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+ - Tim Schafer Project Smashes Kickstarter Records->

Submitted by Matchstick
Matchstick (94940) writes "Tim Schafer, the veteran designer of classic adventure games like Full Throttle and Grim Fandango, posted a $400,000 kickstarter project to fund a new adventure game and accompanying video documentary. In just over 8 hours the project reached its funding goal, smashing the previous Kickstarter record of $165,000 in 24 _hours_."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Tin Whiskers (Score 1) 445

by Matchstick (#38428300) Attached to: Hard Drive Makers Slash Warranties

I wouldn't be surprised if this were a side effect of Europes (not-so) recent Restriction of Hazardous Substances laws, which mean manufacturers need to use unleaded solder, which leads to tin whiskers.

The whiskers grow slowly and cause no harm, until they do cause harm (maybe a couple years down the line) -- and when they do, it is often catastrophic.

Comment: Bad title (Score 1) 150

by Matchstick (#35704880) Attached to: China Detects 10 Cases of Radiation Contamination, 2 In Hospital

The /. article title helps propagate the widespread popular confusion between radiation and radioactive materials. Radiation helps you detect contamination with radioactive materials, similar to how light helps you detect the sun. The editor should have stuck with either of the phrasings from the first link -- "10 cases of radiation" or "10 cases of radioactive contamination" -- rather than combine them.

Security

+ - StunRay Incapacitates with a Flash of Light

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Scientific American reports that a newly patented method of non-lethal incapacitation can render an assailant helpless for several minutes by overloading the neural networks connected to the retina with a brief flash of high-intensity light. “It’s the inverse of blindness—the technical term is a loss of contrast sensitivity,” says Todd Eisenberg, the engineer who invented the device. “The typical response is for the person to freeze. Law enforcement can easily walk up and apprehend [the suspect].” The device consists of a 75-watt lamp, combined with optics that collect and focus the visible light into a targeted beam, which can be aimed like a flashlight to project a controlled beam of white light more than 10 times more intense than an aircraft landing light with a range as far away as 150 feet. Recovery time ranges from “seconds to 20 minutes,” says Eisenberg. “It’s very analogous to walking from a very bright room into a very dark room.”"
Classic Games (Games)

36-Hour Lemmings Port Gets Sony Cease and Desist 268

Posted by Soulskill
from the found-a-cliff-real-quick dept.
Zerocool3001 writes "The recently featured 36-hour port of the original Palm version of Lemmings to the iPhone and Palm Pre has received a cease and desist letter from Sony. Only one day after submitting the app for approval on the two app stores, the developer has put up a post stating that he 'did this as a tribute to the game — we can only hope that Sony actually does a conversion for platforms like iPhone and Palm Pre in the near future.' The text of the cease and desist letter is available from the developer's website."
GNU is Not Unix

New LLVM Debugger Subproject Already Faster Than GDB 174

Posted by timothy
from the pop-will-eat-itself dept.
kthreadd writes "The LLVM project is now working on a debugger called LLDB that's already faster than GDB and could be a possible alternative in the future for C, C++, and Objective-C developers. With the ongoing success of Clang and other LLVM subprojects, are the days of GNU as the mainstream free and open development toolchain passé?" LLVM stands for Low Level Virtual Machine; Wikipedia as usual has a good explanation of the parent project.
Music

Rock Band 3 To Include MIDI Keyboard 107

Posted by Soulskill
from the hey-guys-let's-get-some-of-that-innovation-in-here dept.
xbeefsupreme writes with news that Harmonix has officially demonstrated Rock Band 3's 25-key MIDI keyboard. From USA Today: "During the game, green, red, blue, yellow or orange keys flow on a 'stream' representing the notes to be played on five corresponding keyboard keys. In a new authentic Pro mode meant to help players segue to actual instruments, all 25 keys are used; the streams shifts left and right to cover the correct keys. The keyboard also works as a MIDI keyboard that can be connected to a computer. 'This is a real instrument and a real device,' says senior designer Sylvain Dubrofsky." The game will also support more advanced "real" guitar controllers, which have six actual strings you can strum. Hit the link below to see the keyboard in use.
Patents

The MPEG-LA's Lock On Culture 457

Posted by kdawson
from the read-only-culture dept.
jrepin writes in to recommend a piece by Eugenia from OSNews, which explores the depths of the MPEG-LA's lock on video. One part of the problem is that almost all video cameras, including ones that cost more than $12,000, declare in their manuals that they are for "personal use and non-commercial" purposes only. "We've all heard how the h.264 is rolled over on patents and royalties. Even with these facts, I kept supporting the best-performing 'delivery' codec in the market, which is h.264. 'Let the best win,' I kept thinking. But it wasn't until very recently when I was made aware that the problem is way deeper. No, my friends. It's not just a matter of just 'picking Theora' to export a video to Youtube and be clear of any litigation. MPEG-LA's trick runs way deeper!""
NASA

Gamma Ray Mystery Reestablished By Fermi Telescope 95

Posted by Soulskill
from the back-to-the-drawing-board dept.
eldavojohn writes "New observations from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope reveal that our assumptions about the 'fog' of gamma rays in our universe are not entirely explained by black hole-powered jets emanating from active galaxies — as we previously hypothesized. For now, the researchers are representing the source of unaccounted gamma rays with a dragon (as in 'here be') symbol. A researcher explained that they are certain about this, given Fermi's observations: 'Active galaxies can explain less than 30 percent of the extragalactic gamma-ray background Fermi sees. That leaves a lot of room for scientific discovery as we puzzle out what else may be responsible.' And so we reopen the chapter on background gamma-rays in the science textbooks and hope this eventually sheds even more light on other mysteries of space — like star formation and dark matter."
Idle

Directed Energy Weapon Downs Mosquitos 428

Posted by samzenpus
from the two-pound-hammer-and-ten-penny-nail dept.
wisebabo writes "Nathan Myhrvol demonstrated at TED a laser, built from parts scrounged from eBay, capable of shooting down not one but 50 to 100 mosquitos a second. The system is 'so precise that it can specify the species, and even the gender, of the mosquito being targeted.' Currently, for the sake of efficiency, it leaves the males alone because only females are bloodsuckers. Best of all the system could cost as little as $50. Maybe that's too expensive for use in preventing malaria in Africa but I'd buy one in a second!" We ran a story about this last year. It looks like the company has added a bit more polish, and burning mosquito footage to their marketing.
Music

+ - Going Head To Head With Genius on Playlists->

Submitted by brownerthanu
brownerthanu (1084341) writes "(This is a re-submit with the second paragraph revised to include an important part of the story.)

Engineers at the University of California, San Diego are developing a system to include an ignored sector of music, deemed the 'long tail', in music recommendations. It's well known that radio suffers from a popularity bias where the most popular songs receive an inordinate amount of exposure. In Apple's music recommender system, iTunes' Genius, this bias is magnified. An underground artist will never be recommended in a playlist due to insufficient data. It's an artifact of the popular collaborative filtering recommender algorithm, which Genius is based on.

In order to establish a more holistic model of the music world, Luke Barrington and researchers at the Computer Audition Laboratory have created a machine learning system which classifies songs in an automated, Pandora-like, fashion. Instead of using humans to explicitly categorize individual songs, they capture the wisdom of the crowds via a Facebook game, Herd It, and use the data to train statistical models. The machine can then "listen to", describe and recommend any song, popular or not. As more people play the game, the machines get smarter. Their experiments show that automatic recommendations work at least as well as Genius for recommending undiscovered music."

Link to Original Source
Microsoft

US Court Tells Microsoft To Stop Selling Word 403

Posted by Soulskill
from the somebody's-not-having-a-good-day dept.
oranghutan writes "A judge in a Texas court has given Microsoft 60 days to comply with an order to stop selling Word products in their existing state as the result of a patent infringement suit filed by i4i. According to the injunction, Microsoft is forbidden from selling Word products that let people create XML documents, which both the 2003 and 2007 versions let you do. Michael Cherry, an analyst quoted in the article, said, 'It's going to take a long time for this kind of thing to get sorted out.' Few believe the injunction will actually stop Word from being sold because there are ways of working around it. In early 2009, a jury in the Texas court ordered Microsoft to pay i4i $200 million for infringing on the patent. ZDNet has a look at the patent itself, saying it 'sounds a bit generic.'"

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