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Stephen Cameron
Attended Texas A&M University
Lives in Santa Clara, CA
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Stephen Cameron

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This might be the single most amazing computer program I've ever encountered. A  neural net hallucinating live for your viewing right now, you can feed it ideas to hallucinate:
http://www.twitch.tv/317070

A few details: http://317070.github.io/LSD/
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Stephen Cameron

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I can't explain exactly why I like this, uh... what is it...? a comedic art project?   http://www.weirdcopceptalbum.com/

via: http://www.metafilter.com/150273/Weird-Copcept-Album
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Don't have a garage anymore, but do have Google Workshops.  Over the last few weeks I built myself some bookcases.  Still have 11 boxes of books I haven't yet unpacked, so I guess I need to build some more.
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+Don Brace The guitars are all here, but Idon't have them organized in any reasonable way yet. Need to work on that.

Hope things are going well for all you guys at PMC Sierra these days.
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I was talking with my friend +Jeremy Van Grinsven the other day about some ideas I had for improving the shader for the planetary rings in Space Nerds in Space after watching a video about the still-in-the-works game Limit Theory.  The current code treats the rings as if they were a thin layer of illuminated fog, more or less -- they are the same brightness on both sides, throughout.  I was thinking though that if the rings were made of little rocks, then those rocks would have a light side and a dark side, and if you imagined the rocks as spheres, then given a particular viewing position and lighting position, you could figure what percent of those little rocks at any given point in the ring would be in light, and what percent in shadow, and vary the brightness of the rings accordingly, interpolating a per-vertex brightness over the whole ring in the fragment shader, and this would get you, presumably, more realistic looking rings.  Jeremy asked me if I had any actual photos or data to back up my ideas about how things would look, and, really, I didn't.  But, now, I found this, which is pretty cool:  The rings look surprisingly solid, but do confirm my idea that there is a light side and a dark side to the rings.

https://vimeo.com/33933151 "several thousand layers of many Cassini photographs were animated to make the fly-through work without any 3D CGI" ... although ... "it's an art film, not a science film"

See also: https://vimeo.com/34001144
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I cannot really comprehend the scale of  the video. I keep thinking "oh, that passed close to the rings" when in fact it's probably tens of thousands of kilometers away....
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Stephen Cameron

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Limit Theory is looking really good lately.  A few things reminded me of Space Nerds In Space (but way better than SNIS).. the marketplace, the planets, the Hilbert Tachyon Gun and the names of things in the marketplace seem very similar to the names of things in SNIS oddly enough.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tPdbLe3zx0
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Stephen Cameron

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Yesterday +Jeremy Van Grinsven and I visited +Ace Monster Toys  for their open house and it turned out to be a pretty legit hackerspace in Oakland, CA.  It reminded me of the early days of +TX/RX Labs back in Houston at the old Commerce St. location.   And they're a 501(3)c non-profit.  They had a fair number of cool tools, including a decently large and powerful laser cutter, 3D printers (including as Jeremy noted, the obligatory broken Cupcake that all hackerspaces seem to have), some cool sewing machines (thanks to Rachel for demoing those for us) a fairly well equipped wood shop with a reasonably large CNC wood router (not quite big enough for a 4x8 sheet of plywood, but almost.).  Maybe a little lacking in the metal shop, I did see a very small 3-axis CNC mill (coated with sawdust though), and they have a welding machine, although I didn't see it -- I am guessing it's a MIG welder.  There's a nice area upstairs for electronics and hanging out.  We met a guy up there who had taken an old daisy wheel typewriter/word processor thing which he had gutted, replaced the electronics to drive the mechanism, and hooked it up to twitter so you can tweet a picture at it, and it will type out an ASCII art representation of your picture (sorry I don't remember the hashtag). This was pretty cool, as it was right up our alley, and just the kind of thing we had previously been a little disappointed not to see at Hacker Dojo in Mountain View.  Membership rates and access were very reasonable, cheaper than I expected.  Seems like a pretty cool group of people that hang out there.  Too bad it's more than an hour away from me by car.

We also heard the story of why it's called "Ace Monster Toys".   It's apparently a reference to the movie "Sneakers", which involved an anagram of "Setec Astronomy" --> "Too Many Secrets".    And "Ace Monster Toys" is another anagram.

I didn't take many pictures while I was there though.  Here's a shot of the flyer for the Open House, and another shot of a sign painted on the wall where the sewing machines were.  I just thought it was a cool way to create the sign, kind of an inverse stencil effect.

We also wandered around the campus of UC Berkeley for a bit, which was cool, and we had the most amazing Ice Cream Sandwich at a little shop at the corner of Telegraph and Channing.  They had these enormous, hot, fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, and they'd take two of them and put a big scoop of ice cream on one, then smash another cookie on top to make a sandwich.  And it was only $2.00!  I had a scoop of blueberry cheesecake ice cream on mine.  It was glorious.  Edit: This was the ice cream place: http://www.creamnation.com/
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Haha I knew it was cream as soon as you said ice cream sandwich. Also no trip to Berkeley is complete without going to the Berkeley Bowl. IMHO of course
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Stephen Cameron

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+Paul Brown from OCS-Mag interviewed me and +Jeremy Van Grinsven about Space Nerds In Space recently.
 
"I am more into making the computer do cool stuff than I am into playing games."
-- Steven Cameron, Space Nerds in Space - The Interview

"It is a game about blowing stuff up at its core."
-- Jeremy Van Grinsven, Space Nerds in Space - The Interview
We met up with Stephen Cameron and Jeremy Van Grinsven, creators of Space Nerds in Space on FreeNode to talk about space simulators, nerds, lasers, and programming from the ground up games for Linu...
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There's a recording of +Jerry Coyne  speaking about his new book "Faith vs. Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible" with a Q & A session at the end.  It's quite long, but if you're into this sort of thing, it's worth it.

It is here: https://archive.org/download/527Coyne/5_27_Coyne.ogg

It is interesting to me that Jerry Coyne seems to have only recently encountered and been surprised by the reactions of religious people to his book "Why Evolution Is True."   I seem to be having the opposite experience lately -- being surprised landing in a new job in a new place where most people are extremely smart, and, well, let's just say I find it very refreshing.  I suppose if I had grown up where I am now, and gone to a school around here and worked at a job like I have now, and then suddenly moved to Houston, I might have had an experience like Jerry Coyne is having lately.

It is nice to hear a relatively high profile guy saying things I've been saying for more than a decade now (not that I'm the first to say them).  Things along the lines of (not direct quotes), "Faith is not a virtue, but a vice", or "Faith is believing things without evidence, and that is not a good thing to be doing."

Having thought about faith a great deal, I would actually define it as "to exercise faith is to deliberately attempt to believe something to a degree of certainty which exceeds what is warranted by the available evidence."  That it be a deliberate attempt is important (accidentally believing something to an excessive degree of certainty is just a mistake, not faith) and absolute certainty is not a requirement of faith, only excessive certainty.  But these are nitpicky details, "believing things without evidence" is a serviceable approximation of the definition of faith.  I am reminded of my first blog post from 2007:  https://scaryreasoner.wordpress.com/2007/10/16/on-the-notion-of-faith/
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Yeah, although my views of faith have never been favorable, I've had some particular experiences that more or less turned faith into my six-fingered man (see: The Princess Bride).  So I do not claim to be an unbiased observer.  Being informed in a particular way makes me biased in a particular way.  And that's all I'm going to say about that.
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A short video of some folks trying out Space Nerds In Space at Miscon, Montana's premier science fiction convention, in Missoula, Montana.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lkug5JMiFzE
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An interesting function applied to Perlin noise...


contourfanfold(noise(x, y), 4)
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dune  field - Karst topography
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Have him in circles
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Computer programmer
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Santa Clara, CA
Previously
Houston, TX - marshall, ar - gainesville, fl - bay st. louis, ms
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Introduction
Disclaimer: The opinions I express here on google+ are my own, may change over time, and are not the opinions of my employer (whether my employer's opinions are coincident with what I express here or not.)

I'm a computer programmer by trade.  I work on a couple drivers in the linux kernel, and also have a few projects on sourceforge (and a few on github )

I'm also into art, and do a little painting, and music, I play electric guitar though not as well as I'd like. 

Oh, I've built a cyclekart.  I've also been bitten by the 3d printing bug, and have made a few things.

I have a blog called Scary Reasoner, which is about various things, but notably, it's about atheism and religion, but other than that it is much the same as what I post on google+.  

Currently for fun I've been building on a multiplayer networked 3D starship simulator game I'm calling Space Nerds In Space in C, no network libraries (well, glibc), no 3D graphics libraries (well, gtk), without even *fonts*, all from scratch, just for the hell of it.

Education
  • Texas A&M University
    Computer Science, 1986 - 1991
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