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Submission + - The BBC Announces Robot Wars' Return to TV (

Blacklaw writes: The BBC has announced that Robot Wars, the classic metal-mashing amateur robotics competition, is returning for a new series. New technologies have been promised, along with an all-new battle arena — following the sale of the original for scrap in 2005.

Submission + - UK's National Crime Agency Publishes Crazy Cyber-Crime Warning Signs (

Blacklaw writes: The UK's National Crime Agency, formerly known as the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, has published a list of warning signs that a child may be heading to a life of cyber-crime — including late nights and showing any kind of interest at all in programming, even as the UK government pushes coding into the national education curriculum.

Submission + - The Arachnid Labs Tsunami: An Arduino Derivative for Signals Work (

Blacklaw writes: Electronics specialist oomlout has posted a hands-on preview of the Arachnid Labs Tsunami, an Arduino Leonardo-based tool for signals work. Compatible with the Arduino IDE, the Tsunami allows for signal generation and analysis up to around 2MHz and uses a permissively-licensed open-hardware design. Suggested uses include measuring the frequency response of audio equipment, building homebrew AGPRS modems, and even communicating with vintage eight-bit home computers through the Kansas City Standard — all using simple Wiring-like instructions. The project is currently crowd-funding on Kickstarter, and has already reached its goal with three days left to run.

Submission + - Japanese Developer Builds Virtual Reality Table-Flipping Simulator (

Blacklaw writes: Created by Katsuomi Kobayashi using an Arduino microcontroller, the Unity game engine and an Oculus Rift headset, the chabudai gaeshi simulator brings the Japanese idiom of flipping the table in anger to (safe) life. Taking gameplay cues from the meme, the game sees players physically flip a hinged table-top with the Arduino and an accelerometer tracking movement and replicating it in the virtual world of the game. More than just a home version of esoteric Japanese arcade game Cho Chabudai Gaeshi , Katsuomi's build is clever and uniquely Japanese.

People who have actually done Overturning a Table in Anger are, I think, very few — and it's too dangerous to do normally, and is harder to clean up. That is why I cooked up the "VR Overturning a Table in Anger Simulator", which lets you Overturn a Table in Anger as often as you want, using the Oculus Rift and Arduino.


Submission + - Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition Heading to the Raspberry Pi (

Blacklaw writes: Scott Brooks, a server-side architecture developer and system administrator at Beamdog is taking the Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition source code and attempting to compile a Linux version tweaked to run on the £30 Raspberry Pi — a computer which, it must be noted, costs less than did the original boxed Baldur's Gate game at launch.

Speaking to the Raspberry Pi Foundation via Twitter, Brooks confirmed his plans: 'First attempt at compiling Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition on our Raspberry Pi,' wrote Brooks. 'Step 1: sort out all the dependencies.'

Open Source

Submission + - Qualcomm Goes Open Source With AllJoyn Project (

Blacklaw writes: "It's unexpected from Qualcomm," Qualcomm Innovation Center president Rob Chandhok admits in an interview with thinq_ about the company's open source AllJoyn proximity-based networking platform project. "Like 'wait, is this a guy from Qualcomm that just said that?' In my mind there's two ways that you standardise something: one is you wind your way through a standards body, and you standardise the APIs, and you then have proprietary implementations. The other way is that you open-source it and it becomes a de facto standard, because it's useful." The full interview has plenty of detail about Qualcomm's belief in the open source methodology, plus details of the AllJoyn project itself.

Submission + - Tech educators Point Schmidt at Success in School (

Blacklaw writes: Eric Schmidt's announcement last week at the MacTaggart Lecture that Britain is "throwing away [its] great computing heritage" by ignoring computing in education was a wake-up call for the industry and the education sector alike. But the Google chairman isn't the only one thinking that way: 24 hours prior to Schmidt's speech, an industry and educational summit was taking place that aimed to address that exact issue.
Open Source

Submission + - Raspberry Pi Takes Aim at the Education Market (

Blacklaw writes: Attendees of the Educating Programmers Summit found themselves treated to a demonstration of the Raspberry Pi single-board computer by co-creator Eben Upton. Based on chips from Upton's day job at Broadcom, the Raspberry Pi is an entirely functional computer which will hit a retail price of just $25 in its basic incarnation — addressing one of the issues preventing the teaching of programming in schools today.

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