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Stefano Coniglio
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LOVE IT: Google has employed a camel to Street View the Liwa Desert in the United Arab Emirates. http://on.mash.to/1v1mW3k
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Environment-friendly Euro 2013: standard after lunch waste.
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Interesting work, mostly for the "engineering" aspects of deciding what's the input (and how to represent it) and what's a suitable objective function that drives Super Mario towards completing a level. "Unfortunately", it requires some "inelegant creativity" into parameter tweaking, but the results (take a look at the video in the article) are awesome. As a last note: the Tetris experiment is super philosophically deep: the learning system, once it realizes its going to be beaten, puts the game into an indefinite pause state to prevent the gameover screen from popping up. Wow.
As a last last note: do you really think the paper will be accepted, with all that, uh, slang-ish stuff thrown into it? Funny to read, though.

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I mean, seriously? 'To raise awareness of the scientific method?' Not to get a fast h-index boost due to the popularity of the Starcraft trademark in your abstract?

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At 10am CST Richard Garriott will live stream his news on http://www.lordbritishpresents.com/!

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WARNING: this is about combinatorial optimization, not only videogames. Allright, there's some nerdy roots here, but the nerdiness is at work to make things interesting here.
This is some video interview for an upcoming Action RPG, Path of the Exile, with its producer, Chris Wilson. Following the link, you'll jump directly to minute 14, where the producer is presenting the skill three (standard RPG/ARPG stuff: you kill monsters, gain skill points, invest them as you see fit for your playstyle).
Now, any ideas insta-jumping into your mind at first sight? Well, you have a huge graph, a budget of at most 120 hops and, possibly, a set of skills you decided to pick. Why, that's a Steiner Tree problem in recognition version!
I wonder (more nerdiness coming) if we will have any Path of the Exile version of WoWHead running Steiner Tree heuristics (I don't expect more, clearly and sadly at the same time) to help the user design his skill graph.

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Browsing through the 1995 Padberg's book (Linear Optimization and Extensions), I stumble upon those preface lines: "Purely theoretical complexity issues of linear programming play a definite minor role in our development of the subject, though. As for now, most of these results are truly of no consequence for numerical problem solving anyway. Their theoretical flavor just does not appeal to me and thus they are given the short shrift they deserve - my interest, besides theory, is in numerical problem solving and computations".
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