Rumors of my death were greatly exaggerated…

…But that’s not to say I’m not dead. Mentally, at least. I’ve been sculpting my gleaming, pristine Carnegie Mellon University application (I’m applying for Computer Science and Computer Engineering), leading to much non-posting in the past month or so. So, so sorry about that. For anyone who reads my blog, I owe you for sticking around. Big time.

Alright, I feel like I owe it to you to get you caught up with what I’ve been doing recently.

Team Fortress 2

For one, Team Fortress 2 has a Halloween Event. They released a new map, “Mann Mansion,” in which presents containing masks appear periodically, and a “Horseless Headless Horsemann” shows up and rampages around the map for a bit. It’s a lot of fun. Collect all 9 masks and you can craft them into a super mask which lasts beyond November 7th (the end of the event). There’s a few more achievements that have been added. I have to say, I’ve had fun with it. It’s a good way to take a break from all the writing and editing for these essays.

Minecraft

Ohhh wow. I feel awful. I ranted and raved about Minecraft, and yet I haven’t tried out their new update. Notch, the guy who made the game, added “Hell.” That’s right. Dig down deep enough, or walk through a portal… and you wind up in hell. :D

Here’s all the great things he added in the update.

Also, I’m going to hack my Wii. More on that soon.

Cheers,
Salem.

jsFiddle: Test your code snippets live!

I am slowly, slowwwlllly coding my own mobile version of this site. I mean, there’s already a mobile version of this site (just visit it on your iPod) but it’s not exactly what I’d like. The one I’m making is not fantastic by any stretch of imagination; in fact, its little more than a glorified RSS feed. But I had a stupid issue; the images from the posts in my site were really, really too big for the iPhone’s screen, and since I was using a fixed width page (i.e. you can’t zoom in and out), this was a bit of a problem.

jsFiddle

After poking around for answers to this question, someone pointed me to a link on jsFiddle.net that contained code to apply certain properties to all images above a certain size. The code was neat, but what impressed me more was the site it was presented in. I mean, jsFiddle is actually really cool, if you’re someone who’s into web design, or if you just want to play around with javascript.

The site is simple and split into four panes; one  for your html code, one for CSS, one for your javascript, and one to show you what the finished product looks like. To preview your site, you simply click the “run” button at the top of the site. There are no user accounts, so every project gets its own url (mine being http://jsfiddle.net/YynnY/). Every save, consequently, is a number appended to that url (so the fifth revision of my project would be http://jsfiddle.net/YynnY/5/). It’s very intuitive. Because the URL’s are short, it is very, very easy to share code with people.

What you can expect

jsFiddle allows you to play with a bunch of js libraries, like MooTools and jQuery, and has a few things for convenience, too, like indenting messy code and things like that. I’ve gotten a sneak peak at some future features, like the ability to log in and save your code, and the ability to have an updating preview on a mobile device (PERFECT for me). I really can’t wait to see where this site goes from here. It’s truly an invaluable tool. Plus, it’s free. So, if you’re a web developer of any sort, check this site out.

Examples

Twitter Feed
Fade Out
Delayed Tracking

jsFiddle.net

Free Minecraft Weekend!

Minecraft, the fantastically-addicting sandbox-esque game by “Notch,” (yes, the same guy who made Left 4k Dead) is free this weekend! Apparently, the servers that run Minecraft totally crashed September 18th, and a lot of things completely “went down.” I actually feel bad for publishing this article, because it means his servers will get slightly more hits, but it had to be announced.

What this means for you:

Minecraft is free (for now)

Well, it’s free until “however long this will take to fix.” So grab it and play it while it’s free. As soon as the problem’s solved, it’s back to paid only. Notch says he hopes to have everything working by the 20th again, but that’s not guaranteed.

You can’t register, nor can you purchase…

although I’d highly recommend it. It’s seriously a very, very well spent $12-something USD.

Some gameplay stuff is weird.

Skins still work, but sounds don’t, if you’re a new player. I guess the sounds aren’t stored locally or something. *shrugs*

At any rate, download the game, test drive it while you have the opportunity, and then buy it (or make an account and play the free version).

Minecraft.net

Oh, and if you need any more convincing, here’s a screenshot. Post links to your minecraft screenshots and I’ll be sure to add them.

Icentertainment.net

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. I have a lot of new sites and great music I’d like to blog about at some point (like www.jsFiddle.net and Movits) but for right now, I’d like to share some great local talent.

From time to time, I like to promote friends of mine. Seriously, promoting talent is really important to me. A lot of talent often goes wasted because it simply isn’t noticed. I blogged about a few of my friends before, and I’d like to do another for you right now.

Brandon: Pittsburgh’s rising DJ

My friend Brandon started a DJ business in Pittsburgh, and he’s been tearing it up for a while, DJing at local clubs and parties. He’s actually pretty good. He’s released a few original tracks (check them out below) a while a go. He had me build a website for him, and since he’s one of my first few clients, I figured I’d help get him some hits on his new site. So, check out his new site, icentertainment.net. If you’re interested in booking Brandon, all the information is on the site for you. He keeps his twitter account, @djice412, updated so you can check out news, events, and public performances if you want.

I’m trying to convince him to let me put some of his music up here. If you want to really want to hear his music, post a comment and I’ll see what I can do. He’s talented, but really wants to make a good first impression (which I totally agree with).

icentertainment.net
Follow him on twitter
Check him out on Youtube
Like him on Facebook

WeReward: Like foursquare, but with cash.

This post brought to you by WeReward. All opinions are 100% mine.

Imagine you could get paid for having dinner at a local restaurant, or visiting a company, or even drinking a soda. That’s the idea behind WeReward, a new service that acts like foursquare, but with paid rewards, and the only thing you need is a smartphone and one of three social networking accounts.

Here, check out the promotional video they made:

How it works

Essentially, you only need a smartphone (currently, WeReward for iPhone and WeReward for Android are available, with a Blackberry app on the way) and a Twitter, Facebook, or Foursquare account. The WeReward app will give you a list of offers for you to take, from taking pictures of yourself eating food at a restaurant to checking in at hotdog stands or vendors. It’s a fairly good system.

Offers are spit up into tasks and checkins. Tasks are things that can be done anywhere, like drinking a bottle of soda, while checkins are location-based, like visiting a store. Point values vary, obviously, based on the location.  Each point is worth a penny, and after 1000 points ($10 USD), you can “cash out,” or have money sent to a paypal account. Its a pretty damn good deal. You get paid to do things that you’d do anyways, essentially.

If you invite a friend, you can get 10% of his (or her) approved opportunities, so there’s a potential to get a good bit of pocket money with this service. Overall, check this service out. I’ll definitely use it any time I can.

WeReward.com

WeReward for iPhone

WeReward for Android

Visit Sponsor's Site

Royksopp’s album “Senior” leaked

Alright. Norwegian electric band Royksopp has been posting juicy little blurbs about their new album, Senior, for months now. They’ve pushed back the release date once or twice, and have finally announced that the album, originally due for earlier this summer, would be released September 13th. The album is meant to accompany their prior album, Junior; while Junior contained lighter and more energetic tracks, Senior is said to contain some of the slower, darker, more lethargic tracks.

But the album has been leaked.

That’s right. The whole album has been floating around almost every major torrent site and on a few filehosting sites. And, may I say, it’s fantastic. It’s really, really good.

You can download Senior from ThePirateBay.org here. But please, buy the vinyl or something. The album is totally worth it.

Download Senior now.