Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

HD Tetris

Link.

I think the applet size is dependent on monitor resolution, I'm not sure. Here's what it looks like on my screen: linked for big.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Math ∩ Reality

CS.

I don't think I've ever had such an intense argument about Big O.

Specifically whether an algorithm that is performed polynomial time constitutes being efficient.

I take my opposition's argument to be as such, it is considered technically feasible to solve any problem of NP class complexity (see Cobham's Thesis), therefore it could be considered a threshold for defining efficiency. In other words, it's a necessary condition.

My position is that Big O is simply a tool for analysis. Since there's so much context involved, an algorithm can't be considered efficient just because it computes in polynomial time. That is, not sufficient and not even a necessary condition. I'm not going to strawman here, so let's assume whatever program in question isn't racking up unnecessary cycles with a do{ }while(i<99999) or something equally asinine like that.

Case 1: If an algorithm has worst case O(k^n), but the chances of the worst case are 1 in a thousand, it may still be practical to take it over something with with a fixed O(n^2) time. Plus, in real life you can often choose to avoid worst case scenarios. For instance, a set may be sorted initially with a Quicksort implementation, but additional elements are added by Insertion.

Case 2: Coefficients are omitted from Big O, that's understandable from a mathematical stand point. From optimizing the algorithm (not with respect to hardware, just to itself), you might shave off a fraction of the computational time, but if you switch processors from a 386 to a Yorkfield cluster, the time is going to be reduced by magnitudes. That is what the coefficient represents. But you can't ignore coefficients in real life. Say your hardware performs a certain operation much faster than others and you're getting bottlenecked, it might be worthwhile to organize small chunks of your input even with an exponential time function because you're going to gain back that time in the end. In similar fashion, say you're bottle necked by memory and not processing power, it might make sense to write something that takes O(k^n) computing power and O(n log n) memory as opposed to something that takes O(n^2) of both.

As a minor point, my opponent argues that in an infinite set, polynomial time will always trump exponential time and for small sets efficiency doesn't matter anyways. But see, efficiency isn't relevant for small sets because the coefficient is 10 to the power of such a large magnitude (unless you're using a Celeron LOLOL) that it dwarfs everything else. If the coefficient makes that big of an impact, then it stands to say there may still be a large set less than infinity that computes faster with a routine in exponential time than one in polynomial time, depending on how it takes advantage of the hardware.

And realistically speaking, if your set is large enough to seriously look at Big O and your best case is O(n^3), you're probably in trouble anyways. Not to say you're not just as screwed with O(k^n), but now I'm back at the shot in the head vs shot in the chest analogy (see: last post).

For the record, the debate was ended by, "you see, I don't care about real life".

1. I know both Insertion sort and Quicksort are polynomial time operations. What I'm saying is, the latter averages O(n log n) while the former averages O(n^2), yet the former remains more efficient in some cases.

2. I also know Big O usually only refers to worst case, but lets not miss the forest for the trees shall we?

3. That is not to say computational analysis is useless. That's like saying what's the point of ideal gas law if gases aren't ideal? Well, if you're looking at nitrogen at 1 atm, 20°C you can guess that it's going to be a fairly accurate model. Ramp it up 400atm though, and it might be a good idea to break out the compressibility charts. ;)

4. I just wanted to put that chem analogy there. The fact is, the majority of the time polynomial time is preferable to exponential time in every way and Big O holds. But that's not what I'm arguing against.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

The road to all healing begins

...with just accepting that dy/dx is a fraction.

I know I've jeered my physics prof in the past for doing such a thing, but I'm seeing the benefits of his approach. For instance, now it doesn't take any special manipulations to find error, just multiply both sides by dx (or ∂x, depending)!

No more stupid math arguments with my roommate at 1 in morning! It's like I've fully declared my intention to ignore all proper conventions in favour of shortcuts and he gets the smug satisfaction that I'm not doing real math.

Instead I have stupid arguments about American automakers at 1 in the morning. Which ended with an analogy relating GM and Ford to a man getting shot in the head and a man getting shot in the chest, respectively.

Semantics.

They're both screwed.

As an addendum, my roommate is like a puritan when it comes to math. As in accepting nothing other than set theory to be "real" math. That's like saying Ruby isn't real programming because I'm not personally ferrying bits around like a deliveryman.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

You might have noticed the sidebar --->

It's a list of webcomics followed by a list of feeds I subscribed to. Of course it's not very up to date, my feeds get changed up, some got removed, a lot more got added.

I felt the need to link my latest subscription, mainly due to his sage financial advice. Expressed in the form of Haikus.


Buying a new car?

Smells nice, but I hope you like

Depreciation.




Saturday, November 22, 2008

I hate poli-sci students like I hate philosophy students

In that they take a single class, come out knowing nothing and think they found the meaning of life. Mind you, I'm talking about the people who decide to take it as an elective, I certainly hope those majoring in it would be better off than this.

For fucks sake, how can you take a course like that and be transformed from libertarian to anarchist? As retarded as libertarianism is, at least they have the sense to realize the importance of property rights, I can't contemplate how anyone would think Thunderdome is good for humanity. Except maybe xxHaRDCoRExx punk rockers who were actually raised in suburban homes and had too much free time to think up bad ideas.

Fuck.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

On math and Key

If I were to plot my feelings of despair and sadness versus time as I watch Clannad, the plot would only span R² whereby it is sad everywhere and the level of despair resembles Dirichlet's function.

I talk like this in real life too.

Friday, October 31, 2008

I don't think I'd be cut out for Linux

...because apparently I epically fail at building from source.

On the other hand, now I have Xcode on my computer, so I can make Unix apps.

Or rather theoretically I could if I knew how to.

Right now it's just taking up massive amounts of space.

BOY WINE SURE IS PRACTICAL

BY WHICH I MEAN IT TAKES 30% OF MY PROCESSING POWER TO RUN MSPAINT.EXE

BY WHICH I MEAN IT DOESN'T ACTUALLY RUN HALF THE WINDOWS APPS I HAVE

BY WHICH I MEAN EMULATING THE ENTIRETY OF WINDOWS WITH PARALLELS TAKES UP LESS PROCESSING POWER

BY WHICH I MEAN FUCK YOU WINE

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Saturday, October 04, 2008

This really is the best way to start a conversation:

crobert [{}]:
what the fuck; if you have nonunique decimal expansion then the tree isnt bijective with the set of all reals

Alternatively, this is the reason I'm not in the Pure Math Club.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Resnet is unreal

So I was playing Smash in their room (endearingly referred to as "Battlestar Galactica" by my don) with some people on my floor, when one of the Resnet guys walks in with a cardboard box.

"You'll never guess what I've got!"

It was a Dreamcast. He got another Dreamcast.

Mind you, this was on the same day that I returned his first Dreamcast.

For those keeping count, at this point they have all 3 current gen consoles in their room, 2 Dreamcasts and a Mega Drive. That's some serious geek cred right there.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

FX3 IS LIKE WIN95

WHEN A PROCESS GOES DOWN, YOUR ENTIRE OPERATING SYSTEM SINKS LIKE THE TITANIC.

IRONICALLY I WAS ON THIS PAGE WHEN IT DECIDED TO CRASH 3 TIMES IN A ROW.

SOMEONE AT MOZILLA REALLY DOESN'T WANT ME TO READ THAT.

CAPS LOCK.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Stupid people shouldn't be allowed to use email

Who thought it was a good idea to let students be able to write mass emails to everyone in their program? For that matter, I think I've gotten a few from students not even in my faculty. I'd like to check to see if my TAs or Profs wrote anything pertinent but my inbox is cluttered so full of spam I don't even want to look at it.

No, fucker, I don't want to study with you, go find some friends. I also don't care that you don't understand question 28 on assignment 2, ask your fucking TA, that's what you're paying 10k per term for. Finally to you, aspiring chartered accountant who managed to fucking email everyone in chem eng, go die in a fire.

My personal email is now full of crap as well, maybe the after the first 25 people did it, the next 150 of you should have realized replying to all on a residence mailing list is a dumb thing to do.

I also love how quickly I'm getting telemarketers now that I actually turn my cell phone on. For fuck's sake, no, I don't need hydro, stop calling me from fucking area code 623.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

How's the switch?

First off, I'd like to say Macs are extremely slick when things are working together. Like you wouldn't believe, it can't do a lot of things Windows can do, but it is good at what it does. It also definitely took a lot less effort making things work nicely.

OS X can actually support dual screens without forcing you to jump through hoops just to make the wallpapers different. As a bonus, you never get things stuck off screen when you're disconnected from a monitor like you do in Windows. Well, sometimes you do, but it's not as frequent.

The templates in Pages are a billion times better than whatever comes with Word. The screen savers are nicer. It comes with built-in East Asian character support instead of needing to be installed later because apparently Windows decided it doesn't want to give you the option during the initial install process. Basically, I'm satisfied with how everything is on a Mac the first time. With Windows computers, the more "ready to use" the manufacturers claim, the more time I'll be spending uninstalling bloatware later.

The problem is when you need to get some work done and Numbers is built to make your graphs pretty and not to actually crunch numbers. Maybe that's why artists like Mac so much, because they never have to do fucking math. MS Office for OS X is apparently like its Windows counterpart but infected with polio because Microsoft decides it hates Mac users (incidentally, my Chem 100 assistant prof hates Mac users too). Open Office for Mac is so terrible. It's clearly running over a windows emulator of some sort, and it has it's own tool bar. It's better than MS Office in that it is free and Calc has more tools than Excel for Mac (see point: previous), it's worse in that it has its own file formats that Office apps can't actually open. So I have a mess of redundant files in different formats floating around until I figure out what I should save things as. To add to the confusion, I still have not found a way to change the default application for opening things in OS X. Also, OO integrates horribly with OS X, needing to open terminal, and then an emulator before actually initializing Open Office itself. Meaning it starts up slower and uglier than even Photoshop CS2.

Quicktime can't actually play .avi files properly despite installing DivX codecs so I had to install VLC player. That's okay though, Windows Media sucks in comparison to MPC and Winamp too. Plus, I didn't need splitters and FFDShow to get .FLVs working on VLC.

I spent a large amount of time trying to make Frostwire for Mac store its shit in the data partition, but no matter how I change its preferences it still creates folders in my Mac partition. I gave up and just installed it Windows-side.

Spaces is a marvelous concept, but there are enough flaws that I decided not to use it. One is that I'd like the ability to have separate spaces on each screen when using a monitor, after all, that is what a second screen is for. It's a shame that they overlooked this with such fine dual screen support otherwise. Secondly there are bugs with apps showing up wherever they want to. Photoshop decides to open up anywhere the hell it wants despite being assigned a space. Even more infuriating is that if I hover the cursor where the font selection toolbar should be when Open Office is open, it will switch to that space for some reason. I hope this stuff gets fixed somehow, because I'd love to use Spaces if it worked.

Finally a pet peeve, Finder keeps leaving .ds_store files all over my data partition which is clearly visible in Windows and Explorer likewise keeps leaving thumbs.db files all over the same partition that is clearly visible on OS X. It makes me want to shoot myself.

Additional Note: Adding to the point that you can't do math on a Mac, it's funny because Maple, the software used by mathies to do inane shit like calculate pi to 10 000 digits (significant figures dammit!), came with two installation CDs: one for Windows and one for Linux.

I'd like to talk about Resnet

Somehow this slipped my mind during the last post, but my residence has its own wireless network called Resnet. There are a group of upper years who maintain this network collectively termed the "Resnet guys".

Their heads live on my floor.

Basically they are exactly how you would imagine them to be like. You would walk by their room on the first day, see 3 monitors on one side, a 30" screen on the other, a plasma tv in the middle and cords everywhere,

"Are these the Resnet guys?"
"Yup"

One of them dropped the term "symmetrical docking" in during a Smash match and I was like "I see what you did there." He also has a figurine of Fang-tan. We also had a conversation about how Genesis does what the Nintendon't. I think I'm going to get along just fine with him. Another is like the manifestation of every geek stereotype you can imagine, down to "I got to go, I have a raid to attend right now." Well, except he's not fat, unclean or unemployed, so it's not too bad.

When I requested that they download Ikaruga on Live Arcade it turns out that they already have it. Not on 360 mind you, or even Gamecube, they had it on the fucking Dreamcast! Better yet, they have an open door policy where anyone could just go into their room to chill regardless of whether they're in or not.

"I think my productivity this term is going to approach zero"
"Why not zero?"
"Because I've done some work already"
"Have you handed anything in?"
"No"
"Well, there you go"

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Since Hilldawg has been sharing her geeky stories...

Today I found someone who watches Battlestar Galactica, and it isn't a guy. How wonderfully unexpected.

Just a moment ago I walked down the hall and into someone's room on the left. Lo and behold, there was a ~25" monitor with Chouginga Gurren as the wallpaper. That made my day, but I feel bad now for not knowing that guy's name.

It took a million years for me to find a chat client, because none of them had a skin that fit my shell theme. I downloaded Miranda, Trillian and Pidgin in turn. I ended up using Live Messenger. I'll just talk to people without .Net accounts on Adium.

I often talk to Crobert over MSN despite being in the same room. He often responds by shouting "shut up and throw away your fucking soup!"

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Hey lady, I need a yank!

So I got hospitalized on the 3rd day of frosh week. First thing right after my don told everyone to play safe, no less.

I jumped off the top of an inflatable maze and dislocated my shoulder in a race. Despite that, I won the race by an enormous margin. The first responders called it the "Thunderforce" in the cause of injury section of their report. The paramedics were puzzled.

It turns out life is not like Trauma Center, because I'm pretty sure I could've beaten the game in the time I spent in the waiting room.

Nurse: So tell me how this happened.
Me: It's a stupid story.
Nurse: It's frosh week, we're used to stupid stories.

Whatever they injected to put me asleep is like a miracle drug though. I was out and awake without ever knowing it and just found my arm fixed magically, didn't even skip a beat in my thoughts. I'm sure it would fetch a high price on the secondary market, AKA drug dealers.

I am now known as the "guy who supermanned off the slide".

Better yet, sometimes people ask me if I was the guy injured during ultimate frisbee. To which I can truthfully respond, "no, he was in the stretcher in front of me".

Friday, August 29, 2008

I hate you Don

I was going to do Don's challenge before posting everything in a big dump, but at this point it's doubtful that will ever happen so, whatever.


This was made after Don said that there needs to be more boobs. Afterwards, he said there also needs to be more penises and monkeys. I was totally going to do it, I downloaded the reference pics and everything too, but now I'm out of time. I got the naked guy reference off a site called Gayart.com or some shit like that, no lies (it was a link off a CA reference thread), and the subheading said something like "references for gay artists". Fuck you Don, I went through that for nothing.


MS Paint is great.


I decided to do a paintover of an old sketch. WHERE'S THE LIGHT COMING FROM I DON'T KNOW.


I was going to do the same deal, but my original composition was shit so...uh...fuck that. Finishing pictures halfway is how I roll.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

On Impressionists

When the camera was invented artists were forced to abandon capturing realistic images from life. Interestingly enough, I've seen quite a few pictures that have been painted, not lifelike per se, but with such accuracy that they just look like photos processed though a series of Photoshop filters. Which, is rather depressing actually.

On the other hand, I'm liking Giovanni Boldini. His stuff was tight.



In a seperate note, at the back of Jon Stewart's book, there were a series of ads for fake books. I thought the one on open domain Victorian era erotica was a joke. Then I found Gustave Courbet.

Revolvers, Automatics and Magical Girls

Right to Left.


It's funny because an article came up in my feed on the same day, and now the two are inextricably linked in my mind.

Fate can use a speed loader. Nanoha on the other hand seems to be more of a spray 'n' pray type. Minus the praying.

edit: Yes!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

So this is how Eddie keeps in shape!

My favourite part is when it says, "Total Time: 4:50".

Monday, August 25, 2008

Well, fuck.

My computer died, at the worst of times as usual. It only needed to last another week before all my data is backed up, now I am going to have a hell of a time retrieving the data. Incidentally, my most worthless data is still intact, since I've stored it all online so as not to waste HD space. Hurrah for my magical girl image collection, I guess.

The last time I had a computer die was the week before my media art final and compsci final. The media art final was an website.

The Macbook I'm on right now is in some kind of limbo because it's all ready for Windows installation, but I don't actually have windows. The data partition can't be created until Windows is installed, and I don't want to configure OS X right now either because there's a non-zero chance I'm going brick it and need to start a clean install.

In other news, I managed to cut myself twice on a Dell PSU trying to open it. It remains unopened. <_<

Fuck computers, seriously.

edit: On the bright side, Safari is definately more stable than Fx 3.

Friday, August 22, 2008

EX-CALIBUUUUUURRRR!!!

Apparently swords = buster rifle as far as magical girls are concerned.


...et vous aussi, Bardiche.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Olympics

1. Barcelona's torch lighting is still the best. Sydney's would've been great too, if their machine didn't break for 5 minutes as the torch bearers stood uncomfortably watching.

2. One of the projectors BSOD'd during the opening ceremony. Sorry, I lost the link.

3. China's team uniforms during the op ceremony were terrible. Who thought red and yellow jackets were a good idea? On the other hand, the gymnastics uniforms are pretty slick.

4. Speaking of gymnastics: China's team is fucking loli. I mean, Chris Hansen levels of loli. God, watching Chinese gymnastics is like watching live action Strike Witches.

5. Romania sucks at gymnastics now, because all their coaches fled to America.

6. During the China-USA basketball game, my parents were like, "there's no way we can keep up to the end, they have all these black people". I was trying not to laugh.

7. NBC did a gallery on hand signals in beach volleyball. I'm pretty certain that was just an excuse for them to post ass shots of women.

8. Fuck Tibet.


9. Phelps is a beast. Metaphorically and literally, as in I think he is ready to eat a baby in that picture. I also love that even though it was Lezak that pulled through in the 100m relay, all the headlines were talking about Phelps.

10. Canada is behind Togo in rankings. Thank god Toronto didn't get the games, you'd think they'd learn by now not to go for summer Olympics.

edit: Finally, Ron MacLean has the balls to say it, "...we're breaking all these Canadian records, but you know, records are falling left and right on account of these new swimsuits." I'm tired of this apologetic 'oh we finished 7th but it's a new Canadian record' crap. At least China is doing well, even in areas it's not historically strong in. Let's see what happens on the track.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Tuesdays make me despair...

soph: you dont have a schedule yet?
Peter: I do
Peter: I haven't really looked over it carefully
Peter: it will probably make me despair
soph: lol how many hours a week?
Peter: I don't want to know
Peter: because it will make me despair

Well, curiosity got the better of me and I decided to look.

Now I'm in despair.

It's pretty heavy course load but I more or less expected that. The worst is my schedule for Tuesday: 8:30-11:30,12:30-2:30,4:30-5:30, 7:00-10:00. Fuck! That's 9 hours of lectures and labs! My ridiculous timetable has left me in despair!

Next time on zetsubou channel: Shopping for laptops leaves me in despair!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

That's how the USN rolls!

Only America would operate 4000 ton ships that are so lightly armed.

I'm talking about the Oliver Hazard Perry class. At one point it had missile launchers for SM-1s and Harpoons, but those got removed due to the retirement of the SM-1. As a consequence, it also lost the ability to fire Harpoons.

So it basically has no anti-air and anti-shipping capability anymore. What does it have left? Not much, they weren't very heavily armed in the first place. They have point defense from a Phalanx CIWS and its 76mm main gun. They have anti-submarine torpedoes. Seems like a waste of such a large platform.

Israel's Sa'ar 5 manages to be equivalently armed at a quarter the tonnage (they don't have a big gun, but they actually have AA).

The one thing it does have going for it is that BIW builds durable ships. Too bad that it can barely defend itself.

In a similar vein, there are reports surfacing that, contrary to previous beliefs, the DDG-1000s can't operate the SM-2. Ergo, no serious AA capability either. One has to wonder how they managed to make Raytheon's Standard Missile incompatible with a ship running Raytheon's PVLS, Raytheon's radar and Raytheon's electronics suite. Especially when the SM-2 is fully interoperatable with the current VLS cells on Burkes and Ticos. Especially when the ship is a 15000 ton beast.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Why does everyone like Nolan's Batmobile?

Am I the only person who thinks the Tumbler looks like shit?

Military vehicles don't look like that, exhibits in a decon museum do. Vulnerabilities aside, all the exposed parts in the front wheel is going to be a nightmare to maintain and how the hell is it going to go anywhere off pavement with that kind of clearance? No wonder Wayne Industries' design was rejected by the military.

Also wtf, it has six spoilers, all offset at different angles? That's beyond rice.

Now this is what a Batmobile should look like.

edit: On the upside, thank god they didn't accept Giger's Batmobile.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I FINISHED SOMETHING WUT

Definite inverse correlation between quality and time though.


Naturally, anything significant I do must be accompanied by equal parts just dicking around.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

There's always a punchline

I've come to a startling conclusion that anime characters convey emotion solely through their eyebrows.

This is the face that says good morning to you.

This is the face that will save the world by overloading it with fun.

This face says, "Help! I'm about to be violated by a cephalopod!".


Whoop whoop whoop!

...

Monday, June 30, 2008

15 minutes of DoA

Peter: so, I can't help but think
Peter: ufc would be even better if
Peter: the fighters were female and hot
Ronak: lol
Ronak: so live action dead or alive
Ronak: but UFC
Peter: actually that is probably what the DoA movie is about
Peter: I need to reconsider
__________

So thus follows commentary on the first 15 minutes of the movie, courtesy the internet. I thought about screenshots, but that necessitates work.

1:25 - Oh boy, I can tell this is going to be QUALITY acting already.

2:24 - The anticipation causes me to LOL prematurely.

4:09 - If Kasumi keeps shedding clothes at this rate, she'll be naked by the end of the scene.

4:32 - Oh, nevermind. Scene transition...to one of the characters in a swimsuit showing some cleavage.

5:25 - Now she's attacked by pirates.

7:28 - Scene transition. Keeping with the trend, another character is clad only in nothing.

7:34 - ...now she's wearing a towel

8:20 - ...and now she's putting on her underwear with a porn groove in the background.

8:56 - ...and now she is fighting topless.

10:17 - Normally the panty shot here would be of note, but considering she spent the last few minutes clothing impaired...

10:43 - New scene! Plot development? If you call it that.

11:08 - New scene. IIRC, Helena was a crazy high-class French skank as opposed to some ditzy low-class teenage skank. They do remain consistent to the skank part though.

13:30 - Plot takes a dive. Literally.

15:42 - So much grabbing and moaning. 15 minutes is up!

In conclusion, from what I've seen, it will only take minor revisions to turn the entire movie into a porno. Next time I'll watch something better written. Like Ghost Rider.

Friday, June 20, 2008

How do you know if you're making a war film right?

If it makes you not want to go to war.

Just finishing up Band of Brothers, it's top notch.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Irony

Quite a while ago, the USAF wanted to buy 20 refueling tankers from Boeing to replace its fleet. Of course, Senators aren't pleased at all. Just 20? That wouldn't create enough jobs in their home States.

So the USAF budget was upped and they were told to buy 100 airplanes instead. The Air Force decides that with such a large contract at stake, they ought to have an open competition. The result of the competition was that the French company Northrop Grumman won.

Naturally, the government throws a hissy fit that all that money they granted to the Air Force to buy planes they don't need is going to go out of country. A shitstorm ensues; many French jokes were made.

Well, now the Government Accountability Office decided the previous competition was invalid and the Air Force should hold a new contest.

...

I hate that government.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Great Wall isn't so great

So, it's basically the Maginot Line.

But more expensive and with less guns.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Fine

Comments are now enabled.

Stop asking already.

Friday, June 13, 2008

This makes me cry...

crobert: mit is better
crobert: because mit has actual architecture
Peter: I think loo has actual architecture
Peter: at their architecture school
crobert: which isn't even in loo
Peter: alternatively
Peter: loo has too much architecture
Peter: that's why it looks retarded
Peter: too much br00talism
_____

It was at this point that I discovered Wikipedia actually has a picture of Waterloo right on their Brutalist Architecture page.

*Massive facepalm*

Now deconstructivism, that's the kind of architecture I can get behind.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Solidarity

Decklist:
12 Island
3 Flooded Strand
3 Polluted Delta

4 High Tide
4 Reset
4 Opt
4 Brainstorm
4 Impulse
4 Force of Will
4 Remand
3 Meditate
3 Turnabout
3 Brain Freeze
3 Cunning Wish
2 Flash of Insight

Sideboard:
4 Hydroblast
3 Disrupt
2 Twincast
1 Brain Freeze
1 Meditate
1 Turnabout
1 Echoing Truth
1 Chain of Vapor
1 Stroke of Genius

Disclaimer: This is entirely copy and pasted AKA netdecked. Sideboard is important because of Wish, Stroke is the only instant speed kill I think.

I so want to play this. Firstly it's legacy, so it'll work forever (maybe not top-tier, but still powerful). Secondly everything barring the lands and Force are pretty cheap. Force is kind of optional for non-competitive too.

It's also my style, sit around and draw cards for a while. Then combo into a Brain Freeze for 60. Plus, everything is instant speed, so you can always wait until the very last possible moment before attempting to go off. As in you can win the game in response to someone attacking you to death with damage on the stack. In fact, Reset encourages this kind of playing.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

...ergo propter hoc

So here's my issue, what is the functional difference between cum hoc ergo propter hoc and post hoc ergo propter hoc?
_____

crobert: post = after, cum = with
crobert: post implies causation while cum just implies a correlation
Peter: thank you
Peter: no, I meant what is the functional difference
crobert: post needs a strict chronological sequencing
crobert: while in cum they just need to be related
Peter: in what example
Peter: would there not be some kind of chronological sequence
Peter: if causation were implied?
_____

Naturally, Wikipedia was the first source to be consulted.
_____

crobert: ok i'll just steal one from wiki
crobert:

"Sleeping with one's shoes on is strongly correlated with waking up with a headache.
Therefore, sleeping with one's shoes on causes headache. "

crobert: here you have "sleeping" and "with shoes on"
crobert: one doesnt happen after another
crobert: in fact, they're going on at the same time
crobert: as opposed to

"i saw a black cat, then crashed my car. therefore seeing black cats cause car crashse"

Peter: there is clearly a chronological sequence
Peter: Sleep with shoes ---> wake up with head ache
Peter: arrow is time

crobert: ok say you had
crobert: number of lung cancer cases has been steadily increasing
crobert: and
crobert: number of cigarettes sold has been steadily increasing
crobert: so you falsely conclude that they are related
crobert: one doesnt necessarily happen after the other
_____

So basically, I'm not seeing it. If you're implying that a causes b, then D[b(t)] must equal kD[a(t+x)]. Where t = time and {x|x ∈ R, x > 0}. The k could even be a function of a(t) or something, but you can't just say they're both positive and therefore correlate. If your k value ends up looking like a Weierstrass function, your correlation is garbage in the first place without even getting into the causation part.

Any philosophers reading this, feel free to drop me a line.

Unless your name is Kant. In which case: don't.

update:
_____
Peter: I thought of something
Peter: dead people are old
Peter: therefore time causes death
Peter: I think this is the only way around the chronological factor
crobert: <_<
crobert: you're just thinking it wrong
crobert: it works, you just think it doesnt
crobert: you have two simultaneous events
crobert: the fallacy is that one is dependent on the other
Peter: how can a cause b if they both happen at once
Peter: unless one of them is time
crobert: protip: it doesnt
crobert: that's why it's a fallacy
Peter: this is a shitty fallacy
...
crobert: what part of it dont you get
crobert: you understand that it's a fallacy right <_<
Peter: so cum hoc is the universal set
crobert: yeah i sort of said that already
Peter: but pos hoc' = half diminished
Peter: That's the crux of my issue
Peter: maybe I'm looking at this wrong
Peter: maybe it's stating the obvious
Peter: AKA 2 simultaneous events can't cause each other because it's simultaneous
Peter: AKA this is a shitty fallacy
crobert: all fallacies are shitty
crobert: give me a nonshitty fallacy
Peter: naturalistic fallacy is alright
Peter: I am going to eat my GM foods and enjoy them

Saturday, June 07, 2008

The ugliest box I have ever seen

It is like the Poser Mobile of PCs.

"With the only real competition (in terms of potential volume) coming from Dell’s two gaming brands—XPS and Alienware—because HP has still not brought its Voodoo brand to Europe, Acer has the chance to jump into a gap in the market here. The system specs are well balanced and at least the European prices are very palatable: €1,699 for the “basic” Sniper, €1,999 for the Trooper, €2,999 for the Crusher and €3,999 for the Eliminator."

I think it was made for Leo.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Creatures? Madness!

Some people get confused looking at a decklist like Neo-Academy.

At this point I'm the opposite. Empty Gush? Makes sense. Quick 'n Toast? It's like a constructed Keeper.

But then I look at Rock. What? No insane card draw? No complicated mana-base? It wins with non-tribal creatures? That's crazy!

I think it's because of the Extended environment during Mirrodin, where even the goblin decks would combo off of a Goblin Recruiter engine. It's permanently skewed my perception.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The end is in sight...

...and it looks suspiciously like rape.


Imperishable Night Stage 6: Final B on Hard; 3 lives, no continues.

I like how my failure-success ratio on the first spell in Lunatic is ~2:1.

Now that could take a while to beat.

Friday, May 30, 2008

What happens when the science consultant to BSG gives a talk on Halo?

This.

"The apparent gravity on Installations 04 and 05 is close to that of Earth. For a Halo with a radius of 5,000 kilometers to simulate one Earth gravity, it would have to spin with a tangential speed of slightly over seven kilometers per second. That implies that the Halo would rotate once every hour and fifteen minutes, or 19 ¼ times a day."

"An object—a soldier, an Elite, a Scorpion MBT, a Warthog recon vehicle, anything—in direct contact with the surface of the ring would perceive the centrifugal force to be the equivalent of gravity. Anything not in direct contact would tend to follow basic laws of dynamics, but laws that might seem counter-intuitive at first. On the second level of Halo: Combat Evolved (a level called “Halo,” in fact), Master Chief can see a waterfall shortly after making ring-fall.

Figure 2 shows the results of computer simulations of the trajectory of one drop of water over the waterfall if it were subject to Earth’s gravity, and the trajectory of one drop of water on a Halo—assuming that the waterfall is 305 meters (1,000 feet) high and oriented along the Halo’s spin direction. We see that a drop would fall two meters farther on a Halo than on Earth. That’s not a great difference, but if the water flow were oriented perpendicular to the spin direction, it would deflect two meters to the side, which would look odd for somebody used to viewing terrestrial waterfalls."


"The ring’s spin would have an even more pronounced effect on objects with a longer time of flight. While most of the combat in Halo takes place at close range, let’s assume we want to use our M808B Scorpion Main Battle Tank, which fires hypervelocity rounds, as a piece of artillery and fire projectiles at a much greater distance. Entry-level physics students learn about trajectories—that the trajectory of a projectile fired from a cannon takes the shape of a parabola (actually, an ellipse, since the trajectory represents a partial orbit). In the absence of wind, a round fired straight up will return straight down, and completely ruin the day of whosoever fired it. Long range trajectories on a Halo would be quite different. Figure 3 shows the results of computer simulations of long-range trajectories of rounds fired from the inside surface of a 5,000-kilometer ring spinning at nineteen times per day. The assumed muzzle velocity was 1,000 meters per second. Figure 3 shows the trajectories for initial barrel elevations of thirty, forty-five, sixty, and ninety degrees above local “horizontal,” both in the direction of the ring rotation (+X) and in the direction counter to the ring rotation (-X). We can see that a round fired straight up does not, in fact, return to where it was fired, but rather eighteen kilometers downrange due to the seven kilometers per second speed that the round had before it was even fired. Note a marked asymmetry between projectiles fired in the spin direction as opposed to the anti-spin direction. Rounds fired in the spin direction have a greater initial horizontal velocity, and impact the ring sooner than those fired in the direction opposite to the ring’s spin. A rocket fired from a launcher, or a projectile from a fuel rod gun, would suffer similar deflections if it had to travel long range."


Now I want to hear his opinion on the merits of the Viper Mk II versus the Mk VII.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I am intrigued and horrified

I think this is one of the most interesting games I've ever heard of.

Of course, my hoarding tendencies* would probably make me want to shoot myself for playing this.

*This very trait is what makes me unable to play MMORPGs, because I will just keep going forever hoarding money golds.

Monday, May 26, 2008

I put on my wizard's hat and robe!

I'm just going to link to Gatherer because I don't feel compelled to link everything.

If anyone plays Magic with me they know my favourite colour is blue. What is the defining feature of blue? Card draw. If you have more cards, you have more options than your opponent. If you have have more answers than they have questions or more questions than they have answers, you win.

This is why aggro decks like Red Deck Wins wants to run a tight mana curve, by minimizing the amount of land they're running, they draw less land on later turns and more threats.

Some green decks tend to have larger creatures, they maintain the same advantage because much of their mana accel (e.g. Kodama's Reach) doubles as deck "thinners". By removing land from their library, they are increasing their chances of drawing more active cards later in the game. By the same token that's why the fetchlands are good, sometimes even in a monocoloured deck. Also why Land Tax is banned.

Control decks run a higher land count, but use card draw to gain advantage. Instant card draw is significantly more powerful because it means the blue player can leave lands untapped for a counter while being able to use their mana if nothing gets played. In a true Draw-Go deck, the entire purpose was to build up an overwhelming number of cards, more than enough to handle all threats, then win with something small and ridiculous. Like Rainbow Efreet. One copy of it. But WotC decided that was too good for blue so they're refraining from printing any more*.

Combo decks are ridiculous; I don't want to talk about it.

That's why cards that let you draw 1 (e.g. Serum Visions) are extremely cheap, because you have no net gain in cards. But as soon as you increase to draw 2 cards, the fair price spikes to 4 (e.g. Inspiration). Of course Ancestral Recall was not fairly priced, and as a result it is arguably the most powerful card in the entire game (along with Black Lotus and Yawgmoth's Will...Time Walk wouldn't be very far behind though).

But card advantage doesn't stop there, it encompasses everything in the game. If you play Mystic Snake, you've answered a threat while delivering your own, another net gain of 1. That's partially how Shriekmaw became the best card in Lorwyn limited and its forefather Nekrataal was a power card in its heyday. If you play a Wrath of God and destroy 4 opposing creatures, you've answered 4 threats with only 1 card. That's a net gain of 3!

To extend it further, that's why Leyline of Lifeforce is stupid answer to control (barring specific metagames). If you play it late, it does nothing. If you draw two of it, it does nothing. If you're not facing a counterspell deck, you have wasted slots in your deck for a card that does nothing. Compare that to Vexing Shusher, at worst you've still got a 2/2 for 2 that's pressuring your opponent and at best you have both a question and multiple answers in the same card. Card advantage.

On a wholly different note: why Plague Wind is terrible. If you're losing, you can't retaliate until at least turn 9. At that point, any self-respecting aggro deck would have you so close to death that any burn spell, any random 2/2 that gets through would kill you. If you're winning, well you clearly don't need Plague Wind then. Damnation would be a better card 90% of the time, closer to 100% in a tourney caliber deck.

I actually dislike playing affinity as much as people dislike playing against it. There's not a lot of subtlety involved. My favourite deck is now the Izzet one. It's decent enough for casual, flavourful and Gelectrodes are fantastic. It would also be good for Emperor because it has repeatable damage, Cursed Scroll style.

On the other hand, I can't lose with Islandhome, if I don't win it's not a real loss because nobody really expects an Islandhome deck to win and if I win then I beat the odds.

One thing I can't understand is how people manage to play aggro decks wrong. It's not difficult, you always try to be attacking. It doesn't matter if it's a 1/1 Llanowar Elf, if there are no blockers, swing with it. The longer you wait, the longer a control player has to draw an answer. If they already have an answer, well tough luck; holding back isn't going to solve anything. If you get a control player down to a low life total, it means they've lost options because they can't afford to let any damage go through. It means you have the initiative and they're forced to spend their mana and cards immediately instead of investing for later. That's why River Boa was such a power card against Draw-Go decks, because it immediately put the other player on a 10 turn clock.

edit: Colour me unimpressed by Thomas' boasts about spending $35 at Image. I don't think he realizes that the solution to burn (and pretty much all forms of control other than counterspells) is Troll Ascetic, not more Vigors. I also relish the fact that the Izzet deck cost me ~$10 to make and affinity costed ~$7.

*At the same time, the top-tiered deck in Standard is faeries? What the hell, since when did blue have such efficient beatdown? Back when Fish was actually a merfolk deck...AKA before they stopped printing merfolk. In conclusion, Guilty Gear > Virtua Fighter.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Some people might remember Robotech

It was a compilation of 3 series, the first of which being Macross.

The Macross franchise has always been about syncing J-pop to missile-slinging madness; a tradition that Macross F continues to fulfill.




I secretly hope BSG's season finale is going to be like this.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Oh...fuck

Me: So...I'm learning Donna Lee
Crobert: Can you play it?
Me: Not at speed
Crobert: Mike can play it
Dan: Mike can't play it at speed
Crobert: Oh shi- really?
Me: Fuck...nobody can play it at speed, except Charlie Parker
Dan: I have this book at home
Me: Charlie Parker's Omnibook?
Dan: Yeah, I can play like 2 songs from it*

Alternate title: The adventures of Donna Lee continues
*For the uninformed, the Omnibook is like half an inch thick.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Oh, hells yeah!



Apparently, the ВДВ have been recruiting.

Recruiting bears.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Incompetent People Really Have No Clue, Studies Find

"There are many incompetent people in the world. Dr. David A. Dunning is haunted by the fear that he might be one of them.

Dunning, a professor of psychology at Cornell, worries about this because, according to his research, most incompetent people do not know that they are incompetent."

"One reason that the ignorant also tend to be the blissfully self-assured, the researchers believe, is that the skills required for competence often are the same skills necessary to recognize competence."

"This deficiency in ``self-monitoring skills,'' the researchers said, helps explain the tendency of the humor-impaired to persist in telling jokes that are not funny, of day traders to repeatedly jump into the market -- and repeatedly lose out -- and of the politically clueless to continue holding forth at dinner parties on the fine points of campaign strategy."


Link.

Monday, May 12, 2008

If monosaccharides can speak...

...I imagine them to sound like this.



Josh: What are we going to write on these red headbands?
Me: S.O.S. 団
Forest: Haha
Crobert: No.

Well, I thought it was clever.

MRAPs are kind of ridiculous

Isn't the Humvee already like a lane and a half in width?

How the hell are you going to drive through the streets of Baghdad in something like this?

I can't imagine it being very effective in cross-country terrain either.

...And what happens if a Snowspeeder entangles it with an anchor wire?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

What now 4chan?

crobert: so apparently japan's going to banhammer lolicon
Peter: OH NO NANOHA
Peter: actually I think I can live with this decision
Peter: but I'm afraid they'll replace it with something worse
Peter: like monkey pronz or something

Draw-Go

Aggro is boring.

Combo and Control are where it's at.

I proxied a High Tide deck with the classic Palinchron/High Tide combo. It went through several revisions, first being U/W/G for Mirari's Wake, which can substitute for High Tide, then another involving Clone, eventually it became dominantly U, splashing W for just 2 Sunscape Familiars. I considered Meddling Mages at one point, but decided in favour of Solemn Simulacrum for mana acceleration and card advantage. Kind of silly to have 4 times more W producing lands than actual white cards. I've only play tested it against Titanium (it's been improved) once, and I'm going to leave the performance of both decks as a surprise, but suffice to say, they are pretty beastly right now.

I only found the real decklist afterwards. Circa 1998, before the banning of Time Spiral.

It makes my version look like child's play.

Notice that it has only 1 Palinchron and no tutors for it. That's because Palinchron is only the kill mechanism, Time Spiral/High Tide is the real combo. I had Turnabouts and Frantic Searches in one revision of my own deck, but realized it's pretty much useless without Time Spiral and went with more efficient card engines instead. That deck showcases the true power of Saga's "free" cards.

How does it work? I imagine the order of operation to be pretty much tutor/draw High Tide and the tutor/draw Time Spiral, then play High Tide followed by Time Spiral.

Realize that resolving a Time Spiral in that deck is pretty much equivalent to resolving a Mind's Desire, storm for 6, in any other deck. It just goes off!

With the untap mechanism, there's going to be an huge surplus of mana, which is then used to play more card draw, using Turnabout to resupply when the mana runs low or chaining into more Time Spirals and High Tides. Eventually Stroke of Genius will be drawn, either before or after Palinchron. If the former, Stroke turns all the raw mana into massive card advantage ensuring that Palinchron will be drawn. At which point you perform the infinite combo, and Stroke of Genius your opponent for 60, they lose.

All the while your spells are backed up by Counterspell/Force of Will.

Deadly.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

On gas taxes and holidays

What the hell makes people think a gas tax holiday is a good idea? Against what any economist would recommend?

In essence, you're lowering the price, which increases demand.*

But the supply isn't increasing.

This is not a viable economic strategy. It's pretty much analogous to printing money for everyone.

...and fuck corn farmers too. I hate those guys.

*Yes, I know "oil is inelastic", whatever. The point stands: being a temporary drop in prices, people are encouraged to hoard it for the duration of the time. Demand still increases.

Victory from the jaws of defeat

So it was Sam and I versus Rob and Thomas in a game of 2 Headed Giant. I was playing Broodstar-Affinity because it's the only intact deck I have left and Rob was playing Kithkins. God knows what the hell Thomas and Sam were playing.

It's late in the game, we're down to 5 life because Rob managed to play out some early fatties that have since been destroyed, but in the process they have created a large swarm of 1/1 tokens in addition to a few weenies. I have an 11/11 Broodstar with Fireshrieker on it that had been locked down with Goldmeadow Harrier for many, many turns. It did manage to swing twice before, bringing them down to 10 life.

It's their combat phase and they've gone all out leaving nothing except a Dancing Scimitar to block Broodstar next turn, should we survive. I realized that if we survived then we could win next turn if I topdecked an Irradiate or Aether Spellbomb. At the same time a Lava Axe from them at any time would end the game for us.

It wasn't hopeless as we had a gaggle of miscellaneous creatures including an Atog, an Ornithoper, an Outrider-en-Kor, a Disciple of the Vault, and a Steel Wall among a few other things to block with. So I began doing the mental arithmetic.

"So, he blocks the 4/4 with his 2/2 and I Pyrite Spellbomb it--it dies--that's 11 damage left and...and..."

*thoughtful pause*

"...I sacrifice everything to Atog, you lose the game."

Monday, May 05, 2008

Sometimes I hate the internets...

Unread Topic: "So the end of the world is coming..."

Me: "If this turns out to be a peak oil thread, I'm going to shoot myself"

*click*

Me: "Fuck!"

Sunday, May 04, 2008

L-O-L India



Dropping babies off tall buildings? This seems counterproductive to the survival of their race.

Friday, May 02, 2008

探そう, 探そう, 探そう...

夢のかけらを探そう

探そう, 探そう, 探そう~

Daisy Chaining

maj 7 / Ionian

+ b7 = 7 / Mixolydian

+ b3 = delta 7/min7

+ b5 = null set/min7 b5/half-dim

+ b7 = dim

The problem is I always have to relate everything in the tree back to the dominant 7th in my mind.

Bonus points if you got the null set joke.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Font preferences

Graphics design aside, I've settled on 2 font families for general use.

Garamond variant for serif and Verdana for sans-serif. Those 2 fonts are widespread as well, so there shouldn't ever be display problems moving from computer to computer.

Generally, serif fonts are easier to read in print and sans-serif on screen.

Of course, sometimes a random font strikes my fancy and I use it for no particular reason.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Playing Donna Lee is like participating in a dick measuring contest...

On a completely unrelated note, I think I'm going to learn Donna Lee.

At speed.

What is it at, like 220?

Fuck.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Let's overload some methods and listen to Pantera!

Fuck yeah!

Sometimes I have nothing to say and I just feel like maeking poast. Well, I guess that's why I have a blog in the first place.

The episode of BSG I missed, the one on the 18th, they evidently used the word clusterfrak. That's my word!

A long time ago I considered trying to become competitive with Soul Calibur 2, but then realized the first step in doing so for fighting games is to memorize the number of frames for every move and which frames are safe. Screw that, that's way too much effort.

Well, here's an interesting article to make up for my lack of substance. Passover seems an appropriate time to read about bagels anyways.

Oh Colonel Tigh, you're so crazy!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

My OCD with music

Or more accurately my music library. I suppose this wouldn't come as much of a surprise for anyone who's seen my folder trees, but here goes.

It doesn't matter how obscure the song or where it's from, I must have the correct title, artist and genre.

For AC/DC, I tried to find a unicode character for lightning bolt for a while before giving up. The title has to be exactly as it is written, including all brackets (of the correct type), hyphens, semi-colons, tildes and stars (wtf). At one time I used to add the original artist on covers, but then I decided against it because sometimes a cover is more famous than the original (e.g. All Along the Watchtower: Hendrix vs Dylan) or in jazz where everything is pretty much a standard.

The genre must be labeled as category-subcategory. I don't label something as hard rock, I label it as Rock-Hard. That way I won't end up with bebop next to black metal when sorting by genre. I have special conditions for using the soundtrack and musical tags, I will tag something as soundtrack only if the source album is a soundtrack, and if I have no other entries by the same artist that are labeled otherwise. The logic being that if I downloaded a soundtrack in its entirety, I would probably want all the songs from the source to appear next to each other when sorting, but this is superseded by the fact that I want songs by the same artist to also appear next to each other as much as possible. Similar conditions for musical, with the additional disjunctive that any song that originated from a musical is automatically tagged as musical. That means "Seasons of Love" = musical, "I Wanna Love Him So Bad" != musical.

Secondary is the album, which I try find as much as possible, it's not hard most of the time.

Tertiary tags are the year and track number, which I won't bother looking up if the other tags are already correct. Honestly, when am I ever going to sort my library by year and track number anyways? Besides, I haven't got a system for labeling tracks on albums with A and B sides or albums that have multiple disks yet.

If you think that's obsessive, I calculate the ratio between all the categories frequently. For instance, J-pop must never exceed 5% of my library by track titles and I am trying to push metal under 40%.

I have lots of problems with jazz because most songs are standards and there's is a whole lot of mislabeling. Also because a lot of performers played with each other, not to mention that someone like Miles Davis had a famous quartet, quintet, sextet and god-knows-whatever-tet. I end up just putting [et al] at the end of the artist because damned if I'm going to keep three entries for a single artist. I still have this big 40min long track with filename "John Coltrane-Live at Birdland", that I have no idea where it's from. For all I know it could've been someone sitting in the audience at Birdland with a tape recorder, in which case, it would be live at Birdland indeed.

FYI Rob, Coltrane plays tenor mostly and doesn't play cool jazz, tag that shit properly.

That doesn't even come close to the trouble I have with classical music though. If it's a baroque concerto, what would I label it as? Should I put the composer or the performer down as the artist? Sometimes I have the latter but not the former and vice versa. What if it's an arrangement, what then? Finally I have the worst time tracking down albums for that stuff. It's all become such a pain that I just refuse to download any.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I've decided that I like my horn

No it's not pro like Mike's alto, it's just a student-level Conn.

But I know how to make it sing. I once tried a Yamaha from the school, I could not get a tone I liked from it.

V16s are nice reeds, they need to warm up before performing but they give a nice bright sound. Unlike the Ricos, which I can pretty much just play out of the box.

Now I just need to actually start practicing again.

Speaking of instruments, I find Crobert's guitar fascinating. It's like a Les Paul, but...not? Also, the black with gold trim and inlaid mother of pearl is gorgeous.

edit: It's an Edwards LP Custom, I don't know if that means it's a modified from a Gibson LP or an imitation. I told him he should find a red one with an antenna.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Holy crap Wikipedia

One would think the Yakuza has better things to do then to edit Wikipedia articles.

That's what one would think.

I recall something similar happening on the Hell's Angel article quite a while back as well. It's fallen off the talk page now though.

Naturally, being an article related to Japan, tentacles must be involved.

This comic is kind of awesome



The only problem is, who reads Korean?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

What's a worse idea than Nicole in DoA?

Yoda and Darth Vader in SC4.

Everytime I am reminded of this, I facepalm.

I'm not even going to start on the bust sizes.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A sense of scale

Click for larger.


If you know me, you could probably guess how this ends.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Civil War: I'm with Caprica Six

In Neon Genesis Evangelion, the NERV HQ is run by 3 networked MAGI supercomputers: Melchior, Balthasar and Casper. A decision is made by a majority vote between the 3. Each computer is designed to analyze based on a personality trait of the designer, representing her as a scientist, a mother and a woman respectively. In this manner they were able to incorporate humanism into the decision making process*.

The Cylons take this idea further, with each of the 7 basestar human models representing a specific facet of human behaviour. When they vote, together they simulate how a human would make a decision. This is why One is able to predict how others are going to vote and why it becomes such a shock that Boomer votes contrary to the other Eight models. What this means is that the Cylons are becoming more human, against their original programming. Of course, the elegance of the system goes entirely to hell when Three is taken offline (meaning there's no tie-breaking vote) and Six decides to rebel. With guns.

See? I'm making connections. Mr. Panwar would be proud.

*In the end, when they attempted to self-destruct the HQ, it required a unanimous decision from the MAGI. Casper voted against the proposal out of spite. From this we can conclude...women are spiteful?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

'Hogs are awesome


The A-10 is like my favourite aircraft. It is slow and lumbering, but it takes a lot of punishment and gives troops the CAS they actually need. It can return safely with literally half of its flight surfaces destroyed, one engine and wrecked landing gear. It survives 20mm cannon fire. Its Avenger cannon has recoil equivalent to the thrust of one engine.

Plus, I bet the Air Force never has to worry about protecting it from falling clams.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Dammit Adobe

When your program leaves an XML preferences file, you would assume that it's for user modification, right?

Then why the hell is the entire document written in one line?

I noticed Google does the same with its scripts, but I suppose that's because they don't want people trying to steal it.

What's Adobe's excuse?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Teal is nice, but it's time for a change

Here's my current theme:


I've wanted to re-theme for a while now. I am just starting to gather the required materials now.

Shell theme: Found
Wallpaper 1: Possible candidates, still looking.
Wallpaper 2: Found.
Winamp: Needs new skin.
Frostwire: Needs new skin.
Firefox: Possibly needs new theme.
Logon Screen: Needs major tweaking.
MSN: Needs minor tweaking.
Dock: Needs minor tweaking.
Icons: No change needed.
Rainlendar: No change needed.
Colibri: No change needed.
Boot screen: No change needed.

Thank god going to black is an easy transition, I dread trying one day to make my desktop coordinate with multiple colours.

Also, to whoever remarked that the Zune theme was awful: fuck, the Zune theme is awful. It's not really the black and white though, because you can in fact make a sexy black and white theme. It's just the Zune.

edit: Shell theme is going to need major tweaking because damned if I can read a thing as it is. God damn it, there's two tests tomorrow; I have no time for this.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

So, what happened to the Amazon?

Did everyone just decide to move on? Desertification too, whatever became of that issue?

I can only conclude that the environmentalists moved on to the next fad, AKA global warming.

In great irony, as far as I'm aware, great swaths of the ancient forest are still being clear cut, now to provide room for growing bio-fuels. A scam in itself.

Fuck, this is why I hate environmentalists and find it hard to take anything they say seriously. So many of them can't even stand by their own causes for an extended period of time, and this is hurting people's perceptions of legitimate scientists and informed activists.

Fuck you Bono, and McCartney as well. Writing a hit song is not a qualifier for engaging in intelligent discourse.

Fuck those baby seals too, cuteness does not correlate to ecological value.

Maybe I'll elaborate on my position some other time, but suffice to say I am a seething pot of hatred over how things are being conducted right now.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

217 ships

That's how many ships currently in the US Navy.

Well, actually no.

I didn't count the uncommissioned ships, the ships under construction, ships under the MSC, boomers and things like mine sweepers/hospital ships/etc. I did count all the ships related to amphibious warfare including landing docks and command ships.

Why, you may ask?

Out of all those ships, 4 have sunk an enemy ship.

1 of them is the USS Constitution, so it doesn't really count.

2 of them (USS Porter and USS Carter Hall) sunk little pirate skiffs off of Somalia.

That leaves the USS Simpson, which sunk a Iranian missile patrol boat during the Iran-Iraq war. The only active USN warship to have sunk another warship.

...

Maybe all those people who want to modernize the Iowas ought to think about that.

edit: On a similar note, 20 Bradleys were lost during the first Gulf War. 3 were due to enemy fire, 17 were due to friendly fire. Who needs enemies when you have teammates like that?

Monday, March 31, 2008

My last foray into web development

This was awhile back when I had to build a website as part of a media arts project. I was just reminded of it now and thought it'd be interesting. Here are the screenshots:

Rendered with Gecko (Firefox/Netscape engine)

Rendered with Trident (IE engine)

I think I ended up submitting just screenshots of the site.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

ITT: We learn about image formats

Ever wonder what you should save an image as? Well now you have a handy guide!

So first, the difference between lossy and lossless formats. Lossy means that in all subsequent modifications of the image, data is lost making for progressively worse quality. So if you save a JPEG three times, it will degrade in quality every time. Lossless just means that in subsequent saves, there is no loss in quality, it does not mean there's no loss in quality from the source image. GIF is considered lossless because whether you save once or fifty times, the image looks the same. However, if you've ever tried to save a photo as a GIF, you know it looks like crap. This is because GIF only supports 256 colours and will force the document into those colours. Of course, no format can support infinite colours so all formats will force colour if needed. That means that not all lossless formats are going to give you the same result.

Secondly, if you're saving a vector, you're going to be saving it as SVG. End of story.

So, the leaves the raster formats:

GIF - 256 colours, compression, lossless, supports animation. If you're using black and white, there's no reason not to use it. If your image is animated, there's no other format as supported. With other images it becomes quite iffy, I'm actually inclined to say a dithered photograph actually looks better than a image with a smaller pallet, but with unsupported colours. Either way, I'd rather use something else, but bear in mind GIF files usually have the smallest size as a combination of their compression and limited colour data.

PNG- Up to 24 bit colour, compression, lossless. It's viewed as a successor to GIF since GIF makes things look so crappy. I like to use it with most things that have a limited pallet. If you're saving something like a photograph, the PNG file would be several times bigger than the JPEG counterpart and not noticeably better (assuming you're saving at a high quality, i.e. not with MS Paint). If I do something in Paint, I'm most inclined to save it as a PNG because GIF looks like crap and it saves JPEG at pretty low quality. Greyscale I think would be better served under JPEG, but I tend to save those as PNG too, because I'm not keen on losing my data.

JPEG- Up to 24 bit colour, compression, lossy. What can I say, it's JPEG. If you have a large colour pallet, that's going to beastly huge under most lossless formats. It has an efficient compression process and if you save it right it will look just fine. Try not to further edit JPEGs though (obviously it's unavoidable, but prevent it where you can), because the loss is going to be noticeable after a few generations.

BMP- Up to 64 bit colour (you just can't do it with Paint), no compression, lossless. That's a huge colour range. That's also going to be a huge file size. You can still compress the file by zipping it though. The nice thing about BMP is that you know it will be compatible with everything. If you need to make sure something is compatible and bandwidth is not going to be a problem, then go for it. That said, if you go and upload some 3000px x 2000px BMP and then post it on a forum, you're an idiot.

TIFF- Up to 48 bit colour, compression, lossless or lossy, very versatile. The inter-application format of choice for professionals in the graphics business. There's a large colour pallet, which is nice, but more importantly is its versatility. For instance, you can define layers in a TIFF document, so you can move something from Painter into Photoshop without skipping a beat. The problem is that often something is marked in a TIFF document that is unrecognizable by a program. Compatibility with TIFF is kind of a developer's nightmare.

RAW- Compression, lossless. This is for photographers mostly, it gives you the raw data captured by the camera's sensors. That means there's a huge variation in RAW files between different cameras. It might not seem like a huge difference from a JPEG copy, but it gives you more control for processing later. Usually I'd just make JPEG copies though, I'm not that hardcore about my photos.

Now you know how to save your images! That gives you a step up over half the internet. Spread the word and maybe one day I can dream of reading my webcomics without JPEG artifacts.

Bonus section: How to waste ink like a pro!

Just making a black square is so passé, what you should do is go into Photoshop (version doesn't matter as long as it's not a consumer level product), start a new document in CMYK mode, make sure you're using rich black, fill the entire document. Then go into Image > Adjustments > Channel Mixer and max out the outputs of all the channels. The result should be a stunningly black document, either that or a really damp piece of paper.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Don't believe in the me that believes in you, don't believe in the you that believes in the me that believes in you!

Believe in the you that believes in yourself!


The two paths between human and beast,
Intertwine to create the path of the Spiral!

Piercing destiny as yesterday's enemies,
Creating a new path towards the future with these hands!

The union of fate!

Gurren Lagann!

WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK WE ARE!?