October 03, 2005
Robot racing gets under way
It's the ultimate robot reality show: 43 contestants battling for a spot in a government-sponsored desert race intended to speed development of unmanned military combat vehicles.
The reward? A $2 million cash prize.
The autonomous robotic vehicles began competing Wednesday in the first of a series of qualifying rounds at the California Speedway. Half will advance to the October 8 starting line of the so-called Grand Challenge.
The grueling, weeklong semifinals are designed to test the vehicles' ability to cover a roughly 2-mile stretch of the track without a human driver or remote control.
Participants ranging from souped-up SUVs to military behemoths will be graded on how well they can self-drive on rough road, make sharp turns and avoid obstacles -- hay bales, trash cans, wrecked cars -- while relying on GPS navigation and sensors, radar, lasers and cameras that feed information to computers.
September 22, 2005
A Female Sensibility
Videogame makers have ignored half their potential market. Now they're having a second look, and altering the possibilities of gaming.
Videogame economics are such that companies are willing to hemorrhage money selling consoles like the Xbox and the Sony PlayStation at a loss to build market share, then make money selling the games. But the kind of growth that's needed to make that model work is hard to imagine unless more women are brought into the market. "Whoever takes that philosophical leap—'We're solid enough to appeal to our core, we can reach outside our demographic'—they're going to win out in the end," says Ankarino Lara, director of GameSpot.com, a popular gaming Web site. "Female gaming is the last frontier; 2006 is going to be a milestone year."
June 20, 2005
My Days Are Numbered
I'm addicted to a Japanese logic puzzle. You will be, too.
Sudoku is a logic puzzle. You fill numbers into a grid, using deduction (or, failing that, plain old trial and error). Each row and column must contain the digits 1 through 9, with each digit used only once. The best way to understand is probably to visit Sudoku.com, where there are clear explanations and some sample games. It's incredibly easy to learn.
June 09, 2005
The Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form
God we love limericks. 'There was a young man from Pawtucket, who's-" No wait, how about this? "There once was a girl from Balmoral-" Uh, scratch that. Wait, wait:
Limericks ought to be bawdy,
Failing that, their puns should be naughty.
They’re the absolute worst
Of all kinds of verse,
And their charms are often quite gaudy. - Judith Economos
May 28, 2005
CIA war game simulates major Internet attack
The CIA is conducting a cyber-war game this week geared to simulate a major Internet attack by enemy computer hackers, an intelligence official said Thursday.
Dubbed "Silent Horizon," the three-day unclassified exercise is based on a scenario set five years in the future and involves participants from government and the private sector.
"These are people who could likely be affected or enlisted in a real situation," the intelligence official said.
"Its goal is to help the United States recognize indicators of a large-scale cyber attack."
April 23, 2005
It's been called "the Everest of the sea," although that may seem like an understatement. A single-handed sailing race around the globe, without stops, without assistance. On November 7, 20 navigators set out on 20 single-hulls, in a race that will last more than 100 days and cross over 24,000 miles of open sea. Trace their route from France to the Cape of Good Hope, eastward to Cape Horn, and northward to the finish line. Onboard, the skippers capture their experiences on video, watch for changes in the weather, and plan their strategy for the win. You're invited to share their adventure and challenges as they try to conquer this watery Everest.
April 08, 2005
The Most Ambitious Game Ever?
The Most Ambitious Game Ever? At this year's Game Developers Conference, Sims creator Will Wright's upcoming game Spore drew standing ovations. Not to be outdone, Peter Molyneux (of Populous and Black & White fame) revealed his own ambitious game-like project The Room. While the top game designers have freedom to play, independents rail (read Greg Costikyan's amazing bit in the middle) at the restrictions of the publisher system. For those who doubt games can be art.
March 22, 2005
Brain Teasers, Riddles, Games, Forums and more...
With over 7,500 brain teasers, riddles, logic problems and mind puzzles submitted and ranked by users like you, Braingle has the largest collection anywhere on the internet. Their large array of unique online multiplayer games will keep you entertained for hours. If you crave a brain teaser, mind puzzle, riddle or game, they are the place to get it. Increase your creativity, boost learning and become a better person at Braingle. Get ready to have your brain tangled!
January 20, 2005
December 29, 2004
Jim Lewis: A hard, simple problem
If you are interested in sliding puzzles try this one
If you want to read about the puzzle: Has an inventor found the hardest possible simple sliding-block puzzle?
Not as simple as it looks
Below is my solution, you can see the blocks (that may help)