Agile or Waterfall?

Have you found yourself at the crossroads? Tearing between Agile vs Waterfall project management? Caught off-balance by the recent stats showing Agile software projects to be over three times as popular as Waterfall? They also have over three times as many successful outcomes. Does that mean that Waterfall has outstayed its welcome? Our take: that depends.

 Agile or Waterfall: Choose the Right Approach to Your Software Project Management

 

Image by Marcel Douwe Dekker

World of Warcraft Plague

Back in 2005 there was an epidemic event caused by some unintented features (vulgo "bugs") in World of Warcraft. As it shows, studies reveal that the events give a good view on human behavior in times of the corona pandemy. 

“For me, it was a good illustration of how important it is to understand people’s behaviors,” he says. “When people react to public health emergencies, how those reactions really shape the course of things. We often view epidemics as these things that sort of happen to people. There’s a virus and it’s doing things. But really it’s a virus that’s spreading between people, and how people interact and behave and comply with authority figures, or don’t, those are all very important things. And also that these things are very chaotic. You can’t really predict ‘oh yeah, everyone will quarantine. It’ll be fine.’ No, they won’t.”

Extremetech: Researchers are dusting off WoW's Corrupted Blood Plague to Understand Coronavirus Infections. 

On rhyming algorithms

Really interesting articles on computer created poetry. Some of the examples are really touching or inspiring lyrics, as these lines created by a tool wrtten by Jack Hopkins:

The frozen waters that are dead are now

black as the rain to freeze a boundless sky,

and frozen ode of our terrors with

the grisly lady shall be free to cry

Deutschlandfunk: Lyrik zwischen Null und EinsWer reitet so spät durch Bit und Byte?

NewScientist: Neural network poetry is so bad we think it's written by humans

 

Image:"Magnetic Fridge Poetry" by Steve Johnson

Choose your poison

Different poisons and pains lead to different results

Sometimes I browse my "Browse me later" folder in my bookmarks and discover things I wanted me to discover. Today I read an article by Mark Manson with the name "You probably know to ask yourself, “What do I want?” Here’s a way better question" from 2016. It was really enlighning and the right type of text for my current situation in life. I can point you to it but I can't read it for you, so just follow the link.

The key message of the article is spoken out right in the beginning and there are many variations of it all over the text. The last sentence repeats it aswell and here it is, for you it is a small teaser, for me it is a reminder of what I learned today.

 

"This is the most simple and basic component of life: our struggles determine our successes. So choose your struggles wisely, my friend."

The data we produce...

This is a really insightful article on the amount of data we produce while using apps (and websites, and devices, and stuff). 

At 9.24pm (and one second) on the night of Wednesday 18 December 2013, from the second arrondissement of Paris, I wrote “Hello!” to my first ever Tinder match. Since that day I’ve fired up the app 920 times and matched with 870 different people. I recall a few of them very well: the ones who either became lovers, friends or terrible first dates. I’ve forgotten all the others. But Tinder has not.

The Guardian - I asked Tinder for my data. It sent me 800 pages of my deepest, darkest secrets

 

Image: @markheybo on Flickr 

On Dungeon Generation

As a gamer, game master and former (minor) game developer I am always interested in ideas and concepts that make a game out of an activity. In this case, I stumbled upon a blog about game programming patterns. This particular blog post is all about the random generation of dungeons. It is really an interesting read and you can retracte the several steps as the author, Bob Nystrom, made a simulation for every necessary step. Really nice!

One of my earliest memories of computing is a maze generator running on my family’s Apple IIe. It filled the screen with a grid of green squares, then incrementally cut holes in the walls. Eventually, every square of the grid was connected and the screen was filled with a complete, perfect maze.

My little home computer could create something that had deep structure—every square of the maze could be reached from any other—and yet it seemed to be chaotic—it carved at random and every maze was different. This was enough to blow my ten-year-old mind. It still kind of does today.

Stuff with Stuff: Rooms and Mazes: A Procedural Dungeon Generator

 

Gary Chalk Interview

Lone Wolf Logo

Remember the LoneWolf Boardgame I supported on Kickstarter? I wrote about it here. I never actually played it although I still plan to do so. Today, however, I found this really interesting interview with illustrator Gary Chalk who was the main reason for, well, everyone to fund this game as he is the original illustrator of the Lone Wolf Game Books from the 80s. I learned several lessons from the interview:

1. Gary Chalk was working for Games Workshop

2. The Lone Wolf Boardgame rules are from a never published Games Workshop game (I think I knew this before but today it was new to me)

3. Ian Livingston and Steve Jackon are not only the authors of some fantasy game books I own, they are also founders and ceos of Games Workshop and brought AD&D to Europe

4. There is a Mobile Game Book named Gun Dogs featuring illustrations by Gary Chalk (apparently only iOS)

 

Take a look: Amazing Stories: Interview with Gary Chalk

 

Image: Series logo from Mongoose publishing taken from Wikipedia

A nice javascript regular expression editor

Building regex is fun, especially if you have a good editor at hand. I used Rubular for the last years but as this is specialized for Ruby and I was in need for Javascript based Regex the last months, I searched for something similar nice to use and found Scriptular.

The user experience is not one to one the same but it is way more comfortable than the other ones I see around. Take a look!

Fonts for coders

Wanna know if your coding font knows how to deal with unicode? Here is a simple test to check, copy this into your editor and compare. Here are some hints for good programmers fonts ("the best"!).

«»‹›“”‘’〖〗【】「」『』〈〉《》〔〕 ΑΒΓΔΕΖΗΘΙΚΛΜΝΞΟΠΡΣΤΥΦΧΨΩ αβγδεζηθικλμνξοπρςτυφχψω ¤$¢€₠£¥ ©®™²³ §¶†‡※ •◦‣✓●■◆○□◇★☆♠♣♥♦♤♧♡♢ ᴁᴂᴈ ♩♪♫♬♭♮♯ “” ‘’ ¿¡ ¶§ª - ‐ ‑ ‒ – — ― … ° ⌈⌉ ⌊⌋ ∏∑∫ ×÷ ⊕⊖⊗⊘⊙⊚⊛∙∘ ′″‴ ∼∂√ ≔× ⁱ⁰¹²³ ₀₁₂ π∞± ∎ ∀¬∧∨∃⊦∵∴∅∈∉⊂⊃⊆⊇⊄⋂⋃ ≠≤≥≮≯≫≪≈≡ ℕℤℚℝℂ ←→↑↓ ↔ ↖↗↙↘ ⇐⇒⇑⇓ ⇔⇗ ⇦⇨⇧⇩ ↞↠↟↡ ↺↻ ☞☜☝☟ ⌘⌥‸ ⇧⌤↑↓→←⇞⇟↖↘ ⌫ ⌦ ⎋⏏↶↷◀▶▲▼ ◁▷△▽ ⇄ ⇤ ⇥ ↹↵↩⏎ ⌧⌨␣ ⌶ ⎗⎘⎙⎚⌚⌛ ✂✄✉✍ ①②③④⑤⑥⑦⑧⑨⓪ 卐卍 ✝✚✡☥⎈☭☪☮☺☹☯☰☱☲☳☴☵☶☷☠☢☣☤♲♳⌬♨♿☉☼☾☽♀♂♔♕♖♗♘♙♚♛♜♝♞♟❦ 、。!,:林花謝了春 紅,太匆匆。無奈朝來寒雨,晚來風。胭脂淚,留人醉,幾時重,自是人生長恨, 水長東。

Edit: You may want to take a look at Wikipedia on Unicode Fonts

AI and Liberalism

I stumpled upon a German languge article in the NZZ by Slavoj Žižek that deals with the topics of liberalism, humanism and digitalization. It is declared as a translation but I didn't find the source, so I can only provide you with the German text. While searching for the translation I found a greater number of text by the slowenian philosopher dealing with similar topics, so I guess this is more of a general reading recommendation. 

Eben weil die Maschine, die uns liest, als mechanischer Algorithmus blind und bewusstseinslos ist, kann sie Entscheidungen treffen, die nicht nur der äusseren Wirklichkeit angemessener sind als unsere eigenen Entscheidungen. Sie sind es vor allem auch in Bezug auf unsere eigenen Wünsche und Bedürfnisse. Die Maschine kann alle Widersprüche eruieren, Inkohärenzen messen und mit ihnen auf weitaus rationalere Weise umgehen, als unser fiktives Selbst dies vermag.

NZZ: Digitalisierung und künstliche Intelligenz: Das Ende der Menschlichkeit

Image: Zizek in Liverpool By Original photographer: Andy Miah , cropped by User:Michalis Famelis

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