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The State of Game AI 88

Gamasutra has a summary written by Dan Kline of Crystal Dynamics for this year's Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE) Conference held at Stanford University. They discussed why AI capabilities have not scaled with CPU speed, balancing MMO economies and game mechanics, procedural dialogue, and many other topics. Kline also wrote in more detail about the conference at his blog. "... Rabin put forth his own challenge for the future: Despite all this, why is AI still allowed to suck? Because, in his view, sharp AI is just not required for many games, and game designers frequently don't get what AI can do. That was his challenge for this AIIDE — to show others the potential, and necessity, of game AI, to find the problems that designers are trying to tackle, and solve them."

Submission + - Missoula County to Cops: Stop Arrests for Pot

holotone writes: As a follow up to this story from March, Missoula's top prosecutor has decided to follow the will of the people and is now actively instructing his officers to uphold the citizen-led cannabis re-prioritization referendum. "We are asking law enforcement where the offense committed is solely possession of marijuana in misdemeanor amounts to stop arresting individuals or writing and submitting tickets"

Submission + - Space Elevator Teams Compete for NASA Prizes

Hugh Pickens writes: "The University of Saskatchewan's has the first place climb in the Second Annual Space Elevator Games being held this weekend at the Davis County Event Center in Salt Lake City with teams competing for $1,000,000 in NASA prize money. Although the idea of a space elevator has been around for decades, the space technologies needed to support it have yet to be created so the non-profit Spaceward Foundation has hosted an annual competition since 2005, supported by a cash prize from NASA, to build a super-strong tether similar to what would be needed to support a real elevator, or get a robot to climb a suspended ribbon. In the robot climber competition, teams have to get their device to hurtle up a 100-metre-long ribbon, suspended from a crane, at an average speed of two metres per second. The climber must be powered from the ground: strategies include reflecting sunlight from huge mirrors on the ground to solar panels on the climber; shining lasers from the ground up to similar panels on the robot; or firing microwaves up at the climber. Qualifying rounds have been taking place all week, and although high winds and rain have caused delays, four out of eight teams have made it into the finals. There are no outdoor climbs today because of bad weather but that some of the tether competitions will happen indoors later this afternoon."

Submission + - Latest Firefox Released Fixes Windows URI Problems (

eldavojohn writes: "Firefox is having a difficult time staying secure on Windows. Thursday was the third time a URI patch has been implemented to handle catching mistakes when Windows mishandles URIs — which can result in a scenario of malicious code launching applications on the browser's machine. The Firefox developers weren't even sure if this was feasible but put the patch in place just to be safe. This latest release of Firefox also adds support for OSX 10.5 (Leopard)."

Submission + - MS MinWin Demoed--33MB Memory, 100 Files (

eldavojohn writes: "Possibly the most exciting thing I've seen Microsoft do in a while was the demonstration of Windows 7 called 'MinWin' last week. It was the core operating system of Windows 7 and was viewed through a browser with no graphics engine. Obviously has the capability of being a stable, reliable web OS & might even be the answer to slimming down Windows to a sane degree. Modular UI for Windows? Customizable selection of components? Reasonable pricing? Maybe not now, but hopefully for Windows 7."

Submission + - IBM Seeking 'Patent-Protection-Racket' Patent 2

theodp writes: "Wikipedia defines a protection racket as an extortion scheme whereby a powerful non-governmental organization coerces businesses to pay protection money which allegedly serves to purchase the organization's 'protection' services against various external threats. Compare this to IBM's just-published patent application for 'Extracting Value from a Portfolio of Assets', which describes a process by which 'very large corporations' impress upon smaller businesses that paying for 'the protection of a large defensive patent portfolio' would be 'a prudent business decision' for them to make, 'just like purchasing a fire insurance policy.' Sounds like Fat Tony's been to Law School, eh? Time for IBM to put-their-money-where-their-patent-reform-mouth-is and deep-six this business method patent claim!"

Submission + - Fair Use or DMCA Violation? (

An anonymous reader writes: A friend and I came up with a very cool idea for a Google Map mashup. Movie filming locations combined with YouTube video clips and photos of the precise filming location. We setup up shop at and we've been banging away at the code and adding landmarks for the last month. It is almost ready to 'go public', but we've run into a snag.

YouTube just pulled some of our short video clips for DMCA violations. These clips were of specific filming locations, and were less than a minute long in most cases. Similar clips, from the same movie of over 5 minutes are still available on Youtube! What gives?

Our goal is to create a Movie Landmark search engine, linking fan sites and filming location information from around the web in one location, using Google Maps to present it in a unique way (ie. no cartoon bubbles!). We've implemented photo caching so that hits to our site don't unexpectedly suck up the bandwidth of sites being linked to, and we always provide links to the sources for the material we display.

So what do you think? Is this fair use of these Movie clips? And even if it is (I think so, but I'm biased), what can we do about it? We're just 2 guys with a great idea, not the means to take on the film industry. In the long run this benefits them — we are promoting their films, and hopefully selling a few through our Amazon Associate account. But they obviously don't see it that way.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Facebook Goes 64 Bit: Expects to Grow Quickly ( 1

NewsCloud writes: "Facebook announced to developers today that they are moving to a 64 bit user ID in November (see below). At 32 bits, the current ID allows nearly 4.3 billion user accounts. Yet, despite having only 47 million users today, Facebook's move to 64 bits will allow it to have more than 18 quintillion (18,446,744,074,000,000,000) user accounts. Of course, there are currently only about 6.5 billion people in the world. Is Facebook setting their sights beyond Earth or just trying to avoid what happened when Slashdot ran out of space for comment IDs last year. Perhaps they are planning to implement personas. Anyway, do you have any idea how much Facebook would be worth with 18 quintillion user IDs? Sextillions..."

"What people have been reduced to are mere 3-D representations of their own data." -- Arthur Miller