Con Games

Sun 29 February 2004

Doing well in classes. I'm now the team leader for EECE 733:Real Time Embedded System Deisgn. I get to manage 4 graduates on our semester project. Hopefully it will be more interesting than our Software Engineering Project.

I've been playing this stock market game as well. It was made by a junior in CS, and its not implemented very well. My roommate is also in the game, and we're pretty competitive. We found a small hole or two in the software logic, and right now my portolfio is up 400 percent over two weeks. Originally there was only going to be trading allowed during market open hours, but this was relaxed since world markets are open all the time somewhere, and market hours coincide with class. He mentioned that you could trade after hours but the price wouldn't change. In reality, you can trade after hours, and people do. Usually this happens when a company announces quarterly results. The difference is that in reality, you also pay after hours prices, not close price. So company ABC announces they beat expectations by 20 cents, and prices jump up 40 percent. We buy in at the close price and sell at market open for nearly 40 percent. The other hole is that every price used by his system is delayed by twenty minutes. Yahoo (the website the game uses for prices) also offers realtime quotes on stocks, so you have 20 minute futuresight. Handy for avoiding bad trades.

Both of these are fixable. If the guy had done any real searching, he'd have found the [mock market][], a webapp that does this game much cleaner. It's OSS and Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP based, so the only real cost is time. Instead its running on a pirated version of Microsoft products. Its no wonder that MS is pissed about GNU tools like Linux, the customers who steal stuff from them will remain loyal to MS. It's the paying customers who will look elsewhere.

Ikaruga finally came and its as insane as people say it is. Fortunately, it has several time based unlockables. Every hour played earns you another credit, up to nine. After that you get free play, which means I should now be able to actually finish the game. There's some galleries to unlock, and a prototype mode. Right now Zack's hooked on F-Zero GX. I think he's jealous that its cooler than Wipeout. Which is fine by me, since he's unlocking a lot of stuff that I was having problems with. I need to con(vince) him to play versus and thouroughly trash his ego soon, though.

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