King’s Quest IX is saved

Posted by Arthur in Pop culture

My favorite computer games of all time were the Space Quest and King’s Quest adventures from Sierra On-line. Back in 1983 King’s Quest I: Quest for the Crown was the first animated adventure game ever. The character was moved around the 16-color environment with the arrow keys, and everything else in the game was controlled by use of a text parser (e.g. “Pick up apple”). At the time these graphics were amazing; it may not seem like a big deal now, but seeing the blocky Sir Graham move behind a tree or a big boulder was many person’s first true 3D experience. The eighth and final King’s Quest game game out in 1998 — but this week Vivendi Universal Games announced that they will allow the work on the unofficial King’s Quest IX to continue!! More »

December 11th 2005 | 12:52 pm CET | No Comments »

“Domino Sparrow” in the news again

Posted by Amy in Birds, Life in Holland, Nature, News

The Dutch goverment has fined the killer of the Domino-Day sparrow €200. According to Dutch law, the shooter violated the “Flora and Fauna” Act because the bird was a protected species. More »

December 9th 2005 | 4:15 pm CET | 1 Comment »

Buried by Digg

Posted by Arthur in Websites & Tools

Beware of your links appearing on the popular site digg.com. Last night a link to this site appeared on the homepage of digg.com, and almost instantly the site crashed from the sudden surge in traffic. It received thousands of hits instantly and that quickly used up our 5 gibabytes per day permitted data transfer. Our hosting company disabled the site as the traffic was affecting other customers. The site has just now come back online after being offline for nearly 18 hours. It was a true diggalanche.

December 8th 2005 | 1:47 pm CET | No Comments »

Who got a flu shot?

Posted by Amy in Life in Holland

Last week I got a flu shot. For the first time it was offered to all employees at my company, at no charge. Okay, so the shot isn’t going to protect me from bird flu. There are still good reasons that young, healthy people should get the shot: More »

December 7th 2005 | 5:39 pm CET | 3 Comments »

Bird watching in the city

Posted by Amy in Birds, Nature

We live close to the center of Leiden. Our back yard is very small and paved with bricks. The idea of attracting feathered friends to our garden is a bit misguided, as there are dozens of pet cats prowling through the neighborhood. Last year we put up a substantial bird feeder in the middle of the yard, but on the first day a cat jumped into it. More »

December 7th 2005 | 12:50 pm CET | No Comments »

Driverless robot buses crash

Posted by Arthur in Life in Holland, News, Science & technology

Two driverless shuttle-buses crashed in Rotterdam this morning causing a lot of damage. No passengers were inside at the time of the accident. More »

December 6th 2005 | 8:28 pm CET | 3 Comments »

More TV on the Internet

Posted by Arthur in Pop culture, Television

Apple today expanded their selection of TV shows on their iTunes Music Store. ABC’s Lost and Desperate Housewives have been available since October, but today new and old shows from NBC, Sci-Fi and USA were added. Also this week CNN started online television with their new CNN Pipeline service, with four commercial-free live feeds for $2.95 per month.
More »

December 6th 2005 | 8:11 pm CET | 1 Comment »

Counting down the days

Posted by Amy in Life in Holland, Personal

Someone has been playing Sinterklaas in my office. Last Friday, everyone found a chocolate letter sitting on his or her desk in the morning. This morning we were all surprised with an advent calendar; a small chocolate treat waits behind each door for the countdown to Christmas. More »

December 1st 2005 | 12:50 pm CET | No Comments »

Confessions of an iPod zombie

Posted by Amy in Life in Holland

Lately, on weekday mornings, I have been waking up at about 5:45, give or take 10 minutes. My alarm is set for 6:00. This has been going on for a few months now and it’s a bit disconcerting. It doesn’t matter when I go to bed; my internal clock somehow still beats the electric one. With such an early wake-up time, I have been able to arrive at work at around 7:20, which means I can leave at 4, which is great. Well, it would be great if there was a bus to catch at 4:10. But the first bus is scheduled for 4:27 and more often arrives after 4:30. More »

November 30th 2005 | 9:19 pm CET | 1 Comment »

Interview with a robot

Posted by Arthur in Science & technology

I recently sat down with Encarta Instant Answers, a new Artificial Intelligence robot from Microsoft that works through MSN Messenger. I asked it about what it’s like to answer millions of questions of thousands of strangers. More »

November 30th 2005 | 6:00 pm CET | 57 Comments »