Tag Archives: wil wheaton

PMOG

What is PMOG you may ask.

I would answer thusly.

“That is a very good question. According to their website it is a ‘Passivley Multiplayer Game’, but the real truth goes a little deeper than that. Allow me to give you a link to where you can get it, and then I will discuss it further below.”

Perhaps the first interesting look at PMOG should be this webcomic detailing in sort of poetic form the descent of one into the PMOG world. That is to say, the underground of the internet in the real world.

You can find the original sized comics at http://pmog.com/codex/appendices/metamorphosis

Here is the general idea. First, you install a firefox toolbar. This “voluntary spyware” tracks your surfing history and you begin to gain coins and whatnot passively, while you surf normally. You can easily turn it off or on, and change lots of it’s settings.

Now that you have your toolbar enabled, you can “find” things that other people have placed on the internet. For example, I’m going to place a crate on my website with some coins in it. If you are the next “pmogian” to come along, you will see a crate pop up, and you can choose to take what is inside.

So, it’s sort of like a treasure hunt, right? Yep. It’s also a little more.

Pmogians can leave missions on websites too. Missions (should you choose to accept them) take you on a guided tour of the internet, linking from page to page. I’m going to build one based on my linked blogs on the sidebar.

Portals, when you see them, mysteriously take you to another website. Why? Well, you’d have to ask those who dropped them. Sometimes it might be because they like another site better, and want to let other pmogians know. Sometimes it could be because they just want to cause mischief. ;)

I haven’t figured out lightposts yet. Their description says “Lightposts light up the areas between web sites. They make visible connections that were dark before.” Ah, I see. If I read a little further it tells me that lightposts are required to make missions. Neat.

Mines can be dropped on websites, and when you step on one they take away some of your datapoints (coins).

Armour can be worn to protect against mine attacks.

Coins/Datapoints are collected at each new site you go to. (Each day, or ever, or something. I’m not quite sure. I’ve found a way of farming them, and in only a day and a bit have collected over 600 of them. Since I’m using firefox I do a search in google and go along and open every link in a new tab. I do this for as many as I have patience for and then close all tabs and start again! Whew! Internet surfing at speed!

Now, depending what you do there are different factions you will be joined to. Bedouins for example are known to wear armour to protect themselves. Vigilantes foil others mischief by placing St. Nicks on their profiles, blocking them from doing their next action. There are others, fly over to pmog.com to see what they are like.

Feel free to come along and join me. My username is Suprspi, and I’d be happy to have you as an acquaintance. Or just take my mission and see what I like best on the internet in the world of blogs, comics and random stuff.

I should mention that I found this game, like so much other cool stuff I’ve found on the internet, from Wil Wheaton. Will is also playing PMOG, but I don’t know his name yet. This is one of the coolest things I’ve seen on the internet in a long time, and I really encourage you all to check it out.

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A note concerning the last post.

First of all, and further to the last post, I want to give some kudo’s to the Library of Congress for putting these photos on flickr.  It’s pretty cool that someone there had the bright idea to share them on a public, super popular, photo sharing venue, instead of putting them on their own gov’t served webpage where dramatically fewer people would be exposed to them.

Further, it makes economical sense in a couple of ways.  First, they don’t have to foot the bandwidth bill for constant use of them – flickr is doing that.  In return flickr has an archive of historical photos that are royalty free.  Secondly, some of the people on the internet may very well be able to provide interesting and pertinant commentary and insight to these photos – something that I dare say would not have happened to the same extent had they only been hosted at the LoC website.

Example, a comment on Wil Wheaton’s Blog:

OK, this is weird. One of the very first photos is of a barn in the Catskills. The angle of the June sun puts the viewing angle as SE, and with the distance of the Catskill Mountains in the background, I would place this photo within 10-15 miles of the farm where I grew up. I can see why my grandfather bought those 400 acres in 1940. With a view like this, Brooklyn must’ve seemed a purgatory.

People often forget when they’re paying their taxes that these things are supported too.  That good works are being done by the the Gov’t. (this is an US example, but our Canuckian Canadian Gov’t is doing some good things too.)

I’m not going to make spiel about contacting your MP’s/Congresscritters or anything here – but I am going to make note that although we may not see  all the good projects are governments are involved in, but they do exist.  So it’s a good reminder to find someone to publicly or privately thank for those we like and support, and voice our opposition to those we don’t – otherwise, no institution, no matter how right thinking, can correctly gauge the community support for the projects proposed to it.

Library of Congress puts thousands of photos on Flickr

Through Wil Wheaton I found out about these awesome two photo sets.   The Library of Congress put over 3100 photos on flickr.  They all seem to have no copyright restrictions, being public domain photos archived by the LoC.  I’ve gone through a hundred or so of them, and a couple have made my favourites list at flickr already.  Some great stuff here, esp. the 40’s ones that are in colour, which is something you don’t normally get to see.

Quoth the Wil:

“File this under Coolest Damn Thing I’ve Seen All Day: The Library of Congress put over 3100 pictures on Flickr:

Library of Congress staff often make digital versions of our popular image collections available online as quickly as possible by relying primarily on the identifying information that came with the original photos. That text can be incomplete and is even inaccurate at times. We welcome your contribution of names, descriptions, locations, tags, and also your general reactions.

It’s divided into two different sets:

1930s-40s in Color:

These vivid color photos from the Great Depression and World War II capture an era generally seen only in black-and-white. Photographers working for the United States Farm Security Administration (FSA) and later the Office of War Information (OWI) created the images between 1939 and 1944.

News events in the 1910s:

Welcome to the daily news scene from almost a hundred years ago, as photographed by the Bain News Service in about 1910-1912. We invite your tags and comments! Also, lots more identification information. (Most of these old photos came to the Library of Congress with very little description.)

This selected set of 1,500 photographs is from a large collection of almost 40,000 glass negatives. The entire collection spans 1900-1920 and richly documents sports events, theater, celebrities, crime, strikes, disasters, and political activities, with a special emphasis on life in New York City.

I’ve only looked at a few dozen of these pictures, but they’re just astonishingly beautiful. Many of them have a haunting quality, as well, and would make great Ficlet inspiration.”

Ficlets

A while ago I was turned on to ficlets by John Scalzi, an author and blogger I admire.

I just recently went there again to read a story posted by Wil Wheaton. (yeah, that Star Trek guy I like, who is an hawesome author) Wil’s story was basically amazing – the kind of thing I wish I could come up with. It was also inspirational, because I resurrected my ficlets username and wrote a few ficlets.

I wrote a disasterbation piece about someone in my line of work being taken hostage by an angry gun toting customer. I wrote a very vague piece about the world ending, and someone counting down the minutes. This one has inspired a few people to write sequels and prequels – one of the neatest aspects of ficlets.

Actually, I’ll let Wil sum it up, as he already did so well here.

“What does “collaborative short fiction” mean in this case? Simple: You, as a writer, post a very short (not more than 1,024 characters [Jeff’s note: If you get 1024 characters exactly it marks your ficlet as “ficlet nirvana”]) piece of fiction or a fiction fragment on the Ficlets site. People come to Ficlets to read what you’ve written, and to comment on your piece. If they want to, they can also write a “sequel” to your story or story fragment, carrying the story forward from where you left it. Or, alternately, they can write a “prequel,” explaining how you got to where you are in the story. All sorts of people can write all sorts of sequels and prequels — and of course, other people can write sequels and prequels to those. What you end up with is a story with multiple authors and multiple branchings — lots of possibilities and surprises.”

I am amazed at how a story I wrote can inspire 6 other people to write short stories based on it, and how I can surf between the prequels and sequels, and end up reading alternative “dimensions” on my story. It’s hard to describe, but say someone writes two prequels to my story. Someone else comes along and writes one sequel, and someone writes a sequel to that. In the hierarchy it is in the same point as my story, but is different.

Just for fun I tossed the RSS feed of my stories into the sidebar – you can go click on them and read them. If you sign up you can post comments on them, continue them, prequel them, or just write your own.

If you do sign up, send me your username so I can add you to my watchlist.

geek-a-licious

Today Josh and Lori are coming over to play Magic: The Gathering. Emille might come too. I got paid, so I get to buy a few cards – not sure yet what I’m going to buy, I have a few decks on the go.

Worldwide D&D Game Day is coming up! This sounds like it may be the awesomest thing I don’t get to do on November 3, because I live in the frigid north where there are no game or comic book stores.

D&D is one of those fallbacks for me. It brings me back to my childhood, and making the friendships that have survived since orcs and kobolds.

I will always remember my first adventure when I was but 9 years old. Talking to a tree that spoke in riddles and having my friend put on a cursed helmet that kept shrinking. We only got three questions, and he ruined the last one by asking how to get the helmet off his head. Good times.

As we got older, we always went back to D&D. I played D&D, AD&D and then D&D 3rd edition. D&D 3.5 came out shortly afterwords and I had to buy the core rulebooks for that too (which is actually still my favourite version).

I toyed with D&D Miniatures, and I’ve always had a love for misshapen blobs of lead or pewter with paint stuck to them. Some I’ve done are sad creations, and others are works of art.

Wil Wheaton popped this onto my radar today, with this appropriate remark:

“Wizards has wisely created 4th level characters for the festivities, so players won’t have to suffer the indignity of being killed by a single kobold. On the other hand, players won’t get to enjoy the rite of passage we all enjoyed the first time we were killed by a single kobold, while trying in vain to defend ourselves by casting Light.”

So, if you live somewhere you can get to one of these things, and have fond memories of D&D as I do, round someone up or go alone, and perhaps give it another go.

Maybe I’ll try to organize some kind of little event around my place for this…although knowing me, that would turn into a campaign, and then I’d have to plan and plot and DM and stuff.

Hmm…maybe I’ll stick to Magic.