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How Video Games Influence Network Modelling

An acquaintance of mine recently wrote an increasingly popular article on the negative effects of client authoritative network modelling as it applies to online multiplayer video games. Specifically, the enabling of "cheaters" when client machines are given priority over the server. Glenn Fiedler is a respected software engineer who has worked on several AAA video game titles over the years and most recently finished working as the lead software engineer for Titanfall by Respawn Entertainment before moving on to start his own business where he specializes in network technology for - you guessed it - video games.

 

Glenn's original article discusses the problems with this network model and the reasoning behind developing these solutions from a server authoritative model is the only way to ensure the best experience for gamers:
http://gafferongames.com/2016/04/25/never-trust-the-client/

 

The article has since been picked up by several major online publishers, some of which I have listed here.

 

Ars Technica: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/04/analysis-the-division-may-need-complete-rewrite-to-fix-hacking-problems/

 

Developer Tech: http://www.developer-tech.com/news/2016/apr/27/ex-programmer-respawn-and-sony-criticises-divisions-network-model/

 

PC Gamer: http://www.pcgamer.com/veteran-network-programmer-says-the-division-needs-a-complete-rewrite/

 

Games Radar: http://www.gamesradar.com/why-the-division-is-broken-online-according-to-a-former-god-of-war-titanfall-dev/

 

The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/apr/26/hackers-cheats-ruined-the-division-pc-ubisoft

 

Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/thedivision/comments/4gjlh5/network_expert_gives_his_opinion_on_hacking_in/

 

And the list goes on...  I've left out links to articles that Glenn himself has flagged as being too inflammatory or negative in general. Glenn was simply attempting to help the gaming community at large understand what the problem is with The Division from the viewpoint of a seasoned software engineer who has literally written the correct type of code himself with a great level of success.

 

As a software developer myself, I not only find this interesting but also very familiar. When we're developing software at REM we always take into account the potential actions of the client machines accessing our software and the best ways to circumvent problems without negatively impacting the website visitor's experience.

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Domain Management vs. DNS Hosting

After 7 months of being first-level support for REM, I have found one of the most commonly asked questions: "What's the difference between Domain Management and DNS Hosting?" Since we offer both of these services, I'd like to take a minute to explain them for you!

 

Domain Management 

Every website and email address has a domain; in the case of REM Web Solutions, our domain is: remwebsolutions.com. It is the most basic and critical aspect to your business' online presence, it is how people find you. REM offers a domain management service to you, and what this means is we register your domain name with a registrar and ensure that your renewals are up to date as well as manage where your domain points to (a.k.a. Nameservers).  

 

DNS Hosting

At REM we also offer the service of hosting your DNS (we become the Nameserver mentioned above). When I first started working here at REM, DNS Hosting was explained to me as being a phonebook (an analogy that makes complete sense to me!) Basically, every service that comes along with your domain (websites and emails) has specific addresses and numbers to them. When we host your domain, we have a list of all your DNS records. For example: I ask the internet to take me to www.remwebsolutions.com, the internet looks to the registrar to find the Nameserver, once it knows where to look - in this case REM's DNS server - it goes there and finds the IP address that the website is sitting on, and goes to that address!

 

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WebWiz@rd Training With Todd

Almost two weeks ago now REM hired another team member: Todd Hannigan!  

 

Todd is REM's new Customer Success Manager and I have the pleasure of introducing him to the WebWiz@rd tools over the past few days.  Each day we have jumped into a new module (or two) and I have shown him the basic and more advanced features of our tools.  We still have a number of modules to cover, but I think that we have made great progress so far.

 

Todd is an active, engaged learner and I am confident that our clients are going to be very pleased with Todd's attention to detail, his eagerness to help and his personality!

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My stamps! You ruined my stamps!

"... Not to mention five years of therapy!"

 

Maniac Mansion: Day Of The Tentacle (DOTT)

 

Most of you are probably scratching your head at this point. I wouldn't blame you, really. That is arguably an obscure and mostly unknown quote. But it's also one that had me howling with laughter in the early 1990s as a teenager.

 

 

Maniac Mansion: Day Of The Tentacle (DOTT) is and always will be one of my all-time favourite video games. While it can be broken down in definition to a simple, point and click adventure game (a genre that has received many refreshing new titles in the past few years to help bring in new and old fans alike), it's also one of the funniest stories ever told.  I kid you not that I was so crazily obsessed with this game that I used the characters for a family tree project in my grade 9 high school French class. It seemed befitting, given that the zany host of characters this game includes all act like a dysfunctional family that you can't help feeling connected with by the conclusion of this hilarious adventure.

 

Maniac Mansion: Day Of The Tentacle (DOTT)

 

Now, you might also wonder why I'm even writing about this circa 1993 game. I don't typically utilize my blogging time to wax nostalgic about old entertainment products. In this case, however, it seemed like a great time to do so since some of the original developers of DOTT have recently released a "Remastered" version of the game. I snapped it up through Steam and managed to get my four-year-old immediately hooked on the game. This is both good and bad. Good because I am having a blast playing through the game again (for probably the zillionth time) and bad because I have to wait long periods between play times so that he doesn't miss out; four-year-olds and their inability to stay up late and their limited screen time. You may know how that goes.

 

Maniac Mansion: Day Of The Tentacle (DOTT)

 

So, back in 1993 I was lucky enough to own the MS-DOS version of this game that came on 3 1/2" floppy disks.  At the time, I did not yet have a CD-ROM drive for my PC, so the "full talkie" version of the game (as games with fully recorded dialog were referred to back then) was not an option. I probably installed that game a hundred times over the years and always made sure it was included in every new PC I built from there on. If you play through this game one time, you'll understand why it is a beloved treasure of mine.  LucasArts (yes, a division of THAT Lucas, of Star Wars fame) were the original developers of the game, and one of the original designers of the game is also at the helm of the company (Double Fine) that produced the newly released Remastered edition. Shout out to Tim Schafer!

 

Maniac Mansion: Day Of The Tentacle (DOTT)

 

I can't possibly do this video game the justice it deserves in a full review, but I'll leave you with some fun links and videos to check out if you're interested in learning more or picking up a copy for yourself. I can assure you that if you have any sense of humour you will not be disappointed.

 

Check out the official trailer for the Remastered edition: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6v-zGTzNCE

 

Check out the making of this glorious production:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjF4eMrYfG0&list=PLIhLvue17Sd6qEN1FU1NmGNJGEQTeDhvt

 

Check out PC Gamer's review of the game:
http://www.pcgamer.com/day-of-the-tentacle-remastered-review/

 

To purchase this game, you can find it on Steam, Gog, and possibly other online retailers, as well as on your PS4 or XBOX One.
Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/388210/

GOG: https://www.gog.com/game/day_of_the_tentacle_remastered

 

For more great videos produced by Two Player Productions:

https://www.youtube.com/user/2PlayerProductions

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLIhLvue17Sd7F6pU2ByRRb0igiI-WKk3D

Maniac Mansion: Day Of The Tentacle (DOTT)

 

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The Road Ahead

the road ahead

 

 

I am excited to announce that my team has grown so strong with such a clear direction for our various projects that I am able to move on to new challenges outside of REM.

 

It was a fantastic 6 year journey that was filled with amazing accomplishments and many, many, many proud moments.

 

My connections with REM are still very deep, even as I move on to my new adventures and I am committed to making sure that everyone is carefully transitioned into the new normal.

 

I want to personally thank Rob Matlow for the opportunity he has provided me at REM, and the entire team for building such a strong and vibrant culture.

 

I look toward the road ahead and see great things.  I will fondly look toward the road behind and see the same.

 

Onward and Upward!

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REM Staff Bio - Todd Hannigan

At Work

Role at REM:  

Customer Success Manager

 

Education:  

Micro Computer Applications - Programming

 

Work Experience:  

30 Years

 

Something That Makes Me Smile at Work:  

Solving the impossible

 

Favourite

Web site: 

https://www.vat19.com/

 

Books:  

Despicable Me 2 - Giant Colouring and Activity Book

 

Food:  

Bacon Explosion

 

TV Show:  

The Big Bang Theory

 

Musical Artists:

The Police

 

Time of Day:  

4:00 AM

 

Season:  

Summer

 

Places in the World:  

Double Dragon Martial Arts

 

Recreational Activities/Hobbies:

Kung Fu

 

Sport:

Kung Fu

 

App:  

LCBO

 

Least Favourite

Food:  

Chicken's Feet


Activity: 

Watching paint dry


Time of Day: 

7:00 AM


Season: 

Winter


Place:  

Doctor's office

 

More Info

Best Thing Someone Said to You: 

“Cold calling is Life's punishment for not asking for referrals!”

 

Life Motto: 

Look before you leap

 

My Hero: 

My children

 

One of the Things I Find Fascinating:  

Space travel

 

Most People Don’t Know This About Me:  

I am never funny and I am never sarcastic

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WiFi - Part 1

In the late 19th century we began manipulating the electromagnetic spectrum in order to transfer information across short and long distances. In the beginning all we knew how to do was disrupt the EM spectrum, creating simple audible beeps. Using a combination of long and short disruptions/beeps, a person could convert the pattern into letters and numbers (Morse code).

 

While the use of this new communication method allowed for people to communicate across long distances, it was really more of a glorified smoke signal. Beeps aren’t a very natural communication method. Luckily we figured out how to send audio over the same type of radio signal by making more fine-grained disruptions to the signal.

In the latter half of the 20th century there was need to send even more complex data over radio signals. By making even more complex changes we discovered how to send binary digital information across radio signals.

 

So how the heck does this all work? Radio signals are part of the electromagnetic spectrum which is essentially light. Now, it isn’t the visible light we typically think of. Take a look at this diagram:

 

electromagnetic spectrum

 

Look at the red line that shows the range of wavelengths that make up the spectrum. Radio signals use longer waves such as 30Hz, as they pass through objects like buildings well and can travel great distances. But wait, why doesn’t my wireless router have range much wider than the outside of my house? When I look at the box for my wireless router it says something like 2.4GHz or 5GHz, that’s way higher than the frequency used by radio. That is true, and the reason is an issue with bandwidth.... and I'll continue this in my next post, WiFI Part 2.

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Fun Facts About Avocados

I love avocados! They taste great, they’re good for you and they’re filling. It’s a good
mid-afternoon snack on its own, dressed with condiments or spread over toast. I love them so much that I decided to do some research, draw a cute avocado character and design an infographic about them.

Fun Facts About Avocados by Christine Alon

Sources:

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-9744/11-fun-facts-about-avocados.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/08/26/avocado-health-facts-didnt-dont-know_n_3786419.html
http://www.epicurious.com/archive/blogs/editor/2013/04/ten-avocado-facts.html
https://www.avocadocentral.com/nutrition/avocados-good-fats-heart-health
 

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RRRROLL Up The Rim

When Tim Hortons decided to release their “Roll-Up the Rim to Win” campaign cups again, we here are REM decided to keep track of our results.

 

It was simple: we made a Win column and a Loss column with a couple of cute illustrations and a dry-erase marker taped to our whiteboard so that we had a way of tallying up wins and losses.

 

There was only one rule: Only coffees that were bought while at the office were valid for the chart.

 

Turns out we drank 35 coffees with 5 wins and 30 losses; easily worked out to be 1 in 6. I believe this is on par with what Tim's says their averages are.

 

How well did you do rolling up the rims, and have you ever really kept track?

 

#wedrinkalotofcoffee

 

Tim Hortons Roll up the Rim to Win Chart

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Our new support packages

Every website designed at REM comes with our superior support packages offering our customers everything they need for an on-going successful website.  Most web companies develop a website, then afterwards leave you on your own to figure things out.  At REM we work hard constantly to make sure we are there for our customers.  

 

Every support package comes with the following:

  • Direct access to our dedicated support staff
  • 24 hour access to emergency response team
  • Proactive domain security services
  • Ultra reliable and free web, email & DNS hosting
  • Automatic WebWiz@rd software upgrades

 

Our silver, gold, platinum and diamond packages all come with additional staff support to suit custom support needs.

 

Contact us today to find out more about how REM does things differently.  You can finally get the help you need from experienced web professionals.

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Contributors

Ryan Covert
45
May 4, 2016
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Todd Hannigan
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April 18, 2016
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Christine Alon
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April 11, 2016
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Sean Sanderson
51
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