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+ - How Game Developers Turn Kickstarter Failure Into Success->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "When you ask random strangers on the Internet to give you money, there are no guarantees. That’s true in almost any scenario, including when video game developers use Kickstarter to crowdfund the creation of a game. While 3,900 or so games have been funded on Kickstarter, more than 7,200 game projects failed to hit their goal. Within those two numbers are some people who fall into both categories: developers who failed to get funding on their first try, but re-launched campaigns and hit their goals. Jon Brodkin spoke with a handful of those indie game developers who succeeded on their second try; many of them used the momentum (and fans) from the first attempt to get a head start on funding the second, and one even adjusted his entire plan based on community feedback. But succeeding the second time also depended on quite a bit of luck."
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+ - Women Founders Outpace Male Counterparts in Certain Types of Kickstarter Funding->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Women outpace men when it comes to raising money for technology projects through crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter, according to a new study by researchers at New York University and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Jason Greenberg (NYC) and Ethan Mollick (Wharton/UPenn) chose 1,250 Kickstarter projects in five categories: games and technology, where founders were predominantly male; film, with an even gender distribution; and fashion and children’s books, both populated with more female founders and backers. They analyzed additional factors such as 'industry typing' (a theory in which people 'often hold conscious or unconscious biases about what gender is the archetype employee in a particular occupation or industry') and restricted the data set by geography and how much money each Kickstarter project wanted (a project aiming for less than $5,000 may attract an inordinate percentage of family and friends as funders, skewing results). After crunching the data, they found that female founders of technology projects were more likely than males to achieve their Kickstarter goals, a finding that didn’t extend to the other four categories. 'It appears female backers are responsible for helping female founders succeed in specific industry categories that women backers generally disfavor,' they theorized, adding a little later: 'The value of crowdfunding is that it enables access to a pool of potential female backers particularly inclined to support women in industry categories in which they believe women to be underrepresented.'"
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+ - Apple's App Store Needs a Radical Revamp. How Would You Go About It?->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Given the hundreds of thousands of apps currently on offer, it’s hard for any one app (no matter how well designed) to stand out on Apple's App Store, much less stay atop the bestseller charts for very long. In an August 10 blog posting, former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée offered Apple CEO Tim Cook some advice: Let humans curate the App Store. 'Instead of using algorithms to sort and promote the apps that you permit on your shelves, why not assign a small group of adepts to create and shepherd an App Store Guide,' he wrote. 'A weekly newsletter will identify notable new titles, respond to counter-opinions, perhaps present a developer profile, footnote the occasional errata and mea culpa.' Whether or not such an idea would effectively surface all the good content now buried under layers of Flappy Bird rip-offs is an open question; what’s certain is that, despite Apple’s rosy picture, developers around the world face a lot of uncertainty and competition when it comes to making significant money off their apps. Sure, some developers are making a ton of cash, but the rising tide doesn’t necessarily float all boats. If you had the opportunity, how would you revamp/revise/upgrade/adjust/destroy the App Store to better serve the developers who put apps in it?""
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+ - Silicon Valley Doesn't Have an Attitude Problem, OK?->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "In Silicon Valley they think differently, and if that leads to arrogance, so be it. At least that’s what Bloomberg Businessweek’s Joel Stein implies in his long meditation on the area’s outlook on technology, money and changing the world. Stein set out to examine the underlying notion that Silicon Valley’s and San Francisco’s tech entrepreneurs are feeding a backlash by being, in a word, jerks. His conclusion seems to be that they may well be jerks, but they’re misunderstood jerks. He doesn’t deny that there’s sexism and boorishness at play in the young tech community, but he sees the industry trying to make itself better. He sees a lot of egotism at work, too but, he observes, if you’re setting out to change the world, you’re probably going to need a big ego to do it. But tell that to other people in Northern California: undoubtedly, you’ve read about the tempest in San Francisco recently, where urban activists are decrying the influx of highly paid tech professionals, who they argue are displacing residents suddenly unable to keep up with skyrocketing rents."
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+ - Push for Pizza: An App That Does Exactly One Thing Well->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Ordering food via a smartphone? Easy, thanks to a growing variety of apps like GrubHub, which allow you to order takeout (or delivery) from a plethora of restaurants. But a group of teenagers decided to make the process even simpler—provided you really, really, really like pizza. Like many a minimalist smartphone app, Push for Pizza cuts everything down to the essentials: push the giant pizza logo, select a nearby pizzeria, choose a pizza, and wait for it to show up on your doorstep. Yes, it’s simplistic, but simplistic apps are in these days: just look at Yo, the popular app that allows people to message the word “Yo” to one another, which raised $1.5 million in venture funding this summer. Who knows how much some VC might value Push for Pizza."
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+ - Why It's Still Worth Learning Objective-C and Python->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Apple suggests that Swift, its new programming language, will eventually replace Objective-C. However, because of the huge amount of code already "out there" among the millions of iOS apps and Mac software, companies aren’t going to immediately rewrite their code in Swift (if ever). So, while Swift might be the new language, Objective-C is unlikely to go away anytime soon. As a new article on Dice argues, that means that Objective-C remains a great choice if you want to learn iOS and Mac programming. The same deal goes for Python: although a lot of programmers either don't use it or dismiss it, a lot of developers and companies (including Google) continue to rely on it for large-scale applications. What other languages can you think of that don't deserve to be overlooked?"
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+ - Want to Work Without Prying Eyes? Try Wearing a Body Sock->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "The “Compubody Sock,” which anyone with knitting skills can make at home, is a giant sock-hoodie-bag in which you place your laptop or tablet, along with your head and hands, giving you total privacy while freaking out anyone who happens to be sitting next to you. Designer Becky Stern told Forbes’ Kashmir Hill that the Sock was meant more as commentary on privacy and device addiction; even so, considering how NSA employees reportedly drape themselves in hoods in order to thwart hidden cameras while typing in passwords, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that an ultra-paranoid someone could find a practical use for a body sock. But that paranoid android better have expert knitting skills: putting together the Sock necessitates a whole lot of steps (“Purl 5, purl 2 together, purl 1, turn the work,” etc.). Your other option, of course, is to simply avoid working on sensitive stuff in public."
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+ - 5 Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Over at Dice, there's a breakdown of the programming languages that could prove most popular over the next year or two, including Apple's Swift, JavaScript, CSS3, and PHP. But perhaps the most interesting entry on the list is Erlang, an older language that was invented in 1986 by engineers at Erricson. It was originally intended to be used specifically for telecommunications needs, but has since evolved into a general-purpose language, and found a home in cloud-based, high-performance computing when concurrency is needed. "There aren’t a lot of Erlang jobs out there," writes developer Jeff Cogswell. "However, if you do master it (and I mean master it, not just learn a bit about it), then you’ll probably land a really good job. That’s the trade-off: You’ll have to devote a lot of energy into it. But if you do, the payoffs could be high." And while the rest of the featured languages are no-brainers with regard to popularity, it's an open question how long it might take Swift to become popular, given how hard Apple will push it as the language for developing on iOS."
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+ - Indie Game Developers Talk About Why They Struck Out on Their Own->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Technology writer Jon Brodkin sat down with a group of indie game developers (as well as a professor at the University of Southern California's game-design program) to talk about why they decided to launch their own small studios rather than stick with comfortable (albeit stressful) jobs at major firms like Disney or Zynga. The answer, as you'd expect, boils down to control. “Working for a bigger company is a good way to gain experience, and learn how games are made,” said Graham Smith, one of the co-founders of Toronto-based DrinkBox Studios. “It’s also nice to have a steady salary coming in as you learn the ropes. On the flip side, depending on the company, you might not have much control over the game’s design, or even be making the types of games that you enjoy playing.” But startups come with their own challenges, not the least of which is the prospect of an economic downturn quickly wiping you out, or not making your Kickstarter goal."
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+ - Designer Brews Beer, Prints Resume on Side of Custom 4-Pack, Scores Job->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Canadian graphic designer Brennan Gleason wanted to attract more work, so he came up with a novel concept: custom-printing his resume on boxes of the beer he brews as a sideline. “I brewed up a nice blonde ale, so I figured it would awesome to use it to promote myself and my work,” Gleason wrote in a post on Dribbble. “Box contains the resume and the bottles each contain a piece of my work.” In addition to some bits about his work history, the carton labeling features a prominent link to his personal website. The best part? His creative effort reportedly gained him a few job offers. And if the employer loves beer, a resume on the side of a beer carton could go a long way toward scoring that job interview, provided the employer in question isn’t a teetotaler."
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+ - PHP vs. .NET: Which Should You Learn?-> 1

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Both PHP and .NET enjoy broad bases of support. While it's certainly possible to learn the intricacies of both platforms, is there one worth tackling more than the other? That depends on any number of factors, including how much one loves Linux. But should someone relatively new to programming attempt to learn both? In a new Dice article, Jeff Cogswell (a developer and writer that some in the Slashdot community know well, even if they vehemently disagree with him) argues No: "At an early stage in your career, you need to focus your energy on getting very good at one thing, which will translate into higher-paying jobs down the road. If you try to go to broad, you will stretch yourself thin and not master anything." But that's just his opinion, of course. Do you agree? Is it better to focus intensely on a small number (or even one) language or platform, or attempt to become competent at a broader range of things?"
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+ - Why Amazon Might Want a Big Piece of the Smartphone Market->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "If rumors prove correct, Amazon will unveil a smartphone at a high-profile June 18 event in Seattle. According to a new article in The New York Times, Amazon’s willing to take such enormous risks because a smartphone will help it sell more products via its gargantuan online store. In theory, a mobile device would allow customers in the midst of their daily routines to order products with a few finger-taps, allowing Amazon to push back against Google and other tech companies exploring similar instant-gratification territory. But a smartphone also plays into Amazon’s plans for the digital world. Over the past several years, the company has become a popular vendor of cloud services and used that base to expand into everything from tablets to a growing mobile-app ecosystem. A smartphone could prove a crucial portal for all those services. If an Amazon smartphone proves a hit, however, it could become a game-changer for mobile developers, opening up a whole new market for apps and services. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has succeeded in the digital space largely by opening up various platforms—whether Kindle self-publishing or the Amazon app store—to third-party wares. It’ll be interesting to see whether he does something similar with the smartphone."
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+ - Bloomberg Testing Productivity App for Oculus Rift->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "So far, the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset has found its most widespread use in gaming. But as the device rises in prominence, more companies are testing its capabilities as a work tool. Bloomberg is one of those companies, having designed software that allows Oculus-equipped traders and financial pros to view dozens of virtual “screens,” each one packed with data. The platform is clearly aimed at those Masters of the Universe who stack their real-world desks with four, six or eight screens—the better to take the pulse of the markets. Think of it as a traditional Bloomberg terminal on steroids. “This is a mockup of how virtual reality can be applied in the workplace,” Nick Peck, a Bloomberg employee responsible for creating the software, told Quartz. “I really wanted to explore how virtual reality could solve one of the most basic problems we hear about: limited screen real estate.” A virtual-reality Bloomberg terminal isn’t the only practical application proposed by Oculus Rift users: earlier this year, the Norwegian Armed Services began testing whether the hardware could be used to drive tanks, on the supposition that off-the-shelf cameras and a headset built for virtual gaming could prove cheaper than custom-built military equipment."
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+ - MIT Working on Robotic Limbs That Attach to Shoulders, Waist->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Following up on news that ActiveLink is building heavy-duty exoskeletons for work in nuclear plants, IEEE Spectrum reports that MIT researchers are experimenting with Supernumerary Robotic Limbs (SRLs) that attach to either the shoulder or waist. The SRLs are capable of lifting objects and bracing against solid surfaces. From the article: “The SRL watches what you're doing with your arms to decide how to move. It does that by monitoring two inertial measurement units (IMUs) that the user wears on the wrists. A third IMU sits at the base of the robot’s shoulder mount, to track the overall orientation and motion of the SRL.” In the future, we will all have the ability to become Doctor Octopus (minus two robo-limbs, of course)."
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+ - The Next Unreal Tournament: Totally Free, Developed by Public->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Epic Games is rebooting Unreal Tournament, but not in a typical way. A small team of veteran developers will begin work on the next edition of the popular, multi-player shooter, in collaboration with pretty much anyone who wants to participate. "From the very first line of code, the very first art created and design decision made, development will happen in the open, as a collaboration between Epic, UT fans and UE4 developers. We’ll be using forums for discussion, and Twitch streams for regular updates," reads a note on the company's blog. All code and content will appear on GitHub, and development will focus on Mac, Linux, and Windows. What's the catch? According to Epic, it'll take months to forge a playable game. "When the game is playable, it will be free. Not free to play, just free," the blog adds. "We’ll eventually create a marketplace where developers, modders, artists and gamers can give away, buy and sell mods and content. Earnings from the marketplace will be split between the mod/content developer, and Epic. That’s how we plan to pay for the game.""
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