Thursday, September 28, 2006

Portal Alternate Reality Game

Alternate Reality Gaming has become an interesting way to grab internet buzz for a product launch. For obvious reasons, computer and console video games have latched on to the method to extend the experience prior to when their games are released. With shows like LOST, TV has also joined the ARG revolution.

Today we’ll look at a game called “Portal” that has a theme built around science experimentations. To get an idea of what this game is like, visit the trailer on YouTube…

The game trailer mentions the “Aperture Science Enrichment Center” as the place these experiments take place. A quick Google search reveals….

If you type the word LOGIN, the experience begins. Pick a user name (the password is obviously PORTAL) and type HELP to see what you can do.

ARGs are all about secret codes and this one is no different. If you type THECAKEISALIE, there is a hidden video and text, in which someone comments on how Aperture Science's Relaxation Vault has no doors on it, and how the installation is on lockdown, seemingly because someone has escaped from the doorless room.*

To quote the game, "If at first you don't succeed, you fail."

* Stolen from Wikipedia's Hint Page

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Google should filter Russian Spam

This Russian spam thing is really beginning to annoy me. I’d say about 20% of the spam that makes it through Google’s spam filters is in a Cyrillic character set that I can’t read and I’m 100% sure I don’t want.

I tried writing a filter that looked for tell-tale Cyrillic characters (see image) and flagged those as spam, but the issue became that any email that may be 99% English would get thrown out if it had the briefest mention of the “Mother Land.”

I propose the smart people at Google add a language filter that could attach a label to email that may arrive in any give language. Easy right?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Wow. This space is dead...

Can you tell I've had a busy summer? I can.

Never fear, there are a few things in the works that I'm hoping to wrap up in the next few weeks. rsssaver has an update, as well as Mr. Bigshot, and a few "play" websites I've been toying with.

Hang tight, things are coming soon.