What is Net Neutrality?

Wow, it's been a while since I wrote anything here. I hadn't forgotten, just really not had much to say... better a few quality posts than a lot of boring ones. That said, I'll try to post more than once every three months at least...

There's been a lot of buzz about how we should be fighting to save Net Neutrality and the free, open Internet, but little explanation of what that actually means. Here's my attempt at a hopefully simple explanation:

Rena SVG Trace

Right so life has been pretty boring lately and thus I've had nothing to write about BUT here's something I'm sure people will enjoy on the off chance anyone actually reads this nonsense. More nice SVG traces, this time of Rena Kunisaki, the same girl you see in the corner of all these pages. This one's based on a monochrome scan, so I got to take some liberty in colouring it as well, and I'm pretty pleased with how it came out.

Be warned that this post contains roughly a megabyte of inline images. They're not safe for work either but that's what that content warning clickthrough thing is for.

Lua Blob v86336 Release

Nothing major here, just a quick update to the Blob library to allow proper storage and retrieval of signed integers.

Car Hax

Yo dawg, I heard you like hacking, so we put a bug in your Bug so you can crash while you crash. Yeah, apparently new cars are being equipped with sensors on their tires. Wireless sensors. One guess how secure these sensors are.
[Attackers] could alter and forge the readings to cause warning lights on the dashboard to turn on, or even crash the ECU completely.

Wirelessly crashing the engine control computers of passing cars? It's like a sci-fi nightmare come true. Can we please start requiring some sort of "I know what the hell I'm doing" license to be allowed to program things that can kill people? I don't even want to think about the possibility of a buffer overflow exploit.

Google vs The Internet

So, this is not exactly the most punctual article I've ever written, but better late than never. It seems Google has done a quick 180 and gone from protecting net neutrality to directly attacking it. Specifically, teaming up with Verizon to come up with a Trojan horse legislation that will pave the way for the end of the free unregulated Internet as we know it.

CD64 Mods, Part 2

Was hoping to post this earlier, but anyway... I traced the CD64's expansion connector. It's definitely one of the simplest I've ever seen for the number of pins. A diagram is available here but unfortunately many programs can't render SVG flowed text correctly. This version has the text converted to paths, so it will show up properly in most programs, but it's also much larger (1.1MB) and not easy to edit.

CD64 Mods, Part 1

A while ago I picked up an interesting gadget: a CD64 backup unit for the Nintendo 64. It's exactly what it sounds like: loads ROMs from CDs. It's also supposed to be good for development, but without the adaptor to connect to a PC, it's not really much good for that.

Anyway, it needed some repair, and when I opened it up I was intrigued by an unused expansion connector inside. Apparently they had planned to add an MPEG decoder here for VCD playback. Well obviously I'm going to have to make something cool out of that.

Lua Blob v85840 Release

Although I've never officially announced it, it's no big secret that Rena is written almost entirely in Lua*. This beautiful language is what allows for such flexibility and extensibility.

Renamon SVG Trace

If there's one thing I can't do, it's art. Occasionally I can make some cool abstract design by accident, but if I set out actually trying to draw something, the perspective is just going to be all wrong and I'll ultimately end up with something that's logically correct, but just looks wrong for some reason.

However, I can trace art. Some would call this cheating, but I don't just trace over something and call it my own. What I like to do is take some existing art and trace it in Inkscape to make an SVG version. This is because SVG has a number of advantages over bitmap graphics.

Same Shit, Different DRM

So today's latest DRM scheme is storing your media in "the cloud". That article is mainly bashing, so let's first look at some of the theoretical advantages of such a system.
  • No need to make backups.
  • Access it from anywhere.
  • Rental and samples become feasible.
  • Files aren't taking up your disk space.

Now to destroy those arguments:

Job Applications Suck

We've all been there: need work, go around asking if any place is hiring, and they give you this form to fill out. It's (unfortunately) become pretty standard practice among most businesses today. And my God does it suck.

The idea of a standardized form isn't too bad. Fill out some information on one sheet, make a ton of copies, hand it out. Quick and simple. Oh, wait, we already have that. It's called a resumé.

But no, for so many places now, a resumé isn't good enough. You've got to fill out this form with all the exact same information as is on your resumé, and then hand that in - with a resumé. Maybe this makes sense if you're applying at the Department of Redundancy Department.

Let's look at some of the ridiculous things they ask on these forms.

Rena v85840

Oh look, a blag. How did that get here. Well I'll try to update this regularly but I can't guarantee that I'll have a working Internet connection or anything worthwhile to say. WE SHALL SEE.

Latest screenshots from my WIP Mario Kart 64 level editor.

At present, it displays almost every level almost perfectly. The remaining visual glitches are mostly hardcoded things I have yet to track down, and one texture command Moo Moo Farm uses that I haven't decoded yet because who cares about Moo Moo Farm anyway.