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Games

+ - 163 Gameplay: the Missing Ingredient In Games->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Game designer Tadhg Kelly has an article discussing where the games industry has gone over the past several years. Gaming has become more of a business, and in doing so, become more of a science as well. When maximizing revenue is a primary concern, development studios try to reduce successful game designs to individual elements, then simply seek to add those elements to whatever game they're working on, like throwing spices into a stew. Kelly points out that indie developers who are willing to experiment often succeed because they understand something more fundamental about games: fun. Quoting: 'The guy who invented Minecraft (Markus “Notch” Persson) didn’t just create a giant virtual world in which you could make stuff, he made it challenging. When Will Wright created the Sims, he didn’t just make a game about living in a virtual house. He made it difficult to live successfully. That’s why both of those franchises have sold millions of copies. The fun factor is about more than making a game is amusing or full of pretty rewards. If your game is a dynamic system to be mastered and won, then you can go nuts. If you can give the player real fun then you can afford to break some of those format rules, and that’s how you get to lead rather than follow the market. If not then be prepared to pay through the nose to acquire and retain players.'"
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Medicine

+ - 291 Researchers Investigating Self-Boosting Vaccine->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Vaccines, contrary to opinions from the anti-science crowd, are some of the most effective tools in modern medicine. For some diseases, a single shot is all it takes for lifetime immunity. Others, though, require booster shots, to remind your immune system exactly what it should prepare to fight. Failure to get these shots threatens an individual's health, and the herd immunity concept as well. Scientists are now looking into 'self-boosting' vaccines in order to fix that problem. Some viruses are capable of remaining in the human body for a person's entire lifetime. If researchers can figure out a way to safely harness these, it may be possible to add genes that would create proteins to train the immune system against not just one, but multiple other viruses (abstract). This is a difficult problem to solve; changing the way we do vaccinations will itself have consequences for herd immunity. It also hinges on finding a virus that can survive the immune system without have uncomfortable flare-ups from time to time."
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Games

+ - 175 Minecraft Ported To The Raspberry Pi 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The amusing “but does it run Crysis?” question has a cousin: “but does it run Minecraft?” The makers of Raspberry Pi can now officially say that yes, yes it does. Called Minecraft: Pi Edition, the latest flavor of the popular game carries “a revised feature set” and “support for several programming languages,” so you can code directly into Minecraft before or after you start playing. That means you can build structures in the traditional Minecraft way, but you can also break open the code and use a programming language to manipulate things in the game world."

+ - 144 The Internet has transformed modern divorce->

Submitted by stern
stern (37545) writes "The internet may be contributing to divorces (thanks, Facebook!) but it's also reducing the pain, especially the bitter fighting associated with joint custody. Calendars are now much easier to coordinate, and if one parent denies a court-ordered phone call to another, there's no way to hide the fact that the call didn't happen. Because of these and other technologies, divorce has changed radically in the last ten years."
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+ - 225 The White Noise of Smell->

Submitted by Frosty Piss
Frosty Piss (770223) writes "Scientists have discovered a new smell, but you may have to go to a laboratory to experience it yourself. The smell is dubbed "olfactory white," because it is the nasal equivalent of white noise, researchers report in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Just as white noise is a mixture of many different sound frequencies and white light is a mixture of many different wavelengths, olfactory white is a mixture of many different smells. In a series of experiments, they exposed participants to hundreds of equally mixed smells, and what they discovered is that our brains treat smells as a single unit, not as a mixture of compounds to break down, analyze and put back together again.. The web site LiveScience talks about it here."
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+ - 246 Nexus 4 includes support for LTE->

Submitted by slashchuck
slashchuck (617840) writes "One of the drawbacks of Google's Nexus $ was its lack of support for 4G LTE. Now comes a report from Anand Tech that is supported on on the Nexus 4.

It seems that a simple software update can allow the Nexus 4 smartphone to run on LTE Band 4. All users have to do is dial *#*#4636#*#* (INFO) or launch the Phone Info app. After that, choosing to connect to AWS networks should allow the Nexus 4 to run on LTE networks on Band 4.

The AnandTech report states explicitly that the LG Nexus 4 only works on LTE Band 4, on 1700/2100MHz frequencies, and supports bandwidths of 5,10, and 20MHz."

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Blackberry

+ - 225 BlackBerry 10: AWESOME. If the hardware matches it, RIM jobs are safe->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Register has a BlackBerry 10 preview up. "BlackBerry users have a love-hate relationship with their phones. The devices were often forced upon users rather than chosen. At the same time, the handhelds were the most usable and useful communications gadgets you could put in your pocket.", however for a publication with an open pro-Microsoft bias, the review is surprisingly positive and it goes on to look at BB10's hub feature, "utilitarian" and efficient compared to Windows Phones which shows "style and novelty" whilst being "a bit limiting", BlackBerry's feature may actually improve the system rather than detracting. With BlackBerry providing a QT environment (compatible with Sailfish we discussed earlier) and having managed to maintain BB's 3rd place in the Mobile OS market, it looks like there may be a chance of a real three way competition between QT, Android and iOS in the mobile market."
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AI

+ - 150 Scientists See Advances in Deep Learning, a Part of Artificial Intelligence - NY->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Advances in an artificial intelligence technology that can recognize patterns offer the possibility of machines that perform human activities like seeing, listening and thinking. ... But what is new in recent months is the growing speed and accuracy of deep-learning programs, often called artificial neural networks or just 'neural nets' for their resemblance to the neural connections in the brain. 'There has been a number of stunning new results with deep-learning methods,' said Yann LeCun, a computer scientist at New York University who did pioneering research in handwriting recognition at Bell Laboratories. 'The kind of jump we are seeing in the accuracy of these systems is very rare indeed.' Artificial intelligence researchers are acutely aware of the dangers of being overly optimistic. ... But recent achievements have impressed a wide spectrum of computer experts. In October, for example, a team of graduate students studying with the University of Toronto computer scientist Geoffrey E. Hinton won the top prize in a contest sponsored by Merck to design software to help find molecules that might lead to new drugs. From a data set describing the chemical structure of 15 different molecules, they used deep-learning software to determine which molecule was most likely to be an effective drug agent."
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Games

+ - 233 What Nobody Tells You About Being a Game Dev->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Alex Norton is the man behind Malevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox, an upcoming indie action-RPG. What makes Malevolence interesting is that it's infinite. It uses procedural generation to create a world that's actually endless. Norton jumped into this project without having worked any big gaming studios, and in this article he shares what he's learned as an independent game developer. Quoting: "A large, loud portion of the public will openly hate you regardless of what you do. Learn to live with it. No-one will ever take your project as seriously as you, or fully realise what you’re going through. ... The odds of you making money out of it are slim. If you want to succeed, you’ll likely have to sell out. Just how MUCH you sell out is up to you.' He also suggests new game devs avoid RPGs for their first titles, having a thorough plan before you begin (i.e. game concepts explained well enough that a non-gamer could understand), and to consider carefully whether the game will benefit from a public development process."
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Businesses

+ - 137 Companies Getting Rid of Reply-all->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "An article at BusinessWeek highlights an issue most corporate workers are familiar with: the flood of useless reply-all emails endemic to any big organization. Companies are beginning to realize how much time these emails can waste in aggregate across an entire company, and some are looking for ways to outright block reply-all. "A company that’s come close to abolishing Reply All is the global information and measurement firm Nielsen. On its screens, the button is visible but inactive, covered with a fuzzy gray. It can be reactivated with an override function on the keyboard. Chief Information Officer Andrew Cawood explained in a memo to 35,000 employees the reason behind Nielsen’s decision: eliminating 'bureaucracy and inefficiency.'" Software developers are starting to react to this need as well, creating plugins or monitors that restrict the reply-all button or at least alert the user, so they can take a moment to consider their action more carefully. In addition to getting rid of the annoying "Thanks!" and "Welcome!" emails, this has implications for law firms and military organizations, where an errant reply-all could have serious repercussions."
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Google

+ - 266 Google.com.pk and 284 Other .PK Domains Hacked-> 1

Submitted by ryzvonusef
ryzvonusef (1151717) writes "Start page for majority of Pakistanis – when they first visited it this morning – was found hacked and defaced. Yes, Google.Com.PK along with 284 other .PK domains were hacked today (and are still defaced).

According to Irfan Ahmed, an expert on Pakistani websites and web-servers, this defacement is due to change in DNS entries for 284 .PK domains that are managed by MarkMoniter.

Defaced domains include Microsoft.PK, apple.PK, paypal.PK, ebay.PK, blogspot.PK, chrome.PK, Cisco.PK and others.

Apparently no one has claimed the responsibility for the incident, but a message appearing on defaced pages, including on Google.com.pk is displaying a message in Turkish language, hinting that the hacker could be Turkish in origin.

Hacker hasn’t left any message for anyone, unlike the norm that hackers follow to convey their message through such defacements.

However, there is a phrase saying “Downed Pakistan”, a sign of victory for hackers when the deface a website."

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Education

+ - 215 Programming, puzzles and problem solving - free open online course 1

Submitted by dncsky1530
dncsky1530 (711564) writes "UNSW professor Richard Buckland, lecturer of the famous Computing 1 course on YouTube, is now running a large scale open online Computer Science course for the world. UNSW Computing 1 — PuzzleQuest and the Art of Programming starts off with microprocessors and works it way through C with interactive activities while taking students on an adventure of hacking, cracking and problem solving. It's based around a three month long PuzzleQuest with grand and suspiciously unspecified prizes as well as fame and glory for the intrepid. The next class starts December 3rd 2012."
The Internet

+ - 141 Ask Slashdot : Management software for small independant ISP?

Submitted by Vorknkx
Vorknkx (929512) writes "I work in a small ISP. Most of our customers have cable modems but some of them are using Canopy or Ubiquity products. To manage all that, we're using a number of programs and solutions not necessarily made for such a task that are kept up to date simply using copy and paste. We have an Access database for all our internet customers, an Excel document for our wireless users, The Dude to monitor every user and a custom-made web application to monitor traffic. Needless to say, we're starting to hit the limit and juggling between all these programs is a complete pain. Is there some kind of all-in-one solution that would allow us to eliminate all the copy and paste while keeping the same functionality?"
Medicine

+ - 123 Hi-Tech 'Sunglasses' Could Eliminate Jet-Lag

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "It is estimated that up to 94 per cent of long-haul travelers suffer from jet lag because the body becomes confused to traveling through different time zones. Now Andrew Hough writes that jet lag could soon become a distant memory for weary travelers with the development of a set of hi-tech “sunglasses”, described as the world’s first “time control” spectacles, which can imitate sunlight patterns helping world travelers adapt to changing sleep patterns and time zones in “small steps”. Dubbed the “Re-Timer,” the device targets a part of the brain that regulates the human body-clock, by sending signals to the rest of the body that help it slowly realize it is in a different area of the world. "The light from Re-Timer stimulates the part of the brain responsible for regulating the 24-hour body clock,” says Professor Leon Lack, a researcher on sleep, circadian rhythms, bright light therapy, and treatments for insomnia and the device's chief inventor. “Using a light device allows you to transition your body clock to a new time zone in small steps. This eliminates the sudden change people experience after flying and reduces the symptoms of jet lag.”"
Security

+ - 179 After Weeks Of Trying, UK Cryptographers Fail To Crack World War II Code

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A dead pigeon discovered a few weeks ago in a UK chimney may be able to provide new answers to the secrets of World War II. Unfortunately, British cryptographers at the country’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) have been unable to crack the code encrypting a message the bird was tasked with sending and say they are confident it cannot be decoded “without access to the original cryptographic material.”"

+ - 200 Life for Stratfor hacker ..->

Submitted by dgharmon
dgharmon (2564621) writes "A pretrial hearing in the case against accused LulzSec hacker Jeremy Hammond this week ended with the 27-year-old Chicago man being told he could be sentenced to life in prison for compromising the computers of Stratfor.

Judge Loretta Preska told Hammond in a Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday that he could be sentenced to serve anywhere from 360 months-to-life if convicted on all charges relating to last year’s hack of Strategic Forecasting, or Stratfor, a global intelligence company whose servers were infiltrated by an offshoot of the hacktivist collective Anonymous.

Hammond is not likely to take the stand until next year, but so far has been imprisoned for eight months without trial. Legal proceedings in the case might soon be called into question, however, after it’s been revealed that Judge Preska’s husband was a victim of the Stratfor hack."

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Privacy

+ - 257 "Anonymous" File-Sharing Darknet Ruled Illegal by German Court->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A court in Hamburg, Germany, has granted an injunction against a user of the anonymous and encrypted file-sharing network RetroShare . RetroShare users exchange data through encrypted transfers and the network setup ensures that the true sender of the file is always obfuscated. The court, however, has now ruled that RetroShare users who act as an exit node are liable for the encrypted traffic that’s sent by others."
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Advertising

+ - 202 Ad blocking – a coming legal battleground?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Computerworld asks: What will happen if big advertisers declare AdBlock Plus a clear and present danger to online business models? Hint: it will probably involve lawyers.

From the article:
Could browser ad blocking one day become so prevalent that it jeopardises potentially billions of dollars of online ad revenue, and the primary business models of many online and new media businesses? If so, it will inevitably face legal attack."

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Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.

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