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Comment: Investment Market Development (Score 1) 114

It makes so much sense for the crowd to fund the creator, rather than a publisher who takes on the risk and exerts creative control over your product. Using the right online platform, you can turn your entire consumer base into a focus group that tells you exactly what they want, and even pays for it in advance.

We're returning to a model of creative production based on Renaissance "patronage," but with that patronage distributed throughout the population of individuals who will actually be using the product you produce. There is huge potential here if we can find the right kind of online platform (I do think we need to go beyond Kickstarter's model in the long term).

Comment: Re:Lord of the Flies + Pick-a-path books .. (Score 1) 458

by Thrull (#36590332) Attached to: US Supreme Court: Video Games Qualify For First Amendment
You gotta include the footnote to that last one. It is golden:

"(7) One study, for example, found that children who had just finishedplaying violent video games were more likely to fill in the blank letter in “explo_e” with a “d” (so that it reads “explode”) than with an “r” (“explore”). App. 496, 506 (internal quotation marks omitted). The prevention of this phenomenon, which might have been anticipated with common sense, is not a compelling state interest."

Robotics

iRobot Introduces Morphing Blob Robot 177

Posted by kdawson
from the compare-to-doctor-johnson's-dog dept.
Aristos Mazer sends word of research out of iRobot on a "chembot," or morphing blob robot, that looks like dough and moves by shifting its sides from solid-like to liquid-like states. This will allow it, in theory and after lots of refinement, to pass through cracks by squeezing. iRobot calls the new technique "jamming." The research project was funded by DARPA. The video clearly shows the early stage the work is in, but when you think about it the possibilities are a little unsettling.
Games

Avataritis — On the Abundance of Customizable Game Characters 78

Posted by Soulskill
from the forty-nine-precisely-placed-freckles dept.
Martyn Zachary writes "The Slowdown has posted a new critique, 'Avataritis,' that attempts to portray the utilization of character customization as a pandemic, emotional response on behalf of publishers and developers to finding the easiest, most efficient solution to the very unique dilemma presented by the enlarging, widening player base of video games. 'No mechanisms are in place stopping developers from writing and designing heterogeneous yet fully structured, narrative-based computer games with carefully constructed and immutable, unchangeable characters.' The article discusses the emergence and role of gender criticism and research in relation to the recent proliferation of the customizable avatar. The story also dissects the very act of character creation, subsequently aiming to clarify several semantic distortions related to the terminology utilized in character creation, and in turn breaking apart the concepts of relatability and understandability, wholly differentiating the two. The overarching analysis is finally related to examples from the gaming marketplace, where many continue to corroborate apparent falsehoods and misunderstandings in relation to the utilization of the avatar. Ultimately, the writer hopes to dissuade readers, developers and players from believing that written narratives are going away as customization and emergent content are entering video games with full force."
Communications

School System Considers Jamming Students' Phones 785

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the only-one-man-would-dare-give-me-the-raspberry dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The St. Ansgar, Iowa school system is considering buying cell-phone jamming equipment for up to $5000 if it is deemed legal. The use of the equipment would be suspended in the case of an emergency, but one has to wonder if they would be quick enough to shut it down should an emergency arise. 'A Federal Communications Commission notice issued in 2005 says the sale and use of transmitters that jam cellular or personal communications services is unlawful.'"
Earth

Unicellular "Enigma" Changes From Predator To Plant and Back 168

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-don't-eat-greens,-food-eats-greens dept.
SilverEar writes "Imagine a creature that swims and preys on others, but once it eats a certain kind of plant, that plant grows inside it, causing the predator to lose its ability to prey and start using sunlight to make its food. Its preying mouth is replaced by an eye that is needed to find sunlight. This is the Hatena ('enigma' in Japanese). The kicker: when Hatena reproduces, one offspring is a peaceful photosynthesizer with the sun-seeking eye, while the other is yet again a predator with a voracious mouth."
Games

Left 4 Dead SDK Beta Released 75

Posted by Soulskill
from the building-for-braaaains dept.
Valve has released a beta version of their authoring tools for Left 4 Dead. The tools will allow you to "create your own campaign maps, character skins, 3D models, sound effects, and music and load them into the game." The kit includes a level editor and command-line compiling utilities, as well as example maps, props, infected, and explosives. It also brings plugins for a 3D modeling program called SketchUp. Valve has updated their development wiki to go along with the release.
Space

Shuttle and Hubble Passing In Front of the Sun 161

Posted by timothy
from the ad-astra-per-alia-porci dept.
GvG was one of several readers to point out this "incredible photo clearly showing the silhouette of Atlantis and the Hubble Space Telescope as they passed in front of the Sun was taken Wednesday, May 13, 2009, from west of Vero Beach, Florida. The two spaceships were at an altitude of 600 km and they zipped across the sun in only 0.8 seconds." The image is all over the Web now, for good reason.

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