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Science

Fossil of Ant-Eating Dinosaur Discovered In China 64

Posted by samzenpus
from the ancient-picnic-defender dept.
thomst writes "Charles Q. Choi of LiveScience reports that a farmer in southern Henan Province in China has dug up the first known ant-eating dinosaur, a half-meter-long theropod (the dinosaur family to which T. Rex belongs), whose fossilized remains were described as 'fairly intact'. The 83- to 89-million-year-old pygmy dinosaur has been named named Xixianykus zhangi by Xig Xu, De-you Wang, Corwin Sullivan, David Hone, Feng-lu Han, Rong-hao Yan, and Fu-ming Du, whose paper on the critter, A basal parvicursorine (Theropoda: Alvarezsauridae) from the Upper Cretaceous of China, was published in the March 29 issue of Zootaxa (the abstract is available in PDF format for free, the full article is paywall-protected.)"
Science

World's Smallest Superconductor Discovered 72

Posted by samzenpus
from the none-more-small dept.
arcticstoat writes "One of the barriers to the development of nanoscale electronics has potentially been eliminated, as scientists have discovered the world's smallest superconductor. Made up of four pairs of molecules, and measuring just 0.87nm, the superconductor could potentially be used as a nanoscale interconnect in electronic devices, but without the heat and power dissipation problems associated with standard metal conductors."
Bug

Passage of Time Solves PS3 Glitch 147

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-only-they-were-all-so-easy dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A quick update on the widespread PlayStation 3 glitch we discussed recently: as of last night (Monday, March 1st) the problem has resolved itself. I powered up my PS3 to find the clock was set to April 29th, 2020, but once I went into the system menu and set the date and time via the internet I got an accurate date. That seems to be the test of whether your PS3 is 'fixed' or not; Sony says you should be all set."

Comment: Madworlds popularity (Score 0, Redundant) 92

by ActionJesus (#28541547) Attached to: Sega Not Giving Up On Mature Wii Games

Could the reason that madworld wasnt popular just be that it was a crap game? Its nothing to do with key demos or the expected market share of the wii. Honestly, I played madworld for about 5 minutes and got bored out my mind.

Ive said before, the best game Ive played on the wii to date has been super mario galaxy, for the sole reason that its a freaking awesome game. Nothing else should really matter, but it seems people get focused on other things. How about instead of a "mature-themed game", you just make a GOOD game, and worry about its theme after?

I know plenty hardcore gamers that have a wii (often as well as other consoles), so its not like a good "mature" game wouldnt sell.

Comment: This is an awesome game (Score 1) 43

by ActionJesus (#28482143) Attached to: <em>Battlefield Heroes</em> Goes Into Open Beta

Its so easy to get into. Download, install, then create a character. Once all thats done, hit the play game button and get "could not find a suitable server". So you try again, and the same happens. And again. So you create a different character, but that doesnt help either.

Ive been playing for about an hour, and ive not had a bad moment - no dying to crits, no random grenade killing me, no teammates being assholes, nothing! All games should just replace the actual game with "could not connect you", then theyre would be no whining about class imbalance, or anyhting like that.

Real Time Strategy (Games)

Emergent AI In an Indie RTS Game 146

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-path-found dept.
x4000 writes "My recent RTS game uses a new style of AI that hybridizes rules-based AI with emergent AI logic. As a disclaimer, I'm really not an AI programmer at all — my background is in databases, financial modeling, etc. But it just so happens that database experience, which often involved distilling data points from multiple sources and then combining them into suggested decisions for executives, also makes a great foundation for certain styles of AI. The approach I came up with leans heavily on my database background, and what concepts I am familiar with from reading a bit about AI theory (emergent behavior, fuzzy logic, etc). The results are startlingly good. Total development time on the AI was less than 3 months, and its use of tactics is some of the best in the RTS genre. I'm very open to talking about anything and everything to do with the design I used, as I think it's a viable new approach to AI to explore in games, and I'd like to see other developers potentially carry it even further."

Comment: Re:Garbage collector? (Score 1) 587

by ActionJesus (#28145325) Attached to: Java Gets New Garbage Collector, But Only If You Buy Support

Right, lets say your playing space invaders. (Programmers may take issue with this, but its as simple an explanation I can muster offhand.)

You start the game, and you create a "player" and 40 "invaders", each takes 10kb of memory, so you are using 410kb.

The player shoots 5 invaders. The invaders are removed from the games.

Garbage collection happens, and the memory allocated to those invaders is freed up. You are now using 360kb of memory.

Continue until all invaders are dead, and then respawn a new wave of invaders (putting you back at 410kb).

In the real world it'd probably be more efficient to simply toggle "on" and "off" switches rather than creating and destroying invaders every round, but you (hopefully) get the general idea.

Comment: Obvious solution? (Score 1) 150

Just remove all rewards gained from the user created content (XP, Gold, whatever). Perhaps the reason to play the modules should be fun? I realise the concept of "fun" in an MMO might conflict with the work ethic most players seem to have, but it seems obvious that allowing players to set rewards is going to end up abused. Itd be like allowing employees to set their own pay.

Perhaps once the "best" content comes through, the dev team could check it themselves and award XP and loot.

"Though a program be but three lines long, someday it will have to be maintained." -- The Tao of Programming

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