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Four short links: 8 July 2014

By Nat Torkington
July 8, 2014

Virtual Economies — new book from MIT Press on economics in games. The book will enable developers and designers to create and maintain successful virtual economies, introduce social scientists and policy makers to the power of virtual economies, and provide …

Four short links: 8 July 2014

By Nat Torkington
July 8, 2014

Virtual Economies — new book from MIT Press on economics in games. The book will enable developers and designers to create and maintain successful virtual economies, introduce social scientists and policy makers to the power of virtual economies, and provide …

Four short links: 8 July 2014

By Nat Torkington
July 8, 2014

Virtual Economies — new book from MIT Press on economics in games. The book will enable developers and designers to create and maintain successful virtual economies, introduce social scientists and policy makers to the power of virtual economies, and provide …

Four short links: 25 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 25, 2014

Meet the Super-Taskers (Psychology Today) — As part of the Nissan GT Academy challenge, the top 10 players of the car-racing game Gran Turismo are given the chance to race real automobiles in competition. They’re very good—too good, in fact. …

Four short links: 14 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 14, 2014

The Facebook experiment has failed. Let’s go back — Facebook gets worse the more you use it. The innovation within Facebook happens within a framework that’s taken as given. This essay questions that frame, well. Meet the People Making New …

Four short links: 25 January 2014

By Nat Torkington
February 25, 2014

Bitcoin Markets Down — value of bitcoins plunges as market uncertain after largest bitcoin exchange goes insolvent after losing over 750k bitcoins because they didn’t update their software after a flaw was discovered in the signing of transactions. Flappy Bird …

Four short links: 3 February 2014

By Nat Torkington
February 3, 2014

How In-App Purchases Has Destroyed the Games Industry — fantastic before-and-after of a game, showing how it’s hollowed out for in-app-purchase upsell. the problem is that all the future generations of gamers are going to experience this as the default. …

Four short links: 30 January 2014

By Nat Torkington
January 30, 2014

$200k of Spaceships Destroyed (The Verge) — More than 2,200 of the game’s players, members of EVE’s largest alliances, came together to shoot each other out of the sky. The resultant damage was valued at more than $200,000 of real-world …

Using Big Data and Game Play to Improve Mental Fitness

By Bonnie Feldman
January 29, 2014

This article was written together with Ellen M. Martin and Melinda Speckmann. Games have been part of human culture for millennia. It is no surprise that elements of play can be powerful digital tools to grab our attention and keep …

Four short links: 17 December 2013

By Nat Torkington
December 16, 2013

WebGraph — a framework for graph compression aimed at studying web graphs. It provides simple ways to manage very large graphs, exploiting modern compression techniques. (via Ben Lorica) Learn to Program with Minecraft Plugins — You’ll need to add features …

Four short links: 16 December 2013

By Nat Torkington
December 16, 2013

Suro (Github) — Netflix data pipeline service for large volumes of event data. (via Ben Lorica) NIPS Workshop on Data Driven Education — lots of research papers around machine learning, MOOC data, etc. Proofist — crowdsourced proofreading game. 3D-Printed Shoes …

Four short links: 28 November 2013

By Nat Torkington
November 28, 2013

OpenRefine — Google abandoned the excellent Refine tool for working with data sets, now picked up and developed by open source community. Intel’s Arduino-Compatible Board — launched at MakerFaire Rome. (via Wired UK) Game Maven — learn to code by …

Four short links: 18 November 2013

By Nat Torkington
November 18, 2013

The Virtuous Pipeline of Code (Public Resource) — Chicago partnering with Public Resource to open its legal codes for good. “This is great! What can we do to help?” Bravo Chicago, and everyone else—take note! Smithsonian’s 3D Data — models …

Four short links: 17 October 2013

By Nat Torkington
October 14, 2013

Pencil — An open-source GUI prototyping tool that’s available for ALL platforms. lmctfy — open source version of Google’s container stack, which provides Linux application containers. ASCII WWDC — searchable full-text transcriptions of WWDC sessions. Cryptogeddon — an online infosec …

Four short links: 8 October 2013

By Nat Torkington
October 7, 2013

Lightworks — open source non-linear video editing software, with quite a history. Puzzlescript — open source puzzle game engine for HTML5. pudb — full-screen (text-mode) Python debugger. Freelan — free, open-source, multi-platform, highly-configurable and peer-to-peer VPN software.

Four short links: 4 October 2013

By Nat Torkington
October 4, 2013

Case and Molly, a Game Inspired by Neuromancer (Greg Borenstein) — On reading Neuromancer today, this dynamic feels all too familiar. We constantly navigate the tension between the physical and the digital in a state of continuous partial attention. We …

Four short links: 12 September 2013

By Nat Torkington
September 12, 2013

Amazon Compute Numbers (ReadWrite) — AWS offers five times the utilized compute capacity of each of its other 14 top competitors—combined. (via Matt Asay) MIT Educational MMO — The initial phase will cover topics in biology, algebra, geometry, probability, and …

The Role of Big Data in Personalizing the Healthcare Experience: Mobile

By Bonnie Feldman
September 1, 2013

This article was written with Ellen M. Martin and Tobi Skotnes. Dr. Feldman will deliver a webinar on this topic on September 18 and will speak about it at the Strata Rx conference. Cheaper, faster, better technology is enabling nearly …

So, You Want to Run a Young Coders Class?

By Katie Cunningham
August 16, 2013

Ever since PyCon 2013, the interest in the Young Coders class has been intensifying. Practically every Python conference since then has asked about doing one, and several have run their own. Classes outside of conferences have sprung up, as well, …

Four short links: 26 July 2013

By Nat Torkington
July 26, 2013

Good UI — easily digested tips for improving UIs. (via BERG London) Mapping Millions of Dots — tips like The other thing that goes along with this brightness scaling is to draw fewer dots at lower zoom levels. By the …

Four short links: 9 July 2013

By Nat Torkington
July 9, 2013

Autonomous Intersection Management Project — a scalable, safe, and efficient multiagent framework for managing autonomous vehicles at intersections. (via How Driverless Cars Could Reshape Cities) Quantum Information (New Scientist) — a gentle romp through the possible and the actual for …

Four short links: 13 June 2013

By Nat Torkington
June 13, 2013

The Unengageables (Dan Meyer) — They signed their “didactic contract” years and years ago. They signed it. Their math teachers signed it. The agreement says that the teacher comes into class, tells them what they’re going to learn, and shows …

Four short links: 21 May 2013

By Nat Torkington
May 21, 2013

Hyperinflation in Diablo 3 — interesting discussion about how video games regulate currency availability, and how Diablo 3 appears to have messed up. several weeks after the game’s debut a source claimed that there were at least 1,000 bots active …

Four short links: 9 May 2013

By Nat Torkington
May 9, 2013

On Google’s Ingress Game (ReadWrite Web) — By rolling out Ingress to developers at I/O, Google hopes to show how mobile, location, multi-player and augmented reality functions can be integrated into developer application offerings. In that way, Ingress becomes a …

A very serious game that can cure the orphan diseases

By Andy Oram
May 2, 2013

In the inspiring tradition of Foldit, the game for determining protein shapes, Fit2Cure crowdsources the problem of finding drugs that can cure the many under-researched diseases of developing countries. Fit2Cure appeals to the player’s visual–even physical–sense of the world, and …

Four short links: 11 April 2013

By Nat Torkington
April 11, 2013

A General Technique for Automating NES Games — software that learns how to play NES games and plays them automatically, using an aesthetically pleasing technique. With video, research paper, and code. rietveld — open source tool like Mondrian, Google’s code …

Talk the Talk, Walk the Dead

Talk the Talk, Walk the Dead
By Peter Drescher
March 23, 2013

This is a story about a video game with the emotional power of a movie.

Rethinking games

By Mike Loukides
March 20, 2013

At a recent board games night hosted by Greg Brown (@practicingruby), we played a game called “Pandemic” that made me rethink the meaning of games. I won’t bother you with a detailed description; it’s enough to say that there are …

Learning from a video game publisher’s demise

By Paul Rhodes
February 22, 2013

So, it’s done. After years of speculation, THQ went under the Chapter 11 auction hammer, most of it going to rival publishers, with the majority of the remaining employees losing their jobs. (THQ’s letter to its employees, along with who …

Four short links: 14 February 2013

By Nat Torkington
February 14, 2013

Welcome to the Malware-Industrial Complex (MIT) — brilliant phrase, sound analysis. Stupid Stupid xBox — The hardcore/soft-tv transition and any lead they feel they have is simply not defensible by licensing other industries’ generic video or music content because those …

Becoming a community-centric content publisher

By Paul Rhodes
January 18, 2013

Following on from my last post, which began a conversation about similarities between the book publishing and gaming industries, I see the second key pivot as actually the most important one. The formats I talk about in that first post …

Lightning strikes twice: The first digital pivot

By Paul Rhodes
January 17, 2013

We’re often told in publishing to look to other media for inspiration for the digital transition. Indeed, I have been an often vocal and staunch supporter of bringing in skills from other industries to help us build the skillsets we …

Outthink Inc. believes learning should be fun

By Andrea Sheehan
January 3, 2013

Most of us who pursued careers in publishing did so because reading, in some way, impacted us as kids. But kids today live in a vastly changed world, and tablets have now taken over. One in four adults owns a …

Four short links: 24 December 2012

By Nat Torkington
December 24, 2012

Creating The Next Big Thing (Wired) — excellent piece showing Tim’s thinking. Apple. They’re clearly on the wrong path. They file patent suits that claim that nobody else can make a device with multitouch. But they didn’t invent multitouch. They …

Big data is helping EA level up

By Ron Miller
December 12, 2012

Electronic Arts (EA) isn’t the first company that comes to mind when you think of big data. Yet the gaming company is collecting increasing amounts of data about its online players, and as this data accumulates and gains steam, it …

Four short links: 30 November 2012

By Nat Torkington
November 30, 2012

Kids Use Minecraft to Design School — “Students have been massively enthusiastic, with many turning up early to school to work on their Minecraft designs and they continue to do so at home too.” Also see the school’s blog. Napster, …

Four short links: 20 November 2012

By Nat Torkington
November 20, 2012

When Transaction Costs Collapse — As OECD researchers reported recently, 99.5 per cent of reciprocal access agreements occur informally without written contracts. Paradoxically, as competition becomes more intense or ”perfect”, it becomes indistinguishable from perfect co-operation – a neat trick …

Four short links: 15 November 2012

By Nat Torkington
November 15, 2012

Atkinson Dithering in Real Time — a Processing app that renders what the video camera sees, as though it were an original Mac black and white image. Patching Binaries — a patch for a crashing bug during import of account …

Four short links: 7 November 2012

By Nat Torkington
November 7, 2012

A Slower Speed of Light — game where you control the speed of light and discover the wonders of relativity. (via Andy Baio) Facebook Demetricator — removes all statistics and numbers from Facebook’s chrome (“37 people like this” becomes “people …

Four short links: 6 November 2012

By Nat Torkington
November 6, 2012

Tilt-to-Fly Controller and Copter (Kickstarter) — This looks totally awesome and hackable. The controller has a USB port, the protocol is documented, and you can even connect your own electronics payload, like an Arduino, camera, or homebrewed project to the …

Four short links: 24 October 2012

By Nat Torkington
October 24, 2012

Restoration of Defocused and Blurry Images — impressive demos, and open source (GPLv3) code. All those blurred faces and documents no longer seem so safe. Peter Molyneux Profile in Wired — worth reading for: (a) Molyneux’s contribution to the genre; …

Four short links: 7 September 2012

By Nat Torkington
September 7, 2012

GS-Collections (GitHub) — Goldman Sachs open-sourced (Apache-licensed) their Java collection library, full of lambda goodness. No report on whether it requires a 750G bailout. Learning ZIL — old manual for the interactive fiction programming language that Zork and other Infocom …

Four short links: 5 September 2012

By Nat Torkington
September 6, 2012

DIY Spectrometry Kit — This open hardware kit costs only $35, but has a range of more than 400-900 nanometers, and a resolution of as high as 3 nm. A spectrometer is essentially a tool to measure the colors absorbed …

Games for Health covers current status of behavior change

By Andy Oram
June 15, 2012

A few existing and upcoming projects that illustrate what games are doing in health care, and some trends to watch.

Games for Health covers current status of behavior change

By Andy Oram
June 15, 2012

A few existing and upcoming projects that illustrate what games are doing in health care, and some trends to watch.

Four short links: 19 April 2012

By Nat Torkington
April 19, 2012

Superfastmatch -- open source text comparison tool, used to locate plagiarism/churnalism in online news sites. You can pull out the text engine and use it for your own "find where this text is used elsewhere" applications (e.g., what's being forwarded out in email, how much of this RFP is copy and paste, what's NOT boilerplate in this contract, etc.)....

The Secret Yanni Technique, with key changes

The Secret Yanni Technique, with key changes
By Peter Drescher
April 2, 2012

What if the game's audio engine kept track of what key was playing, and generated bonus sounds to match? I wanted to demonstrate this approach, and so wrote a game for the Android platform called LandSeaAir that uses the FMOD Interactive Music System to do just that.

Four short links: 30 March 2012

By Nat Torkington
March 30, 2012

TypeConnection -- a game that teaches you how to match fonts and why successful matches work. (via Sacha Judd) Lessons Learned Building Open Source Software (Mitchel Hashimoto) -- the creator of Vagrant talks about the lesson he's learned building a great open source project. Kickstarter Post-Mortem (Ze Frank) -- excellent dig into the details of his campaign, what worked,...

Developer Week in Review: The mysterious Google I/O machine

Developer Week in Review: The mysterious Google I/O machine
By James Turner
March 22, 2012

While we wait to sign up for two of the major conferences of the year, Google has released a brainteaser, Java suffers another security breach, and a new language prepares for takeoff.

Top Stories: March 12-16, 2012

Top Stories: March 12-16, 2012
By Mac Slocum
March 16, 2012

This week on O'Reilly: Computational linguist Robert Munro explained why location language is far more complex than many realize, we looked at how Kickstarter's crowdfunding is helping game developers, and Joe Wikert explored the major trends shaping ebook prices.


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