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Tales From the Tech Trenches 99

Posted by samzenpus
from the try-plugging-it-in dept.
GMGruman writes "Anyone in IT has a story or two involving stupid users, crazy co-workers, kludgy technology, and airhead managers. Lisa Blackwelder has collected top tales of the tech trenches, covering user antics, office politics, and unusual technical challenges that IT pros faced (usually) with aplomb, insight, and savvy."
Earth

Watch 200 Years of Global Growth In 4 Minutes 270

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the statistics-are-fun dept.
kkleiner writes "A professor of international health in Sweden, Hans Rosling has a long history of exploring the facts and figures that surround our changing world. In the a segment of the BBC series, Rosling gives one of his most famous lectures with a new twist. Using 120,000+ bits of data and augmented reality, the exuberant professor takes us through the last 200 years of global history and its uneven growth of wealth and health." This is really worth watching. Seriously.
First Person Shooters (Games)

Crytek Dev On Fun vs. Realism In Game Guns 324

Posted by Soulskill
from the rocket-jumping-is-as-real-as-it-needs-to-be dept.
An anonymous reader tips a post from Pascal Eggert, a gun enthusiast and Crytek developer, who sheds some light on how weaponry in modern shooters is designed. Quoting: "Guns in games are like guns in movies: it is all about looks, sounds and clichés. Just like in the movies, games have established a certain perception of weapons in the mind of the public and just like in movies games get almost everything wrong. ... The fact is that we are not trying to simulate reality but are creating products to provide entertainment. ... if you want to replicate the looks of something you need to at least see it, but using it is even better. You should hold a gun in your hands, fire it and reload it to understand what does what — and at that point you will realize, there is nothing on it that does not have a function — because guns are tools for professionals. Lot of weapon designers in the game industry get that wrong. They think of guns like products for consumers or magic devices that kill people at a distance when really it's just a simple and elegant mechanism that propels little pieces of metal. Unfortunately 3D artists often only get access to the photos that Google Image Search comes up with if you enter 'future assault rifle' or, even worse, pictures from other games and movies that also got it wrong. This may explain a lot of common visual mistakes in games, especially since guns are mostly photographed from the side and egoshooters show weapons from the first person view." This article is drawn from his personal experience in the game industry. The images shown are Pascal's personal work and are not related to his work at Crytek.
Movies

Mass Effect To Invade the Big Screen 142

Posted by Soulskill
from the seth-green-seems-like-a-lock dept.
UgLyPuNk writes "This could be a good thing or a bad thing: EA has just confirmed that it's making Mass Effect into a movie. The franchise has been acquired by Legendary Pictures, which is best known for its co-productions of The Dark Knight, Clash of the Titans, 300, Watchmen, and, um, The Hangover, as part of a co-financing agreement with Warner Bros."
Image

Happy Towel Day 122

Posted by samzenpus
from the wringing-out-the-wit dept.
An anonymous reader writes "While Douglas Adams continues his attempt to set a new record for the longest extended lunch break, geeks all over the universe pay tribute to the beloved author by celebrating the tenth edition of Towel Day. Towel Day is more alive than ever. This year Richard Dawkins, one of Adams' best friends, has tweeted a Towel Day reminder to his numerous followers. The CERN Bulletin has published an article on Towel Day. There has been TV coverage and there will be a radio interview. The Military Republic of the Deltan Imperium, a newly formed micronation, has recognized Towel Day as an official holiday. In Hungary several hundreds of hitchhiker fans want to have a picnic together in a park. And there's a concert, a free downloadable nerdrap album, a free game being released, the list goes on and on."
Image

Iran Tries To Pacify Protesters With Lord of The Rings Marathon 419

Posted by samzenpus
from the chip-the-glasses-and-crack-the-plates-that's-what-Ahmadinejad-hates dept.
Iranian state television's Channel Two is playing a Lord of the Rings marathon in an attempt to keep people inside watching hobbits and not protesting in the streets. Normally, people in Tehran are treated to one or two Hollywood movies a week, but with recent events the government hopes that sitting through a nine-hour trilogy will take the fight out of most of the protesters. Perhaps this was not the best choice in films if you want your people not to believe that "even the smallest person can change the course of the future."
Graphics

Augmented Reality Shaping the Future of Games 56

Posted by Soulskill
from the since-diminished-reality-was-already-handled-by-beer dept.
Slatterz writes "Microsoft's Natal can recognize a player's skeletal structure, and also perform some sophisticated translation of body physics into in-game movement. As a control mechanism this is fascinating, but the next step is to merge the game graphics with the real world. Now, basic examples of augmented reality (AR) are being shown using a mobile phone, unlike previous demos which have involved walking around with a large backpack strapped to your body. A game titled Arhrrrr blends live-action video overlaid with game graphics. The processing is taken care of by Nvidia's new Tegra platform, while the game's 'maps' are generated by pointing the phone's camera (in this case 5MP) at a 2D drawing/printout lying on a table. The end result is a 3D world which seems to spring forth in real time, with buildings popping up as players move around the game 'map.' This story shows two other interesting videos demonstrating AR, including the ability to add real-life objects into the virtual game world and have the gameplay respond and react accordingly."
Censorship

+ - Illegal to link copyrighted material on Youtube?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "It is now illegal to link to copyrighted material. In Sweden, as a consequence of the Pirate Bay trial, one of the major networks is suing a 31-year old blogger for linking to a streamed video hosted on another site. In essence, this means you could get sued for linking youtube videos. I guess this is what is coming to countries without the protection of "fair use". What is the situation in your country is this happening in other countries as well? In essence, the consequence of this is that Google is illegal."
Link to Original Source
Sun Microsystems

+ - What should a sys admin know in a job interview? 1

Submitted by evil_aar0n
evil_aar0n (1001515) writes "Management has asked me to conduct the technical portion of an interview for a candidate for Solaris Administrator. We run Solaris 2.6 for legacy stuff and Solaris 10 for the current product. I do the majority of the work, right now, but they want to bring in another person to help out. What sort of things should she know? What kinds of questions should I ask? I'm not looking to be a hard-azz, here, asking for esoteric — and mostly useless — knowledge, but I want to make sure this person doesn't sell us a load of bollocks. If it matters, we're in New York state. Also, I'd like to have this person perform some simple hands-on operations on a test machine — disconnected from the network, of course — so I can verify that they know what they're talking about. Is that legal? Is it considered "gauche"?"

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