Aimbottleneck

April 8th, 2014


Title: “Kreative Mode beim Bedrockabgrundste-in”, oil on canvas, artist: Mudda Prahler

There was recently a post on Gamasutra with the title: Titanfall: Why Respawn is punishing cheaters. The computer game Titanfall is a First person shooter that can be played with a couple of people in one environment. Wikipedia describes it as follows:

Players fight either on foot as free-running “Pilots” or inside agile mech-style walkers called “Titans” to complete team-based objectives[2][3] on a derelict and war-torn planet[4] as either the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation (IMC) or the Militia.[5]

I don’t know Titanfall (In general I have been playing first person shooters rather rarely) but what apparently happened was that there where too many people cheating in the game.

In the post it isn’t really described what exactly is implied by cheating, but what I refer from the “punishment” announcement, I think what was happening was that some people used game bots and in particular socalled aimbots, which are software solutions which make shooting easier in such a game. From the Titanfall announcement:

You can play with other banned players in something that will resemble the Wimbledon of aimbot contests. Hopefully the aimbot cheat you paid for really is the best, or these all-cheater matches could be frustrating for you. Good luck.

I was asking myself though wether this action is part of some viral marketing campaign. That is that some cheaters could think that it could be way cooler to “win the Wimbledon of aimbot contests” rather than the usual game. Given that Titanfall had however performance problems which as it seems where due to overloaded game servers and connections, it doesn’t though look as if this would improve with aimbot contests.

In this context:

In a citation about a report by a tech- and investment-advisory firm in the time article: The Surprisingly Large Energy Footprint of the Digital Economy

In his report, Mills estimates that the ICT system now uses 1,500 terawatt-hours of power per year. That’s about 10% of the world’s total electricity generation

The New York times article: Power, Pollution and the Internet remarks the following about e.g. US data centers:

Nationwide, data centers used about 76 billion kilowatt-hours in 2010, or roughly 2 percent of all electricity used in the country that year, based on an analysis by Jonathan G. Koomey, a research fellow at Stanford University who has been studying data center energy use for more than a decade. DatacenterDynamics, a London-based firm, derived similar figures.

A summary of the last IPCC report about climate change and global warming.

and:

In Berlin there is currently the International games week Berlin.

secret service discussion

March 26th, 2014


numberlock: If you find all the mines at once and in the right order you may eventually get in.

There is currently an interesting discussion about secret services and their relation to mathematicians at the mathblog n-category cafe.

Generation Z: Renoise

February 16th, 2014

IMG_0644.JPG

For Berliners and those who can afford to go to Berlin for a quick trip I would like to mention an absolute must see exhibition, namely the exhibition Generation Z: Renoise about the russian musical avantgarde in the 20s and later which is curated by L. Pchelkina, A. Smirnov, P. Aidu, K. Dudakov-Kashuro and E. Vorobyeva. The exhibition is unfortunately not as highly promoted as it should – given how fabulous it is! I hope that this post makes some more people visit it. It is definitely worth it! The exhibition is in the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Kunstraum (unfortunately not so easy to find), it runs until Feb.23, 2014. It is free of entrance and open from 12:00-19:00 o clock.

The exhibition has the themes: Projectionism and Radio-ear, Revasavr, GIMN Institute, Theremin, Graphical Sound, Industrial Noise Machines, Amateur Noise Instruments and Destruction of Utopia. Below is a small excerpt from the respective themes. A lot of details can also be found in Andrei Smirnov’s book “Sound in Z“.

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against mass surveillance

February 11th, 2014

Today is The Day We Fight Back against mass surveillance. “Fighting back” means here that you may endorse the rather sound formulated International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance like by leaving your name and email adress and/or that you may display a banner on your website as a sign of your disagreement with mass surveillance.

-> related: randform article on surveillance

DIY spring reverb

January 26th, 2014

A new video of one of Tims recent music projects (a video about the ladder filter is here). In the video he explains the construction of a spring reverb:

A detailed description on how to build the spring reverb can be found on the astlab page.

A soundtrack on soundcloud of how the spring reverb sounds:

Tim and a bit of his music projects will eventually appear in a new film by film maker Ekaterina Eremenko. That is we had a film team from Moscow here at home. But it is sofar not clear wether the material will be used.

Ekaterina Eremenko, who has also studied math, received recently much attention for her film colours of math (trailer) featuring amongst others the rather well-known mathematicians Cedric Villani, Anatoly Fomenko, Aaditya V. Rangan, Günter Ziegler, Maxim Kontsevitch and Jean-Michel Bismut.

I don’t know if this is a new trend but I found incidentally more recent films where features of the life of mathematicians are documented. Like at the website of the “Higher Algebra section” at Moscow State University I found interviews with V. N. Latyshev talking About academic mathematics (in russian) and about Reminiscences of A. A. Markov (in russian) made by Andrei Verovkin who features a whole series of interviews with scientists.

In this context a short note for those who are in or are planning to go to visit Berlin: There were/are currently music festivals for more modern music taking place in Berlin, which enhance the usual club life or on the more classical level regular events like e.g. the weekly series “Unerhörte Musik im BKA”. One was the Ultraschall Festival and one is the ctm festival, which is in cooperation with the festival for art and digital culture “transmediale”. The transmediale theme of this year is “afterglow:”

The conference takes afterglow as a metaphor for the present condition of digital culture, examining the geopolitical, infrastructural and bodily consequences of the excessive digitisation that has taken place over the course of the last three decades.

comment to 10 Misconceptions about free will

January 4th, 2014


alcohol may alter brain states

For those who are interested there is a discussion about determinism and freedom, free will, privacy etc. at the blog backreaction following a post with the title: 10 Misconceptions about free will, which I found problematic. If you want to know more you may read my comment also after the klick.

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Have a good new year 2014!

January 1st, 2014

randform wishes all it’s readers happy holidays and a good new year 2014!


rest of a silvester rocket in a tree in the outskirts of Berlin

We preferred to stay in the outskirts of Berlin on New Years Eve. Even in the outskirts there is still enough fireworks. An aquaintance of us lost a couple of years one eye by just walking on new years eve on a street. If you still want to experience new years eve in Berlin then since there are no noise barriers and roofs against rockets and bangers on the street then our advise is to at least use some hearing protectors if that doesn’t give you too much head aches and safety glasses when moving around on the streets of Berlin on that time of the year.

nanodangers

December 28th, 2013


mysterious stone* in our kitchen

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Surveillance surfing

December 3rd, 2013


Glowlum tapping along a dull wire, artwork by Hucky Finn, oil on canvas, inspired by a photography by Baertels, www.plainpicture.com.

There have been quite some discussions here in Germany about the revelations about the surveillance of ordinary citizens and the protection of ordinary citizens data in general.

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rapid static statistics

November 22nd, 2013

While updating my post about taxes in Greece and their semantic accessability, I looked at some current projects in “big data” and statistics and found an interesting application called Rapid Miner LOD Extension (I haven’t tried it though), which allows to do operations on linked open data (LOD) (see e.g. the european gateway to LOD) via the data mining program Rapid Miner.

The Rapid Miner LOD extension was amongst others used by the winners of the Semantic Statistics Challenge. The winner’s slideshare link hosts some examples, like maps which investigate the correlation between unemployment and police stations in France, which display a bit the capabilities of the involved programms and databases.

According to the notice “NBS signs data agreement with hi-tech firms” on Chinadaily there is also a lot going on in China:

The National Bureau of Statistics teamed up with 11 high-tech firms to use big data technology in the collecting, processing and analyzing of important statistics.

and

Under this partnership, the bureau and the 11 companies will co-develop a standard on how to use big data in statistics.

So it will be interesting to see wether some of this high tech data will enter the Linked open data pool and wether we will get to see soon some interesting visualizations of it.