This video shows an interesting demo of someone teaching the computer how to recognize toys with Kinect as one of the sensors. The demo used all open sourced technologies that combines computer vision, speech recognition, and speech synthesis.
An anonymous reader writes "Square-Enix has announced Final Fantasy XIII-2 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. According to Gamespot, 'The newly christened Final Fantasy XIII-2 continues the adventures of Lightning and her team of RPG vagabonds in a brand new adventure, utilizing the long-in-development engine (and, probably, some of the art assets) that powered the original game. And because Square doesn't have to spend all of that extra time developing the engine, players won’t have to wait nearly as long to get their hands on this newest iteration of the game. According to Square Enix, Final Fantasy XIII-2 (which, in case you haven't guessed, is a game title that is just as terrible to type out as it is to say with your mouth) is on track for release in Japan this year. [The game] should be available in English-speaking territories by "next winter."'"
After Final Fantasy XIV's troubled launch and subsequent attempt to placate angry fans, Square Enix has decided that the game's leadership needs to be replaced. They've asked players to patiently stick around until they're ready to unveil their new plans for the game, extending the free trial period to compensate. Square also announced bad news for PS3 owners who were still somehow interested in the game: "Regarding the PlayStation 3, it is not our wish to release a simple conversion of the Windows version in its current state, but rather an update that includes all the improvements we have planned. For that reason, we have made the difficult decision to delay the release of the PlayStation 3 version beyond the originally announced date of March 2011."
c0lo writes "Not only did China decline to attend the upcoming Nobel peace prize ceremony, but urged diplomats in Oslo to stay away from the event warning of 'consequences' if they go. Possibly as a result of this (or on their own decisions), 18 other countries turned down the invitation: Pakistan, Iran, Sudan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Colombia, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Iraq, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Venezuela, the Philippines, Egypt, Ukraine, Cuba and Morocco. Reuters seems to think the 'consequences' are of an economic nature, pointing out that half of the countries with economies that gained global influence during recent times are boycotting the ceremony (with Brazil and India still attending)."
An anonymous reader writes "Massively.com has reported that an EVE Online player recently lost over $1,200 worth of in-game items during a pirate attack. The player in question was carrying 74 PLEX in their ship's cargo hold — in-game 'Pilot's License Extensions' that award 30 days of EVE Online time when used on your account. When the ship was blown up by another player, all 74 PLEX were destroyed in the resulting blast, costing $1,200 worth of damage, or over 6 years of EVE subscription time, however you prefer to count it. Ow."
Nintendo has tried to block homebrew during firmware updates in the past, often unsuccessfully. Now, as it rolls out version 4.3 of the Wii System Menu, stopping homebrew modifications once again seems to be its primary goal. From Nintendo's support site: "Because unauthorized channels or firmware may impair game play or the Wii console, updating to Wii Menu version 4.3 will check for and automatically remove such unauthorized files." Since it's hard to bill that as an upgrade, they vaguely add, "In addition, there are some behind the scenes enhancements that do not affect any prominently-used features or menus but will improve system performance."
Administrators at England's Worthing Hospital are insisting that doctors say the magic word when writing orders for blood tests on weekends. If a doctor refuses to write "please" on the order, the test will be refused. From the article: "However, a doctor at the hospital said on condition of anonymity that he sees the policy as a money-saving measure that could prove dangerous for patients. 'I was shocked to come in on Sunday and find none of my bloods had been done from the night before because I'd not written "please,"' the doctor said. 'I had no results to guide treatment of patients. Myself and a senior nurse had to take the bloods ourselves, which added hours to our 12-hour shifts. This system puts patients' lives at risk. Doctors are wasting time doing the job of the technicians.'"
taoman1 writes "Today Google showed off a ad-supported cellphone that the company plans to offer for free to interested parties. The product could reach the marketplace within a year, and will offer Google search, email, and a web browser. 'The move would echo another recent product launched by a phone industry outsider, Apple Inc.'s iPhone. But Google's product would draw its revenue from a sharply different source, relying on commercial advertising dollars instead of the sticker price of at least US$499 for an iPhone and $60 per month for the AT&T Inc. service plan. Negotiating the fairest way to split those advertising revenues with service providers could be a big hurdle for Google, one analyst said. Another problem is the potential that consumers could be scared off by the prospect of listening to advertisements before being able to make phone calls, said Jeff Kagan, a wireless and telecommunications industry analyst in Atlanta.'"