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Adventures in Engineering
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2008-08-27 05:15
  Subject:   More physics-based fun: Armadillo Run
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http://www.armadillorun.com/

Any game that can keep me up until 4am must be doing something right. So far, my largest amount of cash left over after the 6 demo levels is $614.

Pro Tip: Metal plate is cheaper per foot than cloth is. And metal rod costs the same per foot as rope. Use metal by default, only going back with cloth and rope if your structures are too heavy and break under their own weight.
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Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2008-08-27 21:32
  Subject:   Zero Punctuation: Braid
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  Tags:  reddit

I wish this game had been shit, then I could have used the line "Jonathon Blow? More like Jonathon Suck!"

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/203-Braid
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Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2008-08-27 22:03
  Subject:   Pelosi heckled all over Denver.
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  Tags:  politics, reddit

Here in Denver this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been heckled by fellow Democrats nearly everywhere she goes. It's to the point that before a breakfast "conversation" this morning hosted by Politico and Yahoo News, the audience was warned that any disruptions or demonstrations would result in immediate ejection from the sunny rooftop event. Hecklers are usually angry about Pelosi's failure to end the war in Iraq.

Elected on the promise to end the war, Pelosi and her Democrats have instead voted repeatedly to fund it until the next administration. Even more galling to the anti-war crowd is that there are even more troops in Iraq under Pelosi's Congress than there ever were during Republican Congresses. House Democrats now have no less blood on their hands, activists say, than Republicans and the Bush administration. Pelosi also endures heated criticism for a host of other failures, such as stalled domestic proposals and getting steamrolled on the domestic terrorist surveillance bill. The most remarkable accomplishment of Pelosi's Congress is that she's managed to lead to current Congress to approval ratings that are even lower than President Bush's.

After listing some mild accomplisments that drew no particular enthusiasm from the audience, Pelosi lamented, "Not ending the war has eclipsed everything else."


http://blogs.nypost.com/opinion/hurt/archives/2008/08/pelosi_heckled.html

That's right, you dumb jackass cowardly fuck - stopping the mass killing of INNOCENT PEOPLE does eclipse all other considerations.

Jesus fucking christ on a jumped-up sidecar. DC really is an entire reality unto itself. Truth has always been optional there, but this latest sheer denial of the starkest realities is truly a new high water mark for ineptitude and self-delusion.
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Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2008-08-27 22:31
  Subject:   Depth and reflectance map auto-capture with two photos - one with flash, one without.
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  Tags:  slashdot

First an image of a surface is captured without flash. Portions of the surface that are higher appear brighter, and portions that are deeper appear darker. The problem is that the different colors of a surface also reflect light differently, making it difficult to determine if the brightness difference is a function of depth or color. By taking a second photo with flash, however, the accurate colors of all visible portions of the surface can be captured. The two captured images essentially become a reflectance map (albedo) and a depth map (height field).

"Software then compares the brightness of every matching pair of pixels in the two images and calculates how much of a pixel's brightness is down to its position, and how much is due to its colour. That information is used to produce a realistic rendering of a surface's texture."


http://www.hothardware.com/News/Capturing-3D-Surfaces-Simply-With-a-Flash-Camera/

http://aig.cs.man.ac.uk/research/daedalus/hallucination.php

There's a video demonstrating the technique - quite impressive. This quick, cheap capture technique should drive a whole new level of realism in video games.
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