10 interesting stories served every morning and every evening.
I was stuck on scening the chaos/warped space section. Every other section had clear rules, e.g. I could only use certain elements, whereas this section is supposed to have no rules. So I had to employ a different mindset to move forward: “Don’t think too much about it”. I didn’t think too much and doodled away and a beautiful mess came out.
Programmers like me frequently have this dilemma: Should I manually do this tedious thing, or create automation to do it for me? In my case, I’m building tools that could be useful for everyone, so I do have incentive to automate as much as I can. But I had a quickly approaching deadline. I determined that it would be faster to manually draw ribbons than to ﬁgure out how to extend the curve tool to create them for me.
Then, after I ﬁnished drawing the ribbons, I found out it took less time than expected to extend the curve tool to make ribbons. I’m not sure what lesson I learned here. Maybe I tend to err on the side of pessimism as a reaction from being too optimistic in the past? Predicting the required amount of work is a generally hard problem in software engineering.
There are times we get too attached to what we made and are unwilling to iterate upon it. There are times we keep redoing something without making progress. There are times we accidentally lose progress, but after redoing it, we realize we did it better the second time around. If you accidentally lose progress, reassure yourself you’ll do it better the second time.
When you work outside your comfort zone, you become a lot more aware of your creative process. I’m not an illustrator or story teller, but I forced myself to work in those mediums and became hyperaware of the nature of those mediums and my own processes. This is how I’m bringing you all these lessons I’ve learned. This experience will help me with my future ambitions.
When we get engrossed in a project, it’s very easy to zoom in on details and lose sight of the bigger picture and we tend to get desensitized to other details. If you’re looking to achieve a speciﬁc effect with your project, or just want to understand how others perceive it in general, the best thing you can do is to ask for critical feedback from other people who work in the same or similar medium. Their perspective is uncolored by how much you’ve already stared at your project, and their different experiences, backgrounds, and tastes can bring you really valuable insight that you may not have been able to see otherwise.
I already planned out most of Omniverse II, but right when I was ﬁnishing up the project, I knew I should verify if what I planned actually had the effect I wanted. So I solicited feedback from Rabid Squirrel, and they gave me really helpful suggestions like tweaking the camera work and adding the “danger spikes”.
Note: As I wrote this out, I realized these may be more suitable as standalone pieces with potential for way more depth. Consider these rough drafts.
The biggest lesson is how to tell a story. From that follows world building, lore, set creation (spatial structure), pacing, and generally being critical of everything with respect to ﬁtting into the narrative. You may have a lot of cool ideas, but if you want to tell a coherent story, you need to make it cohesive and you’ll probably have to throw away the irrelevant parts, even if they are cool.
Unique to Line Rider is structural cohesion, how the track is spatially arranged. Consider the structure of the world you build and how Bosh’s traversal drives the narrative. Is Bosh entering a new area? Is he returning to a previous area? Did he fall and need to get back up?
I wanted to demonstrate how we can use movement techniques as a means towards something greater rather than for its own sake. And the clearest way to do that is to reclaim such a feat of olympic puppetry as a compelling story, retroﬁtting a narrative in its place where the movement seems to emerge from how Bosh interacts with the environment he is in.
Recycling was another one of those movement techniques done for the sake of overcoming the challenge. But it can be used for narrative purposes, like being stuck in a loop or traveling through a past part of the track in the opposite direction to “turn back”. I think there’s more narrative depth that could be done with revisiting, much more than in Omniverse II, perhaps in a track featuring a more intricate story.
In a composition, negative space is the absence of content, contrasting with the content that’s there. While negative space is already commonly used in Line Rider tracks, I think it’s still worth discussing. Negative space in Line Rider can be in the form of the white void (absence of lines) or as airtime (absence of movement). There are obvious uses like dramatic moments in the music, but we should also consider more subtle “less is more” cases, like bringing attention to an object by removing details around the object.
Competing with Google and other Big Tech companies seems like a tall order: their monopolistic market power, platform effects and army of highly paid developers are generally considered too powerful to tackle for anyone but other tech giants such as Facebook or Amazon. Our story shows that it doesn’t have to be that way - you can beat Big Tech by focussing on privacy.
Consider Google reCAPTCHA, which consumes enormous amounts of behavioural data to determine whether web users are legitimate humans or bots. At hCaptcha, we have deliberately taken a very different approach, using privacy-preserving machine learning techniques to identify typical bot behaviours at high accuracy, all while consuming and storing as little data as possible.
Google is an ad company, and their security products look very much like their ad products: they track user behaviour on every page of a website and across the web. We designed hCaptcha to be as privacy-friendly as possible from day one. This led to a completely different approach to the problem. As it turns out, tracking users across the web and tying their web history to their identity is completely unnecessary for achieving good security. The many companies that have switched over to hCaptcha often report equal or better performance in bot detection and mitigation despite our privacy focus.
In focusing on delivering a product aligned with regulatory efforts such as the European Union’s GDPR and California’s CCPA, we have experienced massive growth - of course, it helps that hCaptcha is simple “drop in” replacement for reCAPTCHA and can thus be installed within minutes.
We do in fact believe that regulation has helped us here. GDPR and CCPA have put privacy concerns on the map for enterprise buyers, and at the same time online privacy is more and more becoming important to the public as we start to understand how the online advertising and marketing industries have historically used our data.
Of course, reCAPTCHA was an early entrant in web security since 2009, protecting millions of websites against ever growing threats by malicious bots and spammers. However, it has been completely compromised in recent years: software is now as good as people at solving reCAPTCHA challenges.
Rather than improving the solution, Google instead released reCAPTCHA v3, which operates much more like an ad network than security software, collecting behavioural data from across the web to build user proﬁles. Unfortunately, this kind of signal is easily defeated, and thus provides little protection against bots while harming user privacy.
We at hCaptcha have instead focused on more modern approaches to the problem, which do not require retaining long-term behaviour records like browsing history and have proven far more resilient in the face of determined adversaries since the service was introduced.
A growing number of critics have pointed out that Google’s disregard for user privacy should concern customers looking to protect their websites and apps.
At the same time, stopping bots from accessing publisher sites can reveal ad fraud, pitting Google’s reCAPTCHA product directly against their ad business, which produces over 80% of their revenue.
Every bot Google detects should be earning zero ad dollars. Google’s company incentives are thus poorly aligned with the users of their security services, and this may be one explanation for the poor performance of their reCAPTCHA security offering.
The ﬁnal breaking point for many larger customers came when Google started to charge companies for using their product’s enterprise version, causing long time reCAPTCHA users to look for better alternatives as regulatory concerns around the world already made using Google’s offerings increasingly unappealing.
Cloudﬂare CEO Matthew Prince summarized this point of view in the company’s blog post announcing their switch to hCaptcha:
If you’re looking to protect to your site or app effectively from bots, spammers or other malicious actors, all while preserving your users’ privacy (and complying with all relevant regulations!), do consider hCaptcha and our Enterprise offering BotStop.
Interested in working on deep technical challenges at web scale? We are always hiring talented machine learning engineers worldwide - do check out our openings and apply here.
Argentina, Naples, and the world of football were in mourning on Wednesday at the death of Diego Maradona, in many people’s eyes the greatest player of all time, following a heart attack. He was 60.
The Argentinian president Alberto Fernández, who declared three days of national mourning, said that Maradona had taken his country to the “highest of the world” with his virtuoso performances in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. “You made us immensely happy,” he wrote. “You were the greatest of all. Thanks for having existed, Diego. We will miss you all our lives.”
When his death was announced, some newscasters in Argentina could not hold back the tears. “Part of our childhood has died,” said one presenter on the TV news channel C5N. “I thought he could never die,” said another.
Meanwhile in Naples, a city where they venerated him as a saint and people used to tell him, “Ti amo piu che i miei ﬁgli” - I love you more than my own children - after he led an unheralded Napoli side to two Serie A titles, hundreds of fans gathered in front of Maradona murals in the Spanish Quarters. “Today, football died’’, one fan told Sky News.
Nine ambulances arrived to try and revive Maradona after he was found lifeless, apparently from a heart attack, shortly before midday at a rented home in a gated community in the suburb of Tigre, north of Buenos Aires. Maradona had been recovering from brain surgery on 3 November. Although the operation had been successful, Maradona was reported to be suffering from withdrawal from his alcohol addiction.
After his death was announced, the Brazilian Pele, his pre-eminent rival for the title of the world’s greatest player, paid tribute. “I lost a great friend and the world lost a legend. One day, I hope we can play ball together in the sky.” Lionel Messi, a modern great and another contender for the “greatest of all time” description, offered a taut and poetic tribute. “He leaves us but does not leave, because Diego is eternal.”
In England, Maradona will be most remembered for an outrageous sleight of hand — the so-called ‘Hand of God’ — where he soared above Peter Shilton and used his ﬁst to punch the ball into an empty net to give Argentina the lead in the 1986 World Cup quarter-ﬁnal.
Four minutes later Maradona then ripped the heart and hope from England. Picking up the ball at halfway, he did an outrageous 180-degree spin before slaloming past ﬁve players and poking the ball past Shilton.
In his autobiography, El Diego, Maradona summed up what that victory over England - which came just four years after the Falklands War - had really meant. “It was like beating a country, not a football team,” he wrote. “Although we said before the game that football had nothing to do with the Malvinas War, we knew that a lot of Argentine kids had died there, that they had mowed us down like little birds.”
“This was our revenge, it was … recovering a part of the Malvinas. We all said beforehand that we shouldn’t mix the two things but that was a lie. A lie! We didn’t think of anything except that, like hell it was going to be just another game!”
With the passing of time most England fans came to love him too. One poll among England supporters voted his ﬁrst goal against Bobby Robson’s side in the 1986 World Cup as the worst piece of cheating in football history. The same survey voted his second goal in the same match as the best goal in the history of football. It was hard to argue.
Writing later, his team-mate Jorge Valdano said that after the victory over England “Maradona and Argentina became synonymous,” adding: “We are talking about a country with a clearly extravagant relationship with football, a country which made a deity of a footballer with a decidedly extravagant relationship with football.”
Having guided Argentina to the 1990 World Cup ﬁnal, a diminished Maradona was kicked out of the 1994 tournament in disgrace for failing a drugs test. His lifestyle off the pitch was as destructive to him as his performances were to his opponents. He had a cocaine habit from his early 20s, which held him captive for more than 20 years, while he twice needed gastric surgery in 2005 after his doctor warned he had ballooned 75kg over his ideal weight. Maradona also had numerous problems with the Italian tax authorities after refusing to pay a 39m euro bill.
As a manager he was less successful, using 107 players as Argentina struggled to qualify for the 2010 World Cup. Eventually he took Argentina to the quarter-ﬁnals but despite repeatedly failing to get the best out of Messi, the world’s best player in a generation, he remained an idol back home.
It helped, perhaps, that like his country, Maradona was always the underdog and an outsider; someone who proudly wore the scent of a street urchin even when the millions were rolling in. He had come from impossibly humble upbringings — his family of 10 lived in a three-room shack where the only running water came through the roof, and learned his skills by repeatedly ﬂicking an orange in the air with both feet as he did errands.
Having made his professional debut at 15, he moved to Barcelona for a world record fee at 21. But it was at Napoli that he elevated his game towards the gods - but it came at a price: the frequent assaults from other players meant he needed cortisone injections and to wear a second pair of shinpads to protect his achilles tendons.
But nearly 30 years after he left the city, his glittering legacy endures there - as it does elsewhere. As Naples Mayor Luigi de Magistris eloquently put it on Wednesday: “Diego made our people dream, he redeemed Naples with his genius.”
Whether you’re leading virtual business meetings, teaching, or just trying to host a better happy hour, the mmhmm app adds a little magic to the new online reality we now ﬁnd ourselves in.
Salesforce is in talks to acquire Slack, and a deal could be announced as soon as next week, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Shares of Slack closed almost 38% higher Wednesday after the Wall Street Journal ﬁrst reported that Salesforce held talks to buy the company. Salesforce, whose stock closed down 5% on Wednesday, is scheduled to release its ﬁscal third-quarter earnings next week.
It’s unclear how much the deal would be worth. Slack’s market cap ballooned to more than $20 billion following the WSJ’s original report.
Salesforce has been on an acquisition spree, taking advantage of its market cap growth in recent years to buy growing companies. It acquired MuleSoft for $6.5 billion in 2018, the company’s biggest deal ever at the time, to help connect cloud applications. The following year it spent more than twice that amount on Tableau, acquiring the data visualization company for $15.3 billion.
Slack would be one of the biggest software deals ever for the industry. It would rank among IBM’s $34 billion purchase of Red Hat in 2019, Microsoft’s $27 billion purchase of LinkedIn in 2016 and Facebook’s $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp in 2014.
“This would be a game changer move for Benioff & Co. to further build out its collaboration engine and product footprint as cloud spending ramps across the enterprise,” Wedbush Securities’ Dan Ives told CNBC, referring to Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.
Shares of Microsoft, which competes with Slack through its Teams offering, also dipped slightly on the report.
Microsoft already competes with Salesforce in software for tracking customers. In 2016 TechCrunch reported that Microsoft looked at buying Slack for up to $8 billion, but no deal came about. Later that year Microsoft introduced the Teams communication app.
“Our primary competitor is currently Microsoft Corporation,” Slack said when it sought to become a public company in 2019. Microsoft has a large customer base it has been able to convert to Teams, and Salesforce could give Slack a similar beneﬁt.
Slack last said in October 2019 that it had more than 12 million daily active users. In October Microsoft said Teams had racked up 115 million daily active users.
Spokespeople for Salesforce and Slack were not immediately available to comment.
– CNBC’s Ari Levy and Jordan Novet contributed to this report.
Curve and text objects now have support for custom bevel proﬁles, just like the bevel modiﬁer.
All bevel types now support ﬂat curve caps too!
VerbalExpressions is a Java library that helps to construct difﬁcult regular expressions.
You can use SNAPSHOT dependency with adding to pom.xml:
VerbalExpression testRegex = VerbalExpression.regex()
// Create an example URL
String url = “https://www.google.com”;
// Use VerbalExpression’s testExact() method to test if the entire string matches the regex
testRegex.toString(); // Outputs the regex used:
// ^(?:http)(?:s)?(?:\:\/\/)(?:www\.)?(?:[^\ ]*)$
VerbalExpression testRegex = VerbalExpression.regex()
String testString = “defzzz”;
//Use VerbalExpression’s test() method to test if parts if the string match the regex
testRegex.test(testString); // true
testRegex.testExact(testString); // false
testRegex.getText(testString); // returns: def
VerbalExpression regex = regex(regex().anything().addModiﬁer(‘i’)).endOfLine().build();
Or can be used in another regex:
VerbalExpression.Builder digits = regex().capt().digit().oneOrMore().endCapt().tab();
VerbalExpression regex2 = regex().add(digits).add(digits).build();
Feel free to use any predeﬁned char groups:
String text = “aaabcd”;
VerbalExpression regex = regex()
regex.getText(text) // returns “abcd”
regex.getText(text, 1) // returns “b”
You can view all implementations on VerbalExpressions.github.io
With help of this tutorial: