Create Computer Games – Get Started on Creating Your Own Virtual Worlds

Posted on Posted in computer, internet, programming, technology

I’ve always loved video games, ever since I first played them on a friend’s computer in the afternoon after elementary school. There’s something almost magical about the fact that we can move images around and interact with virtual worlds, a living fantasy presented for us to interact with however we please. I’ve also always wanted to make games myself but, until recently, didn’t have the technical knowledge to do so. Now, I’m a second year software engineering student, so if I weren’t able to code a game without too many dramas there’d be something drastically wrong. But what about the common person: the person for whom the term ‘memory leak’ conjures up images of their grandfather, ‘pipeline’ is where the water flows, and ‘blitting’ is unheard of? Well, everyone can get in on the game creation process, and you don’t even need to learn ‘real’ programming to do so.

So where do games start? With an idea. Games, like all fiction, require an idea to be successful. Sure, in the same way you can just sit down and write a story without foresight, you can jump on in and slap a game together. However, unless you get ridiculously lucky, the best works are usually the ones that have been well thought out beforehand.

There are two methods of planning a project. You can start from a known technological standpoint and build your project on top of that or you can just go for the design, add as many features and ideas as you like, and then remove the ones that you can’t use when you’ve decided on the technology you’re going to implement the game with. In general, the second type is probably the best one to go with when designing games. When you’re first starting out however, the first option will save you many headaches.

So, for a first game you’re going to want a pretty simple idea. Don’t get me wrong, crazy-go-nuts game ideas are fantastic, and there should be more of them out there, but you’re not going to be able to create a real world simulator with fifty billion virtual people all interacting real time with your actions having a butterfly effect on the future of the virtual universe when it’s just your first game. Really. Many people try it; none that I know of have succeeded. Imitation is the best way to start out. Simple games such as ‘Space Invaders’, ‘Tetris’, ‘Pacman’ or even ‘Pong’ are great places to start. All are largely simple to create but have some inherent challenges. ‘Pacman’ for example, requires path finding for the ghosts. I recommend that you start even simpler than that for your very first attempt. ‘Space Invaders’ is a nice point to jump in. You can make a simple, complete game without much effort and it’s almost infinitely extensible.

If you’re stuck for an idea, pick a genre that you enjoy. Do you love adventure games such as ‘Monkey Island’, ‘Grim Fandango’, ‘Space Quest’, ‘King’s Quest’ …

The Technology is Out There

Posted on Posted in gadget, internet, technology

Advances in technology occur continuously, this is particularly true of the vastly competitive and high value world of mobile telecommunications. New mobile phone handsets hit the shelves on a daily daily basis and each is a slight (or sometimes major) improvement on its predecessor. In the past phone giants such as Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Blackberry and Apple have gone head to head to develop the most intuitive operating systems, create the most user friendly QWERTY keyboard and integrate touch screen technology to the greatest effect. More recently the focus has been on offering higher resolution cameras, speeding up internet connectivity and offering the most desirable range of apps, these are however by no means the sole aims of manufacturers: all of these small battles are ongoing and developments occur and are integrated into new handsets constantly.

Just because the latest handsets in the UK do not offer certain features however does not mean that they do not exist. A cursory glance at the technology on offer in China and Japan for instance shows that despite the late slightly improved incarnation of the iPhone may be at the cutting edge on our shores, it is by no means the most 'techie' model currently in production. Rather than importing certain handsets and encountering the high unit cost and absence of technical support that comes with it however, we can look to overseas markets and make some pretty solid judgments about what technology could be introducing the UK market over the next year, based on what already exists on the other side of the globe.

One of the most exciting and potentially groundbreaking pieces of technology found in a great number of Japanese phones is the FeliCa chip, handsets featuring this minuscule piece of hardware are referred to as 'Wallet Phones' as this chip allows the handset to perform cashless, instant financial transactions. Compatible with train station ticket machines, vending machines and payment terminals at numerous stores in Japan, the phone owner can pay for goods and services instantly with their phone. Astoundingly this technology first came into use 2004 but has still not been established in the UK, this may be about to change given the recent introduction of Barclaycard contactless technology which operates in a similar manner to the FeliCa chip. Mobile phone network provider Orange have also teamed up with Barclaycard in this venture and filed to develop a handset which fulfills this function in the near future.

Although less likely to bring about a major cultural change than wallet phone technology, gadget enthusiasts and traveling businessmen alike will be excited at the prospect of mobile phones which incorporated projectors. Already in its third generation in the Far East, internal projector technology could revolutionize the way in which business presentations are made and videos are shown on the move. With some handsets capable to project high resolution visuals up to 8 feet tall already on sale in Asia, it is only a matter of time before European distributors start pushing …

Do You Own – And Control Your Domain Name? You May Be Surprised!

Posted on Posted in internet, website

All too often, website owners are lax in nailing down ownership and control of valuable domain names, and as a result, are often required to litigate these issues costing them thousands. The case of Dawson v. Brandsberg illustrates these costly mistakes and how to avoid them.

Dawson v. Brandsberg – The Facts

The dispute was between a website operator and developer regarding rights to a domain name that consist of the operator's name: "robertedawson.com". Plaintiff Dawson and his real estate firm (the website operator) hired Defenders Brandsberg (the website developer) to develop a website. A key fact is that there was no written agreement concerning possession or use of the domain name.

Other important facts include:

* Plaintiffs requested Defendant to register the domain name at issue;

* Defendant developed the website associated with the domain name; and

* Plaintiffs paid for the initial registration of the domain name, plus development, hosting, and maintenance fees for the website.

Occasionally, the business relationship soured, and the Plaintiffs bought to transfer the domain name and the website to another internet service provider. The Defendant refused to transfer the domain name and the website, and essentially held the domain name hostage.

Dawson v. Brandsberg – The Decision

Dawson welcomed suit against Brandsberg in the US District Court in Virginia under the Cyberpiracy Provisions of the Lanham Act, Section 43 (d), 15 USC 1125 (d). Dawson v. Brandsberg, 2006 WL 2915234 (WD Va., Oct. 10, 2006). Plaintiffs argued that the federal cyberpiracy prevention strategy was applicable, and that it protected the domain name and imposed liability for a bad faith registration with the intent to profit from the registration. Plaintiffs also argued that it had a non-exclusive, implied license to use the domain name, given that Plaintiffs had paid for registration, development, hosting, and maintenance of the website.

Defendant Blandsberg argued that:

* Plaintiff's name was not a proper trademark because it was not distinct at the time of registration of the domain name,

* Defendant had registered the domain name and developed the website with the intent to sell it to Plaintiff at a later date, and

* Plaintiff had no copyright or implied license in the website.

Defendant Blandsberg filed for a motion to dismiss most of the counts of the suit. The Court rule in favor of Plaintiff Dawson denying the motion. The Court seemed to rely heavily on Plaintiffs' arguments regarding the implied license, stating "Even assuming that Brandsberg created the website, if Plaintiffs have no license to use the website or domain name, the creation would be valueless."

Conclusion: Lessons Learned

Do not rely on oral agreements; get it in writing! Provide not only for ownership of the website, but also of the domain name.

Provide that your domain name be registered in your name, not in the name of the vendor.

Also, note that control over the domain name is very important, and control goes with knowledge of the ID and passwords to the domain name account with …

Here Are Four Common Steps to Auto Fix It For Me Computer Software Programs:

Posted on Posted in computer, internet

1. You turn the PC on, it loads through and then reports it cannot find the C Drive

This sounds like a fault hard disk, swap it with another from a working PC, if the problem resolves this way then your drive is bad.

The hard drive is found inside the case, it will have a ribbon attached to the mainboard and one of the power leads from the PSU. It is fixed with screws into the case, undo these, whip out the cables and get yourself a new disk.

Sometimes a reboot will give your disk a little more life, if a reboot does help, then make sure you backup your data straight away and get a new disk in there! This is a best case scenario, normally if the C Drive dies you lose all your data, if you can save it this way then you were lucky!

2. No activity when turning the computer on

You hear nothing, no lights start frantically flashing at you, nothing appears on the screen? First things first, check that it is plugged in!!!

Okay enough of the sillyness, the thing is plugged in, it now seems like the PSU (Power Supply Unit) has died a horrible death! The PSU is a box normally at the back of your computer held into the case by 4 screws and has a fan blowing bad air out of the back! There is also a wiring loom that comes from this dreaded box into the main board of the pc. It is this wire that feeds electricity to all of the components inside your PC! Unplug all these power wires and unscrew the PSU, you can now take it to the PC Store and show the guys there, they will then get you a new one!

3. Regular Blue Screen Errors, sounds like a memory problem to me!

You are using your PC, happily writing documents or surfing the Internet, when BAM, Blue Screen of Death is telling you there was a fatal error and your computer needs to be put into the retirement home. Fear not, 9 out of 10 times this is just unfortunate and unavoidable, but a restart will cure it. However, if you keep getting this regularly then you may have a RAM (Random Access Memory) problem. This is again easily fixable using other memory sticks. If you have a PC that works fine, try swapping the memory sticks to see if this remedies your problem. You can get memory testers that can tell you if your RAM is bad, try running one of these. If you do end up with a bad RAM stick, then nip down to the store and buy a new one!

RAM sticks fit into the main board normally not far from the processor. Just flip the little switches at either and and pull the old one out, line up the new one with the slots and push down. Once you hear a click at both …

Why is Learning to Write Important When Technology is Replacing the Pencil with a Keyboard?

Posted on Posted in computer, internet, technology

With modern technology invading the classroom it's a wonder kids still know what a pencil looks like, let alone how to use one. You may ask, "Why is learning to write important?" when all around you people are hitting keyboards and there is not a pencil in sight. The computer and the internet have changed nearly everything about life as we knew it. The generation gap just got wider.

Most schools introduce students to the keyboard in the early grades and they soon give up on cursive writing. But researches say students who write in cursive write faster and express their thoughts more openly. Whereas students using block letters seemed to have limited imagination and their writing speed is definitely slower. But if everyone in the class used printing then speed is not an issue. Another point about writing versa printing is students who write have easier to read assignments than students who print.

Now is there enough evidence here to justify learning longhand writing. But only about 15% of students who sit the SAT exams used cursive writing, the rest just printed. I think learning to write longhand is important because sometimes we just have to write. And in poor countries where some people can not afford computers they still write.

We can not rely too much on technology because when the electricity goes off so does technology. Sometimes the old ways are better. Whenever when teaching longhand writing I like to use the Montessori approach. This method uses sandpaper letters and the child can feel the shape of the letter as she tracks the letter on the sandpaper.

The action of writing and feeling the texture of the wallpaper help to implant the letter in the child's brain. This system has been teaching children for near a 100 years, but with the advent of the computer it will still be around in another 100 years. I think so because we will run out of electricity long before then. …

Website Content For Busy Webmasters

Posted on Posted in internet, website

The easiest way to make money online by working for only a few hours per week is to build a big website full of informative, interesting and original website content. A good plan is to have so much website content that any visitor interested in your websites theme has to come back over and over to check it all out! On the Internet, content is king!

So where can you get lots of quality website content without paying a lot of money? Well there are many options to choose from. Many article submission directories have tons of quality original articles written by other webmasters which you can use on your website or newsletter as long as you keep the authors resource box intact. It's new to affiliate marketing this may be a great way to save time and effort in building your business.

Free resources like these free articles are easy to find content for a website and will help you make money much more quickly than if you were having to write everything on your own. Coming up with original website content every once a week or so is a good idea though, and this will boost your website rankings and word of mouth ratings.

Another way you can have unique content for your website is by buying Private Label Content also known as PLC. PLC content means any articles, ebooks or manuals that are allowed for free use by subscribers to use however they want. However, there are some things you can not do with PLC content.

You can not claim the PLC content as your own or use it for article submissions unless you rewrite the content so its a brand new article. Also, unlike free website content directories, you will have to pay a subscription fee.

Using PLC articles also have a very strong advantage of not having to add an author bio box, which always links to some other webmasters website and can steal your website traffic and customers.

With a PLC subscription, you will have around 10 to 40 new articles per month, depending a lot on the niche market you are promoting. These articles can really help you get off to a good start and earn serious cash with the affiliate program you choose to promote.

How can you get more out of PLC content you pay for? One way is to use the articles in a 6 month weekly email course where you fill it with only PLC content. Then just place ads for your products and services and let the thing run on autopilot.

One more way to make pure profit in the Internet marketing world is to use free website templates! Use these website templates to get the design out of the way and focus on your search engine optimization and adding quality website content every week. This will help you build your website traffic fast from search engines and other websites and gain you more sales and commissions.

Free …

Computer Forensics Jobs

Posted on Posted in computer, internet

Computer forensics is a fast-growing career field, offering immense potential for jobs in law enforcement, military, intelligence agencies, corporations, and businesses. The job opportunities are skyrocketing, commensurate with the rapid spurt in computer crimes.

Computer crimes, in the beginning, had only a sporadic occurrence. Now, it has become a fact of life that has to be dealt with by law enforcement agencies. As computer applications and the Internet have become inseparable parts of life, the instances of wrong-doing with the help of computers are the order of the day.

For tackling crimes, the computers themselves have to be screened despite to determine whether they have been used for illegal or unauthorized activities or frauds.

This can be done only by computer forensic experts who gain the tools through on-the-job experience, certification programs, and other qualifications.

Computer forensic professionals are known by many titles, such as computer forensic investigators, digital media analysts, and digital forensics detectives. Each one describes the same career as it is concerned with the investigation of digital media.

A computer forensic specialist salaries salaries ranging from $ 85,000 to $ 120,000 per year, depending upon one of skills and experience and the company and organizations he works for. Private companies offer more lucrative salies than law enforcement agencies.

A graduate degree in computer forensics can help advance the career, making one eligible for positions as forensic team leaders or bureau supervisors. Fifty percent of FBI jobs require computer forensic applications.

Consulting is an attractive field for computer forensic professionals, as they are independent and free agents. They take up assignments at will and charge hefty sums for their time spent on the job. They bill the client per hour. The hourly remissions ranges from $ 375 to $ 600, depending upon the kind of job they complete.

There will be an ever-increasing demand for qualified security and computer forensic professionals. Computer and networking skills no longer suffice as security is of prime importance for the server, work station, or router. …

The Business Case for Search Engine Optimization

Posted on Posted in computer, internet, seo, website

The web is still growing at a phenomenal rate. The Computer Industry Almanac projects that the Worldwide Internet Population will grow from 1.08 billion in 2005 to 1.8 billion in 2010.

According to the Central Intelligence Agency's World Factbook 2007, over half (37.8 million) of the UK population are already Internet users.

Thus, businesses who have chosen to build an on-line presence can take advantage of reaching new customers through the web. However, the web is getting more and more crowded.

Netcraft.com reported in their October 2007 Web Server Survey that they had counted 142,805,398 sites; an increase of 7.6 million sites in 30 days.

The bad news is that this growth creates a new problem of increased on-line competition for many businesses.

To remain competitive and retain and grow market share, businesses are becoming more aggressive in their web marketing strategies. They understand that it is no longer sufficient to own a website and hope it visits visitors with little to no promotion of it. They are ensuring their site retains a high position and prominence in search engine rankings by employing a range of promotional tools, such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), to attract visitors.

Businesses who fail to keep up will lose valuable custom to their competitors. Early signs of this include:

o A drastic fall in web visitor numbers

o A decrease in sales generated on-line

o A fall in search engine rankings

For businesses to maintain a competitive advantage on-line, it is essential that they invest in on-line promotional activity. The aims of online activity should mirror traditional offline marketing aims. IE

o Remain competitive and retain market share

o Increase targeted prospect numbers

o Attract new customers

o Deliver return on investment

This can be done in-house. There are no special tools required to promote a website, but it does take time and effort. In addition there is so much nonsense spoken about SEO that it is hard to avoid wasting time on optimization and promotion campaigns that achieve no worthwhile result. This is why, unless you have someone who really enjoys web marketing, it is best to outsource this work to professional optimization companies who know from experience what works and what does not. …

Website Building Tutorials That Do not Hold Up

Posted on Posted in internet, website

Not so long ago, building a website was a real chore. You either needed to invest in clunky yet expensive software or you were required to learn the ins and outs of "from scratch" site building. Fortunately, things have changed a great deal. Today, it's easy for just about anyone to use some readily available and inexpensive (even free) tools to design a site. Unfortunately, many of those old website building tutorials are still in circulation, providing questionable and outdated information to readers.

If you're looking for guidance on building your site, check the website building tutorials you have under consideration for their date of publication. If they're more than a few years old, you probably do not want to bother with them.

The Internet changes quickly. The techniques that were en vogue a few years ago are now ancient history. The old school methods that many guides outline are no longer necessary or relevant. Few things become more dated quickly than guides and tutorials about building a great site.

After you've ascended adequate recency, become an active reader. That means not taking the contents of the guide at face value. Again, things may have changed. There's also that ever-present risk of getting bad information from a lower quality guide. You want to do your homework before adopting any strategy that might be stated in the tutorials. Make sure the recommendations still hold water by doing online research.

The best website building tutorials will provide you with all the information you need to know, from A to Z, to get the ball rolling with your own site. Check the tutorials you're considering to see if they live up to that standard. Many are laser-focused on certain aspects of design and fail to provide the big picture information you'll want as you take your first website construction program.

It would be nice if every site building tutorial contained solid, timely information. That's simply not the case, however. If you want to learn from a tutorial, you need to be able to discern the guides that have not held up to the ravages of time from those that will provide you with timely, pertinent and actionable information. …

Computer Repair Tips – Windows 7 Service Pack 1

Posted on Posted in computer, internet

A search for 'Win 7 SP1' on Google News will turn up articles saying that Windows 7 Service Pack 1 just got released to computer manufacturers. It's not surprising that there should be some hype surrounding the release, which is not yet available to current users of the OS. Some are even taking big risks to install the update and be on the 'cutting edge'.

Why all the hype? Most enthusiasts and power users probably remember when Windows XP Service Pack 2 came out, loaded with new features. While service packs sometimes do come with new features, the vast majority of them do not. Microsoft releases service packs to manufacturers so that new computers do not have to sit there and download updates for hours on end after you plug them in, and that's their primary purpose. A service pack is almost always just a roll-up of updates previously released to current users through Windows Update.

But do not try to tell the boring truth to the users who are taking big risks to obtain SP1. Downloads are cropping up all over illegitimate sites, peer-to-peer networks and BitTorrent. While many enthusiasts will spend loads of time and money to be on the 'cutting edge', downloading SP1 from an illegitimate source will probably only leave your computer hurt and bleeding. While most of the bootleg copies of SP1 that are floating around the internet are the real thing, some of them have been compromised by hackers and spammers looking to gain access to your computer. Downloading SP1 from an unofficial source simply is not worth the risk.

So if you're using Windows 7, it's nothing to worry about. You already have 95% of SP1 installed on your computer, courtesy of Windows Update. The other 5% will more than likely make no visible or detectable difference to your computer. …