Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses

Indie Game Developers Talk About Why They Struck Out On Their Own 49

Posted by timothy
from the you-can-hire-someone-to-flog-you dept.
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.

Comment: Re:Good! (Score 0) 619

by Wildclaw (#47276829) Attached to: 2 US Senators Propose 12-Cent Gas Tax Increase

Taxes real have four purposes for the federal government. or any other sovereign fiat currency owner.

The first two purposes are similar, namely to manage inflation and create a base demand for currency. You do those with general taxing and failure to do it leads to inflation and a devalued currency.

The third purpose is to punish externalities. You could outlaw things instead, but that is a very blunt solution. It is better to punish excessive usage via taxes. The gas tax is one such tax. Failure to properly implement these taxes makes the society as a whole worse off thanks to people exploiting externalities.

The final purpose is to ensure money circulation. This is done via wealth, land and progressive taxes. Failure to properly do that forces the government to issue more and more money as the existing money keeps accumulating in the top 1%, Since most modern countries use a bond system, that is equivalent to subsidizing the top 1% and going into an ever increasing debt.

Oh, and as technology improves, the return on capital will as well, causing money to accumulate upwards even faster. The most extreme example is when one person owns all the capital and can press a single button and produce enough for the whole population. In that case, that person will have to be taxed at nearly 100% if you want to keep the economy functioning.

Transportation

Shawn Raymond's Tandem Bike is Shorter Than Yours (Video) 85

Posted by Roblimo
from the get-on-your-mechanical-pony-and-ride dept.
This isn't a "both peddlers are equal" bike. The person sitting in the rear seat is in the "control" position. Because of the wide handlebars, he or she can reach around the person in the front seat to steer. The person in the front seat can't really do much except enjoy the ride, or maybe lean back and whisper a sweet nothing or two if the person in the back seat is someone the front-seater loves. The bike is called the UnaTandem (turn music off in the lower left corner of the page), and Shawn Raymond tried to get Kickstarter funding for it back in 2012 but only raised $1651, which was quite a ways short of his $70,000 goal. So, with Kickstarter in the rear view mirror, Shawn is trying to do his own crowdfunding. Will this work? Can he get enough people to buy into his idea of a tandem bike that gives you the old "riding on the handlebars" feeling to get his company off the ground? Can he use his own money (assuming he has enough) to build and sell his tandem bikes without bringing in outside investors at all? And then there's the price problem. Shawn says he's looking at a retail price in the $850 range. That may not seem like a lot to some, but you can buy 10 Walmart bikes for that much. Or four or five bikes from specialty bicycle or sporting goods stores. Despite the high price, some will undoubtedly buy these short tandem bikes and like them. But will enough people buy enough of them to make this a viable business? Shawn obviously thinks so. (Alternate Video Link)
Crime

Man Behind Hacks of Bush Family and Other Celebs Indicted In the US 65

Posted by Soulskill
from the bet-you-wish-you'd-stood-in-bed dept.
New submitter criticalmass24 writes: 42-year-old Marcel Lehel Lazar, better known as Guccifer, the hacker that gained unauthorized access to email and social network accounts of high-profile public figures, has been charged in the United States. According to the Department of Justice, "[F]rom December 2012 to January 2014, Lazar hacked into the e-mail and social media accounts of high-profile victims, including a family member of two former U.S. presidents, a former U.S. Cabinet member, a former member of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a former presidential adviser. After gaining unauthorized access to their e-mail and social media accounts, Lazar publicly released his victims’ private e-mail correspondence, medical and financial information, and personal photographs. The indictment also alleges that in July and August 2013, Lazar impersonated a victim after compromising the victim’s account." The full indictment can be read online.

Comment: Re:Stupidly tricked, not clever (Score 1) 309

by Wildclaw (#47205921) Attached to: Was Turing Test Legitimately Beaten, Or Just Cleverly Tricked?

The test is whether a computer can, in an extended conversation, fool a competent human into thinking it is a competent human being speaking the same language,at least 50% of the time.

That is the completely non-scientific populist version. It is basically worthless as it sets no baseline for the jury.

The scientific version of the test includes one human, one computer and a jury. The goal for both the human and the computer is to convince the jury that they are human.

ISS

Getting the Most Out of the Space Station (Before It's Too Late) 155

Posted by Soulskill
from the remember-when-we-let-our-space-program-die dept.
bmahersciwriter writes: NASA administrators are strategizing a push to do more science on the International Space Station in the coming years. The pressure is on, given the rapidly cooling relations between the U.S. and Russia, whose deputy prime minister recently suggested that U.S. astronauts use a trampoline if they want to get into orbit. Aiding in the push for more research is the development of two-way cargo ships by SpaceX, which should allow for return of research materials (formerly a hurdle to doing useful experiments). NASA soon aims to send new earth-monitoring equipment to the station and expanded rodent facilities. And geneLAB will send a range of model organisms like fruit flies and nematodes into space for months at a time.
Encryption

Auditors Release Verified Repositories of TrueCrypt 146

Posted by Soulskill
from the still-not-sure-what's-going-on dept.
Trailrunner7 writes: As the uncertainty surrounding the end of TrueCrypt continues, members of the security community are working to preserve a known-good archive of the last version of the open source encryption software released before the developers inserted a warning about potential unfixed bugs in the software and ended development.

The message that the TrueCrypt posted about the security of the software also was included in the release of version 7.2a. The OCAP team decided to focus on version 7.1a and created the verified repository by comparing the SHA2 hashes with files found in other TrueCrypt repositories. So the files are the same as the ones that were distributed as 7.1a. "These files were obtained last November in preparation for our audit, and match the hash reported by iSec in their official report from phase I of the audit," said Kenn White, part of the team involved in the TrueCrypt audit.
IOS

iOS 8 Strikes an Unexpected Blow Against Location Tracking 323

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the waiting-for-obvious-patents dept.
schwit1 (797399) writes 'It wasn't touted onstage, but a new iOS 8 feature is set to cause havoc for location trackers, and score a major win for privacy.As spotted by Frederic Jacobs, the changes have to do with the MAC address used to identify devices within networks. When iOS 8 devices look for a connection, they randomize the MAC address, effectively disguising any trace of the real device until it decides to connect to a network.'
Government

In First American TV Interview, Snowden Talks Accountability and Patriotism 389

Posted by timothy
from the smart-enough-for-exile dept.
mspohr (589790) points out NBC News's interview with Edward Snowden, the first time Snowden has talked with an American television reporter. It's a wide-ranging conversation, in which Snowden emphasizes his ongoing belief that he did the right thing to release the many documents that he did, even at the cost of his ability to travel. Snowden told NBC's Brian Williams "he had tried to go through channels before leaking documents to journalists, repeatedly raising objections inside the NSA, in writing, to its widespread use of surveillance. But he said he was told, "more or less, in bureaucratic language, 'You should stop asking questions.'" Two U.S. officials confirmed Wednesday that Snowden sent at least one email to the NSA's office of general counsel raising policy and legal questions." Perhaps paving the way to eventual repatriation, Snowden also indicated that he would be willing to accept a "short period" behind bars. But, he said, the U.S. should "reform the Espionage Act to distinguish between people who sell secrets to foreign governments for their own gain and people who return information to public hands for the purpose of serving the public interest," and to include contractors as well as government employees.
Transportation

Future Airline Safety Instructions Will Be Given By Game Apps 64

Posted by samzenpus
from the playing-it-safe dept.
vrml (3027321) writes "They revealed the existence of their project only to aviation safety specialists at the recent FAA Conference on Cabin Safety in Philadelphia (PDF). Now a team of Italian researchers from the HCI Lab of the University of Udine has publicly released the first in a set of aviation safety apps on which they are working. Their mission is to propose novel, first-of-their-kind solutions to a well-known problem in aviation safety: passengers lack preparedness about what to do in aircraft emergencies, and do not pay attention or do not clearly comprehend the pre-flight briefings and safety cards used by airlines to instruct them about safety. So the project is re-inventing safety cards and briefings with new media, turning them into games and apps. The first game they decided to release focuses specifically on the 'Brace for impact' position: players can pose the body of their avatar in the 3D airplane cabin and get a personalized simulation of a crash landing . To win the game, you must save your avatar (and yourself)."
Transportation

Hacker Holds Key To Free Flights 144

Posted by Soulskill
from the TSA-bans-cell-phones-and-sitting-down-in-response dept.
mask.of.sanity writes: "A security researcher says he has developed a method to score free flights across Europe by generating fake boarding passes designed for Apple's Passbook app. The 18-year-old computer science undergrad didn't reveal the 'bypass' which gets the holder of the fraudulent ticket past the last scanner and onto the jetway; he's saving that for his talk at Hack in the Box in Amsterdam next month."
Transportation

An Engineer's Eureka Moment With a GM Flaw 357

Posted by samzenpus
from the track-it-down dept.
theodp (442580) writes "Hired by the family of Brooke Melton in their wrongful-death lawsuit against GM, engineer Mark Hood was at a loss to explain why the engine in Melton's 2005 Chevy Cobalt had suddenly shut off, causing her fatal accident in 2010. Hood had photographed, X-rayed and disassembled the two-inch ignition switch, focusing on the tiny plastic and metal switch that controlled the ignition, but it wasn't until he bought a replacement for $30 from a local GM dealership that the mystery quickly unraveled. Eyeing the old and new parts, Hood quickly figured out a problem now linked to 13 deaths that GM had known about for a decade. Even though the new switch had the same identification number — 10392423 — Hood found big differences — a tiny metal plunger in the switch was longer in the replacement part, the switch's spring was more compressed, and most importantly, the force needed to turn the ignition on and off was greater. 'It's satisfying to me because I'm working on behalf of the Meltons,' Hood said. 'It won't bring their daughter back, but if it goes toward a better understanding of the problem, it might save someone else.' Next week, GM CEO Mary Barra will testify before Congress about events leading up to the wide-ranging recall of 2.6 million vehicles."
Moon

Back To the Moon — In Four Years 292

Posted by Soulskill
from the sign-me-up dept.
braindrainbahrain writes "Gene Grush, a former division chief at NASA Johnson, has written a series of articles on how the U.S. can return to the Moon in four years. He says not only can we land there, but we can actually build a base on the Moon as well. How is this feasible? A public/private partnership between NASA and a private space company. Quoting: 'The biggest obstacle is the lack of a rocket, called a super heavy launch vehicle, to lift it off the planet. NASA is working on one, called the Space Launch System, but the agency is constrained by its budget and the likelihood of it flying in that time frame is slim. But there’s an interim solution: SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, which will have its maiden flight this year and can supposedly launch up to 53 metric tons into orbit.'

'[I]f NASA makes lowering launch costs its highest priority, escaping the bonds that hold us to Earth will be financially feasible. We don’t do this by controlling the design so much as the frequency -- we are the customer, after all.' 'The development of a lunar base could be a catalyst for lowering our launch cost to space and accelerating the development of automation and robotics. ... If America doesn’t step up to the plate, China’s ambitions for the moon may establish it as the “go-to” nation for space exploration. Many nations of the world privately say they want the moon to be the next step in space exploration -- but they can’t get there on their own. They need a technically savvy and resourceful country to lead.'"

Comment: Re:VR (Score 1) 61

by Wildclaw (#46267895) Attached to: The Road To VR

a flat 2D surface in front of your eyes is *not* like a 3D world when your eye tracks (no matter how close it gets). It does not "curve" the same way. So now you need a tiny, bright, hi-res, portable, low-power FLEXIBLE display too which doesn't distort the image too much. Oh, two of them.

Or you could just use lenses combined with a shader that corrects for the lens distortion.

Comment: Re:Cut Out The Middle Men (Score 2) 118

by Wildclaw (#46253833) Attached to: Music Industry Is Keeping Streaming Services Unprofitable

Umm, the middlemen looks to be the music stream services. All they have to do is distribute a product that someone else has produced to the consumer, and for that they are getting to keep a whole 30-40% of the total sale.

Sorry, but if they can't make a profit on that, then they are doing something seriously wrong, or there are too many companies competing for too small of a market.

Stellar rays prove fibbing never pays. Embezzlement is another matter.

Working...