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Terror isn't the problem

Just read that a Congressman wants WikiLeaks to be declared a terrorist organization. Right. Dear politicians: Terror isn't the problem. It's you.
Mahatma Gandhi was a terrorist. Melson Mandela was a terrorist. George Washington as well as Thomas Jefferson (in fact, all the participants of the Boston Tea Party) were terrorists. Terrorists in fact are men labeled by politicians doing things the politicians fear. And not primary men doing things bad for the people.
Just a thought.



Mario in 3D and in Flash

Tim12345 created a small game using CopperCube, a kind of Super Mario Bros as Ego-Shooter in 3D:


He didn't use any programming for this, only clicking stuff together in the editor, I guess this has been a lot of work. I like it. :)



Upcoming Irrlicht Book

There is currently an Irrlicht Book in the making, it will be named "Irrlicht Realtime 3D engine Beginner's Guide", written by Johannes Stein. I am currently reviewing it, and if you are interested, you can already preorder that book.



Irrlicht 1.7.2 released

In a surprising move, Irrlicht 1.7.2 is available since last week. It is mainly a bug fix release. Totally slipped under the radar of this blog. Sorry.



DVD tip: Pandorum

I saw the film Pandorum yesterday, and I wonder why it received bad reviews. It's a very nice science fiction horror movie with a very thrilling and interesting story, and unlike most other films in this category, most of the plot makes sense. Also, it has a great ending, IMO. Definitely worth buying on DVD, if you like science fiction.



The Mac Bundles

If you are interested in getting Website Painter, a software product created by me at a much lower price, try this: The web editor currently is included in the software bundle by TheMacBundles.com. You can get 12 mac apps all together in one bundle for $49,95 there. Only available for 9 days still.



CopperCube 2.2 released

I just uploaded the latest release of CopperCube, version 2.2. If you don't know what it is [then you've probably never read this blog :)], it is a 3D editor for creating interactive 3D scenes as Windows .exe or Mac .app applications, or even Flash .swf or WebGL applications for your website. All without programming. One of the new features is a fake reflection material:


Controls: cursor keys to move, mouse to Look.

What you see there is still the old Flash 10 software renderer, once Adobe makes their Molehill 3D API public, this will be much nicer. CopperCube 2.2 also includes several other new features, such as actions for setting and changing variables, making it possible to make much more interactive 3d applications. I don't think it is turing complete yet, but maybe I've overseen a possibility. :)



Kinect Hacked

This is so cool: Oliver Kreylos created a realtime 3D video capturing program based on the new Kinect hardware of the XBox. Pretty neat hack:


More info on his website.
My thought: Shouldn't it be 'easily' possible to use the input of a few of these to create a full 3D scanner, for example to quickly generate animated 3D models for games?



Working on a new Material

This week, I started working on implementing a new material into CopperCube. The editor currently only supports three very basic materials (with variations), which seems to be enough for most people, but of course, more specialized materials would be nice. So the first new material I added was this one (warning: ugly, self-composed background music ;-) ):



It's a very simple fake reflecting material. Users familiar with Irrlicht will notice this is basically the EMT_REFLECTION_2LAYERS material. But it is a step forward, and making it easier for me to add more new materials, because I also had to extend the material editor window for this. For now, the material is only available in the editor, I have still to implement it in the WebGL and the Flash renderers.



OpenTTD

I recently downloaded OpenTTD, an open source re-implementation of the classic Transport Tycoon from 1994 and tried playing it. And I must say: Wow! I'm absolutely impressed.

OpenTTD previously was just a reimplementation of the game which needed the orignal game graphics and sound files. This has changed now, it now comes with it's own independent art set, which looks and sounds great. The game still is the same simulation game as known from 1994, every detail is there and you can start creating your own company by building trains, busses, airports etc. But OpenTTD includes now so many (optional) new features, it's quite impressive. The map can be made extremely big and customized, the game includes a multiplayer mode, and there are countless more options to influence gameplay.
One thing I initially didn't see: OpenTTD has several AIs to choose from and against which you can play. Unfortunately, you need to choose some AI implementations to be downloaded from the Web in the options menu before starting a game, which I didn't see initially. But once you got it, the game is quite fun.

Interesting side fact: Although you will have running dozens of trains and hundreds of busses in your world sometime, the game only needs a tiny fraction of your CPU speed to run. Probably a nice side-effect of the old architecture of the game, which ran smoothly back then on my Pentium 60.



They all make the same mistakes

Interesting commercial on YouTube.
I think the fact that the american TV channels refused to show it says more about the situation than the commercial itself.



A long missing feature added

I'm not entirely sure how this software made it nearly two years now without that feature, but today I implemented it. A wireframe mode for CopperCube:


Probably because users are supposed to create 3d models in another editor and import them into CopperCube, I've never received many requests for this feature. But with the next release, it will be in, finally. Yay. :)



DNA and programmers

I always wondered how DNA worked exactly, because I am a programmer and I always thought that DNA is nothing else but code. So it shouldn't be too difficult to understand it, right? This article explains DNA for C programmers, it's a great read and very interesting.