Robots are AMAZING!

GE has put out a commercial featuring famous robots through out time. I personally do not know what they are trying to sell me but if it is robots I am so in!

I AM THROWING MONEY AT MY SCREEN BUT NOTHING IS HAPPENING!!!

Featuring robots like Johnny 5, KITT from Knight Rider, The Robot from Lost in Space, Data, and many more.

via Mashable

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Podcast 001 – Full Steam Ahead

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Justin and Phil dive into the world of podcasting covering all things nerdy. This time around we focus on Steams updates and Valves expansions.

Articles:
Black Mesa Source
Big Picture Mode
Valve Gaming Controller
Source Engine 2
Steam on iOS and Android

Other Resources:
Microsoft Sells 750,000 Xbox Consoles on Black Friday Weekend

Breaking Bad POV Compilation & Bonus Video

Breaking Bad is arguably one of the best television series of all time. With Season 5 paused half way through and to be picked up in the Summer of 2013 I am in need of a little boost to keep me excited for the series return. Below is a compilation of the iconic Point of View shoots through out the series.

Bonus video a Taylor Swift/Breaking Bad Parody that I personally can not get enough of! Warning a few spoilers if you haven’t got through the entire series.

 

The Good the Bad and the VB

Not too long ago (in a galaxy far far away) I was contacted by a friend in order to help him randomize a PowerPoint for the purpose of what would be essential flash cards. He needed a way to randomize 3 different types of PowerPoints. When this was first described to me in a brief phone conversation I told him that this would be a quick and simple task. Now never having worked in Visual Basic let alone within an office product this proved to be a little bit more difficult then I thought. However I am a reasonably competent C# .NET developer so it’s not like I was exactly swinging in the dark. So as I discussed this problem he had further here is what I found out about the three PowerPoints he needed randomized.

Type I – Complete Randomization

This was a very straight forward request. One very easily solved with a quick Google search. Having this is a crash course into VB.NET was just what I needed to gear be up for the next ones.

Type II – 3 Series Randomization

This is where it began to become a little bit trickier. I will leave some details out here as I will be explaining a similar concept in the next Type, but in short there are 30 slides in total, which were divided into 10 groups of 3. Each group has to have a static card first and then the two following cards must be randomized. After each group has been randomized individually the groups (kept intact) but then be randomized. Now there is some easy logic to this but as I will explain where I ran into the most problems.

Type III – 5 Series Randomization

The Problem: Here is where I will spend the most of this tutorial talking about the logic and VB necessary to complete the described problem. In a PowerPoint of 50 slides there are 10 groups of 5 slides wherein the first slide is always static, the following four are to be randomized and each group of 5 (kept intact) are then randomized.

Other Issues: Here are some of the problems I faced when trying to complete this in PowerPoint.

1 – There are no distinguishing names for slides in PowerPoint other then the position that they current exist. This causes a problem when trying to randomize a slide to somewhere else within a PowerPoint while keeping its other 4 slides in coherency.

2 – VB cannot support selecting multiple slides and moving them together. In the way you might think of selecting several slides by clicking, holding down shift and selecting another slide to grab a series of slides.

3 – When using VB you can either use the Cut and Paste method or you can use the MoveTo method in which you set the slide to move and the location it is to move. The problem or rather I should say the stumbling block is understanding that when you do either of these methods you must account for the fact that when a slide is moved the slide that it is moving to is going to shift down. Meaning that the location that you plan to move the slide must be offset in this consideration.

 

The Solution: Unfortunately I had a very short time table to complete this for him and being unfamiliar with VB had put me in a position that I had to make this code tailor made for his PowerPoint but the principal is still there.

In completion this script should work in two loops. The first loop will keep alpha slide static and then proceed to randomize the following 4 slides.

The second loop will then create a random number that will determine how many times to; select slide 1, copy it, then paste on the alpha slide of the last group.

 

Before I hear “OHH Justin that’s not very random, you are just shuffling the slide order x amount of times”, yes that is true but this became an ideal solution for my friend so we kept it. Another potential solution to making this random would be to use that same shuffle method in two places (i.e. group 1 alpha 1 and group 3 alpha 1).

 

Well without further painstaking explanation here is an example of the code:

 

Sub Random5()

'For x = 1 To 4 (cycles 4 times for for slides)
'rng = Int((HighestNumber - LowestNumber + 1) * Rnd) + LowestNumber
'ActivePresentation.Slides(rng).MoveTo LowestNumber
'Next (part of for loop)

For x = 1 To 4
rng = Int((5 - 2 + 1) * Rnd) + 2
ActivePresentation.Slides(rng).MoveTo 2
Next

For y = 1 To 4
rng = Int((10 - 7 + 1) * Rnd) + 7
ActivePresentation.Slides(rng).MoveTo 7
Next

For z = 1 To 4
rng = Int((15 - 12 + 1) * Rnd) + 12
ActivePresentation.Slides(rng).MoveTo 12
Next

rng2 = Int((5 - 1 + 1) * Rnd) + 1

For w = 1 To rng2
For v = 0 To 4
ActivePresentation.Slides(1).Select
ActiveWindow.Selection.Cut
ActivePresentation.Slides(ActivePresentation.Slides.Count).Select
ActiveWindow.View.Paste
Next
Next

End Sub

 

Feel free to make any comments, ways to improve or if you have any questions I will be happy to answer.

 

New Boxee Box, from the perspective of a previous Boxee owner.

Boxee Inc., The creator of what was once a free piece of software built on the back bone of XBMC designed to stream and view content on larger viewing platforms, has released an updated version of their D-Link Product the Boxee Box. Far from Boxee’s original roots, which originally had a diy nerd following who wished to hook their computers to their television and have a more enjoyable viewing experience, has shifted to a for-profit business plan teaming up with companies such as D-Link, Lomega, and Viewsonic to create devices and televisions with the Boxee Software on it.

[one_half][/one_half][one_half_last][/one_half_last]

The New Boxee Box strays from the original (released in 2010) design for a more traditional black box look, The controller has ditched the backside keyboard (which was useless in low light anyway) for a matte black finish and a proprietary Netflix and Vudu button (which was featured in later models of the original). Now with a built in TV tuner Boxee boasts that some customers will be able to receive channels such as ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, NBC, PBS, and Univision along with a DVR feature (at a monthly fee). Of course like its competition it sports many Apps like Vudu, Netflix, Youtube, Pandora and many more, but still seems to be lacking some key players such as Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime (both seemed to have been rumored for several years now).

I was unfortunate enough to be an early adopter of the first Boxee Box which was riddled with issues such as loss of internet connection, freezing, and all around slowness. Not to mention if the damn remote battery died you had to go find a watch battery to replace it with. Although the new Boxee Box does look like a major improvement and the $99 dollar price point is very enticing, I don’t believe I will be purchasing a Boxee Box anytime soon. I have since ditched the Boxee for a Roku, which I then ditch for a Playstation 3 (damn Roku had many of the same issues) and it seems to be holding up quite well. But if you are interested you can pick up a Boxee Box at your Local Wal-Mart (also known as hell) or online. If you own one please let us know how it performs!

Boxee

Netflix and Hulu coming to Steam?

With Steam’s Big Picture Beta in full swing and Valve’s plans to infiltrate the living rooms of the masses it only makes sense that Apps such as Hulu Plus and Netflix would be coming to Steam’s platform. They have already started to curate other non game related software such as their Source Film Maker and 3d Modeling software, so it is not far fetched to think a company as large as Valve would be in talks with streaming platforms to deliver content straight threw Steam. This is of course all speculation and not based on any hard facts. Just a strong gut feeling that I hope isn’t the Chipotle I ate earlier.

Next week we will be releasing a podcast covering a lot of these steam updates so keep an eye out!

The Next Xbox, A Powerhouse in Console Standards.

The next Xbox is rumored to be sporting a quad-core processor, 8gb of Ram, and a blu-ray player. Also it sounds like they are taking a page out of Apple’s book and will be ditching the adding of additional numbers to its title and will be dubbed “Xbox.” Which is much cleaner than the Xbox 720. I recently got rid of my Xbox 360, but this next iteration is looking promising and in conjunction with Xbox Smart Glass its looks like its going to be an all around entertainment system. Now lets just bring a Youtube app and clean up that store front and then we will be talking!

Via: Report: The Next Xbox Will Have a Quad-Core Processor, 8GB Ram, Blu-Ray, Kinect 2.0 and More.