Hello, Gambling Debt

Norway’s largest games company, Norsk Tipping, is fully owned by the Norwegian state. I think they are trying to use it as an alternative drug to Marx’ Opium. They have some rather popular games of chance and also some games where you actually have to know stuff about sports. I stick to the games of chance as my sports knowledge is somewhat limited. Actually, I’m not much of a gambler at all - I tend to give it a try when there’s a jackpot involved, and I’m not sure if I’ve ever won anything on gambling. Also, you never know when you get addicted to the stuff and start losing big time.

But I’m on my good way to start playing regularly because they’ve made it very easy to do so. Almost too easy. You can fill out a web form on their site, and they’ll send you a playing card (a nice smart card) and a USB smart card reader. Connect it to your computer, insert the card and you’ll basically good to go. Which is cool. Tonight I’m planning to win a couple of millions and tomorrow I’ll hand in my resignation.

But the really interesting thing here is the smart card reader. The gambling site talks to the smart card reader with Java applets, which probably means that the smart card is a Java Card. I’ve got tons of good ideas for what you can do with a smart card, and I’m a Java developer so Java is a good choice for me.

Since this entry is also turning into a nerd orgy (as if there is such a thing), I think I’ll just stop there and move on to another, more reader-friendly topic:

Stand up comedy.

On Sunday me and The Girlfriend bought a DVD with Bill Hicks. One word described the experience of watching it: Scary! So far, I’ve only heard Bill Hicks on CD. I’ve seen pictures of the guy, so I’ve had some sort of an impression in my head of what his live act would look like, but I wasn’t prepared for rubber-face-Bill. At times he looked a bit like a chubby version of Jim Carrey - a guy who isn’t funny at all, no matter how hard he tries. Another reason why the DVD wasn’t as good as I’d hoped is probably that I’ve heard most of the material before.

Still, it’s a DVD you got to own if you like Mr. Hicks. Now I’m off to collect my millions (not to read up on Java Cards).


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