Archive for February, 2008


Indian train hits crowd on tracks

February 28, 2008


At least 16 people have been killed in western India after a high-speed train ran into them, railway officials say. The victims were hit by the train as they walked in the dark on the tracks near Surat in Gujarat state.

Their bodies were spotted by the driver of another train, police said. Several women and children were among the dead, who were reported to be labourers.

Accidents are common on India’s busy state-run rail system, especially at the many unmanned road crossings.

The victims were crossing unguarded rail tracks on foot when a train ploughed into them, police inspector HM Patel was quoted by news agency AFP as saying.

The victims were migrant workers and their families from the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Mr Patel said.

More than 13m passengers are carried every day on the rail network – one of the world’s largest but also one of the most dangerous.



February 27, 2008

Episode Two Mixed by Doc Jnr and hosted by Reality? Featuring music from Example, Yungun, Verb T, and Dynamite MC amongst others.

Episode One Mixed by Doc Jnr and hosted by Reality? Featuring music from Nomadic MC, Jehst, Kashmere, Sir Smurf Little, Dubbledge, Eighteen 18 and many more.


Earthquake shakes Britain

February 27, 2008

Really, i didn’t feel a thing 😦 ….

This article was first published on on Wednesday February 27 2008. It was last updated at 08:36 on February 27 2008.

Britain’s largest earthquake in nearly a quarter of a century has left one person injured and a trail of damage.

The magnitude 5.2 quake hit just before 1am today and was centred near Market Rasen, Lincolnshire. Its effects were felt as far away as Wales, Scotland and London.

A man from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, was taken to hospital with a broken pelvis after a chimney collapsed and fell into his bedroom, Sky News reported. Emergency services across England received many calls from people who had woken up to find their homes shaking.

“We had an emergency call to Wombwell, Barnsley. A chimney had come through the bedroom roof,” said a spokeswoman for South Yorkshire ambulance service said.

Lincolnshire police said the force took dozens of calls but there were no reports of injury. “It made us very, very busy for about an hour,” said a spokeswoman.

The Guardian received calls from startled readers in London, Bedfordshire, Yorkshire, Manchester, Blackpool and Leicester.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) said the centre was five miles east of Market Rasen and 15 miles south-west of Grimsby. “This is a significant earthquake for the UK and will have been widely felt across England and Wales,” said Brian Baptie, a BGS seismologist.

The BGS records around 200 quakes in Britain each year – an eighth of them are large enough to feel. It said there were earthquakes of this size in mainland Britain around every 30 years but they were more common offshore.

Today’s quake is the largest since 1984 when an earthquake of magnitude 5.4 shook the Lleyn Peninsula of north Wales and was widely felt across England and Wales.

Alex Ferrier, 22, a marine biology student from Hull, said: “It was quite scary… we live in a road of large terraced houses and I was woken up and looked out of the window and there were loads of people on the streets.”

Ferrier’s mother, Val, who lives in Manchester, said she was woken when the mirrors on her wardrobe shook violently. “The whole room was shaking for about 20 seconds, it was quite violent. I ran downstairs,” she said.

Geoff Halsey, 62, a salesman from Tingrith in Bedfordshire, said he knew immediately on waking up that it was an earthquake. “I was fast asleep when I felt a whiplash, it was quite violent … lasting a few seconds. The whole house shivered, me and the wife both jumped up. The pheasants started singing and other birds began to sing as well.”

John Jenkin, from Bourne in Lincolnshire, said things fell from his shelves. “I was woken up. It was hell. The police around here suddenly became very busy.”

In London, the quake was felt by reporters in parliament.

The Dudley area of the West Midlands had an earthquake in 2002 that reached magnitude 5.0 and damaged homes.

The last one in the UK was a 2.9 tremor in Wales in November. In April 2007, Kent had a similar event, and people in five streets of Folkestone had to be evacuated because of damage to buildings.


RIP – Bill Hicks

February 26, 2008

William Melvin “Bill” Hicks (December 16, 1961February 26, 1994) was an American stand-up comedian.

Comedian Richard Pryor figured as an inspiration and stand-up idol for Hicks, as did Woody Allen who also served as a very early influence for a pre-teen Hicks. He tended to balance heady discussion of religion, politics and personal issues with more ribald material, and Hicks characterized his own performances as “Chomsky with dick jokes[1].


Artificial Intelligence

February 26, 2008

I  have always wondered about this … how does a computer game environment work if your not the main player of the game … you always see people running around when your flailing your rocket launcher around in grand theft auto … but why are they running what tells them to be scared – ARE THEY REAL??

Taken from –

NPC stands for Non-playable character. NPC’s  are the characters in a game that are controlled by the AI. Here is a picture from the game Mafia, it shows a city populated with NPC’s. Here a screen-shot of the player in the enviroment with the NPC’s.

The ‘core tasks’  of NPC are to seem realistic in the environment. For example if the NPC was an alien it might react to a joke different to say the way a human would react to the joke. But in an action game they might be given the task of killing you and they would do that to the best of their abilities.

NPC’s require alot of data to perform their task properly. They need to identify hiding positions, analyse 3D topology (not walking into buildings), it needs to find away to flank an enemy if he is in cover and it needs to choose the correct position of the camera.

Another name for world navigation is called ‘path-finding’.

World navigation is broken down into 2 sub-divisions. The first division is called world navigation, the second is called local navigation. The only real difference between the 2 is the scope. World navigation handles the geography of the game whilst the local navigation handles rooms, characters and objects.

I believe that the local navigation is more dynamic because it is having to deal with the characters and objects.

Flocking algorithms are the boundaries given to an NPC in a game that effect the way the NPC behaves. Basic flocking consists of three main rules.

Separation – Avoid crowding neighbours

Alignment – steer towards average heading of neighbours

Cohesion – steer towards average position of neighbours

Peter believes this because as time goes by our technology increases which means that the level of AI increases. He wants to make games that have people who think and have emotions. Also if the AI is good enough maybe we will begin to care about the NPCs.

Jess believes that balance is important because if a game is too realistic then fun will be removed. If a game is not fun anymore then the gamer will not want to play on it anymore. He also believes that variety and randomness are important aswell – variety in behaviors and some unpredictability within the believeable realm.

Chess can be considered “emergent game play” as it has a set of assigned rules that the computer must follow. But it can go about playing the game any way it wants as long as it stays within the rules.

Here is an example of an emergent game.

Star Wars Galaxies

And here is another example of an emergent game.

The Matrix Online


Card Stacking ..

February 26, 2008

Have a look @ this if you have the patience …


Layer Tennis….

February 25, 2008

The New Season

Week Fifteen
The Finale

If you are going to be screwing around on Friday afternoons this Fall (and who isn’t?) make sure you’re screwing around somewhere with high-speed web access.

We’re hosting a series of live design events on Friday afternoons called Layer Tennis. We originally called the game “Photoshop Tennis” but these days there are a ton more tools that can be used alone and in combination to create things and we wanted to open these games up to millions of new possibilities. The season wouldn’t have happened without the support of Adobe® Creative Suite® 3, the weapon of choice for creatives everywhere and Layer Tennis players alike.

How The Game Works

We’ll be playing matches using lots of different applications, from Adobe® Photoshop® to Adobe® Flash®, but the basic idea is the same no matter what tools are in use. Two artists (or two small teams of artists) will swap a file back and forth in real-time, adding to and embellishing the work. Each artist gets fifteen minutes to complete a “volley” and then we post that to the site. A third participant, a writer, provides play-by-play commentary on the action, as it happens. The matches last for ten volleys and when it’s complete, everyone with an opinion sounds off in the Forums and we declare a winner.

What Else Is New

We’ve got lots of new wrinkles in place and a host of amazing artists and writers on tap for the season. We’ve announced the first three matches and will be revealing the rest of the schedule in the weeks to come. Check the information under “Get Involved” to see how you can participate. As with everything else we do at Coudal, thanks a million for paying attention. Meanwhile, hike up your tube socks, subscribe to the RSS feed and join the newsletter list. There is a river of daily updates coming from the Layer Tennis crew.