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EA Shuts Down Pandemic Studios, Cuts 200 Jobs 161

lbalbalba writes "Electronic Arts is shutting down its Westwood-based game developer Pandemic Studios just two years after acquiring it, putting nearly 200 people out of work. 'The struggling video game publisher informed employees Tuesday morning that it was closing the studio as part of a recently announced plan to eliminate 1,500 jobs, or 16% of its global workforce. Pandemic has about 220 employees, but an EA spokesman said that a core team, estimated by two people close to the studio to be about 25, will be integrated into the publisher's other Los Angeles studio, in Playa Vista.' An ex-developer for Pandemic attributed the studio's struggles to poor decisions from the management."

Going Head To Head With Genius On Playlists 174

brownerthanu writes "Engineers at the University of California, San Diego are developing a system to include an ignored sector of music, dubbed the 'long tail,' in music recommendations. It's well known that radio suffers from a popularity bias, where the most popular songs receive an inordinate amount of exposure. In Apple's music recommender system, iTunes' Genius, this bias is magnified. An underground artist will never be recommended in a playlist due to insufficient data. It's an artifact of the popular collaborative filtering recommender algorithm, which Genius is based on. In order to establish a more holistic model of the music world, Luke Barrington and researchers at the Computer Audition Laboratory have created a machine learning system which classifies songs in an automated, Pandora-like, fashion. Instead of using humans to explicitly categorize individual songs, they capture the wisdom of the crowds via a Facebook game, Herd It, and use the data to train statistical models. The machine can then 'listen to,' describe and recommend any song, popular or not. As more people play the game, the machines get smarter. Their experiments show that automatic recommendations work at least as well as Genius for recommending undiscovered music."

Comment Easily the most unfriendly airports in the world (Score 2, Informative) 1040

Travelling through the US (spending a night there) is one of the worst things that can happen to you. I now avoid it at all costs, even if the other alternative is alot more expensive, hell its even worse that going through Venezuela. You don't need to make people jump through hundreds unnecessary hoops, treat them like some kind parasite/criminal you don't want anywhere near your country and employ the stupidest, most incompetent, pettiest little assholes to handle them in order to protect your country from the big bad terrorism. If a terrorist wants in, its not going to be hard, airports that treat people like scum are just further isolating your country from the rest of the world.

"If I do not want others to quote me, I do not speak." -- Phil Wayne