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Archive for the 'Thoughts' Category


Satoshi Kon

Posted by Leith in News,Thoughts

I don’t know how many people will bother to see my little corner of the internet, particularly with how I neglect it, but I need to write about this.

On August 24th, anime director Satoshi Kon died at age 46 of cancer.


That’s a few years younger than my father, who I have never really imagined leaving this world until much, much later in my lifetime. I don’t even really know what to think about that, but it’s very unsettling.

He was an amazing director and produced works that never got the attention I believe they deserve. In addition to hearing about and being deeply saddened by the news (as I believe most anime fans are), I also found out that he left a somewhat rambling note as his last words. It was posted on his blog posthumously by his family, and for those of you that don’t read Japanese, a fan has posted an English translation. I found the whole thing profoundly moving, and I need to share those words somehow. I need to pass them along, and right now, this is the best I can do.

Goodbye, Satoshi Kon. Your talents, your works and your words will be missed. I wish I had known you in person.

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Technology Soapbox – IPv4

Posted by Leith in News,Thoughts

Today’s edition comes courtesy of my brother, who asked for my thoughts.

I learned about this years ago in my networking classes at uni. I already had a kind of peripheral awareness before that, but learning about it made it a bit clearer. You can see from what they say about that one guy in there – he’s been trying to encourage this for 10 years. But the analogy from the other guy about trying to change the road and tyres while you’re still driving is pretty sound, too. One of the things that people came up with as a stop-gap was NAT (where local networks look like one address to the outside, but map different ports to different local IPs on the internal network).

Lots of web applications will break, no question about that. It’s going to be a messy transition, since NAT was only meant to be a temporary fix until someone came up with something better. At the very least it’s going to involve a lot of upgrades to infrastructure, although PCs have supported IPv6 for a very long time, so I don’t think it’ll be the PCs that’ll be the problem. It’ll largely be configuring the infrastructure, and making sure applications don’t break during transition. The non-backwards compatibility issue is the real problem – in some ways, it’s kind of like the problem of people still using phone lines and dial-up modems for internet, rather than using a better infrastructure that’s designed for modern internet use instead of tacked on (like internet over phone lines was). A lot of devices are probably going to become obsolete.

What’s probably more likely is that a dual-system will emerge, and then the “Internet 2″ initiative is going to become a commercial divide. There will be people who operate on devices connected to the older network, and then the majority will slowly move to the newer network because the price will reach some critical point at which they can’t afford to be on the old network and need to be on the new one. Most users won’t really understand the implications, since they never see the underlying network address – it will be up to the domain and web server administrators largely to make sure that the domain names point to the new addresses, and figure out a way to pass along the maintenance costs to the customers by advertising it as premium/better/whatever. Devices and applications will emerge that are only operable on the new network, which will drive adoption, not dissimilar to the transition in phone networks from CDMA to 3G. Eventually the old network will fade out.

All the PC end-users really need to do is have the new protocol enabled, which can be rolled into any of the system updates for Windows/Mac users if they don’t do it themselves, and Linux users probably already have it installed due to the fairly high technical threshold required to operate meaningfully with Linux systems. After that, it’s buying new devices that are compatible with the new protocol, or installing any firmware updates that manufacturers care to provide (if they are able to, there are some hardware limitations after all).

This has been another edition of Technology Soapbox(tm). ^_~

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The future of gaming… and us

Posted by Leith in News,Thoughts

Ok, this needs to be watched by anyone who has an interest in games, and everyone else because it has a very interesting explanation on where the world is going, technologically speaking.

The world will be full of more sensors, will know more of what we do, when we do it and will be giving us more and more incentives to help motivate us to do it.

Also, I wish I went to school based on an experience points system. Hell yeah.

What about you? Do you see the world going the same way? Do you want it to? I certainly do, I’m looking forward to the coming technological jumps and divergences. Maybe my life will be on record, maybe I’ll have a score associated with my life. So what? Gives my kids something to aim to be better than.

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Phantom glasses

Posted by Leith in Thoughts

So, I was just catching up on a few older posts on my lovely friend Andrea’s blog, and this one really struck me. Read it, then read on.

For me, it wasn’t that I had glasses, I have my father’s eyes and don’t need them, unlike my siblings. That being said, I was the kid who should have had glasses – and all the rest, for that matter. For some reason, impressions of me were often characterized by stereotypical nerditry (not a word, but possibly should be), sometimes followed by the occasional confused look when people realised that I didn’t actually have them. I had some phantom appearance that I don’t think really went anywhere until probably early high-school, when I suddenly went from counting my friends on one hand to socially trying to understand the varying degrees of friendship that comes from having dozens of them.

I think her comments about her younger self ring very true to me, and I periodically wonder what I would tell myself if I was given the opportunity to go back in time. I think letting myself know that the bullies will (for the most part) grow up, that growing pains are temporary and that I will make amazing connections with people around the world who truly see and love me for who I am would probably be what I would say. I know I will never be able to return to those times and say these things, and that if I did I would possibly grow up to be a different person. My experiences, good and bad, shaped me into who I am through the lessons that I’ve learned.

At the very least, I look at it this way: that desire to inform your younger self is part of being a parent. Thinking like this gives me a new perspective on my own parents, and what they must have been thinking as they tried their best to raise me. I wonder, will I try to pass these lessons on to my own children? Will they listen?

What do you think?



Words and nerds

Posted by Leith in News,Thoughts

Another day, another 2000 words written. A little extra actually. As before, you can watch my word count progress here, or friend me on the official NaNoWriMo site – my username is Xandemon. So, my insanity is reaching new levels – when I’m already stressed out from taking on too much, I’m writing a novel this month. Or at least a good chunk of one.

Yes, I’m mental.

Also, today I sat at my dual-screen workstation in the User Interface lab of the Computer Science department at the University of Tokyo, wearing my Google shirt and my NASA polar fleece jacket reading papers about controlling levels of detail for 3D models and I had to wonder – how the hell did I ever get a girlfriend, let alone one that’s going to marry me?

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