The team referenced a lot of Ernst Haeckel, the German Biologist who rendered by hand surreal organisms that resembled graphic prismatic coral structures [...] The IsoSurface housing Quorra's DNA had to be broken down and unwrapped in order to be accessed. To accomplish this, Flynn used a Voronoi Noise algorithim that suspended the heart by spherically wraping around it, allowing him to wade through an web-like interface to break open the DNA.
Is that cool or what? The gstreamer plug-in creates a virtual 6502 CPU hardware environment and then plays the music by running a bit of 6502 code for a little while and then looking at the resulting values in the virtualized sound hardware registers and then rendering some sound samples based on that. [...]
There is a near total lack of bounds checking on proposed ROM mappings. This applies to be the initial ROM load, as well as subsequent ROM bank switching. [...]
However, a second logic quirk of this particular emulator makes things more serious: 2. Ability to load or bank switch ROM to writable memory locations. [...] As can be appreciated, we now have a lot of read and write control over the host emulator heap and the more experienced exploit writers will realize that successful exploitation is already all but assured. [...]
There's a critical reason that decent, reliable exploitation was possible with this bug: the presence of some form of "scripting" language. In this case, that script happens to be 6502 opcodes.
It is amazing that bank switching is the key to an exploit on modern computers, however, it shouldn't really be all that surprising: everyone knows that bank switching is what made the T-800 possible.
If screen savers still have an eschatological tinge for me, it's also because of their own demise. We no longer need them now, when our phones nudge us at all hours, our inboxes bloat, and dystopian headlines scorch themselves onto our consciousnesses. Our laptops, when we look away from them, have optimized screen protection with a bland and dreamless sleep mode. What we abandoned with the death of screen savers -- themselves testifiers of disuse -- was a culture that could accept walking away from life onscreen.
Might we call the screen saver an artistic ideal? F. T. Marinetti, in 1909, planted the flag of futurism in the art world with the following declaration: "Up to now, literature has extolled a contemplative stillness, rapture, and reverie. We intend to glorify aggressive action, a restive wakefulness, life at the double, the slap and the punching fist." Despite screen savers' frequent tendency towards futurist abstractions, they revel in the stillness, rapture, and reverie Marinetti despised. Their banality approaches sublimity. Of course, we're now used to the heroic nostalgia with which custodians of culture acquire relics from the Internet's own dusty, evanescent museum. As emoticons, computer games, and GIFs are exhumed and then corralled into prestige institutions to be coated with the respectable patina of Art, we marvel at how what once was ubiquitous or clunky can now be considered aesthetically or conceptually profound. But of all the overlooked digital antiques of the computer's youth, perhaps the most thrilling is the screen saver. Visually mesmerizing, intellectually engaging, and nearly decommodified, the best screen savers achieve the virtues of multiple art movements. They even make a damning statement: the faintest human touch breaks their spell. [...]
You can't consume a screen saver in an instant. You can't fast-forward or rewind one. The genre, its own kind of endurance art, shuns immediacy. Fugitives from time, screen savers possess no real beginning or end. Their ouroboric nature is perhaps why preservations on YouTube, whether ten minutes or twelve hours long, tend to evoke disenchantment. Decades ago, stumbling upon a screen saver in a shared living room -- or perhaps finding an entire office full of them at lunchtime, cubicles lambent with workers' judiciously chosen modules -- likely signaled your own solitude. When you're watching one intentionally, that feeling never arrives. [...]
Then there are the slick stock photographs of fjords and aurora borealis so endemic to LCD and plasma, the islands we long to be marooned on. Screen savers depict what we desire -- often with a Ken Burns panning effect. [...]
If the nineties and early aughts were a time of collaborative whimsy for screen savers, our current era treats them as an afterthought. Inspecting my laptop's default modes, which include jubilant penguins, pastoral landscapes, and the cosmos, it becomes apparent that today's screen savers are designed to tranquilize. That's a shame. The screen savers of my youth told me life was full of rapture and reverie, and stillness, too.
When a city decides your business is toxic to their community, buy off the state legislature to overrule them.
Uber and Lyft will relaunch services in Austin on Monday, now that Texas lawmakers have passed a bill overriding local regulations on ride-hailing companies. [...]
Uber and Lyft left Austin after the Austin City Council passed an ordinance in December 2015 requiring ride-hailing companies to perform fingerprint background checks on drivers, a stipulation that already applies to Austin taxi companies.
Uber and Lyft fiercely opposed the rules, gathering petition signatures to force a public vote and spending nearly $9 million on an unsuccessful campaign asking voters to overturn the regulations. Following the vote, both companies halted services in Austin, and the resulting ride-hailing vacuum attracted several start-up ride-hailing apps that agreed to comply with the city's rules. [...]
Following the passage of the bill in both chambers, Austin Mayor Steve Adler issued a statement saying he was "disappointed" the Legislature voted to nullify regulations the city had implemented.
"Our city should be proud of how we filled the gap created when Uber and Lyft left, and we now must hope that they return ready to compete in a way that reflects Austin's values," Adler wrote.