An anonymous reader writes "A virus that may weaken the immune system of koalas, similar to HIV in humans, is a new 'wild card' among threats facing the species and nearly all koalas in the Australian state of Queensland could already be infected."
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.''
eldavojohn writes "Kotaku is running an investigative piece examining what internet censorship means for games in Australia. Australia has some of the most draconian video game attitudes in the world, and the phrase 'refused classification' should strike fear in game developers and publishers looking to market games there. Internet censorship may expand this phrase to mean that anybody hosting anything about the game may suffer censorship in AU. Kotaku notes, 'This means that if a game is refused classification (RC) in Australia — like, say, NFL Blitz, or Getting Up — content related to these games would be added to the ISP filter. [This would bring up] a range of questions, foremost of those being: what happens when an otherwise harmless website ... hosts material from those games (screenshots, trailers, etc) that is totally fine in the US or Japan or Europe, but that has been refused classification in Australia?' Kotaku received a comment from the Australian Department of Broadband Communication promising that the whole website won't be blocked, just the material related to the game (videos, images, etc). Imagine maintaining that blacklist!"
eldavojohn writes "If you pick up your copy of Guitar Hero and read the literature, you'll notice it says 'patent pending' and cites a number of patents. A group alleges no such patent pends nor are some of the patents applicable. If a judge finds Activision guilty of misleading the public in this manner, they could become liable for up to $500 per product sold under false patent marking. The patents in question seem to be legitimately Guitar Hero-oriented, and little is to be found about the mysterious group. The final piece of the puzzle puts the filing in Texas Northern District Court, which might be close enough to Texas Eastern District Court to write this off as a new kind of 'false patent marking troll' targeting big fish with deep coffers."
eldavojohn writes "I have a slightly older friend who played through the glory days of Ultima Online. Yes, their servers are still up and running, but he often waxes nostalgic about certain gameplay functions of UO that he misses. I must say that these aspects make me smile and wonder what it would be like to play in such a world — things like housing, thieving and looting that you don't see in the most popular massively multiplayer online games like World of Warcraft. So, I've followed him through a few games, including Darkfall and now Mortal Online. And these (seemingly European developed) games are constantly fading into obscurity and never catching hold. We constantly move from one to the next. Does anyone know of a popular three-dimensional game that has UO-like rules and gameplay? Perhaps one that UO players gravitated to after leaving UO? If you think that the very things that have been removed (housing and thieving would be two good topics) caused WoW to become the most popular MMO, why is that? Do UO rules not translate well to a true 3D environment? Are people incapable of planning for corpse looting? Are players really that inept that developers don't want to leave us in control of risk analysis? I'm familiar with the Bartle Test but if anyone could point me to more resources as to why Killer-oriented games have faded out of popularity, I'd be interested."
Sorry about the missing
I agree at your base argumentation. But the same problem is containing in any indirect democracy (there will be few guys, telling al other guys what they should do, not do). So regardles what you could argue, its at least not that big problem in a direct democracy because millions of peeps have to vote yes or no (not a small elite). Or do you think all poeple in america did like to bomb Iraq down, this was an idea of few's... I think the real problem you describe (which describes your fears) is facism. And this can be a true problem, this was discussed in our country since the minaret thing happend (should all the peeps in switzerland really have that power). A lot of propaganda in tv, "the evil terrorists" combined with Islam and so forth. Generally swiss guys can only vote for things that are not violating basic human rights defined in the geneva convention or provided by organizations like the UN. So the minaret thing is still in discussion, if it gets treaded as violating basic human rights, the vote gets discarded and will be removed. (We can not vote for eating babies, killing black peeps). This was the one reason they voted against the minarets (which is useless and stupid), because voting against islam in general would not be allowed or is illegal. For two reasons; - It violates basic human rights - It violats the freenes of religion in basic. (At this point there was a huge discussion if voting against minarett is vioalting) I'm swiss and in my personal opinion, even as swiss voter, you are not allowed to ban that, because it harms the freenes of religion and a minarett does not itself brake any laws. They also can not put speakers on it (because they are to loud, as the christ. churches bells). But if your religion forces you to do something considered as illegal in here, you are not allowed to do so. There is another discussion at the moment about the jews and kosher meat.
Additionaly, changes in our swiss law (if they apply it to the whole country) have to be approved by the whole population, because we are used to do direct democracy (sad to say we also vote for stupid things, you know).
I like this (replying on top); "by placing replies at the top of the message" But I think you moron know that I am a 'b00n'. And you are so super fantastic geeky because you already did mailing lists in the 90's. (Where the other way can make sense). If I call you a moron, I don't expect a reply like "you told me moron, I tell you childish". Its ok if you just tell me beeing childish.
A few weeks ago we discussed news of Ubisoft's DRM plans for future games, which reportedly went so far as to require a constant net connection, terminating your game if you get disconnected for any reason. Well, it's here; upon playing review copies of the PC version of Assassin's Creed 2 and Settlers VII, PCGamer found the DRM just as annoying as you might expect. Quoting: "If you get disconnected while playing, you're booted out of the game. All your progress since the last checkpoint or savegame is lost, and your only options are to quit to Windows or wait until you're reconnected. The game first starts the Ubisoft Game Launcher, which checks for updates. If you try to launch the game when you're not online, you hit an error message right away. So I tried a different test: start the game while online, play a little, then unplug my net cable. This is the same as what happens if your net connection drops momentarily, your router is rebooted, or the game loses its connection to Ubisoft's 'Master servers.' The game stopped, and I was dumped back to a menu screen — all my progress since it last autosaved was lost."
Julie188 writes with this snippet from Network World "Office 2010 is still in beta and a patch is already out. Microsoft is trying to fix a bug in the email program Outlook 2010 Beta that creates unusually large e-mail files that take up too much space. The Outlook product team has offered a bug fix for both 32-bit and 64-bit systems that fixes the problem going forward, although previous emails will remain super-sized. This could be a problem for email programs that limit message sizes, such as Gmail or BlackBerry."
California has once again been blessed with another steampunk convention, this time to be held in Emeryville, CA on March 12-14 as the "Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition." This year's event promises to mix in much more of the DIY/maker flavor for a greater hands-on feel. Steampunk has been gaining much broader appeal in recent months with the continued growth of maker communities, and the many delightful varieties of music and literature. The con will feature, among other things, a 2 day track of 2-hour how-to, hands-on, and interactive workshops gear towards makers, DIY-ers, mad scientists, and evil geniuses. Of course, if you are an evil genius you probably don't need a workshop except as a gathering for potential test subjects.
An anonymous reader writes "Dr. Steve O'Shea of Auckland, New Zealand is attempting to break the record for keeping deep sea squid alive in captivity, with the goal of being able to raise a giant squid one day. Right now, he's raising the broad squid, sepioteuthis australis, from egg masses found in seaweed. This is a lot harder than it sounds, because the squid he's studying grow rapidly and eat only live prey, making it hard for them to keep the squid from becoming prey themselves. If his research works out, you might one day be able to visit an aquarium and see giant squid."
the3stars writes "'Removing part of the brain can induce inner peace, according to researchers from Italy. Their study provides the strongest evidence to date that spiritual thinking arises in, or is limited by, specific brain areas. This raises a number of interesting issues about spirituality, among them whether or not people can be born with a strong propensity towards spirituality and also whether it can be acquired through head trauma." One critic's quoted response: "It's important to recognize that the whole study is based on changes in one self-report measure, which is a coarse measure that includes some strange items."
We here in switzerland are used to put people in Gas Chambers or on the electric chair (maybe a buzzer in native english?) if they do not register. After we drank them...