The Vengeful Polyglot

Archive for May 2011

Because it’s a best effort delivery service. Get it? No? That’s cool, because I’m finally done with Networks forever, having done my final presentation on cloud computing today. Now if only I didn’t have 8 bajillion other final projects to work on, I could celebrate.

Hopefully I’ll be able to finish the writeup of my Tasker profiles (I’m also redoing my homescreens yet again because I got GoSMSPro and… it’s a long story, actually, and not an interesting one), but for the moment I’m smashed with work. 😦 Also:

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First off, this was not a game I ever figured I’d be playing (or watching Matteo play, as it were). What little I had heard of it seemed to say it was a typical Rockstar game, with a lot of shooting and twitchy nonsense that I tend to fail at. Matteo was interested, though, so I looked into it and saw some write ups claiming it was more like a grown-up Phoenix Wright than GTA. I really didn’t like the latter, but I’m a big fan of the former, not to mention my avowed love of Stephen King, silly forensics shows, and horror fiction.

The more I investigated, the more intrigued I became; not only was the portrayal of the time period supposed to be brilliant and accurate, but Rockstar also employed/outsourced advanced facial-mapping techniques to create faces that could be “read” in order to determine truth or lie during interrogations. Sounded pretty uncanny valley, but it also sounded pretty interesting, so when Matteo brought it over this weekend we played through the first few cases.

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Are there people out there who only read one book at a time? I’m just kind of curious, because I don’t think there’s ever been a prolonged period in my life where I’ve been in the midst of fewer than four or five books. I usually have around that many that I’m actively reading — usually I’m also in the middle of somewhere between 5-10 more which I’ve put on hiatus for various reasons (left them at home, lent them out, got bored or creeped out) but intend to pick back up again once my queue opens up.

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Since getting my replacement phone I have been absorbed with — maybe a better phrase would be fixated on — revamping the UI using some uber-customizable apps I hadn’t tried before, namely Tasker and Minimalistic Text.

Tasker allows an unprecedented amount of control over your phone, allowing you to specify responses to specific conditions. It’s very much like coding and I can’t get over how incredibly powerful and robust it is. I put off using it for a long time because I was intimidated by its scope, but the level of awesome stuff my phone does now is totally worth the confusion and hours of scrambling things together from the Wiki. I’m planning on doing a post, or a series of posts, on my Tasker set up and how to do various things. I hope it will be helpful because I wasn’t able to find all of the information I needed easily and had to cobble some of it together with trial and error.

Minimalistic Text is a widget creator which allows you to format and populate widgets with information like the time, date, weather, and battery status. It also supports Tasker variables, so you can display pretty much any info you can grab using Tasker (which is pretty much limitless!); in my setup, I only use this capability in two widgets, but there’s a lot more you can do with it than what I felt I needed. Basically, I use Minimalistic text in most of my widgets in order to present a unified theme, as well as to fulfill my anal-retentive tendencies. It’s seriously nuts; give it a try!


Main Homescreen

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Matteo and I readying ourselves for a night on the town! Mama D’s and watching the 10-footers off the Wedge in Newport. Then Portal 2 Co-op. What could be better? Also, I am being adventurous with red lipstick. Scary! It’s more red than it looks here, I think.

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Well, download Tasker. Also this, though:

It just keeps scrolling. Forever. I now have 300 wallpapers. What do?

Since this is a totally boring post and I need to wait for the SDK to install on my desktop in order to do my shocking new Android UI exposé, here are two songs I’ve recently been obsessed with.

If you’re feeling chipper, check out “Daytime” by Matt and Kim (courtesy of my Hush Sound Pandora station). If you’re more pensive, give “Exile Vilify” by The National a try (from the Portal 2 Soundtrack). I, probably like many relatively-intelligent primates, can play the main theme for the latter! I am unnecessarily proud.



(I’m not going to get into how much Mumford and Sons I’ve been listening to lately, but suffice to say they’re pretty neat, too.)

You get hassled less at Fry’s if your hair is messy and you’re wearing a WoW tshirt and glasses (maybe not if you wear them exactly like that, though).

Otherwise, I get a lot of “But what color are you looking for (because the criterion women base hardware purchases on)?” and “Don’t you want the one with the Genius Button? It’s better (for reasons I could never supply to you if asked)!”

How many of the sales associates at Fry’s do you think know the only difference between the regular Android search key and the “Genius Button” is that the voice recognition is by Nuance instead of Google? I’m guessing not many. I can tell you for a fact, though, that all of them will assume you don’t.

It’s pretty funny to mess with them, though. Too bad when I look like a nerd none of them will come play with me. 😛

(Also, I got my new Bluetooth headset $15 off because I was able to make them price match to Amazon using my phone. Bazinga! I win the internets.)

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As the quarter draws to a close and graduation (and two summer session classes) draws near, I have fallen victim to what I’m calling “anxious lethargy.” I’m burnt out, but while I’d rather mess with Tasker scripts on my phone or blog or play WoW, I am entirely anxious about actually blowing work off. Basically, it’s all the downside of senioritis without any of the fun of relaxing (no grad acceptance or job yet, so my grades can’t “safely” tank) or not caring (my anxiety is legendary).

This came to a head with my Networks exam. Most of my classes, with the exception of Linguistic Anthropology, are not exam courses (and, really, how much do I have to study for a lower div ling class after progressing through several upper divs? While also fun and interesting, Ling functions as GPA padding for me). Project in AI is, well, project-based. My Studio Art Game Design class is making a game in a specific Flash SDK and not much else. Networks, though, has one big exam, called a midterm but in actuality a final, since afterward we split up to work on group projects. For some reason, I got a total block on actually preparing for this exam.

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I’m here to talk about High School Alternate-Universe (AU) fics, and how to and how to deal with some of the common issues encountered while writing them. The High School AU is a very common AU – possibly even the most common. Most fans I’ve known have written one, and most of those have admitted to writing them really, exceedingly poorly. I’ve written them really, exceedingly poorly, for that matter, though no one alive will get their current location from me. I’m actually one of those fangirls who has the capability to truly enjoy a HS AU, assuming it’s well written.

That’s where we tend to run into problems, though, these fics and I. AUs are notoriously sophisticated and tricksy beasts; not only does the author have to think about all of the normal problems which crop up while writing fanfiction – such a characterization, diction, interpersonal relationships, plot – but they also have to deal with plopping the characters in a new locale, or possibly remaking the whole story in a new world entirely. This is a particularly daunting task.

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Sometimes, while peacefully reading, I’ll get the feeling that I’m being watched.



Blog by a programmer cum linguist cum writer cum total geek. One who pretentiously uses "cum" in place of any other logical connectives. Direct questions to the Ask Lauren page!

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