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20 Nov 19:34

IDLE Reimagined

by Al Sweigart

I’ve started a wiki for an IDLE redesign project:

If you would like to help, please join the mailing list:!forum/idle-reimagined/

IDLE Reimagined mockup screenshot

From the wiki:

IDLE Reimagined is the code name for a redesign for Python’s default IDLE editor with focus as an educational tool. IDLE’s chief utility is that it comes installed with Python, making it simple for newbies to start programming. But professional software developers don’t use IDLE as their IDE. Instead of turning IDLE into a sophisticated IDE for professional software developers, it can be tooled with features specifically to make it friendly to those learning to program.

Prime Directives for the new design:

  1. IR is designed not for experienced developers or those new to Python, but specifically for those new to programming.
  2. IR is meant to be a drop-in replacement of IDLE, and be installed with the default Python installer.
  3. IR’s code will use the tkinter GUI toolkit (unless a better GUI toolkit is bundled with Python).
  4. IR is fully-featured offline, but also has features for finding help or sharing code online.
  5. “Simple is better than complex.”

These are the features that will distinguish IR and make it a good candidate to replace IDLE:

  1. Single window design, with file editor on the upper pane and interactive shell on the lower pane. (No more confusing separate windows for shell & file editor.)
  2. Tabbed file editor.
  3. Foreign language support. (Though Python’s keywords and standard library will still be in English, IDLE itself can be multi-lingual.)
  4. Tutorial plugin system for Codecademy-like tutorials.
  5. Integrated pip installer.
  6. Integrated pastebin feature. (Easily share code with those who can help you.)
  7. “Plain English” error message translations. Instant Google-search for error messages.
  8. Detects and warns if you are trying to run Python 2 code on Python 3.
  9. Lightweight real-time lint tool that will point out missing variables and syntax errors. (Checks for errors, but does not check for style or PEP8.)
19 Nov 19:40

Hotel charges couple’s credit card $156 for negative Trip Advisor review

by David Kravets

That's beyond offensive :s

A British hotel added $156 to a couple's credit card bill for violating its terms of service that says guests can be dinged for leaving bad online reviews.

The Broadway Hotel charged Tony and Jan Jenkinson's credit card, CNN reported Wednesday, after they left a review on Trip Advisor decrying the Blackpool hotel as a "filthy, dirty rotten stinking hovel." The BBC described the hotel's terms of service contained in a booking document as:

Despite the fact that repeat customers and couples love our hotel, your friends and family may not. For every bad review left on any website, the group organiser will be charged a maximum £100 per review. (About $156)

This isn't the first time we've seen fines like this from a hotel. In August, the Union Street Guest House in Hudson, NY included a table-turning clause in its reservation policies: if you book an event at the hotel and a member of your party posts a negative review, the hotel will fine you $500. Amid an Internet firestorm, that hotel changed its policy.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

19 Nov 18:11

New Heat Signature Trailer Shows Art, Music, Wrenches And Guns

by Pentadact
20 Nov 00:00

Video: If Pac-Man for the Atari 2600 was released today

by Danny Cowan
We've seen variations on this sort of thing before, but this mocked-up glimpse at our industry's terrifying future is more plausible than most. Something Awful founder Rich "Lowtax" Kyanka proposes what Pac-Man for the Atari 2600 might play like if...
18 Nov 22:30

Maniac Mansion designers seek funding for new 2D adventure

by Earnest Cavalli

I don't really care about the hamster but I kicked the project anyway. Because Ron "Grumpygamer" Gilbert is awesome.

Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, the duo behind the classic LucasArts adventure game Maniac Mansion, have launched a crowdfunding campaign for a new point and click 2D adventure dubbed Thimbleweed Park. "Why do we want to make Thimbleweed Park? Because...
17 Nov 18:46

Star Wars Fan Creates Insanely Detailed Cardboard Millennium Falcon

by Caleb Kraft
Thomas Richner may need to consider a career change. His hobby of recycling cardboard into interesting items, like an R2-D2 and a Millennium Falcon show enough promise that, well, someone should hire him to keep it up! This incredibly intricate Millenium Falcon has actual retractable landing gear and details that […]

Read more on MAKE

15 Nov 06:56

Spain's top piracy-fighter goes to jail for embezzling $50K to spend in brothels

by Cory Doctorow

I have to say that I wouldn't be surprised if he met (and entertained) those people in brothels as well as elsewhere.

Pedro Farré was head of corporate relations for the Sociedad General de Autores y Editores, and he falsified €40K worth of receipts for all night binges where he consumed Champagne and sexual services at brothels, claiming the funds were spent entertaining and meeting with senior cops, journalists, and academics. Read the rest

12 Nov 23:16

LEGO Philae built in tribute to historic comet landing

by Josh


Today, shortly after 1600 GMT, a historic event took place. The European Space Agency successfully landed a spacecraft on a comet. “We are there. We are sitting on the surface. Philae is talking to us, we are on the comet”, celebrated Stephan Ulamec, Philae lander manager. Víctor Martínez Nouvilas also celebrated the event by recreating the historic moment of touchdown. There were moments of uncertainty as it was not apparent if Philae’s harpoons had managed to anchor the spacecraft in place, but it appears that all is well. This marks an important milestone in the mission as the spacecraft was launched over a decade ago. Quite an exciting day! It will be fascinating to find out what kind of information Philae will send back to us as it explores it’s new home.

12 Nov 19:40

Breaking the lock: Why all game content should be unlocked from the outset

by Kyle Orland

I've always hated two major things in games since I started playing. Time limits and that endless (sometimes idiotically set up) unlocking.

Aurich Lawson vs Capcom, FIGHT!

The Master Chief Collection launched earlier this week, a collection of classic Halo games that included an array of changes from the originals, such as improved graphics and customized, cross-game playlists. But there was another, more subtle change from the original Halo titles that I think more games should mimic well before being re-released as "remastered" collections.

As Sam Machkovech pointed out in his review, "all four full campaigns are unlocked the moment you boot HTMCC, meaning you can skip ahead to a favorite part of Halo 3, then find a friend and pound out a beloved Halo: CE mission in online co-op." It's a design decision that makes us wonder: why wasn't this the case when the Halo games were originally released? For that matter, why do developers "lock" game content in the first place?

The idea of locked content, which has to be "unlocked" through some sort of in-game achievement, is a peculiarity that games share with no other mass consumer art form. Books don't require you to read the prologue and author's note before diving in to Chapter 1. DVDs don't confirm that you fully comprehended the first act before letting you jump to your favorite scene in Act 2 (or make you suffer through the bad episodes of a TV show just to watch the good ones). Music albums don't require that you listen to songs in a certain order without the ability to skip around at will.

Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments

07 Nov 22:10

'The Simpsons' meets 'Futurama' in this oddly sexual couch gag

by Kwame Opam

Futurama is the only way to get me to watch any new Simpsons...

For those still mourning the end of Futurama — even if we can all acknowledge that the last few seasons were pretty weak — The Simpsons is finally doing its long-awaited crossover with Matt Groening's other show this Sunday. Here, after the writers make a subtle burn on themselves for running out of ideas, the Simpsons clan soon finds that their couch was replaced by Hedonismbot. Things get pretty awkward and sensual from there, but it's still a funny little preview for the episode to come. And hey, it can't be worse than the recent Family Guy crossover.

Continue reading…

08 Nov 09:00

Aerial Burton heijastaa liikkuvia kuvia ilmaan ilman valkokankaita tai savuverhoja

by Sampo

Ilmaan videotykeillä tai vastaavanlaisilla laitteilla heijastettavassa videosisällössä ei sinänsä ole mitään uutta. Perinteisesti tekniikka vaatii jonkinlaisen valkokankaan, jotta kuva saadaan muodostumaan “keskelle” ilmaa. Tämä voi koostua läpinäkyvältä näyttävästä kankaasta tai sitten esimerkiksi koneellisesti tuotetusta sumusta. Aerial Burton on sen sijaan maailman ensimmäinen ilmaan kuvia heijastava systeemi, joka ei tarvitse tällaista erillistä taustaa projektiolleen.

Systeemi luo kuvia 1 kHz taajuudella värähtelevistä lasersäteistä, jotka välitetään ilmaan 3D-skannerin lävitse. Kyseinen vekotin saa lasersäteet tarkentumaan tiettyihin pisteisiin ilmassa. Näissä pisteissä säteet sitten ionisoivat ilmassa olevia molekyylejä ja saavat aikaan ilmiön joka luo hetken kestäviä välähdyksiä. Kun lasersäteitä syötetään jatkuvasti ilmaan, niin saadaan kuvatkin pysymään näkyvissä pidemmän ajan.

Tekniikan avulla voidaan myös esittää animoitua sisältöä ja koko laitteisto on kehitelty liikkuvaksi, jotta sen voisi esimerkiksi kuljettaa onnettomuuspaikoille ohjaamaan ihmisiä turvaan. Tällä hetkellä ilmaan luotujen kuvien sisältö koostuu lähinnä muutamista pisteistä, mutta kehittäjät pyrkivät seuraavaksi parantamaan juurikin systeemin resoluutiota.


09 Nov 22:12

Particle Accelerator in LEGO

by Caylin

While this rendition isn’t going to get the same results as a real particle accelerator, I invite you to take a look at this fantastic LEGO version from Jason(JK Brickworks).

Particle Accelerator (Large Brick Collider)

This “working” accelerator does in fact send a LEGO soccer ball around the track at 440 studs per second, or approximately 12.5 km/hr. Jason outlines some of the build in more detail on his blog.

I highly recommend checking out the video, too.

06 Nov 18:59

Brianna Wu explains why #gamergate death-threats won't scare her into backing down

by Cory Doctorow

Frank Wu writes, "Brianna Wu, game developer behind Revolution 60, has been the epicenter of the #gamergate controversy recently. In this interview, she explains why, despite constant harassment and death threats, she stands up for the rights of women in technology." Read the rest

06 Nov 23:17

Calvin and Hobbes

by Josh

Evan and our very own Simon have revisited their childhoods and created a beautiful homage to what is possibly the best comic strip of all time, Calvin and Hobbes.

Calvin and Hobbes; Adventure!

Simon should have posted this himself but he’s too lazy. Feel free to tell him that in the comments.

05 Nov 10:43

Heat Signature Trailers

by Pentadact

I think if I embed a YouTube playlist, I can make this post always show the latest Heat Signature trailer even when I change it in future.

03 Nov 04:00


by Tapio Salminen

Sosiaalisesti rajoittuneet
Sosiaalisesti rajoittuneet - Nörttikulttuurin vankkumaton pää-äänenkannattaja jo vuodesta 2000.

Sotaelokuvia on tehty lukematon määrä, mutta panssarivaunuihin keskittyviä taistelukuvauksia on nähty todella vähän. Ehkä vaadittava tekniikka ja ahtaassa tilaassa kuvaamisen klaustrofobia ovat ajaneet tekijät pois aiheen ääreltä. Joka tapauksessa David Ayerin ohjaama Fury on mannaa kaikille tankkisodankäynnistä kiinnostuneille. Se katsoo toisen maailmansodan loppua yhden Sherman-miehistön näkövinkkelistä.

Lähtökohtaisesti Fury noudattaa sotaelokuvien perinteitä: kokenut tankkimiehistö menettää kk-ampujansa ja saa korvaajaksi idealistisen märkäkorvan, joka ei ole koskaan edes nähnyt panssarivaunun sisäpuolta. Joukkoa johtaa kovakourainen, mutta salaa inhimillinen kersantti. Matkan varrella nuori tulokas joutuu kohtaamaan sodan todellisuuden ja kauhistumaan sitä, mihin hän pakon edessä pystyy. Kuin suoraan sotaelokuvien käsikirjoitusoppaasta revittyä, siis.

Brad Pitt on kokeneena komentajana hyvä, mutta elokuvan todellinen päähahmo on Logan Lermanin esittämä tulokas.Fury kuitenkin kohoaa kuluneiden aloitusasetelmiensa yläpuolelle. Hahmoissa on riittävästi harmaita sävyjä, eikä elokuvassa ole selviä sankareita tai pahiksia. Oikeastaan vain keskiössä oleva, Logan Lermanin esittämä tulokas pystyy pitämään kiinni jonkinlaisesta moraalisesta ytimestään. Ja hänenkin kohdallaan käy hyvin selväksi, että kyse on vain ajasta. Etulinjassa kovinkin idealisti painaa jossain vaiheessa liipaisinta ja katsoo vasta jälkikäteen veren tahraamia käsiään.

Inhoarealistinen, paikoin eksistentialistinen tunnelma on kuin yhdistelmä Sam Peckinpahia ja Terrence Malickia, mutta vain vähemmällä määrällä hidastuksia ja haihattelevia monologeja. Periaatteessa tyyliä voisi kai kuvata realistiseksi, mutta alla piilevä viesti on vahvan pasifistinen ja inhimillinen. Sota tuo ihmisissä esiin pahimmat, mutta välillä myös parhaimmat puolet. Esimerkiksi aluksi hiukan turhalta vaikuttava kohtaus kahden saksalaisnaisen kodissa tiivistyy karun aidoksi ja koskettavaksi. Tunnelman luonnissa auttaa Steven Pricen maalailevan suurieleinen soundtrack, joka on hyvää kuunneltavaa yksinäänkin.

Vaikka vaunun ulkopuolella pyörivä draama toimii, loistaa Fury kirkkaimmillaan panssarisotaan keskittyessään. Jatkuva valppailla olo ja koska tahansa iskevä kuolema ovat läsnä joka kohtauksessa. Taistelut on kuvattu erinomaisesti riittävän kaukaa, mutta myös niin, että vaunun sisällä syliin kaatuvat seinät tuntuvat ahdistavilta. Kaltaiseni vaunufriikki voi kerrankin ihastella aidolta näyttäviä panssareita ja muita aseita, eikä Tiikerin torni ole tällä kertaa liian edessä. Kokonaisuuden viimeistelee komea äänidesign, joka pudottaa katsojan suoraan taistelun keskelle. Ympärillä viheltävät valojuovat, kimmokkeet ja jyrähtelevät tykit herättävät aitoa kunnioitusta.

Elokuvan huippukohta on neljän Shermanin ja yksinäisen Tiikerin kohtaaminen. Se on yksittäisenä taisteluna suurin piirtein parasta koskaan kuvattua tankkisotaa. Taktiikat ovat ainakin sinne päin ja kuvaus on kohdallaan. Näyttelijät eivät turhaan harjoitelleet tiiminä oikealla Shermanilla sotimista ennen kuvausten alkua.

Tankit näyttävät aidoilta ja panssarisodan arki on kuvattu komeasti.Elokuvan kaksi ensimmäistä näytöstä ovat erinomaisia, mutta kokonaisuus hajoaa totaalisesti käsiin viimeisessä kolmanneksessaan. Romahdus on niin täydellinen, että loppu tuntuu tyysti eri tekijöiden työstämältä. Kaikki siihen asti noudatetut säännöt heitetään romukoppaan, hahmot alkavat käyttäytyä järjettömästi ja jopa kuvaus ja leikkaus huonontuvat. Ehkä liian tiukilla lähikuvilla ja pikaleikkauksella yritetään kuvastaa sodan hulluuden lopullista läpimurtoa, mutta ratkaisu ei toimi.

Asiassa ei auta sekään, että käsikirjoitus hylkää harmaan sävyt äkkiä kokonaan. Vastassa onkin ihmisten sijasta korkkareista tuttuja pahoja natseja, jotka unohtavat kaikki sodankäynnin perustaidot. Vai mikä muu voisi selittää sitä, että yksinäinen panssarivaunu muka pärjää useampaa sataa panssarinyrkeillä aseistettua SS-miestä vastaan? Koko kohtauksessa ei ole mitään järkeä ja se maistuu todella vahvasti väkisin väännetyltä huipentumalta. Hahmojen kohtalot eivät lopulta tunnu missään, koska ne tapahtuvat vain siksi, että käsikirjoitus sanoo niin. Elokuvan sisäisestä maailmasta ja logiikasta niille ei löydy perusteita.

Viimeisen näytöksen romahdus on harmittava takaisku, sillä sitä edeltävä reilu puolitoista tuntia on parasta koskaan filmille tallennettua panssarisodan kuvausta. Kaikki toimii, kunnes se ei enää äkkiä toimikaan. Tästä huolimatta Fury on ehdottomasti katsomisen arvoinen sotaelokuva. Se olisi vain voinut olla vielä niin paljon parempi ilman lopun kompurointia.

Arvosana: 3 out of 5 stars

Tapio Salminen

02 Nov 19:24

UK cultural institutions leave their WWI cases empty to protest insane copyright

by Cory Doctorow

They want the term of copyright changed to life plus 70 years, instead of 2039 for unpublished works of uncertain date, a standard that makes it impossible to reproduce or display things like letters home from the front. Read the rest

31 Oct 13:34

NZ Trade Minister: we keep TPP a secret to prevent "public debate"

by Cory Doctorow

The Trans Pacific Partnership is the latest in a series of secretly negotiated sweeping "trade deals" that allow companies to sue governments to repeal environmental and labor laws, expand Internet censorship and surveillance, and a host of other nasties. Read the rest

29 Oct 17:02

TSA supervisor confiscates raygun belt buckle -- because terrorism!

by Mark Frauenfelder

TSA braindeath just keeps going on :D

A TSA supervisor confiscated Sean Malone's toy ray gun belt buckle at the airport. Malone described the encounter:

"You understand that this is a belt buckle, right?

Read the rest
28 Oct 19:08

Knit Cthulhu mask

by Xeni Jardin

A gorgeous shot of a gorgeous piece of knitted art by Tracy Widdess, shared in our Flickr Pool.

28 Oct 19:30

Joystiq Streams: Long live the Empire in TIE Fighter

by Anthony John Agnello

TIE Fighter is also the only Star Wars game where you can properly work *for* the Empire without braindead "I defect!" type of "surprising" plot twists... Yes, I know that in the EU that was also retconned, but I choose to ignore that sort of propaganda.

When Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012, the writing was on the wall for LucasArts. The company had been shuttering studios for years already, slimming down Disney Interactive piece by piece. LucasArts did die, but with the house's best years long...
28 Oct 18:04

Security checklist

by CommitStrip

27 Oct 10:00

It's Easier This Way

by snoofle

After more than two years at WTF Inc., I thought I'd seen everything that could be done wrong actually done wrong in the worst possible way. Whether it was DBAs who wcouldn't administer a database if their lives depended upon it, managers who wcouldn't manage anything, or business people who simply could not understand the concept of save a dollar today, spend ten tomorrow to fix it.

After that dalliance, I'm back in my chosen field. While crazy things sometimes get done in insane ways, it's usually in the name of beating the competition to market, and (almost) always with the understanding that it will be fixed later - at a price.

However, this one struck me as sooo wtf that I'm not even going to try to anonymize it.

Every project from hello world on up has a source tree. It might be as simple as a single directory with one or more source files, or it could be an entire hierarchy of packages, common and external libraries, and so forth. The one thing they all have in common is that the one or more main programs in a project are all applications that pertain to that project. You never see two unrelated projects sharing the same source tree. They might share a common shared library, but not the same source tree. It just isn't done.

Or so I thought.

At my present firm, the culture specifies that for major architectural/code reviews, there must be one very senior member from an unrelated team/department present, and that individual has veto authority on anything that's said or presented. This is to allow an unbiased opinion to be offered without threat of reprisal by the manager.

As one of the more senior folks, I was volunteered for this task at a department that could only be linked back to me from five levels up. I didn't know any of these people, and so had no axe to grind. I went in with an open mind.

When they described their project, for the most part, their approach, level of scalability and parallelism, use of database, messaging and services, etc. made sense. Then they showed me their repository tree. It did not make sense. There were thirteen different (unrelated) projects in there. Together:

	  |-- classes
	  |-- srcproject1
	  |    |-- com
	  |         |
	  |         |-- company
	  |               |-- business
	  |               |-- comm
	  |               |-- gui
	  |               |-- services
	  |               |-- util
	  |-- srcproject2
	  |    |-- com
	  |         |
	  |         |-- company
	  |               |-- business
	  |               |-- comm
	  |               |-- gui
	  |               |-- services
	  |               |-- util
	  | ...
	  |-- srcproject13
	  |    |-- com
	  |         |
	  |         |-- company
	  |               |-- business
	  |               |-- comm
	  |               |-- gui
	  |               |-- services
	  |               |-- util

Naturally I queried why all the other projects were in there together, and why all of their source directories were configured as source directories in this project, I was told that they were told that it's easier this way.

Though I began to shudder, I just had to know, so I looked into the source trees. There were numerous classes with the same names and implementing the same interface at the same package path but in multiple source trees. Thus, auto-complete could pick any one of them because they all had the same signature, albeit subtly different implementations. As you might imagine, this led to all sorts of debugging fun at run time.If they were lucky, something would be null and it would dump the stack. If they were less than angelic, it wouldn't perform the calculation in quite the right way. If they had been particularly bad, if wouldn't perform the calculation in quite the right way only some of the time.

As if this wasn't far enough off the beaten path, I noticed that they were all using the same build/package/deploy mechanism, but at seemingly random intervals. It turns out that to prevent each of the teams from blocking any of the other teams from doing a deployment-at-will, all of the units of work were designed to be less than one day. That is, you had one day to design, code and test your work before committing. Thus, if the other team needed to deploy, they could grab the entire tree - including all of the tiny units of work done by the other teams - that compiled but didn't necessarily accomplish anything useful - package it up and deploy it.

Of course, if someone happened to be changing some piece of functionality that was shared, but hadn't yet made all of the one-day-of-work units that comprised the larger logical change, it was possible to get a melange of code that could best be described as: it might work.

Needless to say, the entire department was experiencing very high levels of instability, blocking deployment collisions when some piece of code absolutely could not be deployed without the rest of the related changes - without breaking the other projects.

When I pointed out the folly of all of this, they told me that the boss four levels up had experienced massive problems with multiple projects under his control, and decided that a single source tree would only need to be fixed once and would thus improve throughput. I told them that all of the projects had to be liberated separated into individual project source trees. Anything that was common would need to be its own project and released on its own schedule. When they were informed that this had to be done, they said they were under a mandate from four levels up. I went to the common manager five levels up, explained the situation, and that this was the reason for all the red on the dashboard.

The order to break it all apart was given.

24 Oct 15:59


by Jari Juutilainen

Komeahko aamurusko kuvattuna työpaikan pihamaalta.



22 Oct 15:51

Extreme Winds Cause a Waterfall in England to Blow Upward

by Christopher Jobson

Extreme Winds Cause a Waterfall in England to Blow Upward wind weather waterfalls England

Extreme Winds Cause a Waterfall in England to Blow Upward wind weather waterfalls England

Hikers exploring England’s Derbyshire Peak District earlier this week stumbled onto a rare phenomenon caused by extreme winds. The River Downfall, a 30-meter (98 foot) waterfall was blown back almost vertically by a powerful updraft, making it seem as if the waterfall was simply flowing into nothing. Very cool. (via Twisted Sifter)

24 Oct 02:00

3D Realms returns with 32-game Anthology release

by Danny Cowan

I'm seriously considering! :D

Once-defunct publisher 3D Realms has re-opened its doors, releasing a 32-game compilation and promising a slate of upcoming releases from a newly-assembled staff. The 3D Realms Anthology, available for $19.99 from the publisher's website, collects...
22 Oct 16:01

Snappy coroner's answers to stupid cross-examiner's questions

by Cory Doctorow

"How can you be sure [the patient wasn't alive] Doctor?" "Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar." Read the rest

21 Oct 12:00

Nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah Bat-VAN!

by Cory Doctorow


20 Oct 20:09

Realistic cactus cupcakes

by Xeni Jardin


From Alana Jones-Mann, a baker, culinary artist and DIY enthusiast in Brooklyn, cupcakes that look like miniature cacti. They're so cute, they're even planted in crushed graham cracker soil.

Read the rest

18 Oct 19:20

If you don't agree to the new Wii U EULA, Nintendo will kill-switch it

by Cory Doctorow

I have no words to describe this.

When you bought your Wii U, it came with one set of terms-of-service; now they've changed, and if you don't accept the changes, your Wii seizes up and won't work. That's not exactly what we think of when we hear the word "agreement." Read the rest