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Solar Impulse 2 Completes Record-Breaking Flight

Slashdot Updates - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 6:04am
An anonymous reader writes: Solar Impulse 2, the airplane powered only by the sun's light, has completed its flight from Japan to Hawaii. The distance sets the record for manned, solar-powered flight, both by distance (7,200 km, according to the BBC) and by time spent aloft (118 hours). This was one leg in a longer journey to fly around the world, and by far the longest they've attempted. Their next leg will send them across the rest of the Pacific Ocean, landing in Phoenix, Arizona. Then they'll stop off at New York before crossing the Atlantic Ocean on their way back to the journey's starting point, Abu Dhabi. Pilot Andre Borschberg was in good shape, despite spending almost five consecutive days in command of the aircraft. He was only allowed to sleep for up to 20 minutes at a time, so he took about a dozen naps every day. He did this at an altitude of 9,000 meters, and while taking medication to prevent thrombosis. Borschberg's partner, Bertrand Piccard, will fly the aircraft during the next leg to Phoenix. This will happen as soon as the plane is checked out and meteorologists think the weather will be placid enough for a safe crossing.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science & Tech News

A welcome dose of environmental optimism

New Scientist - Breaking news - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 5:00am
From rainforest revival and green technology to social changes, the age of humans is not necessarily a one-way ticket to eco-disaster, argue three new books









Categories: Science & Tech News

Wired Cautions Would-Be Drone Photogs on the 4th

Slashdot Updates - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 4:36am
Last year's spectacular but unauthorized you-are-there video from the inside of a fireworks display has probably inspired quite a few people to try getting their own bird's-eye view this year. Wired cautions photographers, though, that many municipalities have specifically banned (and some will be looking for) unauthorized airborne visitors, and that the FAA's guidelines for legal flight are tricky to comply with during a fireworks show. This is both because it's hard to maintain visual contact with a drone amid the dark and smoke of a show, and because of the altitude at which many commercial firework shells burst. In addition, even if a drone photo mission goes under the radar vis-a-vis local authorities, if resulting footage appears on an ad-supported site, like YouTube, the FAA may be a bit more interested than the pilot would like.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science & Tech News

Someone Will Die Playing a Game In Virtual Reality

Slashdot Updates - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 3:28am
SlappingOysters writes: Grab It has detailed a hands-on session with horror VR title Kitchen — from Resident Evil creator Capcom — and argues how the physical reaction to the experience could lead to death. The site also believes that classifying VR games will be a challenge and many titles could be banned. Virtual Reality has a big year ahead, with the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus all set to release, while Microsoft is working on the HoloLens, which the site argues adds a further challenge to traditional gaming.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Machine Learning System Detects Emotions and Suicidal Behavior

Slashdot Updates - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 1:01am
An anonymous reader writes with word as reported by The Stack of a new machine learning technology under development at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology "which can identify emotion in text messages and email, such as sarcasm, irony and even antisocial or suicidal thoughts." Computer science student Eden Saig, the system's creator, explains that in text and email messages, many of the non-verbal cues (like facial expression) that we use to interpret language are missing. His software applies semantic analysis to those online communications and tries to figure out their emotional import and context by looking for word patterns (not just more superficial markers like emoticons or explicit labels like "[sarcasm]"), and can theoretically identify clues of threatening or self-destructive behavior.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science & Tech News

How To Design Robot Overlords For "Robot Overlords"

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 10:11pm
Hallie Siegel writes: Ever wonder how they make robots look so awesomely real in movies? Visual effects expert Graham Edwards goes behind the scenes with the makers of Robot Overlords to take you through the development of the robots in this movie, from script development and sketches, to filming and post FX. Really cool to see how these robots come to life.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Senior Rendering Engineer: Core Technology Group: 2K

Gamasutra - Jobs - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 10:00pm
Senior Rendering Engineer: Core Technology Group Who we are: The Core Technology group at 2K is filled with some of the brightest minds in the business, whose expertise is routinely called upon by the studios behind Civilization, Borderlands, Evolve, and others.  When some of the best studios in the world ask for advice, only the best in the field can answer.  We fill our team with those who can answer the call, those who thrive working on custom engines, critical shared technology, leading tools and middleware, and those who can research the tools we’ll need to use tomorrow.  Core Technology is a forward-thinking group of experts who handle the challenge of supporting multiple products, platforms and studios, while at the same time anticipating the needs of tomorrow.  If you’re a top-tier expert who wants to build something great, come join our team. What we need: 2K is looking for a high value individual contributor looking to develop new techniques for real-time rendering that enable our artists to tell stories in near motion picture quality. You will need familiarity with the state of the art in real-time rendering algorithms used in games, implementation best practices and performance tradeoffs.   Responsibilities:•    Investigate, prototype, and implement solutions for high-fidelity rendering in a real-time context.•    Extend and create solutions for lighting, VFX and post-processing•    Provide deep domain expertise in the area of rendering.•    Work with artists to develop and implement their vision.•    Effectively analyze and diagnose visual quality or rendering performance problems and provide solutions Who we think will be a great fit:We are looking for someone with a deep and intuitive knowledge of the theoretical fundamentals of rendering. You’ll also need to have an understanding of contemporary game graphics platforms, including low-level familiarity with console platforms from the graphics API level down to CPU & GPU functionality and performance. You will also need to meet most of the following requirements:•    5+ years of prior experience hands on coding in the role of a Graphics or Rendering Engineer•    Experience developing Global Illumination solutions•    Thorough understanding of 3D math.•    Experience with GPGPU or Computer shaders•    Experience with DCC tools such as Maya/Max•    Performance minded development and optimization skills with results oriented approaches and thinking•    Must be able to communicate and work well with a team of similarly passionate and skilled individuals•    Strong communication and proficiency working with technical artists to develop and iterate on features/tools   To Apply - https://chc.tbe.taleo.net/chc04/ats/careers/requisition.jsp?org=GAMES2K&cws=1&rid=585      
Categories: Game Dev Jobs

Senior Software Engineer (Client, Front-end Gameplay Programmer): Limbic

Gamasutra - Jobs - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 10:00pm
The creators of Zombie Gunship are looking for an experienced game developer to work on an undisclosed 3D mobile game. This role will work closely with our other super talented engineers, artists and game designers. Your mission: Contribute to the design and implement game features for our upcoming mobile game. Your qualifications: Expert level in C++ Experience with mobile game development and shipping games on iOS and Android. Passion for playing and making games. BS or MS degree in Computer Science or a related technical field. Our Perks: The opportunity to be part of building an amazing game from the ground up. Competitive pay based on experience. Medical benefits, and we pay 100% of premiums. Work in our awesome, snack/drink-equipped office located in the best part of San Francisco. Flexible work hours & vacation policy. Work with a highly skilled and committed team of 8-10 people. Team Events: Weekly/monthly online "Gaming Nights!" where we play popular multiplayer games. Refer a Friend: We rely on your referrals to help us build a successful team. If you refer someone to us for a full-time position and we hire them, you will receive a $1000 referral bonus after 180 days of successful employment. Certain rules, restrictions, and eligibility requirements apply. To make a referral or to learn more about the Referral Bonus Program, please contact us at jobs@limbic.com About Limbic:Limbic is an established mobile game developer with a track record of making hit mobile games. Our games have been downloaded over 36 million times to date on iOS and Android. Apply today and join us in making our next hit! TO APPLY: Email us your Cover Letter and Resume to jobs@limbic.com or visit http://www.limbic.com/careers.html and include a list of your 5 favorite mobile games.
Categories: Game Dev Jobs

In Response to Open Letter, France Rejects Asylum For Julian Assange

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 7:16pm
Several outlets report that Julian Assange has requested, but been denied, political asylum in France, by means of an open letter published by Le Monde. From The Globe and Mail's coverage, linked above: Less than an hour after his letter was published by Le Monde's website, Hollande's office issued a statement saying the asylum request was rejected. "France has received the letter from Mr. Assange. An in-depth review shows that in view of the legal and material elements of Mr Assange's situation, France cannot grant his request," the statement said. "The situation of Mr. Assange does not present any immediate danger. He is also the target of a European arrest warrant," it noted. Assange wrote in the letter that his youngest child is French, and so is the child’s mother. "I haven't been able to see them in five years, since the political persecution against me started," he said. Worth noting: Assange's legal team says that Assange's letter has been mischaracterized, and that it is in fact not a request for asylum per se; instead, they assert, the letter merely expresses Assange's "willingness 'to be hosted in France if and only if an initiative was taken by the competent authorities.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science & Tech News

Japanese Court Orders Google To Delete Past Reports Of Man's Molestation Arrest

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 4:25pm
AmiMoJo writes: The Saitama District Court has ordered Google Inc. to delete past reports on a man's arrest over molestation from its online search results after ruling that they violate the man's personal rights. The man, who was arrested about three years ago after molesting a girl under 18, and fined 500,000 yen (£2600, $4000). "He harbors remorse over the incident and is leading a new life. The search results prevent him from rehabilitating himself," the man's defense counsel said. The presiding judge recognized that the incident was not of historical or social significance, that the man is not in public office and that his offense was relatively minor. He concluded there was little public interest in keeping such reports displayed online three years after the incident. The judge acknowledged that search engines play a public role in assisting people's right to know. (AmiMoJo spotted the story on Surado, the new name for Slashdot Japan.)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science & Tech News

Turing Near Ready To Ship World's First Liquid Metal Android Smartphone

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 3:36pm
MojoKid writes: Liquid Metal is an alloy metal (technically, bulk metallic glass) that manages to combine the best features of a wide variety of materials into one product. Liquid Metal also has high corrosion resistance, high tensile strength, remarkable anti-wear characteristics and can also be heat-formed. Given its unique properties, Liquid Metal has been used in a number of industries, including in smartphones. Historically, it has been limited to small-scale applications and pieces parts, not entire products. However, Turing Robotic Industries (TRI) just announced pre-orders for the world's first liquid metal-frame smartphone. The Turing Phone uses its own brand of Liquid Metal called Liquidmorphium, which provides excellent shock absorption characteristics. So instead of making a dent in the smartphone casing or cracking/chipping like plastic when dropped, a Turing Phone should in theory "shake it off" while at the same time protecting the fragile display from breaking. The Turing Phone does not come cheap, however, with pricing starting at $610 for a 16GB model and escalating quickly to $740 and $870 respectively for the 64GB and 128GB models, unlocked. Pre-orders open up on July 31.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science & Tech News

FBI Wants Pirate Bay Logs For Criminal Investigation Into Copyright Trolls

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 2:48pm
the simurgh writes: It has been revealed today that In the past few months, two of the Pirate Bay co-founders have been repeatedly questioned by Swedish authorities, acting on behalf of the FBI. The internet now has clear evidence that Prenda is indeed being investigated by the U.S. Government for uploading their own copyrighted content in torrents placed onto The Pirate Bay, for the sole purpose of creating a honeypot trap to sue over pirated downloads.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science & Tech News

Clang Plays Tetris -- Tetris As a C++ Template Metaprogram

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 2:05pm
New submitter mjvzb writes: Ever wish compiling was more fun? Well, I recently implemented Tetris as a C++ template metaprogram (code at Github). The game is played by recompiling its source, taking player input by compiler flag. The runtime program is only needed to print the game screen to the console and save the game state across compiler runs. Implementing Tetris in templates is not as horrific as you may imagine, and I've put together a post covering the details. Once you get over the syntax, C++ metaprogramming is just like functional programming.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science & Tech News

Happy Fourth of July Weekend!

Game Politics - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 1:29pm

To all of our American readers - and on behalf of the ECA, GamePolitics, and my good friends Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight -  I wish you a happy and safe Independence Day. We'll be busy this weekend worshipping at the altar of the goddess of meats (or vegetables if that's your jam), drinking tasty beverages (some may or may not contain an alcoholic content), watching parades, spending time with family, watching fireworks, playing games or watching cat videos. Maybe one or two of us will even read a book or something!

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3-D Ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanning Could Strengthen Smartphone Security

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 1:12pm
Zothecula sends news that researchers from the University of California are developing new fingerprint scanning technology that could one day enhance the security of mobile devices. The new technique scans a fingertip in 3D, capturing the tiny ridges and valleys that make up a fingerprint, as well as the tissue beneath the surface. This guards against attackers unlocking a device with an image of the fingerprint, or by attempting to dust the scanner. The basic concepts behind the researchers’ technology are akin to those of medical ultrasound imaging. They created a tiny ultrasound imager, designed to observe only a shallow layer of tissue near the finger’s surface. "Ultrasound images are collected in the same way that medical ultrasound is conducted," said [Professor David] Horsley. "Transducers on the chip’s surface emit a pulse of ultrasound, and these same transducers receive echoes returning from the ridges and valleys of your fingerprint’s surface." The basis for the ultrasound sensor is an array of MEMS ultrasound devices with highly uniform characteristics, and therefore very similar frequency response characteristics. ... To fabricate their imager, the group employed existing microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology, which smartphones rely on for such functions as microphones and directional orientation. They used a modified version of the manufacturing process used to make the MEMS accelerometer and gyroscope found in the iPhone and many other consumer electronics devices.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science & Tech News

Evolutionary biologist: we play violent games, because sex

Game Politics - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 1:04pm

Evolutionary biologist Michael Kasumovic thinks that the reason many of us play violent video games has a lot do with sex - or at least the competition associated with it. Kasumovic, a member of the Ecology and Evolution Research Group at the University of New South Wales (UK), tells radio program RN Afternoons (on ABCRadioNational) that video games may allow us to practice the competitive ability related to finding a mate.

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Ask Slashdot: What Is Your Most Unusual Hardware Hack?

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 12:20pm
An anonymous reader writes: Another Slashdotter recently asked what kind of things someone can power with an external USB battery. I have a followup along those lines: what kind of modifications have you made to your gadgets to do things that they were never meant to do? Consider old routers, cell phones, monitors, etc. that have absolutely no use or value anymore in their intended form. What can you do with them? Have you ever done something stupid and damaged your electronics?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science & Tech News

Blizzard launches Bonus XP weekend for 'Heroes of the Storm'

Game Politics - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 12:09pm

Yesterday Blizzard launched a 100% XP Bonus event for its popular MOBA game Heroes of the Storm. The 100% XP extended weekend will run until 1:00 p.m. on Monday, July 6 local time for each region.

The extended event is an apology of sorts from Blizzard, because the last event was cut short by one day, much to the chagrin of the game's most ardent players.

Blizzard noted shortly after that happened that it was sorry if it disappointed players:

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Mad Catz downplays financial problems

Game Politics - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 11:59am

Game peripheral company Mad Catz is downplaying a recent admission to investors and in financial documents that the future of the company is in question. At the end of last month Mad Catz warned investors and government filings that it did not meet the requirements of a milestone set by creditor Wells Fargo. The company was supposed to hit a certain number of sales for the month and failed to do so.

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Square Enix Pulls, Apologizes For Mac Version of Final Fantasy XIV

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 11:36am
_xeno_ writes: Just over a week after Warner Bros. pulled the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight due to bugs, Square Enix is now being forced to do the same thing with the Mac OS X version of Final Fantasy XIV (which was released at the same time as Batman: Arkham Knight). The rather long note explaining the decision apologizes for releasing the port before it was ready and blames OS X and OpenGL for the discrepancy between the game's performance on identical Mac hardware running Windows. It's unclear when (or even if) Square Enix will resume selling an OS X version — the note indicates that the development team is hopeful that "[w]ith the adoption of DirectX 11 for Mac, and the replacement of OpenGL with a new graphics API in Apple's next OS, the fundamental gap in current performance issues may soon be eliminated." (I'm not sure what "the adoption of DirectX 11 for Mac" refers to. OS X gaining DirectX 11 support is news to me — and, I suspect, Microsoft.) Given that the game supports the aging PS3 console, you'd think the developers would be able to find a way to get the same graphics as the PS3 version on more powerful Mac OS X hardware.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science & Tech News
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