Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Submission + - Your Next Game Console Will Be an Android Phone (

waderoush writes: "Charles Huang, the co-founder of RedOctane and the co-creator of its blockbuster game Guitar Hero, is up to something new. At Santa Clara, CA-based Green Throttle Games, he's working to give smartphone owners a way to display games on their high-definition TVs and compete with their friends via Bluetooth game controllers. Since coming out of stealth mode in November, the company has raised $6 million in venture backing and has begun to share previews of the first Green-Throttle-enabled games. In an in-depth interview, Huang and co-founder Matt Crowley argued that the era of $60 game discs is almost over, and that today's smartphones have more than enough power to run high-fidelity games on big screens. He says the company's key technical challenge has been building a software platform (called Arena) that allows a smartphone to handle inputs from multiple controllers. 'We’re talking about allowing four controllers to connect to the same device, and having the device know who Player One, Player Two, Player Three, and Player Four are,' says Huang. 'That use case doesn’t even exist in mobile.' Huang expects Green Throttle's first games to hit the market in early 2013."

Comment Re:didn't this used to exist years ago? (Score 2) 76

Author here. Yes, from 2009-2011 or so they had a Google Labs project called Google Squared that presented results in tabular form ( I asked Shashi Thakur about this and he said they killed it because it wasn't deep enough to be useful. He told me there were actually pockets of structured, graph-like data popping up all over Google (in verticals like travel search and product search) but every team was doing it differently and it became clear the "the pockets were not coinciding." That's why they decided to take a top-down (or maybe you'd call it bottoms-up) approach and just buy Metaweb.

Submission + - Google's Second Brain: How the Knowledge Graph Changes Search (

waderoush writes: "Last spring Google introduced its English-speaking users to the Knowledge Graph, a vast semantic graph of real-world entities and properties born from the Freebase project at Metaweb Technologies (which Google acquired in 2010). This month Google began showing Knowledge Graph results to speakers of seven other languages. Though the project has received little coverage, the consequences could be as far-reaching as previous overhauls to Google’s infrastructure, such as the introduction of universal search back in 2007. That’s because the Knowledge Graph plugs a big hole in Google’s technology: the lack of a common-sense understanding of the things in its Web index. Despite all the statistical magic that made Google’s keyword-based retrieval techniques so effective, ‘We didn’t ever represent the real world properly in the computer,’ says Google senior vice president of engineering Amit Singhal. He says the Knowledge Graph represents a ‘baby step’ toward future computer systems that can intuit what humans are searching for and respond with exact answers, rather than the classic ten blue links. ‘Now, when you encounter encounters the letters T-A-J-M-A-H-A-L on any Web page, the computers suddenly start understanding that this document is about the monument, and this one is about the musician, and this one is about a restaurant,’ Singhal says. ‘That ‘aboutness’ is foundational to building the search of tomorrow.’"

Submission + - iCracked Fixes Shattered iPhones, Wants to Be the AAA of Mobile (

waderoush writes: "The iPhone's screen may be made of Gorilla Glass, but that doesn't stop people from finding ways to destroy it. In fact, warranty provider SquareTrade says 30 percent of iPhone owners break their phones in the first 12 months after purchase; for people under 35, the rate is closer to 50 percent. Now there's a startup in Silicon Valley called iCracked that specializes in fixing fractured iOS devices, at costs below what owners will likely pay Apple if they go to the Genius Bar. From iCracked's Web or mobile site you can enter your location and device type, then wait a few minutes for a local 'iTech' to call you to schedule a repair visit. The company, which is backed by the Y Combinator startup accelerator, can also send you a DIY repair kit or buy your broken phone for cash, and it plans to offer insurance plans to ease replacement headaches for chronic iPhone-crushers. CEO AJ Forsythe says he wants the company to grow into 'the AAA of smartphones.'"

Submission + - Can a 30-Year-Old Company Act Like a Startup? The Case of Intuit (

waderoush writes: "Back in 1997, Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen described "the innovator's dilemma" — the difficulty established companies face when adapting to new technologies or developing products that might disrupt existing business lines. Executives at Intuit, the personal finance giant, are conscious of this dilemma and have set up an impressive array of programs designed to route around it. But the payoffs are unclear so far. Despite progress integrating and developing new mobile apps such as SnapTax, the company is still dependent on aging products like TurboTax and QuickBooks for most of its revenue. And in emerging areas like mobile payments for small business, Intuit has been slow to respond to challenges from upstarts such as Square. Xconomy surveys Intuit's innovation programs and concludes that this PC-era company may need to take more risks if it hopes to succeed in the age of mobile and cloud services."

Submission + - "Getting Things Done" Gets A Boost from Charles Simonyi (

waderoush writes: "He's famous now for dating Martha Stewart and going into space (twice), but Charles Simonyi is known to software engineers mainly as the father of Microsoft Word and the creator of 'intentional programming,' a method that generates code automatically based on high-level commands from domain experts. Now Simonyi and his Bellevue, WA, company Intentional Software are teaming up with 'Getting Things Done' author David Allen to translate the personal-productivity guru's time-management technique into mobile apps. Surprisingly, there's never been an official GTD app — and Allen dismisses most to-do-list software as 'dispersive rather than integrative.' But in an extended Q&A with Xconomy, Allen says 'These guys [at Intentional Software] came to me tabula rasa and said ‘we don’t know what’s needed, but we think we have a technology that could be utilized to help knit together a lot of this stuff.’' No product development timeline has been announced.

Submission + - Romney disses green jobs, but Republican governors love them (

waderoush writes: "GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney claims that 'for every ‘green job’ created there are actually more jobs destroyed.' But the campaign rhetoric doesn't have much to do with reality on the ground, especially in Republican-dominated states. A San Francisco-based cleantech venture capital firm, DBL Investors, has issued a report showing that most of the states adding green jobs the fastest are either red states or swing states — and that Republican governors like Haley Barbour, Rick Perry, Chris Christie, and Bobby Jindal have been among the most aggressive courtiers of the cleantech industry. 'The governors didn't get the memo that said cleantech is really controversial,' says co-author Nancy Pfund, managing partner at DBL."

Submission + - San Diego Zoo Creates Biomimicry Incubator (

waderoush writes: "The San Diego Zoo has built a world famous reputation as a tourist destination, for helping to rescue the California Condor, and maybe (if you're old enough) for Joan Embery's appearances with Johnny Carson. Now the zoo is using its expertise to drive innovation by establishing a new 'Centre for Bioinspiration.' While the Anglicized spelling of 'center' might seem pretentious, the zoo has a down-to-earth goal of innovating through the emerging field of biomimicry, which is exemplified by Qualcomm's Mirasol display technology (the displays generate colors using the same type of interference between light waves that causes iridescence in butterfly wings). The center includes an incubator for developing new bio-inspired products and technologies, where ideas would be advanced to a proof of concept or working model, and then licensed. The incubator also intends to help develop bio-inspired ideas from outside the zoo."

Submission + - Inside Nukotoys' Project to Build a Monster iPad Hit for Kids (

waderoush writes: "San Francisco-based Nukotoys this week introduced two new kids' games for the Apple iPad that are literal crossovers between trading cards (à la Pokemon or Magic: The Gathering) and 3D video game worlds. The cards show various mythical creatures (in "Monsterology") and African megafauna (in "Animal Planet Wildlands"), but they're also imprinted with an invisible, capacitive ink. When players tap the cards on the iPad screen, 3D versions of the creatures are activated inside the games. The games evolved from an earlier physical-virtual crossover game concept that used RFID technology. 'We are interested in creating a new type of toy that really takes advantage of this fantastic platform and can evolve over time and become more interesting as the child uses it,' says Nukotoys' co-CEO Rodger Raderman."
The Internet

Submission + - Content Centric Networking & The Next Internet (

waderoush writes: "PARC research fellow Van Jacobson argues that the Internet was never designed to carry exabytes of video, voice, and image data to consumers’ homes and mobile devices, and that it will never be possible to increase bandwidth fast enough to keep up with demand. In fact, he thinks that the Internet has outgrown its original underpinnings as a network built on physical addresses, and that it’s time to put aside TCP/IP and start over with a completely novel approach to naming, storing, and moving data. The fundamental idea behind Jacobson's alternative proposal — Content Centric Networking — is that to retrieve a piece of data, you should only have to care about what you want, not where it’s stored. If implemented, the idea might undermine many current business models in the software and digital content industries — while at the same time creating new ones. In other words, it’s exactly the kind of revolutionary idea that has remade Silicon Valley at least four times since the 1960s."

Submission + - Kuato Studios Uses Siri-Like Virtual Assistant in Coding Game (

waderoush writes: "Imagine a mashup of Dead Space, The Hunger Games, The Matrix, and Codecademy, with a smarter version of Siri along for the ride. That gives you a rough picture of the educational iPad video game being developed by Kuato Studios, a new startup based in London and San Francisco. Kuato has an exclusive license to educational and video game applications of virtual personal assistant (VPA) technology developed by SRI International, the same outfit that gave birth to Apple's Siri. In the game, a shipwreck on an alien planet provides the setting for lessons in XML, JavaScript, and other aspects of programming, and the VPA plays the role of guide, tutor, and troubleshooter. But unlike Siri, Kuato's VPA gets to know the user over time. 'It is going to remember what you asked it, and take you through that in a better way the next time,' says Kuato CEO Frank Meehan. 'It will know what you do or don’t like and what aptitude you have.' The overall point of the game is to keep 11- to 15-year-olds motivated as they learn what Meehan calls 'skills they are not getting in school...the skills of the future.'"

Submission + - Xamarin Beckons Windows Developers to Build iOS and Android Apps (

waderoush writes: "Previously on Slashdot: Ex-Sun Employees Are Taking Java to iOS. Well, this item could be called 'Ex-Novell Employees Are Taking C# to iOS.' Nat Friedman and Miguel de Icaza, familiar figures in the open source world for their work on the Mono (.NET for Linux) platform at Ximian and Novell, have just raised $12 million for their new startup Xamarin. They're selling subscriptions to developer tools that let Windows and .NET developers turn their C# code into native iOS and Android apps, with MonoTouch and Mono for Android as the runtime environments. Friedman says Xamarin's MonoDevelop tool is so powerful that some developers are learning C# just so they can use it. 'We are the only ones who give you a way to share code and have no compromises on the native access,' he says. 'We have customers like Rdio who have never programmed any C# before, but they thought it was a better way of writing mobile apps.'"

Submission + - Diffbot Is Using Computer Vision to Reinvent the Semantic Web (

waderoush writes: "Since the 1990s, Tim Berners-Lee has been pushing the idea of the Semantic Web, where all content would be tagged to enable smarter inferences by machines. It's never caught on, partly because of the sheer tedium and labor cost of tagging everything twice (once for machine-readability and once for human-readability). Now a Stanford-born startup called Diffbot has a potential solution. Using computer vision algorithms adapted from Stanford's project to build a self-driving robot car, Diffbot can automatically recognize sections of Web pages such as headlines, body text, and ads. Once classified, the content can be broken down and reassembled in many forms. AOL, for example, is using Diffbot to power Editions by AOL, the personalized iPad magazine that includes content extracted from Engadget, TechCrunch, the Huffington Post, and other sources. By building APIs that understand more types of Web pages, Diffbot hopes to build a 'fully indexed, reverse-engineered Semantic Web,' according to vice president of products John Davi."

Submission + - Can Anyone Catch Khan Academy? (

waderoush writes: "Even as name-brand universities like MIT and Harvard rush to put more courses on the Web, they're vying with an explosion of new online learning resources like Coursera, Udacity, Udemy, Dabble, Skillshare, and, of course, Khan Academy. With 3,200 videos on YouTube and 4 million unique visitors a month, Sal Khan's increasingly entertaining creation is the competitor that traditional universities need to beat if they want to have a role in inspiring the next generation of leaders and thinkers, this Xconomy commentary argues. Lately Khan's organization has been snapping up some of YouTube's most creative educational-video producers, including 'Doodling in Math Class' creator Vi Hart and Smarthistory founders Beth Harris and Steven Zucker. Universities are investing millions in software for 'massive online open courses' or MOOCs, but unless they can figure out how to make their material fun as well as instructive, Khan may have an insurmountable lead."

Slashdot Top Deals

I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman