Dear Google, Dear USA

I am so angry I even write a blog entry. If you check my blog history you can see that is really something special.

So far I used Google Analytics to get some information about my blog. From where, how often, how long, and so on. It is a very good service and the results are really good. Now, after the latest news about PRISM and Co. I started to think about the privacy statements of that service again. If Google tells me  in their terms of services that my data related to visitors is stored secure and confidential than I am not sure anymore who and where my data is stored elsewhere and what happens with it.

Every week another piece of informations drops into the public about secret surveillance programs. What exactly these programs do is still unknown. From official site everything is legal and we should be glad that these systems make our life more secure. But how? That’s secret, too. Of course these systems are controlled – by secret rules of course. The fact that PRISM is an United States System also means that as an non US citizen you have no right at all for asking which data is stored about you. (You can ask the companies, but in case of a national security letter you will get no useful answer).

All secret surveillance programs in general have one big flaw. They are the exact opposite of freedom and democracy. How can people vote for a party to form a government if politicians do things nobody is allowed to know? How can justice work it is not possible to control the judges?

What can I do? Unfortunately not much. At first I decided to remove Google Analytics. It is really not much but at least I can express my anger about it. Sorry Google, but there is not enough trust in your system (and server location) anymore. Now I am using Piwik and count visitors on my own server. This also improves privacy for visitors because this information can not be used to track surfing behavior across different websites.

NeoAxis Game Engine

While working with Ogre3D and reading the news on their page I found a project called NeoAxis. A game engine using Ogre for graphic rendering written in C#. The screenshots are promising and the feature list contains everything I need. Physics, graphics, input control and last but not least support for multiple platforms.

I have downloaded the NeoAxis SDK and started a bit to work with it. The demos in the SDK are great. All features are shown in one big game. In this game is a long corridor with many doors. You can walk thru in first person view  and enter door by door. Behind every door one feature is shown. The source code for the demos can be found in the SDK, too, to see how it works. For some genres there are finished templates available. For example first and third persons games. You only have to find the right demo and change the code for your needs. The wiki contains documentation of the basic structure of NeoAxis and refers to the right demo source code. The main development platform for NeoAxis is MS Visual Studio but there is an deployment tool which builds and prepares packages for different platforms.

After some programming with NeoAxis and a good impression I also found some problems which made this sdk not the first choose for me. Here are some of the reasons I stopped working with it. The deployment tool delivers windows and mac binaries. For Linux is the advised solution to take wine. Ok, that will work but is not really a good solution because the user has to do a lot of work to get the software running. Due to visual studio is the  development platform it was a bit unconvenient to reboot every time I would like to develop with NeoAxis. A virtual machine was not enough because of heavy use of shaders in the graphic engine. The result was 3fps instead of 250fps during the demos. The style the documentation is written make it hard to start. Everything is in the demo code and you search the parts you need. An answer how to develop and deploy more than one application with a single installation I have never found. Except to install the sdk multiple times…

NeoAxis  is worth a look for you if you search for a C# based game engine. The graphic is nice and there are already existing templates to modify. Perhaps I did not find the right documentation to get a good access to it. And last if  you develop on windows than many problems I have had you probably will not have.

Stop ACTA

Last saturday the 25th a demonstration against ACTA took place here in nuremberg. In my opinion it will a big mistake to sign this contract.

Picture of ACTA Demonstration take in middle the of all people with signs.

Construction Yard

After updating all services on my server there is only service left: my not very often updated blog.

Again spammer found a way to bypass my spam protection and I had to delete all unwelcome comments manually. Now its clean again and I can start with some more useful work. As long as it will take to finish the last tuning tasks this site will still be a construction yard. So please be patient if something does not work for example the comment feature….

Spring clean up

I am just clean up the blog from unwelcome comments and modified a bit the spam protection. The simple standard protection was very good in the beginning but now it seems to be no really obstacle for the most spamming bots anymore. At least I can see that every day hundreds of spam comments could be committed and I had to erase them manually. Unfortunately I also erased some real comments and now I need to find them again… By the way, WordPress cannot erase 500 spam message in one run. My webserver told me the URL is to long…

Six month later

Time is running fast. Really fast. And sometimes too fast. Thats the reason why the gap between this and the last blog entry is about six month.

No blog entry does not mean that nothing did happen during this time. In fact many things happened and due to the limited number of hours a day  some task had to suffer a bit. Blogging was one of them. Stay tuned.

Late start

After some holiday and the first weeks at work again the new year can start. Due to the first month is nearly over best wishes for the next 11 month.

Cite of the day

At my workplace we have started an advents calendar with famous computer scientist. Every day I choose a new entry I prepare it in the night before and tonight my choice was Alan Kay. He developed Smalltalk and object oriented programming systems. One famous cite of him:

„I invented the term Object-Oriented, and I can tell you I did not have C++ in mind.“

I started with C++ as first object oriented language, too, and was pretty sure its a nice language. Its still an very important language but now I have seen some more object oriented languages and know that there are much better solutions… Thats why I can give full acknowledgment to his statement.

Its done!

The last weeks I spend some time with moving to a new flat. Now its done and I feel quite well in the new environment. It will be the start of a new episode in my life.