Occasional thoughts on diverse subjects

May 8, 2000

Mapping the Internet

An article at Mappa Mundi discusses UUNet's network maps. It links to the Internet Mapping Project, which probes the internet to see how various nodes are connected to each other and uses the data to create complex tree diagrams resembling lichen or that crystalline entity which destroyed Data's home planet in Star Trek. Stuff like this really demonstrates the futility of imagining the internet as some sort of three-dimensional space where hackers and such can cruise around and have groovy adventures. It's still pretty cool, though. #

A Stepwise article shows how vector processoring (provided by Altivec, MMX, and the like) can be used outside of the graphics and multimedia applications commonly associated with it to, say, speed calculation of string length. #

While looking through /usr/bin/girl, I came across a page discussing alternate ways to play chess. It reminds me of a variant Tim Regewitz and I developed where play would proceed normally until the tenth turn, at which point the players would switch sides and then play until completion. (If you got checkmated before the tenth turn, you would lose as usual.) In practice, this meant you had to get your starting side into as bad a position as possible without getting into check before the tenth turn. If you were really good, you could force your opponent to take pieces. It makes a complicated game that much harder. ^_^ #