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Open Source

Aquaria Goes Open Source 58

Posted by Soulskill
from the come-on-in-the-water's-fine dept.
A post on the Wolfire blog yesterday announced that the source code for Aquaria has now been released. Aquaria, an action-adventure, underwater sidescroller from Bit Blot, was part of the Humble Indie Bundle, which was so successful that the developers of four games pledged to release them as open source. This marks the final release, following Lugaru, Gish, and Penumbra: Overture. The source code is available from a Mercurial repository.
Games

Revisiting the "Holy Trinity" of MMORPG Classes 362

Posted by Soulskill
from the or-druid-as-the-case-may-be dept.
A feature at Gamasutra examines one of the foundations of many MMORPGs — the idea that class roles within such a game fall into three basic categories: tank, healer, and damage dealer. The article evaluates the pros and cons of such an arrangement and takes a look at some alternatives. "Eliminating specialized roles means that we do away with boxing a class into a single role. Without Tanks, each class would have features that would help them participate in and survive many different encounters like heavy armor, strong avoidance, or some class or magical abilities that allow them to disengage from direct combat. Without specialized DPS, all classes should be able to do damage in order to defeat enemies. Some classes might specialize in damage type, like area of effect (AoE) damage; others might be able to exploit enemy weaknesses, and some might just be good at swinging a sharpened bit of metal in the right direction at a rapid rate. This design isn't just about having each class able to fill any trinity role. MMO combat would feel more dynamic in this system. Every player would have to react to combat events and defend against attacks."
Censorship

Modern Warfare 2 Not Recalled In Russia After All 94

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-the-thought-that-counts dept.
thief21 writes "After claims that console versions Modern Warfare 2 had been recalled in Russia due to complaints from politicians and the gaming public over the infamous airport slaughter scene, it turns out the stories were completely untrue. Activision never released a console version of the game in Russia." Instead, they simply edited the notorious scene out of the PC version. They did this of their own volition, since Russia doesn't have a formal ratings committee.
Medicine

Staying In Shape vs. a Busy IT Job Schedule? 865

Posted by timothy
from the no-not-the-regular-hacker's-diet dept.
tnok85 writes "I started a new job ~7 months ago at a very large company working a 12-hour night shift (7PM-7AM) in a fairly high volume NOC. Our responsibilities extend during the night to basically cover everything but the most complex situations regarding UNIX/Windows/Linux/App administration, at which point we'll reach out to the on-calls. I live 1.5 hours away as well, so it turns into 4-5 15 hour days a week of sitting still — throw in almost an hour to get ready to leave, and a bit of time after I get home to unwind and I'm out of time to work out. Unfortunately I'm pretty sure I have a very slow metabolism, ever since I was a pre-teen I would gain weight fairly quickly if I didn't actively work out, regardless of how much or what I eat. (Barring starving myself, I suppose...) So, how does somebody who works a minimum of 60 hours over 4 days, often adding another 12 another day, and sometimes working 7-10 days straight like this, stay in shape? I can't hold a workout schedule, (which every person I've talked to in my history says is necessary to stay in shape) and I can't 'wake up early' or 'work out before bed' because I need sleep. Any thoughts/opinions/suggestions?"
Transportation

Study Confirms That Cars Have Personalities 213

Posted by kdawson
from the disney-is-unsurprised dept.
Ponca City, We love you writes "A study has confirmed that many people see human facial features in the front ends of automobiles and ascribe various personality traits to cars. Forty study participants assessed cars based on a system known as geometric morphometrics by viewing high-resolution, 3D computer reconstructions and printed images of 38 actual 2004-06 car models and rating each model on 19 traits such as dominance, maturity, gender, and friendliness, and if they liked the car. Study participants liked best the cars scoring high in the so-called power traits — the most mature, masculine, arrogant, and angry-looking ones. Researchers theorized that over evolutionary time, humans have developed a selective sensitivity to features in the human face that convey information on sex, age, emotions, and intentions. The lead researcher explained, 'Seeing too many faces, even in mountains or toast, has little or no penalty, but missing or misinterpreting the face of a predator or attacker could be fatal.'"

Comment: Re:Well, obvious stuff: (Score 3, Interesting) 392

by Fantome (#23435454) Attached to: Fermilab Calls For Code Crackers
My transcription of the first block:
32323333 1112132
33323132 212331
21113311 32312233
33321212 3213113
31133331 3331111
21133332 3232211
23231333 1121231
33231312

My transcription of the second block:
11121211 21212121 21121212 12111212 1121
11211211 21211121 21121112 12112111 21111
11112121 21121121 21112121 21211121 11211
21112121 12112111 21112111 21112111 21112
11121121 11211121 21121112 12221112 1211
12121121 11211121 11211211 12121211 12111
21121121 11211211 12112111 21211211 1212
11212121 1

Any see errors in this (parts were hard to read).
Java

Sun to Fully Open Source Java 374

Posted by Soulskill
from the free-refills dept.
Dionysius, God of Wine and Leaf brings news that Sun Microsystems will be removing the last restrictions on Java to make it completely open source. Sun wants Java to be easily available for use in Linux distributions. We've discussed the steps Sun has taken to open-source Java over the past couple years. From Yahoo! News: "'We've been engaging with the open-source community for Java to finish off the OpenJDK project, and the specific thing that we've been working on with them is clearing the last bits that we didn't have the rights,' to distribute, Sands said. 'Over the past year, we have pretty much removed most of those encumbrances.' Work still needs to be done to offer the Java sound engine and SNMP code via open source; that effort is expected to be completed this year. Developers, though, may be able to proceed without a component like the sound engine, Sands said.

Advanced Rails 170

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
yukster writes "As Ruby on Rails rocketed into the development community's hearts and minds a few years ago, the number of books on the subject climbed with it. However, a lot of these books were introductory in nature (Agile Web Development with Rails, Beginning Rails, Build Your Own Rails Applications, etc.). What's a budding Rails-head to do once they've gotten the basics down? Books like Advanced Rails, which was released late last year by O'Reilly, aim to fill this void." Keep reading below for the rest of Ben's review.
Space

Rings Discovered Around a Moon for the First Time 144

Posted by Soulskill
from the chip-off-the-old-block dept.
Riding with Robots writes "It turns out that one of the Ringed Planet's moons has rings of its own. The robotic spacecraft Cassini at Saturn has discovered that the icy moon Rhea is orbited by an extensive debris field and at least one ring, the first such system found. 'Many years ago we thought Saturn was the only planet with rings,' said one mission scientist. 'Now we may have a moon of Saturn that is a miniature version of its even more elaborately decorated parent.'"
Space

Japan Launches "Super-Speed" Internet Satellite 159

Posted by kdawson
from the fiber-in-the-sky dept.
A number of readers wrote in about the launch this morning of a Japanese H-2A rocket carrying a Kizuna ("Winds") satellite into orbit. Kizuna is intended to provide "super high-speed data transmission" for Japan and Southeast Asia. The news stories on the launch, such as the AP's linked here, are short on technical detail. For example they say the satellite successfully achieved orbit 175 miles above the earth — hardly suitable for Internet communications to a specific area on the surface (remember Teledesic?). Reader nebulus4 provided a link to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency site with an illustration and a little more detail. Such as the fact that Kizuna is destined for geosync orbit, and that a 45-cm antenna will equip eventual users for 155 Mbps down / 6 Mbps up, whereas a 5-m antenna will allow enterprises and ISPs to tap into 1.2 Gbps down. Given the latency to geosync orbit, you probably wouldn't want to use Kizuna to play an online shooter.
Privacy

WordPress 2.3 Does Not Spy On Users [UPDATED] 229

Posted by kdawson
from the if-you-don't-like-it-fork-it dept.
Marilyn Miller writes "Popular open-source blogging engine WordPress has been upgraded to 2.3 — with some unexpected nasties in the mix. As of version 2.3, WordPress now periodically (every 12 hours) sends personally identifying information (blog name & URI) to the mothership, along with an alarming amount of information including $_SERVER dumps, a list of installed plugins, and your current PHP/MySQL settings. Most unfortunately, it does not provide any way of disabling this functionality, and WordPress does not have any privacy policy protecting this information. In a thread about the issue, lead developer Matt Mullenweg defends his actions and staunchly refuses to add an opt-in interface, telling users to 'fork WordPress' if they aren't willing to put up with this behavior." Update: 09/25 17:52 GMT by KD : This article is misleading enough to be called "just wrong." Matt Mullenweg writes: "As mentioned in our release announcement, the update notification sends your blog URL, plugins, and version info when it checks api.wordpress.org for new and compatible updates. It does not include $_SERVER dumps, or any settings beyond version numbers (for checking compatibility), or your blog name, or your credit card number. We do provide a way of disabling this feature; in fact I link to one of the plugins in the release announcement and in my original response to Morty's thread."
Google

Outcry Over Google's Purchase of Doubleclick 242

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the fear-of-change dept.
TheCybernator writes to mention that several activist groups have cried out in protest of the Google buyout of Doubleclick reported in recent news. "'Google's proposed acquisition of DoubleClick will give one company access to more information about the Internet activities of consumers than any other company in the world,' said the complaint lodged with the Federal Trade Commission. 'Moreover, Google will operate with virtually no legal obligation to ensure the privacy, security, and accuracy of the personal data that it collects.' The complaint was filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center along with the Center for Digital Democracy and the US Public Interest Research Group, all of which are involved in online privacy issues."
The Internet

iPhone, Apple TV Headline MacWorld Keynote 1619

Posted by Zonk
from the iphone-looks-pretty-good-eh dept.
Steve Jobs kept his audience rapt at the MacWorld keynote today. He rehashed the announcement of the iTV, now called Apple TV, and announced the iPhone, a revolutionary phone/ipod/wrist-computer that had MacWorld attendees sitting on the edge of their seats. Retailing for $499 (4 gig)/$599 (8 gig), it has to be seen to be believed. It uses a touch screen with a new form of input control, runs OSX and many standard applications, and connects to the internet via WiFi. It has a camera, functions as a movie player, a music player, and can send emails and photos in the middle of a phone call. From the Engadget coverage: "'[OSX] let us create desktop class applications and networking, not the crippled stuff you find on most phones, these are real desktop applications.' He's quoting Alan Kay - 'People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.' 'So we're bringing breakthrough software to a mobile device for the first time.'" Seriously, go check this out. They're going to print money with this thing.

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