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Platform Tour v1.0.4 with WAVs (VB.NET 2003) 452 MB Windows XP, Vista, 7 Uses DirectX 9 RAM usage: 80MB Project Page
Platform Tour v1.0.4 (VB.NET 2003) 6.61 MB Windows XP, Vista, 7 Uses DirectX 9 RAM usage: 80MB Project Page
Power II: The Island Demo (VB.NET 2003) 3.41 MB Windows XP, Vista, 7 Uses DirectX 9 RAM usage: 40MB Project Page
Blocks: Extended Renderer Version (VB.NET 2003)137 KB Windows XP, Vista, 7 No DirectX RAM usage: 20MB Project Page
Quadrill v1.1.2 (VB.NET 2003) 1.57 MB Windows XP, Vista, 7 Uses DirectX 9 RAM usage: 70MB Project Page
Quadrill v2.1.2 (VB.NET 2003) 1.42 MB Windows XP, Vista, 7 Uses DirectX 9 RAM usage: 80MB Project Page
Quadrill v3.1.1 (VB.NET 2003) 1.17 MB Windows XP, Vista, 7 Uses DirectX 9 RAM usage: 120MB Project Page
Quadrill v4.1.1 (VB.NET 2003) 2.88 MB Windows XP, Vista, 7 Uses DirectX 9 RAM usage: 180MB Project Page
Quadrill 4 Full (VB6) 4.52 MB Windows XP Uses DirectX 7 RAM usage: 80MB Project Page
Quadrill 4 Demo (VB6) 1.41 MB Windows XP Uses DirectX 7 RAM usage: 80MB Project Page
Jump-Cross (VB.NET 2003) 109 KB Windows XP, Vista, 7 No DirectX RAM usage: 20MB Project Page
Quadrill 3 full version (VB6) 530 KB Windows XP Uses DirectX 7 RAM usage: 50MB Project Page
Quadrill 3 map editor. (VB6), 200 KB
Syntax Highlighter (VB.NET 2003), 23 KB
Guide on How to Use the .NET programs on my website.

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Iceplug News

Mar 20 2017, 20:51
Truth, Lies, and Ignorance What is a lie? Well, I asked Google, and it tells me that a lie is a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood. But there's more to a "lie" than that, isn't there? Often, when listening to people talk, there is a great deal of emotional implication placed on calling something a lie. It's usually used to tarnish and destroy not only the statement but to damage the reputation of the person that brought the statement forward. It's a tool used to put people into check or to question the statement at hand. Since there's so much riding on the statement, it's good to put a little effort into understanding what it is and when it should be used. Otherwise, it'll just end up being another word that only finds its home when trying to win frivolous arguments (see "common sense" from earlier this year).
Let's unpack the definition of a "lie". Many people would consider "a false statement" to be a lie. Could you imagine 3rd graders being sent home with graded homework assignments that read "89% B+. You lied in your answer to #3"? Could you imagine being called a liar if you said that "New York City is the capital of New York State"? Thus, in this regard, the definition of lie continues to include that the statement is "made with deliberate intent to deceive". Yes, your 3rd grade child is not a liar; he/she was misinformed -- probably because he/she wasn't paying attention in class. You were misinformed if you thought that New York City was the capital of New York State. (In case you're wondering, the capital of NY is Albany).
Why is this important? Consider the event that you didn't actually know the capital of NY and wanted me to tell you the answer. There are two conditions that you should be aware of. Firstly, do I actually know the capital of NY? If I do know the answer, what happens next would be expected to be me, proudly declaring, "The capital of NY is Albany." This represents the ideal communication that we have with all human beings on Earth. It's correct and completely innocuous, but we rely on it everyday in more ways than we think. What if I didn't know the answer? You would expect, "I don't know the capital". Even worse, what if I "knew" the capital of NY was New York City? Now you "know" the capital as New York City and, hopefully, will find out sometime later that what you "know" is wrong.

Let A represent the truth and B represent something untrue
How we expect to communicate with people: they know the answer and are willing to tell you what the answer is.
This person is misinformed. They have good intentions, but fall short at correctness. These people can be fixed by giving them correct answers.
Secondly, and to go along with the definition of "lie", what if I knew the correct answer but told you the wrong answer? Suppose you wanted to go the capital of Louisiana and I told you "New Orleans is the capital of Louisiana" (which you know is incorrect because I've just started talking about lying)? Did I lie? Well, in order to determine if I actually had "deliberate intent to deceive", you would have to know a little bit more about me: for instance, I know all the lyrics to this song, I lived in Louisiana for over twenty years, including all 3 of the largest cities in Louisiana, etc. Even then, you can't be certain that I *know* the capital of Louisiana (I know a few people who probably don't know the capital of their home state), but it's a good starting point. At this point, you probably start wondering, "Is he lying to me"? "Is he trying to fool me?" (Incidentally, two sentences which should be synonymous.)
This person is lying. Trust is eroded and is difficult to win back.
The issue here is that a person who demonstrates the capacity for lying is much more difficult to ever trust in the future and, as you probably already know, trust is a very difficult thing to get back. Whereas a person who tells you the wrong answer because he/she doesn't know the right answer can be fixed by telling them they are wrong, it is a lot harder to fix a person who knows the right answer but tells you the wrong answer. You cannot fix this person directly by telling them the correct answer (they already know the correct answer), which is a large factor of how difficult it is to gain back trust. Secondly, demonstrating willingness to lie can become a factor in every form of communication with this person. How do you know they're not lying to you right now? Yes, actually... RIGHT NOW. How do you know they haven't lied to you in an e-mail or given you something with the intent to deceive?
HOWEVER, do not assume that, once a liar, this person cannot change. Know that not all liars are intentionally mischievous. They may be ill-informed of the consequences of lying and, once they realize the consequences, may opt to give up lying and tell the truth, ashamed of their gross ignorance. In fact, in this position, you can take on the role of the teacher and allow them to experience the consequences such that they "learn their lesson". Or... you could just pass and just let someone else teach them, which seems to be what many opt for anyway.
The point of all this is that the word "lie" brings with it a lot of emotional connotation, so it's best not to apply this liberally to every person who's ever told you something that is untrue. People in more professional and friendlier contexts refer to this with the softer word "untruth" or "falsehood", purposefully avoiding the divisive word "lie", keeping the door open to explain the "untruth" with blissful ignorance, and thus maintaining what's left of their existing beneficial relationships. Also, if you know someone that can lie to you and if you have the fortitude, teach them a lesson or two. Just as little kids learn not to lie to their parents, don't let people lie to you. Don't let them tell you "falsehoods" either. Depending on where you are, Google is just a quick click away.

The capital of LA is Baton Rouge, the capital of NY is Albany, and the capital of PA is Harrisburg... but you'd know that if you watched the video

Feb 27 2017, 7:55
Twitch Communities, Speedrunning Community, and the Twitch Speedrunning Community
The Twitch Speedrunning Community makes speedrunning identity accessible, provides a better representation of speedrunning, and increases speedrunning visibility of all types.
Firstly, it's a great way to establish content as "Speedrunning" and instantly become a member. Throughout the history of speedrunning, getting recognized as a speedrunner often meant doing several tedious things related to speedrunning. When it was only SDA, it seems you had to have a run posted in order to be a speedrunner. When GDQ started to become the rage, perhaps you had to have a run in GDQ to be a speedrunner. We're fortunate enough to have leaderboards now, so that you can submit a time to a leaderboard to let people know you're speedrunning this game. The Twitch Team system was a decent way of becoming part of the speedrunning community, but, again, this required you to first be invited to the group, which required lots of streams and actively hunting members in the applicable community. The point is that establishing yourself as a speedrunner was often only a decision that you make yourself and having others vouch for it was unreliable.
With the advent of the speedrunning communities, individual streamers can now denote their own stream as speedrunning content, bypassing the rigmarole of previous speedrunning community aggregation sites (not being placed on the SDA wooty list, not being in races to get on the SRL runners list, or otherwise not being in the right crowd in order to get added to a database). Twitch Speedrunning allows anyone to join the speedrunning community and feel like a part of the community like never before.
Were you watching AGDQ and learned that the only thing to become a speedrunner is to play a game with a timer? Were you watching SGDQ and got curious as to why there are no speedruns of your favorite game? Twitch Speedrunning Communities is an excellent way to get traffic to your speedrunning plans. You'd best believe that there are people like me who browse up and down the Speedrunning Community directory (mostly down) to look for original and innovative speedrunning ideas. Sure, there is a top to the list, but that list looks just like other speedrunning directories (for the reasons mentioned above). This list is a great way to get traffic to lesser known speedgames and provide a more realistic snapshot of the speedrunning community as a whole.
I've lamented speedrunners consistently underestimate the size of their own community and the representation at GDQ. Consider that, at the time of the first draft (6pm on a Sunday), there are over 200 active streamers in the Twitch Speedrunning Community. Combine this with the speedrunners who aren't awake, don't stream on Sunday, have other obligations, or are otherwise not streaming now. I feel more confident than ever that there are over 1000 speedrunners around the world.
I think that, personally, my only issue is that there are still speedrunners who still elect to not perform their speedruns within the "Speedrunning" community and, instead, have fractured into a more specific speedrunning community, which reduces the exposure as any subcategorized speedrunning community will receive less traffic from other speedrunning channels. This is more a problem of human nature, I suppose, and that, in every large group, partitioning still occurs between subgroups that are more closely connected with each other.
Overall, this is a great idea for actively making the general speedrunning community more inclusive. I tip my hat to the great innovators at Twitch for this idea.

Jan 12 2017, 14:56
There's A Difference Between X and Y There are two answers to this. Answer 1: Yes, there is, but the writer is going to make them sound like the difference is subtle. Answer 2: No, there isn't, but the writer is going to try to define them differently. The "bigger" the difference, the less difference there actually is between the terms. Sometimes, the difference isn't explained, which leaves it up to interpretation what the difference is. Sure, you could probably figure out the difference, but that's not what I'm here for. I'm here for making fun of English vernacular.
First up, There's a difference between interest and commitment. Yes, there is. "Commitment" is how one might get stuck in a mental institution. "Interest" is what others feel watching you doing whatever it is you did that got you in the mental institution in the first place.
John Scalzi says, There's a difference between the fact that the universe is inherently unfair on a cosmic level, and the fact that life is unfair because people are actively making it so. Why, yes, there is. The first fact is redundant as anything that is "unfair on a cosmic level" must involve the universe as "universe" and "cosmos" are synonymous.
But, Iceplug! There's a difference between the cosmos and the universe! No, there's not. Actually, yes, there is. One has an adjective "cosmic" which is frequently used to describe the actual "universe"; the other has an adjective "universal" which is frequently used to describe technology developed on Earth. Don't even think about bringing up Little Debbie's "Cosmic Brownies" as defense, either!
Next up, There's a difference between surviving and living. I suppose there's a more nuanced definition that I can think of, but I'm going to settle for the following difference: There are living rooms and living quarters, but no surviving rooms or surviving quarters.
Did you know that There's a difference between giving up and letting go? In fact, there is! When people start to pass away, they are said to be "giving up the ghost". Try to tell your friends a story in which someone dies and describe that person as "letting go the ghost".
Here's a good one. There's a difference between judging you fairly and insulting you. There's also a difference between judging you unfairly and insulting you as well, but I guess that difference requires a little more insight. The same kind of difference as telling about the good things about yourself versus bragging about yourself. Sure... the difference is in how overbearing you are, but is it really the same kind of difference? The same difference as being confident versus cocky. Sure... the difference here is that a cocky individual is a confident and arrogant individual. Again, is it really the same kind of difference? You know what? There is a difference between "the difference between judging you fairly and insulting you", "the difference between telling about the good things about yourself versus bragging about yourself", and "the difference between being confident versus being cocky". I like it!
Stop pretending there's a difference between online and real-life. But... there is a difference. Civilizations removed from technology have experience real-life but may not have been online. Perhaps, this should have said, "Stop pretending there are no similarities between online and real-life".
Next, There's a difference between helping someone and enabling them. Yes. There's a difference between hurting someone and disabling them, but you don't see me waving my crutches around, do you? The take-home question: is it the same difference?
There’s A Difference Between Thinking Someone Is Cute.Having A Crush On Someone.Being Interested In Someone.Liking Someone.Loving Someone.Being In Love With Someone Yes, but more prominently, there's a period between those as well that I'm at least equally interested in.
DMX says, There's a difference between violence and senseless violence. Iceplug asks, "How did DMX get inspirational quotes in a quote database?" Should we also ask Ja Rule for inspiration (NSFW Audio)?

Jan 1 2017, 6:02
Happy New Year!

Dec 31 2016, 18:05
Common Sense, Commonality, and Faking Knowledge
The question of the day: what is "common sense"? It's a phrase that, perhaps, almost everyone has used in their lives. Common sense is usually equivalent to common knowledge, but what does it actually mean? What is it?
At its surface, common sense is a reliable set of skills and ideas that can be assumed of everyone, from things learned while growing up to things expected of everyday people. For instance, one could say that "touching fire will hurt you" is common sense or, alternatively, "file an income tax report at the beginning every year". In this way, you can make yourself feel superior to others by arguing that a particular concept is "common sense" without having to actually prove or demonstrate it as such.
The concept tends to break down upon closer inspection. The simplest example is to define how common "common sense" actually is. How many people know that they need to file an income tax report at the beginning every year? Sure, most working adults file these every year, but children and other dependents won't have to file one. It should be theoretically possible for someone to never have to file taxes for their entire life and never learn about income taxes as well, correct?
But just because these people exist doesn't mean that it's not common sense. Common sense only needs to be *common*. *Everyone* doesn't need to have common sense. Now consider this next example.
What if I said, "It's common sense to know where Iraq is on a world map"? It's probably not actually common sense. It's probably not even known by 50% of people. Here's a poll indicating results are around 40%.
What if I say, "Knowing where United States is on a world map is common sense to its citizens"? Here's a poll that suggests that 94% of USA citizens know where USA is on a world map.
A brief tangent here: when I consider something to be common, I consider it to be at least 50% in abundance; that is, if I select a sample of people, I would expect at least half of the sample to have the aspect that I'm looking for. There are other alternative ways to interpret what it means for something to be "common" yet still less than 50% in abundance, but I will still use my 50% protocol since it is more restrictive. With this in mind, I still consider the concept of knowing where USA is on a world map is common sense to Americans, but not the concept of knowing where Iraq is on a world map.
Taking a step further back, can I reasonably expect a random person that I talk to to know where Iraq is on a world map? Probably not, since it's not common sense. What about the 94% abundance of people that know where USA is on a world map? I could probably expect it, but in the back of my mind, I would know that there's a small chance that this person doesn't actually know where USA is on a map.
If I then let common sense include ideas that are less than 50% in abundance, then, suddenly, being able to locate Iraq is common sense. But it wasn't common sense earlier. What happens here? Well, now you have two different ideas of what it means to be common sense. If instead, these are two different people with different interpretations of common sense, who gets to embarrass whom? Who gets to feel superior?
From time to time, I see people in charge trying to have a group of people follow some group of rules in order to perform some task and the leader insists on having his/her followers "use common sense". As you might imagine, this could open the door to a great deal of misinterpretation, since any number of people in the group have different interpretations of common sense. This, undoubtedly, ends in a situation causing the leader to either specify what "common sense" actually includes or, in more punitive environments, getting rid of people that don't share the same idea of "common sense", where the latter situation could have been avoided by following the outcome of the former situation. Really, does telling someone to "use common sense" actually mean anything? In this way, the leader is telling his followers to follow an unspecified list of rules.
In short, common sense isn't common and the belief that common sense is shared among everyone (or anyone) is a setup for failure and disappointment.
Other fun "common sense" stuff: I heard Guy A exclaim that Guy B has more common sense than anyone else. Who examined Guy B to determine how much common sense Guy B had?
Here's a YouTube video where a purported 10% of people that were asked questions that ostensibly have "common sense" answers. Again, who determined that the answers are common sense? Guy B? At any rate, it's a fun video to laugh at the answers. Once you're done watching the video, try to imagine how common sense would help you out in any realistic scenario. Then go down and read the comments from people (perhaps, like us) that don't have enough common sense to answer the questions correctly.

Taylor M gets it

Dec 4 2016, 16:04
I've been a bit negligent with updating the site and that's because I've been focusing most of my time towards research. I promise that I will have at least one more article up before the end of the year. I also have music that I want to upload as well, so stay tuned.

View old news updates
The story of Iceplug:
Iceplug - sting ray (NOT A MANTA RAY!) that swims in cold waters, usually near the poles, though mostly in the south, near Antarctica. The average babies are born at about a foot long and wide (they look like squares) and are usually a light orange and translucent. After about 6 months, they become more opaque and start to take on a bluer color. Their tail can grow to almost 5 feet, and the adult Iceplug grows to about 25 feet. Not to be outdone, most adults create stashes of coral in their homes and forge them into tridents (which are actually quite effective weapons).

Feedback? E-mail me (Iceplug) at blackout119(at)yahoo(dot)com. Be sure to include a descriptive subject, and the first seven characters of the subject must read Website, otherwise I may move it into the Spam/Junk folder. I strive to reply to all e-mails at the end of the day, but I definitely respond to them at the end of the week.