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Submission + - Top 4 GGJ14 Picks by Unity Blog (

Sabre Runner writes: The official blog of the Unity Game Engine, one of the most popular cross-platform game development environments available, has selected four games out of this year's Global Game Jam, an annual game development event in which games are created in a specific theme and in under 48 hours. The event's theme was "We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are" and it produced over 4000 games, over half of which were made with the Unity Engine.
Each game is free to download or play on the web.
Disclosure: I worked on the game which is featured first and modeled for one of the characters.

Comment I've bought a laptop not long ago (Score 1) 898

If your wife doesn't need intensive gaming or complicated environments and only uses a laptop for web browsing, office work or other rudimentary tasks then I would also say go for Linux to save money. You can buy a basic laptop for pittance or, if she doesn't mind the design, just install it on the mac.

I still choose windows because I'm a hardcore gamer and on that front, Linux still disappoints me.
If you want to buy a new windows laptop, here's what I did. First look at a competent company, as far as construction is concerned. Then look at the work space the laptop offers and then match specs which, as far as I can see, are not different from the mac.

I got a Toshiba Satellite L500 which is big and wide with a full keyboard, from a company that built my wife's still going eight year old machine. It has a decent CPU, GPU combo that can even run Crysis well. Perfect for my gaming needs.

If you only want one for office work, I'd go with a Lenovo laptop which are usually smaller, has a very comfortable design for long periods of work (I just love the joystick, they have) and they are also a very competent company (my brother has one which he has worked on for several years now). You don't need a very powerful CPU so just pick one of the Intel E brand or an AMD Athlon. And unless some high def video is involved, pretty much any GPU would do. I wouldn't go for less than 2GB of memory either way. And you might want to try breaking a 500GB HD in half and make it dual boot with Linux.

Submission + - British MPs: "Stop Funding Homeopathy" (

Sabre Runner writes: In an amazing feat of scientific sense, a committee of British members of parliament decides to stop the funding of Homeopathic treatments.
"Homeopathic remedies work no better than placebos, and so should no longer be paid for by the UK National Health Service, a committee of British members of parliament has concluded. [...] In preparing its report, the committee, which scrutinises the evidence behind government policies, took evidence from scientists and homeopaths, and reviewed numerous reports and scientific investigations into homeopathy. It found no evidence that such treatments work beyond providing a placebo effect."
I personally like the scolding of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency: "The committee rejected the MHRA's justification for licensing homeopathic remedies – that there is an "important homeopathic tradition" to uphold. "Witchcraft is traditional, so does that mean the MHRA should endorse that too?" [committee chairman and Liberal Democrat MP Phil] Willis asks."

Comment Design Science's MathType (Score 1) 823

Yeah, I like to hate Microsoft just like everyone else but I'm still a Windows user (Mostly for the games compatibility). And I have still not seen a better solution for writing down lecture notes than the Word/MathType combination. Yes, they are both proprietary software (Which I get free through the university. :) ) but I've been using them for the past two years and I'm faster than the lecturer. Yes, I write as fast as the lecturer speaks and faster than he/she can write themselves.
MathType is quite comprehensive, I don't even use half of what it offers myself, and the whole catch is shortcut keys configuration. You can set up combinations for 'macro' equations (Like Limits) and with two presses of a button call down a set that will take other students a few seconds to put down.
The only problem I found with it so far is a symbol or two it doesn't have (Like the under-tilde not-equal sign) and you have to build yourself and the fact that when you write integrals, the lecturer does the limits first but you have to add them last.

For sketches, graphs and diagrams there is no comfortable solution I found. I either draw them in Word shapes with a pen-mouse, plot the graphs with Mathematica (Best analytical math tool I found) and copy over or just photograph the board and paste the image into my document.

Trust me, I've been doing it for two years. :)

Comment And what about advertising in movie theaters? (Score 1) 244

I pay for the ticket to get in. I usually stay out of the theater for as long as possible but those that sit there from the very first minutes are subjected to numerous advertisements, and not just cool new trailers. That is advertising, in a product I payed for. And that is without discussing in-movie ads, sponsorships and product placements.

I have nothing against in-game advertising, mostly because I unconsciously censor them from perception, but also because they can add some realism, as much as I hate to admit it. I mean, when I drive around in [insert racing game here] and I see billboards and adverts, or if there are posters on the edges of football fields, it seems very realistic to me. And it's a reasonable tactic for a publisher to take.

But if it becomes excessive, if the ads are up in my face, interrupting my game and preventing my progress, then I want the price slashed. If I'm still playing this game altogether.

Comment By Order of Appearance (Score 1) 688

Right, keeping a spreadsheet of all relevant information is one thing that you should do, especially if you're in a strict organization that needs to keep track of every piece of equipment. Secondly, I work in a university computer lab. Right now, I got about 3 rooms full of computers which are placed against walls and barriers so I give them the lab name, the room name and a sequential number counting clockwise from the door. Hopefully, it'll make more sense to my boss than the last scheme, counting them by order of arrival.

Submission + - Scientists Birth Mice from Altered Skin Cells (

Sabre Runner writes: ""Qi Zhou of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and his colleagues started by making iPS cells from mouse skin cells. They then injected the cells into mouse embryos to create "chimeric" embryos, each containing four sets of chromosomes. The embryos were implanted into female mice, resulting in 27 live chimeric pups being born. Many of them were fertile (Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature08267)." "While creating a baby from pluripotent stem cells (iPS) would be unethical, the breakthrough proves iPS cells made from an individual's own cells have the capability to turn into any tissue in the body.""

Submission + - Nikon Presents: Camera with Built-in Projector (

Sabre Runner writes: "Engadget scoops in on the new Nikon S1000pj projector-cam: "The Nikon Coolpix S1000pj has gone from crazy rumor to seemingly-real to whoa-here's-the-press-release in record time — the compact cam with the integrated projector was just officially announced, along with the three other cams we saw leaked earlier today. Leaked specs for the S1000pj were dead-on: a 12.1 megapixel sensor with ISO 6400 sensitivity mounted behind a 5x wide-angle zoom lens with five-way VR stabilization, and that LED-powered projector that'll put up a 40-inch image for slideshows complete with music, effects and transitions. We're a little less excited about the $430 list price this thing will carry when it hits in September, but on the whole it's a pretty terrific idea and we're completely intrigued — looks like we'll be saving our pennies this month." Picture gallery, introduction video and description of all its little friends are available."

Submission + - LightLane: Bring Your Own Bike Lane ( 1

Sabre Runner writes: "Altitude Inc. — A Product Innovation Firm — will soon be bringing us the LightLane (PDF Article). "[Alex] Tee and Evan Gant, [a mechanical engineer and] an industrial designer at Altitude, have found a new way to keep drivers and cyclists apart. The idea: a bring-your-own bike lane, fashioned by lasers pointed at the asphalt beside your bike that extend up to 10 feet behind you. [...] In the current Altitude concept, the LightLane's red lasers stencil out the familiar lines and symbols denoting a bike path on the ground behind the bike. The illuminated path also comes up on the sides of the bike." [Publicity Image]"

Submission + - British Start-Up Tests Flying Saucers (

Sabre Runner writes: "Military drones take all shapes, from tiny cars and tanks to birds, insects, snakes and even baseballs. Now a new British drone start-up is modeling its family of small unmanned aerial vehicles on a very old sci-fi concept: the flying saucer.

According to Graham Warwick at Ares, Aesir has acquired the assets of a defunct drone company, including three flying saucers ranging in size from 30 centimeters in diameter to more than a meter. Aesir's first prototype, named "Embler" and depicted in the video above, demonstrates the so-called "Coanda effect," where air speeds up as it "sticks" to a curved surface. Aesir's drones take advantage of the Coanda effect to direct air down, away from the drone, boosting lift."

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