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Android O First Developer Preview Featuring Notification Channels, Background Limits Now Available

Slashdot Updates - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 10:43am
A year after Google released the Android N Developer Preview, the company has made available the developer preview of the next major version of Android, "Android O." You will not want to put it on your primary Android smartphone as the preview is likely to have rough edges. Google says as much. "it's early days, there are more features coming, and there's still plenty of stabilization and performance work ahead of us. But it's booting :)." The company is using the developer preview to give beta testers a sneak peek into some new features, such as "notification channels," which will offer users the ability to group notifications. There is also Picture in Picture, which will enable you to have a video appear in a small window on top of homescreen or any application. Google is also adding "multi-display support" and improved "keyboard navigation." Your guess is as good as mine as to what these features will actually do. There's also better "background limits" which will supposedly help save battery, and wider Wi-Fi support to include things like Neighborhood Aware Networking (NAN). No word on what "O" in Android O stands for.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Twitter Suspended Hundreds of Thousands of Accounts Amid 'Violent Extremism'

Slashdot Updates - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 10:00am
Twitter said on Tuesday it had suspended more than half a million accounts since the middle of 2015 as the company steps up efforts to tackle "violent extremism" on its microblogging platform. From a report: The company shut down a total of 376,890 accounts in the last six months of 2016, Twitter said in its latest transparency report.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Australia's restrictive video game ratings discourage innovation, says senator

Gamasutra - News - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 9:39am

"Every signal we send to the gaming community in this country is of censorship, disapproval, and discouragement," said David Leyonhjelm of the Australian Liberal Democratic Party. ...

Categories: Gaming News

YouTube's restricted mode is hurting video game channels and LGBT content creators

Gamasutra - News - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 9:26am

YouTube has been called out by members of the games industry and LGBT community after a number of content creators noticed their videos were being hidden by the platform's restricted mode algorithm. ...

Categories: Gaming News

Microsoft Just Showed Off Exactly What Salesforce Was Worried About

Slashdot Updates - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 9:20am
Microsoft just took a direct swipe at Salesforce with a new enterprise-ready version of LinkedIn's customer relationship management product called Sales Navigator. From a report on CNBC: "Today's announcements take Sales Navigator to the next level," Doug Camplejohn, LinkedIn sales solutions head of product, said in a blog. The new product steps up competition with arch rival Salesforce. Microsoft beat out Salesforce to acquire Linkedin for $26.2 billion -- by far the company's largest acquisition to date -- in June. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff was so concerned, he accused the company of "anti-competitive behavior" and urged regulators to investigate. Flash-forward less than a year and Microsoft's new Sales Navigator Enterprise Edition incorporates many features aimed at turning LinkedIn into a must-have tool for sales teams at big companies.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

PAX East Report: Games from around the world

Gamasutra - News - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 9:07am

Here are three of the most intriguing non-American/non-Japanese games Gamasutra contributor Katherine Cross saw at PAX East. ...

Categories: Gaming News

IBM, Remote-Work Pioneer, is Calling Thousands Of Employees Back To the Office

Slashdot Updates - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 8:41am
An anonymous reader shares a report: Less than a year into her tenure as IBM's chief marketing officer, Michelle Peluso prepared to make an announcement that she knew would excite some of her 5,500 new employees, but also, inevitably, inspire resignation notices from others. In a video message, Peluso explained the "only one recipe I know for success." Its ingredients included great people, the right tools, a mission, analysis of results, and one more thing: "really creative and inspiring locations." IBM had decided to "co-locate" the US marketing department, about 2,600 people, which meant that all teams would now work together, "shoulder to shoulder," from one of six different locations -- Atlanta, Raleigh, Austin, Boston, San Francisco, and New York. Employees who worked primarily from home would be required to commute, and employees who worked remotely or from an office that was not on the list (or an office that was on the list, but different than the one to which their teams had been assigned) would be required to either move or look for another job. Similar announcements had already been made in other departments, and more would be made in the future. At IBM, which has embraced remote work for decades, a relatively large proportion of employees work outside of central hubs. (By 2009, when remote work was still, for most, a novelty, 40% of IBM's 386,000 global employees already worked at home). [...] "When you're playing phone tag with someone is quite different than when you're sitting next to someone and can pop up behind them and ask them a question," Peluso says. Not all IBM employees see it that way.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

UK Flight Ban On Devices To Be Announced

Slashdot Updates - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 8:00am
The UK is due to announce a cabin baggage ban on laptops, tablets and DVD players on certain passenger flights, after a similar US move. From a report on BBC: It is understood the UK restrictions may differ from the US Department of Homeland Security's ban, although details have not yet been released. Flights from 10 airports in eight Muslim-majority countries are subject to the US announcement. US officials said bombs could be hidden in a series of devices. BBC home affairs correspondent Daniel Sandford said the expected move was "obviously part of coordinated action with the US." The attempted downing of an airliner in Somalia last year was linked to a laptop device, and it appears the security precautions are an attempt to stop similar incidents, our correspondent added.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Blog: Revisiting GDC 2015 - Monetization, retention, and design

Gamasutra - News - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 7:40am

Sometimes it's useful to revise the "wisdom of the past". The post contains list of GDC presentations that touch fields of monetization, retention and game design in genral. ...

Categories: Gaming News

Nintendo seals victory in 3DS tech lawsuit

Gamasutra - News - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 7:38am

Nintendo's legal battle against Tomita Technologies, which alleges the Japanese console maker had used its patented 3D display tech without permission, has been laid to rest for good.  ...

Categories: Gaming News

GitHub Now Lets Its Workers Keep the IP When They Use Company Resources For Personal Projects

Slashdot Updates - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 7:20am
If it's on company time, it's the company's dime. That's the usual rule in the tech industry -- that if employees use company resources to work on projects unrelated to their jobs, their employer can claim ownership of any intellectual property (IP) they create. But GitHub is throwing that out the window. From a report on Quartz: Today the code-sharing platform announced a new policy, the Balanced Employee IP Agreement (BEIPA). This allows its employees to use company equipment to work on personal projects in their free time, which can occur during work hours, without fear of being sued for the IP. As long as the work isn't related to GitHub's own "existing or prospective" products and services, the employee owns it. Like all things related to tech IP, employee agreements are a contentious issue. In some US states, it's not uncommon for contracts to give companies full ownership of all work employees produce during their tenure, and sometimes even before and after their tenure, regardless of when or how they produce it. These restrictions have led to several horror stories, like the case of Alcatel vs. Evan Brown.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Blog: Building a simple procedurally-generated platformer

Gamasutra - News - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 7:06am

An example of an algorithm we might use to procedurally generate simple "endless runner" levels. ...

Categories: Gaming News

Google To Revamp Policies, Hire Staff After UK Ad Scandal

Slashdot Updates - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 6:43am
Google vowed on Tuesday to police its websites better by ramping up staff numbers and overhauling its policies after several companies deserted the internet giant for failing to keep their adverts off hate-filled videos. From a report on Reuters: Google has found itself at the center of a British storm in recent days after major companies from supermarkets to banks and consumer groups pulled their adverts from its YouTube site after they appeared alongside videos carrying homophobic and anti-Semitic messages. Alphabet's Google launched a review of the problem on Friday, apologized on Monday and said on Tuesday it had revamped its policies to give advertisers more control.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

The GamesIndustry.biz Podcast: GDC 2017 Part II, with Raph Koster and Justin Ma

GamesIndustry.biz news - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 6:20am
Latest episode available to download now, covering the evolution of GDC and the many challenges facing indie devs
Categories: Gaming News

Apple iPad is a Faster, Cheaper iPad Air 2

Slashdot Updates - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 6:01am
Say good-bye to the iPad Air, it's just the iPad now. From a report on CNET: Apple announced on Tuesday morning that it will be dropping the price of the 9.7-inch iPad by $70. The tablet's A8X processor will be getting an upgrade too, jumping over to the A9 chip used in the iPad Pro. The upgrade will replace the iPad Air 2, but the iPad Mini 4 will live on, starting at $399. The updated pricing will start on Friday, at $329 for the 32GB model and $459 for the 32GB WiFi with cellular service model. It's Apple's cheapest iPad, after the company decided to replace the iPad Mini 2, which started at $269. Although Apple's iPad is leading the tablet market, it's still a tumbling one as demand takes a decline thanks to people holding onto their tablets longer.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Switch "could possibly eclipse" Wii - GameStop

GamesIndustry.biz news - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 5:53am
Specialty retailer rep says Nintendo's latest has phenomenal start, soaring attach rates for games and accessories
Categories: Gaming News

Trump’s tragic budget kills vital science to boost defence

New Scientist - Breaking news - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 5:10am
The US president's spending plan ramps up defence at huge cost to climate and energy research. The contradictions are beyond belief, says physicist Raymond Pierrehumbert
Categories: Science & Tech News

Artificial lungs in a backpack may free people with lung failure

New Scientist - Breaking news - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 5:00am
People with lung failure usually have to stay connected to unwieldy machines. Now a set of portable mechanical lungs could restore mobility and keep them healthier
Categories: Science & Tech News

John Goodenough's Colleagues Are Skeptical of His New Battery Technology

Slashdot Updates - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 5:00am
Earlier this month, a research team led by John Goodenough announced that they had created a new fast charging solid-state battery that can operate in extreme temperatures and store five to ten times as much energy as current standard lithium-ion batteries. The announcement was big enough to have Google's Eric Schmidt tweeting about it. However, there are some skeptics, including other leading battery researchers. "For his invention to work as described, they say, it would probably have to abandon the laws of thermodynamics, which say perpetual motion is not possible," reports Quartz. "The law has been a fundamental of batteries for more than a century and a half." Quartz reports: Goodenough's long career has defined the modern battery industry. Researchers assume that his measurements are exact. But no one outside of Goodenough's own group appears to understand his new concept. The battery community is loath to openly challenge the paper, but some come close. "If anyone but Goodenough published this, I would be, well, it's hard to find a polite word," Daniel Steingart, a professor at Princeton, told Quartz. Goodenough did not respond to emails. But in a statement released by the University of Texas, where he holds an engineering chair, he said, "We believe our discovery solves many of the problems that are inherent in today's batteries. Cost, safety, energy density, rates of charge and discharge and cycle life are critical for battery-driven cars to be more widely adopted." In addition, Helena Braga, the paper's lead author, in an exchange of emails, insisted that the team's claims are valid. For almost four decades, Goodenough has dominated the world of advanced batteries. If anyone could finally make the breakthrough that allows for cheap, stored electricity in cars and on the grid, it would figure to be him. Goodenough invented the heart of the battery that is all but certainly powering the device on which you are reading this. It's the lithium-cobalt-oxide cathode, invented in 1980 and introduced for sale by Sony in 1991. Again and again, Goodenough's lab has emerged with dramatic discoveries confirming his genius. It's what is not stated in the paper that has some of the battery community stumped. How is Goodenough's new invention storing any energy at all? The known rules of physics state that, to derive energy, differing material must produce differing eletro-chemical reactions in the two opposing electrodes. That difference produces voltage, allowing energy to be stored. But Goodenough's battery has pure metallic lithium or sodium on both sides. Therefore, the voltage should be zero, with no energy produced, battery researchers told Quartz. Goodenough reports energy densities multiple times that of current lithium-ion batteries. Where does the energy come from, if not the electrode reactions? That goes unexplained in the paper.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Blog: An iterative approach to quest design

Gamasutra - News - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 4:41am

Creating quests with branching narratives for open world games is no simple task. By applying a simple iterative method, you can save yourself from many problems later on in the process. ...

Categories: Gaming News
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