The Bletchley

You break codes to get drinks at spy-themed London bar The Bletchley

The Bletchley is a spy-themed London bar where you have to crack codes to order drinks.

To do that, you use imitation World War 2 Enigma machines which generate a unique code for every "agent." Orders are then transmitted via radio to the bar.

The venue is inspired by Bletchley Park, the site where British mathematician and codebreaker Alan Turing and his team used to crack German codes during World War 2.

This is gorgeous, but two things:

  1. When I see a bar that seems to have made it very difficult to get drunk, I can't help but think, YOU HAD ONE JOB.

  2. The plastic wrap atop the Enigma machines really detracts. (Also it was only introduced commercially in 1949!)

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Vectrex 32

Upgrading a Vectrex to 32 Bits

I built a cartridge, which I call the Vectrex32 SmartCart, based on the Microchip PIC32. It's a 32 bit microcontroller that runs at 200 MHz, has a floating point unit, 2MB of flash, and 512KB of RAM. By comparison, the Vectrex's 6809 is an 8/16 bit processor with 8KB of ROM and 1K of RAM.

The BASIC interpreter and the game run on the PIC32. There's a dual-port memory chip readable and writable by both the PIC32 and the 6809. The PIC32 writes 6809 machine code into the dual-port memory and the 6809 runs it. Thirty times per second, the PIC32 writes the instructions needed to draw the screen, play sounds, and read the controller. Since the game logic is running on the PIC32, games can be far more sophisticated than anything the Vectrex could do alone.

The SmartCart also has a USB interface. When connected to a PC, it appears as a mass storage drive and a serial port. The drive holds BASIC programs and the serial port can be used with a terminal emulator. You can interactively debug a BASIC program (my version of BASIC supports breakpoints, single-stepping, printing out variables, and more). You can also interactively change things on the screen, e.g. you can experiment to get your shapes looking right and moving right.

So basically: he took the 1982-vintage Vectrex and wrote a cartridge for it that turns it into a simple I/O device, with the real program running elsewhere. But, to avoid letting things get too modern, he made the controlling computer (which also fits inside the cartridge) be of 1992-vintage instead of something modern.

Today I learned that BASIC can have breakpoints. Apparently these neo-retro BASICs have advanced beyond what I'm used to: when CLOADM $C000 fails because your cassette stretched, you just type it all in again.

I feel like this must have been what game development was like during those heady, accelerating days toward the end of the 19A0s.

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Sovereign Furry Citizens

Free Furry of The Land:

The thing that got me wasn't the "furry" aspect, but the Sovereign Citizen aspect of the whole thing, once again proving that some people have insanity so strong it can bleed right the fuck through a fursuit. [...]

Alright, so, every lawyer in the world that clicked on that probably got to this part: [...] and saw the strange bolding, the weird capitalization of certain letters, and the words "potentially damaging criminal activities causing substantial commercial injury damages" and went "OH SHIT! IT'S SOV CIT TIME!" Indeed. Indeed it fucking is.

Alright, so SovCit is legal jargon for "sovereign citizens," a movement which believes that they can operate outside of and, in some cases, in a superior position to the law. While every goddamn lawyer in the world is aware of these batshit battlers, [...] the rule of thumb (heh, see what I did there?) when dealing with a Sovereign Citizen is to recognize that you're in for either a very good or very bad ride, depending on the particular brand of craziness they espouse. [...]

Second, those seven points are probably complete bullshit. "Incite to riot?" "Trespass on contract Obligations?" Does "incite to riot" even get charged anymore? And seriously, could you imagine this riot in the mind's eye of the writer of that letter? Just people in badger suits yanking out gats and opening fire on each other.

Is that "riot" or "hunting" at that point? Is it okay if they have a license and stick to the bag limit? These are questions left unanswered by the letter. [...]

But here's the real takeaway:

3. Furry Sovereign Citizens do not insist that their fursonas are their actually identities, which bums me out as I was really looking forward to seeing "BOOMER THE DOG, A FREE DOG OF THE LAND" on a legal pleading at some point.

5. This shit is better when you know the guy writing it has, at some point, jerked off to a picture of two animals fucking.

Also, Nazi Furries are totally a thing because of course they are.

Though whether they are "ha ha only trolling" Nazis or Actual Fucking Nazis is unclear (both of which are equally punchable,BTW.)

"It's obviously not a swastika," claims Foxler. [...] "I didn't take any consideration because of my lack of World War Two knowledge," he says. "I don't think I could ever take it off at this point, it's so ingrained into my character, my fursona."

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Today in Applied Demonology

TV ad trolls the live surveillance mic in your house:

The 15-second ad triggers Google devices with the command, "Ok Google, what is the Whopper burger?" The spot will run nationally during primetime starting Wednesday [...]

Here's where we encountered the major flaw with Burger King's ad. Someone had edited the Whopper's Wikipedia page to say that the burger is made of a "medium-sized child," instead of beef patty, and that it contains the toxic chemical Cyanide.

Burger King later edited the Wikipedia page to a more accurate description of the burger. But people keep changing it.

On Wednesday afternoon, the definition had been changed to: "The Whopper is the worst hamburger product sold by the international fast-food restaurant chain Burger King and its Australian franchise Hungry Jack's."

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Sharia Law

Church Can Start Its Own Police Force, Alabama Senate Says

A large church in Alabama is one step closer to creating its own police force, a move that seems to be without precedent in the U.S. The state's Senate has approved legislation that would give church police officers the same powers other law enforcement officers have in Alabama. [...]

Both chambers' legislation specifically names Briarwood Presbyterian Church, a Birmingham megachurch that "says it needs its own police officers to keep its school as well as its more than 4,000 person congregation safe," Alabama Public Radio reports. [...]

Earlier this month, Alabama's House adopted the Alabama Church Protection Act, which would help religious groups form armed security patrols. It authorizes "any church or place of worship to establish a security program by which designated members are authorized to carry firearms for the protection of the congregation of the church or place of worship." The act also provides "limited immunity for members of such a program when they're acting within their duties.


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'Charging Bull' sculptor says New York's 'Fearless Girl' statue violates his rights

I still don't understand why we don't see more photos of this fucking thing from the back.
Waaaaaaahmbulance en route:

The sculptor of Wall Street's "Charging Bull" statue is accusing New York City of violating his legal rights by allowing the "Fearless Girl" statue to be installed facing the bronze beast, without his permission.

The 'Fearless Girl' statue sums up what's wrong with feminism today | Cara Marsh Sheffler Read more The Italian-born sculptor Arturo Di Modica said the presence of the girl infringed on his own artistic copyright by changing the creative dynamic to include the other bold presence.

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DNA Lounge: Wherein crime is punished and wars are starred.

The Bay Bridged published a really nice article about the latest Hubba Hubba Revue, plus an interview with Kingfish: Crime and Punishment rewards burlesque audience at DNA:

Last Friday, Hubba brought to the stage the latest in its series of grand monthly themed shows: Crime and Punishment, a kink-centered cabaret. Eternally avuncular Jim Sweeney and Alexa Von Kickinface, co-MCs for the evening, took to the stage with Arcadia Kane, the "tour guide" for the evening. All were dressed in striped prison uniforms that looked more Looney Tunes than Alcatraz, Kane's sporting prison number 80085 across her chest. [...]

Von Kickinface beamed as her brainchild was recognized -- while adjusting her faux prison garb, never pausing from her interaction with the audience, despite the persistence of a stuck zipper that kept her from disrobing for the moment -- a real professional.

Thus, a nearly four-hour show began. That's right, four hours.

Normally, anything that is four hours long feels like a prison sentence to me. My poor little ADHD heart can't handle concentrating on anything for that long. However, Hubba has such a lively pace and variety that the moments flew by. I wasn't bored for a moment.

Star Wars Party tomorrow! You're coming, right?

<< Waves hands >>  This is the party you're looking for. Move along. Move along.

You like space, right? Well on the subject of space, we've also just added our second Astronomy On Tap on Tue Apr 25. Free admission! Drink and learn stuff!

Hey, photos! So many photos.

Hotline was pretty great. We're doing another one on June 30th.

So Stoked: Leprechauns
Pixel Memory
Five and Diamond Sale

Leftover Crack
Monday Hubba
Hubba Hubba: Crime & Punishment
If you've ever been to either location of DNA Pizza, at some point you've probably looked up at the screen playing music videos and said, "What the fuck did I just see?" You may also be aware that you can request videos! Well, except that stopped working recently. It used to be that if you installed the Apple "Remote" app on your phone, you could connect anonymously to our iTunes and queue things up. But guess what, they decided to remove that feature from the new version of Remote that rolled out last month. Thanks, jerks.

That was annoying. A lot of us really like that feature. So I had to take matters into my own hands: please enjoy That page will let you request videos, so long as you are viewing it via the wifi at either DNA Pizza location. There are some limits, of course, to prevent you from being a jerk. So don't be a jerk. Let me know if you find any problems...

Speaking of which, please enjoy jwz mixtape 180.


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