A Free Digital Society – Richard Stallman – 29th November

The School of Computer Science will be hosting Richard Stallman at the University of Lincoln on the 29th November, where he will be giving an evening colloqium titled “A Free Digital Society”

There are many threats to freedom in the digital society. They include massive surveillance, censorship, digital handcuffs, nonfree software that controls users, and the War on Sharing. Other threats come from use of web services. Finally, we have no positive right to do anything in the Internet; every activity is precarious, and can continue only as long as companies are willing to cooperate with it.

Richard Stallman’s speech will be nontechnical, admission is free. The talk is open to all staff, students and members of the public, and we encourage everyone to attend. The lecture will take place at 6pm in Jackson Lecture Theatre, Main Administrative Building on 29/11/2013. There will also be a stall selling FSF and GNU related items.

Registration is optional, but highly encourage to allow us to accommodate everyone who wishes to attend.

https://crm.fsf.org/civicrm/profile/create?gid=240
Registration Link

Graduate research to feature at world-leading games computing conference

Research by two graduates from the University of Lincoln, UK, will be discussed at the world’s leading conference on entertainment computing.

Sean Oxspring and Nick Bull, who both graduated with a BSc in Games Computing in September 2013, have had academic papers accepted to ACE 2013 – the 10th international conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology.

Sean, who runs his own games studio, Top Notch Studios Ltd, looked at improving realism and believability of characters in large game crowds, such as hordes of zombies.

He said: “When simulating realistic crowds in virtual environments it is often hard to make characters look and behave completely differently to each other. My project aimed to increase visual diversity by exploring techniques in which crowd generation algorithms can be adjusted to better support greater variety and create a more believable and engaging play environment. This involved creating a ‘clone spotting’ activity and producing an adjustable solution, such as altering the character’s height or movement. It’s about making the game more enjoyable.”

Nick’s research focussed on developing smartphone games that hinge on our interactions in the real world.

Nick, who works as an assistant web developer at Blue Box Software, said: “I concentrated on mixed-reality games, which means the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments where physical and digital objects interact in real time. The idea is that actions carried out in reality will have an impact on the game. I looked at whether I could create a game in which the rules are not compatible with the rules of the real environment.”

His game Shhh! was developed for Android phones, and challenged players to see how much noise they could make in libraries without being reprimanded. Results suggested that the game provoked a heightened awareness of social rules.

Conor Linehan, lecturer in the School of Computer Science and member of the Lincoln Games Research Group, said: “We are seeing more and more of a trend in these kinds of mixed-reality games, so one of our areas of research is to explore the possibility of being able to actually interact with the real environment instead of simply staring at a screen. It’s a very different type of game playing.”

The University of Lincoln has a strong background of games-related research and teaching across a range of academic schools and research centres. The Games Research Group brings together various strands such as Artificial Intelligence, social aspects of game playing and player data analysis in order to provide a support network, and to help share the knowledge and experience of staff and students.

Google Talk!

google

On Friday 8th November we have Ed from Google coming in to talk to current students about his role at Google and how he got there. He works within the technical side of Google Maps but will also tell you more about working for Google and the areas within it such as Google Maps and Earth as well as Search/GMail/YouTube/Docs, Google Glass, self driving cars and internet balloons.

Ed will talk about his time at Google for about 1 hour and will be available for up to another hour to answer questions.

The talk will be in the Enterprise building on the 8th November 3pm in meeting room 1. Please go to reception and they will point you in the right direction.

This will be a great insight into the inner workings of Google! And will count to one of your Lincoln Award Subject Activities should you be on the Lincoln Award.

Guest Lecture: Richard Stallman

File:Richard Stallman at Pittsburgh University.jpgRichard Stallman will be visiting the University of Lincoln on the 29th November 2013 to give an evening colloquium about the free software movement and the GNU Project.

Richard Stallman is best known for launching the GNU Project in 1983, to create a “Unix-like computer operating system composed entirely of free software”. This is the foundation of Linux as we know it (or more correctly, GNU/Linux). Today, he continues his work with the GNU Project and the Free Software Foundation. Feel free to read more about him at :

http://stallman.org/  and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_stallman

The School of Computer Science will be hosting Richard on the 28th and 29th November, culminating in a 2 ½ hour colloquium on the evening of the 29th. The talk will require registration, and will be open to the public.

University of Lincoln, UK