Play Chess and Watch the Computer Work it’s Moves

Not a huge player of chess. But this is chess with a difference.

In this version of chess you play as you would expect, but after you take your go the computer starts to calculate it’s move. Normally when this is happening you wait around, not with the Thinking Machine. Lines start to draw all over the board while the computer calculates 1000’s of possible moves and future plays. You keep playing until you loose, or at least that’s what I do.

The Thinking Machine01

Interesting concept and makes for interesting waiting time. The pieces are not the usual representations and this makes it a little more difficult (I lost my queen because of this). I could not tell you how good a player the computer is because I am crap. I am also not sure what the transparent circles are surrounding the board while you are thinking.

Thinking Machine

Still I think it is worth a look at the Thinking Machine 4 just because it does something that I have not seen before, even if you don’t play a whole game.

“Those traces become a key to the invisible lines of force in the game as well as a window into the spirit of a thinking machine.”

Thinking Machine Homepage

Thinking Machine Homepage

Destroy Your Website Or Someone Else’s

Well temporarily at least. NetDisaster gives you the opportunity to create chaos on any website on the Internets.

When you arrive your greeted with few text fields to fill in. Web site URL, the type of disaster you would like to inflict there are many to choose from and include flood to “acid pee” and dinosaurs. Once the type of disaster is selected you can choose a few other options as well, like sound. Select if the process is self healing or “massive”. Then “GO”! Simple time waster, but then the best ones are simple.

Mars Attacks

The page loads with the website you entered and the mayhem starts in either automatic mode or mouse control mode. You’ll notice also that there is a toolbar at the top of the page. This allows you to change the type of disaster at any time without reloading the page. This is thanks to the fact that the page is rendered in flash. Because of that it is just an image and the links etc won’t work.

If you want to send the page and settings to a friend via email you can do that as well. Finally you can cancel the animations and the options and load the webpage as per usual. There are also some other options available via a pull down menu on the right hand side, it is all pretty self explanatory.

Great time waster and a bit of fun. The animations are well done and as I said, simple but heaps of fun. Go ahead and wreck your site. Heck aliens attacked mine! Although I liked the flooding one as well but due to my colour scheme it was a bit lost on it.

I suggest that you get to your workmates’ PC load up their current page and set to work invoking some disaster, timed right so that almost total destruction is complete on their return to their desk.

Net Disaster Screenshot

Twitter Poster, How Influential are You?

twitter poster logoThere is a bit of buzz on twitter about a new site called twitter poster. The sites purpose is to visually represent the degree of influence that twitter users have. The size of the image relates to the number of followers. I guess that would mean it is better to have fewer followers and more influence, not sure.The Rooster on twitter poster

There are different editions of the site, a twitter poster (.com) but also versions for Australia and Mexico (?). I checked out the Aussie one and it turns out that I am in the poster, as well as characters like Michael Specht and Kodo. Yet Cam Reilly is on the .com. I think that the dot com might be a global poster, so I guess that is good. But Cam doesn’t rate a mention on the Aussie version. It might have something to do with your profile.

If you use twitter it is pretty interesting and might get you connected with some interesting people. Yet I am not sure what gets you on the poster, I am not a heavy user of twitter yet I am there. There are obvious ones on the poster like Scoble who tweets everything. So go hard and try and get on the list, if you find out how then let me know. Diversion finished.

.com version here

Twitter Poster screenshot

More Clouds

I told you there was something about clouds. Found a page full of cloud pictures. Big ones, small ones, weird ones, black ones, white ones and a lot of round ones. All worth a look. There is also some interesting information on various images.

OK enough with the clouds already.

Artwork of Leonardo da Vinci: All in One Place

I think that this  is absolutely brilliant. I have only ever seen drawings by Leonardo da Vinci here and there, maybe a book cover in recent years, or on a DVD case, a textbook cover and such. I have never seen a whole collection of his drawings in one place.

I am not sure if this is a definitive collection. It seems rather small if it is. But then again considering my exposure it could well be! But it is a very nice collection of drawings. You can click on images for a larger version. Or if you are so inclined you can download the whole lot as a .zip or .tar file. Not sure about copyright there so be cautious as to how you use them. The site also looks to be regularly updated with an update as recent as the 25th of February 2007.

I know that there a few here that I have never seen. I have an keen interest in the medical drawings, they are super, and very accurate considering the period they were drawn. Leonardo was a true genius and this is a window into that mind. A very nice diversion indeed.

Has anyone thought of making a website devoted to the works of our greatest historical geniuses? I can see a possible niche there for a social network or site of devotees, something. Whatever it was could be as cool as.

Leonardo da Vinci Drawings Screenshot