Gravity waves, and expansion.

http://www.space.com/25066-major-astrophysics-discovery-announcement-monday.html?cmpid=514648_20140317_20190254

Today there’s a new announcement about new data recorded at a telescope in the south pole. A study of the radiation over the course of 9 years, 9 freakn’ years has resulted in a pattern emerging in the background radiation of our universe. This pattern infers gravity waves, a direct result of the math Einstein used to explain gravity.

Not related to E=mc^2, relativity is used every day to figure out where your cell phone is. GPS requires a very precise clock to compare signals traveling at the speed of light from a satellite to a matching pattern in your phone. Depending on where the patterns match up determines where you are on the planet. As civilians we’re not allowed to use devices as accurate as those used by the military. Otherwise, you’d be able to locate your cellphone hidden under a ball cap in the corner of your living room next to a marble.

From the wiki page the satellites need to transmit on an ever so slightly slower frequency; 10.22999999543mhz compared to the receiver on land at 10.23mhz. That small difference in frequency is to compensate for relativity. If that adjustment wasn’t made, GPS simply wouldn’t work. That same calculation can be applied to many more things other than GPS, like gravity waves being propagated by the big bang. The number didn’t come about by guessing. That number was determined by a physicist before the satellite went up.

The significance of the evidence by the telescope is huge. The math predicted that there should be something observable in the form of gravity waves in the microwave background noise of space. If this background noise didn’t exhibit this property then the big bang theory would need to be tossed out and a new theory would have to replace it. However, the prediction found supporting evidence.

This is cool, the math behind it is cool. The prediction is amazing, and the evidence found to support the prediction took a long time to record. I almost feel bad that the evidence was found to match so well. This means the other theories are losing to the big bang leaving fewer options with supporting evidence.

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Robots and Computer Vision

So I’ve been doing some work on building pathfinding in an arbitrary environment which is only generated as the player wanders around in it. Outside of the immediate world where the player is in there is no data. When an AI has system in place to have the environment tell it where to go you need to come up with a more automatic system of pathfinding. I came up with a system which uses feelers it scatters around in the world to determine clear paths to which to go to. That looks a bit like this:

a net of nodes

The current implementation is considerably cleaner, but this looked cooler.

This is a mesh of nodes grown by a simple recursive tree algorithm. The branches reach out and around in a zig-zag pattern within a given range. This means if the AI or if the target is behind a wall then it’s likely that there’s at least one node that is close to the target. The nodes in the above image are represented by the red blue green axis markers. The cyan indicates the connectivity between the nodes.

This is similar to the sensors that simple sensors that robots use, like in the link below.

http://alwaysbusycorner.wordpress.com/2012/07/26/realbasic-robot-a-i-part-3-pathfinding-with-obstacles/

The pathfinding here is still using some pre-baked understanding of the world. The sensors then scan the world after a short path has been found like in his previous article here:

http://alwaysbusycorner.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/realbasic-robot-a-i-part-2-pathfinding/

This connects nodes by distance values where the shortest path is the one with the lowest sum. Pretty simple stuff. For my system I don’t necessarily know that much about the complete environment, so I needed another way to generate nodes based on where the AI is. Hopefully this will work out.

More updates to come.

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Weaning off Autodesk

After over 20 years of using various Autodesk tools, from AutoCAD back on an IBM PC AT back in the late 80s and early 90s to Mudbox, Maya, Softimage, and Max just recently, I’ve decided to end it.

There are good/better affordable alternatives to all of those packages out there. The modern tech startup can’t afford that shopping list. To build characters and rig them Modo and Blender fill the ticket just fine. Not to mention 3D-Coat, another great app.

I find it very sad that there’s no Photoshop alternative that’s actually as flexible as photoshop. Dogwaffle/Gimp/everything else that’s authentically *trying* to emulate Photoshop are failing. A part of this failure is that Photoshop isn’t that great to begin with, so stop trying so desperately to emulate it. I use painter, but it’s quirky, very very quirky. There’s also paint tool Sai and now Krita, so things are starting to look up. Also sad is that there’s no good After Effects or Premiere open source alternative.

Next is Unity3D, thanks to the fact that Godot is out there, at least there’s a chance for the open source 3d game engine that’s any good. Ogre isn’t a game engine. It’s a rendering engine. There’s no animation blending, particle editor, state machine, etc in Ogre, so there’s no game engine there yet.

You could say “You get what you pay for” unfortunately, often, you don’t.

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Godot Engine.

So today on slashdot and among other sources a strange little game engine appears out of the blue with MIT license called Godot.

It’s got it’s quirks, that’s for sure. Everything is a resource, and every resource is a reference to a file. Most of the descriptors are xml, and their scene files are more xml. Things like images look as though it’s mostly png, and then the meshes for 3d objects are just xml arranged into dictionaries and arrays.

It’s interesting that they give you all their resources on github as well, so you can hack away at it’s core and make any changes/improvements you feel you need to add. I’d think at least a .blend mesh import would be pretty handy.

All this is pretty amazing, it’s got some fairly cool rendering capabilities built in, all things considered this should be easy to tweak since you’ve got the entire code base to mess with. I’ll have to dig through it to see how easily it’s messed with, but considering the architecture of the rest of the engine I’d imagine it would be easy to read.

Update:

The engine works great in windows. The demo is barely usable in osX. Mouse clicks are very unresponsive, is this just me? Brand new mac book pro 15″ 5megapixel screen (2880×1800), just upgraded to latest 10.9.1, just got it today and updated everything. Quite a bummer.

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Bitcoin links for the day, ponzie schemes and bitcoin.

It’s been a few weeks without a new post. Being busy with work, I’ve neglected to post any new news. Not that I plan on daily updates, I do like to keep track of articles I’ve found interesting. In any case, heres some articles I found interesting lately.

Bitcoin is important, it’s really going to change things in ways most current banking and transaction companies can’t comprehend. Visa isn’t aware of what threat they are facing by crypto currencies. These old people are old, they have old ideas, and an old mindset. Evolve or die, that’s the modern internet landscape.

The most important aspect of the blockchain is the confirmation of ownership. When banks sell off derivatives of derivatives based on loans on unstable credits they’re selling off money that’s owed to them that might never appear. This is double-double-double spending spent credits that don’t even exist, and it’s insane, and it’s why over 200 banks collapsed in 2008. Banks are the real Ponzie scheme by definition. But this term is thrown around quite a lot to define Bitcoin, an ignorant statement.

What defines a ponzie scheme?

“Ponzi schemes sometimes commence operations as legitimate investment vehicles…” This would be the credit debt swaps that fannie mae and freddie mac started off with by selling their credits of homeowners to banks. In short, If they sold a loan for a house for $100,000 + interest, they claimed on their books that they had that money, and pretended that they could make purchases with that money. They were making purchases with money they didn’t yet have.

“… the promoters, instead of admitting their failure to meet expectations, fabricate false returns and, if necessary, produce fraudulent audit reports” Jamie Diamond admits to cooking the books repeatedly over falsifications of profits at JPMorgan Chase, and should go to jail. JPMC fabricated false returns and falsified their reports.

“Promoters also try to minimize withdrawals” HSBC is limiting bank account holders to 5000 dollars unless you have “a really good reason.” You have to prove that you need your own money. Why is this? Are they anticipating a bank run? Or in reality are they over leveraged and so insolvent that they can’t even give you $5000 because they’ve already spent/lost all their money on bad stocks and worthless bonds?

The shadow banking of the worlds currencies occur on a global scale. This is done behind closed doors, over the phone between good-ol-boys and it’s effects spread to your own fiat-bank account. Bitcoin can’t be double spent. The fixed amount of bitcoin in the world means that the supply will not artificially grow just because someone owes you some bitcoin. You can’t buy things because someone owes you money. The blockchain is public, there’s no falsifying books or fabricating profits. You can’t lie about how many bitcoins you own. You can spend the bitcoins you have as you want without restriction, you don’t have to beg for your own money

</rant>

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Tonight’s news Dec 18th

Looks like Okaypay has been up to some tricks. From some reading, it sounds like they are intending to accept bank transfers inside china to BTC and LTC but with a higher fee. 0.3%for BTC and 0.2% for LTC.

And All things D has an article talking about the fact that if China really didn’t want BTC around it would ban it like freedom of speech.

An investment firm GreenBank is starting up a couple of Bitcoin related branches. The WallStreet Journal is making some talk about BTC lately. Hopefully they’ll keep talking about it.

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