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First Person Shooters (Games)

From Doom To Dunia — the History of 3D Engines 117

Posted by Soulskill
from the looking-forward-to-tech-5 dept.
notthatwillsmith writes "It's difficult to think of a single category of application that's driven the pace of desktop hardware development further and faster than first-person shooters. Maximum PC examined the evolution of FPS engines, looking back at the key technologies that brought games from the early sprite-based days of Doom to the fully 3D-rendered African Savannah as rendered by Far Cry 2's Dunia engine. It's truly amazing how far the state of the art has moved in the last 16 years."
Robotics

Robots Take To the Stairs 85

Posted by timothy
from the terrible-secret-of-space dept.
Singularity Hub writes "Robots can climb stairs, and they are doing it everywhere you look. 'No big deal' you say, but it really is a big deal. Five to ten years ago, almost nobody was doing it. Now grad students are doing it all by themselves for thesis projects. Check out our review of robots navigating stairs, which includes some awesome videos."
Space

North Korea Launches "Communication Satellite" Rocket 492

Posted by timothy
from the transmitting-a-message-of-sorts dept.
Mad Ivan writes "The BBC has just reported that North Korea has launched a long-range rocket, which they say is a communications satellite, but that the US and Japan fear may actually be a ballistic missile. Details are still arriving; the rocket passed over northern Japan on its way up."
Earth

Shell Ditches Wind, Solar, and Hydro 883

Posted by samzenpus
from the do-what-you-know dept.
thefickler writes "Shell has decided to end its investment in wind, solar and hydro projects because the company does not believe they are financially sound investments. Instead Shell is going to focus on carbon sequestration technologies and biofuels. Not surprisingly, and perhaps unfairly, bloggers have been quick to savage the company: 'Between Shell's decisions to stop its clean energy investments and to increase its debt load to pay for dividends, the company is solidifying an image of corporate greed over corporate responsibility.' Is Shell short sighted, or is it just a company trying to make its way in an uncertain world?"
Music

So Amazing, So Illegal 492

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the something-to-think-about dept.
Jamie gave me a nice writeup of a mashup where the writer shares some random youtube mashup video that you maybe have seen before called the Mother of all Funk Chords. It's a pretty amazing artistic achievement and probably worth at least a quick glance of your time. But the larger point should be taken seriously. He says "If your reaction to this crate of magic is 'Hm. I wonder how we'd go about suing someone who "did this" with our IP?' instead of, 'Holy crap, clearly, this is the freaking future of entertainment,' it's probably time to put some ramen on your Visa and start making stuff up for your LinkedIn page. Because, this is what your new Elvis looks like."

Comment: Fantastic! (Score 1) 121

by Vthornheart (#27092789) Attached to: Congress Mulls API For Congressional Data
This is a fantastic idea! It would resolve a great deal of transparency problems with how our government works... yes, you can pour through Thomas, but Thomas is only a barely usable system, and its versioning capabilities definitely don't give the kind of information that would actually be useful to people trying to figure out who put line X in bill Y. If such an API existed (and was made truly useful in the ways being spoken of with versioning and robust searching), I would consider that a great victory for freedom of information.
PlayStation (Games)

Sony Makes It Hard To Develop For the PS3 On Purpose 616

Posted by Soulskill
from the how's-that-working-out-for-you dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "CNet reports on a bizarre comment from Sony's Computer Entertainment CEO in response to complaints from developers on how hard it is to develop games for the Playstation 3. 'We don't provide the "easy to program for" console that (developers) want, because "easy to program for" means that anybody will be able to take advantage of pretty much what the hardware can do, so then the question is, what do you do for the rest of the nine-and-a-half years?' Given that games heavily drive console sales, and the fact that the PS3 is already 8 million units behind the Xbox 360, I think making a developer's job harder is the last thing Sony needs."
Businesses

Jobs On Track For June Return 122

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the because-he-can dept.
nandemoari writes "On Tuesday, Apple shareholders gathered at Apple's Cupertino corporate campus continued their pursuit of details regarding Apple chief Steve Jobs' health. They didn't get a whole heck of a lot of information out of Apple's executives, but they did receive some encouraging news on Jobs' status. Timothy Cook, Apple's chief operating officer, assured shareholders that Jobs still planned to return to the company in June. Jobs obviously wasn't present at the meeting, which might have made it rather uncomfortable when several stockholders stood to sing 'Happy Birthday.' Jobs' 54th passed on Tuesday."

Comment: Focus efforts on presentation... (Score 4, Insightful) 791

by Vthornheart (#26711311) Attached to: Torvalds Rejects One-Size-Fits-All Linux
Perhaps instead of worrying about the specific distro being worked on (and distro-specific apps), developers could unite to improve the libraries, services, and interfaces that are used universally. Gnome and KDE, for example, are the "face" of Linux to the average user. And let's face it... KDE is modern but broken in many ways, and Gnome is stable but behind the times in many ways. The specific distro being improved is less of a concern if the focus is on bringing stability, visual appeal, and new user interface innovations to the frontend of Linux itself: the GUI interfaces that the average user works with on the system. Working on that aspect would make every distro benefit.
Microsoft

Microsoft To Release Cloud-Oriented Windows OS 209

Posted by timothy
from the name-tba dept.
CWmike writes "Within a month, Microsoft will unveil what CEO Steve Ballmer called 'Windows Cloud.' The operating system, which will likely have a different name, is intended for developers writing cloud-computing applications, said Ballmer, who spoke to an auditorium of IT managers at a Microsoft-sponsored conference in London. Ballmer was short on details, saying more information would spoil the announcement. Windows Cloud is a separate project from Windows 7, the operating system that Microsoft is developing to succeed Windows Vista."
Handhelds

SDK Shoot Out, Android Vs. IPhone 413

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the take-the-pepsi-challenge dept.
snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister delves into the Android and iPhone SDKs to help sort out which will be the best bet for developers now that technical details of the first Android smartphone have been announced. Whereas the iPhone requires an Intel-based Mac running OS X 10.5.4 or later, ADC membership, and familiarity with proprietary Mac OS X dev tools, the standard IDE for Android is Eclipse. And because most tasks can be performed with command-line tools, you can expert third parties to develop Android SDK plug-ins for other IDEs. Objective-C, used almost nowhere outside Apple, is required for iPhone UI development, while app-level Android programming is done in Java. 'By just about any measure, Google's Android is more open and developer-friendly than the iPhone,' McAllister writes, noting Apple's gag order restrictions on documentation, proprietary software requirements to view training videos, and right to reject your finished app from the sole distribution channel for iPhone. This openness is, of course, essential to Android's prospects. 'Based on raw market share alone, the iPhone seems likely to remain the smartphone developer's platform of choice — especially when ISVs can translate that market share into application sales,' McAllister writes. 'Sound familiar? In this race, Apple is taking a page from Microsoft's book, while Google looks suspiciously like Linux.'"
Mozilla

Why Mozilla Is Committed To Using Gecko 632

Posted by Soulskill
from the gecko,-not-geico dept.

Ars Technica has published an article about Mozilla's commitment to use the Gecko rendering engine instead of using Webkit, which was adopted by Apple and Google for use in the Safari and Chrome browsers. I have been using Chrome on my work PC and find many of its features compelling, and wonder how soon we will see its best innovations in Firefox. Why is Gecko worth keeping if it is outdated and bloated?

PC Games (Games)

Will DRM Exterminate Spore? 881

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the please-don't-make-me-insert-a-cd dept.
AC Dude writes "Will an anti-DRM flash mob that's determined to give EA's latest sim game Spore a rock bottom rating on Amazon.com sink the game, or will Spore evolve and shed the DRM? Is this the beginning of the end for DRM-laden games? 'Over the past few years we've focused a lot on the music industry and how it has attempted to use DRM to control distribution. While DRM in this market segment has been unpopular, anti-DRM campaigns have largely fallen flat when it comes to attracting widespread public attention because of the fragmented nature of music. Games are a much easier target given the monolithic nature of their release — campaigners only need to spread the word on a handful of specific online outlets to reach a wide audience. A quick read through the Amazon reviews of Spore seems to suggest that the negative comments are already putting people off from buying the game.'"
Graphics

Nvidia Claims Intel's Larrabee Is "a GPU From 2006" 278

Posted by Soulskill
from the dem's-fightin'-woids dept.
Barence sends this excerpt from PC Pro: "Nvidia has delivered a scathing criticism of Intel's Larrabee, dismissing the multi-core CPU/GPU as wishful thinking — while admitting it needs to catch up with AMD's current Radeon graphics cards. 'Intel is not a stupid company,' conceded John Mottram, chief architect for the company's GT200 core. 'They've put a lot of people behind this, so clearly they believe it's viable. But the products on our roadmap are competitive to this thing as they've painted it. And the reality is going to fall short of the optimistic way they've painted it. As [blogger and CPU architect] Peter Glaskowsky said, the "large" Larrabee in 2010 will have roughly the same performance as a 2006 GPU from Nvidia or ATI.' Speaking ahead of the opening of the annual NVISION expo on Monday, he also admitted Nvidia 'underestimated ATI with respect to their product.'"

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