Monday, April 17, 2006

Borders to sell Sony digital reading device

Sony has partnered with book chain to sell Sony's new e-book viewer, designed to let people read large books on a small gadget.

The secret of phishers' success

Scams are sophisticated enough to trap many consumers despite widespread public warnings, a study finds.

5 hours, 8 minutes ago

Police test road-crash GPS program

Local trials of handheld PCs with GPS aims to get traffic in the U.K. running faster.

5 hours, 34 minutes ago

3 Comments:

Blogger ArcoJedi said...

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Hardware and Software
Guide
Compaq Notebook Series
Document Part Number: 375341-001
March 2005
This guide explains how to identify and use most of the hardware
and software features, including optional wireless features,
available on your notebook. For additional notebook information,
including troubleshooting information, refer to the Help and
Support Center at Start > Help and Support. If your model
includes a wireless device, wireless setup information is provided
in a printed Go Wireless booklet. Additional 802.11 information
is included within 802.11 software.
The Da Vinci Code Quest on Google

Information Center
D A Resler.net
The Contest

On Monday evening, April 17, 2006, I noticed a new entry on the Official Google Blog called "Can you crack the code?". It announced a contest built around solving puzzles relating to the book and upcoming movie "The Da Vinci Code".

The puzzles for the first phase are being released one per day for 24 days. As an avid puzzle solver, I was instantly hooked. I will describe below some of my thoughts as I solve the puzzles.
Day 1, Symbol Challenge (Monday, April 17, 2006)

I was at home when I first learned of the contest. I live in a remote area and only have dialup for my Internet access. Needless to say, things did not go well. I never was able to download the first puzzle.

I tried again on Tuesday morning from work. Much better.

The puzzle was to place 4 sets of 4 symbols into a 4-by-4 grid such that each row, column and outlined region contained one each of the four symbols. A couple of the symbols were pre-placed.

My first attempt was flawless. Probably took less than two minutes. But then my IE browser up and died!

My second attempt took a little longer but I was still done in under 3 minutes.

On completing the puzzle, a question was asked: "Please name the symbol on Robert Langdon (pictured at left)."

The answer was "blade".
Day 2, Restoration Challenge (Tuesday, April 18, 2006)

This puzzle was also fairly easy to solve and I was able to do so in just under two minutes. It involved moving some cloud-like debris that was hiding some text.

On clearing the "particles", the following question was asked: "Name the symbol on Manuel Aringarosa, pictured at left.".

The answer was "Greek cross".
Day 3, Observation Challenge (Wednesday, April 19, 2006)

Even with a high-speed internet connection, I had trouble with this puzzle. The progress bar went all the way to the right and then nothing happened. After about a minute, I hit reload and the puzzle loaded ok.

This puzzle was different than the previous two in that there really wasn't a puzzle to solve. There were three questions.

For the first question we were told to search for Robert Langdon on Google Video and to watch a short video for a specified clue. It was easy to tell when the clue was being shown but I had trouble even in pausing the video to know what I was looking at. But the question also had a link that gave a much more direct clue. But alas, I had no idea what the symbol was called. With further help from Google, I found a website that displayed a variety of religious symbols. Using the information on that page, I realized the answer was "Fleur de Lis".

The second question involved the picture on the obverse of the Italian one-euro coin. On doing a quick Google search, I found the answer from Wikipedia. The answer to the second question was "Vitruvian Man".

The third and final question was straightforward. The equation to be solved was to find n such that 26n=11,881,376. The answer was n=5.
Day 4, Curator Challenge (Thursday, April 20, 2006)

With this puzzle, seven pieces of art had to be arranged on a wall. Again, pretty easy. I had the art work arranged in under 3 minutes.

Note that it helps to place the larger pieces of art work first.

After doing the puzzle, the following question was asked: "The symbol shown on Sophie Neveu (pictured at left) is called what?".

The answer was "Chalice".
Day 5, Chess Challenge (Friday, April 21, 2006)

For this puzzle, one had to find the correct sequence of chess moves leading to a checkmate. But each move was controlled by a multiple-choice question with four answers to choose from. No understanding of chess was really required.

My first question was "What is the spiked belt that Silas wears called?". The choices were (1) The Discipline, (2) A cilice, (3) A martinet, or (4) A clef de voute. The answer was (2).

My second question was "What are the second, third, and fourth leading members of the Priory of SIon called?". The choices were (1) The Elite, (2) Senechaux, (3) Entered Apprentice, or (4) Adepts. With the help from a Google search and Wikipedia, I found the answer to be (2).

My third question was "The engraved tablet that is supposed to reveal the hiding place of the Holy Grail is called the ...". The choices were (1) Keystone, (2) Meonia Stone, (3) Tabula rasa, or (4) Rosetta Stone. For this question, I determined the answer simply by figuring out what remaining chess move would cause a checkmate. The answer was (1).
Blog Entry: Conquering the Da Vinci Code Quest (up to day 5)
Day 6, Geography Challenge (Saturday, April 22, 2006)

The challenge was to assemble a jigsaw puzzle of an aerial photograph and then identify the location.

The jigsaw puzzle contained 16 pieces and was 4 by 4. It was easy to locate the corner and edge pieces, especially those with the writing at the bottom. I had the puzzle assembled in under a minute.

At the bottom of the image was the text "© 2005 Google - Imagery © 2005 State of New Jersey, Bluesky, Sanborn".

For those that didn't know that this was New York City (see Google Maps), a Google search reveals that Bluesky is a company that provides aerial photos of New York.
Continue to Day 7 and beyond ...
Related Material

* Official Google Blog
o Can you crack the code?
* Sony Pictures - The Da Vinci Code
* Wikipedia - The Da Vinci Code

DAResler.net | Information Center Updated on April 24, 2006 | Displayed on April 25, 2006
Copyright © 2006 D. A. Resler. All rights reserved.

10:46 PM  
Blogger ArcoJedi said...

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7:04 AM  
Blogger ArcoJedi said...

What is the "Flag" button?

The Flag button is not censorship and it cannot be manipulated by angry mobs. Political dissent? Incendiary opinions? Just plain crazy? Bring it on.

This feature is called "Flag As Objectionable" and it's accessible via the Blogger Navbar. The "Flag?" button allows the blogging community to easily note questionable content, which in turn helps us take action when needed. So we're relying on you, the users, to be our eyes on the web, and to let us know of potential issues that are important to you.
Why We Created "Flag As Objectionable"

It is our strong belief that blogs help make the Web an important medium of self-expression; Blogger has given a voice to millions of people. Our users gossip, joke, rant, publish, share, and on occasion might post potentially objectionable stuff. We generally do not review the content posted through our service but our responsibility extends beyond Blogger users to casual readers of Blog*Spot.

The "Flag?" button is a means by which readers of Blog*Spot can help inform us about potentially questionable content, so we can prevent others from encountering such material by setting particular blogs as "unlisted." This means the blog won't be promoted on Blogger.com but will still be available on the web — we prefer to keep in mind that one person's vulgarity is another's poetry. Or something like that.

For more serious cases, such as spam blogs or sites engaging in illegal activity, we will continue to enforce our existing policies (removing content and deleting accounts when necessary).
Here's How It Works

When a person visiting a blog clicks the "Flag?" button in the Blogger Navbar, it means they believe the content of the blog may be potentially offensive or illegal. We track the number of times a blog has been flagged as objectionable and use this information to determine what action is needed. This feature allows the blogging community as a whole to identify content they deem objectionable. Have you read The Wisdom of Crowds? It's sort of like that.
Special Case for Hate Speech

When the community has voted and hate speech is identified on Blog*Spot, Google may exercise its right to place a Content Warning page in front of the blog and set it to "unlisted."

Note: users may click the "Unflag" button if they change their mind.

7:06 AM  

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