Blabberbox:Random blog-like posts by pftq and his related selves.Share on Twitter

Four Notes of Us, Annihilation, Dark City

March 24th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Had these four notes from the Us trailer stuck in my head for the longest time and couldn't quite place why it sounded like I heard them in orchestral form before, then realized I heard them in Annihilation, and before that, Dark City.


Music obviously isn't mine but is meshed together just for fun to show how similar the pieces are from each respective movie.  Ironically, Dark City is the most uplifting variation of the melody and most thoroughly explores it.
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God Formula

March 24th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
Another one that came to me in a dream. Made more sense right after I woke, but I unfortunately started losing details as soon as I got to writing it down.

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The story is essentially a sci-fi thriller movie, where the founder tries to create AI from a math perspective similar to induction instead of the more common approach of fitting to data.  It's counterintuitive but rather than try to create a general algorithm that adapts to specific cases, the founder wants to start from one case and solve for the rest of the world - ie letting the AI define the rest of world on its own volition. In other words, instead of adapting or being an agent in the world, this algorithm plays God and creates it from scratch.  The idea is similar to trying to understand or simulate the current universe by instead creating a new one altogether via man-made blackholes in a lab.  It's also similar to what you do in theoretical math where you define hypothetical systems or...[More]
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Economic Literacy

March 7th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
"I don't see why universal healthcare can't work. Other countries do just fine having it. In fact, they're doing better than us. Look at the pound - it's worth way more than the dollar!" And everyone agrees and cheers. Sigh...
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In the End

March 4th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Stuck in My Head | #
In the End by Marcus Warner (@MWarnerMusic)
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Dreams Adrift

February 5th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #

This could either be an animation or short film. The imagery of someone walking upsidedown against the night sky is what stuck in my mind.
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Scene starts panning down from a cloudy, moonlit night sky to a girl standing on the edge of a highrise rooftop with her arms out.  It looks like she is about to fall, but as she goes over the edge, the camera rotates to instead show her walking down the side of the building, apparently sleepwalking.  There is a wistful element as her hair is constantly flowing and her arms are out to balance.  The elements seem to whirl around her as she walks, as if animated by what she is dreaming.  The iconic scene is of her walking upsidedown on the bottom of a plank between two highrises against the backdrop of the moon and night sky in the background.  

Eventually...[More]
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No More Outsourced Teams

January 27th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Why I'll never outsource my ideas again - tired of teams thinking it fair if I pay everyone's salary out of pocket + give up half equity. I get 100% of the risk while they get zero risk + salary + half upside. Their worst case is getting paid and moving onto the next client, while mine is losing everything and starting over.
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Run and Record Games on VM Server

January 23rd, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
More a reminder for myself how to set up a remote server/vm like Azure to run and record games.  Otherwise, you'll run into issues like lack of GPU/DirectX or no sound.

1. Create a VM with Windows 10 and a GPU (for Azure, it is the NC series).
2. If your GPU is a Tesla, make sure to install Nvidia drivers and enable graphics rendering on it.
3. Install VB-Audio virtual sound card to be able to capture sound from the game.
4. If an Unreal Game, most likely you'll need .NET 3.5, which needs to be enabled from "Turn Windows Features On or Off."

Once this is all done, you can run the game as you would at home and use GameDVR (Win+G) to record.  One thing I haven't figured out yet is how to keep the recording going if your Remote Desktop window closes (but server still running).  The only work-around it seems is to have an intermediary VM always logged into the primary VM to keep the recording + audio going, which works even if you log out of the intermediary VM.  This was also reported as a bug here.  If anyone has suggestions, let me know.
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Fixing VR Controllers Out of View

January 21st, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
If you use inside-out #VR / #WindowsMixedReality headsets like @Samsung Odyssey, you'll run into the controllers glitching out when out of view (below or behind your head). In an #UnrealEngine or #Unity game, a workaround is to store the location of the controllers but avoid updating if the location moves too far from the headset (the glitching out when out of view). The rotation of each controller still works as they're based on gyroscopes instead of cameras, so you'll still want to update the rotation, just not the location which is now some absurd unusable number.

In Unreal Engine, it would look like this:


This really should be internalized into the headset driver itself, as it only makes sense to not update to a location that is physically impossible.  For now, you have to do that check yourself.
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