Valve's now former Lead Engineer on its VR project has left the company, for the bright lights of Oculus VR. Atman Binstock will now serve as Oculus VR's new Chief Architect.
Binstock helped the Half-Life developer on its VR Room demo, which was shown at the company's Steam Dev Days. Binstock also has a history with other industry heavyweights in Intel and DICE. Oculus VR posted on its website that Binstock had helped Valve overcome simulator sickness and push through for a true sense of "presence" in a virtual reality setting.
Considering the two companies have been working together on VR, Oculus VR's Rift technology and the future of the company must have been more enticing for Binstock. Oculus VR has been grabbing some of the biggest names in the industry of late, with its latest big name in the industry joining last year, John Carmack of Doom and Quake fame.
Gaming-focused YouTube network, Machinima, just received an injection of $18 million from Warner Bros. Entertainment in another round of funding. Warner Bros. wasn't alone in funding, with participation from Machinima's existing investors jumping in, too.
These companies include MK Capital, Redpoint Ventures and Google Capital. Chairman and CEO of Machinima, Allen DeBevoise said: "We are thrilled to be partnering with Warner Bros., the leading producer of exactly the type of content that resonates with our global audience of video gamers and millennial males. There are myriad opportunities to connect Warner Bros.' content to our audience across YouTube and our highly successful apps, and similarly to maximize the value of our content by utilizing Warner Bros.' expertise in global distribution beyond YouTube."
The new funding from Warner Bros. extends its relationship with Machinima, with the two companies working on the live-action web series Mortal Kombat: Legacy together.
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden addressed the SXSW audience from a web broadcast, where he gave some policy suggestions on how the government can better protect US citizens' 4th Amendment rights.
Snowden started by saying that intelligence agencies need to bring in a "law enforcement" model of defense, which means we could see a stop of the bulk collection of Internet and phone data, exchanging this capture-all-data method to only capturing data from suspects with a warrant. Thing is, Congress is already talking about this, with US Senators Rand Paul and Ron Wyden proposing these changes.
But, Snowden saw an overall bigger issue with Congress, who he accused of "cheerleading for the NSA instead of holding them accountable." He used the example of when the Director of the NSA, James Clapper, admittedly gave false answers to Congress about the massive data collection the NSA carries out, some members of the Intelligence Committee jumped to his defense. Snowden said: "We need a watchdog that watches Congress."
Two days ago, Malaysian Airlines lost a flight that left Kuala Lumpur on its way to Beijing, with 239 people on-board. Freescale Semiconductor, an Austin, Texas-based company has come out and said that 20 "very important" people were lost on the still missing flight.
Mitch Haws, Vice President of Global Communications and Investor Relations said in a statement: "These were people with a lot of experience and technical background and they were very important people. It's definitely a loss for the company." The 20 Freescale employees were mostly engineers and other experts who were working on Freescale Semiconductor's chip facilities based in Tianjin, China and Kuala Lumpur more efficient.
Freescale hires over 16,800 people, with the missing employees on Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 representing 1% of its global workforce, but the loss is being felt through Freescale nonetheless. The company has been organizing transportation and accommodation for the 20 staff members' families, as well as providing grief counselling. One of Freescale's competitors, Texas Instrucments, tweeted on Saturday: "We extend our condolences to the families and coworkers of the @Freescale employees aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370."
WikiLeaks' founder, Julian Assange, gave a talk at SXSW Interactive, where he said that President Obama isn't serious about NSA reform. Assange said he is siding with the NSA, and not with the American people.
Assange said that we can see that Obama isn't serious about the NSA scandals, as he has failed to fire or prosecute anyone at the NSA. The WikiLeaks founder also said that Obama couldn't enable any change, even if he actually wanted to. Assange said that if President Obama tried to dismantle the NSA or CIA, that he would be impeached, and that the agencies would destroy him as they "have dirt on him".
Assange had some dark words about the NSA, adding that the NSA "has dirt on all of us", suggesting that the American government has been collecting information on US citizens to black mail them when the time is right.
The situation between Russia and the Ukraine is heating up, but could the US government know what Vladimir Putin's next move is, all by studying his body language over the years?
The Pentagon has spent considerable sums of money studying the body language of foreign leaders, to hopefully predict future behavior. An article was recently published by USA Today reporter Ray Locker, who worked with documents uncovered by RT that provided a look into a subject that isn't talked about often. The military has been using the expertise of body movement analysts to interpret the nonverbal projections of important heads of state, including one in the spotlight right now, Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Locker reported: "US policymakers are seeking any advantage they can find". He added that the United States Office of Net Assessment, which is a division of the Department of Defense, has employed Naval War College research fellow Brenda Connors. Connors has been involved since 1996, and is one of just a few movement pattern analyst practitioners in the world to be sanctioned by the Motus Humanus organization.