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Submission + - Best way to teach high school kids how to make gam 1

nzyank writes: "The other day I bravely (foolishly?) volunteered to conduct a video game development workshop at my boys' HS. This in Smallsville, Vermont with an average graduating class size of about 20. The idea is to meet once a week and actually create a game, start to finish. It will be open to would-be programmers, designers, artists, etc.

I worked on a bunch of AAA titles back in the 90's, but I'm pretty much out of touch nowadays and I'm trying to figure out the best approach. The requirements are that it has to be one of either Windows/XBox or Android, since those are the platforms that I am current on. It has to be relatively simple for the kids to get up and running quickly, and it needs to be as close to free as possible. Teaching them to use stuff like Blender, C#, C++, Java, XNA, OpenGL and the Android SDK is probably a bit much.

I was thinking of something like the Torque Engine, but they want $1000 for an academic license, which is never going to happen. I simply don't know what's out there nowadays and could really use some suggestions."

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Assembling a desktop environment 1

paxcoder writes: Gnome Shell... is different. Very much so. The fallback was inadequate. I suspect that many people, like me, turned to the alternatives. My choice was LXDE, which worked ok, until (lx-)panel broke in the unstable branch of the distro that I use. Tired of using the terminal to run stuff, I replaced the standard panel with the one from Xfce. That made me realize that we really don't need a packaged desktop environment, there are pieces ready for assembly. If you customize your graphical environment, what elements do you use? Which window manager, file manager, panel(etc.) would you recommend? Do you have a panel with a hardware usage monitors, how do you switch between workspaces? Anything cool we might not know about?

Submission + - Slashdot Poll 3

Nom du Keyboard writes: How many incandescent light bulbs have you replaced in your house with fluorescent equivalents?

None – and never will.
1-2
3-5
6-10
10-20
>20
Waiting for LEDs/Light Bulb Next.
I use pre-incandescent lighting technology
Java

Submission + - Ubuntu Lockdown 2

clava writes: We have a desktop Java testing application that is going to be administering tests to students on lab computers running Ubuntu 10.x. These computers are used by the students for other purposes and we're not allowed to create special users or change the OS configuration. When the testing app is launched, we need to restrict users from exiting the app so they can't do things like search the internet for answers or use other applications. Is there a good way to put an Ubuntu machine in kiosk mode or something via our application and have exiting kiosk mode be password protected? Any ideas are appreciated.
Google

Submission + - Google Throws /. Under Bus to Snag Patent

theodp writes: Before Danny Hillis and Bran Ferren invented Google's newly-patented system for Delegating Authority to Evaluate Content, Google says users looking for content evaluation websites were condemned to the likes of Amazon.com and Slashdot. From the patent: 'Many sites found on the World Wide Web allow users to evaluate content found within the site. The Slashdot Web site (www.slashdot.org) allows users to 'mod' comments recently posted by other users. Based on this information obtained from the users, the system determines a numerical score for each comment ranging from 1 to 5.' The problem with sites like Slashdot, Google told the USPTO, is that 'because there is no restriction on the users that may participate, the reliability of the ratings is correspondingly diminished.' Commissioning a small number of trusted evaluators or editors would increase the reliability of the evaluations, Google notes, but wouldn't allow nearly as much content to be evaluated. Google's solution? Allow trusted evaluators to transfer a 'quantity of authority' to like-minded 'contributing authorities', who in turn designate and delegate authority to additional like-minded contributing authorities. Think Microsoft Outlook 97 Delegate Access meets Slashdot Karma Points, and you've got the general idea!
Encryption

Submission + - Twitter Buys Moxie Marlinspike's Crypto Startup (forbes.com)

Sparrowvsrevolution writes: Twitter has confirmed that it's acquiring Whisper Systems, the mobile encryption startup founded by hacker and security researcher Moxie Marlinspike. Marlinspike has built some of the most noteworthy tools in applied cryptography over the last few years, including the encrypted calling app Redphone, the hardened Android OS WhisperCore, and Convergence, a system for fixing the broken SSL certificate authority system. Twitter won't yet say how it plan to integrate Marlinspike or his products.
Privacy

Submission + - New Jersey DMV employees caught selling identies (arstechnica.com)

phaedrus5001 writes: Ars has an article about two New Jersey DMV employees who have been accused of selling personnel information that routinely had access to. The NJ prosecutor's office claim (pdf) their "investigation uncovered that two employees of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission were providing the names, addresses, dates of birth and social security numbers of unsuspecting residents that they obtained through their employment. They were charging as little as $200 per identity."
Security

Submission + - CarrierIQ changes course (techcrunch.com) 1

phaedrus5001 writes: Yesterday, CarrierIQ, the company who is responsible for what one security researcher calls a 'rootkit' that is installed on a number of smartphones, had issued a C&D order to said researcher and had threatened him with legal action if he didn't publicly apologize. Now, it seems CarrierIQ is doing a complete 180 on their original stance.

Submission + - CarrierIQ tries to silence security researcher (wired.com)

phaedrus5001 writes: From the article: "A data-logging software company is seeking to squash an Android developer’s critical research into its software that is secretly installed on millions of phones, but Trevor Eckhart is refusing to publicly apologize for his research and remove the company’s training manuals from his website.

Though the software is installed on millions of Android, Blackberry and Nokia phones, Carrier IQ was virtually unknown until the 25-year-old Eckhart analyzed its workings, recently revealing that the software secretly chronicles a user’s phone experience, from its apps, battery life and texts. Some carriers prevent users who actually find the software from controlling what information is sent."

Censorship

Submission + - SOPA stands good chance of passing? (stopcensorship.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Being opposed to the insane measures proposed with SOPA legislature, I've received another notice from DemandProgress.org, containing this frightening little tidbit:

"There's a good chance the legislation will pass, but Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) says he'll do all he can to stop it — and he wants our help — visit StopCensorship.org for more details."

As the bill is written — anyone can falsely accuse a service of violating copyright — with no punishment for the accuser. Is a filibuster really the only option left?

Windows

Submission + - Windows 8 secure boot already defeated (arstechnica.com)

phaedrus5001 writes: Windows 8 isn't even out yet, and already its touted security feature, the so-called Secure Boot, seems to have been defeated by security researcher Peter Kleissner. While Kleissner is waiting for this year's MalCon to release the details of his findings, he stated on his Twitter feed "the new bootkit, called Stoned Lite, has an infector file that is only 14 kilobytes in size, and the bootkit can be started from a USB drive or CD."

Submission + - HTC being trolled by porn peddlers (techcrunch.com)

phaedrus5001 writes: From the article: "The porn peddlers at Vivid Entertainment have filed a cease and desist notice against the company for use of the “Vivid” name. According to TMZ, Vivid’s legal counsel filed the notice because they are afraid consumers will think the LTE-capable smartphone is somehow connected to Vivid’s adult video empire."
A porn-based smart phone? Siri would certainly be a lot more interesting...

Idle

Submission + - Mongolia wants to use artificial glaciers to cool (wired.com)

phaedrus5001 writes: From the article: "The city of Ulan Bator will attempt to capture some of the cool winter temperatures in huge ice blocks that will slowly melt over the summer and cool down the city. The aim is to build artificial ice shields — or “naleds” — that occur naturally in far northern climates and can grow to be more than seven meters thick. They grow when river water pushes through cracks in the surface of the ice during the day and then freezes to add an extra layer of ice when night falls.

Engineering consortium EMI-ECOS will try to replicate this process by creating holes in the ice that is forming over the Tuul river. This will be repeated over and over again until the ice is much thicker than it would be if left alone."

Google

Submission + - Google's secret lab (technewsworld.com)

phaedrus5001 writes: Apparently, Google has a secret lab known as 'Google X' where they are working on over a hundred different projects. From the article:"These include a space elevator project, experiments working to connect home appliances and dinner dishes to the Internet, robots that can go to work instead of their owners, and the development of driverless cars for the mass market."
And, just maybe, Skynet as well...

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