Animated Gary Larson #2
So, last night, a rocket took off. It launched from an island in Virginia, turned east over the Atlantic Ocean, and sailed into the atmosphere. Aboard were 29 satellites—a record for one launch.
And one of those satellites? It was built by high schoolers.
That satellite—in space right now, whizzing over our heads—is called the TJ3Sat. Built by Virginia high-school students and their teachers, it represents over six years of work. It is the first orbiting spacecraft built by high-schoolers.
You can also interact with it right now. Go outside, bring a short-wave radio, and listen to its specified frequency (437.320 MHz). You’ll hear words spoken by its on-board voice processor, which were converted into waves and beamed back to the ground. Humans submitted those words using an online form—so you’re hearing, via space, the assembled messages of TJ3Sat’s human audience.
Read more. [Image: NASA]
While a cycle of smaller improvements is better than the dysfunctional design processes most of us are stuck with, one of the criticisms of this type of extreme optimization is that it’s always and only incremental: you can only make a few small changes at a time and therefore your design evolves slowly. And if you’re doing rigorous testing, by only changing one variable at a time, then you’re only changing one small part of your application in each iteration.
You know when developers tell you that they did 80% of the application in x days and that they need the same amount of time for the last 20%? I was trying to find an analogy for »laymen« and I’ve finally figured it out. This is the same as driving [&]
And when stakeholders want those last 20% to be done in less time, this looks like getting stuck in traffic, jumping out of the car and running the last few block by foot and not caring what will happen with the car as long as you come to the finish line in time. It is possible, but it is not wise.
Oh. Hell. Yes. I played the hell out of the first game and the follow up looks damn awesome. This is a welcome addition:
On top of making combat deeper, Trendy’s introducing varied objectives and more opportunities for strategy into the tower defense framework. In the map we played, enemies came through a large set of gates in the middle of the map, while smaller gates let in more enemies from the sides. Where there were once generic Eternia crystals to defend, there are now main objectives and sub-objectives.
< bart scott > Can’t wait! < / bart scott>
GTA V === LA. I miss LA. This is probably the only reason why I’m interested in this game at all.
When it comes to major policy battles, since 2009 the GOP is 0-3. David Frum on what it’s doing wrong.
The business of America is business, as Calvin Coolidge said. American politics has been businesslike too. They understand that the business of the nation is ultimately settled by a small roomful of tired people negotiating their differences in the small hours of the morning: everybody gets something, nobody gets everything. It’s a grubby business, unavoidably, and most of the time, Americans understand that.
The Tea Partiers in the House are extremists; they want it their way and their way only or they’ll take the ball and go home. Politics ain’t like that.
If you missed it, Valve announced their Steam OS, Steam Machines, and Steam Controller last week. PC Gamer has complete coverage of the whole thing. And it’s pretty awesome. Essentially, it’s a three pronged attack on the console domination of the living room, consisting of:
- Steam OS: Free, Linux-based OS designed solely for gaming, working with developers and publishers to get AAA title support in 2014.
- Steam Machines: A spec device to be released by Valve as a guide to the rest of the industry what is expected and capable from a PC in the living room.
- Steam Controller: An innovative controller with two high-res touch pads where the normal analog sticks go, along with a touchscreen in the middle to boot.
As a member of The Glorious PC Gamer Master Race, I am really excited to either get my hands on an official Steam Machine (or build my own with the free Steam OS) and Controller and see how it compares to my home built Windows gaming PC. And I’m equally as excited for my console-only friends to see the light and realize just how shitty console gaming really is. :)