land-of-kain

(umi'n no kuni)

On Latency: TCP vs UDP

The 1024 monkeys blog writes about TCP vs. UDP networking for games: While implementing custom persistency with UDP is always reliably faster, TCP may be already good enough -- if the slightly flawed congestion control strategy can be tolerated.

Fluid Layouts with HTML&CSS: Flexbox

With HTML/CSS, creating a fixed-size sidebar and a flexible main page on all browsers including mobile has always been possible but painful (wtf,html&css). Now, CSS3 flexbox (w3c) finally reinvents BorderLayout, and even adds flexible ordering.

Strategy Guide: Life is a Game

Io9 links to Oliver Emberton's strategy guide to the adventure game called "life": Keep your stats (health, energy, willpower) full, stack your skills for superskills and choose missions wisely. Sweet.

PillCam: Colonoscopy Camera

Engadget and Motherboard link to a Boston Globe report on the PillCam, used as a traveling camera thru the colon. Alternative: Wired variants like the 1cm3 micro camera by Awaiba and Fraunhofer (Engadget and TechCrunch report).

Throwing: Knuckleball Physics

Io9 reports on the erratically curved "knuckleballs" thrown by baseball pitchers: Avoiding spin, the seams on the ball create aerodynamic friction in a semi-random manner. Alan Nathan (U of Illinois, USA) provides research.

Body As Ecosystem

Io9 links to a Ben Arthur/NPR animation on the body as ecosystem, called "the human microbiome": 10x as many bacteria/fungi cells than human cells, specialized bacteria e.g. for upper/lower arm skin, immune system, and of course digestion.

ESA Cosmic Vision, L2 and L3

ESA has determined the next steps (L2, L3) of its cosmic vision programme: Athena (L2, 2028) will use an x-ray telescope to study hot gases and black holes, and Elisa (L3, 2034) will use a gravimeter to study gravitational ripples between black holes. Slashdot also reports.

Visual Cryptography

Nick Berry describes how to split an image into two random seeming ones, where both are needed for reconstruction. Based on the work of Moni Naor and Adi Shamir (one of the RSA guys).

Whats Wrong with OOP and FP

Programming languages researcher Yin Wang muses about what is wrong with functional programming (FP) and also object-oriented programming (OOP). Hint: Not everything is described well with objects. And not everything is described well with functions.

Math GIFs

An entire blog for Mandelbrot zooms, sonic boom propagation, envelopes, translation thru rotation, all as glorious GIFs. And the math behind it is explained nicely.

Leidenfrost Effect Maze

Popular science reports on a Bath university (UK) maze in which water droplets hover and move due to the Leidenfrost effect: The floor surface is so hot that vaporized water provides a cushion to the droplet that prevents it from vaporizing itself. The surface is jagged with the teeth slanted, thus the droplets move.

Statistics with Rabbits and Dragon Wings

Io9 and NY times report on a cute animation video by Shuyi Chiou, outlining the normal distribution and when to and when not to use it. All by counting rabbits and measuring dragon wingspan.