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+ - Opera + Minecraft = OPERAcraft?

Submitted by Agram
Agram (721220) writes "On Slashdot, Minecraft needs no introduction. The sandbox/game's popularity is so intense, kids these days enjoy just as much watching others play on YouTube as they do playing it themselves. The community has also spawned a broad array of impressive mods. The OPERAcraft mod designed at Virginia Tech's Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology provides a collection of tools designed with real-time theater and movie productions. When coupled with Linux Laptop Orchestra's pd-l2ork free open-source real-time digital signal processing software, the environment offers a rich set of production-friendly features including: animated character mouth movement driven through pd-l2ork's speech/singing analysis engine, hand and body gestures, multiple camera angles, camera view mixer, subtitles, behind-the-scenes performer warnings, and a full scene control (fadeouts, scripted character positioning, etc.). Last night, Virginia Tech premiered world's first virtual opera using OPERAcraft mod. The performance involved live singers in conjunction with high-school kids who designed the set, characters, story and libretto, as well as performed the characters on screen. A livestream recording of a 20-minute opera showcasing the mod can be found here (fast forward to 23:10 for the beginning). And yes, they did use Linux for production as well as signal analysis."

Comment: Re:Original Research? (Score 1) 385

by agg-1 (#35675578) Attached to: Wikipedia Wants More Contributions From Academics

I agree that a two-class system of editors wouldn't be desirable. I think that the basic idea of an encyclopedia by the people for the people is great. But it seems that in the past few years there has been a considerable rise of exclusionism on WP (the English WP isn't the worst offender, I admit, but it's quite noticeable there, too). For me, one of the strong points of WP has always been the broad coverage of up-to-date and minor topics. This is what makes it a valuable resource for me; if I want the Encyclopedia Britannica I know where to find it.

But nowadays I notice that the notability guideline is wielded all to often in order to get rid of well-written and factually correct articles. This just destroys value; it adds nothing. Worse, it strongly discourages knowledgeable editors from contributing. Nothing is more frustrating than wasting a considerable amount of time on an article just to have it deleted a few days later.

WP needs to go back to its roots. For a start, I think that WP should just get rid of this silly notability guideline. IMHO it's better to err in favor of including a subject. There are other, more objective instruments to judge the quality of an article.

Comment: Re:Original Research? (Score 2) 385

by agg-1 (#35672258) Attached to: Wikipedia Wants More Contributions From Academics
You make it sound as if older researchers like me don't know how to operate a browser or how to enter wiki code. Quite the opposite. We grew up with the Internet as well, even before it was called that. :) The real problem with WP is that its policies don't encourage editing, because you know that most of the time your articles are being deleted or edited by self-proclaimed experts until they are rendered useless.

Comment: Re:Original Research? (Score 2) 385

by agg-1 (#35672114) Attached to: Wikipedia Wants More Contributions From Academics

Why would this be any more of a problem? Academic authors ought to be able to cite research papers just like anyone else; in fact, they could even cite their own publications.

Have you actually tried? You cite your own (refereed) research papers, some smart-ass comes along and flags the article for deletion because it's not backed up by at least half a dozen third party sources and hence the subject is not "notable" enough.

IMHO (and in my own experience), that's the real reason why many academics stop contributing to WP. WP needs to change its policies (in particular, the notability guidelines) or find some other way to keep the deletionists at bay.

Comment: Re:As fast as C code??? (Score 1) 462

by agg-1 (#24718197) Attached to: Firefox Gets Massive JavaScript Performance Boost
Given JIT compiler frameworks such as LLVM (http://llvm.org/), there's no reason that an interpreter environment can't be as fast (asymptotically) as "real" compiled code any more. The real divide is between static and dynamic typing now. The latter gives more flexibility (unrestricted polymorphism), but defers type checks until runtime which of course incurs a runtime cost.

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