• assistant professor: 5-6 years, then tenure/promote to associate
  • associate professor
  • (full) professor

numbers 2/10/10

standard bodies

  • ecma: they submit things to iso
  • iso/iec: big kahuna; international
  • ietf: internet standards, rfcs; works with w3c, iso
  • w3c: web standards; works with iso
  • whatwg: w3c too slow; made html5; w3c agreed to adopt
  • iana: IP addrs, AS numbers, media types, IP protos/ports/etc; runs dns root and some TLDs; op’d by icann
  • icann: iana stuff, TLDs, root servers
  • ansi: american; official US representative to ISO/IEC, via USNC
  • itu-t: the standards-making body of the itu

  • theory folks seem to use single-column articles, probably because math lines grow long (as I encountered in my machine learning report) and because their articles tend to be much shorter (and thus probably require fewer compacting/space-saving measures)

Charles Babbage: first programmer

Ada Lovelace: publisher of first program (Babbage’s)

game programming

  • heavy emphasis on performance all the way through
    • unlike web app dev, where you just need to make things scalable
    • still use asm, esp. for graphics operations


  • ultra-compact interactive graphical programs, usu. in asm


  • used to use a patented technology called TMR but that didn’t turn out to be scalable (lots of collisions among dissimilar tracks)
  • switched to MusicIP analysis technology, also closed-source
  • Picard tagger has much lighter-weight “fingerprinting” technology
  • ref: http://nikolasco.livejournal.com/336720.html


  • AAC: designed to succeed MP3, generally better quality at same bitrates



  • engines
    • cube
      • games: assaultcube
    • cube 2/sauerbraten: in-game level editing
      • games: blood frontier (last release 2/2009)
    • id tech 1: 1993; opened 1997, GPL’d 1999
      • games: doom, doom 2, hexen, heretic
      • BSP
    • quake engine: 1996; GPL’d xmas 1999; maps GPL’d 2006 (but not other content, eg textures)
      • games: quake, quakeworld
      • BSP
      • gouraud shading for moving objs
      • lightmap for static objs
      • quakec scripting lang; future id engines used c then c++
    • id tech 2: 1997; GPL’d xmas 2001
      • games: quake 2
      • BSP
      • opengl
      • MD2 model fmt: 10 keyframes/s
      • lightmap levels using radiosity
      • used DLLs to switch btwn opengl/SW, to release certain srcs to allow modding, and to replace the dynamic lang quakec
    • id tech 3: 1999; GPL’d 2005
      • games: q3a, urban terror (proprietary)
      • BSP
      • levels can use either lightmaps or gouraud shading; engine could apply lightgrid lights to models
      • MD3 model fmt: use vertex movements (vs skeletal anim); variable keyframes/s; separate head/torso/leg parts for indep animations
      • blob shadows and accurate polygonal shadow
      • HLSL
      • volumetric fog
    • ioquake3: cleaned-up id tech 3
      • games: openarena, tremulous
    • darkplaces (heavily modified quake 1 engine); best gfx
      • games: nexuiz
    • id tech 4: 200
      • games: doom 3, quake 4, ET:QW
      • C++
      • entirely dynamic per-pixel lighting, vs. lightmaps and gourard shading
        • dynamic effects previously available only changed polygon vertex brightness and interpolated pixel colors
      • bump mapping, normal mapping, specular highlighting
      • more features added in successive games
      • later feature megatexture (for ET:QW) enabled outdoor scenes; 32768^2 pixels
    • id tech 5: 2010
      • games: rage, doom 4
      • emphasis on making engine easier to use for devs and others
      • id studio: content-creation tools; no more need for external/cmdline tools
      • virtual texturing: 128000^2 pixels; stream on demand
      • dynamically changeable worlds
      • penumbra (soft edges) in shadows using shadow maps (vs sharply defined shadows)
      • HDR, depth of field, motion blur, multi-threaded processing
      • opengl, DX9, not DX10
  • games
    • quakeworld: quake with networking redone for much better internet play (orig for LAN); GPL’d maps
  • tools
    • netradiant: q3 map editor; heritage in gtkradiant, q3radiant, QE4 (q2)
  • misc
    • rcon: remote console; various protocols include valve’s, quakeworld’s, etc
    • quakenet: orig for quakeworld players; now general IRC net
    • binary space partitioning (BSP): TODO
      • recursively subdivide space into convex sets by hyperplanes, yielding BSP trees
      • used for levels; render quickly while minimizing polygon count per refresh
      • large open areas don’t work well


  • ligatures: prepared combinations of adjacent chars (eg Th that overlap)
  • techniques
    • expanded caps
    • condensed caps

font formats

favorite fonts




  • microsoft expression: suite for designing/building web/Windows apps
    • expression web: like dreamweaver
    • expression blend: design silverlight/wpf apps; like flash professional
    • expression design: graphics editor
    • expression encoder


Jesse Schell: future of games from DICE 2010

  • facebook is strange
  • lead generation can bring in more revenue than direct payment
    • lead generation: “sign up for credit card in return for farm cash”
    • direct payment: also strange bc of microtransactions
  • club penguin: bought by disney; used ‘psychological trick’
    • kid plays games, gets virtual $, but can’t spend at store bc need to be a paying subscriber to spend
    • mom refuses to pay $6
    • 6 weeks later, kid asks again, “look at all my virtual $”
    • mom thinks “wow still at it, oh well only $6”
    • of course it’s a recurring $6 for $72/yr
  • webkinz: imaginary character to each stuffed animal; put on screen in MMO
    • On Webkinz World, the Secret Code allows the user to own a virtual version of the pet for online play for a limited time. To maintain long-term access to an account, the user must continue to purchase additional stuffed toys.[1]
    • to parents, $12 = $20; ~same
  • mafia wars: text based mafia game competing with your friends
    • spend time or $20 to get ahead
  • these all have psychological games
  • but main common theme: busting through to reality
    • eg: reality tv, organic groceries, mcdonald’s angus (‘real’ burger)
    • ppl once wanted to escape; now want to hang on to reality
  • technology may fix this through convergence (facebook on xbox, set-top boxes to consoles)
    • but tech actually diverges (except for iphone – that’s the pocket rule exception)
  • examples of crossing to reality
    • fantasy football: everyone plays it
    • geocaching: fun to walk in woods if there’s treasure
    • simpson’s: scavenger hunt; watch all shows, find ref, get prize
    • darpa network challenge
    • weight watchers: points system
    • ford hybrid: the more saved gas, the more a virtual plant grows; it’s a “pet”
  • not designed by skilled game designers; imagine if they got their hands on this
  • future: everything monitors us everywhere, giving us points
    • if we design right, can motivate us to become better ppl
  • http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2010/02/jesse-schell-future-of-games-from-dice-2010/


IP law

  • issues
    • licenses (eg GPL) are interpreted differently worldwide
      • eg can BSD be added to GPL without explicit sublicensing clause?
      • big players need to document explicitly
    • outbound licensing: eg GPL + non-GPL in project
    • inbound licensing: eg accepting contribs wo copyrights/licenses
  • GPL enforcement
    • software freedom law center (SFLC): nonprofit that helps enforcement
    • entities have options:
      • include src w bin: simplest; immediately ends obligation
      • offer to send src on request: common; companies bet on this
      • release via P2P system
    • often settle; violator pays legal fees too
  • trademarks
    • earned/strengthened by usage; no reg needed; no expiration (into public domain) while in use
      • should do TM search first, but no willful infringement
      • if reg, then reg as group, not individual
    • nominative use: protects factual references
    • vs copyright: granted on create; has fair use doctrines
    • limited by political geography
  • http://lwn.net/Articles/375071/

totally misc

  • goodhart’s law: setting social/economic targets loses the original intent bc people will try to game/solely meet the target; eg, soviet factories that needed to meet nail quotas producing useless nails