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1 748 shares, 37 trendiness, 895 words and 8 minutes reading time

I Spent 11 Years Working on This Line Rider Track

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.

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2 574 shares, 10 trendiness, 688 words and 8 minutes reading time

hCaptcha Is Now the Largest Independent CAPTCHA Service, Runs on 15% Of The Internet

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.

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3 485 shares, 2 trendiness, 5927 words and 56 minutes reading time

AWS Service Health Dashboard

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4 414 shares, 2 trendiness, 998 words and 8 minutes reading time

Diego Maradona, one of the greatest footballers of all time, dies aged 60

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.”

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Read the original on www.theguardian.com »

5 370 shares, 1 trendiness, 0 words and 0 minutes reading time

Clear, compelling communication for everyone

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.

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Read the original on www.mmhmm.app »

6 363 shares, 1 trendiness, 392 words and 4 minutes reading time

Salesforce is in talks to buy Slack, deal could be announced next week

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 WSJs 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 IBMs $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.

CNBCs Ari Levy and Jordan Novet con­tributed to this re­port.

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Read the original on www.cnbc.com »

7 334 shares, 3 trendiness, 0 words and 0 minutes reading time

2.91 — blender.org

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!

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8 305 shares, 0 trendiness, 0 words and 0 minutes reading time

Edward Snowden on the Dangers of Silicon Valley Censorship

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Read the original on www.youtube.com »

9 270 shares, 11 trendiness, 217 words and 2 minutes reading time

VerbalExpressions/JavaVerbalExpressions

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()

.startOfLine().then(“http”).maybe(“s”)

.then(”://“)

.maybe(“www.“).anythingBut(” )

.endOfLine()

.build();

// 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.tes­tEx­act(url); //True

testRegex.toString(); // Outputs the regex used:

// ^(?:http)(?:s)?(?:\:\/\/)(?:www\.)?(?:[^\ ]*)$

VerbalExpression testRegex = VerbalExpression.regex()

.startOfLine().then(“abc”).or(“def”)

.build();

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:

regex().word­Char().non­Word­Char()

.space().nonSpace()

.digit().nonDigit()

String text = aaabcd”;

VerbalExpression regex = regex()

.find(“a”)

.capture().find(“b”).anything().endCapture().then(“cd”).build();

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:

https://​dra­coblue.net/​dev/​up­load­ing-snap­shots-and-re­leases-to-maven-cen­tral-with-travis/

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10 225 shares, 26 trendiness, 0 words and 0 minutes reading time

An ex-Googler's guide to dev tools

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