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Weekend tech reading: Talking DX12 w/ Microsoft, VR PC build guide, DeepMind AI loses first Go match

By Matthew
Mar 13, 2016
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  1. Discussing the State of DirectX 12 With Microsoft & Oxide Games Taking place next week is the 2016 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. GDC has been an important show for some time, but in recent years it has taken on an even bigger role as what happens and what is announced at GDC have greater implications for not just developers, but end-users as well. GDC has been the backdrop for PC hardware launches, graphics API launches, and more. AnandTech

    How OpenGL works: software renderer in 500 lines of code In this series of articles, I want to show the way OpenGL works by writing its clone (a much simplified one). Surprisingly enough, I often meet people who cannot overcome the initial hurdle of learning OpenGL / DirectX. Thus, I have prepared a short series of lectures, after which my students show quite good renderers. So, the task is formulated as follows: using no third-party libraries (especially graphic ones), get something like this picture... Dmitry V. Sokolov

    Trackers A couple of weeks ago I went to the local shopping centre looking for a thermometer. After entering one store upon leaving without buying anything a tracker was assigned to me. I didn’t think much of it at first, but he followed me dutifully around the shopping centre, took careful note of how I walked. Whenever I visited a store he made a note in his little black book (he kept calling it my profile, and he didn’t want to show me what was in it so I assume it was actually his, rather than mine). Jacques Mattheij

    Ars System Guide, VR edition: Cheap VR, great VR, and optional 4k craziness You may consider yourself an enterprising PC game-machine builder, and in the past few years, you may have built a pretty damned good rig. That doesn't mean you went crazy, however. Graphics standards have leveled off a bit lately -- at least, enough for a reasonably priced machine to run "max" settings at the standard screen resolution of 1080p or even rock-solid frame rates and high fidelity at 1440p. Ars Technica

    Exclusive: Former Oculus VP of engineering demonstrates long range VR tracking system Tracking is the foundation of great virtual reality. Knowing the position and orientation of the user’s head is essential to being able to move the virtual world convincingly around them as they move through it. Oculus and Valve/HTC have the leading tracking systems (dubbed ‘Constellation’ and ‘Lighthouse’, respectively), but soon a new entrant could join the VR tracking arena. Road to VR

    Go champion Lee Se-dol strikes back to beat Google's DeepMind AI for first time AlphaGo wrapped up victory for Google in the DeepMind Challenge Match by winning its third straight game against Go champion Lee Se-dol yesterday, but the 33-year-old South Korean has got at least some level of revenge -- he's just defeated AlphaGo, the AI program developed by Google's DeepMind unit, in the fourth game of a five-game match in Seoul. The Verge

    How to pass a programming interview Being a good programmer has a surprisingly small role in passing programming interviews. To be a productive programmer, you need to be able to solve large, sprawling problems over weeks and months. Each question in an interview, in contrast, lasts less than one hour. To do well in an interview, then, you need to be able to solve small problems quickly, under duress, while explaining your thoughts clearly. Triplebyte (also, The secret life of a games programmer: I've lived my dream and it came up short)

    Orthoprint, or how I open-sourced my face What if you had a chance to save money, make yourself happier, and stick it to the dental appliance industry, all in one shot? Scientific American says that by consciously smiling, we trigger a psychological feedback mechanism that causes us to be happy. I had an amazing realization last year- I wasn’t smiling, and it was because I was unhappy with my teeth. They weren’t awful, but they were crooked enough to make me self conscious. Amos Dudley

    Image processing 101 At the Recurse Center, I spent some time teaching myself image processing. When I started, I had no idea what it entailed. I just knew that it could help me recognize text, shapes and patterns and to do interesting things with them. My sources have mainly been Wikipedia pages, books and publicly available university lecture notes. As I became more familiar with the material, I wished for an 'Image Processing 101' article... Codewords

    Thanks for the memories: Touring the awesome random access of old I was buying a new laptop the other day and had to make a choice between 4GB of memory and 8. I can remember how big a deal it was when a TRS-80 went from 4K (that’s .000004 GB, if you are counting) to 48K. Today just about all RAM (at least in PCs) is dynamic -- it relies on tiny capacitors to hold a charge. Hackaday

    VPN provider's no-logging claims tested in FBI case While many VPN providers say they do not log their users' activities in order to protect anonymity, it's not often their claims get tested in the wild. However, a criminal complaint filed by the FBI this week notes that a subpoena sent to Private Internet Access resulted in no useful data being revealed about a suspected hoaxer. TorrentFreak

    The science and snake oil of neurostimulation What if learning a skill only required donning a cap that used electric currents to tickle your brain in just the right way? This is the question posed in an explanatory video released in tandem with a new report which claims to have used transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to improve the acquisition of piloting skills in test subjects. Vice

    How web scraping is revealing lobbying and corruption in Peru Paid political influence and corruption continue to be major issues in a surprising number of countries throughout the world. The recent “Operation Lava Jato” in Brazil, in which officials from the state company Petrobras were accused of taking bribes from construction companies in exchange for contracts financed with taxpayer money, is a reminder of this. Scrapinghub

    How we build code at Netflix How does Netflix build code before it’s deployed to the cloud? While pieces of this story have been told in the past, we decided it was time we shared more details. In this post, we describe the tools and techniques used to go from source code to a deployed service serving movies and TV shows to more than 75 million global Netflix members. Netflix

    Snowden: FBI's claim it can't unlock the San Bernardino iPhone is 'bullshit' Edward Snowden, the whistleblower whose NSA revelations sparked a debate on mass surveillance, has waded into the arguments over the FBI’s attempt to force Apple to help it unlock the iPhone 5C of one of the San Bernardino shooters. The Guardian

    Tor users can be tracked based on their mouse movements​ Independent security researcher Jose Carlos Norte has discovered a set of new methods of fingerprinting Tor users, which can be used to deanonymize them later on during abusive law enforcement investigations or cyber-surveillance campaigns. Softpedia

    Jeff Bezos' space company Blue Origin aims for passenger flights in 2018 Jeff Bezos' space company Blue Origin expects to begin crewed test flights of its reusable suborbital New Shepard vehicle next year and begin flying paying passengers in 2018, Bezos told reporters on Tuesday. The Economic Times

    Warning: Windows 7 computers are being reported as automatically starting the Windows 10 upgrade without permission This bricked my Dad's computer last weekend...And many of my friends on FB have been reporting this happening too. Good luck to the rest of you. Reddit

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