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Get Ready To Be Bombarded With Ads When Using Google Maps

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 05/26/2016 - 6:45am
An anonymous reader writes: The chance to squeeze some extra advertising dollars is something rarely missed by Google. This week the company quietly announced changes to two of its most widely used services, offering businesses the chance to pay for featured advertisements in Google.com and Google Maps. In a blog post, Google senior ads vice president Sridhar Ramaswamy outlined the likely changes to Google Maps that will see users met with pop-up ads for local businesses when they use the GPS-based app. The announcement has been facetiously described online as "the Ad-pocalypse" but Google has shown more tact in their use of language, referring to the ads as "promoted pins".

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Categories: Science & Tech News

PlayStation 4 sales surpass 40 million worldwide

Gamasutra - News - Thu, 05/26/2016 - 6:34am

PlayStation 4 sales have now surpassed 40 million worldwide, further cementing its status as the fastest selling console in PlayStation history. ...

Categories: Gaming News

Invasive trash-eating jackals save Europe €2 million a year

New Scientist - Breaking news - Thu, 05/26/2016 - 6:28am
The wolf-like animal now spreading across Europe may not be all bad - it feeds on trash and pest rodents, providing millions in ecosystem services
Categories: Science & Tech News

Funcom back in black after $6.3m investment

GamesIndustry.biz news - Thu, 05/26/2016 - 6:27am
Debt management and cash injection see Conan studio's future secured
Categories: Gaming News

PlayStation 4 sales exceed 40m worldwide

GamesIndustry.biz news - Thu, 05/26/2016 - 6:12am
Sony notes that the PS4 continues to be the company's fastest-selling console in its history
Categories: Gaming News

Mojang bringing mini-games and map packs to Minecraft: Console Edition

Gamasutra - News - Thu, 05/26/2016 - 6:07am

"Players in Battle matches use randomly generated resources found in chests placed in specially designed PVP maps and combat one another in a free for all death match until the final victor is determined." ...

Categories: Gaming News

Adidas To Sell Robot-Made Shoes In Germany

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 05/26/2016 - 6:05am
Adidas, the German sportswear and equipment maker, has announced that it will start marketing the first series of sports shoes manufactured by robots in Germany from 2017. Deutsche Welle reports: The announcement came as Adidas unveiled its prototype "Speedfactory", a state-of-the-art, 4,600 square-meter facility meant to automate shoe production, which is largely done manually in Asian factories at the moment. The company has struggled with steadily rising wages across the continent, where it employs around a million people. Still, Adidas insisted that the aim was not to immediately replace their workers, saying the goal was not "full automatization".

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science & Tech News

Blog: In strategy games, the ideal player is one

Gamasutra - News - Thu, 05/26/2016 - 5:53am

Designer Keith Burgun makes the case for why single-player should be perhaps considered the ideal or default way to make strategy games. ...

Categories: Gaming News

Mongol hordes gave up on conquering Europe due to wet weather

New Scientist - Breaking news - Thu, 05/26/2016 - 5:00am
A soggy winter in the 1240s turned parts of central Europe into a swamp, forcing the Mongols led by Genghis Khan's grandson to retreat to feed their horses
Categories: Science & Tech News

American Schools Teaching Kids To Code All Wrong

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 05/26/2016 - 5:00am
theodp writes: Over at Quartz, Globaloria CEO Idit Harel argues that American schools are teaching our kids how to code all wrong. She writes, "The light and fluffy version of computer science -- which is proliferating as a superficial response to the increased need for coders in the workplace -- is a phenomenon I refer to as 'pop computing.' While calling all policy makers and education leaders to consider 'computer science education for all' is a good thing, the coding culture promoted by Code.org and its library of movie-branded coding apps provide quick experiences of drag-and-drop code entertainment. This accessible attraction can be catchy, it may not lead to harder projects that deepen understanding." You mean the "first President to write a line of computer code" may not have progressed much beyond moving Disney Princess Elsa forward? Harel says there must be a distinction drawn between "coding tutorials" and learning "computer science." Building an app, for example, can't be done in a couple of hours, it "requires multi-dimensional learning contexts, pathways and projects." "Just as would-be musicians become proficient by listening, improvising and composing, and not just by playing other people's compositions, so would-be programmers become proficient by designing prototypes and models that work for solving real problems, doing critical thinking and analysis, and creative collaboration -- none of which can be accomplished in one hour of coding," she writes.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Vlambeer, Sumo and Samsung join NASSCOM GDC advisory board

GamesIndustry.biz news - Thu, 05/26/2016 - 2:32am
Indian developer conference reaches out to international partners as it moves to new location in Hyderabad
Categories: Gaming News

Xiaomi Unveils Budget-Friendly Mi Drone, $460 For 4K Or $380 For 1080p

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 05/26/2016 - 2:00am
An anonymous reader writes: Chinese consumer electronics company Xiaomi has officially journeyed into the drones product category. The Xiaomi Mi Drone is a quadcopter with a three-axis gimbal, 4K camera, and a remote control that uses your Mi smartphone as a viewfinder. The 4K version retails for about $460 while the 1080p model retails for about $380. When compared to drones from DJI or Yuneec, the Mi Drone seriously undercuts them as they typically retail for more than $1,000. Some other features of the Mi Drone center around modularity and serviceability -- the camera module and rotors are detachable. The 5,100 mAh battery that Xiaomi claims can last 27 minutes of continuous flight time on a single charge is also replaceable. It uses GPS and GLONASS for positioning. It even features a visual positioning system on the rear that allows itself to remain stable when flying at low altitudes in environments where a satellite signal cannot be reached. Some of the autonomous flight modes include: takeoff, landing, return to home, waypoint navigation and orbit, with the ability to create a geofence to limit its movement. The 1080p Mi Drone "will be crowdfunded on the Mi Hope app starting May 26, 2016," while the 4K Mi Drone "will be available for testing via an open beta program at the end of July." With such an affordable price tag relative to the competition, the Xiaomi Mi Drone may help increase revenues for the company whose sales barely grew last year.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science & Tech News

Xbox One "Scorpio" coming in 2017 - reports

GamesIndustry.biz news - Thu, 05/26/2016 - 1:13am
Microsoft is working on several new Xbox devices, and its headline act will be even more powerful than Sony's rumoured Neo
Categories: Gaming News

Is Overwatch a great game? Will it become an eSports mainstay?

Gamasutra - News - Wed, 05/25/2016 - 11:25pm

Will Overwatch have the staying power of a shooter like Team Fortress 2? Can it become an eSports powerhouse like Starcraft? Gamasutra's editorial team weighs in on these weighty questions and more. ...

Categories: Gaming News

Why haven't you applied for the UK video games tax relief?

Gamasutra - News - Wed, 05/25/2016 - 11:25pm

But no, seriously...why haven't you applied for the UK video games tax relief? ...

Categories: Gaming News

Tor To Use Distributed RNG To Generate Truly Random Numbers

Slashdot Updates - Wed, 05/25/2016 - 11:00pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Softpedia: Tor developers have been working on the next iteration of the Tor network and its underbelly, the Onion routing protocol, in order to create a stronger, harder-to-crack anonymous communications system. To advance the project, the developer team schedules brainstorming and planning meetings at regular intervals. The most recent of these meetings took place last week, in Montreal, Canada. In this session, the team tested the next generation of the Tor network working on top of a revamped Onion protocol that uses a new algorithm for generating random numbers, never before seen on the Internet. The Tor Project says it created something it calls "a distributed RNG" (random number generator) that uses two or more computers to create random numbers and then blends their outputs together into a new random number. The end result is something that's almost impossible to crack without knowing which computers from a network contributed to the final random number, and which entropy each one used. Last week, two University of Texas academics have made a breakthrough in random number generation. The work is theoretical, but could lead to a number of advances in cryptography, scientific polling, and the study of various complex environments such as the climate.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Researchers Teaching Robots To Feel and React To Pain

Slashdot Updates - Wed, 05/25/2016 - 7:30pm
An anonymous reader writes: Researchers from Leibniz University of Hannover in Germany are developing what they call an "artificial robot nervous system" that would allow robots to "feel" pain and react accordingly so they can avoid potential damages to their components. According to IEEE, the system uses a "nervous robot-tissue model that is inspired by the human skin structure" to measure different pain levels and move the robot in a way that prevents damaging interactions. [The model transmits pain information in repetitive spikes if the force exceeds a certain threshold, and the pain controller reacts after classifying the information into light, moderate, or severe pain.] Johannes Kuehn, one of the researchers, argues that in addition to avoiding potential damages to their components, robots will be protecting humans as well, since a growing number of them will be operating in close proximity to human workers. Kuehn, who worked on the project with Professor Sami Haddadin, reasoned that if our biological mechanisms to sense and respond to pain are so effective, why not devise a bio-inspired robot controller that mimics those mechanisms?

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Microsoft May Ban Your Favorite Password

Slashdot Updates - Wed, 05/25/2016 - 5:25pm
wiredmikey writes from a report via SecurityWeek.Com: Microsoft is taking a step to better protect users by banning the use of weak and commonly-used passwords across its services. Microsoft has announced that it is dynamically banning common passwords from Microsoft Account and Azure Active Directory (AD) system. In addition to banning commonly used passwords to improve user account safety, Microsoft has implemented a feature called smart password lockout, meant to add an extra level of protection when an account is attacked. [Alex Weinert, Group Program Manager of Azure AD Identity Protection team explains in a blog post that] Microsoft is seeing more than 10 million accounts being attacked each day, and that this data is used to dynamically update the list of banned passwords. This list is then used to prevent people from choosing a common or similar password. Microsoft's new feature comes after last week's leak of 117 million LinkedIn credentials.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science & Tech News

FCC Formalizes Massive Fines For Selling, Using Cell-Phone Jammers

Slashdot Updates - Wed, 05/25/2016 - 4:40pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Network World: Two years ago the FCC announced its intention to fine a Chinese electronics maker $34.9 million and a Florida man $48,000 for respectively selling and using illegal cell-phone jammers. Today the agency has issued press releases telling us that those fines have finally been made official, without either of the offending parties having bothered to mount a formal defense of their actions. From the press release announcing the fine against CTS. Technology: "[...] The company's website falsely claimed that some jammers had been approved by the FCC, and advertised that the company could ship signal jammers to consumers in the United States." The company did not respond to the FCC's allegations, although the agency does report that changes were made to its website that appear to be aimed at complying with U.S. law. Next up is Florida man, Jason R. Humphreys, who is alleged to have used a jammer on his commute: "Mr. Humphreys' illegal operation of the jammer continued for up to two years, caused interference to cellular service along Interstate 4, and disrupted police communications." Last Fall, a Chicagoan was arrested for using a cell-phone jammer to make his subway commute more tolerable.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

VFX Artist: Respawn Entertainment

Gamasutra - Jobs - Wed, 05/25/2016 - 4:00pm
Respawn is looking for a VFX Artist to contribute to a new 3rd person, action-adventure Star Wars TM game. This is a rare opportunity to contribute to a beloved franchise with a talented and seasoned team. Responsibilities: Bring life and excitement to the game through your design and implementation of compelling realistic visual effects. Coordinate with Art, Design and Animation to ensure VFX match quality bar and vision for the game. Fix VFX related bugs, including performance and budget issues. Help to improve technical pipelines and VFX creation techniques/tools. Assist with research and development. Adhere to schedule and meet deadlines. Requirements: Demonstrable ability to create beautiful and affecting VFX for games, film/tv, or a combination of both. Experience working within a game engine. Shipped games preferred. Both technical and creative with a strong artistic vision. Motivated, proactive self-starter. Strong understanding of particle systems. 3+ years professional experience as an effects artist. Mastery of relevant software packages such as Photoshop, After Effects and Maya. To apply, please submit your resume here: https://jobs.lever.co/respawn/b351b2a6-53fa-4610-8ad7-8a85f1cd8fea/apply
Categories: Game Dev Jobs
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