August 1st, 2003


Indie game developers - I wanna be one!

From Slashdot:

From the game "Teenage Lawnmower" by Robinson Technology

The approximately 1,500 teams and individuals involved with indie game development are as diverse as the games themselves. Some are in the business to make it big by selling their title or talent to a major game publisher. Others, including an ever-increasing number of developers with experience in larger companies, cherish the freedom of doing what they please.

"I see a lot more people with really solid, big game development making the leap," said David Nixon, executive producer at RealOneArcade, an online game portal. "It’s why they got into game development in the first place."

Dexterity president Steve Pavlina once worked in commercial game development. "With game budgets larger and teams larger, developers can feel like a cog in the machine," he said. "They feel like there is no room for creativity. So yes, there’s a move to go back to the roots."

Bugscan: Analyzing compiled machine code for security holes.

From /.:

Most software deployed today is not developed with security in mind. The usual response is to build up network perimeter defenses as a deterrent, but the root of the problem is that software is not designed to withstand a hostile environment.

Development teams are under enormous pressure to deliver new applications on aggressive schedules. Attention is placed on functional specifications, and perhaps performance requirements, but rarely on writing secure code.

Why is it that developers generally do not write secure code? There are two primary reasons: First, development teams lack tools to detect and prevent simple security bugs such as buffer overflow errors. Software compilers find syntax errors, so developers fix them immediately. Developers currently do not have tools to find security coding errors.

BugScan dissects software from the inside out by examining machine code - the native code of the computer processor. This means that source code is not required to analyze a program. Users submit program binaries to the BugScan appliance via a web interface and a report is generated automatically. It's that simple.

Can someone please explain to me...

A) When it became standard practice to insert a platform-specific CLSID into the HTML OBJECT tag that displays a Flash file.

B) Why this was done, and who thought it was a good idea.

C) Any reason whatsoever that I should not shoot him in the head. (I'm assuming it was a him. If it was a her I apologize, but I will shoot her anyway.)


D) What was so horribly wrong with the EMBED tag that it couldn't become part of the new HTML standard?

"The wonderful thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from."
-Andrew S. Tannenbaum, author of Minix

Instant fresh water - just add magic bag.

Stolen from zonereyrie's LJ:

The small bag is called a HydroPack and it's manufactured by a company called Hydration Technologies, Inc. in Albany, Oregon. It requires no power, has no mechanical parts, and uses no purifying chemicals. It's a membrane that employs an advanced forward osmosis technique to remove bacteria, viruses, chemical poisons and other nasty stuff. It won't clog up, either, even if it's tossed into really muddy water, and making it work is so simple a child can do it.

Once the bag fills up, you simply sip the drinking tube and quench your thirst from a two-liter supply of a clean and safe Gatorade-like nutrient drink formulated to replace critical electrolytes lost during strenuous activity, including combat duty.

The patented membrane has pores that measure only about 3 to 5 angstroms in diameter (an angstrom is equal to one ten-billionth of a meter.) The smallest bacterium is about 2,000 angstroms wide, so it can't get inside; even the tiniest virus is at least 50 angstroms, making it ten times too large to pass through the forward osmosis action of the HydroPack, even if it says "open sesame."

Space Quest 0: Replicated

From /. a while back:

Remember Space Quest, Kings Quest, Police Quest, etc? Well so do a bunch of other geeks!


What is Space Quest 0: Replicated, you ask? Why, it's the all-new fan-game sensation that's been sweeping the Wilco World Wide Web! Designed by Jeff Stewart, SQ0 offers fans an untold tale of Roger Wilco as our hero finds himself posted aboard Labion Orbital Station 10, a Class 3 Cloning Facility. Unfortunately, it appears that a mysterious someone (or something) has murdered all of Roger's fellow crewmates during one of his famous supply-closet naps. Join Roger as he escapes the station, travels to Labion for the first time, manages to die in literally dozens of creative new ways as he struggles to figure out just what happened aboard LOS10 and--if he plays his cards right--save the universe from a fate too terrible to mention.

Replicated is built using the same technology as SQ1 and SQ2, featuring an old-fashioned text parser and gorgeous 16-color graphics -- some of the best that I've ever seen, in fact! So, what are you waiting for?