Here's a great article about the problems inherent in the way modern software programming is done and the possible solutions to those problems. The issue is basically that the code is so complex and abstracted from the actual requirements of the system that the software is usually rife with bugs due to the coders not being able to see the forest for the trees. The call is for programming to become basically a WYSIWYG process like word processing has become.
Link: The Atlantic
Here's a fascinating science discovery about humanity's oldest companion. Dogs have been found to have two extra eye muscles that their ancestors, gray wolves, don't have. These eye muscles allow them to shape their eyes into the well-known sad puppy dog stare when desiring human attention. The muscles allow dogs to widen their eyes and raise their inner eyebrow area. These muscles appear to exist for the sole purpose of generating human connection. It makes them appear more like human babies in their facial appearance and people usually describe the look as meaning that the dog must be sad. The dogs use them when they desire human eye contact. Dogs will turn to humans and make eye contact when they are faced with a problem they can't solve. Wolves will not. Dogs closest to their wolf ancestors in form, like Siberian Huskies, only have one of the muscles developed. Wolves do have some sparse muscle fibers, that have not developed into full blown muscles, where dogs have these muscles. So wolves can not generate the full expression, even if they wanted to. Scientists believe these dog muscles evolved through selection pressures unwittingly exerted by humans. Dogs that could appear the most expressive facially were selected for preferential treatment by humans, which meant that overall these dogs were cared for better and thus had better chances at healthy offspring. There are only two other animal groups that have these muscles besides dogs and humans: apes and horses. In horses, however, the muscles do not achieve the same look that they do in the other three animal groups due to horse facial structure.
This looks amazing! I'm really liking all the changes being released for the upcoming Pathfinder 2 and am looking forward to it.
Link: Kingmaker Campaign
Computer scientists have tested Magic: The Gathering and have determined it is apparently impossible for a computer to brute force determine a winning strategy. Maybe we'll need a quantum computer to solve the game...
Link: MIT Technology Reveiw
Good Old Games is a favorite website of mine for getting classic games from my youth back to play on my modern PC. I also enjoy introducing my children to PC gaming history. The kids like seeing the progression that games have gone through.
But finally, three grail games for me have just been released on Good Old Games!. The three games that originally put Blizzard on the map are back, Warcraft I, Warcraft II, and Diablo I. The games are faithfully upgraded to work on modern PCs with all of their original functionality working. That means I and my children will be able to play them together on our LAN. Woohoo!
They are selling a bundle of the two Warcrafts for only $15. Diablo I is only $10. That's a steal.
So, what are you waiting for? Get busy gaming!
Very few people understand how this issue works in Science. The misunderstanding of statistical significance is endemic to the education field. It's one of the many reasons educators should be suspicious when someone in a staff development workshop uses the phrase "Research says..."
Link: Vox article
Splat Attack! Is a new miniatures combat board game put out by IDW Games. It features characters from four different Nickelodeon cartoons (SpongeBob Squarepants, Rugrats, Hey Arnold!, and Invader Zim) in the base game. It may serve as an easy introduction to the genre of grid-based miniatures combat gaming. As such it is entering the arena of Shadespire and Aristeia, for older players, as well as Krosmaster Arena, HeroClix, and Super Dungeon Explore PVP Arena, for younger players. So how does it compare to the other members of this growing segment of board gaming? What do my own children think of it? Is it suitable for school clubs? Read on to find out!
This looks like a wonderful project that is now on kickstarter. It's a stripped down version of Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition combined with adventures specifically meant to help children on the autism specturm learn and practice social skills. Very cool!
Link: Kickstarter Page
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