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+ - Blizzard Releases In-House Design Tools To Starcraft Modders->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: Blizzard has released a powerful new suite of tools for Starcraft 2 modders and developers that fundamentally change the nature of what's possible in the popular RTS game. Now, players can use the same architectural and graphics design toolsets that Blizzard has used internally to build new units, tilesets, and models. Furthermore, these tools are now available even with the Starcraft 2: Starter Edition kit. Critically, artists will now be able to incorporate images and effects designed in programs like 3ds Max, Photoshop, or other high-end particle systems. The exciting thing about these releases is that Starcraft 2's modding list is as interesting as the primary game, if not moreso. Fans have faithfully created adaptations of famous Starcraft maps, implemented entirely new rulesets that blend the old, micro-friendly playstyle of Starcraft with the modern engine, and even gone total conversion with Warcraft ported over into the SC2 game.
Link to Original Source

+ - New Scientist Finds Even Short Alcohol Abstinence Beneficial-> 1

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa writes: 'Dry January', for many a welcome period of abstinence from alcohol after the excesses of the holiday season, could be great relaxation for body and soul. New Scientist staff did the classic experiment and the results were surprisingly good. Many people who drink alcohol choose to give up for short periods, but there is no scientific evidence that this has any meaningful health benefits. For 5 weeks, 10 of staff drank no alcohol while 4 continued as normal. During that short period, liver fat fell on average by 15%, and by almost 20% in some individuals. The blood glucose levels of the abstainers dropped by 23% on average, from 5.1 to 4.3 mmol/l. Of that, Kevin Moore, consultant in liver health services at UCLMS was staggered and said 'I don't think anyone has ever observed that before.' Total blood cholesterol dropped by almost 5%, from 4.6 to 4.4 mmol/l. Ratings of sleep quality rose by just over 10% and ratings of mind concentration soared 18%. What's surprising is how quickly the benefits were evident, and good longstanding results could be gained from more prolonged abstinence.
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Comment: Umm change your password (Score 1) 545

by Lopton (#33103764) Attached to: Verizon Changing Users Router Passwords
Yes I agree instead Verizon should simply let any and everyone's routers get hacked, then their customer service should be responsible for fixing all those peoples routers right? GIVE ME A BREAK they fixed a security problem with your router, it just so happens that the security problem was YOU! Get over it, and if you don't want them to have access change your password...

+ - Slashdot New for Nerds but not on your phone?

Submitted by Lopton
Lopton writes: After finally taking the leap into smart phone territory and getting an EVO 4G I was sorely disappoint to point my mobile browser to Slashdot. After visiting Engadget and Green Autoblog, which both sent simple clean formatted mobile sites to my browser (Opera Mini) Slashdot only manage to send the full version of it's site including the columns on the left and right of the page, leading to the stories being crammed in the space in the middle. After finding www.slashdot.org/palm, I was even more disappointed. Am I missing something or does this news for nerds site behind the times in provide clean mobile content?
Music

+ - Apple cracks down on the Hymn Project-> 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Ever since the initial launch of the iTunes Music Store, an intrepid group of programmers over at the Hymn Project have engaged in a marvelous cat-and-mouse game with Apple. Now they're finally being hobbled by Apple's lawyers.

The purpose of the project has always been to provide software that can be used to losslessly remove Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection from music purchased through iTunes, so that the buyer may exercise their right of fair use and play the music on non-Apple devices (Hear Your Music aNywhere).

The software has gone through many incarnations. The original hymn has been succeeded by JHymn, QTFairUse6, MyFairTunes, and others. Regardless of the program, the emphasis has always been squarely on fair use — not piracy. Any discussions of piracy have been strongly and actively discouraged on the site's forums.

For years now, Apple has been content to mostly ignore the Hymn Project. At worst, they would introduce subtle changes to new versions of iTunes that would break the Hymn software. Nobody really knows if this was done intentionally, but it was usually just a matter of time before a new solution was found. This seemed like a reasonable approach for Apple to take. After all, why should they care? The DRM was only in place to placate the record companies. Apple CEO Steve Jobs has even expressed his opinion that all music should be free of DRM.

Well, now things have changed. Recently, a new program called Requiem was announced that appears to be a complete crack of the iTunes DRM scheme. Previous programs had relied on various forms of trickery or memory hooks to access the unencrypted audio data — none had ever completely cracked the encryption algorithms.

Requiem seems to have been the last straw. Earlier this week, the ISP hosting the site received a Cease and Desist order from Apple Legal, demanding that all downloads be removed from the site, and that the site post no links to any programs that could remove DRM from Apple music or video. Reportedly, similar C & D orders were also sent to at least one of the project's developers, and to another ISP where Reqiuem had been hosted. Ironically, Requiem was never actually hosted on the Hymn site — merely mentioned and linked to in one of the forums. Nevertheless, the Hymn Project has now come into the crosshairs of Apple's lawyers and, lacking legal resources, has seen no choice but to comply with the order.

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Medicine

+ - Researchers Develop Self-Cleaning Clothes

Submitted by
Ponca City, We Love You
Ponca City, We Love You writes: "Researchers at Monash University, in Australia, have found a process to coat natural fibers such as wool, silk, and hemp that will automatically remove food, grime, and even red-wine stains by coating their fibers with titanium dioxide nanocrystals, which break down food and dirt in sunlight. Titanium dioxide is a strong photocatalyst and in the presence of ultraviolet light and water vapor, it forms hydroxyl radicals, which oxidize, or decompose, organic matter. "These nanocrystals cannot decompose wool and are harmless to skin," says organic chemist and nanomaterials researcher Walid Daoud. Titanium dioxide can also destroy pathogens such as bacteria in the presence of sunlight by breaking down the cell walls of the microorganisms making self-cleaning fabrics especially useful in hospitals and other medical settings. "Self-cleaning property will become a standard feature of future textiles and other commonly used materials to maintain hygiene and prevent the spreading of pathogenic infection, particularly since pathogenic microorganisms can survive on textile surfaces for up to three months.""
The Courts

+ - Encrypted Laptop Poses Legal Dilemma 1

Submitted by
Reservoir Hill
Reservoir Hill writes: "When Sebastien Boucher stopped at the U.S.-Canadian border, agents who inspected his laptop said they found files containing child pornography but when they tried to examine the images after his arrest, they were stymied by PGP's password-protected encryption program. The government wants Boucher to give up the password, but doing so could violate his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination by revealing the contents of the files. "This has been the case we've all been expecting," says Michael Froomkin, a professor at the University of Miami School of Law. "As encryption grows, it was inevitable there'd be a case where the government wants someone's keys." A grand jury subpoena to force Boucher to reveal the password was quashed by federal Magistrate Jerome Niedermeier. The government has appealed the ruling and law professor Orin Kerr says the distinction that favors the government in Boucher's case is that he initially cooperated and let the agent look at some of the laptop's contents. "The government can't make you give up your encryption password in most cases. But if you tell them you have a password and that it unlocks that computer, then at that point you no longer have the privilege," says Kerr."

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