writes: The long awaited Source engine remake of the Valve's original Half Life has finally been released. The initial release only includes the story up until Xen, but the developers say they'll be adding the rest of the story, along with an online multiplayer Deathmatch mode, soon. The game is available to download for free, and only requires players to install the Source SDK (included with all Source games, or a free download.
The highly anticipated release has also caused a huge amount of traffic for any servers hosting the files, with GameFront, GameUpdates, and Black Mesa's own CDN brought down within minutes of the release. The project has also been approved by Steam's Greenlight program, and will hopefully be available through Steam soon, though no timeframe has been given.Link to Original Source
writes: Google have blogged about a new feature for their Maps app on Android — indoors mapping.
The feature is designed to replace the "you are here" maps found in shopping malls and department stores. It will automatically zoom into an indoors map if you enter a mapped building, and should also change maps as you move between different floors
Currently the maps are only available in certain airports, shopping malls, and department stores in the USA and Japan, but Google say they'll be adding more worldwide locations soon.Link to Original Source
writes: A poll for the BBC shows that worldwide support for nuclear power has dropped significantly in the past 6 years.
However, while support has dropped in most countries, the UK has defied the trend, where 37% of the public support building new reactors. Unsurprisingly, support in Japan has dropped significantly, with only 6% supporting new reactors. The USA remains the country with the highest public opinion of nuclear power, though support has dropped slightly.
Much of the decline in opinion has been attributed to the events in Fukushima earlier in the year, although a recent Slashdot poll indicated that many readers opinions had not been affected by the events, and an even split between those who found the technology more or less safe since the events.
With reports on the long lasting effects in Fukushima still conflicted, is nuclear power still a viable solution to the world's energy problems?Link to Original Source
writes: AllThingsD is running a series of stories this week about a possible new Facebook phone, codenamed 'Buffy'.
The phone is said to be in development by HTC, who collaborated with Facebook earlier this year for the Salsa and ChaCha/Status phones, which both had physical Facebook buttons, and a degree of integration with the social network.
While these rumours have been going around for quite a while, the article contains some new information, and neither Facebook or HTC are denying the rumours.
The phone will be based on Android, but like Amazon's Kindle Fire, will be heavily modified to integrate with Facebook, potentially using Facebook's HTML5 platform.
While we're unlikely to see any official announcements or releases any time soon, Facebook are eager to compete with Google and Apple, and are likely to want a phone of their own on shelves as soon as possible.Link to Original Source
writes: The BBC reports that researchers at Washington University have made a breakthrough in developing a contact lens that will be able to overlay text and images on top human vision.
The research is still in early stages, so far just being able to light one LED on the lens, and requiring a battery no more than 1cm away. But researchers claim the main problem has already been overcome — getting the human eye to focus on an image generated on its surface.
While a long way from completion, the team hopes to soon increase the display to hundreds of pixels, and overlay text on the lens. The technology could eventually be used in future augmented reality applications, allowing futuristic 'Terminator' style vision.Link to Original Source
writes: The LA Times reports on a new ultra lightweight material developed by scientists at UC Irvine, HRL Laboratories and Caltech.
"Ultralight metallic microlattice" is said to be 100 times lighter than styrofoam. It's so light, that it can supposedly be balanced on top of a delicate dandelion plant without crushing the seeds.
The material has been made from hollow, interconnected tubes of nickel, which are 1000 times thinner than a human hair. Possible applications include "impact protection, uses in the aerospace industry, acoustic dampening and maybe some battery applications."
The full scientific details can be found in the paper, published in the (paywalled) Science magazineLink to Original Source
writes: InfoQ reports that Adobe is to donate it's web application SDK, Flex, to an "an established open source foundation" — suspected to either be the Open Spoon Foundation (who have been working on an open source fork of Flex), or the more established Apache Foundation
Adobe has stated on it's blog that they consider HTML5 to be a better technology for the future than it's own Flex platform, causing frustration among developers who have used the platform for enterprise applications
Is this a generous contribution to the open source community, or just Adobe offloading another failing technology?Link to Original Source