Category Archives: games

The Surrounding Game

Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy…

The ancient game of Go is the most complex and elegant game ever discovered. Though the rules are simple enough to teach a child, the complexity that emerges has inspired millennia of study. For three thousand years, master players in East Asia have handed down the game as an art form to foster patience, creativity, and self-reflection. Today in the elite world of the pros, international tournaments offer hundred-thousand dollar prize purses, and top matches are broadcast on 24-hour “Go TV” to millions of fans in China, Korea, and Japan. But in the West, most people have never even heard of the game…until now.

The Surrounding Game

Ah So Sudoku

You’ll forgive our juvenile play on words in the title, n’est-ce pas? 1 But it seems apt.

We’ve mentioned before that Go is not as revered in Japan as earlier ages; it is considered an old man’s game. The Sudoku tweet below sums up the new era succinctly.

Japanese school girls, my ass. 2

Rêves doux

Show 2 footnotes

  1. For the Go illiterate, Japanese players often mutter ah so desu ka during a game, which means –depending on context– “Is that so…?’, or ‘Really?’ or ‘I see’ or “Man, am I fucked.’ We tend to use that last meaning…a lot.
  2. They are actually playing a much smaller, teaching version of Go, but the danged colored stones, in the shapes of hearts no less, thoroughly sets our nerves on edge. We feel like going all Tevye and singing “Tradition!” Still, they are learning the game…

Go Programs

Last March…a computer program named Crazy Stone defeated Yoshio Ishida, a professional Go player and a five-time Japanese champion. The match took place during the first annual Densei-sen, or “electronic holy war,” tournament, in Tokyo, where the best Go programs in the world play against one of the best humans. Ishida, who earned the nickname “the Computer” in the nineteen-seventies because of his exact and calculated playing style, described Crazy Stone as “genius.”

The victory was not quite a Deep Blue moment; Crazy Stone was given a small handicap, and Ishida is no longer in his prime. But it was an impressive feat. As with computer chess in the nineteen-eighties, computer Go is dominated by individual programmers and small teams. Crazy Stone, for example, is programmed by one man, Rémi Coulom, a professor of computer science at Université Lille 3, in France.

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NCAA March Madness

NCAA March Madness.

Not supposed to use that phrase. At least, not without a whole lot of copyright, trademark and “it’s fuckin’ ours” notations. Whatever. NCAA March Madness NCAA March Madness NCAA March Madness…

So…about that NCAA March Madness: anyone else still in it for the billion bucks after a brutal first round? 1


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Show 1 footnote

  1. And here we can’t claim too much credit, though we turned out to be smart enough NOT to pick Colorado and DID consciously pick Dayton: Harvard was the perfect example of the blind squirrel finding the occasional nut. Can’t even tell you why we picked ’em. Just glad we did – billion bucks, here we come, baaaaaaaaaaby!


New…from Antenna Research:

It has been known for more than a decade that neurons and other biological cell-types grown on the surface of microprocessors are able to exchange information with those microprocessors. Furthermore, recent advances in the fields of nanotechnology and materials science have allowed the construction of functional nanoprocessors many times smaller than the microchips that are commonly used in phones or computers today.

Using our proprietary neural stem cell technology combined with recent advances in synthetic genomics and synthetic biology, BMC Labs is able to direct the development of complex, self-organizing, synthetic neural ganglia capable of interacting with nanoprocessors constructed on graphene-treated silicon nanoparticles. The neural ganglia not only act as an additional memory store for the nanoprocessors, but are capable of linking individual nanoprocessors into powerful multi-processor networks with significantly enhanced computing power. These hybrid devices constructed from modified biological tissues and state-of-the art nanoprocessors (BioNanoHybrids™) provide the basis for POD and many other devices that BMC has in its development pipeline. 1

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Show 1 footnote

  1. eXistenZ recdux…redux?