After a long road, I’ve finally launched my first game!

Kneeling Bean Studio

Currently, I am a 40 year old husband, father of 4.5 gremlins, and full-time software developer.

I started working on this project ~2.5 years ago at the beginning of 2016. I had been a software developer for about 13 years prior to deciding to start working on this game. I had also done countless hobby game projects on the side for years so I wasn’t a total n00b at getting a game project off the ground.

In the time since I started on this game, a lot has happened in life. Our 4th child was born a few months into the project. I changed jobs a while after that. My father died from cancer last June, which was absolutely devastating. And we are expecting gremlin #5 this August. With all that going on, sometimes weeks would pass where I wasn’t able to touch the game. But that’s okay, because this…

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Algorithmic glass ceiling in social networks: the effects of social recommendations on network diversity

the morning paper

Algorithmic glass ceiling in social networks: the effects of social recommendations on network diversity Stoica et al., WWW’18

(If you don’t have ACM Digital Library access, the paper can be accessed either by following the link above directly from The Morning Paper blog site, or from the WWW 2018 proceedings page).

Social networks were meant to connect us and bring us together. This paper shows that while they might be quite successful at doing this in the small, on a macro scale they’re actually doing the opposite. Not only do they reinforce and sustain disparities among groups, but they actually reinforce the rate at which disparity grows. I.e., they’re driving us apart. This happens due to the rich-get-richer phenomenon resulting from friend/follow recommendation algorithms.

… we find that prominent social recommendation algorithms can exacerbate the under-representation of certain demographic groups at the top of the social hierarchy… Our…

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Uber’s Flying Taxi

Novice Analysis

Earlier today I was reading about Uber’s newest unveiling of their concept for a flying taxi and I love it. It’s an electrically powered, multi-rotor plane with two rotors for vertical flight and one for horizontal flight. This is reminiscent of the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor, where the propellers transition from vertical flight to horizontal – the difference being Uber’s rotors are fixed. This has the potential to reduce some maintenance by reducing moving parts, but you’re also adding a lot of weight which reduces the carrying capacity.

One of the reasons I mention the V-22 is that one of the companies Uber is working with to develop this concept is Bell Helicopter, co-builder (along with Boeing) of the V-22.

Here are some points that I’d like to address; some questions, some comments, some concerns.

Don’t use fixed rotors

Uber is working with Bell Helicopter which successfully builds and sells V-22…

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Naked Before God – Part 4 – Naked Prayer

All Things Rabyd

If meditation can be done in the nude I think we can assume we might as well stay and pray in the nude.  The two differ in this: meditation is about listening to God; prayer is about communicating with God. One is about listening; the other is about talking. One other way I have heard it explained is that meditation and petition are the two sides of prayer.

Prayer is described in the Bible much like a subject in a kingdom coming into the throne room of the king and petitioning the king for favor and in return listening to what the king will grant and what he expects that subject to do if the king is going to grant that favor.  In a very real way this is true of us and God.  Prayer should not be something we are completely comfortable with in the sense of who we are coming before to ask a favor. …

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Unprivileged Docker Builds – A Proof of Concept

zwischenzugs

I work at a very ‘locked-down’ enterprise, where direct access to Docker is effectively verboten.

This, fundamentally, is because access to Docker is effectively giving users root. From Docker’s own pages:

First of all, only trusted users should be allowed to control your Docker daemon.

Most home users get permissions in their account (at least in Linux) by adding themselves to the docker group, which may as well be root. In Mac, installing Docker also gives you root-like power if you know what you’re doing.

Platform Proxies

Many Docker platforms (like OpenShift) work around this by putting an API between the user and the Docker socket.

However, for untrusted usersthis creates a potentially painful dev experience thatcontrasts badly with their experience at home:

  • Push change to git repo
  • Wait for OpenShift to detect the change
  • Wait for OpenShift to pull the repo
  • Wait for OpenShift…

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Taking a Stroll Between The Pixels

The blog at the bottom of the sea

This post relates to a paper I wrote which talks about (ab)using linear texture interpolation to calculate points on Bezier curves. Extensions generalize it to Bezier surfaces and (multivariate) polynomials. All that can be found here: https://blog.demofox.org/2016/02/22/gpu-texture-sampler-bezier-curve-evaluation/

The original observation was that if you sample along the diagonal of a 2×2 texture, that as output you get points on a quadratic Bezier curve with the control points of the curve being the values of the pixels like in the image below. When I say you get a quadratic Bezier curve, I mean it literally, and exactly. One way of looking at what’s going on is that the texture interpolation is literally performing the De Casteljau algorithm. (Note: if the “B” values are not equal in the setup below, the 2nd control point will be the average of these two values, which an extension abuses to fit more curves into a…

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Born under a bad sign.

The Renaissance Mathematicus

Yesterday’s birthday boy has got to be a serious candidate for the most unfortunate astronomer of all times. Guillaume Joseph Hyacinthe Jean-Baptiste Le Gentil de la Galaisière (September 12, 1725 – October 22, 1792) was a French astronomer whose life as a scientist started auspiciously in that he was personally trained in his profession by the Cassini’s at the observatory in Paris. In order to understand when and why it all turned pear shaped we have to go back to the 16th and 17th centuries.

One of the consequences of the new cosmological models proffered by Copernicus in 1543 (heliocentrism) and Tycho in 1588 (geo-heliocentrism) was that the inner planets, Mercury and Venus, would or should cross, or as the astronomers say transit, the face of the sun. Now this does not occur by every orbit as the orbits of the planets are tilted slightly with respect to the apparent…

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