🧱 Stick a USB in a wall, Atari's unsolved mystery, and Cameo Zoom Calls
A secret underground social network!
Hey everyone! I hope you are having a fantastic Monday. How’s that coffee? I’m currently sipping on some 24-hour cold brew that my wife made. It’s really good!
This Friday I broke down and bought The Last of Us II. It is a fantastic video game - and the story is heartbreaking. I appreciate how similar the mechanics are to the original. They added several really neat mechanics - like jumping, falling to a prone position, and some other cool little features.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 7 years since the first game came out. Heck, I was in high school when I watched the release trailer!
How time flies . . .
Guess what I found at Target the other day? Retro Uno!
I bought two decks - because the only way to play Uno is with two decks. Have you ever played? Here are the rules . .
Reverse, Skip, Draw 4, and Draw 2 are “stackable power cards.” For example, on your turn, one could lay down 3 Draw 4’s and a skip - and ruin someone’s life.
THAT person can avoid 12 cards by laying down a reverse. (you can break out of power cards by laying down your own Power cards. Theoretically, using a reverse in this situation could make the one who laid down 3 Draw 4’s have to draw all 12 cards).
Basically, as long as you have “power cards” you can avoid other players power cards.
Yeah - it can get pretty intense. If you ever happen to stop by Franklin, TN - let me know! We can play a round.
Grab that coffee, take a long swig, and let’s go!
🧱 Stick a USB in the Wall
Stop me if I sound like some sort of conspiracy. So, there’s a secret underground network of USB drives around the world hidden in walls and other places, filled with secret knowledge and files . . .
I’m not joking! This is a real thing. There’s hundreds of them here in the US.
An artist named Aram Barthol started this as a art project back in 2010.
Dead Drops’ is an anonymous, offline, peer to peer file-sharing network in public space. USB flash drives are embedded into walls, buildings and curbs accessible to anybody in public space. Everyone is invited to drop or find files on a dead drop. Plug your laptop to a wall, house or pole to share your favorite files and data. Each dead drop is installed empty except a readme.txt file explaining the project. ‘Dead Drops’ is open to participation. If you want to install a dead drop in your city/neighborhood follow the ‘how to’ instructions and submit the location and pictures. Source
This reads likes something from 2010. The idea of connecting my laptop to a random USB in a wall is unthinkable. Imagine what kind of viruses you could get!
On the flip side, this “secret network” sounds like a fascinating way to gain insight into others, or create some sort of really cool scavenger hunt.
What if you traveled the world, hiding bitcoin and bitcoin wallet keys in USB dead drops? Then, after a month, you published a website outlining how to find the crypto. The internet would lose its collective mind if you put in enough money! (There’s 5 million in BTC hiding all over the world! Go find it).
Or - what if you wrote a novel and hid parts of it around the US with clues as to where to find the next chapter! That would be really cool.
So - if you’re intrigued by the idea of checking out this vast network of hidden USB drives - here are some ESSENTIAL reminders. This is what I would do if I checked this out. I’m going to sound paranoid - but this kind of stuff fascinates and terrifies me. I’m in no way responsible if anything happens to you. These are just “common sense” tips.
DO NOT USE ANY PERSONAL DEVICE. You have no idea if there are viruses or trojans on these things - or worse - illegal content. Buy a old laptop from someone on FB and do not enter any personal information. Don’t log into anything!
Don’t open any pictures or videos. There’s a lot of messed up people on the internet. If something looks weird, It most likely is. Delete.
Be discreet. The sight of someone plugging a laptop into a wall looks a bit strange. Dress nicely, or wear some old Goodwill utility uniform.
If you participate in any kind of text logs or anything - don’t leave ANY kind of personally identifiable information.
There’s apparently a broken one here in Nashville. I’m slightly tempted to check it out. I’ll let you know if I do . . . or create my own. A secret “Land of Random” USB dead drop sounds pretty cool.
Check out the website at the link!
🕹 Atari’s Unsolved Mystery
Digital archaeology is creeping into the mainstream. With over two decades of internet behind us, it’s no surprise that our eyes are starting to turn to the relics of the internet.
The lost games. Ancient websites. Old mysterious YT channels.
Atari has a pretty crazy mystery of its own.
A game called “Entombed” on the Atari 2600 has a maze generating algorithm that video game researchers John Aycocock and Tara Copplestone can’t figure out.
Aycock and Copplestone have tried retro-engineering the table. They looked for patterns in the values to try and reveal how it was designed, but this was to no avail. Whatever the programmer did, it was a stroke of mild genius. Every time the game is played, a reliably navigable maze is pumped out. Were the table’s values random or even slightly different, the maze would likely fail to be drawn with a playable path through it. It just seems impossible to explain. “The abnormality of the table was just quite striking,” says Copplestone . . . For Aycock, the as-yet unsolved mystery of the table lingers uncomfortably. “The struggle I have as a scientist is, I think that there should be some logical way that this will all make sense and there really doesn’t seem to be.”
They reached out to an original programmer of the game. “He too remembered being confused by the table at the time. “I couldn’t unscramble it,” he told the researchers. And he claimed it had been the work of a programmer who developed it while not entirely sober: “He told me it came upon him when he was drunk and whacked out of his brain.” Aycock tried to contact the programmer in question but got no response.” There you have it - a drunk programmer had a stroke of genius - and we’ll never know what it was.
It’s a wild story, and I have no doubt that we’ll hear more and more of them over the years. We often think that we can figure out everything . . . but sometimes things are lost to history.
Read all about it at the link!
🤳 Cameo Zoom Calls
Want to talk one on one to Sean Astin on Zoom? or Scott Patterson from Gilmore Girls?
Well, now you can - for a price.
Cameo introduced personal “celebrity zoom calls” last week.
For super fans - this is a dream come true. For salesmen and business owners, this could be a great way to wow clients.
“Hey, as a token of appreciation, I booked you a call with Sean Astin. After our chat about movies, I realized how much you loved The Lord of the Rings.”
Granted, that’s a $295 gift, but you’ll wow the socks off someone. Everyone gets flowers, chocolates, and a nice steak dinner, but a call with a famous celebrity?
That’s next level.
If I saw the email line “Talk to Sean Astin from The Lord of the Rings” I’d definitely open that email.
Check out more celebrities on cameo here on the link!
🐙 The Land of Random
more crazy links? But of course!
🎌Japanese Style Western Art
He’s got some really cool stuff. Samurai Boba Fett? Say no more . . .
Need digital whiteboard for building that million-dollar funnel? Do it with this free tool! It runs in your browser and is very user friendly.
🎶 Cassette Tape Vibes
Add some vintage sounds to your tracks with this free Cassette Tape plugin. It’s really cool!
OP-S Concept Phone
Behold this beautiful concept phone by Gris Design. They imagined what a mobile phone version of Teenage Engineering’s OP-1 (an insanely powerful tool for making music) would look like. This looks awesome!
Check out more images and other designs by Gris. They have some really cool stuff!
What’s the size again?
Trying to remember sizes for social media dimensions is a pain in the neck. Check out this handy website with all the sizes! Did I mention it has FREE templates too?
📽TikToks You Can’t Miss!
What happens when you step on a rake in a cartoon
Ever tried Bread in a Can?
Five Nights at Freddy’s costumes are terrifying
Yes - that’s a watermelon quesadilla