From Gears of War to Unreal Tournament, Epic Games is known for great games and bleeding-edge technology.   And now you can add another bonus to the list - free software. 

The company just released the Unreal Development Kit for free online.  Download the software, and you can use the acclaimed engine to make your own titles.   Yes, there's a caveat - only for educational and non-commercial use.  But Epic - along with Valve Software in Bellevue, WA and id Software in Mesquite, TX - remains committed to nurturing the homebrew gaming scene.  It's worth noting that all three of these companies rose from the PC gaming underground, and have never forgotten their roots. 

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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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