19 5 / 2013
As of this Sunday morning, my father, Ike House, was accepted as an Elder at University Church of Christ with 3 other gentlemen. I am proud of him and know he will do a great job! Go dad!
27 4 / 2013
(Sorry for double post, still working out this Social Integration)
On Thursday, I accepted a job offer by Michael Caisse at Ciere Consulting. I am looking forward to working on a variety of projects and learning from some legendary-tier engineers.
I’ve informed Electronic Arts and my fellow engineers. I should be working my entire two week notice, my last day being May 10th. Leaving EA also means that I can finally begin working on my own game projects on my own time, so be on the lookout for those.
09 3 / 2013
03 3 / 2013
Wanted to make note of two unusual code editors I’ve found.
Light Table - This one’s from a while back. It’s a complete IDE that focus on live execution and analysis of code at the function level. Generally, you can think of it as having the ability to automatically do unit tests as you type in a highly visual way. It also has some interesting visual ideas.
Tiled Text Engine - A clever hierarchical way of traversing, accessing, and modifying text. The creator, Weston Beecroft, suffers from severe wrist pain due to typing. So he set out to make a text editor that could be manipulated through gestures and things like game controllers with relative ease. He’s succeeding for the viewing and refactoring of code, but text insertion is not quite done.
23 2 / 2013
All throughout the political and social landscape, I see a similar vein of reasoning: that there are some people who have a lot of things, and some people have few things. This fact is held up on a daily basis as evidence of “unfairness,” “classes of privilege,” “greed,” and more often than not “racism.” To solve this crisis, these people insist that we must perform some kind of redistribution of wealth. We must tax some groups of people to provide services for other groups. We must lower standards for certain groups while increasing standards for others. We must treat some people better than others to “even things out.”
Nevermind the fact that, in America at least, poor and rich people usually don’t stay poor or rich, but shift around during various parts of their lives. That is, there is no permanent rich “class” and poor “class,” but a series of individuals who will more than likely shift from poor to rich and back again several times over their lifetime, and in varying degrees. Generational poverty exists, but can be overcome, and does daily for motivated individuals.
Forget about the fact that, in America at least, “the poor” are richer than the richest Americans were just a few years prior in terms of material wealth, if not actual dollars. That, compared to much of the world, there is no real poverty here, even for the most mentally unstable homeless person.
Plug your ears so you don’t hear that interracial marriages have increased and are still increasing here. That frankly, I, and most others I know, would love it if we could just get along and let everyone be judged on their individual merits, for good or ill. However, anti-racism advocates can’t seem to see that they won a long time ago. The only racists I know are on TV, accusing others of racism.
Avert your eyes from the fact that taxing, punishing, or otherwise “soaking the rich” will harm, not help, the general well-being of everyone, rich and poor. And even if we took all the money that the rich people have it wouldn’t even pay for running the government for a year or two.
Put aside the knowledge that all of this is based on the false economic premise that wealth is fixed, that one individual’s gain is another’s loss. The myth that wealth is an economic zero-sum game.
Put ALL of that aside, and let’s take the argument for what it is. Let’s assume that those who make these kinds of arguments are correct: that wealth is limited, that some people are just more greedy than others, and that racism runs rampant in today’s America. With that assumption in place, let’s do a short thought experiment.
Let’s say that, magically, one day everyone wakes up to find all money and physical wealth in the world has been perfectly evenly distributed. Everyone had exactly an even share of the wealth that existed the day before. No-one is any better or worse off than anyone else. What’s going to happen?
Well aside from general panic and confusion, I can assure you that, within minutes some people are going to become richer, and some are going to become poorer. And it’s not because some would harm others and take their stuff, which would happen no matter what economic system you are in.
Some people will mostly spend their wealth on consumable things: nice food, fancy electronics, entertainment of all forms. Others will mostly spend their wealth on building things, creating factories, hiring employees, setting up shops for trading.
And when anyone trades with anyone else, be it in money or trading items directly, some will trade more wisely or make more long-term trades than others. Some will focus on obtaining non-material wealth too. They will seek skills, knowledge, and relationships that can’t simply be taken and given to others.
Within a year, there would be very poor and very rich people again. Even if the world magically redistributed physical wealth every 5 years, and people knew this, the same thing would happen over and over again. There would always be rich and poor people save for a few short seconds every 5 years.
Even if all of these false premises where true, even if we could be completely assured of a “fair and even” distribution of physical wealth to everyone, it would not solve the problem they are trying to solve. In the end, both inequality of outcome and “unfair” distribution of wealth are impossible to avoid as long as we are human.
25 1 / 2013
I have three examples of what I’m calling Inception-y Hacks. They are hacks that occur because the system or function is used against itself to serve a different purpose from within. It’s not code taken from outside and then used against some other code. The code is misused on itself. I’m probably not explaining it well. Let’s look at the examples.
Squirrel - This is a file that is simultaneously a picture of a squirrel and a webpage talking about the image. In fact, the file, when interpreted as a webpage by a browser, contains itself again interpreted as an image. A quick look at the source code shows that the first few bytes are the binary start of an image file presumably giving the offset to the real image data. That binary data is contained at the end of the file inside an HTML comment, so the binary “junk” doesn’t show up when interpreting the file as a webpage. That leaves most of the front of the file to contain the actual HTML that then shows up in the webpage. Clever.
Pokémon Yellow Total Control Hack - A gamer intentionally corrupts his save file in Pokémon Yellow by turning it off during the save process. From there, he reprograms the game by moving items around in the in-game inventory to gain enough control to allow him to insert arbitrary code using the directional arrows. From there, he enters enough arbitrary code to display an image and play a song he inserted when executed. Though done through an emulator, this hack is totally possible on a normal Game Boy.
Actually, that reminds me of another class of hacks that’s related. It’s called a Quine. They are a piece of software that generates an exact copy of its own source code when run. There are even some that take scenic routes: generating code in another language, which when run generates code in yet another language, and so on, until the last generated program generates the original program.
13 1 / 2013
I rarely made New Year’s Resolutions in the past. A couple years ago, I started making small, personal ones that I didn’t tell anybody. This year, I’m announcing mine, mainly because I have reason to believe I’m going to accomplish all of them this year.
- Go Paperless
- Learn Parkour
Been training upper body for months, plan to seek gymnatics classes within a month or two
- Learn How To Draw (Character/Environment Art)
Have the supplies and some knowhow
- Learn Japanese
Have the Rosetta Stone software
- Secret Personal Goal 1
- Secret Personal Goal 2
Working on it, no luck yet