Welcome to PAX East: 'This is like a nerd vacation.'
The huge PAX East gaming convention was held at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Gamers wait in line at a Greybox exhibit. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
It’s PAX East weekend again, and so the corridors of the Boston Convention and Exposition Center are thronged with men and women dressed up like cartoon characters and videogame heroes. Never mind the face paint and papier-mache body armor. Over the course of the weekend, thousands of ordinary folk will reveling in the shared delight of a once-eccentric hobby that’s gone decisively mainstream. Read More
Snowstorm, traffic, Waze partnership dominate Mayor Walsh's data-themed meeting
Mayor Walsh has one Cabinet meeting a month focus on the city'd data projects. (Photo: Wendy Maeda/Boston Globe file)
Friday morning on City Hall Plaza, a team from the navigation and traffic avoidance app Waze, which recently announced partnership with the City of Boston, is handing out free Dunkin' Donuts coffee and hot cocoa in an effort to recruit more users. Consider it an even exchange: Dunks for data. Data was also a theme inside City Hall this morning, as Mayor Martin J. Walsh opened up his monthly data-focused Cabinet meeting to reporters, and shared the latest info on traffic patterns, snow removal services, and other metrics that they city has been tracking — and promoting — since the Mayor first took office. Read More
Drone mail > Snail mail
MIT acceptance letters by drone? Admissions office asks applicants to look 'to the skies'
As owls are to Hogwarts, so are drones to MIT. The university recognizes that drone-delivered acceptance letters may be the perfect way of welcoming the Class of 2019. And even if the admissions office can't pull off that feat this year, they've released a video Friday to tell the world: Yes, they've thought about it. Read More
BCEC's Vision Realized
A few bad actors shouldn't put a damper on PAX East, one of Boston's best conferences
The Expo Hall at PAX East in Boston last year.
When the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center was dreamed up, the hope was that one day the facility would serve as a way to attract signature events of the held national importance — like the once Boston-based Macworld. Now more than 10 years old, the BCEC does have a singular signature tech conference (it might have another in the ever growing HubSpot INBOUND event as well). That event is the PAX East video game convention. Read More
A Keurig for rink rats?
Sparx Hockey debuting $599 home skate sharpening device
The Sparx Skate Sharpener. (Company-supplied photo.)
If you’re a hockey player, or you have one in your family, Russell Layton thinks he knows the errand you hate the most: taking in skates to get sharpened. It’s even a chore for professional teams, whose players like to give their skates a glistening fresh edge every game — “and sometimes, in between periods,” said Layton. He played club hockey at Northeastern in the 1990s, and worked as an engineer in the healthcare and telecom industries. But Layton said he became a bit obsessed with the dull blade dilemma. Read More
What's hot in gaming? Notes from the Game Developers Conference
Elliott Mitchell, Walter Somol, and Henrik Strandberg at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week.
For all intents and purposes, video games as we know them today were born in Cambridge at MIT over 50 years ago with Spacewar! In keeping with that tradition, the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI, which I oversee) throws an annual Made in MA Party at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, which brings together people with ties to Boston, the Bay State or New England. This year BetaBoston asked the guests what they thought was hot at GDC this year. And, here's what we heard. Read More
Trading triumph
Quantopian hands $100,000 account to winning algorithm writer
Whose automatic stock-trading algorithm has the hottest hand? Quantopian, a Boston startup, ran a contest in February to find out. The winner? A trading program created by Grant Kiehne, an optics engineer who works for Northrup Grumman in Connecticut. Kiehne will get a $100,000 account to manage — and he'll get to pocket any profits. Read More
Kids these days
Anything is possible: A look inside Kendall Square's newest makerspace
The Possible Project, an entrepreneurship program for students, opened a brand new workshop in Cambridge Thursday, just across the road from Technology Square. It’s the latest in a clutch of so-called “makerspaces” that are training middle school and high school students (not to mention adults) in design, building, and business skills. Read More
Lighter launches a better, more affordable way to eat healthy
The Lighter team. Sitting:  Christine Angela Dolendo. Back row (L to R) Kristie King, Lara Goodrich Ezor, Alexis Fox, Natalie Obermeyer Hunter, and Micah Risk.
When Micah Risk walked into a coffee shop to meet with Alexis Fox for the first time in 2013, she knew she was encountering a kindred spirit: The two women had already established themselves as up-and-comers in the worlds of both fitness and nutrition. Risk is an endurance athlete, Runner's World cover girl, and a nutritionist who graduated from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts. Fox has fought for animal protection as an advocate and lawyer and recently served as the Massachusetts state director for the Humane Society of the United States. When they left the meeting, they had decided to be business partners, and had planted the seeds for a new kind of nutrition startup. And together they've launched Lighter, which delivers healthy, plant-based food along with a very organized, personalized weekly menu and recipes for each meal. Read More
From Westeros to the Alpha Quadrant: Disruptor Beam conquers new realms
Disruptor Beam demoed its new Star Trek Timelines game at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week. Image via Disruptor Beam.
Both "Game of Thrones" and "Star Trek" have millions of fans around the world, but there are perhaps none more ardent than the team at Framingham-based game studio Disruptor Beam. Led by founder and chief executive Jon Radoff, the company works with two of entertainment’s most valuable properties on a daily basis, having created the "Game of Thrones Ascent" game and the upcoming "Star Trek Timelines."  Read More
At MakeMIT, undergrads hack high-tech tools
MIT undergraduates at the 2nd annual MakeMIT hackathon. (Photos: Matthew J. Lee/Boston Globe)
The student center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology tolerates a buzz of activity pretty much at any hour. But Saturday afternoon, the spacious two-level center was pulsing with life. More than 200 of the keenest engineering students from around Boston jostled for space, balancing laptops decorated with loud stickers on tables littered with cutting tools, circuit boards, and half-empty candy boxes in a race against the clock to build their vision of a smart future. Read More