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Comment: Re:Well this will solve world hunger. (Score 5, Informative) 121

by Malk-a-mite (#38630906) Attached to: Lower Limit Found For Sudoku Puzzle Clues

Don't trouble yourself to read to the bottom of the story....

"McGuire says that his approach may pay off in other ways. The hitting-set idea that he developed for the proof has been used in papers on gene-sequencing analysis and cellular networks, and he looks forward to seeing if his algorithm can be usefully adapted by other researchers. “Hopefully this will stimulate more interest,” he says. "

Government

NSA Adds Kahn Collection To Cryptologic Museum 34

Posted by timothy
from the classic-in-the-field dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The Baltimore Sun reports that as recently as the late 1960s, the very existence of the National Security Agency was a closely held secret until a New York newspaper reporter named David Kahn published The Codebreakers, a 1,200-page blockbuster that would establish Kahn as the world's leading expert on the history of cryptology, the art and science of making and breaking codes. 'According to my editor, the NSA director flew up to New York to say it would be dangerous to national security, and unpatriotic, to publish it,' says Kahn. Fast forward 43 years and now the NSA has announced it has added the David Kahn Collection to the library of its public anteroom, the National Cryptologic Museum — complete with more than 130,000 pages of original interview notes and 2,800 books. 'For those who care about cryptology — what it is, how it works, where it fits into world history and culture — at some point, [they'd] want to look at the Kahn collection,' says curator Patrick Weadon. 'It's an eclectic cornucopia of all things cryptological.'"
The Courts

Writer Peter Watts Sentenced; No Jail Time 299

Posted by timothy
from the new-spirit-of-openness dept.
shadowbearer writes "SF writer Peter Watts, a Canadian citizen, whose story we have read about before in these pages, was sentenced three days ago in a Port Huron, MI court. There's not a lot of detail in the story, and although he is still being treated like a terrorist (cannot enter or pass through the US, DNA samples) he was not ordered to do any time in jail, was freed, and has returned home to his family. The judge in the case was, I believe, as sympathetic as the legal system would allow him to be."
Government

California's Santa Clara County Bans Happy Meal Toys 756

Posted by timothy
from the when-self-righteousness-attacks dept.
WrongSizeGlass writes "The L.A. Times is reporting that Santa Clara County officials have voted to ban toys and other promotions that restaurants offer with high-calorie children's meals. 'This ordinance prevents restaurants from preying on children's love of toys' to sell high-calorie, unhealthful food, said Supervisor Ken Yeager, who sponsored the measure. 'This ordinance breaks the link between unhealthy food and prizes.' Supervisor Donald Gage, who voted against the measure, said, 'If you can't control a 3-year-old child for a toy, God save you when they get to be teenagers.' The vote was 3 - 2 in favor of the ban."
Image

Man Put On "No-Fly List" While In Air To NYC 300

Posted by samzenpus
from the beware-the-list-refresh dept.
An unnamed man flying from Nigeria to New York City found out he was added to a no-fly list somewhere above the Atlantic Ocean, when the plane stopped to refuel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Officials won't say what he did or why he was added to the list after he had already boarded a flight. He was not immediately charged with a crime and Customs and Border Protection will only say that he is a "potential person of interest." From the article: "The man, a citizen of Gambia, was not on the no-fly list when he boarded the aircraft in Dakar, Senegal, said a US official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue publicly."
First Person Shooters (Games)

An Early Look At Next-Gen Shooter Bodycount 238

Posted by Soulskill
from the piece-by-piece dept.
If you ask fans of first-person shooters what feature they'd like to see in a new game, their answers — now and for the past 15 years — probably involve destructible environments. Game developers have tried to satisfy this demand with scripted events, breakable objects, and more crates than you can shake a rocket launcher at. However, Bodycount, an upcoming game from Codemasters Guildford, is aiming to deliver what gamers have wanted for so long: the ability to blast apart whatever you please. Quoting the Guardian's games blog from their hands-on with the game: "... it's not just about effect, it's about access. In Bodycount, you can blow chunks out of thinner interior walls, allowing you to burst through and catch enemies by surprise. You can also brilliantly modify cover objects – if you're hiding behind a crate and want to take out enemies without popping up from behind it, shoot a hole in it. Bingo, you've got a comparatively safe firing vantage. The difference between this and say, Red Faction or Bad Company, is that the destruction isn't limited to pre-set building sections. It's everywhere. This should, of course, grind the processor to a halt, but the team has come up with a simple compromise to facilitate its vision. 'The trick is that we're not running full physics on everything,' explains lead coder, Jon Creighton. ... This is tied in with one of the best cover systems I've ever seen. While in a crouching position (gained by holding the left trigger down), you can use the left analogue stick to subtly look and aim around your cover object, ducking and peeking to gain that perfect view of the war zone. It's natural, it's comfortable and it's adaptive, and it will surely consign the whole 'locking on' mechanic to the graveyard of cover system history."
Education

3rd Grader Accused of Hacking Schools' Computer System 344

Posted by samzenpus
from the give-that-kid-a-gold-star dept.
Gud writes "According to The Washington Post a 9-year-old was able to hack into his county's school computer network and change such things as passwords, course work, and enrollment info. From the article: 'Police say a 9-year-old McLean boy hacked into the Blackboard Learning System used by the county school system to change teachers' and staff members' passwords, change or delete course content, and change course enrollment. One of the victims was Fairfax Superintendent Jack D. Dale, according to an affidavit filed by a Fairfax detective in Fairfax Circuit Court this week. But police and school officials decided no harm, no foul. The boy did not intend to do any serious damage, and didn't, so the police withdrew and are allowing the school district to handle the half-grown hacker.'"
Image

Genetic Disorder Removes Racial Bias and Social Fear 319

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-you-need-is-love-and-different-genes dept.
People who suffer from a rare genetic disorder called Williams Syndrome have a complete lack of social fear. They experience no anxiety or concerns about meeting new people or being put into any social situation, and a new study by Andreia Santos suggests that they also don't have any racial bias. From the article: "Typically, children start overtly gravitating towards their own ethnic groups from the tender age of three. Groups of people from all over the globe and all sorts of cultures show these biases. Even autistic children, who can have severe difficulties with social relationships, show signs of racial stereotypes. But Santos says that the Williams syndrome kids are the first group of humans devoid of such racial bias, although, as we’ll see, not everyone agrees."
Image

Aussie Gamers Dress As Zombies To Raise R18+ Awareness 85

Posted by samzenpus
from the know-we'll-get-to-common-ground-somehow dept.
swandives writes "Australian gamers will dress as zombies to raise awareness about the lack of an R18+ rating for video games in the country. The protest will begin at Hyde Park Fountain on March 27 and lumber through Sydney, raising awareness of the need for a higher classification rating and hopefully causing a bit of havoc at the same time! Computerworld Australia has pictures of previous zombie protests in the lead-up to the event. Australia has a long history of lobbying for an R18+ games classification but, even after a decade, video games are banned from sale if they exceed the maximum M15+ classification. So far, the list of banned titles includes 7 Sins, Risen, Left 4 Dead 2 and Dark Sector. Others, like Alien vs. Predator, were initially banned but appealed the rating and are now MA15+."
Games

The Problems With Video Game Voice Acting 251

Posted by Soulskill
from the who-called-in-de-fleet dept.
The Guardian's Games blog explores the tendency of modern video games to suffer from poor voice acting, a flaw made all the more glaring by increasingly precise and impressive graphics. Quoting: "Due to the interactive nature of games, actors can't be given a standard film script from which they're able to gauge the throughline of their character and a feel for the dramatic development of the narrative. Instead, lines of dialogue need to be isolated into chunks so they can be accessed and triggered within the game in line with the actions of each individual player. Consequently, the performer will usually be presented with a spreadsheet jammed with hundreds of single lines of dialogue, with little sense of context or interaction. ... But according to David Sobolov, one of the most experienced videogame voice actors in the world (just check out his website), the significant time pressures mean that close, in-depth direction is not always possible. 'Often, there's a need to record a great number of lines, so to keep the session moving, once we've established the tone of the character we're performing, the director will silently direct us using the spreadsheet on the screen by simply moving the cursor down the page to indicate if he/she liked what we did. Or they'll make up a code, like typing an 'x' to ask us to give them another take.' It sounds, in effect, like a sort of acting battery farm, a grinding, dehumanizing production line of disembodied phrases, delivered for hours on end. Hardly conducive to Oscar-winning performances."

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