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North Dakota Legalizes "Less Than Lethal" Weapon-Equipped Police Drones

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 6:17am
According to the Daily Beast, writes reader schwit1, North Dakota police will be free to fire 'less than lethal' weapons from the air thanks to the influence of a pro-police lobbyist. That means beanbags, tear-gas, and Tasers, at the very least, can be brought to bear by remote. It's worth noting that "non-lethal" isn't purely true, even if that's the intent behind such technologies. From the article, based partly on FOIA requests made by MuckRock into drone use by government agencies: The bill’s stated intent was to require police to obtain a search warrant from a judge in order to use a drone to search for criminal evidence. In fact, the original draft of Representative Rick Becker’s bill would have banned all weapons on police drones. Then Bruce Burkett of the North Dakota Peace Officer’s Association was allowed by the state house committee to amend HB 1328 and limit the prohibition only to lethal weapons. “Less than lethal” weapons like rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, sound cannons, and Tasers are therefore permitted on police drones.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Amazon Underground turns free-to-play into "actually free"

GamesIndustry.biz news - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 6:15am
Online retailer program pays publishers per-minute for Android customers' use of games and apps
Categories: Gaming News

'Divinity: Original Sin II' fully funded

Game Politics - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 6:06am

By its own accounting, Larian Studios' first crowd-funding attempt with Divinity: Original Sin took a mere 12 days to get fully funded. The crowdfunding campaign for the sequel, Divinity: Original Sin II, took 12 hours. In fact it's $167,000 above its initial ask. As of this writing, 15,254 backers have pledged Divinity: Original Sin and the campaign still has 33 more days to go. Larian was asking for $500,000.

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Latest Unreal Dev Grants recipients revealed

GamesIndustry.biz news - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 6:00am
Epic honors 10 individuals receiving grants "thanks to their tireless contributions to the UE4 community"
Categories: Gaming News

Pulling off The Swindle

GamesIndustry.biz news - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 5:54am
How the misfire of Gun Monkeys and an indie publishing assist helped Dan Marshall hit the mark with his new procedural stealth-action game
Categories: Gaming News

Contiki 3.0 Released, Retains Support For Apple II, C64

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 5:36am
An anonymous reader writes that on Wednesday the Contiki team announced the release of Contiki 3.0, the latest version of the open source IoT operating system. The 3.0 release is a huge step up from the 2.x branch and brings support for new and exciting hardware, a set of new network protocols, a bunch of improvements in the low-power mesh networking protocols, along with a large number of general stability improvements. And, yes, the system still runs on the Commodore 64/128, Apple II, Atari.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science & Tech News

Knut the polar bear’s mysterious cause of death revealed

New Scientist - Breaking news - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 5:00am
The famous polar bear that drowned in 2011 at Berlin Zoo seems to have suffered from a brain condition previously only known in humans









Categories: Science & Tech News

Since-Pulled Cyanogen Update For Oneplus Changes Default Home Page To Bing

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 4:54am
ourlovecanlastforeve writes: Nestled into GSMArena's report on the Cyanogen OS 12.1 update for Oneplus [ Note: an update that the story reports has since been pulled.] is this tasty bite: "...you'll find out that your Chrome homepage has been changed to Bing." Then it's casually dismissed with "Thankfully though, you can easily get rid of Microsoft's search engine by using Chrome settings." as if this were the most normal thing to have to do after an OTA update. Is this the new normal? Has Microsoft set a new precedent that it's okay to expect users to have to go searching through every setting and proactively monitor network traffic to make sure their data isn't being stolen, modified or otherwise manipulated?

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Categories: Science & Tech News

In Praise of the Solo Programmer

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 4:13am
HughPickens.com writes: Jean-Louis Gassée writes that once upon a time, we were awestruck by the solo programmer who could single-handedly write a magnum opus on a barebones machine like the Apple ][ with its 64 kilobytes of memory and an 8-bit processor running at 1MHz. Once such giant was Paul Lutus, known as the Oregon Hermit, who won a place next to Jobs and Wozniak in the Bandley Drive Hall of Fame for his Apple Writer word processor. "Those were the days Computers and their operating systems were simple and the P in Personal Computers applied to the programmer," writes Gassée. "There's no place for a 2015 Paul Lutus. But are things really that dire?" As it turns out, the size and complexity of operating systems and development tools do not pose completely insurmountable obstacles; There are still programs of hefty import authored by one person. One such example is Preview, Mac's all-in-one file viewing and editing program. The many superpowers of Apple's Preview does justice to the app's power and flexibility authored by a solo, unnamed programmer who has been at it since the NeXT days. Newer than Preview but no less ambitious, is Gus Mueller's Acorn, an "Image Editor for Humans", now in version 5 at the Mac App Store. Mueller calls his Everett, WA company a mom and pop shop because his spouse Kristin does the documentation when she isn't working as a Physical Therapist. Gus recently released Acorn 5 fixing hundreds of minor bugs and annoyances. "It took months and months of work, it was super boring and mind numbing and it was really hard to justify, and it made Acorn 5 super late," writes Mueller. "But we did it anyway, because something in us felt that software quality has been going downhill in general, and we sure as heck weren't going to let that happen to Acorn."

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Many Drivers Never Use In-Vehicle Tech, Don't Want Apple Or Google In Next Car

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 3:27am
Lucas123 writes: Many of the high-tech features automakers believe owners want in their vehicles are not only not being used by them, but they don't want them in their next vehicle, according to a new survey by J.D. Power. According to J.D. Power's 2015 Driver Interactive Vehicle Experience (DrIVE) Report, 20% of new-vehicle owners have never used 16 of 33 of the latest technology features. The five features owners most commonly report that they "never use" are in-vehicle concierge (43%); mobile routers (38%); automatic parking systems (35%); heads-up display (33%); and built-in apps (32%). Additionally, there are 14 technology features that 20% or more of owners don't even want in their next vehicle. Those features include Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto, in-vehicle concierge services and in-vehicle voice texting. When narrowed to just Gen Yers, the number of vehicle owners who don't want entertainment and connectivity systems increases to 23%.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Blog: Can World War I game Valiant Hearts be a history lesson?

Gamasutra - News - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 3:07am

Could Ubisoft's World War I game Valiant Hearts be used in classrooms? A designer picks apart its suitability as a teaching aid from a variety of perspectives. ...

Categories: Gaming News

Darwin’s fast-evolving finches use a natural insect repellent

New Scientist - Breaking news - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 2:54am
Four species of the iconic birds on the Galapagos Islands rub themselves with leaves that deter mosquitoes and parasitic flies









Categories: Science & Tech News

Deep Learning Pioneer On the Next Generation of Hardware For Neural Networks

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 1:29am
An anonymous reader writes: While many recognize Yann LeCun as the father of convolutional neural networks, the momentum of which has ignited artificial intelligence at companies like Google, Facebook and beyond, LeCun has not been strictly rooted in algorithms. Like others who have developed completely new approaches to computing, he has an extensive background in hardware, specifically chip design and this recognition of specialization of hardware, movement of data around complex problems, and ultimately core performance, has proven handy. He talks in depth this week about why FPGAs are coming onto the scene as companies like Google and Facebook seek a move away from "proprietary hardware" and look to "programmable devices" to do things like, oh, say, pick out a single face of one's choosing from an 800,000 strong population in under five seconds.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Starbreeze growth strategy drags on full-year results

GamesIndustry.biz news - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 1:17am
"Starbreeze now represents a full vertical in the digital space," says CEO Bo Andersson Klint
Categories: Gaming News

Larian raises $500k in 12 hours for Divinity: Original Sin 2

GamesIndustry.biz news - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 12:12am
"Nobody at Larian could imagine that we would meet our goal so fast,"
Categories: Gaming News

Google Analytics in a PC game: A tutorial

Gamasutra - News - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 12:01am

"Using Google Analytics has been quite popular for the web sites and mobile apps lately but this is not the case with the desktop PC software." Want to do it? Read on. ...

Categories: Gaming News

How working on gross, violent games can mess with developers

Gamasutra - News - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 12:00am

We often hear about how playing violent or otherwise disquieting games affects people, but how does the process of working on these projects affect developers? Gamasutra chats with a few to find out. ...

Categories: Gaming News

Americans spending more time than ever on smartphones, but gaming time is falling

GamesIndustry.biz news - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 11:59pm
Shrinking share of screen time attributed to stagnation, eSports and the unwillingness to grind
Categories: Gaming News

You Can Now Be "Buried" On the Moon

Slashdot Updates - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 11:04pm
Dave Knott writes: Space burials are longer the stuff of science fiction (and wealthy science fiction TV show creators.) The cremated remains of more than 450 people have been shot into orbit. Yet, despite the promise of space being a unique "resting place," almost every tiny vial of remains ever sent there has come back down to Earth or burned up upon re-entry. This wouldn't have happened had the ashes landed on Earth's moon — a fact that hasn't been lost on the companies pioneering this futuristic funeral technology. The San Francisco-based company Elysium Space officially launched its 'lunar memorial' service earlier this month, and will soon be sending the remains of a U.S. Army Infantry Soldier's mother upwards as part of its first ever moon burial. The company's website further explains how the lunar burials will work: "You receive a kit containing a custom ash capsule to collect a cremated remains sample. After we receive the ash capsule back from you, we place your capsule in the Elysium memorial spacecraft. The latter is eventually integrated to the Astrobotic lander during the designated integration event. From here, the lander is integrated onto the launch vehicle. On launch day, the remains are carried to the moon where the lander will be deployed to its dedicated location, preserving our memorial spacecraft for eternity." Because Elysium can only send a small portion of cremated remains to the moon (less than a gram), participants aren't actually paying to have their loved ones literally buried on the moon. However, this has not deterred the company from launching the service, charging $11,950 per "burial".

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Director of Marketing: Robot Entertainment

Gamasutra - Jobs - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 10:00pm
Robot Entertainment, Inc. was founded in 2009 and has gone on to release critically and commercially successful games across multiple platforms. In 2010, we released the AIAS Strategy Game of the Year in Orcs Must Die! In 2011, we followed up with its sequel, Orcs Must Die! 2. Also in 2011, we released the AIAS Mobile Game of the Year in Hero Academy. Today, we are developing Orcs Must Die! Unchained for PC and PS4. Robot seeks a Director of Marketing to deliver its games to audiences around the world. You love games. You know how to build valuable brands. You understand how to build community. You have experience working with PC, console and mobile games. You understand free-to-play models. You are comfortable at the center of the action. You will be part of the Robot leadership team and work closely with the development team, a roster of agencies, and our global publishing and distribution partners. You can plan and execute “must see” game demo booths at shows like PAX and Gamescom. You give a game studio’s Community Manager as much respect as its best engineer. The individual that fills this role will have full responsibility for creating and executing marketing strategy and tactical plans to grow Robot Entertainment’s games globally.  Big Stuff To Do Develop, manage, execute and analyze global marketing strategies and go-to-market plans for all of Robot’s games Coordinate marketing strategies and plans with publishing and distribution partners globally Own the look and feel of the Robot and game-specific websites Lead all social media efforts including game streaming and working with influencers Own the budget for all marketing Create customer acquisition and retention campaigns and manage the life cycle of players Analyze customer behavior data generated from our games, understand it and respond to it Play our games. A lot. Work closely with product development teams to both understand our games and provide a voice for the customer Plan memorable booths, events and game demos at industry shows Manage a team of community managers, web designers, marketing artists and customer service reps Grow a Marketing department with the scaling success of our game franchises Develop and manage brand strategies and product positioning Manage the production of breakthrough creative for video, advertising and other visual communications Lead all PR and corporate communications for Robot and its products  Big Stuff You Have BS/BA degree at a minimum Minimum of 7 years of marketing experience, with at least 5 years of meaningful experience in game marketing and demonstrated leadership on at least one released game Demonstrable quantitative experience, comfort and fluency with analytics Experience managing and leading others Passion for and love of games *Excellent compensation to include salary, bonuses, stock options and top-of-industry health benefits. This is a full-time, professional exempt position located in Plano, Texas.  Open to United States citizens or those individuals who are legally residing and working in the USA.  Robot will not facilitate or sponsor candidates for US work visas or US residency “Green Cards” for this position. Qualified responses should be directed to recruiting@robotentertainment.com. Please indicate position: MARKETING
Categories: Game Dev Jobs
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