Thursday, March 30, 2006

Links Buffet

All kinds of topics. All you can eat.

First off, a thorough article on the state of hardware physics acceleration over at Extreme Tech. When I was lauding Nvidia's plan to support physics acceleration via the GPU last week, I was premature. It appears that Nvidia is an "eye-candy" solution only, unless you want to take a significant performance hit. Here's an excerpt:
The neat thing about doing physics work on the GPU is that all those physically simulated objects would have to be rendered anyway. Now you can send the geometry to the video card once, it can perform the physics operations, and then it can immediately move to rendering the object without waiting to send it back to the main system RAM. The drawback of this is that the game no longer knows where those objects are, so this advantage limits Havok FX physics to eye-candy effects. We're told there is nothing to prevent the game from reading back the data from the graphics card, but this has an impact on performance.

It also discusses what ATI is doing in the same arena, as well as Ageia with PhysX. Here's the link:,1697,1943838,00.asp.

Here's something totally goofy that Dan Clarke sent me last week: the Monk-E-Mail. It's utterly ridiculous and completely funny. And you can use it to pester your friends. Here's the link:

From Jack Harper, a link to an article over at ZDNet about Digital Rights Management. According to author David Berlind, DRM should be renamed CRAP. That's Content, Restriction, Annulment and Protection. Works for me, and here's the link:

From Erik Noble, a link to a fly-through movie (courtesy of NASA) of the largest canyon in the solar system. From the video:
Mariner Valley is 10 times longer, 5 times deeper, and 20 times wider than Earth's Grand Canyon.

It's awesome, and here's the link:

From David Gloier, a link to a story about light-transmitting concrete. Amazing as well as beautiful.

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