Category Archives: Interesting Items

Things the staff found interesting, or fun.

Cool Projects: A Picture Perfect Murder Game

It should come as no surprise that there are a lot of interesting, intelligent people in this area. They’re busy doing some amazingly creative things, which could often use some support. Many of these clever, talented people are members of Southwest Cyberport (naturally), and we thought it would be a good thing to share news of their cool projects. To launch this series of posts, we start with an intriguing video game trying to raise funds with its own Kickstarter campaign: A Picture Perfect Murder. Here’s what they told us about it: Ducks in a Row, Inc., an NM small business and long-time SWCP customer, is creating a casual video game called “A Picture Perfect Murder.”  In the game, you play the part of Chris O’Connor, a former crime-scene photographer who now freelances for travel magazines. The morning after you arrive at your latest venue, one of the staff members is killed. “A Picture Perfect Murder” is a hidden object/adventure game. As Chris, you’ll gather clues in a variety of adventure scenes, hidden-object scenes, and mini-games. You’ll interview the staff and the other guests, paying close attention to the cut scenes.  Finally, you’ll identify the murderer in a complex logic puzzle.  The game will be playable at three levels of difficulty: Innocent, Criminal, and Murderous. As part of this venture, Ducks is creating a game engine, Storm Surge™.  Initially the game engine will primarily support puzzle/adventure games, Ducks plans to … Continue reading

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Snowden Speaks

Almost a year after his name first surfaced in connection with the NSA leaks, Edward Snowden has finally been heard in an interview on American network television. It has not been an easy go. All that time, Snowden has been a man publicly reviled in near-Orwellian terms as someone putting American lives at risk and single-handedly destroying our ability to fight terrorism. Even afterwards, Secretary of State John Kerry, during a live interview on NBC’s TODAY show, made his position known: “Edward Snowden is a coward, he is a traitor, and he has betrayed his country.” Yet Snowden was not what one would expect. Edward Snowden, in his interview with NBC’s Brian Williams, turned out to be a surprisingly level-headed, thoughtful, and soft-spoken young man – hardly a firebrand. And if he is to be believed, a true patriot acting in the highest interests of freedom and democracy. You can see it and judge for yourself here: “Inside the Mind of Edward Snowden“. But what is he really, and what are the issues involved? According to NBC’s own polls, opinions on whether Snowden is a traitor or patriot are still about even. But the issues are deeper than just the legality and ethics of Internet monitoring by the state. The questions reach down to the very bedrock of our values of privacy, freedom, and democracy. They don’t entirely hinge on the government’s secret activities either. The vast, indiscriminate, and totally … Continue reading

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Will the Internet Become a Toll Road?

One of the key principles determining how the Internet operates is in danger. And it may disappear altogether if big corporations and the Federal Communications Commission have their way. The result could turn the information superhighway into a toll road, where high-paying customers have exclusive use of the fast lane, and the devil take the poor and the hindmost. The principle of Net neutrality is that all network traffic should be treated the same. All content, including spam, webpages, streaming videos, email, and illegal downloads are  given the fastest routes available. There must be no discrimination due to source, content, or destination. It is the one of the basic foundational ideals of the Internet, and big corporations are seeking to destroy it. It used to be that the FCC was one of Net neutrality’s most zealous defenders. But an appeals court threw out its old rules because they treated the Internet service providers as public utilities. This, the court  said, conflicted with an FCC ruling that the Internet should not be governed by the same rules that apply to power or phones. It would seem that the FCC could write new rules to preserve Net neutrality. But something happened in the meantime – Comcast and Netflix made a deal. For months, the giant service provider had throttled Netflix downloads by as much as 30%. But a secret deal to allow Netflix’ streaming videos to pass was made. The upshot is … Continue reading

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