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Cloud

Amazon's Silk: SaaS Is Closing the Net 95

Posted by Soulskill
from the how-many-gardens-can-fit-in-an-internet dept.
jfruhlinger writes "Much of the initial reaction to Amazon's Silk browser was interest in how it uses the cloud to speed up browsing. But at what cost? There are privacy concerns, of course, as Amazon will have a record of your browsing; but in a larger philosophical sense, Silk is of a piece with Facebook and Apple's iOS walled garden, an intermediary between you and the Internet."
Moon

Why NASA's New Video Game Misses the Point 205

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-only-astronauts-could-rocket-jump dept.
longacre writes "Erik Sofge trudges through NASA's latest free video game, which he finds tedious, uninspiring and misguided. Quoting: 'Moonbase Alpha is a demo, of sorts, for NASA's more ambitious upcoming game, Astronaut: Moon, Mars & Beyond, which will feature more destinations, and hopefully less welding. The European Space Agency is developing a similar game, set on the Jovian Moon, Europa. But Moonbase Alpha proves that as a recruiting campaign, or even as an educational tool, the astronaut simulation game is a lost cause. Unless NASA plans to veer into science fiction and populate its virtual moons, asteroids and planets with hostile species, it's hard to imagine why anyone would want to suffer through another minute of pretending to weld power cables back into place, while thousands of miles away, the most advanced explorers ever built are hurtling toward asteroids and dwarf planets and into the heart of the sun. Even if it was possible to build an astronaut game that's both exciting and realistic, why bother? It will be more than a decade before humans even attempt another trip outside of Earth's orbit. If NASA wants to inspire the next generation of astronauts and engineers, its games should focus on the real winners of the space race — the robots.'"

Comment: Atari 2600 has less latency (Score 3, Informative) 160

by Visoblast (#29333223) Attached to: Measuring Input Latency In Console Games

On the old Atari 2600, the game has to be written around rendering fields (half frames) of video. On NTSC, that is 59.94 fields per second, or a little under 16.7ms. Input is usually read during vertical blanking between fields. That makes for not much more than 33.3ms latency in the worst case of input change just after vertical blanking.

Maybe new isn't really better.

Comment: Re:FullSail's different... (Score 1) 128

by Visoblast (#25778655) Attached to: IP Rights For Games Made In School?

Yes, Full Sail does retain the right to use student projects for advertising, but they explicitly do not take ownership of the student projects. I used to work for them as a lab instructor in the Game Development program. Students could not be prevented from making their project into a commercial game under these terms, although few are that good. It's OK, though. The point of the project is going through the process, which the students do even if their game isn't all that fun.

Patents

Multi-Channel Communication Patent Up For Sale 97

Posted by kdawson
from the can-you-say-prior-art dept.
OTDR alerts us to the latest software patent stupidity in the news as patent number 6,418,462, "methods allowing clients to perform tasks through a sideband communication channel, in addition to the main communication channel between a client and server," snubs its nose at AJAX, ftp, and decades of prior art and goes on sale next month in San Fransisco. "Singled out are AJAX mashups including Google Maps and Gmail, and Microsoft 'Live'... Also in the frame are Amazon's S3 and EC2 and clusters from Microsoft, VMware, and Oracle. eBay's Skype, Napster, and Microsoft's Groove are also listed as potentially infringing on the patent in P2P."
Programming

An AI 4-Year-Old In Second Life 234

Posted by kdawson
from the currents-and-eddies dept.
schliz notes a development out of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where researchers have successfully created an artificially intelligent four-year-old capable of reasoning about his beliefs to draw conclusions in a manner that matches human children his age. The technology, which runs on the institute's supercomputing clusters, will be put to use in immersive training and education scenarios. Researchers envision futuristic applications like those seen in Star Trek's holodeck."
The Military

Computer Models Find Patterns In Asymmetric Threats 214

Posted by Soulskill
from the pseudo-random-nutcase-generator dept.
The Narrative Fallacy brings us a story about a project by University of Alabama researchers to develop a database capable of anticipating targets for future guerrilla attacks. Quoting Space War: "Adversaries the US currently faces in Iraq rely on surprise and apparent randomness to compensate for their lack of organization, technology, and firepower. 'One way to combat these attacks is to identify trends in the attackers' methods, then use those trends to predict their future actions,' said UA-Huntsville researcher Wes Colley. 'Some trends from these attacks show important day-to-day correlations. If we can draw inferences from those correlations, then we may be able to save lives by heightening awareness of possible events or changing the allocation of our security assets to provide more protection.' Researchers reviewed the behavior signatures of terrorists on 12,000 attacks between 2003 and mid-2007 to calculate relative probabilities of future attacks on various target types."

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