Category: Tech News

Xbox tweets hint at ‘always on’ future

(Credit: CNET Australia)

“Always on” Internet connections haven’t proved to be too popular when it comes to gaming lately — yes, we’re looking at you, Diablo III and SimCity.

But what about a gaming console that needs an Internet connection just to play games? Well, according Adam Orth, the creative director of Microsoft Studios, it’s no big deal, and people should just deal with it. In fact, he’d like every device to be always on.

In what he later termed a “fun lunch break“, Orth took to Twitter to express his shock at people who take umbrage with the idea of an always-on console.

While Orth later apologized, saying it had being a bit of banter with friends, it did raise awareness that there are more than a few people who are very unhappy with the possibility of an always-on future version of the Xbox. Orth has also now switched his Twitter account settings to private.

Read more of “… [Read more]

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Source: Crave: gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff. – CNET

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Game meant to be played in 2,000 years gets buried in desert

Rohrer’s A Game for Someone is buried somewhere in Nevada.

(Credit: Jason Rohrer)

The cathedrals of Europe took centuries to build, surviving political upheavals for the benefit of future generations. Can a board game created today also last that long?

That’s what game designer Jason Rohrer was shooting for when he unveiled A Game for Someone, winner of the Game Design Challenge at the recent Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco.

Rohrer, who has created titles such as The Castle Doctrine, designed A Game for Someone for a challenge titled “Humanity’s Last Game,” which it won.

Rohrer’s new board game is meant to be played not by anyone alive today, but by people some 2,000 years in the future, assuming our species survives that long. To that end it has been buried somewhere in the Nevada desert, Polygon tells us.

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Cathedral of steam: Inside Albuquerque’s abandoned locomotive shops

A piece of a train sits outside the machine shop.

(Credit: Amanda Kooser/CNET)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.–There are a lot of reasons film scouts for sci-fi movies visit the abandoned Santa Fe Railway locomotive repair shops here and go crazy over the crumbling industrial cathedral. The buildings are massive and lined with tiles of white and green windows. Old machinery rusts overhead and in corners. The shops just scream “movie set.”

I’m visiting this ode to railroading history with a tour guide from The New Mexico Steam Locomotive and Railroad Historical Society. These are the same people who are rebuilding an entire steam engine on the other end of town. The guide lets our tour group through the locked gate and we step back in time about 80 years.

This facility is where the Santa Fe Railway brought its steam engines for repair work. It’s not like you can just pull one of those behemoths into a regular garage and give it a tune-up. You need space. Lots of it.

The grandest of the buildings is the 165,000-square-foot machine shop, where rows upon rows of steam engines could be lined up for maintenance and repair. The multi-paned windows stretch upward, giving it the sense and scale of a church. The floors are made from wood bricks, cho… [Read more]

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Origin: Crave: gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff. – CNET

All the New York Times news that’s fit to print — in haiku

That’s pretty much all I need to know for now.

(Credit: Times Haiku screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET)

Not long ago, The New York Times published an article exploring the likelihood of a solar storm hitting Earth. I didn’t get around to reading it, but I probably don’t need to now that I’ve discovered Times Haiku.

The site recasts Times stories in the traditional short poetry form of three phrases containing 5, 7, and 5 syllables. It offers this poetic summary of the solar-storm article: Only rarely does/a giant solar blast fly/directly at Earth. Well, phew.

Jacob Harris, a Times senior software architect, created the site between his more serious endeavors — building news-driven sites for events like the November election. His original algorithm checks the paper’s home page every few minutes for new articles, then scans each sentence looking for complete sentences that fit the haiku pattern. The software does this using a list of words and their syllable counts; if it spots a word it doesn’t know, it skips to the next sentence and logs the unknown words to a database.

The algorithm automatically avoids… [Read more]

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Hat Tip To: Crave: gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff. – CNET

Finally, a giant hexapod tank you can drive

(Credit: Mantis Walking Machine)

We’ve decided: Cars are nonsense. Who needs cars? Matt Denton’s Mantis hexapod robot clearly represents the transportation of the future.

Denton, an animatronics and special-effects designer whose portfolio includes “Prometheus” and “Lost in Space” with company Micromagic Systems, has an interest in hexapods that goes way back. Over the years, he has built a few miniature hexapods at Micromagic.

Mantis is his first giant-sized model, the result of four years of research, development, design, and building, and is, Denton claims, the biggest operational hexapod in the world. The thing comes in at 9.2 feet tall, weighing 2 tons. It’s powered by a 2.2-liter turbo diesel engine and is designed to take on any terrain.

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Source: Crave: gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff. – CNET

‘Game of Thrones’ sets record, gets fourth season

Let the Games continue…

(Credit: Screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET – HBO GO)

We might get to see winter come and go on the continent of Westeros, after all. Despite all appearances on Sunday’s season premiere of the HBO hit “Game of Thrones,” things are just beginning to heat up beyond The Wall, as well as in Winterfell, King’s Landing, and the rest of the world created by George R.R. Martin in his series of novels and adapted for TV by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

Just two days after the premiere of season three of the TV version, Entertainment Weekly reports that HBO has ordered a fourth season of “Game of Thrones,” which drew 4.4 million viewers on Sunday (not including the million pirated downloads). With those kind of numbers on a subscription channel like HBO, the reaction to the network’s decision to renew the series has resulted in one of the largest collective utterances of “well, duh” ever heard.

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Computer beats human pro at Japanese chess

Shogi is played with 40 pieces on a 9×9 board.

(Credit: Oliver Orschiedt/Wikimedia Commons)

Humanity lost a little more ground to machines last weekend, in case you’re counting down the days to when Skynet takes charge of the planet.

A computer defeated a professional Japanese chess (shogi) player for the first time in a public match, Kyodo News tells us grimly.

A program called Ponanza, developed by Issei Yamamoto, took down 30-year-old Shinichi Sato on Saturday in the Shogi Master Versus Machine Match.

Sato was doing well until he made mistakes midway through the game.

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While retired master <a… [Read more]

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Via: Crave: gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff. – CNET