Proudrooster writes "Fellow Slashdotters, I have transitioned to teaching and my students have asked me what is the best path to take to work in the video game programming industry. Which would be of more benefit: pursing a Computer Science degree or taking an accelerated program like those at FullSail? I have a CS degree, and suspect that the CS degree would be of more benefit in the long run, but I would like anyone in the industry to share their wisdom and experience with my students trying to follow in your footsteps. If you could recommend some programs in your replies it would be appreciated." A couple other questions that might help those students: what non-academic methods would you recommend to students looking for a career in the games industry? What projects and tools are good starting points for learning the ropes?
'Cause all of my troubles seemed so far away
BEGIN RANT Seriously, North Carolina State University (NCSU in Raleigh) is not the University of North Carolina (typically in reference to Chapel Hill). One is a school (that I happened to have attended twice) that focuses primarily on Engineering and Agriculture and the other is a liberal arts school down the road. Seriously, fact-check much? http://www.mse.ncsu.edu/CAMSS/bio1.html END RANT
At least 50% of my paychecks would be converted into tokens and put into one of many Neo-Geo machines at the arcade when I was in high school. It's good that my favorite old games finally have an anthem.
Mike writes "If you buy a Kindle and some Kindle ebooks from Amazon, be careful of returning items. Amazon decided that one person had returned too many things, so they suspended his Amazon account, which meant that he could no longer buy any Kindle books, and any Kindle subscriptions he's paid for stop working. After some phone calls, Amazon granted him a one-time exception and reactivated his account again." Take this with as much salt as you'd like.
Barence writes "Social news website Digg.com has made key changes to its recently introduced DiggBar. The browser add-on had been much criticised for its use of frames to 'host' third-party websites within the digg.com domain using an obfuscating short URL, thereby boosting its own traffic figures to the detriment of those third parties. After many major sites ran negative articles on the DiggBar, and even changed their code to block it, Digg has relented and announced two changes to ease concerns."
eldavojohn writes "Yesterday, GamePolitics ran an interesting story about the Utah Senate President threatening Jack Thompson with the CAN-SPAM Act. You might recall Utah being Jack's last hope and hold-out after being disbarred in Florida and more or less made a mockery everywhere else. Well, from Utah's Senate Site, we get the picture of what Jack is up to now: spamming his last friends on the planet. The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting on Senate President Michael Waddoups' statements: 'I asked you before to remove me from your mailing list. I supported your bill but because of the harassment will not again. If I am not removed, I will turn you over to the AG for legal action.' The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Waddoups confirmed on Tuesday that he would attempt to pursue legal action under the federal CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 against Jack Thompson."
FutureDomain writes "The Boston College Campus Police have seized the electronics of a computer science student for allegedly sending an email outing another student. The probable cause? The search warrant application states that he is 'a computer science major' and he uses 'two different operating systems for hiding his illegal activity. One is the regular B.C. operating system and the other is a black screen with white font which he uses prompt commands on.' The EFF is currently representing him."
N!NJA writes "Two major themes of our time — the desire to achieve energy independence and the furor over public bailouts — have collided in the drama surrounding swanky electric carmaker Tesla. Late last year, a New York Times column whipped Silicon Valley innovators and bailout-weary taxpayers into a frenzy. Valley professor and writer Randall Stross wrote that Tesla was hoping for government money to produce its cars, which only the very wealthy could afford. It wasn't exactly true, since the loan was intended to produce the $50,000 Model S sedan, not the $109,000 Roadster. Still, Stross called it a risky, waste of taxpayer money that would only benefit the wealthy and bailout VCs who'd sunk money into the money-losing company. Never mind, Tesla has developed two cars on less than $200 million — compared to the $1 billion General Motors spent developing the now-deceased EV1."
freakxx writes "Microsoft has been slapped with a fine of 9 million Euros by German regulators over illegally fixing the price of its Office-suite in an anti-competitive manner during a retail-promotion fair. Microsoft has accepted the fine and decided not to take this issue to any higher level."
Hugh Pickens writes to mention that Italian scientist Giampaolo Giuliani, a researcher at the National Physical Laboratory of Gran Sasso, recently gave warning about an earthquake that was to happen on March 29th of this year near L'Aquilla. Based on radon gas emissions and a series of observed tremors he tried to convince residents to evacuate, drawing much criticism from the city's mayor and others. Giuliani was forced to take down warnings he had posted on the internet. The researcher had said that a 'disastrous' earthquake would strike on March 29, but when it didn't, Guido Bertolaso, head of Italy's Civil Protection Agency, last week officially denounced Giuliani in court for false alarm. 'These imbeciles enjoy spreading false news,' Bertalaso was quoted as saying. 'Everyone knows that you can't predict earthquakes.' Giuliani, it turns out, was partially right. A much smaller seismic shift struck on the day he said it would, with the truly disastrous one arriving just one week later. 'Someone owes me an apology,' said Giuliani, who is also a resident of L'Aquila. 'The situation here is dramatic. I am devastated, but also angry.'"
waderoush writes "Terrafugia — the Massachusetts company building a 'roadable aircraft' (that's flying car to you and me) — revealed at a press conference Wednesday that the Transition vehicle has been taken aloft for its maiden flight. The craft, which can fly up to 460 miles at 115 mph and then fold up its wings for 65-mph highway driving, was the subject of two hotly debated Slashdot posts on May 8 and May 13 of last year. The company said the first flight took place in Plattsburgh, NY; retired Air Force Colonel Phil Meteer was at the controls."
Gamasutra is running a feature written by Mick West, co-founder of Neversoft, about creating game AI that is dumb enough to defeat, yet intelligent enough that its "mistakes" are similar to those a real player would make, thus preserving the illusion that the AI is not just throwing the game. "The simplest way to introduce stupidity into AI is to reduce the amount of computation that it's allowed to perform. Chess AI generally performs billions of calculations when deciding what move to make. ... The problem with this approach is that it decreases the realism of the AI player. When you reduce the amount of computation, the AI will begin to make incredibly stupid mistakes — mistakes that are so stupid, no human would ever make them. The artificial nature of the game will then become apparent, which destroys the illusion of playing against a real opponent. ... By reducing the amount of computation, we create an AI opponent that is trying to win, but has been crippled in a way that leads to unrealistic gameplay."
suraj.sun writes "A bat was seen clinging to the external fuel tank of the Space Shuttle Discovery before its launch on Sunday, apparently clung for dear life to the side of the tank as the spaceship lifted off. The shuttle accelerates to an orbital velocity of 17,500 milers per hour, which is 25 times faster than the speed of sound, in just over eight minutes. That's zero to 100 mph in 10 seconds. Did it make it into space? No one knows yet. But photos of Discovery as it cleared the launch tower showed a tiny speck on the side of the tank. When those photos were blown up, it became apparent that the speck was a bat."
SpuriousLogic writes "I work as a senior software engineer, and a fair amount of my time is spent interviewing new developers. I have seen a growing trend of what I would call 'TV reality' college graduates — kids who graduated school in the last few years and seem to have a view of the workplace that is very much fashioned by TV programs, where 22-year-olds lead billion-dollar corporate mergers in Paris and jet around the world. Several years ago I worked at a company that did customization for the software they sold. It was not full-on consultant work, but some aspects of it were 'consulting light,' and did involve travel, some overseas. Almost every college graduate I interviewed fully expected to be sent overseas on their first assignment. They were very disappointed when told they were most likely to end up in places like Decater, IL and Cedar Rapids, IA, as only the most senior people fly overseas, because of the cost. Additionally, I see people in this age bracket expecting almost constant rewards. One new hire told me that he thought he had a good chance at an award because he had taught himself Enterprise Java Beans. When told that learning new tech is an expected part of being a developer, he argued that he had learned it by himself, and that made it different. So today I see an article about the growing narcissism of students, and I want to ask this community: are you seeing the sorts of 'crashing down to Earth' expectations of college grads described here? Is working with this age bracket more challenging than others? Do they produce work that is above or below your expectations of a recent college grad?" We discussed a similar question from the point of view of the young employees a few months back.