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Comment: Re:Pumice? (Score 4, Interesting) 182

by stavrica (#42067581) Attached to: Sandy Island, the Undiscovered Country
Pumice seems most plausible.

We obtained worldwide elevation data from NOAA, for our BattleCell land conquest game. (a super-evolved version of Risk) Game coordinates for Sandy Island are: -1911,15956

Sure enough, the NOAA data shows an elevation of 1 meter, for the entire Sandy Point island.

Possibly, the island was a dynamically generated object, based on the original NOAA elevation data. What else, besides pumice could generate such readings?

Comment: Uhhhh... no. (Score 1) 97

by stavrica (#35123696) Attached to: <em>RoboEarth</em> Teaches Robots to Learn From Peers

"Basically, it teaches machines to learn without human intervention." ...no. It provides a clearing-house for downloading new routines for accomplishing a task that someone else has previously programmed on another system elsewhere.

Please do not sensationalize what the lowly PC has been doing for well over a decade... that is, downloading information via the Internet to "learn" how not to crash, or prevent a security compromise.

Substituting a solenoid or motor output for a memory write command to claim that a "robot learned something" does not make this a novel concept.

Government

+ - US Government spying on T-Mobile VOIP subscribers?

Submitted by stavrica
stavrica (701765) writes "I found a new entry in my T-Mobile @Home Linksys routing table I hadn't seen before:

10.160.18.0 / 255.255.255.0 / 7.3.4.186 / WAN (Internet)

Strange routes showing up uninvited in static routing tables is definitely a BAD THING, particularly on a firewall. An ARIN lookup on 7.3.4.186 shows it's owned by the DoD Network Information Center (DNIC).

The T-Mobile @Home router at my church routing table likewise shows the following similar entries:

10.160.18.0 / 255.255.255.0 / 7.2.145.46 ppp0
10.160.18.0 / 255.255.255.0 / 7.2.130.7 / ppp0


There is no way to remove these routes. Suddenly, re-flashing the Linksys firmware was beginning to seem like a really good idea. If only... It turns out that T-Mobile has been auto-updating the firmware on all their @Home routers, first to version 1.00.20 --and then to 1.00.21, prompting one poster to even beg:

Please for the love of GOD stop the auto updating, udnp completely fails making my whole pc run snail like... on .15 it's fine like it has been for ages, but i can only keep that on for about 5-10 minutes before it's updated again......

To mitigate this invasion of privacy, I split the 10.160.18.0 network into two subnets, and routed them to an unused private address:

10.160.18.0 / 255.255.255.128 / 192.168.255.123 / WAN (Internet)
10.160.18.128 / 255.255.255.128 / 192.168.255.123 / WAN (Internet)
>

Can anyone else with a T-Mobile @Home Linksys VOIP router corroborate my observations? Both T-Mobile @Home routers are registered to my account. It's possible that I'm being monitored, but I doubt it."

Comment: Re:Bloody idiots (Score 1) 266

by stavrica (#34328136) Attached to: Open-Source Social Network Diaspora Goes Live

We've all been there. It works on every browser, except for IE. The trick is to respond intelligently, and not fall victim to emotional despair when Internet Explorer refuses to act like the mature browser it should be by now.

Flinging mud at something, even when deserved, will get you dirty as well.

Why not solve 2 problems at the same time? Do this instead:

http://code.google.com/p/chromeframeiebar

Comment: A house built on sand cannot stand. (Score 5, Interesting) 265

by stavrica (#32783638) Attached to: IE9 Flaunts Hardware-Accelerated Canvas

We developed a web based game BattleCell that uses Ajax/CSS instead of Flash for all the heavy lifting. We discover at least one new bug in the IE rendering engine every month. Our pile of IE bugs in the back room that we have to track every time we develop a new feature is testament to the dread with which we view this new hardware-based rendering engine. We know what we're doing.

Just last week, we learned that once you have a stack of enough semi-transparent layers (combination of PNGs with alpha channels coupled with DIVs with various opacity CSS settings), IE fails to render the top-most layers. This doesn't happen after 20-30 layers. This happens after 5-7 layers. At first we thought our code was faulty, until we realized that scrolling down such a page with multiple layers will cause text that was previously "invisible" to suddenly be rendered in its specified color... as we kept scrolling, the text would then disappear again. You get the idea.

Obviously, this all works flawlessly in Safari, Chrome, Opera. For IE, we get to re-architect all sorts of work-arounds --a house built on sand.

Comment: Once upon a time... (Score 2, Insightful) 307

by stavrica (#31992048) Attached to: US Students Suffering From Internet Addiction

Merchants, immersed in the bustling commerce of Rome, who suddenly found themselves shipwrecked along with a handful of other sailors on some island in the Mediterranean would likely have, "showed signs of withdrawal, craving and anxiety along with an inability to function well without their " ...familiar environment around which their lives had come to revolve.

Comment: Stereoscopic != 3D (Score 1, Flamebait) 145

by stavrica (#31092210) Attached to: Sony Announces First 3D Blu-ray Disc Players

Is anybody else bothered by the false advertising that well funded corporate marketing and headline-seeking news is shoving down the public's collective throat?

Claiming that a stereoscopic picture is the equivalent of a 3 dimensional projection is the equivalent of presenting a stereo entertainment center and claiming that it is surround sound.

Comment: Mark Newheiser is right: hello digital pet (Score 1) 251

by stavrica (#30346096) Attached to: <em>Farmville</em>, Social Gaming, and Addiction
Mark makes some excellent points. We are rapidly evolving the BattleCell game (BattleCell.com) to fit the gaping-wide hole that has become today's Social Gaming world: If it's a Social Game, how come I can't interact with my friends and other players? Zynga has brilliantly demonstrated that you can build a successful business model by effectively marrying good viral marketing (aka, News Feed) with the addictive behaviors identified in your article. Today's Social Gaming offering is comprised of hyped up Tamagotchi digital pet reproductions that allow players to look over their friends' shoulders. One can't really argue with success, of course. But, Mark's final statement nails it --players are left wishing that the game was more fun, that it had more depth after all their investment, that it offered something more meaningful than just another way to spend one's time.

Uncertain fortune is thoroughly mastered by the equity of the calculation. - Blaise Pascal

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