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Programming

Mario AI Competition 110

Posted by Soulskill
from the must-be-on-mushrooms-when-you-write-the-code dept.
togelius writes "We're running a competition to see who can program the best AI for a version of Super Mario Bros. It's about deciding what to do at each time step — run, jump, shoot etc. — based on a description of the platforms, items and enemies around Mario. This is hard. It's so hard we believe that some sort of machine learning algorithm will be necessary to reach good playing performance. But really, any approach is fair game. We welcome hard-coded submissions, commercial AI programmers, academics and amateurs alike. Whoever wins, it will be really interesting. The competition is associated with two IEEE conferences, and there are cash prizes available for the best submissions."
Microsoft

Windows 7 RTM Reviewed & Benchmarked 792

Posted by kdawson
from the praising-with-faint-damns dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The code is final, and CNet has reviewed the final version of Windows 7, with benchmarks to support the case that it's not only the fastest version of Windows to shut down, but also looks like 'the operating system that both Microsoft and its consumers have been waiting for.' The review continues: 'By fixing most of the perceived and real problems in Vista, Microsoft has laid the groundwork for the future of where Windows will go. Windows 7 presents a stable platform that can compete comfortably with OS X, while reassuring the world that Microsoft can still turn out a strong, useful operating system.'"

Comment: You missed the point (Score 1) 677

by trveler (#28404339) Attached to: A Mathematician's Lament — an Indictment of US Math Education
The author doesn't claim that the point is to get everyone to love it. The author claims that the point is to get everyone to realize what mathematics really is.
From TFA:
SALVIATI: If everyone were exposed to mathematics in its natural state, with all the challenging fun and surprises that that entails, I think we would see a dramatic change both in the attitude of students toward mathematics, and in our conception of what it means to be "good at math." We are losing so many potentially gifted mathematicians -- creative, intelligent people who rightly reject what appears to be a meaningless and sterile subject. They are simply too smart to waste their time on such piffle.
SIMPLICIO: But don't you think that if math class were made more like art class that a lot of kids just wouldn't learn anything?
SALVIATI: They're not learning anything now! Better to not have math classes at all than to do what is currently being done. At least some people might have a chance to discover something beautiful on their own.
SIMPLICIO: So you would remove mathematics from the school curriculum?
SALVIATI: The mathematics has already been removed! The only question is what to do with the vapid, hollow shell that remains. Of course I would prefer to replace it with an active and joyful engagement with mathematical ideas.

Comment: Another teacher's take (Score 1) 677

by trveler (#28404195) Attached to: A Mathematician's Lament — an Indictment of US Math Education
Read "The Seven Lesson Schoolteacher" by John Taylor Gatto. Gatto is an award-winning schoolteacher in New York State, and he takes much the same anaylsis as Lockhart does for math to the entire industry of education. Only Gatto wrote his piece in 1992. http://www.newciv.org/whole/schoolteacher.txt
Slashdot.org

Slashdot Keybindings, Dynamic Stories 220

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the we're-still-here dept.
We've been working hard on the new dynamic Slashdot project (logged in users can enable this by enabling the beta index in their user preferences). I just wanted to quickly mention that there are keybindings on the index. The WASD and VI movement keys do stuff that we like, and the faq has the complete list. Also, if you are using Firefox or have Index2 beta enabled, you can click 'More' in the footer at the end of the page to load the next block of stories in-line without a page refresh. We're experimenting now with page sizes to balance load times against the likelihood that you'll click. More features will be coming soon, but the main thing on our agenda now is optimization. The beta index2 is sloooow and that's gotta change. We're aiming for 2 major optimizations this week (CSS Sprites, and removing an old YUI library) that I'm hoping will put the beta page render time into the "Sane" time frame (which, in case you are wondering, is several seconds faster than that "Insane" time frame we're currently seeing).

Is That "Sexting" Pic Illegal? A Scientific Test 711

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-like-the-testing-part dept.
Frequent Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton writes " Amid the latest 'sexting' controversy, here is a proposal for a scientifically objective method to determine whether a picture constitutes child pornography. This is a harder problem than it seems, but not for the reasons you'd think. And it raises questions about how the same scientific principles could be applied to other matters of law." Hit the link below to read the sextiest story on Slashdot today.

Comment: Eucalyptus (Score 4, Interesting) 302

by trveler (#26886613) Attached to: How Do I Put Unused Servers To Work?
Set up a Eucalyptus installation and compete with Amazon. OK, not really, but you can have an EC2 workalike without the usage charges. Use this setup as a sandbox to test migrating your current IT infrastructure to AWS. When it all works, hit the switch and actually make the move to EC2. Then, sell your no-longer-used hardware. You just converted Capital Expenses into Operational Expenses.

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