St. Louis Developer Creates Video Game You Draw and Play

Categories: Nerdgasm, Tech

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Is the ability to create your own video game worth $100,000? Robin Rath is betting that you'll think so.

Rath, a St. Louis web designer and serial entrepreneur, is the mad scientist behind Pixel Press, a mobile app that lets you draw, play and share your own video game. Through his software company Roundthird, Rath launched the Pixel Press idea on Kickstarter May 7, and the project has already nabbed more than $15,000 of the $100,000 goal with a little over a month to go.

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Jenna Fischer, Murphy Lee, Joe Buck and More Lend Their Voices to Citygarden

Categories: News, Tech

Let them tell you about Citygarden.
Since its opening four years ago, Citygarden has become a must-see St. Louis destination. Now the downtown sculpture park is worth a listen, too.

See also:
- Jenna Fischer Defends Imo's Pizza
- Jon Hamm Brags About St. Louis Cardinals

Today Citygarden unveiled an iPhone app that offers -- among other things -- an audio tour featuring the voices of more than two dozen St. Louis celebrities. Those who want to tell you about Citygarden include former Cardinals shortstop Ozzie Smith, comedians Randy and Jason Sklar, artist Mary Sprague, and former Missouri governor and U.S. senator John Ashcroft to name just a few. (View full list below.)

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Student Startup Madness: Local Collegians Compete to Be Next Mark Zuckerberg

Categories: Bidness, Tech

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Many people come up with the dumbest ideas of their lives during college. But, as Sean Branagan, director of the Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Syracuse University, observes, some pretty good ideas have come from college students, too: Facebook, FedEx, Dell computers, Google, Reddit, to name a few.

What other great ideas are lurking on America's college campuses, Branagan wondered, unrecognized because college students traditionally lack the sort of financial backing to turn a class project into a full-fledged corporation?

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Queens of the Drone Age: Mizzou Journalism Program Will Soon Have Its Own Drone

Categories: Tech

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One example of a drone being marketed toward journalists.
A team of tech wizards and journalists at the University of Missouri-Columbia are about to begin work on cutting-edge technology that's rapidly advancing into the world of journalism: Drones.

Not the kind that drop bombs -- that kind that can be flown to areas where news is breaking and can be filmed from the air, no pilot or camera crew required.

Scott Pham, the content director for KBIA and one of the heads of the project, secured the money through a technology grant and will get the know-how from a Mizzou IT guy who just so happens to also be a drone hobbyist.

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The Delmar Loop Security System Is Fully Operational

Categories: Tech
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The long-awaited security cameras are finally installed and fully operational in the Delmar Loop. University City Police, who man the cameras in real time, can now "zoom in and read a license plate," Joe Edwards told members of the Loop Special District at a Tuesday meeting.

The $160,000 system was provisionally scheduled to be operational this past June, but that was just an estimate. They're now here, stationed on neighborhood buildings with views of parking lots and streets. The system is expandable, if such an expansion is deemed necessary by the powers that be.

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Alt-Porn Queen Joanna Angel Sues 525 Missourians for BitTorrent Video Theft

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Joanna Angel thinks hundreds of Missourians are screwing her
Joanna Angel is a pioneer of "alt-porn," which is like regular porn but features punks, piercings and music that's rad enough to maybe be on your iPod. She and her website Burning Angel have won some AVN awards (the Oscars of the skin industry) and have been written up in The New York Times. She's no slouch in the adult world.

But while Angel does get screwed for a living, she does not appreciate getting screwed by people who pass around her videos illegally online via BitTorrent -- a peer-to-peer file sharing protocol that allows you to download large files more quickly by drawing from various sources.

So on Tuesday, Angel's New York-based company, Boy Racer Inc., filed a lawsuit in Missouri's Eastern District alleging copyright infringement and civil conspiracy against 525 Missourians who she says shared her video, "Burning Angel - Festival."

She doesn't know their names; all she has is their IP addresses.  It's unclear how far that will get her in our district.

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Kansas City Gets High-Tech Gunshot Detector -- Where's Ours?

Categories: Crime, Tech
A shot in the dark could become a beacon for police.
Kansas City's Police Chief Darryl Forte plans to use some leftover federal grant money to install SpotShotter, a sophisticated rig of audio sensors placed strategically throughout the city that can detect a gunshot and then notify police -- within 25 seconds -- where the shot was fired. The system can determine how many shots were fired, if more than one gun is being fired, if the shots were fired from a moving vehicle and even the direction and traveling speed of the shooter. 

This 21st century is full of surprises, isn't it?

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Ameren Partners with Westinghouse to Build Innovative Small Nuclear Reactors

Categories: News, Tech
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Courtesy Ameren Missouri
Callaway Nuclear Power Plant
Ameren Missouri and Westinghouse Electric Company today announced a partnership in order to pursue Department of Energy funds for the development and construction of new types of small nuclear reactors. If Westinghouse wins the DOE investment funds, Missouri will seek from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) a Combined Construction and Operation license (COL) for a Westinghouse Small Modular Reactor (SMR).

Nuclear operations require a lot of acronyms, don't they?

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For Being Baseball's Best Fans, We Sure Are Hateful

Categories: Cardinals, Tech
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La Russa's gone, but there's still ugliness out there in #CardinalNation.
Cardinals' fans are a proud lot, especially when it comes to the oft-repeated claim that they're "the best fans in baseball." Apparently that sort of self esteem rubs some people the wrong way.

The Twitter feed Baseball's Best Fans is a storehouse of ugliness, name calling and schadenfreude, all delivered by fans of the St. Louis Cardinals. It's an eye-opener, to say the least (sorry, Tony).

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Twitter Gets Help from SLU Prof on How to Deal With Indigenous Tweeters

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If you're one of the five remaining speakers of "Yuchi" -- a near-extinct Native American language in Oklahoma -- your tweets will look insane, even to those within your linguistic group.

That's because the "@" character is part of your alphabet, so whenever you type it in, Twitter will wrongly think you're using Twitterese to refer to a different user, such as @Joe_Smith. 

This is the kind of programming problem that Twitter is coming across more and more as it tries to make inroads where minority languages hold sway. And it's exactly the kind of problem that a computational linguist such as Professor Kevin Scannell of St. Louis University is equipped to solve.

Since October, Scannell -- on sabbatical from SLU's Department of Math and Computer Science -- has been flying out to Twitter's headquarters in San Francisco one week per month to consult with their international team on stuff like this. Or how about this one:

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