JoshuaInNippon writes "Japan has gone life-size anime model crazy. Last year there was the robotic 1:1 Gundam model that guarded Tokyo for a few months in the summer to mark the series' 30th anniversary, and then there was the giant Gigantor moment that opened in Kobe in the fall in honor of the city's rejuvenation from the devastating 1995 earthquake. Now, an amusement park near Mt. Fuji named Fuji-Q Highland is building an Eva Unit 01 from the popular Neon Genesis Evangelion series, or at least a bust of it, in conjunction with the series' recent movies. The bust will sit in a replica hanger, and reportedly stand around 9 meters tall. Visitors will have the chance, for a little extra money, to have their photo taken in the unit's cockpit, where the series' protagonist-of-sorts Shinji Ikari normally sits. The attraction is set to a cost of over US$1.6 million to build, and open on July 23 of this year. It will also undoubtedly be swamped by crazed fans looking the opportunity to bring their anime dreams to life."
An anonymous reader writes "Philippe Dauman, Viacom CEO and President, announced today that Harmonix is currently working on the next Rock Band game, Rock Band 3, due for release Holiday 2010. 'The company is pursuing the game in spite of an industry-weakening decline in the once-booming genre of peripheral-equipped music games. Although the franchise has generated over $1 billion to date, the category in general saw sales contract by as much as half throughout 2009. MTV Games parent Viacom also saw Rock Band declines drag on its balance sheet in its last fiscal quarter, and expressed a need to refocus away from pricey peripherals in favor of software. It also said that due to royalties it would need to be more "selective" about track listings, and that it needs more support from the music industry in that department.'"
Arvisp writes "According to a blog post by former Google China president Kai-Fu Lee, Apple plans to produce nearly 10 million tablets in the still-unannounced product's first year. If Lee's blog post is to be believed, Apple plans to sell nearly twice as many tablets as it did iPhones in the product's first year."
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."
Philips Electronics, a Netherlands-based company, has come up with a device designed to protect day traders from emotionally based trading decisions. The Rationalizer measures your galvanic skin response and lets you know when you are under stress. An online trader can then take a "time-out, wind down and re-consider their actions," according to the company. This may have come too late for us, but at least future generations won't have to live through the horror of angry day trading.
coondoggie writes "The US Department of Energy said today it will spend $32 million on a project that will deploy a large cloud computing test bed with thousands of Intel Nehalem CPU cores and explore commercial offerings from Amazon, Microsoft and Google. Ultimately, the project, known as Magellan, will look at cloud computing as a cost-effective and energy-efficient way for scientists to accelerate discoveries in a variety of disciplines, including analysis of scientific data sets in biology, climate change and physics, the DOE stated. Magellan will explore whether cloud computing can help meet the overwhelming demand for scientific computing. Although computation is an increasingly important tool for scientific discovery, and DOE operates some of the world's most powerful supercomputers, not all research applications require such massive computing power. The number of scientists who would benefit from mid-range computing far exceeds the amount of available resources, the DEO stated."
Matt_dk writes "A radar instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has essentially looked below the surface of the Red Planet's north-polar ice cap, and found data to confirm theoretical models of Martian climate swings during the past few million years. The new, three-dimensional map using 358 radar observations provides a cross-sectional view of the north-polar layered deposits. 'The radar has been giving us spectacular results,' said Jeffrey Plaut of JPL, a member of the science team for the Shallow Radar instrument. 'We have mapped continuous underground layers in three dimensions across a vast area.'"
Kotaku has an opinion piece by Leigh Alexander singing the praises of classic, button-rich controllers for the level of precision and complexity they offer. While the Wii Remote and upcoming motion-control offerings from Microsoft and Sony are generating a lot of interest, there will always be games for which more traditional input devices are better suited. Quoting: "With all this talk about new audiences — and the tech designed to serve them — it's easy to get excited. It's also easy to feel a little lost in the shuffle. For gamers who've been there since before anyone cared about making games 'for everyone,' having that object in our hands was more than a way to access the game world — it was half the appeal. Anyone who's ever pulled off a chain of combos in a console fighter can tell you about the joy of expertise and control. ... Gamers may suffer some kind of identity crisis as the familiar markers of their beloved niche evolve — or disappear entirely. The solution to that one's easy: Get over it. Like it or not, it's clear that gaming's not a 'niche' anymore, and its shape will change. The more pressing issue is whether or not controller-less gaming will truly make the medium richer. Making something 'more accessible' doesn't necessarily make it better."
freakxx writes "Microsoft has been slapped with a fine of 9 million Euros by German regulators over illegally fixing the price of its Office-suite in an anti-competitive manner during a retail-promotion fair. Microsoft has accepted the fine and decided not to take this issue to any higher level."
CWmike writes "GPS device maker TomTom has shot back at Microsoft with a claim of patent infringement, after the software giant raised concerns in the Linux community with a recent lawsuit against TomTom. In a suit filed earlier this week, TomTom alleges that Microsoft infringes on four patents in mapping software Microsoft Streets and Trips. TomTom is asking for triple damages for willful infringement, since it says it had notified Microsoft about its alleged infringement. Microsoft said it was reviewing TomTom's filing and that it remains committed to a licensing solution and has been for more than a year."