Magnetic Brain Stimulation Makes Learning Easier
Relevant to your argument: http://dresdencodak.com/2009/09/22/caveman-science-fiction/
Model Says Religiosity Gene Will Dominate Society
Bob Altemeyer has spent his life studying this phenomenon: http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/
He has a book called "The Authoritarians" (PDF here: http://members.shaw.ca/jeanaltemeyer/drbob/TheAuthoritarians.pdf). It's a fascinating read.
Sensor Measures In Fingertips If Driver Is Drunk
Driving drunk is already against the law. If someone decides to drive drunk, bypassing a sensor is the least of their concerns.
A Peace Plan To End the Flash-On-iPhone Fight
which does not make any sense whatsoever either.
Sure it does. If Apple releases a new iPhone/iPad/whatever that uses a different processor, it can retarget pretty easily. If there is inline assembly or non-official source languages... not so much.
What's Coming In KDE 4.4
Dear KDE devs,
Please rethink the vertical text that has infected KDE4 like so much ringworm. It's hard to read, hard to use, and completely unnecessary. Also, please stop aping Windows Vista and 7. Or at least stop copying their bad ideas.
Does Bing Have Google Running Scared?
Maybe they are turning the corner with Bing and Windows 7.
Windows 7 is just Vista with better marketing.
Interesting Computer Science Jobs?
I've been working in the visual effects industry since I graduated (~10 years ago). I started for a small studio writing scripts to automate common tasks. Since then I've:
- built a distributed render system on top of open source software
- written animation tools for artists
- written software for animating, simulating, and rendering fur
- learned Houdini, Maya, RenderMan and many others
- written shaders
- written many, many plugins and tools in various languages
I'm now managing a team and have discovered that it's hard to find talented software developers with a solid grounding in mathematics and computer science who have the skills to work in VFX. There are plenty of hackers who can put together a MEL script, but few who actually understand the underpinnings of the systems involved.
If working on VFX for film and TV shows sounds interesting to you, look into developing your skills as a Technical Director (or TD). The skills I look for in a TD are:
- understanding of the 3D pipeline (modeling, texturing, rigging, layout, tracking, animation, lighting, rendering, compositing)
- technical competency in the software used (Maya, Shake or Nuke, Renderman or Mental Ray)
- solid background in programming (scripting, understanding of OO design, C++ desirable, Python especially)
- solid understanding of Unix as a technical user
- ability to learn and master new technologies quickly
- ability to empathize with artists and understand their perspective as a user
- strong mathematics background is highly desirable
- experience in digital or traditional filmmaking also highly desirable
The people I've worked with in the past usually fall into one of three categories:
- have a degree in computer science (or related), minored in fine arts (or just had the interest), and then took a college program in 3D
- smart people from a completely different background who taught themselves both 3D software and programming
- artists who took a college program in 3D, who then taught themselves programming
I recommend the first option, or if you're persistent enough, teach yourself the software at home and start networking online.
If you have a masters in computer graphics, mathematics, or physics, another job open to you is that of the Shader Writer. Shader writers build either complete shading systems or components that model how light reacts with materials. These models are not usually physically accurate (although that is becoming more of an option now). Things to look into:
- ambient occlusion and color bleeding
- subsurface scattering
- procedural texturing and modeling
- shader anti-aliasing
- global illumination techniques
- shading languages such as RSL, GLSL or Cg
Competent shader writers are HIGHLY sought after and very well compensated.
Check out the job postings at Pixar, Industrial Light & Magic, Sony Imageworks, Rhythm & Hues, and Dreamworks Animation for more info. Also check out the forums at cgsociety.com and odforce.net.
After 4 Years, HydrogenAudio Opens New 128kbps Listening Test
It's not just that you have to download the samples separately, or that you can't extract the files on linux or mac without writing your own scripts. Once you finally get them installed and run the damn java app you're presented with a screen requires you to enter a dozen or so parameters before you can even listen to audio. I gave up at this point. I don't have the patience.
Finally, the kicker is in the readme:
After you finish the test, save the results, (7-)ZIP, RAR or ACE them together and mail the file to email@example.com.
Who outside of the hydrogen audio forums is going to bother?