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Games

Inside F.E.A.R. 2's Engine and AI 34

Posted by Soulskill
from the our-robot-overlords-will-arise-from-FPS-bots dept.
Gamasutra sat down with software engineers from Monolith Productions to discuss the technology behind F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, due out in February. They provide insight into the development of the game's engine, and they discuss the goals and procedures behind creating entertaining AI. Quoting: "For instance, let's say that the AI wanted to kill the enemy. That would mean that there are a whole bunch of actions that satisfy the requirement for there being a dead enemy; let's say, 'Attack with ranged weapon,' right? ... Where the power comes from is the fact that those actions themselves can have conditions that they need to have met. So, 'attack with ranged weapon' may have conditions that say, 'I have to have a weapon, and I have to have it loaded. Go find me more actions that satisfy those requirements.' ... at that point, he may find another action, which is 'go to this weapon,' and then he may find another action which is 'reload your weapon.' So, that whole chain that I just described to you, of him doing three things in a row — which is going to pick up a weapon, loading a weapon, and then going to attack the player — that was not a directed thing that the level designer, nor that the AI engineer had to program; it was just the fact that we have these aggregate actions that the planner can pick from at will.
Space

+ - Parts of the galactic halo rotate "backwards&#->

Submitted by
xPsi
xPsi writes "Using data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, researchers have recently discovered that the galactic halo has two distinct components which rotate in opposite directions. From the article 'The main galactic disk, home to our sun, rotates at an average speed of 500,000 mph. Surrounding the disk is what's now called the inner halo. It orbits in the same direction at about 50,000 mph. The outer halo, a sparsely populated region, spins in the opposite direction at roughly 100,000 mph.' This discovery provides some insight into how galaxies, ours in particular, are formed."
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Graphics

+ - HiRes Scan of 'Mona Lisa' Reveals Its History

Submitted by daevux
daevux (626542) writes "CNN reports that French engineer Pascal Cotte has discovered interesting details of the history of Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" from a 240 megapixel scan of the artwork. Among the findings are the disappearance of eyebrows and eyelashes probably due to poor cleaning, and differences in skin tones."
United States

+ - Habeas Corpus is GONE-> 2

Submitted by
Khyber
Khyber writes "In a vote of 56 yeas to 43 nays, with one abstaining, the Cloture Motion to restore Habeas Corpus has been halted, with a 3/5 majority vote unable to be attained. Article 6 states their oath to uphold the constitution, Article 4 states that habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless in cases of rebellion and invasion when the public safety may require it. It's becoming a very dark age, indeed."
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The Internet

+ - Who's (still) wasting your bandwidth?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Using the Royal Mail price finder on behalf of an ebay customer today, I noticed the layout of the HTML was poor (probably because it's formatted to work on IE only — yes, I've asked them to fix it). Unable to let any problem lie I took a look at the source and was appalled to see how much redundant whitespace was being served with the page. After 10 minutes tidying it up I discovered that where it might reasonably serve 12k of HTML data it was actually serving up 20k. Around 8,000 pointless bytes are being transmitted every time someone wants to price something up with Royal Mail. When we all used dial-up the issue was page latency; with broadband it's one of download limits. Luckily my ISP doesn't impose one and 8k is not exactly a hill of beans in these gigabyte times, but can anyone beat 40% wastage?"
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It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - The Wrong Way to Dispose of Server Boxes->

Submitted by kunk28
kunk28 (1156117) writes "I work for a large Internet co-location and hosting company. One of our customers installed a bunch of servers the other night at one of our Salt Lake City data centers. Instead of taking and disposing of all the empty server boxes themselves they decided to try to fit them all in our dumpster. In the morning when we came into work we were welcomed by the following sight. Obviously they think they are funny or something."
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Windows

+ - Windows XP Thumb Drive Edition Is Real->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "OSWeekly.com's Matt Hartley has discovered a real, working version of Windows XP Thumb Edition. He comments: "While a proof-of-concept has been perpetuated without Microsoft's content, the instructions are fuzzy, and trying to install this would certainly be a clear violation of existing US law, but my sources have indicated this to be the real deal — you can install Windows XP onto a USB drive as described above. Why hasn't Microsoft bothered to create such a thing themselves? It could be the belief that they do not see the cost/benefit value for offering a bootable USB OS despite the immense success of such a thing with Linux."
Link to Original Source
The Internet

+ - Online Horoscopes .... Aren't Just For Women->

Submitted by
Neoli Marcos
Neoli Marcos writes "Melbourne, Australia June 5, 2007 —

Universal Psychic Guild , Australia`s leading online psychic service, is determined to defy gender stereotypes as it proudly offers horoscopes and astrology reports that are well-fitted for women and men alike.

Traditionally, horoscopes and astrology have always been associated with women, who are supposedly more intuitive and sensitive than their male counterparts. True enough, Universal Psychic Guild`s clientèle over the years has mostly been women, while men account for just a fraction of the site`s regulars.

But are horoscopes really for men? Universal Psychic Guild answers that with a resounding Yes. As each astrology and numerology report are carefully prepared by the Guild`s resident psychics, and every psychic reader has had years of experience and undergone evaluation before being able to go online, customers are assured they get only the best psychic and astrology reports.

This promise of truly personalised, tailor-made, and carefully detailed horoscopes, whether for men or women, is what has kept the company going through the years. New changes has even arrived at the site, specifically the live webcam psychic chat and readings where querents can log on and actually come face to face with their favourite psychic reader. As with all other great psychic offers of Psychic Guild, this comes with a money-back guarantee.

This coming Father`s Day, Universal Psychic Guild encourages its patrons to give their dads and all the men in their lives horoscopes for a change. It`s the unlikely, but surprising gift. And that`s something.

_______ Universal Psychic Guild is on 24-7 to answer all your questions on life, love, career, health, and well-being. For Free Horoscopes, and Premium Psychic and Astrology reports, visit Psychic Guild now.

Online Astrology reports
Universal Psychic Guild (ACN: 066 828 288) P.O. Box 7011 Hawthorn North Victoria 3122, Australia support@psychicguild.com Phone: 1300 365 318"

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Patents

+ - Microsoft will not sue over Linux patents

Submitted by San Muel
San Muel (666) writes "In an official statement, Microsoft has said it has no immediate plans to sue after alleging patent infringements by open-source vendors for the time being.

"If we wanted to go down that road we could have done that three years ago," said a Microsoft spokesperson. "Rather than litigate, Microsoft has spent the last three years building an intellectual property bridge that works for all parties — including open source — and the customer response has been tremendously positive. Our focus is on continuing to build bridges.""
Editorial

+ - Scientology harrassment attempt backfired badly

Submitted by BertDeJong
BertDeJong (1102875) writes "Making a critical documentary about the cult of Scientology wasn't made easy for BBC Panorama's investigating journalist John Sweeney, as he was being follow-up, harrassed, and intimidated for days by one "Tommy" (wearing sunglasses and a black suit) of Scientology during his investigation. Sweeney lost it after a couple of days, and explained "Tommy" where they were at. Scientology taped the event, and decided it would be good message to enemies of Scientology so they put it on Youtube. But this badly backfired when Panorama viewing rates went through the roof in Britain. Scientology are now considering legal steps."
Software

+ - Ways People Screw Up AJAX

Submitted by
foo
foo writes "People are aware of the good that technologies such as AJAX have added to sites such as gmail, digg, and slashdot. The negative aspects and implementations of AJAX have mostly avoided by the media and are rarely spoken. CGISecurity has published a top 5 list of problems which can be encountered by implementing AJAX improperly."

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