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Small Wonder (1985 TV Series)

Ant's IMDb Viewings & Votes - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 12:38pm
AntDude rated this 6.

Dev Update 6: Closer than ever!

Mod DB's News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 12:09pm
The newest development update entailing what we've achieved this week. From the combat system to being practically complete to new major map changes. This update pushes us closer to our goal - to release the game.
The newest development update entailing what we've achieved this week. From the combat system to being practically complete to new major map changes. This update pushes us closer to our goal - to release the game.

To Learn (Or Not Learn) JQuery

/. - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 12:05pm
Nerval's Lobster writes: jQuery isn't without its controversies, and some developers distrust its use in larger projects because (some say) it ultimately leads to breakage-prone code that's harder to maintain. But given its prevalence, jQuery is probably essential to know, but what are the most important elements to learn in order to become adept-enough at it? Chaining commands, understanding when the document is finished loading (and how to write code that safely accesses elements only after said loading), and learning CSS selectors are all key. The harder part is picking up jQuery's quirks and tricks, of which there are many... but is it worth studying to the point where you know every possible eccentricity?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Spoor Spider vs Dune Ant - Deadliest Showdowns (Ep 10) ...

Ant's VideoSift Submissions - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 11:53am

"In the deserts of Africa, the Spoor Spider sets an intricate trap to catch a mighty Dune ant, many times the spider's size. With lightning reactions the spider catches its prey and using vice like front legs pins it down on the hot sand, burning it alive. Steve Backshall analyses all the action..."

From ...

Tempest - Monthly Recap #6

Mod DB's News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 11:40am
Our sixth monthly recap! Our first update from our switch to Unreal 4 engine. A look at a new ship, some early cannon prototyping, and our plans for what to do next!
Our sixth monthly recap! Our first update from our switch to Unreal 4 engine. A look at a new ship, some early cannon prototyping, and our plans for what to do next!

The Real-Life Dangers of Augmented Reality

/. - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 11:18am
Tekla Perry writes: Today's augmented reality devices have yet to go through extensive tests of their impact on their wearers' health and safety. But by looking at existing research involving visual and motor impairments, two Kaiser Permanente researchers find they can draw conclusions about the promise and perils of augmented reality, and point to ways wearable developers can make these devices safer. The researchers write: "Peripheral vision is more important than you might think, because it provides a wealth of information about speed and distance from objects. Central vision, despite the great detail it offers, gives you only a rough estimate of movement toward or away from you, based on changes in size or in the parallax angle between your eyes. But objects moving within your peripheral vision stimulate photoreceptors from the center of the retina to the edge, providing much better information about the speed of motion. Your brain detects objects in your peripheral field and evaluates if and how they (or you) are moving. Interfering with this process can cause you to misjudge relative motion and could cause you to stumble; it might even get you hit by a car one day."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

trailer acidspace

Ant's Vimeo Likes - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 11:07am

Reflections is out now on Steam Early Access!

Mod DB's News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 10:41am
Reflections is finally out on Steam! We're looking for feedback from our community as we go through our Early Access face and get ready for the full launch. Check it out today!
Reflections is finally out on Steam! We're looking for feedback from our community as we go through our Early Access face and get ready for the full launch. Check it out today!

SCOTUS Denies Google's Request To Appeal Oracle API Case

/. - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 10:35am
New submitter Neil_Brown writes: The Supreme Court of the United States has today denied Google's request to appeal against the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit's ruling (PDF) that the structure, sequence and organization of 37 of Oracle's APIs (application program interfaces) was capable of copyright protection. The case is not over, as Google can now seek to argue that, despite the APIs being restricted by copyright, its handling amounts to "fair use". Professor Pamela Samuelson has previously commented (PDF) on the implications if SCOTUS declined to hear the appeal. The Verge reports: "A district court ruled in Google's favor back in 2012, calling the API "a utilitarian and functional set of symbols" that couldn't be tied up by copyrights. Last May, a federal appeals court overturned that ruling by calling the Java API copyrightable. However, the court said that Google could still have lawfully used the APIs under fair use, sending the case back to a lower court to argue the issue. That's where Google will have to go next, now that the Supreme Court has declined to hear the issue over copyright itself.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Interviews: Ask Steve Jackson About Designing Games

/. - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 9:53am
Since starting his own company in 1980, Steve Jackson, founder and editor-in-chief of Steve Jackson Games, has created a number of hits, starting with Car Wars . . . followed shortly by Illuminati, and later by GURPS, the "Generic Universal Roleplaying System." In 1983, he was elected to the Adventure Gaming Hall of Fame - the youngest person ever so honored. He has personally won 11 Origins Awards. In the early 90's, Steve got international press due to the Secret Service's invasion of his office. The EFF helped make it possible for SJ Games to bring suit against the Secret Service and the U.S. government and win more than $50,000 in damages. His Ogre kickstarter a couple of years ago brought in close to a million dollars. His current hits are Munchkin, a very silly card game about killing monsters and taking their stuff, and Zombie Dice, in which you eat brains and try not to get shotgunned. His current projects include a variety of Munchkin follow-ups, and the continuing quest to get his games translated into digital form. Steve has agreed to put down the dice and answer any questions you may have. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one per post.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

When a Company Gets Sold, Your Data May Be Sold, Too

/. - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 9:11am
An anonymous reader writes: A new report points out that many of the top internet sites have language in their privacy policies saying that your private data might be transferred in the event of an acquisition, bankruptcy sale, or other transaction. They effectively say, "We won't ever sell your information, unless things go bad for us." 85 of the top 100 websites in the U.S. (ranked by Alexa), had this sort of language, including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Hulu, and LinkedIn. (RadioShack did this recently.) "The potential ramifications of the fire sale provisions became clear two years ago when, a dating site based in Plano, Tex., that was going through a bankruptcy proceeding, tried to sell its customer database on 43 million members to a dating site based in Canada. The profiles included consumers' names, birth dates, sexual orientation, race, religion, criminal convictions, photos, videos, contact information and more. Because the site's privacy policy had promised never to sell or share members' personal details without their permission, Texas was able to intervene to stop the sale of customer data, including intimate details on about two million Texans." But with this new language, users no longer enjoy that sort of protection. Only 17 of the top 100 sites even say they will notify customers of the data transfer. Only a handful allow users to opt out.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

MIT System Fixes Software Bugs Without Access To Source Code

/. - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 8:28am
jan_jes writes: MIT researchers have presented a new system at the Association for Computing Machinery's Programming Language Design and Implementation conference that repairs software bugs by automatically importing functionality from other, more secure applications. According to MIT, "The system, dubbed CodePhage, doesn't require access to the source code of the applications. Instead, it analyzes the applications' execution and characterizes the types of security checks they perform. As a consequence, it can import checks from applications written in programming languages other than the one in which the program it's repairing was written."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

COMPLICA DX - A fantastic CONNECT-4 for the ZX Spectrum!

Indie Retro News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 8:10am

Spectrum owners prepare to play one of the greatest ZX Spectrum style arcade puzzle games released this year by far; it's 'COMPLICA DX' by Einar Saukas, Dave Hughes and Yerzmyey. A brand new release that takes on CONNECT-4, gives it a unique twist and makes it so enjoyable to play you'll not want to put it down! Featuring great 8bit graphics by Dave "R-Tape" Hughes, amazing speccy tunes, a customized version of the BIFROST Engine, huge game content (packing 12K of 100% Assembly code, 61K of standard and multicolor graphics, 12K of AY music) in 48K only and it's completely free to play!

In COMPLICA DX you play as a mighty hero that must defend the known universe from all that is evil through the use of Ancient technology. Technology that, according to the team, is all about the CONNECT-4. That's right, in this latest ZX Spectrum release you must connect all the correctly coloured creatures in a 4 way pattern to win the level. If however the evil enemy gets a four lined pattern, they win and it's bad news for you.

But with that said COMPLICA DX is a mighty fine game indeed. It will keep you hooked for hours, as not only does it look very appealing with high end ZX Spectrum detail, but the game play is non stop fun. Even when I played it, I was completely taken back by this being free and not a commercial release. The sound is also great to listen to and I couldn't make up my mind which one I preferred, the loading music or the main menu tune! Certainly a worthy game even by homebrew standards....

Compatible with all official ZX-Spectrum models, COMPLICA DX is available to download today HERE with a discussion available on the World of Spectrum forums.

Bill Gates Investing $2 Billion In Renewables

/. - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 7:45am
An anonymous reader writes: Bill Gates has dumped a billion dollars into renewables, and now he's ready to double down. Gates announced he will increase his investment in renewable energy technologies to $2 billion in an attempt to "bend the curve" on limiting climate change. He is focusing on risky investments that favor "breakthrough" technologies because he thinks incremental improvements to existing tech won't be enough to meet energy needs while avoiding a climate catastrophe. He says, "There's no battery technology that's even close to allowing us to take all of our energy from renewables and be able to use battery storage in order to deal not only with the 24-hour cycle but also with long periods of time where it's cloudy and you don't have sun or you don't have wind. Power is about reliability. We need to get something that works reliably." At the same time, Gates rejected calls to divest himself and his charitable foundation of investments in fossil fuel companies.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

New Study Accuses Google of Anti-competitive Search Behavior

/. - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 7:02am
An anonymous reader writes: Columbia Law School professor Tim Wu — the man who coined the term "network neutrality" — has published a new study suggesting that Google's new method of putting answers to simple search queries at the top of the results page is anticompetitive and harmful to consumers. For subjective search queries — e.g. "What's the best [profession] in [city]?" — Google frequently figures out a best-guess answer to display first, favoring its own results to do so. The study did some A/B testing with a group of 2,690 internet users and found they were 45% more likely to click on merit-based results than on Google's listings. Wu writes, "Search engines are widely understood as key mediators of the web's speech environment, given that they have a powerful impact on who gets heard, what speech is neglected, and what information generally is reached. ... The more that Google directs users to its own content and its own properties, the more that speakers who write reviews, blogs and other materials become invisible to their desired audiences."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

ZX Spectrum Retro Review - Paperboy

Indie Retro News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 7:00am

It is an important and popular fact that back in the 1980s I funded my computer gaming time by delivering newspapers. This fact is in some small way commemorated by the fact that, in a time of mid-life crisis, the first game I loaded up on my newly acquired rubber-keyed Spectrum was Paperboy. There was no deep reason for Paperboy; it was never one of my favourites, but, having been bought at some point between packing my old +2 away and acquiring a 'new' Spectrum, it was the first game that came to hand.

As an aside, I loaded it up with the same cassette player I used back in the day - and had forgotten how long it took to load Spectrum games, which led to a very tense few minutes watching that unexpectedly colourful loader and half expecting the dreaded 'R: Tape Loading Error' message... but the error never came, the game loaded, and with the back-story explained, it's time for a review!

Released in 1986 by Elite, Paperboy was the officially licenced home computer port of the Atari arcade game. Apparently it was Game of the Year, and one of the biggest selling games of all time (at the time). For this review I was playing on the aforementioned rubber-keyed 48K Spectrum.

The idea is to survive a week delivering newspapers in a typical American suburb - typical in that you will be set upon by vicious dogs, wobbly pensioners, and some sort of giant doughnut thing on an alarmingly regular basis. Also the neighbour's kid on his Sinclair C5, and the suburban commuters on their way to their boring jobs (which were probably also replicated in Spectrum games) would take offence at your lovely cyan BMX and try to remove you from it.

If you survive to the end of your round, you get to play on the BMX track for a bit - a BMX track which rather worryingly looks like it goes through the middle of an archery range - and then presumably go off to school, watch Blue Peter and then start afresh the next day.

Apart from the BEEPed ditty on the opening screen, there's not a lot of sound beyond a selection of clicks and bleeps to signify throwing a paper, scoring a bonus, knocking your nemesis off his C5, and so on. Far better to listen to some contemporary music - my soundtrack of choice is Bananarama's 'True Confessions' album from the same year, which I don't have on vinyl at all. Honest.

As for the graphics, it's a strange paradox that so much was made of the Spectrum's colour palette when it was launched, but due the hardware limitations some of the best looking graphics were produced in monochrome. The playing field for Paperboy is presented in glorious black and cyan, with other colours used in other parts of the screen. The actual graphics are about as clear as any Spectrum game of the time; I'm not quite sure what some of the obstacles are supposed to be (are those really gravestones in every other front garden?) but it does the job. The scrolling is nice and smooth, and the cobwebs on some of the houses are a fun, random detail.

For such a simple idea - throw papers at letterboxes and miscellaneous other targets - it's a pretty tough game to play well. It seems easy to just keep throwing papers randomly in the hope of hitting something now and then, but the idea is to keep your customers satisfied (although you can score bonus points for breaking the windows of ex-customers, as well as knocking down bins and skateboarders). It took me a couple of goes to get the hang of the BMX track too, the isometric scrolling confusing my ageing eyes at first and sending me crashing to the floor.

It's also weirdly addictive, the simplicity of the gameplay giving it that 'one more go' factor; but as your aim gets better, you learn where to avoid the workmen, and you progress further into the game, the game starts to hate you, eventually putting remotely piloted lawnmowers in your path... This is one of those games that takes a few seconds to pick up, but can have you playing for hours if you intend to master it.

On this occasion, the game itself didn't give the retro buzz as much as the experience, loading from tape, sitting on the floor in front of the TV with a rubber-keyed Spectrum... that said, it's definitely an 80s game, straight from the time when they'd make a computer game of anything (yeah I'm looking at you, Trashman!).

Review by Steve Trower
(This review first appeared at

How Television Is Fighting Off the Internet

/. - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 6:20am writes: Michael Wolff writes in the NY Times that online-media revolutionaries once figured they could eat TV's lunch by stealing TV's business model with free content supported by advertising. But online media is now drowning in free, and internet traffic has glutted the ad market, forcing down rates. Digital publishers, from The Guardian to BuzzFeed, can stay ahead only by chasing more traffic — not loyal readers, but millions of passing eyeballs, so fleeting that advertisers naturally pay less and less for them. Meanwhile, the television industry has been steadily weaning itself off advertising — like an addict in recovery, starting a new life built on fees from cable providers and all those monthly credit-card debits from consumers. Today, half of broadcast and cable's income is non-advertising based. And since adult household members pay the cable bills, TV content has to be grown-up content: "The Sopranos," "Mad Men," "Breaking Bad," "The Wire," "The Good Wife." So how did this tired, postwar technology seize back the crown? Television, not digital media, is mastering the model of the future: Make 'em pay. And the corollary: Make a product that they'll pay for. BuzzFeed has only its traffic to sell — and can only sell it once. Television shows can be sold again and again, with streaming now a third leg to broadcast and cable, offering a vast new market for licensing and syndication. Television is colonizing the Internet and people still spend more time watching television than they do on the Internet and more time on the Internet watching television. "The fundamental recipe for media success, in other words, is the same as it used to be," concludes Wolff, "a premium product that people pay attention to and pay money for. Credit cards, not eyeballs."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

YR:NW News Update #7

Mod DB's News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 5:39am
Battle tanks are improved, Canada forces are defending theirselves against full-scale Soviet invasion, massive gameplays, the war begins a new!
Battle tanks are improved, Canada forces are defending theirselves against full-scale Soviet invasion, massive gameplays, the war begins a new!

Greek Financial Crisis Is an Opportunity For Bitcoin

/. - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 5:37am
An anonymous reader writes: Greece's economy has been in trouble for several years, now, and a major vote next weekend will shake it up even further. The country can't pay its debts, and the upcoming referendum will decide whether they face increased austerity measures or start the process of exiting the Euro. One side effect of the crisis is that alternative currencies like Bitcoin suddenly look much more attractive as the "normal" currencies become unstable. "Tony Gallippi, the co-founder of bitcoin payment processor Bitpay, tweeted on Sunday night that he expected the price of bitcoin to rise to between $610 and $1,250 if Greece exits the Euro. The currency is currently worth $250. Part of the reason why the crisis is so tempting for proponents of the cryptocurrency is the echoes of a previous crisis in the Eurozone: the banking collapse in Cyprus in 2013, which saw that nation also impose capital controls to prevent massive outflows of currency from the panicking country. That collapse came at the same time as the first major boom in the price of bitcoin, which began the year at less than $20 and peaked at ten times that by early April – before it all came crashing down."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Nightfall v2 Alpha update

Mod DB's News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 5:25am
Changelog for the upcoming closed beta. Please read carefully.
Changelog for the upcoming closed beta. Please read carefully.
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