October 21 to 27, 2013 is Open Access Week, an international campaign now entering its sixth year. OAW promotes free, immediate, online access to research results, and the rights to reuse that information. The modern Web has brought about an unprecedented access to information, but along with it come the technicalities of whether a reader has the rights to apply that information in their own work and research. The open access movement strives to rectify that. As much data as possible should be available to everyone, and useable by all. However, we are a long way from that ideal, and there are still many obstacles to overcome. Continue reading
Few people perhaps realize that Nintendo® have been around for a very long time. The company was originally founded back in 1889 in Kyoto, Japan and manufactured playing cards for decades before trying more diverse business ventures in the 1960’s. Nintendo experimented with taxi services, a chain of “love hotels”, instant rice and a TV network; all failed. They were more successful with moves into the toy industry in 1966, including some early electronic games – but Game and Watch in 1980, and Donkey Kong in 1981, saw the company become the video game giant it is known as today. Long-time Nintendo employee Gunpei Yokoi was the creator of Game and Watch, and the highly successful Game Boy, and invented the ubiquitous “D-pad” direction controller. In his spare time, Yokoi also invented the Ten Billion Barrel puzzle. It is one of the most difficult puzzles of its kind. With the aid of a computer algebra system, can an efficient solution be found? Continue reading
Somewhere in the widget area of this site, you should now see a Creative Commons license. This touches on a subject I feel very strongly about; the idea of attribution, of giving credit where it is due. This affects not just the writing on this blog, but equally to the code I produce as a software developer, whether it be as part of a company or even tools I develop for myself.