Chance vs. Fate

We all remember fondly those board games of our early years: Parcheesi, Sorry!, Chutes and Ladders, and so forth. They were easy to play and a lot of fun, but in the end we outgrew them and perhaps took up other games that involved more thinking. In this article, though, I tell you a simple way to add more strategic depth to the same old games, by replacing “chance” with “fate.” Read More

VideoSkip.org is live!

VideoSkip, my video-editing app written during the COVID-19 lockdown, was in need of a nice domain for a while, especially now that it’s gaining some popularity. Because it is based on a not-for-profit community effort, I thought a .org domain was most appropriate. But, alas, videoskip.org was already taken, so I had to make it do with videoskip.net. This is no longer necessary because the previous owner of videoskip.org, Jeremy Plsek, has been kind enough to transfer it to us at no cost, since he’s wasn’t using it. Here’s a big thanks to Jeremy, on the right, the first donor to the VideoSkip effort. And there’s more to it; read on if you want to know. Read More

VideoSkip Exchange started

One of the great things about VideoSkip is that the users themselves can edit movies and share their edits, via .skp files, with other users. I order to facilitate the process, I’ve started hosting a forum, entitled “VideoSkip Exchange” in order to do just that. You can find it at https://videoskip.org/exchange or https://prgomez.com/videoskip/exchange/

BTW, the extension version of VideoSkip is now live. You can install it in Chrome, Firefox, and their derivatives. Unlike the standalone version at https://prgomez.com/videoskip and other links (below), which edits videos that are downloaded to your computer or mobile gadget, the extensions can do the same for movies streaming from any online source.

Here are the links:

Chrome: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/videoskip/mlmifkfgafheljfcjlgoiggcfjenjeed

Firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/videoskip/

Standalone app for computers: https://videoskip.org/app

Standalone app for mobile devices: https://videoskip.org/mobile

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VideoSkip player released

With so many people staying at home these days due to the coronavirus pandemic, some are running out of movies to watch. Or, to put it another way, the movies that they or their children still haven’t watched contain objectionable material that they’d rather not see. This is why I have created the VideoSkip player, a browser app that gives users full control over what is shown or heard. The version just released works with videos that have been downloaded locally, and I’ve started work on an extension that will do the same with streaming content from any source. Here’s the link to the player:

https://prgomez.com/videoskip

If you want to contribute to its development, here’s the GitHub page:

https://github.com/fruiz500/VideoSkip Read More

Are electric cars really better?

You’ve been hearing seemingly forever that electric cars are the future, that they are inevitable because they solve so many problems, and probably feel guilty to be driving an old, dirty, gasoline vehicle. Leaving aside the fact that there is a quite high-tech combustion technology coming down the pike, this article hopefully will help put things in context and filter out much of the propaganda you’re being bombarded with by considering some physical facts that anyone has access to. Read More

The Perpetual Pursuit of Perpetual Motion

We all know that perpetual motion of the 1st or 2nd kind is impossible, but this has not deterred inventors from coming up with new ways to attain this dream. The US Patent Office, for instance, has granted several perpetual motion patents in recent history, against its long-standing policy. Perhaps one of the reasons for this is that inventors are getting more sophisticated. Unbalanced wheels and magnets are giving way to holograms, forcing scientists to make connections between fields that would not have been made otherwise. Perpetual motion of the Third Kind, which seeks to produce infinite exergy rather than infinite energy, has made its appearance, and it seems that new laws of Thermodynamics would need to be added in order to forbid it. This paper studies not only the “science” behind perpetual motion, but also the psychological and philosophical underpinnings of a pursuit that would not go away.

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