CliffyB's Games

The game industry's go-to geek.

1 min read

The game indsutry always needs some rock star geeks.   And the current one is Cliff "CliffyB" Bleszinski.  The lead designer of Epic Games is behind the brawny sci-fi shooter Gears of War, one of the fastest sellers ever for the Xbox 360 and a coming film from New Line.  The game, for all its flash, are suitably geek-friendly -  complete with a DIY editing program to create your own levels.  It’s all part of Bleszinski's grand design to put the power back in the machine. “There are a lot of designers who want to quit the blockbuster game thing,” he once told me, “but I’m a go-big-or-go-home big action blood on the screen all hell breaking loose kind of guy.”   And the fanboys who churn out CliffyB YouTube devotionals and t-shirts love him for it.   After all, he’s one of their own:  a bratty kid from the suburbs who grew up dressing like a ninja and coding his own games.  While most game designers are anonymous cogs, CliffyB’s pyrotechnics have made him the most iconic people in the industry - whether including a pulpy chainsaw gun in Gears or paling around with pornstars in a giant white bunny suit. “I want to show the world how rad it is to be a game designer,” he says.

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Deep Learning Could Bring the Concert Experience Home

The century-old quest for truly realistic sound production is finally paying off

12 min read
Image containing multiple aspects such as instruments and left and right open hands.
Stuart Bradford

Now that recorded sound has become ubiquitous, we hardly think about it. From our smartphones, smart speakers, TVs, radios, disc players, and car sound systems, it’s an enduring and enjoyable presence in our lives. In 2017, a survey by the polling firm Nielsen suggested that some 90 percent of the U.S. population listens to music regularly and that, on average, they do so 32 hours per week.

Behind this free-flowing pleasure are enormous industries applying technology to the long-standing goal of reproducing sound with the greatest possible realism. From Edison’s phonograph and the horn speakers of the 1880s, successive generations of engineers in pursuit of this ideal invented and exploited countless technologies: triode vacuum tubes, dynamic loudspeakers, magnetic phonograph cartridges, solid-state amplifier circuits in scores of different topologies, electrostatic speakers, optical discs, stereo, and surround sound. And over the past five decades, digital technologies, like audio compression and streaming, have transformed the music industry.

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