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Submission + - Portrait of a Superproductive Programmer (softwarequalityconnection.com)

Esther Schindler writes: "Hollywood portrayals of computing superstars are more rooted in comic-book super-heroics than the realities of software development. Except that in programming, superpowers do exist. As Cameron Laird explains, Fabrice Bellard has them. Bellard is "a serial achiever," responsible for well over a dozen open source tools (such as TinyCC Boot Loader) and computer science/math OhBoy moments (he set world record for calculation of the digits of pi in 2009). This article gives an overview of Bellard's work and contemplates what makes one programmer so much more productive than another."
Space

Submission + - Supermoon Saturday night (npr.org)

watermark writes: About every 28 years a "supermoon" occurs. This is when the moon's orbit is closest to earth at the same time as a full moon. Saturday night will be the biggest, brightest full moon you will see in the next 28 years.
Education

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Wireless Voting

RabidRabbit23 writes: I volunteer for a non-profit that organizes Model UN conferences for high school students. We need a quick and low cost way to record votes done by the students in large committees. There will be two or three committees with about 200 students in each. We need to be able to record yes, no or abstention vote and must be able to identify each student's vote. We looked into radio response clickers but it is very expensive to buy 400-600 clickers. They cost about $40 at university bookstores, which is way out of our budget, but we don't know what kind of discount we could get by buying directly from the manufacturer. We do have wireless internet but we do not have enough bandwidth to support everyone using a laptop. Does the Slashdot community have any suggestions for a better way to record the students' votes?
Social Networks

The New Reality of Gaming 122

Hugh Pickens writes "Video games used to be about fighting aliens and rescuing princesses, writes Rohin Dharmakumar in Forbes, but the most popular games today have you tilling your farm, hiring waiting staff and devising menus for your restaurant or taking your pets out for walks while maintaining cordial relations with the neighbors. 'Reality, it would seem, is the new escapism.' Video games of the pre-social network era were mostly played by boys or young men but 'now the core audience of social network games are girls and young women,' says Alok Kejriwal, founder and CEO of games2win, an online gaming company. The tipping point in the US came in 2008 when women outnumbered men on the Internet. Combined with millions of parents and grandparents who're new to the Internet, the traditional face of the gamer is changing from that of a 25-year-old male to a band stretching from 16 to 40 years comprising men and women in almost equal numbers, says Sebastien de Halleux, one of the co-founders of Playfish, who predicts that someone is going to create a social game very shortly that pulls in a billion dollars a year. Gaming for this new set of players is less about breathtaking graphics, pulsating sound or edge-of-the-seat action and more about strengthening existing real world relations through frequent casual gaming. 'Think of these games as a sandbox where everybody has the same tools, yet everyone achieves different results,' says de Halleux."

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