Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Games

The Psychology of Achievement In Playing Games 80

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-you-don't-get-points-for-reading-this dept.
A post on Pixel Poppers looks at the psychological underpinnings of the types of challenges offered by different game genres, and the effect those challenges have on determining which players find the games entertaining. Quoting: "To progress in an action game, the player has to improve, which is by no means guaranteed — but to progress in an RPG, the characters have to improve, which is inevitable. ... It turns out there are two different ways people respond to challenges. Some people see them as opportunities to perform — to demonstrate their talent or intellect. Others see them as opportunities to master — to improve their skill or knowledge. Say you take a person with a performance orientation ('Paul') and a person with a mastery orientation ('Matt'). Give them each an easy puzzle, and they will both do well. Paul will complete it quickly and smile proudly at how well he performed. Matt will complete it quickly and be satisfied that he has mastered the skill involved. Now give them each a difficult puzzle. Paul will jump in gamely, but it will soon become clear he cannot overcome it as impressively as he did the last one. The opportunity to show off has disappeared, and Paul will lose interest and give up. Matt, on the other hand, when stymied, will push harder. His early failure means there's still something to be learned here, and he will persevere until he does so and solves the puzzle."
Image

Teenager Invents Cheap Solar Panel From Human Hair 366 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the 50-watt-shampoo dept.
Renoise writes "Milan Karki, 18, who comes from a village in rural Nepal, believes he has found the solution to the developing world's energy needs. A solar panel made from human hair. The hair replaces silicon, a pricey component typically used in solar panels, and means the panels can be produced at a low cost for those with no access to power. The solar panel, which produces 9 volts (18 watts) of energy, costs around $38 US (£23) to make from raw materials. Gentlemen, start your beards. The future of hair farming is here!"
Image

Geeks Prefer Competence To Niceness 300 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the catching-more-geeks-with-vinegar dept.
Death Metal writes "While everyone would like to work for a nice person who is always right, IT pros will prefer a jerk who is always right over a nice person who is always wrong. Wrong creates unnecessary work, impossible situations and major failures. Wrong is evil, and it must be defeated. Capacity for technical reasoning trumps all other professional factors, period."
Power

Expanding the Electricity Grid May Be a Mistake 412

Posted by kdawson
from the big-systems-thinking-needed dept.
Perhaps T. Boone Pickens was onto something. Al writes "An article in Technology Review argues that plans to string new high-voltage lines across the US to bring wind power from the midsection of the country to the coasts, could be an expensive mistake. What's needed instead are improved local and regional electricity transmission, the development of an efficient and adaptable smart grid, and the demonstration of technology such as carbon capture and sequestration, which could prove a cheaper way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions than transmitting power from North Dakota to New York City."
First Person Shooters (Games)

ArenaLive, an Open Source MMOFPS 95

Posted by Soulskill
from the free-as-in-frag dept.
ZeXx86 writes "ArenaLive is a new open source game based on the well-known OpenArena. Its aim is to become an open-source alternative to id Software's QuakeLive. The main idea is to make a game available in your web browser. So far, the game is playable and provides player stats, straight-forward settings for your account in a web browser and, of course, loads of fun with your friends. At the moment, it is available only for 32/64bit Mozilla Firefox on GNU/Linux, however, support for other platforms and browsers is coming soon. The game is licensed under GNU/GPL2. It's still in an early development stage, so players and developers both are welcome to join."
Real Time Strategy (Games)

Blizzard Confirms No LAN Support For Starcraft 2 737

Posted by Soulskill
from the also-no-telegraph-compatibility-mode dept.
Kemeno writes "Blizzard has announced that they will be dropping LAN support for Starcraft II, citing piracy and quality concerns. Instead, all multiplayer games will be hosted through their new Battle.net service. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by this move, but wasn't LAN play how the original Starcraft became popular? Blizzard said, 'More people on Battle.net means ... even more resources devoted to evolving this online platform to cater to further community building and new ways to enjoy the game online. World of Warcraft is a great example of a game that has evolved beyond anyone's imagination since their Day 1 and will continue to do so to better the player experience for as long as players support the title. ... We would not take out LAN if we did not feel we could offer players something better.'"
Programming

Does the 'Hacker Ethic' Harm Today's Developers? 436

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the someone-needs-to-be-a-maverick dept.
snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister questions whether the 'hacker ethic' synonymous with computer programing in American society is enough for developers to succeed in today's economy. To be sure, self-taught 'cowboy coders' — the hallmark of today's programming generation in America — are technically proficient, McAllister writes, 'but their code is less likely to be maintainable in the long term, and they're less likely to conform to organizational development processes and coding standards.' And though HTC's Vineet Nayar's proclamation that American programmers are 'unemployable' is overblown, there may be wisdom in offering a new kind of computer engineering degree targeted toward the student who is more interested in succeeding in industry than exploring computing theory. 'American software development managers often complain that Indian programmers are too literal-minded,' McAllister writes, but perhaps Americans have swung the pendulum too far in the other direction. In other words, are we 'too in love with the hacker ideal of the 1980s to produce programmers who are truly prepared for today's real-life business environment?'"
Education

Computer Science Major Is Cool Again 328

Posted by kdawson
from the on-average-we-all-have-jobs dept.
netbuzz sends along a piece from Network World reporting that the number of computer science majors enrolled at US universities increased for the first time in six years, according to new survey data out this morning. The Taulbee Study found that the number of undergraduates signed up as computer science majors rose 8% last year. The survey was conducted last fall, just as the economic downturn started to bite. The article notes the daunting competition for positions at top universities: Carnegie Mellon University received 2,600 applications for 130 undergrad spots, and 1,400 for 26 PhD slots. "...the popularity of computer science majors among college freshmen and sophomores is because IT has better job prospects than other specialties, especially in light of the global economic downturn. ... The latest unemployment numbers for 2008 for computer software engineers is 1.6%... That's beyond full employment. ... The demand for tech jobs may rise further thanks to the Obama Administration's stimulus package, which could create nearly 1 million new tech jobs."
Privacy

Cities View Red Light Cameras As Profit Centers 740

Posted by timothy
from the criminalize-everything-spread-the-guilt dept.
Houston 2600 writes "Chicago could rake in 'at least $200 million' a year — and wipe out the entire projected deficit for 2009 — by using its vast network of redlight and surveillance cameras to hunt down uninsured motorists, aldermen were told today. The system pitched to the City Council's Transportation Committee by Michigan-based InsureNet would work only if insurance companies were somehow compelled to report the names and license plates of insured motorists. That's already happening daily in 13 states, but not here."
Medicine

Brain Decline Begins At Age 27 381

Posted by timothy
from the mine-started-before-that dept.
krou writes "The BBC is reporting that a new study suggests that our mental abilities start to dwindle at 27 after peaking at 22, and 27 could be seen as the 'start of old age.' The seven-year study, by Professor Timothy Salthouse of the University of Virginia, looked at 2,000 healthy people aged 18-60, and used a number of mental agility tests already used to spot signs of dementia. 'The first age at which there was any marked decline was at 27 in tests of brain speed, reasoning and visual puzzle-solving ability. Things like memory stayed intact until the age of 37, on average, while abilities based on accumulated knowledge, such as performance on tests of vocabulary or general information, increased until the age of 60.'"

My computer can beat up your computer. - Karl Lehenbauer

Working...