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16 Feb 17:11

Margate games: locating bullets with sound

by Seb Lee-Delisle

I’ve been working on a system that uses microphones to locate where a bullet has hit the wall, so that I can make a digital firing range using lasers and Nerf guns. Since I posted last, I’ve been thinking more about the history of arcades, first with traditional manned side-shows, and then in the 80s with the advent of computer game arcades.

I’m thinking that I could join all of these up to the present day – I’m planning on making a shooting game with 80s style laser projected asteroids that break apart when you hit them. I’m also thinking that a laser coconut shy is a ridiculously good idea that I can’t resist building.

I know I promised that I would explain my alternative bullet locating system that uses infrared lasers, but I’m holding off on that. In the last post I explained how I’m using piezo microphones to locate where the hit occurred. It’s a fragile system, and I honestly never expected it to work, but to my astonishment I’ve been getting some good results. Check out this video:

I’m going to keep the infrared laser solution as a plan B, but for now I’m optimistic about this sonic detection system.

This post first published on the Margate Games blog February 2014

21 Nov 22:39


by ladybird13
07 Jul 04:54

Every time!

Submitted by: qutmosh
Posted at: 2013-04-12 17:34:20
See full post and comment:

19 Jun 15:20

Mini Minions

by Bakerella

Minion Cake Pops

Despicable Me 2 is coming out soon (July 3, that is) and I made these mini Minions for the movie release. I was super excited to be asked to make them because I know a bunch of you have wanted decorating ideas on these in the past.

So here goes. I hope you like them.

Cake Pops

Crumbled cake. Frosting. Mixing. And shaping. You guys know the drill.

But if you don’t, I have a link at the bottom of the post for the full instructions on how to make them.

Minion Cake Pops

But pictures are way better, right.

Cake ball shapes

Okay, here’s a little tip I want to share on shaping. I think it really helps to get smoother edges. After you roll your mixture into evenly sized cake balls, you can use wax paper to help shape. I do this all the time for shapes that need sharper edges like boxes and such. You can simply slide the shape along a wax-paper covered surface and rotate.

And in the case of cylinders like these, start the shape of your cake ball cylinders by hand and then roll them up in a strip of wax paper. Twist the ends and then squeeze together while rolling on a flat surface to get smooth sides. It really works great.

Yellow Candy Coating

After your cake balls are shaped and chilled until firm, it’s time to dip……

Despicable Me 2 Cake Pops

And decorate! The fun part.

Hi Carl, Tom and Tim!

Candy Eyes

I found these candy eyes in two sizes and they made making the minions a blast. I found them at Hobby Lobby if you have one in your area, but you can also use white M&M’s, candy necklace pieces or even piped white coating for a similar look.

My first plan was to use the eyes like you see them, but I ended up turning them over instead. For two reasons… one, the Minions’ eyes are brown with black pupils so I could use the solid white side to draw on them. And two, if you turn the smaller eyes over, the backs are flat instead of curved and it looked more like their goggles were really raised off of their faces that way.

I know. Overkill and you can totally use the black sides and they will still look cute. But I wanted to try and make them look as close to the original as I could. Because I’m crazy.


To decorate…

  • Dip in yellow coating and before the coating dries, attach a candy eye on front and insert some black or chocolate jimmies on the top for hair.
  • For the goggles, you can use licorice strings to make the bands. Just cut to the length you need and attach to the pop with candy coating and let dry. Or pipe bands with black tinted candy coating.
  • When dry, you can paint the rims on the goggles using silver luster dust and a small brush.
  • For the overalls, gently twist the Minions off the stick so you can take them for another little dip. Submerge the bottom fourth of the minion body into blue candy coating and let dry.
  • To finish the overalls, pipe the bibs on front using a toothpick or squeeze bottle and more blue candy coating. Use a toothpick to quickly smooth the surface before it dries. Then pipe the straps starting at the top of the overall bib.

Minion Cake Pops

Super cute.

  • To finish decorating, draw eyes and a mouth with a brown edible ink pen. Then, complete the eyes with a black pen and dot the pupils with white candy coating. (Here’s another tip when it comes to drawing on candy coating with an edible ink pen. You can use a toothpick to gently scrape it off the surface of the pop. Doing so can help you create straighter lines if you mess up while drawing. You can also use a toothpick to shave away candy coating and make smoother edges or straighter lines. Just don’t press too hard.)
  • You can totally stop there and they will be awesome, but if you are compulsive and crazy like me, you can add more detail to your Minions.
  • Use a toothpick to apply yellow coating in a line on the side of each pop for arms and add a black confetti sprinkle attached at the end for gloves.
  • Apply two dots of blue coating on the bottom of each minion body and attach two coated black sunflower seeds for shoes.
  • Draw on two black dots for overall buttons with your edible ink pen and attach a black confetti sprinkle on the overall fronts. Use a toothpick dipped lightly in blue coating and draw a G on each confetti sprinkle for their patch. Again. They’ll be just as sweet arm and legless and you won’t be hairless by the time you finish. : )

Despicable Me 2 Cake Pops

Minions! Yay!

But I also made something more from the movie.

Cake balls

I started with these shapes.

Circles. Easy enough.

And really rounded cones. You can use the wax paper trick for those.

Agnes Cake Pops

The balls became little Agnes.

So adorable. And these are neat because I only used one candy to decorate. The rest was all melted candy coating. So you can do a lot with a little.


  • To create Agnes, make a small indention in the front of each ball. It’s all about details. The impression will help them look more like faces instead of round balls. Dip them in candy coating tinted using white and pink or peach to create a flesh color.
  • For her ponytail, I used licorice strings again, cut into short pieces. To make it easier to attach, I made the ponytails first by dotting some black candy coating on wax paper and attaching the licorice. This made the ponytail one unit and it was much easier than trying to attach the pieces on the top of the rounded pop.
  • When the ponytails are ready, dip the top of each Agnes’ head in black candy coating and attach her ponytail right on top before the coating dries.

Agnes Cake Pops

  • For her sweet little face, draw eyes and mouth with a brown edible ink pen. Draw on eyebrows and dot on eyes and eyelashes with black candy coating and a toothpick.
  • Add bangs using a toothpick dipped in black candy coating to draw on hair. This will tie in the look to the licorice pieces, too.
  • Then dot on noses and ears with more flesh tinted candy coating and make her hair band by drawing on red candy coating.
  • Give her sweet little cheeks by brushing on dry pink luster dust.

Now Agnes wouldn’t be complete without her favorite stuffed animal.

Want to see?

Unicorn Cake Pops

It’s so fluffy!!!!! Or yummy in this case.


For the unicorn, I used candy corn… sixlets for eyes and hair, sunflower seeds for ears and confetti sprinkles for tongues.

Let me show you.

Unicorn candy corn horns

For the unicorn horn, I had some pastel colored candy corn and cut them in half. Then I painted the bottoms with gold luster dust. Painting the bottoms first is helpful so you don’t get luster dust on the head if you paint them after they are dipped. And you can use other candy corn colors, too since you are painting over them.


The ears were sunflower seeds attached to the cake ball shape, so when they were dipped it created one overall shape.

After dipping, immediately attach the horn, eyes and insert the tongue.

When dry, attach sixlets to the back for hair using melted dark pink candy coating. The sixlets work great and give the hair substance.

Then you can finish painting the horns with luster dust.


To make them look more like a main, use the pink candy coating (Merckens brand) and draw on the surface of the candies. Drag the toothpick through to simulate hair.

Unicorn Cake Pops

Voila. Unicorns with big voluminous manes.

Want to see one more.

Did you know there are new minions in this movie. Evil ones. Eeek.

Evil Minion Cake Pops

I only made one of these but, it’s basically the same idea as the yellow minions, but with different colors, gnarly teeth and crazy hair.

Despicable Me 2 Cake Pops

Despicable Me 2 Cake Pop Instructions

Enjoy! And I can’t wait to see these guys on the big screen.

Munched Minion

Hey, who did that?!?


Disclosure: I was compensated to make Despicable Me Cake Pops for the upcoming movie release. I love these little guys though and I only make things on the site that I think you’ll enjoy, too. I hope they make you smile.

04 May 02:53

Wicked Fighting Game Background GIFs

by PauloGabriel
Wicked Fighting Game Background GIFs

Stop everything you're doing, because you can't continue with your head blown. That's right, because this is one of the freshest things you'll see around the web these days. For any of the gamers out there who've been in love with fighting games for a long time, this is for you!

Redditor RudeBootie has made an album consisting in 125 fighting game backgrounds as GIFs. That's right... remember all the arenas where you defeated your foes in the past? Well, they're back in a glorious way. In my opinion these below are some of the best you'll find in the collection, but don't be mistaken: they're all great! Check it out. Cheers! ;)

Wicked Fighting Game Background GIFs

Wicked Fighting Game Background GIFs

Wicked Fighting Game Background GIFs

Wicked Fighting Game Background GIFs

Wicked Fighting Game Background GIFs

Wicked Fighting Game Background GIFs

Wicked Fighting Game Background GIFs

Wicked Fighting Game Background GIFs

Wicked Fighting Game Background GIFs

Wicked Fighting Game Background GIFs

Wicked Fighting Game Background GIFs

Wicked Fighting Game Background GIFs

Wicked Fighting Game Background GIFs

Wicked Fighting Game Background GIFs

Wicked Fighting Game Background GIFs

Wicked Fighting Game Background GIFs

Wicked Fighting Game Background GIFs

Wicked Fighting Game Background GIFs

Wicked Fighting Game Background GIFs

Wicked Fighting Game Background GIFs

Wicked Fighting Game Background GIFs

Wicked Fighting Game Background GIFs

Wicked Fighting Game Background GIFs

Tags:  gif games illustration
19 Apr 02:25

Intro to npm

by Isaac

This was originally written for the Node Knockout blog, as part of their “Countdown to Knockout” series.

essay online

npm is a NodeJS package manager. As its name would imply, you can use it to install node programs. Also, if you use it in development, it makes it easier to specify and link dependencies.

Installing npm

First of all, install NodeJS. Like so much of the NodeJS ecosystem, npm is very young, so you’ll generally have to use a very recent version of node in order to use it. At the time of writing this, that means at least version 0.1.103.

To install npm in one command, you can do this:

curl | sh

Of course, if you’re more paranoid than lazy, you can also get the latest code, check it all out, and when you’re happy there’s nothing in there to pwn your machine, issue a make install or make dev.

what, no sudo?

I strongly encourage you not to do package management with sudo! Packages can run arbitrary scripts, which makes sudoing a package manager command as safe as a chainsaw haircut. Sure, it’s fast and definitely going to cut through any obstacles, but you might actually want that obstacle to stay there.

I recommend doing this once instead:

sudo chown -R $USER /usr/local

That sets your user account as the owner of the /usr/local directory, so that you can just issue normal commands in there. Then you won’t ever have to use sudo when you install node or issue npm commands.

It’s much better this way. /usr/local is supposed to be the stuff you installed, after all.

Getting help: npm help

npm has a lot of help documentation about all of its commands. The npm help command is your best friend. You can also tack --help onto any npm command to get help on that one command.

Installing stuff: npm install

You probably got npm because you want to install stuff. That’s what package managers do, they install stuff.

npm install blerg installs the latest version of blerg. You can also give install a tarball, a folder, or a url to a tarball. If you run npm install without any arguments, it tries to install the current folder.

This command can do a lot of stuff. npm help install will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about it.

Showing things: npm ls

The npm ls command shows what’s on your system, and also what’s available in the registry. The arguments are beautifully colored greps. For instance npm ls installed would show you what’s installed on your system. npm ls installed marak would show you all the packages installed on your system created by Marak.

npm help ls for more info.

Updating packages: npm update

The update command does a few things.

  1. Search the registry for new versions of all the packages installed.
  2. If there’s a newer version, then install it.
  3. Point dependent packages at the new version, if it satisfies their dependency.
  4. Remove the old versions, if no other package names them as a dependency.

So basically, update behaves a lot like a “standard” package manager’s update command, except that it also checks to make sure that the new version isn’t going to break anything before it points stuff at it.

You see, npm keeps you out of dependency hell.

Development: npm link

The link command symlinks a package folder into your system, so that changes are automatically reflected. It also installs the "dependencies" and "devDependencies" packages from your package.json file.

This is one of the most useful tools for developing programs with node. Give your thing a name and a version in a package.json file. Specify a few dependencies and a main module. Then run npm link, and go to town coding it and testing it out in the node repl. It’s great.

npm is a development tool, first and foremost. People sometimes say “Yeah, I haven’t gotten time to check out that package manager stuff yet. Maybe I will when my code is more stable.”

That’s like saying that you’re going to start using source control when your code is done. It’s just silly. Source control should make your process easier, and if it doesn’t, then you’re using a broken SCM. Same for package management. It should make it easier, and if it doesn’t, then something is wrong.

npm isn’t “for” publishing. That’s just something it can do. It’s “for” playing. That’s why I wrote it: to play with your code, without having to remember a dozen different ways to install your stuff, or having to get you all to structure your code the same way.

It’s supposed to make the process funner.

Making a Package: The package.json file.

The package.json file goes in the root of your package. It tells npm how your package is structured, and what to do to install it.

Most of the time, you only need the "name", "version", and "main" fields (even for node-waf compiled addons).

If you don’t know json, then it’s about time you learn it. It’s pretty easy.

Use npm help json to learn which fields npm cares about. Basically, it’s as simple as putting the package.json file in the root of your project, and then telling it how to get to your code.

Seriously. It’s incredibly easy. If you disagree, please let me know.

Acquiring Fame: npm publish

So, you created a package, and you can install it. Now you want the everlasting fame and glory that comes with other people using your code. There is no better way to ensure your immortality than eventually being a part of every web app out there, and the best—nay, the ONLY—way to truly accomplish this is to publish nodejs packages.

First, create a user account with npm adduser. Give it a username, password, and email address, and it’ll create an account on the npm registry. (You can also use adduser to authorize a user account on a new machine, or fix the situation if you break your configs.)

Next, go to the root of your package code, and do npm publish.

Bam. Done.

Now go to the mailing list and tell everyone how much more awesome they’d be if they used your program.

Dependency Hell Isn’t Fun

Most systems have a single root namespace. That kind of sucks. If two different things depend on different versions of the same dependency, then you’ve got two options:

  1. Statically compile the dependency into the program.
  2. Hate life.

Option #2 is Not Fun. So eff that noise. That sucks, and is dumb.

Option #1 is less than ideal if you want to be able to abstract out parts of your program and benefit from updates to the dependencies.

Thankfully, unlike most programming environments, the CommonJS Securable Module system lets you avoid dependency hell by modifying the require.paths at runtime, so that each package sees the version that it depends on.

I think that’s pretty cool.

What to do when npm lets you down

npm’s pretty young software, and still being actively developed. Especially if you find yourself using some newer features, occasionally npm will have a bug. Or, perhaps equally likely, you’ll need npm to do something that it doesn’t yet do, and want to request a feature.

You can post bugs and feature requests on the issues page. If you want to ask general questions, you can ask on the google group.

Or, if you’re more the instant gratification type, you can come ask questions in IRC on the #node.js channel on If I’m there, I’ll try to help you out, but this community continues to impress me with its helpfulness. Noders rock!

16 Mar 21:52

Someone smash it

Submitted by: natashaderrick
Posted at: 2013-03-13 20:27:00
See full post and comment:

16 Mar 04:57

Hitler finds out Google Reader is shutting down

Hitler finds out Google Reader is shutting down