Take a look at this very funny trailer for the movie Java-4-Ever. I have no idea if this is a real movie. I suspect it probably isn’t. Apart from the (frankly unnecessary) not-safe-for-work bit towards the end of the video, I thought the video was hilarious.
[Updated on 29.12.2011: updated the youtube link because the previous link stopped working. Damn link rot!]
The main means of communication over the Internet is through writing and text. People type on blogs, chat on MSN and comment on websites such as Youtube. With being forced to write all the time on the Internet, I believe that people have somehow become wittier, funnier and more insightful. I have observed many instances where someone posts a comment somewhere and it’s actually very thought-provoking, meriting further discussion, or just plain hilarious. I’d like to archive these nuggets of quality writing so that everyone can view them on a common website.
This isn’t an entirely original idea. Look at SeenOnSlash and Bash.org. SeenOnSlash specialises on comments made on Slashdot. Slashdot has a unique comment moderation system where moderators can assign scores to each comment. Good comments usually receive scores such as +5 Insightful or +5 Funny. SeenOnSlash attempts to archive these comments with the articles the comments are made on.
Bash.org focuses on excerpts of people’s chats, especially those on IRC. People can submit quotes that think are good/funny/interesting and moderators would accept or reject them. If they are accepted, the quote is available for the public to see. People vote up the quotes they like and those most liked appear in the ‘top 100’ list.
SeenOnTheInternet would focus on the greater Internet, not just Slashdot and IRC. People would archive comments they think are good and the article where these comments appeared on would be archived as well, for context. Other users can rank these comments and apply different labels on them to categorise them.
I envision a place where all the comments are grouped into general categories such as philosophy, politics, or software development. Each comment may also have additional attributes such ‘funny’ or ‘insightful’ (similar to how Slashdot does it). Users can view these comments, have their daily fix of writing that simulates their brain matter, and perhaps engage in further discussion.
Could you see it working? Need more clarification? Do comment and let me know what you think.
My undergraduate advisor encourages his students to always think of new ideas. He also holds a Random Ideas Day each vacation where all his students would meet and each would present a single idea. The idea is that through discussion, we could collectively come up with a viable idea to work on.
Apart from being interesting, there are no requirements on the idea. If an idea is interesting and people are willing to work on it, then any issues with it can be addressed with further discussion. There is no reason that a good idea should be shelved prematurely because of concerns such as ‘commercial-worthiness’.
It’s a good practice and like with the puzzles, I decided I needed a more formal approach. With that, I introduce a new category: Ideas. I get a lot of random ideas but I have limited free time. I certainly can’t work on everything that comes to my mind.
My hope is that by making posts about my ideas and by explaining why I find them interesting, someone will become convinced and work on the idea. Just to make it clear, I do not have any monopoly over the ideas I have and I do not require any royalty if you decide to actually work on something and commercialize it. Of course, if you do want to pay me, I have no problems with that! All ideas, unless otherwise noted, would be licensed with a Creative Commons – Attribution license.
My first idea would be posted within two days. Writing takes time.
Hopefully, this is the first of many puzzles to come. We’ll start off with one from Skorks. It is reproduced here:
There is a village full of people. One day the priest gathers all the villagers together and declares that their God has told him that some among the villagers are sinners. All sinners will be marked with a sign on their forehead so that all other people will be able to see if a person is a sinner or not, but no one will know if there is a mark on their own forehead. Furthermore, the mark will not be visible in the mirror and one person is forbidden from telling another if they are a sinner. The villagers must work out which among them are sinners at which point all sinners are to leave the village. The village has been given one week and if at the end of the week, there are still sinners present, the whole village will be destroyed.
The villagers go about their own business during the day, however the whole village gathers in the square at the end of every day so that everyone can see if there are still any sinners left among them. After the third such gathering all the sinners pack up their stuff and leave the village.
How many sinners were there? How did you arrive at that number?
Click on ‘More’ to get to the discussion.
I have had the alirazeen.com domain for a few years but until now, I didn’t use it for anything. Well, there was that one time my friend, Rollen, and I, were in the school library, trying to quickly design a page that will generate a random string for people to use as their password. For a while, if you visited this site, all you would get is a random string. I think my friend’s page still returns a random password. Other than that, this was just a parked domain.
A few weeks ago, I had a faint idea of what I wanted to do. Two days ago, during my daily browsing, I came across this article and that did it. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present you: Puzzles!
I like puzzles and brainteasers, especially those logical and/or mathematical in nature. I am not very good at solving them but I find it very interesting how these puzzles are so elusive. They have answers but they always escape me. I usually attempt them mentally and give up ten minutes later.
I figured I needed a more structured approach in solving them and decided that one of the regular features here would be puzzles. I would post them, have a discussion and try to solve them. When I run into puzzles I cannot solve, you can post a comment and we can try to solve it together. You can also email me if you find any interesting puzzles. I think we will have fun doing this and perhaps our ability to think well would help us do things better in our daily lives.
I will start with one tomorrow and I will try to post at least on a fortnightly basis.