This Formula Tells You If Your Flight Is a Good Deal

Flights are getting cheaper this year, but prices vary depending on your destination. To figure out whether a flight is actually a good deal, Luiz Maykot, a data science analyst for Adobe, came up with a simple formula.

The formula is pretty straightforward: multiply the trip’s round-trip miles by $0.032, then add $230.

As MarketWatch explains, if you’re flying between NYC and LA, that’s 5,640 miles total. Plug that into the formula, and you get $410.48, which means anything below $410 (taxes and fees included) is a pretty good deal. For international flights, multiply the round-trip miles by $.08 and then add $200.

Maykot explains how he came up with the formula:

I calculated the average price paid by everyone in the data sample, based on how many days in advance they purchased their tickets (up to 300 days in advance). Then, I divided the average price for each day by the overall average price and did this across thousands and thousands of flights. I was left with a weighted average of the final curve.

Put simply, the number you crunch gives you a general idea of what the majority of flight prices have been in recent years. MarketWatch explains the formula in a little more detail and also includes a calculator to help you do the math, so check out the full post at the link below.

2016 Travel Report: The Story Behind the Numbers | Adobe via MarketWatch

Photo by rch850.

from Lifehacker

This All-In-One System Rescue Toolkit Has Just the Right Tools to Troubleshoot Your PC

There’s no shortage of system rescue and repair discs you can download and keep handy for when your PC gives you problems, but this one, from reader Paul, is streamlined, simple, and has only a few effective tools on it (and no bloat!)…

Paul, who’s a field technician (I remember those days!) sent in his rescue disc to us and explained that he’d just made it available to the public on his web site. Over at his site, he explains why he bothered in a world where there are so many discs to choose from:

There are already so many utility discs out there, I know. Many of the other discs I have used in the past tried to do way more than I wanted, with sometimes 10-20 different applications and utilities that all do the same thing. This overwhelming level of choice does not easily support the faster pace required of field service work. I also wanted to have both my bootable repair environment and Windows utilities in the same package to reduce the number of discs I had to maintain and keep on hand.

This disc started as a bunch of batch files that allowed me to work on multiple computers throughout my day and replicate the same level of quality results on each computer without having to maintain checklists on paper. Even with checklists, I would sometimes skip or miss steps that meant a variety of results when fixing PCs. Thus, an automated utility was born! I have since been using this disc in my own line of work for 99% of the problems I encounter in the field.

Just because the disc is streamlined doesn’t mean there’s a shortage of tools on it, though. You’ll have to head over to his site for the full list (and to support the project!) and for download links to burn your own or make your own bootable USB drive with all of the utilities on it. There are a few standouts though—the disc is a live CD, so you can boot to it and run things like Clonezilla, GParted, NT Password Reset, PhotoRec, Terminal, and some other utilities (even a game of solitaire you can play while waiting for other stuff to finish!)

The Windows Autorun portion of the disc contains a ton of Windows diagnostics for testing, troubleshooting, and repairing bad Windows installs or partition issues, tools to extract or re-add product keys, network testing tools and speed tests, and even some security and malware removal tools. All in all, if you have a Windows PC—especially one you built yourself—or you’re in charge of maintaining others, the disc is worth a look.

All in One – System Rescue Toolkit | Paul Bryand Vreeland

from Lifehacker


Combo Pool is simple and great fun: use the arrows to aim your ball, and hit c to fire it.

It’s a game where you throw colored marbles against each other. If two marbles of the same color make contact, they merge and upgrade to the next color. Your lifebar diminish with the number of balls on the field. If you lifebar is empty, you enter in a sudden death mode, and your last ball must save you by removing some balls.

Controls : use arrows left-right to adjust direction, and key "c" to launch a ball. Click on the game to give it focus if buttons doesnt work.

It’s made with Pico 8, a "fantasy console" that enforces strict technical limitations on what your games can do. The result is a growing library of perfectly-designed, disciplined 8-bit style game projects. They’re often tantalizing suggestions of how good the video games of an 80s childhood should have been, but weren’t.

You can cheat by only ever firing straight up, but even then you can get in trouble because of the number of balls that form on the axis. Other suggestions for refining the game: allow players to hold the button to determine how powerful a shot to release, and have a button to hold that allows more refined angles.

Here’s my best score:

from Boing Boing


HX-01 is an animated full-length film on the verge of hitting its modest $6k crowdfunding goal. Its landscape of psychedelic geometric video graphics are just my cup of acid; check out the trailer and see if it’s yours, too.

Hi, my name is hexeosis. For a little over three years now, I’ve been creating and posting animated GIFs on the internet. I’ve been unreasonably lucky to have connected with thousands and thousands of fans from all over the world. Crazy, but awesome!

I’m launching this Kickstarter campaign to help fund the production of a full length, full color, full HD sized animated short film.

PREVIOUSLY: Xeni blogged about creator Hexeosis in 2014 when they were first getting us high on Tumblr.

from Boing Boing

submitted by Edward

Ready for anything the rough-and-tumble life of a graduate student might throw at me!

from Everyday Carry

A Hotel Safety Checklist for World Travelers From a Former CIA Operative

No matter where you travel, you want your hotel room to be a place you can take a load off and relax. It’s hard to do that, however, if you don’t feel comfortable and safe. This hotel safety checklist from a former CIA operative can help.

Drew Dwyer, a Marine veteran and former CIA operative, has seen his fair share of travel around the world—including some not-so-safe places for travelers. If you plan on seeing all of the world and want to stay safe, Dwyer shares his personal hotel safety checklist at

  1. Acquire or make a copy of the fire escape plan on the back of your door. Most of these just slide out.
  2. Do not stay on the ground or the top floor. The ground floor is readily accessible to intruders and the top floor does not allow any room to maneuver. The first or second (European) floors allow access for most third world country emergency vehicles.
  3. Keep the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door, even when you are not there.
  4. Always assume the room is bugged. Keep the radio or TV turned on with the volume on low at all times — even when you are not in the room.
  5. Keep the drapes/blinds pulled at all times, even when unoccupied.
  6. Keep a light on in the room when unoccupied.
  7. Keep a small “bug-out bag” packed with must-have items (money, ID, passport, etc.) in the event of an emergency departure.
  8. Carry a motion alarm that can be placed over the doorknob. They are about $20 and can be found in most electronics stores.
  9. Keep a flashlight next to the bed and within arm’s reach.

Some of this might seem like overkill for most travelers (especially the bugging bit), but it’s good information to know just in case. You can find more great world travel safety tips at the link below.…

The CIA Operative’s Guide to Safe Travel | SOFREP via Entrepreneur

Photo by McKay Savage.

from Lifehacker

mythos lanfeust

Publier un jeu de cartes dans une revue a deux principaux inconvénients – ce n’est jamais extrêmement bien payé et les cartes ne sont pas imprimées comme de vraies cartes à jouer – mais, quand il s’agit d’une revue de bandes dessinées, cela a en revanche un avantage extraordinaire, c’est que l’on peut être sûr de la qualité et de l’originalité des illustrations.

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Mythos, qui paraît dans le numéro 200 de la revue Lanfeust Mag, voit s’affronter les divinités de quelques grandes mythologies, et l’équipe de Lanfeust n’a pas fait les choses à moitié, faisant appel à des artistes différents pour illustrer chacun des panthéons. Steven Lejeune a dessiné les dieux de la Grèce antique, Joël Jurion et Audrey Mitsuko ceux de l’Inde, Philippe Fenech et Kmixe ceux de l’Égypte ancienne, Sébastien Calveau ceux des vikings, Joël Liochon ceux des aztèques, et enfin Dianiela Dimat quelques uns des innombrables dieux du Japon. Je ne dirai pas quelle série est ma préférée pour ne pas faire de jaloux. Le résultat est splendide à la fois de variété et de cohérence, et je me prends à rêver d’une belle édition avec de jolies cartes – peut-être en anglais, qui sait, si j’arrive un jour à convaincre un éditeur.

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Mythos n’est qu’à moitié une nouveauté, et c’est même peut-être le tout premier jeu de cartes dont j’ai eu l’idée. Ce n’est guère plus qu’une bataille, à deux joueurs, dans laquelle j’ai cherché à introduire un zeste de tactique et de psychologie.

Chacun des six plis d’une manche se joue en deux temps, les deux adversaires jouant une deuxième carte après que la première a été révélée, et la force de chaque joueur étant égale la somme des puissances deux cartes. Si votre première carte est bien plus forte que celle de votre adversaire, il n’est sans doute pas nécessaire d’en jouer une deuxième aussi forte, votre adversaire devant logiquement renoncer à remporter le pli pour économiser ses forces – à moins, bien sûr, qu’il ne fasse le même raisonnement, pense que vous allez jouer petit pour conserver vos meilleures cartes et en profite pour mener une contre-attaque fulgurante. En outre, les cartes rapportant plus ou moins de points de victoire, certains plis peuvent être plus intéressants que d’autres. Bien sûr, certaines cartes – pas trop, deux ou trois par joueur – ont des effets spéciaux qu’il faut aussi prendre en compte.

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Le thème mythologique s’est rapidement imposé. Il permet en effet de construire des sets de douze cartes bien différents, à peu près équilibrés, avec des effets assez thématiques, basés sur les parèdres ou les attributs divins. Avec six mythologies, il y a quinze duels possibles, ce qui donne au jeu une grande variété.

Une première version de Mythos, parue en 1999 dans la revue Sciences et Vie Découvertes sous le nom de Combat des Dieux, ne comprenait que quatre mythologies, grecque, égyptienne, viking et aztèque. En 2011, pour la revue japonais Gamelink, j’ai ajouté les dieux hindous, tandis que Hayato Kisaragi et Nobuaki Takerube imaginaient un set japonais. Pour la troisième et très belle version qui paraît en 2016 dans Lanfeust Magazine, je me suis contenté de retravailler un peu les équilibres du jeu et d’ajouter quelques effets de cartes ici et là.

mythos lanfeust

There are a few drawbacks to publishing a card in a magazine. The first is that it’s usually not very well paid, and the second is that cards are not printed on professional cardstock. On the other hand, when it’s a comics magazine, it has a major edge, one can be sure the graphics will be gorgeous.

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Mythos is published in the 200nd issue of the French comics magazine Lanfeust mag. It’s a game about warring Gods, and the Lanfeust team did not do things by halves, hiring different artists to illustrate the different pantheons. Steven Lejeune drew the ancient Greek gods, Joël Jurion and Audrey Mitsuko the Hindu ones, Philippe Fenech and Kmixe the Egyptian ones, Sébastien Calveau the Viking ones, Joël Liochon the Aztec ones, and Daniela Dimat some of the countless Japanese gods. I won’t telle which set is my favorite. The result is gorgeous, both varied and consistent, and I hope someday there will be an edition with true game cards, may be by some US publisher – email me if interested.

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Mythos is not really new, and is based on what might have been my very first card game idea. It’s the game of War, for two players, with some tactics and psychology added.

Every round is made of six tricks, and each trick is played in two steps. Players play a first card, reveal it, then play a second one, and the total strength of a player is the sum of his two cards’ values. So, if your first card is much higher than your opponent’s one, you might think you don’t need to play another strong one, since your opponent will probably give up this trick and save his strength – unless, of course, he makes the same reasoning, thinks that you will keep your best cards for later, and plans a swift counter-attack. Furthermore, some cards, usually low ones, score more points than other when winning tricks, and each player has two or three cards with challenging special effects.

Mythos Cartes Nordiques v1 2 Mythos Cartes Nordiques v1 5

The mythological setting was obvious from the beginning. It allows for different and more or less balanced sets of twelve cards each, some of which have thematic effects based one gods’ attributes. Six mythologies make for fifteen possible duels, which makes the game really varied.

The first version of this game, published in 1999 in the French magazine Sciences & Vie Découvertes, had only four different mythologies, Greek, Egyptian, Aztec and Viking. In 2011, for the Japanese magazine Gamelink, I added a Hindu set, while Hayato Kisaragi and Nobuaki Takerube designed a Japanese one. For this third version, I mostly fine-tuned the balance and added a few new and fun card effects.

from Bruno Faidutti