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Submission + - Xiaomi-backed Chinese firm acquires iconic scooter maker Segway (yahoo.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Chinese transportation robotics firm Ninebot said on Wednesday it has acquired U.S. rival Segway Inc, the company behind the self-balancing scooter that became a technological marvel when it was launched in the early 2000s but whose hype th...
Mars

NASA Is Building a Virtual Mars For VR Viewing (unrealengine.com) 11

An anonymous reader writes: NASA will release a free virtual reality program this year that will simulate exploring the surface of Mars. "Players will be able to walk on the Red Planet as well as drive the Mars Rover..." reads the official announcement at UnrealEngine.com. The Mars 2030 Experience will be available on Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, and Samsung Gear VR, and will also "expand" to Sony PlayStation VR and HTC Vive, with additional versions for Android and iOS devices, and it will even be streamed on Twitch. NASA plans to reveal more details at this year's South by Southwest conference in March.

Submission + - SPAM: Prematurely published processor patch privately points at 32 core support

Iamthecheese writes: Article title: "Confirms", but the article text doesn't bear that out. There are hints of such from last year. A leaked patch for the 14 nanometer AMD Zeppelin (Family 17h, Model 00h) reveals support for up to 32 cores. Another blog says pretty much the same thing. We recently discussed an announced 4+8 core AMD chip, but nothing like this.

Submission + - Adblock seeks deal with advertising industry players (yahoo.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Adblock, one of the leading online ad blocker, is looking to reach out to advertisers and identify an "acceptable" level and form of advertising on the net.

Comment Groundwork for future research (Score 2) 69

Full study here.

Pretty tame conclusions, but I'm glad they're still doing research into this. I'm actually really curious to see what kind of psychological effects show up (or don't) as graphics technology gets ever closer to perfect fidelity. Not in the moral panic or "we must legislate this" sense, but just to understand whether and how a technology is capable of damaging us. VR is right around the corner, and game developers are focusing constantly on immersion -- this makes me wonder whether a sufficiently advanced game could cause PTSD, or a similar condition. I suspect not now, and not soon, but it'll probably be an issue some day.

Stats

Video Gamers From the '90s Have Turned Out Mostly OK (arstechnica.com) 69

A study reported on by Ars Technica indicates that video games, much ballyhooed (alleged) source of mental, physical and psycho-social ills for the kids who spent a lot of time playing them, don't seem to have had quite as big a negative effect on those kids as the moral panic of the past few decades would have you believe. Instead, There didn't seem to be an association between the number of games the children reported owning and an increase in risk for conduct disorder. When examining depression among shoot-em-up players, there was evidence for increased risk before the researchers controlled for all the confounding factors, but not afterwards. Of course, there's a lot of data to go around in the several studies referred to here, and the upshot seems to both less exciting and less simple than "Video games are good, not bad!"

Comment Re:Amazing (Score 1) 297

in the hope that it will in turn discourage similar behaviour towards real women

Cortana's programming might help solve the GIFT issue where otherwise normal people act like assholes when they are unable to see the people they are acting out at, but since humans behave differently when presented with a computer and with a live human, it will probably do very little for actual human interaction.

China

Malware Targets Skype Users, Records Conversations (softpedia.com) 29

An anonymous reader writes: A new backdoor trojan is making the rounds, coming equipped with features that allow it to steal files, take screengrabs, and record Skype conversations. Currently detected targeting US organizations, researchers linked it to previous malware developed by a Chinese cyber-espionage group called Admin@338. Besides recording Skype conversations, the malware can also steal Office documents, and includes a complicated installation procedure that allows it to avoid antivirus software installed on the machine.

Submission + - Malware Targets Skype Users, Records Conversations (softpedia.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A new backdoor trojan is making the rounds, coming equipped with features that allow it to steal files, take screengrabs, and record Skype conversations. Currently detected targeting US organizations, researchers linked it to previous malware developed by a Chinese cyber-espionage group called Admin@338. Besides recording Skype conversations, the malware can also steal Office documents, and includes some of the most complicated installation procedure that allows it to avoid antivirus software installed on the machine.

Submission + - NASA is Building a Virtual Mars (unrealengine.com)

An anonymous reader writes: NASA will release a free virtual reality program this year that will simulate exploring the surface of Mars. "Players will be able to walk on the Red Planet as well as drive the Mars Rover..." reads the official announcement at UnrealEngine.com. The Mars 2030 Experience will be available on Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, and Samsung Gear VR, and will also "expand" to Sony PlayStation VR and HTC Vive, with additional versions for Android and iOS devices, and it will even be streamed on Twitch. NASA plans to reveal more details at this year’s South by Southwest conference in March.

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