Friday, March 30, 2012

No, Anonymous is Not Shutting Down the Internet

'Report: Anonymous Promises to Shut Down the Internet March 31'

So, someone posted this on PasteBin the other day, outlining a hack-attack on major DNS servers that will "shut down the Internet."  They claim to be the hacking group, Anonymous.  They're not.

Here's an outline of their attack.

The principle is simple; a flaw that uses forged UDP packets is to be
used to trigger a rush of DNS queries all redirected and reflected to
those 13 IPs. The flaw is as follow; since the UDP protocol allows it,
we can change the source IP of the sender to our target, thus spoofing 
the source of the DNS query. 

The DNS server will then respond to that query by sending the answer to 
the spoofed IP. Since the answer is always bigger than the query, the 
DNS answers will then flood the target ip. It is called an amplified
because we can use small packets to generate large traffic. It is called
reflective because we will not send the queries to the root name servers,
instead, we will use a list of known vulnerable DNS servers which will
attack the root servers for us.

Congratulations!  You've re-invented the DDoS.

Think about why there's no possible way this can work.  In order to prevent HTTP requests from reaching the DNS, they'd need to flood the DNS's with enough packets to form a constant stream of daemon-y packet messages.  They'd need more bots in their botnet than legitimate, Internet-using computers in the world.

Hence, to shut down the Internet, they'd pretty much have to own it.

Anonymous posted this message on Twitter the other day:

For the billionth time: #Anonymous will not shut down the Internet on 31 March. #OpGlobalBlackout is just another #OpFacebook failop. #yawn

That is all.  Enjoy your Internet on March 31.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Programmer's View of Morals

Here's an age-old question.  Are humans inherently moral?  That is, are they born with a sense of compassion and respect for others?

Conventional theories are as follows:

Yes, humans are inherently moral.  Emotions are not learned.  When a baby is born, it can instantly recognize its mother.  It is encoded in the human psyche that treating someone poorly will result in being treated poorly in return.

No, on the other side of the spectrum, humans are not inherently moral.  This is why early parenting is so crucial in making a child fit for society.  This is why children with unhealthy home environments tend to develop social disorders.  Morals, and consequently, the ability to assimilate into society, are learned.

Here's the problem with both theories:

Genetic makeup is not hard-coded.  As far as science tells us, genes tend to be much more abstract than just "the gene that makes you respect people" or "the gene that makes you love people."  If that were the case, and things like respect and love could be hard-coded into the psyche, then morals can be, too.

And sure, there's a trend between good parenting and social assimilation.  But this doesn't tell the whole story.  Once again, inherent morals would have to be directly integrated into human biology.

My purely theoretical take on this:

My theory depends on the human brain working as a neural network where people are born with a randomized genetic makeup and filtered out via natural selection.

Quick overview.  Neural networks are made up of neurons that receive inputs and fire outputs.  If all of the inputs and their weights surpass a certain threshold value, then the neuron fires all of its outputs into other neurons.  Otherwise, it stays silent.  Think computer chips.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Apocalyptico : Initialization

After a game designer's block of three freaking months I'm motivating myself to finish a game by doing it in a short amount of time.  Enough to fit into my deteriorating attention span.


Progress will be posted on ThatDevBlog as per usual.  Detailed design doc in that post.

This is probably a bad idea.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Turing Machine : Langton's Ant

Starting to really like C++.

Turing machine with emergent behavior based on Langton's Ant.

9-color variant of Langton's Ant, LRRRRRLLR
Source available via GitHub.  Written in MSVC++ 2010 Express (C++ with SDL).

Yes, I know my solution names are misspelled.  Yes, I'm too lazy to change them.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

C++ : Conway's Game of Life

Working on a Conway's Game Of Life cellular automata simulation in C++ with SDL.

Source code available here at GitHub.  Compiled in MSVC++.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

4 Hour Jam #1 : Post-Mortem

To be honest, I was really really worried this wouldn't work out.  Between Livestream lagging and some people not coming and Firefox crashing and


Can't thank you all enough, those of you that participated, for making this a success.  We had maybe 3 or 4 streams going on at the same time and everyone was working on something pretty great.

Official Post-Mortem Post

Thank you all again, it's been fun.

Friday, March 16, 2012

4 Hour Game Jam

Full post here.

The last one is way overdue and I got fed up with the servers over at YYG so I'm moving it.  Don't get me wrong, the people over at the YoYo Games Forums are great.  It's just when you have to wait several minutes every time you want to make a post, you get sick of it.

Anyone is welcome, not just game designers.  If you can draw, that'd be cool too.  Set up a Livestream or something.  Or storyboard writers, do that.  Or if you just want to chat or advertise whatever you're working on.  Everything is okay.  If you have a pulse you should most definitely join.

Saturday, 17 March, 2012 - 2:00 PM EST - 6:00 PM EST (GMT -5).

The jam will be posted entirely on the IRC channel.  A post-mortem will be posted on the 4 Hour Jam blog, with links to everyone's stuff (with your permission, of course).

Join us on the IRC at #4hourjam at

IRC: irc://

Online IRC Clients:
IRC: irc://

Other IRC Clients:
ChatZilla: Firefox addon
Miranda: Open-source standalone

Hope to see you there.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Film (Documentary) : Indie Game

Posted this on the side blog but it deserves a mention here.

I... really don't know what I'm doing.

I've spent enough time (five years?  six?) on indie game design that if I don't capitalize on it I'm put way behind.  Really shouldn't be doing this.

Should've went into the art of economics, where your job is to buy low and sell high and directly screw people over.

Should've went into the art of business, where your job is to lie and cheat people out of their investments.

Should've went into the art of law, where your job is to support clients you hate and positions you'd never bet your dinner on.

Instead I decide to be all, hey, I'm going to pursue a job I love and a job that doesn't directly take away from the world.


If you haven't noticed I've been really stressed out over this.  Sorry if this sounds a bit on the pretentious side.  It's just not the best of circumstances is all.