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Monday October 16, 2017


NANY 2018 Pledge: Codenames Duet Play on Paper Clone

This is a play-on-paper clone of a very of an awesome two-player cooperative word-based board game called Codenames Duet.


Basic rules of the game:
  • A random grid of words is laid out for both players to see.
  • Each player receives a secret "key" telling them which of these words they want the other player to guess or avoid.  These keys are coordinated in the sense that there are a specific number that will be the same as the other player (read rules for details).
  • Then players take turns giving a clue to the other player of a specific form (see detailed rules) and the other player will try to use the clue to identify which card they should choose.
  • Players win as a team if they guess all the correct cards.

My version does things differently since I designed it to be played on paper, but the basic idea is the same.
The created pdf books have some brief instructions but to learn more how to play see the official detailed rules of Codenames Duet:

What I chose to do is write some fairly flexible code that makes print-and-play "books" (pdf files) that can be split up between two players, who can then play the entire game with paper and pencil.
Each page is a separate game/puzzle.
The code can make random books of any size and with difference configuration parameters.

I'll open source the code at NANY time but for now here are two sample books.  Remember that each player gets their own book -- you can't look at the book of your partner!!

If you feel like trying a game (or 10), these two booklets are all you need.  Print them and give each player a book and a pen and you are good to go:


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Read more and comment..

posted by mouser donate to mouser - October 16, 2017, 01:32 PM
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Sunday October 15, 2017

Awkward humor videos

I can't get enough of comedians who employ these awkward pauses, etc.  Think the British version of "The Office", etc.

My latest favorite -- a big long series by Tim Heidecker, "On Cinema at the Cinema":

If anyone has other similar awkward, subtle, comedy shows they'd like to share, I'm all ears.

posted by mouser donate to mouser - October 15, 2017, 02:03 PM
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Wednesday October 11, 2017

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Newspaper Article: Russia Has Turned Kaspersky Software Into Tool for Spying

Russia Has Turned Kaspersky Software Into Tool for Spying
Searches exploited popular Russian-made antivirus software [Kaspersky] to seek classified material, officials say
WASHINGTON—The Russian government used a popular antivirus software to secretly scan computers around the world for classified U.S. government documents and top-secret information, modifying the program to turn it into an espionage tool, according to current and former U.S. officials with knowledge of the matter.

That article is paywalled but hopefully someone will find a non-paywalled alternative soon.
posted by mouser donate to mouser - October 11, 2017, 01:44 PM
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Sunday October 08, 2017

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Interesting read: Apple is really bad at design

The “notch” on the new iPhone X is not just strange, interesting, or even odd — it is bad. It is bad design, and as a result, bad for the user experience...Plenty has been written about the mind-numbing, face-palming, irritating stupidity of the notch. And yet, I can’t stop thinking about it. I would love to say that this awful design compromise is an anomaly for Apple. But it would be more accurate to describe it as the norm.


Friday October 06, 2017


Timestamp Clamper - for hammering file/folder timestamps into a reasonable range

DC member apankrat writes:

Hi fellas,

Long time, no post. I thought I'd show a little weekend hack of mine -

This is a tool for when you need to replicate files from A to B, but some files have timestamps so far in the past or in the future that they aren't supported by the B's file system. Think, for example, copying from NTFS to FAT and looking at a file that somehow got created in the early 17th century.

No, don't look at me. It turns out to be a common issue with the photographer kind as older cameras did weird things with timestamps. Like leaving them at all zeroes, which translated to whatever the earliest date/time supported by the storage file system was. So there's lots of photos around dating back to Jan 01, 1970 and some such.

In any case:

  • Uses parallel file system scanner, so it's rather fast.
  • Simple UI with in-place error feedback.
  • Drop-down list with predefined ranges for common file systems.
  • Preview / live mode.
  • Copy-pastable log, with full error reporting and summary stats.

Read more and download..

posted by apankrat donate to apankrat - October 06, 2017, 03:24 PM
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Thursday October 05, 2017

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Long thought-provoking essay on programming

Long thought-provoking essay on programming

Victor wanted something more immediate. “If you have a process in time,” he said, referring to Mario’s path through the level, “and you want to see changes immediately, you have to map time to space.” He hit a button that showed not just where Mario was right now, but where he would be at every moment in the future: a curve of shadow Marios stretching off into the far distance. What’s more, this projected path was reactive: When Victor changed the game’s parameters, now controlled by a quick drag of the mouse, the path’s shape changed. It was like having a god’s-eye view of the game. The whole problem had been reduced to playing with different parameters, as if adjusting levels on a stereo receiver, until you got Mario to thread the needle. With the right interface, it was almost as if you weren’t working with code at all; you were manipulating the game’s behavior directly.

When the audience first saw this in action, they literally gasped.


posted by mouser donate to mouser - October 05, 2017, 12:20 PM
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Tuesday October 03, 2017

Sunday October 01, 2017

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Micro Reviews of Board Games From a Non-Competetive Perspective - Fabled Fruit

It's been a while since I posted to this thread -- I'll try to do better.

Today's mini-review of a board game is for a card game called "Fabled Fruit":

I've played this game with my serious board gamer friends, my 12 year old niece, and my mom, and they all loved it.

It plays from 2-5 and all player counts are good.  The basic rules are quite simple, you lay out 6 piles of cards and on each turn a player choose which card to visit, either performing the unique special action specified on the card, or paying the "cost" on the card in with different kinds of fruit mini-cards and claiming it.  First player to claim a certain number of cards wins.

What makes the game quite unique and special, is that the game comes with 70+ different cards, and as you play the game over the course of multiple sessions/days/weeks/month, old cards are removed from play and new ones are revealed.  So the game is introducing new elements each time you play it, but the rules only change a tiny bit each time.  It's wonderfully entertaining to adjust your gameplay to the new changes that come each time you play it.

Highly highly recommended for all variety of gaming personalities.

posted by mouser donate to mouser - October 01, 2017, 07:15 AM
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Sunday September 24, 2017

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SafeBrowse chrome extension hides a cpu draining trojan

SafeBrowse, a Chrome extension with more than 140,000 users, contains an embedded JavaScript library in the extension's code that mines for the Monero cryptocurrency using users' computers and without getting their consent. The additional code drives CPU usage through the roof, making users' computers sluggish and hard to use.


posted by mouser donate to mouser - September 24, 2017, 08:46 AM
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Thursday September 21, 2017

World Wide Web Consortium abandons consensus, standardizes DRM, EFF resigns

In July, the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium overruled dozens of members' objections to publishing a DRM standard without a compromise to protect accessibility, security research, archiving, and competition.

EFF appealed the decision, the first-ever appeal in W3C history, which concluded last week with a deeply divided membership. 58.4% of the group voted to go on with publication, and the W3C did so today, an unprecedented move in a body that has always operated on consensus and compromise. In their public statements about the standard, the W3C executive repeatedly said that they didn't think the DRM advocates would be willing to compromise, and in the absence of such willingness, the exec have given them everything they demanded.


EFF no longer believes that the W3C process is suited to defending the open web. We have resigned from the Consortium, effective today. Below is our resignation letter

Read more here: https://boingboing.n...eatures-for-all.html

posted by Deozaan donate to Deozaan - September 21, 2017, 08:37 PM
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Wednesday September 20, 2017

Tuesday September 19, 2017

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CCleanup: A Vast Number of Machines at Risk

Reported by OS News:

Talos recently observed a case where the download servers used by software vendor to distribute a legitimate software package were leveraged to deliver malware to unsuspecting victims. For a period of time, the legitimate signed version of CCleaner 5.33 being distributed by Avast also contained a multi-stage malware payload that rode on top of the installation of CCleaner.

Original article:

In reviewing the Version History page on the CCleaner download site, it appears that the affected version (5.33) was released on August 15, 2017. On September 12, 2017 version 5.34 was released. The version containing the malicious payload (5.33) was being distributed between these dates.

posted by mouser donate to mouser - September 19, 2017, 10:25 AM
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Wednesday September 13, 2017

Jumpy: Animated videogame short

This animated short brought a real smile to my face.

There is a lesson about life in that video, but i'll be damned if i can say what it is. which is, of course, the best kind of life lesson.
posted by mouser donate to mouser - September 13, 2017, 02:26 AM
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