Monthly Archives: January 2013

HTML5 games faster than native?

There is another important aspect of the result: our WebGL renderer is designed to be more efficient than our old C++ DirectX 9 engine from Construct Classic. When working in C++, it’s easy to be lazier – C++ is super fast, so any code you write will be fast, right? When porting our engine to Javascript, we knew it was a few times slower than C++ in most benchmarks. This made us pay much closer attention to performance, as well as taking a smarter overall strategy. Classic’s native engine computes the positions of vertices (the object corners) when rendering every single sprite. With Construct 2 we realised these positions are already calculated and cached for use in the collisions engine. This prevents Construct 2 from having to do any vertex calculations at all – they are simply copied out from what the collision engine calculated. So the Javascript engine has less work to do. We thought this might help slightly close the gap between Javascript and C++; perhaps it has a lot bigger effect than we thought!
more on scirra.com

In the context of this paragraph somewhere deep down in the article, it’s hard not to blame the title of this article to be not much more than a link bait.

Wildlife in Chernobyl: Debate over mutations and populations of plants and animals in the radioactive fallout exclusion zone.

In an effort to challenge that view, biologists Timothy Mousseau of the University of South Carolina and Anders Moller of the University of Paris have published a series of papers claiming that populations of insects, birds, and mammals are declining in Chernobyl’s most contaminated regions. They also contend that birds avoid nesting in highly radioactive areas. They dismiss contrary reports of animal abundance as anecdotes.

Their work has attracted media attention, especially after the Fukushima nuclear calamity in Japan, perhaps because it fits so well with the zombie/mutant meme.

A phalanx of experts in environmental radioactivity have questioned Mousseau and Moller’s methods and conclusions, however, while the Ukrainian co-author who did the field work has repudiated their article claiming that birds avoid radioactive areas. He told Wired in 2011 that the experiments were never designed to test that hypothesis.

more on slate.com

The wildlife and the babushkas of Chernobyl refuse to die, despite some careful crafted research.

Interview with Ian Hickson, HTML editor

This is why the mobile world today has so much focus on native apps. Every new generation brings radical new features, and the Web will always be behind on those. So the cutting edge is native.

You can see this on the desktop. Innovation on desktop operating systems has slowed down dramatically, and as a result the Web has been able to mature there. The result is that on desktop, Web apps are doing great (so great that it’s viable to create a desktop OS that does nothing but bring up a Web browser, in fact). Mobile is where desktop was a decade or two ago, in terms of innovation.

Great interview with HTML5 spec editor Ian Hickson, with a small contribution from yours truly.

The future of software developers

They lack knowledge of internal systems. if you take those who know JPA and Hibernate, most likely they don’t understand fully the JDBC API and how the Hibernate framework works internally. They tend to reference a Hibernate/JPA book when issues arise.

A member of the “old guard” is disappointed with the lack of the deeper understanding of the fundamental building blocks by the new generation of developers. It is indeed very frustrating that human brains are not growing exponentially, as does the scope and complexity of modern technology.

Megafail

If you were hosting one of Mega’s CDN nodes (or you were a government official of the CDN hoster’s jurisdiction), you could now take over Mega and steal users’ encryption keys. While Mega’s sales pitch is impressive, and their ideas are interesting, the implementation suffers from fatal flaws. This casts serious doubts over their entire operation and the competence of those behindit.

Flaw security design of the new Kim Dotcom’s website. I don’t think it will stay unaddressed for long, though as it’s not that hard to fix.

My Father’s “Eviscerated” Work – Son Of Hobbit Scribe J.R.R. Tolkien Finally Speaks Out

Invited to meet Peter Jackson, the Tolkien family preferred not to. Why? “They eviscerated the book by making it an action movie for young people aged 15 to 25,” Christopher says regretfully. “And it seems thatThe Hobbitwill be the same kind of film.”

This divorce has been systematically driven by the logic of Hollywood. “Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time,” Christopher Tolkien observes sadly. “The chasm between the beauty and seriousness of the work, and what it has become, has overwhelmed me. The commercialization has reduced the aesthetic and philosophical impact of the creation to nothing. There is only one solution for me: to turn my head away.”

The story of Christopher Tolkien, JRR’s son who spent more than half a century on working through his father’s writing to make it available to the general public and true to the original spirit, or at least as he understands it.

Adobe almost does something amazing by accident

Unfortunately, it appears that Adobe wasn’t really intending to give out CS2 for everyone. Shortly after news of the apparently free software spread across Twitter on Monday, the download page became unavailable, producing an error instead. Subsequent blog and forum posts indicate that this wasn’t an inspired decision to liberate an obsolete but still useful application after all. It was something between a mistake, an error of judgement, and a misunderstanding.

Recent PR disaster from Adobe that made strides on the internet last week as “free CS2 for everyone”.