Friday, September 23, 2005

World of Warcraft Virus...

Thanks for the link dave:

The first virtual world virus?

"The trouble started when Blizzard programmers added a new instance, which is a separate area connected to the outside world that players can enter and attempt unique quests. One of these instances, Zul'Grub, contained the god of blood, Hakkar. Hakkar was a powerful foe that could cast spells of his own, including a spell called Corrupted Blood. This spell did a large amount of damage to any player within the vicinity of the casting, and the effects lingered on after the spell was over."

and then things get interesting...

"Some of the players who had gone into the instance emerged back into the main world of Azeroth, and started spreading the Corrupted Blood disease to others who they came into close contact with. The infection soon spread into many of the cities and towns in the virtual world. Since the disease was intended to be a danger to powerful players, it tended to kill those less than level 50 almost instantly."

Article written by Jeremy Reimer over at

Thursday, September 22, 2005

fun with MS Word...

So, i put the word rasterization into MS Word today, and it suggested a few alternatives:
  1. pasteurization
  2. cauterization
  3. fraternization
  4. bastardization

yes, the pasteurization of polygons in the graphics pipeline indeed is computationally intensive.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

How the Nintendo Revolution Controller detects Motion

How does it work? well, they could us RF or IR and have a receiver measuring deltas in time of packets received at a receiver, but that is too expensive and not likely how they did it. Instead, its likely they put a potentiometer in the controller. A potentiometer is very cheap: 4 wires standing straight up within a liquid stuck onto the circuit board. As the liquid moves, the current across the 4 poles changes and you can detect roll, pitch, and yaw (position will likely be controlled with the standard d-pad on the top of the control). This info is transmitted via IR back to the console. So, with a $.50 device, Nintendo will open up new forms of gameplay. Don’t disappoint us Obi-wan.

A simple 2D example is shown above. As the liquid moves around the current on each of the two wires is measured and motion can be detected, the amount of change in current is proportional to the movement that has taken place. Technically, you can probably get away with only 3 poles in 3D, but for robustness there will probably be at least 4 poles, and maybe multiple potentiometers at the front and back of the controller, for example. Note, i'm just guessing on all of this :)

Nintendo Revolution Controller Revealed

Many of you have already read about the new controller, and some of you likely saw the keynote at Tokyo Game Show when it was revealed (lucky dog). I want to say first of all: All remote controls in the past have sucked as game controllers. This idea itself is not new and has failed on multiple locations, most recently in the airplane. Nintendo has put an additional, all important spin to the device, and I really like it. Images on the web don’t do it justice, the video has to be seen to be believed (note: it’s a marketing video, not a technical disclosure): Kudos to Nintendo for staying the course on making games that are fun first and putting graphics and performance secondary.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Oktoberfest at Mt. Angel...

Thursday night we wandered down to Oktoberfest at Mt. Angel where we sampled many tasty dishes. Here Stacey samples her fried dough. This is after the onion rings, and the sausage, and the second order of onion rings, and the corn.

Backpacking at Jorn Lake

this weekend 3 friends and I headed up to an overnight backpacking trip to Jorn Lake. This was a trip to try out some of our new camping gear before the 8 week Australia/New Zealand adventure in February. It was also our first overnight camping experience.
It started out a bit rainy. okay okay, hail. yes, hail. what amazed me is everyone’s fortitude (people ruled by fear call this stupidity) to start off in the middle of a hail storm and head up 2,500 feet. along the way we stopped by Duffy Lake and another lake start starts with an M. It rained on us most of the way, but by the time we got to Jorn Lake it had cleared up and we found a beautiful campsite right on the waterfront. we had a fabulous dinner (some packs of dehydrated stuff that we added boiling water too….beef stroganoff or something like that).

on the way down we had an awesome day. ran into a hunter who walked with us…one of those guys who had been hiking the area since he was ‘yeah’ big (hand reaches out to side holds up about waist height). was a bit odd, walking down the trail with a guy with a gun in front of you. and the horses man…left the dung everywhere boy I tell you whut…

anyway, I’ll post some images here of the campsite and some of the views we saw along the way. afterwards, we enjoyed an awesome feast at the outback in gresham (something is better about going to the outback in gresham). the salad man...and the bloomin' onion...ohhhhh....

Jorn Lake Backpacking Pix

Above, a view over Duffy Lake.

A view of our tent just outside Jorn Lake.

Another view of Duffy Lake on our decsent.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

take this one to the grill...

a friend pointed me to this gastrointestinal delight. Kim, you will love this:

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Travel to Tokyo: Raw Chicken

After the talk I went out to dinner with a Japanese co-worker who took me to an authentic Japanese restaurant. He ordered a bunch of different small dishes to try things. one of the things this restaurant specializes in is ‘sushi-chicken’. That’s right folks, raw chicken. and guess what it tastes like? you guessed right! they also give you a bit of ginger to put on it. now, I wouldn’t make a habit of eating it but I did have a second serving. we also had some delicious chicken balls. these were like meatballs but made with chicken roasted over a fire for a really flavorful taste. I also had a few other dishes and quite possibly the best fried tofu I’ve ever tasted! it was amazing, probably made fresh at the restaurant. on the left is the fried tofu and in the middle is the sliced chicken sashimi.

Travel to Tokyo: CEDEC 2005

Yesterday I gave my talk to about 400 game Japanese game developers. A few firsts here: first time I had a talk that needed translation, first time to an audience of 400. the translation thing is cool. when I spoke the audience has headsets that are wirelessly transmitted a real-time translation. Then, when they asked questions, I put on a headset and I could hear the translation in real-time.

Travel to Tokyo: Ginza and Rappapongi Hills

This morning I wore up and had a few hours before I had to catch my plane. I wandered around a few more areas of japan, still in admiration of their absolutely amazing public transportation system. Rappappongi hills was a very international area, probably ran into more English speakers there than anywhere else during my time in japan. Ginza is the large metropolitan area near my hotel, so I just wandered the streets for awhile, taking in the sights, smells, and sounds of each area. The images are taken near my hotel, these restaurants are all underneath the train tracks that snake along next to the hotel.