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Posts Tagged ‘thing’

Valve’s ‘Steam Box’ Console Is Real, Says Gabe Newell

December 8th, 2012 12:04 admin View Comments

PC Games (Games)

symbolset writes “The Verge is reporting that the Steam Console we discussed in November is a real thing. Gabe Newell said it will be a locked down platform for the living room. The source is a Kotaku interview with Newell at the Video Game Awards. Newell said, ‘Well certainly our hardware will be a very controlled environment. If you want more flexibility, you can always buy a more general-purpose PC. For people who want a more turnkey solution, that’s what some people are really gonna want for their living room. The nice thing about a PC is a lot of different people can try out different solutions, and customers can find the ones that work best for them.’”

Source: Valve’s ‘Steam Box’ Console Is Real, Says Gabe Newell

Steve Jobs’ Yacht Revealed

October 28th, 2012 10:02 admin View Comments

Apple

schwit1 writes “Venus, the incredible luxury yacht Steve Jobs had been designing up until his death a little over a year ago, seems to have made its first appearance as a finished product in the city of Aalsmeer in the Netherlands. Unsurprisingly, its design is breathtaking. Reportedly designed in a joint effort between Jobs himself and Philippe Starck, the stunning ship first showed up on the blog One More Thing, which posted some stills as well as a few other details. The ship is about 230 to 260 feet long, for instance, and made entirely of aluminum, which makes it particularly light. And if you had any doubt this is Steve Jobs’ yacht, there are seven 27-inch iMacs in the wheelhouse. According to One More Thing’s sources, the Jobs family will be present for the yacht’s christening ceremony proper, thought it’s unknown whether or not they intend to use it, or what its ultimate fate may be. Regardless of what may happen to her, she sure is a beauty. It’s certainly a shame Steve Jobs never got the chance to see her finished.”

Source: Steve Jobs’ Yacht Revealed

Two Teams Win the BotPrize

September 15th, 2012 09:18 admin View Comments

AI

An anonymous reader writes “For the past five years, the 2K BotPrize has challenged artificial intelligence researchers and programmers to create a computer-game-playing bot that plays like a person. It’s one thing to make bots that play computer games very well — computers are faster and more accurate than a person can ever be — but it’s a different thing to make bots that are fun to play against. In a breakthrough result, after years of striving and improvement from 14 different international teams from nine countries, two teams have crossed the humanness barrier! The teams share $7000 in prize money and a trip to games company 2K’s Canberra studio. The winners are the UT^2 team from the University of Texas at Austin, and Mihai Polceanu, a doctoral student from Romania, currently studying Artificial Intelligence at ENIB CERV — Centre de Réalité Virtuelle, Brest, France. The UT^2 team is Professor Risto Miikulainen, and doctoral students Jacob Schrum and Igor Karpov. The bots created by the two teams both achieved a humanness rating of 52%, easily exceeding the average humanness rating of the human players, at 40%. It is especially fitting that the prize has been won in the 2012 Alan Turing Centenary Year. The famous Turing test — where a computer has to have a conversation with a human, and pretends to be another human — was the inspiration for the BotPrize competition. Where to now for human-like bots? Next year we hope to propose a new and exciting challenge for game playing bot creators to push their technologies to the next level of human-like performance.”

Source: Two Teams Win the BotPrize

Do Tech Entrepreneurs Need To Know How To Code?

September 6th, 2012 09:37 admin View Comments

Businesses

An anonymous reader writes “Learning to write code has become something of a trendy thing to do. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said he intends to learn code this year. Estonia has recently announced a scheme with the aim of getting every 6-year-old in the Baltic state to learn programming skills. The demand has spawned a number of start-ups offering coding lessons. General Assembly, which teaches off-line courses, has recently opened up in London and is recruiting ahead of a launch in Berlin. On-line education site Codecademy landed $10 million to expand from its home base in New York. Zach Simms, the 22-year-old co-founder, said in an earlier interview with The Wall Street Journal that not everyone has to learn to code, but everybody ‘needs to learn the notions of algorithms, realizing what you can use code for.’ But do they?”

Source: Do Tech Entrepreneurs Need To Know How To Code?

The Rebirth of PC Gaming? Bring On the Modders!

August 22nd, 2012 08:02 admin View Comments

PC Games (Games)

Deathspawner writes “The future of PC gaming is oft-debated, but one thing’s for certain: modding has always made it better. With that, wouldn’t it make sense for developers to focus more on giving the community the modding tools it needs? Further, couldn’t publishers look to modding as a way to increase revenue, by allowing modders to sell their sanctioned creations? Valve already offers robust community options in its Steam platform — and already has payment processing in place. Is this the natural next step for PC gaming?”

Source: The Rebirth of PC Gaming? Bring On the Modders!

Apple Expanding NC Green Data Center

July 19th, 2012 07:34 admin View Comments

Businesses

The North Carolina data center that Apple has touted as especially earth-friendly (for having biogas-fueled generators, for one thing) will soon have a smaller companion; Apple is expanding its presence, according to filings reported over at Slash DataCenter, with another 21,000-plus square foot facility at the same site. “Apple also plans to build a hydrogen fuel-cell facility in the area, at least based on other filed permits. That would complement the solar-array installations under construction. Apple has claimed that some 60 percent of the data center facility’s power will be generated onsite. As it stands now, the Maiden facility already incorporates energy-efficient design elements, including real-time energy monitoring and analytics.”

Source: Apple Expanding NC Green Data Center

Ask Slashdot: How Does Your Company Evaluate Your Performance?

July 5th, 2012 07:52 admin View Comments

Businesses

jmcbain writes “I’m a former Microsoftie, and one thing I really despised about the company is the ‘stack ranking’ employee evaluation system that was succinctly captured in a recent Vanity Fair article on the company. Stack ranking is basically applying a forced curve distribution on all employees at the same level, so management must place some percentage of employees into categories of overperforming, performing on average, and underperforming. Even if it’s an all-star team doing great work, some folks will be marked as underperforming. Frankly, this really sucked. I know this practice gained popularity with GE in the 1980s and is being used by some (many?) Fortune 500 companies. Does your company do this? What’s the best way to survive this type of system?”

Source: Ask Slashdot: How Does Your Company Evaluate Your Performance?

Full-Body Airport Scanners Downsizing For Doctors/Dentists

July 2nd, 2012 07:11 admin View Comments

Medicine

An anonymous reader writes “Cheap handheld terahertz scanners that do the same thing as those big bulky full-body scanners at the airport could be in your doctor’s and dentist’s office soon+. The Semiconductor Research Corp. has successfully sponsored chip maker Texas Instruments in making cheap CMOS chips that do the same thing as those refrigerator sized full-body scanners at the airport. The resulting handheld versions can be tuned to look inside your teeth in the dentist chair and under you skin at the doctor’s office. The best part is that terahertz rays are completely safe, unlike the X-rays used today by dentists and doctors which can cause cancer. Count me in!”

Source: Full-Body Airport Scanners Downsizing For Doctors/Dentists

Diablo 3 Banhammer Dropped Just Before RMAH Goes Live

June 12th, 2012 06:12 admin View Comments

Role Playing (Games)

eldavojohn writes “One thing Diablo 3 has that many other games do not is a ‘Real Money Auction House‘ (RMAH), which went live today for players with two factor authentication. Of course, mere hours before that, Blizzard publicly announced they would follow through on their promises. Accounts they have identified as cheaters and botters have been banned ‘by the thousands.’ No official number is out, but the news is indicating that as people get off of work and return home to their bot-wives and bot-kids they may find themselves without a valid Battle.net account (possibly tied to other games like SCII and WoW). Blizzard has also included many fixes to remove/dissuade many other exploits but if their past arcane attitude toward the ‘gamers of the game’ is any indication, thousands will be unhappy.”

Source: Diablo 3 Banhammer Dropped Just Before RMAH Goes Live

5+ Ways Entrepreneurs are Different from Everyone Else

June 11th, 2012 06:30 admin View Comments

Successful entrepreneurs are really smart. Just look at Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, guys who could get a lobotomy and still do your math homework. But intelligence is not the defining characteristic of successful entrepreneurship. Instead, the secret is a more prosaic quality: good old-fashioned stick-to-itiveness.

That’s the conclusion reached by Carol Tice, author of How They Started: How 25 Good Ideas Became Great Companies. Tice says entepreneurs are different from other folks.

Not Fazed by Failure

“When a normal person starts a business and it fails, they go get a job,” she explains. “Whereas an entrepreneur says, ‘That was interesting, and I learned a lot of great stuff.’ Failure doesn’t faze them. They figure out what they did wrong and what to do right the next time.”

Successful startup founders are also able to figure out what they’re doing wrong while they’re doing it – and start doing something else fast.

Take, Twitter, for example. It began as a podcasting platform called Odeo. But when Apple launched iTunes, CEO Evan Williams saw immediately that Odeo was DOA, so he told his 13 employees to start thinking of other ideas. A guy named Jack Dorsey developed a status-updating app called Twttr – and the rest is #history.

“Great entrepreneurs think on the fly and shift on a dime,” says Tice, whose book includes case studies of tech companies including eBay, LinkedIn and Zynga, along with nontech businesses such as Chipotle, Whole Foods and Spanx. “Quite often the big thing is not the thing they set out to do originally. But they have the brilliance to recognize the big thing when it does come along.”

Confident, Brash and Cocky

To do that – abandon an idea on which you’ve hung your hopes, your dreams and your credit card balance – takes chutzpah. And this is another quality Tice noted in the people she covers in her book. “There’s a brashness and cockiness to all these entrepreneurs, even when they’re nobodies and their companies are nothing.”

Trip Hawkins, the guy behind Electronic Arts – which now employs 7,600 people and made $677 million profit in 2010 – started out by reverse engineering games on the Sega platform, even though he had no permission to do so and quickly attracted the attention of Sega’s legal team. “But he played a game of brinksmanship and said, ‘I’ll do this with or without you, so why don’t you cut me an awesome deal?’ And they did,” Tice says.

You need that kind of confidence to deliver on perhaps the most important characteristic of successful enterpreneurs: a willingness to devote everything they have to their ideas.

“There’s a work ethic to all these great companies that’s just incredible,” Tice marvels. “They push the limits of what humans are capable of. Everybody has read The Four-Hour Workweek and they think they can press a button and make bazillions. But the part Tim Ferris left out is that you work your tail off for two or three years nonstop around the clock, you have no life, your wife divorces you, your friends leave you and then, if you’re really lucky, the thing you’re working on actually works. And then the money pours in.”

Source: 5+ Ways Entrepreneurs are Different from Everyone Else

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