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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.

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[Video Link] The upcoming SimCity looks cool. It uses something called the GlassBox Simulation Engine to run the simulation. I won't pretend to understand how it works, but here's Maxis' Andrew Willmott's GDG 2012 "Inside Glassbox" presentation that goes into detail about it.

Inside GlassBox

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Giza 3D

It's not terribly convenient for most of us to grab a flight to Egypt and visit the great pyramids of Giza, but a new project is attempting to bring an in-depth recreation right into your home in glorious 3D. A collaboration between software design firm Dassault Systèmes, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and Harvard University has yielded Giza 3D, a site hosting an in-depth 3D model of the pyramids that was recreated based on rigorous scholarly data. Back in the first half of the 20th century, archeologist George Reisner spent a good portion of his life researching and excavating the Giza pyramids as part of a Harvard University / MFA expedition. The MFA then spent the last decade or so digitizing documents from the expeditoin, which...

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Ludum Dare 23, get your Ludum Dare 23 here! I’ve gathered together eleven of my favourites from the recent 48 hour compo/jam, although that’s not to say I’ve played all 1,402 of the entries. The theme was ‘Tiny World’ and below you’ll find a musical, an existential microjaunt, a personbreeding simulation and a space cat trader, with other delights sprinkled about. There are also unconventional marks out of ten, based on number of graphics, similarity to Tetris and inclusion of comical readme file.


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TEDxOjai - Behrokh Khoshnevis - Contour Crafting: Automated Construction

Behrokh Khoshnevis is a professor of Industrial & Systems Engineering and is the Director of Manufacturing Engineering Graduate Program at the University of Southern California (USC). He is active in CAD/CAM, robotics and mechatronics related related research projects that include the development of novel Solid Free Form, or Rapid Prototyping, processes (Contour Crafting and SIS), automated construction of civil structures, development of CAD/CAM systems for biomedical applications (eg, restorative dentistry, rehabilitation engineering, haptics devices for medical applications), autonomous mobile and modular robots for assembly applications in space, and invention of technologies in the field of oil and gas. His research in simulation has aimed at creating intelligent simulation tools that can automatically perform many simulation functions that are conventionally performed by human analysts. His textbook, "Discrete Systems Simulation", and his simulation software EZSIM benefit from some aspects of his research in simulation. He routinely conducts lectures and seminars on invention and technology development. He is a Fellow member of the Society for Computer Simulation and a Fellow member of the Institute of Industrial Engineering. He is a senior member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. His website: In thespirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At <b>...</b>

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The rare transit of Venus across the face of the Sun in 2004 was photographed widely from Europe, to Asia to Africa and North America by professionals and amateurs. North Carolina based photographer David Cortner explains how he made the photograph, which was featured on Astronomy Picture of the Day: “I made this photo on a rainy morning from an overlook above North Carolina’s Catawba River. The sky was clear for only a few minutes, just long enough to grab this photo with a Nikon DSLR and a 5-inch Astro-Physics refractor. I wouldn’t have bothered to get up at all except for the thought that if James Cook would sail halfway around the world to see a transit of Venus, who was I not to at least set up the telescope and hope for the best.”

The next transit of Venus will be in on June 5 or 6, depending on your location. You may want to pencil it in, because the one after June 2012 is not until December 2117. Venus transits come in pairs, eight years apart, then don’t come again for more than 100 years. To see a NASA simulation of the coming transit, click here.

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