Saturday, September 28, 2013

My time with the Steam Controller By Tommy Refenes (Super Meat Boy)

When I started Super Meat Boy, I knew that proper controls would be the make or break for the game. I’m very picky about controls in games, to the point if the game doesn’t control well, I don’t care who makes it or what it is, I will stop playing it. I often get asked which formulas I used for movement, friction, air physics, etc. in Super Meat Boy. Truth is, there are no formulas…it’s just a big huge hack. I spent two months on the controls for SMB to get them perfect. Everything from the weird “friction” that happens when you change directions in the air to the 200MS delay that happens when you’re on a wall and pull away is based on how it feels to me when I play it. None of these formulas are based on physics concepts, they are 100% based on feel.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

John Carmack comments on the possibilities of Steambox and Mantle

John Carmack, the industry veteran and the legendary creator of Doom, took to twitter to voice his opinion about the newly introduced Mantle API by AMD.

Mantle allows developers the platform to extract a high level of utilization from the existing GCN architecture as well as the GCN 2.0 architecture found in the new Radeon series, via low-level-high-performance drivers.

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Scientists create never-before-seen form of matter

Harvard and MIT scientists are challenging the conventional wisdom about light, and they didn't need to go to a galaxy far, far away to do it.

Working with colleagues at the Harvard-MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms, a group led by Harvard Professor of Physics Mikhail Lukin and MIT Professor of Physics Vladan Vuletic have managed to coax photons into binding together to form molecules – a state of matter that, until recently, had been purely theoretical. The work is described in a September 25 paper in Nature.

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VLC new major release (2.1.0) "Rincewind" is out


2.1.0 Highlights

With a new audio core, hardware decoding and encoding, port to mobile platforms, preparation for Ultra-HD video and a special care to support more formats, 2.1 is a major upgrade for VLC.
Rincewind has a new rendering pipeline for audio, with better effiency, volume and device management, to improve VLC audio support.
It supports many new devices inputs, formats, metadata and improves most of the current ones, preparing for the next-gen codecs.
Rincewind fixes around a thousand bugs, in more than 7000 commits from 140 volunteers.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

CrossFit’s Dirty Little Secret — Health & Fitness


A Tale of Rhabdomyolysis

One day, a very fit, young, physical therapist colleague of mine went to CrossFit. She had been many times before. On this warm Texas evening, she performed a partner workout, where each would trade off performing sets of 10 for each exercise. The workout consisted of pushups. Lots of them. Copious amounts of overhead press were also included.

So what is rhabdomyolysis exactly? Under extreme conditions your muscles cells explode. They die. They leach protein out into the blood stream, including one form called myoglobin. Ever stalwart, your kidneys take up the job of clearing these dangerous proteins from the blood. Why? It’s just what they do. Unfortunately, myoglobin proteins aren’t designed to be in the blood in the first place and they can easily overload the kidney. This can produce injury or death to all or part of the kidney in a short amount of time, and is potentially lethal. Locally, the muscles are left damaged and dying. Swelling ensues and weakness occurs as pressure builds around the remaining muscle cells. Your body’s systems that normally can assist with this local muscle damage are now offline trying to help you not die. If you get to this stage, you’re in serious trouble.


New MIT course aims to make science fiction technology into a reality

Mad Scientist 101: A New MIT Class Aims To Turn Science Fiction Tech Into The Real Thing

A new class at MIT is devoted to building functional prototypes of technology from classic sci-fi works like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Transmetropolitan, and Flowers for Algernon.

Scientists and engineers, as a whole, love science fiction. At a recent technology conference I went to, a sedate collection of engineers suddenly jumped into animated discussion when one said Star Trek's teleporter would be impossible. Now a new college class is devoted to turning science fiction technology into real-life products.

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SteamOS Announced!

Steam is coming to a new operating system

As we’ve been working on bringing Steam to the living room, we’ve come to the conclusion that the environment best suited to delivering value to customers is an operating system built around Steam itself.
SteamOS combines the rock-solid architecture of Linux with a gaming experience built for the big screen.
It will be available soon as a free stand-alone operating system for living room machines.

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Monday, September 9, 2013

Make a Moss Terrarium for Low-Maintenance Greenery

If you want some greenery in your home or office but you're not too keen on, or skilled at, tending a high-maintenance plant, a moss terrarium is a hassle-free bit of greenery you practically have to try to kill.