Archive for From hell

Stopping WordPress spammer registrations

I used to get 10+ spam user registrations every day on this blog. Not a total flood, but very annoying nonetheless. Today I get none! All thanks to a few lines of code I hacked into wp-login.php. Wanna know how? Read on. Read the rest of this entry »

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ACM commits more evil – please act!

The previous episode of the ACM saga had a powerful organization bully a young impressionable PhD student into deleting his fully legal web pages under an implied threat of legal action if he did not comply.

This weeks episode has ACM fighting against a US government initiative for open access to research papers supported by government funding! This is a highly important initiative. ACM is trying to kill it so they, and other greedy scientific publishers, can continue to make money on those papers that you paid for with your tax money.

Read all about it in US Gov Requests Feedback on Open Access – ACM Gets it Wrong (Again). Then please lend your voice — in favor of the US government initiative and against the ACM — in the manner suggested by Naty in the blog post.

And spread the word, before it is too late!

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ACM censors linking!

OK, WTF, this got me so annoyed that I had to get out of blog posting dormancy. I just went to Ke-Sen Huang’s brilliant page of conference papers on the web. Except, this time, all ACM pages (such as SIGGRAPH 2009, I3D 2009, etc) have been taken down, with the comment “This page has been removed at the request of the ACM Publications Board.”

What the fuck!?

ACM has no rights to request require(*) someone to remove links to pages on the net, and it’s unfortunate that their request was complied with.

According to this page the ACM Publications Board is run by the following nasty little censoring asses:

Ronald F Boisvert (chair) –
Holly E Rushmeier (co-chair) –
Tamer M. Ozsu (vice-chair) –

I strongly urge you to email them, with a cc to the ACM president Wendy Hall (, to tell them what you really feel about ACM practicing censorship on Ke-Sen Huang’s pages (or anywhere)!

And if you have anything to do with ACM and SIGGRAPH, as people in the games industry tend to do, then I implore you to immediately stop your involvement and furthermore that you boycott their conferences (SIGGRAPH in particular) until they straighten their shit out.

Do not let their censoring of free information stand!

(*) Changed the wording here, because some dip-shit on Reddit can’t understand the message otherwise.

Update 11/23/09 16:04

The latest news is that, while Ke-Sen’s pages have not yet been restored, ACM has rescinded their censoring (through bogus copyright claims) as per the following email:

From: Pat Ryan
Date: 2009/11/24
Subject: Web pages with SIGGRAPH Proceedings
To: ""
Cc: "" , "Rushmeier, Holly" , Bernard Rous , "M. Tamer Özsu" , John White , Prof Wendy Hall

Dear Ke-Sen,

As you are aware, the computer graphics community has expressed dismay and concern about the removal of your web pages. ACM wants to make it possible for you to continue this service that the community clearly values very highly. By this message ACM grants permission for you to repost the pages, with the addition of links to the authoritative versions of the papers in the ACM Digital Library. The author's home page links may also be included, but should not be links directly to the author's version of the paper. Please post on the site that the information is being provided with the permission of the ACM. This is the solution you proposed earlier, and it is clear from the community's comments that it is the right thing to do.

As you know, the concern about your pages was ACM copyright policy with regard to links. As a result of the community discussion, ACM will institute a formal review of this portion of its copyright policy.

Please contact us with any concerns or questions.


Patricia Ryan
ACM Chief Operating Officer

They are still implying Ke-Sen’s pages were infringing on ACM copyright, which is still a legally suspect claim as (1) Ke-Sen’s pages are first and foremost factual listings which are not subjected to copyright infringements, (2) as Ke-Sen’s pages were sufficiently different from ACM’s so as not to be a derivative copy, and (3) even if they were outright copies of ACM’s table of contents, “fair use” of TOCs have apparently not been tested in a court of law, so ACM has no legal leg to stand on in this issue (and in fact, a ruling against all libraries in the US seems logistically implausible):

It will be interesting to see how this truly plays out over the next several weeks, but it seems a battle has been won, though the war is likely to continue for quite some time.

Thanks to everyone who read my post and voiced your concern to the ACM Publication Board. An organization is its members, and there is no stronger means of controlling an organization than through the vote of your voice and your purse!

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Design patterns are from hell^2!

Some anonymous soul emailed me regarding my “Design patterns are from hell!” post, arguing that “somehow, knowing patterns exist is the same as knowing different data structures exist” and that “understanding the different ways for creating objects (hello creational patterns) is like understanding the implications of deciding to use a dequeue rather than an array or rather than a linked list.”

I was also bravely asked what I thought about these statements. Well, guess what, since one can never diss design patterns enough, this is what I think… Read the rest of this entry »

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“Refactor,” what a dumbass term!

When did “rewrite” become “rewrite from scratch?!” In my 30 years of writing code, rewrite never meant rewriting from scratch — until the programming cults arrived on the scene at the beginning of the century, that is. Before them, “rewrite from scratch” meant — lo and behold — rewrite from scratch, and a plain “rewrite” meant what the cultists successfully have named “refactor.”

What a classic textbook example from Lifton’s list of 8 factors of thought reform: #6 – make them speak your secret language!


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Graphical shader systems are bad

It is very easy for programmers to be seduced by pretty tech. Case in point: graph-based shader systems. Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock, you must have noticed that these systems have become haute couture in the rendering world. Just so we’re clear, what I’m talking about are systems where you can construct shaders in a graphical UI, stringing together Lego-like building blocks of shader code snippets, with connecting lines. Read the rest of this entry »

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Don’t follow the shortest path!

The A* algorithm is perhaps the most ubiquitous algorithm in games but also seemingly one of the more misunderstood algorithms. Not in the sense that people don’t know how to implement it (they do) but in failing to use it properly. Read the rest of this entry »

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Design patterns are from hell!

The “Design Patterns” book is one of the worst programming books ever. Yes, really. I’m 100% dead serious when I say that I think it has set (and will continue to set) the progress of software development back by decades. Why?! Let me offer up a parable; I will call it “The Plank.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Reading comprehension skills are down

I see in my incoming blog links that someone linked my most recent post with the following comment: Read the rest of this entry »

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Sorry state of academic crack-smoking

When writing my earlier blog entry on how you can get complex behaviors from very little and why it’s okay to fake AI (and anything else), I came across this slightly insulting comment about game AI vs. academic AI research that I just have to share (emphasis added): Read the rest of this entry »

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