Posts Tagged ‘fun stuff’

Angry Birds Species

Posted: August 3, 2011 in Fun Stuff
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Here’s an interesting comic strip detailing the behavior of each angry birds character, adapted from theoatmeal.com.

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Canvas in HTML 5

Posted: July 31, 2011 in Fun Stuff
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The HTML5 specification has been out for quite some time. Recently in this year, major browsers such as Firefox 4+, Internet Explorer 9 and Google Chrome has added support for the new HTML5 specification. For the novice end-users like most of us, we have not felt any difference with the new browsers. One reason is that it takes time for the web sites to make use of the newly introduced features in HTML5.

One of the new feature is the canvas element. It supports for dynamic, scriptable 2D drawing onto the web page itself. The canvas element also boasts hardware-acceleration – using your graphics card to help make the 2D rendering smoother and faster.

Enough for the introduction, here are some demos using the canvas element. These demos are different than those of Adobe Flash or Java Applets that we are used to during those days behind. Your browser supports the canvas natively without any plugins installed. That’s the greatness of HTML5!

End note: There are already many javascript-based game engines being actively developed. These game engines utilize the capabilities of current browsers, for instance, the canvas element, css3, AJAX, etc. Here is one of my favorite introduction of the Aves game engine.

Everything can be hacked, except for perhaps, this!

It is about the unidirectional networks. According to Wikipedia:

A unidirectional network (also referred to as a unidirectional security gateway or data diode) is a network appliance or device allowing data to travel only in one direction, used in guaranteeing information security.

Here’s a video from the manufacturer explaining it all.

Optimize Your PC and Save a Tree!

Posted: July 12, 2011 in Fun Stuff
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Have you ever wondered how much energy your computer consumes?

  • A typical desktop computer consumes around 65-250 watts.
  • The attached monitor adds another 80 watts surplus if you use an old-school 17″ CRT; but significantly less (15-70 watts) if you are using an LCD monitor.
  • A notebook seldom consumes more that 60 watts.
  • Don’t overlook your wireless router because it’s going to cost you 10-15 watts.
  • During standby, most devices use around 1-6 watts. However, there is this ‘One Watt Initiative’ that aims to cap device’s power usage at 1 watt when in standby mode.

Recently I started using Granola – a free power management software. The company that develops it, Miserware, claims that the software brings about 35% reduction in CPU power consumption without sacrificing performance. Personally, I like to use it to extend my laptop’s battery life and I would recommend this software to every PC users. The official website is grano.la. Granola

Here is fast method to compute the inverse of the square root of a number, implemented in the famous Quake3 engine.

float InvSqrt(float x)
{
    float xhalf = 0.5f * x;
    int i = *(int*)&x;
    i = 0x5f3759df - (i >> 1);
    x = *(float*)&i;
    x = x * (1.5f - xhalf * x * x);
    return x;
}

What’s behind it? Newton-Raphson method and bitwise manipulation of floating point numbers. Here goes a little explanation.

Back then, floating-point computation was a resource-intensive operation. However, with graphics cards that peaks at the TFLOPS level, computational power has increased by orders of magnitude, and you will rarely need or find this kind of tricks nowadays.

Image-to-text Converter

Posted: July 4, 2011 in Fun Stuff
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I had been using lynx to browse the web from the linux console and I was searching for a tool that would display image on the terminal.

Instead of getting what I need initially, I found a really interesting site. The site is TEXT-IMAGE.com and it allows you to convert an image into colorful text.

The picture below shows a capture of my result. Try it out!