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Education

UK University Making Universal Game Emulator 217

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-good-to-have-ego-strength dept.
Techradar reports that researchers at the University of Portsmouth in England are working on a project to create a game emulator that will "recognise and play all types of videogames and computer files from the 1970s through to the present day." One of the major goals of the project is to preserve software from early in the computer age. David Anderson of the Humanities Computing Group said, "Early hardware, like games consoles and computers, are already found in museums. But if you can't show visitors what they did, by playing the software on them, it would be much the same as putting musical instruments on display but throwing away all the music. ... Games particularly tend not to be archived because they are seen as disposable, pulp cultural artefacts, but they represent a really important part of our recent cultural history. Games are one of the biggest media formats on the planet and we must preserve them for future generations."
Music

Guitar Hero III the First Game to $1 Billion In Sales 106

Posted by Soulskill
from the rock-out-with-your-pocketbook-out dept.
The Opposable Thumbs blog reports that Guitar Hero III has reached a financial milestone, becoming the first individual video game to reach $1 billion in total sales. The number is even higher if you consider the rest of the franchise. In addition to helping drive the video game industry during tough economic times (much like the Wii), it's helping other industries as well: "... aside from the fact that Guitar Hero: Aerosmith had sold three times as many copies as the band's last album during their respective first weeks, musicians whose music is featured in the game has seen a rise in music sales to the tune of 15-843 percent." And CVG notes, "... two-thirds of non-musicians exposed to music games plan to start playing a real instrument in the next couple of years." Also, Rock Band creator Harmonix may be looking into a partnership with the record labels to sell music for use outside of the games.
Programming

Scripts and Scaling In Online Games 61

Posted by Soulskill
from the still-waiting-on-a-holodeck dept.
CowboyRobot writes "Jim Waldo of Sun Microsystems has written an article titled Scaling In Games & Virtual Worlds, saying that they 'should be perfect vehicles to show the performance gains possible with multicore chips and groups of cooperating servers. Games and virtual worlds are embarrassingly parallel, in that most of what goes on in them is independent of the other things that are happening. Of the hundreds of thousands of players who are active in World of Warcraft at any one time, only a very small number will be interacting with any particular player.' A group of researchers at Cornell wrote a related piece about improving game development and performance through better scripting."
Security

The Backstory of the Kaminsky Bug 122

Posted by kdawson
from the no-good-deed-goes-unpunished dept.
Ant recommends a Wired piece on the background story of the Kaminsky DNS bug and its (temporary) resolution, decreasing the odds of a successful breach from 1 in 2^16 to 1 in 2^32. We've discussed this uber-hole a number of times. Wired follows the story arc from before Kaminsky's discovery of the bug to his public presentation of it in Las Vegas.
Linux Business

"FOSS Business Model Broken" — Former OSDL CEO 412

Posted by kdawson
from the who-needs-support-anyway dept.
liraz writes "Stuart Cohen, former CEO of Open Source Development Labs, has written an op-ed on BusinessWeek claiming that the traditional open source business model, which relies solely on support and service revenue streams, is failing to meet the expectations of investors. He discusses the 'great paradox' of the FOSS business model, saying: 'For anyone who hasn't been paying attention to the software industry lately, I have some bad news. The open source business model is broken. Open source code is generally great code, not requiring much support. So open source companies that rely on support and service alone are not long for this world.' Cohen goes on to outline the beginnings of a business model that can work for FOSS going forward."
Displays

The Pocket-Sized Projector Has Arrived 220

Posted by timothy
from the wistful-longing-fills-my-chest-cavity dept.
mallumax writes "David Pogue of New York Times has reviewed the Pico, which is a pocket projector from Optoma. The review is quite entertaining (Pogue projects the images on to a plane's ceiling, leaving passengers baffled) and detailed. The highlights are: It is a pocket-sized projector which runs on batteries and can project images and videos from a variety of sources like iPhone, iPod and DVD players with a 480x320px resolution, with a maximum screen size of 65 inches at 8.5 feet. It uses a non-replaceable 10,000 hour LED lamp and a DLP chip from Texas Instruments. The battery lasts for 90 minutes and can be recharged through USB or with its own power cord. The device weighs 115g and comes with an inbuilt speaker which is practically useless. If you want one, it will set you back by $430."
Space

Inside the World's Most Advanced Planetarium 133

Posted by samzenpus
from the laser-floyd-will-never-be-the-same dept.
notthatwillsmith writes "Earlier this month, the most technologically-advanced digital planetarium in the world opened in San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences. The new Morrison Planetarium's 75-foot screen replaces the traditional Zeiss projector with an array of 6 high-resolution DLP projectors arrayed around the edge of the theater, which are powered by three very different, but interesting computing clusters. The three clusters allow for projection of traditional planetarium shows, playback of ultra-high resolution movies, and display of anything from current atmospheric conditions on Earth to a (greatly accelerated) trip to the farthest reaches of the universe, all rendered in real-time on an 8800 sq. ft. dome. Maximum PC went on a behind the scenes tour with the engineers who built the systems that do everything from run the planetarium lights to the sound systems to the tech behind the screen to show you how it works and what it's like to drive, well ... the universe."
Games

Blizzcon 2008 Wrap-Up 173

Posted by Soulskill
from the tldr dept.

This year's Blizzcon saw 15,000 gamers descend from 27 different countries to take part in two days of discussions, tournaments, and sneak peaks at upcoming releases. Several big announcements were scattered among a raft of new details about Diablo 3, Starcraft 2 and Wrath of the Lich King. The new information went a long way toward drumming up interest for what already appear to be worthy successors to old favorites. Read on for more.

Blizzcon Begins, Diablo 3 Wizard Class Unveiled 142

Posted by Soulskill
from the zap dept.
Blizzcon is officially underway today, starting with a presentation showcasing the Worldwide Invitational tournament held earlier this year. A company spokesman went on to talk about the tournaments being held for World of Warcraft 3v3 Arena, Warcraft 3, and Starcraft 2, followed by word that Starcraft 2 was not yet ready for beta, but that Blizzcon attendees would be included in the first round of testers when the beta program starts. The big news of the presentation, though, was the unveiling of the Wizard class — the third such class to be announced, along with the previously mentioned Barbarian and Witch Doctor. Read on for some more details.
Programming

New Contestants On the Turing Test 630

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the game-on dept.
vitamine73 writes "At 9 a.m. next Sunday, six computer programs — 'artificial conversational entities' — will answer questions posed by human volunteers at the University of Reading in a bid to become the first recognized 'thinking' machine. If any program succeeds, it is likely to be hailed as the most significant breakthrough in artificial intelligence since the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue beat world chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997. It could also raise profound questions about whether a computer has the potential to be 'conscious' — and if humans should have the 'right' to switch it off."
The Internet

Free Online Scientific Repository Hits Milestone 111

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the a-whole-lotta-smart-stuff dept.
ocean_soul writes "Last week the free and open access repository for scientific (mainly physics but also math, computer sciences...) papers arXiv got past 500,000 different papers, not counting older versions of the same article. Especially for physicists, it is the number-one resource for the latest scientific results. Most researchers publish their papers on arXiv before they are published in a 'normal' journal. A famous example is Grisha Perelman, who published his award-winning paper exclusively on arXiv."
First Person Shooters (Games)

id Software On Rage, Storytelling In Games 97

Posted by Soulskill
from the my-rocket-launcher-does-the-talking dept.
Tom Willits of id Software took some time recently to speak about storytelling as it relates to id's previous games, and how it will be a part of their upcoming shooter, Rage. He also dispelled rumors that Rage would suffer content cuts due to Xbox hardware limitations. Unfortunately, he called into question whether mods will be a possibility for the game, saying that the issue is still under consideration.
Image

Slashdot's Disagree Mail 354 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the teach-me-something dept.
There is an old Japanese proverb that goes, "Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher." This week's mail is all about teaching. Whether it is about the seriousness of psychic ability, a short history of trolls or explaining how much free time and malice your dad's attorney has, these people just want to impart information. If what they sent me is any indication, they had a lot of sick days. Click on the link below to become enlightened.

Let's organize this thing and take all the fun out of it.

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