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Comment: Re:Older computers get emulated now (Score 1) 543

by AlmondMan (#32078938) Attached to: How Old Is the Oldest Computer You Regularly Use?
Just my friendly point being that if you only do lo-fi workloads on it, a cheapo newer system could do it better and put less strain on your powerbill while doing it ;) course, the problem with this stuff is always that when you get rid of it you put strain on something somewhere... I dunno, maybe I'm turning into a treehugger on my old days :|
NASA

Shuttle Reentry Over the Continental US 139

Posted by kdawson
from the boom-boom dept.
TheOtherChimeraTwin notes that the shuttle Discovery will land at Kennedy Space Center on Monday morning at 8:48 EDT. The craft will make a rare "descending node" overflight of the continental US en route to landing in Florida. Here are maps of the shuttle's path if is lands on orbit 222 as planned, or on the next orbit. Spaceweather.com says: "...it takes the shuttle about 35 minutes to traverse the path shown... Observers in the northwestern USA will see the shuttle shortly after 5 am PDT blazing like a meteoric fireball through the dawn sky. As Discovery makes its way east, it will enter daylight and fade into the bright blue background. If you can't see the shuttle, however, you might be able to hear it. The shuttle produces a sonic double-boom that reaches the ground about a minute and a half after passing overhead."
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.)"
Earth

Piezo Crystals Harness Sound To Generate Hydrogen 187

Posted by timothy
from the what's-shakin'? dept.
MikeChino writes "Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have discovered that a mix of zinc oxide crystals, water, and noise pollution can efficiently produce hydrogen without the need for a dirty catalyst like oil. To generate the clean hydrogen, researchers produced a new type of zinc oxide crystals that absorb vibrations when placed in water. The vibrations cause the crystals to develop areas with strong positive and negative charges — a reaction that rips the surrounding water molecules and releases hydrogen and oxygen. The mechanism, dubbed the piezoelectrochemical effect, converts 18% of energy from vibrations into hydrogen gas (compared to 10% from conventional piezoelectric materials), and since any vibration can produce the effect, the system could one day be used to generate power from anything that produces noise — cars whizzing by on the highway, crashing waves in the ocean, or planes landing at an airport."
PC Games (Games)

Bethesda Unveils New Co-op Dungeon Crawler 218

Posted by Soulskill
from the new-and-shiny dept.
Bethesda Softworks took advantage of the recent Game Developers Conference to take the wraps off a new game called Hunted: The Demon's Forge that they're partnering with development studio inXile to create. It's planned for the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3, though no release window has been set. It's a third-person action game with a swords & sorcery setting, and it features two heroes as they fight their way through monster-filled dungeons. The game is designed such that two users can play together online (no split-screen), each controlling one of the heroes. ShackNews summed it up thus: "From what I saw, Hunted rolled up ideas from a number of different games to create its modern reinterpretation of the dungeon crawl. There was the raw action appeal of wading through waves of goblins, spiders, and related denizens. The skill system and weapon upgrades bring in the character development side from a role playing game. And the co-op design with its warrior and archer dynamic introduces the reward of playing together like an MMO."
First Person Shooters (Games)

Quake 3 For Android 137

Posted by Soulskill
from the can-i-get-a-hell-yeah dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Over the last two months I ported Quake 3 to Android as a hobby project. It only took a few days to get the game working. More time was spent on tweaking the game experience. Right now the game runs at 25fps on a Motorola Milestone/Droid. 'Normally when you compile C/C++ code using the Android NDK, the compiler targets a generic ARMv5 CPU which uses software floating-point. Without any optimizations and audio Quake 3 runs at 22fps. Since Quake 3 uses a lot of floating-point calculations, I tried a better C-compiler (GCC 4.4.0 from Android GIT) which supports modern CPUs and Neon SIMD instructions. Quake 3 optimized for Cortex-A8 with Neon is about 15% faster without audio and 35% with audio compared to the generic ARMv5 build. Most likely the performance improvement compared to the ARMv5 build is not that big because the system libraries of the Milestone have been compiled with FPU support, so sin/cos/log/.. take advantage of the FPU.''

Comment: Re:Not because of RPG elements (Score 1) 248

by AlmondMan (#30830672) Attached to: Genre Wars — the Downside of the RPG Takeover
I personally enjoy the creeping in of RPG elements in games that traditionally don't make use of them. What I however do not understand is how that has anything to do with the lack of modtools or whatever.
Recently I've been playing a bit of an indie game called Killing Floor, which apparently started out as a mod for UT2k4. This is quite an enjoyable cheap little game with a handful of different classes and a handful of levels for each. Make headshots, and become better with precision weapons, that sort of thing. It gives a nice sense of perpetuity and progress to playing the game. Not sure how much I'll enjoy it once I hit max level. Chances are I'll shelve it, but hey, I enjoyed it while it lasted and it cost 1/4th what a AAA game that would've not last me 8 hours would have.
Role Playing (Games)

Looking Back At Dungeons & Dragons 189

Posted by Soulskill
from the lightning-bolt dept.
An anonymous reader sends in a nostalgic piece about Dungeons & Dragons and the influence it's had on games and gamers for the past 36 years. Quoting: "Maybe there was something in the air during the early '70s. Maybe it was historically inevitable. But it seems way more than convenient coincidence that Gygax and Arneson got their first packet of rules for D&D out the door in 1974, the same year Nolan Bushnell managed to cobble together a little arcade machine called Pong. We've never had fun quite the same way since. Looking back, these two events set today's world of gaming into motion — the Romulus and Remus of modern game civilization. For the rest of forever, we would sit around and argue whether games should let us do more or tell us better stories."
Space

Spectrum of Light Captured From Distant World 32

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-are-you-made-of dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Cosmos: "Astronomers have made the first direct capture of a spectrum of light from a planet outside the Solar System and are deciphering its composition. The light was snared from a giant planet that orbits a bright young star called HR 8799 about 130 light-years from Earth, said the European Southern Observatory (ESO). ... The find is important, because hidden within a light spectrum are clues about the relative amounts of different elements in the planet's atmosphere. 'The features observed in the spectrum are not compatible with current theoretical models,' said co-author Wolfgang Brandner. 'We need to take into account a more detailed description of the atmospheric dust clouds, or accept that the atmosphere has a different chemical composition from that previously assumed.' The result represents a milestone in the search for life elsewhere in the universe, said the ESO. Until now, astronomers have been able to get only an indirect light sample from an exoplanet, as worlds beyond our Solar System are called. They do this by measuring the spectrum of a star twice — while an orbiting exoplanet passes near to the front of it, and again while the planet is directly behind it. The planet's spectrum is thus calculated by subtracting one light sample from another."
Internet Explorer

Why Microsoft's EU Ballot Screen Doesn't Measure Up 283

Posted by Soulskill
from the clever-lawyers-clueless-regulators dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A lengthy interview on Groklaw discusses the EU's case against Microsoft. The case is supported by Opera, Google, Mozilla, ECIS, and the Free Software Foundation Europe. The EU has demanded that users be offered a 'ballot screen' to make it easier for users to select other browsers. Microsoft has responded by implementing the ballot screen as a web page inside IE. While this may nominally satisfy EU's demand, it is unlikely to satisfy users who prefer other browsers. In order to select another browser, users must be running IE. Also, users will be shown security warnings when choosing from the ballot. Microsoft's ability to charge patent fees in Europe is also discussed: why are they allowed to charge patent fees where software patents are not recognized?"

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