tekgoblin writes "Well this is pretty awesome, Valve has made an entrance into the education sector. They plan to release a new version of Steam for education uses in schools. Valve will call this service Steam for Schools, an education version of the Steam client that allows administrators to limit what its users can access. The idea of Steam for Schools is to use the platform as a teaching aid. Valve has already put together a number of educational lesson plans for using Portal 2 and its level editor to teach math and physics."
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
elegie writes "In the US, a District Court has ruled that the Tetris clone "Mino" infringes the Tetris Company's copyrights with regard to elements of the Tetris game design and gameplay. On one hand, a lawyer said that 'a puzzle game where a user manipulates blocks to form lines which disappear' would be noninfringing. At the same time, the Mino game's reuse of such Tetris elements as the dimensions of the playing field and the shape of the blocks constituted infringement. In addition, the Tetris game's artistic elements were not inseparably linked to the underlying mechanics and replicating an underlying idea and/or functionality (which would likely be uncopyrighted) would not justify copying visual expression from an existing game."
mikejuk writes "Andrew Gallagher at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York has improved the standard approach to automated jigsaw solving by copying what humans do in finding groups of pieces that best match and working outwards from there. With a speed of 10,000 pieces per 24 hours, it can solve large puzzles. Not only that, but the type of jigsaw it solves is more difficult than the usual in that the pieces are square and can be placed in any orientation. It is so good it can even solve problems consisting of a number of mixed up pieces without being told how many or their dimensions. Of course, as well as having fun beating humans at another recreational pastime, the technique could be used to unscramble shredded documents, as per the recent DARPA challenge."
dartttt writes "After more than 14,000 votes by Linux users and efforts by Brian Fargo, Unity has added Linux support to their popular 3D game engine. Starting with Unity 4.0, Linux will be supported as a publishing platform allowing Unity games to be played natively on Linux. Only standalone desktop games will be supported initially. From the article: 'Unity Technologies, maker of a widely used video-game engine, today announced that its fourth-generation product will introduce new animation technology and extend its support for Adobe Systems' Flash Player, Linux, and Microsoft's DirectX 11.'"
Dexter Herbivore writes "A lot of Australian gamers are saying, 'finally' as legislation passed parliament to support the introduction of a R-18+ category for games. From the article: 'Jason Clare, the Minister for Home Affairs has just announced that R18+ for games is set to become a reality, after legislation successfully passing through the Federal Parliament, having just gone through the Senate without amendment.'"
An anonymous reader writes "A 56-page leaked document details Microsoft's plans to build a Project Glass competitor. Kinect Glasses is marked as a 2014 project designed to connect to a future Xbox 720 console. The document also includes potential pricing for the next Xbox — $299 with a Kinect 2."
itwbennett writes "Rockstar Games announced yesterday in a newswire post that the company has created a 'cheater's pool' (sort of like the populating of Australia with criminals) where players who have hacked the game to give themselves advantages will only be able to play against other cheaters. Although, Ars Technica points out that players may actually prefer the 'special' world."
CIStud writes "If you think playing endless hours of Dungeons & Dragons will create a desire to get into the information technology, think again. A new study by CompTIA of teens and young adults shows that only 17% want to pursue a technology career despite the fact that 97% say they 'love' technology." This can't be any more surprising than that most concert-goers don't intend to be professional musicians, can it? 17% actually sounds like a pretty high figure to me. The article goes on to soften even that number, though: "[I]nterest levels jump when teens and young adults are presented with options for specific jobs. Nearly half of the respondents can see themselves potentially designing video games; 41 percent envision creating applications for mobile devices; 39 percent, designing web pages; and 34 percent, applying technology in fields such as healthcare or education."
eldavojohn writes "One thing Diablo 3 has that many other games do not is a 'Real Money Auction House' (RMAH), which went live today for players with two factor authentication. Of course, mere hours before that, Blizzard publicly announced they would follow through on their promises. Accounts they have identified as cheaters and botters have been banned 'by the thousands.' No official number is out, but the news is indicating that as people get off of work and return home to their bot-wives and bot-kids they may find themselves without a valid Battle.net account (possibly tied to other games like SCII and WoW). Blizzard has also included many fixes to remove/dissuade many other exploits but if their past arcane attitude toward the 'gamers of the game' is any indication, thousands will be unhappy."
Have you ever wondered what a game of Civilization 2 would look like after running for 10 years? According to one gamer it's a "hellish nightmare of suffering and devastation." "Lycerius" says that he's been playing the same game of Civ II off and on for over a decade. Some highlights of the marathon session include: 1700 years of war, the ice caps melting over 20 times, constant guerrilla uprisings, and "Roughly 90% of the world's population has died either from nuclear annihilation or famine caused by the global warming that has left absolutely zero arable land to farm." It's too bad you can't build the Hanging Gardens more than once.
theodp writes "GeekWire reports on a newly-surfaced Microsoft patent application for 'Targeting Advertisements Based on Emotion', which describes how information gleaned from Kinects, webcams, online games, IMs, email, searches, webpage content, and browsers could be used to build an 'Emotional State Database' of individuals' emotions over time for advertisers to tap into. From the patent application: 'Weight-loss product advertisers may not want their advertisement to appear to users that are very happy. Because, a person that is really happy, is less likely to purchase a self-investment product that leverages on his or her shortcomings. But a really happy person may purchase electronic products or vacation packages. No club or party advertisers want to appear when the user is sad or crying. When the user is emotionally sad, advertisements about club parties would not be appropriate and may seem annoying or negative to the user. Online help or technical support advertisers want their advertisements to appear when the user is demonstrating a confused or frustrated emotional state.'"
New submitter toxygen01 writes "Neal Stephenson, sci-fi writer mostly known for his books Snowcrash and Cryptonomicon, takes on revolutionizing virtual sword fighting with help of crowdfunding. Inspired by the little-known fictional universe of 'Mongoliad,' an interactive book he is collaborating on, his company is trying to develop hardware (low-latency motion controller) and software for realistic medieval sword fighting. From what is promised, it will try to be open for other developers by having API and SDK available for further modding." Very few Kickstarter drives have a steel longsword as one of the rewards for investing.
jones_supa writes with this news, straight from The Irish Times: "Rovio, the Finnish company behind Angry Birds, is considering moving its headquarters to Ireland, chief executive Mikael Hed has said. Rovio employs approximately 400 people, mostly in Finland, but Rovio is in contact with IDA Ireland about establishing headquarters here. The reason for the move would be corporation tax rate, which in Finland is 24.5%, while Ireland's rate is 12.5%. Companies such as Google and Facebook have also set up European headquarter operations in Dublin for the same reason. Hed said that if the decision was made to move to Ireland, the company would then decide exactly what elements of its operations would move. 'If we did make that decision then it would be a natural thing to do to have some production [in Ireland] also.'"
An anonymous reader writes "Stainless Games has been fundraising for Carmageddon: Reincarnation, a modern day remake of the classic Carmageddon racing games, on Kickstarter for weeks. Stainless said that if they hit $600,000 in pledges before time runs out, they would commit themselves to creating a Linux port of the game, as well as a MacOS port. Today they made it official: the fundraising has come so close to netting $600K overall, with a few more hours left to go, that they are officially committing themselves to creating a Linux port of the new game. PC gamers will get to play Carmageddon 4 first, with a February 2013 release date. The MacOS & Linux versions will follow the PC version later in 2013."
MojoKid writes "E3 is well underway in Los Angeles, and Microsoft has already made a major splash with its 'SmartGlass' technology, game demos, and its announcement that a Kinect-powered version of Internet Explorer will debut on the Xbox 360. This is a marked change from last year, when Kinect was the unquestioned centerpiece of Microsoft's display and the company's demos focused on how Kinect-powered games used your full body as a controller. Kinect is in the interesting position of having sold extremely well while failing to move the bar forward in any of the ways Microsoft projected in the run up to its launch. Scroll through the ratings on Kinect-required titles, and the percentages are abysmal. Kinect's biggest problem is rooted in ergonomics. Gamepads with buttons may be crude approximations of real life, but they're simple and intuitive. They're also flexible — a great many games have conditional scenarios that allow the same button to perform different functions depending on what's going on within the game. Pure Kinect games don't have a simple mechanism to incorporate these features, and there's no easy way around them. The motion-controller's most enduring features may ultimately be its capabilities outside the gaming sphere."