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Submission + - What is the best programming language for a 12-year-old to learn? 3

wintersynth writes: My friend is sending his 12-year-old to a tech summer camp and wants to know the best language for him to learn. It looks like Java and Python are the main options, both applied to game programming. There are also classes using the Lego Mindstorm scripting language, and Scratch. Slashdotters, I assume you've run into this question before, and I could use the help. Programming tools have changed a lot since I was learning SmartBASIC on a Coleco Adam as a kid. I want to recommend something that will be powerful enough to show him the unlimited possibilities in programming, but easy enough to maintain his interest and not discourage him. What do you teach your kids? What has been effective?

Submission + - Robots work better when you treat them like people (

yl-roller writes: An MIT study found that cross-training, which is swapping jobs with someone else on your team to help everyone understand the work better, works even when the coworker is a machine. It kind of reminded me of this Stanford study that found people treat computers with the same kind of politeness that they use with people.

Comment Re:I feel like we should be on that list (Score 2) 97

Thanks! Yeah, it's a bit of a commitment for people to try the game, seeing as they can't see and monsters are attacking them. It's a little easier on iOS. We finished it and are proud to have been nominated for an IndieCade award and two Brazilian International Game Festival awards :-). And we did have a lot of fun making it!

Comment I feel like we should be on that list (Score 5, Informative) 97

BlindSide was an early Kickstarter success, raising only 200% of our goal, about $14,000, but we released our beta on time, as promised.

Granted, it was the last day of the month and we stayed up 36 hours straight doing it, but we did it.

Maybe it's time for a little "how to manage slipped release dates" guide. I think it would look like this:
1) Communicate
2) Communicate
3) Communicate

Comment Hugh Howey's Wool (Score 2) 1365

I was having a pretty low day when I started it, and it made it a lot worse. Howey is a master at creating personable characters that you fall in love with in only a few short pages. Then he teaches you brutally why you shouldn't become emotionally involved with his characters. I highly recommend reading it, and overall it's not too depressing, but those first few chapters are some of the roughest in sci-fi I've read.

Submission + - Trojan Stealing Money in German Banking Scam (

An anonymous reader writes: Trusteer came across a complex new criminal scheme involving the Tatanga Trojan that conducts an elaborate Man in the Browser (MitB) attack to bypass SMS based transaction authorization to commit online banking fraud. The scam targets online banking customers of several German banks. When the victim logs on to the online banking application, Tatanga uses a MitB webinject that alleges the bank is performing a security check on their computer and ability to receive a Transaction Authorization Number (TAN) on their mobile device.

Submission + - Samsung accuses Apple's expert witnesses of being 'iSheep' (

zacharye writes: Samsung has accused Apple of calling expert witnesses that exhibit “slavish adoration” to the company during an ongoing patent trial between the two consumer electronics giants. As noted by patent expert Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents, court documents filed by Samsung in California seek to exclude testimony made by a number of Apple’s expert witnesses on the grounds that they were biased...

Submission + - Is Facebook Overpriced? $124,000 / Mbps (

An anonymous reader writes: If you thought Facebook's 95:1 price / earning ratio made the stock expensive, a new report looks at the value of Facebook's network bandwidth. The study use some rough numbers combined with a size estimate of Facebook's 1% share of Internet traffic to come up with a mind blowing $124,000 / Mbps.

If my home cable traffic were this expensive, I'd have to pick a winning lottery ticket every time I checked my Facebook status.


Submission + - First audio adventure game with no graphics ( 1

wintersynth writes: We created the first survival/horror game with no graphics at all. Part of the inspiration for the game was that one of the creators was blind for a short period of time in high school after a chemistry accident. You use only audio to navigate a 3D world, bumping into objects, escaping monsters, and trying to discover how your character and his girlfriend suddenly woke up blind. It will be the same experience for both sighted and visually impaired gamers, and hopefully a brand new experience for both. Think Silent Hill meets Zork for gameplay.

See the gameplay clip at: Don't forget to wear headphones!


Submission + - The Impending Hard Drive Shortage (

snydeq writes: "Flooding near Bangkok has taken about 25 percent of the world's hard disk manufacturing capacity offline, InfoWorld reports. 'Disk manufacturing sites in Thailand — notably including the largest Western Digital plant — were shut down due to floods around Bangkok last week and are expected to remain shut for at least several more days. The end to flooding is not in sight, and Western Digital now says it could take five to eight months to bring its plants back online.' Toshiba's Thailand plants have also been affected, as have key disk component suppliers, including Nidec and Hutchinson Technologies."

Submission + - Hacked toy brainwave reader will shock you (

wintersynth writes: We updated our hack of the Mattel Mindflex toy EEG that reads brainwave frequency. Now it requires you to concentrate, or it will shock you (using a simple NOT circuit). The longest time someone could sustain concentration without getting zapped was 2 minutes, 4 seconds. Average was only 12.6 seconds. That's not a lot of beta waves for most of us!

Submission + - iPhone 4 vs. Android: And the winner is... (

jcatcw writes: According to JR Raphael, it's Android by a long shot. The new iPhone hardware is a significant improvement and, on the software side, the updated operating system brings about numerous capabilities previously unavailable to iPhone users. However, most of the iPhone's new features feel like incremental upgrades. The HTC EVO 4G, arguably the highest-end Android phone on the market right now, uses a 1GHz processor, has limitless video chatting, full multitasking, significant customization options (and no, the ability to set your own wallpaper doesn't count as significant), system-wide voice-to-text input, and so much more. In the end, this won't be remembered as the year the iPhone got folders or a gyroscope.

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