onLine weblog archive

Saturday, February 08, 2003

AcrionScript Array Sorting with a compare function, a form of higher order programming.

Friday, February 07, 2003

The Trend Toward Flash as a Tool for Web Application Development. See also: HTML's Time is Over. Let's Move On.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

So Dave Bug from over at Geek Life conjectures thusly about my odd spam (below):
With more and more people using SpamAssassin, spam writers are fiddling with their emails to get them to pass inspection. I'd say it's likely they've (currently) found a loophole by which comments won't show up in email clients that interpret html but will block the "key" words in SpamAssassin and others. Hence the comments in between words like products, guarantee, a $ and some numbers, etc.
By gum, I believe he's right!

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Advanced Character Physics
This paper explains the basic elements of an approach to physically-based modeling which is well suited for interactive use. It is simple, fast, and quite stable, and in its basic version the method does not require knowledge of advanced mathematical subjects (although it is based on a solid mathematical foundation). It allows for simulation of both cloth; soft and rigid bodies; and even articulated or constrained bodies using both forward and inverse kinematics.
Has anybody else lately been getting spams that look like this:
THE FIRST AND ONLY PRODUC<!--eric-->T OF IT'S KIND.<BR> SPECIAL $<!--eric-->33 PRIC<!--eric-->ING AVAILABLE FOR A LIMITED TIME!<BR> <BR> MILLIONS OF BO<!--eric-->TTLES SOLD WO<!--eric-->RLDWIDE.<BR> <BR> 100% SAFE - NO SIDE EFFECTS<BR><BR> 100% ALL NATURAL - REC<!--eric-->OMMENDED BY DOCT<!--eric-->ORS<BR> WORLDWIDE<BR> 100% UNCOND<!--eric-->ITIONAL GUARA<!--eric-->NTEE<BR>
There seems to be no pattern to where my name has been inserted into the message. And is it intentional? Is it supposed to make this email turn up higher in the results of searches for my name in my email client? And when would I search my email client for messages containing my name? Wacky stuff, spam.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

For later reading: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist: Learning with Python.

Monday, February 03, 2003

Lookee here: a "site is devoted to game development in Macromedia Flash. And to what is known as tilebased games in particular": OutsideOfSociety.
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offLine journal archive

where everything else is discussed

Saturday, February 08, 2003

A Geek Life challenge:
Add to this list of comments without reusing any words previously mentioned either within my article or contained in other posts.
One of the very best things about working on The Game Neverending so far has been the incredibly wonderful little society that sprang up in the game prototype we ran for a few months (we shuttered it up just this last January 31). We somehow made a little sandbox for people to play in that fostered a spirit of cooperation and altruism among the players. Most of the hackers wore white hats, and nearly all the players were kind, funny, and interested in making the Game World a nice place to be. I think one of our biggest challenges in making the Real Game (coming later this year) is to create such an environment again, so that the beneficent folks have enough influence and support in the game to flourish amidst the nastiness that will surely have a stronger presence in a world with thousands and thousands and thousands of players.

Anyway, a link: Anarchy and Game Theory. From the introduction:
In any discussion of anarchism, or the conditions for a stateless society, sooner or later a claim like this surfaces: "people are too selfish for that to work". These, I believe, are based upon an assumption (or theory) about human nature, that is taken to be evidently true, rather than argued for. Often I hear a version of "I'm sorry but I just have a more pessimistic view of people than you." This purpose of this essay is to show that even if we grant the assumptions of selfish rationality then cooperation without the state is still a possibility.
From the summary:
Game theory shows us that even egoistic individuals will cooperate without coercion or coordination, given certain conditions. Certain conditions which are practically possible.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Ok, so this is a fascinating article: Looking for Madam Tetrachromat. A snippet:
"Most people are trichromats, with retinas having three kinds of color sensors, called cone photopigments -- those for red, green, and blue. The 8 percent of men who are color-blind typically have the cone photopigment for blue but are either missing one of the other colors, or the men have them, in effect, for two very slightly different reds or greens. A tetrachromat would have a fourth cone photopigment, for a color between red and green. "
The article actually does a pretty good job of explaining the science of vision in some detail. But then there's this:
"And computers, color monitors, and the Internet raise a whole raft of possibilities. Just as someone with normal three-color vision surfs rings around a dichromat on the Internet, a tetrachromat, looking at a special computer screen based on four primary colors rather than the standard three, could theoretically dump data into her head faster than the rest of us."
But, but, but... dichromats have a hard time surfing the web because it is not designed (for the most part) with them in mind! It's not like normal three-color vision actually helps dump any sort of special information into our heads; if standard color cues on the Web that are missed by dichromats were given with colors within their range of color vision, they would be be able to surf in rings too! And designing a screen to display colors for a tetrachromat would amount to nothing more that a wider palette of colors for giving color cues. That's not really a huge advantage, it seems to me. Not that seeing in 4 colors would not be cool, mind you.

Monday, February 03, 2003

Background: We pulled out a classic dance hits CD on New Year's day 1 AM because the kids and some of the happier adults wanted to shake some booty to welcome in 2003. The CD has since become a favorite of 4 year old Phoebe and 7 year and 1 day old Jude, especially the smash hit "Hot Stuff", which the kids with friends especially like to use as the music for a good game of hot potato, DJ'ed as often as not by one Phoebenya Ericevna.

The Scene: While eating Jude's chosen birthday dinner (homemade macaroni and cheese, broccoli) and listening to the music of his choice (the aforementioned smash hit "Hot Stuff"), Phoebes and Judeski converse:
Jude: I wonder what all this hot stuff is, anyway.

(pause)

Phoebe: Maybe it's just coffee.

(pause)

Jude: No, she says to give her the hot stuff tonight--and Mom doesn't drink coffee at night.


I need some hot stuff baby tonight
I want some hot stuff baby this evenin'
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