TL;DR: On this date 39 years ago The Story of Mel was published on Usenet by its author. Today, we launch Mel’s Loop project (https://melsloop.com), with some fascinating details about the epic hacker folklore tale, its characters' biographies and origins! [more inside]
prospective possible application of a very old algorithm, backpropagation, to a fundamental problem in organizations, that of giving credit to people [more inside]
I wrote an article on my Gamasutra blog about how Pac-Man can move through the ghosts without getting caught. It's an excerpt from my book Bug Voyage, in the current Storybundle, which tells about glitches in classic games while offering a smattering of computer science ideas along the way. It's kind of a change of pace for me, it has little to do with roguelikes, but it does explain how you can crash any Galaga machine without putting money into it. [more inside]
Because I'm worried for all those who now find themselves (soon to be) living under a government that they cannot trust, I've decided to try my best to help people enhance their online privacy and security. So I have started posting on this blog about the risks, and the things we can do to help avoid them. [more inside]
A collection of code samples in various programming languages demonstrating how to split a string into a collection of substrings using the phrase 'your grave' as a delimiter. It's hosted on GitHub so if your favorite language isn't supported, you can always submit a pull request.
I have a book out! It's a compilation of my @Play columns on roguelike games, with some new material. It's part of the current StoryBundle too, with some new material. ALSO, one piece on the book is up as @Play 83, AND another is up now on Kotaku! [more inside]
Ten morbidly modern sources of the dreads in daily life.
In July of this year, I proposed the idea of Just Solve the Problem Month, a month (I chose November) where an untold mass of people descend on a problem that's probably a peach if only enough people descended on it. To try out this idea, I proposed solving a Problem that has dogged anyone who tried to rescue old electronic or online material: the File Format Problem. (That first link describes the File Format Problem in detail, but it comes down to there being a massive mess of formats out there from decades of computer use and operation, but scant collection of information about many of them.) The idea gained some traction, so here it is the end of October and we've ramped up the very first Just Solve the Problem Month with a Wiki, justsolve.archiveteam.org, where we'll be enumerating information, examples and links to most every file format we can discern. The hope is to have hundreds of people take on this issue and result in a version 1.0 of a directory of file formats, effectively "solving" the problem by providing deep and rich linkage on how to recover any old media in any old format. I've written an entry with a high-level overview of Just Solve The Problem: The File Format Problem, and an entry that's an extremely detailed version of same. I'd love for the lovely folks of MetaFilter who are interested in such a project to register for an account, or spread along the news of this project to the special overthinking classificarian in your life. The official start date is November 1st, but we've started working on the whole shebang now.
Glenn Wichman is one of the three people who made the computer game Rogue, bits of which are visible in roguelikes (of course), many computer RPGs, and MMORPGs. We interviewed him today for the Roguelike Radio podcast.
There is a lot of debate about whether the iPhone 4 and iPad 3 displays are truly ‘retina’ displays. But there's really no need for debate, because the question can be answered experimentally. Using some simple vision science principles, this website allows you to easily test whether your new iPad (or other display) is ‘retina-class’.
WHAT IS TOR: A poster for the Electronic Frontier Foundation by Molly Crabapple and myself explains what the TOR network of anonymous nodes does, why it's important, and what you can do to help, via the medium of cartoon raccoons in waistcoats.