Roleplaying City Map Generator

If you’re a gamemaster then you know how time-consuming it can be to generate city maps. The Roleplaying City Map Generator is a free utility for GMs and it does this work for you with just a couple of minutes of your time and a few mouse clicks.

Via their simple UI (check out the UI here), you just enter a few parameters or you can start with one of their templates. Parameters include the appearance of buildings, streets, parks, places, rivers and the city wall. You can also define the type of settlement such as villages, small towns, or big cities for fantasy, medieval, cthulhu or scifi campaigns. Throw in a little randomization and the tool builds the city map before you, if you don’t like it then starting over using the previous settings is simple until it meets your requirements.

The tool is remarkable from the standpoint of the details you can choose from. For instance, you don’t simply choose the number of streets and buildings and towers, but have control over things like thickness of the city wall, city gate size, distance to water, tree size, orientation of the houses to the streets and the winding of the rivers. But don’t worry about being overloaded with detailed decisions you have to make, the tool uses default settings to give you a decent stab at having a proper town right out of the gate that you can tweak from there.

You can download the small Windows utility from here.

Here’s a collection of thumbnail shots from a variety of towns (clicky).

City Maps Generator

Recharge Your Gadgets With The Solar Powered Bra

Triump International is known for its brassieres, especially its strange bras. Like its newest model from this year featuring a built-in solar panel. Triumph’s latest solar bra captures and redistributes the sun’s bounty and can generate enough energy to power a cell phone or an iPod.

Want more “interesting” bras? Check out Inventor Spot’s Best 8 bizarre bras from Triump Intl, including the No Smoking bra, the Post Office bra, the Chopsticks Bra (a feast for the eyes) and more.

Here’s a video demonstration of the eco friendly Solar Powered Bra :

Avast, ye Mateys! It Be "Talk Like A Pirate Day"!

pirate

Thar she blows!  Alright ye scurvy dogs, listen up.  Tomorrow (Sept. 19th) be “Talk Like A Pirate Day“, and yer expected to heave to tha poop deck, and show yer colors.  This not be a request, ya scallywags!  Show yer spirit and speak to everyone with yer inner pirate πŸ˜‰

Talk Like A Pirate Day is an original concept created in a moment of temporary insanity by John Baur and Mark Summers.

Let tha festivities commence!

Even Google is participating in Talk Like A Pirate Day!  Go check it out!

Magnify Opens Their Crown Jewels to the Public

magnify.net

Magnify.net is a video publishing platform that makes it easy for you to integrate user-generated video, video that you produce, or video that you discover into your website. They provide a platform for you to tell your story through video and according to a recent press release:

…in less than 18 months they’ve become the largest provide of site-specific video aggregation solutions for publishers, brands, and Web-based communities. The results can be seen in the dramatic increase of Magnify-powered channels (now over 42,000), Magnify-hosted page views (approaching 1 million per day) and videos posted by the Magnify platform (now more than 5 million per month).

They’re in the news this week because they’re opening up their API to free the content in their ecosystem of 50M videos and enabling the content created, discovered and published in Magnify to be taken anywhere.

You can see the API in action here:

This is essentially the same API in service today for 15 of the web’s most popular video hosting services included in Magnify’s service such as: YouTube, Metacafe, Dailymotion, Vimeo, Veoh, Hulu, MySpace, Blip.tv, Google Video, Revver, Yahoo Video, AOL Video, ClipSyndicate, MTV, CollegeHumor, Redlasso, and Howcast.

Imagine what’s possible when the community of web developers gets their hands on the API? I can hardly wait!

Zune Update 3.0 – New Features Enabled On Old Devices

Software update 3.0 has been released to Zune. For me and my v1 30G Brown Zune, among the more interesting new features enabled in this update are:

More Audiobook support. For instance via Audible.com and Overdrive.com, 2 of the more popular public libraries of audiobooks. You can get a free audiobook and a 30 day trial from Audible.

Zune Games

Games Enabled! Several games are installed by default, the wife is already addicted to Helix, XNA Studio has now been released in beta and will allow you to load more Zune games

Download selected TV episodes for free. As part of an NBC promotion this includes the following shows: The Office, 30 Rock, Battlestar Galactica, Psych, Monk, In Plain Sight, Heroes, Eureka, and Top Design.

For much more information check out zunerama and their report from Day 1.

Plate Armor For Programs

Here’s a quick update on some recent Geeknews activity.

Lately, we’ve been inquiring with several well known product manufacturers to receive some items for review here on the blog.  So far, we’ve gotten some pretty good responses, such as the QPAD Mousemat.  Today, I received a prime item from the great folks over at Ironkey.  They sent us a 2gb Ironkey flash drive for review!

IronKeyLogo       ironkey-reviewa

Over the next few days I’m going to put this unit through its paces, and give it a run for it’s money.  Afterwards, I’ll compose a complete write-up on it’s features and performance in everyday (and not so ordinary) use.  Look for it next week πŸ™‚

Keep an eye out for new reviews, as Andy and I are pounding on the doors of many different innovative product manufacturers for goodies!

Are you an inventor, or have a gadget you’ve developed and want some prime exposure?  Shoot us an email, and we’ll be happy to chat with you.  We look forward to hearing from all of you!

Recover Your Lost Items With SendMeHome.com

Sendmehome

Sendmehome.com is a new free service just released to Beta today that lets you register your valuables and print labels with a unique ID to attach to your stuff. The reason why this is interesting is that this site is essentially acting as an online Lost and Found service.

If you lose the item, anybody who finds it can go to SendMeHome.com, enter the tag ID, and get it back to you. And according to the site:

You save time, money, and hassle plus you get your stuff back!

Here’s a partial FAQ:

What items can I register?

From baseball gloves to cell phones, pets to laptops, camping gear to hubcaps, anything that you don’t want to lose can be tagged

Who pays for shipping?

That is completely up to you and the finder of your item.

Will my tag ever expire?

No. Your tag will never expire. It will only be removed from Send Me Home if you delete it.

UFO Sightings Connected to Large Hadron Collider Experiment?

ufo 1

Reports are pouring into a UK paper from EU citizens that are spying UFOs in the night sky lately and has them wondering –

Could it be something to do with that experiment they are doing under ground in Geneva letting out pockets of energy or something?

Sure. Why the heck not, let’s run with that theory why don’t we? Though I have my doubts that Occam’s Razor applies in this case.

The article has a photo snapped by one of its readers.

"Shrek the Musical" Premieres in Seattle

Shrek the Musical

The star of the animated blockbuster smash Shrek is back again, but this time it’s in a musical play and it’s the first such venture by Dreamworks to go toe to toe with Disney as a Broadway rival.

“Shrek the Musical” has a super-talented cast, charming songs and is a musical full of heart in its world premiere at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre the other week.

It’s playing in Seattle until late September to work out the kinks in this new multi-million dollar sensation before moving to Broadway in November.

Visit the homepage for Shrek the Musical.

Flight Attendants Already Battling In-Flight Internet Porn

stewardess porn

Some airlines are now offering in-flight internet access like American Airlines, Jet blue, Southwest and Delta.

And some flight attendants are tired of seeing pornography on passenger’s laptops and demanding in-flight internet porn filters be applied as well.

Does an airline have the right to censor content and if they do, how do they ensure they’re not inadvertently filtering legitimate content?

ChattyDM.net: Fluffy and Feminine or Hairy and Revolting?

So there I was, minding my own business, swinging by Musings of the Chatty DM this evening to see what’s happening in the RPG world and hear about his new Twitter feed.

Sidebar: This is not your run of the mill, vanilla flavored Twitter channel, folks. It’s a mini-RPG via tweets. As Chatty says ‘the mind explodes at the possibilities’. This is a great idea!

Back to the story – So I’m at Chattydm.net and low and behold, my eyes about popped when I saw what his GOOG advert banner was displaying under his blog’s title banner. Talk about inappropriate!

This would appear to be the new and improved, touchy feely Chatty, the one that is frilly and delicious like cotton candy? I guess if you peer closely enough it looks like the advert has two women in a hot tub, that’s somewhat redeeming I guess.

Chatty1-2   (clicky)

But my faith in the old man was soon restored as I scrolled down and saw this scaly, disgusting dragon-like creature from the underworld that we probably would all love to have as a pet. Now this is what I’m looking for in an RPG site’s adverts! More like that Chatty! πŸ˜‰

 Chatty2-2 (clicky)

So I could make a claim that GOOG’s excellent analysis of his fine site has determined that the most appropriate adverts would be those that are pretty, fluffy and come from the Rainbow Brite world for little girls. Or is it dynamically updating the advert on a per user basis and is truly a reflection on me and what GOOG thinks of my personality and web searching & purchasing traits?

Hmmm. I’d like to think it’s Chatty, not me. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

When a Photo Finish Is Just What You Need.

I was shopping the other day with my mother, who was determined to buy me a new computer chair for my upcoming birthday, and I came across this interesting gadget.

sony-dpf-d70_743188

This is a Sony DPF-D70 Digital Photo Frame.  Something great to display your recent pictures on the fly for friends and family!  Here’s the specs:

  • Beautiful 7.0-inch photo quality LCD screen
  • Intelligent orientation sensor automatically rotates picture for correct viewing with frame in landscape or portrait positions
  • Multi-card slot accepts Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo, SD, MMC, CompactFlash, MicroDrive or xD media
  • Easy transfer of images from connected PC to photo frame’s internal memory with no software required
  • 256MB internal memory stores up to 500 pictures: Auto size adjustment re-scales large files for increased album capacity
  • Choice of Slideshow modes or clock display
  • Comes supplied with wireless remote commander and AC power adaptor
  • Actual viewing area: 152 x 91mm

    The Sony DPF- D70 series has a 7-inch frame measured diagonally, 15: 9 aspect ratio LCD, supports memory card, and also has auto image rotation. It is designed to showcase pictures in vibrant colour in crisp detail in WVGA (800 x 400) resolution. The dimension of the Sony DPF –D70 is approximately 207 x 137 x 38.5mm without stand, and 207 x 137 x 125mm with stand. It weighs approximately 550g without the AC adaptor.

    I’d seen these advertised in several different places on the net in the past, but I found that the people over at Test Freaks have one of the best detailed descriptions for this gadget.  Go check it out!