Friday, January 25, 2013

Fun On Friday #160: Diplomacy

I like the game board Diplomacy but I don't think I've played it since I was at university. Maybe one day, when I'm not as busy or exhausted, I'll give the world of online Diplomacy a go.

Diplomacy: Game 1 - Round 1 by condredge
Diplomacy: Game 1 - Round 1, a photo
by condredge on Flickr.
Looks like fun.

If you have never played Diplomacy, it is an interesting game. Superficially, it looks like the world domination game Risk but unlike Risk, no dice are involved. In theory, therefore, no luck is involved in the outcome. The way it works is that superior numbers always wins.

The problem is that at the start of the game, no one player has enough power on their own to go head to head with the other player. If you want to win, you have to form alliances (hence the name of the game - Diplomacy). The problem is of course that if you want to win, you will have to break the alliance at some point and strike out on your own. If you break to early, you may not have amassed enough personal power to make it on your own. If you break too late, you run the risk of someone else in your alliance stabbing you in the back and leaving you alone and vulnerable. See the Diplomacy Wikipedia entry for more details.

As I say, a fun game... for a given definition of "fun".

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Computer News Week Ending 11 January 2013

The seniors are on exam leave for prelims but I though the third years still deserved a Computer News spot. So here it is: lumpy flat-screens!

At least one girl was unimpressed with this but I thought it was a really interesting idea. I love using my iPad but would love to try entering text with a tactile, on-screen keyboard like this one from Tactus. The only problem from a teaching point-of-view is that it may make it possible to send texts while the phone is in your pocket again.

As before, there are some brief speakers notes which you can see if you click the wee cogwheel icon in the presentation.

What do you think? Better way to type on a flat screen or useless gimmick that will never take of?

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Better late than never...

Three and a half years ago, I wrote about a folding plug: Fun on Friday #36: Build a better mousetrap...

Finally, I saw it on sale, or at least the USB charger version is on sale at Firebox. Excellent! So, when do I get my jet pack?