Activision Blizzard announced Monday evening that it plans to buy King Digital Entertainment, the maker of Candy Crush Saga, for about $5.9 billion. It's the third-largest video game industry deal ever. It's quite a dollar amount, but it's significant for other reasons, too.
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The third incarnation of the University of Tokyo's Janken (Rock-Paper-Scissors) robot never loses. Ever. From the Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory:
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In this research we develop a janken (rock-paper-scissors) robot with 100% winning rate as one example of human-machine cooperation systems. Human being plays one of rock, paper and scissors at the timing of one, two, three. According to the timing, the robot hand plays one of three kinds so as to beat the human being.
Recognition of human hand can be performed at 1ms with a high-speed vision, and the position and the shape of the human hand are recognized. The wrist joint angle of the robot hand is controlled based on the position of the human hand. The vision recognizes one of rock, paper and scissors based on the shape of the human hand. After that, the robot hand plays one of rock, paper and scissors so as to beat the human being in 1ms.
This technology is one example that show a possibility of cooperation control within a few miliseconds. And this technology can be applied to motion support of human beings and cooperation work between human beings and robots etc. without time delay.
Considering from another point of view, locating factories oversea has been advantageous in labor-intensive process that requires human's eyes and hands because it is difficult to make the process automatic or it is not worth the cost. However, by realizing faster process than human's working speed, the productivity can be improved in regards to cost.
Judgey is a fun site that lets you rate a book's cover, then see if your rating matches up with its Goodreads rating. Great way to remind yourself of all the bad design in the world! Read the rest
Nothing makes me happier than friends coming over to sit on the deck and play chess.
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Nigel Richards of Christchurch, New Zealand won the French-language Scrabble world championship yet he doesn't actually speak the language. Richards, a former US and World Scrabble Champ simply studied the dictionary for a couple months.
"He doesn't speak French at all, he just learnt the words. He won't know what they mean, wouldn't be able to carry out a conversation in French I wouldn't think," said Richards' friend Liz Fagerlund, former president of the New Zealand Scrabble Association. "He does have a reputation for being the best Scrabble player ever and they know about him already, but they probably didn't necessarily expect him to go in for the first time and beat them at their own game."
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The Button, the Reddit game that started (perhaps) as an April Fools' joke and became a social experiment, religion, and drug, has ended after 1,008,316 presses. Time's up. "The Button has ended" (Reddit)
• Reddit's hot 'button' game is practically religious
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Justin Beiber, one-time YouTube star, then chart-topping heart throb, then TMZ regular. Justin Beiber, recently roasted by the cool kids of Comedy Central. And now Justin Beiber, blasted out of space, over and over and over. Read the rest
I have a boy in grade school, and his whole world comes comes down to a few passions, which include Legos and iPad games. That's why I am vicariously excited for him about this week's release of Sick Bricks, a new mash-up of click brick toy and tablet game. Read the rest
Want to spend an hour doing something rad? Cool. I have a game for you, called Longest Night Lost Constellation.
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2048 is a super addictive tile matching game.
I apologize if you lose a few hours of your life.
The insanely high score is that of my girlfriend not me. Read the rest
The classic game of snap is made interesting to my 6-year-old daughter with these fantastic Gruffalo-themed cards.
Snap is a simple matching game and you can play with a regular set of cards, but the addition of the Gruffalo and other charters from Julia Donaldson's insanely popular children's story certainly adds a lot for us.
Deck of Gruffalo snap cards
The Gruffalo, a children's story by Julia Donaldson Read the rest
Anton Wallén created GeoGuessr, a fun game where you have to guess at the location of Google Maps Street View images. Not only am I terrible at geography, I haven't seen nearly enough of the planet. Read the rest
Here's a Time video about Jacob Granberry's effort to build Westeros, from Game of Thrones, in Minecraft. More at WesterosCraft. (Thanks, Ben Cosgrove!) Read the rest
I think one of the most fascinating uses of augmented reality is to reveal the "secret histories" of neighborhoods, buildings, and other locations when you are actually in those spaces. Jewish Time Jump: New York is a new mobile AR game meant to teach young people about New York City's rich cultural history of Jewish immigration and the women's and labor movements of the early 20th century. Jewish Time Jump was created by ConverJent, a nonprofit focused on Jewish learning games, with a grant from the Covenant Foundation, a Jewish education group. I haven't played Jewish Time Jump yet but it is a finalist in the 2013 Games for Change Awards for "Most Innovative." From The Jewish Week:
In a 21st-century twist on the scavenger hunt, players find the requisite clues by physically moving to locations inside and across the street from (Washington Square Park), which is adjacent to the building that once housed the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. (Today it, like most of the buildings surrounding the park, is part of New York University.) As players move from location to location, archival photos, events and characters appear on their mobile devices, triggered by GPS technology. Students also view historical documents — such as old Yiddish newspaper pages (with translations) and flyers — on their mobile devices as they play…
Jewish Time Jump: New York
Asked why he chose an episode of labor history — the game deals with the New York shirtwaist strike of 1909, also known as the Uprising of the 20,000 — as opposed to another Jewish topic, (ConverJent founder Rabbi Owen Gottlieb) said that immigrant history is “already a part of many schools’ curricula” and that he liked how this topic incorporated women’s history and provided “fascinating conflict.”
"Touch-Screen Time Travel In The Park" (The Jewish Week)
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Austin Whaley, 18, was arrested last month for yelling "bingo!" in a Covington, Ky bingo hall when he didn't really have bingo. The crowd of mostly elderly people grew angry and when Whaley refused to apologize, he was arrested for disorderly conduct. The judge barred him from the bingo hall and ordered him not to utter the word "bingo" for six months either. Good thing he didn't yell theater in a crowded fire. (TODAY News) Read the rest
Bossa Studios created the surgery game "Surgeon Simulator 2013
" in a weekend. It's somewhere between Operation, advanced medical training simulations, and splatterpunk films.