Daily Illuminator Archive for January 2007

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January 1, 2007:
Welcome to 2007. I hope your 2006 ended on a high note (ours did) and that your 2007 will be even better (we have our fingers crossed!) . . . read article

January 2, 2007:
The Air Force has been been testing a beam that can create great pain at a distance, with - they say - little or no actual damage. They intend it as an "area denial" weapon, to disperse mobs without the use of lethal force . . . read article

January 3, 2007:
I-Wei Huang likes making gadgets that use the power of steam. Here's his steam-powered Armatron . . . read article

January 4, 2007:
The Omniscient Eye, the regular Pyramid feature which gives real-world answers to gaming questions (Is a secret headquarters for my arch-villain plausible? And where are the flying cars?) is still looking for experts to expand coverage on a number of subjects . . . read article

January 5, 2007:
Even in ancient Rome one had to beware geeks bearing gifts. Work on the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project proceeds more than 100 years after the discovery of this mechanical analog marvel in a Roman shipwreck . . . read article

January 6, 2007:
Spirit has now been on Mars for three years, and Opportunity's third anniversary will be January 24. Wow . . . read article

January 7, 2007:
Once again we see that Car Wars was real. Yes, it's a light cycle mounting a 75mm recoilless rifle . . . read article

January 8, 2007:
We're pretty sure now what we're going to do in 2007. Most announcements will still be made about four months before release, but here are a few leaks for you: An ample sufficiency of new Munchkin foolishness . . . read article

January 9, 2007:
Last year I had a great time at OwlCon, the game convention at my alma mater, Rice University. So I'm going back . . . read article

January 10, 2007:
Downtown Austin, a few minutes from our offices, was shut down through much of Monday because 63 dead birds were found on a couple of blocks of Congress Avenue. Local authorities freaked out totally (ah, excuse me, I mean "reacted quickly") by stopping traffic on Congress and closing the buildings that front it . . . read article

January 11, 2007:
It's posted, and it's on time this year!-- Steve Jackson . . . read article

January 12, 2007:
According to the most recent note in his blog, Robert Anton Wilson died early Thursday morning. The note is signed by Wilson himself . . . read article

January 13, 2007:
If you want to know what the Secret Masters are up to, you'll have to find a member willing to initiate you into their mysterious ways, who will guide you and nurture your talent for the enigmatic. Or you could get dispatches from the Masonic District of Prince Edward . . . read article

January 14, 2007:
Ryan Dancey, founder of Five Rings Publishing, and later business manager for RPGs at Wizards of the Coast, offers a fairly sobering set of predictions for the hobby industry in the year ahead . . . read article

January 15, 2007:
A precis on Morgan, new clerk hire for SJ Games: I'm ectomorphic. I tend to brood and chuckle in equal proportions . . . read article

January 16, 2007:
Austin is only getting the edge of the ice storm that has shut down much of the country, but I've invited our staff to stay home tomorrow and Wednesday if conditions seem dangerous for driving . . . read article

January 17, 2007:
Depending, of course, on what you're counting. Ten million elephants would be excessive . . . read article

January 18, 2007:
It looks as though things will start to clear up in Austin sometime Wednesday. We have more cold coming, but (it seems at the moment) no precipitation for a few days, so it should soon be back to business as usual . . . read article

January 19, 2007:
You thought it was irritating when someone asked you to help them find their lost contact lenses, but Berkeley is taking things to a whole new cosmic level. Stardust@Home would like you to help them find micron-sized bits of space dust . . . read article

January 20, 2007:
Not enough people know Jordin Kare's "Fire in the Sky." Now a new generation will hear this anthem to Man in Space, sung by Kristoph Klover . . . because there's a video by Vu Trong Thu on YouTube.-- Steve Jackson . . . read article

January 21, 2007:
Another part of the globe falls to the Munchkin invasion! It's now available in Portuguese, from our friends at Devir . . . read article

January 22, 2007:
So, with Munchkin the priority for 2007, it would be reasonable of you to ask how we're doing on that. Pretty well, actually . . . read article

January 23, 2007:
My thanks to everyone who gave feedback, in the forums or elsewhere, on the Report to the Stakeholders. The recurring questions were: "OMG what if Munchkin is just a fad?" Well, its sales pattern so far has not been that of a fad . . . read article

January 24, 2007:
Giant Microbes. So you may ignore that irrelevant link . . . read article

January 25, 2007:
Here's a really neat little animation, with live backgrounds. This made me grin! . . . read article

January 26, 2007:
The United Kingdom warns us - or rather, it commissions the Office of Science and Innovation's Horizon Scanning Centre to do it for them - robots may be advanced enough to ask for rights within our lifetimes. There must be some cachet in being able to invent a drain on our own society, yes? . . . read article

January 27, 2007:
Gen Con LLC has announced the cancellation of the Southern California show, for 2007 and in all likelihood forever. Here's the press release, and here's Peter Adkison's letter giving some history of the show and discussing the decision . . . read article

January 28, 2007:
Coffee. Doughnuts . . . read article

January 29, 2007:
So . . . the issue of global warming is generally accepted, except perhaps (I haven't checked recently) by Fox News. Those who say it's not happening, especially if they're speaking on behalf of polluting industries, are finding themselves labeled "deniers." Not that this is translating very well to action yet, but then we're not a terribly intelligent species . . . read article

January 30, 2007:
There will be a scheduled downtime for maintenance on the UPS that powers our network routers at 12:10 AM CST this Thursday, February 1 (Wednesday night / Thursday morning). The expected downtime window is approximately ten minutes . . . read article

January 31, 2007:
I am a bad man . . . read article

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