From my experience, someone who boasts to be a 'star' programmer usually is not one. I'm just saying...
A round-table discussion at Gametopius looks into the state of downloadable content for games as it has evolved over the past several years, going from an occasional, welcome supplement to being a common marketing strategy for most of the industry, frequently causing irritation over pricing and availability. "All of the map packs so far released for the Call of Duty games have been $10 each to download on consoles through closed networks, while PC gamers could download those same packs for free off of FileShack or somewhere else. Valve's own Team Fortress 2 has received a significant amount of DLC that's been completely free on the PC. Xbox owners of the same game, however, have only received perhaps half of that content, and they have had to pay for it in $5 packs. Why is this? The idea of this kind of content delivery was scarcely heard of on consoles, so console gamers see no reason not to pay for it. But on the PC, these amounts of content are usually just considered parts of patches. Furthermore, why pay for a few extra maps and costumes when modders are making and offering new ones for free all the time?"
Back in January we covered the Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot, or EATR. The EATR gets its energy by "engaging in biologically-inspired, organism-like energy-harvesting behavior which is the equivalent of eating. It can find, ingest, and extract energy from biomass in the environment ..." So many news outlets picked up the story and ran it with titles alluding to the robot "eating flesh" or even "eating corpses" that a company spokesperson put out a press release saying, "This robot is strictly vegetarian." The statement says in part, "RTI's patent pending robotic system will be able to find, ingest and extract energy from biomass in the environment. Despite the far-reaching reports that this includes 'human bodies,' the public can be assured that the engine Cyclone has developed to power the EATR runs on fuel no scarier than twigs, grass clippings and wood chips — small, plant-based items for which RTI's robotic technology is designed to forage. Desecration of the dead is a war crime under Article 15 of the Geneva Conventions, and is certainly not something sanctioned by DARPA, Cyclone or RTI."
KindMind writes "The Daily Mail has cool pictures of the Sarychev Peak (Kuril Islands) volcano eruption taken from the ISS back on June 12. From the article: 'A chance recording by astronauts on the International Space Station has captured the moment a volcano explosively erupted, sending massive shockwaves through the atmosphere. Sarychev Peak, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, had been sitting quietly in the Kuril Island chain near Japan for 20 years, when it suddenly sprang to life on June 12. Fortuitously, the International Space Station was flying overhead at the time, and managed to capture this spectacular image of the ash-cloud tearing through the atmosphere, sending clouds scattering in its wake in a perfect circle.'"
ChelleChelle writes: As can be inferred from the title, this article examines the limitations of the sockets API. The Internet and the networking world in general have changed in very significant ways since the sockets API was first developed, but in many ways the API has had the effect of narrowing the way in which developers think about and write networked applications. This article discusses the history as well as the future of the sockets API, focusing on how "high bandwidth, low latency and multihoming are driving the development of new alternatives. "