesn't work worth shit in i-nigma, which seems to be the only game in town as far as iPhone QR readers go. I have only been able to produce vCards that it will accept that have a single phone number in them, and no "organization" field, so that's useless for a business card related to, you know, a business. For this to be useful for my purposes I'd need ORG, EMAIL, URL, and 5 TEL fields with labels so you know what the numbers are.

Then there's this more compact "MeCard" format, which seems to also have some kind of stunted, remedial support, and that appears to also support exactly one phone number. Srsly?

Am I right in my conclusion that this just can't be made to work at all?

Update, Dec 7, 2010:

I've reported a bug against i-nigma, for what it's worth. If your QR scanner doesn't do the right thing with this QR code, which contains a simplified version of this VCard, please submit a bug report to the author! The "right thing" means:

  1. Include the Company Name;
  2. Include all 6 phone numbers;
  3. Give each of those phone numbers the proper label, e.g., "Infoline" and not "Other";
  4. Preserve the order in which the phone numbers appear in the vCard, e.g., "Infoline", "Manager", "Restaurant", etc.;
  5. Include both postal addresses
  6. ..with labels
  7. the right order.

If your QR code reader and/or VCard importer don't do all of these things, that is indisputably a bug. Please report it.

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The Black Ryder

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