One of my weekly routines is to solve the FiveThirtyEight Riddler puzzle. If you’ve never done them before, they are a set of weekly riddles that tend to involve math, logic, and statistics. Sometimes, though, they make you think. That’s silly, thinking is what computers are for!
My latest hobby is solving crossword puzzles. I’ve been doing the New York Times puzzle daily for the last 8 months or so and absolutely love it. I am constantly impressed and amazed by what the creators of these crosswords can do — build a complete and connected puzzle while still integrating humor, trivia, creativity, and puns.
It’s undeniable that we are entering a new era of computing. Whether you call it the Internet of Things, the Third Wave, the Fourth Wave, distributed computing, whatever it is, the technology landscape and the machines around us are starting to look different.
Ok, there are probably more than two questions that fit into this category. How much money do you make? What’s that thing on your face? Did you have to kill anyone in Iraq? But these are two I’ve had recent personal experiences with that may not be as obvious, so I thought I’d share.
Liar’s dice is a great game. Easy to learn, difficult to master. A good balance of luck and strategy. If you don’t know the game, I encourage you to check it out, it’s great for a group.
A few months back I created a service that would allow people to get tweets or other content from the Twitter API in RSS or XML format. It ended up growing a moderate amount and amassed over 2,500 users. Well, some frustrating and disappointing news came through yesterday; the Twitter API team has suspended the Tweet-2-RSS application for violation of the Terms of Service. They did so without any warning and it was certainly a surprise to me. Here is the relevant quote from their API Terms (Section I.4):
Two words: WolframAlpha. Or is that one word? I don’t know, but what I do know is that it is a lifesaver for any engineering student these days. Unfortunately for me, it only really existed during my senior year of college, which happened to be the year I got the highest GPA. Coincidence? Probably.
Remember that math game 24 from middle school? It’s the one where you are given 4 numbers and you have to do basic math operations (+,-,*,/) to make the 4 numbers equal 24. For example, if I had the numbers 2,3,4,5 I could get to 24 by doing 2*(5+4+3) or maybe by doing 4*(5+3-2). You get the idea.