I recall, once, watching my cousin playing Deus Ex: Human Revolution. At some point in the intro cutscene, he enters an elevator, where a female non-playable character (NPC) is waiting. While they converse, my attention was pulled away by a strange observation: I could see the NPC in the mirrored walls of the elevator, but not my own reflection.
I don’t particularly care for the rationalisations of the effect—low graphics quality settings, the difficulties of the uncanny valley, whatever else the technical difficulties are. How did I come to recognise, however vaguely, that perspective as my own, and what led me to expect a reflection in the same mirrored surface?
I think some very interesting questions—and hopefully answers as well—lie at this intersection of perception, cognition, and gaming, and I’m going to try at least fortnightly posts while keeping up my output on small-form-factor computing (of which not very much is left). If you know me from somewhere, give me a poke if I haven’t been keeping up like I promised.
(Part 9 in a series of posts on small-form-factor computing)
I wish I had the equipment to make the kind of heatmaps that Puget Systems does in their comparison of horizontal vs vertical cooling. But I don’t, so we’ll just have to make do with overlays again.
Heat sources in a passively cooled system
(Part 8 in a series of posts on small-form-factor computing)
When Intel released the first thin-ITX motherboards at Computex in 2011, many folks were left scratching their heads: what use is thin-ITX when we already have ITX? It quickly seemed that aside from use in all-in-one (AIO) systems, thin-ITX was a stillborn idea, consigned to a quiet fizzle-out once Intel had a more robust strategy figured out.
Today it is still hard to tell if thin-ITX is going to really take off. But what I noticed, assembling my own thin-ITX system, is that it’s not about the “thin” at all. Continue reading
Despite being startup-less, I attended a session on Social Media for Startups on a whim*, and walked away with a very tangible gut feeling that some real civilising is underfoot in social media and advertising. Continue reading
The Maker-vs-Manager-Schedule is one of those paradigms, incubated in Silicon Valley, which broke its way out to nest in certain less structured corporate environments. It explains where “all that free time” went, and it explains why your boss always seems to have time that you don’t. And it also explains why sometimes more work gets done away from the office.
Teachers are makers too, you know. Continue reading
One of the best ways to start any holiday is with the sight of this:
HDPlex H1.S, Asus Q87T, i5-4440S, Kingston SODIMMs
Prior to this, I was already on an ITX build, using the Realan E-Q6, which is actually a more compact case than the H1.S. But in many ways it is an inferior product: poor fit, inadequate tolerances, and a poorly located DC jack. I was also pushed along by a few other motivations: a desire to try a thin-ITX build, and to get a new motherboard that properly supports 1440p (it seems that these days the only way to ensure this is to get a high-end motherboard that has Displayport). But those are stories for another post. Continue reading
The first Sherlock Holmes story I read (excluding the condensed for-kids versions) was The Hound of the Baskervilles. Revisiting my childhood reads, I was expecting to more closely examine the cause of my childhood awe and fascination with the detective mind, but was rather more surprised to find it missing.
Some pages later I (think I) located the cause. “We are coming now rather into the region of guesswork,” said Dr Mortimer. “Say, rather, into the region where we balance probabilities and choose the most likely. It is the scientific use of the imagination, but we have always some material basis on which to start our speculation. Now, you would call it a guess, no doubt, but I am almost certain that this address has been written in a hotel.”
(The classic) Sherlock is an algorithmic/logical mind, primed to generate hypotheses from correlated observations, and famously bored by a lack of interesting cases. Probabilistically he was of course right, but it was more shocking to me that he was never wrong. Therein lies the power of fiction and the privilege of the author, to pick one’s battles and their resulting outcomes. But I do not intend here to take Conan Doyle down a notch, nor to mar the famous detective’s record—there are plenty other accounts to read for that. I bring this up because we have a real-world parallel, a chimeric Sherlock, who makes his own hypotheses, often invisibly. Continue reading