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Matt McIrvin
Attended College of William and Mary
Lives in Massachusetts
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Matt McIrvin

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Possibly remarkable news about The Pinball Arcade.
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I guess I'm imagining the rendering as using some largely separate 3D framework like OpenGL or similar; you might not be dealing with pixels at all at the stage where the physics is being calculated. Though that could have performance drawbacks. The strict partitioning is more likely to happen in a product like TPA that has to support a larger number of platforms.
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A while back I linked to Mike Keith's Dictionary of Exotic Rhythms (http://cadaeic.net/meters.htm), which explored the combinatoric properties of unusual time signatures and how they related to a number sequence called the Padovan numbers (which he calls the "delayed Fibonacci sequence"). 

I notice he was missing this one:

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2014/02/the_time_signature_of_the_terminator_score_is_a_mystery_for_the_ages.html

He's got a few existing entries for the same time signature, but none that divide it up into beats in this particular way.
As The Terminator celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, the film continues to raise important questions. What are the risks to humanity of ascendant machine intelligence? How does a society correct the catastrophic missteps in its own past? And, most important, what the dickens is that weird time signature in...
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This is much more extensive but less systematically organized:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_musical_works_in_unusual_time_signatures
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I always sort of figured this was intended as a pastiche of Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse," which appeared frequently in old cartoons when some mechanical contraption like Toad's Factory was in evidence, but it's not really that similar.
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I just belatedly noticed that Golly is now available (for free, as usual) for Android and iPad. Now you can use its powerful algorithms to mess around with cellular automata wherever you go.

I spent some time playing with the Android app; it's a little rough around the edges, but I think I may prefer the pan-zoom controls to the ones in the Mac/PC version. It seems to have most of the features of the computer app.
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One of the authors, Andrew Trevorrow, is a guy who's done work I've admired for a long time, mostly on Classic Mac OS back in the day. He wrote OzTeX, the Mac-based TeX environment that I used to write my doctoral thesis. Unfortunately I don't think most of his early work runs any more on modern Macs; recent OS X versions have dropped support for the transitional frameworks he used to bring them across.
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Matt McIrvin

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Seen via Rich Siegel on Facebook.
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Easily my favorite course in Mario Kart Wii, and the music is part of that.
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...And I just checked out Andrew Trevorrow's latest project, Ready, which ventures into the world of 3D and continuous cellular automata, reaction-diffusion models and field equations:

https://code.google.com/p/reaction-diffusion/

I haven't played with it much, but it looks pretty spectacular. It can use your computer's video card for math acceleration.
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The market in computer monitors sure has been distorted recently by the ready availability of HDTV LCDs. If you go to buy a bog-standard monitor retail, 1920x1024 is pretty much all you can find. And, at the sizes of these monitors, 1920x1024 isn't that great. That's the resolution of my phone's screen; it looks fantastic at the size of a phone.

You can buy monitors that are higher-res than that, but they're still considered specialty items. The prices aren't bad, considering, but they have less market penetration because 1920x1024 is considered good-enough.

I think this is going to be a problem for a while longer, because, while manufacturers are trying hard to push "Ultra HD" TVs, I don't see them becoming popular any time soon. There's no ultra-high-res content to play on them, regular HDTV content doesn't look any better on them, and as TVs that resolution is probably overkill anyway unless your screen is truly gigantic. But this has the annoying side effect of computer monitors that are just repurposed TVs, even though a 24-inch monitor could really use more pixels than that.

(Update: I guess it's actually 1920x1080, as in 1080p. Not much difference, of course.)
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Not quite: there's no prerendered ultra-high-res content for 4K or greater yet.

 Any game that uses polygons or vectors can scale to incrementally higher resolutions with no hassle--though I'll readly admit such a statement implies that the greatest interest for resolutions that are 4K or higher would be firmly held by PC gaming...Which in a few years will be driven by one entity.

 Seems as if it's Valve's move...
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Disney's charming, money-sucking game Disney Infinity, with its on-disc DLC unlocked by buying collectible toys, rightly inspires admiration and dismay in equal measure. But if you have been pulled into its vortex, there are a few things to know that will increase your enjoyment. (Most important: Don't be afraid to "take ownership" of a figure; it won't erase your saves.)
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...Actually that's something that shows up in the Pirates campaign as well: it's possible to do the story missions out of the assumed order in a way that makes things slightly confusing.

There, I sailed right past Fort St. Grande and ended up getting a "later" piece of the Kraken's Bane first, and ended up in a situation in which it was unclear how to progress (searching for active mission givers at first just sent me to some minor side quests I hadn't done either). But at least nothing broke. I think I ended up taking the "find a cook" mission and sailed back into the Fort St. Grande naval battle on the way there, which got me back on track.
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Introduction
I'm the Matt McIrvin who lives in Massachusetts, formerly of northern Virginia.  I was trained as a particle physicist but quickly got into programming instead.

People who have been around on the net for a while may remember me from Usenet in the 1990s and early 2000s, posting mostly in physics-, science fiction- and humor-related groups. Since then I've hung out mostly on LiveJournal, but am curious about this Google+ thing.

Education
  • College of William and Mary
    Physics, 1986 - 1990
  • Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
    Physics, 1990 - 1997
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Matthew James McIrvin